Sunday, July 22, 2007

Beautiful "Home"

What do most people think of when you hear the word "Beautiful"? I'd like to think that some people think of flowers, clouds, butterflies, or even frogs. Unfortunately I was reading a poll the other day in a magazine that said 83% of American people (surprising statistic!) think of blonde, tan, diamonds, and white teeth as "beautiful", all geared mainly toward vanity or money. Let me tell you about my earliest memory of "beautiful".

I grew up in a small Kansas town with a population of 1,100 people. My most vivid memories of beauty came from my summers growing up there, particular during the summers of 1986-1991 when I was 6-11yrs old. Summers today are not what summers back then used to be. Those days (and location) held innocence, freedom, security, comfort, "home". Most summer days were filled with walks (barefoot of course) "downtown" to get the mail. Yes, folks, I really thought that mail carriers in the movies were fictional because in my hometown we had one central post office where the whole town went and had personal mailboxes. In fact, to this day, you can still address a letter to: Mr & Mrs So-and-so; Dighton, Kansas. Believe it or not, that is all you need, because the mail people know exactly - by heart - which box was yours. Up until I was 16yrs old, you only had to punch in the last 4 digits of the phone number to reach who you were calling. For example: if your number is 555-2222 you only needed to dial 2222. Our number was 2223, and incidentally the "emergency" number you dialed was 2222 (911 did not come around Dighton until my last year of high school). We frequently received calls for fires, wrecks, or lost dogs. It was sorta fun to get the gossip first hand!

Summer evenings were spent with our neighborhood friends (about 10 of us total) playing Gray Wolf, Capture the Flag, or whatever game entailed running around our neighbors' yards within a 3 block radius chasing one another. Often times, we would stop at random neighbors' houses along the way and get lemonade, cookies, or whatever that person seemed to have baking. Our parents just knew we were "outside" and that suited them just fine.

Summers also meant the Lane County Fair was coming to town. Every single person from Dighton met on Main Street and waited for the parade to start. You sat in lawn chairs beside people from the "other side of town" but were like your brothers because you had known them your whole life - or had known their mother, father, brother, sister, or babysitter! I can still smell the breeze as it rolled in off the wheat fields ready to be harvested - or just harvested. That time of year usually meant that a hint of rain was in the air and you looked for developing thunderheads nearby.

With anticipation you waited for the first firetruck to round the corner onto Main Street as kids gathered in flocks with their candy-collecting sacks in full grasp. Laughter, chatter, and smell of cotton candy filled the air as the each float passed with streamers of all colors waving in the breeze.

The parade would end on the west side of Main Street (which was just a mile long) and cars would follow it out to the fairgrounds which was just off of Main. As evening set in, the sun and parade faded, and the sky was filled with a new light - the light of carnival rides. Once at the fairgrounds, the air was filled with the same aroma - but add corn dogs, nachos, and funnel cakes to the mix. The sounds were the same as on Main as well, but now carnival music and the sounds of popping corn were now present. We would search for friends not seen since school ended 2 months prior and, of course, looked for cute boys to play "eyes" with. Our parents would drop us off and give us our $10 for rides and junk, never to be seen again until curfew. Abduction was not any word in the Dighton vocabulary.

Today I looked up the word "beautiful" in the dictionary. This is what I found:
beau·ti·ful : 1. having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.

You see, I don't have a materialistic noun I say or think of when I hear the word "beautiful". Instead, I close my eyes and I see the blue, white, red, and green streamers waving in the muggy breeze that has a hint of rain to it. And shortly after that breeze, the smell of cotton candy, freshly mowed grass, wheat fields, and funnel cakes envelopes my sense of smell. Then, lastly, I hear the chatter and laughter of the people I knew ... back home. It's then that I hope, just for a minute, that my kids will find the same meaning of the word "beautiful".

Sunday, July 15, 2007

our new van!!

