Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Early Morning Adventure

Last night/early this morning, Nathaniel and I took Summer to the ER. It was totally unnecessary. Of course, we didn't know that before we got there. Summer is generally a good sleeper at night, but she woke up several times before 10pm screaming, loudly and for long periods. So we went and got her, figuring she was teething and shouldn't have to suffer alone and in the dark any longer. She was dripping tons of snot, so we sucked it out with a sucker. Then she threw up. Then she started making these "ehhhhh" screechy-sounding noises. Then she felt hot. Then her temperature measured 102.3 or something. That was on Tylenol. I freaked out. We gave her more Tylenol. A while later, Nathaniel took the thermometer out early and it measured 102.8. That was when we packed up and headed to the ER.

When there, a nurse got Summer's vitals. The main reason for writing this post is to remember how cute it was when she wrapped a blood pressure sensor around Summer's tiny big toe. Summer just sat there, looking at it, lifting her foot up and down. So cute. The nurse took her temperature, which had decreased to 102.2. Good sign.

Then we waited for a room. We waited. And waited. And waited. Forty-five minutes into the wait, Nathaniel said, "We should bail." Looking back, I had no idea why that isn't what I did. Summer looked thrilled to be up so late and in a new place. She did not look like a sick baby.

An hour and fifteen minutes after our arrival, we went back into a room. A nurse greeted us and asked us more questions. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. At one point, Nathaniel had a nice little nap in the chair while I showed Summer all the fish in the room. Definitely not a sick baby.

The doctor came, and he said that the fever meant there was an infection in the body. It was likely viral, and because she was over three months, she had immunities and could fight it off. There was a slight chance it was a urinary tract infection, which could be really bad, but it was likely related to all the snot coming our her nose.

Why could the internets not have told us that a few hours earlier?!? Why did we need to spend two and a half hours in the ER in the middle of the night to have a doctor tell us that? Google, you have failed me.

The nurse came in and checked her temp again: 99 degrees. When she told me that, I felt pretty dumb for being there.

On the bright side, Summer got a cool new toy strapped to her leg:

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Break

Hello, friends. I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in forever, not because I labor under the illusion that my short absence from blog-land was a source of stress, but because I fear I’ve given people the false impression that my last post – you know, the one where I was freaking out about momhood – represents the current state of my mind. Your comments were truly so helpful – so helpful that I decided that I’m doing great and I’ve been living it up ever since. I do have freak-outs, but fortunately they don’t last weeks.

Nathaniel is done with finals. Blessed day. It’s been so wonderful having him home. This week, I have taken a nap every single day. So not only am I sleeping through the night, but I also am sleeping during the day. I haven’t done that since…yeah. It’s been a long time. The sad thing is that naps don’t really make me feel better. I think I’m like a 21-year old who insists on drinking every alcoholic beverage in sight: sure, it makes you feel like crap, but you have to do it just because you can. Also, it’s been so much fun to just hang out with Nathaniel. Turns out, he’s really funny and cool and witty and stuff.

Since my last blog, I have thought of a gazillion posts and this is my attempt to condense them. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been thinking a lot about two words: cheesy and ironic. They don’t have anything to do with other, so they each deserve their own paragraph. Hmmm, this isn’t going so well…

Cheesy. I was listening to the radio a few weeks back and the lame, generic, Top 40 station I listen to (can you tell how proud I am to listen to those stations?) advertised itself by describing the mix of music it plays. There was some rock, some hip hop, maybe some eighties, but the last line was “with a little bit of cheese,” or something like that. I thought it was interesting that the station admitted to playing cheesy songs. My first reaction was something like, “How sad that they have to pander to the general public who laps up lame music.” Yeah, ridiculous reaction, I know, because who is a member of that general public lapping up cheesy tunes? Me. While I haven’t plunged into the country music arena, I do like cheesy music. For example, I love Taylor Swift. I love to hear about the guy who makes her cry into her guitar. I’m so happy for her when I hear about the guy who has talked to her dad and tells her to pick out a white dress. I love almost any song that celebrates love and life and happiness, or that wants to but is thwarted.

