Friday, November 27, 2009

More Pictures of Cara

I'm not terribly skilled with the camera... or with picture altering programs. But at least you can get some idea of what she's doing these days. She's rolling over, smiling, laughing occasionally, playing with toys, and getting ready to crawl and to sit up on her own. Yesterday was her first experience of solid food out of a spoon. So fun!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Last weekend, we went to California to celebrate an early Thanksgiving. Why early? Well, both my brothers are in the Navy. Trevor now lives 45 minutes away from home and returns almost every weekend. Cameron, however, lives in South Carolina and his break came at the beginning of November rather than the end. It may be another year before we get to see him again... and neither of them had met Cara yet. This was our year to spend Thanksgiving with my family, and so we all got together a little earlier than normal.

The trip was rushed. We left at 6:30 Wednesday night, drove through the night and reached Hollister at around 9 Thursday morning. We were exhausted, but got to visit with family and friends. I took a nap and a shower and then went to a baby shower that was hosted and planned by members of the ward and my aunts.

The baby shower was wonderful! So many people showed up, and others brought gifts, even if they weren't at the party. It always amazes me to see such outpourings of love. I am awed, humbled, excited... Plus it was so fun to see everyone! Cara had a hard time with it, unfortunately. It had been a long night, and a busy day, and even though she'd taken a couple of naps she still hadn't quite recovered from a night of sleeping in the carseat. She wasn't her normal happy smiley self until after everyone left. I hope they get to see her sometime when she is happier!

Friday was relatively relaxed. We puttered around, got ready for Thanksgiving, and that night watched V from my Uncle's computer which he set up on a projector screen. What a treat!

Saturday was Thanksgiving! Woohoo! Gotta love home-cookin' that you don't have to cook yourself... Thanks Mom!!! It was amazing, delicious, and totally killed my diet but I loved every bite.

Sunday we went to Church, then dealt with some cows that had pink-eye. That sounds strange, I know, but I enjoyed it. I so miss being out with the animals. Of course I prefer horses to cows, but it was fun to climb fences and such.

We headed out early Monday morning and reached our apartment around 11 pm. Crazy busy, but all sorts of fun.

Of course Cara stole the show. My Mom was a little reluctant about being "Grandma", but she has taken up the position quite nicely. She and Cara laughed and played, and I think my Mom fed her more than I did on this trip. Dad was enchanted, of course. I haven't seen him smile that big in a while. (Not that he doesn't smile, it's just that his smiles for Cara were extra big!) Cameron was afraid of her, but the two would stare at each other, seemingly fascinated. He also poked her a few times. That was very affectionate, for Cameron. Trevor talked to her, played with her, and even held her once. Uncle Dan didn't know we were coming, and so was slightly wierded out to walk in the house and see a baby on the floor, but he enjoyed us all as well.

Oh! She also started to figure out toys while we were there. She would grab at rattles, and hold them, and shake them. The mylar balloons we got at the party were great fun. She would grab at the strings, pull them, and watch as they bounced around above her. We tried to bring those with us, but they lost pressure on the trip over here and we had to put them down. Poor balloons. We kept the little plastic weights, though, and those make great toys as well.

Anyway, I know I'm terrible at taking pictures... right now they're all pretty much of Cara laying down or being held... other than showing off all her new fun outfits, I don't see a whole lot of point to it. Plus, I'm just bad at getting the camera out. I'll post more soon, I swear!

In the meantime, California was wonderful. Thanks to all who participated in the baby shower! And a great big thanks to my family for letting us come and for being who they are. I love you guys!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not a Mom

"Boys are not worth the effort it takes to train them." This was the mantra I told myself back when I was bitter about the fact that I had never had a boyfriend and had wanted nothing else for years.

Somehow, through more years of lonely experience, I came to the conclusion that that particular attitude was not going to get me what I actually wanted- a man. And so, I changed my mantra.

"I want a man who is good enough that I don't have to train him." And I wouldn't settle on anything less. This of course meant that I had to be in the habit of not telling others what to do and thinking that my way of doing things was the right way of doing things. After all, if I didn't want to have to train him, I didn't want him to be thinking I would be willing to perform such a service!

And I won. Through the grace of God, I married the most wonderful man I have ever known, bar none. And he needs no training. He watches less tv than I do, doesn't like sweets very much, always wants to help out with whatever needs doing, and takes out the trash- sometimes without being asked! (Of course that's just a miniscule list of his virtues, but I believe that covers many of the "training" issues.)

The funny thing is, he still looks to me for advice on little things. "Where does this go?" "What needs to be done today?" "What do I wear to this event?"

Tonight was such a night. We were packing to go to California, where we will be getting family pictures taken. My Ryan asked me what he should pack... the suit? the khaki pants? the blue shirt? the navy tie?

Well, my friend, I'm sorry to say that I don't know. I wasn't trained in the art of dressing men. Half the time I can barely dress myself. I don't have to know those kinds of things. Those are Mom things to know. "I'm not a Mom!" I finally called out in frivolous desperation.

Ryan smiled.

Cara looked at me, happily smacking on her thumb.

And I turned and left the room to gather up more laundry.

Monday, November 2, 2009

That Could Be Me

Do you do this? Every time I see something I think is cool, I think, "I could do that." And there is so much I want to do.

I want to start a business.

I want to train horses.

I want to ride those horses up into the mountains where I would go hunting with a camera.

I want to build fences.

I want to write books.

I want to ride my bicycle for miles and miles in well-fitted exercise clothes while the miles get counted and each one means money donated to a cause by the people who pledged for me.

I want to be part of a rec therapy program that helps teenagers discover who they are and what life is about.

I want to run a ranch that donates two months of every year to battered women and children.

I want to be the kind of person from whom creativity naturally flows, unhampered by societal fears.

I want to create a manual for new adults just beginning to figure out what life is about.

I want to travel through my own country, and have stories to tell about my life's adventures.

I want to be the kind of person who recognizes when such stories are in the making and enjoys the unfolding of them.

I want to go to third-world countries and distribute micro-loans.

I want to be a grandmotherly sort of person who always has a plate of cookies and a smile for anyone who needs a friendly ear.

I want to give, and do, and be... and my biggest question is how? quickly followed by when? and really?