Thursday, August 27, 2009

30 for 30

Every birthday I set myself a few goals to accomplish during the next year. I set the same number as my age knowing full well that some are pipe dreams and others are small and others are things that I will struggle against daily winning and losing some. Still, I feel it centers my birthday in a spirit of perpetually improving myself and grounding myself in what is important to me - even if there is some play here as well!

So here are my 30 for 30, you can check how I did on my 29 for 29 if you'd like. It wasn't great but baby goat satisfied my biggest goal of the year so I have no complaints!

1. Pump and feed baby goat breastmilk through his first birthday at least. (I pumped for 13 months!!)

2. Go to the Metrodome and the new Target Field for a Twins game.  (Made it to the Metrodome in September 2009, and Target Field twice in August 2010.)

3. Exercise an average of 3 days a week. (I succeeded some weeks but this is mostly a fail.)

4. Complete the 30 day shred, even if it takes 90+ days in reality. (Not yet, though I've worked on the Couch to 5k more)

5. Join an ECFE class with baby goat. (Not yet)

6. Really clean the car inside and out. (Not yet)

7. Volunteer somewhere in the community. (Thanks to the bloggers I got this one done, volunteering with FMSC and at the Rummage Sale to combat childhood hunger)

8. Practice trumpet more often. (Sometimes good, sometimes bad.)

9. Learn to go to Target and only get what is on the list.  (This will be a lifelong goal I think but I'm getting better).

10. Have a TV-free week. (Hahaha - funny me.  Who am I kidding?  It helps me decompress after a crazy day.)

11. Invite friends over more often (Once every two months at least).  (Getting better but not great, we just need more SPACE)

12. Celebrate baby goat's birthday properly!  (We had a great family party)

13. Start a college fund for baby goat. (Not yet)

14. Find life insurance for Mr. Goat and myself.  (Not yet)

15. Go hear the Ole Choir sing.  (No but Mr. Goat's choir sings at Choral day this year so I think I'll here them then!)

16. Go play Bridge once a month. (We went several times but not once a month.  Baby goat is doing better with sitters now so maybe this year?)

17. Pack up baby goat's outgrown clothes regularly. (check)

18. Work on getting up without using the snooze button.  (Still working on it...)

19. Experiment with making my own baby food. (hahahaha - nope.  Domestic fail.)

20. Lose 50 lbs or be on the way. (not so much)

21. Laugh everyday. (pretty good here)

22. Finish my 50 book challenge and start next years. (2009 was a success with 54 books read).

23. Watch the best picture Oscar nominees. (nope...movies still take to much time for me right now)

h24. Go on a train ride.  (Yes we did this with baby goat in June)

25. Clean out my closet and get rid of clothes that don't fit.  (I did this in November and will probably try again in the summer).

26. Win a fantasy football league!  (I was grand champion in two of my three leagues.)

27. Get a real camera to document baby goat's cuteness. (Nope but I try to document it anyway, and great friends with awesome camera's help too!  Thanks Darcie)

28. Take baby goat to the MN zoo, the children's museum and the pool.  (Zoo, check.  Pool, check. Children's Museum, check.)

29. Have regular playdates, mom-dates, and real date-dates with Mr. Goat. (not to bad here, especially this summer and thanks to the MN Blog Pantry.)

30. Strive to be a somewhat laid back mom who is not too neurotic! (Surprisingly, most of this time I do this pretty well.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

6 months old

Ok, so how can you not have a Happy Birthday when you wake up to a little fellow as cute as this! When baby goat was born 6 months ago I was able to recognize that he was born on my half birthday but it was such a special day to have a little growing guy to "share" my birthday with today. We had to head to the doctor today for our 6 month checkup but we did a quick photo shoot before our appointment as vaccines to not make a happy baby shoot later. Speaking of photo shoots - I only have my point and click camera. Just imagine how cute baby goat would be with a REAL camera!
The doctors appt went quite well. It is even more apparent that we now have a healthy normal baby and not a preemie. He's grown very well and is right between 4-6 months on all his developments but mostly in the 5 and 6 month spots (he is 4.5 months adjusted age).

