So Here's My Life

The things we make,
the food we eat and
the shenanigans in between.

A blog about making things by

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


2008 has proven to be quite the eventful year - and probably the most eventful that we've had together so far as a married couple. Here are the highlights of the past year:

  • The Big Move. We moved away from the town we met. Our first big move as a married couple. I learned I do not like moving (never really did anyway) but I learned that more conflicts seem to rise when a married couple has to move. Ha ha. We drove each other nuts through the whole moving process! I consider moving a great opportunity to work together as a team...but I don't want that particular opportunity again any time soon!

  • New church. What a neat place to be a part of. Before Joel and I had even found this church, we had a mental "checklist" of characteristics in a church that we were looking for in the next church that we seeking. This new church fit our "checklist" to a tee. I love this place.

  • New jobs. Joel got a job as an engineer and I got a job as a photographer in a studio. I learned a ton from the studio, but ended up quitting in the summer, due to repeated scheduling conflicts and the fact that we had big change coming our way...
  • New adventure. I started doing free lance portrait photography outside of the studio. I had plans to move a little quicker in this business venture, but life interfered.
  • Pregnant. Our long awaited baby was finally on his way into the world. Many people have assumed that this baby was an accident. But let me assure you that, we've planned this baby for YEARS. Before this baby was on his way, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to spend together as a couple before adding children to the mix. I'm so glad we did. We now have confidence in our ability to work as a team and raise children. And the pregnancy timing was also planned. I planned on being pregnant through the winter to have a baby during the spring time. However, being pregnant wiped me out, and I found it difficult to accomplish my tasks and goals without a nap.

  • Reunion. I had no plans to attend my 10 year class reunion, however was persuaded by a close high school friend. I'm so glad I went. I had a great time seeing several of my classmates from high school, regardless of the fact that I was not in the "popular" clique through high school. It also gave me a chance to prove to myself that I was no longer the same insecure girl that I was throughout high school. It was great to have a point of reference to measure my personal growth. I feel proud of myself.

  • Halloween. Normally I could care less about this holiday, but this year I decided to take advantage of my "unique" condition. Joel and I dressed up like Juno and Bleaker from the movie Juno. It was hysterical and we had a great time.

  • Holidays. Oh the holidays. Such a busy time of year, and once again, they were quite busy with various Christmas parties, Thanksgiving with my in-laws, Christmas with my family, and lots of celebrations in between. I was dreading the Holidays this year, due to my pregnant state and never knowing who was going to do what to draw attention to me and make me feel like the awkward pregnant woman that I already feel like. Fortunately for me, none of that happened. And I couldn't be happier. And I also made it a point to be more tolerant of people too - I even allowed someone at my husband's office Christmas party to rub my belly. I didn't even give them a dirty look. I should be rewarded.
  • Anniversary!!! We celebrated our 4th anniversary this month. It was amazingly exciting for us - mostly because we were able to look at how far that we've come as a married couple and a team. This year has been such a great year for us, and moving provided a great opportunity to us to draw even closer together and solidify our team working skills. I'm so pleased to be married to Joel! And to celebrate our anniversary we ate at our favorite asian restaurant called the Banana Leaf, and then went for a very frigid walk (it snowed earlier that day) on the River of Lights (which is a Biological Park near a river completely decked out in lights for the Holiday season.)
We still have New Years to celebrate tomorrow before the year is officially over. Tomorrow we will be joining several people in our church for a progressive dinner. I'm totally looking forward to it. And you know what? I'm totally going to be honest here, I've caved in over the holidays and allowed myself to indulge in more holiday snacks then I probably should after tomorrow, I'm back to my healthy eating again. I hope my holiday indulging doesn't effect me too much down the road!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4th Anniversary

Tomorrow is a special day for Joel and I. We will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary! I have to say that being married to Joel is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I love him so much more than I did when we first got married. He is my best friend, my spouse, my companion, my lover, my support system, still my original rival (in a fun loving non-destructive sort of way) and so much more. Now four years later, we've been through job changes, moved to a different city, changed churches, and are on our way to starting a family. Life hasn't always been easy. We've had some very difficult circumstances to deal with over those years (which have not all been mentioned), but I'm so glad we have each other to lean on (and of course, God!). I am happy. I am happy with my life. I am happy with my marriage. And I am more than happy to be carrying Joel's child. I couldn't have asked for a better man to have a baby with - and the best part is that I'm married to him! I look forward to what is in store for us. I look forward to the fact that our family of two will soon become a family of three. And I know that in a society filled with divorce and infidelity, no matter how hard things get, we have confidence that God will help us through every moment, and we will make it through. Just wait and see.

Here is proof that Joel is not as angelic as everyone thinks he is. This is just a taste of the real Joel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Pictures

Two pictures to share, since I haven't put up any in a while. My photography website is currently down. (Boo) There's some kind of mix up that happened with my website's service provider. (Grr...) AND THEN they deleted my whole site. I'm sad about it. But this is the perfect opportunity to redo it even better. So hopefully we will have it up and running again soon. It may take a while, depending on how much time we can spend on it. But ANYWAY, here are two pictures I took in October at the Balloon Fiesta.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Toasty Sandwiches.

