Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Change of Purpose

I've attempted to write this blog a couple of times and thought about writing it exponentially more. I've been on a life/faith journey for the last couple of months and have just now come to the point where I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with others, specifically blogger world.

My friend, Mrs. Reagan, blogged about Being on Purpose yesterday and it helped me put into words my journey thoughts. Her blog describes the motivation of being on purpose as described by John C. Maxwell, a well known author of leadership books. I've enjoyed reading a few of his books, he is able to break down leadership theories into simple, thought changing steps. His book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a lifetime favorite of mine.

Purpose has never been anything I lack. I feel like most things I've done in life (since late high school) has been with purpose. I distinctly remember being unhappy in high school and knowingly taking steps to change that. As soon as I got to my alma mater I joined a ba-zillion organizations, stepped out of my comfort zone, and became the socialable person I continue to be today.

My purpose in life has always been to get to 'next'. Whether that was establishing my fraternity, graduating college, getting a real job, getting promoted, graduating graduate school, or getting married I have always been on a path concerned only with the next step. I struggle with people who are complacent and lack ambition, I just don't know where they are coming from.

Living a life of purpose is a great thing in most circumstances, until life changes and your purpose ultimately follows suit. For the last five years I've been a retail manager working towards next level, be that a higher volume, higher complex store or ultimately a district manager position. As many of you know two months ago my life shifted and priorities changed. We found out that Rebecca was expecting our first little one, subsequently fetally-named Blueberry.

My faith journey led me to the realization that I could not continue to focus on my career without regard for family. Previous career decisions had put me at odds for being the kind of husband and father I need to be. It was a hard pill to swallow that some of the steps I have taken to pursue my purpose/career were selfish and detrimental to my current family situation. It was almost as if the purpose of my life was at odds with what my life had become - that I could no longer continue my career growth and family growth at the same time.

Wonderfully I work for a company and boss that understands the focus of family and the sacrifices one must make when their purpose shifts suddenly. My boss and I have been working together on a fix for my work/life balance and have announced such a fix this week.

It is with a sorrow heart that I leave my current store for another within the same company family, but a different brand. It is a store much closer to my house and family (cut my commute in half or more) and has a promise of a better work/life balance. My new store does not put my career on hold by any means, just a small detour from the plans I once had. Blueberry, my new purpose of life will impact future purposes more than I can imagine. I don't know if I will return to the same purpose or start a new path when that time comes.

The purpose of my life is changing and that's expected. I feel like my journey has brought me to the comfortability to admit that my purpose can change without losing all that I have worked for previously.

Please continue to pray for my family as we grow and our purpose is enriched by another life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

So, what's in a name?

We have been bombarded with people asking what we are going to name Blueberry. Most of the inquisitions coming from my family - love you guys.

My brother and sister-in-law recently announced that they also have a blueberry on the way. (For the sake of clarity we will call their blueberry, raspberry.) This is very exciting for all involved. My parents who have been patiently waiting (my dad not so patiently, haha) for grandkids and are now being blessed with two.

How amazing that Blueberry will have a cousin Raspberry that is only a couple of weeks younger. Rebecca has a cousin, whom she has been very close to, that is only a year or so younger. They were able to grow up together in the same neighborhood and have shared so many childhood experiences. I hope that our Blueberry has the same kind of affection with Raspberry.

So, what's in a name? Naming Blueberry has become a somewhat daunting task. Jane and I have been talking names since Day 1 and still have many weeks to figure it out. Before Blueberry became...a Blueberry, we had chosen the name Jackson for our first son. We love last names as first names and I would love to have a boy with my initials, JP. But Jackson doesn't work anymore, its become too popular. Though there is an awesome young man named Jackson that we know it has gotten too popular for us. Jackson's mom has an amazing blog you can follow here. We love the name, but we don't want Blueberry to compete with his peers on a namesake level. When we looked it up it was like #6 most popular name in 2009. Aiden, another baby name in our lives is #1. How crazy is that? For a list of other popular names visit: Most Popular Baby Names 2009.

We have laid out some expectations of the name
1. Be a family name (whether it be hers, mine or both)
2. Be somewhat unique, but not made up off the top of our heads
3. Be a name that screams masculinity for a boy (such as Wolverine, haha) or femininity for a girl
4. When/if it's a boy I would like to have some kind of shout out to a Sigma Chi founder.
Not all expectations have to be met, but these are the filters we are using.

I am very interested to hear how others chose names for their blueberries and if you have any names you want to throw into the hat. I have heard of baby naming ceremonies, but honestly it seems a bit much. My Mom wants to start the name suggestion off. For a girl - Sierra Rose. Eh....haha, love you Mom.

Friday, March 19, 2010


The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
-James Allen

Today is such a beautiful day and it happens to be my day off. Above is the peaceful view from my recliner through the open doors outside onto the golf course.

