Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Beauty

Here she is in all her fuzzy glory. Her coat is thicker this year than it's every been before and she's as soft as a teddy bear. Sheeze positively huggable!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Whilst tossing and turning in bed this morning, I think I pinched Madigan's foot. He jumped out of surprise, and then fumbled around for a while (presumably) trying to find a more comfortable position. We're calling this episode of M's life in utero: "the Empire Strikes Back".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

35 Weeks

No one (well, okay, maybe SOMEONE does) really knows when he's going to arrive, but Madigan is approximately 35 weeks along this journey called life. This is his first photo sporting UT(exas) wear.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Val and Bear

My girls - typical day on the job... pensive watch, looking for fairies, "did you say barn?" and cuddle time with Daddi.

33.5 weeks

Monday, December 07, 2009

Got Vitamin D?

In our neck of the woods, winter has moved in and removed all but a few die hard remnants of fall. It is shivery cold, with a damp chill and the cloud cover is enough to make Pollyanna gloomy. All of my 4-legged kiddos are wearing their jackets and George and I have officially donned our scarfs and hats. I'm grateful for the little built-in furnace, but I'm facing the very eminent reality that that is a temporary comfort against the cold as Madigan will make his appearance before we know it (We're somewhere between week 33 and 34 by current estimates).

Current coping mechanisms include:
Cuddling with my bear in front of the fireplace (rated #1 coping mechanism in my book!), baking Christmas cookies, visiting friends in nearby places and talking long into the night, making home-made granola, taking my Vitamin D every day, drinking too much hot decaf Constant Comment tea, listening to Christmas music at work, decorating our mini-Christmas tree, and reading (by the fire, of course). Tonight, when I get home, I'm going to tackle bread baking... I'll post photos of the endeavor, should it succeed! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Girl

Monday, November 16, 2009


As I've been thinking about teaching Madigan, I've started noticing "little" things that I didn't notice as readily before. Pattern recognition, for instance, is something I take for granted. Why do certain patterns/shapes appeal to me more than others? How/when did I learn to recognize those patterns? Letters are shapes and have certain patterns, so obviously pattern recognition is an important part of our learning curve from infancy-and-beyond.

I've also been thinking about numbers and what a huge role they actually play in every day life/living. Think about all the times that you use numbers every day for even the most menial tasks. And, as much as I detest Math, I'm realizing that I actually get a great deal of joy from numbers and that some are very meaningful to me.

1. 12:34 – just get back from lunch and look at my computer clock to see the beautiful sequence.
2. 5:00 – “Outta here!” Work officially over for the day
3. 09/09/09 – Awesome! And, incidentally, my birthday this year
4. 721 – a number branded on my psyche – my daddy’s badge number, a reminder to me of his service and his sacrifice
5. 37 – “winning number” with my little Golden Retriever. She swept the fair that year winning multiple championships and the grand championship in Obedience
6. 123 _____________ - the address to the little white house where we grew up
7. 12/25 – Christmas! My FAVORITE holiday!
8. 2 – the perfect number of Scotties that should reside in every household
9. 1/24 - D Day! (Hypothetically... as if they ever arrive on time)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grandpa's feedback...

The following are comments that my dad has made about Madigan's extraordinary level of seemingly constant activity:

"He's posting and keeps getting on the wrong lead." (Practice makes perfect as we all know.)
"You might have a foot race to the delivery room at this rate...!" (As much practice as he gets all day, he would definitely win.)
"Maybe turning down that hip hop music you play all the time would help?" (Yeah, you know me and my hip hop music!)
"[He gives] new reality to the phrase, 'jogging in place'."(FOR SURE!)

Yep... we're going to have our hands full once he hits the ground (running).

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Philippians 2:13

"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
(English Standard Version)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Once upon a slime...

