"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Family is Growing...

...by Two Feet!

Baby Girl is due in August!

We are so thankful, amazed, excited, and blessed!


You may have a few questions, so I thought I would answer the two I get asked every time someone hears our news.

How are you feeling?
Good, thank you!  This little girl has already caused me to feel more ill than Philip ever has!  I was definitely more sick in the first trimester.  Still, I know it was much easier than what others go through, so I am very thankful. Now that I am well into the second trimester, I am feeling really good.  This pregnancy has gone very smoothly so far, so it has been a lot less stressful than with Philip.  It also feels like it is going by a lot faster!

Are you seeing the same doctor?
For those who know our history, you probably know that we sought the help of a very talented doctor in Chicago to help us carry Philip to term. I have no doubt that without her, our little miracle would not be with us today.  She helped us identify problems that others had not, and provided top notch monitoring of my pregnancy.  However, working with her was time and energy consuming and I felt that some things were unnecessary.  Last year I found a more local high-risk doctor that specializes in my "problems."  We met with her this fall and she rocks!  She is a great happy medium for us.  I am provided with extra monitoring and have someone calling the shots who knows what she is talking about.  So thankful to find her in our area!


Having waited four long years to bring our first child home, we know that this baby is a true gift. That being said, I know that there are some reading this who have waited much longer, some who are anxiously awaiting "The Call" from their adoption agency, and those who have suffered recent losses.  You are always, always in our prayers. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012


When you are working on your Doctorate, there are a lot of important D words.
First you must find a Director who is crucial to the success of your project.

Once you secure a Director, you must Decide on the topic of your Dissertation. 

You then Develop a proposal and find readers who will join the Director on your committee. 

After your committee and the school approves your proposal, you are considered ABD (all but Dissertation).  You can even write ABD on your resume or curriculum vitae and academic types will know that means. 

After lots of hard work, you finally reach your Defense Date.  This is the huge moment that everyone has been waiting for.

But once you pass, it isn't over.  You still have to fix everything up, make any changes your committee requires, fill out lots of paperwork, and have the school review your Dissertation format to ensure it is ready for their publishing.  Then, you can finally Deposit.  If you don't Deposit your Dissertation, you don't graduate. 

Finally, you earned your Ph.D.  Your new title:  Doctor.

Can you guess what Andy did last week?  He is finally Done Done Done! 

"Dissertation students in particular agonize over reaching a standard of perfection that exists largely in their own minds.  No thesis or dissertation has to be utterly perfect; what it has to be is done.  At some point, enough is enough. Give it up and print it out."
Kate L. Turabian from A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

My husband, a perfectionist, read this to me one night and I told him he needed that quote sitting by his desk.  He agreed and so one day, I typed it up, mounted it on some paper, and gave it to him.  It sat next to his computer every night for months!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Universal Answer

When Philip first started saying no, I thought it was kind of helpful.
Me: Do you want to read some books?
Philip: No

Well, okay, at least now I knew how he felt.

But after a couple days Andy said he thought that Philip was saying no in answer to any question.  I started observing.

We go to the park. We climb the rock wall.  Philip points to the slide.
Me: Do you want to go down the slide?
Philip: No
Me:  By no, do you mean yes?
Philip: No
We go down the slide.  Big smiles and we go back for another round.

Sometimes Philip tells the truth:
Andy:  Philip, can you say guitar?
Philip: No

Other times Philip's new word causes him to fib.

Andy:  Did you take a nap today?
Philip: No
(He took a three hour nap that day)

Me:  Are we sitting on the couch right now?
Philip:  Silence
Me:  Yes or no?
Philip: No

Perhaps this is why Philip seems to ignore us when we tell him not to do something.  Instead of hearing "No," he probably thinks we are saying, "Yes, yes, yes!"

Friday, March 9, 2012

{this moment} A Snack

{this moment} – A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Visit Soulemama to share your "moment."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Defense Day

Andy's defense day was perfect!  It was absolutely gorgeous outside - one of those days when you can't help but feel happy and optimistic.  Andy requested french toast for breakfast and I was happy to oblige.  After some play time with Philip, Andy gave his presentation to me one last time before heading off. 

After giving his presentation - he was on that morning!

Andy went down a couple hours early to pray and prepare.  Philip and I worked on cleaning up the house and getting a few surprises.  We arrived at the school just as Andy was dismissed from the room for deliberations - perfect timing!  A few minutes later the door opened and Andy's director walked out to shake his hand and tell him congratulations - he was a new doctor!

Philip and I joined the celebration afterwards. There were toasts and pictures and lots of academic talk, of course.  All of the professors were complimentary of his defense and writing.  Andy was encouraged to rework his dissertation to make it more accessible to a broader audience, and to publish it as a book.  Aye yi yi...  His readers had no recommended changes for him and his director only had a few minor edits.  He is working on them this weekend and hopes to deposit his dissertation ASAP!

Philip practicing for a future defense?

These boys are happy!

Making a few calls to spread the news

The good doctors.  Our friend P started the same year as Andy and now they will graduate together.  They shared a job and a tiny office.  Now they are working together again, but in much different positions - they each have their own office too!

That evening we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants - nothing fancy, but yummy!  We reminisced about the past nine years of our marriage that have all revolved around grad school (Masters and Ph.D).  We talked about how our life may change and tried to grasp the enormity of this accomplishment.  One of Andy's readers told him that he may not comprehend the immensity of it right now, but that he will notice the absence of it.  Andy's immediate feelings were tiredness and relief!

We are looking forward to spending some fun family time together on the weekends now. 

Welcome home!

If anyone ever questions Andy's credentials, he can pull this card out of his wallet as proof. Ha ha!

I rank Andy's defense day up there with our engagement day, wedding day, and Philip's birth day as far as how important it is in our relationship.  Tonight Andy and I are going out to a nice dinner and to a concert.  We have had the tickets for about a year now and would have never guessed how perfectly the timing would work out. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Doctor Is In

Andy passed!!!  More details and pictures tomorrow. 
Thanks for all the prayers and support.