Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley 1910-2008

I didn't post this sooner because when it happened on Sunday night, I was still a little in shock. And since then, I just didn't know how I could write a proper tribute to such a great man. The president of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away at the age of 97. My shock was not in it being unexpected. After all, he was 97. No, I was shocked because I, like many others have said, have known him as my prophet. He was the president of the church when I became a member in 1999 and I have become so endeared to him.

He was a man that exuded love, acceptance, and genuine concern for those around him as well as those far away. When he gave a talk, you always felt that he was talking only to you and that he had chosen his words with you in mind. Even when you watched him on tv, you could feel his love radiating from him. I remember the first time I saw him speak. I was still learning about the church and deciding if I would like to join. I attended a broadcast at the meetinghouse, arriving late and with a really squirmy 2-year-old. President Hinckley was the last speaker and as soon as I saw him stand and smile and heard his voice, I was overtaken by the Spirit of God. I felt a warmth in my heart and I knew immediately that this was a man of God.

He lived a full and blessed life. He was married to a woman he adored, raised a good family, and worked tirelessly for his family and for God. His wife, Marjorie, passed away in 2004, and he had expressed repeatedly how much he missed her and how he looked forward to the day they would be reunited. When I heard of his passing, I knew right away that his desire had been granted. I know they are together again. President Hinckley did much for the church. He helped plan, build and dedicate more than half the churches temples on the earth today. Church membership increased greatly. Through the media, he also helped the world to better understand the church and our beliefs. Anyone that met him, members to politicians to reporters, immediately respected and loved him. He was a good man. I know his work has been pleasing to the Lord. And I am thankful that we could have him as long as we did.

Updates, Updates

It's time for updates. I am one step closer to working for USPS. They have a lot of schedules to choose from, and also a lot of paperwork to fill out. I will also need to do a background check and a drug test. No prob on either of those. The job I am trying for is what they call "keyboard intensive". I will spend all of my shift, every day at a computer, decoding mailing information for computers that can't decode it. I know, thrilling, huh? But, it's steady work with above average pay and it's nothing I would strain myself doing. So, we'll see how it works out.

Big baby news! I felt him/her move! On Sunday, we were all just hanging out and watching some tv when I felt these two quick movements at the side of my belly. I sort of jumped and then realized that the baby had kicked me. It was awesome. I've felt a few more movements since then. As I said before, this is my favorite part of pregnancy. I told H that it makes it all worth it. I'm growing quite nicely. I think there will be a huge difference in next month's belly pic. And because a few of you agreed that it would be most awesome to see a belly pic, I have posted it below.

In sticking with my new mode of attitude, we had a nice, relaxing weekend. I took it easy and tried hard to not let anything worry me or get me down. So, other than some laundry, not much was accomplished, other than relaxation.
I can tell you right now that I am already much bigger than this.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Much Needed Serenity

I learned a very important lesson the last few days. Even though life is pretty stressful right now and there is a ton of worries on our plate, it is important to focus on what matters, what I can actually do, let go of what I can't, and to just take care of myself and the little one. I won't give details, but let's just say that I got a big wake up call to what I was doing to myself with all this worry. It's a lesson I will definitely not forget.

Things are going better. I'm waiting to feel the first little flutters in the next couple of weeks. That was always my favorite part of pregnancy. It's the best to see and feel your little one bouncing around in there, healthy and active. We also got a crib! Some friends from church were given one by another couple for the baby they are expecting, but they already had one. So, they thought of us and brought it over. I'm so thankful for that and for their thoughtfulness. It's a white crib, wood, and simple. Just what I wanted.

I need to get a start on the nursery. It is currently my craft/book/stuff room. I was so happy to have my own little space when we bought the house, but I will gladly move out to make room for the little one. It's a really little room, but babies don't take up that much space. Since we don't know if we're having a boy or girl yet, I'm putting off painting the room for now. But it won't be long...about another 6-7 weeks. My LonDoll girls are discussing throwing me a shower at the London bakery where we last had tea. It would be amazing and so much fun. I have the best girlfriends a gal could hope for. They even suggested naming the baby London. What do you think?

