Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chicago Cubby Surprise

I doubt that the picture needs much explanation. That little baby is swimming (dancing in praise to our Lord!) around in Ami's tummy! Surprise!

We certainly have had a fun time rejoicing and marveling over the Lord's timing and sense of humor. We had planned on traveling and seeing the some more of the world, but this littlest McNay just couldn't wait!

Things have slowed down significantly for me because I am struggling with "all day sickness". Fortunately, I had given my notice at work before we even found out about the baby and so I only had to work a couple of weeks while feeling poorly. At present I read, sleep, eat (me too), sit on the couch, and go out for occasional PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) meetings. Things will pick up a little in the fall as PWOC kicks off September 12, but we are still trying to keep life simple. I am currently 13 weeks along and hoping for a break in sickness at 14 weeks (me too), but we can't count on anything. At least we know that I will be feeling better sometime around March 5 (me too).

We are calling the little one Cubby (or Walnut is my favorite) because the baby will certainly have to be a Cubs fan-sorry Jeff- since the little one is a Chicago baby. I don't think we will go as far as naming him/her Sosa, but it is fun nonetheless. Though Cubby is an American (me too) he will be born in a German hospital in Idar-Oberstein (or in the car on the way there). They have a great staff and facility and we are pleased with the care I have received. I met my doctor and the Chief Doctor today, they reviewed my massive medical records/history and both marveled (and me boys can swim!) that I was able to so "easily" carry this baby. We are thankful to the Lord and revel in His goodness to us, and continue to pray for Cubby that he will grow to love and serve the Lord.

(Dave is intalics)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thoughts on Hospitals, Singleness and Military Life

Today I accompanied a friend to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. She has been needing to have her wisdom teeth pulled, but like most of us has been putting it off for a rainy day. Today happened to be that day.

We left early this morning, checked into the OR and I sat in the room with her while nurses and doctors scurried around. A Chaplain came in and sat with us for a little while. He prayed for her and wisdom for the doctors. It was especially nice to hear his prayer which was sincere and heart felt and I felt ourselves enter into the throne room of the Lord.

I sat with her and held her hand as she got the IV and gathered her belongings as they rolled her away. I proceeded to the waiting room where I had the rare privilege of watching the whole Dr. Phil show. It was great.

The oral surgeon came in an hour later to let me know she was out of surgery and in recovery and after a little while a nurse came in and took me to see her. There she lay, completely drugged up with these gauze strings hanging out of her mouth, what a beauty! I held her hand and told her all about Mary Lou Retton's appearance on the Dr. Phil show. I gave her kleenex to wipe her face and assured her she wasn't drooling. I walked her around the post op room to get the anesthetics out of her system, called the nurse when she needed assistance, packed up her stuff and drove her back to our house where she will stay tonight. I even pulled off the side of the autobahn and pulled out a handy ziplock to let her vomit. Not only that, I checked the vomit in the bag to make sure there wasn't anything there that shouldn't have been there. I have now made the patient chicken soup and put her to bed.

Today I had to reflect. I was standing with her, in the place of her husband. Her husband is out in the field training and will eventually deploy to Iraq. I was there, but hardly a decent substitute. I am sure this will be one of many opportunities I will have this coming year to stand with a woman from this community.

Today I was glad I was in the place of caregiver. This is probably the first time I have sat in that seat. The first time I was the one who was able to comfort someone in a hospital bed. I can't help but think to my own hospital stays which unfortunately are too many to count. Four years ago I was admitted for four days and it was miserable. My roommate drove me to the ER and stayed with me the whole first night. I had misc. visitors over the following days. The visitors were wonderful, but it is really lonely in a hospital room when you are all alone and family is thousands of miles away. On the fourth day I was finally able to call a friend who picked me up and drove me home.

Last February, while swallowing a pill, it became lodged in my throat. After a day of achy throat I was convinced that it was still stuck and Dave took me to the ER. We spent our first Valentine's Day as a married couple in the ER. At first I didn't find it very romantic, but by the end it became one of the best memories of my married life. I wasn't alone. I was in the hospital and there was someone else with me. And not just a friend who cared, but someone who loved me and who would be with me the rest of his life. What a difference, I just cried as we sat together waiting and waiting. What a gift the Lord has given to me.

