Monday, January 19, 2015

1, 2, C

First off - I forgot to blog and tell you all that we are having a boy!  We kind of expected it because our doctor and the benefits lady at his office, kept saying "him".  Then there was the fact that our whole family guessed it would be a boy, and of course, we had lots of girl clothes and a girl name picked out.

Here's a video of Ava, Sadie, and Olivia's reaction when Joanna told them the news:


The ultrasound was just as fun as the first time, a little less emotional but not much.  Seeing out little baby moving around is pretty cool.  At one point he was looking right up at us (probably sensing the pressure as the tech pushed down to get a better view).

So now I pack up the girly stuff I had kept out of the attic and pull out the boy stuff.  And there's a nursery to plan, nothing too crazy, maybe just a few little Doctor Who goodies.

Now that I've seen him move it's gotten easier to recognize when I feel him move...and he's gone crazy now.  It's weird.  At church he moves the most when we are singing hymns, I don't know if that's because he likes it or if he'd like us to stop,

Speaking of obsessions - my sister, Joanna, made me a Tardis cake for my birthday.

To say I was excited/proud would be an understatement. I also got a nice little video from my sister/niece Martha/Sadie.  

And here is my 20 week belly shot (p.s. I hate doing belly shots).

That's about it on the updates.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I'm THAT aunt...

I'd like to tell you a story about why I probably shouldn't be allowed to be a youth leader:

At the beginning of December, the Mia-Maids were making ornaments for our weekday activity and someone asked what everyone would be doing for Christmas.  I told them how my brother and his family were coming to town.  Then I couldn't help myself, I became that aunt.  The one who talks about her single nephew (despite that he's 15 here, not 30) and how great and cute he is.  I told them how I had been brainstorming how to get him to our ward so they could meet him (my parents and siblings all go to the same ward on Sunday and then there's us).  I realized that I may be biased about the attractiveness of my nephew so I pulled up a picture and let them judge.  Instantly girls started to ask if he would be at the dance on the 30th, which he would already be back in Oregon for.  I think it's safe to say they agreed with my assessment of his looks.

After that it kind of died down.  There was no way to get him to casually be somewhere to meet my Mia Maids.  I got to spend a great week with my family and got to know him even better than before and ladies, he's a catch (there I go again, the embarrassing aunt).  I told his mom and then him about how I showed his picture to my girls and how they wanted him to be able to go to the dance and he decided that maybe coming to our ward on Sunday morning might be worth the drive.  Sadly though he woke up sick Sunday morning and didn't go to church with anyone.

That Sunday I taught the Mia Maids (teaching the Sunday after Christmas while pregnant and having felt like throwing up until two minutes after class started doesn't make for a happy teacher).  I flashed the lights, I cut off side conversations, but eventually just gave up and trudged through my lesson - uncertain if I made sense or got through to anyone.  Time came for the closing prayer and I asked for a volunteer.

Crickets. (At least now I know how to get them to be quiet).

"You'll get a jump start on your 2015 blessings," I said.

Trina perked up and said, "I heard if you say the prayer you'll get a hot husband."

"Speaking of hot husbands," I said without too much thought beforehand.  I then told them how my nephew was going to come to church with me but he came down with a bug and couldn't.  They all said that next time he's here he'll have to come and I promised we'd make it happen.  Then I said, "But, I will give him the number of whoever volunteers to say the prayer."

Several hands came up then and one girl in particular jumped up out of her seat and took her place at the front of the room to say the prayer (to say she is competitive is an understatement).  She folded her arms but then leaned toward me and asked if I was serious and I told her I was.  Then she said the prayer.  Then all the girls who hadn't seen his picture wanted to see it (including the girl who jumped up).  She asked if he dressed's funny what a 15 year old finds important in the opposite sex.  Another girl asked if it was a full body shot....It was too strange to question - so I didn't.

So at dinner that night I told Devin what I had done (apologies).  I gave him her number and a picture so he'd know who he was talking to and then I just asked him to let me know if/when he texted her so I would be in the loop.  Chewy and I were glad it was this girl, when we thought through the Mia-Maids she was one of our top choices (you know, if we really were in the business of setting him up).  We'll get that boy to move to Virginia eventually...

I'm not sure if I did a major no-no as a leader, but so far I haven't been reprimanded by anyone.  But I am certain that the idea of auctioning off a boy's number each time I need a volunteer probably isn't something I should get in the habit of doing.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Family Pics

The Saturday after Christmas we took family photos.  The photographer we had lined up canceled last minute, so on Friday night my sister texted, asking if I could take the pictures.  I am no professional so this task was daunting (despite having done several photo shoots at Martha's request).  We were at the park for two and half hours and so some pictures have cranky kids - but hopefully each family got at least one photo they liked.  Also, Chewy had gotten me a remote for my camera - so that made taking the big family picture so much easier.

