Friday, December 26, 2008

baby girl clothes

baby girl clothes
Originally uploaded by Christsstar

The kids opening up their baby girl clothes.

teeth, gums, and toothbrushes

So I have awful teeth.  Very small, very soft, eroding enamel, bad gums.  Just no fun at all.  I hate dental visits not because of the pain, but because of the money that they are going to ask for when they see all the new cavities.

My teeth are so small my dentist comments and complains about them every time I go in for a visit.  And they are so soft that when she drills, she goes deeper than she realizes because it just drills out so fast.

With the pregnancy, my bleeding gums have gotten worse.  I've been getting a lot of canker sores too.  I floss regularly, brush twice/day, use mouthwash, chew sugar free gum after eating....  I do everything the dentist and hygenist say.  But they are still really bad.  I am alternating my mouthwash; Listerine one day for the anti-bacterial action to kill the stuff making me bleed, and then ACT with Fluoride to strengthen the teeth the next day.  Still not getting any better.

I was remembering back to my electric toothbrush and how much I felt it helped my teeth.  One thing I remember was the really small head.  It didn't hurt my gums so much.  I think I have one persistent canker sore because of my toothbrush.  So I bought a new toothbrush from the kiddie section.  Ages 5-7 it says on it: some adult teeth and some baby teeth.  The head is small enough that it doesn't rub my gums lower than where it needs to, it's soft enough that it doesn't bother my enamel erosion, and it's cute!  It's purple and has Wall E on it.  ;)  I like it.  My bleeding seems to have improved dramtically and t doesn't hurt to floss anymore.


I'm so happy to have a less painful mouth.

baby happenings

New/Noteworthy: My baby's a girl

Interesting Activity: Had my level II ultrasound on Tuesday afternoon.  We sat around for 45 minutes waiting for our appointment.  It was supposed to start at 3:45, we didn't get in until nearly 4:30.  However, the ultrasound itself was very efficient.  The technician was very polite and nice, although didn't talk much to us. Very little personality.  We saw the head, the heart, the foot, the hand (she waved at us), the face (she was drinking and sticking her tongue out at us), and then the gender.  Baby Audrey was spread wide open for us so we could tell what wasn't there.  YAY!!!!

Having my ultrasound and learning that my baby is a girl was incredibly overwhelming.  Moreso than I expected it to be.  It was like learning I was pregnant again for the first time.  I just couldn't believe what I was seeing and what I was hearing.  I was flooded with emotions that I didn't expect.  

And for a moment in time, Josh and I were the only 2 people (besides the tech and dr.) who knew that our baby was a girl.   We didn't have that moment when we found out I was pregnant.  In fact, Josh's sister knew before he did.  So it was special for us to just have that knowledge and hold on to it for a bit.

What I learned: It's a girl

Biggest Accomplishment: Suprised the heck out of the kids yesterday morning when they opened a baby girl outfit as their last Christmas present.  Kymberly jumped and screamed when it dawned on her that opening a baby girl outfit meant she was getting a baby sister.  It was awesome.  When I have the chance, I'll upload the video.  It was so funny.

Weekend Plans: Josh's mom is coming and we'll be hanging with her; our neice is visiting for the week, being dropped off tomorrow.

Fun Photo:

This is the best picture I could scan in from the four of the ultrasound.  I wish it were better, but the original isn't that great quality.  But you can see the spine, the heart, the nose and mouth.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bday Hat

So on Wednesday night, Josh sent me out of the house so he could wrap my bday presents.  But he ran out of bday paper.  When I picked some up, I decided to pick up a bday hat for me as well

It's interesting picking our your own wrapping paper.  It's also interesting buying bday paper a week before Christmas.

Birthday Happenings

New/Noteworthy: Today is my birthday!!!  My last year in my 20s!  (And a shout-out to G. Faith who's birthday is also today.  Also have a bday today is Melanie Beckstrom, someone we knew from church when I was growing up; and Stephanie, my best friend in Kindergarten.)

Interesting Activity: Last night was Kymberly's first band concert.  Like good, supportive parents we videotaped the whole thing.  It was quite fun, actually.  The school has a pretty decent music program.  The jazz band performed, as did the concert and beginning bands.  And a special treat was the drumline.  That was pretty cool.  I wish I got a picture of it (video only for that one).  They did a Christmas medly song arranged by the captain!  Kymberly looked so grown-up in her outfit.  She had fun and did a great job.

