Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Cards 2006

Okay, guys, I need your help. But it has to be quick... In fact, by the time you read this, I may have already compulsively chosen without you, BUT... I'm trying to pick the final picture for our FIRST family Christmas card!! And I can't decide. The best one, unfortunately (in my opinion) is the one where Niles isn't even looking at the camera, and I dont know if it looks odd or not...
So, anyway... bring on the constructive criticism!!
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I'm certainly not opposed to using this one, regardless of the hanging child...
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I'm thinking NO on this one, although Reese's face is hilarious.
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And, one of my beautiful entire family. For good measure. =)
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Thursday, November 23, 2006


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Niles first attempt at gorging himself... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
That one didn't quite do it... so here's plate #2... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sufficiently stuffed...
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Of course, we had to get the classic baby-in-the-leaves shot. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is the real cool thing about my father-in-law... besides just being a composer extraordinaire, he collects model trains and builds these amazing structures...
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Friday, November 17, 2006

I love...

Starbucks Christmas Blend!!!! YUM!!
See, EVERYTHING about Christmas is spectacular.

Boot Camp Blast

Last night was the last night of Boot Camp Blast. It's not a full "semester" of boot camp, it's kind of a preview for people who don't know if they want to commit to a full 4 weeks of the real deal. But it's equally hard, and equally challenging b/c there are no days off. Just four straight days of hard-hitting, ab-crunching, hella-pain-inducing working out. Sprints, pushups, boxing, jumping, running, crunching, up and down stairs, bear crawling, squatting then jumping... You name it, we did it.
My mile time is officially 8:50 right now. My goal for the end of the year is to do it in 8:30. I know twenty seconds doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're hitting that middle part, speeding up is the last thing you want to do!! I realized if I can just push past my first 4 or 5 minutes, I'm good to go for the rest of the mile, and I think I could probably go more if told to. Now, doing it on my own?!?! That's a different matter altogether. But I'll get there!!!
Anyways, this week, since Blast is considerably cheaper than real B.C., I convinced 6 friends to go with me! Lauren and her mom, Sherry, Pablo, Kristen, Meredith (my sis in law), and Brieanne. It was so great to have them there! Niles was convinced I wouldn't try as hard if I had friends with me, but I did!! And it was much more fun. It really helps to have your friends to get tortured with you. =) By the way, the guy in the picture is not Pablo, it's our instructor, A.J.
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Weirdest Thing

Last night after boot camp I went to go tan. Yes, Jackie, I'm still tanning. Despite your well-meaning lecture. =) But I only go 2 or 3 times a week, if that makes you happier. SO, I go into the tanning salon, and the maybe 17 year old girl working lets me into the room, sets the timer, all that jazz. So, I'm just relaxing, listening to my music, eyes closed, oblivious to the world around me, etc. Then my timer goes off after 15 minutes, I open my eyes as the lights on the bed go out... Then I realize, the WHOLE PLACE is dark! ALL the lights in the entire building are out. WHAT?!?! It's so dark, in fact, that I am having to feel around on the floor for my clothes and trying to use the light from my iPod... I'm just hoping that Miss Seventeen is still in the building somewhere to let me out. Anyways, I finally am able to get dressed, feeling very awkward, and I hear some moving around in another part of the building. I'm thinking, maybe she left, and there were two of us still tanning and she just completely forgot about both of us! What if I'm locked in with a killer! Anyways, I walk to the front door, and sure enough, it's locked. So now I realize I just have to yell out to see if anyone is actually still here. So, I yell out Hello?!?! And stupid girl comes out, like, Ohh.. I was closing. She doesn't even apologize. That's all she says. "Ohhh, I was closing." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!??!!? I'm so annoyed. Niles was very upset. He was like, Call that manager immediately! I'm not sure if I'll do that or not, but maybe I should...
Isn't that just the weirdest thing ever?!?!?!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Updated Books to Read List

