Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Wednesday, December 31

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

I've never subscribed to the idea that "diamonds are a girl's best friend." I don't do diamonds. Not even my engagement ring has a diamond. The only diamond I own I inherited from my mother. I'm just not that into jewelry, and I've never had a desire to spend huge amounts of money on a rock...especially when I can get a really decent looking fake for a whole lot less. There are other things I'd rather spend my money on (when I have any to spend). High quality and earth friendly/healthy cosmetics being one such thing.

I love Bare Minerals makeup. I mean, I REALLY love it. It's my favorite of all cosmetics brands. Adam got me some as a present before we got married so I could wear it for our wedding. I've been carefully rationing it since then because, well, it's the kind of makeup I'd have to save up for for a while before being able to purchase more. The stuff is miraculous. My skin, which gives me no end of trouble, actually clears up when I wear the stuff, even sleep in the stuff. I also like that I don't have to worry about what nasty chemicals my skin is absorbing (like mercury). So I was tickled pink when I opened a brand new set of Bare Escentuals makeup on Christmas morning (thanks, Mom)! That's it, in the picture below.I used it for the first time last night (for our family photos/Lucy's newborn photos). I think I looked fabulous. You'll have to wait until we get the pictures to determine if you agree. It also felt great. Regular makeup bugs me, I can feel it on my face (which makes me feel gross). Not so with this makeup.

The set is called "Champagne Diamonds." You wanna know why? Because every item in the set (minus the brushes) has crushed champagne diamonds in it. That's right. I'm wearing diamonds, on my face. The irony of being a gal who demanded a cubic zirconium for her engagement ring but wears diamonds on her face is not lost on me. I don't know if the makeup looks so good because of the diamonds or not. But it only takes a look in the mirror and I'm so pleased with it that I forget all about the weirdness factor of wearing makeup with an ingredient more commonly worn on one's hand or around one's neck.

Maybe "diamonds are a girl's best friend" after all.

Note: The song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is "listed as the 12th most important movie song of all time by the American Film Institute." I have no idea what number one is.

Great Minds Think Alike

My parents and grandparents have great minds. And they certainly do think alike.

Evidence:Yup, they sent us the same card to congratulate us on Lucy's arrival. :D Sheer awesome-ness.
Tuesday, December 30

And Now, A Video of Interest to a Larger Audience

Monday, December 29

You'll Love This!

And of course, when I use the title "You'll Love This!" I mean "You'll love this if you happen to be Lucy's parent or grandparent (or great grandparent); and if you're not you'll likely find it incredibly boring because Lucy performs for the camera about as well as she performed for her ultrasound.*" Hopefully we'll be able to capture some more exciting footage sometime soon (like some shots of her very funny facial expressions).

*That is, not very well. The ultrasound tech really had to work hard for her pay that day.

Shepherds Quake At The Sight

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and I'm talking about the book here, not the movie) includes an account of Dorothy and the gang's brief visit to a land of porcelain. That's right, all the buildings, animals, people, even the ground, are made of delicate china. The visit from the comparatively gigantic and very dangerous Dorothy and her traveling companions upsets quite a few of the china people (after all, it doesn't take much to break off a limb when you're made of delicate ceramic). Who the porcelain people really need to fear is our cat Lily. See what I mean?

Still can't see it? How about now?

Thanks Lily. I always wanted a nativity scene with a headless zombie shepherd. Tres unique, no?
Saturday, December 27

Motivated Mom

I belong to a great online community for moms (MDC). It's where my online due date club has been hosted. It's hosted by a parenting magazine I love (Mothering). Well, it is on those forums that I first heard about Motivated Moms. It's a chore chart/calendar "thingy." At first I thought, "bah...why should I pay for something like that?" And I skipped right over all the posts about it. But somehow I found myself reading about it yesterday. It seems that many a mom is indeed motivated by the planner, especially the moms who (like myself) "flunked out of" Flylady. I was particulraly intrigued by the women with ADD/ADHD who gave glowing reviews of the planner. After all, if it works for others with ADD then perhaps it will work for me too. So I've decided to give it a try. I've printed off the free sample page which will get me through the first two weeks of the new year. If I'm pleased then I'll reconsider shelling out the $8 bucks for the entire year's worth. Click the banner on the right to get the sample page for yourself (or even the whole thing). If you decide to give it a try, or if you already use it, tell me what you think in the comments. I'll let you know what I think after my two week trial.

