Finally, something interesting to report!

I guess it's time to break my two-year silence! There hasn't been much of note going on in our lives, but now we are excited to be preparing for our first child. We had a 19-week ultrasound on Friday and found out he's a boy! Seeing him on the monitor and knowing his gender has really helped to make this real for us.

We haven't decided on a name, and I think we'll be debating about that until he's born :)

Waiting this long to have kids (we've been married 10 years) may have some disadvantages, but I'm finding so many advantages. Over the years I've been gathering parenting strategies from observing and reading, and now I'm getting a lot of great advice from experienced moms. And our family is SO excited because we made them wait so long :) Right mom?

Aaron and I had settled in to a nice, calm and quiet lifestyle so this should be an interesting transition. We think we needed to shake things up a bit anyway :) If we survive the no-sleep months, I think many fun adventures await us!
  • whipsmile
    Woot woot!!
    by whipsmile at 06/16/14 3:05PM
  • curlie
    I'm so happy for you. :)
    by curlie at 06/16/14 3:30PM
  • whipsmile
    I can give you a list of five or six names NOT to use just in case Alex and I have another boy some day. ;-)
    by whipsmile at 06/16/14 4:34PM
  • tryphena
    I could offer you my opinion on boy names, but it would probably be offensive to someone or another ;-)

    The first 12 months of pregnancy are the hardest...the first three months out of the womb are just a blur, so I count them with pregnancy.

    You are going to LOVE the transition!
    by tryphena at 06/16/14 9:07PM
  • nchantment4u
    Exciting times!
    by nchantment4u at 06/16/14 11:58PM
  • whipsmile
    okay....*hangs head like Snoopy*
    by whipsmile at 06/17/14 2:13PM
  • sarahmarcelle
    So exciting!
    by sarahmarcelle at 06/17/14 3:42PM
  • chickadee
    Calm people make the best parents. Oh, that the world had more of them!
    by chickadee at 06/25/14 1:03AM
  • chickadee
    And the fact that you are "getting great advice" is another good sign. So many first time mothers already "know it all".
    by chickadee at 06/25/14 1:07AM
  • curlie
    I appreciated what you said. No harm done. :)
    by curlie at 07/01/14 12:38AM
  • mjintexas
    Oh come on, Holly... really? THIS is what it takes to break your 2 year silence? ;)
    by mjintexas at 07/03/14 11:57PM
  • simon_says
    Walk-in clinic is different than urgent care.
    by simon_says at 07/21/14 1:25PM
  • onelittlecandle
    Sorry so slow in replying to your comment on a few posts ago. :P I'm happy to say that things are improved most of the time. Some services are still rough, but overall, Jesse is doing better. :) I'm sure I'm being somewhat oversensitive about the comments by those who mean well, but it would be nice to hear comments about when he's being good, too, to balance out the others. You will be a great mom and no matter how much or little patience one has when starting out parenting, I'm sure they end up with a lot more as the years go by. :-)
    by onelittlecandle at 07/21/14 9:05PM
  • nchantment4u
    Praying for a good birthing experience and a lifetime of love and cuddles!
    by nchantment4u at 11/04/14 8:34AM
  • chickadee
    uh.... something seems to be missing here.
    by chickadee at 01/13/15 2:53PM
  • chickadee
    I will be if you bring your family to see me. "Grandma" included, of course!
    by chickadee at 05/06/15 6:05PM

Wait... summer went where?

THANK you for all of your love and support regarding my conference presentation. I really enjoyed and appreciated all of your comments and was tempted to take you up on your offer to take my place (as well as all of the offers of cheesecake)! I can't believe it was already a month ago. I was a wreck for most of June and July, but about a week before we left I sat down and REALLY prayed about it... and suddenly I was calm :) Imagine that!

The trip to Boston was an interesting mix of good and bad. For instance, you know you've made a lousy hotel choice when there is bullet proof glass between you and the receptionist! I did enjoy the city and Aaron LOVED it. We went to the public park several times and walked the Freedom Trail. And, the highlight for this typography nerd was seeing the Declaration printed on an old school printing press. We also enjoyed a good laugh at the North Church over the box pews. We thought bench pews were bad enough! You could barely see the tops of others' heads. Plus, back in the day, families had to pay for their box! The closer to the preacher, the more expensive. So crazy.

We thoroughly enjoyed staying with the local preacher and his wife and two young kids. What a sweet family. The rest of the church is lovely as well! And it just so happened that two other couples were visiting that day that we knew. Small world, big family!

