Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Joys

What should you give a cat for Christmas?  A box to sit in.

Sam and I had a surprisingly great Christmas this year.  I say surprisingly because we were both sad that we couldn't be with our families, so we were expecting to have a more subdued, melancholy day.  (Well, at least that's what I was expecting.)  We're not the type of people who dread holidays spent with family; we actually really like the people we're related to.  And since we don't get to spend enough time with them in general, holidays are usually the guaranteed hang-out times, so missing out was a bummer for both of us.

Thankfully, we got to video chat with both of our families after having a breakfast of yummy apple crisp (with lots of whipped cream).  After that, to avoid sitting home all day with the holiday blues, we headed to the movie theater to see Les Mis, the movie I'd been anxiously awaiting for about a year.  I was not disappointed; it was incredible.  I've basically obsessed over this play since I was eight or nine.  I remember playing the CD over and over, throwing bits of red and black construction paper into the air while singing "Red and Black", switching between playing Javert and Jean Valjean during "The Confrontation", and singing all the parts to "One Day More".  To finally have a musical version made into a movie was something of a dream come true, although in my dream I'm cast as Eponine or Fantine, of course.  Still, the cast did an amazing job, and the movie, though based on the play, actually had bits from the book that aren't included in the play, which made it even better.  I highly recommend seeing it!

We had planned on seeing The Hobbit immediately after Les Mis, but as we exited the theater, we were greeted by crowds and crowds of people who had apparently finished opening their presents.  So we decided to head home instead, because Sam doesn't like crowds and I was starving.  On our way home we drove past another, smaller movie theater, one that didn't have any lines and happened to be showing The Hobbit about twenty minutes from that time.  We also happily realized that it was $5 Tuesday, so we got some pretty cheap tickets.  The best part, according to this pregnant pig, is that this movie theater is also sort of a restaurant, so you can order food throughout the movie and eat it while enjoying the show.  And it's not just typical movie theater food, it's yummy stuff.  So Sam quickly ordered a Blue Velvet burger with fries and a beer, and I enjoyed a basket of fries and a vanilla milkshake - delish!

A few minutes before the movie was scheduled to start, I was happily shoveling fries into my mouth when an attendant announced that due to technical issues, they'd be showing us the 3D version of the movie instead of the normal, cheaper one we'd paid for.  They passed out our 3D glasses, and Sam smiled like a litttle boy on Christmas, as he'd been wanting to see it in 3D and it was a very pleasant surprise.  We agreed that the day just kept getting better and better!  To top it off, a fellow movie-goer made quite a scene about the switch, because she hated 3D movies, and her utter ridiculousness was quite entertaining for us.  As she was leaving, some other patrons filed into her vacated seats, and she instructed them that the food she was leaving behind was "not for touching, it's for them to pick up because I'm leaving."  Sam and I are rather entertained by nonsensical, absurd people, so we found this little outburst rather comical.  Who complains about a free upgrade, and on Christmas?  Oh, people.

So a day that I anticipated being somewhat sad turned out to be a great day.  Both movies were fantastic, and Sam and I had a fun day together, minus families and presents.  It was a great reminder that the materialism isn't necessary for a great Christmas, and that Sam and I could enjoy the day even though we really wished we could be with family.  As much as everyone wants to believe Christmas is about presents and family, the real reason we celebrate is because of a little baby that was born a very long time ago.  (And yes, I know Jesus wasn't actually born December 25th, but since that's the day we've chosen to celebrate, that's when we do it.)  Speaking of babies, it seems like it was an appropriate way to spend our last Christmas as a family of two, just enjoying each other and some movies.  (I highly doubt we'll be seeing many movies once baby comes.)

Plus, it helped that we got to be with my family for Thanksgiving, and that we knew we'd be spending time with Sam's family a few days after Christmas.

Here's a picture of a rapidly-growing me, at (I think) about 17.5 weeks:

And my two favorite cute guys.

I hope that everyone who's reading this had a wonderful Christmas, wherever you were and whatever you were doing!

Friday, December 14, 2012

realizations and trust

I mentioned in my last post that I struggled a lot with fear and worry in my first trimester.  I still have moments of anxiety, simply because my baby isn't big enough for me to feel it moving yet, and I'm just hoping and assuming he or she is still growing and developing properly.  It is the ultimate lesson in trust!  I started writing the following blog back in my first trimester, when I was still overwhelmed with worry, and I've continued to add to it.  I thought I'd share it now.

It just hit me that my baby is never "safe".  We'll never be out of the "danger zone".  Yes, I'm anxiously awaiting hitting 14 weeks so I can be past the miscarriage stage, but I've also known others who have lost their baby past that stage.  There's always the chance of a still-birth.  And once I have the baby, once I've met him or her, there's never a guarantee that something won't happen and take the baby away.

The day we found out we were pregnant we also found out my cousin had leukemia.  It was an odd mix of emotions, being excited about being a mom, and being devastated for my aunt, uncle, and cousin.  Being worried about my baby and worried about Trevor, and feeling sorrow for my aunt and uncle and the anguish they were experiencing.  It also brought on a very unwelcome, familiar feeling of when we found out about Sara.  Noreen and Woody lost their baby when she was twenty-two, and now my aunt and uncle were told their child, their thirteen year-old son, had a very serious disease.  The more I thought about it, I realized we're never safe from harm.  We're never safe from pain, and even if I have a perfect pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby, there's no guarantee I won't one day lose the baby.  We were promised that in this world we would have trouble; this was simply a reminder.

