Wednesday, December 30, 2009

deep thoughts, beware

28 weeks Christmas Day 2009


The more I think about this little person growing inside of me, the more I realize how easily women can loose themselves in their children and I don't want to become a part of the statistic. I thought planning to continue working would keep that other part of me alive, or depending on kind souls to watch our wee one so Andy & I could have time alone together. But the closer it becomes and the more I fall in love with this little Ant, the easier it feels to hold on to myself.

I see this time, not as being his mother but as being his life source. And because I see it this way, it informs me that in the future this time will end. It will end the moment he takes his first breath and I become his mother. Why does this distinction matter? It matters because my relationship with him during these months should not inform my future as his mother, because our relationship right now is one sided. There is no understanding from him that I am another human being, nurturing and sustaining him. His kicks are not in response to me, they are a natural reaction, a reflex.

I don't want to ever find my self worth in the role I play in his life and I want to share the moment of becoming a parent with Andy because I honestly believe the moment we become parents will happen at the exact same second.

I know I'll flesh this out more, and really this is a record for me in this journey, but as I am putting it out there, I do invite your conversation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

another physical change,
paired with an emotional one


This morning I realized that if I stopped counting up and started counting down, this baby seems like he's going to arrive in no time...27 weeks done, 13 weeks to go. I think I may keep counting up for now. That's less overwhelming.

27 weeks

Last week, we stayed extra long lying in bed one morning because Ant was moving around so much that we could see everything from the outside. It was glorious.
Since then he's resided much higher up in my belly, although he still kicks me way down low if I'm sitting or bending forward at all, and I'm able to figure out where he's at pretty easily. The only thing I wish I could do is to tell exactly what part is what when I do feel him. I still can't tell if it's a head or a butt most of the time.

Along with the obvious physical changes, I have found recently that something has changed in me. The only thing that I can point it back to is that it is, in a sense, a protection of my child.

Recently I have found myself being truthful in my relationships in a way that used to scare me. If I feel like someone is manipulating, or asserting an unhealthy control over me or the relationship, then I don't keep quiet about it. It's like I'm being more vocal and opinionated about myself or what's healthy for me.

It mostly boils down to the fact that I'm doing all I can to keep my stress to a minimum, for the health of our boy. But for other people, this means our relationship may have some moments of confrontation that you're not used to from me. It's not as though I've suddenly become less tolerant of these behaviors, I've never liked them, I've just always kept my mouth shut so as to not rock the boat. And now, I'm rocking the boat.

I'm not angry with anyone, frustrated maybe that I've allowed some things for so long. But, mostly I'm just honest about behaviors that I don't like, or ways people treat me that I don't think are healthy ways to treat someone. It's actually a very good place to be. I'm older and wiser and I feel like if there were ever a time to confront it's now, before I raise a child that follows in these unhealthy footsteps.

So, whereas I used to just let things go all the time, for days and months and years, I'm not letting things slide anymore, it's not healthy for me, it's not healthy for baby and it's not healthy for the people in my life. One thing I'm still having an uber hard time with though is disappointing people or letting people down, meaning: saying no is still really hard. I don't have an answer yet for this one, but it's an age old woman's issue, and since I'm going to be an old woman next month, it seems alright to tackle it slowly.

Starry Vaultz Waltz


You need more Science in your life. Go get the free download

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Neige $100 Gift Card GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

I want to win stuff, so I'm buying in to this reposting thing.

Neige $100 Gift Card GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

This week in life

26 weeks

I think it was two weeks ago that I was quoted as saying, 'the big has begun' and if it was under debate before, there's no way it can be now. As Autumn said, the belly's past the boobs, it's legit pregnant time.

facts for where we're at:

1. I'm averaging pretty good sleep, I only wake up at most 3 times each night to pee
2. Weight gain is steady, and I still have 8 to go till I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight
3. We still don't have any top names for Ant, for real.
4. I've had beef for dinner twice now. Crazy weird for me.
5. Since hitting the 6 month mark, it means we're right around the corner from the third trimester, wow.

Our little midget is so awesome. He has a great, steady sleep and wake cycle, and when he is awake he's a rock star, jumping around everywhere. Even though I can't wait to meet him and have him here with us, I'm super happy he isn't here quite yet. I'm cherishing this time with Andy. We've been together over 10 years now and it's always been just the two of us, adding in another person is going to take adjusting in a whole different way for us. But I have to say, I think I'm in love with two guys.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baby countdown: weeks 24 & 25

**Updated Below**

We just reached week 26, but that photo will have to come later, here are more semi-decent week to week photos from my iphone:

24 weeks


25 weeks

At 25 weeks, I'm still slowly gaining a little less than a pound a week, and I'm 9 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. If my calculations are correct, and I keep up this pace, by the time the baby comes I'll be less than 10 lbs over my pre-weight ...which will make me ecstatic. (I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish it were 5 lbs or better yet zero pounds, but I'll take what I can get, and if it's more that will be fine too, I guess.)

Along with all the wonderful verbal blessings I've received, which I think have more to do with the camera than with me, we have begun to receive practical blessings in the form of hand me downs.

So far we've been given:

- baby jogger
- co-sleeper
- an infant car seat (once little Mad grows out of it :-)
- a white crib (we only have to get the mattress!)
- moby wrap (in chocolate brown!)
- whole set of newborn cloth diapers
- cozy mint green sleeper
- 3 pairs of tiny jeans, a couple of striped onesies, and a pair of robeez

And I've been given:

- a motherhood winter jacket (from the generous Emery)
- a gift card to buy maternity pants and camies (thanks mom!)
- our ultrasound - gifts from both my mom and Andy's parents to pay for the drive to Portland and the cost of the ultrasound

I said we were blessed right?

**Updated**

After leaving the dear Marianne's house this afternoon, I walked away with one big and one huge box of little boy clothes...on loan to our Ant until he outgrows them or the Scrivner house needs them again :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Honestly...is back

My SILsin (sister-in-law/cousin) has re-emerged into the blogworld, with her first post back titled, Hello again creepy internet world on her blog Honestly. She's got a few things going for her that makes her blog an entertaining read, one of which is her honesty, the other which I'm partial to are her gorgeous daughters, and another is her updates on my cousin and his band Lakes.

I don't know what her focus will be, but check out her archives to see a bit of what you may be in for if you become a regular reader. And if she ever does have a lull in posting, the archives should keep you busy for some time.
The end.

A snapshot at the first half

Facts about this whole pregnancy thing (about mine, not in general)

1. My daily calorie intake increased dramatically when I found out I was pregnant - from 1100/1200 to 1800/1900

2. I haven't had alcohol since 2 weeks prior to getting pregnant

3. I weened myself off full caff coffee straight away, and multiple cups in a day, to a single half caff cup each morning.

4. I've been taking prenatal vitamins and fish oil for over a year now and last week added in extra magnesium, D vitamin, cod liver oil, and vitamin C

5. I've been off high-fructose corn syrup and refined anything (excluding the occasional splurge) for almost the same year

6. I drink raw milk and eat farm fresh eggs

7. Since getting pregnant I've added beef to my diet. (All our meat is hormone and additive free)

8. I stopped wearing shoes with heels and discovered two things: all my pants are way to long and everyone else is much taller than I realized.

9. I brought the nightly walk back into my life.

10. My metabolism increased to the degree that I lost almost 20 lbs, I didn't have any morning sickness that led to throwing up at all, and just 2 weeks ago (at 21 weeks) finally started gaining weight again.




23 weeks and still counting

Friday, October 23, 2009

No I'm not warm enough.



All of these beautiful women I know, and some that I don't, are posting a week's worth of Fall Fashion. They are adorable and so fun to check out.

Here's a few that I've been spying on.

