Westmoreland Wedding.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I got to do a lovely, simple little wedding in one of the prettiest places in St. Louis-- the St. Louis Botanical Garden. It was a nice change from the usual because she only needed me for an hour, there was no formal wedding party, and everyone was really casual and in a great mood. It WAS a bit hot, but the lighting was really nice at 6:00 in the evening, so I couldn't complain too much. I met this bride through her sister, Maria, one of my good friends from school. The little girl is Maria's, and the older girl is the groom's daughter.
I hope I get to do more stuff in this pretty spot in the future!!

If Hard-To-Translate Ultrasounds Bore You, Skip This One.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We had our "formal" ultrasound today, 19 weeks and zero days. Our doc has two machines in his office, so we get ultrasounds every time. But when he does it, it is usually quick and simple. This is the mid-pregnancy one he schedules a technician to come in and do, so we get to still be in our regular office, but with the gal who gives us a long, satisfying visit with our baby as she measures various bones, organs, and checks to see that he has two legs, two arms, 4 chambers to his heart, etc. And she gives us pictures galore!! If you want to see one closer, or have a hard time reading the text I've put on the bottom of each picture, just click on it and you will get to see it HUGE.
The first one is my favorite, because it is the first time our baby is big enough to try a 4-D ultrasound scan. I like that he looks like he's smiling. Almost like he thought that having the the tech poke and prod him repeatedly was a game. The rest are just other random shots from our session. Read the little text on the bottom of each if you need clarification.
And if this sort of stuff is a bit boring or vague to you, I still like you. Baby talk, endless baby talk, can get obnoxious sometimes. Still, you gotta admit the 4-D smile face is kinda cool-- almost like if he was an alien trying to come out of my belly, and pressing his face against my skin as he tries to tear through-- you might see this face outline in my belly skin right before he breaks through. You know?

A little Pink, a BIGGG Party!!!!

It has begun-- the decade of my thirties! And yesterday was the most perfect birthday I could have asked for. The day began with Joe and I going to IHOP and indulging in yummy french toast with strawberries, a tall glass of orange juice, and other various breakfast foods. He then went one way, to finish getting a present for me, and I went the other way-- to my sis-in-law's spa to get my blonde streaks painted PINK!!! (who says you have to get old and boring at 30?)

This pink-hair thing has been something I have wanted to do for a couple of summers now, and I thought turning 30 would be a fun time to finally do it... since it is summer anyway, and I don't have to be a professional for another month or so.

After the hair appointment, Mary took some "birthday photos" of me and made sure to get that hair documented for my posterity before it all fades back to blonde. We also took a few that feature my little baby belly, which at 19 weeks today, is definitely there!

Next stop for my day was to the mall to meet up with my sister Beckie, Kyle, and their friends Dani and Kathy, who had come to St. Louis early to hit some of the "big city" stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. We hung out for a little bit, and then I left them to keep treasure hunting while I went home for a rest and to get prepared for the big party!

All you friends out there who don't live here, how I WISH you could have been at this party. My goal for last night was not to relax, but to have BIG FUN!!!! Joe and I had been to two "Trivia Nights" this past year and fell in LOVE with them, so for my big 3-0, we had designed and planned out one of our own. We have the whole Mason Lodge at our disposal, so we took advantage of it. We set up the dining room/ballroom up for groups to have their own table, complete with paper and crayons for coloring (ala Macaroni Grill style). We threw random party favors on the tables (beaded necklaces, party blowers, slide whistles, M&Ms), prepared a side table with tin tubs of ice and bottled sodas (it gets hot in our Lodge, so we wanted to keep the cold drinks coming), and everyone who came brought chips, dips, fruit, appetizers, and other snacks. My amazing sis-in-law took charge of decorating as a birthday gift to me and brought no less than SEVENTY helium-filled balloons in pink, orange and yellow, the colors of the night. She spent over an hour getting streamers up, setting tables, and placing balloons everywhere, so that it looked like a REAL party.

