Saturday, October 20, 2007

Walk 'till he drops

Molly is 39 1/2 weeks. We're anxious, excited, and ready for him to come. Everyone says walking helps get the baby out, so walk we did--over three miles. Afterwards, Molly said everything was sore except her belly. I guess this baby will come when he's good and ready. We walked around Greenbelt Lake, which is starting to have some beautiful fall foliage. Molly wore my "Miller Construction Services" t-shirt. You could say it's her current occupation.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Honor of Columbus Day

In honor of Columbus Day, Molly and I decided to be explorers and go somewhere new and wondrous. For us, that meant getting out of man-made DC and enjoying God's beautiful creations. So we went to Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns. In a
small way, we were adventurous like Columbus, considering Molly was 2 1/2 weeks from her due date and we went 3 hours away from home and hundreds of feet underground. We made plans the night before and Molly hesitated the morning of, but I said, "It's my holiday and we're going." We did, however, take note of all the hospitals along the way, keeping track of which one was closest--just in case.

Shenandoah is a long, narrow park along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive runs 105 miles along the ridge and is supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the East. It was cloudy that day, but we still got some good views. I had fun being like my Dad, trying to take stunning pictures. They didn't come out like his would have, but they make for fond memories.

The speed limit was 35 miles the whole way, but we didn't mind. We were there for the journey, not the destination. It would have taken 3 hours to drive the whole thing, but we had a picnic lunch about an hour in and cut out early to go to the Luray Caverns.

Outside the cavern we saw what they call the Singing Tower, a huge, stone bell tower. It still operates and they give "concerts," but only on the weekends, so we only got to see it.

The Luray Caverns is one of those stalagtite/stalagmite caves. It is the biggest in the East and one of the biggest in the nation. Its claim to fame, however, has to be the "Stalagpipe Organ." Cave explores discovered that when you strike certain formations with a rubber mallet it makes a musical tone, like a xylophone. A physicist who loved music designed electronic hammer devices that he strapped to formations of various sizes to make different notes, then hooked all the devices to an organ terminal. The result is an actual, playable organ. We took one look and thought, "Now this is were the Phantom of the Opera must live." They didn't let us play it, but they played an automated song so we could hear it--"A Might Fortress is Our God." The room it was in is called the Cathedral Room, partially because of its size and shape and partially because several weddings have been held there.

Another highlight of the cavern was what they call Mirror Lake. It's a shallow lake--about 6-8 inches at its deepest--but because the water is so still the reflection looks as deep as the ceiling is tall. It was hard to get a picture because with the flash you couldn't see the reflection and without the flash it came out a little blurry--but here it is. Kind of Halloween-ish.

Also kind of Halloween-ish was Pluto's Ghost. It's a formation that was in a central location, so the first explores kept passing by it again and again as they explored the cave's many tunnels. They felt like it was a ghost following them, so they named it Pluto's Ghost after that Roman god Pluto, lord of the underworld. (Sorry, no picture of that one.)

Finally, at the end of the cavern was what they call the Wishing Well. As the name suggests, they let people throw in coins. People throwing coins might hope their wish comes true, but the real wishes come true for other people. Every year they take all the coins out and donate the money to charity. You might think that coins don't add up to much, but they do. In 2006 they collected $750,000. Since they've been doing it they've collected millions. The shiny coins and the greenish color of the water made for a cool picture.

Well, that was our fun adventure. Molly and I decided we would make a tradition out of exploring something new every Columbus Day (but maybe not when Molly is so pregnant).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

36 weeks and counting!

I can't believe October is finally here! This baby sure takes a long time to cook. I went to the doctor a week after this picture was taken (this past Wednesday) and he said that I am full term (37 weeks) so I could deliver any time now! That night I couldn't sleep because I was psyching myself out thinking I might go into labor. Of course I didn't, but we are sure getting anxious. The "baby room" is finished, meaning that we set up the changing table and bassinet in our room-yes we are going to have a baby in a one bedroom apartment. Many experienced moms think we're crazy, but we'll make do until we actually do go crazy. It kind of feels like Christmas without knowing the actual time or date. We are so excited and hopefully he is just as excited to be a part of our family so he will come sooner rather than later. We'll let everyone know!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gainfully Employed

As you may or may not know, I graduated this past May from the University of Maryland with an MA in Communication. (That was before we had a blog, and I’m not good at posting new information, let alone writing about past events.) After two years of being imbued with normative theories of public communication, I have dreams of an exciting, substantive career. However, for three months following graduation, I slogged through an unfruitful, somewhat frustrating job search. Then, on August 15, as a birthday present for Molly and a blessing for the both of us, I got a job as an Associate of Corporate Research for the US Chamber of Commerce.

“What is the US Chamber of Commerce?” you may ask. Well, for starters, it is not a government agency as some people mistakenly assume. That would be the US Department of Commerce. The Chamber is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is “To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility.” In other words, it advances the interests of business and free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion, and governments around the world. (Go to its Web site for more information.)

“OK, so what does an Associate of Corporate Research do?” Basically, I do mid-market research and analysis for new member acquisition. For those of you to whom that makes no sense, ask me in person and I’ll explain it better. I don’t want to write it all out. Although the work is not particularly exciting, it is interesting and keeps me engaged. I like my co-workers, and the hours are regular. So far it’s been a good gig.

