Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pets and portraits

 My family and friends have been keeping me busy with painting.  Annie made a trip to Florida in January (which I am still jealous of) and knew she was meeting up with one of her blog followers named Ann.  Ann has a slew of animals, the two most precious being her Boston terriers, Sadie and Panda.  They are so stinking cute it makes me wanna ignore Zac completely and let him come home to me cuddling a tiny puppy.  How could he resist the combined cuteness of a pregnant wife and a puppy?  I think science would prove there is no way.  No way!   Now back to the reason I am posting....

This is Sadie 

This is Sadie and the much loved Panda.  I love their expressions in this picture!  

I painted Panda first.  Then I laughed repeatedly about how it was unmistakably Panda. 

I loved the painting, I was a little sad to see it go...but it turns out, my muses approve. 

They have been forever immortalized on canvas and as you can tell by their faces, they are both thrilled and appreciative. :)

Immortalized in Paint!

The next up on my painting agenda was a family portrait for one of Maggie's stylists, Casey.  This was her first Christmas as a married lady and the picture she and her husband took is classic.  
The cat!  How in the world they got lucky enough to catch that cat's expression is beyond me, but I was so glad for it.  

This is Casey, Brett, and Cat ( I have no idea what kitty's name is).  The cat makes me laugh out loud everytime I see it.  That is how I know that I've painted something worth while.  Doesn't matter if the client likes it.  Doesn't matter if you has made me laugh and therefore, I love it!

I also love Brett's wonky both the picture and the painting.  Like I said, classic family portrait.  

My last family portrait was for a friend of mine named Jamie.  She and I worked together when I was in high school at a little pharmacy in town.  She is my go to pharmacist, which is especially handy for a chiropractor that knows more about natural remedies than frequently changing prescription meds.  She helps me to be informed and I don't have to worry that she thinks I am ignorant and I appreciate her so much for that!

I was so happy to do this painting for her for her anniversary.  It was the only present she asked for, so I did my best to get it right.  She has been married to Scott for 20 years (I think this was #20) and they have 2 beautiful children...who are still children in my mind.  Seriously, if you would've asked me, I would have said they were like 10 and 13.  I just simply can't believe it's been 9 years since I graudated high school and that children don't live in a time bubble where they never age.  I swear...where does time go!

lost pix fall 2011 034.JPG

For Jamie, I had some pictures from Christmas and I loved the idea of making her family portrait "formal" so I dressed them all up fancy. 

I love it.... I love that Jamie's kids are big enough that I got to make them the same size as her in the painting.  I did, after finishing the painting, read the PS part of Jamie's email that said her daughter loves the color purple.  Ooops... Luckily Jamie loved it and that's what counts.  Happy customers and paintings that make me laugh, that's what my paintings are about! 

Monday, February 27, 2012


I saw this little sign the other day.  It spoke to me. 

I know i am!!

It is so true.  I just returned from a weekend in Carbondale visiting my college roommate.  She and her husband live there and he works for the college.  I can't count how many times I said "I don't wanna go." This is in no way a reflection of my feelings for Chelsea and Andy.  I love them dearly and would gladly see them daily.  It is a reflection of how I feel about having to physically move myself.  I keep asking Zac to work on figuring out teleportation for me...but he says he is busy.  

I laugh at this, but it is a little sad.  I am 26!  When did I get so old that the hours between 11 and 7 seem like they were never meant for anything other than sleeping and the prospect of having to be outside of my comfort zone seems almost offensive?  I like to pretend that it's just the pregnancy.  If I were not so pregnant, I wouldn't have taken a nap on Chelsea's couch Saturday afternoon. It's a lie.  Baby has little to do with it I am afraid.  I have simply turned into a slightly antisocial homebody.  Case in point, yesterday my sisters had a WildTree tasting party at their house.  I wanted to tasted the food, I wanted to go, I simply wanted to go at my own convenience and in my pajamas.  I think part of it had to do with the fact that my size bigger jeans weren't dry, so I had to squeeze my pudge belly into my smaller jeans and I thought I might just pop a button at anytime.  And again, the other part being that I am a lazy antisocial girl.  