So, in an effort to keep my focus on what's important, here's the poem that has helped my dad through many tough times.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pull up a chair...this may take a while.

I recalled having a conversation with a friend about a week ago about how sometimes stressful things come along in our lives. I commented that it seems that when it rains, it pours. Well, little did I know that when I uttered those words, that I would be going through it so soon after. Not that I'm a stranger to having some stress in life, but I was just floored yesterday with all the ups and downs of the last few days.

I was already working through some stress with H's new job and finishing some business with his old boss, but that was just the beginning. As discussed in a previous post, we are waiting for Friday to find out if my sister's lump is nothing or something. Then, we got the good news that my niece is pregnant. Yesterday, I was so relieved that my brother made it home safely and that his wife could finally reveal the secret she's been keeping while he was gone. She lost 70 lbs. while he was away. I am so proud of her, she worked really hard. Their daughter has also lost 17 lbs. also. That is just awesome.

Well, last night, I got a call from my mom. I almost always call her. Because I call her so regularly, it is rare for her to call. And when she does, I know it's one of two things: really good news/update about the family like a baby being born OR it's really bad news. So, not expecting any updates, I knew that her call was probably not good. She called to tell me that my uncle, who had had a biopsy recently of a lump on his neck, was told that it was cancerous. This uncle is my mom's brother and, in her words, it is amazing he's been doing so well for so long. We say this because he drank and smoked for years, almost to the point of deterioration. But he was able to quit drinking and smoking and bounced back very well. It's been great to see him so healthy and lucid, just like my grandpa was when he quit drinking before he passed away. But, now they need to do a CATscan and find out where the cancer has originated from. They think it may be in his lungs, probably from the years of smoking.

I should probably mention that my family, on both sides, has had their fair share of cancer. But almost all of them, I believe, have had major contributing factors, such as smoking and drinking. Thankfully, many in the family have quit for good and most of my cousins never started either. But, looking at the fact that the use of either of these seem to come to the same result, has me really worried. Worried for my sister, my uncle, and also my parents who are both smokers. The idea of having to eventually lose my parents is hard enough, but to know that our time with them may be cut short because of cigarettes angers me. It's hard to think about. I hate it.

Cancer is such an evil, ugly monster on its own, it shouldn't be helped along.

So, I'm up and down, up and down. I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster that has something new to throw at us with each twist and turn. I was so emotionally drained yesterday that I couldn't bring myself to do much. Depression is another thing that is bad enough on its own and shouldn't be helped.

As a side note, another thing that blindsided me was the death of Heath Ledger. I have very few favorite anythings, especially actors, but he was definitely one of my favs. I've admired him since "10 Things I Hate about You". Such a sad thing. I hope his little girl will be okay.

I know that I am really blessed in my life. My family is healthy and safe, my little one is growing well and strong, and we have a home and food. And I know the Lord will provide and guide. But sometimes, it can be pretty hard to get through the downs of life. I'll try to post again when I'm not so gloom and doom. Thanks for the ear though.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


My brother is officially stateside and will be arriving home at 1:30 this afternoon. Thanks for all the prayers. His family is incredibly excited to see him. He left last September and I know that they have missed each other greatly. They are a very close-knit family. I'm hoping things will settle back to normal for them soon because readjustment after a deployment can be difficult.

Other than that, there is not much going on around here. The kids are off from school again today and are glued to the Gamecube. I may have to peel them off of it soon and set them to work around the house. They're already starting to get a bit snarky with each other about the game. H is working with a couple to find them a house just north of here. They are looking for a house to retire in and we think we found a couple that they'll love. I also got a note in the mail that I have been invited to take a second postal exam with the USPS to be considered for employment. I can't say I ever dreamed of working for the USPS, but the higher paycheck could sure help out with the OB bills. So, I'll probably take that exam in the next couple of days. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why not just call it "The Pink Ladies: Murder for Hire"?