By the time the party really got started, we had about 25 guests in five teams, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves as we began the trivia game. There were ten rounds of ten questions, and each team filled out their round as a group and submitted them at the end of each round for grading. In between each round, music played and people refilled their plates and talked and laughed. Some of the trivia rounds included, "I Heart the 80's", "Mrs. Southerland's English Class", "White and Nerdy", "The Year 1977", to name a few. The last round was a sing-along to fun/funny songs, with the music cutting out at key parts for the teams to fill in the blanks. We had the whole room singing along to "Dancing Queen", "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)", "Bohemian Rhapsody", and on and on.... it really ended the party with a bang.

Honestly, though it wasn't relaxing, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Joe and I are still riding high from our great party success. I feel so loved and supported and was so tickled to see so many great people take the time to come celebrate with me.

Okay... to end this lengthy entry, here is one of the rounds of trivia from last night. See how you do! (feel free to answer in the comments section, if you dare!)

Round Six: I Heart the 80’s
  1. On The Cosby Show, what were Cliff and Clair’s occupations?
  2. What TV show was about an ex-model and a private detective who ran the “Blue Moon Detective Agency”?
  3. What show could you see Orco, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Cringer and the Sorceress on?
  4. Who works and plays in a cake made of strawberries?
  5. If you were to beg your mom for a pair of “Gellies/Jellys”, what would you be asking for?
  6. What are “jams”?
  7. In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, what is the name of Data’s pet cat?
  8. Even though the pirate ship sailed away in Goonies, how do the kids still end up saving the neighborhood?
  9. What serene mythical creature captured the hearts of nearly every little girl in the 1980’s, as seen by the millions of stickers, posters, folders, t-shirts, toys, and other treasures that bore its likeness?
  10. What TV show has this theme song? "Believe it or not, I'm walkin' on air, I never thought I could feel so free.... Flying away on a wing and a prayer, who can it be? Believe it or not, it's just me!"

Ponderings... Oh, and It's A Boy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

So, yes... we are 95% sure it is a boy. Fun fun!! We went to the store right after our ultrasound and bought our first BOY baby item. We didn't stock up or anything, since it is still early, but having this little teeny striped p.j.'s is helping to make it all the more real for us. We're ACTUALLY having a KID!!

As for other ponderings, when I am not fascinated by all my random pregnancy symptoms, tweaks, and feelings, I still have a pretty crazy life. Joe and I got back from Indiana on Thursday night, did VERY LITTLE on Friday as we recovered, and geared up for the next round of busy-ness.

Today, I took an old roommate's wedding photos. We started at the temple in the morning, had a session in our lovely Forest Park in the afternoon, and the reception all evening. It all went very smoothly, but I am BEAT!! My back has been bothering me, so it is tired from all the contorting, working, hiking that goes into taking pictures.

Tonight, I am home alone (Joe is back at work after a LOVELY week off) and working on processing those wedding photos while listening to my iTunes...

But of course I procrastinate that stuff, so for a minute, I thought I'd share a few more photos--

This photo is of my new little plants I bought at the nursery. My favorite is the pick-flowering fucsia on the left. LOVE that little princess flower!

Flowers and gardening remind me of my Mom. This next photo is my Mom and her kid sister, Juli, who was in town from Arizona last week for a wonderful visit.
I love how they look like opposites, but are the best of friends. I love so many things about my Mom and my aunt. They are amazing women. Both so hardworking and talented, but able to laugh so easily and really enjoy their lives.

{next photo: mom's carefree new yellow flip-flops. SOOO CUTE!! She's usually so much more practical than this!!}

When I was home in Columbia last week, staying at my parents' home, I snapped a few pictures to capture some of the essence of "MOM".... to try to show some of her true self in the opjects she lovingly chooses to have around her. I love this lady, and am so inspired by her. And her home really feels like HOME, ya know?

