Thursday, July 30, 2009

Words of the Week

Receipt. Its a good thing I have a tendency to keep them,
because I like this car seat oh, so much better.

Lake.The perfect little getaway on a hot summer Saturday.


Husbands.They only get better-looking over time.


West Side Story.The ducks and geese did a reenactment--with us in the middle.


Contribution. Ours is store-bought potato salad when our friends invite us over for homemade Memphis dry rub BBQ. Impressive.

Finished. The baby room. Except the crib, which will hopefully be resolved this weekend. We like it a lot. (Here's a sneak peak.)



Really the only word to describe whats going on with me these days.

Monday, July 27, 2009

50 Randoms for Erin

In light of the fact that I forgot the cord to get pictures off the camera, and I've been in an exhaustion coma for days (I don't think it will be getting better any time soon), I thought this little ditty would be fun. Hopefully it will help me overcome my current blogger's block, too.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:00 am
2. How do you like your steak? don't know the technical term--a tad pink in the middle.
3. What was the last film you saw? Half of "For the Love of the Game" on TV
4. What is your favorite TV show? Now . . . Bones. Forever . . . The West Wing
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Close to family.
6. What did you have for breakfast? Part 1: Corn Chex; Part 2: Scrambled Eggs and Potatoes
7. Your favorite cuisine? Mexican. And "American" like BBQ ribs and corn on the cob;-)
8. What foods do you dislike? Anything with gluten in it. Things that have been ruined by pregnancy: Hawaiian haystacks, Rice Chex.
9. Favorite Place to Eat? Applebees. Right now that's it.
10. Favorite dressing? 1000 Island
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Honda Civic
12. What are your favorite clothes? jeans and hooded sweatshirts. I miss Provo in the fall where that was my uniform.
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? See here.
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full--most of the time;-)
15. Where would you want to retire? Close to family ;-)
16. Favorite time of day? evenings at home with the hub
17. Where were you born? Idaho
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Tennis and baseball -- not typical "watching sports" are they?
19. What is your favorite thing about someone you love? Chris is selfless and hilarious
20. What is your favorite thing to get in the mail? A key to the big package mailboxes at our complex. That means we got a package.
21. What do you most like to do during the winter? Stay inside.
22. Bird watcher? No.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? I used to me a night owl. These days I'm neither.
24. Do you have any pets? No. But I wish I had a puppy and a bunny . . . someday ;-)
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I'm having a baby! Ha ha.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A player on the Phoenix Suns.
27. What is your best childhood memory? Days outside in Arizona: treehouses, street hockey, swimming, night games, etc.
28. Are you a cat or dog person? Dog
29. Are you married? Yes.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes!
31. Been in a car accident? Occasionally. Not in the last 4 years though! ;-)
32. Any pet peeve: When people don't use a turn signal (NO ONE in TN does); excessive negativity
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? as many veggies as possible
34. Favorite Flower? wouldn't say I have one.
35. Favorite ice cream? As chocolaty as possible with lots of chocolate in it.
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Don't really do fast food. Chick-fil-a milkshakes and fries. . . and Smoothie King.
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0
38. From whom did you get your last email? Ward Relief Society in my personal email, Walmart in my junk email (our glider is ready for pick-up! yay!).
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? How big is the max? ha ha. Probably TJ Maxx in a more "realistic" situation. Nordstroms in "pretend land".
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Wouldn't say so, no.
41. Like your job? Get back to me in 2 weeks.
42. Broccoli? Yum!
43. What was your favorite vacation? Island Park with my fam 2 years ago; Honeymoon to CA
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Chris and friends from his program.
45. What are you listening to right now? A fan blowing and someone on the phone in my office.
46. What is your favorite color? Red . . . you should see my kitchen . . . and couches.
47. How many tattoos do you have? 0
48. Do you feel that you have changed as a person in the last 10 years? Hopefully. I was 12 ten years ago.
49. If you could have any job today, what would it be? SAHM . . . wow, one that gets to come true;-)
50. Favorite type of candy? don't get me started . . . I'll go with Snickers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Light