What I learned: IRS Audits SUCK!!!!!

Where I went: to the baby dr.  Heard a heartbeat of 148 bpm and talked about my desires for a natural childbirth.  Also got the blood test results.

Biggest Accomplishment: Mailed the rest of the Christmas cards.  Also wrote a professionally written letter to the IRS and am praying for a good response from them.

Weekend Plans: Performing in Christmas in the Park tomorrow night in San Jose.  Church on Sunday.  Football watching on Sunday.  Pumpkin Cheesecake eating for my birthday!!!

Fun Photos:  Kymberly's band concert.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

pet peeve

One thing I hate more than ANYTHING is being interrupted.  Second on the list is being told wrong information and having to start over on a process.

Both things happened to me today dealing with changing my name at a bank.  How frustrating.  And of course now I'm frustrated and angry and can't focus at work. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

17 weeks


There was a request for another belly picture. This was last night. Right around 17 weeks.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Michigan Happenings

New/Noteworthy: Grampa passed away this weekend

Interesting Activity: traveled to Michigan on Thanksgiving.  Packed, overfull flight from SFO to Detroit, and totally empty flight from Detroit to Grand Rapids.

What I Learned: Not so much learned, but decided on my own.  It's cheaper to carry on and buy some toiletries in your destination city than to pay to check a bag.  It's also easier than dealing with baggage claim.  

Where I went: Grand Rapids

Biggest Accomplishment: bought a last minute ticket to Michigan and made it here in a span of 36 hours.

Weekend Plans: Yesterday was the funeral and family hangout time at Aunt Jo's; today is brunch at Grandma's and then maybe shopping or something else fun.

Fun Photos:

12 cousins on the stairs

12 cousins in a pyramid

more photos of the weekend can be seen here and here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week's Thankful Thursday is a day early because I will be traveling tomorrow.

I'm thankful for family, holiday airfaire, bereavement leave, and an understanding boss.

I'll see you Lengers tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Happenings - 10/21/08

New/Noteworthy: Our marriage certificate arrived! YAY!!! I can legally change my name now. I also started tutoring a HS student in chemistry. I'm working with a tutoring agency, so I could get more students.

Interesting Activity: Kymberly made honor roll; last night was her honor roll thing at school. Today she gets a pizza party.

What I learned: The location of the DMV nearest my house

Where I went: Honor Roll night for Kymberly.

Biggest Accomplishment: Paid bills last Friday night. And we didn't fight or anything. ;)

Weekend Plans: go through Christmas decorations to see what we need to buy, wash the cars, build a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

Fun Photo:
Kym's Honor Roll Night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today's Thankful Thursday edition goes out to Sarah. Sarah is one of my best friends. She and I Have known each other since 6th grade, and have been friends since 7th. We were in band together in middle school and high school. I had a crush on her brother. We went to youth group together. We dated brothers. We were in bible club together through high school. We both majored in biology in college (although at different colleges). We are both Trekkies and Sci Fi Geeks (she more than me though). Our passions are very much the same, even though they've led us down different paths in life.

Today is Sarah's 29th Birthday. Happy Birthday Sarah. I miss you and wish we could see each other more often.

Throughout middle school and high school, I bought Sarah Star Trek Calendars for her birthday. It started as a cool gift, then became a joke, and then tradition.

Your bday present is late this year, but it'll be there eventually. I promise!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

things that make me go HUH????

I just don't understand why people talk on the phone while going to the bathroom. It seems rude to the person on the other line. Not to mention un-sanitary. And isn't that the kind of activity you want privacy for??? I was just subject to a woman's Thanksgiving plans and who's parents they are going to and what preparations they need to make.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse.......
Happy Birthday to you!

He is 80 year's old today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maturity ... please

So I just walked into the lunchroom to get my mid-morning snack. I opened up my lunchbag and it felt a little light. When I looked inside all I saw were my 2 snacks and my leftover fixings from breakfast. My lunch was GONE!!!!

WHAT!?!?!? OK. I must've left it at my desk. Nope. Not there. Looked thoroughly. OK. Did I leave it on the counter this morning? Maybe. Went back to the lunchroom and looked on the counter and in the cupboards and on the racks and in the trash and all throughout the fridge. My lunch was nowhere to be found.

OK. If I left it out. My bad. Please put it away for me. But I am 99.99999% sure I put it away with the rest of my food for the day (I double checked the counter after making my breakfast to ensure I cleaned up my mess).