I don't know why, but this realization brought relief.  Maybe it was because I finally accepted that I truly have no control over any of it.  I still take the best care of my body as possible, and try to do everything "right" with my pregnancy.  But there are plenty of women who do everything right, and still their baby doesn't develop or something uncontrollable goes wrong.  There's nothing a mother can do.  It's frustrating, knowing that I cannot do anything to guarantee my baby's safety or health.  There's no pill I can take, no one I can pay off to be sure I get to meet my baby.  But at the same time, it takes away the burden of worrying, because worrying certainly won't prevent me from losing this baby.  Ultimately, it's God's child anyway.  He's the one creating and forming this little one.  I'm just the vessel he chose to develop this little bean in.  And even when I'm a mom, all my children won't be "mine", they'll belong to God.  This baby's life is being prepared by God.  He already knows if this baby will live to be 1 year old or 100 years old.  He's the one planning it out, and so who am I to try to take control over this child's life?

It seems like good training for when I do become a mother.  I'll do everything I can to protect my child from harm, but I can only do so much.  Today's shooting in the Connecticut classroom was a harsh reminder that this world is often ugly and evil, and unfair, horrific things happen, things that can't always be prevented or controlled.  I'm learning that becoming a parent is a very brave decision, that it takes strength and courage to let go of that control and even be okay with not being able to always protect them.  I hope I can keep remembering to surrender control to God and let go of the worry and anxiety that will continue to present itself throughout my life.  I'm sure it will be a constant battle for me, but I'm counting on God to give me that strength.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Things I Wish I Knew

These are the things I wish I knew before being pregnant.  Now, to be fair, even though I have lots of friends and family with babies, I never really asked much about pregnancy because it terrified me.  I didn't want to know what happened.  So I really knew very little about pregnancy before actually getting pregnant myself.  This is what I've learned...

I wish I knew that once you find out you're pregnant, God seems to pour molasses into the giant clock of life that immediately slows time wayyy down.  Seriously, from the moment I found out I was pregnant at about 5 weeks, until my first doctor appointment a month later, time seemed to move at a snail's pace.  And not to mention how long it takes to get through the first trimester - those weeks were the longest of my life!  I thought time went by slowly when I was engaged, but I had no idea how slowly time could move.  And from what I hear, time will move even slower if I'm overdue.

I also wish I knew that upon discovering a pregnancy, there is a huge blob of worry and fear that suddenly settles over your head.  So far I haven't been scared at all of actually being a mom, but in the beginning, I constantly worried about the health and safety of the baby, and feared that something might happen to this little one before I got to meet him/her.  I've finally found a peace about it all, but it took lots and lots of prayer and reassurance, and constant reminders that I have absolutely no control over it.  It didn't help that I'm one of those people that assumes bad things will happen to me if I hear stories from someone else.  (When I was little, if I heard about a little girl being kidnapped, I automatically assumed I'd be kidnapped as well.)  So if you have any stories of miscarriage, still births, preterm births, or any very tragic, sad stories about babies, do me a favor and don't share them with me right now.  (You'll also be doing yourself a favor, because I might punch you.  Don't blame me, it's the hormones.)

And I wish I knew that the pregnancy "glow" is just code for a speckled face of red spots.  My face hasn't looked like this since I was a teenager.  Thanks, hormones.

Another thing I didn't know is how great Sam would be as a partner through it all.  He's very caring and helpful and is always asking what I need from him.  Unfortunately, he doesn't think pregnancy equals my being right all the time, or that hormones give me the right to be a brat.  Whenever we get into a disagreement, I just want him to say, "You're right honey, can I get you some ice cream?"  Instead he reminds me that I need to eat broccoli and stuff.  Still, he's been pretty amazing.

And here's a random story for you, to make this post even longer.  Well over a year ago, I had asked Sam if we could name any future daughter Cosette or Eponine.  He said he didn't like Eponine and Cosette sounded like a French whore's name.  (That was before I took him to see Les Mis and he learned that it's actually Fantine who is the working girl.)  Anyway, now that we're having a baby, I brought up the name idea again, and Sam again denied me.  (Who says no to a pregnant lady?)  He said, "Plus, since the movie is coming out, there will probably be a ton of people that name their kid Cosette now, and that's exactly what you don't want."  And it's true - I don't want my kid to have a very popular or trendy name.  When I realized he was right and the dream I'd had since third grade was dead, I was mad at all the people who will name their daughters Cosette because of the movie, and I said, "I will hate all those baby Cosettes." temper and irrational thinking isn't helped by pregnancy hormones, either.

And, for funsies, here's me at 16 weeks and at 16.5 weeks. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why I Haven't Blogged in 2 Months

Here I am, back from my long hiatus from blogging.  It's not that I didn't want to write, or didn't have anything to write about.

It's just that I've been a little busy growing a human. 

