Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rachel's Graduation and other things...

First things first: Rachel Graduated from Grad School, and I didn't get to post about it because she was overshadowed by the baby. Sorry Rach. But let's all congratulate her! She does not like school at all, and she can't wait to be done with Grad School. I really admire her for sticking it out and going through the classes and papers and homework that she hates so much. I'm glad she's been working so hard for so long, and she deserves a whole lot of pats on the back for getting through. She has two more classes to finish this summer, and then, she's free as a bird. She'll (hopefully) walk into a nearby hospice and start taking care of the dying for us in just a few months. (I can't believe she actually WANTS to work in Hospice... it just shows what a caring and loving person she is. She wants to be there for the most difficult time in people's lives. I wouldn't have the strength for it at all. That's why I'm in the college atmosphere... what many claim to be the best time in their lives.) So, Congratulations Rachel! I'm really, really proud of you for that.

Doesn't she just look SOOOO happy?

On Sunday I'm going to start Spring Institute, a two week-long training event for people in the CCO. I'm excited to go, as last year's was a whole lot of fun. The week long training is the equivalent of one graduate level class, interspersed with a whole lot of frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, racquette ball, basketball, talking, and the like. It's just nice to be in the same place as everyone else for a while, and remember that I'm not the only person in the world doing campus ministry. (I know, I'm on campus with two other people who are both doing it, but you know what I mean.)

I've also been trying to sit down and prepare myself for being a dad. I've read a book on becoming a dad, and I've skimmed through two more about being pregnant. I read emails each week that explain what my baby looks like and how big she/he is right now, (A lime) and to top it all off, I scared myself to death by watching "The Pursuit of Happyness." Now that I've seen the portrayal of someone trying to raise a child and get by at the same time, I'm just a little bit scared about what my life is going to look like.

On another note, we have a new niece! Ellen Renee McCowin was born on Wednesday, and we got to drive up to Beaver Falls to meet her this weekend. It's been nice to be away from campus and the office, and be around family for a while. And, it's strange to hold a baby thinking, "In November, it's going to be MY baby."


Here's a picture of Dad Jarrod, Sister Cora, and Ellie, the newest McCowin.

As you can see, Cora's very excited to have a new sister... She just hit two, and she's a big girl now. Which means, she wants her hippo Jarrod.

Anyway, I'm probably not going to be able to post for a while because of Spring Institute. But I wanted to jump on here and write something because it's been a while since my last post. I want to say that's largely due to getting ready for a baby, but more likely, it's because I got an X Box 360. Rachel really wanted to get me one, but we can't afford it at all, so my parents and her parents and some other family pitched in and Rachel was going to buy one in the middle of the summer for my birthday. But then, my RA staff asked her permission to buy me a used XBox 360. (I can't believe they were going to do that. They all wanted to pitch in and buy me a used XBox 360 just because they like me. Unreal.) So, Rachel told them to give her the money and she'd buy me a new XBox 360. So, now I have one, and I've been breaking it in for sure.

I even got to use it with the school's projector on Friday. I plugged it in, shined it on the wall and played a hour or two of larger-than-life oblivion. It was SWEET!

Ok.... sorry, I'm taking up too much time now, and I'm not putting up enough pictures.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I needed help writing this post. Because this time, I'm not just talking about me. I guess there are a lot of times that the posts aren't just about me, but this time, it's about me, my wife, and my family. And for the first time in my life, by family, I don't mean my mom and dad and brothers and sister. I mean, me, my wife, and our family. That's right. Our family. Because we are going to be a full fledged, honest to goodness, out of the chute family in just under seven months.

*This is where I pause for the person I'm talking to to really get what I just said.*

I'magonna be a daddy!!!

That's right. November 28th, 2007... The littlest Elek is coming kicking and screaming into this world. I'm going to see if the doctor will let me smack his butt. (I heard they don't do that anymore.)

This is the part where I'm going to need some help. Sure, I can tell you what it's been like for me to be "pregnant" but that means talking about playing video games, doing the laundry more often, doing the dishes more often, and not knowing why your wife won't eat chips and salsa any more when she could eat her own weight in chips and salsa two months ago. It's been pretty easy for me so far, I just ask what Rach wants to eat, cook it, and then hope she still wants to eat it when it's done.

But I want Rach to tell you a bit about what it's been like to be prego. So... here she is. Ladies and Gentleman, Rachel Elek (and kid):

Well, it's been pretty fun! I really do enjoy it so far. I will be officially in the 2nd trimester in a little under 2 weeks and I am very much looking forward to that. I have been sleeping so much and really think about sleeping when I'm not. I have been very lucky as far as morning sickness goes. We found out we were pregnant on our way to Virginia to visit my brother-in-law Jim and sister-in-law Charlotte. Once we arrived there I started feeling small waves of "car sickness," but it only lasted about 45 minutes. Once we were back in Wheeling I saw our new doctor and he gave me a prescription for a prenatal vitamin that helps with the nausea and I have felt really great ever since then.

Now the strangest part is that I weigh the exact same as I did a few months ago, and now my clothes do not fit. That is probably the most frustrating part. I'm learning to adjust, but when you are not showing and you feel like one false move and BAM your clothes could explode off of you, well that's just an uneasy feeling.

All of the students left this week and the seniors will leave after graduation this Saturday. We told students before they left because we didn't want them coming back and thinking I just let myself go for the summer! ;) It was actually really fun to tell all of them. They all pretty much said immediately that they would babysit! They are cute!

The last thing I will leave you with is that I do have moments of feeling crazy. Whether that's crying so hard I can't breathe, or forgetting what I am talking about mid-sentence, or just feeling "weird" and not knowing what I need or want. It's all part of this game I guess but sometimes I just feel crazy!

My husband has been wonderful! I couldn't have asked for more support, love and just plan old fun when I really need it. He makes me laugh and that's really helpful. We get excited to talk about the future and how abnormally small our child might be, just like us. Who knows, the baby could be very big and then it will carry us around in the Baby Bjorn! Now that makes me laugh! Ok, that's probably enough for now.

(This is Joshua again.) We wanted to tell everyone in the CCO over Spring Institute, so if you are finding out over the blog I'm sorry. We just couldn't wait to spill the beans. (That's a funny phrase, "spill the beans.")

So to finish: here is a picture from the sonogram. That fuzzy bean in the middle there is our baby. (When we went in for the sonogram he/she was bouncing and dancing all over the place. It was amazing. Just amazing.)

So... Congratulations Baby Elek! On being made! Now, cook and get out here, we can't wait to hold you!