For those of you who went to college with me - Do you remember making a sandwich and then toasting it in one of the waffle irons in the cafeteria?? Lol! Those sandwiches were the BEST. Oh, how I loved those sandwiches - the melted cheese, the warm lunch meat, squished just right between two pieces of toasty bread. Ha ha. But the problem was, that putting the sandwiches into the waffle makers would ruin the coating on the waffle irons. (I have no idea how, but somehow it did) So then those who actually used the waffle irons to make waffles, would end up with waffles that would stick to the iron. You would have to scrape off the your waffle in pieces. It always ruined the waffles. But you know what? We wanted our sandwiches toasty from the waffle iron! So we kept on doing it. After a while, a sign appeared in front of all the waffle irons, telling us that we could no longer use the waffle irons to toast our sandwiches. The sign deterred us very little. We continued making our toasty sandwiches in the waffle iron. Then they put a cafeteria lady to stand guard over the waffle irons, to make sure we didn't use the waffle irons for our sandwiches. But when she wasn't looking, sometimes we would sneak them into the iron anyway. Eventually the cafeteria got some kind of toaster conveyor belt thing for our sandwiches. It helped for a while, but it didn't squish the sandwich the right way - back to the waffle irons. Ha ha! Those poor cafeteria people! We must have drove them nuts! Eventually they set aside a waffle maker designated for sandwiches. Now why in the world didn't they think of that in the first place? Good memories.

I was thinking about those lovely sandwiches last night, and kind of wished I could eat one of those again. But there was no way I was going to ruin my waffle iron to make a toasty sandwich! But then the thought occured to me - why not just use the George Foreman grill? So you know what? Today I made a toasty sandwich again - just like the kind of my college days - but with George Foreman grill. The cheese was melty, the lunch meat was warm, all squished between two slices of warm toasty bread. It was good. And I highly recommed it. Why didn't I think of this sooner?? So for those of you who would like to relive those silly college memories of those lovely sandwiches (or those who would like to try something new), I encourage you to try making one of those sandwiches on the George Foreman Grill! It's still good!!

And one more thing - since I'm on the subject, I think I want one of those new George Foreman Grills! They look so cool and you can make so many things on them. I have no idea why I'm sharing this with you. I just am.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Kicking Baby & Santa Claus

Tonight I feel like Levi is trying to beat me up from the inside out. This little boy seems to get more and more active these days. I feel him kicking inside me just about everyday now. Tonight as Joel and I were watching Heroes, Joel had his hand on my belly. Levi was wiggling inside of me, and then all of the sudden, he kicked so hard that it startled both Joel and I. I literally jumped from surprise...I'm kind of a jumpy person anyway. It's not hard to startle me. It's such a weird feeling to feel something moving around inside of you. I feel like there is an alien inside of me. Most of the time I feel like I'm being poked from the inside. So weird. But kind of cool and exciting at the same time. I'm getting more and more excited about meeting this baby.

I have a question for you guys. Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were younger? And do you plan on telling your children about him (or have you already)? I'm just curious. Joel and I do not have any plans to tell our children about Santa Claus. My sister and brother-in-law do plan on telling their children about Santa Claus, which is fine. Joel and I just don't see the point (but just for our kids) - I think it's mostly because neither one of us grew up believing in Santa Claus, so it's not that important for us to pass on something that had very little impact on our childhood...

Monday, December 1, 2008

The News You've been waiting for

I recently mentioned that we found out the sex of the baby, but were not going to tell anyone for a bit. I have to admit, it's been fun to have our little secret. We kept it a secret so that way we could tell our families before we told everyone else. I know that several of you are dying to know if it's a boy or a girl. I've found it funny how offended some people have gotten when we refused to release the information to them. But the time has finally come, and I would like you guys to know that we are having a BOY! You know what though? I knew this all along. I had a feeling from the very beginning that it was a boy. How did I know? I just did. I don't know. I just knew.

One small rant here (because what blog of mine would be complete without a rant on pregnancy these days? ) - I've had people come up to me and say, " I knew it was a boy because of the way that you are carrying the baby." (supposedly because I'm so big) I've also had people tell me that it looks like I'm carrying a girl. But you know what? I've done extensive reading on this subject, and talked to doctors, and the truth is, that that's just not true. You really can't predict if it's a girl or a boy by the appearance of the way the mother is carrying the baby. It's nothing more than an Old Wive's Tale. You just can't. Everyone woman is different. And every woman carries her baby different. The reason that is seems that I'm larger is because I have a small frame - I don't have as much room to carry the baby internally as other women do. Plus it's also genetics. My mother got really large with me too. She also has a small frame. It's not about the fact that it's a boy or a girl, it's more about genetics and the uniqueness of each woman. Some people may have correctly guessed that my baby is a boy, but it wasn't because it was of the way I'm carrying him, like they think.

So the name - the first thing people ask after they find out we are having a boy is the name. Have you thought of any names? Yes, we have. His name is Levi Harold. Now before you get carried away with comments about his middle name, let me just say, that Harold wasn't exactly on my list of favorite names. However, it happens to be a family name on Joel's side of the family. There was no persuading him on any other name. Harold happens to be Joel's first name, Joel's father's name, and one of Joel's grandfather's name. It's definitely a family name. And although I'm not crazy about the name itself, it has a good meaning - "Leader". I do like that. "Levi" means "United" or "Joined". So my baby's names mean "United Leader" I like that. And I can live with the name Harold. Marriage is about compromise (and you don't always get your way!).

Here are two pictures of Levi at 19 weeks, who used to look like a blob in the sonograms. It's fun to see the changes between now and the first sonogram he had.

