Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Projects, and Crises

Nick and I decided that this weekend would be project weekend. We had a lot of organizing to do to get ready for the baby. So, on Friday I moved my office out of the spare bedroom and relocated it to the basement. When Nick got home, we moved two spare dressers (thank you, Mom!) into the for the baby and the second one for Nick, who has more clothes then most JCPennys.

Nick is very emotionally attached to his clothes...he remembers where he got it, where he's worn it, and all of these other details about items in his wardrobe; so, he doesn't want to get rid of anything at all. Hence, he keeps all of his clothes in the other spare bedroom...because he doesn't want to share a closet or dresser with me. So, he has a whole closet and TWO dressers full of clothes in 'his' bedroom. Despite not wanting to get rid of most of his clothes, I did talk him into getting rid of this outfit; however, he had to put it on one last time for ol' times sake.

Paging all Garth Brooks wannabes.

In college, the 4H house girls liked to rip the Wrangler patches off the guys' jeans....with their teeth. I imagine Nick striking this pose at the bars trying to entice them to bite off his patch.

Thank you Aunt Dana for the stick horse for Baby Mac! Giddy-up, Cowboy!

On Saturday, Nick and I turned our attention to the basement and literally spent all day sorting through tubs, organizing, cleaning, and getting things in tip top shape. Unfortunately, God must have thought we didn't do a good enough job, because Sunday morning we woke up to a flooded basement after a drain got clogged and backed up after some heavy rain. All of our cleaning and organizing went down the drain....or at least tried to!So, by Sunday afternoon we had a team of people in the basement from Servpro (those fire/water/everything weather-related people), and they ripped out the padding, sucked out the water, and are now working on getting the carpet dried so it can be reinstalled. Between Christmas, the projects, and the crises, Nick and I didn't sit down once during our five-day weekend!

A soaked box of something.

All of our furniture moved to the center of the family room because it was dry in that area.

Dryers now surround our basement drying out the carpet.

On a more positive note (or depressing note if you're on after this sentence), I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and all is well with Baby Mac; however, I am not showing any signs of getting closer to labor. I was really hoping that all of that moving furniture this weekend would really get things going, but it hasn't worked out that way. :(

Monday, December 22, 2008

Update on Baby Mac

Today I had my second appointment with the new doctor (for those of you who haven't heard, with eight weeks left, my old doctor announced he was moving to Georgia!!). Things went well. We had a sonogram. Tomorrow is my 35th week, and right now Baby Mac is estimated to weigh right at 6 lbs, plus or minus 1/2 pound. So, right now, if we go to 40 weeks, we're looking at anything between 8-9 lbs at this point, which doesn't surprise me, because Nick and I were both in that range.

I thought I would include the sonogram pictures. The new doctor has one of those crazy 3d machines; so, the second picture really gives a good look at Baby Mac's face!
Take care, and have a Merry Christmas this week!!!

The side profile....

...and a view of the face on the right-hand side of the picture. Baby Mac's hands are covering its face on the left side of the picture. This is not a good sign...a baby of mine who is hiding from the camera. ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. I can listen to it year-round...and my husband hates that! I like to think of it as Christian music instead of just holiday music. Every year I get so excited for the new Christmas CD's to be released. I buy them hoping that there will some new version of "Oh Holy Night" or "Joy to the World" that will become my new favorite version (since I probably own 20 versions of each of the classics). It is rare that I find a new favorite, but every year I try and try. This year my big addition to the Christmas collection was Faith Hill's new Christmas CD. Let's just say I was underwhelmed by it. It's fine and all, but a little overdone for my taste.

I was talking with a friend about some of my favorites...who I think does which song best...which songs aren't well known but are still favorites of mine to sing along with in my car...and so I decided to post that list on my blog. If I was really famous, I am sure I-tunes would publish my list....someday I am sure that will happen. Until then, here are my picks if you're wanting to download some Christmas music to get you ready for next week!!!