Last night as I lay incapacitated on the couch,
my husband hung the drapes in Lil's room.
I've been wanting to for a while now.
He's sweet like that.
This morning I peeked in to find the white drapes
casting the most beautiful light into the room.
I just love it.
Perfect for a sleeping princess.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grown-Up Time

At the doctor yesterday, I was informed that I'm not any closer to a baby. He said the sentence, "You're looking at your due date, or later." I was much more emotionally prepared this time around. Lil is sitting high, and NONE of the lovely signs that she's thinking of making her appearance have occurred, or even begun to occur. So I've got at least 3 weeks, most likely more, until she's here. I've been going stir crazy as of late, and dragging Chris and my poor mother into my craziness (she gets the craziness via text message, Chris experiences it head on). The last 9 months have been engulfed in baby land. Its been almost consuming. I mean, I have my job, but especially over the summer my job has been slow, and I've had little to do other than think/obsess over all things baby.

Then, the other day at work, something interesting happened. A coworker handed me a magazine and asked if I wanted to look at it. It was Allure magazine. A make-up/fashion/style magazine. I used to love those magazines (the clean ones), but it had been a significant amount of time since I had looked at anything that didn't have a baby face or stroller on the front. So I read it. And I remembered there was once a time when I didn't have a baby on the way. Long ago, so far back I can barely remember, I was a girl who had interests outside of What happened to that girl? I feel as though I have "let myself go" just a little. Working at 7 am doesn't help things, but I rarely do my hair or spend more than a few seconds on make-up. My wardrobe is extremely limited at this point, as I've begun to grow out of some of my maternity clothes, but I haven't really cared much. Here's the thing: make-up and clothes isn't the point. The point is still being an individual. Still being a woman despite being a mother. I think so many people lose track of themselves in the midst of giving your all to your child/children, and that causes issues ranging from "baby blues", depression, weight gain, marital problems, etc. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert, because I have yet to have to deal with a newborn, but I've always made it a personal goal not to lose myself when I become a mother. Not to stop loving make-up tips and tennis and reading non-fiction and corny music (hey, Lil loves the Backstreet Boys as much as I do) and decorating and history. In all my baby obsession I've lost track a little of who I am: I'm still a girl in her early 20s. I think its ok to still be that and be a mother. In fact, I think its best--for my well-being, my marriage, my daughter.

The point? I have 3 weeks, probably more, to work on ME--and Chris. I think its time for grown-up time. Selfish? I don't think so. I've been spending 37 weeks working on Lil'. Her clothes are washed, room kind of done (ok, I'll still have to finish that), house cleaned. In fact everything is all clean and now we've got all this time to wait. It will probably be dirty again by the time she shows up. Oh well.

I'd love to make all the changes I want to at once, but many will have to wait til after the baby arrives. The next three weeks I want to spend some quality time with my wonderful husband, who has had the patience of a saint over the last 9 months. Its our last childless month, and while I may be getting on this train too late, I want to make the best of it.

Another thing I'm excited about? Personal Progress. Yes, I said Personal Progress. The Stake Young Women's Presidency here challenged all YW leaders to work on PP along with the girls. The sad thing is, I never actually got my Young Women's medallion as a teenager (I know, slacker, right?). So the opportunity to get it as a leader will be fun. PP is good for all ages. I was reading through it and thinking about how good it will be for me and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I got all excited about it and was telling Chris about it. I said "Do I sound like a 12-year-old, or what?" "No," he replied, "12-year-olds aren't this excited about Personal Progress." ha ha. Anyway, a few of those every week will give me something truly worthwhile to do, and give me a little spiritual boost as I prepare for the craziness Lil will bring.

