Babies and Bicycling

I’ve always enjoyed bicycling as an alternative form of transportation.  While I don’t consider myself a bicyclist because I’m not interested in things like racing and going on a bike ride for the sake of riding a bike, I am quite happy to ride a mile or two to get to a coffee shop or a job.  This mentality probably started when I was a kid and my parents somehow convinced my siblings and me that getting to ride our bikes 1 mile to school was something to get excited about.

Anyway, living on the outskirts of a bigger city hasn’t been conductive to my style of bike riding since I graduated.  Most streets are not bicyclist friendly and those who do ride on the roads often do stupid things like ride against traffic.  However, we are moving to a much smaller a town where things like the church and the library are less than a mile away.  I’m hoping to use my bicycle once again as a mode of transportation.

Because of this, I had the motivation to take my nanny toddler for a bike ride yesterday.  It was a lovely summer morning and I wanted to get us outside (plus I wanted to get in some sort of physical activity for myself since I’m inclined to be lazy during my free time).  I hooked up the child trailer to my employer’s bike, buckled in the toddler, and off we went to the playground about 2 miles away.

When we were about halfway to the playground, I decided maybe having my first bike ride of the year shouldn’t involved pulling a bike trailer or being 22 weeks pregnant–I was getting tired!  I then thought to myself:

bike ridingYou see, pregnancy brings a whole slew of no-nos, many of those things I hadn’t even thought about prior to getting pregnant.  Foods and physical activities are favorite categories to have a slew of forbidden things and I hadn’t checked to see what the stance was on bike riding.  However, we were already halfway to the park, so I finished the ride.  Thankfully the trip back was easier because there was a slight downgrade most of the way.

This morning I did an internet search to see if bike riding was considered a pregnancy-safe activity.  The short answer: Not really (pregnancy is also filled with gray areas of “there’s a chance this could affect your kid, so you probably shouldn’t do it”).  The reason:  Pregnant women’s center of gravity is off balance, so they’re more likely to fall off a bike.

Oddly, this reasoning really annoyed me.  Up until now I’ve taken most of the things I should avoid in stride.  I cut back on my coffee intake.  I’ve avoided lunch meat for the most part.  I still eat a lot of sugar, but I tolerate the lectures about it because I know it’s not good for me.  I’m not playing softball this year.  I’m asking my husband to carry heavy things for me more often, something my pride struggles with.  I’ve even passed along kitty litter duty to my husband (oh wait, that wasn’t a hardship, never mind).  But giving up bike riding simply because I might fall off?  Grrr. . .

Perhaps this annoyed me more because I’m fairly clumsy.  A few weeks ago, I slipped and fell hard enough to bruise my knee while walking across the hardwood floor at work.  Using the reason that I shouldn’t do things because I might hurt myself means I should start living in a bubble.  But rest assured, I would probably find a way to hurt myself inside the bubble.

At any rate, I plan on asking my doctor at my next appointment.  He has proven to be a relaxed, reasonable fellow so far, so I’m less likely to be pissed about the bike thing if he thinks it’s unsafe than if the internet thinks it’s unsafe.


How the Non-artistic Seminarian’s Wife Gets an Ordination Stole for Her Husband (Sorta)

At the beginning of this school year, I realized that I really shouldn’t put off thinking about getting my husband an ordination stole.  So one day in September, I set out to plan how to make sure my husband had a decent red stole for his ordination.  I immediately became confused and overwhelmed.

For the past 3 years, I heard wives talk about making their husband’s ordination stole for a gift.  This plan wouldn’t work for me because I don’t know how to sew (nor did I think learning to sew with my husband’s ordination stole was a good idea).  My next thought was to see about getting a nice custom made stole.  However, those options proved to be quite pricey.  My third thought was to ask my mom to make one.  I tried to find a good sewing pattern for a stole, but I can’t recognize a good pattern from a bad one because, well,  I don’t know how to sew.  I never got around to asking my mom about making a stole.

Months passed and soon it was April.  One night, I had a “Holy-crap-you’re-getting-a-call-and-we-have-so-much-to-do” fit and I finally admitted to my husband that I had no idea how to get an ordination stole for him.  My husband, being the rational person that he is, explained to me that he never expected me to make him a stole.  He then asked if I wanted him to figure out the stole.  I told him, “Yes.”

So, my husband set out to find himself an ordination stole.