He was taken off his "fortified" formula and is now just on normal breastmilk. Afterall he's now 16lbs 13oz in the 40% percentile for 6 month olds! His length is 26 in (30%) and his head is the 50% which makes me glad I didn't have to give birth normally. (Just imagine what it would be if he was compared with other 4.5 month olds)

We still deal with reflux but he eats well and we got the go ahead to start rice cereal. I feel like now we are on the cusp of major changes in baby goat. His ability to move around is improving daily and he is just happy and discovering the world. He is now enthralled with the cats. And just about anything he sees.
If he could, he would taste the whole world in order to learn more about it. If he can find a way to get it in his mouth now it is there. I think that a fine crust of baby drool covers most of the toys we own at the moment.

For his "birthday" we had to get a little gift so we have baby goat's first piano. Unfortunately it is composed of a root, third, tritone and octave so it makes it a bit atonal really. Still he is fascinated by it and I'm sure once he figures out that the keys make the sounds he'll love it more.
I had a great day - despite the baby shots. We had lunch at a Mediterranean place nearby and pizza and cheescake for dinner. Clearly the diet starts tomorrow! Baby goat and Mr. Goat "went to Jared" for my gift and I have a lovely mom/child pendant now. My facebook wall was filled with lovely messages and my tivo was full of enjoyable shows. Now the baby is sleeping and hopefully the shots won't make him wake up. But I think I can call my birthday, and his, a success! (30 for 30 coming soon)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Thoughts: Monday Edition

* It is back to school time in the world and I'm craving it. There is something that holds so much hope in a blank spiral bound notebook and a fresh set of markers or crayons. It makes me twitchy and I want to dash to Target and get some. I was wandering through the aisles on Target on Sunday and thinking nostalgically about all the back to school stuff. I realized though that it is only a few short years until I'll be back to school shopping for baby goat. The thought makes me excited and sad at the same time. He's closer to "back to school" than I am now. I can't wait to get his first box of crayons with their perfect points! (I am such a geek).

* Speaking of geek-ness I am now going to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock" from now on. And if you are geeky you should totally watch the Big Bang Theory. Voila!



* Baby goat turns 6 months old on Wednesday. Can you even believe it? Anyone want to guess his height and weight? He was 13 lb 9 oz and I forget how long - I should look it up but it is in the baby's room and he's sleeping.

* Also on Wednesday is my own birthday. I turn (shhhh) 30. Not that there is anything wrong with that number but it seems like a much larger one than 29 somehow. The day will be spent not working (yay) and taking the baby to his appt and getting his vaccines (boo). The night will probably be spent with a fussy baby, but what can you do.

* It looks like we are headed to Chicago sometime this week or next for a funeral. Mr. Goat's aunt died. I'm not sure how we are getting there yet, how baby goat will travel that far and how he'll sleep when we get there. But we'll figure it out.

* I'm getting used to the idea that baby goat is flexible and can be taken places. We are still somewhat dependant on his feeding schedule but we are able to go out and run errands or go to dinner or things. It is really nice.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finally something we can all agree on!

Dear Blogland. The resolution as it is before us is that Baby Goat is cute.
Resolved: Baby Goat is cute!
Exhibit A: Baby Goat

Exhibit B: Baby Goat Wrist Wrinkles


Exhibit C: "Look Ma, I'm helping Daddy with his blackberry" Baby Goat

Exhibit D: Bath Time Baby Goat

Do I have a motion to pass this resolution? :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Aftermath

Yesterday the ELCA pass the four resolutions that I discussed here earlier this week. This means that congregations can now choose to call gay clergy and can openly support same-sex marriages. I think this is a major step for the ELCA in the right direction and I'm convinced that God was at work in the CWA this week since these passed so easily. In fact, it is my understanding that these passed by a greater margin that the female clergy question did years and years ago.

I am thrilled for my friends who wanted to be pastors and recognize their lifelong relationships. I am thrilled.