Love Devin's Expression here

Ed's Clan

Matt's Group
Mart's Fam
Kat's Peeps
Joanna's bunch (Olivia - bottom right - attacking herself).
Random pictures I liked.

"It's over!"

Friday, January 2, 2015

And In With The New

Here's to 2015.  For my personal theme this year I'm actually going to steal the mutual theme.  "Oh ye that embark in the service of your God".  I want to be more service oriented this year and I want to drag the young women down with will built character.  Last year we worked at the Special Olympics, I want to do that again this year but also to have more opportunities with them and on my own to give back since I have been so blessed.

Now...the year of not so difficult goals.
  1. Have a baby!  Yes - I'm cheating.
  2. Read 20 books.  Originally I set it to 30, but Chewy convinced me to go for 20 and finally read "Dune" and a Wilkie Collins book.
  3. Complete at least half of Personal Progress.  The program is a little lighter for leaders (thank goodness - I completed it when I was a young woman and the program was a little harder).  I've made a deal with one of my girls that she has to complete the Honor Bee while I complete my personal progress.
  4. Study Scriptures.  If I'm doing personal progress this shouldn't be too difficult for me.  But I let it slide last year (I still read I just didn't always pay attention) and I want to be better this year.
  5. Budget (for real!) - with a baby on the way I figure time has run out.  I can't just make budgets and such, I have to use them.
  6. Exercise Regularly (meaning at least 3 times a week).  I'm getting fat (yes, I know it's pregnancy) but exercise is good for labor and delivery and it will be good to already be in the habit when it's time to do it for weight loss.
  7. Start doing family home evening.  It's not something we are just going to be able to pick up when the kid is three so I expressed to Chewy that I want to get in to the habit NOW.  Even if that means just reading the Sunday School lesson for the following week.  This is a tough one because it doesn't just depend on me.
  8. Daily individual and family prayer - Something else that has slipped.  Chewy and I pray together every morning but we are tired at night and I don't think either of us is great at individually praying.
  9. Journal writing.  I always mean to be better about it and I write sometimes and wish I would just write consistently.  Blogging doesn't count.
  10. Eat less sugar! It's definitely something I've been on lately.  Even as I type I'm thinking about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the cupboard...
Wish me luck!

What are some resolutions you guys have?

Out with the Old

So I'm pretty sure I failed at my goals for 2014 - but let's take a look anyway.  

  1. Read 50 books - I got pregnant...yeah, I'm going to blame that. I got close with 37 but that just doesn't turn this thing green.  Well, I can change it from ted to yellow
  2. Writing - I went to that conference and I talked to an agent...I didn't pitch though, I lost my nerve.  But I asked if I could send my manuscript to her when it's ready.  I finish (sloppily) writing Riverknot, but am now in intense revisions to make the book an ending I can sleep well with.
  3. Photography - I've done my photo challenges with Katy, and that's helped me to take shots and think about creative shots that I wouldn't have gone for normally.  I also took 6 month photos for Nora, family photos for the Smith family Christmas card (and Grandma Smith's calendar) and at the last minute was pulled in to be the photographer for the Donbrosky (all of the Donbrosky's) family photo and longest photo shoot for a pregnant woman who has to pee.  
  4. Don't Text and Drive - I have actually gotten MUCH better at this, I just still have room for improvement.
  5. Money Management - Uh.  Well, I am almost completely out of debt, thanks to Chewy letting me live off his income.  We've been working together on getting finances straight and I already have our budget and checkbook ready to go for, maybe at the end of this year it will be green.  Oh - that's my goal.  Green in '15.
  6. Be Grateful! Despite having LOTS to be grateful for - pregnancy has made me crabby.  I have had moments of trying to remember to be grateful, and I have been expressing my gratitude to Chewy for being a champ during this difficult time.  
  7. Temple Attendance - We did really well until the temple closed for the whole month of September for cleaning and repairs.  Then we went in October and I almost passed out/threw up in a very white room and we had to play it by ear in November and December and that ear didn't incline us to go.  We are getting back on track in January though. 
  8. Increase in learning and faith - I got a calling with the Young Women - I think this has helped me to stay a little more focused on this goal, but at the same time, I've really let personal study go down the drain.  Which is not surprisingly something on the new list.
  9. Home Improvement - Chewy built a porch! First time ever, on his own, and I helped sometimes by holding things in place and such.  I also got a Maddox (aka my newest favorite tool I've ever owned) from Chewy and I took out Comcast and Verizon (plants in our front yard that I couldn't get rid of by other means).  After I have this baby and am cleared for hard physical labor, I plan to take out Google the big plant in the back yard that wouldn't budge before....I'm coming for you Google.
  10. Food storage - Does it count if it's in my belly? No? Didn't think so.  I honestly forgot that this was even on my list and I hate a lot of food right now so I think this will have to wait until I'm feeling closer to 100%...however, we did buy a BJs card  - so that's something.
Overall rating.  YELLOW.  But I don't feel like the year was a bust.  I mean, I got married, I got preggers, I started a new job, got promoted, make lots more mulah, have a boss that believes in me, I am gaining confidence in my calling and despite that these girls terrified me at first, I really do like them now.  Oh - and I survived Youth Conference, on a hot bus, with loud teenagers who forced me to yell.

