Thursday, April 30, 2009

The baby thing

Well, the whole "have another baby" thing doesn't seem to be in our favor.


I got an e-mail yesterday from a dear friend of mine who lives in a college town about 2.5 hours from here. It had been forwarded several times, but the e-mail originated Monday and was a desperate plea for a forever home for a chocolate lab. A male. Three years old.

My heart did a somersault in my chest.

Since I can't seem have another baby to love, maybe I need another DOG!

I hesitated mentioning it to H.

After all, we live in a townhouse with only a small to moderate size yard. And we don't believe in outdoor dogs. We're talking a second indoor dog. A BIG second indoor dog. To go with our FIRST big indoor dog.

I think I'm losing my mind here.

But then I swallow my emotions and begin to read the e-mail to him. He immediately says, "E-mail her and tell her if we're the LAST resort we'll take him."

My fingers F.L.E.W. over the keyboard. I had tons of questions about him, their family, etc. Then I deleted it all and started over again. Yes, we would be willing to take him if they couldn't find anyone else. Has he been around young children? Is he an indoor dog now? *send*

As soon as I got up this morning, I checked my e-mail.
Around 8:30 checked my e-mail (on my cell phone).
10:00, checked again.
11:00, AGAIN.
1:00...this is it. One last time. SURELY she's responded by now!

Did I mention the whole losing my mind thing?

That's odd. So I called H. "Have you checked my e-mail at home, HONEY?" (gritted teeth on HONEY!)

Sheepish response, "Yes. I wanted to know if the dog lady had responded.", maybe he's as interested as me!!!

He tracked down the initial e-mail to find her phone number and called her. She had a valid reason for not responding to me (a really, really valid reason, actually).

You can tell she loves this dog so much. She has two or three families that are interested in him. Before she gives him to his forever family, she wants to meet each one so she knows she's sending him to someone who will love him and take good care of him.

She and H had a great conversation. She's going to call us in a few days to set up a time to meet us.

I just hope I can convince her that we're the right family.

Even if it does mean that I've lost my mind.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

53 hours and counting

Odd title, huh? That's my attempt at luring you in to read the post.

I'm the team captain for my school for Relay for Life. Last January when the title was thrown on my lap without any courtesy request (after the miscarriage AND writing my thesis--I was in no mind to be the captain of anything!), I was overwhelmed with the responsibility.

But with each team captain meeting, each conversation with the ACS staff, I found my attitude adjusting.

The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways!!!

I actually ENJOY being the team captain!

I even (insert gasp here) asked to be the captain again this year.

In about 53 hours, my responsibilities for this year will be over. Last night was the big annual (well, second annual!) talent show at school. It as a raging success...but I'm a raging basket case now. I'm so far beyond exhausted right now.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to Friday evening when we set up our tent at the actual Relay event. My staff rarely has a time to just get together and relax. I hope that lots of families come out and sit together, walk together, get to know one another a little better, without feeling like it's just one more thing to take up their time. I want my co-workers to WANT to come out.

I'm really looking forward to 53 hours from now when I'm going to crawl into bed and not emerge for a good while. I might even unplug the phone.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

MBS: Angel

I did a photo shoot last weekend for a delightful family. Their youngest child, their daughter, is ready to take her first communion and they wanted to document the sacred occasion. I was honored to be the one to take the pictures.

Doesn't she look like an angel?

For other uplifting photos, take a moment and stop by Tracey's place. Your heart will surely soar.


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Don't tell anyone.

I sent H away. Overnight.

So it's just the girls at home for about 24 hours.

She's in bed.




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mixed Emotions

Have you ever had a moment in time when you KNEW that your excitement, your THRILL, was actually going to hurt someone else? And you couldn't help it? You still couldn't hide your own emotion?

That was me today.

For seven years, I've been waiting to hear the words: You're going to kindergarten.

It happened today. And in the exact moment when I wanted to do my own happy dance, I knew how disappointed my team would be. We've worked together for so long, so well, so happily, that splitting up is going to be painful for us all.

My best friend co-worker, wasn't at school today and won't be there tomorrow. She's away for the weekend at a church retreat. What a painful homecoming she's going to have! Yet, I still cannot contain my own excitement! I texted her, but that's not the way I wanted her to find out.

I love my other second grade teachers so much. They've helped me through so much: adjusting to a new school, first years of marriage, having a baby, losing two babies, M's hospitalizations and surgeries, tough school years, the happiest days. I love them, really and truly.

My dream has always been to teach kindergarten. I can't wait for the first day of school when I welcome all those precious babies to their entire school career! What a special thing to do!!

So, in 21 days, I will close this chapter of my life and impatiently wait to turn the page and begin the next chapter. But I have many mixed emotions.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Project 365

Here is an on-time update for Project 365.

April 13, 2009 (the story of my life)

April 14, 2009 (saying good-bye)

April 15, 2009 (gas price...a full tank)

April 16, 2009 (our cauliflower plant)

April 17, 2009 (She's back!!!)

April 18, 2009 (M's little flower plants)

Friday, April 17, 2009

And other stuff

This post is going to be full of other stuff.