There are two new television shows this season that center around the lives of busy women trying to balance work, family and friends. Does that sound familiar? Oh yeah, just like that one show that was on HBO, huh? I have only seen about 2 minutes of one of the new shows, and I have to say that I wasn't really impressed. The women were too put together, too emotionless, and made it all seem too easy to balance (yes, even with their "problems").

Anyway, that is not the problem I have with these new shows. The problem I have is their titles: "Lipstick Jungle" and "Cashmere Mafia". No offense, but could they have come up with names that sound any more like they are trying too hard? It's like a very apparent balancing act between the rigors of trying to stay alive in the corporate world and the soft femininity that they still try to possess. Sorry, it's a little too much of a stretch. With all the writers, marketing execs and advertising companies working in the television industry, you think they could come up with something better than that. No matter how hard they try, "Sex and the City" they are not, in word or deed...or title.

My Cup Overfloweth

I had some happy news last night. My niece is going to have a baby. This is her first baby and she just found out on Friday. I worry a little because she is young (well, 20) and they aren't married yet. I know for a fact that both of these can be difficult factors when having a kiddo. But I'm really happy for her. She's a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders. And she seems to really be happy with her boyfriend too. So, yay, we're going to have a new little one. I hope this will lift my sister's spirits. She's going to be a grandma. I know she'll spoil that baby silly. It's really hard to believe that my mom is going to be a great-grandma though.

The kids got a snow day today. Well, sort of. They were off anyway for MLK day and we woke up to 8-10 inches of snow on the ground. I had planned to take them up to the ski resort today but I don't trust my driving skills up the snow-covered canyon road, not with my babies in the car. H is up there today anyway doing his volunteer ski patrolling. I thought he would be super busy today with Sundance going on, but apparently, the ski crowd is nonexistent during the festival. So, we may still go tomorrow. H and the kids all snowboard and love it. Tiny started when she was about 4 and Mister at 7. They now have their own boards, bindings and helmets. I'll have to post pics of that soon.

But today, we're snowed in. Living in this area, 8-10 inches isn't even enough to close schools, but today, we'll pretend it is. We'll probably stay bundled up in the house all day, watching movies, letting the kids play video games and generally being lazy.

I had the urge to bake yesterday and had a craving for peanut butter cookies. So, I looked up a recipe online and came across this one that only requires three ingredients: pb, sugar, and an egg. However, I added about a 1/2 cup flour to the mix to keep them from sticking too much. They were the best pb cookies I've ever made. It makes about 2 dozen small cookies. So, click on the link above and enjoy.

I am also taking a picture each month of my belly to keep track of its growth. I had thought of posting this and wanted to know what you thought of it first. Do you want to see my bare growing belly on here, or should I keep it under wraps? Let me know if you do and I will post it asap.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Prayer Requests

I'm going to need you to prayer more than I've ever asked you to pray before. My sister visited the doctor and they found a lump in her breast. They are going to do a mammogram to check it out and to check if there are any more. After that, they will do a biopsy. We have no family history of breast cancer in our family, but I heard on a news report that 70% of those with breast cancer actually have NO family history of it. We are hoping it's just something benign and not serious. But I really need your thoughts and prayers to go out to her. She's a strong woman with two older children that she adores and would fight for. She's only 40 and could use some prayers. I will keep you updated on it all.