Emery @ Mom's are for everyone
Mama Bird @ Three Birds.
Jilian Dee @ Jilian Dee & Dexter too!
Amanda @ Lullabies to Terrorize.
Marianne & Baby Penny @ Ancora Imparo
Indy & Summer @ a shot in the dark.
Mrs. Boo Radley @ just like camping.
sarah @ the banshee tree

Meanwhile. My clothes are stretching to fit over my growing tummy and many items in my wardrobe are becoming impractical. It was so cold last night that I went to the coat closet to get out a heavy jacket and realized that none of my winter coats are going to fit me this year. None. This whole growing belly thing is going to be a real challenge come the really cold days. Also, my leggings, that I wear all the time under everything when it's cold, finally ripped to the degree that they're no longer 'leggings'. Does anyone have ideas that will help keep my tummy warm through the winter?

And, here's a photo of the first ever booties I knit for Ant. He'll be totally warm after his exit from the belly. I emphatically apologize for the gross quality of these photos, but the iphone is the simplest, quickest way to take and post photos of random things like baby booties.



And, here's the next pair I'm working on, in a soft gray.


Annnd, I'm off to knit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday night gamble

We went to a texas hold 'em poker tournament last night. I should rephrase that and say we played in a texas hold 'em tournament last night. It was a birthday party, and we weren't going to play, we were just going to watch, but the birthday boy carried us, or floated us or something? Well, whatever it's called, he paid our $5 entrance fees.

We had a blast and didn't do too shabby either. Andy's pride was in the fact that he wasn't the first to go out at our table, he was the third. I wasn't counting, but I won a bunch of hands in a row. Nothing I was too proud of, a few hands of a couple pairs, a high card, and once a full house, that sort of thing. But I did get a few really good wins, both with a good hand and with a big pot and I even knocked out the birthday boy and won a prize for doing so. By the time I was tired and ready to go I still had a big stack of chips and had to ask what to do with them, cause I wasn't up for staying till I went out.

When real money isn't on the line, gambling is fun. Otherwise, I'm just not that into it, so last night was perfect and I kind of rocked it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take it as it comes


A friend posed a question in the comment section of my last post, "Does it depress you to travel back to before halfway again?"

When the doctor measured our Ant and he stated, "I don't think you're as far along as you think. You might be up to 5 weeks earlier."

Everything stopped.

The air was suddenly drained out of the room. The warm glow from the ultrasound's screen became a blaring headlight from an oncoming collision. The devastation I felt was paired with a crippling fear.

I couldn't process the words or make them seem rational. I didn't want to believe him, or rather, I began to believe he was a quack. But as he measured and spoke, his voice had a soothing confidence and I couldn't deny his skill and the wisdom in his words.

Once the doctor had taken all of Ant's measurements, the average placed him a day shy of 17 weeks. 17 weeks was still in my danger zone. 17 weeks could still end his life suddenly. It had happened before, it could happen again.

I quickly adjusted my thinking to a March birth and not a February birth. I had no trouble seeing his perfect heart, umbilical cord, and spine on the screen and allowing the safety of these visuals to ease my mind about his well-being. But I couldn't reconcile the number. 17 weeks.

17 weeks was not half way. 17 weeks was not a safe place. 17 weeks meant I could still loose him to an unknown assailant, just like I had lost his brother eight years ago.

When I thought I'd hit the half-way mark of 20 weeks, something in me changed. I finally allowed the little part of me that was still afraid to disappear. I knit a pair of baby booties. I bought a board book and a nursing cover. I measured the office and began making plans to turn it into the nursery. I let myself exhale...but now, again, I couldn't breath.

The joy of hearing Andy whisper in my ear, "we're having a boy" was clouded by the thoughts enveloping me from the doctor's words. It wasn't until we exited the office and began to verbally process with one another that I was able to exhale the tension building in my muscles.

As we drove, and sat in the restaurant and ate lunch, we talked. We reconciled the miscalculation and my mind was put at ease, except for the little piece of fear that held on tight. It was then I realized that I hadn't really experienced the moment when Andy whispered in my ear. I hadn't let the definitive news settle in. After all this time of wondering, hoping, trying not to hope in case the one I hoped for wasn't the one we had, imagining life with one or the other, that was all over. We are having a boy. A boy! In that moment, I realized I was grinning, a big 'ol goofy grin.

So now. In three weeks, when my tummy has swelled again, and our boy has grown to weigh his first full pound, and we officially hit the half way mark...I can rest in knowing that my fear left this baby weeks earlier than it would have if I'd known the truth early on and the environment we've created for him was healthier from the start of his life. And until then, I can continue to learn to exhale a little more each day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It all happened one day

So as you know Friday was a big day in our family. We drove up to Portland to go to our first ultrasound. It was, obviously, a glorious day. We learned a ton about our little ant.

1. Ant is a BOY

2. The boy is growing strong and perfectly, but hasn't been doing so for as long as we first thought.
Explanation: The OB said Ant is measuring at 17 weeks, not 20 weeks as we thought.

3. Our due date is now March 22, 2010

4. This will mean our boy is definitely going to be born in the year of the Tiger.

5. The OB also checked out every possible angle of the Ant and told us the following medical discoveries:
a. All four chambers of the heart are functioning, strong, and whole
b. The Ant's upper lip is fully developed = no cleft palate
c. The umbilical cord has 2 separate, with strong flowing, tubes (exactly the number it should have.)
d. The spine is developed and fused = no spinebifida
e. There are no signs of down syndrome

We are thrilled.

The next question you're going to ask is "what about names?"

We don't have one, or any that we're solid on yet. Here's where you come in. Throw 'em at me. I need boy names, and no run of the mill names, but no Ijustmadethisup names either.
Hit me with your best shot.

p.s. ultrasound pictures to come, if I ever remember to scan them while I'm at the office.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Old Wive's Tales

A big thank you to everyone who submitted old wives tales. This was a fun post to write...and now for the results.

Marianne & Skylana: Silver spoon or a ring tied to the end of a piece of hair. A pendulum swing is a boy and a circular swing is a girl (for the record...both Penny (Marianne's newest) and Sabine (Summer's newest) were boys by the spoons tell)
Me: Boy


Mercedes: "They" say that if the mother's looks deteriorate during pregnancy then the baby is a girl. If the mother's looks become increasingly stunning during pregnancy then you are having a boy.
Summer: if you glow and get more beautiful...boy (girl's apparently steal your beauty)
Me: People say pregnancy suits me, so I think that means - Boy

Rachel, Melanie, & Aunt Meg: Carry low for a boy, high for a girl.
My Mom, Aunt Meg & Marianne: if you carry straight out it's a boy and more across it's a girl
Me: For both of these I think it's too early to tell. Marianne thinks I'm carrying high right now, but I feel like I'm carrying low, or that the baby is always really low in my tummy. I think it's a draw.

McKenzie: if the husband gains weight, it's a girl
Me: Andy's stayed the same, so? Boy

Cassie & Summer: Lots of nausea and morning sickness = Girl
Me: threw up once at the beginning, then nothing - Boy

Summer: speed of the heart rate, if it is faster consistently then girl, if it's slower, a boy. She said 135-140's = boy, 170's = Girl
Me: 150's - of course, Baby Ant's right in the middle

Marianne: If the hair on your body grows in more places or faster then it's a girl, the same, it's a boy
Me: I'm Italian, there's hair everywhere...but it's growing at the same speed - Boy


Marianne: If you crave sugar, a girl, if you crave healthy food, a boy
Me: Healthy food all the way, sugar is actually un-appealing most of the time - Boy

Mercedes: if you crave citrus and salt then it's a girl.
Or if cravings are for sweets it's a girl, sour it's a boy
Me: no cravings at all, but I would way rather eat sour things than sweet things, but I think that's just me, since I've always been that way. - Draw?

Midwife Appointment Wed. 10.7.09 - After she checked me, and Baby, I asked her what she thinks we're having. She thinks - Boy

Chinese Gender Chart: Boy

I also took this old wives tales test. Results: 53% Boy, 47% Girl...So...about 50/50 still

And the Boy or Girl test, here. Results: 52% Boy, 47% Girl...which doesn't equal 100%, but is pretty much still about a 50/50 chance. At least with this test, in the results they tell you why you scored the way you did for each question answered, and this one was actually pretty fun. Except they said the opposite results were true for the spoon/ring test, so I technically scored higher on the boy side.