And yet, the moment the voting complete what had been a civil dialogue disinigrated. The "losing" side has begun the accusations that we are ignoring "obvious scriptural teachings" and are justifying sin in the world. And I disagree. My hackles are all raised and I'm sad that no one recognizes that the people who voted in favor of this have not ignored the scriptural authority of the Bible.

And I am sad, some friends may leave the ELCA over this. The task force formulated the resolutions specifically to allow congregations to make their own choices and thus leave room for dissenting sides in the church. But people don't seem to recognize this. I'm hoping the real backlash isn't so violently angry and reactionary as it seems today. I don't want to lose members who have an important voice to share. But these pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears.

But I am thrilled about the decision. I wish I could express myself better. A few blogs I read said it well so I urge you to read her or her instead. I'm going to get off my soapbox for a while now. I'm sorry to have hijacked the blog to dwell in the politics and policies of the church this week but for those of us who live their lives deeply connected to the ELCA this was a crucial week. But more cute baby pictures and updates coming soon. Thanks for being so civil here and listening.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CWA, homosexuality, the church and the Bible.

Yesterday there was a tornado that was almost directly on top of the convention center and church where the leadership of the ELCA is gathering to discuss the issue of same-gender relationships and the church. The church steeple was damaged but thankfully no one was hurt.

However, mere moments after the tornado location was determined facebook and the church-y circles in which I move were aflutter with accusations. The tornado was the justice of God warning us not to change the policies of the church. The tornado was a pentecostal act, a blessing of the Holy Spirit on the work being done. (see Acts 2).

People prayed for the church to be governed by grace and love and not superstition. Others prayed that we would open our eyes to the sins of the world and to keep the kingdom of God in the forefront of our mind.

And round and round it went. And still goes.

Now, I have no definitive position on the tornado - though I do not believe that God micro-manages the weather to fit his mood. I do, however see God's hand in the fact that the damage was minor and all the people were fine. But, the drama and the debate have sparked me to want to articulate what I believe. And since it is my blog I will.

A disclaimer: I will try to keep the post civil and respectful to all people. I ask that you do the same in any comments you feel moved to leave.

What I believe on the idea of same-sex marriage, clergy and the church:

I believe that homosexual individuals are that way by chance, governed by genes or environment or something beyond our control. I do not believe it is a choice. I do not believe that a life lived with respect and love towards another is a sinful act whether in a "traditional" marriage or a same-sex relationship. I do believe that acts that seek to hurt, destroy and separate others are sins - adultery, incest, rape, etc being the sexual examples.

I believe those who are in committed same-sex relationships are blessed by God for their commitment to love and respect. I believe that human failings can destroy marriages whether "traditional" or same-sex but that there is not greater likelihood for one to fail over another. I believe that if the government refuses to recognize same-sex relationships it is the church's responsiblity to be cross-cultural and acknowledge that God can be asked to have a part in same-sex marriages as God can be in "traditional" marriage.

I believe that homosexual clergy and layity have insights and wisedom to share with us about God and the Gospel. I believe that they can be people of faith who have been unfairly limited by the definition of sin in our church. I believe that I am humbled almost daily by the faith and understandings of God that they can share with me. I feel that the church will lose an important voice and insight if they prevent those in same-sex relationships from sharing their love of the Gospel in an ordained way.

I believe that there is no understanding of loving same-sex relationships in the Bible and therefore no Biblical precedent for or against homosexuality as it is understood in the 21st century. I believe that the Bible passages that are used against homosexuality are often mistranslated, misunderstood, and taken out of context.

I believe that there is a greater Biblical precedent to keep women from being clergy than homosexuals, despite the fact that the ELCA and myself agree with the ordaining of female clergy.

I believe in the distinction of Law and Gospel, the paradox of Christ as fully God and fully Human. I believe that the grace of God is given to me for the errors I make in my life. I believe that God respects and acknowledges the attempt to love and care for all of God's people, even those who disagree with me.

I believe that I cannot know the mind of God but that through prayer, study, and deep discernment I have reached these conclusions.

I was going to include the why but that is too much for one post. If you'd like an insight into the whys behind my statements please let me know and I can include them here or in another post. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brett, Brett, Brett...

