Friday, September 14, 2012

All that really matters...

The past week has been so intense. My doctor's appointment didn't go the way I planned - when I went in, my doctor said my blood pressure was quite high and I would need to start my Non-Stress-Tests immediately. I left his office and went to pre-natal testing. I kept a calm head (I mean, is getting stressed really a good idea at this point?!) and the test went fine. I'll have to have these tests twice a week until Baby Girl arrives. 

The thing that was so hard was that my doctor told me that for the health of Baby Girl and myself, I'll have to be induced two weeks early (maybe sooner)! This whole scenario goes against my birth plan, but I decided right then and there it was OK, because I had to put my plans aside for anything that ensured her safe delivery. 

It was while I was driving in my car from the hospital that a thought occurred to me. I was making my first real parental decision. A non-selfish, "anything to protect my child" decision. I was so sad that I couldn't get what I wanted, sure, but that paled in comparison to doing what I knew would be ultimately best for my daughter. I also know firsthand that this instinct is not something that every parent has. 

Don't get me wrong. I think pretty much every parent LOVES their child, but not every parent would sacrifice their own plans for their child. I didn't realize that such a deep level of love could exist for a child I hadn't even met yet. I can only imagine what is going to happen when she is here... :) I love this little girl so much it makes me cry when I think about her. I am so excited to meet her - even if it means my birth plan doesn't go my way. In the end, God is in charge of it all. He controls all the methods of delivery known to man. He has every power and right to use whatever method necessary to bring her into this world. It isn't about me. I am really just a vessel. She's coming in a little over five and I couldn't be more excited! That's all that really matters...

Image Via Pintrest

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hurricane Pizza

It took me a little over a week to write a post about living through Hurricane Isaac. I wanted to be sure that I had a proper perspective, because we have friends that lost everything and there is no way I ever want to compare what I went through to what they are still going through. My experience comes from the perspective of a woman almost 8 months pregnant. I decided not to post any pictures of the storm or it's aftermath. There have been enough of those posted online to get an idea of how that week was for those of us living in southern Louisiana. My thought was to post what we did to make the most of a long and tiring situation... here goes :)

I woke up Sunday morning to see that the path of Isaac changed from hitting the Mobile area to coming straight for us here in NOLA. I haven't been in the direct path of a hurricane - ever. I lived through one on Martha's Vineyard, but that swept past us in one day and only hit us indirectly. When my husband mentioned evacuating, I though that was silly. I have a business to run and besides, I didn't want to travel in slow moving traffic to Houston just to come back a day later. I declined. Mistake #1...

Monday was pretty uneventful. We got the store ready for the storm and bought supplies to last us if/when the power went out. We never planned for it to be out for DAYS and never bought a generator or battery powered fans. Mistake #2...

Tuesday the storm hit slowly. It rained a bit and the wind kicked up. Most stores were closed and of course this was about the time that I decided to have a serious craving for pizza. We didn't have pizza. And even if we did, the carbs alone would ruin this diabetic mama's BS so I had to get creative. I took some flatbread, an open can of spaghetti sauce, some string cheese and leftover chicken and bacon and made some pizzas for Jim and me. I have to say, they were quite delicious!! And best part was they were low carb :) 

We woke up Wednesday morning and thought the storm had passed. We had power, but no internet, cable, or phone service, so we were unsure of what was happening. Jim got a hand crank radio/flashlight from work a few years ago so we powered it up and tuned in to find out what was going on outside. As it turned out, the storm was moving at a snail pace of 6MPH and wasn't even over us yet!! We hung out at the house and had friends over to play cards and pass the time. About an hour after they arrived, our power went out. I noticed it was starting to get warmer within hours of the setting sun. That night it was really hard to sleep. It was too hot to sleep and far too quiet. We should have had some pregnancy back-up plan. Mistake #3...

Jim's hand in UNO. My friend's hand in the lower corner shows just how many cards you SHOULD have versus how many he got stuck with :)

Thursday was just terrible. It was so hot, the storm was passing, and I was miserable. We left NOLA in search of food and cool air, as a friend told Jim they had both in Baton Rouge. We spent most of the day trying to get there, but getting turned back by the National Guard or State Police because every road leading to BR was washed away, including the I-10, which we later found out hasn't happened in over 30 years, not even during Hurricane Katrina. 

When we got back, Jim spent some time talking with our neighbors. I spent time working on a blanket for baby girl on our porch. I was so hot and tired and just a wee bit cranky - I had no interest in being chatty! The thing about New Orleans that people don't really get is that even though it is a city, we are really a small town. Everyone knows everyone and their business. People will stop in the middle of the street to honk their horn and wave at you. In one ten minute conversation, Jim found out that power never went out in the French Quarter and that most hotels were open and had... air conditioning!! We made a few calls and found a place to stay for the night. I was so excited I thought I might just go into labor. We packed and headed to our new temporary home. The hotel was lovely and chilly cold. We stayed there two nights and then we had to find another room because ours was booked for Saturday. We were nervous because it was a holiday weekend and most hotels were booked or very expensive. As always, God is SO faithful and we got a whole suite (!) in a little boutique hotel for only $20 more than we were paying at the prior hotel. It was clean and quaint and right next door to our favorite Italian restaurant. God is so good to this sinner...

Saturday after dinner, we went by the store to see if the power was back on yet, only to find it was still out.. but glory to glory, it was back on at our house!! We cleaned out the freezer and most of the fridge and turned the A/C on. By Sunday we knew the house would be cool enough to come back to and clean. We were thankful for one final night in a hotel. On our way to the hotel, I saw that some folks will get pretty creative when trying to stay cool. I wish we had thought of something similar :) 

On Sunday, I woke up early and drove by the store. I was in tears when I saw the faint glow of lights through the window. I walked into the cool air and instantly marveled at how frail we humans are. For all our claims to be so superior, we fall apart when our circumstances change. Well... I know I did! 