Which leads me to believe that someone took my pizza out of my lunchbag in the fridge and ate it.

I'm astonished. I know it's only leftover homemade pizza, but it was MY LUNCH!!! And now I have to go get something to eat today. I don't exactly have leftover money to be supplying 2 lunches a day.

I now remember why I usually leave my lunchbag at my desk.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekly Happenings - Nov 14

New/Noteworthy: My new insurance cards arrived. Now when we get our marriage certificate I can change my insurance again and go on with Josh.

Interesting activity: urgent care on Sunday morning. Had to get an antibiotic. I'm better now, but blech.

What I learned: How to do my hair without it looking weird.

Where I went: Urgent Care, Christmas shopping for Josh

Biggest Accomplishment: roasted coffee on Saturday morning without setting off the smoke-detectors.

No photo this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Memorandum: PAY ATTENTION!

For those of you who walk: When exiting a room into a hallway, please watch where you are going. Do not look behind you as you are walking forward. Just like driving, you have to watch where you are going!

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for a good night's sleep. That does not mean that I'll stay awake all day, but the chances are greater.

I'm also thankful for a mostly safe and happy football season for Andrew. Tonight is his last game. Except for a mild concussion that occurred during practice, he escaped the season injury free. And he had a good time this year. Already talking about playing again next year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

List of Annoyances

List of Annoyances
I don't do this often, but there are some things that have really been bugging me lately and I just have to get them off my chest.

*People who speak grammatically incorrect, but think they are speaking correctly
*Consistent noises in an otherwise quiet room ... throat clearing, quiet monotone voices, etc
*Using words that don't exist ... literately, irregardless
*Diet advice from the overweight who eat junk and have a big bowl of candy on their desk
*Getting told why my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc are wrong
*People who stop in an intersection when stuck in traffic
*Co-workers not thinking for themselves
*People not reading a full e-mail or message board post before responding
*Automated e-mails that don't go through
*Everybody KNOWING what's best for me

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


While I can't stop reading opinions about it, I just can't help but think that all political talk and commentary has become cliche.

Without putting my own two cents in, I just keep hearing the same comments over and over again; and both parties are guilty of it.

The election is over. Let's move on.

Stop analyzing what went wrong in the election.

Stop blaming the state for the passing of a proposition. If it were an illegal proposition, it never would've made it on the ballot. The state has twice now voted for this sort of thing ... perhaps it really is desired by the people. And don't blame the voters for not knowing what we're voting for. Now you just insult your people.

I could go on, but I shouldn't.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book Review: Blindness by Jose Saramago

Blindness Blindness by José Saramago

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this book as a "I need a book to read" book and really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down. It was one of those stories that made me think, "What if this really happened?"

An eye doctor, his wife, a man and his wife, a young woman with dark glasses, a boy with a squint, an old man with an eye-patch and a woman with insomnia tell the story.

A White Blindness (all that is seen is white, not black) becomes an epidemic. To try to contain the spread, the government created a quarantine in an old mental hospital for anyone who was blind or came in contact with someone who was blind.

There is no contact with the outside world. All chaos breaks loose and there is nobody to keep order.

One person can see and becomes their guide, but doesn't let on that she can see.

What struck me about this story was the writing. Saramago has an extensive vocabulary and a very unique writing style. The dialogue is not broken up by paragraphs or quoted. Instead, it's written as one long paragraph at a time. The paragraphs take on a page and a half or more. The characters don't have names, just descriptions. It adds to the mystery and the chaos and the unknown. The characters don't know anyone's name.

This book is not fluff. It is not horror. It is not light. It has no political agenda. It just tells a story. A story that made my brain think, "What if?" Is this realistic? Is this how life would be? How would I react?

This book won the Nobel Prize for Literature

View all my reviews.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Goings On

New/Noteworthy: A member of the church we've been attending greeted us and said hello before the service started.  That's the first time that's happened since we started going periodically.  That was encouraging.

Interesting Activity: Josh and I did all the kids' Christmas shopping last weekend.  Feels good to be done with that.

Biggest Accomplishment:  Went to bed on time and woke up on time every day this week.  Felt mostly refreshed and rested for a new day.  That's a good feeling.

Fun Photos:

Me at 12 weeks!!!  It's VERY exciting.  My baby belly is starting to be present all the time, not just at the end of the day.

