Saturday, November 21, 2009

Getting Our Due Date!

Only one week had passed since I had gotten a positive pregnancy test. At our first dr. appointment the wrote a due date down...but I knew it wasn't even worth remembering or sharing. This past Wednesday we had an ultrasound scheduled before our appointment with the dr. to get a more accurate due date. I was thinking I would be told I was 4-6 weeks pregnant. So I was TOTALLY shocked to hear what I though was a heart beat and more shocked to be told that in fact we were hearing our baby's heart beat. The tech. went on to tell me that I was already 8 weeks 3 days pregnant! I COULDN'T believe it. I had only been taking my thyroid med. for 4 weeks as this point. Needless to say I was wrong in my negative mindset about becoming parents anytime soon and was quickly reminded that with God all things are possible. At that point we were official given a June 27th, 2010 due date!

We had a lot of fun calling all our loved ones and letting them know our big news. We grabbed dinner to eat while we drove back to Enterprise for Bible study. Telling our church family was a lot of fun. I was able to grab a few of my close friends to personally tell, Brendan told the youth group while he was doing the announcements in class, and everyone else found out thanks to Mr. Keith who informed the church family before our devo. time that even though he wasn't allowed to announce anything...he did want people to know that Brendan and I had been studying Gen. and had taken to heart God's command to be fruitful and multiply. (You can imagine how red Brendan and I both turned!)

Telling Our Loved Ones

Without having a due date I wasn't wanting to tell people about our surprise. However, the Saturday after we got the positive answer on Friday we were already scheduled to see Brendan's parents. We had also decided to take Audrey. The Chance's were going to keep Audrey while we were at Faulkner's Homecoming football game in the afternoon then we were all going to watch the AU vs. GA football game that evening before coming home.
To tell the new grandparents-to-be we decided Audrey needed to wear a "Big Sister" t-shirt. We looked around at a few stores, but quickly realized we should just make one ourselves. So...Friday evening I made this:

Audrey loved it. She was so excited about going to see everyone on Saturday you'd think she knew what her shirt said!

When we got to Prattville she quickly ran inside to find her friend Dudley. Mrs. Charmaine and Mr. Bob weren't surprised to see her in a t-shirt...they were just surprised to see it wasn't an Auburn t-shirt! (Audrey usually sports those on game days.) It took them a few seconds to read what it said, but they all Mrs. Charmaine kept doing was looking at us and say "Huh? What? Really?" (or something like that) It was priceless!

I hated to tell them, especially Mrs. Charmaine, that we needed them to not tell anyone until at least Wednesday evening. I felt so bad! I knew it was going to be hard...but I REALLY appreciated her keeping our secret. :)

After spilling our exciting news to them we headed to Faulkner's Homecoming football game. We had a good time...but it was a bit harder not to tell anyone our big news :) Here are some pictures from our time there (including pics of some of our College Ave. youth kids on Homecoming Court!) Congrats to Leeann and Tyler who were crowned Homecoming Queen and King!

Our First Appointment

After getting a positive pregnancy test Wednesday, November 11th Brendan and I had an appointment set for the following Friday to find out if in fact we were pregnant. I was able to leave work at 2:00 to meet up with him so we could get to our 3:00 appointment. After a really quick wait we were taken back and told that we were pregnant! I still was a bit stunned. Before we left we made an appointment for the following Wednesday, Nov. 18th for an ultrasound so we could get a due date. Once we left our appointment we ran by Kohl's and Michael's before having a yummy "we're pregnant" dinner date.

And here's a side note for you...

Without a definite due date I REALLY didn't want to tell people, but wouldn't you know that while I was sitting in the lab's waiting area a co-worker walked out and saw me?!? She was there finding out what her baby is. After telling her hi and to quickly tell her that she wasn't seeing me there (if you know what I mean). :)


Lately things have been quite interesting in our home. After a dr. visit and some blood work at the end of Sept. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. With this diagnoses I had mixed emotions. I was glad to know why I had been feeling so run down, why I couldn't loose weight, why I seemed to be shedding more hair than normal, and why my skin was acting like it was the dead of winter...but I was also really sad with the feeling that we weren't going to be parents for a while. I started my thyroid medicine the Wednesday after Fall break and hoped for some relief. However, by the start of November I was REALLY getting frustrated. Instead of feeling better I was just having more trouble like nausea all day long. When I called the dr. he just prescribed some anti-nausea med. and told me to give my thyroid medicine till the beginning of Dec. (6 weeks after starting it). He said that he would check my levels then and change my dosage if need be.
Well, the nausea continued and people started wondering...could I be pregnant? People would ask and I would just say..."I can't be. It's impossible with my thyroid messed up." I firmly believed that. I had even cried over the thought of not being able to become a mom for a long while. Well...then came Veteran's Day.
On Veteran's Day I was home from work. By 11am I was cleaning out from under the sink and found one last at-home pregnancy test. My thought was, "I don't want this thing in our house, but I don't want to just throw it away." So...I took it. I sat it down and started doing something else. Then...when I picked it up it said..."Pregnant". My reaction was "What?!?!" I COULDN'T believe it...didn't believe it. Somehow this thing was wrong. Later that day I made a call to the dr. and left a message for the nurse to call me back. A few hours later the nurse called back. I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing, told Brendan not to answer it, grabbed the phone, and toke the call into our bathroom (with both our bedroom and bathroom door closed). When I was done hearing the nurse say, "Why couldn't it be possible?" and after making an appointment to check and see for the following Friday I walked back into the living room. When Brendan asked me who had called...I couldn't help but smile. I then proceeded to tell him that we had a positive pregnancy test. Hey grinned and wrapped his arms around me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quick Trip

