Boy or Girl?

This baby is one month old.

Image via Wikipedia

Lately I’ve been asked quite frequently whether I feel the baby is a boy or girl.  It’s weird, but my feelings have changed.  In the beginning, I felt it was a girl and could only think of girl names and decorations.  However, about 6 weeks ago I started thinking “boy” and couldn’t focus on anything girly.  Either way, we’ll be happy.

Along with being asked what I think, I get a lot of guesses…”You seem to carrying low, so I think it’s a girl.”  (or, I’ve even heard the exact opposite…that since it seems I’m carrying low, I’ll probably have a boy).

“Craving sweets? – it’s a girl.”

“It’s a boy…I’ve dreamed it!”

And so it continues on.

I really do enjoy the guesses; it’s part of the fun.  So in keeping with spirit, I decided to go through the wives’ tales that are supposed to determine if the baby’s a girl or boy. Below is a list that I found on with the supposed gender determinants.  Next to each symptom I’ve placed a YES or NO depending on if I’ve experienced it.  (I’ve deleted a few really personal ones about my nipples and urine.  Not sure you really want to hear about that!)

It’s a boy if:

  • You didn’t experience morning sickness in early pregnancy.  YES
  • Your baby’s heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute.  NO
  • You are carrying the extra weight out front. (NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEANS REALLY…BUT, YES?)
  • Your belly looks like a basketball. UM…YES?  A SMALL ONE…
  • You are carrying low.  YES
  • You are craving salty or sour foods. YES
  • You are craving protein — meats and cheese. YES
  • Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy. NO
  • The hair on your legs has grown faster during pregnancy. NOT REALLY, MY HAIR’S ALWAYS GROWN ANNOYINGLY FAST!
  • Your hands are very dry. NO
  • Dad-to-be is gaining weight right along with you. DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT, SO, NO.
  • Pregnancy has you looking better than ever. UM…NO… UNLESS YOU THINK OF A WIDENING BUTT AS “LOOKING BETTER”! (yes, I know I’m pregnant & it comes with the joy of becoming a mother…but it doesn’t mean I have to like the idea of the weight gain.  In fact, this has been the hardest part for me).
  • You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves in circles. LOL!! I JUST DID THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME…AND IT WENT IN CIRCLES BUT THEN STOOD STILL WHEN I MOVED IT AWAY FROM MY BELLY!
  • You are having headaches. YES.  JUST RECENTLY STARTED.
  • You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an even number. NOPEIT’S AN ODD #.

It’s a girl if:

  • You had morning sickness early in pregnancy. NO
  • Your baby’s heart rate is at least 140 beats per minute.  YES.
  • You are carrying the weight in your hips and rear. NO
  • Your left breast is larger than your right breast.  🙂   NO.
  • Your hair develops red highlights. NO
  • You are carrying high.    NO.
  • You are craving sweets. YES!  CAN YOU SAY “BANANA SPLIT”?
  • You are craving fruit. YES!  EVEN GRAPES, WHICH I DON’T EVEN REALLY LIKE.
  • You don’t look quite as good as normal during pregnancy.  YESMY FACE IS BREAKING OUT & I’VE ALWAYS HAVE CLEAR, CLEAR SKIN!
  • You are moodier than usual during pregnancy. YES.  MY HUSBAND, MOM AND STUDENTS WILL CONFIRM THIS ONE!
  • Your face breaks out more than usual. YES.  JUST RECENTLY.
  • You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread.  YES.  BUT THIS IS NOTHING NEW; I’VE NEVER EATEN THE HEEL.
  • Your breasts have really blossomed!  NOPE. NOT YET.  😦
  • Your pillow faces south when you sleep.  AGAIN…IDK…BUT NO, BASED ON MY PREVIOUS CONCLUSION.
  • You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves from side.  NO
  • You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an odd number. YES
Yeses for “boy”:  9
Yeses for “girl”:  9

I guess we’ll just have to wait for the conclusive sonogram scheduled for March 10!


Thinking of starting over

I would love to start blogging again…but I feel the need to completely start over .