Andrew's football game last night the cheerleaders from both middle schools were present.  There were a lot of 12-14 year-old girls on the track.  It was fun to see that.  And Kymberly was totally excited that HER middle school cheers were there.  She and her friend went to an empty part of the bleachers and did all the cheers with the girls.    

Andrew's football team scored more points this week than any other game.  They still didn't win; but they did tie (again).  Final score 22-22.  It was the last home game.  He said he definitely wants to play again next year.  That's encouraging to hear from a kid who only played in 4 plays all season.

Thursday Thankfulness

It's Friday ... but I forgot to do this yesterday.

I'm thankful for closure and completion of an old chapter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


So all this talk of change with Obama and I woke up this morning with "Time to Change" by The Brady Bunch in my head.
When it's time to change,
You've got to rearrange......


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

7 Random Things

I guess technically I was tagged by Di.

So ... 7 Random Things about Myself.

1. I'm a closet neat-freak, but have no energy to keep up the neatness.  Closets, drawers, and hidden things are higher on the list of needing to be organized and cleaned than the rest of the house.

2. I want to be a stay-at-home-mom and career student.  Neither of which I can afford to do.

3. I really dislike living in California.

4. I love to cook and bake.

5. I'm a list person.  I keep lists for everything.  I feel lost if I don't have a list.  This is true in nearly all aspects of my life.

6. I love social situations only because they FORCE me to meet new people and get connected with others, with whom I normally wouldn't talk.

7. If it weren't for Josh, I would never be on time anywhere.

Consider yourself tagged if you read this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for a good night's sleep and feeling rested this morning.  I know this may pass, but for now, I feel good.

I'm also thankful for the rain that's coming this weekend.  The water is much needed, and it will force us to slow down and relax a little and stop running around frantically.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our landlord is buying us new windows.  There are three men walking through and around the house measuring.  They seem confused.  So either one is training the other two, or they all are confused and are going to mess this up.  I really hope it's the first.

Happenings as of Late

New/Noteworthy: Got a haircut a week ago.  Tired of the long hair, old color, split ends, and weird reactions to being pregnant.

Interesting Activity: Went to a Pumpkin Carving Party Yesterday.  We all had a lot of fun.  Got to meet new people, eat good food, laugh, be creative, have fun.....

Biggest Accomplishment: Filed about 6 months worth of things needing to be filed, filled out registration cards for new appliances (purchased in AUGUST), applied for PG&E credit for energystar appliances

Fun Photo: 

Our photos from the pumpkin carving yesterday.

So many photos, so little time

I've added lots of photos to my flickr site the last week or so.  Most are from the wedding, but there are others there too.  Feel free to peruse at your leisure.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thankfulness

I'm thankful for the relaxing week I had last week on my honeymoon and am thankful to feel rested again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


You will all be so thrilled to know that we figured out why we couldn't turn our furnace on. The batteries in the thermostat had exploded and there was battery acid all over the place.

So we took them out, cleaned it up, and replaced the batteries.

Now we have a working thermostat.

I played with it some and go the time set and figured out how to program it. Now to just program it correctly.

sigh ... hrmph ... grrrrr ... and all that jazz

Part of my annual review is to pitch one idea that will help lower operational costs. I had an idea. I don't know if it was a good idea, but it was an idea. I brainstormed about it and after discussion decided that it wasn't really a big cost saver, and probably wouldn't go over well by some people.

So I didn't say anything.

Yesterday somebody else pitched a VERY similar idea to the VP and he thought it was great.

you snooze you lose I guess.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thankfulness

I am thankful that family is arriving safely and we're getting ready for a fun weekend of celebration and family time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Things I notice when riding to work each day...

  1. We pass between 3 and 4 McDonald's depending on the way we go to work and that many Starbucks.  I think I counted at least 15 fast food joints total between McD's, Burger King, Wendy's, Carl's Jr, etc.
  2. There is at least 1 person who runs a red light.
  3. Every road in California has some sort of construction
  4. Speed limits are optional, especially on the freeway
  5. The hands-free law is ignored by most drivers
  6. Drivers are selfish and refuse to get over early, so they merge at the last second forcing people to slam on their brakes and thus causing a back-up in the merge or exit lane ... which then causes more people to not get over early and wait until the last second (viscious cycle).
  7. The more expensive or junkie your car, the more right you have to drive like a moron.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pregnant Happenings

I get it.

