Thursday, January 31, 2008

so, so, so, so, soooo excited.

check it out.... i won!!!! (click here...)

i entered a little photography contest in the blog world and i won!!!
i am so excited and can't wait to get a session with photographer, Wendy Whitacre of Blue Lily Photography. Yippee!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

love where we live...

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big boy cereal

now that baby o is 4 months old, we have started him on rice cereal. so far he seems to dig it!! (next step - figuring how to get more cereal in his belly than all over the rest of his body!)
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insert foot in mouth...

here's how i found owey in his crib a few mornings ago.
it's official - he will now stick anything in his mouth.
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we will miss you....

"Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike"

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

-President Gordon B. Hinckley
June 23, 1910 - January 27, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the evolution of love

it started as a child. feelings of comfort, safety, security. knowing that even if you were naughty they would still love you. the endless sacrifices to make sure that you were happy and healthy. you knew you depended on them for your sustenance and happiness. and you loved them for all that they did for you.

as you got older you thought love had something to do with boys. the grade school crush that was all about giddy laughter and "is he looking at me?" chit chat to girlfriends. junior high wasn't much better ... the same crushes on boys you didn't even know but stalked through the halls because they were soooo cute. notes to your friends folded up into little arrows and triangles spilling your guts about your young obsession. even in high school you were more in love with the idea of being in love than with any one person, and even when you really thought you knew what love was because you were oh so mature, love was selfish and fading.

you later learned that love had so much meaning in the form of friendship. girlfriends that were more like sisters, a sister (and brother) who were more like friends, roommates that knew you better than you knew yourself and loved you anyway. you were finally able to really be friends with boys without confusing love and friendship and you learned to put others before yourself.

and then you leave the country to love and serve people in a culture so different from your own. you teach them about god's love and you learn to love them in spite of all of the differences between you as you start to see beyond to who they really are. you leave part of your heart there with them when you return home.

you hope you are ready for the love of a lifetime, and after years of failed love and heartache you finally find true love. you fall hard and fast even though you are scared to death. you open your heart slowly and cautiously and take your time so as not to be hurt yet again. and then you marry your best friend knowing that you will love him forever and ever and you give away your heart to him. you think you finally know what love really is. you think that you will never love so hard and so deep ever again. each day you love him more and you wonder how there is enough room in that heart of yours to keep feeling more each day. you have good days and bad days together. you laugh and you cry together. you dream of the future together and you really love.

and then you find out he's on his way after years of waiting. you rub your little belly hoping he knows how excited you are to meet him and that even though you have never seen him you already love him so much it hurts. you get emotional just thinking about all the joy he will bring to your life and you feel the day can't come soon enough that you will finally hold him in your arms. and then it comes.

you love him instantly and are so overwhelmed by it. you love his itty bitty cry and his teeny tiny face and you love everything that he is and all that he brings to you. you love that he is a product of your love for your husband and you love that he is a gift to your family. and each day you can't believe it could be possible, but somehow you love him more and more. your heart can't possibly hold any more, yet it continues to stretch and grow. you didn't know it was possible to have your heart outside of your body, but every little thing he does shows you that he is your heart and that his happiness and his safety and his security is the most important thing in the world to you. you love that he depends on you for everything, that you are his source of nourishment and care and learning. you love that your sacrifices may go unnoticed for a while, but that one day he will grow up and have his own and only then will he know the extent of the love that you feel for him.

and then you realize why God lets us have children. you feel just a tiny portion of what He continually feels for us and you know that He is teaching you how to become like He is. you know that He only wants the best for you and that He would do anything for your happiness, your safety, and your security. you know that you depend on Him for your life and your breath and that His sacrifice has made all things possible. and He loves that you are finally getting a glimpse of what He feels for you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

owey fix, cont'd...

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owey fix

so, since i know that at least every 3rd post has to have superfluous pictures of owey or i will lose half my fan base, here you have it:

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look mom!!!

i don't really know what has come over me, but for some reason i have been obsessed with making the bed lately. where did this come from? i have NO idea. i have never been a bed-maker. i have always stood by the theory that it was stupid to make the bed just to mess it up again.
i guess if i really lived by that theory the things i would also never do would include:
showering, doing the laundry, plucking my eyebrows, doing the dishes.
ewww. i just really grossed myself out. good thing i don't actually live by that theory. (although i think i've seen a few who do.)
the past few weeks i have been totally unable to concentrate and get things done until the bed is made (i think i could be ocd if i let myself go there) and it's amazing how much better i feel once i can check that off my list. i know, weird. who is this chick?
so, finally mom - after 27 years i have somehow (by accident really) learned the value of making my bed. it has a strange power, makes me feel like my life is not so chaotic, like my house isn't a total disaster, like there is a point to keeping things tidy.
wow. i just never knew.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

my life isn't as boring as i thought...