Due to baby II on the way, we decided to trade in our BMW and our 2000 Town and Country for a new van. This is the first car I've owned brand new in my whole life. It had 10miles on it when we test drove it! Makes you more conscious of how many miles you drive - we got home after driving to a birthday party and we were shocked we had over 100 miles on it!

It has everything I ever wanted in a new vehicle: navigation, 6-movie DVD player, all leather, automatic opening side and back doors, and stow-and-go folding seats. I'm a very happy girl :-)

My dad and step mom are coming for a visit for a couple of days. They are managing a resort that's only about 7hrs away. It's the closest they've been in a long time and it's to have them so close. They'll be here late tomorrow night.

Most amusing thing I heard this weekend: It was a commercial for prostate-shrinking medication used to treat Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. In the closing statements along with all the 938 drug warning and side effects was stated "Only approved for use in men". Uhhhh, since when would it need to be approved for women's prostates?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

First Pictures

I had my ultrasound today. Everything went well! Here are my stats:
Gestational Age: 13 weeks
Baby length: 7.1cm
Heart Rate: 161bpm
Due Date: January 19, 2008

Monday, July 9, 2007


I don't know where I've been - just pooped out. We had a BBQ for the 4th of July. Jenn brought her boyfriend, Josh, whom we had yet to meet. He and Maysen hit it off which was nice to see. Maysen was a bit afraid of the loud fireworks, so we sat back on the porch in the rocking chairs and watched from there - he felt more safe.

I had my first OB appointment on Friday. It went really well. I am having a dating ultrasound on Thursday. My labs came back and everything looks good - although I have a bit of a UTI, so I'm being treated for that now.

I worked 4hrs today, which I haven't worked since my last day June 15th. It was weird going back - how much I missed my coworkers!

Although it's been a week - I don't have much news. I'm loving my reality shows so far this summer - Hell's Kitchen and Big Brother!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I'm back!!

Phew ... do you ever feel like you need a vacation when returning from a vacation? We got home last night around 5pm and I think I'll need another week to get caught up. Our trip was great! Leaving Maysen for a week at NaNeNu's and Papa's was harder than I thought it would be, but Nathan and I had a great time being a couple again! I took 294 thousand pictures and I have a million stories, so if you're interested, I'll give you the shortened overview and a few highlights from our trip. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in!
Day 1-3: Bend
We spent the first few days in Bend with Maysen. We did a little hike/walk to look at the river, went swimming, and just relaxed. On the 3rd day we visited Bob and Aunt Bonnie who have babysat Maysen since he was 3mo old. They have a motor home and a boat that Maysen play-drives when they have him. We met Bob and Bonnie at Lava Lake and Maysen REALLY got to drive the boat. He loved it. Of course he played in the dirt until he was almost unrecognizable. That was the delirious stage of exhaustion!

Day 4-7: Baker City
We then headed to Baker City to where Nate's dad and step mom live. They were going to keep Maysen for the week we were on our cruise, so we went early to visit for a few days. I don't know why I don't have pictures of these few days as we had a lot of fun! One day we went to an old abandoned Hotel/Sanatorium that was built back in the early 1900s. A family from LaGrande decided to tackle the job of restoring the old brick site which sits right beside a 200F natural hot springs lake. When it was first built, it served as sort of a "mall" if you will, of a bunch of services to the area and was traveled to mainly by train. It had a hospital (where they actually had an operating room with viewing as students came here to learn), a hotel, many hospital rooms for those recovering from pneumonia and many with tuberculosis, as well as a restaurant and various shops. When finished it will have a hotel/bed and breakfast, restaurant, a couple of artist shops (including a bronze sculptor and a water color painter), and part will remain a museum. All of this is being done on donations and sponsors. It was truly amazing walking through the halls thinking of the history as antiques that had sat since the early 1900s sat plainly in the hallways waiting to be moved and dealt with.

