Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Oven is Preheating

There aren't any buns in there yet, but it is definitely warming up in preparation. I'm sure it doesn't come as much of a surprise that (Brad and) I have an elevated spike on our Baby Fever. It seems to be the only thing on my mind lately.

Six months ago, I made the comment that I hope the Lord just surprised us with a baby blessing, because I could not ever fathom consciously making the decision to get pregnant, regardless of the fact that I knew I eventually wanted (lots of) children. For some reason, that initial leap from "single life" to parenthood seemed impossible to willingly commit to, even though I have always prayed for the Lord's blessings over our future family. However, much has changed since I made that comment. Well, actually, I don't really believe anything has changed except for our perceptions.

I truly believe that the Spirit has placed the urge on our hearts, where before it was not. All of the sudden, out of the clear blue one day, as I was walking to the elevator at work, a random thought jumped into my mind, "My life is just not complete without a child." ---Wait. What?? Where in the world did that come from?? I definitely hadn't been talking about it. I hadn't even been thinking about it! The declaration caught me so off guard that I failed to step onto of the elevator before the doors closed on me. A few months past this incident, I am convinced that my heart needed a little prodding from Above. Ever since that moment, I have had this incredible longing to start our family.

A few other factors have no doubt heightened the situation. There are seven (seven!) pregnant friends on my current prayer list. A large number of our friends already have children, many of them babies 2 and under. I'm teaching the 2-year-old Bible class on Wednesday evenings at church and have fallen in love with them. We've been spending a lot of time with a family of 7, and absolutely love hanging out with their five children. I have a stinking adorable niece that's not quite 2 yet who melts my heart every time I even think of her, and my brother is oh-so-close (February 16th!) to having another baby, a boy this time!

Thankfully, after 3 1/2 years of marriage, Brad is overwhelmingly on board. He may perform the occasional exaggerated eye-roll at the mention of a pregnancy in front of our friends just to keep with his "tough exterior," but he's undoubtedly in all the way. He's even open to having a lot of children, (I'm talking 5+! Thanks, Bakers!) where before, I was begging him to have two or three. We're praying about and discussing topics such as homeschooling, cloth diapers, and establishing healthy eating habits. (Which, if you know me and know my minimal inclination to cook, you know how huge of an alteration that will require!) Every decision is being made with a baby in the picture. His new job at the bank was pursued to ensure some job and financial stability which will allow for me to stay home after we have children. Our apartment lease is up at the end of March, and our next residence must have a room that we can transform into an adorable nursery.

It's so comforting to rest in the fact that God already knows each of our children by name. (We only know the first boy and girl - Maddox and Madison.) He knows how many we have and at what time they join our family. I am confident that the Lord has blessed our future with children, even if they turn out to not be our own biologically. I know that our future involves a big family that will together travel through life toward Heaven. If all goes as we'd like, we may even have a little one within 2010!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chester's Social Life

Chester is our child, and he has been for the last 3 years. There is no doubt about that. He's always included in our "family portraits." (The one featured is from way back in Thanksgiving '07.) And when people have conversations about their kids, we lovingly relate to them with our Chester. I mean, just because he's a dog doesn't mean that he's not a part of our family, or that we don't love him as much, or that he doesn't demand quite a bit of responsibility. So, basically, we can totally understand where these other parents are coming from. Afterall, he requires a bathtime, too! Right? ;)

Anyway, since he's our child, we oftentimes bring him along with us whenever we go somewhere, especially "regular spots" at friends' houses that we frequent. Lately, he has been getting more and more acquainted with the Bakers, and has thoroughly enjoyed his various playdates with the five Baker kids. That may have all changed, however, after our most recent visit... After kids Two, Three, and Four wheeled him around in their wagon, they decided to play dress up with their four-legged friend! Since it's been so frigid outside, they figured he could use a hat, scarf, and jacket.

Thankfully, he didn't seem to mind too much. Besides, due to their favorite activity of hand-feeding him single pebbles of his dog food, he's been begging to pay them another visit all week long. He'll get his wish, tonight after our bowling adventure (with the Baker Clan and the Howell's) when we go back to their house for games or a movie.

Overall, I'm just really glad to know that Chester's super great with kids. Hopefully, he'll love our future (human) children as much as he loves the Baker 5. It's definitely good practice.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life as a Banker

Brad began his new job as the Financial Service Representative at First Tennessee Bank in the beginning of January. However, he spent the first two weeks attending required training. But he's finally, officially working at his branch location, and has been this entire week. I figured that was reason enough for a little job update on the ol' blog.

