Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” He replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than the known way.”
–John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

2008 - a year of big changes

Gosh, how is it New Year's eve already? It has been such a strange, exciting, maddening, worrying, hopeful year. Here are just some of the big events that are going to go down in 2008 and shape the years to come - hopefully in many good ways but we'll still see what 2009 has to bring. So in no particular order, some big events from 2008.

* My trip to Argentina: This was a really powerful trip and Argentina and the kids of the daycare and church down there will always have a place in my heart. I made some new friends, expanded my understanding of history and the US's work in the world. Not to mention I saw amazing things. I can't wait to go back some day and bring my family to see what I saw.

* Mr Goat had a big year and it made for an interesting year. He graduated from law school, studied his brains off all summer, passed the bar exam and was admitted to the bar in MN. All of this is such wonderful thing for him. I do hope he is able to find a job he loves in 2009. I really want to see his confidence up again, and it is time the job market agreed with me!

* 2008 was also a growing year for me with my job. Circumstances allowed me to grow in my ability to deal with criticism and not to take things so personally. It isn't always easy but I do think I've grown in my job and I've had a few doors open to expand my talents. I'm still not sure I've found a vocation yet or not, but I am more confident in my ability to do my job well and that is a positive outcome from a negative period.

* While it is still very fresh, I have a feeling that Emilie's death will affect me in significant ways in the upcoming year. Her friendship, her illness and finally her death have all influenced my year this year. She is missed and I have yet to determine all of the ways she's touched my life in writing but they are many.

* Probably the biggest change though is being pregnant and awaiting the arrival of little Zy-Goat. We feel very blessed to be pregnant and to have things looking good. Last night I felt a kick from Zy on the outside for the first time and I hope Goat will get to feel that soon himself. I'm so thrilled to be bringing a new generation into this world, and as much as I can't wait to meet my child, I'm equally excited to see Mr. Goat, our parents, siblings and grandparents meet little Zy for the first time. He is already so loved by everyone. I know it will be a challenge that I can't even quite comprehend yet, but it has really shaped the way this year is shaping up. Today I'm 25 weeks which seems downright crazy. It is going so quickly and slowly at the same time. I hope that the next year continues to bring a healthy pregancy and a healthy baby too!

Whatever 2009 brings I am grateful for all of the fun of 2008. Hopefully we are moving towards even bigger and better things. I hope you all have a Happy New Year wherever you are.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Life moving on...

Yesterday was Emilie's funeral. It was beautiful and I was moved by all of the people who attended. I had the strangest feeling that I liked everyone in the room and would want to be their friend in real life. Emilie had that way with people. She knew good ones, or maybe it is that good people gravitated towards her.

I was honored to do the first reading, from the Book of Wisdom. It isn't a book us Lutherans use very often being in the Apocrypha but it was lovely. Here is the reading:

The Book of Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.

For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.

The funeral was so meaningful, and so are all of the online tributes I keep finding online. My friend Missy has them all linked on her blog so I'll simply send you to that post if you are interested in reading more about Emilie.

And even as I wish I could sit an ruminate on the life of my dear friend life continues to push in and demand attention. We finally were able to get our car looked at after Chris' car accident before Christmas (everyone was fine, the other persons fault and I wasn't even in the car)....Totaled. They didn't even do a full estimate, they basically glanced at it and said the damage wasn't worth that car. Ugh, so now we'll have to figure out what (if) we can afford. Can we get away with one car while Chris is looking for a job or not.

I'm back at work (luckily the only day this week) and sorting through piles. The news that the economy affects churches and thus its employees too adds to a bitter-sweetness in being back. And suddenly maternity leave seems a lot closer on this end of Christmas. We had to turn in our lease renewal - despite our hopes we won't be moving this year unless a fabulous job comes along that lets us buy out our lease or something. Knowing where we will live is good because now the back room needs to be sorted through, cleaned and transformed into a nursery - all on the cheap.

