October 28, 2010

Halloween of Years Past

Before I start telling you about the tortures of growing up with a mom who would like to be Martha Stewart, but seriously has no arts and crafts skills, let me apologize for being MIA. I have missed you. These past two weeks have been insanely busy as I get ready to end one chapter in my life and start another. And just know that I have two more weeks to go and my blogging may just continue to be sparse. But for season!

Now, on to my mom. Bless her soul. She always means well. And she always has great intentions. But sometimes the execution is just a little off. But we'll come back. First, you must come to understand the house I grew up in.

Growing up there were a few things that my siblings and I were not allowed to participate in or watch. For example, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were from the devil. Seriously. I think it had to do with the violence and talking turtles and they may have used the word "damn" once. I do remember that once or twice, I was caught watching it with my dad while my mom went grocery shopping. My mom was not happy.

Along with the Turtles were the Care Bears whose magical powers placed them burning in Hell, as well as the Smurfs, and Captain Planet. We were a strict McGee and Me family. Although, ironically, Disney movies were watched quite often. I guess the fairies in Sleeping Beauty and the mermaids and talking crustaceans in The Little Mermaid were safe from the devil and his evilness. It probably had something to do with the singing. Either way, we were a sheltered family.

So you can only imagine Halloween. There was no such thing. Instead, we celebrated Fall Festival. Fall Festival just happened to occur on the same weekend as Halloween, but it was deemed okay since it took place at a Church with Church people. We still dressed up, played games, and asked Sunday School teachers for candy, but it was done without the evils of Halloween.

Before you go all crazy on me for comparing a Fall Festival to Halloween, let's just say I know that my mom's intentions came from a very good place. As do I know that Fall Festivals are good. They are a great alternative to trick-or-treating in an unsafe world. I don't judge. I just make observations.

Now, you should also know that I never went trick-or-treating. Instead, our neighbors would sneak us candy the day after with sad looks of "you're missing out on part of the joys of being a kid." But we didn't know the difference. All we knew, was that each October my mom would dress us up in horrific outfits and proudly strut us around the Church for everyone to see.

You should also know that we were allowed to wear these same costumes to school the Friday before our Fall Festival.

Oh, we were so fortunate.

You see, my mom thought she had a knack for creating unique costumes that were adorable. And she would even make them herself! Yes, we were lucky.

We were lucky in the fact that we all have turned out semi-normal. That we have not had major mental breakdowns. And that we survived elementary school in one piece.

My first memory of dressing up for Fall Festival is probably my mom's favorite costume. She countered the entire evils of Halloween with one creative sweep of her Martha wand.

I was a "Gift from God."

A couple of things need to be noted about this photo. First, I have to apologize to my brother. He experienced my mom's torturous ways as well, and all our Fall Festival pictures are together. Ryan, let us heal together.

Second, we never owned a cat nor have we ever been fond of cats. So I'm not really sure why the cat is in the picture. It seems that my family history becomes more and more mysterious.

Now, back to the costume.

Yes, I was a gift from God as a Fall Festival costume. You are now doing one of two things: Laughing out loud with me or thinking "how cute", "what a great idea", and planning on re-gifting (sorry... couldn't resist) the idea. Please be warned. This costume was horrid. First, notice that I am wearing a box... a very wide box. A box that I could not sit in, fit through doors while wearing, or take off because nothing was under the box. I was a captive in that box. Half the games at that year's festival were off limits to me because of that costume. I couldn't go to the bathroom, I couldn't run, all I could do was stand and smile and ask for candy from the Sunday School teachers. I should not have been smiling in that picture.

Then, there was my mom's idea of dressing me as a black-eyed pea. Please do not confuse this with the band. They didn't exist at the time and I'm sure my mom would have thought they were from the devil too. No, my mom wanted me to be the vegetable. We couldn't find a picture so you will have to imagine with me. I wore a black sweater with matching black sweat pants. My eye was painted black and I had a giant white "P" on my black sweater. A black-eyed P. Go ahead. Laugh. It was creative. However, in elementary school, kids are not creative. The entire day my classmates asked me why I dressed up as a prisoner. When I explained the costume (which if you have to explain it, it is an automatic FAIL), they shrugged their shoulders, laughed at me, and ran away. By 3 p.m., I quit explaining and just took the jokes about my mom dressing me up as a prisoner for Fall Festival.

I'm not really sure why I kept letting my mom choose my costumes. I'm sure I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I mean, my mom did think she was brilliant during that time of the year.

My most normal costume growing up came about only because my best friend, Sherri, wanted us to dress up together as Indians. My mom must have liked Sherri more than me, because she agreed and then made it herself. Like I mentioned above, my mom has no arts and craft skills. But she did like to pretend....

Again, I am so sorry, Ryan. I believe, the proof of my mom's "talent" is evident in both our costumes. I've never seen an Indian's outfit quite like the one my mom made me. But I'll give her credit for two things: the kids could figure out what I was and I could move around in this costume.