Last weekend I made a quick trip to Georgia. The family was getting together to celebrate Grandma's birthday. Just like Papa, Grandma wanted to get together with family and friends and just sing. So, after supper everyone met at Central's fellowship hall for an evening of singing. All but one of my aunts and uncles were there along with Mom, my cousin Josh, my sister Emily, and myself. Many of our family’s friends also joined in. We sang for hours! My Aunt Cheryl even recorded us. Around 10:30 (I think) we headed back to the house and spent the next few hours just visiting and playing games (something our family has always loved to do while at Grandma and Papa's).
Saturday morning the family joined back up for a pancake breakfast! It was SO much fun just to spend time with family (sometimes I really miss being close by). My cousin Heidi and her family were able to come. I love getting to hang out with them...especially her little boys!

Here is E with his car track. He was so proud of it!

E also got in on the Bananagram action! When his daddy got there they played against Mommy, Aunt Cheryl, and Mimi (my cousin Heidi's mom, my Aunt Nancy). O wanted to take pictures with me.

If you haven't big sis is expecting! You can really tell in this picture, but in person she is an adorable pregnant lady. After we took this picture, we headed to Target with Mom to get her registered! Baby Gill will be here around March 20th!

Like I said earlier, this trip was VERY quick. On my way to Georgia Citty, Brendan's grandmother, passed away after a long battle with cancer. I headed back home Saturday afternoon, but not before picking up a nail in my tire. Thankfully I found a tire repair place where both of the men that helped me were from south Alabama! Couldn't believe it!
Once I was on my way I dealt with some heavy downpours, but safely made it home around 8pm cst. Brendan and I spent Sunday afternoon getting ready to head to Louisiana for Citty's funeral. I'll save that for another post.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


What a great Lord's Day! College Avenue hosted the local Area Wide Devotional this evening. We held it at Camp Wiregrass. Eric Lyons came and spoke. We usually have around 150 teens and chaperons at these monthly meetings...but today we had a total 230 attend! Praise be to God! What an uplifting time! I was too busy to take pictures (well, besides 2). Sorry. Hope all have a WONDERFUL week!

Busy Busy

This past week was, again, busy. As much as I loved having Monday off, 4 day work weeks are so hectic; you still have to get all the same stuff done that you normally do in 5 days. However, I did like how fast Wednesday got here!
I always appreciate Wednesday evening Bible study, but I especially appreciate it when the week is so full. God knows we need to slow down and spend that time with our brothers and sisters in His word. Right now I'm doing a study with the girls using the Girl to Girl devotional book. For the first two weeks we've talked about how to strengthen our commitment to God. And lets just say, I'm am one of those teachers who learns by teaching. What a blessing it is to be apart of their lives. Soon I'll be doing a study with some ladies around my age here at home. This will be every Tuesday. I'm getting excited about that time too!
On Friday evening Brendan and I went to the Enterprise football game. It's nice to spend that time with him. We sat with the Enloe's, a great family from College Avenue. This was the first high school game Brendan and I had been to since he was on the sidelines with Coach Strunk. I did find myself really missing Kathy and Jana Beth.
Yesterday Brendan and I worked to get things ready for today's Area Wide Devotional that College Avenue is hosting. He and I will be leaving in about an hour to go out to Camp Wiregrass for this big activity. We've shopped and are preparing to feed between 150-200 people! Brendan was able to get Brother Eric Lyons to come and speak. We've gotten LOTS of help from families at College Avenue which is such a blessing. I'll do my best to take some pictures to share. As of now there is a 50% chance of rain. We're optimistic that this will decrease (it already has once!) and if it doesn't...we'll I'm sure we'll still have a great time spending time with Brothers and Sisters from around the area, worshiping God, and eating some good food.
In other news, please be in prayer for our families. As many know my grandfather, Fred Shields past away July 5th of this year. Well, my grandmother, Sibyl, will celebrated her birthday this Wednesday. She's been a bit lonely and I'm sure should would love the extra encouragement as this day approaches. I will be going to Atlanta to spend time with her and other family for this special day. Also, my other grandfather, Gerald, passed away Sept. 1st. My grandmother, Joan, has been grieving his death while battling her own health problems. Lastly, Brendan's grandmother has stopped her treatments for Leukemia. His mother has gone to be with her while we wait for her earthly departure. With all that said...please keep all of us in your prayers.
Must run now...

