Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bane of my Existence


Those severely creepy blankets with arms.

The abomination that are "snuggies".


THOSE things are the bane of my existence.

It used to be that I just thought they were stupid and creepy and the commercials were ridiculous. The advertisements would show people apparently so dense they couldn't figure out how to change the TV channel or answer the phone with a throw blanket on their people needed a flannel robe you could wear backwards!

So how did Snuggies rocket to the level of "bane of my existence"? My brother-in-law to be, Adam, who oh-so-thoughtfully decided to give my fiance a Snuggie after finding out how much they creep me out.

And not only a Snuggie...a ZEBRA PRINT SNUGGIE! My hatred of Snuggies and animal prints all wrapped up in one conveniently creepy package.

Dear Adam: Congratulations! In giving Aaron this gift you have just ensured that we will only ever get your children fantastically annoyingly loud toys for the rest of our lives.
Love, Your Future Sister-In-Law

Friday, February 19, 2010

Extremes Are Never Good

This particular topic is one that Aaron and I have commented on fairly frequently and it hit home with me again yesterday. When I was younger it was much easier to view the world in black and white - extremes only...then as I got older, went to college, met a fantastic cornucopia (that's right - I used it!) of people who challenged my worldviews - things shifted into shades of gray. I shied away from those extreme black and whites, afraid of becoming an extremist, someone unable to accept and adapt to new ideas.

Now I find myself in a new phase of many ways...but now I think I am starting to come back from that foggy gray concept of the world and blending it with that over-zealous black and white concept of my youth. What was the conduit for this revelation? Oddly enough a new Baltimore-based Christian music station.

Now that I've probably confused you, let me explain...

If you've read any of my previous blogs, you know that I've been struggling with feelings of anxiety, nervousness and a general unfounded discontent that grips me from time to time. I also have the blessing of being a child of God and have re-kindled my relationship with Him and He is faithfully and ever so patiently revealing Himself to me daily. Yesterday I was driving home in rush hour traffic through Baltimore (the city that doesn't know how to plow or fix potholes) and I felt that all to familiar wave of unfounded anxiety crash in my stomach. As an attempt to distract myself, I began to scan through radio stations (something I never do since I usually listen to my iPod in the car). The scanner stopped on 95.1 and the most incredible lyrics poured out of the speakers into my car:

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

I almost burst into grateful tears right there on 295. God is amazing and I am slowly realizing the myriad of ways He can reveal His presence to me, and! I've been an extremist when it comes to Christian music since college...and in the "no Christian music allowed" direction. I was convinced it was lame, annoying and didn't have a place in my regularly-listened-to rotation. Now I plan on integrating Christian music into the library of fantastic tuneage I have roaring in my ears every day. Not JUST Christian music and not JUST "secular" music...but a happy and fulfilling blend of the two.

Here's to opening my mind and my ears to new possibilities, even ones as seemingly insignificant as the possibility that Christian music has a place on my car stereo's radio dial.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Reagan McKenzie Cole!

So God's newest little blessing in our lives arrived yesterday (Feb. 16) at 9:20 AM screaming bloody murder, weighing 8.1 lbs. rockin some seriously fantastic strawberry-blond hair (just like her soon-to-be favorite Aunt) and dark blue eyes.
Mom and baby are doing just fine. I'm so thrilled that I got to see her the day she was born and see Cam react to his new baby sister. He was so excited to see her and kept saying "she's so cute", "she's so little" favorite was when we were leaving and he turned around and said, "it was nice to meet you!" I don't think he really understand the impact that tiny little girl is going to have on his life, but hopefully all will go smoothly in our house when she comes home in a few days!

I took a million pictures (of course) and you can see most of them on my Facebook page, but I had to post at least one or two on here too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Learning hurts sometimes

So I've been holding off posting something new because I really wanted this blog to be a somewhat lighthearted, fun commentary on how I see the world around me...and lately I've been having a bit of a rough time.

I won't go into too many details - mostly because this is the Internet and anyone could read this and, "hi...embarrassing!" but suffice to say I've been struggling with some medication side effects that have really thrown me for a loop. I've always been a really confident (sometimes overly so) person, seen myself as being strong and independent, ready to take whatever life flings my way. But for the past several weeks (since I started this particular medication) I've been feeling things I've never felt before. Anxiety - completely unfounded anxiety. It's bizarre. I know rationally that nothing is actually "wrong" and I don't have anything to be anxious about, yet my emotions are all over the place, rollercoaster-ing (yes - I know I just invented that word!) out of control. I can burst into uncontrollable tears at the drop of a hat as waves of unfocused anxiety wash over me.

My life is wonderful! I have a fantastic fiance who I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with, a family who is supportive of me, a good job and great rationally I know there is no reason for this awful stomach-churning anxiety that hits me almost every evening.

I am sticking with the medication for now, hoping to ride out the side-effects until my system "normalizes" in hopefully another month. But in the meantime, it's starting to take its toll on me.

So what to do? And why did I title this post "Learning hurts sometimes"?

I am taking this opportunity to strengthen my relationship with God and seek His help, will and purpose for me. He said it my weakness He is strong and I am clinging to that truth with every fiber of my being right now. I know that logically these feeling of anxiety, fear and nausea are being caused by a medication - but why not seek for what God could be trying to teach me through this difficult time? For the first time in a long time I am daily spending time in His Word (working through Proverbs right now - it's AMAZING), praying and delving deeper into personal devotions at night (reading Small Changes for a Better Life by Elizabeth George). I find myself daily reminded that I need God in my life, desperately need Him and I cannot control and should not constantly seek to control every aspect of my life...I need to be able to humble myself, relinquish control and trust Him to guide me as I continue to seek Him every day.

It's not easy...some days are better than others, but hopefully as the side effects calm down and my body gets used to this medication I'll not only feel like myself again, but can look back and see how God used this miserable situation to bring me closer to Himself and grow in my faith and become a witness to others of His awesomeness.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Days...

There are very few moments when I think "wow, I really wish I didn't have a car." Over the years, those moments have included:

1. When my 1972 VW Beetle (named Fez) decided to implode his engine about 90 miles from home, stranding me at a gas station with the scariest AAA tow truck guy EVER.

2. When I was sitting at my desk at work and all of a sudden my boss comes over and says, "Umm, Em? Your car rolled backwards out of the driveway and is sitting in the middle of the road blocking traffic." (this was with the Ford Escort Hatchback named Trixie Anne)

3. When my current car looks like this:

Yeaaahhhh...not having a car is sounding pretty good right about now!