We looked at IKEA cribs because they are cheaper but supposedly just as safe and I'm less than wowed. I'm trying not to dwell in an elitist spot because we just can't afford it but who doesn't want a picture perfect nursery to welcome their first child. We hope to register this week but we'll see. This side of Christmas deadlines are closer and it is time to buckle down again. (Not to mention buckling down on the pregnancy binge fest that has been the holidays - I don't think I'll have a 0 weight gain on Friday at my appointment!).

Life paused for Christmas and to mourn for my dear friend, but today it continues unabated. It seems to be asking me "Where were you and what were you up to? Do you think all these problems would just disappear for a week?"

And yes, maybe I was hoping that. Or maybe in light of a friend and her fight with cancer and her new life with God made them seem much less important. I want to be able to keep that point of view. None of those things are as important as a loving family and a healthy baby. But I wish these everyday worries weren't trying to be so persistent in getting to my head these days.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sweet and Sour Christmas

It has been interesting to experience the Christmas season with some sadness around. It has been years since someone important to me has passed away, and it has never happened in a holiday season before. Suddenly words seem different in carols, time with family seems all the more precious, and the promise of the Christmas story holds greater depth to me than ever before.

And it seems weird that I can have times of joy and happiness in this place of sadness too. I'm sure going to Emilie's funeral on Monday will be very difficult, but having this time off to spend with my husband, our parents and our siblings is so special to me. Even when we get a little cranky with one another.

But even as I cling to my family for comfort in this sadness, I know that there is a family out there without its wife and mother this Christmas. We've been lucky to see both sets of families this week/weekend. It has meant a lot of driving in bad weather but it has been worth it to join our families for this holiday.

I hope you all found comfort and joy this season, even despite the stress and sadness in your lives. I hope the new year brings you joy. And if you haven't read Emilie's final Catholic Spirit article you should, after all it can be important to open yourself up to experience joy even when you are not happy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Goodbye dear friend...

My friend Emilie passed away last night. She was with her husband and her boys. If you check her blog you will see how deeply she touched many people's lives.

Even knowing it was coming I find myself a bit shell-shocked today. I don't think the reality of her being gone has sunk in for me yet. Still my heart is breaking. Emilie was a good faithful friend. I'm so lucky to have known her.

Rest in peace sweet friend. You are missed and loved. I hope that you are able to sing with the heavenly chorus tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No words

i have been lax about blog.
right now i don't care.
all my complaints
and whines
and joys
are dwarfed right now.
by the sorrow i feel
for a dear friend
facing a final chapter
f*ck cancer
and pray for Emilie
to quote my gramma

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What happened to the lazy gene?

As time passes in my pregnancy (22 weeks today, wow) I am feeling Zy-Goat kick more and more. And I am realizing what our ultrasound tech first remarked on, we have one active little guy. I find it really funny because Mr. Goat and I by nature are not the most active types. I'm so curious to see if this activeness continues throughout the pregnancy and into his life "outside." (I may be curious but Zy-Goat doesn't need to hurry in any way, a nice long gestation will be fine for us!) Still, I wonder, where did all this energy come from? I know I sure don't have much to spare! LOL.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I know, I know...

It has been a week since I posted last, and I didn't mean to go on a hiatus. There was some funs stuff this week - A good doctor's visit (good BP, no weight gain), ChristmasFest, the Children's Advent Program, a baby shower for a friend and other cool stuff, but the majority of last week and this I have been in a funk.

Or maybe it isn't a funk so much as a WTF-are-we-going-to-do-about-X,Y,Z-freakout. Taken singly most of our problems can be solved with hard work and such but together combined with the increasingly demanding Christmas-ness of Dec, I am in a tizzy of trying to figure out how to make everything work.

Just a few of the things stressing me out...

1. A job for Mr. Goat. Since he is now able to practice, he wants nothing more than to be able to find a job and work. And that would help bring in some much needed $ too, but the job market is shit right now. And I want to help but I can't really. I know he'll find a job eventually but I want employers to see how great he is NOW!

2. Hence, the money worries. We are doing the best we can, but the bottom line is I don't make enough right now. I'm knee deep in a freelance thing to try to get some extra cash but even that won't be enough, as if Christmas isn't hard enough to pay for when there is money.

