Thursday, November 5, 2009

Brief Blogging Hiatus

During the month of November, Jeff and I are participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. So if you catch us blogging (like I am doing right now), it means that we are procrastinating when we should be focusing on our novels!

What is NaNoWriMo all about? Participants are working towards writing their first draft of a 50k-word novel. Yes, I said 50,000 words, which is about 1,667 each day. That actually makes for a short novel at only about 175 pages, but to novices like ourselves, it is going to be quite a feat!

I'm ahead of schedule at 16k words, but I can only hope to keep up my momentum. It isn't easy to make the time, but I sure am doing my best.

See you all in December... or earlier if we finish early! Wish us luck and creativity!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knitting, Snow, and Doggies

I can strike a couple of things off of the UFO list I included in my previous post... Including Harper's new black knit hat with a red stripe. He was a wiggly worm while modeling it, so the shot to the right was the best (which is quite blurry as you can see). I'm happy with how it came out, and ready to go onto the next knitting project! See, I get too excited to finish the UFOs that I should work on instead of something new. Oh well, I just can't help myself!

In other news, it snowed yesterday. Snow is still a bit foreign to me, though I'm sure I will become accustomed to it after a few more winters in Utah. It inevitably melted, so it will be fun once it starts sticking with some sort of permanence. I can't wait to take Harper out to play in it for the first time (last year hardly counts since he was so small).

I also LOVE playing with Dexter in the snow. He goes into some sort of puppy-mode when he plays; he loves to jump to catch snowballs in his mouth. It warms my heart. Poor buddy had a rough time during his racing career - he was overworked, obviously physically abused, and mistreated overall. I love seeing him so happy. It's hard to believe that my big buddy is considered a senior.

Just for fun, below are some pictures from some of our walks to the nearby park. I'll miss these long walks when it will be too snowy and cold to take them regularly. Note that I do not take both of the hounds at once. They are just too big (Dexter is about 100 lbs, and Dottie is usually between 55-60 lbs depending if she is currently on a snobby hunger strike), and I am only talented enough for one hound and one stroller!

Dexter unsure of why we've stopped (for me to take a photo). He's so pleasant to walk. He doesn't stop to sniff, and pays no attention to the other dogs - even if they bark or whine at him. He does, however lose focus and run into the stroller once in awhile. Greyhounds tend to bump into each other when the walk or run together, so maybe that is why he runs into the stroller. I take him out a bit more than Dottie mostly because he's the only chubby greyhound I've ever known.. but I love him dearly.

Our "Skinnie Minnie" Dottie who (unlike her brother) always insists on stopping to sniff EVERYTHING and whimper at every dog we pass. Regardless, I love her SO SO SO much.

Our little dude, laughing (as always) at Dottie. It was an unseasonably warm day - in the mid-70's. And of course, I LOVE LOVE LOVE him! How cute is that face?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Crafter's Lament: UFO's

The Crafter's Lament: UFO's. No, I don't mean shiny saucers in the sky that are piloted by little green men. I'm referring to UnFinished Objects. I have a big problem here. I am quite compulsive when it comes to starting new projects. Overwhelmed by excitement, I can't help but start something new once my creativity takes hold. Call it "crafting A.D.D." if you like. My, oh, my... below is my current list of UFO's - all of which are in stages of completion that vary from materials sitting in a Joann bag to ready for the finishing touches.

1 knit hat
1 knit blanket
1 crochet washcloth - my first attempt at crochet... thanks to my MIL! :)
2 pillows (I finished the 4 I intended on, but have 2 extra pillow forms)
1 crafted gift (I can't say what in case that person reads this!)
1 kindle cover for someone else
1 iPhone case
1 handbag
3 scrapbooks
3 quilts
countless greeting cards

I must thank my mom for putting the final stitches into a fabric Snoopy book that I made for Harper. I just couldn't bring myself to complete it for some reason (ok, that reason is that I am awful at hand stitches). Thanks, Mama.