I understand why women feel fat when they are pregnant.  I always said, "You don't need to feel fat.  You're pregnant.  You have a growing baby inside of you."  But here I am, only 7 weeks pregnant, and I feel fat.  I know it's mostly water retention right now, but I still feel it.  By the end of the day my belly is sticking out and I look fat and chunky.  

I'm trying not to feel fat.  I'm trying to eat the right foods.  I'm trying to still get my exercise.

Of course, this would all be easier if I weren't feeling nauseous, didn't have a headache, weren't  hungry, and my skin didn't ache.  It's such a weird sensation to be hungry and nauseous at the same time.  Knowing I need and want to eat, but nothing is appetizing at all.  I have to force myself to eat something ... anything that I can keep down.  And I eat it slowly.  VERY slowly.  I've not thrown up yet, which is good.  But the nausea still isn't fun.

I'm not sure if I'm getting sick, or if this is just how I feel when I'm pregnant.  Being my first pregnancy, I can't answer that.  But I'm doing what I can to make myself feel better ... especially since I have an important event in EIGHT days.

I find that I'm better when I am doing stuff.  My head hurts more and my stomach is in bigger knots when I'm sitting still doing nothing.  So I'm trying to get away from my desk and work in the lab; get off the couch and clean the house or go walking.  But I have to convince myself that I have the energy to do such things in order for it to happen.

Lastly ... I hurt my back the other day.  I was laying on the couch in the tiniest of tiny balls cuddling with Josh.  When I got up my shoulder blade area hurt so bad I could hardly move.  It's not gotten much better.  Sleeping is hard.  It gets better throughout the day ... but it hurts so much in the morning.

OK.  Enough griping for today.

New/Noteworthy: feeling nauseous

Interesting Activity: while printing programs for the wedding, I ran out of ink.  Took me THREE seperate outings to Office Max to actually purchase new ink.

Biggest Accomplishment: Got my desk cleaned off and the lab cleaned out in preparation for my vacation in a week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday #3

Today I am thankful that I have my ipod and can drown out the noises that distract or annoy me while I'm working.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Contemplation of Current Happenings #4

New and Noteworthy: Andrew's school photos came back. AND ... Andrew got to play in last night's football game. It was only one play, and then someone fumbled, but he was in. (they lost, 35-0)

Interesting Activity: Had friends over for dinner last Saturday and just enjoyed a pleasant evening.

Quaint/Cute Quote: "She has your smile," "She looks just like you," "Looks like tripelets, no quadruplets." Various people in response to my ultrasound picture.

Biggest Accomplishment: Won the football pool for the 3rd week in a row!! That makes me 3-0 this season ... just like my Broncos!!!

Fun Photo:

our friends that we had over for dinner on Saturday night.

Thankful Friday

I forgot yesterday, so today is Thankful Friday.

I'm thankful for a loving, supporting family.

Just in case you're the odd man out who hasn't yet seen this...

That's my baby there. Yep. I'm pregnant. That was taken at 6 weeks. It's 3.2 mm. And too small to accurately determine a due date. Preliminary due date is May 17th, but subject to change. And like all babies, she will be born when she is ready, so I'm trying not to pay attention to due date hype.

I find it interesting that people keep asking me if I'm throwing up yet. And it's not just that they're asking, but that they're making up cute words for it. Sickies? Barfies? Like taking a gross topic and turning it into a cute name is supposed to make it any cuter??? Nope. Sorry. Still not cute.

And the answer is no. Not barfies, sickies, pukies, etc. Tummy a little weird this week, but I've kept all my food down. And with how much I just despise throwing up (haven't been actually sick and vomiting since middle school), I really hope my pregnancy is vomit-free.

I remember one time that I was sick and stayed home. Roberta (my older, wiser sister) went to school and told her friends that her baby sister was sick. They asked what was wrong and she said, "She puked and puked and puked all night long." But she also came home at lunchtime to check on me and make sure I was doing OK.

So there you have it.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Picase Photo Viewer

So I downloaded Google's Picasa Photo Viewer for my desktop. Just to test. Wanted to see if I liked it. Not sure yet. But in my initial playing I discovered a "blog this" button. YAY!! I don't have to go online, upload my photo, and then blog it to blog about a photo. I like THIS feature of Picasa.

This is the photo I was looking at when I found the button, so this is the photo I'm blogging.

BTW - this was taken in Fort Bragg at the Pacific Star Winery.
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I'm soooooo tired I can hardly function.  I'm sleeping great.  I'm eating right.  I'm just EXHAUSTED!!!!!!  GRRR!!!!!!!!!!