“Parksmission: Me on Mission” just doesn’t fit anymore.  When I originally named the blog what I did, Josh and I were on a literal mission to be full-time missionaries to Ukraine.  The sole purpose of the blog was to share our experiences with friends and family at home in the U.S.  However, once we returned to the States for good, the purpose began to fade as our ministry began to fade.  I’ve used the blog occasionally to record my thoughts and experiences, specifically in relation to my faith (which fit the title and purpose perfectly), but, things are changing…I’m changing…

I guess I’m still on some kind of mission (or two).  A soul-searching mission to figure out exactly who I am and what I truly believe.  A parenthood mission – as Josh and I plan for a new baby and anticipate all the joys and anxieties that accompany being a parent.  But, even with those “missions”, the blog name just doesn’t feel right.


I miss writing.  I miss the blog community.  But, I think in order to truly re-engage, I’ve got to start over…


The BBC Book List


Image by Robert Burdock via Flickr

I’ve had several friends post this in Facebook this week.  Since I find it interesting, I thought I’d give it a go…

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES.

Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.

Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

My additional notes are in blue.

I’ve read 37 of these books in their entirety, and there are 10 that I’ve started but didn’t finish.  I find this a bit sad for an English major and a High school English Teacher.  At least now I have a list of novels to read through!

After you see what I’ve read, comment with your thoughts and what you’ve read… (Or not, after all reading is not a competition! I’m betting that we’re all well over 6 books, and I am curious to see the common ground).

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – umm…this is a trilogy…I’ve read all 3.

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – favorite book of all time!

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible not straight through, but over time and in chunks

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark MaterialsPhilip Pullman – Also a trilogy…His first book, Northern Lights (known as The Golden Compass in America) was a huge controversy in the Christian world…I wrote a review, which you can read by clicking HERE.

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – I even played Meg in the Mesquite Community Theater production!

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – most of them, I’m sure…but his works are quite extensive…

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – close 2nd for favorite book

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – and the sequel

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David CopperfieldCharles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis  – wouldn’t this go with #33??

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini – reading it now!

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41 Animal FarmGeorge Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare – again, wouldn’t this part part of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”?

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Dear blog…

And blog followers,

I’ve missed you.

I’ll be back soon.



New Beginnings

Tomorrow, I will begin several new chapters of my life:

Chapter: Baby Steps Toward Baby Steps

Over the last year I have written openly about the infertility struggles that Josh and I have faced.  In January, we had our first medical procedure and have had follow-ups with the doctor every 3 months.  Last week, we received the results of our 6 month post-surgery tests…(drum roll, please)…the procedure worked and we are now cleared to pursue the next stage in fertility treatment!! I go to the doctor tomorrow to discuss in more detail what exactly our next steps will be.  Prayerfully, we hope to have a baby by this time next year.

Chapter:  Sabbath Year

Since high school, I have been involved in some type of ministry leadership role.  Whether leading bible studies, youth small groups, or doing mission work, I have kept my schedule completely full without much of a break.

I love doing ministry –  the relationships I make, the accountability aspect, the joy in seeing lives changed  – it’s a passion of mine.

But over the last year or so, I’ve felt God telling me to stop it all.  To just lay down my busyness and my need to be “doing”, and just rest in Him.  It’s time for me to reconnect with God, get re-focused, and rediscover the calling HE has for me.  There are several areas of my life that I feel I need to focus on during this year of rest; I’ll share those with you later on.

But, as of today, I no longer have any ministry leadership responsibilities.  NONE. ZIP. ZILCH.  Of course, I’ll still be involved in church and ministry, but only as a participant, not as a leader.

Speaking of church…

Chapter: Looking for a New Home

Today was my last day with the church I’ve been serving with since returning from Ukraine 2 years ago.

Most of the people at the church do not yet know that Josh and I have left (until just now, when they read this post…for my friends who are just learning this, I’m sorry you are hearing it this way.  But know that Josh and I love you, and just because we are leaving the church does not mean that we are leaving behind our friendships).

I cannot and will not go into the details surrounding why we left, but, for personal reasons, Josh and I, together, decided it’s time for us to go.  It’s been a very difficult week of talking to my Bible study women, my mission team, and some of the very close friends I’ve made at the church.  I know our leaving will be met with confusion and questions, and that saddens me…but, above all, I know that God has us all in His hands.


I was thinking about how it’s been a long time since I last posted something and then specifically thought about the B/S Chronicles series I write with my brother…

The next topic to be discussed was/is supposed to be “discipline”.

That was decided on April 5.

It’s now July 13.


World Travelers

Josh and I love to travel.  Some of our most amazing experiences have come from the many places we’ve visited.  Here are some of our favorite memories…

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