I kept this list short by not including other things that I have floating around in my head. We won't even go there. And in truth, the list should be doubly longer this since I am leaving out many of the projects that were abandoned too long ago to think about. And don't even get me started on unfinished oil paintings. I am on painting hiatus until we have the space for it again. Although, I do have a cute idea for something involving Harper's hand and foot prints and canvas. Hmmm.....

Jeff says I should focus on being happy with the projects that I do finish. Although, it seems that these days the to-do pile grows larger than the complete file. I'm sure many of you can relate. So, in the spirit of celebrating FINISHED objects, the first picture at the beginning of this post is of the four pillows (each 16x16). I'll sew new covers as the seasons/holidays change. Oh, and who can resist Harper and his first pumpkin? It will be fun to carve it together!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sleepless in... Salt Lake City

Dear Sleep,

I know we've had a rocky relationship over the last 29 years, but I must confess that I love you with every exhausted subatomic particle in my body. I know it may seem that I've left you for another (my son), but believe me when I say that I miss you dearly. Please come back, Sleep. And while you're at it, I implore you to pay a visit to Harper. Our estrangement will persist until you make amends with him.

Shauna (aka Sleepless in SLC)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn Begins

The dramatic drop in temperature tells me that Autumn is finally here. Is it pretentious to say "Autumn" instead of "Fall"? If so, I don't really care :) I love Autumn. The chill in the air makes me want to knit a hat for Harper, make a comforting cup of tea, and cozy up to Jeff while we're bundled up enjoying the evening air. The hat is in progress, I'll put the tea on later tonight, and Jeff and I enjoyed the crisp Autumn air the other night while taking the dogs out. This is definitely my favorite season of the four - which probably helps explain why I love the weather in Seattle so much.

Speaking of Seattle weather, we had a steady, gentle drizzle yesterday in Utah that reminded me so much of the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes I miss it there (and the SF Bay Area) so much. However, the old saying that "Home is where the heart is" couldn't be any more true. For now, my heart - my two men - are in Utah... so my home is here.

Halloween is right around the corner, which is one of my favorite Holidays. I love the costumes, the playfulness, loads of goodies, and spooky silly fun. We're planning to go up to Logan to trick or treat with Harper's cousins. Below is a sneak peek of his costume. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Has it really been two years since we were stuffing wedding cake in eachother's faces? For those of you that were there, wasn't our wedding so perfect? For those of you that weren't, I wish you could have experienced the beauty of the beach on that incredible day - exactly two years ago.

Of course we thought it wasn't possible, but our love has definitely grown. I love knowing that I married my best friend and soul mate. I love that we have a beautiful little boy now, and a happy life together.

My love, here's to another wonderful year of marriage. I love you dearly and deeply. Happy anniversary!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He's One Now!

Well, he's 13 months old now, but I'm a blog slacker. I know I've been neglecting my blog for quite some time. I make no apologies for it, either. ;)

I will (soon) follow this post up with a picture catch-up, but I just wanted to reflect on some thoughts about parenthood. Our special little guy turned ONE last month, and I hardly know where to begin. Has it really been a year since we were announcing IT'S A BOY to the world? It's fun to go back and read some of the old blog posts. My precious teeny little baby isn't a baby anymore. He's a big boy that gets dirty, laughs without restraint, gets into tons of mischief, and never ceases to surprise us.

I don't want to sound overly cliched, so I'll keep this short. Though times are trying for us right now, I know that everything is perfect, and exactly the way it should be. I love my two wonderful men, as they completely fulfill every true wish in my heart. Harper has brought absolute joy, bliss, and adventure into our life, and I find such peace in knowing that we have a whole lifetime of love together.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


About two years ago, Jeff and I were perusing through, looking at Dottie and Dexter's pages. Each registered dog has their own page with links to (somewhat comprehensive) race records and breeding information. We clicked through the links of their siblings, to find that Farisita, one of Dottie's many littermates, was available for adoption in Portland. We saw these adorable pictures of the precious girl:
We were amazed at how much she looked like Dottie; it was love at first sight. She had been racing at a Tucson, AZ track when it closed, and I think she wouldn't have wanted to retire if she had been able to continue racing. We made arrangements to adopt her then made the trek to Portland (we were living in Seattle at the time). Little did we know at the time, that "Noodle", the name we picked (because Farisita wasn't easy on the tongue) would be so fitting for her spunky, goofy, wild, bucking, puppy-like personality.