Have you done this list too?
(my answers are in red)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. . Seen the Northern Lights
14.Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand (mormon... kisses only)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon1
22. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a day for the history books...

mark today down in the history books... owen slept from 10 pm to 7 am last night! letting him cry through the night the last couple days has finally paid off!! yeah for 8 hours of sleep!
also a first for him - i took this picture just a few minutes ago when he just "fell" asleep on his own. any one who knows little o knows he doesn't just "fall" asleep like most infants. he has to be rocked, or held, or cry himself to sleep. but today, a first! look at those little hands!! love this kiddo!
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

you... belong in the zoo...

the san diego zoo!! (anyone who has lived in san diego, you know the song!) ahem, excuse me... the WORLD FAMOUS san diego zoo!

yesterday we took a little "vacation." well, not really, but it felt like it - and that's what counts, right? we decided to put our complimentary zoo ticket from our cable company (yeah- random, i know) to good use and took advantage of a sunny winter morning. we got there right as the zoo opened (which i now know is the ONLY way to go) and had soo much fun! i was so excited to show owey all the animals (i think if i were to do it all over again i would study biology or zoology- yes, i heart animal planet) and i totally get it that owen could probably care less, but still... it was so fun! i love having this little guy to make me excited about the world and see things like i am seeing them for the first time. i really wanted him to be as fascinated as clint and i were (little known fact about clint - he knows more about animals than pretty much anyone i know. jeff corwin doesn't count because i don't really know him.) but, really o was just excited to have so much to look at and to be held by his dad most of the day. maybe when he's a little older. i wanted to get an annual pass, but clint thinks we should probably hold off until he can see things more than 10 feet in front of him. probably a good idea. regardless, what a fun family day! did i ever mention how much i love san diego?

in the stroller... what a cute kid!

with dad...

see the itty bitty baby panda? i swear i was so taken by all the baby animals now that i have my own little one..

checkin out the fishies up close and personal...

you didn't know he had a whole aviary named after him, did you? (neither did we!)

one of the highlights of the trip... a monkey digging through his poop. seriously! what is he looking for? can anyone solve this mystery and tell me why in the world they do this?

i always thought this is where Heavenly Father got really creative...

and my favorite part of the zoo - the polar bears!! sooo cool (and hard to imagine these fun, playful little guys are the ferocious killers of the antarctic that you see on tv- poor baby seals!)

owey can hardly contain his excitement!

Friday, January 11, 2008

introspection: getting back to the new/old me...

