So Much Cute

Bo Bears loves to get in boxes.

Miso likes boxes, too. She climbed into my mom-in-law's summer clothes box.

Bo also cuddles with plastic bags. And wears Kenny's glasses just for kicks.

Miso loves watching National Geographic documentaries. She is partial to the ones about snow leopards and lions.

She got really excited about the birds, too. I love her little paw in this picture.

I'll probably end up pasting these photos all over the Internet, via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but they were too cute not to share here, too!



Yesterday I had a pretty sore throat, but last night turned into full-blown misery with Kenny and I taking turns keeping each other awake with coughing, hacking, and wheezing of all sorts. I spent today resting, literally accomplishing nothing but a hot, steamy shower.

I didn't go to the doctor today. I've actually got an appointment scheduled for Thursday, so I'll see what kind of medicine I can take then. I'm so glad that for now it's just a ragged throat and hasn't moved into my sinuses yet. I can still breathe, although breathing does aggravate my throat constantly. And I've got a pretty sick headache going, with all the coughing and efforts not to cough because it hurts.

I had good company today, though. The kitters always seem to know when I'm sad or sick and tend to spend more time with me. So that was nice.

I'm hoping to kick this thing this week and get back to feeling better!


Cat Ladies Unite!

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that most of the pictures I post are of Miso and Bo. And really, I can't stop. And of course, when Twitter tells you time and time again that you have the cutest cats on the Internet, why would you even consider not posting pictures of your cats sleeping, sleeping, and sleeping? Because I love my kitters so dang much, I also love cat versus human so dang much! I'm not sure when exactly I found this website (maybe through the lovely Diana at Our City Lights?), but when I first saw it, I spent hours looking through all the comics and laughing hysterically because Yasmine Surovec, the artist and genius behind cat versus human, completely draws your life. Anyway, I recommend you check it out, even if you don't compulsively take pictures of your cats doing absolutely nothing. Here's one of my favorites:
View more of Yasmine's brilliant comics here!

Bo is a pretty regular In-Betweener, while Miso has been known to employ the Pillow Takeover tactics and loves The Butt Warmer. Hopefully when Jude comes, he'll sleep in his own bed from the beginning so I don't have even more competition for the covers! 


O Come, O Come

Today in the English worship service I attended, we sang "O Holy Night." And as the music began, I found myself closing my eyes against tears. I was filled with joy and my soul leaped and shouted that first verse and chorus. And as I sang from the deepest places, the darkest places,  I was reminded of a phrase in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath where he mentions Tom Joad's pregnant sister, Rose of Sharon, smiling the secret smiles of a mother. I found, as I sung, one of those secret smiles on my face. And I couldn't stop.

This Advent season is so real to me. Advent is about waiting and expectation and I've never waited for or expected anything in quite the same way as the arrival of my son. I thought about Mary and how she, too, expected a son.

I have to confess that today was a new experience for me. It's not normal for me to consider Jude's coming with a "secret smile," with a sense of peace or imagining that I will be a good mother. Usually, the idea of his birth is surrounded by feelings of doubt and uncertainty. But today, for the first time, I felt that I was meant to be Jude's mother.

None of these sentences are saying what I want to tell you. Today, Jude moved inside me when I sang about the coming Christ child. And something inside my heart shifted towards this small boy whom I've yet to meet. And I began to wait with great anticipation, excitement, and some unfathomable love I've not felt before.

Now it begins.

Jude, I am waiting for you, and this waiting is so sweet. I have not yet been made fully ready, but a few more months and I will be.

Christ, I am waiting for you, and this waiting is so sweet. Your love and your coming is the promise I cling to. You are what makes me ready. O come, O come, Emmanuel. 


Only at Christmas Time

This is one of the songs I listen to on repeat during the Christmas season. Enjoy! I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend.


It's Beautiful Here. I Hope You Find It.

Last week, I had a really rough day. I don't know exactly what was wrong and I still couldn't tell you why I wanted to sob my eyes out every other minute. It was most likely a combination of pregnancy hormones, pregnancy hormones, and more pregnancy hormones. Also, I live very far from the Krispy Kreme. (I'm just mentioning this because it might be a contributing factor.) It's also holiday season, a hard one for this expat, even though it's been years and years since I've lived at home. So, put all these things together, subtract donuts, and you get me calling my husband on a Wednesday and telling him I cancelled my tutoring sessions and asking him wildly through my tears if he was upset with me for practically throwing money away by not meeting my students. He, of course not a hormonal, homesick, pregnant, and donut-less lady, told me there was no reason for him to be upset. If I needed a break, I needed a break. (Let's pretend like I actually do anything that I could possibly need a break from, okay?) He tried his best to calm me down and told me he hoped I felt better soon. I hung up the phone and immediately felt guilty for calling him and bothering him with my silly crying fit.

About an hour later, he called me. "Hey, come downstairs. I'm taking you to lunch." I went down and met him and he drove us to one of my favorite burger joints. He told me he just felt like he needed to be with me and take care of me for a while, so he took a few hours off work to come spend with me. We sat in the restaurant and talked for over an hour. We speculated about the future, discussed our dreams and how to make them come true. It was so refreshing.

We've been married for almost three years (come February) and we've been together for five. And I've never tired of sitting across from this man, listening to his ideas, telling him my secret fears and hopes. It's still my favorite part of our relationship- the way we communicate, the way I feel known and understood by this other person.

Last night, my legs were tingling again. I knew that another rough night lay ahead and I was already miserable just thinking about how I wouldn't sleep. (I once read that insomnia is basically exacerbated by the insomniac dreading the insomnia. It's our fear of not sleeping that contributes to our not sleeping.) Kenny and I were ready for bed and he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the bathroom. He sat me down and filled a basin with almost-too-hot water and proceeded to soak, wash, and massage my feet and legs for a good 20 minutes. It was blissful. And this was after he had worked a full day, had come home and helped me clean up around the house, and done some editing for a friend. My husband is amazing.  I'm constantly in awe of his servant's heart and the way he cares for me.

If Kenny never said he loved me again for as long as we're living, I still wouldn't doubt it for a minute. This is what real love is. I hope you find it. It's beautiful here. 


Right Now

At this moment, I'm cross-legged on the couch, already mourning the fact that I can't get into a position where my legs don't tingle. Especially in my ankles. Isn't that strange? It's so strange, in fact, that it kept me up most of the night last night. And I have a sneaking premonition that it will do so tonight as well because I'm not even ready for bed and the twitching, tingly feeling has begun.

At this moment, I am listening to THE BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUM EVER. It's by Sufjan Stevens and it contains 42 songs. And Jude loves Christmas music. He always gets really busy dancing whenever I listen to any kind of Christmas song.

At this moment, I am wondering what it would be like to finally live up to my own expectations. What would that feel like?

At this moment, I'm crunching a cup full of ice like a champ.

At this moment, I'm missing my family and the Christmas season at home. I know this month will be so much easier if I just put all my effort into making it Christmas here instead of wishing I were elsewhere. We had planned at the beginning of this year that we would travel to the States again for Christmas this year because my sister just had a baby girl, Epperley, and we planned to meet her then. But those plans were pushed back a year when I learned I was pregnant and then wasn't able to get a job after that. So hugely pregnant + no money = Christmas 2012 in Tennessee with all the babies!

And right now, I can't believe it's already December. Only a few more months until our son arrives. It still feels so strange to even say that. I'm going to have a son. Wow. I'm just going to sit and crunch my ice in awe of how fast and how slow time goes all at once.

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