Waiting and whining

This January has probably been the most uneventful, slowest month of my life. I stopped working, the weather has been abnormally freezing, and I am hugely pregnant. My January activities have consisted of SAMS club pizza outings, library outings, play dates, and trying to convince my mom and friends to talk to me on the phone for long periods of time during Jack's nap.

I never reached this point of pregnancy with Jack which is so mentally unfair when you hear over and over again that your first pregnancy is usually the longest. My doctor has been telling me for months that he would induce me this Friday (which is why my mom booked her flight to come tomorrow night!) until my appointment yesterday when he said that my body is not ready or progressing. Instead of telling me to go to the hospital this weekend to have my baby, he told me to stay home and stimulate my nipples. Seriously!?! 

In other news, we are experiencing what social media has termed a "snowpocalypse." It's bad enough when there is predicted snow in the South (everything shuts down because of the hills, ice, lack of experienced drivers and lack of salt and snowplows), but this surprise snow storm has sent Birmingham into complete disaster and chaos. It's crazy to me because it only snowed about an inch! Luckily, Spencer and I didn't leave the house once it started snowing, but here are a few texts and fb statuses I have read in the last 24 hours:

It dusts maybe once a year and we usually have a lot of warning and the town shuts down ahead of time. This time the weather man assured us there was no threat so nothing shut down and then it all dumped at once and people were stranded everywhere completely unprepared. James Spann the weatherman has no friends today.

Hoover PD has announced that they will not respond to accidents that have no injuries...there are too many wrecks. They're telling people to exchange info and get their cars off the road.

I just made it home. Left my car on interstate before vestavia exit and combo of run walk and a ride up the worst part of columbiana I made it home. About 5 - 5.5 miles on foot.

Birmingham has so many hills that everywhere is literally uphill both ways. There is no way to get up most of the hills so there are hundreds of abandoned cars and people walking home without proper clothing. It looks just like an Apocalypse movie.

They don't even have sand or salt. It was a surprise storm and all the kids were in school. Luckily I got Maggie just in time because the rest of her classmates will probably have to sleep at the school.

I had to ditch my car at the top of our hill because it got blocked in the 10 minutes that I drove to pick up my daughter. Still one kid in another school and no way to get him. Sorry, Enoch!

We had to leave the car in a parking lot at the bottom of the big hill up to our house. We were lucky to get so close. We only had to walk a little over a mile. I bet it will be a few days before we get the car back. I'm just hoping it will still be there. Looters are lazy but it's a candy store out there, I'm sure at the least the GPS is a gonner.

Yes, I had some sketchy moments myself too even with the 4WD. The ice under the snow is what gets you! And literally every time I stepped outside my house to check the status of the hill we live on, I heard the now familiar crunch of two cars meeting on an icy road. Don't do it, people! Come stay with us if you are desperate for a warm place!

It is pretty treacherous around UAB... there are so many abandoned cars on the roads he couldn't even move his car from where he parked it this morning. Hunter, Gordy and Taylor are all at school and are going to sleep in the new building. Apparently hotels are closed. 

They gave us blankets and I'll sleep in my office. 

My mother and so many others stranded still [in their cars overnight] and it's 9:30 am the next day. She's now without water, very hungry, and tired. Many people have run out of gas. They did evacuate the kids off of buses at about 5 am last night. If you live near the interstate and can help, motorists need food, water, blankets, and gas. Some mothers of infants are now out of formula too. Georgia issued an official State of Emergency. Please help if you can. And prayers appreciated.

I spent the night at a very nice law firm on 280 just across from the Hampton Inn. As soon as they say we can get on the road we will start moving south. Good thing your baby didn't come. 

And now for some crazy pictures! (Images via)
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We are grateful we are home and safe! We're just going a little stir crazy waiting out the "storm" (waiting for the ice to melt; it stopped snowing yesterday afternoon) and waiting for this baby to come!
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Jack was excited to go out and play in the snow
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... He lasted 2 minutes. He kept saying that his fingers hurt. I'm not sure how I'm going to survive with two kids in freezing Iowa.

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Watch Meeee!!!