Day 7: Seattle
We arrived at Seattle and boarded our ship, the Norwegian Star. I was surprised at how much room our cabin actually had. Of course it was a "mini-suite" but still. I was impressed that our bathroom had a tub/shower and separate seating area for the toilet! We spent that night and all of Day 8 at sea. The scenery was breathtaking!

Day 9: Ketchikan, AK
This was my favorite stop in the whole cruise. We walked Creek Street, which was the street that the fisherman prowled once getting off their vessels. This had all the naughty things on it - prostitution, alcohol, and gambling. "Dolly" was a famous woman for the "services" she provided to the men in the pier, and her house was the most decorated. There was a more discreet street named "Married Man's Trail" that went up and back through the woods ... for the most bashful of men. I shouldn't find that funny - but for some reason, it intrigued me to see this historic street. We watched a real lumberjack competition, which was more fun than I expected it to be! We then got to tour a retired ship from Deadliest Catch (reality show on Discovery Channel, which totally rocks!). It was on the Season1, which we didn't watch. But Don, our guide, was an actual crew member from that Season and was on The Sea Star for most of his fishing career. Being a fan of the show, it was neat to be on an actual boat from the show.

Day 10: Juneau, AK
We decided not to plan much for this day as the ship was leaving port at 1:30 to cruise around Sawyer Glacier the rest of the day. We decided to take a bus tour to Mendenhall Glacier. Boy was it absolutely amazing!! If you've never seen a glacier but have seen Ice Age, they depicted it pretty accurately! It really is aqua blue and turquoise! We got back on the ship and decided to take naps (we were already pooped). We woke up about the time we were to be at Sawyer Glacier and when we looked out our balcony - we saw bunches and bunches of icebergs! You see, lucky for us we'd had nice weather (mid-60s) most of the days so far and it was warm enough that huge icebergs had fallen off Sawyer Glacier and was obstructing our entrance into the cove to see it. Our captain came on and said it was too dangerous for us to risk going back there as we were hitting icebergs with the ship - and they were even getting the life boats off the racks! We were lucky we had chosen the bus tour earlier and had gotten to see Mendhenhall Glacier.

Day 11: Skagway, AK
We took a train ride up the railroad built in 1901 during the big Klondike gold rush. We saw another glacier up at the top of a mountain that actually provided water for the famous 22-tier waterfall down DeadHorse Gulch. Amazing views, except we were in the last train car, first seat. We were lucky to be able to get out of our seat and walk onto the platform. Well, this Indian couple had a million kids with them, and they kept hogging the whole platform so it was hard to get out there and get pictures, but we got a few.

Day 12: Prince Rupert, Canada
Ok. To all my Canadian friends - I'm sorry. But this town sucked. Our main attraction at this port was the Safeway which were filled with humorous things to comment on to we Americans. First of all, what are "Ketchup Lays" potato chips? Everything is written in English AND French on most items. And perhaps the most entertaining: Promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness over the loudspeaker! It was a great little stop thanks to Safeway!

Day 13: At sea.
Best part of this day was the Chocoholic Buffet at midnight! That could put anyone in a diabetic coma!

Day 14: Home!
We met Papa and S at McDonalds in The Dalles, which is midway. They got to McDonald's right before we did and were walking in. My plan was to sneak up on Maysen and surprise him, but right as I was getting out, I hit the panic button on the van and he turned right around. His little hand beat on the glass saying "MAMA!!!" then he ran back out the door and right into my arms. Verrrrry warm feeling! We got home and the most surprising thing to find was my yard! It had exploded over night. With weeds and flowers, just the same. Last year we planted a garden, which burned up in the sun and was pointless. This year I planted wildflowers in it as I love to have vases of fresh flowers in my house. When we left, they were about 6" tall and none were blooming. This is what I found when I got home:

And now that you're asleep .. I'll let you go. Tomorrow is my first official day at being a Stay-At-Home Mommy. It's also Nate's first day at his new job.