First of all: three days is all I can take of being M-less. I just couldn't do any more. Thank you, Uncle Zach, for bringing my girl home to me today. I thought they weren't going to arrive until 5:00, so I planned to run a few errands before they got here so I didn't have to come home to an empty house. I was STOKED when I got a phone call that said to meet them at H's office--they would be here around 4:00. Oh, it was SO good to see my sweet girl!!

Second of all: I'm itching for a good book. What are you guys, girls, kids, moms, grandmas, friends, out there reading these days? I bought two books tonight at the bookstore, but need to start visiting my local library. I'd love to start gathering some summer reading ideas. I like EVERYTHING.

Third of all: I'm freakin' exhausted! This week my school system adminsitered our state mandated testing. My kids did AWESOME on the reading, okay on the english portion, and tanked the math. Nothing is more frustrating than teaching your heart out, only to know that you still didn't push your kids enough, fill them enough, stretch them enough for a stinkin' test. Math has always been my weakest areas of teaching. This year, I dedicated myself to math. I took on planning for our team, took the "lower" kids, etc, to really push myself to do better. And I did. But it still wasn't enough. ARGH!! I just think they (whoever THEY are!) are expecting too much, too soon. Let's get back to some basic skills here, people. Come sit in my class, any time, any day, and tell me how I can do more.

Fourth: I'm really looking forward to this weekend. My brother is here all weekend. He and H have gone out for the evening. Tomorrow morning they are going off again, while M and I attend a b'day party. Then tomorrow afternoon, I'm doing a real photo shoot with someone I've never met before. I donated a photo shoot a local charity and I'm doing it tomorrow for a family of four at their home. I'm completely excited about it and can't wait to see how it works out!

Fifth: This year, in an effort to simplify, I'm only giving books as gifts for all the kid b'day parties we attend. Would you tell me some of your favorite children's lit? M's favorite book ever is Pinkalicious. (Um...I just learned something when I created that link: there is a pinkalicious musical!!!!) If you haven't read it, CHECK IT OUT. I'm into Purplicious right now. I'd love some other choices in my arsenal. As soon as people learn about these books, they are going to rush out to buy them, so I'll need something else to fall back on.

Sixth: Oh...I almost forgot this one. H and I went on a date last night. We ate dinner at a very fancy restaurant, then went to the movies to see Knowing. Before I continue, let me tell you how much I love Nicholas Cage. I have a thing for him. I mean it. It's a terrible problem, I assure you. So when H gave me his list for possible movie choices, I quickly honed in on Knowing, knowing Nicholas Cage was the main character (hahaha...funny, knowing). BIG MISTAKE. Poor H's hand will never be the same again. Twice during the movie, I told him if it got any scarier, I was leaving. And like a good book, I HATE leaving a movie unfinished. He told me that I didn't squeeze his hand that hard when I was in labor with M. If you're into scary, sci-fi-ish movies, go for it. If you're like me and want something with some good suspense, this is NOT the movie for you. Nicholas and I will probably never have the same relationship again.

I think that's about it. This is full of "and other stuff" tonight. I'll post my P365 pictures tomorrow.

Whew...why didn't y'all tell me that the other background was TOO MUCH??? I've looked at it for almost two weeks and finally couldn't take it any more!! I hope this doesn't cause you as much headache.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


What does a mommy do when she's without her formidable side-kick?

Day 1:
Goes to dinner with her husband.
Misses M a little bit.

Day 2:
Miss M a little bit.
Go to church.
Run a few errands WITH HER HUSBAND.
Fold laundry.
Really begin to miss M.

Day 3:
Wake up missing M.
Drive home to an empty and quiet house.
Enjoy the quiet for about 3 minutes.
Miss M.
Go on a date with previously mentioned husband. A real date. A dinner and movie date!

I'll have to let you know how the rest of the vacation from M goes. She's with my parents and brother because she's on spring break this week. She's having a much that she doesn't want to talk to me on the phone!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

MBS: Captivated

There are few moments in our lives when M is in her own little world. She usually prefers to interact with us. Even when she is playing independently, which she does fairly often and fairly well, she is usually babbling to us about whatever she's doing or she's chatting it up with her babies so that we are (sometimes painfully) aware of what's going on. She obviously gets this talkative trait from her mother. Although if you knew her father, he talks as much, if not more, than I do.

These tiny little flowers captivated her. We went out to fly her kite, but she could not have cared less about the kite. She spent so much time wondering around, looking at the flowers, inspecting them. She only picked a few, preferring to gently touch them and move on to the next blossom. She was oblivious to the kite, the wind, her father and me. She was completely captivated.

Check out what might captivate you: visit Tracey.


Project 365, Catching up, again

I can't believe how quickly time flies by!!! I have been doing my best to keep up with P365 and even have a managable way to keep track of my photos in my editing program.

Here is a major catch-up post.

March 21, 2009 March 22, 2009 March 23, 2009 March 24, 2009

March 25, 2009
March 26, 2009
March 27, 2009

March 28, 2009
March 29, 2009
March 30, 2009
March 31, 2009
April 1, 2009

April 2, 2009
April 3, 2009
April 4, 2009
April 5, 2009
Missing several days was so hectic!
April 9, 2009

April 10, 200

April 11, 2009
April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I have no idea how to start this post. I think I'm started typing and deleted at least 5 times, so I'm just going to jump right in.