But alas, it is a temporary position. The Chamber is experimenting with a program that will outsource some of its mid-market research. I was brought on to help manage the work load while the experiment is under way. By the first week in October it will determine whether or not my position will be made permanent. If not, there is a good possibility that I could be transferred to a different department of the Chamber. Even if that is the case, however, I see my work at the Chamber as short term. It’s not something I want to make a career out of. I will continue my job search, although not with the same intensity and urgency, and when I find something that is a better fit for me I will switch.

Until then, I am content with my work at the Chamber. I like to eat lunch in Lafayette Park, which is right across the street from the Chamber. On the other side of Lafayette Park is the White House. One day, while eating lunch, I witnessed a small political rally on Pennsylvania Avenue. Being so close to the nation’s seat of power and working in the middle of everything makes things exciting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Molly = 26 years, Baby = 30 weeks

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOLLY! Today, Molly is 26 years and the baby is 30 weeks. Aren't they cute? The week count is based on her original due date, October 24th. However, the due date has been moved up twice since then and is now, unofficially, the 13th. Plus, as some of you may know, Molly has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which usually results in bigger babies and sooner deliveries. So who knows when he is coming, but we're both very excited.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ocean City

Well, we finally decided to write about other exciting things in our lives besides our baby. He is doing very well, by the way, and is growing and moving right on schedule. Andrew and I were able to take a few days off, after I was done with school, to go to the beach. We were not expecting much from a beach in Maryland, coming from Hawaii, but we were pretty impressed with Ocean City. We stayed in a $90 hotel that seemed like it might cave in on us because it was so old, but we were in a good location at the South end of the boardwalk. We got there on a Thursday morning after only 3 hours of driving and went straight to the beach. It was gorgeous! The sand was really fine and the weather was perfect. When we got really hot, we decided to jump in the water. The water was not what we expected and it was freezing cold! We blew up some rafts and decided to float around instead of swimming. After getting yelled at by the lifeguards that we were too close to the pier, we sunbathed for awhile. That night, after getting plenty of sun and R&R, we decided to try out the local favorite restaurant- Seacrets. The atmosphere was fun because all of the tables and chairs were in the sand, and some stools were even in the ocean for people to sit at. Although we had to move 3 times to get away from smoke (I'm really anal about that because of my sweet baby), our waitress finally found us and gave us our "Jamaican food". It wasn't very authentic, but it was fun. After dinner, we walked along the boardwalk for a bit, got ice cream, and rode on the ferris wheel. We also walked along the pier and on the nice cool sand. The night life there goes on for awhile, but we decided to call it a night. Our hotel was right next to the carnival rides, so we decided we would find a movie to watch on TV since sleeping was out of the question. The next day, we woke up bright and early to head for the beach again. Another lovely day at the beach. We then walked along the boardwalk to get their famous ice cream and boardwalk fries! MMmmm good! I have never had better fries in my life- you put apple cider vinegar on them instead of ketchup and they are amazing!!!! We also walked a bit down the boardwalk to "people watch" and we saw an ambulance pick up a young guy off of the beach who had an injury from "surfing" (the waves are not very big) and we saw a wedding right on the beach! We give Ocean City an A! That was our first summer adventure for 2007. Stay tuned for more. Also, check out more PICTURES on our Picasa Web Album, and see the new section on our sidebar with links to all our picture albums.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It's a Boy!

We are having a boy! Many of you predicted correctly, although I was sure our baby was going to be a girl. The night before our ultrasound, however, I had a dream that I was tested twice and both tests came back blue. Of course dreams never make sense- you don't take tests that come back blue or pink- but it made me double think about my "premonition." My first reaction was "What am I going to do with a boy?- I have never been a little boy!" Then the nurse doing the ultrasound gave us a present and took 3D photos of our baby. I decided he looks a lot like Andrew, and then I knew that if he is anything like his father he will be a joy. He was putting his hands up near his head and eyes and that is how Andrew sleeps- with his hands up, so I already know that they will be similar. The nurse measured all of the baby's body parts, and for the record he has 2 arms, 2 legs, 10 fingers (we counted!), 2 eyes, 2 kidneys, a cute nose, and is a healthy boy. This pregnancy thing just gets better and better and now that we know our baby is a boy, it seems a lot more real. We are so blessed to be able to expand our little Miller clan and I am getting more and more anxious for the arrival of our little guy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

21 Weeks

Here I am at 21 weeks- fat and happy! I can't believe I am halfway there! Today I got to see an ultrasound of our baby. The baby must not have liked the noise of the ultrasound because it covered its ears. I also got to see the baby scratch its head! It was so amazing to see this little person inside of me. I can't wait to hold it! I love feeling the baby- it likes to move when I eat. Yes, this baby is definately mine. I apologize for using "it" but this baby was crossing his/her legs so we couldn't quite make out the sex. I have an appointment with a radiology center in 2 weeks and they have more advanced equipment, so hopefully we will find out then. Pregnancy is the coolest thing ever!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Well, I've finally given in and created a blog. However, rather than indulge in incessant navel-gazing (which seems to be the purpose of too many blogs), I intend to use it as a forum for keeping in touch with family and friends. So, if you've been directed to this site, I encourage you to check back once in a while (or subscribe to receive updates) to see what Molly and I are up to. As a little incentive, I will guarantee that it will become very interesting in the next several months as we find out whether we're having a boy or a girl and prepare to welcome our first baby into the family. So don't be a stranger, or else this blog will become nothing more than a time-intensive diary.