one year ago today

A year ago today I was packing to go visit my parents and family for Christmas.

A year ago today I decided to use a 2-year old pregnancy test on a whim instead of throwing it away.

A year ago today I got the most amazing surprise that changed my life forever...

Jude was coming to be our very own tiny son!

Well, of course we didn't yet know that it was Jude who was causing that shock-inducing little pink line, but that was our first indication that he was going to be a part of our lives forever. And what a part he has already played! My life is vastly different than it was a year ago today; it's fuller, tired-er, more responsible, and so much richer than I imagined it could or would be.

A year ago today I didn't know what it felt like to have my son's (MY son!) big blue eyes blink up at me and then see his whole face break into a huge grin. A whole new compartment of my heart has been opened... I didn't know I could love a tiny person so very much! Welcome to our crazy lives, Jude... we're going to have so many fun adventures!



Christmasey fun

It's definitely starting to feel like Christmas! Yesterday I spent the day baking and cooking for our small group Christmas party, and when I got home last night I made 10 dozen shortbread cookies for a cookie exchange party today. For a girl who doesn't love to cook, that was a lot. I had a really good time doing it, too. I think I figured out a theory: I like to make superfluous and "fun" stuff, but I don't like to do the day in, day out dinners. Haha, convenient, huh? Actually, I *have* been cooking and stuff a lot more in the last few weeks, I feel like I'm getting more on top of things in life so I have more time to meal plan and execute.

So, last night's small group party was load of fun! We ate delicious noms, did the traditional gift exchange (I was the only one who "played dirty" and stole-- a gift card to Caribou from Kyle! Heh, sorry, Kyle!). We played a rousing game of Buzzword and the ladies lost by just a few points. Next year, guys... you're goin' down! But there was also kind of a sadness behind the fun because Kyle and Johanna are moving to help start a small group in their area, starting January 5th. K&J have been such awesome supporters of our small group endeavor; the first time we mentioned the possibility of starting one, they immediately said they'd join us. It's been such a huge morale boost to have them behind us all the way, it will be such a huge change to not have their comments, input, and support each week. Uh oh... I'd better not think too much about it or I might cry! We're excited about what the Lord has ahead of them in their own town, and know that they will be a huge blessing to everyone they're involved with. And anyway, we'll see them for church on Saturday nights starting soon. So it's all so good.

The ladies

Our hot honeys + Cory

Although it's usually a bit more like this:

And this:

Lots of love in this group. Oh yes.

The cookie exchange this morning was all kinds of awesome, too... fun meeting new friends and re-connecting with others. And the cookies? Can I just say *ahhh-may-zing*? I ended up with way too many cookies for two people to legally consume- russian tea cookies, ginger-chocolate chip, sugar cookies, spicy crinkle things, peanut butter balls, gingersnaps, chocolate chip, peanut butter with the chocolate kiss on tip, shortbread, and some fudge thrown in for good measure! I'm sure I'm missing some, too. the table was positively creaking under the weight.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the event, so I'll just have to wait for Jo or someone to load some up on Facebook so I can steal them, just like I nicked those ^ small group ones from Kyle and a few from Jessica. Cuz that's how I roll. Hey, at least I'm giving credit, right? ;)

And now the little Jude-man is down for his final nap of the day and I'm just finishing a russian tea cookie and some hot tea, with Chesterton curled up by my feet. Mmm, so cozy!


congrats, Rob!

So I keep thinking that I'm going to blog. That thought is immediately followed by the ideas that I need to be 1) eloquent, 2)have something deep and insightful to say, 3)cool and witty. I then give up on my blog post before it even had the chance to see the light of day.

A good friend of mine recently told me that all she does is post little snippets of things that are a part of her day, so I'm gonna give that a try. Who knows... I just may resurrect this poor lonely blog after all.

So for starters:

Rob and are taking off for Chicago on Friday morning. He is going to walk with his graduating class at Moody Bible Institute on Saturday morning! Yes, yes... he IS in his second year of his master's at TBI (which is now BCS, but I can't call it that yet) but this is for his undergrad work. Rob likes to joke that he "crammed a 4-year degree into 8 years!", but also during those 8 years he worked full-time, moved across the country three times, got married, started grad school, and had a baby (well, technically *I* had the baby, but you get the point). All that to say that I'm immensely proud of my hard-working husband! Way to go, Babes... it won't be long until late-night exam cramming is a thing of the past!

Anyone have any cool spots we shouldn't miss in Chicago?


baby Jude meets the big, bad world!

Hello dead blog! I think I'll resurrect you... Lazarus, come forth!

I've obviously had Jude since I've written anything here, and I figure it's about time to post the story of his birth before I forget all the gory details (which I do hope happens soon!)

