so, we've entered the third leg of the triathlon known as pregnancy. i could not be more excited. our little guy is coming soon! also, i could not be more afraid that i'm totally not ready for this. our little guy is coming so soon...

thursday was our first day back to school, and all the kids have been full of questions about the baby, since i'm showing now. "are you having a baby?" "is it a boy or a girl?" "when is his birthday?" "what is his name?" "does he wrestle inside your tummy? what does it feel like?"

my favorite was, "you're going to name him atticus? did you think of the name dustin?" to which i replied, "i hadn't thought of that name. when you get married and have a baby, is that what you want to name your baby?" "yeah, dustin. or bill."


at the end of the day on thursday, sarah* was like, "bye mrs. paiges. have fun having your baby." i was like, "uh, well, he's not coming until like thanksgiving so i'm sure i'll see you before then." she looked really confused. not sure she understands that pregnancy takes a while... last year, the day after she found out i was pregnant, she ran into our room and was like, "mrs. paiges, did your baby come out yet?" kids are too funny.

other than pregnancy-related conversations, school has actually been going pretty well. we're off to a good start, and i think the next couple months will go relatively smoothly. thanks to those of you who have been praying!

todd should (hopefully) be hearing about a job he applied for by thursday, so if you could keep that in your prayers, we'd really appreciate it! i'm not sure if either one of us has written about it yet, but it's a case manager position with the county, so he'd be doing a job related to what he does at mainstream, but with government benefits. plus it's in ames (it's been difficult to find jobs that aren't in des moines), so it really seems like a perfect fit. hopefully we'll hear something by thursday...

oh, on a random note, i took a picture of the inside of our fridge this week because it's looking particularly well-stocked on the dairy group... not sure how we ended up with this much milk, but i'm definitely not complaining.


we have decided on a name for our little guy! his name is going to be atticus jacob rhyne van voorst. long name, amazing results.

we picked atticus because we both really like "to kill a mockingbird" and atticus in the book has just such a strong character of justice and the integrity to do the right thing even when it's difficult or incredibly unpopular. it also means "father-like."

we picked jacob for a number of reasons; i LOVE that god so frequently refers to himself as the god of jacob, even though jacob totally didn't do anything to merit how closely god associates himself with jacob (he was a pretty scandalous guy, after all). it just really speaks volumes about god's character, how he's able to adopt in and bless and closely bond with people who are kind of losery. todd and i (and most people, i'd venture) have benefitted immensely from this aspect of god's character. also, jacob is todd's best friend's name as well as a van voorst family name.

finally, todd's middle name is henry, which is also a van voorst family name, and i liked the idea of naming the little guy after todd, but henry just didn't sound right for we rearranged the letters to get rhyne, which we then found out means "little king." todd was really drawn to this because, as he said, we all want our kids to be successful in life in one way or another, but it's a great reminder that no matter what our kid will accomplish or receive in life, he will always be a LITTLE king, never the biggest deal. there is a king who is greater than our guy could ever hope to be, and that's something to put a lot of hope in. we never want our kid to think that he's greater than or doesn't need god.

life updates.

i went shopping today, and seriously, the best shopping day of my life.

first, we went to this AWESOME "architectural salvage" store in des moines called found things - it was basically really nice/kitchy home decorating stuff, a lot of it antique, for really reasonable prices!! we have a junk store across the street from our apartment, but this place was way nicer and way cheaper...PLUS the lady who owned it was from washington, iowa, and knows my grandpa's family. small world. or, small iowa. the store made me itchy to get a house just so i could decorate, when we get a house, i know where i'm going.

then we hit up jordan creek, where i got a pair of jeans and three shirts for 45 bucks. thrifty! it's almost a weird adrenaline rush i get whenever i'm able to get stuff for cheap. also, todd gave me a bath and bodyworks gift card for our anniversary (amongst many, many other things he spoiled me with) and between two coupons and a major sale, i got 2.5 times as much stuff as i should have for the same was pretty much amazing. i love cheap stuff! the only thing i love better than cheap stuff is free stuff. (thanks, laura, for the awesome tip on hitting up walmart for free samples!)

okay, in obviously more important news, TODD AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR OVER A YEAR!!!!!!!! we're pretty much pros at it now, from what i can tell.

sunday was our actual anniversary, so we opened gifts together before we went to the connection group leaders meeting. or, rather, todd opened GIFT which left me to open GIFTS by myself... it made me feel silly to have only gotten him one thing as i was sitting amongst a huge pile of stuff he got me, but he was really reassuring that he liked the gift i got him and that it was the one thing he really wanted, so that made me feel better.

then on monday, we ate a really nice dinner together, and had some of the cake we had frozen from the wedding - it was actually really good! (there's something kind of weird right at first about eating year-old cake, even if it's been frozen the whole time.)