The presentation went well. The only issue was with my video... it wouldn't load and wouldn't load, and then after I gave up and moved on it would suddenly start playing in fits and spurts, interrupting what I was saying. My only comfort was that I have only very rarely been to any presentations that didn't include problems with the technology. I ended up being Video Girl for the rest of the conference, but at least people recognized me I suppose! My audience was incredibly complimentary and I really appreciate that. I rewarded myself with an amazing cupcake afterward. AH.

After we got back we were off to Missouri for my cousin's wedding. Then I took a week off of work to recover, and then was on to my next adventure - sinus surgery! I've had problems for years, and back in July a doctor suggested surgery to remove polyps, fix a deviated septum, and clear out my sinus cavities from front to back. I did NOT enjoy waking up from the surgery - I felt like I was drowning. Recovery wasn't too bad, though. I didn't have any pain - it was just incredibly uncomfortable. I felt like I had a cold for a couple of weeks. But, I had wonderful people taking care of me :) Today I FINALLY felt almost back to normal.

I'm sorry that I've gotten behind again on everyone's blogs - I will be catching up soon.
  • chickadee
    worry + prayer = calm. What an awesome feeling. What an awesome God!

    I was just watching a video of "Make Way for Ducklings" with my granddaughter the other day and wishing I could see Boston. Have you read that to Leela? Did you take pictures? My friend Jeanne has told me about a young preacher who moved to Boston, but I can't remember his name. I know there aren't many in that area.

    Your posts may not be frequent, but they are interesting. You can always find a bright side.

    I'm glad you are feeling almost back to normal.
    by chickadee at 08/31/12 6:18AM
  • tryphena
    Cringed at the mere thought of sinus surgery! I hope it did all that was advertised by the doctor, though, because that will make your life better.
    by tryphena at 08/31/12 7:36AM
  • whipsmile
    August didn't happen. I didn't see your face.
    by whipsmile at 08/31/12 8:59AM
  • whipsmile
    I actually had the same thought! We should double up this month. I know your Labor Day Weekend is full, but let me know.

    Also, what weekend are you and Aaron free in October? We might need to ask for your help yet again in moving to Joliet. If you don't mind of course. We are looking at Oct 13th, but the 20th isn't out of the question either.
    by whipsmile at 08/31/12 11:47AM
  • mjintexas
    And now new semester! Yaaaaaay!
    by mjintexas at 08/31/12 12:52PM
  • split_rock
    Good to hear good things -- especially about your recovery!
    by split_rock at 08/31/12 5:42PM
  • littlelamb
    Glad everything went well (conference and surgery)!
    by littlelamb at 09/05/12 4:23AM
  • whipsmile
    of course, no worries! If it doesn't work out that super okay! You two did SO much in helping us move in February.
    by whipsmile at 09/05/12 4:04PM
  • mister_c
    Yes I seemed to have blinked and summer is over. I sent Aaron Facebook message about this year's Muder Mystery Dinner. I am super excited that the 2 of you will be coming this year! Saturday Nov 3rd. get ready to get your geek on.
    by mister_c at 09/06/12 12:19PM
  • chickadee
    My teacher read that to us in first grade (1958?) and it is still a well-loved book today. Oh, yes, having a lot of books is a definite plus. Thanks to library book sales, the Goodwill, and yard sales, I have almost all the "best" picture books. Now if I had my dream library to hold them all.

    Brett is anxious to go every morning, always in a good mood when he comes home. Thomas is too. It still boggles my mind that each student has an ipod in his classroom (2nd grade) AND there is a smart screen. I want to go to school with them!

    I loved the pictures of Boston. I never thought too much about Boston until the girls and I visited Williamsburg in 2004. Since then I have been yearning to see both Philadelphia and Boston.