After my last day of work on Friday 8/21/09, I had been feeling "crampy" and just overall kinda out of it over the weekend, and all day Sunday I had regular, slightly painful contractions, but not anything that stopped me from going about life. Rob and I went to church Saturday night, and then he played/sang for both services on Sunday morning; I met him for a Caribou Coffee date between services. We also had the kickoff picnic/retreat for BCS (school) that day and we both went even though I didn't feel 100%. I remember telling people that I was 10 days away from my due date, huh. This was taken that weekend:

The next day (Monday) I made out a grand plan for my week, figuring I had at least two weeks before Jude's arrival and I didn't want to be sitting around just w-a-i-t-i-n-g for him to come. I buzzed around doing all sorts of projects and making phone calls, feeling energetic and pretty good, with occasional cramping spells. I talked to my mom on the phone about my plans for the week and she told me she thought I was going to go into labor sooner than I thought based on my current burst of energy. I laughed. By that evening, I was having regular "cramps" (I was unwilling to call them anything else) and ended up canceling dinner/movie plans with friends to stay home and rest. Rob was at the BCS retreat, but had already decided he wasn't going to stay the night, just in case I needed him.

Tuesday morning I felt better and decided to keep on going with my to-do list for the week… and felt the need to add in making zucchini bread and oatmeal raisin cookies. For some reason, I felt this was of utmost importance. hahaha I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up to my first "real" contraction… it was strong and serious, not at all like the cramping I had felt earlier. By the time Rob came home from work around 5, I figured it would be a good idea to keep track, and they were averaging about 15 minutes apart, though not at all regularly spaced. We took a walk, made and ate dinner, and I took a bath. Nothing changed; I was still having contractions, but they weren't getting any closer or more difficult… just enough so that I could not rest or get comfortable. At midnight I did drift off to sleep, but had about 10 or so contractions that woke me up over the next 3 hours.

At about 3am I woke Rob up because they were coming faster and stronger- about 6 minutes apart and hard enough that they made me moan and groan much more than before. By 8am we decided to go ahead and call the midwife to figure out if I should keep my 11am regularly scheduled appointment, and call our parents and let them know what was going on. The midwife advised me to go ahead and go to my appt, which I did and found out that I was about 1cm dilated and already about 75% effaced (how they measure that I have no clue, but whatever) I went from that appointment over to the chiropractor to make sure everything was good to go. (that was a difficult adjustment- she had to stop for my contractions about 4 times and it took all I had in me not to make horrible sounds, heh)

The rest of the afternoon is pretty much a blur; I spent most of the time in our bedroom with soft music trying to relax through each contraction, which I did pretty well with until about 4 when they got pretty unbearable. I remember all of a sudden wanting to talk to my Dad, so I called him and as soon as he answered I burst into tears. (what?? totally not me) He was so gracious to talk to me and pray for me, then he told me he had to get back to his meeting- he was signing escrow papers at the bank! By that time I started feeling like we should go in to the hospital lest the neighbors start thinking I was getting murdered. So we called the midwife and explained how I was feeling (or Rob did- I wasn't in any condition to talk on the phone, but I'm sure she heard me) and she told us to come on in.

Getting into the hospital was an experience in itself- the emergency entrance was under construction and the valet guy was on lunch, so they took me up in a wheelchair and I left Rob standing by the car with all our bags. I was totally NOT happy about that at all. By the time he came up to the room, I was already in the oh-so-stylish hospital gown and getting ready for the initial exam/monitoring… which told us that I was only dilated to 3cm, dangit! So what can you do but keep going.

(I don't think anyone looks good in labor, despite my best efforts of doing makeup between contractions before we left home and wearing my own clothes)

The next several (5ish?) hours all run together in my mind; I was in and out of the bathtub, leaning on the side of the bed, walking around the room, and laying on my side trying to relax. Rob did an amazing, amazing job being right by my side every step of the way. Honestly, he was my rock. Every time I felt like my insides were being ripped out with a blunt hook (not even kidding, it was hideously painful) I found the strength I needed by looking into his calm eyes and hearing his steady voice speaking the Word and praying. There were times when it was so painful and I was screaming so much I literally thought to myself in the back of my mind "holy crap, who is this? Oh… it's me." After every particularly vocal contraction (most of them) I would apologize to the midwife and nurses for being so dang loud. They laughed at me later for being "so polite". I remember saying things like "the Chinese didn't invent torture, this is the original deal" and "my mom told me labor was like strong cramps- SHE LIED!" in between contractions. For some reason everyone thought I was so funny. Ha.