in all, it was such a fun time getting to celebrate together and think about the last year of being married. to be honest, the thing that struck me most is how much FUN marriage has been. before we got married, i got a lot of advice about how marriage is work and it's not always easy and it's to make you holy not happy, etc. which is all 100% true...but i don't think anyone stressed enough just how much FUN it can be! i love spending time with todd and getting to know him better, and i love learning new things from him and establishing "our" life as opposed to "my" life. i'm just so excited to see how the rest of our life pans out, and i think this has been a great jumping off point because i KNOW that there are going to be some really difficult or even traumatic times up ahead (because, seriously, this is real life, not leave it to beaver) but i'm not worried about them. this year has really given me a sense of security in our relationship.

okay, i'll stop mistaking blogger for a conduit for love letters, but really, all i'm saying is that i'm in love with my husband. that's all.

in less mushy, equally husbandy news, todd has put in an application for a job that he's really hoping to get. in the simplest terms, it's basically a promotion from what he's doing now, just at the county level rather than just within his company. so he would be in more of a supervisory capacity, but still working with clients with disabilities. plus, it more than meets our basic salary needs, and in a roundabout way meets our insurance needs, too. plus it's right here in ames so he wouldn't have to drive all the way to des moines, AND (my favorite part) it seems like a pretty standard 9-5 job - no overnights/crazy hours!! so, basically, it sounds like the perfect job for him. we're just waiting to hear whether he'll get an interview...and holding our breath the whole time! if you could be praying that they offer him at least an interview at this point, and then later on offer him the job, we would GREATLY appreciate it.

that's it for a few minutes...this blog is too long already, but we have an exciting announcement that i'll be posting on a hardly-subsequent blog!

wonka update

boring entry, just fyi.
this is how our guest room looked a month or two ago after i cleaned it the first time:

this is how it has looked recently:

this is how it looks after yesterday:

i'm feeling accomplished.

and...we're back.

back to feeling normal. no longer a grump!!!

welp, we're sailing smoothly along through week 25 of being knocked up. holy cow, it's so crazy to think that in like two and a half weeks, i'll be in the third trimester already! not that i mind. i'm ready to meet the kid. if it weren't for all the developmental issues and whatnot, i'd say bring him today. not sure where he'd sleep or what i'd use as makeshift diapers, but those are just minute issues, right? (and, now that i think about it, i think i need a little longer to prepare....yikes.)

our house is feeling more and more cramped, and we don't even have the kid or any of his actual furniture yet. but it's feeling cramped in a good way - people have been so incredibly generous in giving us stuff that we almost don't have room for it all! definitely not a complaint. however, i've just kind of dumped most of it in the guest room, since i don't have any other place for it, and it's kind of looking like some kind of willy wonka storage shed. it's making me a little crazy, so hopefully i can spend some time this afternoon reorganizing.

this weekend we went to todd's parents to celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary and todd's dad's 70th birthday. it was nice - we pretty much just hung out the whole weekend, didn't do too much, which is my kind of weekend!! todd's mom told me about all the funny little things todd's nephew has been up to (he's 19 months now and just a BALL OF ENERGY!!!) and todd's dad told me about his annual adventures rounding up buffalo in nebraska. :) it was actually really interesting! plus, the four hour car ride each way was kind of fun - todd and i typically don't spend that much time sitting and talking. (which is a good thing in and of itself - we'd either get nothing else done, or we'd get super sick of each other if we spent four hours daily just sitting around talking.)

todd's family was super generous and gave us a bunch of baby stuff that had belonged to todd's nephew. first, todd's mom brought down this big sack of clothes and shoes that had belonged to david that he grew out of and there was so much stuff in there! little onesies and bibs and overalls and tiny cowboy boots (which our kid won't ever wear, but were funny anyway) and little hats. it was like christmas. THEN todd's brother showed up with more of david's stuff, apologizing that he didn't bring it all but "this is all would fit in the car." he gave us a play mat, a HUGE box of clothes and coats and shoes, a little walker, a bathtub seat, a highchair that hooks to the was ridiculous. plus, half the clothes still had tags on them or showed absolutely no sign of ever being worn. it was really exciting and so nice of everyone that they were all so generous!!!

so i spent yesterday washing and folding and sorting tons of tiny tiny clothes. seriously, our kid is set until he's like a year old. the 0-3 month clothes alone fill an entire laundry basket. the rest i sorted by size and put away in a box, since we won't be needing those quite so soon.

wow, i know i've been going on and on about this stuff, but i'm just blown away (and really, really humbled) by how giving people have been. it's so exciting to see how many people around us we have that love us and are so generous with what they have. apparently, our little guy is well-loved already, and that's just so exciting!!!

