Vote for Shepherd

I don't usually support politics, but I really think this video needs to be seen. Mostly because the music is SO inspiring. I don't support, or un-support anything this commercial says. I do support the music, though. And I think you should support the music, too. And the guy that wrote it. I heard he just had a baby.


First week (or so) at home

We've survived the first 10 days of life with a child at home. Bella sleeps wonderfully ... during the day. She doesn't really like being alone in her crib, and lets us know about it. She just sleeps, eats, cries, and makes faces. Other than that, she doesn't really do much yet.


Baby is here!

There's a long list of very interesting things I would love to talk about today, but I know why you're here.

Here she is.
Anabella Marie Smith.
She is beautiful, and already loves her dad SO much! It's been hard work feeding and changing her. Turns out babies take alot of maintenance. But we're having fun getting to know her. She's got the cutest little cries, which I will hopefully video tape soon and post here for her exploitation. Until then, here's a few pictures.

We've appreciated all the gifts we've received from our showers, especially those gifts that are practical :-). We love visitors, so if you're in the area (and not sick), give us a call and stop by to meet her. She's not real active during the day, so to really see her in her prime, stop by in the middle of the night. I guarantee we'll be awake :-). Bethany's mom has been staying with us this week, helping with housework allowing us to better take care of the little one. That's been a relief.



last night at 7:14, my daughter, Anabella Marie Smith, was born! She weighed 5lbs 11oz. I can't wait to take her home and start real life again. She wasn't breathing when she was born so she's in the NICU for the night until she can sustain her breathing and keep her body temperature up. It was a pretty rough delivery I guess. She'll be ok soon, though. I visited her 4 or 5 times last night to talk to and touch her. Bethany will get to see her soon, once she can ride a wheelchair comfortably. Thanks for all who have been praying, and please keep us in your prayers!


Labor is hard work

I am sitting in what was my bed last night. Besides the 8-9 hours she ate and slept last night, Bethany has been in labor 29 hours or something. Granted, yesterday was just to prepare her body for induction today, but there was nothing easy about it. Right now it's 2, and things are relatively calm. She's on epidural and dialated 7-8cm. Bella is in perfect position and just waiting on mom's body to catch up! Should be soon, I hope.


Hurricane Pics and Baby Update

This is a loaded post, so I'll keep it concise.

First, baby news. We are going in tomorrow morning to induce. It's finally happening. Bella is not breached anymore, so she's ready to go. Next post will either be from the hospital on my phone (if 3G works by then), or after we're home and I have a few pics.

Now, the hurricane. If you live in Houston, you probably remember what a storm Ike was. Remember? Wow, we lived through that together. If you're out of town, you missed a good time. Here's a (very) few pics from our weekend, with anecdotes. I'll post more on Facebook soon.

Thursday afternoon, Wal-Mart was out of water:

We stayed at my parents' house in Montgomery. I helped my dad board a few windows:

Nice, clean backyard:

Jody was sick during the whole storm:

Saturday morning, backyard was not so clean:

The balcony outside our room. There were alot of pine needles and branches:

Flooding on the golf course:

We made do with what we had. This is me making coffee on the grill. It was great:

One of Jody's dogs found contentment running through the flooded sand trap:

We drove around the neighborhood looking at damage. This guy had a sense of humor:

There was alot of these:

We drove home Saturday night because I had to be at church at 7:30 Sunday morning. There was hardly any power on anywhere in town, but our apartments had power. The next morning I wasn't paying attention and drove through some water in our apartment complex, and stalled my car. So, I missed my first Sunday at The Foundry UMC. As of 3pm Monday, I still can't get it started, so I hope it dries out and there's no major damage.

This is where our tennis courts and basketball courts usually are:

This is some of the debris right outside our apartment complex:

This car has some tree on it:

We almost parked Bethany's car under here, but decided not to. Probably a smart move:

So, that's our story, abbreviated. We're safe, and will be bringing home a baby later this week to a home with power and water. Most of the area around us is still without power, and the three gas stations that are open around here have lines of 50-60 cars.