I can hardly function at work.  It doesn't help that there isn't a whole lot to do so I'm staring at old data in excel and making my eyes go cross-eyed.  Blech.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So I've kept it pretty quiet, but I'm looking for a part-time job. Just something to make a little extra money to help pay off some debt (wedding expenses and moving expenses).

I've put in several apps at restaurants and retail to no avail. I've looked on craigslist and haven't found anything that's a good fit for me. I emailed the band director at the local high school, never heard back.  I applied for a few tutoring positions.  One place turned me down within 20 min of receiving my resume/online app.  Wouldn't you know this place is STILL looking for math and science tutors - and no, I can't apply again, I tried.

Well, yesterday I started the hunt again.  Found a few that would be managable.  One had an online app process, so I filled it out.  It's a tutoring position.  I got an email that said they would be interested in speaking with me further due to my degree in the sciences.  YAY!!!!!

I'm trying not to get my hopes up.  But it would be perfect.  A few hours in the evening helping with math and science.  I can still have a family life, I can still have my weekends, and it won't interfere at all with my full-time job.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Contemplation of Current Happenings #3

New and Noteworthy: Kymberly's school photos came back.  She looks beautiful!!!!

Interesting Activity: Andrew's first home game of the season.  They won 21-0.  Andrew didn't get to play in regulation, but he did get to play in what they called a 5th quarter.  Two 10-minute scrimmages, each team is offense for 10-minutes.

Quaint/Cute Quote: "Does anyone know how to work the clock?" The announcer at the DHS football game

Biggest Accomplishment: spent over an hour picking weeds in the front planter boxes and back planter box.

Fun Photo: (unfortunately, not Kymberly's school photo ... scanner isn't working right now)

That's Andrew: #60, doing warm-ups

Thursday, September 18, 2008

call me crazy...

...I just saw a commercial for "School House Rock Election Edition" DVD.  And I want it.  

I LOVE School House Rocks.


Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end - Jerry Seinfeld

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday, I am thankful for the companionship of friends.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Contemplation of Current Happenings

New and Noteworthy: Ordered a purse from a friend and it arrived this week.  It's WAY cute and seems to be working out.  We bought 2 bookcases for the front room.  YAY to have the books set up and out of boxes.

Interesting Activity: Andrew's first football game.  While he didn't get a chance to play, it was still a lot of fun.  They lost 13-12.

Quaint/Cute Quote: "Everytime I go up there, usually somebody gets one..." Alex, referring to getting tattoos up at Nana's.

Biggest Accomplishment: Unpacked all the books from the garage and they are in the bookcases.  Front room is inviting and happy now.

Fun Photo(s)

New Bookcases

New Lamp - YAY!!  I can see in the dark in there now!!!

Andrew's Football Team

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday, I want to post a thankful thought.

I am thankful the cooler weather we've had the last couple days after the weeks of 100+ heat.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hunt for Illiterations

I'm a lover of illiterations. So if you can think of some that fit the categories that I've created for my "Contemplation of Current Happenings," feel free to email or comment in my blog.


Contemplation of Current Happenings

New and Noteworthy: Ran with the dog for about 20 minutes yesterday. 'Twas a first for her.

Interesting Activity Paul Bunyan Days in Fort Bragg, CA

Quaint/Cute Quote: "I'll be watching from the hot tub and wearing a thong..." Ed (Josh's step-dad), when discussing the wedding cermony

Biggest Accomplishment: 90% of the wedding details ironed out

Phun Photo Sheila, our Australian Cattle Dog, taken with my new to me camera from Grampa John.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stephen M. Miller Memorial

Originally uploaded by Christsstar

On July 10, 2008, Stephen M. Miller passed away. We only knew him for a short time, but we knew he was a neat man with a big heart. Stephen was our landlord. We signed the lease in May, and the first of June he went into the hospital for an infected heart valve. Unfortunately, he had multiple secondary infections and his time on earth ended.

Stephen was a dog and nature lover. He had three dogs himself, and took them for walks frequently in various parks throughout Oakland. His life was honored through a memorial walk at Sibley Volcanic Regional Park, followed by brunch at a local cafe.

We were invited to celebrate his life with his family and friends. It was an honor to be invited and spend time with those who knew him best. We heard many stories about him and our house. While we didn't know Stephen for very long, the Stephen we knew was "the real deal." He was not a faker and he didn't put on any sort of show for us when we met. I am happy to know that the memories I have of this man are realistic of who he was.