Right now, he's still in the early stages of acclimation. He's having to learn all new systems, procedures, and regulations as well as establish relationships with the other employees. It turns out that he holds a pseudo-Assistant Manager position in the branch. He's not called that, of course, but he holds those types of responsibilities. He has to oversee everybody else's progress and check after their work each day. I guess he's a little bit bigger of a deal than we originally understood. (No surprise there. I've always known Brad was a pretty big deal!) :)

Something that's not quite so cool, though, is that the Head Teller handed over her keys and quit on his first day on the job (for various reasons, none of which have anything to do with Brad's hire). As a result, they're running around like crazy trying to cover all of her duties and responsibilities while still training Brad in his own tasks. He's trying to simultaneously learn his job AND her job, and his boss is trying to do her job, Brad's job, and the old teller's job. Yikes! Luckily, Brad is a quick learner and isn't afraid to shove right in and take over where things need to get done. No wonder they hired him.

Regardless of the seemingly chaotic atmosphere within the branch, we're both so glad to actually have an office to call "work" along with official office hours. No more working from home at all hours of the night. It's no question that the Lord has greatly blessed our lives with this position. Hopefully, with the consistency of this job, the Lord will also grant us with the stability to dive into the next stage of our life. I wonder what He has in store for us. I have a few ideas of what I'm specifically hoping for in the (relatively near) future.... :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcoming Change

Well, today we bid farewell to one era as we welcome in another. For nearly as long as I can remember, George W. Bush has held the seat of presidency. It was bizarre to hear him referred to as Former President Bush, today, but that is exactly who he is now and will forever remain. President Barack Obama accepted the title today in the largest Inauguration this nation has ever seen as over a million citizens gathered in Washington DC to witness this moment in history. I have to admit, even over broadcast television, it felt surreal to observe such a monumental incident.

Regardless of my (minimal) political offiliation, Obama is the leader of our nation, and I greatly respect that position. Even though I don't agree with many of his stances, I will join the rest of my country in supporting our new president and place the future of our nation in his hands. I do have hope that he can join America where we have created chasms among us, and that he can reestablish good standings with many other parts of the world where we have broken ties.

However, I want to remind the people that there is only One Savior, and that is Jesus Christ. No man, not even Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America, can provide us with True Freedom.

I will continue to pray for our One Nation Under God, as well as our new leader, and I hope you will join me. With that in mind, I especially appreciated Rick Warren's Inaugural Invocation for our President and Nation. See the transcript in the post below, or click here to view the prayer.

Rick Warren's Inaugural Invocation, 2009

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.

History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but by our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget You, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before You. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the One who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I mean, seriously. This is ridiculous. Don't we live in the South? Isn't it supposed to be warm? At least warmer than the Midwest where I grew up? To take Chester out this morning, I put on my fleece PJ's, my robe, Brad's long coat, a scarf, my ear muffs, fuzzy slipper socks, and warm shoes, and after all that, my nose hairs still froze! My face was the only exposed skin on my body, and the wind still searched it out just to cut right through it! How in the world can people in Alaska survive in -22 degrees? I am definitely not a fan of this egregious cold weather! For real, our power went out yesterday, due to these outrageously low temperatures (no traffic lights during rush hour traffic is atrocious!) and water manes were busting this morning, causing frozen water to block off various routes all over Nashville. Nearly the entire Mid-State cancelled school today. If we had some snow to show for it, it may be worth it. But just the freezing briskness is completely unnecessary. Where in the world is that global warming I've heard so much about??

However, despite my hatred for our circumstances, I am still reminded of how blessed we actually are. At least we're not enduring temperatures at 50 below, like in some parts of the U.S. Last night, I watched as the news talked about homeless shelters, like the Nashville Rescue Mission, extending their limits as well as churches in the area opening more "Rooms in the Inn" to house people who don't have adequate environments. Afterwards, I went to sleep in my cozy bed, thanking God for our warm apartment, and also the opportunity for Christians to extend His love by offering warmth to people who might not otherwise have it. I will continue to keep the health of our nation in my prayers throughout this chilling arctic blast.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Country Cookin' at the Loveless Cafe

Erin turned the big 2-3 on Monday the 12th, and we celebrated her birthday on Saturday by taking her and Aaron out to dinner at the Famous Loveless Cafe. Brad and I have lived in Nashville for two and a half years, now, and have never experienced this Music City tradition that is known for its Country Cookin'.

It turned out to be one of the best dining events of my life! I can't believe we've waited so long to enjoy this delicious Southern food and hospitality! The atmosphere was wonderful, the service was great, and the food was absolutely incredible. The Loveless is world-famous for a couple of different items, including their biscuits, country ham, and fried chicken. We all ordered something different and then traded and tasted each dish. Everything they boast about is completely accurate. If you haven't ever been to the Loveless Cafe, let me give it my highest recommendation. It has jumped to the very top of our "Nashville activities" to take our friends and family when they come. So if you plan on visiting us in the near future, you may as well go ahead and allow your mouth to start watering, because you'll be in for a treat!
After dinner, we went back to our place to warm up by the fire and eat some birthday cake. Erin even managed to blow out all 23 candles! We also played Farkle (a dice game) and then Diminishing Bridge (a card game) until about 2:00 in the morning. Goodness, we are getting too old for this! But, I guess for a friend's birthday, we can manage...

