I took a blogging hiatus for the past month or so. Apparently, this made my one blog reader upset at me (thanks for reading Laran). I wish I could over-spiritualize my absence by saying that I was on some sort of “cyber fast”, but that would be a lie. I guess I’ve just been really busy with “life”. Here are the high points from the start of a great year:
- Celebrated 4 wonderful years of marriage with my beautiful wife, Jaime. I thought we were going to have to celebrate apart from each other. But, thanks to the threat of snow in Atlanta, my seminary course ended a day early and I made it home in time to watch Alabama win the National Championship with Jaime and Avery. I know…how romantic, right? Avery has never witnessed an Alabama loss.
- As mentioned above, Alabama won their 13th National Championship by beating Texas in The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. What a great anniversary present! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!
- Avery celebrated her 1st birthday on January 20th. I can’t begin to describe the joy that this child has brought to our lives. It’s so hard to believe that she is a year old now. We celebrated her first birthday party at New York Pizza in Homewood with family and friends. We love you Avery!
What a great month! I’ll try to update on a more regular basis.
I found my 100th (and 101st) geocache this evening. I also logged my first FTF (First to Find) this week.
Insert dork comment here…
I’ve recently started a new sport hobby called geocaching. It’s basically a worldwide “hide-n-seek” game using GPS coordinates. Brady Haynes and Garner Boogaerts have gotten me hooked. It’s a very cool way to spend some free time and discover new places. Now I just need an iPhone to make it even more enjoyable. Head on over to Geocaching.com to learn more.
Eight years ago from today, I wrote down my thoughts about the day’s events:
I’m writing myself on this most historic day so that I may have documented feelings of the horror of that our great country experienced today. I woke up today (9-11-01) at around 10:00 am. I had previous plans of going to the hospital to talk to Ann Allen about a job. Mom Bea called me shortly after I awakened and told me that the U.S. was under attack. At this time, I turned on the television and watched with the world as the horrible events unfolded. I learned that 4 commercial airplanes had been hijacked by terrorists. The World Trade Center in New York City was the first to be attacked. Two different planes hit each tower of the World Trade Center causing each tower to eventually collapse. A third plan crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. A fourth plan crashed just outside Pittsburgh. We do not know yet who is behind these acts but at this time the U.S. is expecting the work of Osama bin Laden. Thousands upon thousand are expected dead in this horrible tragedy. At this time rescue crews are hard at work trying to find survivors. For me personally, my thoughts and constant prayers go out to the families and our entire country. The only true source for peace is through our God. I lift this up to Him at this time. The Nation is urged to turn to God by President Bush. I have been glued to the TV all day. I went to Mom Bea’s house after lunch to watch the tragedy unfold with her. I came home around 5:00 pm and watched with my family. Mom went to a prayer meeting at our church. Like Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, this is another day that will live in infamy. So many stories of sadness and heroism are being reported constantly. I just wanted a written report of what I was thinking on this day. May God be with this nation in our time of need.
We took a much needed vacation to Destin, Florida from August 10-15. This was Avery’s first trip to the coast. We had a great time! Vacationing with a child is much different from our previous vacations, pre-Avery. We learned that it’s not about us anymore. We wouldn’t have it any other way!
(a lot more pictures on my Facebook page)
Jaime and I gave ourselves our Christmas gift to each other a little early this year. We decided to purchase a nice camera before Avery grew anymore. We purchased a Nikon D60 and we’ve been really pleased with the results. We both have a lot to learn about digital SLR photography.
While watching American Idol on Tuesday night, I heard a strange noise coming from the fireplace. I ignored it at first thinking it was just an echo of Adam Lambert screaming. After a while, the strange noise went away. We paused American Idol (the beauty of a DVR) so that Jaime could feed Avery and I started playing NBA Live ’09 (I’m in the 2nd round of the playoffs with the New Orleans Hornets). Just as I started the game, I heard a loud thud come from the fireplace. I paused the game to investigate and that’s when it happened.
As I stood up, a bird started to fly directly at my face! Scenes from the Alfred Hitchcock movie started racing through my head. I immediately hit the deck and crawled into the nursery to protect my wife and child. God has blessed Jaime with many spiritual gifts but at this moment, mercy was not one of them. She couldn’t care less about the fear on my face. She wanted that bird out of the house and she expected me to figure out a way to do it! In her mind, a silly bird was not going to get our baby off “schedule”.
I never really notice birds when I’m outside unless they poop on my truck or something. But, when a bird is bouncing around your living room like a pinball in a pinball machine, they suddenly demand your attention. I could not let my wife call her father over to handle this crisis. On our wedding day, I took that responsibility from her dad (but it sure would’ve been nice if it weren’t so late and he lived closer).
I finally worked up enough courage to enter the living room to face the bird. I closed all the adjacent doors to confine the bird to one central location. I let our dog Rascal in for moral support. This was the one and only time that i wished Rascal were a cat. Needless to say, Rascal was not much help. He saw the bird but he was more interested in the front door being open so he took the opportunity to go mark his territory on my mailbox which has become the neighborhood “pee pole” for all passing dogs.
After several unsuccessful attempts (my attempts = waiting for the bird to fly out the door) of catching this bird, I swallowed my pride and called Caleb over for his much needed assistance. This move caused me to lose “hero” status points with my wife, but as Caleb stated best, “This was a tw0-man job”. We grabbed a broom, garbage bag, and a box and went to work. The bird eventually tired itself out and landed on a decorative palm tree on top of our china cabinet. Caleb grabbed the palm tree and escorted the intruder out our front door. Thank you Caleb! God continues to give me material to use with my middle school audience.
Avery Wells Gambrell was born on January 20, 2009 at 2:41 p.m. at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, AL. She weighed 8 lbs., 3 oz. Jaime was amazing through the whole delivery process. We are overwhelmed with love for our beautiful baby girl! We are so appreciative for the prayers and kind words from so many of our friends and family! We love you all!
I’ll post more pictures when things slow down a little (some of you parents are sarcastically laughing)
The big day is finally here…and this has nothing to do with Barack Obama. After a night in labor and delivery, Jaime has now progressed to 3 cm. Dr. Adcock just came in and broke her water and prayed over us. Mike and Renee are now here and we are just waiting on Avery to make her arrival.
Obama was right about one thing…Change is definitely coming to the Gambrell house!
Jaime and I checked into Brookwood Hospital this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. It actually snowed on us on the way to the hospital. Doctor Ross came in a few hours ago and gave Jaime some meds to soften her cervix. Now the waiting game begins. Dr. Adcock will induce labor first thing in the morning. I pray that God gives Jaime a peaceful night and a great delivery tomorrow! Stay tuned…