So that's what I have been dealing with lately.  I can sleep 12 hours in a day and still need a nap in my car in the park at noon.  I come home from work and sit in my chair until hunger inspires me to move.  And I celebrate cancelled plans because that means staying at home and changing into yoga pants.  Lazy is what it is about right now.  I am a lazy old pregnant lady.  What up.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doing business as...

My life is a shifty thing I tell ya.  I have been a chiropractor for 2 and 1/2 years now. I love it.  I really do. I however, don't love being an employee.  This is true regardless of the job it seems.  If I have the option, I want to run the show.  Straight out of school I accepted a position as an associate doc in a town 20 minutes away.  I initially intended to buy the practice from the owner, but it became clear by the end of year 2 that he wasn't 100% ready to leave and that I am terribly impatient. 

 For over a year I went back and forth, forth and back trying to find direction.  I am fortunate to have options, but change is intimidating.  Especially change that requires starting over, large loans, and a new kind of dedication that for now I can only assume I'll muster up.  I fretted and talked it to death.  Waited and repeated the process.  Eventually I realized, I can't find direction because I haven't asked for it.  Don't get me wrong, I had support, I had discussed with Zac, with my parents, with my best friends, but when it came right down to it, I had neglected a quick conversation with God about what I was really supposed to do.  (I don't know why I have to be at the end of my rope before it occurs to me turn over my problems, but I imagine it has something to do with me being prideful enough to believe I can solve everything on my own.)  I threw up a quick prayer, told God simply that I was done.  Done thinking about it, done fretting.  If he wanted me to leave and open my own practice he was gonna have to give me some really obvious signs.  

Ask and you shall receive!  A couple weeks later (in November) I got a call from a lady I know and had actually talked to about opening a practice in Effingham.  She called to tell me that the building she worked in was going to be available for rent.  She wanted to know if I was interested.  A fairly low rent building, in the only town I actually considered opening in, you betcha!  A couple weeks later I went and looked at the space.  It is perfect, and my decision was made very easy.  Not only was the building great, but my office sits in a plaza with a cycling store, a family gym, a tumbling/taekwondo facility and a spa.  Can't ask for much better than that!  

In December I told my boss that I was going to be leaving to open my own practice.  He ended my contract early, so I am my own boss starting at the end of March.  I got my business plan approved almost 2 weeks ago.  I am officially "in business."  It is a bit unbelievable.  A bit surreal even that I am actually doing it.  But I am!  I look forward to it.  I imagine it will be one of the hardest things I ever do.  I am waiting until baby gets here to open, which will make things interesting.  Sleep deprived decision making, sounds promising right?  

This is where I am at right now.  Pregnant, soon-to-be jobless, with a whole lotta changes in store.  I plan to do fill-in work for local docs and some substitute work to earn enough to pay my insurance deductible.  But beyond that, I fully intend to work in a leisurely fashion at my new office (thank you to baby for seriously extending my timeline) and float around Annie's pool in a 2 piece suit with a giant belly.  

I will look just like this, but with considerably bigger boobs...and butt....I know my body. 
So you guys all feel free to say prayers.  Pray for me and the babe as we both get bigger.  Pray for a successful practice (probably called Ballard Family Chiropractic).  Pray for Zac and I as we become parents, our relationship changes, and he continues to pick up my slack.  Or simply pray that I remember to pray myself as pregnancy has left me exhausted and without much short term memory :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

12 weeks!

Today was my 12 week visit with my OB.  They said he had student observers and asked if they could come in, which didn't bother me a bit.  We were like sardines in that treatment room for my second ultrasound.  It was almost commical how one after another came in to introduce themselves and shake hands.  I was well prepared for the extra observers....but not so prepared for the second vaginal ultrasound.  Had no idea that was coming.  I'm afraid Maggie may have mislead me when I asked what went on at the 12 week visit.  I am just thrilled I had on clean underpants :)  I do wish I had known because I didn't have Zac with me.  Let me just start by saying holy differentiation, my baby is so much bigger now!  See for yourselves!