Each month, there are a few days when I'm weary of this walk I'm on. When I want to stay in bed crying out the Lord and begging answers, when I don't want to trust in Him, when I don't care what His plan is for my life because it is not MY plan.

And then my hormones settle down again and I truly am at peace with this path He has chosen, designed, for me. I am tremendously blessed in so many ways...well, in every way, actually. And I am thankful.

I've had the priveledge of praying for so many people lately. People that I know personally:
--a mom with three YOUNG children.
--a brand-new mom to a precious daughter.
--a family that thought they were adopting a little girl, only to lose her after 14 months.
--my students.
--a young seminary student who is going to spend the summer in a mission field.

And people that I will probably never meet on this side of Eternity:
--an adorable 5 month old who has been in a PICU for three weeks now.
--the cutest baby with a rare skin condition.
--a pregnant lady who was traveling on business when her water broke. She is several hundred miles away from home and confined to the hospital until she has her baby.

There are many others.

When I first committed to praying for all these needs, I just found myself more and more burdened. We do so live in a broken world, don't we? I was having trouble finding the praise in all the weariness.

Then, slowly, every time I prayed, my heart became lighter and lighter. God's work was (is constantly) being done. Every time a knee bowed, every time a prayer whispered, HIS work was (is constantly) being done.

He knows every need. He knows every tear that is shed. He KNOWS my heart on the heaviest days and He continues to fill me with hope and wonder.

Tomorrow Christians around the world will celebrate the empty tomb. We will celebrate LIFE. Jesus died so that we may live. He conquered death so that we may spend eternity with Him.

I am so thankful.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm back at school this week and state mandated testing is coming up SOON.


I'm not pregnant. AGAIN.


Will post this weekend, catch up on P365 pictures, show some comparisons, and generally be in a kinder mood.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Knitting Know-how

Dorky title. Too bad I'm just not gifted with the cool blog title gene.

Oh, well.

I'm going to attempt to knit myself a pair of socks. I don't know how many of you are closet knitters. If you happen to know of a good website or a favorite sock book, leave a comment. I might just choose a commentor to recieve a hand knit wash cloth. My first two attemps at wash clothes are soft.

If you have any knitting know-how or know where to find some, would you PLEASE let me know?

Thanks a bunch.

Knitting Natalie

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stimulating the economy, Benson style

We skipped church Sunday.

Shhh...don't tell anyone. I'm sure no one noticed our absence. *cough, cough*

H and I have been on the look out for new pillows and a comforter for a while now. We've been waiting on the perfect sale to make these purchases.

I'm into flowers. H is not.

H is into boring solids. I am not.

We finally found something we both liked in a department store ad. So, we went in search of the perfect compromise.

Our local department store didn't have the comforter set. The sales lady told us they expected to get it and they would honor the sale price, but not our coupon. We asked them to call some of the other stores in the big city just north of us. Luckily, the mall closest to us (about 1 hour and 15 minutes away) had the set, so off we went.

Little did we know, we would hit the jack pot and help stimulate this sagging economy.

We are now to proud owners of brand news towels, pillows, bedroom accessories (bedspread, etc.), and THIS:

These, my friends, are our new SUPER comfy couch and chair. For years, we have lived on H's old college furniture. It was fine and we were so thankful to have somewhere to cuddle and snuggle and make our house a home. We are even more thankful that I stumbled into the furniture portion of the department store (I didn't even know this department store carried furniture!), that the store was having an amazing sale, and that we could afford to purchase these items for our home.

In our own little way, we stimulated the economy: Benson style.

(H and I have a cuddle date to watch a movie tonight--right there on that big, comfy couch!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


How on the world do you get play-doh out of carpet...before H gets home????

EDA: I got it up...lots of rough scrubbing and picking up the tiniest pieces of play-doh ever, but H didn't notice a thing yet!


Eggstra Fun Times

I love my job. I really do.

But I sure do enjoy my time off!!!

M's preschool tries really hard to keep their schedule with the public school schedule. I have no idea what happened, but her spring break and my spring break are no where near the same time. Good for me now. Not good for me later!

One of the great things now is that M gets to go to school and I have quiet really quiet time...time without M in the mornings. Monday and Tuesday I did photo shoots with some friends. I'll post some pictures of those later this week.

The other great thing is that I got to help in M's class yesterday. I asked her teacher if I could do an art project with them. Because I work, I can't go to all the fun little parties they have. This was my way of giving back to the class. I had more fun getting to know her little friends a little more. I love how they all have as much personality as M--each a little gem that enriches M's life so much!

They are studying the letter T this week, so I found a fun idea for Tie-dying Easter Eggs. We had a blast. I did some extra eggs to make sure there were enough in case of any cracked cases. Yesterday afternoon, M and I dyed the rest of the eggs.

A week off does provide time for eggstra fun!

(Just wait until I tell you what we have in store for April 2...that's tomorrow!)