So, I wrote this and now realize I don't know what its really about. Just some thoughts as I think about how close our little girl is to getting here, and yet how it still feels so far away. I'm content with that though (or at least really working on being content). She'll come when she's good and ready. She'll come when God is ready to let her go. I don't blame Him for not wanting to part with her a day early. When she comes, Chris and I will be swept up in infatuation and worship and love and devotion to her. Until then, I'll enjoy the final leg of our journey as a family of 2.

And maybe try a new shade of eyeshadow.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Lil loves a party.
Especially a party for her.
And July has been full of parties all for her.
She's very popular, considering she's yet to make her appearance.
Indiana Shower
Lil's first July party was a shower thrown by the C girls (Chris's mom and 3 sisters). Ladies from the Ward in Indiana, friends from Cincinnati, and many C relatives from Chicago all came to celebrate. That's 3 states. Didn't I say she was popular? The C girls went all out, complete with shower games, chocolate bars in diapers, lots of food, and lots of fun. And everyone was kind enough to bring a gift. I had a good time. Hopefully others agree.
C Family Girls
Famous baby wreath from Lori R.
Beautiful blanket made by Sister H from Cincinnati.
Its so pretty, I'm afraid to let Lil use it!
C Girls at the chocolate fountain.
I think I have a picture of these same girls surrounding a
chocolate fountain at our wedding reception (ha ha!).
Shower favors

Work Shower
Lil's next party was a shower thrown by Mary Alice and Kelly, two of my coworkers. I expected it to be relatively low-key, but it was a full-out party. There was so much good food and so many gifts, I was rather shocked. Chris asked "How many people do you work with?" I could only answer "A lot of very generous people." Once again, Lil was showered with quite a party.
Checking out the cute carseat toy Lil got.
Sorry, its wiggling so you can't see how cute it is.
Food, favors, gifts
Cute decor
One counselor even made homemade GF cookies. They were de-lish.
Party favors.

Ward Shower

Sadly, I don't have any pictures from the Ward shower. Hopefully I'll be getting some in the near future, because I thought someone took some. Monica, who is the first YW president I served under, offered to throw it for me. The thing you should know about Monica is she is a good version of Martha Stewart. Her food is always delicious, and it looks as good as it tastes. Her house looks like a Pottery Barn magazine. And she is one of the sweetest, most selfless people I know. So when she offered to give me a shower, I was all for it. It was fun and low-key, and it was nice to just visit with ladies from the Ward, some of whom I'd never really talked to before. And the food was amazing: coma-inducing white chocolate strawberries, breakfast casserole, GF brownies, fruit, and a yogurt bar--with homemade yogurt. And of course there were gifts. It was a really nice time, and I even brought home some white chocolate strawberries for Lil's daddy.


There is nothing that has shocked me more as we prepare for Lil's arrival than people's generosity. As I look around Lil's room, I can nearly count on my fingers the things bought by Chris and me. We received so many gifts, as well as free gear (like our stroller) and offers of free clothes and toys. Just so many people being willing to give and come to showers has been surprising. We are so grateful for such a great network of amazing and generous people in our lives. I don't know how anyone has a baby without it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Python

That’s my current pet name for Lil’ (small detour: I’ve been getting questions. Lil’ is short for Little, as in Little Girl. We are not secretly naming her Lily. Though I really like the name Liliana, but Chris knew someone once who did something weird and her name was Liliana. You know how it goes). Anyway, Lil’s movements are huge and she’s running out of room, so she feels to me like a big python slithering around in a small space. Sounds creepy, but she’s actually a very cute python.

Ready for another pregnancy post? Another 4 weeks have come and gone at an excruciatingly slow speed. A smattering of thoughts from 4 weeks out:

-Lil’ is in no hurry. I went to the doctor Tuesday. The plan was to be really dilated and my doctor to say I would have a baby in a week or two. It was going to be awesome. Instead he said I wasn’t dilated at all. “If you were 2-3 cm,” he tells me, “then I’d say your chances of going in the next few weeks were very good.” So she’s going to be late? No response. “Well you never know what could happen.” Right. Thanks. Lil’ seems very content in her warm cocoon, hanging out in her “tree house” (aka, mommy’s ribs), listening to Cubs games every night, and sleeping in every morning. If only she could see all the cute things that were waiting for her, maybe she’d change her mind.