At about 12am I got the the point where I couldn't get on top of the contractions and manage them at all any more, so I did what any sane person would do- ask for the freakin epidural, NOW. But Rob and my midwife reminded me that I didn't *really* want that, I really wanted a waterbirth and I could do it. But I was so darn exhausted after not sleeping for about 32 hours that I just couldn't manage the pain at all any more. So came to a compromise; we decided to try Nubane, which would do nothing for the pain, but would hopefully help me get a little bit of rest between contractions. I still have mixed feelings about that, on one hand I think it was a good idea because I did actually doze a bit between contractions, but because I was sleeping sometimes I couldn't feel a contraction coming on and it would catch me by surprise and be all that much worse. So after about an hour or so on the Nubane, we decided to abandon that idea and I went back to the bathtub to tough it out. After about an hour of insanity my midwife checked me and I was [finally] about 8cm, so they started getting the delivery tub ready. I felt like I could focus a bit more knowing that since they were preparing for delivery, the end *must* be in sight, right?

At about 2am I went two doors down to the room with the big delivery tub and climbed in. It was *awesome* being in the deeper water, I could change positions easily and felt much more supported by so much water. When I got in the tub I was about 9cm, so I couldn't start pushing yet, even though I was fighting the urge with everything in me. I think that might have been the worst part. My low back was burning (yep, he was posterior) and my body wanted to DO something with each contraction, but I had to hold back. So frustrating. Finally at about 2:30 I was completely dilated and free to push, which brought a whole new level of exertion and- of course- pain. After every contraction I kept asking if they could see his head, and for some reason that kept me going. Also, I asked the midwife how long each contraction was, and when she told me they were about 45 seconds I told myself that I could handle that. I felt like I was in control a bit more knowing the timeframe I was dealing with.

I pushed for about 2 hours before he started actually coming out. Rob could see what was going on, and he says that in one contraction I pushed him out to about his eyebrows, then on the next contraction I pushed him all the way out in one big rush. From my perspective, all of a sudden there was a tiny bluish someone floating in the water with us! It was pretty surreal to see him for the first time. I didn't' feel a rush of joy or anything yet, just a sense of relief that the pain was gone and an amazement that there was a person in the room who hadn't been there before. I heard the midwife say that the cord was around his neck, and then I saw her spin him around under the water to get it off, which she did very quickly. As soon as it was off, she immediately popped him up out of the water and onto my chest. I looked at him and he wasn't breathing and his eyes were just staring straight ahead. It was really freaky for a second, and Rob immediately started praying for him. Then I saw his eyes move back and forth and I knew he was going to be okay, even though he wasn't breathing yet. The nurses started suctioning him out, but he still didn't breathe, so the midwife told us she had to cut the cord (we had said that Rob wanted to do that) and get him out and help him breathe.

The nurses rubbed him down and suctioned him at a warmer right next to the tub, and Rob was still praying out loud for him as they worked on him for what seemed like an eternity. Finally we heard a little gasp and he was breathing, just not crying. When they gave him back to Rob and I to hold and look at in the tub, we both started crying and thanking the Lord for our little gift. Rob sang the song that he had been singing to him every night for the past nine months, and everyone in the room started crying. It was an amazing moment of worship and thanks to the Lord for carrying us through and giving us this little guy.

After about 45 minutes they wanted to get his vitals, and get me out of the tub and cleaned up. At that point they weighed him and he cried his first real cry. When they saw that he was so small (5lbs 3 oz) they did a bunch of tests on him and saw that his blood sugar level was very low, although that wasn't too much of a concern at that point.

We were then wheeled back to our original room where we tried to get him to eat a bit. Since his blood sugar was low, they brought in an eyedropper of formula to get into his system right away as well.They did another round of tests to determine if he was early or full-term, and they decided that he was indeed 40 weeks, even though the early ultrasound put him at 39 weeks at that point.

That's also when they did another blood sugar test and found that it had dropped since the first one, which was cause for concern since he had already eaten and that should have brought his blood sugar UP, not down. About 5 minutes later a bunch of doctors and nurses crowded into the room and started all talking at once about how small he was and how his blood sugar was low and next thing I knew they were taking him down to the NICU. All I really remember about that was looking over at Rob and saying "stay with him, I'm fine", then everybody was gone. About a half hour or so later I started wondering why I hadn't heard anything, so I forgot that I had a phone next to me and got up and started walking down the hall in search of the NICU. When I found it and saw Rob there watching 3 nurses trying to get the IV line into Jude's tiny arm I totally lost it. I cried and cried and asked what the heck was going on and why nobody kept me in the loop and why Rob didn't have his phone so I could find him. The nurses assured me that everything was fine and we should go back to our room and eat some breakfast. That started our 5-day stay in the NICU, watching his blood sugar levels and teaching him how to eat.

He didn't take too well right away to eating, so feeding times were scary and stressful for me. But with care and attention, he learned how to eat and they started backing off the amount of glucose they were giving him in the IV. As he was able to maintain his blood sugar on his own, they reduced the glucose bit by bit over the next 4 days until he was completely off of it. That was the day that we got to take him to our room! It felt so amazing to go to sleep that night with our own little man sleeping beside us.

