Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Babe

We had the 20 week ultrasound yesterday and Baby is doing well! We didn't find out the gender, and we're planning on keeping it under wraps til the little one is out in the world. Here are some pics. The tech was really great!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

ALIVE and Well?

I finally convinced Kevin to go to the doctor for his annual physical after a couple years of coaxing. He had the usual blood tests-glucose, cholesterol etc. The doctor looked at the results of his last battery of blood tests from a few years ago and exclaimed,

"Oh my gosh! Your cholesterol was at 100. I've never seen it that low in anyone who is still alive!"

Is it a good thing to have a blood test result that would normally be seen in a dead person? Not so sure. At any rate, it was good to some extent because even though Kevin runs and is healthy, that doesn't necessarily knock out the risk of cholesterol problems.

Here's hoping and praying for health and well being for many years to come.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

See It to Believe It!

These pictures will give you some idea of the experience that was Anita and Chirag's wedding.

Weekend Wedding Extravaganza

And I'm not kidding about the Extravaganza.

Kevin and I drove to Long Island on Saturday for Anita and Chirag's wedding. Chirag is a friend from high school and probably one of the most jovial, social people you'll ever meet, so I knew there would be a lot of people and a lot of fun this weekend. But I must say, this wedding blew away any expectation I had. It was amazing!

Chirag and his bride, Anita, are Indian, so they had a traditional Indian wedding. The wedding was on Sunday but there were also events on Friday, the Mehndi, and Saturday, the Raas Garba. Anita and Chirag have a fab wedding website with explanations of all the events/ceremonies. Check it out here.

Many of my high school friends were there and it was so fun to see them and catch up. Everyone looked great and seems happy. It's so nice to reconnect as adults. There is a growing-up-together bond, but now we are all more established and confident as people. Before the wedding, I had a little bit of "high school reunion" type anxiety, but then I realized that we are all adults and removed from former high school angst. Now is the time to reconnect and just enjoy people for who they are. And that's what happened! It really was fun!

Being at this wedding was an amazing experience in and of itself. The Indian culture is full of tradition, ceremony, jubilance and great food. Chirag and Anita's families made every effort to welcome everyone into the celebration and festivities. During Garba night, we had a fabulous meal and danced traditional Indian dances. It was so fun! Chirag and Anita's families were so hospitable and welcoming and willing to teach the dances. So many of us talked about how we felt so much a part of everything, though there were times we were unsure of what to do or what was going on. The ongoing theme the entire weekend was "Share our joy and tradition and celebrate with us!"

That made Kevin and I think about our own lives and traditions. Sometimes we are hesitant to share our traditions, especially our Catholic traditions, with others in the name of political correctness or respect for "diversity". Experiencing Anita and Chirag's wedding inspired me to be more hospitable and generous with our own traditions and celebrations. There is no disrespect in inviting others to share in our joy!

It's Been a While...Again

I haven't been much or blogging in the past week as life was more hectic. The house is still pending, and we had the structural inspection last week. A couple of issues came up which threw me for a bit of a loop (emotional "loops" have been more frequent in the past few months!). Apparently, our furnace is old and "near the end of its life." Our inspector told us this three years ago, and the furnace still kicking. The agent said not to be concerned. The other issue was the shifting/settling foundation under the addition in the back of the house. Kevin told me about this on Friday at around 5pm after I got home from work. That's not the most coherent or rational time of day for me, and I immediately started to worry...a lot. I began to imagine the worst; the foundation is cracked and sinking, and the buyers are going to pull out of the contract, running from our decrepit, old house screaming with arms flailing.

After a good night's sleep, I got some distance from the issue and was able to see things in a more rational light. We have an old home. Stuff happens in old homes. The house is not sinking or falling off its foundation. Truth be told, the buyers are just excited to get into the house and are not too focused on the furnace or the foundation (which does need some attention). As Kevin told me, it's time to trust and not to fret.

We were away for the weekend (more on that later), and when we returned, those sweet words, "Sale Pending", were still perched on top of the ReMax sign in our yard. The buyers are still with us, and we will continue our journey home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"This One's Gravy!"

That's what our real estate agent said when we listed our house 10 days ago.

Kevin and I had our doubts, but per many prayers (and Kevin's birthday wish), our house is under contract for a full-price offer! It was on the market for a week with about 10 showings. Not too shabby! Now, we can begin moving forward with new digs in Michigan.

What blessing!

Thanks to all who prayed, including St. Joseph*.

*No, we did not bury a statue. Though, we have a great novena we're still praying.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

While nursing a sinus infection some weeks ago, I started to re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Perhaps I needed some fantasy to entertain me in the lonely, quiet hours, but it has turned out to be rather fun even after recovery. I love these books because they are full of genius storytelling, the tension between good and evil, and quotable gems of truth from Tolkien, as iterated by his characters.