-I’ve never understood when new moms look at me and say “Oh, I really miss being pregnant!” Are you insane? I wondered. Alas, now I’m beginning to understand. There is something about pregnancy that makes it feel like you and your child are keeping secrets. Her movements are just for me. I mean, of course Chris feels her move, but when I’m sitting at work, or Chris is off somewhere, and she’s dancing, its just me and her. Something that just mommy and daughter truly share. And feeling her move inside me is the craziest, most insane, most surreal feeling in the world. I can see myself missing it very much. The nausea (yes, its still there)? Not so much.

-That being said, I'm getting ready to be the only inhabitant of my body. I miss regular mobility. I miss working out hard and walking without sore feet and lying on my back. I really miss lying on my back. I can't breathe when I lie on my back these days. And I miss brushing my teeth without throwing up. Pregnancy is the greatest blessing, for sure, but I'm excited to fly solo in terms of the number of people occupying my body. Last night at mutual we played volleyball. I'm no good at volleyball, but I love sports, so I decided to play. 15 minutes in my back and hips were aching! My joints were not used to that kind of movement, especially now that I'm packing ** more pounds. I got up in the middle of the night for my usual restroom visit and I was so sore. I felt like I had run a marathon. Is that pathetic, or what?

-I’m running out of ways to prepare temporally. I still need to wash a bunch of her clothes, but other than that she could come home right now and we’d be all ready. I found a gender-neutral carseat I like (thank you, Sears). My one strong remaining desire is some sort of rocker/glider. We’ll probably be ordering the cheapest one from Walmart, even though it’s blue. But I’m super excited about it because its one thing I’ve really wanted all along—to rock my baby. Also would love a changing table, but that’s more negotiable. I’m currently waiting to hear back on one for $10 from Craigslist. And a saintly woman in our ward offered us her crib for our remaining year in Knoxville. So we’re in pretty good shape. But I feel like nesting constantly, and it’s going to be a hazard when there are no more branches to put in place and I’m left with just waiting.


(So all those clothes hanging up are newborn/0-3 months. Anything bigger I packed away. And not including onesies and pants. We're going to have to dress her up several times a day to get through all her dresses!)

-Honestly, I just want to see her little face. Want to know what she looks like. Want to hold her in my arms and rock her to sleep. I know, I know, I'm getting close. I was watching "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" last night (have you seen that show? It totally stresses me out. How naive are those people? Carrying a baby almost full term and you NEVER notice?). Anyway, I couldn't help but think that's the way to do it. Not even know you're pregnant so there's no waiting, no constant preparing until you feel like you're going insane and time is no longer passing. I remember planning for my wedding and by the time it came around, I no longer cared about how it went. I just wanted to be sealed to Chris and everything else could flop. I was done. That's where I'm getting now. I just want a healthy baby girl. Everything else can flop.

-I am very happy. Getting impatient, but very happy. That's due to (1) Chris-- Each day he is my greatest source of joy. Three years later and he can still pull that off: impressive. And (2) my doctor said I win the prize for the most healthy pregnancy ever. He said I was boring. I'll take that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My New Job

I got a new job.
Its completely voluntary--no pay.

I'll be working all days, nights, weekends, holidays.

No benefits.

Does that sound like an upgrade or what?

Sure does to me.

That's because he is my only coworker:

And she is my new boss:

(this is what she looked like 17 weeks ago, anyway; she's much plumper now, as am I.)

That's right. I get to be a SAHM.

Things will be tight, but this is what we wanted.

Its whats right for her, for me, for us.

My last day in the traditional labor force is August 7th.

Assuming my new boss doesn't demand my attention earlier.
Which is what I'm totally hoping for.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I was shocked at my miniscule weight gain at this week's doctor's appointment.

