I have very few pictures like this one of my baby sleeping peacefully, because he was such a light sleeper, even opening the door to his room would wake him up. Thankfully that is no longer true, and this was taken just now after I carried him from the car to his crib without him even opening an eyelid. Even his favorite DVD in the car couldn't keep him awake.
Mike was with me when I bought these shoes at a Nordstrom sale many months ago, and at the time I distinctly remember him saying he thought they were very sexy. He specifically said they would look great under jeans.
So I was very surprised when we got home from the shindig and he said I looked nice but he wasn't crazy about those shoes. He said they would be a lot sexier if they had pointy toes. (Of course he's right, but that's beside the point) So ya know what I heard him say? "Go buy yourself a new pair of black heels with pointy toes." He laughed when I told him this interpretation this morning, but guess what we did next. Off to the mall for lunch and to Nordstrom to buy these:
Good thing he was there and deemed them very sexy and purchase-worthy!
1. Our nightstand drawer
2. A good book you've read
3. Our favorite lamp
My nightstand drawer is always a catchall for junk. Lots of lotions and medicines. Matches for my candles. I don't know why the golf balls are in there! Oh and of course the neverending pile of hair thingys. My mom reads this blog so some other things may have been removed from view.
MOPS. I can be crafty when someone gives me all the tools and directions and other women to gab with while I'm working!
Sometimes when I'm very bored, I do internet searches for old friends that I've lost touch with. So yesterday I looked up the boyfriend I had in college before I met Mike, whose name was Dave. Dave and I dated for about a year, just for fun, because I told him upfront I would never marry him. He was a devout agnostic, and I knew I would never marry a non-Christian. He was kind of a geek, but then so was I in some ways. I went for the geeky types. They were usually really funny, and he was no exception. Exhibit A: Dave in my dorm room before I dragged him along with me to a wedding.
So anyway, Dave and I broke up when I met Mike, my future husband. Dave then promptly started dating my roomate, Lena. That was not very cool.
My internet search for Dave turned up very little, except he apparently still loves computer gaming, and he must have lived in Wilmington and now lives in my hometown of Media. Weird.
What was FAR more interesting, was that my search of his last name turned up a TON of stuff on his sister, Leslie. I met his sister once on a family vacation, at which time she was a writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper. She is also hilarious. It seems she has moved on from lowly Fort Worth to become a gossip columnist in Hollywood. Amazing. She is quite an accomplished writer. Right now she is known as "The Answer Bitch" for E! Online. I did some double and triple checking to make sure it was the same person. She is. Here's a picture of her I took on that vacation back in 1995, and a picture of her now I found on the net. You might not be able to tell it's the same person, but I can.
She has this very funny gossip radio show that I listened to as an iTunes podcast. The voice is the same. She has the best voice for a radio gossip show. And biting humor about the ins and outs of hollywood. She also has a blog in MySpace with some juicy tidbits of gossip. If you're a fan of celebrity like me, check her out.
So I just got this email from my bro-in-law with this link. So that in case we didn't know it before, we could officially confirm that my sis has hit the bigtime. This is only a teensy tiny sampling of the hundreds of quotes she's had in the news. Too bad these quotes don't really reveal much about her as a person, because I could see how someone could react to these quotes and think she's a certain way and forget that she's actually a fully rounded human being. You can't imagine some of the hate mail she gets.
*I believe this term was coined by mrtl.
I am giddy this morning because last night I figured out how to move all the music I downloaded into Sony Sonicstage into iTunes so I can use them on my iPod Nano. This may seem hardly a feat, but before I had an iPod I traded in a bunch of unused and unusable airline miles for 100 song downloads from Sony. I had the MOST fun picking up all that great new music, mostly a lot of pop/punk bands like Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Sum 41, and Bowling for Soup. So I had 100 songs in my Sony Sonicstage, from which I burned a few CDs to listen to in the car. Then I traded in some other useless airline miles for 25 downloads on iTunes. That's when I discovered the coolness that is iTunes. I had to put those on a separate CD, and because the two music sources have their own special formats and locks I believed the 125 songs would never be mixed together.