They still wanted to monitor him to see how he did without any assistance for about 24 hours before sending him home with us, so we all stayed another day until we got the go-ahead from all the doctors. On Monday morning they gave us the all-clear and we left the hospital at bout 12 noon, just a few hours short of 6 days before we checked in the previous Wednesday. It was almost surreal driving home with this new, teeny-tiny little person to take care of.

(trying to wear his newbord-size going home outfit I had packed for him!)

The first few weeks were pretty rough with having to closely monitor his feedings and going to one doctor or another just about every day. My mom was a HUGE help, she arrived in Minneapolis the evening after Jude was born, and once we got home from the hospital she did SO much for us. My dad got here about a week after Jude was born, and my brothers all came out on his 3-week "birthday". I definitely got spoiled having my family here for a whole month; I don't think I made one meal or went to the grocery store once during that time!

We had our last appointment with the lactation consultant last week and Jude is now 8lbs 1oz; nearly 3 lb. over his birthweight at 5 weeks old! I think we're now past the getting used to him phase and now we're just learning to love him more every day. :)


Total Eclipse Of The BRAIN

In keeping with the spirit of my blog (or wait. It has no spirit... it's nearly dead!) I'm just popping in with a drive-by post. You know, those are the kind that are like a drive-by shooting: random, unexplained, and you may never see the shooter (poster) again. Ha.

Okay, so after cleaning and organizing our apartment* all day, Rob figured I needed a laugh, so he showed me this music video. Someone took Total Eclipse Of The Heart and wrote "literal" words to explain (narrate?) the bizarre music video. I don't think I've laughed so much at anything lately.

Seriously? Did Bonnie Tyler really have hair that hideous? And *what* is she actually supposed to be doing in this video?

The bummer of it is, I actually like the original song. Now I doubt I'll be able to hear it without seeing the creepy lighted glasses on schoolboys. *shudder*

*I totally owe pictures of the moved-into and decorated apartment, I know!


new apartment!

We're moving this weekend! Just upstairs and two apartments over into the corner unit. :) It has two bedrooms *and* a den, so Rob's office will move from our current second bedroom to the new den, thus freeing up the new second bedroom for the little Jude-man and all of his paraphernalia that he will no doubt accumulate.

So, by way of introduction, here are a few pictures of the new place. I'll write a description under each one so you can get a feel for what you're looking at. The layout is identical to our old one, with the exception of the den off of the living room.

This is standing in the living room facing the den and the front door. Notice the wide doorway into the den and the little window in the corner... there's another large window on the other wall, too.

Here I took a few steps back, into the corner of the living room. From the left, you see a tiny sliver of the living room wall, the doorway into the den, the entryway and front door (notice the nicer doors on the front closet!) and the dining area with the cute little archway into the kitchen. :)

This is the dining area with the archway into the kitchen. It makes me smile.

Standing in the hall, looking into the kitchen (we lost a large upper cabinet in order to gain the archway) Also check out the built-in microwave; that means more counter space since we won't have to have our other one on the counter by the sink! Hopefully it works well. Ya never know...

Looking out of the archway into the dining area and a little into the den (notice the other den window) Man, do I wish that stove was gas, I miss it so much!

The other side of the kitchen... the only things that are different are the tile (not vinyl) flooring, and the double sink.

And finally, the view from the balcony. Since we're one floor higher, we see more TREES! Can't wait for those leaves to come out and get *green* already! Silver Lake is just barely visible over the rooftops.

The master bedroom and walk-in closet are exactly the same as our old ones, and the bathroom is the same too, except it has tile flooring just like the kitchen (no carpet at all in the bathroom).

So that's pretty much it! Now to get all our junk up there... oh dear!

I'll post a follow-up to this once we're all settled. IF that happens, that is. ;)

Wow. The pictures turned out so small... huh.


links I'm liking

It's a lovely Saturday morning and I'm lazily browsing the interwebs while glancing up every now and then to watch the grass finally get green(er). Aahhh, weekends!

Being with child, I've been wandering the world wide web and stumbling across baby sites, naturally. Funny how that happens... ;) Anyway, I came across a few sites today that are full of stuff I'm drooling over (heh, how ironic):

For the indie-rocker in all of us.

Pixie Rock
Seriously, what Apple lover (aka, Rob) wouldn't love the "iPoo'd" onsie??

For trendy graphic tees and stuff; apparently all the celeb babies rock this "label". haha

Little Lark
Okay, the little boy on the home page is advertisement enough for me...what a lil heartbreaker! I'm in love with their simple nature-themed designs.

Wry Baby
Kooky off-beat humor. Their tagline is "raise funny people". Yes!