Then, there's this site Baby Gender Prediction Test dot com, that promises " We'll be able to determine your baby sex on the basis of your responses with the probability up to 86%"
I entered our birth dates and whether or not our siblings are equal or out numbered with boys or girls. (How does this make sense?!?)
Results - Girl

Or you could go to this site and pay $19.95 for them to tell you the gender of your baby based on three simple dates: the mother's d.o.b, the father's d.o.b. and the expected due date of the baby. Yeah...$19.95, oh, but that's the sale price, the regular price is $26.60 so obviously it's a steal at $19.95.
Results: I'm not an idiot, I didn't pay to see my results.

Based on all these unscientific tests it looks like it's a boy. And based on the poll, sitting at 18 votes, you all decided we have an equal shot of having a boy or a girl. So thanks for nothing. We'll let you know someway, somehow on Friday what science says about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First the spoon, then the...

Let's play a baby game, since so far, polling has resulted in a 50/50 or close to score after each vote.

Tell me any 'ol wives tale, or superstition you've heard over the years that help determine if the baby is a boy or a girl and I'll tell you where I land with all of them, then we'll see if it still lands 50/50

To get the ball rolling, my friend Marianne conducted the silver spoon on a hair test in the first trimester

- the spoon results said: Boy

We've got less than a week to play, so comment with your ideas and I'll post where I land before the ultrasound results.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

20... and counting

Sooo apparently I can't count, or maybe I can, I guess when the ant is born we'll see if I was right when I said 19 weeks was half way. What I realized half way through the week was, 19 weeks isn't technically half way, 20 weeks is half way. We were technically beginning our last week of the first half, not ending it last Saturday. But 20 weeks is full term, 40 weeks for all you math wiz kids out there, so if our baby comes at 38 weeks - a totally healthy time - then 19 weeks would've been half way. Phew. Pregnancy brain makes me have to think through and explain things a lot more, sorry.

Even though I'm standing the other way, here's a new 'milestone' photo of the ant belly. This time the full view.

20 weeks

Everything I've read says at this point the belly button will be flush with the belly, but as you'll see, mine belly still has a big dent in the middle. So people, 20 weeks, what do you know about baby tummy's and belly buttons?

This week for the first time someone I didn't know knew I was pregnant just by looking at me. When I relayed the story to Andy he said that he had thought the same thing this week, something to the affect of, suddenly - there's a baby belly.

In case you haven't heard, our other big news is that our first ultrasound appointment is on Friday. Not only will be know for sure how far along we are and have a solid due date from Baby's measurements, but we'll be able to see the 4 chambers of the heart, the fused, functioning spinal cord, the strong bones and the developed organs. Friday night I will have sweet dreams with the knowledge we'll gain.

Since we'll be close to 21 weeks, the OB should be able to tell if Baby is a boy or a girl, as long as Baby is playing nice and shows us. So this week is voting time. I'm creating a poll, it will also be in the sidebar of the blog here. Vote, Boy or Girl?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

baby blog

*Updated with photos

This is a milestone day. Half way there. Our baby is 19 weeks.


It seemed fitting that I woke up this morning with a lot of big goals to prepare for the little ant. One is the beginning of our baby registry. Since most of the things we're interested we've found online Amazon has actually become a helpful resource. I'm also considering creating a sidebar with links to websites/items we're interested in. Strike that, I just decided that's what I'm going to do. I wonder if FB has anything like this?

And, I'm going to start to put out the call to all my family and friends with children. I love free gifts. Items that are free for you but a gift for me are one of the best things ever. If it's safe for our baby, and we can use it and fit it in our tiny house, then I'll take it. My mom informed me that she'll be driving up to meet her grandbaby so she'll have some room in her vehicle to bring up hand me downs.

In other baby news, I'm hounding Craig's list and Freecycle for items off our wish list too, if you want to in your neck of the woods for me I would love it.

I'm not just searching for things though, I'm searching for advice and I'll most likely start up a series on here called something like 'ask a parent' or something where I'll pose a question to all my parent friends for advice on a subject and inquire with my single friends about annoying or pitfall things to watch out for as we become someone's parents.


We hope to be able to get an ultrasound appointment within the next couple of weeks...anyone local know of an inexpensive, no insurance coverage option?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

louder than words

After the 5 1/2 weeks of waiting to officially announce to the world (meaning the internet) that we're having a baby, I questioned my reasons again last night and realized that not only was I legitimately waiting to tell friends in person still, but I also had fear ebb and flow through my thoughts.

I wanted to get into my fifth month, to hear the baby's heartbeat and movement in my tummy before fully committing to telling the world. Because a part of me was afraid. Afraid that if we lost this baby like we lost our first son then I would have to make the devastating announcement to the internet...something I didn't have to do eight years ago.

I can't begin to describe the freedom I felt in staring the fear square in the eyes and hitting publish on my last blog. And when we sat in the room with our midwife this morning and heard Baby's heartbeat for the first time, there wasn't the sense of relief that would have been paired if the fear had still been there. Instead there was pure excitement and an overwhelming emotion of love. To share this moment with my husband might just be my favorite memory to date.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I thought you should know

We're pregnant.
the image above is not our stick, but
one posted by a dear friend who I wrote about
in a previous post. I stole her image cause they're
always prettier than mine.


Where to begin, I guess the day we found out.
The morning after I wrote the post about our friends being pregnant, I woke up and haphazardly decided to pee on a stick. My early morning decision was made for two reasons.
1. I had 2 tests left in the box I had bought the month prior
2. I assumed I would start my period that morning, and when I didn't I figured, what the heck, let's pee on a stick

After I replaced the cap, I set the stick on the edge of the sink, unintentionally upside down and proceeded to brush my teeth. What I recalled later (after we knew) was that 2 lines had appeared in the window before I had even laid it down.

As I brushed my teeth, I walked into the kitchen where Andy was making breakfast, and a moment of clarity hit me --TWO LINES?!?! I slowly walked back to the bathroom and turned the stick over. TWO lines stared me in the face. I couldn't think. I put one foot in front of the other and somehow ended up standing in the threshold to the kitchen, holding the stick and shaking.

Andy noticed me and said, "hey, you're shaking"
I held out the stick to him.
"you're pregnant!"

The rest of the day was a blur...all I could think was, I'm pregnant.

The next morning I took another test (cause why not? And if the first one was right, then I wouldn't be needing the last one in the box anytime soon.) And this time, the 'pregnant' line was darker than the 'it's working' line and appeared the second after I peed on it. It was just the little nudge I needed to really believe it was true.

My friend called her doctor to go in for a blood test to 'make sure' she was pregnant (she peed on two sticks also) and the doctor's office said something to the effect of, 'if the home test says positive, it's positive, you're pregnant. You can always get a false negative, but you can never get a false positive.'

Which leads me to June. In June, when all of you thought I was pregnant, me included, and my pee test came out negative, THAT was a false negative. I don't think my body had produced enough hCG for the stick to detect that I was pregnant because implantation was still happening when I took the test (which I thought was the shortest, lightest period I'd ever had).

We've either told personally, or attempted to tell all the people in our life this news one on one. But it's been about 5 1/2 weeks since we found out, and some times the stars don't align for the personal message to be communicated. At this point, just imagine you're all in our backyard at a fantastic bbq, and we just made our announcement. Now come give me a hug!

So. When we get further along, measurements will help determine a firm time frame. But for now, our midwife places us at 15 weeks today, with a due date in mid-february.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm a liar

A big 'ol bold faced liar. Well. Not intentionally, but frankly, if you read my last post and then noticed there haven't been any additional posts for over 2 weeks, then you'd assume I'm a liar.