I really can't complain and I don't feel like I've failed at all just because I didn't reach my goals.  To me, it's important to set them, but things happen.  Like not feeling up to reading for about two months when I was so tired I just came home and laid down on the couch.  So, here's to 2015, may it be just as productive as 2014, if not better.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Liebster to Me

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Hand Me Downs (I couldn't find her first name so that will have to do!)  Other bloggers nominate you for this award and you have to answer the 11 questions they pose to you.  In addition you provide more info on yourself and then nominate other bloggers and ask them a new list of questions. So here we go.

Eleven questions from Chronicles of Mommy
1. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger? I like writing. Period. But I also like it when I write or share something that someone else likes.  Whether they find it funny or it helps them in some way.   I started blogging to keep my family up-to-date on my life but they never read but old friends and strangers started to read and that’s been nice.
2. Name 3 bloggers that inspire you – and their websites.
* Hand Me Downs - She writes about parenting and raising a child with Down Syndrome.  It's a touching blog and I really enjoy reading it.
* Ashley - Ashley has an incredible life, after serving an 18-month mission for church, she turned her blog into a daily miracle blog.  She has a big heart and she's gone to Haiti twice and is going back soon (if not already) to buy Christmas gifts for orphans there.  I love reading her blog and reading the positive experiences in her lives and in the lives of others.
*Uh - so apparently I don't read many inspiring blogs...I mostly keep up with people.  If you know of an inspiring blog I can add here - let me know!
3. If you could open up any business, what would it be and why? I used to want to own a bakery, I love to bake. I even talked about running one out of our college apartment.  I guess if I didn’t have to go by baker’s hours I would still want to.  I guess other than that I would want a photography studio.  I love taking pictures, I'm just not good enough to do it professionally.
4. What makes you smile?  Everything.  I can’t tell you the number of times people have asked me why I’m smiling.  I see the world through a very humorous lens.  I’m not saying I don’t have my bad days, but there isn’t much that doesn’t get me smiling.  I guess mostly it would be my husband – when he dances or when he interacts with the cat.
5. What's under your bed?  Um, DVDs I think. I packed up all my DVDs into these two containers that can slide under the bed.
6. If you could be committed to a cause/charity, which one would it be and why?  I don’t know of a specific one right now, but if there is one devoted to the family I would join that one.  I get really upset when I learn what some schools permit for children (like playing Nicki Minaj for 6-7 year olds – even if you bleep out the swear words it’s not a good message) and I also don’t like when society tries to put its values on children (and all members of society really).  I know I sound crazy when I get going so I try to tone it down for people, but it is something I feel passionately about.
7. If you had a chance to say one thing that would be broadcast to everyone in the world, what would it be?  Oh…I don’t know.  I guess - enjoy life, even the small moments and make it something you’re proud of.
8. Grab the nearest book. Turn to page 12. Write down the 1st line. "Marie-Laure LeBlanc stands along in her bedroom smelling a leaflet she cannot read."
9. What kind of person is your alter ego? I'm confused by this question - are we talking a for reals alter ego or an imaginary one.  My imaginary one is famous, confident, and invited to all the late night talk shows because she’s so fun.  Sadly, I’m not kidding.
10. What’s your drink? Water! Seriously, the first trimester of pregnancy was really hard because water didn’t taste right and it’s all I wanted but I couldn’t drink it.
11. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I had really high aspirations including but not limited to: elementary school teacher, receptionist at the eye doctor (dealing with all those color coded folders), and an actress dating Elijah Wood (seriously, he was adorable and I had a huge crush on him.  My sisters would fake interview me as a movie star and Elijah and I met on a moive set and had been inseparable since).  I'm not ashamed. 

11 Random Facts About Me
1. I can’t let children win games…they’ve got to earn it.  I’m too competitive to hold back, even for kids while playing Candyland.