And this isn’t just about songs. Movies, books, stories from friends/acquaintances/people I don’t know: if they’re cheesy, chances are I’ll love them. My blog? Full of cheese, too. Sure, I can get annoyed when people are freaks about love or happiness or whatever, but I suspect I have a much higher tolerance for this sort of thing than others. So I decided that "cheesy" no longer contains any pejorative connotation for me.

Anyway, I typically tone down the optimism and gushing in my blog (I know, can you believe it?), and I will continue to do so a bit, but I think I’m going to let it fly a little more. More spurting (I need a synonym for “gushing”) about Summer, about Nathaniel, about my church, about my family, about Nathaniel’s family, about friends, about life. I’ve always loved life. Life is great.

Wow, okay, I’m tired. Irony and feminism will have to wait for another day.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seven Whole Months and a Confused Mother Trying to Balance Her Life

Summer was born seven months ago today. I'm amazed how fast these months are going. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see her monthly posts so close together.

I know these monthly posts are so unoriginal, but I feel like I really need to do them because this is as close as I get to a baby book. I have to do something to remember her when she's little and all her milestones.

And speaking of milestones, Summer finally crawled. Not really, though. She did one crawl-step and then plopped down on her tummy again. She has her army crawl down and she goes really fast when she does it. Plus she's been rocking on her hands and knees for over a month now, so it's about time she just give it up and crawl like all the other babies are doing. Wow, look at what a great mom I am, encouraging my child to hop on a bandwagon. Summer won't have any issues, I'm sure.

She loves to get under the exersaucer, and because she's too young to understand when I'm laughing at her I get a good endorphin boost when she tries to get out.

Clearly, Summer gets her amazing muscle tone from her dad:


These were taken a couple of weeks ago.



Okay, Summer, can you get out?


Okay, arms out. Now try the legs!


Hey, little one, you have to use your right arm.


Nice.

And these were taken today. I know this is a ton of exersaucer pics, a plethora really, but I just find my baby adorable, and I know there are grandmothers looking at this blog who love to look at this girl's mug almost as much as I do.





Mmmm, I swear she's usually wearing pants.

I have conflicting feelings about being a mother. I really don't feel like I'm very good at it. I enjoy my life, but sometimes I feel like Summer just tags along with me while I go about my business. I always planned on being a very proactive, involved mom, even when my kids were really young. And I was, to a fault, until it drove me crazy and my life collapsed around me and Nathaniel told me that Summer really didn't need all the attention I was giving her. I think now I've gone into the other extreme.

I just don't know how to keep the house clean and feed my family and work and do the little hobbies I want to do and have a relationship with my husband and be a good friend and good member of the church and be a good sister/daughter and take care of a baby. When I look at the list, I think something's got go give, but there's nothing I want to let go. I remember a lesson by a former bishop who asked us to draw a little pie chart and put in it all of the different commitments we have. In that chart, we were to put how well we thought we were doing in each area.

Bishop Klein said, "You're never going to have 10s in every one of these areas. In fact, you probably shouldn't. If you have an eight in every one, you're doing amazing. Most are going to be fives or sixes." Or something like that.

That's pretty much what I had. I went from feeling like a failure to feeling like I was doing okay.

Now, I feel like a failure. I just look around me and it seems like everyone is able to do so much more than I do. I really think they're just more efficient with their time. Just now, it took me four hours to make dinner and that doesn't include washing the dishes. It's so hard for me because I can't keep my focus on something with a baby in the background, so I constantly have to re-group and remember what the crap I was going to do with the frozen vegetables and knife that are sitting on the counter.

So how do you do it?

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiger Woods and High School Proms: a post so awesome it needs no pictures

Apparently, the National Enquirer “reported” that Tiger Woods was having an affair with someone. Woods calls these statements malicious rumors, or something like that. Other “news” outlets picked up on that and one went so far as to suggest that Woods go public about his affairs a la Letterman.

Woods might be having an affair. I don’t know. I probably know as much about the whole situation as the goober who reported on it from the National Enquirer.