Then I got my iPod and downloaded a whole BUNCH more iTunes. I started rockin' out at the gym and in the car, forgoing the use of CDs altogether. The 100 songs I downloaded from Sony were obsolete, and I temporarily forgot about them. There were some GREAT tunes on there, but I refused to pay to download them again from iTunes. So they sat idle.
Then Mike got an iPod and asked me one day if I had the song "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas on my iTunes. I said, "No. Alas, I downloaded it using Sonicstage and now it is stuck in oblivion." But I thought to myself, there MUST be some illegal workaround for converting the music from one source to another. One simple Google and I hit paydirt. TONS of converters, mostly freeware, existed. I downloaded several but couldn't figure out how to make them work. Errors all around. Then I took one of the music CD's I had burned from Sonicstage and popped it into my computer. BEHOLD! iTunes automatically started importing the songs!! The only thing I had to do was manually enter the song titles and artists.
Now I have 351 downloaded songs on my iPod. A veritable Garden of Eden for my ears. (Until I get bored with those.) All is right with my world.
Today Nathan and I reached a wonderful milestone in the world of toddlerhood together. I took him to the gym this morning for my usual workout. The routine is that I break my back carrying my thirty pound son, his packed diaper bag, and my full gym bag. Not to mention our heavy winter coats weighing us down. But today, as we exited the gym, Nathan walked on his own two feet out to the car, holding my hand. Then he did it again after lunch as we left a resturant. The lack of weight and the ability to stand completely upright while walking with him felt glorious. Now if he would only stay where I tell him to stay when I'm opening the car or paying a cashier. I know it's a lot to ask.
Since I'm bragging about my kid anyway, let me continue with telling you about our bedtime routine. Every night after dinner, Nathan runs around the house playing for an hour or two until bedtime. Sometimes he demands to see a video. We usually let him watch one. As the clock gets close to 8pm, Nathan might start to exhibit mild signs of crankiness. Either Mike or I will say to him, "You look tired kiddo. Do you want to go to bed?" He will drop whatever he is playing with, stand up, and march right over to the stairs. He waits till we move the gate, dutifully climbs the stairs, and heads straight for the bath. After he is bathed and changed he gets a bottle. Last night after he finished his bottle, he sat up in my lap and hopped down off the chair and started marching away. Mike said "Don't you want to read your book tonight?" He paused, looked back, and then turned to march straight to his room. He stood in front of his crib in his dark room waiting for a parent to lift him in. Mike picked him up and starting singing to him. Nathan lunged down towards the crib, so Mike laid him down. Mike finished the song as Nathan lay staring up at him. When the song was over, Mike paused to watch his son smile, and Nathan pointed towards the door, showing his dad the way out. This kid loves bedtime.
Saturday morning we hit the gym, as usual, but I opted out of my regular cardio torture class and took it easy on a bike so I could keep reading The DaVinci Code. Boy those bike seats hurt after a few minutes! My best friend from college came by for lunch and I was such a bad hostess that we ordered out for lunch. That's because I was more concerned about having the food I needed for the party I was going to that night and the one I was throwing Sunday. I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house from top to bottom. So anyway Saturday night we DID have a babysitter and we went to a dinner party for the new members class at our church. We met lots of nice people who I'd like to be better friends with. It was in the home of one of the church's elders, whose daughter I happened to go to school with. They were the nicest people ever and their home, which they had completely designed, was spectacular. I brought a chicken dish which everyone raved about.
Sunday we went to church, of course, and then rushed home to get ready for a jewelry party I was hosting that afternoon. One of my friends from our old neighborhood sells Premiere Designs jewelry, which I love, so I hosted my second party for her. I only got six people to come, but I also had three other orders, which means LOTS of free jewelry for me. I made brownies, fruit salad, and more crudite, but my mother insisted that wasn't enough food so she brought all kinds of other things. She's kind of nuts that way with parties. As I expected, all the ladies completely polished off the veggies and fruit salad, and left most of the more fattening sweets. My mom also insisted I make coffee, which I knew no one would drink, and they didn't. But we all had fun and by the time I had cleaned everything up I was exhausted and ready for my busy weekend to be OVER.
Kristine has assigned for this week the following pictures:
1. Under the bed
2. My Stereo
3. My Pots and Pans
I have a king size bed with a nice long bedskirt and I don't purposely put anything under it. When I looked under to take this picture I was surprised to find a couple of random baby toys, a box from a mirror I recently bought, and a slipcover for one of the arms of the chair next to my bed. They all must've gotten kicked under their by accident.