His head is in the upper right corner. He is facing upwards. His belly is in the middle, and the white circle above his belly is his hand.

this is my favorite picture. Levi is sucking his thumb. This picture is mostly of his head. His head is in the center of the picture, facing upwards. The lighter part of his head is his face. And then his hand is just above his mouth, you can see his fingers, and his thumb is in his mouth. So cute!

When we show the sonogram pictures to people, Joel's friends and family say that Levi has Joel's head. But then when we show them to my friends and family, they say that Levi has my head. HA! To tell you the truth, I don't think you can really tell yet. I think his head is still developing it's shape.

One more fun thing - Joel finally got to feel Levi kick! It was really neat. It made me happy that he could finally feel what I feel Levi doing inside of me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

20 weeks

Ok. New pictures.

We took these yesterday. So this is me at 20 weeks. You are not allowed to put comments up about how big I look - because I already know! And it that more and more people have to remind me about how big I am. It doesn't bother me nearly as much these days. I've learned to ignore more of the obnoxious comments I hear from others. But you guys still aren't allowed to put that comment on my blog! HA!

This is me expressing my sentimental feelings toward pregnancy. Blah. Ha ha! I'm so terrible.

I really am excited about the baby, I promise. Just not the pregnancy part. It scares me on a regular basis to see what my body is capable of doing in regards to being pregnant. I will not explain any further than that, simply because if I did explain, women who have yet to become pregnant, would suddenly become terrified and no longer be willing to give birth to a child. And those who are in the earlier stages of their first pregnancy would become terrified of what may lie ahead for them in the next several months - I will allow them to discover these things as they come along.

I am finally half-way through my pregnancy! Hooray! I'm so happy about this. Half-way there. I felt like I would never get to this point. It seems that time has progressed so slowly since I have become pregnant, and yet in some ways it has gone by quickly. But I wouldn't be sad if time would fly by a little faster. I want this child out of me - but of course healthy and fully developed.

I am still exercising - walking and yoga. Some weeks more frequent than others. And since my appetite has increased, I've been eating more healthy foods than I ever have in my life. I avoid frozen foods, canned foods, mostly cook lean and low fat meals (not always), and eat fruit and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and eggs for snacks. (yes, I really do eat eggs for a snack. lol.) I aim to only eat sugar (like the dessert kind of sugars) 2 - 3 times a week (doesn't always happen, but I'm usually successful). I have to admit, despite pregnancy, I feel really really healthy - physically and mentally. It's a good feeling. My main motivation behind doing this (other than keeping my baby healthy) is the fact that I know I can't work off my extra weight until the baby comes out - so I want to make sure I eat healthier, because it healthier foods stay in your system longer than foods like chips and soda - which in turn causes you to eat less. Ok enough of this subject.

This Thanksgiving will be my first Thanksgiving spent with my in-laws. For various reasons in the past, we have been unable to spend it with Joel's parents. I will be making Parmesean Breaksticks, Mashed Potatoes, and Cranberry Cheescake to share for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm really excited about the cheesecake. Ha ha. You know, I'm a little sad about missing Thanksgiving dinner with my parents this year. I've only missed it one other time in my life - and that was during college. It was so sad. I missed all of our made-from-nearly-scratch foods that were a vital part of our meal (the mashed potatoes, the green bean casserole, the home made pies and desserts). I think that I will miss those same things this year when we spend it with my in-laws. But you know what? Marriage is about compromise. And this is part of it. Sharing holidays is part of compromise. And that is what I intend to do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

19 weeks and 5 days

I am currently sitting around and waiting for a very important phone call. It kind of aggrivates me that I'm waiting around for this call, but personally waiting around at my house to discuss personal business with the doctor's business office is a much better solution than prancing around town, waiting on the phone call and then discussing it for all of the world to hear. No thank you.

I am frustrated. I am aggravated. I am stressed, but I would prefer not to divulge the details surrounding my current circumstance. But I will say this one thing - I hate the health care system passionately. I would write a blog about my passionate hatred towards the health care system, but that would turn political all too quickly, and honestly, I try to avoid discussing politics simply because I get way too heated.

But I do have much happier news. Yesterday I had a sonogram. AND we found out the sex of the baby. But don't ask me what it is. I'm not telling. At least not yet. My mom thinks she knows what it is. It's amusing. It makes me laugh. We have our reasons for keeping this a secret. But for now, our little secret is quite fun.

During the sonogram yesterday we got to see our baby wiggle around and play. It was so cute and amusing to see. And then the baby even gave us a thumbs up sign. It was too funny. I still don't enjoy being pregnant, but I am looking forward to meeting our baby in the Spring.

This Thursday is a very important day for me. It marks the half-way point of this pregnancy - 20 weeks. I felt like this time would NEVER come. It seems that the days during pregnancy creep by so slowly, but I will finally be at the halfway point - which means it's that much sooner to evicting this baby from inside me. Oh I am so looking forward to that!

I will put up some pictures soon - when I am not feeling too lazy to do so. Ha ha.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Unavoidable Circumstances.

So I had quite the experience yesterday. I attended a minister's luncheon at a restaurant with the pastor and his wife. This minister's luncheon is for all the ministers of our denomination in our section (which is basically our local area). There's this woman who belongs to our section that freaks me out every time I see her, so I usually try to steer clear of her. It's not that she's mean or rude or's just...well...let me put it this way - she has a BIG personality. And personally, I think that I have a big personality, so if someone's personality seems to supersede mine, then it really tends to overwhelm me. This woman and her personality go way beyond overwhelming me.