  1. Oh Holy Night - I love two versions of this song...the one by Jewel and also by The Judds. I tend to think that Jewel grew up going to church. A lot of her pop songs have Christian symbolism in the lyrics ("There's a dead end to my left, a burning bush to my right"), and her Christmas CD honestly has some of the best traditional hymns on it.

  2. Welcome to Our World - Amy Grant - This song has the BEST imagery..."Fragile fingers sent to heal us/tender brow prepared for thorns/tiny heart whose blood will save us/unto us is born."

  3. The Christmas Hymn - Amy Grant - sometimes when I'm in my car, I imagine singing the verses with a huge choir behind me singing like the choir on this song. Yep, I just admitted that to the world.

  4. A Mighty Fortress is Our God/Angels We Have Heard on High - Amy Grant - I love this melody of the two songs together.

  5. Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Amy Grant - very simple arrangement with just a guitar. Yes, lots of Amy Grant on the list. I love most of her Christmas music.

  6. Little Drummer Boy - Jessica and Ashlee Simpson - I know, I know. Surprising appearance on the list, but I do really like their version of the song...I never even really liked the song until I head their version.

  7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan - I normally don't like untraditional arrangements of classic hymns, but I love this version. I actually like almost anything by Sarah McLachlan. I think her voice is like velvet (download Sarah's duet with Cyndi Lauper singing "Time After's like going back and forth between velvet and cardboard!)which leads me again to...

  8. Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan - Not a hymn, but I still love this song.

  9. In a Bleak Mid-Winter by Sarah McLachlan - this version was the first time I had ever heard this song. The words make me think of what a cold and dark night Christ's birth could have really been and that the important thing is to bring not only what we have but also who we are to Christ.

  10. What Child is This - Right now my favorite version is by the Judds, but I'm not thrilled with's just that not many singers choose to record this song. If anyone knows of a better version, I'm open to suggestions!!

My Blogstalker's Family...

These are SOOO long overdue. I am so sorry! Kim and I were talking tonight about how behind we are getting everything done for everyone. It seems that the closer I get to Christmas, the less motivated I am to be on the computer in the evenings! In any case, I have started getting threatening emails from friends and family to blog more pictures; so, here is the first batch!

While in Minnesota for Thanks-Christmas, my new niece Amelia was baptised. My cousin Nicholas and his wife Amy were co-sponsors of baby Amelia (pictures of Amelia's baptism to follow at a later date!), and afterwards we all headed into the library at the church for a few pictures. Amy is a confessed blogstalker, and I know she's probably been anxious to see these pictures. Unfortunately for us and fortunately for her, her kids were so darn well-behaved during picture time, that all of the pictures I took of them are very similar! Amy, why aren't your kids crying and trying to escape the camera lens like everyone else's kids??? I figured it has to be one of three things: You take their pictures ALL the time so they're used to it; you never take their pictures so they were intrigued by what was going on; OR, you threatened their lives and their next ten meals if they didn't behave! Which one was it?!!

In any case, here are my three favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A few weeks back I had the opportunity of shooting the family of my friend Del Rae. It was extremely cold outside, and one of the boys wasn't feeling well; so, I questioned some of the pictures, and I had her come to my house again this past Saturday to try and capture some additional inside shots of the boys. What was I thinking?!! There is just something about little kids' pictures outside that are so much more real and representative of their personality then when you take them inside and put them in front of a backdrop...and that's one thing that Del Rae REALLY wanted. "I want these to show how my kids really are, Kelly...not some formal posed picture." So, in the end, the outside portraits ended up being my favorites! These were taken near a barn on their farm.

Here are a few of my top favorite pics!

ps - check back tonight or tomorrow morning for another post of my cousin Nicholas, his wife Amy (a blogstalker!!) and their family!!!...aka the most well-behaved kids when it comes to posing for pictures!

The whole family. It took a while for Mr. C (the older of the two boys) to warm up to the camera, but he soon got the hang of it!