Basically, for the past nine weeks, I've been sleeping, eating, trying not to throw up, trying to keep my eyes open while working on homework, and trying not to worry about my little growing baby.  I've had a ton of thoughts about pregnancy, but didn't quite feel ready to share my thoughts with the world, so my writing has been of the private sort as of late.  But here are some answers to the basic questions we've been getting.

Was baby a surprise?  Baby was a major surprise.  Sam and I had talked about starting a family sometime next year, and when I took the pregnancy test I didn't actually think I was pregnant.  I took the test to just prove that I wasn't pregnant, so when I saw a second, faint pink line, I freaked out a bit.  But it was a good freak out.  We are both extremely excited about baby Swenson.

When are you due?  May 25th.

Are you going to find out the sex?  Yes.  And no, we don't have a preference.  I change my mind daily as to whether or not I'd prefer a girl or boy.  Sometimes I think it would be way easier to raise a mini-Kimberly, sometimes I think it would be easier to raise a mini-Sam.  (But I think I'm just kidding myself because any offspring of ours will be extremely stubborn, so either way it probably will be something of a challenge...)

What will you name him/her?  No idea.  Sam wants to wait until we know if we're naming our daughter or son before we discuss name ideas.  (But yes, I already have several boy and girl names picked out that I just have to convince Sam to agree to when the time comes.)

Morning sickness?  Not a lot of morning sickness, just nausea.  Unfortunately, my former diet staples now make me sick.  The thought of coffee grosses me out completely.  Also, I used to have a banana spinach shake every morning for breakfast, which I couldn't possibly keep down now.  And I used to eat a lot of steamed kale with brown rice and soy sauce, but even typing that makes me feel yucky.  Apparently baby doesn't want it's leafy greens quite yet.  (Thank God for prenatal vitamins!)

Cravings?  Um, yes.  Any Friends fans remember when vegetarian Phoebe was pregnant with her triplets?   The baby wants meat!  I hadn't eaten meat since December of 2011, and never once missed it.  Well, this little baby seems to love meat, so we're getting lots of protein!  Also, I have never in my life liked hamburgers.  If I ever went to In-N-Out or McDonalds, I only ever got fries or a salad.  Suddenly, I love hamburgers.  The worst part is I can't even eat the bun because of the gluten, so I'd just eat the hamburger meat!  And I normally hate hamburger meat!  Aside from that, I've only made Sam go to the store once to get me something I was craving, and that was for chocolate milk.  Yummmmmy.

Here's my official 14-week picture.

There is a slight shadow on the wall behind me, but yes, I am that big.  I basically started showing immediately.  People say it usually takes awhile with the first pregnancy because the baby has to push through your ab muscles...well, I've never had any ab muscles to speak of, so apparently baby had no problem making itself known.  I think my stomach is just remembering what it was like when I was chubby, and has immediately reverted back to that.  I've never deluded myself into thinking I'd be one of those cute pregnant women who doesn't look pregnant from behind and her weight is all in her belly.  I'm fairly certain I will balloon up rather quickly.  That's fine by me, as long as baby is healthy.

And here's just a fun picture with my sister, who is due in January.  (She is one of those cute pregnant women whose weight is all in her belly.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

September blogs

It's October 1st.  Did anyone else notice if I reached my goal of nineteen blogs in the month of September?  How many times did I manage to blog?


Eight times in a month...which is not even close to my goal.  But here's the thing - that's just the way it's going to be.

Truth is, life has been a little busy. Last week I worked full time at the office, in addition to having school full time online. Last weekend my friend Bree came to visit from Seattle, and the weekend before that we spent four glorious days on a houseboat on Lake Shasta.  It was awesome seeing so many old friends, but it just meant my weekends were full.  That meant homework, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and all that good "weekend stuff" all had to be done at night when I got home from work.  Unfortunately, with very little extra time, blogging falls to the backburner.  (Um, also, all the shows that we missed over the summer are back, so I had to catch up on those, naturally...)

A few times I was tempted to just post a picture, or short anecdote, or just something so that I would have a blog posted.  But I've decided I don't want to forsake quality for quantity, so if I don't have time to post anything good, I won't post anything at all.

Soon I hope to post some pictures from the past couple weekends.  But for now, I must go do the homework that was due yesterday that I didn't finish...

Monday, September 17, 2012

happy birthday, marci

Today is Marci's birthday, so I wanted to dedicate a post to her.  I don't think I could accurately describe our friendship in words, so instead I'll let some pictures do the talking.  But basically we met in kindergarten, became inseparable in seventh grade, and for the past fifteen years have been there for each other through everything.  I love her, and I'll never let her stop being my friend.

A production of Oliver! in seventh grade. (No, I never had short blond hair, that is a wig.)

In eighth grade we performed Guys and Dolls - Marci was Adelaide, I was Sister Sarah.  We're singing Marry the Man Today here, a duet.  (Oh yeah, she has a beautiful voice and can act.)

I don't know what we're doing here but I love this picture.

  At Hume Lake.

Here we are in the basketball trophy case in high school.  Why?  I don't know...because we were that cool, apparently.

This picture is from Marci's 16th birthday.  I arranged a surprise trip to take her to see Les Miserables in a limo.  Don't you wish you were my friend in high school?  I don't do cool stuff like that anymore.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures from when Marci was homecoming queen.  Yes, she was homecoming queen and class president.  (Marci was the cool kid and I just tagged along, and usually people were like, hey Marci, who's that girl you're with?)