It was decided that we would meet one of the volunteers from GPA NW (Greyhound Pets of America - Northwest) at their annual picnic, where the foster family would drop her off. When we got there, we enjoyed the fun of the picnic while waiting for Noodle to arrive. Four or so hours went by with many unanswered calls to the foster family. We continued to wait patiently, when the volunteer finally got in touch with them. There was some miscommunication somewhere, but we ended up meeting them at a zoo parking lot a bit more northward. Upon meeting our precious little girl, we fell even deeper in love with our little Snicker-Doodle-Noodle.

We thought Dottie and Noodle would perhaps recognize each other, but their reunion turned out to be quite anticlimactic. If Dottie did recognize Noodle, she was probably thinking "OMG, not you again!!" We began what we thought would be an adjustment period with Noodle. She still thought she was a puppy, and still wanted to run her heart out. She had separation anxiety, and would chew the coffee table, dig holes in the backyard, chew up anything she could get her paws on, howl whenever we came home, jump all over everyone, would make Dottie let out the GSOD (Greyhound Scream Of Death) by stepping on her feet, etc etc... As time went on, we started to realize that what we were going through was NOT an adjustment period. She was always going to be a wild child. Even today, at 6 years old, she remains a puppy. Still, we loved her.

Moving to Utah has been especially difficult for Noodle. The combination of our smaller living space, Harper crawling all over the place, and many other little things.... it has been a recipe for trouble. She even knocked Harper down onto the floor last week. We always find ourselves scolding her, and know that the situation isn't fair at all. It is with a heavy heart that we contacted GPA Salt Lake so they could find her a new home. I have been crying for the last few days, but I knew in my heart that it was better for her, and better for us. She deserves a household where she can get the attention that she needs. We wouldn't do this unless we knew she was going somewhere that would be meticulous about finding her a new forever home.

We dropped her off this morning at Liberty Park in Salt Lake so she could be with a foster family. I cried the whole way home, and now feel a surprising amount of emptiness in my heart. Somehow, my mom has a sense for when I'm upset, because she called as we were driving home. I'm not sure how she knows when I need her, even from so many miles away. We talked for awhile, and it helped. But - I'm still left feeling lonely for my baby girl. We made a difficult decision, but know it was the right one. I'm just glad we were able to give a rescue a good home for a couple of years. Many greyhounds aren't so lucky.

Getting used to this is going to be harder than I thought it would be. Perhaps in some ways, getting used to being without her is going to be harder than it was getting used to being with her. Though a trying fit, she was a loving part of our family. We love her so so so much. But as I've realized before... sometimes, love just isn't enough.

Some of my favorite things/memories of Noodle:
*The way she sleeps with her legs up in the air like a dead horse
*The way her ears flop like they're in the wind, or pile on her head like an old fashioned hat (as seen in almost every picture of her!)
*How she loved to rile up the barkaholic neighbor dogs by running full speed (45 mph) to their side of the fence, stopping to sniff, then running away... only to do it all over again. She thought she was playing, they thought she was jerk
*The way she always runs up to you - so excited - like you're her favorite person in the world
*How she'd come up to the side of the bed to wake me up in the morning (well, that one is a fun and and annoying memory)
*the fact that she was there for our wedding in CA - I'm sure everyone who was there remembers Dottie and Noodle's Great Escape ;)
*She kept me good company during my time on bedrest at the end of my pregnancy - she was sure to be posted at my feet all day, every day
*cuddles - she was good at cuddling
*The way the three of them would stand together, looking like the gentle version of the three-headed dog in Harry Potter
*She almost always came when we called her name; she was so eager to please
*Our many long nicknames for her - Noodley-Boo, Snicker-Doodle-Noodle, Schnoodle, Schnood, Noodle-doodle-do, and many other variations
*She was so happy to see us come home; she always wanted to be near us
*How much she loved Dottie and Dexter, always following them around like an annoying younger sister
*How much we loved her, and how much she loved us.

