Margaret (Curtis) McDaniel + Curtis McDaniel = Curtis.Squared

December 23, 2011

Heather Graduates

On December 17, Curtis' youngest sister, Heather, graduated with honors at Clarion University!  She received her Master's degree, with top honors, in Speech Pathology.  She worked very diligently and we are so proud of her and all of her accomplishments!  We are praying for her that she will be able to find a job in her field very quickly.

December 21, 2011

Christmas Time 2011

It's almost that time again!  Christmas - when we remember that our Savior came to this earth as a man.  As Hebrews 2:17 says, "Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."  If Jesus hadn't become a man, he would not be able to sympathize with our weaknesses or understand what we are going through.  He was able to live on the earth, be tempted as every human is, and yet able to be without sin (Hebrews 4:15).  It is so encouraging to think that we have Jesus interceding on our behalf to God our Father!

We had lots of Christmas parties to celebrate - Progressive Dinner with the youth group, one with all the reformed pastors and their wives in the area, an open house at our senior pastor's house, a youth ministry leadership team party, a shepherding group party, and our young marrieds' small group (see more by going to Laura's post).  One of the parties at my house was a Park Lane jewelry party.  Here's some of my decorations:
Of course, the Christmas tree :)
 Kitchen towels
 Bathroom towels
Our stockings - Lion-O, Curtis and mine
We are now "partied-out" and ready for Christmas!  We look forward to celebrating with my family!

December 16, 2011

Birthday Celebration with Friends

 So, the fun just kept on going right through the weekend.  We had 11 of my closest friends celebrate with me at Jalapeno's!  In the above picture, I'm wearing a lot of my birthday gifts - red shirt (Megan, Curtis' sister), cardigan (Curtis), bracelets (Megan), earrings, not really shown (parents), and shoes, not shown (Curtis).
 Here I am with Jen. :)
 Here's Curtis with Chris (Jen's husband).
 And here is the entire group! Miguel, Laura, Sarah, Curtis, Chris, Allen, Heather, Becca, Jen, Me, Amy, Jim.
 Miguel & Laura
 Amy & Jim
 Sarah acting like she has James with her. (We missed you James!)
 Allen & Heather
 Chris & Jen
 Becca with her "date" :)
 and us!  While we were there - all of the sudden the music changed and the waitresses came out with this HUGE pink sombrero for my birthday and a shot of tequila:

 It really caught me off guard!
 After I learned the appropriate way to take a tequila shot, I attempted!  But apparently, I still didn't take it the right way because I only took a sip of the shot, LOL.  It was too much for me!
We headed back to our house to play games and eat cake after dinner.  My sweet friend, Laura, baked me a chocolate chip cookie cake.  It was delicious!  I had a great birthday and I felt very loved by family and friends.

Margaret's Bday & the Tybee Island Lighthouse

I turned 27 on November 30.  Even though it was my birthday, the day was beginning as any typical Wednesday morning - I woke up early and headed off to my bible study in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).  When I came home, my parents surprised me and came up to Savannah for the day!  Curtis was in on it and he really had me oblivious to his plans for me.  Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures of our visit, but it was a lot of fun.

The next day, my birthday celebration continued as Curtis took me to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
 The view was amazing...
 Me!
 Curtis!
 Both of us!

 The weather was perfect!
 Here's the birthday girl again!
 I thought this was a cool picture - while we were at the top of the lighthouse, we took this picture of the shadow of the lighthouse on the parking lot.

 If we were doing a Christmas card this year, this one probably would have made it.
 Here's our shadows. :)
While we had our fun, Lion-O stayed home and slept under the Christmas tree.