And to keep all these links organized in one easily-accessible place? Heavens no, not the "bookmarks" of your browser... that's so 2007! I use Evernote, an online "information manager" with downloadable, synching programs for your computer (PC, Mac, and even Linux for the true nerds out there) and mobile phone (iPhone... and all the *other* phones). It's SO handy to save -and tag!- links, articles, or whatever I run across, all in one seachable place. How simple!

There are two informative posts on info managers at Rob's blog, if you're interested. :)

So anyway, that's how I'm spending my Saturday morning so far. Next on the list is to get stuff ready for moving day next Friday!

Have a great weekend. :)


hello blogworld!

Gosh, it's been a while. I've just started to feel somewhat like "myself" again in the last few weeks, but I've been transitioning (for what has seemed like months now) into a new role at work that will give me almost zero computer time. So, my blogging suffers another blow!

I'm excited about my new position at work! I work for a clothing recycling company, and up until now I've been doing admin work (boooring!). But the new role will be totally different; I'll be a "site finder", which means I'll drive around Minneapolis and St. Paul asking various businesses if they wouldn't mind hosting one of our collection boxes in their parking lot. (we collect clothes in boxes around town rather than one drop-off location) Sometimes this is super-easy and the business owner readily agrees with smiles all around. Sometimes it's ridiculously difficult, involving getting numerous signatures and permits from cranky city council members. And sometimes it's just plain demoralizing, hearing "no" after "no" after "no". I just tell myself that those people probably give their kids lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings too. Somehow that makes it all better. hahaha

I just found out that my boss in the office has hired a replacement for my current position in the office, and I will start training her next Monday. That means that I will be site finding full-time by the following Monday, if all goes well. I am really excited and a little scared, too.

I'm excited because I'll be essentially working for myself (as a contractor, with my company as a "client") which means I set my own hours. Yaaaay! No more 5:30 mornings! I can leave the house whenever I darn well please! I do have a quota of sites that I have to get each week (4-5, which works out to one a day, more or less) but I'm free to get more, and to do it all in one day or to get one every day, or whatever. The freed-up schedule is SO liberating after spending over a year chained to an 8-4, M-F schedule. Now I can come home at noon if I get a site early in the day... or I can take the random Thursday off to take a day trip to wherever my lil heart pleases. It's also exciting because if I *just* meet my low-end quota I will roughly triple my weekly income. Um, yay??!! Of course, I'm comparing pre-tax vs. post-tax, so that has to factor in, but over all, it's vastly better both financially and time-wise.

I'm a little scared because there is NO hourly pay. It's 100% commission. IOW, I can work my bootay off all day (or week) long and if I get no sites, I get no money. That's a lot of pressure, especially if I have a bad day physically or something. And right now, this is our primary source of income. Double pressure.

I say "primary" because Rob and I are both still building our MonaVie income, and in a few weeks we're starting a 3-month program called the "Diamond Run" that should more than kick our income up a few levels. This is also very exciting, since it's all about teamwork (which I'm seeing more and more that it's based around the biblical model of discipleship) and getting to know/love people. The goal is to have MV replace my job as our primary source of income by September, which is when the love child is due to arrive and demand my full attention.

Speaking of the love child... I started feeling little rolls and pokes and bumps about two weeks or so ago. It's the strangest sensation! Trying to describe it is really hard, it feels like I swallowed a live fish and it's swimming around inside me. Hahahha Or if you've ever caught a tadpole or a guppy when you were a kid and you have it trapped in your hand underwater, it kind of wiggles and bumps against your hand... that's a perfect example of the feeling. (C'mon, I can't be the only girl who caught "things"?) Anyway, it's kind of gross and kind of fun at the same time.

Wednesday is our day to "peek" and hopefully find out what the love child IS. Aside from human, of course. ;) I'm really excited... for one thing, I hate calling a human being "it" all the time, and I think naming it and knowing how to relate to it will really help me bond even more. And that's always a good thing, especially when we're talking about a child here! haha

I think we've settled on a name if it's a boy, and we have 3 or 4 that we're deciding between if it's a girlie. Name and sex will be freely shared once we find out on Wednesday, if the lil wiggler cooperates!

Alrightie, well for not blogging in over a month, this was much longer than intended. Sorry to all my readers who don't like long posts! (ahem, Erica)

I'll be back on Wednesday!

Oh, for those of you who like visuals (I do!) here's a picture of me last week (at 18 weeks or 4.5 months):


would you like to take a survey?

For some reason I've fallen prey to doing a few random surveys on Facebook, something I said I'd never do. ;) Since I haven't had time (new job promotion!), energy (new baby on the way!) or inspiration (no excuse!)I have been neglecting my poor, sad lil bloggie. So I figured I may as well cut-and-paste the surveys that I do take over here... y'know, for fun.

(anyone remember the nasal voice in some commercial or song or something from the mid-90's that said over and over "would you like to take a survey?" No? Maybe it's my imagination.)