I also believe that shortly thereafter I gave up Fall Festival. The tortures of children laughing at you can only be stood for so long...

On a side note: Jeremy celebrated Halloween AND went trick-or-treating. Dressed like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle none the less.

No worries. He apologized to my mom. Then, she prayed over his soul. It's the Lord that has to forgive him and the evils of his past.

October 14, 2010

Ups and Downs

This is my preferred method of delivery. Just like in the 1940s.

Or what I perceive through watching Leave it to Beaver.

No sign of machines. No weird smells. No mauve rooms with ugly stiff furniture.

Yes. I visited the hospital where Jeremy wants Bradley born yesterday. I say it like that because after seeing the horrible decor, feeling the extreme heat in each room, and smelling the disgusting hospital smell, I have once again decided that Bradley is quite comfortable inside of me. And if he wants to come out, then he just as well do it in my home.

Now, before you freak and tell me all the awful things that can happen at a home birth, trust me, Jeremy will not allow me to follow through with it. He will no doubt drag me to the car, drag me into the horrible hospital room, and then yell at me to push all while I frantically cry and tell him equally horrible things back.

But let's not discuss that. Let's instead discuss my visit.

I'm not really sure what I thought the experience would be like. I'd been doing so good with my breathing exercises. I was starting to get really excited about meeting Bradley and holding him and honestly never letting go. But as I drove closer to the hospital two things happened. My breath became shorter and my driving speed decreased. And with both I knew it was going to be bad.

I warned Jeremy.

My first stop into the hospital was a public bathroom. It was disgusting. Toilet paper strung everywhere, a dirty seat, nasty smell. It was not a good start for someone like me.

Then, we started the tour. Now, picture our petite guide walking at normal pace. Then, Jeremy about 5 feet behind her. And me waddling a good 10 feet behind him. The minute we went through the security doors I was a bomb waiting to explode.

I couldn't breathe. I couldn't hear. I couldn't see.

I remember standing in the birthing room with its horrible mauve walls and cheap cabinetry and uncomfortable chairs and a mat they called a bed and thinking, "Where are the Care Bears?" "Where is the fluffiness?" "Where is the comfort??"

And then I noticed the machines. And the smell. And the baby bed that was more like a clear tupperware dish.

Jeremy knew I was fading. I wasn't talking. I was staring trying to think of why I ever decided to birth a child. I wanted the 1940s stork!

Then, instantly I realized how hot I was. Sweat covered my arm pits and back of my neck. I asked our guide if I would be able to control the air in our room. (I was given the impression I would be.) And she said no. Without thinking I desperately looked at Jeremy and said, "Well, that's going to be a problem. I can't give birth in this heat." The lady then informed me that the nurses would call down to the boiler room for me if I needed it. Oh.. you better bet they will, I thought.

Then, she started telling us that video cameras and regular cameras were allowed in the delivery room. "Well, we don't have to worry about that," I said. To which she kindly replied, "Some people really like to take a picture when the baby first comes out." To which I, without thinking, said, "That's gross."

And in that instance, our guide made up her mind. She didn't like me. She then began to only address Jeremy. And even took up a conversation with another nurse ignoring us all together. Jeremy tried to make up excuses for me. "We want to create as stress free of a zone for her." "She's really anxious about this whole process." And if he couldn't come up with anything, he'd give me that look. The look that says you better shut-up and go back to being quiet.

The worst was when I asked her if the nursing staff would keep my family up-to-date on the birth progress. She answered that my family will be able to call our room and my husband and I can speak to them directly. I smiled and said, "Not if they don't have the number." Jeremy quickly replied, "We have a big family" AND gave me the look.

And don't worry, Family, she did say that the nurses will keep you updated.

And then, she showed me the door.

So now I am going to be forced to give birth in a mauve, uncomfortable, smelly room with a staff that already dislikes me.

If only Jon Lewis were here to make it all better! Or we lived in the 1940s when most women had home births...

October 6, 2010

A Vending Machine, The Military, and Me

Last week, Wednesday to be exact, a problem arose at our office.

The vending machine disappeared! It was without notice, without warning, and without a back-up plan. It was also not cool. And action had to be taken. Now for context you should know that there had been talk of getting rid of the machine all together. It was a poor sight. Stale, melting, expired, sparse, random are just a few of the words people used to describe that machine. But it was loyally there... until Wednesday that is...

As a pregnant woman, the vending machine is practically my best friend (Sorry, Jeremy... I figure chocolate has calcium and peanuts have protein... It's really healthy. Plus, your son loves both.) and so action had to be taken.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Hi Sam:

I just went to the breakroom and discovered that our snack machine has gone missing! Now, for any normal human being this probably is not a big deal. The snacks were old and white. Some were placed oddly within itself so no one could obtain it. I understand in a normal sense. But you see… I am far past normal. I am almost 7 months pregnant. I rely on that snack machine for those cravings that hit in an instance. I have no control over when or how it will happen. All I know, is that my security in those moments has left the building. And I wonder—is this for forever? Will it return? And what am I, a not sane person, supposed to do?!