I've had chai troubles this week. It's true.
Two examples from this week:

(a) I decided to make my own chai latte from a powder mix + hot water in my trusty to-go mug, as a substitute for Starbucks (YUMMINESS GALORE!) Chai latte. But, much to my dismay when I opened the lid to take my first sip, it was slimy! Yes, Slimy! GAG! No chai for me!

(b) After my aforementioned traumatizing experience I consoled myself by hiking to Starbucks the following day for a REAL (YUMMINESS GALARE!) chai (mmmm... hot, steamy, creamy and delicious). When I told the Barista what I wanted, he casually mentioned that they were "fresh out of chai", thus shattering my blossoming anticipation. Sigh.

As my new sister, Kristin, says: "... if you don't succeed, chai, chai again."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall leaves on campus

Okay, in response to all the requests for more fall photos...

Can you find George?

If I could bottle up the smell of fall I would and then send it to you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Sugar Allowed!

Baby Mac seems to really enjoy sugar so I find I'm much more comfortable if I don't eat it. :-) Here's to vegetables and protein and maybe a LITTLE less rambunctious activity!

Friday, October 23, 2009

fall colors

Are starting to come out all over campus. SO BEAUTIFUL!

approximately 27 weeks

Sorry, I don't know why I look so tired in this photo. :-) I'm actually NOT that tired. At least you can see what Baby Mac looks like currently.

Friday, October 16, 2009

When a princess faces winter...

I think Fancy is picturing the following provisions for winter: extra large ear muffs, hot Jacuzzi baths, leg warmers, down comforters, warm bran mash every morning (with a little molasses), individual heaters for each stall and good movies (say, the “Black Stallion” for instance) all night whilst tucked away with the barn doors and windows shut.

Reality may look a little different: Blankets on super cold nights/days, shavings and hay in each stall in preparation for snow days and lots of good food to help put meat on the bones in an effort to keep away the chill. Poor princess Stink! How will she survive?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

house = home

Some recent photos of our little bungalow.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

External Influences

Observing the responses of Baby Mac in utero to different outside stimuli has made me really start thinking about what kinds of things I would love for him to be familiar with and to learn to respond to. This video made me laugh and was a good reminder that babies pick up on so much more than we recognize, so the things we say, the things we listen to around them are important, even at this stage of development. Baby Mac is usually quiet when I'm talking with someone, but when he hears music he is a bundle of activity. He particularly loves when I play the piano, and I wonder if that isn't in part because he actually feels the vibration of the tone coming through the instrument?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I love fall because I can wear a sweatshirt and my favorite scarf from Ireland, drink hot chocolate, walk along the golden leaf littered ground, breathe in crisp air, start making holiday cooking plans, observe the trees which are painted an array of green, yellow and red, brush my fluffy horse, cuddle with my Bear under a blanket and rejoice that the summer heat is behind us again.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Beach Trip with the Big Boys

Here are some photos of my weekend trip to Austin for the beach trip with the horses. We had so much fun, even though we did get rained out on Saturday night (hey, that's the stuff that memories are made of).

Why I miss Austin

You never know what you might see on the way to the airport. :-)Yes, this was a real Skittles salesman. Hmmm.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's the small things...

Have you ever looked really closely at Normal Rockwell's paintings? They are particularly remarkable because he paid such close attention to the details of ordinary life. He somehow managed to capture those seemingly incidental happenings of every day life and people and put them on canvas. His paintings remind me to stop and consider the small things in life that make it life.

Some things I noticed today:
A happy little chipmunk scampering up and down a flight of stairs, leaping onto the banister, hurling itself off the banister into an obliging bush nearby and then back to the stairs. So much energy and enthusiasm in that little force of nature.

A man whistling "Fur Elise" out of tune as he cheerily worked on replacing one of the light bulbs in our building. It might have been off-key, but his rendition of Beethoven brought a smile to my face.

The smell of homemade pumpkin bread when I woke up this morning... residual from last night's undertaking. Made me want to climb out of bed, heat up some tea and curl up on the couch with buttered slice in hand.