todd and the little bugger played tag last night. the little dude would kick todd, then todd would poke him back and say, "you're it." then a couple seconds later, he'd kick todd went on for quite a few minutes and was so funny! i've started to be able to feel his hands move more, not just his feet. it's so weird to think there's a little guy in there... i want to see him so badly!! i want to see what he looks like and get to hold him and everything. mostly, more than anything, i just want to see how much hair he has and what color it is. i know that sounds really stupid, but that's probably what i'm the most preoccupied with :). todd and i are both hoping to be able to fauxhawk his hair, because seriously, how hilarious would that be? so here's to hoping he's not entirely bald, at least for too long. (my college roommate was entirely bald until she was three. her mom had to tape bows to her head so that people would know she was a girl.)

so, in other news, our anniversary is coming up on sunday! can you even believe it!!!?!?! we've been married for a year already... doesn't even feel real. i'm planning a special meal and i got todd a present, both of which i'll tell more about later, since todd reads these blogs...

anyway, that's pretty much it. i'm going to work on cleaning up the chocolate factory.

not neccesarily

my wife exaggerates. yes, she has been a bit grumpy recently and for the most part it has been unprovoked (although i'm sure i provide ample material at times), but nevertheless, she still has her endearing qualities about her which i love. she has my baby boy growing inside her. my mind still refuses to organize that into a coherent line of thought. i can say it over and over again, but alas, it remains abstract. the naming process is fun, yet daunting as paige mentioned. imagine how much fun it would have been to be adam. naming all those critters so eloquently and presumably perfectly being as how he had not fallen from such great heights. i want to be original, but classic, cool, but refined, unique, but respectable, meaningful, yet aesthetic. it's being a little bit of both that provides such theatre i believe. if it were a matter of mere vanity, we could easily pick a cool or trendy name ( if it were a matter of mere symbolic aesthetic, we could easily find a hebrew name with wicked cool sentiment (and by wicked, i mean "cool," not the musical, the devil, or any other evil concoction) like ariel (lion of God), uriel (light of God), jarah (God is my sweetness) etc... however, ours is a polyblend of the two, no wonder God was opposed to this practice amongst His people!!! it causes confusion! anywho, we'll nail one down and the lil' guy will survive.

in related news, i recently was reminded of Revelation 2:17 and Revelation 3:12 which seem to indicate if our lil' guy loves the LORD with all his soul, mind, heart, and strength he will receive a new name, one prepared for him long before we labored over his earthly one, which is his real name, the name that has always belonged to him, the reborn, the new, the completed in Christ name that will survive all eternity. that is my ultimate prayer for our lil' guy, that he would grow up to know the LORD and be changed by Him and walk with Him all his days, through many dangers, toils, and snares, in delight, joy, and all sweetness. isn't it cool that those of us whom have been called have secret names? i think it's cool. i'm excited to find out what my name is. i will finally know who i am and i will find it in Him, face-to-face, not like in this mirror i currently look. i will see Him and in so doing, will for the first time see me.

my wife is a jewel. she doesn't know it. good thing, i suspect she could get hard to live with if she even remotely bought into the hype. but then again, most of us would. so here's to love that sees beyond the seen's sense of doubt and a love that believes in the loved though they disbelieve themself.

baby -and all around- blues

bleh...i'm feeling blue. school starts in two weeks from today and i am so not ready. then again, just a few days ago i was in tears because i'm tired of being home all the time. (i maintain the tears were the result of fluctuating pregnancy hormones.) so i guess i can't have it both ways. i am looking forward to having more of a daily routine and a reason to be up and showered before 2 pm. i'm also looking forward to seeing a lot of the people i work with. at the same time, though, i think i just have a bad attitude because i'll have a whole new routine to settle into this year, in a new program with new kids, and i'll only be there for a couple months before the baby comes, so it's kind of like, what's the point?

in baby news, pregnancy hormones have been a-raging and i've been a class A grump. i'm uncomfortable (my stupid restless legs are driving me crazy) and hormonal and my face is getting fat. look out when you see me (if you can get away without me seeing you, i'd definitely recommend you try), and make sure to ask todd in private how he's handling it all. i'm no fun to be around.

we've been trying to pick out a name for the little bugger, but it's so overwhelming! there are billions of names out there and just one little guy. how will we know that we picked the right name, and that there isn't a better one out there that we just never knew of? what if it doesn't fit his personality? what if we are too indecisive and he's born and still doesn't have a name before we leave the hospital and we have to name him "placenta" or "barb" after the lactation nurse or something, just so we can take him home? baby barb van voorst. classy.

this blog is boring. i'm a grump. i'm going to go eat some potatoes.