{Mom's birds.... everywhere. She LOVES them. This wreath is just outside our back door}

{Mom's love of BLUE and bottles and cozy kitchen collections...}

{Mom's homemade bread. Best when warm, with butter and honey or homemade jam}

{Mom's flowers: spilling over, filling containers inside the back door and out on the porch...}

{Mom's kitchen window...a plant, a plate, some lace, and she makes even this small corner inviting}

{Mom's lambs and sheep. LAMBSONs, right?? Well she takes this theme and runs with it, and lambs are everywhere!}
So... There are a few things I love today. Indiana photos and some wedding photos to follow. Someday. Ha!

What Do YOU Think It'll Be?

Friday, June 22, 2007

so it has been another WEEK since I posted!! Joe, my sister Beckie and I have been in Indiana since Tuesday, and Joe's dad was visiting from Korea before that, so if you want excuses, there they are!
After four long, dark hours back to St. Louis last night, I am now sitting here in my p.j.'s, Beckie is asleep on the couch bed, and Joe is still dead to the world in the bedroom. I have eaten a bowl of cheerios and I am feeling SO good-- back in my home, no demands on my time til tomorrow, and a chance to slow down for a minute. Of course, it will all speed back up tomorrow, with a wedding I am taking pictures for and a birthday party to prepare for, but I'll take today!

So, yes, we went to the Dr., and yes our baby cooperated, and we can report the findings of our ultrasound.

Anyone want to know? Any predictions?

Which Jane Austen Girl Are You?

Friday, June 15, 2007

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

(I thought for SURE i wouldn't get this cutie... All my answers seemed so far removed from her story. I thought I might get the Emma Thompson heroine, I forget her name. But yay! I LOVE E. Bennett. Just like Alison does.)

Gonna Be 30... Gonna be a Mom...

Two good reasons for looking back at the baby pictures of long ago, don't ya think?? here is little me, age 3-4 months, in the famous Winnie-the-Pooh dress that Mom still has tucked away somewhere. At this time, me name was "Emmie", a nickname that stayed for four years. Don't be fooled by that sweet face-- I was a HANDFUL!! Grandma likes to tell the story of how only singing songs would put me to sleep....

What am I in for??

Sorry I have been absent for a week. I have been in my home town of Columbia, MO from Sunday evening until yesterday evening, doing a paid professional training thingy. Truthfully, I only signed up for it because it was in my hometown, so I could spend the down time with my family and my bessie from high school. It has been really good for these reasons:

1. Grinder's turkey reuben sandwiches. Twice!! (sorry, loved ones, but this really is #1. hee-hee)
2. Playing "Celebrity" with my fam and Kyle
3. Two lovely long evenings with Genny-- good food, GREAT conversation, fun shopping, awesome family...
4. The professional workshop provided insane amounts of food/snacks/candy/treats
5. I got paid $150 a day!
6. The wacky, loud, funny, unfocused conversating that occurs whenever more than a few of my family are together at the same time.
7. My amazing Mom and Dad.

This week HASN'T been so great for these reasons:

1. No Joe (in person) for three nights. (Lotsa phone calls...)
2. An ongoing backache that has lasted for over a week REALLY began protesting this week. BAD. I needed heat, IcyHot patches, tylanol... YUCK!
3. Pretty relentless heartburn.
4. B-O-R-I-N-G boring boring meeting stretches of time.... Ugh.
5. My allergies always flare up at home. Must be the dog, the two cats, the bunny, the chupacabras..... You get the picture.

So. I am back in the 'Loo, (St. Louis, get it?) and really really glad for my own bed, my husband, and a few days of HOME before we mix it all up again and drive to Indiana next week.

And two weeks from now?? I'll be thirty. 3-0. Still sounds WEIRD to me.

Oh... and one more thing. We have a Dr.'s appt. in an hour. He told us that even though we will still have our FORMAL ultrasound in two weeks from now, he MIGHT be able to tell us if we're having a boy or a girl TODAY!!! I am SO trying not to get my hopes up yet.... Really.

I'll come back to let y'all know if the little pear is hiding it's shame today or not.


This Is My Pirate Name. What's Yours??