Week 8 ultrasound

Week 12 ultrasound

Is that not unbelievable?!  I could see baby's profile a bit at 8 weeks and little buds, but what a difference 4 weeks makes!  I was thrilled to see baby's spine and heart beat and buddha belly.  I have LOTS of pictures from this ultrasound (thank you Dr. M, I appreciate them so much) and was pumped to sit down and show them all to Zac.  I am really sad he missed it, he would have loved it.  Baby kept dancin around, flingin his arms and rolling.  Dr. M measured baby's heart rate, 158 for those of you that know what the heart rate stuff is supposed to mean.  

For some unknown reason I think baby is a boy.  Maybe it is because Zac really wants a boy and boy is in my head now.  Maybe it is because my sisters insist that my baby is big, bigger than their babies ever were and I assume if so, baby is a big boy.  I don't know, after seeing the 4 week difference, Maggie is probably right,  my baby is a beast :) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Levi's of the world

How many of you, while growing up, were told by your parents that people judge you based on the company that you keep?  I know I was.  I'm not saying that is untrue.  It is most certainly true.  When I was in high school I had a few friends that most parents would consider "undesirable."  I had a few friends that were in trouble every weekend, that were arrested frequently, that had drug problems, that failed out or were thrown out of school.   And I loved them dearly.  When I moved back to town after chiropractic school, I found them again.  A few are still giant messes.  A few still struggle with problems with drugs and alcohol.  I know what people may think when I am seen with them.  But what other people said never mattered much to me.  I think the heart of a person matters more than their actions...we all make mistakes, we even repeatedly make the same mistakes.  So while everyone else was worrying about what effect my friends might have on me, I was hoping they might see the effect I have on my friends.  

At New Hope we have started a new series.  It's a study of the book of Mark and Sunday's sermon was another great one.  We studied the second chapter (which you can read with a quick google's not long) and there is one section in there that hit home for me.  It is the section, verses 13-17, where Jesus call upon Levi and eats with "unfavorable."  Levi was a tax collector in Capernaum.  Taxes and tax collectors were just as hated then as they are now.  They often made themselves rich at the expense of those around them.  This, of course, doesn't matter to Jesus and he calls upon Levi to follow him.  The following happens...

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Read that last verse again....

Maybe as Christians it is not our job to tell people what is right and wrong, but to love them in spite of their wrongs.  Maybe we are not meant to look down on others, but rather to reach down to others and help lift them up, help influence them to make choices with more wisdom.  Should I tell my friend the next time I see him drunk again that he needs to get his life together, should I lecture him about his mistakes or should I simply offer him a shower, a decent meal and a cup of coffee? 

 I struggle with that.  I want to lecture.  I want to point out fault.  I want to direct and control and "fix" other people.  But that doesn't work and I think I've gone about things the wrong way.  I think maybe instead of being another person to point our failure, I should be the person that emphasizes the victories.  That says words to help build up and not tear down.  That is my struggle and what I've been thinking about over the last couple days.  I am thankful for a church that has a message that makes me think about it for a few days.  And I am thankful for my friends.  Especially the ones that others don't love so much, because they help me to see the important things in life.  So I will treasure my friends.  I will trust them when others may not.  I will do my best to help the Levis in my life cause I am sure at one point or another, I've been the Levi to someone else.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hazel has arrived

I posted last week about my best friend being in labor....and she was...but they weren't interested in heping the process along, so she was sent home from the hospital.  Courtney toughed things out at home until last night when her water started leaking.  Off to the hospital they went, she was dilated to a 6 and 100% effaced.  Fast forward to 2:30 this morning and Hazel Jane has made her appearance!  She is so much bigger than I would have guess at 8lbs 13oz.  She is 21 inches long.  I had told Courtney a whle back, that I predicted Hazel would be born on the 7th...I was close!  The best part, this is her husband Matt's Grandma's birthday.  I'm not sure how old Rosemary is today, but I already know her favorite present!  I get to go meet her send a shout out to God and tell him to move around my speeding ticket prayers to today (and everyday really...lead foot, it's my worst habit).  Enjoy the few pictures I have for now.

Hazel Jane

Courtney and Matt

Hazel and Aunt Michelle

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