Saturday, December 29, 2007


Danny & I celebrated a wonderful Christmas with both families last week! Because I am nearing my due date, both sides came to us, for which we were grateful. We spent the holidays at the beautiful lake home of a gracious family in our church. We spent our time playing games, working a puzzle, watching movies, singing carols, and, of course, eating tons of great food. We hope you and yours had a very blessed Christmas!

Here are some scenes from our holiday. Our camera stopped working, so the following pictures are the only ones we have to share....

Opening presents on Christmas morning.

Scott (Danny's brother) & wife Yvi sing Christmas carols to little Will (the newest member of the Giffen clan).

Emily's side of the family on Christmas morning.

This is how Emily is now spending most of her days (the baby is killing her back!).

Our cute nephew Will on his first Christmas morning. He traveled all the way from Greenville, Illinois, for the occasion.

Mima whips up her famous peanut butter fudge -- a Christmas tradition on Emily's side of the family & a huge hit with the Giffen side.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Marley, Rest in Peace

My sweet, old Marley is gone. After 6 years of her being a part of my family, I am heartbroken to write that she is no longer with us. She was suffering from congestive heart failure and arthritis and after consultation with our vet, we made the decision to put her to sleep. She went out very peacefully ... she just fell asleep. A very appropriate end for a dog who spent about 22 hours a day sleeping.

She had a good life and certainly lived a *long* time for a greyhound (12 1/2 years). After spending her early years racing, she "retired" and eventually came to live with me. We've had six good years together, and it has been far more difficult than I thought to say goodbye. Danny & I already miss her sweet greetings, her handshakes & her roos. This old girl will forever be a precious part of our history.

Here are a few photos:

Taking a bath.

Enjoying (not so much) a Christmas past.

Cramming her lanky self into Piper's bed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Danny MDiv

It's official! Danny graduated with his Master's of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School (at Samford University) this morning. After five long years of classes, this was a monumental day. It seems like Danny has had a milestone moment every couple of weeks (actually he HAS had one every two weeks since starting the ordination process in October), but this was a special day. No more long work days, then late nights writing papers. It'll be nice to have his off-days with me instead of with the books. Danny is looking forward to just being a Singles Minister, husband and, soon, dad. We are very excited!

The magic moment:

The graduate.

The full effect (hood & all).

Celebrating graduation Thursday night with some of Danny's seminary buddies. The wives got together and threw a party for them. These are a few of the PCA grads (l to r: Eric, Danny, Brian, Joe and John Mark).

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Roo

Here is a bit of doggie humor ... Marley, our greyhound, loves to roo. Rooing is the greyhound term for singing/howling. Lately, when she is rooing, Piper has wanted to get in on the action. He usually only manages to get out a few high pitched squeaks or yelps. It is so funny to see him throw his head back and try to match pitch with Marley. Here is a video of the mighty roo-ers in action.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baby Belly -- 30 weeks

Here we are at 30 weeks. You probably can't tell much difference from my last belly picture, but I promise I have grown. At my most recent appointments, the heartbeat has been a strong 157 & my tummy has measured right on target. Danny and I are having a hard time believing we're in the home stretch!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Our First Shower

We had a fun baby shower thrown by my extended family over the Thanksgiving holidays! They showered Baby Giffen with lots of wonderful gifts. Thank you. We had so much fun! It will be a sweet memory for years to come.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


We celebrated Danny's impending graduation from seminary yesterday at Beeson Divinity School's Consecration Service. It was a beautiful service for all of the graduates at which they were challenged and prayed over by each of their professors. Thanks to all of our friends who came to the service! It meant so much to us.

Above is a picture of the domed ceiling at the impressive Beeson Chapel.

Us at the service ... that's one cute bow-tied man!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're Thankful for ... a Sweet Baby Face!

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you all have a wonderful holiday tomorrow with your loved ones.

In the latest baby news ... we were able to get a sneak peak at our little guy/gal at the doctor's office the other day, and this time we saw him or her in 4D! Even though the baby's face was too close to the placenta to get "incredible" shots, it was really amazing. We were finally able to see the baby's facial features without it looking skeletal. We also got to see the baby yawning, trying to suck his or her thumb, practice breathing, swallowing the amniotic fluid (to mature the lungs), and smacking his/her little lips. The 4D ultrasound was a really cool experience. Here are a few shots:

Disclaimer: When you look at the 4D shots of the face, you will see all kinds of other things in the picture, but don't be alarmed, they're not part of the baby's face (they are placenta, arms & knees, etc.).

The baby's profile in 2D. The curve at the upper left is a knee.

The baby's face in 4D. If you can't make out what you're seeing. Look at the center round blob -- that is the nose. The eyes are closed.