We all have a hunch that the National Enquirer is full of crap. Except me. I know. Here’s how.

Back in 2000 (remember that year?), Christina Aguilera came to my prom. I was a junior, it was my first year at the school, and I was on the high school newspaper staff. All of this meant I would be attending the prom date-less, covering it for the school newspaper and some other local papers.

I snapped some pictures and got an autograph. The event was a bust. You can read my rather pathetic article in the Augusta Chronicle here . There’s also a picture of what I looked like back then, if you need a good laugh.

A few days later, the advisor for the school newspaper called. A woman showed up at the school on a Saturday, looking for pictures of the event. She said she did freelance for the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, etc. I told her no problem. (Stupid!! I probably could have bought a gym membership with the money I got from those pictures.)

A week or so later, an article about the event appeared in the National Enquirer, accompanied with my pictures (grr!). Here is an excerpt:

"Christina was rude, crude, selfish and disrespectful," Bebe Bala, who helped out at the "Prom of Your Life" told the ENQUIRER. Dorothy Hatch, a Greenbrier High School junior who covered the prom for the Augusta Chronicle, reported, "It could not have been the prom of Colin's life..(He) was in the back most of the time, mostly standing by himself!" Continued Bebe, "It was clear that the prom was the last place Christina wanted to be. While getting ready, she kept hissing: 'I can't believe I'm going through with this! I can't go out there!'--Christina and her road manager had a huge fight over whether she'd do two or three songs. And she gave strict orders--"If the DJ plays a Britney Spears song, I'm out of here!" She was so busy complaining, she was 45 minutes late to the stage. A prom guest fumed, "After her ridiculously short performance, Christina was ushered to an interview area to meet with Colin. He gave Christina a rose, but she barely remembered this poor guy was supposed to be her prom date. She said, 'Oh you're the kid who won the contest', handed him one of her CD's and moved on. Her whole visit amounted to two quick songs and a cloud of dust!" Concluded Bebe: "Christina may be a big star, but she's a real zero in Augusta!"

I’m pretty sure I didn’t say those things. Okay, it’s possible. The poor guy did stand in the back most of the time. But Bebe Bala? He/she/it does not exist. Whoever wrote this article totally made up a source. And Ms. Aguilera wasn’t late because she was throwing a fit. She was late because she had the flu. Really. I found out later from her mother that she threw up in between the two songs. Poor girl.

So the National (every time I write that I accidentally write “Nathaniel” first) Enquirer wrote this completely bogus story, which got picked up by other bogus sources. An excerpt from “Christina Aguilera: A Star is Made: An Unauthorized Biography:”

Dorothy Hatch a writer for the high school newspaper claimed, “Colin [the contest winner] gave her a rose and said something like “Oh, you’re the kid who won the contest’ and gave him and his friend a CD and that was it.” [sic]

Lies!

What can we learn from this? Pop stars do not belong at high school proms. Amen.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful Friday Night - A Cheeseball of a Post

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "Le Petit Prince"

My best friend from elementary school, Kami, is organizing a bloggy thingy wherein a bunch of bloggers, for the month of November, make a list of five things they’re thankful for every Thursday. I’m late. And because I am loquacious and I don’t want this post to be a gazillion words long, I’m just writing about my first point of gratitude: Nathaniel.

Growing up, I didn’t think I would get married. My parents are divorced, so marriage didn’t seem like the norm. When I saw myself older, I saw myself in business professional with a large paycheck and a great apartment. A husband? Not so much. When I entered BYU, I thought I might get married, but that marriage would be a huge trial and would require constant effort to make it work.

I never would have imagined that at age 26 I would be in the best relationship I could want.

When Nathaniel and I were talking about getting married, I knew marriage was a huge leap of faith because I couldn't completely control the outcome. But Nathaniel didn't hide a thing and I knew I could trust him. I knew I wouldn’t be making a mistake if I married him.

I assumed that the easy stage couldn’t last forever. I kept waiting for it to wear off. I told Nathaniel, “I wonder when marriage will start getting hard?” Nathaniel said, “Don’t think like that. That’s like assuming the greenie magic has to wear off. It doesn’t.” And it hasn’t. I feel like I just stumbled onto the best marriage I could possibly have.

