Ready Set Go!

Link has a whole list of things that he might be as he grows up, and this weekend we have added a new one: track star.  Or maybe just “in track”.  He has started racing around the house.  He says “ready set go” and runs across the room or down the hall.  I guess he was doing that during church also in the hallway with my mom.  We’re pretty sure he got that from The Backyardigans (which yes, we let him watch sometimes.  He’s smart and developing well, so I’m not too concerned.).

Link loves to hide now.

Link loves to hide now.

It is so fun to watch him learn new words and concepts. We are working hard on numbers and shapes and hopefully he will catch on to them soon.  He knows some of the shapes in his shape puzzle, but I’m not sure he could identify them in different places.  I would like to get some at-home educational tools that I could kindly ask his grandmas to do with him. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very open!

Link was very snuggly on Sunday!

Link was very snuggly on Sunday!

We are in week 12 of Baby2.0’s journey, and that means daily headaches for mama.  I didn’t document Link’s pregnancy as well as I should have, so I want to do better with this babe.  Mostly for symptoms, because it’s nice to compare and know that it is “normal” for me and pregnancy.  I worry a bit too much sometimes, so it’s good to be reassured.

We had a wonderful weekend.  We spent Saturday afternoon at Mall of America with the Gehrings and Richard and Liam.  The boys had so much fun together!  I love watching them interact.  They kind of play with each other.  Liam really enjoyed holding Link’s hand at dinner and making him do things with it.  Liam also tried to feed Link a few times.  Link isn’t around kids too much, so wasn’t quite sure what was going on!

Link and Liam at dinner.

Link and Liam at dinner.

This week should be a good one.  Busy as always, but hopefully productive also!

Traveling with an Infant

For Christmas this year, Justin, Lincoln and I will be traveling to Nebraska to visit Justin’s family.  A handful of them have met Link already, but many have not.  I am so very excited to see them all and introduce them to the newest Gehring!

The drive normally takes 8 hours, but with Link I’m assuming 10ish.  We will need to stop and feed him every so often, and as a nursing mom, I prefer to stop somewhere comfortable where I can nurse him either in a restaurant or in the car.  This will take about a half hour each time, hopefully we can make just 2 stops.  I’m assuming sometime during the trip Lincoln will poop 🙂  I will not leave him sitting in that, so we will need to stop and change him.  We do hope he will nap most of the time, as the car usually puts him to sleep.

Along with the driving, traveling also entails sleeping in a hotel.  We will be bringing the pack n play along, which he is used to sleeping in.

I will provide new toys for him that he hasn’t seen before.

For me personally, I’m planning to bring foods I can eat.  I love Nebraska cooking, but I will likely not be able to eat any of it this year.

Any advice for traveling with Lincoln this year?

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers

Today has been full of questions.  I have often been told that I ask too many questions.  In situations where I shouldn’t be asking them, e.g. movie theaters, sermons (some may argue this one) and meetings where I am taking minutes, I always want to raise my hand at some point during the event.  And today has been no exception, except I am at least asking them at appropriate days.

It is only noon, and I have already asked more than can be answered.

To my boss:  Can I please have another project?
As a result, to colleagues: Can you please get me this answer?

To my coworker: Can you please explain these things to me?

To my professor: Can you please explain the proper way to cite these sources?

To my husband: Is typing without looking at the keys more like learning a language or learning to drive a car?

To myself: Did you enjoy the spaghetti?  Are you going to the gym after work?  How are you ever going to finish your assignments?

Life is just full of questions, and I know that they will never stop.

The great thing about this is that I am totally alright with that!  I knew who I was!

Quote by Voltaire

Accept something that you cannot change, and you will feel better

For many people, Lent is a time to give something up.  Three of the reasons we do this is to 1) practice self-control, 2) to identify with Jesus’ suffering, and 3) to reflect on our wrongdoings.

