Friday, January 30, 2009

My New Job

So it's not so much a job as a volunteer opportunity, but I am so excited about it! I met with the Director of Development for First Coast Women's Services today and we don't have anything set up yet, but I will, Lord willing, be doing some work for them in the future. It might be nothing more than making phone calls and writing letters and thank you cards, but I believe this is something the Lord has led me to do. When I first talked to the Director and told her that I went to school for Event Management, she said that they were needing some help in that area, so I hope that I will be able to get involved with that as well.

I took a tour of the center today and learned about what happens when a woman comes in. All women who come in are considered "Abortion Vulnerable". No scary videos are shown. The goal is not to scare her, but she is given the information about what happens during an abortion, she sees a model of her baby's stage of development, and most importantly, she is prayed for. If she chooses, the counselors will help the mothers enroll in Medicaid. If she qualifies for Medicaid, she can get a sonogram. 96% of the women who have the sonogram choose Life. If the men come in to see the baby, 98% of them would choose Life for their baby. The mothers can enroll in the HOPE program, where they can earn points for maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby furniture, layette sets, etc. by doing some homework: reading books that encourage a healthy pregnancy, books on parenting, and Bible studies. If the mothers choose to give the baby up for adoption, they are directed toward agencies that will be compassionate towards them and are given support throughout the process. There are tons of pamphlets they can look through to find a church, a doctor, and endless other support services.

There were lots of details that I heard today that make me so excited about the possibility of working in a place like this. The most important one is that they love Christ and yearn for the women who come in to see that love as well. Last year, 819 women came in with positive pregnancy tests. 144 of them were abortion minded, but chose life. The Gospel was presented to 431 of the women. 43 prayed to receive Christ and 7 rededicated their lives to Christ. Every day 3,300 women end their pregnancies with abortion. That breaks my heart, but I am excited to be a part of something that will help these women understand how much God loves them and to know that He has a plan for them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sick Baby

Charlotte has been fighting off some sort of sickness for a week now. It started early last week with a runny nose, then escalated into a fever of 103.2, extreme fussiness, coughing, hoarse throat, and very sparse and interrupted sleep. It was rough. When I took her temperature and saw how high it was, I called the pediatrician right away, even though it was 3:30 in the morning. I know that fevers are just the body's way of fighting off the infection, but I also know that at some point it is dangerous, and I wasn't sure how close Charlotte was to that point. I got a call back from the pediatrician a few minutes after I left the message, and I could tell that she was not pleased with being woken up for this. Her exact remark was, "I don't understand why you are calling..." Now, I really love the office Charlotte goes to and appreciate the care and time they give to us (even though it is always a wait of at least half an hour for a scheduled well-check). They like to suggest homeopathic and natural remedies before prescribing antibiotics, which I think is wonderful. But the comment of "I don't understand why you are calling..." just rubbed me the wrong way. After some suggestions of things I had already been doing, she asked, "Do you have a book or resource that you can go to? Because you need to do that before you call." Well, yes, I do have a book and I have looked at it, and it wasn't like I was just waiting for an opportunity to call you and wake you up in the middle of the night, but my child has never had a fever this high, and while I do understand that a fever is not necessarily a bad thing, I know that it can be and I wanted to make sure that she was not to that point! So that's what I wanted to say anyway. What I actually said was, "Okay, thank you, sorry for calling so late." Should she ever get a fever of 103.2 again, I won't rush to the phone. But I definitely don't think I was wrong to call and, even if all that is needed is an assurance of "Your baby does not need to go to the E.R.", I will probably call again when one of the doctors will not understand why.

::steps down from soapbox::

Charlotte is doing much better now. She still has some lingering congestion and a cough that is worse in the mornings, but it seems to be getting a little better each day. Yesterday after she had a few big coughs, she started softly patting her chest as if to tell me, "I've got some junk stuck in here." And a few times while hugging Jared, she has patted him on the back. Yeah, she's precious.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Story Time and Daddy Time

Last Friday, Charlotte and I met some friends at the downtown library for story time. It was the first time I had been to the children's library downtown and it is amazing! As you walk into it, you have to go through a corridor of blades of grass as tall as the ceiling and it's complete with sound effects of crickets and birds. So cute. Charlotte isn't really into sitting still for a story at this point, but she had a blast watching the older kids jump and dance and do the hand motions. And she loved climbing on the mushroom-shaped stools they have! They have story time every Friday and some moms from our church are going to try to take the kiddos once a month or so.

