Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Well, Nathan is back and has almost fully recovered from his bout with food poisoning (airline food, gotta love it). I don't know if he was planning on writing a post or not and since he's at school while I'm writing this, I can't ask him. But I thought I'd share a few of my favorite pictures from his trip, and then when he gets home, I'll tell him to post his adventures.

Peruvian woman in traditional dress.
He had to pay the woman to let him take the picture:)

He didn't have to pay this lady;), but he said he thought about buying me one of these blankets, but knew I wouldn't use it. He said all the women there carry their babies this way.

I can't remember what Nathan said this is a picture of, but I think it is gorgeous.

Nathan by the stone of 12 corners. He doesn't remember why the stone with its 12 corners is significant, but he remembers it was important for some reason. I think it's cool because each of these stones fit perfectly together. To make a stone with 12 corners fit and all the surrounding stones fit is just amazing to me.

You might have noticed that I haven't posted many pictures of Nathan. That's because he took a lot of pictures of the other student that went with him and the other student took pictures of him, but they both did this picture taking with their own cameras, so we have some exchanging to do before I have any pictures of Nathan.

Like I said, I'll try to get Nathan to write a post about his trip when he gets home from school.

Book Review--Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon

Band of Sisters Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. This book is one of the best I've read this year. It's definitely my favorite by Annette Lyon.

Here's the book blurb.

When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring. Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression. Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her crumbling marriage. Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter. And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home—and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.

Knowing the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives every week to share lunches and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort.

But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust. And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters.

Lyon does a fantastic job creating five distinct and real women, and I was able to identify with each in some way. Her writing is compelling, and the way she sets up the chapters had me not wanting to stop, with each chapter focusing on a different woman. There were a couple times I felt like she head jumped, but it was never so big of a jump that I got confused or was bothered by it.

Read it expecting to laugh, to see yourself (even if your husband isn't in the Army), and with a box of tissues. Last night Nathan asked me both, "What's so funny?" and if something was wrong because I was crying so hard. He thought there might be something more than just a sad part in the book, but nope.

While I'm not positive, the book's dedication leads me to believe that there is some truth to the novel. Lyon dedicated it to five women and their husbands who served in the military, so while I know it's fiction, I can't help wondering if there's some truth to the story.

One really cool thing I learned on Lyon's website is she is willing to participate in your book club via telephone or in person if you choose to use the book. I thought that was pretty awesome.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Fun

This Saturday (and it's barely noon) has been so different from last Saturday. Last week I had a really hard time with Jeremy with soccer practice and swim lessons. He didn't want to participate in anything, he was hardheaded about everything that day, and dealing with the kids on little sleep and without Nathan drove me into 1.5 Quarts of Rocky Road ice cream. It was delicious, but I'd rather have had less stress and used a bowl instead of the carton.

Today, I had to prod Jeremy a few times, but for the most part he did it all on his own at both soccer and swim. He got out on the field and ran, kicking the ball toward the goal (the correct one this time), laughed and had lots of fun. At swim lessons he was the first kid waiting at the side of the pool for the life guards to join them, he did all the water games and was even "Mr. Fox" in What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?. I am ecstatic!

Megan did a great job today, too. She worked hard to steal the ball at soccer (and succeeded a little) and worked hard to relax at swim lessons when they had her on her back.

In fact, things have been just great (with the small exception of me being called upstairs just now to clean up a huge mess Emma made in the bathroom which involves both the plunger and the toilet scrubber wand).

Nathan, if tomorrow goes this well, you just might come home from Peru to a wife who isn't as stressed out as you are expecting her to be. Let's hope the rest of today and tomorrow go smooth.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Small Unexpected Graces

It's late. Emma thankfully fell asleep rather easily. She kept yawning through her bedtime stories, so I was fairly confident that it wouldn't be a repeat of Saturday night. However, about half an hour ago I heard her get out of bed and pitter-patter her way to the door of her room. Initially I was annoyed.

I raced up the stairs in an attempt to keep her from coming downstairs and then never going back to sleep and got to her door before she could open it herself. Picked her up and holding her, walked to the rocking chair. She was making little noises that told me she was scared.

I don't know what it is about it, but for some reason, rocking a child who's scared and helping them fall back to sleep is soothing for me. I love gently moving Emma's curls out of her face, caressing her sweet, kissable cheeks, and whispering to her how much I love her.

She fell back to sleep quickly and didn't stir when I put her back in bed.

Thank you for this one grace tonight.

Yesterday was completely different. I won't go into detail because I want to keep feeling good from the experience tonight, but I will say it took forever to get Emma to go to sleep last night and after repeated visits to her room she asked me to sing her to sleep. When I asked her what song she wanted, she said the Bum-Bum song. I had no idea what song she meant and asked her what the Bum-Bum song was. She promptly began to sing the main theme from Star Wars. Saturday night, Emma fell asleep to me singing, bum bum, bum-bum-bum-buuuuuum, bum, bum-bum-bum-buuuuuum, bum, bum-bum-bum-buuuuuum! Cute. So even though the night had been horrible, at least it ended on a pretty funny note.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ice Cream Day

I'm eating ice cream right out of the carton. It's practically a brand new carton of Rocky Road and I've hit it pretty hard.