Dear Mr. Favre,

You know you are becoming something of a laughingstock right? I don't know if the Vikings came acourtin' again or if you decided you wanted a few more million in the bank account but this can't end well. Really. The ONLY way this doesn't seem like a colossal waste of everyone's time is if the Vikings get to the Superbowl, and even then the expectation is to win the Superbowl a feat which the Vikings have yet to accomplish.

Don't get me wrong. I'm finding this circus vaguely amusing. Friends and co-workers who sneered at me and the love of the Packers and you as our quarterback are now having conniptions about whether or not to accept you as loyal Vikings fans. Half of all polled seem to think you will finally lead them to victory. The other half think that you are going to do no better here than at the Jets and they will be subject to a drawn out debate about whether you will or won't play again.

I'm secretly glad that I called it when I thought that your last retirement wouldn't last either, even when you told the VIkings "no" in July. After all, I know that you love to avoid training camp whenever possible. I'm going to enjoy watching the drama unfold from the sidelines this year and it is sure to be fun.

Brett, you led the Pack to great things, but you should have retired gracefully and sought your millions in broadcasting or something else. Madden's spot is open. But as it is thanks for the amusement. I look forward to Oct 5th when you play the Pack. Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood is coming to town. Go Pack Go!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Judgment, the church and motherhood

Tomorrow starts a big 'ol convention of pastors here in the Twin Cities. The ELCA is having their Churchwide assembly and the church chatter is in full swing. You see, this CWA is not only talking about things like full communion withe the Methodists, other policy changes and such but on the docket is the proposed statment on Human Sexuality and how it affects the church - aka "We really need to make a decision about same-sex marriage and pastors"

Near as I can tell without having time to read the hundreds of pages of text on this there are four voting statements that I shall summarize:

1. Will the ELCA allow churches and synods to decide for themselves to support and recognize same-sex relationships and perform same-sex marriage.

2. Will we let people who are in same-sex relationships to serve as pastors.

3. Will we not flip out and leave the larger Church if another church doesn't go the way our church does.

4. Will we continue to work toward change and unity as an ELCA in the long run.

Now, this is my own interpretation of words that has been debated highly for 3 years by theologians, pastors and layity and it by no means does justice to the depth of the questions and statments associated with it. But that is the jist of the week that my church is facing.

As you can imagine it will be a week full of discussions - hopefully mostly respectful but certainly many driven by anger, fear and distrust of the other. There are already lines being drawn in the sand and the pastors I know who are going are being bombarded by people trying to convince them of one side or the other.

There is a BIG justice question here and I have a strong opinion on it, but forgoing my soap box I'm going to talk about a bigger concern: Judgement in general.

Both sides are judging those who have opinions other than theirs. Both sides are judging the undecided middle for being undecided. Both find it IMPOSSIBLE that they could not see things the way they do. "Clearly GOD wants it this way. Clearly. There is no alternative. My way must be equivalent to God's divine opinion too."

This pisses me off to no end. I have an opinion on this upcoming vote. I feel strongly about it. I believe that there is theological, biblical and societal support for my opinion. But, I refuse to say that my opinion is the vote of God. I'd like to think so, but I can't say that.

This seems to be the big problem with opinions and religion. We all seekto put words in God's mouth to justify our own ideas. The pastors of the ELCA are doing that this week. The Pope does it. So does the Ayatollah of Iran. And many others throughout the world. But we have no such divine providence - or at least nothing proveable since many claim it with differing opinions.

The judgments of the church are often about big things but we are all passing judgment a million times a day about what we deem is best. The world of motherhood has made this quite clear to me as well. Do you breastfeed? Answer carefully, you will be judged as a mother by your response. There are vocal proponents of staying at home and for going back to work. While researching a medication for baby goat's reflux (Zantac) I found a website telling me why I a terrible mother for not relying on natural remedies. Etc. Etc. Etc.

We all have our opinions of course and many times they are backed up by studies and such. And many are changed a decade or two later too as more is known. My grandmother is still filled with anxiety about baby goat sleeping on his back despite the fact that is what research now dictates.

