Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just kickin' back in the womb

(By Erik)

Little Josephina refused to go to sleep and was busily kicking her mother just around midnight. (As a guy, I’m absolutely fascinated by the prospect of being kicked from the inside. Crazy.)

I gave her a good talking to, but Jeanie said my insistence that she settle down was not heeded.

I’m guessing this is the beginning of many years of her not listening to me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WHOOPS! (Pink or blue, part 2)

(By Erik)

We had the “official” ultrasound done today. (The previous one, when we discovered we were having a boy, was done by some medical residents on their lunch break.)

This one wasn’t going to be much of a surprise, but we were nervous nonetheless because this professional ultrasound would tell us if all of young Joseph’s vital organs were intact.

Everything looks good. We’re happy to report that the baby has a four-chambered heart, two working kidneys, a well-developed spine, arms, legs, hands feet, eyes … you name it.

As a matter of fact, there’s only one thing that’s missing from our little boy. He doesn’t have a …

Well, let’s put it this way …


That’s right. Little Joseph is actually little Josephina.

The ultrasound technician asked us if we wanted to know the sex. We said, “Yeah, we already know, but tell us anyway.” The tech said, “OK, because I’m seein’ a girl here.”

“You’re seein’ a what now?”

Yeah, I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to free ultrasounds done by medical residents on their lunch hour. I still have the picture they printed us with an arrow pointing to an alleged … well … wee wee.

“So what was that that thing?” I asked Jeanie, somewhat bumfuzzled.

“Dunno. Could’ve just been the umbilical cord.”

(The alleged "thingy" sighting from a couple of weeks ago)

So, please consider this a blogging retraction. I’m still in a bit of a state of shock about it. As you can imagine, I told everyone I met in Africa that we’re having a boy. Both sets of parents have already bought little boy outfits. Jeanie’s dad already has a gun permit for young Joseph.

(That’s a joke, by the way. But oddly enough, now that she’s a girl, I suddenly want her to be well-armed.)

My world has gone from blue to pink in an instant. Now I’m the one who’s outnumbered. All I can see in front of me is countless hours at the mall, ponies and prom dresses.

But God is good, and I’m rejoicing that our daughter looks healthy and everything’s on schedule.

And Josephina is not her name, by the way. Jeanie and I have a few more rounds to go before we come up with a name. I really like Margaret — my grandma’s name. Jeanie remains convinced that all humans should have names beginning with “J,” however.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It’s good to be home.

(By Erik)

I’m back after a week-long trip to the African nation of Ghana. It was my fourth time in Africa, but my first in Ghana. I was covering a Christian school in the extreme western part of the country (just miles from the Ivory Coast) and visiting various other ministries, including Ghana Bible College in Kumasi and the Village of Hope outside the capital, Accra.

I’ve got lots of stories and photos to share, but that will have to wait. Currently my body is trying to tell me that it’s 2 in the morning, even though the clock says 9:30 p.m.

The biggest lesson I learned on this trip was to trust God. (It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn time and again. This was a refresher course!) There was about a day at the beginning of the trip when I didn’t know if anyone would be at the airport in Accra to meet me, thanks to a delay at Will Rogers Airport courtesy of Northworst — I mean Northwest — Airlines. But everything worked out OK. I’m trying to do a better job of stepping out in faith. It’s tough for a guy who likes everything planned down to the letter — at least in the realm of international travel.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pink or blue?

(By Erik)

Drum roll, please.

The ultrasound results are in!

We are happy to report that our forthcoming child has:

• a healthy heartbeat,

• a rather large noggin (most Tryggestads do)

• and a …

Well, let’s put it this way — it’s a boy!

(We would have been thrilled either way, rest assured.)

For me, though, this is huge. Jeanie is officially outnumbered and (at last) can be out-voted on trips to the mall (assuming the boy votes my way). She may retain her veto power on restaurant selection, however. Not sure how that’s going to play out.

