Monday, January 26, 2009

One Step Closer...

After eight hours of writing essays on topics like the power of sport in the modern world, the ethics of competition, the compatibility of science and philosophy, and Aristotle's view of naturalism; and two hours of defending his answers in front of some of the world's leading experts in the aforementioned topics, Chad is one step closer to getting his dissertation. He passed his comprehensive exams and can now begin writing the dissertation - woo hoo!! (Notice the relief in his usually stress-sunken face.)
Chad now has only two more hoops to jump through before becoming a doctor of sports philosophy (which is only slightly different in pay scale from medical doctors). Right now he is considered an A.B.D. (you fill in the blanks with whatever you want but it actually means All But Dissertation).

By age 28.5, Einstein had produced a theory of relativity, Michael Jackson had produced 5 Platinum albums (and shown countless little boys his new "release"), Tiger Woods had won 10 major golf tournaments, Barack Obama had become the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review, the German's had bombed Pearl Harbor, and Chad is within one semester of having to get a real job.
Please join Kathi in congratulating Chad on his impressive feat. She couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

24 Weeks!!

So, I've officially made it to the 24 week mark of my pregnancy. I don't know where the time has gone, but it has been an incredible journey so far. I just can't believe that in 16 weeks, Chad and I are going to be parents. I'm guessing that after changing a couple of diapers, Chad's gas won't be quite so appalling to me. :)

So, to keep everyone up to the date on the belly front back in Michigan and elsewhere, I thought I would update you with a few 24 week pics.
If you lived in State College, you would probably see me in this for maybe 2 hours out of the go to church. If you'd probably miss it (But it'd have to be a long blink because I'm getting bigger!).
Otherwise, you would see me in this...sweatpants with an elastic waist! Ahhh...there is nothing better! :)

My New Best Friend
I would also like to introduce everyone to my new best friend.

Now, you might wonder what she's doing holding up a white piece of cloth? Big Deal. Oh people...this is not just any white piece of cloth...this is known as the belly panel and it is fabulous! This little article of clothing comes in very handy when you reach that point in your pregnancy when the buttons on your jeans are directly east and west of each other and there is no way they're going to be meeting in the middle any longer. Well you just pull this handy dandy little tube top over your unbuttoned jeans, and holds your pants in place....holds everything in place actually...and you don't have to worry about "hungry buns" in the back. :) Nothing better!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Season of Sharing

The holiday season is our favorite time of the year. Not only because its a sentimental feel good season but because we get to spend a significant chunk of time with our family and friends back in Michigan. As we spend time reflecting on this years holiday season, we realized that sharing was a constant theme throughout the couple of weeks we were home. We shared... the snow removal. From the moment we arrived in Hamilton, it didn't stop snowing for three days leaving our cars unable to navigate or even locate the streets of artic Overisel. Considering the Grotenhuis household still lacks the internet and cable, (but did just get indoor plumbing the previous summer) Chad was trying to find any way possible for him to reconnect with the outside world. So, clad in snowmobile suits from the 1970's (literally!), winter parkas, hats, gloves, scarves, more hats, gloves, scarves, face masks, & Napoleon Dynamite boots we beat the Allegan County Road Commission to 46th Avenue with our shovels & tractor. Kathi's Dad, Larry, reluctantly taught us how to use his John Deere to remove snow from the driveway. (We say reluctantly because he loves to use his tractor - but he should have been reluctant because of our poor driving & farming skills.) While Chad, Kathi, & Larry worked hard shoveling & plowing snow, Kathi's Mom, Bev, disappeared. We thought she went inside for hot chocolate but Kathi found her later neck deep in a snow bank. She yelled "Just go on without me", but Kathi couldn't leave her and joined in the fun instead.

...time with family. From meeting our 9 day old niece, Brooke, for the very first time to spending time with our almost 90 year old grandparents and all the ages in between, we loved every minute of it. We did not do a good job of sharing Brooke because it was so peaceful to have her asleep in our arms (and up all night crying in her parents arms). We did, however, do a good job of sharing the Swedish holiday drink glogg that Chad's grandpa brought. (We had to share because one sip of the raisin, prune, whiskey, & wine concoction could make you vomit and slur your words for days.) Of the six family Christmas parties we had, we had to win at Bingo for presents at two of them, we had to sing Christmas carols for presents at one of them, had to open presents between potty training lessons, and played farkel after presents with the others.

...time with friends. We feel truly blessed to have such good friends in both Pennsylvania and Michigan, and the holiday season allowed us to spend time with many of them. From sharing white elephant gifts in Zion, PA to sharing cheesecake while watching Penn State volleyball in Zeeland, MI to rocking out to Rockband in Fennville, MI (Kathi tried to "rock out" out on the drums but was not quite as successful as the 3 year old that went after her) to dressing up in bad sweaters and playing euchre as the ball dropped on New Years Eve in Grandville, MI we realized how blessed we are to have such great friends.

...our little goober. We were flattered by all the interest people took in our pregnancy (or at least pretended to show interest). Kathi started struggling to get into her normal pants. We were unsure whether this was the result of the baby....or just a lot of holiday eating. Chad, on the other hand, continues to try to put on sympathy weight.

...lessons on sharing. Our cute little nephew Grant becomes a cute little monster when he plays with Thomas the Tank Engine. One particular night he would not share with anybody. Uncle Chad tried using logic to help him ("Grant its impossible for you to know that Thomas doesn't want me to play with him because he's an inanimate object. Don't you know anything about epistomology?") Kathi tried using negative reinforcement ("Grant, if you won't share I won't play with you anymore.") You can guess which worked better. Its a good thing Grant has smart parents who know how to raise a child because he seemed to catch on to sharing quickly.

...misery. After our New Years Day schlacking at the hands of the USC Trojans, we understood what University of Michigan fans went through this entire football season (and hope they go through again next season).

Happy Holidays to everyone! Our New Years Resolution for this year is to update our blog more regularly & promptly.