I also don't have any pictures of us from her wedding (hmmm, Marc, maybe send me some of your wedding pictures), but she was a stunning bride.  Like, indescribably stunning.  I cried a lot on her wedding day.

I do have this one from my wedding day.

...maybe this one's a little better, but the above picture is most "us".

I love this girl a lot.  She's put up with me for a really long time, and still laughs at my stupid jokes.  What a friend, right?  She's beautiful, talented, intelligent, kind, loves Jesus, and she's basically just really great.  Marcela, if I could I'd take you to Les Mis again...or to the mall, and then we'd drive by the Scranton house and scare ourselves...

Happy Birthday to one of the best friends a girl could ask for.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On School...and Old School

I am very grateful to be in school right now.  After not being able to attend school for a year, it feels great to finally feel like I'm making progress again.  I know higher education is a privilege and a luxury, so overall I'm thankful I can attend school and pursue my degree.

My Shakespeare class is still going well; in fact, I managed to work Friends references into an online discussion, and my professor and another student and I began describing and quoting favorite scenes from the show.  It was awesome.

I'm trying to have a good attitude about my IT class, but most of the time I hate it.  Today I actually told Sam that I didn't care about my grade as long as I passed, meaning I'd be fine with a "C".  I've never been fine with a "C".  I've never been fine with anything less than an "A".  Apparently this class will finally break through my perfectionist-overachieving-student attitude.  (My college advisor would be so proud!)  The good news is I only have six weeks left of the class and then I'll never have to think about it again!

Also, I'm going to vent for a moment.  Why do people automatically shorten names?  I introduce myself as Kimberly, and people call me Kim.  In my online class my name is clearly written as Kimberly, and yet people respond to my posts by calling me Kim.  (So far this has only happened in the IT class, not Shakespeare, which is another reason I dislike IT.)  Consequently I've decided that I will start calling everyone by just the first syllable of their name.  Is your name Brenda?  I'm calling you Brend.  Is your name Andrew?  I'm calling you And.  Is your name Lisa?  I'm calling you Li.  Sorry people, it's only fair this way.  Apparently "Kim-ber-ly" is wayyyy too long to say or type, so I'm shortening everyone's names so I can be just as lazy.

The good news is that I had the weekend off - my very first weekend off!  It was lovely!  The only bad part was that I woke up at 4:30 on Saturday, wide awake and completely unable to go back to sleep.  This morning I woke up at 6:15, again wide awake.  Maybe someday my body will realize it can sleep a little longer.

And here are just a few fun pictures from the weekend.  I had a more interesting post planned, but my brain has decided to stop cooperating after reading for two hours about HTML.  Sorry.

Yesterday Sam and I made banana pancakes with coconut syrup.  YUM!!! Gluten-free pancakes aren't as good, but it's still nice to be able to eat pancakes sometimes.  I grew up with pancakes every Saturday morning, a tradition I'm determined to continue when Sam and I have kids.  

I spent the morning going through old photos (and you'll find out why tomorrow), but I ran across this fun one.  Apparently I was way ahead of the chambray trend.  In fact, I'm guessing I was maybe ten in this picture, which means I rocked this style seventeen years ago.  Who knew I was so fashionable?

And here I am looking really cool practicing my saxophone.  Remember, band was cool!

And now I'm going to work on tomorrow's blog because I've been lagging in my goal of five posts a week...oops.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

not-so-superficial things, part I

Yesterday I wrote about the superficial things that were making me happy.  To be honest, yesterday was just not a good day at all, so I felt like I had to focus on insignificant but positive things that I can count on to make me smile when I'm feeling blah.

But to be sure, there are far more things that actually matter that I consider blessings.  My mother-in-law has been listing the things she's grateful for on her blog, much like Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.  Some things on her list are pretty basic, like "sprinkler systems" and "pancakes for dinner".  Others are major, like "the constancy of God".  Yesterday I listed a few little things, but today I think I'd like to publicly thank God for some of the big things, specifically my husband's family.

I might as well start with my mother-in-law, since I'm talking about her blog.  Basically, I'm certain I have the best mother-in-law around.  My mom always loved my dad's mom, and said she never understood why there was such a negative connotation regarding mother-in-laws.  I always hoped I'd be lucky enough to get someone like my Grandma Wuth, and have the kind of relationship with my husband's mother that my mom had with her husband's mother.  If you take one peek at Noreen's blog, you can plainly see that I'm lucky to know her - even luckier to be married to her son.  Noreen is so sweet, so smart, and so funny.  She's incredibly encouraging and positive, even though the past few years have been very difficult.  I'm also grateful for my father-in-law, and the amazing example Woody has been of trusting in God and persevering.  He is so joyful, always smiling, and I love watching the kind of husband he is to Noreen.  I don't think I could ever think of a negative thing about either one of them - except for the fact that they live too far away.  Thanks for being awesome and raising a son for me to love, Woody and Noreen.