The birds chirping outside - you know, they sound different when the weather changes. Are there "cold weather birds" and "hot weather birds"?

The progressive change in the leaves' color - Fall is steadily approaching and bringing with it chilly nights and cool days. The heat of summer is hopefully behind us!

Happy 1st day of October!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Baby Mac Photo Op #2

We found out on Friday that Baby Mac (who still doesn't have an official name) is a boy! Here is his most recent photo gallery. Some of the 3-D photos are a little fuzzy because he was moving all around. The sonographer told us that he is an extremely healthy little boy! These are taken at 22.5 weeks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little Known Facts about me

• I was known as “Eryn McBean, Leader of the Popcorn Gang” growing up – The popcorn gang officially consisted of cousin Gabe and KristaKrantz
• My favorite toy was my stick horse(s). I actually wore out two of them. I rode my stick horse so much that I even started to develop knee problems when I was 9 years old, so my parents had to put up “riding restrictions”: No cantering for a week.
• I tortured Krista with pranks when we were teenagers. Really tortured… she’s a saint.
• My Golden Retriever (and I) won 3 championships and the Grand Championship in obedience at the County Fair in Oregon when I was 10 years old. That’s not something that could ever happen now that I’m owned by Scotties… obedience is optional as we all know.
• I took oil painting for several years… look where it got me! Okay, so my destiny wasn’t to be an artist.
• Jessica almost drowned me when I was 16 and she was 4. True story. I luv yeeeewwww too!
• I served ants, intentionally, at a ladies Bible study. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hey, what they didn’t know didn’t hurt them, right???

How about you? I would love to know little known facts about YOU.

I need some cheese to go with my whine.

I can't even button my jacket... I feel so fat. Sigh.

On the bright side, I'm grateful that it's raining and chilly so that I actually need a jacket.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Suffering from a guilty conscience

Valiant is our notorious "wicked puppi" and yet she is in actuality a very good puppy most of the time. However, she feels the burden of a guilty conscience more visibly than anybody else I know! It doesn't even have to be her guilt. When Madison has an "accident" on the floor, Valiant runs and hides under the bed. As Uncle Ryan put it: "Uh oh, Valiant is hiding, what did Darjee (Val's cousin) do?"

Today, however, Valiant was a truly guilty puppy. Krista came in to find one of her sandals blotted with little teefy marks all over and Valiant missing (aka under the bed). I am completely baffled about why she has this fetish for Auntie's shoes; I leave my shoes out every day and they are completely unscathed. There must be something special about Aunties shoes! Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And I quote...

"... so me and my cousin just like hung out all weekend at like my house." Response: "That sounds like so like boring."

Maybe it's because I work around college students? I wish I could say it was just the obvious valley girls that speak in like, well, you know, like grammatically incorrect like sentences. But the majority of the conversations I overhear while walking around campus leave me wondering about the cream of the crop or giggling in disbelief.

Perhaps a contributing factor to this rampant inability to speak in coherent sentences is that as a culture we no longer value the gift of reading which would give us necessary exposure to the written language. The television has replaced books in our down time. It seems that young people in great proportions do not have a comprehensive or practical grasp of the proper English language and how it should be applied to every day conversations/life. So, though it is definitely entertaining to overhear many conversations, it is a reminder that something is missing. Like, do you know what I mean?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Girl's weekend

As I mentioned in my previous post, Krista and four of my most beloved friends from Austin came all the way to Nashville this past weekend. It was an epic weekend filled with laughter and tears. There are absolutely no words sufficient to describe how the weekend revitalized me after what seems like months of painstaking changes and challenges. The comfort of familiarity - of friends who know without being told - is priceless. My only complaint... the weekend came to an end.