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year, New Me

I'm one of those girls that wants to look cute but never wants to put any effort into it. Especially regarding my hair. I'm definitely not opposed to trendy cuts and stylish colors. But I'm way too lazy to fix it every day, and definitely too cheap to make it a financial priority when there are so many other things I'd rather spend my money on. Thanks to this stubborn frugality, my parents gifted me a hair appointment for Christmas.

Gosh, an all expenses paid trip to the hair salon? What's a girl to do?? Brad was rooting for me to go dark and short again like I had this past May, but to add a "bit of deep auburn hints" this time. Erin suggested that I go back to the blonde I was when I was still a young bride. Hmm... It was a tough decision to make with all of these endless possibilities out there for me. I'm truly not that attached to my hair, and could literally do anything, especially if someone else is paying! In the end, my husband's opinion won out, since I care a little more if he thinks I look good than I do Erin... (Sorry, Erin.) So, I was boldly going to transform my long blondish-brown tresses into a trendy style of brownish-red short hair.

Because of my haphazard hair regimen, I didn't have a regular "hair lady" here in Nashville, but Bonnie highly recommended that I go to the new place in Nolensville called A Salon 2 Dye 4 (haha, get it?). I was able to get an appointment right away and blindly walked into the chic salon for a whole new 'do. I thumbed through a few of the magazines and selected some examples of shapes and colors that I enjoyed. I described to Jane (my official new "hair lady") what I was hoping to achieve, and she was a bit surprised by my aspirations since it was so drastically different from my current look. But, I explained to her that this has kind of become my routine. I chop my hair short, and then don't go back to the salon for another 8-10 months. It's not that I want my hair to be long, it's just that I forget to do anything about it for a long time, all the while it's growing back out. I originally got the "wife chop" way back in 2005, and have been continuing the cycle ever since.

With my full assurance, she was anxious to get the transformation going. We looked at a few hair color samples and decided on a mixture - 3 parts dark hazelnut brown, and 1 part cinnamon auburn. We agreed that this combo would accomplish our desired goal. When we discussed the hair style, I told her I wanted to look cute with ultra low maintenance, because I wasn't going to lie to her or myself and pretend like I'd spend a long time on my hair each morning as I'm getting ready for the day. We agreed to stay away from the bob (she says it's overdone and going out of style) and go for something that could easily dry flat / under or be flipped out for the days I am willing to actually turn on my curling iron or hair straightener. This is what we came up with:
So what do ya think? It's a little more red than either of us intended, but I'm pretty sure I like it. She told me to shampoo a couple of times, feel my friends out, and see how my husband likes it, and if I want her to darken it up, she'll be glad to do it at no charge anytime. Thanks Jane, my awesome new hair lady! But anyway, I think it'll stay. Brad super loves it, and tells me more and more each time he sees me. People don't really recognize me unless I'm with Brad or at my usual desk at work, but that's kind of fun. This 'do will do for a while. Who knows? It may last for the next 8 months... We'll see if I remember to maintain it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Merry Metcalf Christmas

Mom and Dad Metcalf, along with youngest brother, Trevor, made the journey to Nashville to celebrate Christmas with us, this past weekend. The weekend was very low-key, since we had no commitments to uphold, other than simply spending time together. We exchanged gifts, and I was shocked (and glad) to see that Trevor loved his nasty pink and blue punk belt that Brad and I could barely bring ourselves to purchase for him. Dad seemed to really like his Hickory Farms Sausage & Cheese basket, and I think Mom was happy with her Snaptote purse with granddaughter, Rachel, on the front. They got Brad a super-duper 2 pound camping in the cold while backpacking sleeping bag. He's really excited about it, even though he looks silly in it. They answered my request and bought me an appointment with the hairdresser. Cuts and colors, here I come!

Saturday, we went to Five Guys - Burgers & Fries for dinner. Brad was the only one of us who had ever been there before, but we were glad he suggested it! The food was sooo good. It's a good old fashioned burger joint, completely equipped with loads of grease! They were extremely nice (gave us our drinks for free!) and informed us that a regular order of fries will easily feed two people, and a large order generally feeds three or more. We were able to get a group shot, courtesy of the "cute girl" that Trevor couldn't stop staring at. I believe he was mortified when Mom chose her to ask to take the picture.

