Friday, September 5, 2014

Welcome Baby Boys! Part 1

I have babies! Two of them! Two precious, perfect baby boys. 

I am going to write about my pregnancy and their birth because 1) other than marrying Jim, it's the most important thing that has ever happened to me, and 2) I love hearing about my birth from my mom and hopefully my boys will read this someday.

I surprised Jim with the news! He had been burning brush at our new house, and I made him hurry home by saying I taught Rufus a new trick.  




Rufus wore this tag around his neck.
It felt like we were waiting FOREVER.
It was so hard for me to wait until he read the tag! I wanted to scream out the news!



One week after we found out we were becoming Mom and Dad!
Rufus got the honor of telling my parents, as well.


We had a dinner at my parents to tell the rest of my family.


We served these little desserts with babies in them.



 As a joke, some of the desserts had two babies. Turns out, the joke was on us!



We went home to Ohio to tell Jim's mom about her first grandchild! We gave her and each of Jim's siblings custom M&M's announcing their new roles as aunt, uncle, and grandma!

In the bag Jim's sister, Cynthia, received, they accidentally included a few M&M's that said "from the twins," which is crazy because we still thought we were having one baby!




I was pretty terrible at being pregnant. "Morning sickness" (let's just call it pregnancy sickness) began at 8 weeks and continued throughout my entire pregnancy. I couldn't even walk into our kitchen without throwing up.

I read up on extreme nausea during pregnancy and learned that it was a sign of twins.
This THRILLED me. I started praying that we would see two babies on our first ultrasound.

As we walked into the doctor's office I told Jim, "We are only going to see one baby." I didn't want to get my hopes up!

When my doctor showed us the ultrasound of two separate sacs and two little embryos, I screamed, "I knew it!!" and Jim and I both cried happy tears.
Stroller for TWO and Jim's Christmas jammies.

We let Rufus announce it on social media, too. Everyone thought he was having puppies... Sheesh.


Being as sick as I was, I didn't take cute "week by week" photos. This picture was in the bathroom of a car dealership... 
Our gender ultrasound was a few days before Christmas. We each learned the sex of one of the babies. Then when we got home we gave each other gingerbread people representing baby A or baby B.


It's a BOY! And another BOY!

At 24 weeks, I had to go on bed rest. I thought this would be fun, and I'd be able to get tons of stuff done. Nope. Anytime I tried to be productive, contractions would start, and I'd earn a trip to the hospital.

Our church family was wonderful. Several times a week people brought us dinner. It was a really difficult time, but they made it much better with some of the best roasts, casseroles, salads, and PIE we've ever had!

Jim on his "bed" at the hospital the first time I went into preterm labor. I love this man so much.

Also, we bought/renovated/moved into our first home during my pregnancy. Jim did this almost entirely by himself (in addition to taking care of me and working full-time).

Baby A (who we now know as George) got the hiccups everyday. He was a wild guy, and it felt like he was banging on my pelvis at times!

Baby B (Theodore) was a snuggler. He didn't move as much, but when he did, he made it count! He loved to get his feet up under my ribcage. 

Thanks to my temperpedic mattress, prescription drugs, countless friends, family, and Jesus, we made it to 36 weeks before my water broke!




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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Wish I Could Think of a Great Title, Because I'd Really Like You to Read This

Have you ever felt so loved and humbled that you actually felt a weight on your chest? Like your heart is literally about to burst because its so full? 

My childhood was completely MAGICAL because of the love I received from my grandparents. I started this blog, not because I think my life is amusing or that you want to read all about my adventures with Rufus and Jim, but because I missed my grandparents' love. I ached for a way to feel it again and share that love with others


Last week I heard Francis Chan speak at the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop. To an audience of at least 60% "gray hairs," he said, "Young people are dying to be lead by older people who are living faithfully." He described an older man who supported him when he started a church in San Francisco. Chan said he was so humbled that this man would actually show up every Sunday. Floored that this man who he respected prayed for him daily. 

I understood him completely. He made me think of the mentors who have shared their lives with me and have invested in my salvation. 

Every time I ended a phone call with my grandma, she said, "I love you, and I think about you every day."

Heavy, full-heart feeling. 

She also said things in her Oklahoma accent like, "Chelsi-baby, you show them how to live."  She communicated her faith in me to do great things for God

Grandpa made me believe I could go to the moon, win a gold medal in Olympic gymnastics, and write an award winning novel. (Really. Even though I tripped walking to the kitchen and back to refill my bowl of creamed corn, TJ Golson had me convinced I was destined to be the next Shannon Miller.)

The happiest girl in the world. Hanging out in Grandpa's boots.
But Grandma made me believe I was bound for something even greater: sharing the heart crushing, life-changing love of Jesus. 

During the past year, I've felt a strong urge to do something more: to tangibly serve the God who has blessed me beyond reason. But whenever I felt pulled in a certain direction, big loud sirens of doubt sounded in my head. "You are NOT capable of this." "They will see right through you." "If you open up your life to those people, a whole world of problems will follow." "Be smart. Protect yourself."

Over breakfast on a recent Saturday morning, a man named Randy, who I consider to be one of the wisest people on the planet and who helped shaped my faith in a very profound way, told me he prays for my husband and me. He took several hours out of his very busy life to spend with us, and communicate how much he cares. 

Jim cautiously asked me why I was in tears as we drove away that day. I told him (or at least I tried to tell him through heaving sobs) that I felt humbled. Invested in. Unworthy.

Heavy, full-heart feeling. Loved.

Our wedding day. My grandma in the lower left. Randy standing next to us. 