My heart is glad that we are here and that the Lord has given me a unique opportunity to stand in the gap for some of these ladies whose husbands are gone. But my heart also aches for them as they go through things in life without their husbands present. I suppose the hope for that ache is that the Lord is good and compassionate. He saw me through many nights in lonely hospital rooms, and he will see them through their lonely times too. I cannot offer them a solution, I can only offer them the bit of hope that I find in the Lord, who cares for us more than anyone in this world ever could, and who never, ever, ever leaves.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Ode to Christine Wiegert and All Valley Girls

The summer of 1993 between my junior and senior years in high school I spent 3 months in Mozambique, Africa. Recently I stumbled upon some letters that friends and family sent to me while I was away. It was fun to reminisce with some of them, and others I just couldn't quite remember who they might have been talking about. This letter, however, is one of my favorites. One of my best buds from high school was Christine Wiegert. Chris writes just like she talks so it was always entertaining to receive her letters. This will be funny to those graduates of NPHS, to anyone who knew and loved Chris, or to anyone who is or was a "Valley Girl". Welcome to my high school experience, and by the way if anyone knows where Christine ended up I'd love to know. One last thing, if this letter happens to mention you- sorry, the folks that she did mention I can't seem to remember, it even took me a moment to remember Chad Allen-Hello! (I will write in parentheses if there is anything that needs to be explained).


Ami Bud,
I Miss You. I Wish You Were Coming Back Sooner!
How is it going these. You better be taking very good care of yourself. Don't let anythings happen to you. Crap man-Ami expression- I miss you. I wish we were going tomorrow to pick you up. Oh, I have something for you when you get back. I know you'll like it. Oh know, my mom just walked in the room and she is in a bad mood. She's sick and when she's sick she's in a meany mood. Just writing this letter is making me even more Ami sick. like Home sick- hardi-har-har.

The other day I was in the post office and I saw Carson Goldberg and I think he was trying to talk to me and I didn't stop to talk to him. I didn't mean to and I felt really bad. He might think I was rude but I didn't mean to. You know how it goes. Remember with Jeremy Sands in the school parking lot and you just hopped in the car. You didn't mean to either. Oh Oh I got a flashback when I said "hopped in the car". It made me think of me hopping out of the car as fast as I could, away from ELVIS (a guy Chris didn't like but went out with a few times). He stopped the car, parked it, and then I flew out and ran up to my door. Thank goodness. You were SOOOO very right about him. I have been so picky about guys lately. Actually I don't even want one now at all, UNLESS he's BUFF, CHRISTIAN, VIRGIN, HANDSOME, SWEET. Sounds good, huh Ami.

Oh I wish you were here just now and we could be talking about dorky guys, etc. I've thought about it and have absolutely concluded that God is DEFINATELY saving you for some rad guy at college. I'm very sure. It's because you are such a special person and he doesn't want non-special guys to go out with you. You are too valuable. God loves you soooo much.

I've been doing some stuff for me dad's job and I have gotten a lot of money so we are going to go out to some really good place to eat. We are going to have so much fun when you get back.

Ami, it's so weird but all the things you've said to me before are finally clicking in my head. Like when you said that driving isn't really that important. I can see that now. Next year I'm going to try not to care at all what people think. We can walk home from the football games on the sidewalk with pride. We can stand up tall and show off our quarter to the on-coming teenage traffic on our way to Albertsons to call out parents. Yeah right! Well actually, maybe I could but it would be hard not to care at all what people think but I'm working on it. (Neither Chris or I were able to drive our junior year. We both had really long hair, so after school events we would walk down Reino Road with our hair covering our faces, so people couldn't see us, to the local grocery store where we would ask our parents to pick us up.)

Oh Ami you are such a great friend. I sure hope you are having a lot of fun. I also hope that God is helping you experience some great Christian moments.

Oh Oh I got another flashback. That was so hilarious when after you swallowed your pill with water and banana I was in your room and you were in the kitchen and at first I heard someone mumbling something and then I heard it louder.
"THANK you Jesus, THANK you. THANK you LORD" "Thank you so very much JESUS." (I vaguely remember this happening, I have a hard time swallowing pills and I think that I had a particularly hard time getting this pill down) That was so funny at first I didn't know what you were doing. That was so funny listening too but it was also so special because it shows your special relationship with God. Don't worry I do stuff like that too. Actually it's so neat though. God values you soooo much.

Oh you know what, I'm going to tape Dr. Quinn for you so we can watch it and look at CHAD ALLEN-HELLO!

Well, I'm going ot bed, Love always, your best bud,
PS I'm so glad that we are both Christians and Best Buds

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


While in London, many things attracted our attention. The library of London housed many items of great value such as the Magna Carta, some original writings of Galileo and Da Vinci, and many early Bibles. In the Hans Christian Andersen area we coughed up some money to do a three-dimensional child rendering. They can practically guarantee that a male child born of Ami will look much like this. I can say the young toddler will need a bro not unlike myself. As well, his legs and arms are a spitting image of his father's. Somehow the thought may burrow into your mind concerning the graphic nature of this photo. Please do not be concerned, this is very common in Europe, and in fact this figure is in the children's section of the library?!?!?