I hope you hold those happy memories of us, Noodle... because we will always remember you fondly. We'll always love and miss you, my Noodley-boo. <3

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's My Birthday Too, Yeah!

Most of you know that I adore reading. I can chew on multiple books at once, or even swallow one whole in a single day. My earliest memories of reading include winning a "Read-a-thon" in kindergarten for reading the most books. I think I got a paper certificate and a coupon for a free ice cream cone. But, I digress...

Today has been an incredible birthday. It started (at my request) with presents in bed (like breakfast in bed, but without the crumbs). Jeff brought me an box to open, crudely assembled with scotch tape. I opened it to find a stack of DVD's that we already owned. (Ok - inside joke here between Jeff and I, which I'm too lazy at the moment to go into detail about... but trust me, it was funny.) He left the room, and returned with another gift. I then opened a (very very very nice) book light, to which Jeff attempted to make me believe was the only gift he had for me. Pfft.

He again exited the room, and returned with a third gift (which by the way, these were all wrapped with Christmas wrapping paper). Beneath the wrapping lay a cardboard packing box with a rippable seam on one end. I grabbed ahold of the seam, noting the words along the dotted line, "Once upon a time..."

Within very impressive, beautiful packaging was a case for a Kindle. What's this?! A Kindle case? Jeff then acted surprised, as if a Kindle was supposed to be included in there. "I'm seriously upset. I'm going to have to call them to see why it isn't in there." I have to give him kudos for his acting ability here, though I knew him well enough to know that he was trying to mess with me.

He left the room for the last time, holding another Christmas paper wrapped box behind his back. Underneath this paper was another cardboard box that contained beautiful packaging inside. Within that, was my very own Kindle courtesy of Jeff and my brother Greg. (Again due to laziness, I'll include stock photos, but you really should follow the link to see what it's all about.)

I've been reading on it all day. It is one of those things were you can't grasp how amazing it is until you have it in your hands. Seriously, the screen looks like paper. It's ignited that same excitement of the little 5 year old girl trying to work her way through as many books as she can. But, instead of ice cream at the end of the day, I'll have birthday cake.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Happy birthday to the most wonderful Mama and wife ever! I remember watching the Beatles Anthology and Paul telling John, Ringo & George that when he dreamed up the song 'Scrambled Eggs' (soon to get renamed, wisely, to Yesterday), he also dreamed that The Beatles would soon be breaking up and so they couldn't wait until July 30th 1980 to write their hit song, Birthday. Alas, it didn't come out on your birthday but we all know it was written for you. Take for example when they sing:

'La la la la la la la
Yeah we'd like you to dance'.

They're actually singing:

'Shau na na na na na na na
Yeah we'd like you to dance.'

And all those times that you could play their records backwards and hear strange things, they were actually saying 'Happy Birthday to our bestest fan, Shauna.'

It's on the internet(now) so it has to be true :)

We love you so much hunnee, thanks for being the light of our lives and we can't wait to celebrate your special day! <3>

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fun Love

I know I've probably made you all queasy a few times with the way I gush over Jeff. But this time, you won't be reading about candy, hearts, flowers, or silly mushiness. Instead, I present you with a simple experience that I couldn't resist sharing.

Last night, Jeff and I were having a quiet moment on the couch, hanging out and eating ice cream after Harper had gone to bed. I reached over to give him a taste of mine. He opened the hatch, so to speak, but my aim was a bit off, so ice cream dribbled down his chin. Sure enough, (without thinking), I used the spoon to scoop the dribble - then went one step farther and proceeded to feed the dribble to to him. We both burst into giddy laughter. Though we couldn't stop laughing to say it, we both had a great understanding for the fun of our relationship and how parenthood has really taken over every little thing of our lives (which is not a bad thing).