Now I've blogged myself into a predicament here. For there are reasons to judge others - a mother breastfeeding drunk or driving and breastfeeding at the same time is unsafe and awful. A mother relying on formula for ease or because breastfeeding didn't work is not.

Judging is not always wrong, but it almost always limits the scope of human relationships. If I have been judged a bad mother by vaccinating my child then the decision is made before I am even able to explain the basis for my opinion. The communication is closed and the relationship tainted.

Disagreements are necessary in life. We all have our opinions and our reasons for choosing them and will never all agree. The question is whether or not we can leave it as a difference of opinion and not jump to a judgment of character or skill. Who am I to know what works for you and your child? Who am I to know the opinon of God?

I care deeply about the vote of the church this week. I know what I think is right. But my prayer on the eve of this assembly is that we don't close too many relationships off because of our own certainties and that God finds a way to remind those of differing opinions that they are loved children of God.

We make choices from our experience. I know that Zantac helps baby goat so we use it. I know that it is necessary for him to attend daycare. I know that many good and faithful people are hoping and praying for acceptance from the church leadership this week. I know that I am praying for it as well.

But I hope there isn't too much judgment inherent in admitting it.

Good luck dear friends at the assembly. I don't envy your task this week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: "Auntie" Barbara is Delicious!





Wordy Wednesday!

I forgot my camera cord today so you'll all get a Wordless Wednesday - aka shameless opportunity to show off the incredible cuteness of baby goat - later. However, I feel like I owe you all a real post with some updates from the Goat family and life in general. So I'll babble a little instead.

Things are crazy in a good way right now but crazy nonetheless. We spent a lot of time last week and early this week searching for daycare's. We interviewed a few and went with our first interview. Conveniently it is also the one where we had a personal connection/reference too. Yes, baby goat is now going to join the Soup sisters, aka Keifer and Kyla at daycare! I'm very excited that baby goat will be going to daycare there - even though I'm not at all excited about the idea of daycare. (I'm sure I will get more used to the idea when it actually happens!)

Daycare is going to start the big transition for us from limbo land to working world. Mr. Goat is making progress on his firm and hopes to be up and running in Sept. He's even bought his business "crackberry" which is as addicting as I've always heard. It is exciting to see pieces fall into place. Soon the only thing left to do will be find the clients - a big thing but one that means income!

Baby goat had a rough weekend when he hit an intersection of teething and his Zantac dosage starting to be ineffective. The meds are fixed now and we are still waiting for a tooth to appear. My not so trained eye thinks he's working on both the front two bottom teeth as occasionally there is a little spot of white on eiter side. But so far it has come and gone without making a real appearance. We'll just see when they really decide to show.

But baby goat is still wonderful and really growing everyday. I'm really floored that tomorrow would have been his 4 month birthday if he'd been born on his due date. Instead we are looking toward his 6 month one on my own birthday later this month. (I turn 30 and am glad that I'm so busy I haven't had time to think much about this numerical milestone!)

I am doing well, though i'm struggling with getting up with my alarm. Since baby goat sleeps so late I'm finding myself turning off my alarms only to wake up at 10am dazed and wondering where the morning went and dashing off to work. Luckily it is summer and I set my own hours, butI think our whole family is in for a shock when we start being morning people in 2.5 weeks when daycare starts at like 7:30am! On the one hand I'll get so much done, on the other we better start training baby goat and myself now. I like to sleep. (Of course finding a way not to lie awake until 2am will help too!)

In summary: Life = busy but good.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Halfway There!

A little while ago I passed the halfway mark on my 50 book challenge and feel the need to mention it here - particularly since I cannot guarantee that I will make it to 50 this year. I am behind - I should have hit halfway at the end of June and not the beginning of August but I still feel like I have a shot at the goal. Most of my offerings this year are not terribly deep but they are enough of a break for me to set aside a small bit of "me" time for reading.

I am blatantly including my rereading of the Harry Potter series too. 1. Because it is my list and 2. Because I NEEDED to be reading something while baby goat was in the hospital for those 6 weeks but I couldn't handle anything new emotionally. And hey, I read them all straight through anyway!