I read my old one... eeehhhh, not so much. Finished Wuthering Heights, not impressed. SO, here's my changes. =) And, I'm sure this won't be the last time.
1. Marie Antoinette - currently reading.
2. The Emperor's Children - I wouldn't necessarily consider this a challenging read, but maybe a nice quick time-killer while I'm in Tennessee for the holidays. =)
3. Under the Tuscan Sun
4. Anna Karenina - this was on the other one... I've been trying to get myself to read this forever, but it completely intimidates me.
5. Wicked - started this one like two years ago, and I can hear it screaming at me from across the room.
6. The Confident Woman - started this one about two weeks ago. The Christian self-help books always take me a while, and I usually read them in tandem with something else a little more interesting. =)
7. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - see above. May not necessarily be Christian, but the self-help part still applies.
8. A Prayer for Owen Meany - I know absolutely nothing about it, but if Jackie says it's good, I trust her. I trust anyone who writes well to give me good book advice.
9. The World According to Garp - I've heard of this book at random times throughout the past few years, but didn't know anything about it. ONce Jackie recommended the previous book, I saw that the author is the same, so I bought it. Can I tell you how much I LOVE Half-Price Books!?!?!?
10. Falling Angels - Again, I know nothing about it, but since it's written by the girl who wrote "The Girl with the Pearl Earring", I bought it. THAT is a great book.

So, since I'm talking books... Was anyone else disappointed with The Great Gatsby like I was?!?!?!?! I don't know why, but I had such a hard time reading this book, and understanding what was going on. Needless to say, it made me feel like a moron.

Memoirs of a Geisha... Wonderful.
Gone With the Wind... i've read it twice, my favorite of all time.
Thorn Birds... would never have read it, but a really literary elitist friend of mine read it in her book club, so I trusted her. It was a good decision because I could not put it down. It was one of those books that keeps you up all night long because you tell yourself you just want to finish this one... last... page...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Baby Gap Casting Call Decision

I posted a blog on my myspace account (which is private, so if you're not on myspace, you won't be able to read it, sorry!) about a Baby Gap Casting Call, and I posted 6 pics of Reese and asked people to vote on which one to submit.
Since I noticed that most of the pictures I posted most recently were not smiley ones of her, I thought I would put some up.
The first one is the one I decided to send in. It's my alltime favorite... She's just woken up from a nap, with this crazy, flock of seagulls hairdo, and she was so happy and sweet! I love it.
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The next few are just my favorites
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Dear Tulipgirl...

So, as usual when someone has a different opinion from me, I get uber-defensive, and respond quickly, without taking into consideration their good intentions. This is an extremely common reaction from me. =) My husband will vouch for that.
Sorry for being a bit touchy, I understand you were not attacking me or my belief system, and I should probably just RESPECT the fact that you stand up for what you believe in and have made strides to show people what you stand for.
SOOOO... all that to say, TRUCE! I'm not a mean person, as I'm sure you're not either, so I will gladly and respectfully back down. I think we've both made our points and I apologize for coming across a bit (or a lot) defensive. =)
(One more note in my defense, I've not been a nice, joyful person for the last week... YOU know, THAT week. My husband will vouch for that, too. haha)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Halloween and Other Such Fun Days!

Reesey's first Halloween!! Since NIles isn't big on celebrating Halloween, I waited until the very last minute to get her costume, which ended up being a duck costume from Target! It was the only one left in her size. But it was still cute, of course. Anyways, we didn't plan much, but then there was this parade with all the kids in my parents' neighborhood, so I grabbed Reese (before she was dressed up, though) and we fake-marched in the parade. Which is the first picture. =)
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The next pictures are her towards the end of the night... a sleepy little duck!! If you know her, you know that to get her to lay still and cuddle is a HUGE feat. She doesn't sit or lay still for two seconds ever, and she is not a cuddler at all. So every moment we get with her snuggling, we make the most of!!
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Today Reese and I went and met up with my friends Stacey and Jackie, and their babies, Noah and Carson. This little get-together has been months in the making, b/c we can never get our schedules together, but it finally happened! There was this play area for babies and all these huge, fake breakfast foods made out of some squishy foam-like stuff. Anyways, it was very cute to see the kids playing together.
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In Response... 