My cute brother, James, is back from Mexico! I really wish that I was in Arizona right now to see him, but the only way I could try to steal his thunder was to have a baby due at the same time. (That's not exactly how it worked but maybe subconsciously??) We've been quoting this home video quite a bit recently... "Don't watch James, watch me!!!"
Only two more months until I get to see James in person! It's a bummer that his sexy Nacho Libre accent will probably be gone by then :(
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Things I'm loving

  • Firepit with friends
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  • More zoo trips. The cold won't stop us. 
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  • Eggnog Creamies! Too bad I didn't get one this year. We went to Steel City Pops, a overpriced popsicle shop in town, to try their eggnog popsicles to see if they compared. They were sooooo gross. I couldn't even finish mine. I was so disappointed. 
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  • Rummikub. We've played it so much lately that Jack got really good at pretending like he knows how to play too.
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  • Black Fish on Netflix. It is so interesting and I can't stop thinking about it, probably because it was my childhood dream to become a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld. DISCLAIMER: Don't watch this movie if you don't want SeaWorld to be completely ruined for you or if you want to keep your dream of becoming a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld!!!
  • "Nuggising" Jack. "Nuggis" is the first word I hear when Jack wakes up in the morning and I am never going to correct the way he says snuggle ever again. 
  •  Our spur of the moment day trip on Saturday to the Chattanooga, TN Aquarium. It was a blast. Jack was OBSESSED with the sharks. He still talks about them and he has worn his summer shark jammies on top of his clothes everyday since.
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He is probably telling me about sharks in this picture.
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Jack weaseled his way to a front row seat for the shark show.
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All he needs is his truck and flash drive in his hand to be happy in the car.
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Same clothes for the third day in a row now.
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  • The movie, A Beautiful Mind. I forgot how amazing that movie was until we watched it again a couple of nights ago. 
  • My favorite "year in review" post, written by my bestest friend, Katie!
  • "Cold Days". This is when Birmingham shuts everything down because the temperature drops below 30 degrees so Jack and I just "nuggis" at home all day. 
  • Brene Brown. This woman is inspired! These two videos are amazing on vulnerability and shame. I am reading her book, Daring Greatly, and it is also amazing. 


There isn't a person you wouldn't love if you could read their story

I think I have mentioned a time or two on this blog that I am strangely fascinated/traumatized by books written by ex-polygamists who vulnerably share their story. I am here to confess that I am also fascinated by a lot of other traumatizing stories of different varieties. Last year, I came across this amazing blog of a wife of a sex addict and I read her entire story within 24 hours. I continue to read anonymous blogs of wives and ex-wives of sex addicts. Recently, I read Elizabeth Smart's new book and I went on a "kidnapping" reading rampage. (Actually I just read Elizabeth Smart's book and A Stolen Life in less than a week.) As I finished reading my last book I thought, "What the heck is wrong with me?! Why do I continue to read such traumatizing stories?! Is this normal?!"

I love what Elizabeth Smart says in her book about the human spirit:

The human spirit is resilient. God made us so. He gave us the ability to forgive. To leave our past behind. To look forward instead of back.

These stories, while horrible, are also inspiring and beautiful. They give me hope. They teach me that the human spirit can heal from anything, no matter how tragic and traumatic circumstances may be. Sometimes I wonder why a perfectly loving God allows such horrible and unfair cruelties to happen to His children. Alissa Parker, the mother of Emilie Parker who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting answered this question beautifully. When people asked her, "Where was your God when this happened? Why didn't He stop it?" She answered:

God allowed others to kill His son. He allows for us all to make our own choices, good and bad, because that is the only way good can be in us is if we freely choose it over all else... what I've realized through all of this is how strong and how big God's love really is. 


I am now accepting traumatically inspiring book recommendations, or a light and fluffy read to wind down from it all :)


I surrender, 2014

From the words of C. Jane Kendrick in this profound post:

So what do I think of resolutions? Mostly, I think resolutions are just another manifestation of our desire to control our own lives--to help us think we're more powerful than we really are....

This past year taught me that there are only two great resolutions: 1. Acknowledge God, asking daily to feel the power of something greater than you. 2. Let EVERYTHING else go.

So last night when the clock ticked midnight and my whole house was sleeping, I peeked out the window to see a sparkling, gold firework explode in the air across the valley. I said my farewell to 2013 and surrendered myself to whatever 2014 has in store.

What else can you do?


My only other resolution along with hers, is to hold my balance and bladder, even when Spencer sets up the self timer on our camera and plows me over to get in the picture on time. I really don't think I should just "let go" of my bladder.
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Happy New Year!