Curtis also took me out that night to Outback Steakhouse and to see a movie (Breaking Dawn Part 1).  The greatest part about this day was that we didn't have to pay for anything!  We had gift cards for the lighthouse, restaurant and movie!  It's my type of birthday date - free! :)

December 13, 2011

Update on My (Margaret's) Health

As you probably have read through our previous posts, I had a miscarriage back in September.  We had a pathology done on the baby's tissue to find out why our baby died.  Our doctor informed us not only that our baby was a boy, but that I had a partial molar pregnancy, something that occurs in 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies.  The genetic makeup of our baby boy was so abnormal that this type of baby never survives.  It was encouraging to us to find that it wasn't something that I did wrong or that could have been prevented.  We also found out that this isn't a genetic condition so the chances of it occurring a second time are very rare.

There is a slight chance that if the baby's tissue wasn't completely removed during the D and C procedure that I had on 9/16, the tissue could invade my body, similar to a cancer.  It is my understanding that I would then have to have chemotherapy to fix the problem.  In order to monitor this, our doctor has told us that we have to wait 6 months from the time that my pregnancy hormone levels reaches a negative count of 5 or less.  This also means that we are unable to try to conceive another baby until this testwork is completed.  As you could imagine, it was very difficult to swallow all the information that we heard.  Six months seemed like an eternity to wait.  Not to mention, I would have to continually go back to the doctor to have my blood drawn.  And if anyone knows me well, I have a serious fear of needles/blood/medical stuff.

This is probably more information than most would like to know, but I'm going to include this for anyone who comes across my blog that may be going through the same thing and would like the details.

Found out I had a miscarriage on 9/14
D and C performed on 9/16
Here are my blood results:
Date - Count
10/10 - 17.8
10/24 - 5.9 (so close!!)
10/31 - 4.1 Praise The Lord - 6 months from now

Now that I have reached "negative," I have to wait 6 months before we can try to have another baby again.  I had my first monthly appointment on 11/28 (count of 1.2).  My next appointment will not be until after Christmas - probably around December 28 or 29.

During this time, we are praying that God would knit together a healthy baby once we do start trying again.  We are finding ourselves encouraged by the Bible - 2 Samuel 12:23, Psalm 56, Psalm 139:15-16, Psalm 147:3-5, Lamentations 3 (especially verses 31 - 33), Isaiah 40-41, Isaiah 43, Isaiah 51, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, to name a few.  Please continue to pray with us as we wait on God's timing.

Thanksgiving 2011

 Curtis couldn't wait for Thanksgiving, as you can see below:
 He loves being able to take his time reading the newspaper and drink his coffee.  Haha - I told him that he's beginning to turn into an old man. ;) I spent my morning looking through the ads for Black Friday (which Curtis also did once he was finished reading the newspaper) and cooking!  I made homemade mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, with the help of Curtis.
 Of course, we had to take occasional breaks to give Lion-O some attention.  He doesn't like the focus to be away from himself for too long.  Curtis is cradling him like a baby in this picture.  He doesn't mind doing it for short amounts of time.
 Off to the Kornblatt's we went!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with over 20 other guests.  We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Kornblatt's 2 years ago and we were excited to have the opportunity again.
 Look at my sweet place card!
 Family picture shot!  We were stuffed!
Most of the guests were people in the Kornblatt's family, but one of the other families went to our church - the Taylors!  Debbie, Tom and Becca sat across from us.  We had a great time of fellowship with them as well as the other guests.  Thank you, Joan & Brian Kornblatt, for your hospitality!

Visit with the Warrens

On November 13, Mr. & Mrs. Warren traveled to Savannah for an opportunity to share with our church about their plans to be missionaries in Ukraine through Mission To the World (MTW).  They are in the process of raising support so that they can hopefully depart between March and August 2012.  The Warrens have had a special role in my life as I have known them as faithful servants at Pinewood Presbyterian Church, the church where I grew up.
As you may recall from a previous post, Mrs. Warren spoke with me at a Women In the Church (WIC) meeting about mentoring relationships in March 2011.  She has been a dear friend that has helped me cling to the Lord during various trials that I've gone through and I am so thankful for her investment in my life.
Mr. Warren did a great job during the presentation to our church and they had a chance to meet some of the sweet people in our church.  Curtis and I also enjoyed spending quality time with them the following day during their short visit.  As you can see from the picture, the Warrens really enjoyed meeting Lion-O also.