So, let the survey-taking commence! The items with an "X" next to them are the ones I have personally done. My extraneous comments are in italics.

Things you have done during your lifetime:

(X) Gone on a blind date (um... yeah.)

(X) Donated blood (does plasma count? It was awful enough.)

(X) Skipped school or class

(X) Watched someone die (my aunt... it was actually pretty incredible)

(X) Been to Canada (Lake Louise in Alberta... honeymoon, FTW!)

( ) Been to Mexico

( ) Been to Florida

( ) Been to Hawaii (hoping to set this straight this summer!)

(X) Been on a plane (countless times...)

( ) Been on a helicopter (I want to SO bad!)

(X) Been lost

( ) Been to Washington D.C.

(X) Hugged a homeless person

(X) Swum in the ocean

( ) Swum with stingrays

( ) Been sailing in the ocean

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

(X) Played cops and robbers

(X) Recently colored with crayons (Macaroni Grill!)

( ) Run a marathon (does a 5k count? Yeah, I didn't think so...)

(X) Sung karaoke (in Nashville, of all places. Hall of shame moment)

( ) Volunteered at a soup kitchen (no, but I tell myself every Thanksgiving that I will do this *next year* Lame.)

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only (quite common in Reno, actually)

( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

( ) Seen the northern lights

(X) Been parasailing (Almost! But the place was closed for the day)

(X) Been on TV (just various news clips here and there)

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't (umm, this survey. Haha)

(X) Made prank phone calls (hello, is Mr. Wall there?)

( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans (no, but Rob has)

(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (how embarrassing!)

(X) Fed an elephant (at the circus when I was little)

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(X) Fired a gun (BB gun. haha)

(X) Danced in the rain

( ) Been to the opera

( ) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(X) Serenaded someone

( ) Seen a U.S. President in person

(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sun rise with someone

( ) Driven a race car

(X) Been to a national museum (hmm, I've been to a bunch of museums, I'm sure one of them had to be "national")

( ) Been to a wax museum (I totally want to! My grandpa got mistaken for a statue at the one in London; he scared the people next to him when he moved)

(X) Eaten caviar

(X) Blown bubbles (uh, who hasn't?)

(X) Gone ice-skating

(X) Gone to the movies

( ) Been deep-sea fishing (no, but I almost went one of the many times my brothers have gone... I'm bummed I didn't)

( ) Driven across the United States (like, ALL the way across? East-West? I've gone from OK to MN several times, and that's *almost* all the way North-South)

( ) Been in a hot air balloon (Another thing I've always wanted to do!)

( ) Been sky diving (never in a million years. Period, the end.)

(X) Gone snowmobiling (Tahoe, baby!)

( ) Lived in more than one country

(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish

( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful geyser

(X) Seen the Grand Canyon

( ) Seen the Statue of Liberty (seeing the 4th of July fireworks around the Statue is on my "must-do" list too)

(X) Gone to the top of the Seattle Space Needle

( ) Been on a cruise

( ) Traveled by train (I always thought this would be so romantic)

(X) Traveled by motorcycle (traveled? Like on an overnight trip or around the city?)

(X) Been horse back riding (lots and lots of times)

(X) Ridden on a San Francisco cable car

(X) Been to Disneyland OR Disney World (Land. Several times)

(X) Truly believe in the power of prayer

(X) Been in a rain forest (Africa- near Victoria Falls)

(X) Seen whales in the ocean (from my aunt & uncle's telescope)

( ) Been to Niagara Falls (no, but I've been to Victoria Falls in Africa, which is similar. I got wet.)

(X) Ridden on an elephant (on Bertha the mascot of John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno. It was at a circus when I was little)

( ) Swum with dolphins (that kinda creeps me out)

( ) Been to the Olympics (almost went to Atlanta in '96)

( ) Been to the World Cup

( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China

( ) Seen and heard a glacier calf (what in the world is that?)

( ) Been spinnaker flying (huh?)

(X) Been water-skiing (and wakeboarding)

(X) Been snow-skiing (I think snowboarding qualifies)

(X) Been to Westminster Abbey (okay, well... I walked up. They were closed that day! So have *have* been "to", just not "in" )

( ) Been to the Louvre

( ) Swum in the Mediterranean

(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game (several)

( ) Been to a National Football League game

( ) Swum with sharks (uhhh. right. If dolphins freak me out, there ain't no way)

( ) Been white water rafting (not after the horror stories my brothers tell all the time!)

( ) Written a book or screen play

(X) Been to Europe

(X) Been to Vegas

( ) Climbed a lighthouse

( ) Seen the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.

( ) Flown a plane

( ) Owned a boat

() Gone skinny dipping (not sayin')

( ) Watched grandchildren grow (whose? If mine, then no... but other people's, sure!)