I didn't post anything about our trip south. I apologize.
At first it was mostly because internet service was slow and even my cell service was spotty so tweets became unheard of, I practically fell off the cyperspace radar system. But frankly, I didn't mind it one bit. It took me back to the days when people left you a message on your home machine if you didn't answer, and they patiently waited for you to return their call. Or your friends found out about your trip because you all sat around the table at Taco Bell and showed them the glossy prints from Thrifty's photo center. These were simpler days, days when you enjoyed being with the people that are present in the room with you.

Since returning to the land of connectivity, I've practically slowed my net-interactions to a turtle's pace. No one needs to know everything, and they especially don't need to know it now.
Better yet, I've taken time to talk to the people that live in my town and invest in people 'on the web' with a more personal approach...less writing to the masses and more writing to one person. Thus, this blog has stayed pretty silent. But, it all still has a place in my life - as is obvious by this post - and I won't be deleting my twitter or FB accounts anytime soon. But I'm learning not to make any grandiose promises about my behavior online.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baby's birth day

Stolen from Marianne's Blog:

Penelope Grace Alene Scrivner
Born 6:21pm at home on August 20th 2009
10 pounds 14 ounces (after three poops)
22 inches long with a 15 1/2 inch head circumference
(she just couldn't let the boys out-do her in any way)

taken with my iphone an hour after birth

Marianne is an amazing woman, to say the least. After 2 c-sections she successfully delivered a healthy and big baby girl at home with the assistance of her loving husband and mother, a doula, a midwife and assistant.

I was privileged to sneak in for the last 3 hours of the birth and experience the joy with the birth of the newest Scrivner. I took many photos and I'm sure Marianne will post them just as soon as I drop them off to her. What a blessed woman I am to have been given the opportunity to share in this moment of strength with Marianne. The moment Penelope wiggled out I was overcome with tears of happiness...I still well up every time I think of that moment. Marianne is a brave, loving mother and I am honored to call her friend.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

If only I was there right now

We've been busy lately, obviously, and there are a lot of things, yes, things (that's as detailed as it's going to get) going on. We are on our way to California next week. And I can guarantee there will be tons of twitter updates, FB photo uploads and perhaps a slue of picture heavy blogs to come.

For the most part, we'll be camped out at Andy's parents house on the hill, enjoying some San Miguel heat and family fun for a week, yes, a week. I'm looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing, so if you're around, come out and visit me. Most likely I'll be in the pool, lounging with a book, taking a nap, eating something, or playing Wii with 10 little kids and their parents, along with doing 'nothing'. It's going to be a blast.

We aren't checking bags, just carrying on, so I've been planning my suitcase packing for some time now. Luckily, with my hair short, the supplies I'll need can be at a minimum, plus I'll be bringing lots of bobby pins and headbands to make it easier. Shoes are the one things that always cause a hic-up in packing light for me. I'm trying to figure out if I can sneak a pair into Andy's bag somewhere.

One nice thing about traveling with a man is that it's very likely he won't utilize his 1-quart size bag of liquids, so I can put manly looking bottles in his carry-on that are filled with girly items.



I'm very happy in the difficult yet necessary task of choosing what books to bring along for the trip as well. So far I think I'll be able to keep it at a minimum. One long form novel (thanks Heidi!), and one book of short stories from the most amazing female writer of all time. I'll pick up 2 magazines in the airport, a tradition - Nylon and People or US Weekly whichever looks more intriguing, and I'll be set with every possible reading need met.

Here's to 3 flights from Eugene to SLO with carryon baggage only, airport food for breakfast and lunch, and a purse filled with things to occupy. At least it's summertime so I'll be able to wear easy shoes to take off and put on, which coincidentally would have taken up the most room in my bag, so double score.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I thought about it so I wrote it

A friend just called, I won't say who cause it's their news not mine to share, but she called to tell me they just found out they're pregnant. She called because she's my friend, but also, she called because she knows we've been trying to get pregnant and she wanted me to hear it from her first.

For them it was a surprise. They already have children and weren't planning anymore anytime soon. I am thrilled for them, obviously, and I'm a little surprised that I'm not sad for me. Of course I would love to be pregnant with a friend, and we all know I have had many friends over the past year become pregnant and my wish has always been to share this experience with a friend, so this would have been great. But I'm happy and that's it. That's where the feelings stop. There isn't anything else there. No regret, no sadness, no frustration, no worry, no jealousy, no self pity. Just happy for them and content with me. I like this place I'm in.

(minus 10 and counting)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thoughts from others
The culture that surrounds religion

I feel like Disneyfied Christianity is all about magic words and easy solutions to life. If you say this one prayer, you'll know eternal happiness. If you keep the main thing the main thing, you'll find the answer to your problem. If a magic prayer is the only thing you need to find eternal peace, why would anyone NOT say the magic word? - Meredith

I think, like in everything, there are exceptions but if you are asking for a generalization I'd say Christian Culture in America is more of an emotionally driven self help group than a following of Biblical truth. - Summer

What I think would be interesting to know is what percentage of Christians would look at your list and say, "Oh yeah, I was so there, but I'm not anymore." Then you look at their lives and think, "Oh yes you are." - Tucker

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The culture that surrounds religion
To clarify where I'm coming from

If you're reading on FB I'd love for you to take the single click to come over to the blog to finish reading the post and especially if you're interested in commenting so we can all be on the same page as it were. Click the 'view original post' link below. You don't have to sign up for anything, you can comment as an 'anonymous' poster, but please sign your name at the bottom so we can keep the discussion clear and know who's talking to who.

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Who I am and where I came from. That's a tall order no matter who you are. But in the comment section of the last post a good point was brought up (thanks Katie). Are all these 'rumors' about big churches or the christian culture in America legit, or are they a bit heightened, or have they been fairytale-d? I know that from the outside looking in, a lot of things christians do seem strange to the non-christian. But in America we have quite the different take on what a christian looks like compared to the rest of the world (or biblical christianity or historical christianity for that matter). Those are the things I'd like to discuss.

The blogs I pointed to in the last post again, are helpful tools. But let's talk less about what everyone else has experienced and more about where I'm coming from, being the author and leading a discussion, I want to be up front about where I've been and where I'm headed. Do not think that everything in my, 'where I grew up' list is bad or wrong or even things I disagree with. I hope that will be established in future posts, as will my 'where I'm headed' list. This is simply, how I grew up and what I was immersed in. In a list, cause lists are the best. You can ask for clarification if necessary.

Where I grew up - off the top of my head
I've included examples when I felt it would help clarify.
(in no particular order, the numbers are just for keeping track or if you have questions).

1. In a christian home, prayer before meals and bedtime, bible stories, my brother and I raised to treat one another as a gift from God and the bible basics throughout our young lives.

2. attending Assembly of God, Foursquare, Calvary Chapel - evangelical, typically charismatic churches.

3. Speaking in tongues or a prayer language. The Wikipedia page defines it as:
Glossolalia or speaking in tongues is the vocalizing of fluent speech-like syllables, often as part of religious practice. Some consider these utterances to be meaningless, others consider them to be a holy language.

4. attending weekly youth group and girls bible studies, years of summer and winter camps, plus various 'youth conventions'

5. on a drama ministry team

6. prayer included - laying hands, speaking in tongues, a prayer chain, casting out demons, raising hands, emotional intercession, kneeling or laying on the ground

7. wore a bracelet with different colored beads each one represented a part of the salvation message to help with witnessing (before wwjd hit the market), and I wore a purity ring

9. at church included - everything from #6 the 'prayer list' and waving flags, emotional worship with hands raised, crying and laughing in the spirit, tent revivals, prophetic speakers

10. spent time as a missionary in Africa, Asia and Australia

11. was a Youth Leader/Camp counselor and led various youth bible studies and home groups

12. I sang on the worship team

13. listened entirely to christian music until I bought my own car at 16 and had a radio

14. didn't watch rated R movies. My first one (and only one for a long time) was Schindler's List.
I watched in when network television aired it un-cut in February of 1997. I had just turned 17 years old. (As I researched when this aired on NBC, I was seriously shocked when I typed the words, I had just turned 17, I could've sworn I was more like 14. Guess this proves my sheltered and naivety once and for all.)