Travelling continues to be our escape, but I would have to say that our home remains such a haven. Quiet invades our house very often, at the moment all I can hear is the ticking of the clock and a tractor in the distance. I realize this still comes and goes, but silence calms. Too often we find ourselves trying to fill our days with places, people, tasks and noise. Please find a suitable place for peace and solitude, I strongly feel God has created rest for both our good and His good for us.


Crazy Travel Agents

Dave and I went to London a few weeks back and had quite an adventure. Besides being a little nervous of the public transportation (which we did use a fair amount of) we had a couple crazy experiences with our tickets.

One of the women that Dave works with booked this weekend in London for her and her husband (who was suppose to arrive back from Iraq in July). At the end of June she asked Dave if we would be interested in their tickets because they decided to go back to the states instead of going to London. The tickets, so we were told, included the following: 2 nights at a nice hotel, 2 2-for-1 dinners at the hotel restaurant, and 2 tickets for 2 shows (Chicago and Phantom of the Opera). We jumped at the chance since we hadn't been to London yet and it was a good deal. We never would have booked something like this on our own, but thought it would be fun anyway.

From the experience we learned a couple of lessons that we would like to pass on:
1. If you book from a travel agent, make sure the tickets and itinerary are in English (unless of course you speak another language, like say German).
2. If the tickets are not in English make sure that you know exactly what you are getting.
3. Make sure that you have exactly one ticket for each item you are to receive.

This is what we ended up with:
1. 2 single beds, instead of a double bed.
2. The first dinner we had a kind of 2-for-1, as they didn't tell us that whether we get an appetizer or not we will be charged for one.
3. The second dinner they refused to give us 2-for-1 because we didn't have a ticket for another dinner. The ticket that we had used the night before of course was in German which no one understood.
4. Our tickets to Phantom did not note the theatre it was playing in, or the time, so we had to track down that information.

Lastly, you must just know that London is very expensive, and they charge to get into their churches (which I think is sacrilige). We ended up only going to their free exhibits- British Library, the British Museum and the National Gallery. I can recommend each of them highly, though my fav was the library. I am not sure how they got the Guttenburg Bible from the Germans, but it is cool to see.

Picture: in front of the British Museum

Monday, August 01, 2005

On Sheep and Begonias

May I remind the world that I grew up in suburbia Los Angeles, and beside a brief stint in Wilmore, Kentucky have never lived in the "country". I don't actually think that Wilmore counts because it has 2 traffic lights, even though they begin to blink at 9pm.

Since moving to Germany I have had a beginning intro to country life. In Kentucky I began my "red neck" training where I completed level one. In Atlanta I graduated to level two once I had fished and experienced Stone Mountain's laser show. I must warn, however, that red neck training doesn't completely prepare you for country living (and I am not talking about the magazine here folks).

One of the things that endeared me to our new home was that it bordered a pasture where sheep roamed. I thought it was cool to look out my bedroom and living room window to see the sheep roaming around the fields. I was not prepared, however, to have my yard invaded by sheep.

Last Thursday the bleeting seemed to grow closer and louder and I soon realized that a couple of the sheep had somehow climbed through the fence and into our yard. I went outside and looked around to see if any other neighbors noticed and if the owner was anywhere to be found. The other neighbors didn't seem to think it was a big deal so I went back inside, assuming eventually the owner would notice and fix the situation. An hour later I was totally invaded. Our doors were banging and our windows were rattling as they banged into each other and in to our house trying to east up every scrap of grass, weed and flower. This is where I got a little freaked out. I didn't want to go outside for fear of being trampled. The other bad thing is that Dave and I just recently watched "The Village" (which has large sheep like creatures) and even though it is all a movie, I started to get really scared. I called Dave and he had no suggestions, so I waited it out.

The owner finally came and rounded up her sheep over the fence and I went out to assess the damages. Apparently sheep like begonias because they ate both of my begonia flowers clean. If I had known that in their banging around they were eating my "prize begonias" (do I sound country now?) I would have given those sheep something to be scared of! In any case, I now know that sheep will eat anything and if there is anything worth saving in the yard I better do it quickly (I also know where the owner of the sheep lives).

Our yard (notice the clothes line) and the sheep where they belong
Our yard invaded
what is left of one of my Prize Begonia.