Yep, he got the 'hang' of it soon enough....hehehe! sorry for the terrible pun!

Oh, is there anything more fun for a farm boy then an old barn with fences to climb!!

Mr. C hamming for the camera.

Ahhh...the picture that says it all...these are my favorites...when people don't know I'm clicking away. I always like to think that 50years from now it's captured moments like this one that will be brought out of a storage tub and put back into a frame. I might be wrong, but it's my blog, and I'm sticking with this little fantasy of mine!

Younger brother Mr. B felt a little safer behind the fence when it came to the crazy woman with the camera.

But a quick game of peek-a-boo through the slats will warm up any toddler!

One of my special favorites of the day...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I was going through some old emails and came across this little list that my good friend Allison sent me after I told her I was pregnant. I thought everyone would get a good laugh out of it!


  1. Day 1: Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
  2. Day 2: At bedtime, set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes siting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped in a pair of chip clips.
  3. Day 3: Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."
  4. Day 4: Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
  5. Day 5: Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one brast and set on 'medium pile.' turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
  6. Day 6: Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."
  7. Day 7: Tape a water balloon to each breast and sqeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
  8. Day 8: Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each chest area.
  9. Day 9: Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 am, 3 am, and 5 am.
  10. Day 10: Slather your brasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed, and stand very still in your backyard.
  11. Day 11: Go someplace public and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
  12. Day 12: Suckle a wolverine.

Hope you all enjoyed them as much as I did! My personal favorite was #10!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things That Make Me Smile

I've been editing pictures from last week's 4th annual Rankin family Thanks-Christmas, and let's just say Nick is tired of hearing me laugh followed by the phrase, "Look at this one, Nick."

There are so many that crack me up, and while I promised to let my family see them first so that they could pick out any they want to use on Christmas cards, I wanted to share this one. It was out of focus...the color was bad...etc, etc. But, despite it's flaws, it makes me laugh SO hard!!! How can this gummy smile not cheer you up on a gloomy, rainy day?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bizarro Nick

This summer while shooting a wedding with my friend Cydil I couldn't believe how much one of the groomsman resembled Nick! I kept staring at him all afternoon while the wedding party was getting ready and then during the formal pictures! I whispered to Cydil at some point during the day that Nick's twin was in the wedding party, and because of my fascination with this twin, she would probably have 200+ pictures of this guy from me. Eventually the wedding was over, and we were snapping pictures of the wedding party in the house after the ceremony and of all the guests at the reception. Nick's twin was always in the center of the group, making jokes, giving toasts, and being ornery. The likeness of the two kept getting stronger and stronger.

However, eventually the music started, and that's when I had to laugh. The music signalled the end of the likeness! At some point before the music started, Nick's twin changed out of his tuxedo shoes and into something a little more comfortable: tennis shoes. This guy was ready to bust a move...and with every girl on the floor! He twirled, he twisted, he shouted...he was the main source of entertainment at the reception, and that is when I started calling him 'Bizzaro Nick' similar, yet so different. In any case, I've been saving these pix for a special occasion, and here they are.

Introducing Bizarro Nick!!!

Bizarro Nick with all of his buddies after the ceremony was over and before all of the toasts between the couple and their wedding party.

Bizarro Nick and some of his college buddies.

Bizarro Nick warming up the dance floor....

...getting ready for the twirl...


...planning his next dance move...

....and checking out his woman's moves to make sure they're up to par.

In the end, it was fun to watch Bizarro Nick 'shake his groove thing' on the dance floor with his girlfriend (and every other girl that would dance with him that night!); however, I'm pretty sure Bizarro Nick doesn't fix his woman a hot breakfast every morning (eggs made to order!), start his woman's car (complete with seat warmers turned on!), and drive all fourteen hours both ways to spend four days with his four sisters-in-law and the entire extended family over Thanksgiving (complete with walking breaks every three hours for his 8-months prego wife!). I'll take these moves over some lousy pair of dancing tennis shoes anyday!

Happy Anniversary, Nick!