On a lighter note, my big brother will be on his way home from the desert very soon. I hope you will all say a prayer for a safe journey home for him and the other soldiers. They've been gone for a while now and I know that his wife and kids will be thrilled to have him back. Thanks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


As promised, here is the first pic of my new little one. The arrow is on the head and his/her little arms and legs are up in the air above it. I got to see some better and clearer angles on the monitor during the sonogram. I couldn't believe how big he/she is already. I will let you know when I feel things moving around.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Baby Update

I finally went to the doctor today and everything seems to be a-ok. I had a full exam and everything looked good. They took bloodwork (ouch) and urine (eww). We were a little unsure about exactly how far along I was, so the doc did a sonogram...and also, as he put it, to just have fun too. He said that it gets the moms excited to see the baby. It sure did. I saw it's little body, head, spine, and arms and legs moving around. Sorry, no chance of the sex yet. Still too early. I couldn't believe how much it's already developed and how big it looked on screen even though it's still small enough that I am not noticeably pregnant yet. It was just amazing to see a little person in there. It made me start to feel more pregnant than any of my symptoms have. It's like I was introduced to this little life that I helped start and am now growing. I felt so proud. I even got a print out pic. I will post it as soon as I can find the charge cord for my camera.

The only down side was when the lab guy told me how much the labwork was going to cost. No insurance kind of sucks. Thankfully, I don't think this labwork thing will be routine.

After my appointment, I picked up the kids and showed them the pic of the baby. They thought it was cool after I deciphered it for them and pointed out the body parts. Tiny wants to be there for the next sonogram when we find out the sex. I will gladly excuse her from school for that. Mister doesn't seem as enthusiastic. I mean, he's happy about the baby and excited about everything. But I just don't think he's too into the details of it all. That's ok. He's a boy and is entitled. I briefly contemplated allowing the kids into the delivery room when Tiny expressed an interest. However, in talking with an associate, I quickly changed my mind when she pointed out that if anything goes wrong, everything could happen quickly and that might be too much for the kids. I completely agree. I would rather not take the chance of them stressing or freaking out. They can enjoy everything after the fact.

I will keep you all updated on the pregnancy excitements. Oh, I'm apparently now 12 weeks along. So, I'm looking forward to feeling the flutterings of my little one sometime in the next month. That always was my favorite part. Not much beats getting to lie down and watch your baby doing gymnastics in your belly. Too cool.

Take care and stay groovy. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Quick Update

Some of the things that have been worrying me are starting to work themselves out now. And I can't thank you all enough for the good thoughts and prayers. I know they have definitely helped. Now, if I could just get rid of these mood swings.

I go to my first doctor appointment on Tuesday. I'm pretty excited and am hoping to find out a lot of info. I may have two kids, but it's been 7 years since I last did this. So, there's a lot for me to remember and relearn. I'm hoping it's all good news at my checkup.

Now, I'm hoping you'll direct your prayers toward my sister because she is going to be getting a mammogram soon. They really should come up with a more pleasant name for that. Any ideas?

Well, that's all for now folks. I promise something more interesting soon. I just wanted to update you that things are looking up. I'll also let you know what the doc says. Hope you have a great day.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Wanted: Prayers and Good Vibes

I need help. No, not the mental kind...well, not in this post anyway. No, I need the spiritual kind. I am stressing out over some things right now that I feel are really out of my control and I just don't know what to do. All the things that I can do are only small things and I need something like divine intervention to see me all the way through the rest. Don't worry...baby is fine, we're fine. It's just a problem that doesn't seem to want to work it self out easily and it's draining my mind, energy and emotions. It's sapping me of the happiness that I should be immersed in right now. And I hate it for that. But I know that there is only so much I can do and the rest is up to God. Being patient was never one of my outstanding attributes. But I know and trust in Him that knows better than me what is in store. I'm just so tired, and stressed and worried. If you could kick a prayer my way or even some good thoughts and vibes, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ice and Chocolate from Floor to Ceiling

This post from Apartment Therapy got me thinking about the recent popular decorating trend using browns and blues together. It is a combination that seems to work well together in everything from weddings to bedding to home decor.