Here's my latest favorite. It speaks of true freedom.

"One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."
-Aragorn, The Two Towers

Cheap Date

Yesterday was my first Mother's Day. Granted, the baby is not out in the world yet, but let's face it. A person is a person, no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss) And, my life has changed a lot although the little one has not taken his/her first breath. So, it was a milestone for me.

Kevin offered to take me out to eat, wherever I wanted to go. Did I choose the tasty brunch at the Olde Shaker Inn? No. What about the fabulous family-owned Italian place, Scotti's? Nope. I decided on pineapple pizza from Pizza Hut. Mmmmmm... As Kevin would say, that's my belly talking.

Belly is rather boisterous about food these days. My sister just got engaged a few weeks ago (Congrats Martin and Beth!). While we were on the phone dishing about the wedding plans, she told me she was considering an Italian stir-fry bar for the reception meal. So, naturally, I suggested gelato for dessert. It's better than ice cream and it coordinates with the Italian food theme, right?

Kevin, who was in earshot, gave a hardy laugh and suggested that was a Belly intervention, if he'd ever heard one. My sister said that she was going to hold off taking food advice from me until after the baby is born. "Who knows? You'll start suggesting salami-wrapped pickles as an appetizer."

Thanks for the votes of confidence, family. Though I must admit I bought salami the day before that conversation and that very afternoon I caught a whiff of dill pickle from a deli and thought it seemed mighty good. Perhaps they weren't too far off.

A Banner Day

Saturday was the first day for house showings and we had four appointments. Not bad! We spent a lot of time cleaning, decluttering, mowing, and planting potted flowers. We really tried to put our best foot forward, so to speak. However, the circumstances surrounding our house during the showings were not exactly ideal.

Our real estate agent owns the properties on either side of our house. He lives in one and rents the other. The renters are very nice people, but have some interesting habits.

1. They really like to burn things...such as trash and furniture.

2. They decided to hold a garage sale on the driveway...all day Saturday and Sunday. For most of the day on Saturday, a big yellow-green truck rolled in every couple hours with a bed full of garage sale stuff to set out on the driveway. The place was filled with old dishes, strollers, furniture, rugs, a giant chinese fan for wall decor, formal dresses, board games and the like.

Our take on #1: not favorable on any day of the week.

Our take on #2: normally not a big deal, but on the first day of house showings?! Our nerves were a little spent after a few hours of the garage sale inventory doubling with every truck-load and random garage salers driving up and down our driveway and lawn.

So, we figure it will be a serious miracle of any offers are made from Saturday's showings.

St. Joseph, continue to pray for us!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Encouraging Words?

Here are snippets of this week's pregnancy conversations.

(In lieu of us moving back to Michigan)

Kevin: This fall, you'll be so big we'll have to roll you to Uncle John's Cider Mill!

Me: Thanks, babe. Thanks a lot.

Male Acquaintance: I have a daughter-in-law who is also pregnant. She's two weeks away from giving birth, and man, she looks like she's swallowed a watermelon!

Me: Great...something to look forward to!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Back and Crazier Than Ever!

So, it's been a while...again. And, once again, I have a real excuse for keeping you all in suspense about the everyday antics of Andrea and Kevin.

Not only are we expecting a baby, we are now also on the move! We are both from Michigan, met in Michigan at the University of Michigan, and still have family in Michigan, so needless to say, we are still tied to Michigan! And, because of these ties, Kevin applied for and took a job in the Wolverine State. We made this decision last Wednesday night. It was, hands down, the toughest decision we've made as a married couple, aside from deciding what video to rent any given weekend night.

We spent much of last weekend cleaning and decluttering so we can get the house on the market--not to mention much of the last few nights laying in bed with To Dos and What Ifs running through our minds! I don't regret the decision to take the job, but the past five days have been rather stressful. At times, all I can see is all that needs to happen for us to move to Michigan and be settled-getting the house on the market, selling the house, buying a new house... Last night, the logistics and fear brought some tears, but I am blessed to have a husband who brings great comfort in reminding me of why we want to move in the first place: the people that we love the most-our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends. Nothing can take the place of people you love!

We have also confronted the sadness of leaving our New York friends, the cutest Cape Cod home ever, and the Adirondacks. There have been times in the past few years when all I wanted to do was "go home." Now, I see how much God has given us here, and I am sad to leave.

In the midst of pregnancy, moodiness, moving, and stress, I pray that I will keep these words in the forefront of my mind:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." John 14:27