15. The thief in the night movie series about the end times was influential to say the least.

16. I didn't swear, ever. Okay of course I did, but only in moments of passion, not in conversation. And still, I don't think I uttered the F word openly in public until after I turned 18, and it certainly didn't become a part of my vocabulary at all until after I got married at 20.

Side story: I was recently at a table read for a new script and I it was my job to read aloud the direction notes. I came across the line, 'it was f**king mesmerizing' and I read it aloud as, 'it was effing mesmerizing'. It got a laugh from the room. But that wasn't ten years ago, that was Tuesday, so this is me, now.

As you can see, most of my experience with this cultural christianity was as a youth (I moved away during my 21st year). But in churches today, the youth culture is what informs the eventual adult culture and often the pursuits of a church as a whole.

In this culture there is a high emphasis on looking, sounding, acting like a christian, and the minor emphasis, although it is present, is on 'getting right with god', having an 'active prayer life' and we are told to 'be authentic', but how are these things taught, what does that look like? It is often an outward expression without an inner foundation.

To sum up. For me christianity and the culture I was immersed in had a lot to do with the outward actions as proof of the inner religious piaty... Now my christianity is less about how I speak - christian-ese - or what I do - action based religiousness - and more about my inward pursuit of righteousness.

But that's just me. Any questions?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Part 2: The culture that surrounds religion
Defining Christian culture

Before I really begin I'd like to clarify what our friends said about our christianity (see previous post for context):

I'd say "more thought out"/"more rational", something like that maybe. I'm sure if I had a few drinks in me I could find something more eloquent. A. French

I'll begin this series with my definition of 'Christian culture' in America. Then I'd like to hear what people think and have some help defining this term before moving on. I hope everyone that ever reads my blog knows that I am a student at heart and hope to nudge others toward a spirit of learning with me. I look forward to an open dialog.

For a rundown that takes no effort from me, check out these two blogs (granted there is some cynicism involved in these blogs, but never the less, there are some good descriptions of how this culture is played out day to day)

Stuff Christians Like
Stuff Christian Culture Likes

A note to my readers. I am not judging the merit of the following things in your life specifically. If one of the things on the list below resonates with you and is a true expression of your belief then more power to you. I am simply stating the fads, the cultural representation of what it is to be a "christian" in America.

Christians in America have a way of defining themselves as Christians. It often doesn't have much to do with the pursuit of the existential, but more to do with proving, in an instant, they are followers of Christ, a bumper sticker, a <>< fish at the end of an email, a wwjd bracelet, a purity ring...These things are culturally important but hold no biblical significance, and yet these are the things that are supposed to define us?

The use of Christian-ese: The language christians use in conversations that identify their christianity with words leaving less need for actions
Examples: I'll be praying for you, Signing a letter In His Service or IHS or any other numerous spiritual salutations, calling the prayer chain, referring to a quiet time. It is a verbiage and a language all their own.

Dear readers, at this point I want to express how difficult this is. It's Very Difficult. The last thing I want to do with this series is come across as though I'm poking fun at these cultural behaviors. Rather I want to draw a contrast between what we as a nation think Christianity should look, sound, and act like, and what the bible actually says we should look, sound, and act like.

I want this series to be less about the action and more about the character of the inward pursuits and motivation behind these actions. Christians can be very sincere in these pursuits, and they can also be very insincere. Again, my point is not to judge any one individual, but the culture as a whole as compared to the cultural change that christianity has undergone.

I think it's time I open the concepts I've introduced for discussion. I'd also be interested to hear in a nutshell how you define American christianity. (I know I'm asking a lot, as you can see this was very difficult for me to do and I only brought up two such cultural aspects of American christianity, but we can all work on baby steps.)

So let's do this, I'm so ready for some additional insight.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Part 1: The culture that surrounds religion

Recently I've found it difficult to talk about my christianity. I feel like every time I express how it is different from the christianity I grew up with people just say, 'oh, totally, me to' without so much as another thought.

One friend - you know who you are - asked us if we would consider being her kids' godparents...this heavy question was followed with the statement (correct me if I'm wrong) that out of the chrisitian beliefs they were both brought up with, or the culture they were used to associating with christianity, ours didn't seem the same, for lack of a better description. And obviously, they liked that.

Andy's the one that has the knowledge, the schooling, the terms and the philosopher reading under his belt. Me? I study slowly, listen intently, ask questions, and sometimes I simply trust and do that thing that's so overused in the culture - have faith.

I leave this post as part 1. I am leaving to go to a home group of sorts to watch 'Lord save us from your followers' I assume these thoughts were running through my head today because of the inevitable conversations that will happen tonight after we watch this documentary...but either way I think when I do come back I'll have much more to say on the christian culture subject. So, stay tuned??

I have the need to read

I found some great books to read this summer, but I need more and a friend just put out the word on her blog for book suggestions and I figured, my readers are all smart individuals, I wonder what kind of awesome recommendations I'd get from them. There aren't any parameters, just give me a bit of a description or why you like it, etc so I have a little to go on. Trust me, I'm into a lot of different books. So.

Books for reading. Go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blatent Promotion

So it's been a little bit heavy, thick, drenched in existential realization on the blog recently and I thought it was time for a photo or two, cause everyone likes looking at pretty pictures right?

I recently became a photographer for an afternoon. Now I know all my real photographer friends may get offended by that statement, but I'm sorry, I love it. If I could, I might ask people to pay me to take their picture one day, but right now I have neither the time, nor the money to indulge in an expensive hobby. So anyways. I borrowed my friend's digital Canon slr and went to town in the basement of our favorite institution.

Here is a sneak preview of what I collaborated on with Science Heroes. To see more check out their blog, myspace, facebook, or better yet, the music section of a newspaper or magazine near you.



Bam!

A cliche' can sometimes have merit

I've done a lot of reflecting lately, as if you couldn't tell. One of the things I've learned is that the cliche' really is true: honesty (really) is the best policy.

I'm not talking about the kind of honesty that happens when someone calls you out, or when you're caught in a lie. I'm not talking about the kind that is shocking or controversial cause you 'went there'. I'm talking about the kind that hurts. The kind that refines you. The kind that can begin with a confrontation.

But another thing I've realized, not everyone likes this kind of honesty.

Just a warning to people that know me. I'm not so timid anymore. If I am wronged, if I am hurt, if we're talking about it behind a closed door when we should be talking about it in the family room, I will say so. This is loving. This is honesty.

Why walk through life with a chain of hurt around your neck? Why carry frustration like a basin on your head?

Of course being confronted by someone is difficult, and being the one to confront is difficult too. But how often can a comment someone makes or a phrase someone types online be misconstrued, misunderstood? I'd wager somewhere in the 'a lot' range.

One reason I want to be someone that is truly honest is because I want those around me to be truly honest with me. If honesty is given out of love, to heal a broken relationship, to further a friendship, to encourage another person, to refine, then although it may be difficult, it is necessary.

Honesty isn't something to shy away from. True honesty is freeing, and better yet true honesty is an amazing way to refine our character.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

To be or not to be pregnant

Let's talk about something. Pregnancy

3 Things.

1. No we're not
2. Yes we'd like it if we were
3. Yes we'd be happy if we weren't

There have been a lot of years and a lot of changes in our marriage, nine of the former, hundreds of the latter. One of them has been the issue of whether or not to have a child.

Many things ruled the decision not to have children. If you know me or have read this blog for any number of months you know the biggest reason was the loss of our first child while we were pregnant eight years ago and the pain and fear that resulted in this loss.

That decision was then coupled with the fact that Andy was in school and our best friends were also married without children. (Two couple without children makes for many spontaneous moments).

Well. During the past three years all of these things have changed. The grieving and feelings of loss had turned to peace and the pain and fear was gone. Andy had graduated and we bought our first house and our best friend's marriage ended in a divorce.