In Case You Were Interested

I tried to make sure I sent this to anyone who would be interested. But, as you can probably deduce, we've been a little distracted lately. So here it is, in case you were forgotten: Our Christmas Newsletter.

My Mangled Monitor

My laptop functions...very, very slowly, but it functions. Well, most of it functions. Sometimes some of the USB ports don't work. And the touch pad went on hiatus for quite some time (but has returned for the time being). As long as the inner workings continue to do their job (no matter how slowly) I'll survive.
Recently my laptop reached a new level of pathetic-ness. The screen no longer stands up. The hinges? Completely broken. So Adam rigged up this not particularly attractive, but serviceable stand of cardboard, and packing tape. Note to self: when buying next computer (someday) buy one that isn't slow and junky.

3 Years

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary. I'd like to say it went something like this:

I awoke to breakfast in bed (waffles with fruit, scrambled eggs, and orange juice). Then Adam and I exchanged cards and gifts. I gave him a hurricane lantern and he gave me picture frames (because glass/crystal is the assigned gift for 3rd anniversaries). Later in the day we went out to dinner and Lucy behaved beautifully. To top off the evening we toasted with sparkling grape juice and watched a movie together.

I'd like to say that, but I think the Bible says something about lying...

Today went more like this:

Adam woke up and headed straight to a walk-in clinic because he has been very ill for the past 6 days (food poisoning is our best guess). He waited for about an hour just to sign in, came home for a few minutes (to eat) then went back and waited for another hour to see the doctor (who now has him under orders to consume only clear liquids for 24 hours). I spent the day (until 3 something) in bed trying to catch up on sleep (minus waking up to take care of Lucy). Neither of us had gifts or even cards for the other (what with the being sick/taking care of a newborn/unemployment/etc. that's been going on lately).

But you know what? It's been a great 3 years. And I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

A Deluge of Digital Daguerrotypes

Well, for those of you who enjoy seeing pictures, this post will be a treat. I hope you appreciate it, because it took forever to upload these from my slow, sad computer. First, the Christmas pictures...

Here is our Christmas tree ($2 at a garage sale) in all it's glory. We have no star (couldn't afford one this year). But I guess we could have gone this route.

My stocking, and Lucy's stocking.

Daddy helped Lucy with her stocking.

What could be in it?

Ah-ha! The match (a la Merry Christmas Mr. Bean)!

Here's a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Shumate!

Lucy sure seems to be having fun ripping off that wrapping paper!

Boy! She's excited!

Here's a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Stevens! Doesn't Lucy look thrilled?

She can hardly contain her joy.

Wow! How neat! Look familiar?

Now to open the gift from Mama and Daddy.

A thoroughly Canadian version of Noah's ark!

Cats LOVE Christmas. They also love to drive Adam and I completely batty by constantly messing with our Christmas tree, not unlike these felines.

And now, for other pictures, not related to Christmas...

This painting (by Adam's dad) was recently given to us. The picture does not do it justice. Neither does the image on his website. It's much more beautiful in person. Every time I walk by it I get a little excited.

Look Ma, no hands! Yup, that's Lucy in that pouch.

And this would be the face that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Unfortunately I snapped this shot just a second too soon. Had I waited a moment I would have caught a full on smile. But the smiles are happening with more frequency so hopefully we'll catch one soon.

No, she is not letting loose a Klingon death cry.* It's just a yawn.