2. I’m an introvert and a homebody.  Chewy was surprised by this on our first date.  For years he had assumed I was a huge extrovert because I was always throwing parties and traveling with friends.  What he didn’t know was that when I threw parties I was around for 10-20 minutes and then I would grab a few close friends, some snacks, and hide in my room (or on a few occasions, left with a friend).  And when I traveled – it was mostly with other introverts.  We’d see some sites, be done and go read or nap in the hotel room until dinner.

3. I LOVE playing sports and I married a man who could care less…wonk wonk.  I did get him to throw a Frisbee with me once.

4. I don’t want people to think I’m a crazy cat lady, so I act like I could care less about my cat.  But I could die he’s so cute and I love to pet him and I talk to him more than would be deemed normal.

5. I take pride in being creepy.  I try to scare my husband any opportunity I get and when I talk to people I sometimes try to make my comments as dark as possible (i.e. I know this isn’t a person, but when talking to my cat this morning I told him goodbye forever,  he’s lived a good life and I would miss him).

6. I’m HORRIBLE at geography! I hope my life is never on the line because I just recently learned that Ireland, Scotland and England were the same island…yup.  I am embarrassed to admit it, but it had to be done.

7. I get addicted to video games…which is probably why I judge people so harshly for playing them.  I lucked out – Chewy doesn’t play them at all.

8. I love to make CDs for people.  The number of people willing to accept those CDs is dwindling, but I like to do it anyway and have playlists ready to go for friends if they should change their minds.

9.  I like to give people nicknames but I can’t operate once someone asks for one.  It just has to come naturally.

10. I’m a narcissist.  I could care less about my looks but when I create/write something I want to hear all about it and if you like it (which is why I love getting blog comments).

11. In the spirit of Christmas – I love being able to get the perfect gift for someone.  I love giving gifts in general (except the part where it cost money), but when I find just the right gift for someone I will buy it without much thought, no matter if there’s a reason to get them a gift.  (I’ve already bought Chewy’s birthday present…his birthday is in February).

11 Questions for Nominees (my apologies I’m not good at coming up with questions)
1.      What’s most important to you?
2.      What’s your favorite movie?
3.      When and why did you start blogging?
4.      It’s Friday night – what are you likely doing?
5.      What are three things on your bucket list?
6.      If you didn’t have to worry about money and current skill level – what would you do for a living?
7.      What is the last picture you took?
8.      Who in your life do you admire most?
9.      What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
10.   What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
11.   What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?


Monday, December 15, 2014

Mistakes Eating and Other Adventures

Saturday morning, Chewy and I woke up at 6 am.  He’d had a pretty stressful week so while depressing, it wasn’t a surprise that we were both sound asleep around 8:30 Friday night.  As we lay in bed trying to decide whether or not to wake up or go back to sleep, we decided to go and get breakfast.  We wanted to go to Golden Corral and Chewy seems to think they are packed by 8 a.m. so we hurried to get there as quickly as possible.  We arrived 10 minutes before opening (btw we tried to look up the hours online, their website shouldn’t even bother with the ‘store locator’ option, it doesn’t work).  

We eyed all the other cars that arrived after us and for a moment I think I got a glimpse of what Black Friday shopping feels like.  Chewy had me put down the visor on my side and use the mirror to watch the front door and the old couple in the minivan nearest to us.  Ten minutes later the minivan had turned off its engine and the front doors were being unlocked.  We got out of the car, half excited to be the first and three quarters embarrassed.  We paid, found a secluded table and went up for round one.  I had thought since I was preggers that this would have been more fun, but the quality of Golden Corral food really hindered me.  I ate a bit of everything on my first plate but finished none of it.  I was less successful with the second plate.  We spent the rest of our day regretting our early hour decision.  We’re pretty sure the same thing happened last time we went but we forgot.  We’ve now recorded videos of ourselves telling our future selves NEVER to return to the G.C.
 We’ll see if it works.
As for the rest of our Saturday.  Chewy was asked to play the part of a Wiseman in the Stake Crèche activity and I was asked to be a “tour guide” .  I took groups from room to room and read from a script while the people looked at the live nativity scenes , then I dropped them off at the cultural hall where they ate, looked at little nativity and crèche scenes and listen to musical performances.  It was neat, exhausting, but a really neat experience.  AND I got to see Chewy dressed up in a costume.  

Of course, the fame has gone to his head.

From there we went to visit my sister and brother-in-law and I saw a box of Captain Crunch and suddenly wanted some.  So we went to the store and bought a box.  I got home, ate a bowl and a little while later – threw up.  Same thing happened Sunday morning.  So I’m thinking the Captain is out for a few months.  Thanks a lot fetus.


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