3. Moving. Our lease is up in Feb. Do we move, do we stay? Can we afford to stay? Or move? We don't know.

4. Baby stuff. We need to make decisions to plan for the baby who is growing and thriving and will be here sometime hopefully when he is due in April. But it seems stressful enough to navigate the stroller, crib and baby-paraphanila stuff without wondering how to pay for it and whether or not to get it used and what to look for and etc.

5. My body. I am really working hard on not gaining weight with this pregnancy. My Dr. doesn't want me to gain much of anything and it is really a challenge. I'm doing really well but it stresses me out - it is like a diet without a diet. And even seeing the scale stay roughly the same my body is doing all these weird things. I slept wrong the other day and pulled something in my shoulder which made the whole weekend uncomfortable and I know this is just the beginning and the aches and pains will only get worse as I get bigger. I am more than willing to deal with all of that and more to have a healthy baby, but with everything else it hasn't helped my attempt at a calm and upbeat mindset.

6. Christmas - I haven't shopped yet, I want to get people things, I don't know what and I don't know what we should be spending, probably nothing, but I am not crafty by nature. Sure people understand but I still feel guilty being scroogy with our funds.

And the worst thing? As bad as all this is and as much as I want to complain and whine and moan about it, I know that there are families a whole heck of a lot worse out there right now. Families who don't have jobs at all, and kids already and are trying to make Christmas special for their families. And I want to help them too. At least I have a job, and an apartment, and a baby on the way. There is so much to be thankful for in spite of all the worries, but I've been stuck in the worries this week and I hate that I'm in that mental place. Bah humbug and all that jazz.

(Sorry for all the emotional crap here, its where I am and I am trying to be honest with that. I don't think it is particularly attractive though and want to get out of this mindset quickly, but it hasn't happened yet)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A few shots

Here are a few shots of Zy-Goat for you all. I decided not to share the "money" shot with you all, where he showed us quite clearly that he is in fact a he! If you are friends with me on facebook though I did put them all up there. But here are a few to show the absolute cuteness of Zy-Goat in all his glory (not that I am biased or anything like that!). I am a bit bummed that he didn't give us a good profile shot though, he was just too wiggly. But I'm glad for the wiggly too.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Verdict! (Spoiler Alert!)

So do you want to know? I'm assuming that is why you are here reading the blog today anyway so I won't delay any more!

Well blogland, you are all very smart. You mostly guessed right all along. Mr. Goat and I are indeed having a BOY!! We are very excited and the ultrasound was the coolest thing ever. I knew that it was amazing technology. It gave us a very good shot of all of the boy bits, assurring us that yes, we are indeed having a boy. (Ultrasound pictures to come once we get them on this computer).

In addition to having a boy, we have a child with two of everything he should have two of and one of everything he should have one of. Seeing a little 4 chamber heart beating and a brain and spine and all of that was the coolest experience ever. I thought that my first ultrasound was amazing to see a little gummy bear of a baby in there but this one today was amazing.

He has his father's feet...we'll that whole side of the family really. He didn't want to give us a good profile but we have some good 3/4 profile shots and he is just adorable. I'm just over the moon in love with this little guy. And man, he was active, squirming every which way. At one point he had his hand between his legs and while this was before we'd been told the sex I figured it was a pretty likely possiblity there was something interesting for him down there :) He also gave us great shots of his little fingers and toes as he stretched, waved and played around in there.

I'm sure there will be lots more post about my amazing little guy who looks perfect and is growing a few days ahead of schedule but I won't bore you all right now. Needless to say, Mr. Goat and I are amazed, awed and more than a little humbled by this guy swimming inside of me and I'm more excited than ever about the future for our little family.

P.S. We don't know a name yet, but even when we figure that out we aren't going to share so there is no point asking! ;)

P.P.S. In sadder news, I found out that my grandfather who we visited over Thanksgiving fell on Saturday night (we left Sat morning). They are still figuring out what is going on but there are some seizures and possible broken bones and there could be lots more wrong than we originally thought. I'm also worried about how my Gramma is holding up too. They were moving today so at least a lot of the family is in town but it seems very scary all around. If you have any spare prayers I'd love them right now, it seems a bit more touch and go than I am ready for. Thanks!