    What's this about female characters? Who are yours?
    by chickadee at 09/07/12 12:38AM
  • chickadee
    Brett has always liked school. He had two years of preschool, small special classrooms, of course. He is SO different from the stereotype of an autistic child.
    by chickadee at 09/07/12 1:11AM
  • onelittlecandle
    Left a little thought to share on her blog regarding songs not sung/covered up. :) Hope all is going well!!
    by onelittlecandle at 09/12/12 9:57AM
  • chickadee
    Daniel was only there the one year so unless you met him elsewhere (and it seems to me we asked before)....
    by chickadee at 09/13/12 2:19PM
  • tryphena
    Happy Birthday, Hollywood!
    by tryphena at 05/10/13 6:40PM
  • mister_c
    I think it is in the Pleonast bylines that if you go an entire year without changing a post, you get deducted like 50 cool points.
    by mister_c at 05/24/13 10:51AM
  • nchantment4u
    Do you read this anymore? :-) yes, let's plan the dinner!! what should we do? I don't know any of the restaurants at any of the stops. i wonder if Kathy would have some good input. Maybe appetizers in Wheaton, dinner somewhere closer to Chicago, something to do in Chicago and dessert somewhere on the way home? Or do we want more stops than that? We need to keep the price somewhat reasonable. Mike and I are in tight budget mode.
    by nchantment4u at 08/04/13 10:43PM
  • alp1926
    Thanks, Holly. Abby's doing much better now and lovin' her little boy all the more. :)
    by alp1926 at 08/27/13 7:15PM
  • chickadee
    I WAS yesterday, but just had a relapse :( Thanks for your concern.
    by chickadee at 08/30/13 1:45PM
  • chickadee
    YAY!
    by chickadee at 04/29/14 12:38PM

famous

Hi all!
I am currently soaking in an early spring, as most of you all probably are as well. I can't get enough of it. This is how spring should be every year! Beautiful blossoms that last longer than ever... light jacket weather... can't remember the last time it snowed... thunderstorms... I love it. An update on my friend with cancer: I really don't have much of an update. She is mostly recovered from her surgery (although is still having some pain from it) and is scheduled for a scan in July (or is it June? I get the J months confused). It will just be a lot of waiting from here on out. Thanks to those of you who prayed!

Many of you may know that I am a Social Media Specialist for the local university (it's actually a very hectic job and not all fun and games) :) My VP has decided that we need to be in the top 25 universities on social media. This, she feels, includes me "playing the conference game" - speaking to, politicking with, and smoozing people at conferences until our school is more well known.

Speaking at conferences is not a "game" to me. It's a special form of torture. If he had thought of it, I'm sure Dante would have worked it into one of his circles of Inferno, along with schmoozing. But, knowing that no one particularly cares how I feel about the matter, I submitted a proposal to the eduWeb conference in Boston thinking SURELY they would never choose it. They did. So, unless the ground opens up and swallows me whole before then (not a bad option), I will be making a fool of myself in front of who knows how many people on July 30th at 2:30 EST. Maybe you could schedule a little prayer for me then.

And, no, if I survive the lecture I will not be politicking or schmoozing. I'll be as nice as possible to people during my respites from hyperventilation, and then will spend a lot of time in my room ordering room service (cheesecake anyone?!). ;)
  • tryphena
    Cheesecake, YES! Come to Indianapolis for a conference, please. I know that *could* be a day trip, but it'd be more fun if you came for a few days. No need for a conference, actually--just come on down, bring her with you, and we'll go to Maxine's together :-)
    by tryphena at 04/15/12 10:19PM
  • whipsmile
    i'll come to give you moral support...and throw cheesecake at you
    by whipsmile at 04/15/12 11:14PM
  • mjintexas
    You are going to do GREAT! I'm somehow going to imbue you with my absolute love of public speaking and conferences. No, really!
    by mjintexas at 04/15/12 11:45PM
  • whipsmile
    you know the heckling with cheesecake is all out of love
    by whipsmile at 04/16/12 10:53AM
  • sarahmarcelle
    Sounds like a cool opportunity! Hopefully hearing cool things from other people will make up for having to give your own speech?

    Also, perhaps you could make a trip to Fayettville (AR) as a consulting gig. The UofA's athletic department could probably use a Media Specialist Extraordinare right now.
    by sarahmarcelle at 04/16/12 12:35PM
  • tryphena
    Seriously, Holly...I'm serious! And I know she'd come if at all possible. If you play volleyball, come for the annual volleyball tournament--it's usually around July 4 weekend, not necessarily THE holiday weekend, but thereabouts.
    by tryphena at 04/16/12 1:22PM
  • nchantment4u
    I didn't bother to see if the "her" and "she'd" linked to me, but I'm guessing it did and I would! Yes, to the cheesecake!
    by nchantment4u at 04/16/12 11:10PM
  • worker_at_home
    You're funny! I'm sure you'll do well....think positive! 8)
    by worker_at_home at 04/17/12 12:52AM
  • linda_g
    Maybe if you'd done a lousy job at the public speaking jobs (news media, student seminars, etc) locally,they wouldn't have been so happy to send you to more. You're so funny.
    by linda_g at 04/17/12 1:09AM
  • curlie
    I know you'll do a great job! :)
    by curlie at 04/18/12 12:53AM
  • chickadee
    We all love to read your blogs. I don't see how they could not enjoy listening to you : )