There were many times when I completely neglected to thank God for what we had - there were many times when I did thank Him, but I would like to be the kind of person that remembers to thank Him in EVERY situation!!

There were things I learned about myself during the week of the "hurricane that wouldn't leave New Orleans". I am so thankful to the Lord for his mercy. When He teaches a lesson, He can be kind if you are still enough to attend to His voice. I learned that sometimes God will remove all other distractions (TV, phone, internet, even a noisy fan!) in order to be heard. He has that right. I pray that I learned my lesson well and will not have to take that class again :)

It's been over a week and the city still has the battered scars of Isaac, but we are moving on. Next time, we'll evacuate even if it is only a small hurricane. But, I am so glad we experienced this. I'll get to tell our daughter about the first hurricane she was in, the one that by her being in my belly, helped me grow closer to God.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

A New Berman!

I have been walking around in a fog the past two weeks. I can't think about anything other than the moment our ultrasound tech circled three lines on the screen and typed... "it's a girl" 

My mind was still trying to process everything all at once when I heard my husband saying "Are you sure? Can you check again?" I think he was so convinced of his "agreement with God" that seriously this woman was wrong. 

All my thoughts were wrapped up in her life. In about 30 seconds, I thought about her entire life. Would she be a strong-willed woman like so many in my family (and my husband's, too!)? What would she look like? Would she want to live in NYC and be a photographer like I want her to be - I have already decided she is going to be a cool chick that takes amazing photos of newsworthy events! But most importantly, would she make a decision on her own to love God with her whole heart and live to make His name famous?? See, this is all I have prayed for regarding this child since we knew she was taking up residence in my body.

This is where I will continue to focus all my prayers for her now that I know so much more about her. We have a name that we still timidly call her, mostly because it's so new, but also because we aren't sharing her name with anyone until she makes her grand appearance. 

Right after I found out, I went and bought a few girl outfits... I'm a woman that loves to shop for a deal after all! Then, last weekend, in a moment of true humbling submission, I said not a word as my husband walked to the children's department and chose three outfits that he loved and wanted to see on his daughter. They were outfits I thought were cute, to be sure, but not that I would have chosen. I love that. I love that these were things Daddy chose. For his sweet baby girl. He's so excited now that he's having a girl. He watches every dad/daughter team when we are out. He studies them like a anthropologist with a native people. He wants to be the best Dad he can be and this makes me smile and brings a tear to my eye. 

I love my little family :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Big Ol' Update

Whew! It's been a long hard six months and I wish I had been smart enough to capture it all on my blog, but it seems that once you step away for a little while, you step away forever... I recently decided it was time to get rid of Facebook because I spend way too much time on it, and re-focus my attention on better things. Since I still have this need to share/document my life, I knew it was time to start up the ol' blog again. I am hoping to make several changes to it soon, including a possible new name, but in the meantime, I want to give a quick update of my time missed...


December was great for us. I was super busy at the store, which is rare for furniture around Christmastime. We went to Houston to see my parents and spend a few days with them for the holiday and then it was back to reality. We had a great time in Houston and would love to go back, but my parents recently moved to Atlanta giving us no real reason to visit the concrete jungle again unless something comes up.


January in New Orleans can be lovely or really dreary and rainy. This past one was lovely and full of decent weather. We spent our time getting to know new people and learning to love our city. There was not a lot of time to spend doing other things, because as always, the store steals my time!


Happy Mardi Gras! February was a crazy fun month. The store closes for the holiday and the entire city becomes a place a celebration. We decided this year to just try and enjoy the parades and not be bothered by how much they disrupt our every day living. And it worked! We had a great time and got some really fun beads as mementos. We also spent some time traveling to Baton Rouge, shopping at my favorite stores. I finally talked my husband into buying a new couch and we ordered one that we were assured would only take 6 weeks to ship to us...


We found out I was pregnant in February and so March was tough for me. I was constantly tired and sick and trying to run a store. It seemed like this stage was never going to end. We saw our sweet little one not once but twice on ultrasound and were so excited that God blessed us again with a child. I vowed to be as healthy as possible - being diabetic is a struggle for a woman with all day "morning" sickness. Jim's Aunt and Uncle came to visit and time spent with them is so fun. We got to show them some of the city and share in our joy over the baby. St. Patty's day is big in NOLA, it's the second most popular location for tourists to visit for the holiday. The parade runs right past our store, so we get to close down and tailgate in the parking lot. This year, we had a cookout and waited for what felt like hours for the parade. It was a lot of fun.


In April, my family came in from PA to visit for Easter. We had a great time taking them around the city and going to the beach on Easter Day. Truly, not much else happened that month. We spent time with friends and I grew to love Pintrest more and more - it's what I spend most of my evenings doing. Jim and I went to a charity event for the Green Project at the end of the month. The Green Project reclaims building materials that are destined for landfills before homes/buildings are demolished. There are a lot of homes that were devastated in Hurricane Katrina that still had parts to be salvaged. To not re-use what you can is so wasteful. I love this organization and what they represent :)


May is Jim's birthday and we went out with friends for dinner and fun. It is also Mother's Day and Jim surprised me with a purse made from recycled coffee bags from Maui - where he lived when he was in his early 20's. It's so weird to be called a mom at this point in my life but I am loving it!! This picture is of my mom, my brother, and me on Easter when we were very little. The other picture is of my dad, my brother, and me. It's so weird to see my parents so young, especially my dad who looks so old now. I wonder if our child will see us just the same when they are grown...

So, here is all is in a nutshell. I will be back more often and with cool ideas for home design on a budget along with lots of other great information. It's great to be back!!!

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