Relaxed in bed until 9:30am. That was much needed. Losing that hour of sleep last Sunday has dragged me down since.

Today is beautiful for another reason - Rebecca is now 10 weeks. Our Blueberry is now the size of a prune. That is crazy, and my cup runneth over.

Pregnancy symptoms have been plenty this week. Her morning sickness is more like afternoon sickness, or sometimes all day sickness. She has been super emotional at times as well. Its been tough for her to go through these changes far from her family and in the middle of medical school. My heart has been burdened to watch her realize that we can't change any of that right now. In times like these we must remember that we are strong Christians and that God has chosen us/her to carry our Blueberry and to be the vessel of God's creation.

Symptoms for me have been 'interesting' as well. I've also had somewhat of an emotional week. I've always been one to champion change (shout out to Phyllis), but lately its been a more difficult than expected. Knowing that in 6 months life needs to be in perfect sync for Blueberry to be born and welcomed home is a little daunting. There are changes to be made in all areas of my life and they are beginning to take shape. So, on a day like today I find peace in the calmness, in the birds chirping, and the soft wind blowing through the open doors.

I hope you find peace in the weather that has been provided and strength in the welcome of new beginnings.

Friday, March 5, 2010

8 weeks today! 32 to go!

I am getting so excited!!! The baby is about the size of a raspberry. Crazy to think that 6 weeks ago it wasn't more than two cells big. I have to stay this has made me enjoy the development section even more. Even though it kills me to know all of the development problems that can occur. Do you have any idea how hard it is to know so many things than can be going wrong right now? I just pray that God will wrap his hands around our child and allow all to be well.

I keep getting in trouble with my husband for buying things. All I have bought are some books and a really cool breast feeding cover up that I really got for free. I just had to pay shipping. use code Family2010 This automatically take $32 off of your order. This would make a great present for any expecting mother that plans on breast feeding. How can I not want to order stuff when Joe sends me a link for this?

 I really wanted to go through this experience with someone. I thought I was going to be several months behind friends that are also pregnant, but it appears everyday I learn of someone else that is expecting around the same time that I am. One of my really good friends from middle school told me that she is due on the same day. How crazy is that? I have had another couple of friends let me know in confidence that they are expecting. I will talk more about them once they have shared it with the world.

I feel like this is going to be the longest process in the world. Why can't we get pregnant, and then have a baby 8 weeks later? That would be perfect? I just keep trying to break the time down by looking forward to the different things that are going to happen between now and then. Thirty days from Joe and I will set sail for the Bahamas. This is our first cruise. I am very excited about it. I hope that I am past the morning sickness phase, but still in the normal clothes stage. Joe has started buying things for me once size larger. It is kind of bitter sweet for me. I loved getting into a small or extra small, but Old Navy has some really cute dresses and skirts that I think will serve me well over this crazy hot summer. I am ten weeks away from finishing my first year of medical school. I will be honest, there was a point around Christmas when I wasn't sure this would happen. Neurology is NOT going to be speciality. This semester has been a lot more fun for me. I enjoy physiology and the anatomy of the chest. Thursday concluded my OB/GYN elective. I LOVED it! I am convinced more and more that OB/GYN is my future field. I loved every aspect of my elective. I didn't get to see any baby's being born, but Dr. Holsten (my wonderful OB) told me that I can spend all the time I want with her this summer. Since I am no longer going to Peru for five weeks, I think I may turn shadowing into my goal for the summer. The only problem is that I won't make any money. I am still employed with WellStar so I may try to get some time in there this summer.

Ok! Enough for now! I must study for my exams on Monday! Take care and say a prayer for our little blueberry!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seven things I've always wanted to do...

...visit another country. Maybe Australia. It would be so cool to see such an exotic location. I would love to see all the different wildlife and see the Joeys - baby kangaroos.

 on a national political campaign. I have been enamored with the drama and strategy of elections since high school. I just got done listening to 'Game Changer' - the story of the 2008 presidential candidates and VPs. Boredom to most, riveting to me.

 near my family. I haven't lived near my family since college. As I've grown older...YIKES...I have been wanting to get closer. The biggest drag about living so far away is having to plan the trip and then the DRIVING. Right now it take 4 hours to get to Rebecca's family and 6-7 for mine. :(

...become more community driven. Serve on a local board or committee. Really make a difference in the areas I live and work in. 2009 was a year of progress and I hope to continue that in 2010.
...jump out of a flying plane (with a parachute of course). How AWESOME would it be to free fall from 20,000 miles in the air?
...ride in a hot air balloon. Similar to my last idea. I can't imagine the views from that high up.

...have a CHILD. This one is in progress! Little baby Pierce is the size of a blueberry. So cute and fun. I can't wait for him/her to be born, it is going to be absolutely amazing! We'll go on walks, teach some life lessons, and all-in-all have a blast.