The great part is that the library is two blocks away from Jared's office, so afterwards we went to visit her Daddy. He took her around the office and everyone oohed and ahhed over how adorable she is, how big she's gotten, and tried to figure out who she looks more like.

Here she is sitting on Daddy's desk wearing his shades

It was quite chilly this past weekend, so we decided we'd make a fire and stay all cozy. We save some papers that we would otherwise shred to use to help start the fires. The picture below is of Charlotte enjoying a ride around on that pile. (Afterwards, she enjoyed taking the paper out and spreading it all over the living room floor).

A few weeks ago, I was doing some ironing and had just opened a bag of the clips that attach to clothes hangers. Charlotte was "helping" me and had them all over the floor for me to chase around whenever I needed them. After a little while, I looked down and noticed that they were gone. I looked in the lunchbox that she had been playing with and found them in there. She had collected them all, along with a few other things, and put them away. She is going to be neurotically anti-clutter just like her Daddy!

And in other news, I applied to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune! We saw the last two episodes and I knew the bonus round answers so I figured that makes me an exert. I doubt I'll be chosen, but it doesn't hurt to try! Oh, and we're also going to send the video of Charlotte laughing at the bowling game into America's Funniest Videos! It's all part of our retirement plan.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Words of Wisdom

They're not wise words, per se, but they are thoughts that I shared with Charlotte yesterday.

"We don't stand on furniture."

"No climbing on the coffee table."

"That is a toy drum, not a stool."

"Hairbrushes don't belong in the dishwasher."

Charlotte has been keeping me in stitches lately. She has had a burst of personality coming through, despite just getting over a nasty cough and cold. Her smile is so sweet and she has been showing it off a lot lately.

That's all, for now. I need to go put back all the paper, envelopes, and junk mail that she has pulled out of the trash can here in the office...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Tag Game

My friends Whitney and Jeannie tagged me to play this game...

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder (no cheating -- cropping, editing, etc.)
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 other people to do the same.

This picture comes from the "1998" folder. It was taken at Jared's graduation from Toccoa Falls College. He graduated with a Bachelor's in History and was certified to teach it in high school. After this, he went to UF and graduated with a Bachelor's in Business and a Master of Accounting. (He also has an AA from Santa Fe, so he has 4 total degrees.... what an overacheiver!).

I'm going to be a spoil-sport and not tag anyone. I'm not sure who all has been tagged, so if you want to play, you can say I tagged you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Go Gators!

Just in time for the big game, Charlotte has finally learned some sign language!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let's Eat Cake!

A few of you may know that I had the most amazing internship ever a couple years ago. It wasn't the traditional one-semester internship (though that's the way we told UF it was!). I helped Melissa at MasterPiece Weddings out with the wedding planning and coordinating for a little over a year. It was my dream internship. Weddings and romance and all things fun. Melissa's area of expertise is weddings, but she's done countless events of other kinds, and now she's branching out into some major charity fundraising. She is working to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the event is just over a month away with the goal of $50,000 yet to be met. So MasterPiece Weddings has put their money where their mouths are (where the cake will soon be), and they will contribute $1 for every blog that mentions the fundraiser. If you would like to help by spreading the word, simply copy and paste the text below in a blog post, then e-mail Melissa at so she can verify.

Masterpiece Weddings, an event coordination agency founded by Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is working really hard to put on an amazing fundraiser in February called Let’s Eat Cake! - which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital - an incredible organization that’s dedicated to treating children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Let’s Eat Cake! is a wedding cake competition, featuring Wedding Cake confections from all over the United States. Bakers will feature their cakes to be judged by Local and National Culinary Celebrities. In addition bakers will be asked to make enough cake to feed the general public, so that they may judge the cakes as well!

Our Goal is to raise $50,000 for this extremely worthy cause. We know times are tough for everyone out there. But that doesn't mean that doesn't mean that kids still aren't getting sick. Please help spread the word about our goal, and our mission. If you can help financially, that'd be great. If you're blogging about this right now.... your spreading the word - and that's all we can ask for!

Thank you!