Unearthed Lyrics

I have made a discovery. I was cleaning out a closet tonight and found some school papers among some other writings of mine. Some time in college, maybe sophomore year, I had an English class. I'm pretty sure it was one of those writing English classes, rather than the reading kind. Every few weeks we'd get a long list of words for vocabulary study. For our vocab tests, we had three options. We could just go through and write out all the definitions, or we could write an essay using all the words, or we could write a song or poem using all the words. I always opted to write a song. So, here are my songs. If a word seems out of place and overtly pompous and brainy, then it was probably one of the vocabulary words.


Running Over Labyrinthine Walls
by Joshua Smith

I am so dismayed, that it's hard to convey
All the garbled thoughts I'm thinking today
I am not hallucinating, it's so intimidating
When my soul's so hurt it's incapacitating

Intrinsically I chide my mind- I will find solace in time
Can my cowardice keep my bravado primed?
I'll acutely search my life, no more cursory glances
I won't alienate myself from this chance

I'm running over labyrinthine walls
Not accentuating their lethality
After this change I'll be undistinguishable
From the anomalous gringo I was

In twenty years I will suffer from insomnia
And all the perpetrators who attack my mind
But in retrospect I'll see they were only meant to be
A pre-requisite to easing my mind

If I can now assimilate what I've tried to communicate
And tried to say so affluently
No matter what your mind thinks, you have the power down deep
To make right the incongruities

by Joshua Smith

There is something I must begrudgingly say
In speaking, I'm apt to deduce and foray
I'm facing the world with its egocentricity
"Discard those self-thoughts, for their thought unethically!"

The problems of this world
Will bring chronic dysentery
To those who are duelists laboriously-
Fighting the flow instinctively
The quantitative souls who are lost
Are symptomatic of the high cost
The affluent will pay to tell those
Who love others to egress

I'm not charismatic, but I make this citation:
"Your loathsome self-centgeredness will lead to privation
of sustenance crucial to this blessed nation,
Which raises sated kids who are an exacerbation."

Now to the neurological center I ingress
I hope you're alarmed by my intransigence
Though abrasions may come I will not be silent
"Think of others and we all will win."

A Song for My Generation
By Joshua Smith

I look and see the world today
The pundits emanate their hypocrisy
While I'm complacent with my adaptivity,
They won't allow change- subverted by their mediocrity

The pedagogues continue to lambast my firm beliefs
Hoping for dire corruption to come upon me
But I am adept at watching captiously
Those hypocrites, secure in their vapid litany

They can't hear my lamentations
My cries for help they do not heed
But their downfall comes so imminently
Who is their scapegoat? The young like me

With prowess tehy begin to come after me
But it takes no courage to imperil me
They see me sitting there so vulnerably
They think I want to argue with their expert polemies:
They compensate for their mistakes
By impoverishing you and me-
And they take away our mind's vitality

So, these read a little like "Mad Libs," but they were good for a few A's. Thanks for reading :-) And I'm up for co-writing songs with anybody, just let me know.


Not Quite Sure

File this in the "I'm not quite sure how I feel about this" category. 

I woke up this morning, as I do most mornings. I looked at the clock next to my bed, as usual, and it said 12:45pm. I won't say it's unusual for me to be in bed at that time, but what was unusual, was that I had not woken up until then. Most of the time if I sleep in that much it's because I look at the clock 4 or 5 times and decided I can still go back to sleep. I actually went to bed relatively early last night (around 2, I think), so I was expecting to wake up around 10. I started to get really confused, because it didn't feel like I had slept until 12:45. So, I checked my phone. 7:54am. I was somewhat relieved that it was not already the afternoon, and even more relieved that I could go back to sleep for a few hours. 

Here's what I can't figure out. Why did my clock skip ahead 5 hours? If it had been turned off for 5 hours, it would've been 5 hours behind. I didn't have quite that rational of a thought when I woke up, I just figured the power had gone out. But, when I got up, the other clocks in the house were fine (the ones that flash when they lose power). The clock by my bed even has battery backup in case the power goes out. 

So, it's a strange happening. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but I forgot to lock the front door last night. That rarely happens. I doubt the two stories are related, though, because nothing in our apartment was moved or taken. I think if I walked in somebody's apartment at night, I would probably take valuable things before I'd sit and reset their clock 5 hours fast. But I've never walked in somebody's apartment at night, so who knows, I might panic and just start setting clocks.