His daughter is taking over his estate and has already proven herself to be a good landlord for us.

Stephen M. Miller Obituary

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School Supplies

I love school supplies. Something about the new paper, new pens, new notebooks. The new notebooks in fun colors are a change from the previous year. The new pens that write perfectly and don't leak. The paper that's bright white and perfectly flat without any creases or marks.

A clean slate, ready for anything for the next year. New friends, new teachers, new classes, new adventures. Nobody knows what the next year holds. Nobody knows what will be written on the crisp, clean paper. What stories will be written on teh new paper? What lessons will be learned in the seats of the classroom????

The novelty of the new year is so exciting for me. I'm not even going to school this year, but going through the kids' school supplies and sepearating and organizing them for our household satisfied my curiosity enough for now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Review: Harvesting the Heart, by Jodi Picoult

Harvesting the Heart Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another Picoult book that kept me from sleeping and on the edge of my seat, although not as much of a socially controversial topic as the other two I've read.

At 18, Paige has run away from home to escape her past, hoping to find herself in her future. She meets Nicholas, a surgical resident from Harvard. They are engaged by their 4th date and cut off from his parents.

A relationship that starts out as romantic and fairy-taleish as possible gets harder and more realistic as life goes on. After 8 years of marriage, Nicholas working to be the chief of cardiothoracic surgery, and Paige working 2 jobs just to make ends meet, she gets pregnant.

Paige never had a mom growing up. She doesn't know anything about babies. Nicholas is away all the time. They have no family who they can call for help. Paige has no idea what she is doing and Nicholas comes home every night exhausted and seemingly unwilling to help. Then she just breaks. A quick trip to the store turns into a 3-month excursion to find her mom and connect the pieces of her present with the brokennes of her past.

Meanwhile Nicholas is trying to be a doctor and a single father of a 3-months old.

Paige eventually comes home, but not to what she left. Her heart is different, his heart is different, and the truth starts to make its way to the open.

I really loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I could see the rolling hills of North Carolina, I could hear the sounds of the hospital, I could smell the smells of a baby, I could see the look in Paige's eyes. Picoult does a phenomenal job holding my attention and of course making me think of any of my future babies, my own mom, and how I will be as a mom.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


One of the challenges of being in a house as opposed to an apartment is exercising. It was easy (once in the habit) of going to the weight room and cardio room at the apartment to work out. The equipment was there, the ipod was charged. Josh and I were faithful for months to work out.

then we moved.

Now, in a house, we have more expenses and no gym. Memberships are too expensive right now for us to justify it. So we strapped on our running shoes and started running through the neighborhood. Let me tell you, I HATE running. I'll ride my bike 40 miles, I'll do jumping jacks until my arms fall off, I'll march 4 miles in the snow carrying a 70 lb tuba ... but I cannot run. My feet get numb, I get dehydrated, I can't see where I'm going and my glasses dont' stay up, can't carry the ipod right, I can't breathe despite my training as a wind musician, my knees hurt, I don't have the right clothes ......... My excuses could go on for pages. But I need the cardio and my bike isn't working right since we moved.

OK. I'll try running.

I found knee stretches and a podcast on itunes (thanks to my Crosswalk ladies) called Couch to 5k. I'm not sedentary, nor I overweight, nor out of shape; but my body DOES NOT run. So I thought this podcast would do the trick. It's an interval program, run for a minute, walk for a minute, while listening to music. Every week the running intervals are increased a little bit more, then before you know it, you've run 5K in 30 minutes. (OK ... it takes 10 weeks to do.) I started doing the program and I was exhausted after the run. I didn't think I would ever make it. it's so hard. But I kept at it. Suddenly I was at the end of week 5 and ran for 20 min nonstop. Holy cow!!!!!

Then I went on vacation, we got a dog, met the new landlord. Obstacle after obstacle and I didn't run for 2 weeks. Last night I went running again and holy cow I was so tired. I couldn't do the whole program again. I feel like I fell backward 2 weeks.

But ... I was out there doing my thing.

I'm not a runner yet, not sure if I ever will be. But I can do it and it will get me my 20 min of cardio to stay in shape.

I still HATE running though.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

8-5-08 ....

I've been busy lately.