After dinner, we all headed to Trader Joe's, a unique new grocery store in town. Mom had told us about this chain a long time ago, but we never had one near us before. If you've never been to one, I really recommend going. It has such a wide variety exotic and organic foods, as well as a very distinctive atmosphere. We had a lot of fun while we were there. I took a lot of pictures - partly because I love playing with my new camera, and partly because I'm lame enough to take pictures in a grocery store.

When we got home, we were all about the Colts vs. Chargers Game. While we watched the game, we cracked open Dad's cheese and sausage. Once it donned our crackers, it didn't take long at all to disappear. Well, all but the hot pepper cheese, which Brad and Mom took turns daring each other to eat. Mom took little bites at a time, but Brad, proving his manhood, took giant chunks. I just tasted the cheese with the tip of my tongue and caught fire! I definitely do not see how they ate it! Eventually, the atmosphere got pretty intense when the tied score took the game into overtime. We ended up losing the coin toss, and eventually losing the game by six, but regardless, Mom still looked great in here official Joseph Addai jersey.

They left Sunday afternoon, after a pizzeria lunch and a trip to Opry Mills mall. It was nice to spend some leisure time with (part of) my family. And Brad and I were so glad that they were able to make it down here for Christmas this year, since we weren't able to make the trek up to Indiana. However, their departure marked the official finale on this incredible 2008 Christmas season. It's time to sorrowfully take down all of the Christmas decorations. Oh well. We all knew it'd ultimately come to an end. Bye-bye Christmas season!

Complete Metcalf Christmas Photo Album

New Year's Day Hike

Brad started off his new year in the great outdoors. He's embarking on an adventure to experience God through Nature, and there was no better way to say hello to 2009 than a day hike with the guys. His friend, Pat, from church invited Brad to join him and some old friends as they trailed through The Savage Gulf in the Cumberland Gap, which is basically a giant gorge with lots of wilderness and waterfalls. To document his journey, Brad took my new camera with him. He took a ton of pictures, and I'm going to make collages of some of them so you can see more in this post. (I may be doing that more from now on.)

This is a picture that one of the other guys took. If you look really closely, you can see Brad sitting near the waterfall.

I believe it would be impossible to not encounter God when surrounded by His glorious Nature. Thank You, Lord, for speaking to us through Your Creation.

Complete New Year's Day Hike Photo Album

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ringing in the New Year

For New Year's Eve, Brad and I celebrated at Brian and Bonnie Baker's house. At the party, there were quite a few people that we had never met before, and a couple of people that we had only met in passing. It was a great opportunity to form some new relationships and strengthen some developing ones, as well as spend some quality time with the Baker's five kids. The guys shot off fireworks as midnight approached, and the kids enjoyed the chance to break in their noise makers. The fun lasted well into the new year as we played a multitude of different card and board games, including our new Christmas gift, Buzz Word. By the end of the night (well, actually the middle of the morning - 4:00), we were all exhausted, but had had a great time celebrating 2008 with friends. Even Conan O'Brien, enjoyed himself. :) What better way to ring in the new year?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

2008 is gone and 2009 has come. Each new year is a great time to reflect on the blessings that God has granted us during the past year, and to anticipate the many ways He will manifest His love for us in the year to come. God has continually been good to me throughout my life, and He did not take a break in 2008. It would be impossible for me to number all of the many ways in which He has blessed my life. I will, however, mention a blessing He has already bestowed upon Brad and me for 2009 - Brad has gotten a new job as a Financial Advisor with First Tennessee Bank. As we step away from Edward Jones, we say goodbye to door knocking, straight commission, and cold calls, and say hello to actual business hours, a bricks-and-mortar office, and an already established clientele base. Hallelujah! He starts working on Monday. We are very excited and anxious to see what else awaits us in 2009.

I'm not generally a New Year's Resolutions type of gal. As a rule, I don't really like measurable goals. I know that sounds silly, and is the exact opposite from the majority of the human race (especially my husband), but specific obligations and demands overwhelm me. Instead, I like to adapt a sort of theme or idea. It's easier for me to grasp, somehow. This year, I'm going to focus on the following scripture to guide my thinking, actions, and attitudes:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

It is such a comfort for me to rely on the fact that God not only knows what 2009 holds, but He has even planned good for me. I am confident that He has already fulfilled His part of this bargain mentioned in these verses, and this year, I vow to better uphold my part by praying more fervently and seeking Him more diligently. I want to know Him in a way that I have never known Him before. I want to have a relationship with Him and open myself to Him, allowing Him to cultivate His will for my life and His love in my heart.

I don't know what 2009 has in store for me, but I am confident that the Will of God will never take me where the Grace of God will not protect me. I am very blessed, and very grateful.
Related Posts with Thumbnails