No more than 5 minutes later, Jeff had spooned a bite of his for me. I could sense him in my peripheral vision to my right, so swung around towards him. Oops! To my surprise, the spoon full of Phish Food ice cream was now right in front of my face. In a flash, my nose and the spoon collided, leaving me with a chocolate covered nose. Queue the raucous laughter.

While just one of the many ingredients, love should be about having fun... and loads of laughter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Proving Us Wrong

For quite some time, Jeff and I have maintained our assumption that Harper would skip crawling and go straight to walking. After all, my mom said I did the same when I was a baby. Well, this week he proved us wrong.

Jeff and I were chatting while Harper was playing on the floor. We were casually talking while watching him play, when Jeff asked, "Is he crawling?"

I had been looking right at him, and my brain didn't quite register that he was indeed crawling. Well, I'm not totally sure you could call it a crawl. He's definitely on his hands and knees, but he more scoots along the floor in a crouched position. We'll have to snap a picture or take a video to post. It's adorable.

However, within 24 hours, he took his first unassisted step. He's definitely not ready for independent walking, but he's quite close. He thinks it is a fun game to pull himself up, let go, then catch himself on me if he leans forward, or have me catch him if he leans backwards. Once he's stable again, he lets out his big belly laugh. Thankfully, he only plays this game when someone is around to catch him. I'm thankful that he understands that it is a game only to be played with a grown up.

He continues to capture everyone's heart with his incredible smile that fills his face with joy. His laughter is just as heartwarming, and I can't get enough! He is also becoming well known for dancing his heart out anytime he hears music (or even just about anything resembling music i.e. my singing to him). He's almost a year old, and I can hardly believe time has gone by so quickly.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

We had a nice, quiet Father's Day that involved grocery shopping, dinner with lots of family, and some fun goofy time with our little family of three. We've (well, mostly just me) had this silly music from a video game stuck in our heads ALL DAY! It's just too catchy! Singing it to one another has led to some contagious giggles.

For those of you that know Jeff, you know how lucky I am to have him for a husband and father to my son. I've said it a few times on this blog, but I just can't resist the opportunity to reiterate how great he is. He's hilarious, caring, doting, selfless, and the love we share never fails to make me smile. When we met then got married (all within about a year), I knew I had found my best friend, and the most incredible person. Now, I have seen him grow even more as a father. He continues to amaze me. He really is the best dad out there. Both Harper and I are so fortunate.

Thanks for everything hunny, we love you! xoxoxo

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green Cousins

No, Harper's cousins are not aliens... at least... not that I know of. Well, Logan does have an alien t-shirt, but I don't think that counts. Jeff and I went up to his mom's house yesterday, and Emily met us up there with Logan and Emma. Harper and Emma somehow ended up with matching green and khaki outfits (we did not plan it). We took some adorable pictures of them sitting together. It is fun to watch the two of them play together. They take toys from each other back and forth like some sort of two-person juggle. They were doing this with Jeff and Emily's phones - which I suppose Harper and Emma would consider toys. I thought the below two pictures were great together since they swapped expressions in each picture. The third picture is for comparison from December. They've grown so much! The only missing part of the photos is their other cousin Cooper in the middle.

Oh - and yes, we are hoping to pass on our good music sense by playing quality music for Harper and dressing him in his Beatles shirt!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun Days

My brother Greg gave me a huge surprise when he visited last weekend... he brought our mom with him as a Mother's Day gift to both her and me. How sweet is that?! We had a wonderful time. Harper really enjoyed time with his "Ga" and "Ga" (what my mom said was "Grandma" as well as "Greg"). Below are some fun pix from dinner while they were here. He was squealing with delight while eating bits of peeled grapes, plain baked potato, and melons.