Okay, so earlier I wrote a blog about what I recommend for November... Basically, some things I have tried and have worked for me, and THAT IS WHY I RECOMMEND THEM. Because they WORK FOR ME. I recommended the book Babywise for new parents, or just parents in general, and  I received a comment from someone I dont know, referring me to two websites that are basically created for the sole purpose of turning people away from Babywise.  

Since I did say in my blog that I realize babywise is not for everyone, I think it's safe to say that I realize that,... babywise is not for everyone!! And that's okay. Now that I'm a mom, and I understand that every person's child is different, their families are different, their lifestyles are different, and so on, I also understand that no matter what anyone says to me, if my baby is healthy and happy and progressing as should be, then whatever parenting style I'm using is working for me!!! SO, to all you non-babywise believers out there, TRUST ME, I am not uneducated, unwise, or unconcerned about my baby's welfare just because I use a parenting style you choose not  to conform to. Not all of use have to believe the same thing, and that is what makes this world so interesting, right?! Not every parent that uses Dr. Ezzo's methods are starved and malnourished, and if, in fact, they are, then the parents are the ones who are ineffective, NOT the parenting style. Just to put a few final nails in the coffin of this blog, if you don't believe that Babywise is all about flexibility, and not only Parentally-directing your child's feeding schedule, but responding to your baby's needs appropriately, you might want to actually read the book, and here are a few pages to help you out:: PP. 64-66, p.74, pp.35-36, just to name a few.  
"The parents' role is that of mediating between both the cue and the clock, the variable and constant, using parental assessment to decide when to feed based on actual need." p. 37

One final note, just to sum it all up... I would say that at least 75% of my friends have adhered in some form or fashion to the Babywise method, including a family friend who has TEN children, and probably pregnant again at this moment. While every baby is different, personality-wise, for the most part, they are all still on a schedule, very happy, and very healthy, both in weight and development.  I would also like to say that, I did not enter into this decision to use Babywise lightly. In fact, I probably read WAY TOO many books in my search for the right way to go about this motherhood thing.  I do not have a problem with ANYONE who does not agree with my life choices, but since this IS my blog, and I can be as defensive as I want to be, =), I thought I would respond!! I would probably never opt to go on to someone else's blog (much less someone I don't even know) and proceed to send them to a website that directly opposes what they just wrote about. But that's just me. And maybe it's only because it is a topic as intimate and personal and unique as parenting that it gets me all hot and bothered... I'm still a new mom, only 9 months as of today, but I ADORE motherhood, and I would NEVER choose to do something I felt was not healthy or helpful for my little girl. As I'm sure my reader would never do either. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Boot Camp Part 6... (WOW, this is old and half-finished)

Okay, I realize that there has not been a "Boot Camp parts 1-5" but I had my sixth class last night, and for those of you who want to know, I thought I would update you on what we have done lately.

Saturday was my 5th class. Jay Johnson's wife, Lin, taught this one. We did something called "Add On". We were given these huge body bars... (
And we had to start off running across the parking lot carrying the bar, which is very awkward, not to mention heavy. When we all got back, we started with one minute of pushups. Then grab our bar and run again. Come back and do squats plus bicep curls with the bar for one minute, pushups for 30 seconds, then run. Come back, do squat-jumps with the bar for one minute, squats/curls for 30 seconds, pushups for 30 seconds, then run again. IT WAS SOOOO HARD!! We kept adding on exercises until we had a string of about 10 workouts we were doing, plus running in between each! I thought I was going to collapse. And this is not even everything we did!!

Last night was the 6th class I've had. I don't know the guy's name who teaches, but he's hard-core. We started off by running BACKWARDS for half a mile!!! I mean, literally, having to keep looking over your shoulder-to-see-if-you're-going-to-run-into-anyone backwards! It was weird, but also, extremely hard, and my thighs felt like they were going to melt right into my feet when we were done.


I am so deeply saddened, frustrated, and grieved over this situation with Pastor Ted Haggard. I just can't fathom how his family must be feeling at this time. Both in the church and his actual family. I have met Haggard and I worked with his wife during a women's conference. They were two of the most gracious, kind, and sincere people I met during that entire experience, and I definitely admired them and felt both encouraged and warmed by who they were and how they treated everyone around them.

