Archive | August, 2012


26 Aug

Here are a few shots of what’s been going around here, lately. Natalie’s just started on solids. You’d think her rice cereal was Bluebell ice cream judging by how aggressively she eats it. Like mother, like daughter, maybe?

We did buy soft baby-sized spoons after this first feeding, in case anyone (Mom?) is concerned about her using metal spoons! I don’t think the grown up spoons fazed her one bit, though.



Big News!

26 Aug

I am bursting with pride for my awesome husband. After over a year of taking exams like a champ, networking like an all-star, and interviewing like there’s no tomorrow, Charles landed a job at Willis North America as an actuarial analyst! Charles first heard of the actuarial field from a fellow math teacher at the high school he used to (used to!!) work at. That was the spring of 2010, so the journey toward accepting a position has not been short.

Willis is a global insurance brokerage firm, and Charles is going to be working for their casualty actuarial services department here in Nashville. When he interviewed in July, he met with all the actuaries in the office (except for one on vacation), and he really like all of them. I suppose the feeling was mutual!

If you’re like most people and don’t know what an actuary does, I’ll do my best to explain. They’re business professionals that use complicated math to calculate and analyze the financial implications of risk and uncertainty. Sometimes they work as “in house” employees for insurance companies, and other times they consult for many different clients. Charles will be doing the latter.

The actuarial profession is always ranked among the best jobs out there (here, here, and here, among others), although the high job satisfaction probably comes after all those darn exams are finished.

Charles was a great math teacher, but I really think that being an actuary is going to be an even better fit for him. As a bone fide math nerd, he enjoys studying for the exams (good thing, too, because he’s got seven more!), and I think his excellent interpersonal skills will really set him apart when working with clients. Oh, and spreadsheets. He really likes spreadsheets.

Anyway, I am so happy about this development! Below is a picture I snapped on our post-Mass two-hour long drive around Nashville on Sunday. The things you’ll do to get your baby to take a good nap, right?

Ad majorem Dei gloriam.


And Thy Own Soul a Sword Shall Pierce

14 Aug

We’re in the process of teaching our dear little Natalie how to fall asleep on her own this week. The “no-cry” solutions weren’t working, and I would literally have a panic attack when I let her “cry it out” by herself. We chose a middle-of-the-road approach detailed in The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight. There are tears involved, but mom or dad stays with the baby, comforts her with words and touch, and picks her up if she gets really upset.

Last night was our first night, and it was hard. I sat next to her crib for an hour, listening to about 40 minutes of heart wrenching sobs before she finally fell asleep. I was a total mess afterwards, seriously second guessed our approach, and entertained some pretty ludicrous thoughts. I’ll just nurse her to sleep for the rest of her life! It’ll be fine! I don’t mind!

I had a pit in my stomach all through dinner tonight, knowing that I was going to have to put my sweet babe through so much sadness again. At the end of our bedtime routine, I laid her down and braced myself for the tears. She began some gentle protests, but stayed calm.

Through the whimpering, God placed on my heart the prophecy of Simeon from Luke 2. After the prophet remembered God’s promise of his seeing the Messiah before his death, Simeon turns to Mary and Joseph:

And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning [Jesus]. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.

My heart ached to end Natalie’s suffering last night. How much more must Mary have trembled with grief to witness the crucifixion.

I think I have a new appreciation for the sorrows that Mary accepted with her fiat to Gabriel. She is a beautiful help to all women out there who endure heartache and suffering. I love her and the Church that seeks to follow her example.


P.S.- She fell asleep after 15 minutes. No tears! (And thanks to Charles for being so supportive in all this!)

Charles To The Rescue!

1 Aug

Have you ever had one of those days when you pick your pizza stone up off the kitchen table, after it’s been sitting there for a couple of days, only to discover that there’s a big pizza-sized circle of green and black mold growing on the table? No? Just me? Well, I had one of those days a couple weeks ago.

It was disgusting, and I was so distraught over it that I didn’t even get a picture of the mold. Sorry, guys.

Anyway, Charles had planned on challenging me for the title of Reigning Scrabble Champ that night, but instead, he came to my rescue and killed all that darn mold!

My knight in shining gym shorts.


Up next: a good sanding and a little bit of tung oil, and she’ll be as good as new!


P.S.- Charles is now blogging over at And So We Are. If you like theology, beer, math, Vanderbilt sports, and/or our family, you’ll be happy there.