So anyway, yesterday I tried my hardest to avoid this woman like I normally do, but much to my dismay, I was unable. She came up to me in the restaurant, and I watched her hand, as if it was in slow motion, aim towards my belly. (AAAHHHH!!) I couldn't think fast enough to figure out how to deflect the hand. Her hand made contact with my belly. (Strike one) Then she says to me "You're still pregnant???" (Strike two) Now that comment truly baffled me. I know for sure that I have not seen this woman since I've gotten pregnant. So I gave her a funny look and said, "I got pregnant in July. I'm only 18 weeks pregnant." And then as if she had not said enough yet, she then opens her mouth again and replies, "You're SO BIG!" (STRIKE THREE - you are out. I knew I had a reason for avoiding her). WHAT THE HECK????

I'm really not that offended, mostly because I think she's a crazy lady anyway. You know, consider the source. And it mostly makes me laugh, because it totally confirms my reasons for avoiding her in the first place. Honestly, when I initially saw her coming towards me in the resturant, I expected a series of off-the-wall, obnoxious comments to come out of her mouth. So I guess I'm really not that offended. I just think she's wacko.

But you know what made it worse after that whole series of obnoxious comments that I received from her? I was then forced to sit next to her for the rest of the meeting. Because somehow, my spot at the table was moved while I was away from the table, and she sat next to me. And you know who was on the other side? NO ONE! The wall. I was stuck with her and without anyone to talk to on my other side! AND then afterwards, we stood in a circle and closed the meeting in prayer AND she made me hold her hand while we prayed!!! I hate holding hands when I pray. I think it's wierd. Not like in a homosexual way or anything, it's just awkward. Whatever. Somedays, no matter how much you try to avoid a person, your effort seems to be be in vain. And yesterday that was definitely the case.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

At the moment, I am very, very, very tired. I've had a full schedule for the last three or four may have been longer, but I can't remember that far back. The house has fallen apart completely. I have a stock pile of dishes and laundry that need to be worked on, but somehow I can't seem to muster up enough energy to tackle them. I think I'd rather take a nap...or write a blog....or write a blog and then take a nap.

These days pregnancy is going ok...I guess. But you know what? I'm going to be honest here. I'm not a huge fan of pregnancy. I'm just not. I feel so restricted and confined. I'm fatigued. I have to monitor my asthma carefully (asthma and pregnancy don't go well together). I am constantly battling headaches (which I've figured out how to prevent but not get rid of them once I've gotten one). And it's painful too! My ribcage is KILLING me these days! Arg! Somedays I just want this child to get out of me (but of course fully developed and healthy).

Somehow people seem to think that Joel and I accidentally made this baby. (we did not) We always get comments like, "Enjoy your last moments before the baby comes!" or "Do everything now that you can't do with a baby" or "Make sure you go to lots of movies before the baby is born" and "Everything changes after the baby comes!"

You know what I have to say about all this?
1) Why the heck do you think that we waited four years to start a family??? Because we wanted to enjoy our time together before we had children. We were never in any hurry to start a family, because we wanted to do as much as we could before we started a family. We've already done all that stuff that we wanted to do before we had children.
2) Duh! Of course everything changes after the baby come! Once again, that is why we waited so long to have kids!

I think everyone is really worried about us being pregnant, because we always get comments about this baby being unplanned. Totally false, but they seem to think otherwise. It's probably because when people would ask us when we were planning on starting a family, we would always tell them something like, "Oh, someday." But that was to prevent people from getting too nosy and asking at the time that we started working towards a family, if we were pregnant yet. Privacy. So I guess because of that, they assumed the opposite. Oh well.

Friday, October 31, 2008


So yesterday despite my frustrating day (working with photoshop, sewing [which I ended up avoided by using a stapler to fix our costumes...yes I'm that bad], and then having an important client LOATHE the pictures I did of them) Joel and I had a great evening. We had a party at our church's young adults group.

Joel and I dressed up as Juno and Bleaker from the movie, Juno. Our costumes weren't as polished as we would have liked, but we were on a budget! So this was what we came up with. It was fun to do.

We also carved pumpkins. I learned something new about Joel last night - he is an excellent pumpkin carver. When I carve pumkins, they take me forever, and the cut marks are always jagged. His were nice and smooth. Here is the pumkin that Joel and I carved. Joel is immitating the face that we carved into our pumkin. And he is holding his chin into a "butt chin" (as he likes to call it) just like our pumkin has.

And finally here are our master pieces. A three year old carved the pumkin on the bottom row, second from the right. Isn't it cute?