Late last week I decided I was tired of fighting with my printer and it's network issues and finding ink for it, so I went and bought a new one. It's a little slow, and not nearly as crisp in photo printing, but it's nice to have a printer connected to my Vista system. With my new printer I addressed wedding invitations. Got those stamped and in the mail this morning.

Friday I decided I was getting sick, Saturday I was no longer in the "getting" category ... I WAS sick. I wasn't too surprised since Larry (my bil) wasn't feeling good the last day of our vacation in Michigan. I found out that my nephew got sick too. So aren't we nice people? We get sick in Michigan and spread it to all ends of the country (NY and CA).

We moved into our new house May 15th. On July 10th, our landlord, Stephen, passed away ... ultimately from a heart valve infection. He was in the hospital for 6 weeks battling various infections in different body parts before his system finally shut down. His daughter, who lives in New York, is taking over his estate. Tonight she is coming over to meet us and see the house for the first time in a long time (if ever). She had heard through the grapevine that there were some workmanship concerns in the house. (Stephen was a DIYer to the max and wasn't the best at it; he freely admitted he hated plumbing.) She wants to walk through and see any areas that might need to be fixed. She's also going to reimburse us for the repairs we've already done.

So Saturday we spent the day cleaning the house and getting it organized so she can see what she has inherited. We spent last night organizing all of our Home Depot receipts and calculating how much we've spent on the house. I feel like she's going to think we're either a) whiners or b) destructive people. I hope that we can make a good impression on her.

But wouldn't luck have it that this morning: Josh went to the fridge to get the lunchbag out; the egg carton was frozen to the wall of the freezer and everything was warm. The freezer had frosted over the compresser and the vent into the fridge. So he spent the morning defrosting the fridge. On the plus side, however, he had extra time this morning because he had a dental visit to make. We also noticed yesterday that our spigot to our backyard hose is leaking. The knob is as tight and closed as it will go and it's really coming out ... more than just a slow drip. YAY us! Something else to tell our landlord about. Hopefully it's just a valve issue and can be cheaply fixed. But while we're at it, we're going to ask for a new hose ... the current one has a leak that is sealed with duct tape. sigh....

This weekend we got a dog. Poor timing I think. We had friends who had one and couldn't keep her. She just wasn't working out. Since we had to find a new home for Zoe (our kitty), we were empathetic and wanted to help out. Strangely enough, our lease allows for dogs, but not cats. Don't ask. She's three, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, spayed, up to date on vaccinations, and her name is Sheila. She's very sweet, but has never been through training. Our friends paid for a training class for us, so we start that next month. She's mostly house-broken, but has occassional "nervous/submissive urinating" episodes. We've discovered she's primarily an outdoor dog anyway, so that shouldn't be a huge concern.

And all that's just happening when we're not at work. I'm happy for work, it keeps us away from the craziness of home.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Map to the Wedding

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Fun Quote: Memories

"Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts."

Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) in "Memento"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hello World

After taking a break from blogging for a couple years, I've come to a point where I'm ready to start blogging again, but with a different blog.

So, here I am, saying hello to the world.


Not much to contemplate today. Just getting started again.

I got back from a great weekend in Michigan spending time with extended family. It took a near miracle to get me there, but I did get there and I did have a great time. I saw most of my cousins, all my aunts/uncles, my grandparents, and even some great aunts/uncles and distant cousins.

This is the first time I've visited my extended family as an adult. I think being an adult, and having been so long since I've seen them, really opened my eyes. I think it could be equated to seeing your teachers outside the school as "regular people."

I was very nervous for my trip, for a few reasons. One was because I haven't seen them in 7 years, I just didn't know what to expect. Also because a lot has gone on. I've been married and divorced and re-engaged all since I was there last. I think I was just unsure how my family was going to respond to seeing me for the first time and what questions I was going to be asked. I rather enjoyed the questions that were asked. I discussed my wedding plans, my relationship with the kids, Josh himself, and what life is like in California (expensive!).

Something fun happened while I was there too. Everyone joined Facebook. I can't think of a single cousin or aunt/uncle pair that isn't now on Facebook. My cousin even created a group for all of us. That's been a lot of fun to see everyone's status regularly and chat with them online. It was the centerpoint of many conversations.

I did a lot of shopping, ate a lot of food (can't go to Gramma's without eating), got my hair cut, joked, laughed, giggled, caught up, roasted marshmallows and just enjoyed myself. I'm glad I got to go. I'm glad it went so well. And I'm glad I get to sleep in my own bed again!!!!