I have a few different "stereos" I use to listen to music. There's the computer, of course. And my car stereo, with my iPod Nano adapter. I love that thing! And my big surround sound system that's hooked up to our mega TV. That's good for parties because the speakers are spread out all around the room. Then there's this "boombox" I have had since I was about 13. I love it and it works great in the kitchen. I love all the stickers I put on it as a supercool teen.
Nathan loves my pots and pans. I let him have free reign to pull them out and bang them around. They are cheap. All except my Pampered Chef 12" Family Skillet, shown in the front right corner. That thing was expensive and worth every penny. I love it, love it, love it. I love the glass lid. I love the little support handle on the side you can't see. I love how NOTHING sticks to it. A few years ago we had some friends living with us temporarily and the first time she cooked with it, she fell in love with it too. She threatened to take it with her.
my baby sister is a lobbiest. Well she's not just any lobbiest, she's the Executive Director for a very influential family values group based in Virginia. She's only 27 but her voice is well-known in her state and she is respected by most of the state legistlature and despised by the rest for being tenacious in her conservative efforts. For the past several years she has been interviewed by the local and national media every time a family issue comes up in Virginia government...which is almost daily when they are in session January through March. I have loved listening to her on the radio thanks to internet feed, reading her editorials and quotes in the newspapers, and even seeing her on TV once in awhile. It baffles me how she learned to speak so well, to be so diplomatic and poised. She has introduced me to U.S. Senators, state legislators, attorneys general, and lietenant governors, all of whom I have heard gush about how great she is at what she does.
I don't agree with her on every position she lobbys for, but I can't help bragging about her anyway. So here's a recent NPR interview she did on the issue of gay marriage. Click on the "Listen" link at the top to hear her actually talking about the issue. She's Victoria Cobb, sister extrodinaire.
Then there was Brandon, the college man I took to my senior prom. He was brought in by our drama teacher to choreograph the musical I was in. That should have told me something right there. The first time we saw him we all thought he was cute, but gay. Weeks later the drama teacher assured me he was not gay, so I asked him to the prom. He sounded thrilled to go, told me he already owned a tux. Let's just say he had more fun dancing with everyone than I did. Doesn't he look like a New Kid On The Block?
He never called me again after the prom, not even after I ran into him at an Indigo Girls concert. That should've clued me in too. Then two years later he moved into the "alternative lifestyles" housing on the dorm floor right below mine at Penn State. One rather tipsy night I ran into him in the hall and said a few stupid things about how I couldn't believe he was gay or I always knew he was gay or something like that. He was still nice to me and friendly, but we didn't ever really talk again.
Then finally I met Mike, the hubster, my sophomore year at Penn State. Here were are looking really bad at his house for Easter dinner. No makeup, bad hair, and my Laura Ashley dress matches his paisley tie. Ick. But man, were we in love.
I don't hate it because I am single...I'm not. Though long ago I spent many a V.D. as a teenager without a boyfriend or even a date, and I hated it then. Except for one time my senior year in high school when my best guy friend, Larry, who didn't even go to my school, sent me a singing telegram with a flower in the middle of math class. How he managed this I have no idea. How could I not adore him? But there was his evil girlfriend in the way. By the time she dumped him and he figured out I was girlfriend material, I was in college and had moved on. He made one play for me, got shot down, and to this day we are great friends.
Enough about him. I hate V.D. because it is a Hallmark made-up holiday. It's a stupid reason to worry about buy cards and stupid useless gifts. But we are expected to do so, and I usually conform to expectations. Last week I had to send cards and gifts for my husband's birthday, my mom's birthday, and my grandfather's birthday. And now not only do I have to send cards from me, I have to send cards from Nathan too. Now this week I had to turn around and do the same thing for V.D. I hate mailing cards, I'm stamp-o-phobic or something.
But the worst part of V.D. are my own unrealistic expectations. I don't know where this comes from, but according to the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, my love language is gift giving. That means I prefer to express love by giving people things. It also means that's the best way for someone to show me love. It is NOT my husband's love language. Over the years he has learned that I have big expectations when it comes to gifts. But I'm not sure if he has ever FULLY met those expectations, try as he might. Sometimes he has really blown it by giving me something like an unwrapped CD for my birthday. Sometimes he has done great by giving me an iPod, but he didn't plan a party or get a cake or something. The poor guy.