Things are different now than when we were dating. I don’t get butterflies in my stomach every time he walks into the room. He hardly ever puts on the aftershave that I love. I don’t make an effort to be as witty or as put-together like I did then. We don’t talk incessantly about how much we love each other and how great our relationship is (but I don’t think we ever did that, I hope).

Things aren’t the same, but they are really better. Sure, butterflies can be fun, but nothing is better than being in a relationship with a person who is interesting, who knows you and truly loves you, who understands and empathizes, who encourages you to fulfill your goals AND who loves your child almost as much as you love her. That is our marriage.


For this I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hi, my name is Dorothy and I am an internet addict

So something like this happened to me the day before yesterday:

48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity

BOSTON—An Internet worm that disabled networks across the U.S. Monday and Tuesday temporarily thrust the nation into its most severe maelstrom of productivity since 1992.

"In all my years, I've never seen anything like this," said Price Stern Sloan system administrator Andrew Walton, whose effort to restore web service to his company's network was repeatedly hampered by employees busily working at their computers. "The local-access network is functioning, so people can transfer work projects to one another, but there's no e-mail, no eBay, no flaminglips.com. It's pretty much every office worker's worst nightmare."

According to Samuel Kessler, senior director at Symantec, which makes the popular Norton Antivirus software, the Internet "basically collapsed" Monday at 8:34 a.m. EST

Shortly after office workers found their web, e-mail, and instant-messaging capabilities disabled, reports of torrential productivity began to reach corporate offices nationwide.

"My first thought was 'My God, this has to be some kind of mistake,'" said Prudential Insurance executive vice-president Shane Mullins of San Francisco. "My e-mail wasn't working. Nerve.com wasn't working. I eventually found out that the company web site wasn't working, either. But by that time, my inbox was filling up like you wouldn't believe."

Enlarge Image 48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity jump

The Internet outage forced a Minneapolis couple to tackle a task they'd put off for months.

"My actual physical inbox," Mullins added. "It's this gray plastic thing on my desktop—the top of the desk I sit at."

With workers denied access to ESPN.com, Salon, Fark.com, and Friendster, employers struggled to keep up with the sudden increase in efficiency.

"Our office was working at roughly 95 percent efficiency," said Steven Glover, an advertising executive and creative team leader at Rae Jaynes Houser. "It's problematic to have the rate jump like that—it sets a precedent that will be impossible to maintain once the Internet comes back."

Glover said his department failed to reach 100 percent productivity only because employees stopped work every few minutes throughout the outage to see if Internet service had been restored.

"This is terrible," said Miami resident Ron Lewison, an employee at Gladstone Finance and an Amazon.com Top 500 Reviewer. "For two days, I've been denied access to the vital information I need to go about my workday. In the absence of that information, I've been forced to go about my job."

According to Labor Department statistics, companies affected by the Internet outage generated an estimated $4 to $6 billion in extra revenue.

"Losses to online retail companies will be considerable, " said Jae Miles, senior financial economist at Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago. "Nevertheless, the outage's overall impact on the national economy will be a positive one. The losses should be easily offset by the gains to companies that depend primarily on people finishing actual work."

As of press time, many administrators had begun to apply a patch that combats the Gibe-F worm.

"Thank God, Earthlink service is back, and with it, online shopping and entertainment news," office worker Emily Jaynes said at 7 p.m. Tuesday. "I'm ready to head home now. I couldn't bear to spend another evening repainting furniture and using my pool."

Financial experts say they hope to have detailed data on the economic impact of the outage within the next 24 hours.

"When American office workers are denied access to vast, complex streams of ever-fluctuating and evolving information, they tend to get a lot done," said Nicole Dansby, a business-information analyst employed by the New York Stock Exchange. "The extended Internet outage may or may not have had something to do with the Dow's 278-point jump Tuesday. I'll have to, you know, check the web for a few hours and get back to you."