Monday, September 7, 2009


We were so excited about the new year of college football starting. We were able to have Daniel, Leigh, and Madeline (their dog) over to grill out and enjoy some Auburn football this past Saturday. Here are some pics from the day.

New School Year

School started back around a month ago. It's been hetic, but gone pretty well. I have 16 students this year; 10 boys and 6 girls. By the end of this month, I'll have one less. That's what happens when you live and teach in a military community. I'm almost done with my 1st 9 weeks required conferences which is a relief. I'm getting the swing of the new room, new schedule, but not all my new responsibilities. I was named our grade level chair, a member of the BBSST which in turned put me on the ELLC, and was named the AMSTI Math Lead Teacher. Not sure what my responsibilities will be for that last one, but a bit anxious to know.

Here are a few pics of our AMSTI Science Soil investigations so far:

Please excuse the blue mouths in this picture. We had some cupcakes brought in for a birthday treat and EVERYONE ended up with blue teeth, mouths, and some even ended up with blue faces!

Why is it?

Why is it that I feel I can only do something right when I give it 100% of my time? And then I feel as though I'm slacking on being/doing something else? Is this my biggest character flaw? Maybe so. Saying that to say this...I'm going to blog about the small things in life. I did name my blog "Enjoying Small Town Living" for a reason. One of the best things about small town living is all the small blessings!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


This past Friday Brendan, a few youth group teens, and myself went down to the Florida State Caverns in Marianna, Florida. We had a good time despite a few surprises! When we got to the state park we found a pavilion to eat our picnic lunch at. As we were finished up we spotted an alligator in the pond about 100 feet away! If you know me, then you know my fear of these terrifying creatures. Therefore, I was not with the boys when they went to "check it out". Turns out the creature was around 5-6' long! Thankfully we were headed away from that pond! The rest of the day I had my guard up though!
We headed into the woods following a trail while battling the mosquitoes! They were horrible! Next time we will be a bit more prepared; 4/5 of us had never been geocaching before! We didn't have to go far into the woods before we traveled just a few steps off the trail to find the geocache. It took us a little while once we made it to the location...but we eventually found it!
As we were walking out back to the road from the woods it started to rain. We weren't even a mile from the car...but we were all DRENCHED! (No pics of that though...sorry!)
We decided to do one other geocache before we headed home. It was a "Grab and Go" cache..but it took us a while! HahaLots of fun was had by all! In fact, I wouldn't mind doing it again! (Minus the mosquitoes rain!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Madness of May!

I can't believe I haven't posted in a whole month, but that was do to the madness of May! I'm going to try and recap all that went on with the help of some pics. Here we go...

Weekend #1 Brendan and I had lots of fun playing a game we've come to love called Crazy Bridge at the Baker's. We've come to REALLY appreciate this family who came to College Ave. church around a year and half ago. I wasn't feeling my best, but I can never decline an invitation to their house! This was also the first time we had been to their new home. They have an amazing back porch with the best outdoor couch I've ever been on! I'm relaxed just thinking about it! On Sunday the youth group traveled to the other side of Dothan for the last Area Wide of the school year.

Weekend #2 was all about Christa! Brendan's sister graduated from the University of North Alabama (UNA). He and I traveled to Prattville early Friday morning so we could carpool with Mr. Charmaine and Mr. Bob (his parents). Before we made it to the house, we stopped by Lowe's to pick up Mrs. Charmaine's Mother's Day present. We gave her a Dogwood tree for the back yard. I just wish I had taken a picture of it hanging out of the car's window!

I really do have the BEST mother-in-law a girl could ask for. I know I say that a lot, but it's completely true!
Anyway...we made it to Florence in time to check in to our hotel and visit with Christa before her pinning ceremony from the university's school of nursing. We all finished the night with a late night dinner.

Saturday morning we woke up to LOTS of rain, but we weren't letting that stop us from enjoying Christa's early morning graduation ceremony. We made it up some SHAKY bleachers to our seats. Christa was her silly self when she walked BRISKLY across the stage, so fast no one was able to get a picture! Oh well, we got some cute ones as she made her way back to her seat.

As we were leaving the ceremony we realized the rain had let up enough to go to the fountain for some graduation pictures.

Afterwards we went back to her apartment for a light "in-door" picnic style lunch. Christa also opened some graduation gifts. Check out her ADORABLE collection of scrubs!