This year he did pretty well for V.D. giving me a small but thoughtful gift with a nice card. But he complained about having to go out on Saturday to get it. And today he happens to be out-of-town, so we kinda celebrated on Sunday...sorta...going to a family resturant with Nathan. Really romantic! But you know what I would really like? For him to arrange to have flowers delivered to me while he's gone today. But will he? Nope. He never EVER EVER gets me flowers, no matter how often I mention it. But he's a great guy and I feel like it's my own fault I hate V.D. for having these stupid expectations. I really wish I could make V.D. go away and cease to exist.
I decided it was finally time to breakout Nathan's new snow gear. He was less than thrilled. Here's the story in pictures. First I put on the bibs, the mittens, and the new coat. I couldn't figure out how to get Nathan to put his thumbs in the mittens right, so I gave up. I struggled for awhile getting the boots on, and he put up a fuss. He refused to walk. So I carried him out and put him in his sled.
What the heck is going on here?
Why can't I get to the mailbox?
I can't move my arms.
Get me off this driveway, I will not walk!
Call me all you want, I'm not budging.
Pick me up! I refuse to walk out here!
Much happier, but I still can't move.
Finally, after two months of winter in Philadelphia without snow, we get a classic Nor'easter. The snow started falling softly but steadily earlier this afternoon. It's so pretty, especially at night. I just took this picture out my front door. Right now we are in the 8-12 inch swath of snow total predictions. But that changes hourly. Weather people are just clueless.
I expect that tomorrow morning we won't be able to get to church, or it will be cancelled. But we will get to break out Nate's brand new sled, snowbibs, and snowboots. Hopefully I'll have updated pictures tomorrow.
1. what you love most about your house
2. what you love least about your house
3. what you love most about yourself
My house was brand new when we got it a year ago and feels very luxurious. I love all kinds of things about it. It's pretty outside and big inside. My favorite thing is probably the boudoir...the place the magic happens. It is huge and has a tray ceiling and great big windows that let in tons of light and has room for armchairs on either side of the bed.
The only problem is it needs more color. I need to paint or put up a border, and I need window treatments in the worst way. I don't want blinds or shades because I think they are ugly and block TOO much light. But I'm super picky about curtains. I have only managed to get curtains for my family room, and I still have tons of gigantic uncovered windows in my house.
The main thing I don't like about my house is my unfinished basement. It has tons of potential with a high ceiling and walkout, but I just need to get a contractor. I can't stand even looking at the mess.
Fortunately there are lots of things I like about myself, but it's hard to take a picture of being organized or punctual or intelligent. So I guess they mean physical things. Right now I kinda like my newfound strength, flexibility, and muscle definition, brought on by lots of yoga and weight lifting. But I didn't feel like taking a picture of my guns (biceps) because they still aren't as toned as I like them to be. So I'll go out on a limb, and tell you I have a love/hate relationship with my boobs. Some people (men) think my rack is my best feature. Sometimes I agree, but sometimes I just think they are too big and get in the way. They can make finding flattering tops difficult. I found this old picture from last summer:
See what I mean? When I was pregnant I was distraught to find that Victoria's Secret didn't carry my size. Now that I workout I have to work hard to find decent sports bras. But trust me, the cleavage catches some serious attention.
Did you play?
This picture is pretty self-explanatory. I think he was mad because we were watching something on TV and he wanted to watch a video. His tantrums are shortlived when he is healthy. It's only when he's sick that he is inconsolable.
Yoga was great on Tuesday night, but my muscles are SO sore now. Jen, the Yoga-nazi, taught class and we did a whole bunch of new asanas. It was good, she was actually very encouraging. And Mark the other yoga teacher was in class so we teased each other a little. The only problem is we keep listening to the same Hare Krishna music every week and I'm starting to learn the songs and get them stuck in my head. It's amazing how you can make so many songs out of just the words Hare Krishna. No, Mom, I'm not getting brainwashed. Don't worry.