I realized I was addicted to the internet and I made Nathaniel disconnect it. I got so much done. So now it's back and here I am, blogging. I might have to have him take it again.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Discouragement and Inspiration

Do you ever have those moments when you know you should just do something, but it seem so hard and you don't know where to start, so you don't do it?

I know I need to be better. I need to take the focus of my life off myself and make Christ the center of my existence. I know I need to learn to be like Him.

But how? How do you delve into a task that seems impossible and that you don't fully understand? I don't know.

So I don't think about it much. I allow myself be content with doing just enough and let the distractions take me away from uncomfortable thoughts of my shortcomings.

Then I got the conference Ensign and read this:

"My dear brothers and sisters, don't get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don't feel downcast or despair if you don't feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try...Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible-and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you."

I love my church.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemaking

I haven't been getting many hours at work because, well, I don't really know why. So I've been doing other stuff. It's been fun.

When I was in high school and college, I thought "homemaking" meant getting together with a bunch of old ladies and making crap like this:


I am proud to say that I always hated that aesthetic. I am not proud to say, however, that I got my ideas about interior design from a Baby Sitter's Club book. Remember the one where Kristi's mom marries a rich guy? You hire an interior designer, look through some books, pick out what you want, and then you're done. I'm also not proud to say that all my ideas about fashion came from the Baby Sitter's Club books, too, but that's another post entirely.

Sadly, I'm not joking about that.

Anyway, on my recent trip to Hawaii, my aunt Cynthia (technically Nathaniel's aunt but I claim her) gave me an entirely new perspective on the whole thing. Before, I threw random framed art on the wall and I was happy with our model home furniture. I figured I would just wait until I or Nathaniel started making some money and then buy a model room from Ikea or even hire an interior designer.

And then Cynthia came along. We flipped through some interior design magazine clippings she had in a binder and she encouraged me to find which ones I liked and figure out why I liked them. Later, she gave me a link to a design blog (design sponge) and I am hooked. One of the best things I read since I've been looking at this stuff--which has only been about a month now--is that too many people worry about whether or not stuff goes together. It's better to just find things you love and surround yourself with them.

I looked at pictures of beautiful rooms adorned with beautiful collections of plates, leaves, random artwork, etc. I asked myself what I love most and would want around me, and my thoughts went to my family.

Okay, before I show you what I did, a disclaimer is in order: I am not a decorator of any sort. I am not posting this because I recommend you do the same, but because it represents my discovery of a way I can make my life better and I'm excited about it. All right? All right.


I did this:



That picture makes it look so bad I want to laugh at it! I promise, if you came over you'd like it. It might not be your thing, but you'd like it.

As for me, I love it. The photos I picked out are my absolute favorites and I love the way the frames are very deep so it gives some interest to the wall. Or whatever.

It's not much, I know that. And it makes me wish we had a white slipcover for our couch. But still, I love that I figured out what I liked and went for it.

The whole idea of decorating is still intimidating for me. I always considered it as something that other people did or were good at. But I'm so glad Cynthia encouraged me to be okay with failure. I really do want this little Wymount apartment to be a place where I feel good and that I love, and I'm working on it. And, I'm so glad that the term homemaking doesn't necessarily conjure images of strange creatures with raffia anymore.


Yikes.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Externship and Six Month Stats

Nathaniel is amazing. I'm sorry, I know e-bragging is kind of gross, but he is. He is an incredibly hard worker and has a knack for legal reasoning. He impressed his legal writing teacher so much that her glowing recommendation got him a slot as a clerk for a judge here:



at the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. The court hears claims against the governent arising under the US Constitution, federal statutes, etc. It's an Article I court for my friends who took federal courts. Nathaniel won't get paid, but gets six hours of school credit, which is awesome because then he can take fewer credits later on.

Ugh, have you ever tried to write a blog post after you ate half a stick of butter? It's a lot harder than it sounds. I was just experimenting and made apple butter crisp and it's very hard for me to be moderate when it comes to butter.

Summer had her six month appointment yesterday. She is in the fiftieth percentiles for weight and head circumference and the tenth percentile for height. I just looked it up and I'm in the twentieth percentile for height, so I don't have high hopes for Summer.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Six Months

Today, Summer is half a year old.