I am always open to suggestions, despite the fact that my library list seems a mile long, but I love to know what others are reading. You can always check out my book lists from previous year's on the left and I'm happy to let you know my feelings on any of the books.

The 50 Book Challenge 2009

1. The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Trilogy, Book 3) by Philip Pullman
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
3. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
4. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
5. 'Tis the Season!: A Novel by Lorna Landvik
6. Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman
7. Rococo: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
8. The Boggart by Susan Cooper
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling*
10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.R. Rowling*
11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.R. Rowling*
12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.R. Rowling*
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.R. Rowling*
14. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling*
15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
16. The Tales of Beetle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
17. Son of a Witch: Volume Two in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire
18. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
19. Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson
20 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen
21. Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson
22. Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
23. Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives by Lori Leibovich
24. The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel by Michael Gruber
25. Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
26. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, Version 2.0 by Christopher Moore
27. The Demigod Files (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide) by Rick Riordan
28. A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire ...in progress

Sunday, August 09, 2009

One year ago.

One year ago my morning was spent staring at this and wondering what it meant for our lives:


This morning was spent starting at this and still wondering what it means for our lives:

Both mornings were full of joy. How could they not be?

And the Winner is...

Lucky Number 13 or Stacey W! (I couldn't figure out how to do a screen shot of the number generator) Congratulations Stacey! I'm dropping you a message but think about whether you want the spotted or not spotted baby goat! Thanks for everyone who entered. If any of you really want a little goat let me know and I can pass the idea on to my sister!

Thanks to for following my blog. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Some baby goat to tide you over.

Here is a little baby goat video from this morning to tide you over until the winner of the contest is announced. You HAVE entered the contest right? It is closed tonight!

video

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Goat says enter my contest!

Baby Goat: Have you entered the contest on mommy's blog?I'm waiting...
Yes? Oh Good!
(P.S. Do you recognize this onesie? It was the first one we ever purchased for little Zy-Goat. I am just so happy with our precious baby goat!)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

#500 or There's a contest at the end of this post...

(Just imagine the balloons and confetti raining down)

Well, here it is. The big 5-0-0. It seems very cool to have reached this far. So I will answer a few of the reader questions (let me know if I've missed one!) And if you make it to the end there will be a contest...

(Grover: Shhh...Be very quiet. I heard there is a contest at the end of this post...)

Ok without further ado:

1. How did you find your career path?

Well, I don't know that I have, but I suppose that is another story. I stumbled upon my current career after graduating seminary with a random degree. You see, I had gone to Luther Sem. right out of college with the dream of becoming a pastor. I spent a year there taking all the right classes and found myself facing Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in a hospital. And I started feeling sick to my stomach about the whole thing.

I loved thinking about all the things at Seminary but when it came to the practical day-to-day of being a Pastor - preaching in front of people, visiting the sick in the hospital, funerals, being scrutinized by the entire congregation for everything, etc. - I felt paralyzed. After a bunch of searching I decided that I shouldn't be a Pastor - at least not at this point in my life. I respected the job and myself too much to settle. No Pastor should be phoning it in even before they are done with school just because they feel like they "should" follow through with it.

So I transferred to a Masters in Systematic Theology and spent two years studying cool BIG questions of God, Faith and the World and wrote a kick ass (if I do say so myself) thesis on God and Time and found myself with an MA in cool-stuff-that-doesn't-really-translate-to-marketable-skills.

At the time we had to move out of the Sem cheap housing and we found our current place. We were both working retail, commuting quite a bit just because it was cheaper out in our suburb than where our jobs were but we wanted out. Mr. Goat wanted to go to law school and worked to make that happen while I set out to find a career, and a church too since we were so far away from our old one. In searching for a church we ended up finding our current place and the job here.

It was working with kids: a plus. Full time: bonus. And only ten minutes from home. Luckily, I had just enough volunteer experience, drive and skills to be hired as their Children's Ministry Director and thus the career was born. I can't say I'll be doing it forever but right now it works well for us.