This was a good end to a not-so-happy day for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Earlier this week I took pictures for the the district officials and the office staff (from our denomination) for Christmas. This picture goes in the Christmas cards that they send out to all the ministers in our district. After I had taken the pictures and viewed them at home, I was very concerned. (the dreadful picture is below) I didn't like the pictures at all. I should have rearranged who stood where, one person had glare in her glasses (I put her face in the correct position to avoid glare originally, but somehow that didn't translate to the pictures), I should have raised the camera to a higher level when I shot the photos, and on top of all of those conflicts, the lighting was horrible. Originally I thought the lighting would be fine, but what I failed to realize was that the wall of glass windows behind me provided too much light and washed everyone out, plus two additional people could not wear their glasses because of the glare provided by all the windows. So I was pretty nervous about these pictures and I spent three days editing the photos. But despite all my efforts to salvage the pictures, when I showed them to the office, they hated them. Hated them. I don't blame them, I really understand. I do. But I'm disappointed to have done such a bad job on such important people that I know, especially since my husband and I are on staff at on of the churches within the district (they are our leaders over us), and I hold my minister credentials too. It would have been so much better if I had messed up the photos of a client that I did not have a personal relationship with. It really sucks to fail so severely in front of the people you know...and want to impress. I was really hoping to get a good reference out of the deal. I was hoping that it would help me to get my name out as a photographer and get more clients within the churches around the district, especially weddings. But I'm pretty sure that is not going to happen at this point. I'm disappointed. This isn't the first time I've failed to please a client. That would happen from time to time when I worked at the studio. It just happens. I can handle it. I've had to before. I just hate the fact that I messed up so badly on this particular sitting. Boo. But I know that I'm still a good photographer. I know I have a good eye. I know I can do a good job, and a large majority of the people that I've photographed are incredibly pleased with my work. So I'm not giving up. And I've definitely learned a lot from this particular failure. Somehow sharing my dreadful experience makes me feel better. I'm not sure why....
I do not swear. I do not cuss. But there are two things in life that frustrate me so much that bring me close to doing so - working with Photoshop and sewing. Today I have to do both. I think I'm going to kill myself or maybe just chuck both the computer and the sewing machine out the window.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pregnacy thoughts and other stuff

I've mentioned before that I've been having headaches - low blood sugar headaches. When I catch them in time, I eat something that will prevent the headaches, but most of the time, they sneak up on me and I don't realize when they start. By that time, it's too late. There's nothing that I can do to eliminate the headache, except go to bed at night - and sometimes I still have the headache in the morning. I've tried EVERYTHING possible to counteract the headaches, but nothing seems to work. I've increased my protein - drink milk, eat eggs, eat peanut butter; I've tried to raise my sugar level by drinking juice, eating a piece of fruit (like an apple) and then eating nuts, almonds, etc. I've tried candy. I've increased my fat intake - changing from 1% milk to whole milk, eating avocados (high in fat). Nothing works. Nothing. I'm pretty sure tried it all at this point. It's so frustrating. By the end of every day I have a headache. Maybe about once I week I can avoid getting a headache, but I know that I cannot make it 5 more months with headaches everyday. I just can't. I've been working with my OB to figure out the cause of these headaches. Please pray for me, because I'm reaching the end of my rope of tolerance for these headaches. And pray that we can figure out what is causing them soon!

This weekend, I managed to deflect a woman's hand wandering towards my belly not once, but twice!! The first time I covered my belly with my purse before her hand reached my belly. The second time I took her hand that was aimed for my belly, (she was going to give me hug, and touch my belly at the same time) and put it behind me so she could hug me with two hands instead of just one. She got the point and started laughing. It was amazingly ninja. I was so proud of myself.

I was also told recently that I would miss my pregnant belly after the baby was born., I'm pretty sure I won't. I despise being fat. I'm not ok with it at all. I did not get pregnant to have the "pregnancy experience" I got pregnant to bring a child into this world, not to be pregnant. So missing the pregnant belly? Doubtful.

Fun news:
This weekend Joel and I got a new couch! Most of you don't know this, but we've haven't owned any couches since we've gotten married. (well - we were given an old couch that was really cute, but when we moved, we decided to not take it with us because it was falling apart, but this one doesn't count) So we've been borrowing a set of couches from Joel's parents (that I hated because they weren't very comfortable, nor were they "our style"). Last week we came a cross a sectional couch for a good price. (someone was getting rid of it because they were moving) Guess what? We got it! It's a light brown micro-suede sectional couch with two recliners, a corner piece, and a hide-a-bed!! This is seriously exciting news for us to finally have comfortable places to sit!! And this couch is pretty much what I had in mind that I wanted in a couch too, including color! How cool is that?

This weekend was our district's youth convention. Lots of fun. I worked there. But here's the fun thing -
This is my good friend, Patty. We took this last year during Youth Convention in 2007. She was about 6 or 7 months pregnant at the time. (and look how skinny I was! Geez. I really hope to get that thin again)

This year Patty and I had to take the same picture again (during Youth Convention of course), because of course this time I'm pregnant. I think it's funny because this year we have totally switched places.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pregnancy at 14 weeks

So here's what I look like at 14 weeks. Joel took these pictures of me this afternoon.

I know I really don't look that big. But in my mind, I feel huge!

I had an OB appointment this morning, which went well. Joel got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. It was exciting. Little by little the excitement grows. I've been more able to come to terms with being pregnant, (even though the baby was planned) and I'm bothered less by the restrictions that pregnancy brings. I've been having headaches as a result of low blood sugar. (they go away when I eat, but return after my food has been digested) The doctor said that I should increase the fats in my diet to keep my blood sugar up higher! Ha ha! I never expected to hear that one.

One more thing to add to my list of Things to Refrain from saying to a Pregnant Woman :

* "You're so big!" - Thanks for the observation. As if I don't feel large enough already. This is probably one that I won't be able to avoid hearing. But I did tell the woman who said that to me this weekend, "Thanks" in a light-hearted, but sarcastic tone of voice that wasn't too offensive, but totally got my point across. She quickly corrected herself. Ha!

The Reunion.