Besides his mom, I think two other women influenced Sam greatly, making him the man he is today.  One of them is Grandma Oda, Noreen's mom.  If I can be thankful for a mother-in-law, I'm also thankful for a grandmother-in-law!  But the great thing about her is she has never made me feel like an "in-law".  From the beginning, she treated me as if I were her own grandchild, and does the same with Brett and Brady, my brothers-in-law.  I can always tell when Sam has talked to his grandma on the phone - he is more calm, definitely wiser, and usually highly motivated.  She's one of the most generous people I've met, and possibly the most inspiring.  She has mastered the art of living life to the fullest and makes the most of each day.

The other woman that influenced Sam in a huge way was Sara.  I couldn't possibly describe in one blog how her strength and character influenced her big brother; I don't even think a book would sufficiently describe it.  Though I only knew her for two years, I witnessed an incredible faith and indescribable joy in Sara throughout her journey with cancer.  I'm so grateful to have met her and developed a friendship and relationship with her.  She's the one who "proposed" to me with a sister's ring after Sam proposed, which was Heidi, Kari, and Sara's way of inviting me into the family.

I was pretty intimidated coming into a family of three girls and a boy, particularly because I come from a family of three girls and a boy, and as sisters we are very protective of our one brother.  But they couldn't have been more kind and welcoming to me, even putting up with my dry humor and sarcasm.  (It didn't hurt that I loved musicals and Friends, either.)  I've been so grateful to have Kari here in Salem, a built-in friend when we moved here, someone I can be real and honest with, knowing she won't judge me.  I really wish Heidi lived her as well; she and I could talk about and share books, she could teach me how to run, and she'd probably be making us laugh constantly.

I'm really grateful for these people because they all had a part in making Sam who he is.  He's not perfect, but he is a wonderful husband and person.  He always tries to take care of me, make me happy, and improve our marriage.  He encourages me when I need it, and challenges me when I need it.  I'm simply blessed to know him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

superficial happy things

Just so you know, I have about twenty half-finished blogs that I haven't published.  I have been writing a lot in the hopes of trying to post more, but I don't want to post something boring or without much content just for the sake of posting.  And sometimes what I write comes out more like a journal, and there are some things I think about (a lot of things, actually) that should stay off the internet.

So here are some surface-level, mostly superficial things that have made me happy recently:

Bouquet, gluten-free cookies, and a card for my last day at Starbucks.

(Yes, the note on the card says, "I love your really ugly faces.")

My panther scarf.  Yes, I love all things feline...

...obviously, because check out my new slippers:

Willow didn't know what to think of them...

My brain feels a little bit fried after the last week.  Starting the new job while still at the old job, along with starting school full-time made me busier than I prefer.  But the good news is that I love the new job!  So far I've only hung up on one doctor, and he was really nice about it.  Now I'm going to watch a movie on Netflix and try not to fall asleep.  (And yes, the movie is homework for my Shakespeare class.  Seriously, best class ever.)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On How I Know I Picked the Right Major

My major is English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  I think it's the right choice for me.

I had a professor who tried to convince me to switch to English Literature since he said I was actually good at literary analysis; but alas, I don't have as much fun writing about other writers as I do writing my own stuff.  Also, it's much easier to get a job with a Creative Writing degree than as an English Lit major.

Ha.  Obviously I'm joking.  This girl has no unrealistic notions about a plethora of jobs awaiting writers.

I'm taking Shakespeare right now, which I love, and an internet technology class.  This technology class is required for all students - I would never voluntarily sign up for it.  It's only five days into school and I hate this class.


I love my Shakespeare class.  My fellow English students are awesome, naturally.  Clever, witty, funny, insightful.  My professor, who records his lectures on podcasts, is highly entertaining.  The first podcast began with the musical introduction to "Officer Krupke," which I immediately recognized and subsequently began singing along to.  I found the lecture interesting, entertaining, humorous, and enjoyable.  I can't wait to start reading for this class, and learning more of Shakespeare's brilliance.

My technology course is not fun.

I tried logging in to the stupid course, using a code that was mailed to me.  This code, consisting of thirty characters, cost me $160.  Contrast that price with the cost of the requirements for my Shakespeare course: free.  My professor just said we need access to several plays, and I happen to own the entire works of Shakespeare.  (I asked for it as a nineteenth birthday present.  Yes, Shakespeare, I love you long time.)

So...$160 for a stupid code that gave me access to a stupid online book filled with soundbytes I have to listen to.  The speaker on the soundbytes is completely monotone, and talks about things like binary.  If any of you struggle with insomnia, I will happily send you the code so you can listen to these soundbytes, which are sure to put you to sleep.  But you will have to pay me $160 to email you 30 digits, which I'm told is actually 30 bytes.  Interesting, right?  I didn't think so either.

Anyway, as I tried logging on to the computer, I could not log on.  I kept getting stupid error messages.  (I know what you're thinking - I desperately need this class.  This is true.)  But wouldn't the creators of the online book try to make it easy to log onto a technology course designed for people who know nothing about technology?  Nope.  They made it way more confusing than my English class.  I finally clicked the "Help" icon, and the first thing I heard was, "It's easy logging on to My IT Lab!"  Excuse me?  Easy for who?

I'm not going to lie.  I flipped off the computer.  With both hands.

Finally I logged onto the stupid class (not easily, thank you very much) and began falling asleep.  To distract myself, I tried knitting, then I began to eat candy corn, and finally I watched the clouds roll by.  Literally.  See?