Now typically, I do not give up something for Lent.  I play the “I’m not Catholic so I don’t have to” card.  While completely valid, this year I found making an excuse to escape a little lesson in self control to be ridiculous.  I decided to give up a couple of items that I love more than breathing: chips and popcorn.  Now you may say, “love more than breathing? You are nuts” and I would say “Yes I am.”  Eating Doritos wouldn’t be so bad if I ate a small amount during the day, but I tend to eat half the bag late at night.  I am what you might call an emotional eater.  Often I am not even hungry nor will eating those chips fill any sadness that I may be feeling at that moment.  Nonetheless, it is what I do.  Giving chips and popcorn up for me will mean quite a lot to me and my faith walk.  Instead of eating the chips, I will remember why I am not.  I will remember that I able to be sitting there not eating Spicy Nacho Doritos because Jesus Christ suffered on a cross for me.  While at some of my weakest moments I may think that I am suffering just as much as He did, I will know that I am not.  I will think about my day and about the moments I denied Him, about the times where I swore, or did not respect myself, or ignored His beautiful sun because the snow piles are still taller than me.  I will not each chips or popcorn because I am taking those moments in my day to savor His creations.

Along with giving something up at Lent, many people try to take something up during this time.  Some reasons for doing this include 1) to address personal habits they do not like, 2) to introduce acts of service or outreach, and 3) to simply make more time for God.

While I am eating no chips or popcorn, I will be adding something to my life – this here blog!  I go through phases of my life where i blog a lot, blog a little, or can barely remember the name of my blog.  Despite that, I love to blog and I want to keep track of what is going on in my life.  Especially right now as grad school is just beginning and marriage is becoming more and more exciting.  While blogging will help me remember what I did on this day at this time in my life, I am hoping that it will remind me to reflect on the blessings I have received on this day at this time in my life.  God is everywhere.  He is in everything.  Every choice I make and every action I take needs to be focused on Him.

This all being said, I am sure there are many of you that are giving up or adding something for Lent.  I wish you all the best of luck and please remember who we are doing this for.

Planning the Next Move

I am having the absolute hardest time deciding what I want for my future.  The basic question is: go to grad school or do not.  It seems like it should be a simple decision: go to grad school.  There are just so many more factors to this decision that are making it hard for me.

I have always wanted to be a mom.  Since I was about 3, it was what my plan was for the future.  Be a mom, raise kids, and be happy.  Growing up, that is all I wanted to be, even through college.  I changed my mind about a million times regarding the major I wanted and finally settled on history.  I would absolutely love to work in a museum of sorts sharing history with the world, but I also feel like I would love to be a librarian.  To be a librarian, I need to get a masters.

I want to have kids right now and Justin wants to wait a little longer.  I know that he is right about waiting a little longer.

If I do not go to grad school, our plan would be to start having children in 2-3 years.  If I do go to grad school, we would likely wait 4-5 years.

If I go, we could have more money long term, have the potential to have more children.  If I don’t go, money would be tighter and we wouldn’t have as many kids most likely as I want to have.

If I do not go, there is a chance that I wouldn’t have to work as much but if I go, I wouldn’t want to waste my masters.

If I do go, I add ~$23,000 to my student loan debt.

Every one (mostly) I know is telling me to get my masters.  They tell me to even if they don’t know what the decision is.  I agree that this is the most logical decision, but every time I think more about it, my heart hurts.  I am reminded of the years I would have to wait to hold my child in my arms.  I know 5 years is nothing, but I just am unable to imagine waiting that long.

I feel like God is telling me to go for it, to further my education.  But I am just so scared that it is the wrong decision.

Solitary Confinement

Half an hour left before my first church council meeting! I know that I will have a lot to offer, and hopefully it will all make sense, but I am still a bit nervous. I think it is because I am the youngest member to sit on the council, maybe ever! Plus, I am just not sure what to fully expect. I will know soon enough!

Justin and I played Tetris for awhile Saturday.  It was a lot of fun, and we ranked ourselves 9th in the world on the Tetris tournament.  Pretty good if I do say so myself!  John came over the next day and he and Justin beat our ranking, but I still felt worthy for awhile!

I am heading to the gym tonight after council, hopefully with Lindsey!  It will be 3 of my necessary 12 visits this month.  I am planning on more than twelve, but it is a great thing for me if I make it that many times!  I also need to start working on not eating in the evening.

I finished the 1,000 White Women book that I recommended by Jim Fergus.  It was incredibly amazing.  I liked it so much that I went out and purchased his next book, Wild Girl.  I recommend this one also.  They are especially great books to read if you have any interest in Native American life and culture.

One last piece of advice, I downloaded this great solitaire game for my Mac the other day.  You can get it at www.lavacat.com.  It amazes me the way programs run on Macs!