Well I have to say that I had such a great time at my 10-year high school reunion this weekend. It wasn't as bad as I expected either. And everyone was just as nervous as I was about the reunion - which made things easier for me. I was definitely nervous, but over the last several years, I've learned to fake the confidence that I felt I was lacking. And you know what? No one even knew!

Things are different now. Everyone was still the same in a lot of ways, but most of them had matured beyond the high school labels. (Pretty much everyone) The guy who was most known for horsing around in high school got the award at the reunion for "Alumni who has changed the least" So true. He's just as retarded as he was in high school. BUT despite those minor things, the reunion was fun. And it really didn't matter who you were in high school, because everyone just wanted to talk to everyone else and see what they were doing these days. And that made it so much fun. I even managed to find an Alumni and her husband who live in our area, and plan on getting together sometime! It was cool because nobody treated you like a loser because you weren't in their old high school clique. It really didn't matter any more. Everyone had gotten past that. When our nerdy (but amazingly smart) Valedictorian stood in the back of the room (he was never that social) during the socializing, people would go back and talk to him. Some of the girls even managed to get him on the dance floor for a while. It was fun. The guy (who I couldn't remember for the life of me) in a floral shirt was dancing with one of the cheerleaders on the dance floor. I was also amazed to notice that she didn't spill her cocktail she was holding while she was dancing. ha ha. But overall, I had a great time, and I'm so glad I went.

I wasn't originally planning on going to this reunion. I've moved past that time in my life, and do not feel the need to go back. However, when Rebecca, my close friend from high school convinced me to go, I temporarily became occupied with the reunion. It's almost like I had something to prove to them, but not quite. I had something to prove to myself by going to this reunion. I spent my high school years living with feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I always felt like everyone was better than me. (silly) Internally, it made things miserable for me at times. I spent way too much time worrying about what everyone else would think of me. (even more silly) Eventually I got over that. But with the reunion coming, I suddenly realized that I wanted everyone to see me for me - and that I now realized that I liked myself, and was happy with who I turned out to be. But after the reunion, I realized that the thought of what people actually thought of me now, was not even a concern. It never even crossed my mind during the weekend. So it's not that I wanted to prove something to them, perhaps as I thought originally. Instead, by spending time with those who I had originally felt inferior around, I wanted to show myself that I was not the same person I was in high school. I was no longer the person who felt inferior around those same people. I'm different now. And I didn't feel inferior when I was with them. It was almost like a way to measure my personal growth. I feel good. I'm proud of myself. I feel like I've come a long way from the person I was in high school. Perhaps I'm still the same in a lot of ways, personality, mannerisms, etc, but I've matured. And it feels so good, and I had such a good time seeing old classmates, friends, and aquantances. And if I were to give advice to those who are still in high school, it would be this - Don't worry about who you are in high school, how you fit in with everyone else, and what type of label you have. Because after high school, the real world doesn't really give a flip about it. And at the reunion, people may recall who you were in high school, but only to remember you, it doesn't mean they haven't realized that you are more than the label you had back then. (And if they do still think that, they have serious problems.)

At this point, I look back at high school with more fondness than I did before. It was fun. I made tons of mistakes, but ultimately I became a better person. But I would never go back to relive that time of my life! But there is one thing that I would have changed - the fact that I was afraid to do my best. I was afraid to try my hardest, because I was afraid of failing. I've realized since then that I am capable of so much more, when I put forth my best effort. (Just a thought)

I had such a fun time at my reunion. I think that everyone should go to theirs. You'd probably be surprised to see how much people have grown up (most of them, anyways) since then.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Slightly Obsessed...

My 10 year high school reunion is tomorrow and Saturday. I think I've become slightly obsessed with the details of this reunion. It seems as though suddenly I must make sure that I have the most perfect outfits to wear for both nights (something that will reveal that I am obviously pregnant, not just fat, but still must look cute), that my eyebrows are plucked (because I really do like them looking neat and groomed, I've just been too lazy to keep them up lately - probably due to pregnancy), and that this pregnancy-induced acne looks somewhat under control (I've been wearing my hair up all day, all the time to keep it off my face, washing my face consistently [but not too often], and using a face scrub every couple of days [stupid acne!]). I also planned on wearing my high school letter jacket to the football game tomorrow, but it probably won't be cold enough (Texas weather). I went online to our reunion website, found all the names of the alumni that have RSVPed to the event and looked them up in my year book. There's about 75 alumni coming, and it turns out that it's a pretty mixed crowd - not all from a certain click, various people from various crowds. That eases my nervousness about this event. I want to present myself as a person who is happy, and pleased with her life thus far. I also want to present myself as a person who loves God and follows God without shame. I want to make my a good impression on my former classmates. I feel like I've become so much of a better person since high school in so many ways (especially emotionally and spiritutally), and I want them to see the change in me. And yes, I think I sound a little obsessed - but I think I am ready.

And a couple of side notes here -

My friend Patty lent me her maternity clothes, which is very cool because now I don't have to wear t-shirts all the time (because that was all that fit).

And today I am 14 weeks pregnant! yay. It makes me very happy to be moving away from the first horrid trimester.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things to refrain from saying to a pregnant woman...

*"You're only upset because you're pregnant." - so basically what you're saying is that I have no reason to be upset. So if even if I really have no reason to be upset because I'm pregnant, telling me that "I'm only upset because I'm pregnant" is only going to aggravate me even more, because obviously the situation is important to me, and you are telling me that my feelings aren't valid. And that is definitely not going to calm me down. Grrrr!!!