Needless to say, I have a tummy ache from too much candy, I ran out of yarn because I was knitting so much, and I am desperately hoping this class gets better as time goes on.

All this leads me to believe that I'm positive I've chosen the right major.  The fact that I get so excited about English classes, that I cannot wait to do the homework for them, shows me that I'm in the right spot.  And no, I have no future in computer programming or any other type of technology.  I will put up with the next seven weeks of class, and maybe I'll even learn how to do cool things with my blog.  But I'm not a fan of this dumb class.  I don't enjoy discussing bytes, CPUs and motherboards.

(However, the mention of motherboard did remind me of "motherboy" on Arrested Development, which reminded me how happy I am that they are making more episodes.  Then I thought how sad it is that Will Arnett and Amy Pohler are divorcing.  Then it made me want to watch Arrested Development and Parks and Rec simultaneously.)

See how much I'm learning?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ramblings of a sleep-deprived lost-addict

Guess who worked their last open ever at Starbucks this morning?  That means no more running to my car at 4am, terrified someone's waiting in the shadows to grab me, no more taking my lunch break at 8am, no more having to tell people, "I have to go home and sleep, I open," and no more getting off work  early afternoon with a headache and feeling lethargic and yucky the rest of the day.  I still have two more closing shifts to work until I'm done, but no more opens!

And guess who has a lot of homework to do but would rather ramble on her blog?  Actually, what I really want to do is watch Lost on Netflix.  I only have five more episodes, people!  I think I should just spend the rest of the day watching episode after episode until I'm done.  If anyone supports this idea, I'm doing it.

Guess who stayed up really late one night watching Lost and finished the entire season without me.  Yeah, that would be Sam.  The bully.

Guess where we get to go in two weeks?  Lake Shasta.  (Is it Lake Shasta or Shasta Lake?  I've always called it Lake Shasta.)  And guess who we get to see?  All our friends from Petaluma!

And guess who gets to be called Kimberly at her new job?  Me!!!  They already have a "Kim" who works there, so they said that I have to go by Kimberly.  Boo.  Yah.

Sorry I made you all guess so much on this silly post.  I blame my lack of sleep and headache.

Oh yeah, and check out the new blog on cat allergies (that I wrote at 3am since I had to post it by 5am and had to work at 4am).  Yes, I'm tired.

Cat Allergy Relief

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whole and Holy

The above verse has become my mantra recently.  I just keep repeating to myself, "Whole and holy, soul and body."  Lately I've tried to be mindful of how I'm living, as I want to be purposeful in the things I do.  I find I'm most content that way, probably because of my nature to want to be productive and healthy.  (I think that description sounds much nicer than Type-A and anal.)  It means that sometimes it's difficult for me to relax or just let go of things, but at the same time, I find opportunities to relax more often when I'm purposeful in the way I live.  I'm trying to focus on implementing things that nourish me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, while avoiding the things that leave me feeling divided or incomplete.

Forgive me for the short post this morning, but I start my new job in a few hours and a new term begins today.  I'm currently enrolled in Shakespeare and an internet technology class.  Shakespeare is already proving to be awesome, because I love Shakespeare and because my class is filled with writers and readers (and, you know, we are a pretty cool group).  However, the internet technology class is going to be pretty time-consuming, filled with busy work and stuff I do not understand.  (Perhaps by the end of the class I'll understand it.  One can hope, right?)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Woes...and wows.

I thought I'd write again about my week's woes, but then I realized it just sounded like I was complaining.  I really don't want to sound like I'm complaining, so I decided to add in some "wows".  I know, right?  Woes and wows?  I am soooo lame.

Oh well.

First the woes.
  • For the first time ever since we've been married (I think), Sam and I have to pay for our water.  Previously our landlords have done it, but now we get to be grown ups and pay for our own.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, since I try to conserve water as much as I can anyway, but...I like to take baths...often once a day...sometimes twice in the winter.  So...we got our first water bill.  And I can't take as many baths.  And I'm sad.
  • In the past few weeks three different people have talked to me about someone who is making life miserable.  With each person, the offender's name was Kim.  No, they weren't talking about me, and no, the three people don't know each other and the Kims are all different people, but still...I nodded along in support and said things like, "Yeah, Kim sounds like she needs to grow up, what a jerk.  Kim's mean," all the while wondering if these people were subconsciously mad at me because of association.  And this happened three times!  And y'all wonder why I prefer being called Kimberly?  Something about the name Kim just has negative connotations.  I blame the Kardashian.
And the wows.
  • Today is this girl's birthday (the one on the left, obviously.)  I call her a girl still, even though she's married with two kids, because she's my sister and I probably always will.  Also, I'll always call her Booty, though I have never figured out why I call her that or why it stuck.  I'm pretty thankful she was born, because she's a fabulous sister, and because she makes adorable babies for me to love.  Happy Birthday, Booty!
  • Tonight Sam and I are going to a wedding.  Yay for Jay and Sheena!  Yay for love!
  • Tomorrow is my parent's anniversary.  Yay for my parents, who are probably more in love now than ever after 34 years, and for their example to me and Sam!

Friday, August 31, 2012

in your face, last year me!

I noticed that I blogged more in the month of August than any other month this year, with a grand total of seven blogs, including this one.