Yes, everything had changed.

During this same time I felt a desire to be a mother. I knew I wouldn't be the same mother I would've been eight years ago, and it made me that much happier with the idea. I was happy in my marriage and loved my husband more than I ever had and I was happy thinking of loving him as he was a father to our child. Basically, nature was calling my name, and the name I heard was, mother.

I don't like people that do things half-ass, so obviously I don't want to do anything half-ass either. So, I dove in to research of natural family planning and fertility awareness, and I educated myself. I stopped taking the occasional drag off a cigarette, I decreased my consumption of caffeine and alcohol, I cared about what I was eating and took my vitamins....and I became obsessed with making a baby.

My frustration set in as that ONE day out of the month came and went. The egg dropped. The sperm swam and then 12 days later, the period began. Perfectly on time, like clockwork. Like no effort had been made at all. Month after month, after month. The sad part in all this was instead of my pursuit being love toward my husband, it was to make a baby, (like I said, I was obsessed after all).

When I realized that, something changed again. Me. My heart. My desires.

You see, for me it isn't about fulfilling some biblical commandment, it isn't about finding my self-worth in being a mother or raising an amazing person that will grow up to change the world.

If I have a child, I don't want their first 18 years of life to be lived under some umbrella of my purpose in life, or my desire to fulfill some missing piece of me. If I have a child it will be because someone wiser than me thinks it's what's best, just as he thought it was best that he take our first son before he took his first breath.

It's about trust. Trust in a creator that knows best. And knowing that whichever way it turns out I'll be happy and fulfilled - either way. For real.

p.s. Don't worry, if it happens I'll let you know.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just see the tags before you decide to read it

*Beware it's a blog with adult content*

I just got done with a shower after a hard afternoon working in the yard. It's so beautiful now, I'm ready to have 50 people come over for a bbq. No, we're not having a bbq. I'm too dang tired.

In the shower, as is the place this always happens, I thought what I would say to my kid, if I had a kid, about sex.

Now let me preface by stating two things.

No, I am not pregnant. Yes, I wish I were.

That second one might be a shock to some of you but I think for the sake of this blog you should just forget I even said that.

So sex. I was a teenager once and so were you, and frankly so were all parents, right? And when we were teenagers we had friends and sometimes even friends of the opposite sex, so we all know what teenagers are like, right? So why is it so hard for parents to understand that telling your kid to, "just say no" isn't enough? Why is telling a teenager to use a condom so wrong?

Let's lay it all out on the table shall we?

When I was a teenager there was no way I was letting my boyfriend get near my who-ha. No way under the blue sky. If you had told me to make him wear a condom I would have listened, packed it away into the information-I-don't-need-right-now-box and saved it for the day when my girl friend told me she was thinking about having sex with her boyfriend.

But that was me. I didn't watch rated R movies, I didn't use the F word, I didn't kiss a boy who wasn't already my boyfriend. I wasn't better than anyone, that was just who I was and I liked me.

But when I got engaged, oh man. When I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams and that he was going to love me forever....well let's just say this 'good girl' had a really difficult f-ing time keeping the gift tied up till the wedding night, a really, really difficult time.

So of course I can imagine what it's like for two young teenagers that swear they're in love and going to stay together forever, or maybe they don't care about keeping their gift packaged up for 'the one'. If they haven't been educated with anything else except for DON'T, well they have sex, without a condom. And sometimes, sometimes they make a baby.

So if I have a daughter she's going to be educated about her cycle and when it's possible for her to get pregnant. And if I have a son, he's going to be educated on a girl's cycle too. But mostly what I'm going to tell him is, even though God gave the woman the gift to carry the child, God gave him the more difficult gift of being able to make a baby any second any day of the week, so wrap it up. Cause if you can make a baby ANYTIME regardless of the day of the month, than honey it's ultimately your responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen.

So now how many of you think I should be a mom, huh?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

NoiseTrade Widget

A blog about a video game

So last night after work the moment Andy picked me up we started our date night. He was up for anything so I suggested shopping. It's been ages since we've gone shopping for things on the list, you know the list, the one that isn't things you need, like toilet paper, they are things you want, like a new nike plus sensor.

After I bought a new nike + sensor, we went to Target to get something off the need list, a new french press (yes I need coffee every morning) and we walked out with something off the want list. EA Sports Active for the Wii
I heard about this from someone I work with, not someone from my work, cause I would have just said McKenzie or Jayson, so an associate I guess? Anyways, I thought it would be fun. We haven't splurged on the Wii board yet, maybe after the new one comes out we will. But I thought this would be a nice ease into it sort of thing...

We got home and as the man made dinner, I worked out. With a video game. It was insane. After like 5 minutes I figured out I wasn't dressed appropriately. I didn't bother to put on a sports bra, cause, um, I figured it's not going to be that crazy. Yeah, I was wrong. It was that crazy.

I loved it. Seriously loved it. And today I'm sore, sore from working out with a video game. I seriously can't get over the crazy of that sentence. Beyond that I'll leave you with a number that in the coming weeks and months will only grow bigger. 7

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's getting real people

It's been one of those weeks. The kind that is full of crazy experiences and emotional moments. In the end, it's good. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

We had an old friend visit all week and in the end it was of course a good thing, but a bit of an emoting drain. More than one dear friend graduated last night from Gutenberg and the emotion last night ran deep with pride and admiration. I finished two major projects this week in the edit room and I couldn't be more exhausted and happy it's Saturday. Like I said, it's been quite the week of emotion.

Thanks to my faithful friends, all those reading and all those that never will. I am a blessed woman, I admit it everyday.

God has been so faithful - and I hate to sound pithy and bland, but you don't know how deep this emotion runs in me and how it means so much more than stark words on a page. I can't express the feelings I have; knowing I don't deserve such grace and faithfulness from One I am never quite faithful enough to, but I am in this moment at peace with that and in a state of acceptance for the grace I've been given.

We're all just surviving, my hope is to learn to do it better and with more grace and love.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

All in a Matter of Hours

Saturday proved to be a full day that happened all around town. Which I love and haven't had in a while. It began with a trip to the Coffee House, right around the corner, which I hate going to on the weekend cause our weekday people aren't there and the service kind of sucks cause it's super busy but they have two of their least experienced people working. I'll never understand this phenomenon. I mean, obviously in basic principle I understand it, the best people pick the best schedules. I mean I'll never understand how an owner or operator can let this happen time and time again.

Then we landed over at our old apartment complex to move the last of our people outta there. Erik and Sara, the remaining Mr and Mrs Johnston. They moved out of Rivertown and into the loft at the Guet, as they have taken on the house manager positions along with another couple. It's a great space with some really good light, it just needs a few personal touches, which I am positive Sara will perform brilliantly. The amount of people that came out to help is proof already what a great fit they are for the job.

Science played a show at a new venue called "The Treehouse Venue". My favorite highlight from the night was when my husband typed a girl's number into his phone with his left hand in view so she would finally notice his wedding ring and leave him alone, it was so precious when he told me about it.

Then there's the venue. The venue was...interesting. The guy in charge, when asked if there were any rules, replied, "well a church is letting us use the space, so no F bombs"

But here's the funny part-ish, it wasn't just in a church, it was a church. Before the show a few things happened that force me to believe the latter. The guy in charged told the second in command to call more "youth leaders" because he thought the current turnout already warranted them to "need more adults". As far as I could tell, most of the people in the venue at the time were adults, but whatever, call in the Youth Leaders!

Then as Andy headed out from back stage, he accidentally walked in on a prayer circle. If this weren't evidence enough, perhaps the stacks of Relevant magazines or the Truth t-shirts tipped the scale for me. Or maybe it was the feeling I had being in the place. It was a church, a church with big money, as was proof by the decor, 3 flat screens hovering the stage, sound system, and leather couches.