    by chickadee at 04/19/12 3:46AM
  • littlelamb
    Cheesecake, indeed.
    by littlelamb at 04/20/12 8:50AM
  • wifelet
    I'll go do it for you ... I think I could make a convincing Holly Nicholson!!
    by wifelet at 04/27/12 12:04PM
  • raifhaus
    Thanks for your note. Yes, we love so much about this place and these people. It will be very hard to leave.
    SOmehow (and I have no idea how) I left a message for you on this very old post of yours:
    http://pleonast.com/users/holly_ann/entries/629380-friends-family
    ("hm. she hasn't posted in a while")
    by raifhaus at 05/07/12 5:37PM
  • raifhaus
    I agree with your "special form of torture" analysis. Eeep!
    by raifhaus at 05/07/12 5:38PM
  • tryphena
    Enemies = people who are unwilling to forgive...grudge-holders and gossips...or people whose belief system doesn't correspond with God's word. They are mostly people I love and long for. There are but a few, but having any enemies is a burden.

    I would sure love to work out a girls' time with you and laura!
    by tryphena at 06/08/12 7:54AM

more food talk

Well, I did a practice run of the tiny lasagnas tonight after Bible study using a vegetable lasagna recipe I found online (like Anita said, it was just a simple substitution of ingredients!). They were pretty good! I'm glad I practiced, though - I have a lot of tweaks to make for the next round. Thanks for chiming in to my last post!

Now to practice traditional lasagna. Can you believe I've only made it once in my life? I usually just make Italian Shells if I want a lasagna-y food. There will probably be a lot of slamming pots and sighing, but I think I'll survive. Hopefully I can nail Heather's minestrone soup recipe on the first try next Saturday!

I guess I should explain what all the cooking is about- we are having 2-3 other couples our age over for a Valentine's Day celebration on 2/11. Each of the couples takes a turn hosting a holiday - first it was Friend Thanksgiving, and more recently Friend Christmas was added. Aaron and I decided to do our part by hosting Friend Valentine's Day and we are planning an Italian feast. The other couples are amazing cooks, so I have a lot of work ahead of me and a lot to live up to. I want to craft tons of decorations as well (I LOVE Valentine decorations!!), but as the day gets closer that seems more and more like it won't happen :( Like the Calvin and Hobbes book, "the days are just packed!"

Quick prayer request - I should have mentioned this long ago but a dear friend of mine has been battling cancer for the past several months. She had carcinoid cancer of the appendix -it was removed but they were still concerned about the spread, so 3 weeks ago she also had part of her colon removed. There were cancer cells in a couple of her lymph nodes, so please pray that the doctors will be able to guide her through the next few years (this type of cancer does not respond to chemo or radiation and there is not much research at all out there about it).

Speaking of which... I have to get up super early to help her care for her son before I go to work (she is still recovering and cannot lift him from his crib) and I am exhausted from tonight's food experiment, so I need to get to BED! Love to you all.
  • whipsmile
    praying for your friend.

    You'll do great at the party! Sounds like a fun thing to do with your friends!
    by whipsmile at 02/02/12 10:15AM
  • curlie
    Praying for your friend! HUGS
    by curlie at 02/02/12 12:12PM
  • alp1926
    So sorry to hear about your friend. I pray things will go well for her and her family. You're a good friend!
    by alp1926 at 02/02/12 9:31PM
  • nchantment4u
    so...is there any more news after that announcement last Wednesday? Also...I make lasagna...do you want my recipe?
    by nchantment4u at 02/06/12 10:21PM
  • tryphena
    I have a no-boil lasagna recipe that has never failed me. It takes all the sighing and slamming out of lasagna-making. I make it every year for our friends' annual Valentine's party. (It's good enough that they keep asking.)
    by tryphena at 02/08/12 7:35AM
  • littlelamb
    Just read this. Hope the lasagna turns out.
    I'll be praying for your friend.
    by littlelamb at 02/08/12 8:44AM
  • sarahmarcelle
    Your Valentine's party sounds so great! Before we started re-doing the kitchen, I really wanted to have a roaring 20s themed party for our friends for Vday. Maybe next year.

    Sorry for your friend. So glad she has you to help her!
    by sarahmarcelle at 02/13/12 1:44PM
  • mockinbird
    Thanks for all your help on Sat. We so appreciate it. How did your study go?
    by mockinbird at 03/07/12 3:45PM
  • chickadee
    How is your friend doing? And you and Aaron?
    by chickadee at 04/07/12 4:11AM

what a dummy!

I didn't include the link. Tiny lasagnas here.