Last year I blogged 106 times.  If I want to hit that number, I'll have to blog nineteen times in each of the remaining four months of 2012.  (Wait a minute...really?  There are only four months left in 2012?) average number of blogs per month so far this year is pathetic.

I initially started this blog because I wanted to share all my great recipes and craft ideas with as many people as I could.


Actually I started it because I think I'm really funny.  (This is actually true.  I tell Sam at least five times a week how hilarious I am.)

The truth is, I blog because I want to be a writer and because most of my friends and family live in other states and I don't want them to forget about me.  But judging by my frequency of posts, my friends have all forgotten about me and I don't care at all about writing.

I don't want either of the previous statements to be true.

So, here it new goal is to beat my number of posts last year, leaving me with 108 in 2012.  (I'll be in competition with myself?  That's my favorite kind!)  That means I have to blog 19 times per month, which averages out to about five blogs a week.  Considering the fact that I'll be in school full time starting Tuesday, and that I just accepted a new job, this may be a challenge.

Fortunately, I like challenges.

So be prepared to be faced with an onslaught of blogs in the coming months.  Some will be serious, some will be funny, most will be (naturally) random.  I'll talk about my life, what I think about, and funny things our cats do.  (Feel free to unsubscribe now, if you wish.  It won't hurt my feelings.)

So here goes...nineteen blogs a month, which means I'll be doing a lot of writing.  But if I want to be a writer, I have to write...right?

(Also, I'll probably continue to add in Friends quotes every chance I get, as evidenced by this blog's title and content, so deal with that if you want to keep reading.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

weekends and nail polish

For the past year, there are two things I have greatly missed.

Weekends and nail polish.

They may seem like small, insignificant things to you, but if you go for a year without weekends and nail polish, you might miss them, too.  (Granted, not everyone would miss the nail polish, but I'm one of those girls that loves painting her nails, so I miss it.)

Working at Starbucks equals giving up your weekends and your opportunity to paint your nails.  I have sort of hated having to rush off to work right after church every Sunday, or wake up at 3am on Saturdays to get to work while my sweet husband slept another six hours.  Whereas weekends are when most people plan trips and activities, weekends are generally when I'm busy at work.  My free time was often random days during the week, when everyone else I knew was working.

But not anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, in less than two short weeks, this girl will retire her green apron forever.  I'm not kidding this time.  Forever.  

No more opens, no more frappuccino happy hours, no more being judged as incompetent or unintelligent simply because I work at Starbucks, and no more smelling like coffee all the time.  

Thanks to Grae, our friend from church, I will now be working in an office.  I won't have to rush to work on Sundays, I'll be able to paint my nails, and I can even walk to work, since the office is less than two blocks away.

It's kind of like the ideal job for me right now.

(Besides, of course, staying at home with the cats, knitting, and writing silly blogs.  Anyone want to pay me to do that?)

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Week's Woes

I met my friend JulieAnn when I was in high school.  We had the same group of friends and we both swam breast stroke, so in swimming practice we often shared a lane.  JulieAnn never cared what people thought about her; she was simply her true self, and loved life, and I thought it was awesome.  So we became good friends.

In those first few months of our friendship, I would often tell JulieAnn about the frustrating and embarrassing things that happened to me, in hopes that I would gain sympathy.  But what would JulieAnn do?


And when I would try to explain that it wasn't funny, that this was my life we were talking about and yes, these things actually happened to me, guess what would happen?

She would laugh more.

My life (and all the devastating and embarrassing things that happened to me) was hilarious to JulieAnn.

Thirteen years later, she still laughs.

So, this is for you, JulieAnn.  The woes of my week, the glimpse into what it's like being Kimberly, a clumsy, ungraceful magnet for ridiculousness.

  • Yesterday morning I was leaving for work.  We don't have a driveway, so Sam and I both park on the road in front of our house.  I was parked behind Sam's car, so I backed up in order to pull out onto the street.  I heard a bump, but there are giant walnuts all over the street that I always run over, so I didn't think anything of it.  But as I started driving, I heard an awful noise.  I pulled over in front of the neighbor's house because I thought maybe the bumper fell off and I was dragging it behind me.  Nope.  I was dragging a trash can.  Our trash can that was set out on the curb for pick up.  I had knocked it over and apparently backed up over it and it got stuck under my vehicle.  I tried to pull it out but couldn't get it free, so I frantically ran to get Sam, worried I'd be late to work.  I ran inside panting, "I need help, I need help!"  Sam walked outside, but didn't see the car.  So his first thought was, The Ford was stolen.  So he freaked out until he finally saw it parked down the street, with a trash can stuck underneath it.  I was squeaking, "I can't get it out, it's stuck!"  He calmly and effortlessly pulled it out, laughed a lot, and went back inside.  And I hoped none of the neighbors saw any of it.
  • I trim my own hair because a.) I have curly hair so it's not really obvious if it's crooked and b.) I'm really cheap and don't like paying for something I can do myself and c.) I've never met a hairstylist who knows how to cut curly hair.  (The trick is to cut it when it's dry, and to cut it curl by curl.)  Yesterday I was trimming my hair and started with the longest layer, so the rest of it was piled on top of my head, when our doorbell rang.  It was our next door neighbor (who I had not yet met), who had lost her kitty and was looking for it.  Naturally I was distraught for her (You lost your kitty?! I'm so sorry!) and was distracted as I talked with her and promised I'd help her look for her lost cat.  I had completely forgotten about my hair until I went back inside and walked past a mirror.  This is what I looked like while I was talking to my neighbor, the neighbor I've never met, the one who undoubtedly hears me singing songs made up to  my cats all day in my kitty voice through the open windows.