Behold, the first bath! She looks miserable, but she actually seemed to quite enjoy it. (Sorry about the sideways-ness.)

*"the death cry ritual, for, whereupon the death of a worthy warrior, fellow comrades will roar and howl to warn the dead that a fearsome and honourable soul is about to join Kahless The Unforgettable and enter Sto-Vo-Kor, being the after-life domain of fallen warriors."
Thursday, December 25

A Holiday Wish

May you have a merry Christmas filled with the joy and peace of this sacred season, and a happy and fruitful New Year!
Love, "Us" (Adam, Holly, and Lucy)
Saturday, December 20


So, maybe it's just Lucy...but it seems newborns are programed to make the adjustment to parenthood as easy as possible. She spends most of her time sleeping. In fact, she slept so well last night that Adam and I probably got more sleep last night than we had in the past 3 days combined (don't get as much sleep in the hospital when nurses come in and interrupt). I almost feel normal (as normal as possible after giving birth I suppose). Lucy probably interrupts our sleep no more than having to get up and pee did while I was pregnant. Granted, the interruptions last longer, but still. She's a very happy baby. And for that we are grateful. Sanity is a good thing, and so far she's preserving ours.
Thursday, December 18

Pictures, sans text

Wednesday, December 17

Lucy's First Pictures

These are just two of the many wonderful photos our doula shot. They were taken shortly after Lucy was born. Once we're home we'll be able to upload some of the pictures we've taken as well. I should be discharged sometime tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 16

Lovey Has Arrived!

Lucy Noelle was born on December 15th at 2:17 pm after approximately 36 hours of labor. She was 48.1 cm long and 7 lbs 0.9 oz. She's doing well and so are her parents.

We'll get pictures on here as soon as we can, but for now we're just enjoying our "babymoon."
Saturday, December 13

Winter Wonderland (or Winter War Zone)

So...here I am, about to tell you all about the amazing storm we've had and I have not a single picture to post. That's what happens when your camera batteries are out of juice and you can't find the charger. So you'll just have to believe me when I say, it's beautiful out there!

It's also a death trap.

Apparently the city of Medicine Hat has some sort of bias against salt...and snow plows...and common sense. The roads are terrible!

Needless to say we've been staying home as much as possible. Though we did go out tonight so we could attend the Ward Christmas Party...no way we were going to miss out on a turkey dinner (especially one we didn't have to prepare)! It was excellent. Though we left early because I was uncomfortable (I've been having mild, irregular contractions) and I was tired. It takes a lot of energy to eat as much food as I ate.

I'm going to weekly doctor's appointments now, which also forces us to go out on those dreadful roads. Seriously...is it so much to ask that my city plow the roads a little better, even just the main ones? I understand why no-one has gotten around to plowing our tiny, out of the way, little street. But geesh...a decent plow job and some salt would really help me not feel like I'm gonna get in an accident any time I have to go somewhere.

At least I get to spend most days in the house, watching the snow fall (probably have 6+ inches now) and avoiding the cold (currently -13F). Yesterday was quite windy. In fact, it was so windy the snow managed to get blown into the opening for our upstairs bathroom vent and we ended up with some dripping in the bathroom! Took us a minute to figure out what on earth was happening.

So, long story short: It's beautiful looking outside. But if you have to actually go outside watch out!
Wednesday, December 10

Away In A Manger

My baby has pretty much got the coolest Grandma, EVER.

Check out what Grandma sent Lovey.

That's right...a Little People Nativity set. Here are some close-up shots.

Wise men (with camels), and shepherds (complete with sheep and sheep dog).

The stable with the Holy Family, animals and an angel.

And the inn with Innkeeper and Mrs. Inkeeper.