Now don't read into this and think I hate churches (okay, I dislike churches for many of the reasons why this place rubbed me wrong). The thing I had such an issue with was the secrecy of it all. Why did they hide the fact that they were a Christian venue? Friends of ours looked up the venue online and said nothing gave the impression that they were anything other than a new club that was way out of the way. Why not state it to the band before the show when they clearly had been set up with an out? I don't understand the motivation. Or the point of it. It confuses me still.

I didn't stick around for the rest of the show. I knew one of the bands performing was a Christian band and I didn't think I was ready for what possibly could have happened during the performance. read: alter call

So I left and went over to a friends house for a belated dinner and a few choice laughs.

Even still, I'm puzzled.

Oh I almost forgot, at the friend's house a couple of guys were discussing potential band names, so I posted a tweet inquiring on some suggestions. Here's the responses:

The Windy Bloomers, Naked Plow, Audio Salve, Frisk the Spaniard, Radiohair, The Beepos,
chopstick lobotomy, Funk schwei, Helldorado, The Band.

All good for a laugh. Thanks peeps.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's Friday, right?

It's been a long week, but I feel like I only half accomplished a bunch of things. Plus, I don't have my laptop right now so I'm writing this from my phone. Which is weird.

I guess I just wanted to try it out, and now that I downloaded a trial app and I'm using it, I can't remember what I wanted to post an hour ago.

What are everyones weekend plans?
We are planning a date night tonight, which will include sushi- locals I need suggestions, I don't think we've eaten local sushi that wasn't from PC yet.
Tomorrow we're helping friends move and then Science might have a show (?)
The Sunday I'm excited to go to church for Jac's continuation on Romans, it's getting really good and by good I mean controvercial and even better, it's making me think and evaluate what I think I believe. I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A no good, horrible, very bad...

I'm in a bad mood. I can't put my finger exactly on why or what, but needless to say it has nothing to do with my husband, or the state of my life, it's just...something has put me in a....wait, I think I know. It's time.
Time has put me in a bad mood. I feel like it is always scheduled, I am always busy, there just isn't time in the day to get everything done. Not at work, not at home, not in the taking care of myself department. There's never time.

I don't need a problem solved, or really even advice, sometimes it's just nice to admit it so you can move on. I think that's what I'm doing.

I even think I feel a little bit better now, thanks.

Monday, May 25, 2009

She's down, no she's up.

No, no, wait, she's down.

If you've been following my twitter you'll know everything that's been going on with me lately and I don't think I'll have to give a play by play of my life. That's the great thing about tweets. It's a short, sweet way of talking about the day to day, without having to get out the laptop, listen to the fan kick on, and type word after word of the story.

What the blog is good for is the awesome details of stories that just have to be told and don't fit into 140 characters. Like this one.

We went on a walk. It was friday and it was gorgeous out and he suggested a walk. What he should have said was a hike. I didn't wear shoes for a hike, Nike running shoes, I wore shoes for a walk, converse. Converse and sweaty feet and hills and me apparently do not go hand in hand. I braved it out, got home a couple of hours later and applied two band aids, one to each little toe.

Flash forward.

It's saturday night. We have checked into our hotel, a lovely Hilton on SW 6th in Ptown, and we're headed out for sushi and sake before the concert. Obviously, I get out the iphone and find the perfect sushi location just 2 blocks from the lobby, then I figure out how to take public transportation from there over to the Roseland theater. I proceed to slip on my black wedges and head out the door.

Then the following events lead to two scraped knees, a concrete burned left forearm and elbow, and a sore ankle and neck.

1. The restaurant was closed. Not closed as in for the evening either, closed until further notice. Apparently the owners were not that happy with the state of the downtown area and the never ending construction and couldn't stay open while the city "figured it out". Sad, mostly cause I'd always meant to go, but hadn't been able to yet.

2. 5 1/2 blocks later we landed at another sushi joint. I was thoroughly happy.

3. Sake...x2 (no I wasn't drunk, I'm just saying it could have been a factor)

4. Four city blocks later we landed at a crosswalk. It was Burnside. (Yes, it happened on Burnside.) When we reached the curb the countdown had already begun, but we had just barley escaped one crazy lady who was kicking at cars and a few others were perched on the corner, eager for us to have to wait for the light, so we bolted.

We bolted across the street, and my wedges mixed with steps 1-4 and a big pothole in the middle of the sidewalk landed me in a very unattractive sudo-somersault in the middle of the street.

I fell-ish and almost recovered like five or six times before I landed. Luckily my dress, jacket, or face weren't cut open and I could walk away from the scene never to see the people that witnessed it ever again...that is except for my husband, my caring, helpful, loving husband who did nothing but pick me up and hold my arm as I limped to the other side of the street.

One last thing, there were no tears. I'm brave like that. Just ask my husband, the first thing I did was check to make sure I didn't ruin anything I was wearing, as long as I wasn't bleeding through, I figured I was good. And no, I will not wear more sensible shoes, it had nothing to do with the shoes I was wearing, and they are adorable.
Plus I couldn't wear running shoes, I just couldn't

The opposite of hard times

We just started our tenth year of marriage. So we haven't been married ten years, we've been married nine and the tenth has just begun. I'm not stating that for your purpose, I'm stating it for mine, to make sure I've got it right, and to help the feeling settle in. By this time next year we'll have been married ten years. I'll have known Andy more than half my life.

We've done a lot together.

grown up
experienced loss
broken up
got married
moved out of state
lived next to our best friends for over 5 years
watched our best friends get divorced
traveled to California every way possible, besides covered wagon
bought a house

So you get it. The list goes on and on. One major thing we haven't done together is raise a child. I don't know if it will happen. I don't know what God has in store for our future. I feel like I've finally become at peace with either/or. I used to almost dread the thought of being pregnant, I didn't think we were ready, I knew I wasn't ready. Then for a season I wanted it more than anything, but the time wasn't right. Then when I thought the time was right, it didn't happen for months and months and I was upset, frustrated, worried.

But I think it's better this way. I'm not afraid, I'm not worried, I'm not obsessed with the idea, or consumed with the thoughts. I'm good. I'm good with us, with where are life is and who we are as a couple. If we become parents I'll be happy, if we don't I'll be happy. I think it's a good place to be. Just be.


On our way to the TV on the Radio show
Honeymoon weekend 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not a confession

I think I follow blogs for two reasons. The first is for a kind of entertainment. I love to read and blogs are an instant way to read something new, I only wish sometimes that they were printed in big books with soft covers so I could sit outside and lay in the lawn and read them by turning the page. The other reason I follow blogs is less for reading and more looking, as in photographs. I am inspired and amazed at the many gifted photographers whose blogs I follow. One thing missing from blogs is the rest of the artists, the painters, the musicians, the craftsman of all sorts. For these I love to pursue etsy, hang out in thrift stores, and second hand shops, but they're always closed on Sundays and that's the only time I have to go to them.

So most of the time I find myself creating something rather than admiring someone else's creation. But I have become lax at showing these things because I have become lax at taking the photographs. This is in no way a confession, or a promise to change my ways. It's just a fact I'm sharing.

I write a blog for many reasons, reasons I haven't tapped into for a while and I think that's alright. Life is less about talking about it and more about doing it, so I guess that's what I've been doing.

Take a moment to peruse the posts from today. I have a feeling I'll be writing a bunch and spreading them out over the week. I feel like I have much to say.

And because all posts are better with pictures, here's one of us from the Tom Waits Tribute night, just before Andy took the stage.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A stolen post and a standing ovation.

I fancy myself a writer, but no one would ever consider giving me a job as one cause my schooling wouldn't allow for it, and my grammer must be atrocious. But I love it. And sometimes when I read something someone else wrote that I love I want to talk about it. Typically it is a book, or sometimes an article, but this time it is a blog. Reading it made me want to gather together my writer friends and publish a compilation of all our stories. Eventually we would publish one every year, and the stories would get better and better and it wouldn't be for fame or money, but to share the talent I am surrounded by.

So today I read a post by a friend and I want to share it. It isn't long. It won't take you forever. It's an amazing display of storytelling and in the end it's for a good cause. You can find the author's blog here.

