I have a brand new NEPHEW!!!! :) He came into the world 7 weeks early - all ready to catch up to his big sisters! Meagan went into labor Sat. night, but being the tough cookie that she is, waited until Sun. morning to call the hospital...they told her to come in immediately!! So, Uncle Eric, Aunt Bets and Uncle Chris hung out with Molly & Annie all day while the Dr's tried to stop labor. They thought they had it under control, but "Daddy Jr." (what Josh/Meg and girls have nicknamed him) wasn't going to be stopped! By Mon. morning, it was clear that a C-section was needed, so out he came! 4 lbs 12 oz - he is TINY and beautiful. He will be in the NICU for a few weeks until he gains a little weight, can hold his own temp., and is eating and gaining on his own (currently on IV). Already he has strong enough lungs to be taken off his ventilator, so that is wonderful!
I am so humbled by the MIRACLE that a new baby is; it is so neat to be here to witness that! I will try to get some pics and post them soon!!
**UPDATE: His name is Owen Joshua Adams - sweet, huh? Owen's meaning is "young warrior" - I just love its significance with him being a preemie!
I am proud to have set a PR (Personal Record) yesterday, Sept. 26, 2009 on the Salem Lake 10K Race! My goal time was 59:59, just wanted to do it under an hour so bad...well I did it - 59:37! So my pace averaged 9:36 per mile. Eric sweetly stood in the "cold" (60 degrees) and rain (yes, it rained the whole hour, but thankfully it was just 'spitting' on us), cheering me to the end! The trail is a gorgeous loop around Salem Lake (obvious based on the name, huh?) - the Lake is 7 miles around, so it's the perfect 10K (6.2 mi) setting.
So...this is embarrassingly long in coming...but I want to honor and congratulate my "little" brother, Chris, for graduating from Wake Forest this past May!! Chris, I was so privileged to live near you three of the four years and I'm so happy I have at least one more year with you living in Winston-Salem! I love you and am SO PROUD of you for your accomplishments at Wake! Enjoy basking in the glory of being done with your undergrad!! WOOHOO!
ParisMore to come.... for now, I'm off to find myself some cafe au lait, cafe latte, milchkaffee, COFFEE! :)
I will have to write lots about all the ministries that I'll be involved in...but for now, the headache of "first-day overload" is making my temples throb...so its early to bed tonight! 8:41 pm or not, its time to turn in soon! ;)
I am so encouraged by how much my veggies plants are growing!! I am so excited about veggies fresh out of my garden soon and have already enjoyed having fresh herbs on hand. So far, gardening for me has been so worthwhile - it is relaxing to be out there, a definite stress-reliever. I look forward to honing my gardening skills in the years to come - already a life commitment after a month off the ground? Premature euphoria of my success? Perhaps - only time will tell! ;) I have already started my planning for what will go in for the fall harvest...but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. For now, I will wait in anticipation for those fragrant green tomatoes to turn a rosy hue. I forgot how amazing tomato plants smell! On that note, let me share a little something I learned this week about commercial tomatoes that you buy in the regular grocery store. Those tomatoes have to be picked while they are still green, since they have so long to travel from the vine to your shopping cart. Then, to get them to turn prematurely red, argon gas is used, which, coincidentally is also used to slaughter poultry...huh?? Someone want to explain that one? Anyway, now you know why tomatoes from the farmer's market (aka fresh) taste completely different than tomatoes from the store (aka unripe, unnaturally processed!) Still no denying it, tomatoes are delish no matter what, but now you've heard my two cents on where you should buy them... ;)
Dill - this one has grown out of control!
My mint...isn't it gorgeous?
My green/red peppers!!! These are the biggest triumph so far! They are just babies right now, but I flipped when I first saw them!
My little cherry tomatoes...I have clusters of these all over the place!
Look at this adorable sweet banana pepper!! Eric is really excited about these!
My cucumbers...aren't these unique, beautiful leaves?
My watermelon plant...yet to bear the first bloom. I have faith it's coming though! ;)
And finally...the big mamas. The early girl tomatoes that are just waiting on their crimson kiss before their big debut!
Well that's all you'd want to know and then some! I will keep the updates coming, hopefully a recipe will be coming one day using them as ingredients! ;)
But the joy of being home again, with my husband and kitties, was dampened Saturday night. The unthinkable happened. My sweet, baby Oliver died in Eric's arms. It was a blur...a dream...a nightmare. Eric and I were relaxing on the couch; watching some Friends. Oliver was cuddled up to my legs, laying on the blanket on my lap. He jumped straight up 2 ft into the air, looking as if something had spooked him (cat's have freaky senses and sometimes get scared by something we can't even see or hear). As I looked to make sure he was ok (he had jumped off the couch), I saw his poor little body was continuing to freak out! I leapt to my feet and yelled to Eric that something was seriously wrong...both our stomachs jumped into our throats...No, Oliver, this couldn't be happening! I ran faster than the wind to our neighbor's house, who is a vet. Though it was the least of my concerns in that moment, I later apologized for having interrupted his dinner with his family. He told me where we could take him to an emergency vet (which thankfully was less than 3 min. from our house). As I sprinted back in our house, we gathered Oliver up in the carrier and rushed to the vet...but Eric already knew what was true: Oliver was already gone, having died in his arms within 2 min. of his body's initial reaction. He was taken and rushed to their examination room, and we were brought into a private waiting room. Moments later, the vet came to tell us that Oliver had passed on. The world was spinning - I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see straight with more tears streaming down my face than I knew my tear glands were possible of making. I wanted her to check again, and to keep checking until they found his pulse. He couldn't be gone - he was my baby and I couldn't bear leaving without him purring in my arms, having been assured that he would be ok. But instead, I was having to sit in this waiting room, having to say my goodbyes to the most affectionate, sweet spirited I've ever known. I feel like it is amazing how much we, as humans, can learn from our dear pets. Oliver did not know the emotion 'mad' or 'mean'. He had no concept what a grudge was or how to hold one. He only knew love and affection, comfort, and joy. Those traits of his character were the contributions he made to my life. His soft, tender purring never failed to calm my anxious or sad heart on the hard days. He would just come and sit with me, purring to soothe my concerns. On the happy days, he was a hoot - trying to show Marzell who was boss (hilarious) and barking at the birds outside. He loved to play, chasing toys up and down the hallway in his distinctively erratic and uncoordinated way. He loved to burrow under blankets or anything separating you from him, in order to get himself as close to you as he could manage. We miss the pitter-patter of little paws following us around the house; Oliver defined the essence of companionship flawlessly.
A few handfuls of cashews, lightly toasted in skillet
*Note to self: Take the 30 seconds required for an actually decent picture, rather than being so distracted by the gnawing hunger in your tummy that you settle for a blurry picture to get food in your mouth faster! Sheesh.... but, seriously, this recipe is so good, that you would have settled for a blurry picture too.
Throw in a blender and blend until smooth! If you aren't used to this type of smoothie, the agave nectar adds a little extra sweetness. It can easily be substituted with honey.
Oh - one last thing about them - they can be made in advance and keep well in the fridge. I am usually short on time in the mornings, so I made my smoothie the night before and just grabbed it as I headed out the door. Perfect!