The following picture is one of our new favorites. The hat is a bit big, and you can't really see his great "Geek in Training" shirt, but who can resist this precious face?! Harper is such a happy, goofy, loving little boy. I wouldn't change a single thing about him, or the love that overflows in our happy little family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EA Sports Active > Wii Fit

I have a shiny new toy! For those that have a Wii and are interested in fitness or losing weight, I highly recommend EA Sports Active. Sure, it's a little pricey at $60, but cheaper than a gym membership in the long run. Jeff and I picked it up this morning (it released today), as I've been dying for this to come out for for a month or so. I've taken it for a spin, and have already decided (from my first impression), that it is a better workout tool than the Wii Fit.

Let me give a little background here. When the Wii Fit was announced then available for pre-order, I wasted no time securing one. I pre-ordered it through Amazon, which was good because it was in such high demand, that they ran out of pre-orders, and continued to be out of stock for quite some time. It's release was almost as highly anticipated as the Wii console itself. I was thrilled when I got it, but I'll have to admit that I didn't drop any pounds by playing it. Also, it didn't really hold my interest as I had hoped - though I still love the yoga!

EA Sports Active helps you set realistic goals, lets you select your workout intensity, and mimics a gym and trainer experience overall. Really, it is continuous circuit training at its best. In my opinion, the problem with the Wii Fit is that it doesn't put you through an actual workout - it just has you select random activities at your leisure.

Alison Sweeney from The Biggest Loser describes it as a "trainer-in-a-box", and I definitely agree. The trainers are much more effective than those in Wii Fit. It employs new peripherals with a leg strap to sense leg movements as well as a resistance band. Though the leg strap is great (it detects leg movements), the resistance band is less than impressive. I'm sure when mine inevitably breaks, I'll just go get a "real" one.

So, I am beginning a fat-busting journey to get rid of these post-pregnancy (yikes, 9 months later) pounds... and some pre-pregnancy pounds too. I'm excited for my shiny new toy... I highly recommend it!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It finally happened!

I first walked through the doors of Airtouch Cellular, now Verizon Wireless, ten years ago. I was young, cute, naive, bold, and oh so peppy. I'm sure those of you that knew me then would agree. I hadn't planned to make a career out of working there, but that is essentially what happened. I also didn't expect that I'd ever want to be a stay-at-home mom. As I have written about before - they say everything changes when you have a baby. I just didn't expect my heart to change so much, too.

Well, it finally happened... my last day at work was Friday! Jeff and I decided that I should become a stay-at-home mom, and am so excited. Walking through those doors for the last time on Friday gave me such a thrill; the entire experience has been quite surreal. I think back to who and how I was ten years ago, and so much has changed. I feel like I grew up at that job. I look forward to focusing on Harper, Jeff, and myself. I look forward to exploring the things that I never had time for, and to get back into the things that I used to enjoy like painting, writing, and taking better care of myself. Becoming a stay-at-home mom is one heck of a mother's day gift!

On the topic of Mother's day, I had a great one. Jeff and I had an amazing day together. The three of us went for a walk at the nearby park, made some home made iced tea when we got home (YUM), and just puttzed around. We were neither lazy nor productive - we were leisurely. Now if only we can figure out how to achieve a situation where neither of us has to go to an office to work, things would be perfect.

And for the record - my first couple of days at home have been wonderful!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Daycare News Story

Below is a link with a video update to the story about Harper's former daycare provider. It's a bit surreal to see this happening to a place that we spent so much time, and to people that we entrusted with our son's care.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Kind of Thing You Only See on Television...

Have you ever had something incredible happen to you, and think "This kind of thing only happens on TV". Well, that is exactly what we found ourselves thinking today. Jeff went to our day care provider around 12:15ish (just as he does every day before his shift starts), and was informed by one of the directors that the owners skipped town. Apparently, no one had seen them for weeks, they were past due on all of their utilities and rent, and haven't even paid their employees for quite some time. I think some of the mail labeled as "final notice" tipped off the management, so they proceeded to open the mail that had been piling up. They uncovered really bad news. Check out the story at a local news site here.