*In reference to a comment I make pertaining to pregnancy like, "It's getting difficult to bend down. (because this belly is getting in the way)" and a woman replies "Just wait..." implying that this experience will only get worse. Yeah, thanks for being so encouraging. I know that things will probably continue to become more difficult, but do you really have to remind me?? It's not like I didn't have that figured out by now, but thanks for the reminder. I've heard this comment from various women OVER and OVER and OVER. And let me tell you, I'm SO OVER it! I've heard enough. Maybe I'll just stop talking about pregnancy to others.

*When a woman feels compelled to share her pregnancy experience and then proceeds to make predictions about how my pregnancy will be as well. I really really really hate it when women do this. It's like because they've been pregnant once or twice they suddenly know ALL there is to know about EVERY SINGLE WOMAN'S PREGNANCY. What makes you think that every body else's pregnancy is going to be exactly yours was? Especially since every woman's body reacts exactly the same as your does. NO. What's worse is when they make negative predictions about your pregnancy based on their own experiences.

You know what? Why is it that so many women who have had babies seem to make it their mission in life to make me feel like a some young, naive rookie at this motherhood/pregnancy thing? Like they feel like they have one up on me. It's like it seems that they feel like they need to educate me about every little thing AND I get these little smirks from them, that seem to say, "You really have no idea what you're getting yourself into." I think that I do. I know that I do. That's why Joel and I have waited so long to have kids. This was a well thought out, planned, decision on our part. Perhaps we don't know EVERY little thing yet, but we are aware, that we don't know. We didn't just step into this next part of our lives without any forethought. I hate being treated like a naive person. I hate it. Why can't people (women) just leave me alone to enjoy my pregnancy? Why do they have to share all their stupid bad experiences with me. What makes them think that I'm as stupid as they are? (Wow, that was mean)

I really want to enjoy this pregnancy. I really do. But it's so hard when you feel like everyone around you is trying to spoil it for you by making you feel like a rookie. I don't have to know everything at once. I plan on informing myself. I like to know what I'm doing. But there are just some things that I would rather not know until I get to that point. (Like postpartum recovery...please DO NOT share...I would rather figure that out when I get there...don't give me more things to stress about) I just want to enjoy my pregnancy. I want to be happy. Don't spoil it for me!

And don't touch my belly either. I might have to kill you. I need a shirt to communicate that. Any suggestions on where I could get a shirt like that? Seriously.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hot Air Balloon

This morning Joel and I were sitting in the office with the window opened about 6 inches. Then I heard a familiar sound - kind of a roaring sound. I realized what it was immediately, grabbed my camera and ran out the door. There was a hot air balloon directly over our house, about 20 feet above us! How exciting!! The people inside the balloon were talking to us too! The chase team was parked directly across from our house, waiting for the balloon to land in the empty lot across the street. Unfortunately the man driving/steering (whatever you call it) wasn't positioned right, and had to land a little farther down the block. So I walked down the street and was able to catch the balloon right after it landed. People were coming out of their house to watch all the excitement and then team even allowed the kids to come and get their pictures taken from inside the basket! The team came and talked to me while I was taking pictures, and gave me a card with a picture of their balloon, and information about it. (And just in case you are wondering, the balloon is called, "Uccello Nero", which is "Black Bird" in Italian) It was such a fun experience. I stayed around and was able to catch some shots of the team disassembling the balloon. It was really interesting to watch the process.
Here's the balloon right above our house! (I did too much level adjustments on this picture, which is why the sky looks so dark)

Just after they landed, a couple of blocks over.

Starting the process of deflating the balloon. The man is hold a rope that pulls the balloon down to the ground.

This is probably my favorite picture. One of the boys from the chase team is walking alongside the balloon, and moving the air to the end of the balloon, so it can go out.

The team stretching out the balloon to release the air.

The younger boys helping.

This little boy was so funny. He's only about 4 years old, but he told me to take this picture for my dog.

This weekend marks the beginning of the annual Balloon Fiesta, which is one of the most photographed events in the WORLD. We may be going at some point, but we haven't decided yet. I'm really hoping during these next two weeks that we will be able to have a balloon land in the empty lot in front of our house. That would be fun. It may happen, because there are literally hundreds of balloons that lift off every morning for two weeks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

High School Reunions & Maternity Clothes.

I am going to my 10-year class reunion in a couple of weeks. It seems that time has flown by so fast, and yet so much has happened since high school, that it also seems like forever since high school. Since I've graduated from high school, I've gone to college, gotten a degree, traveled overseas several times, moved away, had real jobs, gotten married, moved again, and have even gotten pregnant. But even more importantly than all of those things mentioned, I have matured by leaps and bounds mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A lot has changed over the years. From time to time, I've contemplated whether or not to go to this reunion. I was never in the popular crowd, but I was never one of the outcasts either. I was in band. And I was very proud to be in band. I never felt like an outcast in high school. I had a place to belong. But did I really care enough to go? Hmmm....not really. However, two of my good high school friends and I have decided to attend together. (And just a side comment here, I am WAY excited to see them) Out of all of the people that have signed up to go, other than my two close friends coming, there's only a few that I'm really interested in seeing again. Those that I would like to see (my former band friends) are too far away, can't afford plane tickets, working on their doctorate degrees, visiting family the same weekend, living in Alaska, or don't care enough to come. (Boo on them...ha ha just kidding). But I am going to have a good time. I forked over $100 for two tickets for Joel and I to attend. So I'm going to have a good time. I'm determined. But I'm curious - what is it going to be like? Is everyone going to revert back to their old high school ways, and shun people according to the click that they belonged to? Or has everyone gotten past that? Will those that I was merely aquantances with talk to me now even though I wasn't in their click in high school? I really hate to admit this, but I am nervous (and I'm pregnant, on top of that). I really am. I have no idea what to expect. I'm so glad that I have my two high school friends plus Joel to accompany me to the reunion. It's a strange mix of nervousness and excitement. Has anyone else gone to their reunion?