His story in its entirety:

The People I See Around
I'm an impulse person and an impulse buyer. No, I've begun poorly. I can't start with me; this story is not about me.

Chad greeted me when the doors slid open, but I couldn't understood what he said, so I asked him to repeat himself. Well, what I really said was "Whuh?" The graveyard shift must be an endless mind-melt of half-formed conversations. I know I'd tire of it. I'm sure he already has. It's 12:07 in the morning, do you know where your diction is?

His name was Chad, but I only sidelong-learned it at 12:23 after our conversation at the checkout stand went off-script. Protected both by an ego-barrier of self-satisfaction at a celebratory day and an eagerness to be a clever little "personality," a bright spot in a dull night, I asked him if he judged the people who wouldn't cough up a buck for the Breast Cancer Society. I'd already refused, swiped and punched in my secret code. My vitamins, band-aids and greedily grabbed gum are bagged and waiting.

He replied that he didn't judge, but was disappointed. His mom was re-diagnosed two weeks ago.

Man, I feel like a jerk.

It's a deadly flaw in his family genetics, he tells me, but he doesn't say it like that. The word "pancreatic" was never on any vocabulary list at his school, so he curls his fingers as if around a giant tube of disease and draws in across his abdomen. "She had it here, but now it's up here" and his hand at his chest, over his heart. A false salute to an iffy future.

Man, I feel like a jerk.


The annual Race for the Cure is tomorrow - no, today. I know this because a friend was both earnestly and ironically wearing a pink bandana around all day. So I ask him if he's going, telling him I'll be downtown for it. That's a lie. I had no intention of going before I spoke those words, and probably can't fit it in to my hectic, fantastic "I love what I do" schedule. He, at least, is honest. He'll be sleeping because another all night shift begins at 8.

I should have left already, been out the doors and back home to spend another hour clicking through my Tivo playlist while pretending to write. But I'm in deep now as he pulls back his sleeve, revealing in the florescent overhead light a yellowed bump with a rosacead center. It's big, not enormous, but of a size that you know should have been checked out. A soddened tea bag squeezed of its last herb-juice.

"We all get them," he says. "And around thirty they turn to cancer. But I'd rather not know." If you have tough life, it's gonna show, so I'm struggling to pin down his age. His teeth, his face, the slump in his shoulders all say that he's hit that mark, or will soon. So again-

Man, I feel like a jerk.

I want to feel like a samaritan.

"Chad," I begin. I know his name now and I've committed to eye-contact. "You need to have that looked at. It's always better to have the facts so you can make a decision." Keystroke italicized - always.facts.decision. It's my presentational voice, my jedi-mind-tricks inflection. I don't think it's going to work, and I need it to work. Chad needs it to work. But this isn't a galaxy far, far away, so of course it doesn't, and he's already exited the conversation.

"When they find the cure..." he says, handing me my purchases and back in the proper posturing of employee-to-patron relations. "The cure for cancer, I'll get it checked."

That's a lie. We're both liars and one of us might die from it. And it's 2:33 now and I haven't showered and I didn't go back, dig down and give him the dollar or point him toward a free clinic. I left. I'm home. He's still working. And I'm reduced to melodramatic melancholy.

Tomorrow's another big day in my busy, busy, busy life. I'm doing things I believe are important, but now seem much less urgent than they did at two and a half hours ago.

NEXT PARAGRAPH HAS BEEN DELETED. THIS IS INCOMPLETE, BUT TO WRITE MORE SIMPLY FEEDS MY VANITY.

Here's the important part - If you were intrigued or bothered or whatever, click here to donate online to the American Cancer Society in whatever capacity you wish. I gave a few bucks, which I should have done earlier. I hope you can too.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

For people just "reconnecting" with me via Facebook

Here are the answers to all the questions you're going to ask me. You're welcome...now all you have to do is go check out my photos and we'll be all set for another 5 to 10 years.

1. Yes
2. No
3. Yes
4. Good
5. No
6. Everything

And for those of you who need it, the questions

1. Do you like Oregon
2. Do you guys have kids
3. Do you like your job
4. How's Andy
5. Are you planning on moving back to California
6. What's new

*thanks Sarah, this was a brilliant idea.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Being mean to people you like.

Sarah tagged me for a cruel, cruel meme.

Take a picture of yourself RIGHT NOW...no cheating, no makeup, no hair fixin, no extra primping....just as you are.

I saw the same meme posted on Marianne's blog a bit ago and she didn't tag anyone, she just said, do it if you want, or something like that. And I was all, ha, I'm off the hook. Then Sarah got me. Dang.

Here ya go.



Don't I look thrilled?

Now for the best part. I tag

Jen
Maricel
Lisa
Flo

Monday, April 20, 2009

The two things that made Sunday memorable
part 2

The second was a tragedy and causes me much sadness.

It went like this. Sunday was the day Andy first saw me since Friday morning. When we were alone in a building together he said he had to tell me something, and then followed it with, "oh god, I don't know how to tell you this. Come and sit down."

I didn't want to sit down. I knew it was something bad. I told him to tell me. He lead me to a couch and sat down on the coffee table across from me. I saw it in his eyes.

It's KiKi?
Yes.
No, oh no. She's hurt?
Yes, and...
No. She's not...
I'm so sorry baby, she's gone.

I miss her. It hurts.

A man found her across the street. He knocked on doors in the neighborhood until he knocked on our door. Andy said she looked like she was sleeping, she was still a little bit warm as he carried her back home. That night they buried her in the back yard.

I keep waiting for her to come home. To scratch at the back door. To jump on the bed with me. To purr by my head. To curl up between us. To come home.

She was my baby. She was my friend. She was my Kitty Pryde. My KiKi. My Chooch.
I miss her.

The two things that made Sunday memorable
part 1

The first was the heroics.

It went like this. Four friends met up in Portland. Two were already there, working. Two arrived earlier in the day and had plans to play a show later the same night. One of the friends from each of these groups were a husband and wife.

The four friends spent the afternoon laying on the grass by the waterfront, soaking in the glorious sun rays. This being one of the first weekends of the year when the sun shone and warmed there arms, it wasn't just the four friends by the water front...the city was strewn with people...one of those people decided to spend the afternoon at the same waterfront, just feet away from the four friends, and get real high.

After the guy got real high and yelled and jumped and paced around the grass for a good twenty minutes, he kicked off his shoes, leaving his socks in place, pulled off his shirt and walked toward the street. When the guy reached the curb his pace didn't wain. It didn't stutter. The guy walked into the middle of the street. The street, Naito Parkway was empty at the time. The light was red to oncoming traffic. But as the guy sat down, legs stretched toward the east, the light changed to green. As the drivers released their feet from their brakes, the guy laid down.

The four friends had been watching the guy for some time and when he headed toward the street they all watched with growing intensity, when he sat down, they timidly moved toward him. And when the guy laid down, one of them, the husband sprinted toward the curb and landed in the street, standing guard over the guy and directing traffic away from his head. Now what you can't know but what makes the story even more frightening is where the guy laid down. Besides being in the middle of the street, his legs were in a left turn lane, which put his torso and head in the left most lane of traffic. What caused the fright was that the concrete divider that separated the north traffic from the south traffic hindered the sight of the southbound drivers from seeing the guy's body until they were almost upon it. Thus the husband standing in the middle of the street was confusing to some drivers and caused them to glare or question his position. That is, until their view wasn't obstructed and they saw the half naked man with socks sprawled out spread eagle on the ground.

The wife and the friend who was in town for work both called the Police and in record time three cruisers were on the scene. The officers swiftly donned latex gloves, hoisted the guy to his feet, searched his pockets, collected his things strewn about the grass, and kindly removed him from the scene.

The Hero went on that night to sit and enjoy Stumptown coffee with the wife and friend in town to play a show, then perform an off the rack show at Dixie Tavern. The Hero, the Scientist and the wife saw old friends and happily raised a glass to the adventures of the day.