I know. I know. It's AWESOME. My mom is amazing like that. I set the whole thing up on the kitchen table, and despite the box saying batteries were not included, they were. And that little star on the stable? It lights up. And it plays "Away In A Manger." Very cute! And, just in case Lovey gets a little too button-mashing-happy next Christmas it has an off switch...or as I like to call it, a Parent Sanity Saver. ;)

After setting it all up I wasn't sure what to do with it. As you can see it covers the entire kitchen table...which we need for things like, oh, I dunno...eating? So I carefully put the pieces back in the boxes, wrapped them up, and labeled them "To: Lovey, Love: Grandma & Grandpa." That way we have a little something more to put under the tree, which was previously pretty bare. Now it looks very festive and happy!

I was thrilled when the package arrived. My mom had told me something was coming for Lovey, but not what it was. Adam was in on the secret. The day after he found out what was on the way I happened to stumble upon a picture of this very item on the internet. I ooohed and aaahed over how completely adorable it was and Adam had to keep his mouth shut. I was thrilled to discover that the package contained the Little People Nativity Set. I think my mom is secretly a psychic or something. I would say mind reader...except that she picked out the gift long before I even knew I wanted Lovey to someday have it. Needless to say I'm very excited for Lovey. When she's able to play with this she's going to have a total blast!

It's all the more special because some of my absolute favorite toys when I was little were Little People (though they looked much different back then). Supposedly the new ones are safer (safe is good). And they're also way cuter, particularly the animals (did you see the little donkey, and the little black sheep?!).

Did I mention how awesome my mom is?
Monday, December 8

I'm Special

So, the other day I was pondering some of the more unique/unusual things I've experienced in my meager 23 years. And I decided to make a list.
  • Snorkeled with manatees
  • Touched a piece of the Titanic's hull
  • Held an Oscar
  • Seen a page of an original Gutenberg Bible up close and personal
  • Been in the catacombs underneath Paris (there are other neat things I did in Paris, but that one seems the most unique)
  • Seen some (or one? it was a long time ago) of the robots used in the movie Jurassic Park
The problem is that I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some things that probably qualify as interesting. But as I sit an rifle through my memories nothing is jumping out at me. Though I can think of some interesting foods I've eaten:
  • caviar (don't know what the excitement is about, way too salty for my taste)
  • escargot (pretty good actually, but it's really all about the sauce)
  • alligator
  • squid (which doesn't seem that weird to me, but I guess to some it is; then again some people find sushi to be weird...I find it to be delicious)
  • moose (and elk - which was my high school mascot so it always feels a little weird to eat it)
And yet again, as I made that list I felt sure I was forgetting some interesting items. What interesting things have you done/eaten, or (for those who know me well) what things have I done/eaten that I'm forgetting?

Note: I hope that I've fixed the recent problems with leaving comments. But let me know if you still have any trouble.

Tagged Again

5 Favorites

Five Favorite Smells:
1. Apples
2. Campfire
3. Adam's aftershave
4. Most baked goods (especially cookies, brownies, or fresh bread)
5. Clean cotton

Five favorite Desserts:
1. Ice cream (particularly a good, dark chocolate)
2. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
3. Fruit (especially berries and nectarines)
4. Cheesecake (New York Style, none of that Philly junk)
5. Pie (pumpkin, apple, strawberry-rhubarb, etc.)

Five Favorite places to be:
1. Home
2. Ohio - especially at my parent's house
3. In water - bath, pool, whatever, as long as it's not cold
4. the Temple
5. In bed, asleep

Five Favorite Vehicles: In order from favorite to least favorite
1. Angmar, our station wagon - I LOVE station wagons!
2. Hybrid minivan (not currently available in the US or Canada)
3. Chevy Nova - what I learned to drive in
4. the Soviet-made Trabant (basically made of cardboard) - but only because it amuses me
5. a horse (which counts according to this definition: "a conveyance that transports people or objects") - actually, if this counts put it as number 1

Five people to tag:
1. Kamis
2. Nora
3. Jen J.
4. Natalie G.
5. YOU (whoever you may be - should you feel so inclined)

Friday, December 5

Happy BIRTHday To Me?