AND I have finally broken down and bought some maternity clothes. I've really been running out of clothing options with this growing belly, especially for nice occasions (like this upcoming reunion). I now have 3 pairs of actual maternity pants and one maternity shirt. I only plan on getting one more pair of pants. I've decided to spend a little bit more money than I normally would (and consequently get fewer clothes) and make sure that I get clothes that I actually LIKE (within reason of course) - mainly because I feel so uncomfortable and awkward being pregnant, so I would at least like to feel good about what I'm wearing. (besides, who actually wears ALL of their clothes anyway?) Ha ha. You know what? I've come to realize that it takes more effort to look nice when you are pregnant than when you are not. (at least for me anyway) I spend more time trying to piece an outfit together that doesn't make me look frumpy or fat. I spend more time on make up too. I just feel like it takes more effort these days to make the outside of me, my appearance, match the inside. That element of pregnancy has caugh me offguard. I guess some people could come to the conclusion from this paragraph that I've become vain. But if that were the issue, I assure you, I wouldn't have allowed myself to get pregnant!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

State Fair!!

Last week Joel and I went to the State Fair. I have no idea why I love the State Fair so much, but I do. And fortunately, this time I remembered to bring my camera (Lately, I've had a difficult time remembering to bring my camera to fun events. I'm going to blame that on pregnancy) but unfortunately I forgot the change the settings on my camera from the normal picture quality to the highest quality (I like to have my camera set on the highest quality settings for photos because it makes them easier to sell, it they turn out good...I'm going to blame forgetting to change the settings on pregnancy too). But anyway, here are the pictures:

this girl decided to take a nap instead watching and selling the merchandise at the booth she was watching. I wonder if anybody stole anything. Even if they didn't, you should never fall asleep on the job, because someone like Michelle might take your picture. (I've been known to take pictures of people sleeping in random places)

These are the last of the Navajo Code Talkers, who served in World War II. Many people went up to shake their hands. I wanted to, but I was too shy. So instead I took their picture. But seriously, these men are amazing. If you don't know who these men are, I encourage you to click on the link I've included.

The handsome man I

The Ferris Wheel

I don't know what this is called. It's the ride with the two things that look like hammers that spin around in a circle.

I don't know what this one was called either. But this is the ride with boat thing that swings back and forth, but you don't go upside down.

The last three pictures are of the same ride. And I don't remember the name of this one either. (I didn't pay attention to the names). This one had several little car things that held up to four people in each car, lifted off the ground, spun in a circle, and moved up and down at different times. If that makes any sense.

I've had several people ask me how I took these pictures with the light streaks. So in case you are wondering, here's the explanation - You have to use a camera where you can control the settings manually. What I did was I left the shutter open longer than normal (about 2-4 seconds, depending on the picture). And just in case you don't know what the shutter is, it's the part in the camera that opens up to let in the light. The longer you leave the shutter open, the more light, and the more blurry the pictures tend to be, but in this case, that's ok because it left the light streaks.

I'm done posting pictures and blogs now. Ha ha. I've just been meaning to do this for a long time...and had a while to spend on them this morning. But now I need to go and clean the house because Joel's brother is coming in from out of town to spend a couple of days with us.

One more thing - in two more days, I will officially be 12 weeks pregnant and finally out of my first trimester! WORD. I'm so glad. And I've started to feel better these days, less exhausted, but more stuffy noses and tighter in my lungs (from asthma - I have a dr's appointment with an asthma specialist later this week). OH! And some of my teeth started hurting, kind of like when you have a cavity, so I went to the dentist last week, only to find out that it's purely pregnancy hormone related. No cavities. I felt retarded. BUT the good news is that the dentist was nice enough not to charge me for the visit. That made me REALLY happy. And there's the pregnancy update.

And now I really need to finish cleaning my house.

Photos from Wedding #3

I've to post two different blogs with the wedding photos. It's less work.

This was wedding number 3. It was fun and very unique. This was the second marriage for both the bride and groom. The bride moved here from Brazil. Since her family was still in Brazil, they set up a webcam for them to watch the wedding live over the internet. It was very cool.

flower girls' baskets. When they got to the front, instead of sitting down, they kept walking around and around up at the front sprinkling pedals until the whole area was covered. It was too funny.

The bride stopping to wave to her family watching online before she reaches the alter.

The Unity Candle. The front was written in English, the back was in Portuguese .

This is my personal favorite - just because it captures the bond of love, trust, and intimacy between the couple.

After the ceremony, we went the the Petroglyphs to take the bride and groom shots at sunset. There was one minor glitch - A rainstorm rolled in, and prevented the skies from having as much light as I wanted, however, the storm clouds provided very dramatic skies for the it turned out ok after all.