Any chance she doesn't think I'm crazy?

Hope your week was less embarrassing than mine was.  Remember, these were just the things that happened yesterday.  If I went over the whole week, this would be a rather long post. 

Happy Friday, people.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

so...i like animals.

Sometimes I get teased about being a "crazy-cat-lady".

Um...okay, so most of the time I get teased about it.

It's true.  I love cats.  I love all animals, really, but cats do have a special place in my heart.  I can't explain my affection for them, though I'm pretty sure a great deal of it has to do with a certain person named Nancy.  Hey, Mama.  We sure love those little kitties, don't we?

Sometimes my husband wishes I didn't love animals quite so much, especially when a commercial comes on for the ASPCA and I immediately start sobbing.  I had to stop reading my ASPCA newsletters because I became so enraged upon hearing of animal abuse.  I mean honestly, how cowardly can you be?  Abusing a defenseless creature with no voice?  Talk about scum of the earth.

But I digress.

To be honest, sometimes I wish I wasn't such an animal lover.  It's not fun being really sad when I hear about animals being abused, and I don't enjoy how upset I get when I consider that millions of animals are euthanized each year due to overcrowding in shelters.  Sometimes I don't like this sensitive little heart of mine, and I wish I could turn it off and become more calloused toward these creatures.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't hurt.

But I do care.

So make fun of me if you want, call me crazy-cat-lady.  I can handle it.  I'm assuming if you read this blog, you know me and love me, so you're okay with my love for animals.

I was recently given an opportunity to blog for a company called Jusani, a company that cares about animals as much as I do.  As a blogger, I get to help raise awareness about animal adoption, as well as educating others about animal care.  I'm so thrilled to be able to do this, to use my abilities to help a cause I feel so passionately about.  Now my writing won't just be for my own silly self; it might actually help some animals.

Jusani is also an online boutique, and sells clothes, jewelry, stationary, and fun items for your pets.  The proceeds go toward animal shelters, providing food and medical care for those animals in need.  Isn't that great?  I love it.  I've been checking out the website and there are so many items I can't wait to order!

How cute is this shirt?  I'm already envisioning layering it when it starts getting colder.

And Sam likes Boston Terriers a lot, so maybe I'll get this for him:

I'm a little obsessed with this necklace...

...and these earrings!

There are so many other cute things on the website, but obviously I can't list them all here.  And the best part is, the money is used for good.  (And now you all know where to shop for presents for me.  Seriously, you could not go wrong getting any of this stuff for me.  Just so you know.  I know you were all hoping to buy me presents in the near future.)

And if you don't like cats, that's okay.  I mean, I think you're crazy, but it's okay.  :)  We aren't just helping cats, we're helping all shelter animals.  For all you dog-lovers out there, Jusani is saving dogs, too!  And there are lots of cute things for your dog, like personalized collars and tags.  So adorable!

I wrote my first blog there today, and even if you have no intention of buying anything or supporting the company, I would definitely appreciate it if you checked out my blog.  Read about my little baby Lulu, who has since adopted my mom as her mom. :)  And let me know what you think!  And even if this just becomes fodder for more ridicule, so be it.  At least I'm doing something I believe in, right?

Thanks for your support!

I Love Lucy Blog

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

only special houses get named

I called our home in Petaluma the 'Luma Loft because it was on the second story of an old house, and immediately when you opened the front door you had to walk up a crooked, narrow stairway which should have led to at least ten injuries but surprisingly didn't.  I didn't name our Salem apartment because it wasn't a house, so it was automatically disqualified.  And the townhouse we almost bought in Lancaster shall forever be known as "The House That Shall Remain Nameless" because, well...just because it wasn't special.

Some people have requested photos, so I'd like to introduce you to The Cottage Green (so named because it is a cottage and it is green).

When you first walk into our little abode, this is what you see.

Look left, and you get a view of our living room.

Willow tried to sneak into as many pictures as she could.

Morty, too.

If I'm home, that front door is open.  It's been too nice to ever have it closed, and I love all the light it brings in.

If you go right when you walk inside, you see this:

And keep going through the kitchen and you come to our laundry area/where my dresser lives.

Keep walking through this little hallway and you get to our office/guest room/cats room.

And you can catch a glimpse of our little deck, too.

Fun facts about our house:
1. The washer and dryer are probably older than I am, so when the washer is on the spin cycle, it shakes violently, causing what resembles an earthquake.
2. There are spiders all over outside.  Tons of little webs are everywhere, and if you go in our backyard you have to karate chop your way around so that you don't walk into an invisible web.
3. There is this fun little thing:

It's just small enough to be almost invisible, but just high enough to hurt if you stub your toe on it.

You don't get to see our bedroom or bathroom today because I'm washing all our bedding and cleaning the bathroom.  But I hope you've enjoyed your tour through The Cottage Green.  Now don't you want to come visit?
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