please excuse the emotional honesty - i've had so much on my mind today. and if you only visit this blog to see adorable pictures of baby owen, feel free to skip this one and i promise i will post more soon.
back to what has been on my mind...
i know that life is a series of changes. we are constantly "becoming" and just when we think we have life figured out, something happens that makes us realize how very wrong we are. i have not always been fond of change, yet somehow i feel that i have changed sooo much in the last few years. some for the good, some - not so much.
many of you who have met me in the last few years might be surprised if you were to meet the old me. she may seem nothing like the now me.
for example:
-i used to love going to stake dances. i couldn't get enough of it. i loved being a spaz. i somehow managed to convince quite a few of my non-mormon friends to go with me.
-i played field hockey and loved being part of a team. i was captain one year and took my role very seriously. i also had a short lived career as a track star (well, i suppose that's why it was short-lived... i wasn't exactly a star per se.) i didn't like it because i didn't feel like i was part of a team. if i lost, i lost. my fault. no one else's.
-i was also known to participate in every school activity - and i mean every one. in fact, i went stag with my friend keri to winter formal senior year because we decorated the whole gym and decided we wanted to go last minute. i also often painted my face for football games and wore crazy hair (think pippy-long-stockings) and was voted "most likely to bleed green and gold" my senior year.(clint always teases that it is a good thing we didn't meet in high school because he would have NEVER gone for me. ha!)
-i was one of those annoying efy (church youth camp) counselors for 3 years in college. . well, i like to think i wasn't annoying, but really cool. it's amazing what a bunch of adoring teenagers who think you are the coolest can do for your ego. i know anyone who has attended byu in the summer detested efy counselors. sorry. from the bottom of my heart.
my point? i used to be one of those fun-loving, crazy-dancing, could-care-less-about-what-you-might-think-about-me, free-spirited kind of girl. i didn't crave attention, but i certainly didn't shy away from it. more than anything, i loved getting people excited about something - sports, leadership, the gospel, you name it.
somewhere along the way, life threw me a few curve balls, and i lost a lot of that spunk. i'm not sure how it started, but i just kind of got boring. i think part of it was on my mission - i was humbled to the dust and i think my spirit was a bit broken. of course that is a good thing to have a broken heart spiritually, but i'm not sure i fully took advantage of the opportunity to rebuild. (don't get me wrong... i loved my mission and would not trade the experience for the world...)
since then, i have been more serious about life. i have struggled to be the eternal optimist i used to be and to really have fun in every situation. i have cared about what other people have thought, and i think i have turned inward instead of focusing on others.
all of this introspection started when we went with my parents and bro and sis-in-law to a little get together with all of my parent's friends and their families. (grown children, grandbabies, and all.) it was good to catch up with people and more than once some of the adults (referring to my parent's friends - not me) reminisced with me about when i was student body president or when i did this or that in high school and how neat that was. clint kept looking at me weird and finally later admitted that they were talking about a girl that he didn't know. someone so different from the girl he married. i knew it was true, but hadn't really put my finger on where she had gone.
now that i am a new mom, there has been more change than ever. this is the first time in i don't know how long that i haven't had a boss, or co-workers, or clients/students/customers of some sort. thus, growth is hard to measure, and i am not literally responsible to any one person for my performance. that is strange.
i find myself thinking about the kind of woman i want the mother of my dear baby boy to be. do i want her to be serious and conscientious, or spazzy and spontaneous. can she be both? and even though motherhood is extremely challenging, i think about how i will be able to continue to grow and progress in all areas of my life now that i am at home most of the day everyday. it would be easy to sit in front of the tv and do nothing to become more of the woman that i want to be, but i just can't bring myself to do it.
i think that is why i have been so crazy excited about my new challenge. i'm not even sure how it started. i didn't see a movie, read a book, or hear someone talk about running a half-marathon or marathon. it just came out of me, this desire to do something, to stretch myself, to break out of this box i've built around myself. naturally, i didn't want to do it alone (i'm not really one who needs alone time) and so i started recruiting. this is where the old jess has begun to creep back. i think i am more excited that my sister and some great friends have taken on the challenge than the fact that i have taken it on. the old me that loved getting other people excited about something has seeped back into my life. and i am loving it.
i have a different spring in my step these days. as of now, i believe there are 7 women that are going to reach beyond themselves and do something awesome and i think it will be life-changing. as i told a friend today who will be joining us, this already has changed my life every day. i feel excited. i feel energized. i feel happy. i feel successful. i feel free.
i will continue to be molded into a woman, and each experience will add to who i am and who i want to be. i look forward to 2008 as a year of change and growth unlike any i've ever known. and here's to the old me, the now me, and the new me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

more christmas pics...

we just got more christmas pics from the ericksons, so i had to post a few:

my very favorite:

owen's cheeks were chapped the whole time because it was soo dry! poor guy- but he sure looked cute all rosy like that!

santa was very generous this year... look at all those presents!!!

sweater boy...

the whole fam...

grandpa couldn't get enough of little o...

thanks for a great christmas grandma and grandpa!

31 years? (they got married when they were 5, i swear!)

thanks for putting up with eachother all these years! :)
we love you!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

love the new camera...

i suppose it helps that i love the subject so much!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

should old acquaintance be forgot?

2007 was a year that we will never forget as we have received so many blessings. i can hardly believe how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time and we will be forever grateful. the greatest gift of course was our little owen coming into our lives. 2007 has been all about him for us since we first found out he would be coming last january and every day since then has been focused on him. as we reflect on our blessings and look forward to a new year of adventures and experience, we want to wish all of you the best in 2008. thank you for helping to make each and every year of our lives better than the last and worth every minute! we love you!

enjoying our new toys...

for christmas this year, we were sooo spoiled! a few things santa brought us:



a super nice glider for the whole family to enjoy (thanks grammy and papa!)


a super nice camera that we have loved playing with... (thanks dave and shelly!)

and a new car...

ha. just kidding. but santa did bring tickets to the auto show where we could take pictures of new cars. maybe next year we should be more specific.