Because right now I'm a little obsessed with this . . .
which is perfectly good on its own
being licked off a knife.
But its really really good on these.
Yes, the almond ones.
And its even better while watching this . . .

Put them together and it makes for quite a good evening.
Trust me. I know from extensive experience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Hangover.

I'm still dealing with a vacay hangover. You know, when you have a blissful escape from the real world and then all the sudden its over and you are back at work like you never left except you're in a little fog of remembering how you had it so nice there for a while? I had it really bad yesterday; today I'm doing a little better. Enough to get back on the blogosphere, anyway.

We escaped to Indiana for an extended weekend. It was excellent. The night before was the tiny contraction scare, but the nurse said I could still go. We considered staying home, but I'm so glad we didn't. What did we do all weekend? Very little. Just what we wanted. A totally stress-free weekend without extensive plans.

Our first day we did spend some time hanging out on the back porch. Sorry, I uploaded these pictures in the large size but didn't feel like redoing it, so they are definitely large.

Porch time: Chris, Jenny, Chris's mom Lisa
I seriously don't feel this big. When I look down I think I just
look like I ate a big burrito, but in these pictures I look ginormous.

Chris and Sarah having bonding time.
Me and Lori R, the host of our magical Memorial Day weekend.
A boy and his dog.

On the 3rd of July the C girls held a baby shower in Lil's honor. It was wonderful. So wonderful that I'm going to save up and do a big shower post after the other 2 are finished this week. I know you'll all be anxiously awaiting that one.

The 4th of July began with pouring rain, which continued all day. BBQ's around Lafayette were moving indoors, including ours. We had a relaxing morning lounging about. There was excitement in the morning. My mil Lisa had put some dishes in the oven so stash them away during the shower the day before (ok, who hasn't done that?) and forgot about them. So that morning she pre-heated the oven for breakfast and it didn't take long for a small fire and lots of melted plastic to emerge. I slept through the ordeal, but hearing about it made me chuckle because a year ago on the 4th my mom was making fruit pizza and the crust spilled over the edge of the pan, starting a small fire. What a tradition. That afternoon the rain led us to a visit to Target where Chris and I spent extensive time playing around with strollers and carseats. You see, I got a jogging stroller at my shower, which was really exciting, and we have a nice black Graco stroller that was passed on to us from someone in our ward. Now we need a carseat, preferably one that would work with both. But I cannot find a carseat I like that will go with 2 black strollers within a reasonable price range. A Graco one is optimal, but their inexpensive ones come in the jungle animal and Pooh Bear variety, which just isn't my style. And I'd love one what has a black body, to match the strollers. I'm being totally picky, I know, but that's me sometimes. Talk to Chris and you'd know I've actually come a long way in the pickiness of strollers . . . from the $500 Bumbleride to the $300 Chicco set to a black carseat that matches our free stroller. Yes, I'm getting better at frugality. Anyway, I found this one online and am in love. The only black bodied, cute, and affordable carseat in all the land. The single problem? It's half pink. What if #2 is a Lil' Dude? Then we have a problem. We'll see.
Sorry about that tangent. Back to the 4th. That evening we had our delicious indoor BBQ complete with corn on the cob, hot dogs, and baked beans. We had decided already not to trek across town to Purdue to watch the fireworks. A long drive, followed by a long walk, was not what I was in the mood for, especially considering my tiny contraction scare last week. I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn't see a fireworks show, as I totally adore "the BIGGEST SHOW IN IDAHO" that occurs in my hometown every year. After a small Bones marathon (love that show) I went down to start packing my things. Chris came down and said the neighbors were shooting off fireworks. I went to the back deck to find the neighbors shooting off fireworks. I mean real professional fireworks. Big high in the sky booming bright fireworks. For like 20 minutes or more. I can't imagine how much money they spent, but that's fine by me because I got my fireworks show after all.
The C family dog, Sam, hates the 4th of July. It makes her a nervous wreck and she shakes all day and comes really close for you to snuggle and comfort her. Poor pup. After the neighbor's extravagant show, we came inside to find Sam like this. Her only safe haven.
It was a very enjoyable and relaxing 4th. Just thought I'd brag about 1 more thing. At my shower, a bunch of C relatives came down from Chicago. They are all so fun and it was great to see them. Amid my baby gifts, there was a small silver Nordstroms box with a silver ribbon. "Oh! That's your graduation gift!" Chris's aunt said. I opening the silver box to find a Juicy Couture jewelry box. And in that box was a Juicy Couture necklace. "A horse shoe, for good luck". I love it. Its gorgeous. I don't really have any fancy-brand jewelry and my wedding ring is really the only "nice jewelry" I have. It was a very pleasant and fun surprise. Chris calls it my "Peyton Manning necklace" because he says it looks like the Colts symbol. Such a man.
Finally, on the way back to Tennessee we stopped off in Cincinnati and had lunch with our friends Matt and Allie, who we hadn't seen since they left Provo over a year ago. It was so good to see them. Can we just say Allie is due with a boy 10 weeks behind me and she looks totally amazing? Yeah . . . Oh, and its pretty obvious Chris and Matt are pinching each others' rear-ends in this picture, too. What are friends for?