We saved our appetites for dinner which was later in the evening at a wonderful steak place...the name has left me at this point. We were joined by some of her really sweet friends.

To finish the day off great we headed back to Christa's apartment for some YUMMY dessert and coffee. Us older folks left the party a soon after.

Sunday morning we woke up, wished Mrs. Charmaine a happy mother's day, checked out of our hotel, and headed to worship with Christa. Before we left for home we ate at the famous Italian restaurant Rigatoni's. Yummy! We made it back to Prattville in time to worship at University with Mandi and finished with dinner at Red Lobster before heading back home.
The following Tuesday I was off to Gulf World in Panama City, Florida with my students for a field trip. We had a full day of fun, but had to come home early when a thunderstorm interrupted
our swim time at the aquatic center.
I finished my work week with lots of paper work preparing for the end of the year and the all lovely Field Day.

Weekend #3 On this weekend I was quickly preparing for the Senior Banquet at church. Saturday morning I went to pick up the order I had placed earlier in the week for what I THOUGHT was a cupcake cake (a cake made out of cupcakes iced over to look like a cake). Well, I ended up FREAKING out when I was given 56 individual cupcakes! After I spent some time at home coming up with a plan to make a cupcake stand I headed to Wal-Mart hoping they would have the supplies I needed. Well...they didn't. However, I THANKFULLY found a 3 tier stand which I was able to decorate a bit with some glue and ribbon. After I frantically wrapped the Bible's, our gifts, and made food for the pot luck I was exhausted! Sunday afternoon while Brendan and I were setting up the tables, we were presently surprised to have Mrs. Bonnie join us. She was gracious enough to run and get the balloons that I hadn't been able to pick up. Again, thank you Mrs. Bonnie! Our graduates for this year were the youngest when Brendan got here over 4 years ago. It was so neat to hear what their parents had to say about them and to watch their slide shows. However, the best part of the evening was to hear their special messages. You wouldn't believe the laughs and the tears the boys brought out! They truly will be missed when they are off at college.

The next work week for me was, thankfully, the last full week! This was the week I took on the never-ending task of packing up my classroom.

Weekend #4 Finally! Memorial Day weekend had arrived! I woke up early Saturday morning and got the house nice and clean for our guests. Mrs. Charmaine and Mr. Bob (along with Dudley) drove through some awful rain to make it to our house by the afternoon. For dinner that night I made one of my new favorite simple dinners, Cajun chicken sandwiches. We spent the night watching a few episodes of Band of Brothers.

After worship on Sunday we came home for lunch. Mrs. Charmaine made a yummy crawfish stew with crab. This was my first time to eat crab from the shell. I knew the meat would be yummy...I was just a bit anxious about doing what need to be done to get it!
By mid afternoon Audrey and Dudley were stir-crazy and needed to get out. So...we headed for the park while there was a break in the rain.

After getting back I was able to take a nice nap. However, I was woken up by a phone call telling me that one of the first student's father had been killed in Afghanistan just the Friday before.

Monday morning I made some beignets for breakfast. No, they aren't like the ones you get in the French Quarter...but they were still good! Later in the morning Mrs. Charmaine and I started preparing for our shrimp boil by shucking the fresh corn! Audrey was sweet to want in on the help. :) Brendan and I ended up setting up the table in the garage due to the on again off again showers that lasted ALL weekend.

Around 2 our friends started to arrive for the shrimp boil! My friend from work, Kelli, who's hubby already had to make their next military move come to join the fun. Shortly after she arrived, Daniel and Leigh arrived with Audrey's new buddy Madeline. Before long we were all at our seats ready to dig in to the great spread Mrs. Charmaine had prepared. We had a great afternoon of fun with all who was there!
Late in the afternoon Mr. Bob and Mrs. Charmaine headed home with Dudley while Daniel and Brendan got ready to play a church league men's softball game. Leigh and I headed to the ballpark too, but soon realized that there would be rain. So...we went and played with Melissa and her newborn Hannah Grace. I was so excited to finally meet Hannah and to visit with Melissa. It was a great way to end the Memorial Day weekend.

The rest of the week I was finishing up the school year with my kiddos. Tuesday evening was the end of the year faculty party at Mr. Cox's beautiful new home. Wednesday was Awards Day. Thursday was the end of the year ice cream party at school. Graduation took place later that night. It was an amazing night!
Friday wrapped up the year by dismissing at 11am. After a nice lunch out with friends, I packed up the rest of my classroom till around 4:30.I picked up dinner for Brendan and me and headed home. By 6pm I was ASLEEP and didn't wake up till 9pm! I went back to sleep around midnight and still slept till 8am or so! you can see, May was the month of madness. I know I rambled a lot in this I do thank you for being patient. Next time I wont wait so long to post!