I, myself, have also succumbed to this trend. I purchased this bedding set for H (well, for me too) for Christmas.
But I began to wonder what it was that inspired this particular color combination. What was the original designer thinking, seeing, experiencing that got them to this idea? And then it hit me while looking at these colors. That blue isn't really just blue...it's ice blue. And that brown isn't just brown...it's chocolate. This choice of words seemed to be right when I had more luck finding the example pictures I wanted by deleting "brown" from my search and substituting "chocolate" instead.
So, how this ingenous person came up with "chocolate" led me to realize how he/she got the idea for the ice blue. What, besides chocolate, does a woman love??? For most women, JEWELRY. What is the most famous jewelry store known to every diamond-loving woman???
Tiffany's, of course. So, what this brilliant person has discovered that if you show us women a room drowned in two colors that remind us of chocolate and jewelry...chances are that the trend will catch on and any store carrying any product that will fill our rooms, weddings, and closets with these colors are sure to be bestsellers. Smart, very smart. And here's a treat for you for putting up with my thought process:

Friday, January 04, 2008

LonDolls Tea...A Barrage of Pics

Yesterday, I got to have tea with my LonDoll girls. I love spending time with them, doing just about anything. We tried a new English bakery downtown and it was just like being back in London. They had all the great dishes, pastries and teas. Before we ate though, we exchanged our Christmas gifts and I think we made off with a pretty good stash. From Bree, I got a tree skirt that actually matches our new stockings perfectly. From Liz, she brought us back some loofah soaps from Hawaii. They look cute and smell great. From Whitney, I got some really warm gloves that are in my fav color.And from Melissa, I got the same awesome present she gives every year...socks. Not just any socks, but fun socks.

So, it would only be fitting for me to get her the same thing. Really soft socks with reindeer on them. I also got Whitney some earrings that screamed her name when I saw them. (It should be illegal to be that cute!)

I also got Bree some bracelets. She looks good in anything. And "Footloose" for Liz, because someone has to educate these young'uns on the classics.

So now, on to the food. Bree and I ordered beans on toast and I also had a delicious dessert trifle. Some of the others had scones with jam and clotted cream and various teas. My choice of tea was, and always is, peppermint.
We laughed, we caught up on each others' lives and discussed baby names, even though I pretty much already have those decided. Bree works in a hospital maternity ward and she had many names to share. There seems to be a trend to name girls with traditionally boy names.
Oh, I can't tell you how much I love these girls. I've shared some of the best times with them. They are like sisters. They are such beautiful, intelligent women and they are such a blessing to me. I'm so happy that they are all accomplished and happy in their lives. Melissa studies labratory sciences and, while being a master of procrastination (only matched by me, I think), is brilliant. She also has a wry sense of humor that never leaves me bored. Liz is my sounding board and my main source of humor and laughter. She just graduated with a double major and a minor and hopes to teach ESL outside of the country. She is also coming along greatly in her tutelage of my procrastination as well. Bree, though amazingly beautiful on the outside, is more so on the inside. She is instantly engaging and sincerely loving. She is pre-med and a starry-eyed newlywed. And Whitney, well Whitney is brilliant...and beautiful. She, as pointed out on Bree's blog, is referred to as Google. She knows and remembers large amounts of information. She has a degree in English and also culinary arts. Beauty and brains abound in this group.
How can one not feel loved when surrounded by such ladies?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Admit It...I Love George!

Those closest to me know that I have another love. H knows about him, understands, and respects this love. I have loved this man since I was old enough to have those feelings for someone other than my stuffed animals and Joey Lawrence. But it has stayed strong and stood the test of time, age, and trials. I LOVE this man:
I'm sure, looking at this picture, you can see why it would be easy to love George Strait. But, oh no, that is only half the package. He is the most talented country singer ever. Country music men nowadays can't hold a candle to him, in my humble opinion. This man has had over 50 number one hits, more than any other recording artist, ever. And there's always the fact that his stare could melt butter and the W on his wrangler jeans back pocket is infamous. I have been to two of his concerts...shameful, I know, but he hasn't been nearby in a while. But, oh, I love him. Below is some of my fav songs of his. It's easy to see why this man is amazing, in my eyes anyway. Oh, by the way, did I mention that he's also a rodeo competitor?! Oh yeah.