It's not the best picture of him, but a moment I remember fondly, and I can see the pride and happiness in his face. He was a man of few words, but during my senior year in high school and my college years he and I became very close. It started when he drove me around the country looking at colleges. He knew I said I wanted to major in Chemical Engineering, as he did, but he wasn't convinced it was right for me. He questioned me endlessly about it, about my goals for the future, for my career and a family. He encouraged me in my dream to get married and have kids and stay home with them, but also encouraged me in my need to be able to support myself with a career if a husband wasn't meant to be. He encouraged me to get involved in Christian fellowship at school, and to study hard and exercise. I appreciated his advice, but didn't take too much of it.
He was so obviously proud of my academic acheivments, especially getting into the Ivy League institution he had wanted to attend but got rejected from. He was thrilled when I picked Penn State instead and relished every football game he went to and watched on TV with me. He encouraged me to finish my thesis when I wanted to give up. He shared his secret feelings and advice with my future husband that I only learned about later.
He and I rode to the church in the back of a limo on my wedding day. It was our few minutes alone on a big day. He said to me "Sarah, I know we've shelled out a lot of money already for this wedding, but if you have any doubt about getting married, I will gladly turn this limo around right now and not give the money a second thought." It was the sweetest thing EVER. Needless to say, we kept going. When he and I danced at the reception later, he whispered little jokes in my ear to keep us both from crying. Because like father, like daughter, we don't like big displays of emotion.
Six months later, just before Christmas, my dad died of a sudden heart attack at age 49. No personal history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or obesity. Just goes to show, you never know. Mortality hit me like a ton of bricks and now I have an ever present sense that anyone could die at any minute. My poor mom was left alone, and my poor sister didn't have my dad on her wedding day. I had my husband, my rock. I moved on super fast, and got frustrated when my mom and sister didn't. Thankfully now my mom is remarried to a guy who takes good care of her, as is my sister.
Unfortunately, a couple years later my dad's only sibling, my uncle died of heart failure under the age of 50 too, leaving my wonderful grandparents childless, and leaving me with really bad genes. In case you didn't know, having one family member die young of heart disease increases your risk factor something like 10 times. Having two? Jeez I dunno. So I gotta watch it carefully. The leading cause of death in women is Heart Disease, not cancer. Pay attention to your health, go get a stress test.
Nathan has mastered "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" at the mere age of 16 months! Ok maybe mastered isn't the term. But he gets the head part, he gets the toes part, and he even gets mouth and nose. He hums along a little bit too. This is why his favorite video is Baby Da Vinci. If you have it, you know what I mean. Lately Nate has taken to spontaneously bursting into the "Head" and "Toe" movements even when we aren't singing.
He also seems to be getting "When You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands". That is less surprising because he has understood what I want him to do when I say "Clap" for months.
His weekend with the grandmothers and dad must've been good because he hasn't stopped smiling or laughing since I got back.
Nathan got to spend time with both sets of grandparents, bond with his Dad, and meet his brand new baby cousin, Haley. Mike said he wasn't too impressed by her, but it seems she sleeps ALL the time. I'm jealous.
It's too bad Seattle lost the superbowl. I was pulling for my former ballroom dancing partner, Bobby Engram. He had a couple of good catches. I only watched the end so I wouldn't miss a minute of Grey's Anatomy, which was very exciting, btw. The gratuitious lesbian shower scene in the beginning was a shameless ploy to suck in those guys partying with the TV still on after their Superbowl beerfest, and it totally freaked me out. Way to ruin five minutes of a perfectly good show.
And here's the picture I took from my whitewater raft on the Bow River that runs in front of the hotel:
I guess their picture looks prettier. Ok now the best part was, Mike and I somehow ended up with a gigantic spa suite on a corner that had amazing views of the mountains and river. These rooms go for upwards of $600 Canadian a night in peak summer season, which is when we were there. Here's a picture of what our room looked like:
The place was amazing, like a fairytale castle. The food at all the resturants was incredible. The spa and gardens were beautiful. The golf course was pristine and the fairways were covered with elk. The golf clubhouse was even luxurious. Too bad I don't have any pictures with me in them, but I was the one taking all the pictures! Oh yeah, and here's my rafting guide, Tim. He was Austrailian and told great bear stories. That's my sister on the right looking rather infatuated.