Our working title, by the way: Joseph Thomas Tryggestad

Friday, August 10, 2007

Playing 'Tag'

(By Erik)

Bobby and then Stacey both recently challenged us in a game of Internet “tag.” The object of this game is to post eight random facts about yourself to your blog, and then to tag eight additional people and force them to perform the same activity, thereby assuring that the Internet will be filled with random facts, and that no one will have access to useful information — such as tables depicting the number of ways Chuck Norris can perform a roundhouse kick to the face.

I personally approach such games with suspicion, for I am almost sure they were initiated by identity thieves. Why else, I ask you, would they require eight random facts? It is a well-known truth that the human mind is capable of generating only five — plus or minus two — random facts at a time. Requiring eight almost assures that the writer will, in fact, run out of facts. Then, in a moment of weakness, he will type out his credit card number as his final fact to be done with the activity. Point, game and match, you crafty thieves.

The rules of this contest are heretofore given, as the reprinting of them is a requirement of this time-consuming activity.

1. Players start with eight random facts about themselves.

2. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their eight random facts.

3. Players should tag eight other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Seems that there also should be eight rules for this exercise. Nonetheless …

1. If money were no object, I’d have lots of it. Lots and lots of it.

2. I’m often accused of ruining the plots of movies I haven’t seen.

3. Whenever I eat at Red Lobster, I pretend I’m eating at a Red Lobster across town.

4. There are 28.5 other things I should be doing right now instead of this.

5. In his epic poem “The Waste Land,” T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” He was, of course, lying. The cruelest month was, in fact, Bodgvember. This cruelest of months, which fell between August and September, was deemed so cruel that it was removed from the calendar entirely in the 1980s. During this month, wars began, cars stalled, babies cried and antelopes around the world looked just a bit sadder than they usually do. Bodgvember, though it was only eight days long, had a reputation for cruelty so great that people would put themselves into prolonged states of hibernation for its duration. “Don’t bother me, it’s Bodgvember,” became a popular door hanger slogan, although it led to a slew of home invasions and burglaries, which, of course, only affirmed the month’s utter cruelty. Hitler, Stalin and Carrot Top were born in Bodgvember. Finally, in a top-secret meeting in the Hague, the leaders of the free world banned together to eliminate Bodgvember and erase its memory from everyone’s mind. (Contrary to popular belief, freemasons had nothing to do with this, nor did the Osmonds.) The eight days of Bodgvember were split between August and September, which is why, during those days (Aug. 28-31 and Sept. 1-4) many people find themselves incapable of enjoying life, or at least incapable of enjoying any sort of gelatin-based dessert.

6. That previous random fact had nothing to do with me personally.

7. I am not allowed within 200 feet of Joe Don Baker. A court order prevents me from discussing why.

8. My credit card number is 8976 9876 5432 1110.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Microphone feedback and crying babies

(By Erik)

That’s about all I could hear when I got up to preach Sunday night at Memorial Road. But it got better.

To be fair, Randon warned me that, if I used the lapel mic, there might be some problems. I should have gone with the handheld instead, but I had some arm motions I needed to do as part of the sermon.

Luckily, we’ve got great audio guys at church. They worked out the feedback issue pretty quickly after I got started. I could still hear myself through the monitors on stage, I think, and that was a strange experience.

It was a rewarding, yet nerve-wracking, experience. But I’m thrilled that I got the chance to do it.

If you want to hear the audio of the sermon, follow this link to the RealPlayer version.

Or try the Windows media version.

(I'd listen to it myself, but I can't stand the sound of my own voice. Plus, I was there.)

Scott Franks did a great introductory sermon for the series, by the way.

Most of the folks I’ve talked to said they liked the sermon. Jeanie was a bit embarrassed that I announced that we’re expecting to all 1,000 or so people at once, but I assured her that, as I watched the faces in the auditorium, I didn’t see one expression of surprise.

After all, it’s been on the blog for weeks now.