So that was our weekend. Chris and I mark time by things we look forward too. This spring/summer it has been a trip to Idaho/Utah . . . weekend in Cincinnati . . . 4th of July in Indiana . . . . and next? Birth of our baby. Wow, that's next.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We prayed for her, and we got her.

Last night I cried myself to sleep. So dramatic, I know. My feet and back and head and stomach hurt. I had been having frequenter-than-in-the-past contractions and was getting all freaked by it (called the nurse, who talked to the doctor--all is well). So I collapsed in bed around 9:30 and Chris tucked me in and kissed me good night and headed out to tie up all the loose ends before we head out of town today. I proceeded to cry, unbeknownst to him, and just before I slipped off to sleep, just as the crying stopped, Lil began to poke her little elbows/knees/feet out of my side. I put my hand on my tummy and felt her little bones wiggling around. I had absolutely nothing to be crying about. I'm so lucky. So fortunate. We prayed for Lil', and we got her. Not everyone builds their eternal family this way. There are lots of ways to go about it, and pregnancy is arguably the easiest. If you've never read the r house, now is your chance. Start here. The story of Mrs. R's deposition to keep her son. It gave me goosebumps.
Last week we went to dinner with 3 other married couples. The wives of the 3 said couples are all friends of Chris's from his program. The topic of conversation quickly turned to child-baring, and these couples had pretty today-typical plans: a house, nice cars, jobs, money, "adventure"--all prerequisites for having a baby. One couple just bought a house, the other just got back from a 12-day Mediterranean cruise, one drives a fancy bright convertible. One girl said that at this point they really don't want any kids; they are happy with being the cool aunt and uncle. All of the above are perfectly fine opinions and everyone has to do what is right for them. But it was an interesting conversation to be a part of as I sat all whale-like and thought of our 2 bedroom apartment, Chris 4 years of school ahead, our restricted budget, our nice Honda Civic that is only possible because it was a gift from generous parents. I was very grateful for how we feel, what we know. That Lil is our greatest blessing and biggest adventure. That we will be blessed and watched over by a loving Heavenly Father. We prayed for Lil', and we got her. We wanted her and we wanted her despite not having all the temporal fancyness the world seems to think is necessary to raise a child. I'm grateful Chris and I are on the same page and have the same goals and priorities. I'm grateful we get our little girl. I'd take her over a 12-day cruise any day (though, a 12-day cruise sounds mighty fine right now). Not sure what I'm trying to say. I just feel very grateful today.
Sorry. Just some thoughts from a sappy pregnant lady.
We are going to Indiana tonight for the 4th.
I will be doing everything in my power
not to look at a computer the entire time.
Enjoy your holiday weekend.