It's just been that kind of day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Review--Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a child this was my very favorite story. I would beg my mom and dad to read it to me every night. After having Megan, I would tell her the story of the twelve dancing princesses as I rocked her to sleep, hoping it would become a favorite of hers, too.

When I found out that Jessica Day George had reworked my favorite childhood story I got very excited and knew I had to read it. I ended up waiting much longer than I wanted, unfortunately, but I finally bought a copy while I was at the Storymakers Writing Conference.

I couldn't put this book down. She has done a phenomenal job with this story. It is seamless, engaging, magical. Despite being in a frantic rush to get my house in order before my parents arrive in a few days, I had to take time to finish it before tackling the mopping or dishes.

The story is no longer simply about princesses who like to dance and defy their father. Here's the book blurb.

Returning home from the war, young Galen finds work with his mother’s family in the royal gardens. There he learns that the king’s twelve daughters have a secret: every night they dance their shoes to tatters, but no one knows how or why. When prince after prince tries and fails to find the answer, and the family is haunted by accusations of witchcraft, Galen decides to help. Armed with a pair of silver knitting needles and an invisibility cloak given to him by a strange old woman, he follows the princesses and unlocks the secret of their curse.

And then here is another really cool thing about this book. At the end of the book after the story is over, she includes knitting patterns of items from the story that are key to the plot. I believe there are also more patterns on her website www.jessicadaygeorge.com.

If you like Jessica's other books or if you like Shannon Hale, you'll love this book!

View all my reviews >>

Monday, June 14, 2010

The New Do's

Megan did us the favor of getting Jeremy ready for his summer haircut. She just grabbed Jeremy's scissors and went at it. But I guess she got tired quickly because she only worked on one little spot.

(Jeremy returned the favor by helping cut Nathan's hair.)

I finished it for her. You can kind of see where her masterful hand touched him, but you have to look close.

Megan also got a cute haircut this weekend (thankfully not by her own hands). A friend from Church offered to babysit so we could get some work done around the house (that blog post is coming soon, I hope) and since she cuts hair, I asked her to take the scissors to Megan's hair. She's been begging for a haircut and I figured this would be the perfect time. Since I didn't really know what I wanted I told my friend, "Just do what you'd do if she was your daughter."

I think it turned out dang cute! It's a little messy here, but she'd been playing hard.

Also this weekend, before haircuts took place, the kids had their second weekend of soccer. Last Saturday Nathan had to threaten Jeremy with taking his soccer ball back to the store. He also had to stay on the field the whole time with him.

This Saturday was completely different. He was out there before Megan and was calling her to come play. He ran hard, he kicked hard, he played hard. I was so proud of him! Jeremy is a lot like me and has a hard time going out of his comfort zone. I remember going to the first day of basketball practice and being so nervous that I wouldn't even walk onto the court or look at my coach. And the really sad thing was, I knew my coach--he'd been my softball coach, so I should have been comfortable just going out there for him. But I wasn't. I was too afraid to fail and I think Jeremy is very much the same way. The fear of doing something wrong keeps him from doing things he wants to do sometimes.

To see him run out there on that field and play like the other kids meant a lot to me. I think this will be a huge step to him having a better school year when it starts up again.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And the Baby is a . . . . .

I wanted to have the ultrasound pictures to put up here, but I can't find our scanner. Kind of odd that a kind of largish machine would just go missing like that, but it has. So sorry, no pictures.

The ultrasound we had before going out to Utah was correct. I had the official ultrasound last Monday and it was once again very obvious.


Jeremy is of course very excited. He was really hoping for a boy, as were Nathan and I. Megan is a little disappointed, but she'll get over it quick enough. Emma still doesn't really understand what's going on. She just pats my chest and says, "fat?" and then pats my belly and says, "baby?" and that's about how far we've gotten with her.

We are really super excited for this baby and what's more, everything is looking great. At first our doctor had me coming in every two weeks so he could keep a close eye on me (just to be safe after the miscarriage last summer). Since there was no problem with the big ultrasound and I'm feeling really well he's slacking off on me and I only have to check in once a month for a while.

He also said, which I've never heard before, that I'm right on target with my weight gain. With Megan, Jeremy (especially Jeremy), and Emma I gained so much weight. I was way over where I should have been with baby weight and so when he told me I'd gained a pound a week in the last five weeks and that was exactly what I should have done, I was pretty happy.

So things are looking good right now. I'll keep looking for our scanner so I can eventually put the ultrasound pictures up. Although, Nathan says I can't put the gender reveal picture because it's just a little too much. I guess if it wasn't so obvious he wouldn't mind, but as it is, if you want to see it, you have to come to Cleveland. Sorry.


Update: Nathan found the scanner!! Wahoo! but because it's so late I'm not setting it up right now. I'll try to do it sometime tomorrow. Night y'all.