Some highlights of the weekend:
• The SURPISE baby shower – they all carried Mary Poppins bags on the plane and brought more baby items than imaginable! It was INCREDIBLE!
• Talking into the wee hours of the morning over Kleenex and brownies
• Walking around downtown Franklin – my favorite shop was Philanthropy
• Photos alongside the brick building – watching Kim be a total goof
• Feeling Baby Weston bouncing around inside of mommy
• I think the whole weekend was a highlight for me… to be perfectly honest.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trader Joes'Cornbread

Yeah, we're fanatics about it. 4 of my closest friends along with Krista came all the way from Austin to buy some TJ's cornbread... well, okay, and to see me. :-) It was a weekend I will treasure for the rest of my life. I am blessed to have friends so true. I will post details of the eventful weekend soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I have listened to George Winston since I can remember... my earliest notable memory of hearing his piano music was when Krista and I were about 7 years old, playing with our Breyer horses on the floor of the little white house in Oregon. There is one song, in particular, that I love: "Joy". I've always referred to as "my song".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby Mac's first photos

16 weeks:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We had the first ultrasound this morning and found out that the due date is somewhere in the vicinity of January 24th (Danielle, you're such a good guesser!). We are officially 16 weeks into this adventure.

The baby was extremely active and bouncing all over... even the technician was surprised by the amount of activity. We have 2 arms, 2 legs, a very fast beating heart, a lovely spine and a shy baby face. Baby Mac kept tucking his/her face away making it difficult to see. :-) Everything looked perfectly normal! Praise God!

And last but not least, Baby Mac is weighing in at a whopping 6 oz!

We only have hard copies of the photos, so will get those scanned as soon as possible and post them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Update on Baby Mac!

We heard the heartbeat today!!! A healthy, very fast heartbeat... and it was THRILLING! I don't think either of us have been able to wipe the smiles off our faces all day. Our first ultrasound is scheduled for tomorrow, so we will have another update then.

Another reason I love Texas

People lined the streets for over 30 miles to wish this fallen hero a last goodbye.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Life is constantly full of change. I think three key components to living life fully as God intended is being willing to accept the change that inevitably comes, effectively grieving the loss that comes when leaving a season of life and nurturing the hope in what lies ahead. It’s easy to fall into the trap of neglecting one of those three things.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Living each day the Earl Grey Way

I wake up every morning looking forward to my hot cup of tea. It doesn't feel like morning without it. The flavor of tea varies between Constant Comment and Earl Grey, but these days it's Earl Grey all the way. The perfect recipe: 1 teabag of Earl Grey from the "Republic of Tea" can + boiling water poured into a 16 oz. cup, 1 heaping teaspoon sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk and Voila! There you have it. It's not only a great start to a busy day, but it's DELICIOUS!

So, in the spirit of all things yummy, here's a recipe you really should try:

Grandma's BBQ Chicken sauce:
(with a little modification by me)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2-1 teaspoon mustard
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
3 Tablespoons of finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

Pour sauce over 6-12 chicken breasts and bake on 350 for 45 minutes, or until tender. Mmmmm good.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I love spoiling my horse. Stink has been in my life for over 13 years and I love spoiling her now as much as I did the day she was born on our farm. I guess you could call her demanding. She definitely has certain expectations when I come to see her: Peppermints, cookies, tummy rub or back rub, and not necessarily in that order. She's totally flexible about the order. :-)

But she's always been so gentle and kind and she looks out for me. I know experts say that animals don't have the capacity to really care, but I beg to differ. This horse cares. And she doesn't just care about me. She's always so careful with new riders, doing her best to insure that they don't fall off and on numerous occasions she's shoved Valiant out from under her feet to keep from stepping on her. She's a marvelous creation and I'm crazy about her. :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Yes, it's raining again today. I'm not complaining... I remembered my umbrella this morning! It's refreshing and it makes it cool and clean all around. The grass looks greener and brighter each morning and the plants all look lush. My horses are happy and content not to be sweating in the heat. That makes it worth having wet shoes!