Thankfully, one of my husband’s classmates had assumed that he would need to buy his own stoles for his first call (something that had never occurred to me) and had already searched for inexpensive stoles.  He pointed my husband to this website:

The site was the perfect solution to my husband’s stole issue.  Even though the site is designed for Catholics, some of the stoles were basic enough seem Lutheran.  Even better, the stoles were inexpensive.  And it turned out that the church that called my husband didn’t have stoles, so he needed to buy a set anyway.  Consequently, he was able to purchase a very basic set for less than $100.  Are the stoles the fanciest things you’ll ever see?  No.  Will the work well for a new pastor just starting his first call?  Absolutely yes!

Of course, now I need to think of a new gift for his ordination. . .

ordination gift

Where have pastors you know gotten stoles?  If you are a pastor’s wife, what did you get your husband for his ordination?    


Countdowns and Checklists and Concerns, Oh My!

The last few weeks have been busy for my husband and me–hence the lack of posts.  There have been 4th-year banquets, lots of scurrying to prepare for our new lives in Iowa, and a seemingly futile attempt to continue our normal duties of our present lives.  All of this makes it a bit hard to focus.

At any rate, there are several countdowns running for us:

3 days until graduation

5ish weeks until we move

6ish weeks until my husband is ordained/installed

19ish weeks until Baby arrives

Of course, all these countdowns lead to many checklists:

Checklists for the graduation party

Checklists for packing and moving

Checklists for what we need to discuss with the congregation

Checklists for baby preparations

Then all those checklists lead to concerns and worries, like:

Oh crap, we’re having a party on Saturday!  How will we get everything ready?!

How do you move with cats?

How do you move when you’re 26 weeks pregnant?

What will this new church be like?

What if the people don’t like my husband?  What if the people don’t like me?  What if I don’t like them?

How do you find a new doctor when your current insurance expires at the end of June and you’re not sure what your new insurance covers?

How are we supposed to take care of a baby when we can’t even put up a Pack ‘n Play?

On the bright side, my nausea has fully subsided, so I can eat chocolate and drink coffee to make myself feel better.  And if you tell me I shouldn’t eat and drink those things because I’m pregnant, I’ll come and eat you.  So there.

We Know Where We Are Going (Call Edition)

April 30 was Call Night (sorry it’s taken me so long to update–life has been a little busy since that night).  After months of anticipation and prayer, found out that my husband has been called to a church in northern Iowa.

All this Hawkeye can say to that is . . . WHOOHOO!  Really, returning to Iowa has been my dream throughout the seminary years.

Anyway, my husband and I have fielded many questions over the last few days about his call, so I thought I would answer the most common ones here:

1. What is the church like?  The church is on the smaller size of average with 250 baptized members and about 90 people worshiping weekly.  We’ve been told that the congregation uses the liturgies from Lutheran Service Book (yay!).

2. What is the town like?  The town population is just over 1600 people, so small (although not as small as some towns that our friends are moving to).  However, a bigger city–well, Iowa big–is about 15 miles away.  Stores like Target, Kohl’s, and Hy-Vee (the regional grocery store) are about 20 minutes away.  The town itself has a school, post office, library, and the local grocery store.

Oh, yes, there are about 5 other churches in town.  I’m not sure what the bar situation is like

3. What type of housing do you have?  Parsonage, yay!  I don’t know much about the house itself, other than it has 2 bedrooms with a potential 3rd bedroom in the basement and is about .5 miles from the church.

4. How close are you to family?  We are 1.5 hours from my father-in-law and 2.5 hours from my parents, siblings, and one of my sisters-in-law and her husband.  For those of you wondering, we are pleased to be close to family.  We also have many friends within that radius as well.

5. When will you move?  Not immediately.  I’m currently still working and my husband won’t actually graduate for another 2 weeks (yes, he does actually have to finish his classes).  Likewise, the current pastor won’t retire until the end of June.  Consequently, we’re tentatively thinking of moving at the end of June and having my husband’s ordination/installation sometime in the first couple of weeks in July.

6. What will you do after you move?  Well, I’m retiring from my nanny career to become a stay-at-home mom.  Granted, I’ll have a few months to kill before Baby arrives, but right now I’m looking forward to some downtime.  Work has kept me fairly buys this year, so I have a bunch of little projects that I’ve put aside until I had more time.  One of those projects is learning how to birth a baby–rumor has it that stork doesn’t actually give you a baby. o.O  I’ve also recently started writing some articles for a website, so I would like to continue with that work even after Baby comes.