I know the truth. I'm not worthy of this love.

Really. I'm a jerk. (I've snapped at my husband twice while writing this post... about love.)

Even more so, I'm not worthy of the love of God, but he gives it to me anyway. 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

God has used faithful mentors like my grandparents and Randy to pour out his love on me at times when I've felt the least deserving of it.

This Easter, I'm feeling heavy, full-heart weighed down with the love of Jesus. He loves me. He loves YOU. No matter how unfit you believe you are.  

via


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be You. Believe in Yourself.

After I finished graduate school and began my professional career, I heard this saying constantly:

"Fake it 'til you make it."

During that time, I felt really ignorant. 

Whenever I tried to fake it, I froze.

I made this graphic a few months ago before starting my new job.

Along with the excitement, I was feeling a bit nervous.

Image original to chelsileigh.com, but feel free to use it. Just link back, please.

My advice to new graduates (and anyone else who's feeling overwhelmed) is not to overstate your abilities. People will see through that. 

Instead, be humble enough to admit your inadequacies, and be confident in your ability to LEARN. 

Then study the heck out of whatever it is you don't know.

You can learn to do the task.

And you can learn to do it well, without faking anything at all.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Star Trek:TNG 25 Years!


Last night I drove 45 minutes with my dad and husband to see “Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event.”

Live Long and Prosper. Mixing in a little TOS with TNG.
And I loved it.

You might be wondering what this was…

Did they replay the movies?

Did they show new episodes of the series featuring aging cast members, ala Sex and the City?

Was it a big costume party where Trekkies wore their Starfleet uniforms complete with phaser guns and tricorders? *

via

Nope. It was better.

It was an “event” to precede the release of the remastered season 1 on Bluray. In the documentary portion, people associated with the production talked about how they used modern HD technology to give Gene Rodenberry’s vision new life.

They showed two episodes from season one...

“Datalore”

Data meets his evil brother... What a rascal. via

And “Where No One Has Gone Before”

Wesley Crusher impressing the Traveller.  TNG fans know how important this will be for his future. via
This Trekkie was literally giddy for the whole 2 1/2 hours. 

I say in all seriousness that Star Trek:TNG was a phenomenal TV show. They tackled social issues like race, parenting choices, and gender equality respectfully and often with humor.

They spread a message of compassion and respect for those who are different and a sense of duty to protect those differences.

But the main reason why I love this show so much?

I grew up watching it with my dad.


It was our thing. We lounged about laughing at the antics of the angry Klingons and those deceitful Ferengi, totally confused by Q, and completely ready to jump into a holodeck given the opportunity.

We didn’t go to any Father-Daughter dances, but I think our Star Trek nights were just as special.




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Friday, June 15, 2012

I Can't Hold My Licker // By Rufus


"Hey, little girl. You want some kisses?"


"Mmmmm... Sunscreen."


"You've got floppy ears like me."


"If you stand still, I'll give you kisses."


 "That's it... Right behind my ears. I think I'll pay you in kisses."




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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NATIONAL SPELLING BEE!

The National Spelling Bee Preliminaries start this morning on ESPN3. 

I'm totally serious when I say this is my favorite televised event of the year.

This guy articulated my feelings perfectly: National Spelling Bee: Sport Is A Breeding Ground of Clutchness

I tried to get my family and friends to have our own Spelling Bee 2012 while we watch it on TV...

They looked at me like I was growing horns. 

Whatever.

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Watch This Year:

  1. Boys and girls are fairly evenly matched (136 to 142). It's a battle of the sexes.
  2. Lori Anne Madison, age 6, will be the youngest competitor in the history of the bee. She sounds like a pretty cool kid.
  3. This will be the 5th and final Bee for Rahul Malayappan and Nicholas Rushlow.
  4. The Champion of the Bee wins $30,000 in cash, a $2,500 savings bond, and a $5,000 scholarship? So freaking cool. Read about the rest of the prizes here.
  5. You just might learn something.


Get revved up to witness the "army of marching human dictionaries," and test yourself to see if you could have qualified for the semifinals here.

My results:


Even at 28, I'm still not worthy of The Bee.

Here's the schedule if you want to tune in with me:

Preliminaries: Wednesday May 30th 8:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN3

Semifinals: Thursday May 31st  10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2

Finals: Thursday May 31st 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN

Are you going to watch?

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

What I'm Reading: "Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian"


You know those Amazon emails you get every once in a while that say something like "Hello, you! Here are some things we think you might like..."?

I've started downloading books to my kindle from those emails, even if I'm only mildly interested in them.  

Why? 

Because Amazon knows me better than I know myself. 

Case in point:


If you are a parent, friend, or teacher of a person with Aspergers Syndrome or if you love learning about how the human brain processes information, read this book. 

The child of an alcoholic father and a mother who was mentally ill, John Elder Robison always had problems connecting with people. He dropped out of high school at 16. His fascination with electronic circuits led to him touring with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire breathing guitars.  At 40, he was diagnosed with Aspergers. That changed the way he saw himself and everyone else.

I really can't recommend this book strongly enough. His memoir, Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Aspergerswas eye opening to me as well. 

Temple Grandin called Be Different, "an essential guidebook that will help all the creative, quirky, geeky, and wonderfully different kids become successful in life."

It reinforces one of my core beliefs: Children want to succeed. When they withdraw or come across as defiant, it is our responsibility as educators to figure out where the breakdown is.

As touchy-feely as that last statement was, I feel the need to say that John Elder Robison's stories are heartbreaking, hilarious, and shocking (especially the ones in his memoir).

Have you read his books? 

What should I read next?
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