Summer was a very beautiful newborn. Six months ago, when I saw bigger babies, I didn't think they were nearly as beautiful and little and fragile as our brand new Summer. I wanted to cherish the moments when she was like that because I knew they wouldn't last long.

They didn't, and thank goodness. I didn't know then that newborns suck. After the first week, they just scream and poop. They can't even hold their heads up or smile or look at you. I didn't realize at the time how hard things were. I think I liked it, but why I liked it I don't know. How I ever got through those first months is a mystery.

Actually, I lied. Nathaniel got me through those first months.

Six months, however, is amazing. Summer has been smiling all the time lately. She creeps/army crawls to get to her toys, her favorite being daddy's old laptop. She doesn't laugh all the time, but when she does it's the best thing in the world. She has moved from just eating stuff to eating it, then giving it a few shakes, then eating it again. She gets so excited about just about anything. It's so fun taking care of her.

And the best thing is that I think she likes me back. It's just pure joy. That's all. This is mushy. I'm sorry.

Oh, and she's helping me figure out how to hang pictures.


Hey, Summer!



What's your favorite frame?



That one? Mine, too.


And, Nathaniel got an internship (unpaid) in Washington DC. Cool, huh?

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

If you ask me to lunch and I refuse, this is why...

Our society is too materialistic, and I am definitely a part of that society. I spend way too much time thinking of things that I want, as though they would make me happy. And they wouldn't.

For instance, having these would not make me happy:



But I can't help but want them. I don't think I've ever been so excited about a product in my life. They are copies of the Penguin Classics bound in fabric. The designs on the fabric correlate to some theme or motiff in each book. Here is an interview with the designer. I'm so impressed by how much thought went into choosing the designs and the colors, and I think they are absolutely beautiful. The collection includes some of my favorite books like like Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford (yes!), Little Women, Madame Bovary, Great Expectations, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Crime and Punishment. I eventually want even those titles that aren't my favorites (the Oddessy, Wuthering Heights) and those I have yet to read (Oliver Twist, Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Lady Chatterly's Lover(!)). So I'm saving up. Sure, I may only have one pair of jeans that fit and I don't have a winter coat, but who cares when there are awesome books to be bought?

It's okay to want stuff, as long as we don't set our hearts on them. Right? Plus, I'll pass them on to my children, and my children's children, and my chidren's children's children... Actually, my children are too young to be having children. (If you don't know where that's from, ask me and I will introduce you to something that will greatly increase your quality of life.)

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I Saw Nie Nie

Well, sort of. Yesterday, As I was walking into Michaels to pick up some picture hanging thingies, out of the corner of my eye, I saw this coat:



(I stole this picture off her blog. I hope she doesn't get mad at me.)

Pathetically, I knew exactly who the owner was. It was Stephanie Nielson, of the Nie Nie Dialogues. I started reading her blog last fall, when her plane crash was all over the news (New York Times, Today Show, etc.). Some people might hate her blog; I'm sure the creator of Seriously So Blessed has looked to her blog for some satire-worthy material. She is always dressed to the nines, she loves vintage looks, her blog has a very low word to picture ratio, and, in her heart of hearts, Nie Nie loves being a mother. I think people love her blog because she has a knack for glamorizing the life of a stay-at-home mom, and what stay-at-home mom doesn't need a little of that every once in a while? Oh, and I really like her photography.

Anyway, I sort of always hoped to run into her and get the chance to tell her blog inspires me to be a good mother. But when I saw her plaid coat and her little red-headed daughter march to the custom framing counter, I knew I wouldn't talk to her. What was I going to do? Randomly walk up to the framing counter and ask questions I didn't need the answers to? Make a complete fool out of myself so I could say that I'd talked to Nie Nie? So I got my picture hangy thingies and walked to the check-out.

So that's the story. Below are my ramblings. Feel free to skip.