( ) Been to the Kentucky Derby (oh! this is on my "must-do" list!)

( ) Been to Key West

(X) Been to a rodeo

( ) Owned a convertible

So there ya have it, folks. Exciting, eh?


this one goes out to the one I love

5 Valentine's days with you and you still set my heart on fire. Love you, Babes!


running on "E"

I just don't have much energy to blog right now.

I mean, I barely have the energy to do the necessities like drag my tired self out of bed at 5:30 and make it to work, then drag myself home, eat (ugh) and crawl back into bed by about 8:30 or 9. Toss in the occasional grocery store trip and church on Saturday nights and I'm spent. And Rob's doing most of the cooking and cleaning, on top of his studies, classes, *and* work... the dear man!

I honestly never knew I could feel this depleted. I did find out from my Dr. that besides from being worn out from growing a whole new human being, my body is also trying to fight off an ongoing infection that I never knew about, so hopefully that will get taken care of in the next week or so as the medicine takes effect. I can't wait to feel like myself again! "They" say that most people turn the corner around the 13th week (ie- beginning of the 4th month) of pregnancy, and all I can say is "bring it ON". Until then, I'll be conserving all the drops of precious energy I can.

In other news, I'm getting a cool promotion at work that should just about *triple* my income, so that's awesome!


a minor cat-astrophe

Excuse the silly pun, I just couldn't help it. ;)

Yesterday was a big day for my kitty, Chester. He went to the vet to get "tutored", in the words of Gary Larson. After the initial exam, the vet emerged from the back room with perplexing news: Chester couldn't be neutered. SHE had to be spayed.

Huh? What?

All this time, Chester is a GIRL!!

Rob tells the story much better on his blog. It's hilarious, really. Now just to mentally adjust...


kitschy 80's movies that surprise

Saturday night Rob introduced me to Condorman, a cheesy Disney movie that I had seen previews for when I was little, but never actually watched. Generally, I think that it's best to watch a nostalgic kid's movie only if you've seen it when you actually were a kid, otherwise you miss the nostalgia and "greatness" of the cheese factor and it's just a stupid movie with a weak plot and outdated special effects. (can you tell I've experienced this? haha) But I have to say, although Condorman was indeed cheesy, I was caught off guard by how much I actually enjoyed it. For sure, there were outdated special effects and the plot was predictable at times, but there were plenty of things that caught and held my attention. Mainly, the cool cars that the "bad guys" used to chase down Condorman and his lovely lady. Observe:

I mean seriously, what gets more cool than 5 black Porsche Carreras with drivers wearing all black leather and black helmets? And the action in the chase scenes is actually pretty cool and mostly believable (a rarity in current movies).

So the cars were cool. Admittedly, that's not what caught my attention in the first place, nor what held it throughout the movie. :) It was Barbara Carrera in the leading lady role as "Natalia". Well to be more accurate, it was her clothes. Heh heh heh. She wore so many great outfits that I wanted to pause the movie on each one to take a screenshot so I could copy her look. She was seriously cool, even as a gypsy. ;)

The first outfit that caught my eye was this one:

Fabulous long purple poncho/cape thing, slim dark jeans, and a pair of tall leather riding boots that exactly matched the color of her hair. It's a shame you can't see the pants and boots in this picture. They really were smashing.

There's a scene where they ride a ski lift to make their escape, and while the men looked laughable in their silly one-piece snowsuits (tight red shiny overalls, anyone?)Natalia looked like this:
The perfect little snowbunny. :)

Later we see her at the house of Condorman's evil nemesis wearing this getup for a party:
This picture is the only one I could find of this outfit, which was MUCH more amazing as you saw it full-length and from all different angles. I couldn't tell if it was a dress or floaty pants (I think pants, actually) but the overall effect was cool, breezy, Mediterranean, and highly fashionable with the cape and the daring, sassy wrap on her head. I would totally wear this. Maybe. :)

Of course, since this *is* a spy movie, Natalia's first scene has her looking the part of the 1950 undercover agent:
Gotta love the hat and Veronica Lake curls!

So I guess you could say that I enjoyed the movie... how did it end again? ;)

(just kidding, I remember!)


Love is...

So many people have asked the question, "what is love?" and some people even ask what love has to do with anything. There are surely as many answers for as many times this timeless question has been asked. And love is definitely a multi-faceted concept, revealing new dynamics of itself as it grows and deepens. But for Rob and I, right now this is our answer:


where there's smoke...

Yesterday morning we had a little problem... I hopped out of the shower to the scent of burning plastic and the haze of smoke, which is never a good sign. We spent the better part of the morning trying to rid our little not-so-well-ventilated apartment of both of these unsavory pneumatic essences.

But let me back up.