Greatly appreciative of all you do,




We are in process of changing vendors.Our new machines will arrive Friday morning.


Take care,


Thanks, Sam, for the update! Although, I must say I was hoping for more of an interaction. I thought it would be an entertaining blog entry ;-)


Good Morning Tessica,

I really apologize for the inconvenience. You know that I spent over 22 years in military as a result I was always trained to be brief.



Sam even made a personal visit to me.. I mean, Tessica.... further explaining that his training taught him to take action and then disengage immediately. To which I smiled and said that's funny. My training taught me to react and then hang on for dear life. I mean, I am a blogger who needs material... a lot of it. And I saw great potential in this vending machine scenario. Potential that needed to be brought forth. Plus, who doesn't like a little banter at the office.

Well, needless to say a new vending machine appeared on Friday and it was beautiful, full, fresh, cheaper... everything one dreams about in such a machine... especially a pregnant woman.

Thank you, Sam!

October 4, 2010

Good-bye Heels

I love shoes.

Like these:

And these:

Ooo.. and these:

I d.i.e. Seriously.

Before Jeremy and I said I do, I would celebrate each paycheck by buying a new pair of shoes. It was a gift for working so hard. Jeremy took that gift away. Now, I have to convince him each season why I need one new pair. 4 new pairs a year. It should be a crime to limit the expression of my individuality in such a way.

Anyways. That's not what this post is about. This post is about how my love for shoes has been forced to be tweaked. 

You see, I love HIGH heels. The higher the better. I love that they show off my calf. I love how they look with long pants, skirts, and dresses. I love being taller than Jeremy. I love how great they make me feel... like a natural woman...  yes, I went there... I love, love, love high heels.

So it was only characteristic of me to announce the moment I got pregnant that I was going to be proof that pregnant women could wear high heels until the bitter end. I was going to be stylish, chic, and with the highest of heels. Watch out world.

I have big dreams, internet.

Then those dreams came crashing down with a little dysfunction called SPD. Don't look it up. You'll be frightened by all the internet says. Rather let me give it to you straight. The hormone relaxin in my body has shifted my pubic bone in a way that is unnatural. This causes me great pain... in high heels. That's all you need to know. Pregnancy will be normal. No other side effects. I just can't wear high heels.

Did you get that?? No, high heels! Oh, the humanity!!

But, of course, this would happen to me. Why not? I've only suffered a little the past 7 months. Obviously, I need more opportunities for growth.

So like with most things these days, I cried about it.

Then, I tried to force the high heels upon my pubic bone. Bad idea! It fought back with a vengeance.

So Jeremy took me shopping for some flats. FLATS!

I was mortified by the thought. I told him so only about a million times. But the minute we walked into the shoe store I was taken over. A lot of people must be wearing flats these days. They are everywhere! Not only that, but they are actually super cute!

My husband was so kind to let me buy two pairs.. in the same season. A black and brown pair. And they are super cute.


And these:

I also bought a pair of TOMS to wear when I really want to be comfy in my flats... this was a separate trip that Jeremy found out about afterward... we survived only because of Bradley and his need to have a comfortable mother.

So all in all, I guess it's okay that I can't wear my high heels. I mean, now I'm short, with what appear to be cankles... but I'm not in pain like I was. And I beat my record for new shoes bought in a year with a husband attached. That alone is something to celebrate!

October 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

I met him 12 years ago. He was my friend's older brother, with a shag, and a car. He would drive me to and from school and my dad would pay him gas money. He was cool and super cute, but I knew him dating me was a long shot.

Throughout high school, he dated all my friends. I just stood on the sidelines. He was different than the other guys. He was funny and nice. I knew he had potential for greatness.

Somewhere in between when we first met and my senior year, he proposed.

He was just learning how to play guitar and there was a song I loved. He asked me what he would get if he learned it. I laughed and asked what he wanted. He said he wanted me to marry him. I said sure, why not. A week later, He played me the song. I told him to give me a few more years before we married.

In college, we had our ups and downs. He wanted to be a boy. I wanted a commitment. But our connection remained through it all.

My favorite part during that time was watching the Lord work in his life. It was really cool watching him grow in his faith and really begin to have a heart for those around him. I was honored to be a part of his journey and knew that I never wanted my part in that journey to end.

Two years after I graduated college, he proposed, again, and we began to plan our lives together. He was and is everything I ever wanted in a husband.

For the past three years, I have been the luckiest girl in the world. Each night I get to come home to him and every morning I get to wake up beside him. He encourages me, supports me, and loves me unconditionally. I couldn't ask for anymore.

So on this 28th birthday, I want to thank you, Jeremy.  Thank you for all you have done and continue do for our family. I am so blessed by you each day. Bradley is one fortunate boy to have you as an example of what it means to walk as a man of God. I can't wait to walk beside you and grow with you as we start this next journey.

I love you. Phil. 1:3