2. How did Mr. Goat and I meet?

Is it awful to say that I don't really remember? (although Mr. Goat doesn't really either). Still, I was a Junior at St. Olaf and he was a freshman and it ended up being one of those instances where you see someone all the time, then you start chatting more and more and suddenly you are acquaintances. Most of this happened at Chapel time and in the student-led band - Valhalla.

Then during spring finals that year I made a decision. I only had one more year of college to go and I "realized" that I wasn't going to likely meet anyone at college. So I vowed to go into my senior year having fun and not worrying about finding a guy (it had been a dry college spell so far). In fact, I decided that if I felt like it I might ask a guy on a date but I assumed that nothing would come from anything because it was too late.

Less than a week later Mr. Goat came to the band end of the year party because I said he had too and we went to catch the a cappella group's (the Limestones) final show of the year. And then he had NEVER seen the Princess Bride so we ended up in my room watching it late into the night. For the rest of that finals week were were inseparable and by the time he had to move off campus I was certain that he was the man I was going to marry. And I did.

(There are lots of odd coincidences in this story that I left out for brevity sake but it really was one of those crazy life things for both of us)

3. How did you introduce each other to your families?

I met Mr. Goat's family shortly after we started dating because he moved off campus for the summer so I had to travel a hour away to visit him at his house. The first time he invited me over for lunch (we'd been dating about 1.5 weeks at this point). His mother was very excited to meet me and said she almost had lunch ready and did I like tuna salad. Now I will eat almost anything but I hate tuna. So I sheepishly said that I didn't care for it. She was mortified and lunch was promptly changed to peanut butter and banana sandwiches and all was well.

Mr. Goat met my parents when I dragged him back to WI for the 4th of July (dating approx 6 weeks at this point). I made him come for a week and stay at my house and it wasn't until he said he was nervous on the 5 hour drive there that it occurred to me that it might be a scary thing. Because really, anyone who knows my parents gets along with them and it didn't occur to me that he could see them as intimidating because they were just my parents! Oops. But the week went fine.

Our parents didn't meet each other until Family Day that fall and luckily they all get along too. Mr. Goat and I are very very lucky!

4. What's the deal with the Goats?

Once upon a time, in a small town high school there was a group of high school boys. And like many high school boys they enjoyed bad music - in this case it was a pronfanity laced comedy song by Adam Sandler called the Goat Song. In this song their was a goat bleating at some point that Mr. Goat could imitate well. So when the boys thought that it would be hilarious to yell "GOAT" in the hallway and have someone answer Mr. Goat was the obvious choice. The fact that he was trying to escape a parent-driven nickname of his own name added to the appeal of being known as GOAT.

The name stuck through high school and he mentioned it during his freshman year and it stuck again. You can date who knows my husband whether or not they use GOAT exclusively. It wasn't known to all of St. Olaf but those who were in his freshman dorm used it all the time. In fact, sometimes I'm not sure they knew Mr. Goat's real name! It got to the point that I would call him up and ask his roommate to talk to him and he wouldn't know who I meant until I said, "Is GOAT there?" Eventually they started referring to me as Mrs. Goat and the names stayed around.

And when we needed a moniker for the blog to keep up some measure of anonymity it worked. And besides Zy-goat and baby goat ended up being cute for the baby! So it seems to work for us.

The Contest at the end of this post...

And without further ado - our contest. Simply leave a comment and you are entered! If you follow me in a reader or follow me on the left say so in a second comment and voila you are entered twice! I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner and you have until Saturday, Aug 8th, 11:59pm to enter!

So what are you entering to win. My sister made these adorable baby goats (see below) for our own baby goat and you get one of them! Just mention if you want the spoted one or the plain one and he'll be yours. In addition, you will get an Express It Votive Luminary from PartyLite candles (see here). This is fun because you can illuminate your kids drawings or just seasonal items. I got this for a gift a while back and forgot about it so I thought it made a good combo for the Faaaabulous prizes!

So enter away. Thank you for reading my random thoughts and I hope you'll keep reading in the future! And I hope to have many more contests in the future as well!