The night before I had made a yummy dinner of Thai noodles with tofu and sugar snap peas (go me! That's the first meal I've made in over a week). After the water for the noodles boiled I took the lid off the pan and set in on the stove, and that was the last I thought of it. Next morning, Rob in his husbandly kindness started to make my morning tea by turning on an [electric] burner to heat it up before putting the kettle on it. Of course he happened to turn on the one burner that I had left the pan lid on. Uh huh.

Next thing we know, we're being choked by the stinging smell of burning plastic and there are flames shooting out of the top of the pan lid, and the handle was in an unrecognizable pool of black goop all over the stove top. Not good. Rob put the fire out pretty easily (whew!), but the smell and the smoke... they're still hanging around today. Even after leaving all our windows and sliding door open all day in the freezing temps yesterday. It smells so bad that it still stings our eyes this morning. And poor Chester, he had to stay home in the awful smell all day.

Currently, we're experimenting with various "home remedies" to rid our apartment of the noxious fumes. First up: cut up lemons. They're supposed to "absorb" the smell. We'll see. If not, we'll move on to simmering a pan of various citrus fruits and spices like cinnamon, cloves and the like. We both agreed to avoid the advice to leave cut-up onions all around the house. Heh heh. Hopefully the lemons work!

Now to replace my pan lid...


hello, land of the living

So blogging hasn't really happened in the last few weeks, that's for sure. It just sinks low on the priority list; under such things as sleep, forcing myself to eat, trying to stay awake during my work day, managing not to throw up, and sleep. Oh, did I already say sleep? I can't believe how tired I've been! It's all I can do to get up (at 5:30!) and make it through my work day, and drive home. Forget grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. I'll do those later. Maybe. ;)

Fortunately I have an incredible husband who has been picking up all my slack around the house and not complaining about it one bit. He's been amazing, really... making breakfast and packing our lunches every morning, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom as needed, and he even did the grocery shopping last week. Of course all this is on top of his normal responsibilities of studies (he's taking 6 grad-school courses this semester) and work. He's a real trooper, and a handsome one at that!

This last weekend we went to Iowa to see our brand-new little niece, Emily Katherine Schmidt. She was born on Friday afternoon, and we got to see her on Saturday morning... so less than 24 hours old! It was fun to be around a new baby now that we're expecting one of our own, I think it helped put it in perspective for me. Although I will say it was rather disconcerting that the only time she screamed inconsolably was when *I* was holding her. Hrm. I tried everything that the others' were doing, but she was not to be comforted... until I gave her to Rob. THEN she shushed right up. I can see this coming in *quite* handy! Not to mention, it was sweet to see him with a baby... yes it really was.

We had a really nice time seeing Jen & Tim- Rob's sis and bro-in-law- and his parents too. We had a great time chatting with the parents on the way back from the hospital on Friday night... so great that we decided to postpone our departure until the next morning, extending our two-on-two time with them, which is a rare thing indeed. It's a good thing we decided to stay Friday night, because when we were driving back Saturday morning we saw no less than TWENTY-SEVEN crashed cars on the side of the highway. It had been very windy and stormy that night and man am I glad we spent it all cozy in bed rather than out in the blowing snow. Eesh.

Anyway, now I'm back at work! Whoo hoo! (I'm psyching myself up, here) I'm hoping that as I settle into the predictable rhythm of the work-weeks the days will start to roll by. I have my first prenatal appointment next Wednesday, at which point I will be 10 weeks pg, so we'll get to see if all this baby stuff is really REAL and not just in my head. :) Oh and by the way, Chester also has an important appointment that same day, though it has more to do with *not* pro-creating. Heh heh.

Happy Monday!


I'm a defective typewriter

I do know that I have been neglecting this bloggie for the last... oh three weeks? Yeah, three and a half weeks, actually. It's memorable because the day after my last post I randomly took an HPT "for fun" and it looked like this:


I'm pretty sure that means I'll be adding a job description and title come August/September. :)

It was quite a surprise, actually. I was packing to go to Nevada for Christmas and ran across an old box of home pregnancy tests that I'd had forever... I figured it would be fun to use it instead of throw it away (I'd never taken one before) and I was expecting my period that day anyway. So I took it. You know, for fun.

It was positive. POSITIVE??!!

Rob and I just looked at each other blankly for a second and then came to the same conclusion; it was an old test, so it was faulty, right? That had to be it! We threw on our jackets and ran to the store to get a new one, to be sure. Actually we got about 3 different brands just in case. They all gave the same result as the old one. That can only mean one thing... if all goes well we're gonna have a kid! I'm still adjusting to the whole idea, it was such a shock! We were planning on waiting until Rob was done with TBI, but I guess the Lord had other plans for us.

All I have to say is that 2009 is going to be a whole new kind of adventure!

(ten points to anyone who knows what movie the title of this post is from)

Edited to add: according to my calculations, I'm about 6 and a half weeks into it so far. And I feel fine. :)