Monday, July 31, 2006

My Friend is Having a Baby!

I don’t think there is anything as exciting as having someone you love tell you they are going to have their first baby. (Of course, if they tell you it is their second, third, fourth, etc., it is also great news!)

Tonight, one of my best friends told me she is pregnant and I couldn’t be happier for her and her husband. As she told me her eyes sparkled and she glowed. She expressed her excitement and nervousness. Tales of her early food cravings and aversions took up most of our conversation. She ordered a large ice cream at the restaurant (Banana ice cream with peanut butter cups) and then ordered a pint of the same to take home with her. It made me so happy to watch her providing so much calcium for her little baby, only 8 weeks along.

I have never seen her so happy, well, maybe on her wedding day. I couldn't stop thinking about what an amazing mother she will make. Her patience and love will go far while taking care of her newborn. Her joy and silliness will bring laughter in the home as new parents play with a new baby. It is obvious that the love her and her husband share will provide a secure and happy home.

Too often we celebrate things which can be bought: A home, car, a vacation… While some things are wonderful and many times earned, it can not compare to the moment that you find out you are expecting a baby.

I ask you to pray for my friend and her hubby as they extend their family to include a child. Nothing can compare with the joy of a new life!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Getting Ready for College...

I am young enough to remember my college days like it was yesterday but old enough to see many mistakes I made along the way.

Here are the Top Ten Mistakes (in my opinion) you can make as you begin your journey at college:

10. Don’t expect your professors to constantly remind you of your due dates. It is your job now, not theirs.

9. Eat healthy! While eating on campus it can be a struggle to find healthy fare but you must try! Bad eating habits are set in stone during college. There is no one to make sure you are getting a balanced dinner. Trust me; the woman who would eat a box of Twinkies in a day, nothing good comes from it.

8. Never wait to the day before class to buy your books and supplies. If you go early enough you can buy used books and save a TON of money.

7. Don’t neglect your family and friends back home. In the first month or two you may miss them but as time goes by and you are busy with your schedule you may forget to “drop a line” to those close to you. While e-mails are fine you will discover that sending a letter will make someone’s day!

6. “Oh, I’ve got time…” The art of procrastination is perfected in college. What would you rather do, go out with friends or work on that paper that is due in two weeks? Duh! I learned that if you write down long term due dates as “due” one week before they actually need to be handed in, you will never have to ask for an extension from a professor.

5. Just say no to credit cards! What college kid has a bunch of money? Not many that I knew. It is tempting to use plastic to pick up that blouse for a party or to charge things to decorate your room. But a bad credit card history will follow you for years. Someone once told me to place my credit card in a Ziploc bag and put it in a plastic tumbler filled with water. Then put it in the freezer until frozen solid. Next time you think you “need” that item, wait until it defrosts and reexamine if you really “need” it after all. Think ahead, leave the plastic at home.

4. Professors deserve respect! I knew students who talked to professors like they were beneath them. Can you imagine? These professional have studied for years and don’t need to waste time with a nasty little twit before/after/during class. If you give respect, you will get respect. Look the professor in the eye. Come to class on time. If you have an appointment let him or her know ahead of time that you will need to excuse yourself. Turn off the cell phone. Etc. Etc. Etc.

3. Ask for help. Once you miss a couple of classes, or if you are struggling with the material, you can get behind in your class work. If you need help then by all means ask for it. There are learning centers, tutors and professors who want you to do well. They aren’t there to watch you fail.

2. Student loans: Don’t take out more than you need. It is tempting to take out extra money for living expenses when you are applying for student loans. It is true that knowing that you have some spending money will ease your mind for a short time. However, you will find that this is a huge mistake. Paying between 8-10% on a $30,000 will have you paying for years to come.

1. Look outside the classroom. Your classes are where you will learn what is needed to get your degree. It is excellent to have this knowledge but don’t be too narrow-minded. The years you are in college will provide an education beyond the classroom. This includes interpersonal skills with other professionals, money management, volunteer opportunities, political involvement and interning in your field. The opportunities are limitless.

So there it is -- my two cents. Welcome to the real world. It is a nice place to visit but an even nicer place to live.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The President Did A Good Thing Today...

Finally, some strong words against embryonic stem cell research!

“These boys and girls are not spare parts. (Applause.) They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. They remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals.”

“If this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would, for the first time in our history, be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. And I'm not going to allow it. (Applause.)

I made it clear to the Congress that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. I felt like crossing this line would be a mistake, and once crossed, we would find it almost impossible to turn back. Crossing the line would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only do damage to both, and to our nation as a whole. If we're to find the right ways to advance ethical medical research, we must also be willing, when necessary, to reject the wrong ways. So today, I'm keeping the promise I made to the American people by returning this bill to Congress with my veto.”’ (President George Bush, July 19, 2006)

The truth of the matter is that, as someone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, I could potentially benefit from this immoral type of stem cell research. But do I want to see helpless babies killed for my cure? Heck no!

It is time for the American people to stand up and recognize that throwing money at ESCR (embryonic stem cell research) is not the answer! There are so many advances in adult stem cell research and umbilical cord stem cell research.

The pro-choice followers love it because once again it keeps us from looking at an unborn baby as just that. The scientists look at it as a cash cow to fund their research projects in the hope of being the first to have a positive outcome. In the end it devalues an embryo (baby) to a mass of cells which can be pulled apart for a “cure” in the name of science.

Who will stand up for the unborn children? President Bush did today. We, as tax-payers, and as compassionate and moral individuals must not rest until babies are safe from harm in their mother’s womb.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Have kids, will travel…

I have been neglecting my blogging. Actually, I didn’t think anyone read it until Marc and I took the kiddos to visit some dear friends. It was then that I was gently scolded (though not so subtlety) that I have not posted in months.

The past is the past so instead of trying to catch up on everything that has happened, I will start fresh…tomorrow.

Our four day family vacation to Youngstown, Ohio and Pittsburgh, PA was so much fun but completely exhausting. Luckily for us, Isabella kept the “Are we there yets” to a minimum and Stephen slept enough for us to have some quiet in the car.

We went to the Zoo and Aquarium, went swimming at the hotels everyday, ate out daily (which we aren’t going to do for months!) and visited with our dear friends and family whom we have missed so dearly.

When we got back to the house it was 87 degrees inside and the air conditioning isn’t making a dent in our humid abode. I feel like we are in some kind of tropical rainforest, minus the cool monkeys and colorful birds.

So tomorrow I will write more about our adventures but first we need to recover from our road trip!