As I was standing in line, carrying Summer, I looked at all the other people around me in the busy store. All of them, I realized, were really just as special as Stephanie Nielson. I wished I was one of those people who had the guts/skills to start conversations with people in line (Nathaniel is probably very glad I don't, however). Before I could think of a way to brighten someone's day, it was my turn to buy my item.

Once, when I was standing in line at our local grocery store in Evans, Georgia, the checker, a young black woman, started singing. I was embarrassed for her, especially because the next person in line was a wealthy-looking old white man. The man, in his slow southern drawl, just smiled and asked, "You singin'? You've got a mighty pretty voice." She smiled back as she scanned his groceries and said, "Thank you," and then resumed singing.

Why aren't Utahns like that? Why am I not like that?

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Story, Part Six

Nathaniel has all our wedding pics on his computer, so this is a picture of us from Summer's baby blessing. It's the closest thing we have to a family picture.


It was late. Nathaniel and I had spent a couple of hours together that day, but I wanted more time. I was conflicted. I liked him. We had been spending more and more time together and it just kept getting better. Nathaniel was fun. And smart. And attractive. And best of all, he was genuine. He had nothing to hide.

I'm reminded of his reaction when I introduced him to Silk Chocolate Soymilk. He took one look at the carton and said he couldn’t imagine buying it. Referring to the plug on the carton for alternative energy solutions, he asked, “Do we really want windmills everywhere?”

I guess I loved that he disagreed with me.

At the same time, I kept dating other guys. I didn’t know when I would feel comfortable getting into a relationship, but exclusivity four months after I broke off an engagement seemed wrong. Plus, as I said before, dating other guys was fun.

I could tell, though, that my reluctance was now more about what others thought than my desire to spend time with other guys. The more time I spent with them, the better Nathaniel looked.

I realize that all this talk about exclusivity sounds sort of silly, like something from the Sweet Valley Twins series about “going steady.” But it was so important to me to make sure that I didn’t make yet another mistake in yet another relationship. My disastrous engagement had truly broken my heart and I just didn’t think that I had the wherewithal to handle something like that again. I was so sure that I had found the man of my dreams. And I was so wrong.

Nathaniel was an amazing person. Perhaps amazing enough to risk another broken heart. But so soon? Probably not.

I stared at myself in the mirror, brushing my teeth to get ready for bed. Only I didn’t want to go to bed. I wanted just a little more time with him. That wasn’t so bad, right? But I also didn’t want to look too forward. Besides making myself look like an overenthusiastic fool, asking him to get out of bed so we could hang out might be leading him on should I back out later. I put my toothbrush back in its holder.

"Oh, who cares?” I muttered to myself. I pulled out my phone and texted:

“Do you want a back rub?”

After a few very long seconds passed, he texted back.

“No. Do you?”

I offered him a freaking backrub and he said no? He clearly didn’t want to hang out. I replied:

“Yes.”

I waited. He didn’t text back. He thought I was too forward. Too needy. Didn’t have a life of my own so I had to leech from his. Oh well, it was probably for the best, anyway.

“K. Come to my apt.”

Oh, thank goodness.

I put my flip flops back on and walked out the front door, being careful to shut it softly behind me. I didn’t let myself think as I walked over to his place. I just let my feet carry me to Apartment 206. And before I let myself think again, we were on campus by the testing center, laying on some blankets in the dark, talking.

“I have a song that reminds me of you and I want to play it for you,” Nathaniel said.

“Let’s hear it!” Inside, I was completely giddy. I loved romantic songs. They say everything you don’t have the guts to say yourself. What did Nathaniel want to say to me?

It started:

Jamie, what you doing now?
What you doing now girl?
Please, please tell me
Cause I need to know, I need to know now.

“That’s not the part that reminds me of you,” Nathaniel said rapidly and then resumed singing at the top of his lungs.

When I was down, you came to me
And promised you'd always be
By my side, now you're gone
And I'm waiting patiently
Jamie, I want you to know
Jamie, oh Jamie, I'm so glad you're mine
We'll be together a long time

“It’s not that part either.”

You are the most, you're so rad, you're so fresh
And I'm so glad I am yours, you are mine
Show me where and I will sign
When I was down, you came to me.

