Thursday, February 26, 2009

Customer Service Reviews

Side note before I begin: I love opening my blog and seeing Jemaine on the front page from my Valentine's Day post. There's nothing like a little Flight of the Conchords to make my day. Anyway, on to the post.

I've recently had experiences with the customer service side of two big nationwide companies that I'd like to share because one was really good and the other was not so much. The bad before the good though. I'm speaking of Target. Yes, I know, I love it too. Where else can you buy cereal, batteries, and the cutest shoes you've ever seen under one roof? But, I have recently become disenchanted for two reasons. Did you know that they don't do ship to store? At pretty much every store in the whole world except for Target, you can order things either online or in the store and have it delivered to your local branch, and avoid shipping costs. This is particularly nice for large items. We received a gift card to buy a rocker from Target and since our local Target does not carry rockers, we had to order it online. The worst part? The shipping charge was $75!!! That was over half the price of the rocker itself. I was appalled, but what could I do since Target does not offer ship to store for free?

The second Target experience was this week when I tried to return some items I received at a baby shower. Did you know that at Target, if you don't have a gift receipt (which people rarely give these days) you can only return two items twice a year, totaling $35? What kind of deal is that? The money from things I return will still go to the store because they put it on a gift card, so I don't understand them making me keep things that I don't need and that they can resell. Moral of the story: give gift receipts for things you give people from Target!

The last story is a good one. It's about Verizon. In an act of sheer brilliancy, I washed my phone in the washing machine yesterday. Yes, I know it seems nearly impossible to miss that you're putting your phone into the washing machine with your clothes, but I did. This sent me into a panic because B was out of town and I am now two weeks away from my due date and my cell phone is my only phone. So, I got dressed and rushed to the nearest Verizon store. The guys in there were super-nice. I don't know if it was the distressed overly-pregnant lady card that I played or what, but they hooked me up. They gave me a "loaner" phone and charger for no charge and had me set up with my insurance (thank the Lord!) to have a new one delivered to me today. All in all, I felt very well taken care of by Verizon, and will continue to be a satisfied customer despite the lack of iPhones offered by them.

So, those are my customer service stories. Just thought I'd share in case you run into the same thing one day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cattle on a Thousand Hills

Over the course of the last 9 months, I've had numerous pregnancy-related fears ranging from the semi-founded to the truly absurd. The latest of these has been that I will not lose all of my "baby weight" and never wear my favorite jeans again. Sheesh! I am extremely shallow sometimes. As I was walking last night, I was again feeling very sorry for myself. I'm so uncomfortable I literally only sleep for an hour at a time, I've gained as much weight as you're supposed to already and still have two weeks to go, B is on a business trip this week, etc, etc...I could go on, but you get the picture.

All the sudden the thought occurred to me that while I'm worrying about fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes and thinking about splurging on a new pair of jeans once I lose weight, there are other moms-to-be out there worrying about how they will feed their children. I suddenly thought about my adopted brother and sister and how scared their birth mothers would have been right before birth, knowing that they would not be able to care for their new babies. Grace was lovingly left at the old orphanage in her town when she was only 3 days old. Meanwhile, Els already has a closet full of clothes and a whole host of people with their bags almost packed, sitting on go to come be with us once she's born. Now, I'm not saying I feel guilty about this, far from it. I'm saying that I, number one, feel outrageously blessed beyond belief, and, number two, feel like maybe I shouldn't fear the things I fear so much.

The truth is, whether here or there, in plenty or in want, my Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and it is only He who is ever my provider. All of this plenty we have is His and has been given to us, not earned. I want to be grateful for the things I have and not take them lightly or as "a given."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Very Strongest Adhesive

In honor of Valentine's Day, please enjoy this clip of one of my all-time favorite love songs:

You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check It

I'm the featured blogger over at my friend, Cindy Streams' blog today. Click on the adorable picture of her daughter, Bri, above to read.

Monday, February 09, 2009


As I approach the time that I will physically become a mother, I find myself reflecting on my own mother a lot. And I'm realizing that she, in fact, does know best. She became my mom when she was only 22 and when my dad was working on his Master's degree. They lived in married housing at the university at the time and tell the story about how they had so little money that they once had to share a Krystal hamburger for dinner. I can only imagine that she was scared at times.

My mom stayed at home with my siblings and I for the most part and this is a blessing I cannot even begin to describe. She was always there for everything from tee-ball practice to parent breakfasts at school and we had dinner together every night when my dad came home from work. Um, and did I mention that she's an amazing cook? My favorite meals are still ones that she makes. The thing about her staying home was that, I'm sure that my parents couldn't afford it by today's standards. It wasn't until I was older that my mom began to get new clothes. She always wore hand-me-downs, but we always had new things. Still, I cannot think of a trully more beautiful woman. She cried with us-wait no-cries with us, laughs with us, and to this day will do anything we need her to.

Right now, not only is she my mom and about to become a grandmother, she's the mom of a 4-year old preschooler who has to go to speech therapy 4 times a week, a kindergartener with the personality and attitude of a 16-year-old, a 21-year-old pre-med student, and a 24-year-old nurse. (And you and I thought we had our hands full!) She and my dad have prayed for us every day of our lives and have consistently pointed us to Christ in their words and actions. I know that God is faithful to me in large part because of the visibly tangible faithfulness of my mom and dad to one another and to my brothers and sisters and I.

Secretly, my biggest fear has been that I will not be as good of a mother as she is. But I know that her secret is really no secret at all. She walks in God's grace, loving and sacrificing for her children and husband. My prayer is that I will do the same for B and Els.

I love you Mamma. You are trully Blessed.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I bought diapers today! And wipes, and bags for the diaper genie, and other baby things. I cannot believe that our due date is so close. I am in total nesting mode. It feels like our house is so dirty and that I can't sit down for two seconds because I feel like I'm on a total time crunch. She could come any day now. (Well, so, I hope that she stays in for another month until her due date, but you never know.) I have so much to do!!!!

I think Els is feeling the crunch too-literally. She pokes her little behind out of me a lot on one side and then runs her hands and feet around the other side. We tell her that she's not a chicken trying to hatch out of an egg. We did find out that she's in the right position for birth, which is positive. And, we got a quick little ultrasound this week, and were able to see the back of her head, her heart, and her rump. The doctor said that she's too big to be able to see her face with the less than modern equipment at the Naval hospital here. It's okay though, we'll see it in person soon enough!

32 days to go...

Thursday, February 05, 2009


This is an actual conversation that I had with one of Grace's friends, let's call her Rose, last weekend at our Chinese New Year Party. I'm not even kidding.

Rose [very matter-of-factly, looking at my belly]: You're going to have a baby.
Me: Yes I am.
Rose: Are you going to push it out at the hospital?
Me [a little surprised]: Yep. (How do you respond to this?)
Rose: Well, it's gonna be bloody!

I don't remember what I said after that, I just didn't know how to have this conversation with a four-year-old, but inwardly, I was cracking up. It turns out that, according to her Mom, Rose is fascinated with surgery shows on TV. Doctor in the making?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Mirrors in Disguise

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." -2 Corinthians 3:18

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." -1 Corinthians 13:12