Friday, June 8, 2007

My pirate name is:

Calico Jenny Flint

Often indecisive, you can't even choose a favorite color. You're apt to follow wherever the wind blows you, just like Calico Jack Rackham, your namesake. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Just Some Layouts...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The top one I did just now... took way longer than it should have, but I was finicky about the last few details. Blah. The rest have been done very recently. It looks like I am WAY vain from this sampling, since I am prominently featured in three of the four... But I swear I am not so vain!! These just seem to be the easiest photos to work on at the moment. I'll branch out soon, I promise!

(besides, my kids will one day be fascinated to see me looking so young and NORMAL someday!!){from the time that beckie and kyle came to town and we went thrift shopping}

{from memorial day weekend last year, hanging out at Beckie and Kyle's apartment}

{taken last fall, in my lovely apron from Mom Vicki... I was trying to look sassy in our wee little kitchen}

{from this past April's Hazelwood Prom}

Happy June!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ah, June. A good month, if I do say so myself. I DID happen to be born in June, so that might have something to do with it. Plus, I'm out of school. Plus, we get to find out our baby's gender in June. (I seriously have NO "feeling" about that... It could be either, for all the psychic feelings I'm getting. This week, I'm practicing thinking it's a boy. Maybe next week I'll switch the thinking to "girl".)

So, last night, Mary and Peter came by with root beer and ice cream and we had root beer floats outside on our front steps. We then had lasagna for dinner (my first time ever making it, and it turned out WONDERFULLY! Thanks , mom, for the recipe!!)
After dinner, we all went for a stroll and Mary and I played with our cameras... snapping a few photos so I could give her some pointers on her new toy.
{pretty girl, eh? This is in our neighbor's lilies.}

{do you detect a bit of a bump there? 'Cause it's gettin' harder to hide. Almost 16 weeks!!}

{Joe and our dog-in-law, Max... Who seem more mature, here? Ah, that's why I love Joe.}

Okay, so here is some other crazy news from my family: My sister Elise is smack-dab in the middle of that passport crisis that is going on right now. She applied in March, was told 10 weeks, and is now less than 48 hours away from her trip to England, HER DREAM OF ALL DREAMS, and...


Turns out, millions of folks are in this same crap-pile-- they all thought they had given it enough time, but the passports are taking more than ~14 WEEKS~ to be completed. It is a NIGHTMARE.
So i have been actively involved in her dilemma, anxious, worried, looking up any information I can for her online, trying to find ways she can make this work... and of course, on her end, in Indianapolis, she has been frantically seeking options as well. As of this morning, her regional office told her that her passport is done, but is in New Orleans. They told her they would pass along the message to "overnight" it to her, but that she should still call them back in a few hours to check the progress of the whole fiasco. This would give her exactly 36 hours to get this passport. YIKES!!!

Then she called this evening with an even more updated version of her game plan. Seems that when she called the office back, they told her it was still in New Orleans, no change there. BUT--- she could, now that she was under two days from her departure, go to Chicago's regional office (a THREE HOUR DRIVE), with every conceivable form of I.D. she owns (since her original birth certificate is, you guessed it, stapled to to original passport application in New Orleans)... and wait in their line to get a whole new passport. This means getting new photos, all the ID together, a copy of her birth certificate faxed to her from my parents, and then driving three hours to get to the office for her interview, at the end of which she should be able to walk out of there with a REAL PASSPORT... $75+ fee waived, of course, since her original check was cashed ages ago, for the OTHER passport.
Needless to say, I am nearly able to breathe easier for her, the poor thing, because it sounds like after SIX HOURS of driving tomorrow, she should still be able to proceed with her lifelong dream of going to England on Wednesday. Prayers really can work, y'all.


Anyway. I'm hungry again. I never can eat very much, but this beast within seems to demand food much more frequently than I am used to.... Weird.

Good night!

I Laughed So Hard I Cried:

Friday, June 1, 2007

this was on a rerun of Jay Leno last night. I was DYING. People will put up with a LOT for a free photo!!

Have you seen this schtick before? 'Cause I hadn't. It's brilliant!
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