“It’s coming, I promise.”

Jamie, believe me, I won't let you down
Cause you are the best lawyer in town.

“That’s the part!”

Incredulous, I asked, “That’s what reminded you of me?”

“Yep. That’s it.”

So, that was Nathaniel’s romantic song dedication. I was so let down.

We looked at the two stars that could be seen through the branches and talked in Romanian and Russian, figuring out what words are the same in the two languages. I didn’t care what we talked about, as long as I was with him. Suddenly, Nathaniel paused and said, “I kind of want to kiss you.”

Kissing = exclusivity. I was not ready.

“Well, we don’t always get everything we want.”

The minute I said those words, I regretted them. It was at that moment that I really wanted him to kiss me. I didn’t let myself think about what kissing would mean, I just wanted it to happen. I hoped he wouldn’t pack up the blankets and head back to the Elms. I hoped I’d get a second chance.

Nathaniel resumed chatting. At some point, he mentioned he wished he played guitar.

“Really? Why?”

“Because girls like it.” Wow. Talk about honesty.

I thought for a minute and said, “Okay, here’s my take on it. Sure, it’s cool if a guy can play the guitar. So if a guy plays the guitar, that’s plus, say, two points. But if a guy is genuine and is just himself, that’s, like, plus twenty points. I’d much rather a guy who’s not the guitar-playing type just avoid the guitar than try to impress me with it.”

The whole time I was saying this, I pictured Nathaniel strumming a guitar in the hope of winning a girl over. That image still makes me smile.

“So do you think I’m genuine?”

“Totally.” I had to be honest.

“Sweet.”

We talked some more. Somehow, we wound up kissing. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, only that it fit in so perfectly, almost as though it was part of the conversation. And the kiss? It was great.

Do you really want details? I didn’t think so.

As we walked back down to the Elms, something about the harshness of the lights in the stairwell made me realize how dumb I had been. I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to be in a relationship, and I just kissed Nathaniel multiple times. So much for self control. I am not a nail biter, but I bit my nails constantly to make sure that Nathaniel couldn’t grab my hand. Hand holding in public would mean real exclusivity.

The next day, we went to Centerville to go to a friend’s birthday party. After we parked, Nathaniel confidently grabbed my hand.

“Your hand feels so good in mine,” he said. I just smiled as we walked toward the party, holding hands. We were together. And I was okay with that.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'll Probably Regret This Someday

Ever since Summer was about two and a half months old, she has put stuff in her mouth. It's a cool trick, but for a while now I've been looking forward to the time when she would do something else with the stuff she grabs. This morning, she was playing with a pen and starting banging it against her Bumbo. Because I couldn't leave well enough alone, I gave her this.


And a wooden spoon.


And she made noise.



It was pretty cool.

And because I just can't resist:

Spoon: WalMart
Onesie: Hand-me-down from my mom's friend
Pot: Deseret Industries
Bumbo: On loan from Jackie
Coffee Table: Anthropologie. Just kidding. It's from DI.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Early Morning

Right now it's 6:31 in the morning. It's dark outside and I'm trying to distract myself from Summer's wails. She's been making cute, tempting noises for about fifteen minutes. I am trying to stick to the latest baby sleep book I read, so I'm not going to go get her for another twenty-six minutes. It's hard.

Nathaniel is already gone for the day. We are a lot alike, but in some ways we are polar opposites. You would never have caught me at school that early, unless I'd spent the night. For Nathaniel, leaving before the sun rises is the norm.

So I sit here, awake, left with just my thoughts. They always go to Summer. Every day I think that I want to go back to the time before she was born. I want to nap and shop and earn money freely. And every day, as soon as those thoughts start forming in my mind, Summer coaxes me back into reality with her giggle, her smiles, her dimples, her latest skill, her coos. She does it with her angelic face when she's sleeping and her fascination with everything from the light switch to Nathaniel's nose. She reminds me how much I love my life with the way her eyes look when she looks up and every time she insists on lying on her tummy in the bathtub.

So thanks, Summer. I love you.

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