This whole tragedy has not made me question him as a man or as a Pastor. I realize that he has made some excruciatingly horrible decisions and his actions are obviously wrong. But, I still do not believe it is our place to judge him. As Christians, this is our time to forgive someone who has done something wrong. To show the world that we ARE serious about learning and becoming like Christ. Jesus has forgiven him. He forgave him when He died on the cross!! Just as He forgave us everything we have done. We are in no position to stand in judgment of Him... In no position to call him a hypocrite. We sin every day. Every day. We all lie, we all do things or say things we shouldn't, and we all know when we are choosing poorly and yet we still do it. We are human, we are sinners, and this is exactly why we need Jesus Christ!! I believe it is unfitting as Christians to condemn him, to turn our backs on him. We are family. He has confessed, he asked forgiveness, and that is what we are supposed to do. Our judgment lies with God, and God only. And I believe that Pastor Haggard is probably reeling in the shame and guilt of what he has done, and what his family is having to deal with.

I do believe that he will suffer the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. And that is the result of what happens when we sin. Plain and simple. Our job now is to pray for him... To pray for his family. To pray for his congregation and for all the lives he touched. That they will find that their strength and their salvation has never been in a man... Never fully rested on the power and abilities of the one behind the pulpit... Their salvation is in the Lord. Their strength and their truth and their power comes from Jesus!

I will say that this story has made me really get honest with myself about a lot of things. I realize what a serious responsibility it is for uas as Christians, to constantly be submitting our thoughts and our actions to the Lord. He asks for our obediance, and for us to live a life that glorifies Him. And, because of His love, His forgiveness, and His gift of eternal salvation, we should!!! I know that if people looked at me all day every day, heard my thoughts every day, they would find many things that they could judge me on. I realize that I am a sinner, that I need Christ's salvation and His truth and redemption on a daily basis. And thank GOD that I have it. And so does Ted Haggard. Thankfully, God sees us all with the same eyes. He loves us all the same, even those who don't choose to love Him. There is NO LOVE greater than this!!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Workout Music Recommendations

1. Steady As She Goes - Raconteurs
2. I've Got A Dark Alley and a Bad Idea... - Fall Out Boy
3. Apartment Song - Tom Petty
4. Ceremony - Marie Antoinette soundtrack
5. What Ever Happened? - The Strokes (Marie Antoinette soundtrack)
6. I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany (trust me... i kind of forgot it was in my ipod)
7. Friday I'm in Love - The Cure
8. Wanna Move - Diddy
9. Aphrodisiac - Bow Wow Wow
10. Filthy Gorgeous - Scissor Sisters
11. Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake (of course, the clean version)
12. California Love - TUPAC
13. Steady as She Goes - Raconteurs
14. Do Somethin' - Britney Spears =)

I FULLY recommend for November...

The Decemberists - "O Valencia" is my favorite
The Raconteurs - "Steady as She Goes"
The entire Marie Antoinette soundtrack... A-Mazing
Jays Boot Camp
Express new, black, floral print, wrap dress... SO cute and very flattering. With jeans or by itself!
Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. Although I do love anything historical, I never had much desire to know anything about her, I am loving this book. Her life was fascinating, sad, tragic, and spectacular all at the same time.
Wilco CD - "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
Dallas Mavericks!!! They're back on!
Surfjan Stevens
Warm Candy Apple candles from Express
"Babywise" book for new moms - I realize it's not for everybody, and I myself am not always 100% following the routine, but it's been at the very least, a fantastic guideline for us. Now that I'm 9 months into this motherhood thing, I can safely say that, sometimes my daughter just needs to cry. If she cries for what feels like too long, then that's a different story. But I trust my instincts enough to know that I can judge what works and what doesn't for myself and my baby girl.
Anbesol infant teething swabs... MAGNIFICENT! The only remedy that has worked for us.
"V for Vendetta" - great movie. It's nowhere in the realm of chick flick, but I just love it. I would never have given it a chance if it weren't for Niles. (But, note, I am not a fan of Natalie Portman as a rule)