Today is my birthday. I have no special plans (other than having chicken noodle soup with dumplings for dinner - a childhood favorite). Sometimes I am asked how I feel about having a December birthday, especially now that there is a very good chance my daughter will also have a December birthday (please, oh please have a December and not a January birthday)! Well, my answer is this: I LOVE it! Christmas is my absolute "favoritest" holiday of them all! I can not think of another month in which I would rather celebrate my birthday. The snow (when there is any), the decorations, the music, the cheer in the air; they all make one's birthday just that much more magical. Of course, what would make my birthday truly magical is if my birthday wish came true. What is it you ask? Well...allow me to discard all the "don't tell or it won't come true" advice and reveal it.

I want my baby!

Do I think I'll get said birthday wish? Um, no. I seriously doubt my baby is going to arrive 19 days before her due date. But a gal can dream right? "It's my party and I can be delusional if I want to"...(aren't those the lyrics?).

Now, don't think I'm getting antsy because I'm miserable. I'm not. In fact...other than being tired (which I have been this whole pregnancy) and feeling like my hips are falling apart on occasion (which I have also been dealing with for much of this pregnancy) I feel pretty dang good! I don't want my baby because I'm sick of being pregnant. I want my baby because I want my baby! Adam and I both are just very excited.

Yesterday I had a really great appointment at the Maternity Clinic (I know, hard to believe isn't it?). In the past Loree had recommended I try to get an appointment with Dr. Correia. She said she was one of the "good" ones at the clinic. So I did. And I did NOT like her. Well, this most recent appointment I did not have the luxery of choosing my doctor because it was a matter of "just give me whatever you've got." When I checked in I was told I would be seeing Dr. Correia. "Oh well," I thought. "At least it isn't Dr. G." *shudder*

Well, who should walk into the room but a woman who is most certainly not the same woman I saw last time. Apparently the Mat Clinic pulled a fast one on me and gave me a Dr. Correia imposter a few months back. Turns out that I love Dr. Correia! I was quite disappointed when she told me she wasn't currently accepting patients for her family practice (disappointed but not at all surprised).

After my appointment (at which I was informed that Lovey has good heart valves and is at a wonderful size...despite the numerous comments I have received along the lines of: *person looks at my belly then says* "Wow! You're gonna have a big baby!" - something every pregnant woman wants to hear...not)...anyway, after my appointment Adam and I got to tour Labor & Delivery and the Maternity wing. We're impressed. Previously I had been planning on getting out of the hospital and home as soon as possible after Lovey's arrival. But upon having the tour (and being informed that I will only have to share a room if absolutely necessary and that Adam can stay with me overnight) I think I might just stay for the typical 2-3 days. Of course, I may change my mind one or two (or twelve) times.

Anyhow, the appointment and tour (and the fact that I was having a bunch of Braxton-Hicks contractions last night) has got us quite excited for the real deal. Lovey is "officially" fully baked. So technically she could come at any time. Statistically she'll probably come after the due date. But like I said before: "It's my party and I can be delusional if I want to."

Monday, December 1

100 Things Meme

100 things meme ... bold what you've done. My personal comments are in parentheses.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars (maybe not a full night, but I have indeed slept under the stars)
3. Played in a band (if you count the middle school band...)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (I've tried...but fate has worked against me)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (or so people have tried to tell me)
7. Been to Disneyland (nope, but I've been to DisneyWORLD)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (big waste of time...I still don't get what the hullabaloo is about...there are far more spectacular paintings to see, that don't require navigating swarms of Japanese tourists)
20. Slept on an overnight train (train travel rocks)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (unless mentally ill counts, ha ha!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (sorta...just visited the one farm, not the whole community)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (I have gone fake/indoor rock climbing)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (with manatees!)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Guide Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (*shame*)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (too salty)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (but it was a mistake and I got unfired)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (*shame* it's that darned Old Testament...but next year I'm totally gonna do it!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (give me a couple of weeks)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a mobile phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
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