The baby's face in 4D looking slightly to your right. The eyes are closed & you can see the contour of the nose. The darker gray area below the nose is the mouth.

The baby's face in 4D. Again the eyes are closed, and you can make out the nose, lips and cheeks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


With the busyness of the holidays approaching, we decided to get an early start on putting the nursery together. We've had fun the last two months picking out the colors, the fabric, and the furniture. But, as Danny will attest, not so much fun painting, hanging curtain rods & putting the crib together. However, we're happy to report that the crib is up, the bedding is in & my mom came in town the other weekend to sew curtains. It is really coming together. Here are some pics of our progress... Once it is all complete, we'll post more.

First-time grandma sewing curtains for Lil' Giffen

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On his way to 'Rev'

Danny came one step closer to being ordained this week. After passing several written exams and an oral examination, he was examined before our Presbytery on Tuesday. And, he passed with flying colors! He is now officially a licensed minister. The only things left to do ... graduate (December), take two more exams (January), pass another round of committee oral exams (January), and go before Presbytery once more for final approval (February 12). Then, comes the big ordination service on March 9! This all means there will be a lot going on at the Giffen house b/n now and next March (not to mention welcoming the newest member of our family).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Don't Call Us Two Faced

Okay, so we've had a little fun playing around with the PhotoBooth feature on our new Mac. Hope you get a good laugh like we did!

And my personal fave...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Nose Knows

Boy has the Giffen house been struck with some serious hayfever this Fall!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Danny Runs a 10k

Danny is the running fiend lately ... he ran a 10k on Saturday! He got up so early to make it down to the race that he forgot his race number. Here is a video of the hand off mid-way through the race:

He ran with seminary buddy John Mark, while his wife (who is also pregnant) and I cheered from the sidelines. Shea & I were enjoying the crisp Fall air, our morning coffee, and talking babies until we saw a full-term pregnant lady run by! And, by the way, she finished under an hour, beating the guys and hundreds of other racers. Danny's never run more than three miles at a time in his life, so finishing 6.2 miles was quite a feat.

Post-race glory.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Here are a few of the characters from the Reformation Day/Halloween party we had on the 31st ...Bjorn Borg, Martin Luther, and last, but certainly not least, Dwight, from The Office.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Can you say, annihilation?!? The Red Sox definitely pulled out a win (er, massacre) over the Colorado Rockies in Game 1 of the World Series. For those of you wondering how in the world we got tickets ... one of Danny's best friends works for the Red Sox, and he was gracious enough to offer us tickets just behind home plate! Our view was amazing, and better yet, we were under the overhang so we were shielded from the cold and rain. It was a surreal experience, to say the least, to be at Fenway Park for the World Series. Here are a few shots from the night!

This game reunited Danny with his best friends from college -- Sheen, Joe & Clay.

At the VIP Party before the game

On one of our last nights in Boston, Emily got to reunite & have dinner with her good friend, Linling.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sox vs. Rox TONIGHT

We're off to see the Red Sox play in Game 1 of the World Series!!! Look for us on TV ... we'll be in the Grand Stand behind home plate (incredible seats!). Pictures to follow soon.

Cape Cod

We love Cape Cod! We have been staying in beautiful Chatham, Massachusetts, on the cape. We have spent our time walking around town, browsing the quaint little shops, driving around looking at houses, admiring the view from the beach, playing golf, and having drinks on the water at sunset. We also drove out to the very end of the cape and admired the lighthouses & fall color here. Sounds like we are doing a lot, but the days have been pretty low key. Here are some pics ...

Riding bikes on our first morning

On the porch of the beautiful Chatham Inn

At the famous Highland Lighthouse on the tip of the cape, written about by Thoreau

In front of the house we stayed at

On the beautiful beaches

Somebody here really went all out for Halloween

Doug "worked" while we shopped up & down Main Street!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boston ... first few days

We've had a great couple of days in Boston ... visiting with old friends, seeing the sites, and frequenting good restaurants. Here a few pictures of what we've done so far:

We went on the Boston Duck Tour. (FYI ... each "Duck" is a renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle, so the tour goes all over the streets of Boston, and then through the St. Charles River.)

Danny was hoping we'd be in the University-of-Texas-orange Duck.

But, instead we got the Rainbow Duck. ;o)

Breakfast at the Paramount with our good friends, the Jan Clan.

Danny getting in some good time with little Bear (Bear's dad is one of Danny's best friends from Texas).

We drove out to Cape Cod today, so more on that in the days to come. We are pulling for the Red Sox to win tonight & tomorrow night. If so, that means we get to go to Game 1 of the World Series. Go Sox!