*Special Opportunity: If you would like to help the Warrens get to Ukraine by next year, please help by donating to them through the following link.  Randy & Debra Warren's designation number is 18132.

November 29, 2011

Mission Trip to Dalton, GA

Yes, I have a new skill: dry walling!  I'm also using a fancy tool to cut the sheet rock around the door, but I can't remember what it's called.  
From October 19 - 23, I had the opportunity to go on a MNA (Mission to North America) mission trip with several members from our church.  We headed to Dalton, Georgia to assist families who needed relief from the tornadoes in April of this year.  A few months earlier, three women from our church went to Dalton to assist and they were able to recruit five others (including myself) to come back on their second journey.  We worked with a local ministry called "Rebuilding Hope."  Pictured above is the entire Grace Church of the Islands team plus Mr. Arthur (the man that we helped). Note the HUGE tree that fell down from the tornadoes in the background. 
 Our task for the next three days was to dry wall a house.  The really neat thing about this is that we were fixing up Mr. Arthur's house, which is one of the families that the three original ladies helped in the first trip.  Mr. Arthur is a sweet man that is very passionate about the Lord.  On our last day, he prayed and said "Lord, I don't praise you for the storm, but I do praise you for the aftermath and for all my new friends."  It really made me think about how I handle trials and wonder if I would praise God for the aftermath.  
I had a great time with our team and I was so glad that I had the opportunity to go!  If I still was working or pregnant, I wouldn't have had this chance.  We have talked about having another mission trip to help Rebuilding Hope in other areas of Georgia in the near future.  If I am able, I would certainly do this again!

November 23, 2011

Ryan's Wedding

In mid-October, Curtis and I headed to Chicago, Illinois to witness Ryan Fields' wedding.  Ryan is Curtis' best friend - they were roommates in college and have been best friends ever since.  I also knew Ryan in college through RUF, a campus ministry.
Ryan is about to be a College Pastor at Creekside Community Church, this was the church that Ryan and I both attended when we were in college.  
Here we have Curtis assisting the groom as he gets ready for his wedding!  They are a lot alike.  Both Ryan & Curtis are pastors, they have a similar sense of humor, and they are both INFJ's (if you know anything about the Meyers-Briggs personality test).  
In fact, they both married women that have the same birthday (not year): November 30th.
The other two gentlemen in this photo are Ryan and Curtis' other two roommates in college - Josh and Jeffrey.  Josh was married just five months earlier in May.
I'm not usually one to take pictures during a prayer, but this was just such a cool moment.  I thought it was beautiful to see all these godly men praying over Ryan before the ceremony, asking God to be glorified.  (I thought their wedding ceremony was beautiful and I couldn't help but worship the Lord for His goodness to Ryan and Emily.) 
 Off to the ceremony we go!  We somehow stuffed 8 people into Ryan's little Taurus.  (Side note: I hear this was one of the last memories that Ryan had in his Taurus before it died.)
 Here's 4 of the 5 of us stuffed in his back seat.
 Emily and Ryan make such a beautiful couple!  Here they are making their vows to each other, before God and all the witnesses.
Announcing for the first time:
Mr & Mrs. Christopher Ryan Fields!
 
The 4 roommates: Jeffrey, Curtis, Ryan, and Josh.
And here are all the wives with their husbands!  I had a great time getting to know Josh's wife, Alicia, while our husbands were performing wedding duties.  Alicia and I will look forward to getting to know Emily more in the future! :)

 Curtis and I were so happy that we could make it to his wedding!  Curtis was a groomsman and he was so glad that he could see God answer his prayers for Ryan to find a wife.  He had been praying this prayer over the past 4 years.  Praise the Lord for answering prayers, even if it isn't in the timing that we expect.