It was big shock to most, but I can't say I'm surprised. There were so many broken promises, and they seemed to have a hard time retaining employees so started hiring 16 and 17 year olds. some of them were fine... others not so much. They had a tough time covering each "classroom" with enough "teachers", and things were always just so hectic. The owners made some really obvious poor business decisions - and clearly didn't know what they were doing. I'm sure I saw more of the drama there than most parents because I spent an hour there each day while feeding Harper on my lunch break.

Regardless of whatever dramas there have been, this is a difficult situation for the employees and parents. Parents are now scrambling for daycare (and not getting paid due to time off of work), and the poor employees are now looking for jobs. Some of them were so sweet, sticking around to watch some of the children today even though they knew they would not get paid. Getting back our deposit and advance-paid tuition should be quite interesting (we may be looking at a class-action lawsuit).

I am fortunate that my boss has been great about this. She said she didn't want me to worry, and that I could work from home until... well... until this all washes out (more to come on that later). This is good timing though, and I am glad Harper won't have to go in there ever again.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inside My Heart

Today I could tell you about my worries. I could go into emotional detail about how it hasn't gotten easier to part with Harper at day care. I could tell you how it breaks my heart to see him reach for me with confusion as I walk away, leaving him in a room that makes me think of some kind of puppy mill full of crying, lonely pups.

I could tell you all about my work stresses, too. I could tell you how out of my team of twelve, my boss only kept two during our reorganization. That's right - two out of twelve. I would try to find a way to explain my conflicted feelings when I found out that I was one of the two that was kept - while the others are now left to look for jobs in this horrendous economy (fortunately some already have)... I say conflicted because I was the one person that was hoping to receive the option of getting a severance package. I would try to explain how nervous I was to tell my boss that I wanted to trade places with a peer and let her take my place (a.k.a. I knew I was committing career suicide for a career I no longer had the passion for). I could go into detail about the disappointment that came when she told me that if I left, it would be voluntarily and without a severance package. I would try to explain how much I was hoping that my employer of ten years would make this difficult decision for me, though I am now coming to terms with the fact that they will not.

Instead of telling you all of this unpleasant things (which I do realize I gave you a taste of by mentioning them at all), I am going to share something else with you. I wish you could all see inside my heart. You would find something so overwhelming, it would knock you off your feet. You would find this bright, strong light that keeps me going - my incredible son. He is the best of both Jeff and I... and so much more. If you could see inside my heart, you would also see how indescribably blessed I feel to have found my soul mate. During these tough times, he is there by my side - together as a team. What would break other couples only makes us stronger. Our little family of three is just unbelievable. And if you could see inside my heart, you would realize that you were looking inside both Jeff and Harper - because my heart is within both of them.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Growing up

Days of late have been overwhelming. The demands of life are both exhausting and rewarding. When I look at Harper, I realize that he is growing faster than I imagined he would. I look at his happy face and see a big boy... I wonder where my little teeny baby went. Though I want to freeze this time forever, I can hardly wait for each milestone. Being part of his life, doing more than just watching him grow up, is more than I could ever ask for. In the blink of an eye, he's going to be a teenager, then an adult.

The introduction of solid foods has been a blast. It's fun watching him explore different textures and tastes. We've been making him wholesome, organic, homemade food. It is so much work, but definitely worth it. It seems that his favorites so far have been sweet potatoes and butternut squash. He doesn't make too much of a mess just yet, but I'm sure that will change once we start letting him feed himself.

Now that I've been back to work for a couple of months, things are staring to get busier at the office. Also, I'm starting my fifth week of a nine-week class at school. I wish I could say that I've learned something new, but I haven't yet. It's been mostly busy-work so far, which is a shame since I enrolled with the obvious intent of achieving an education. I have probably blogged about this before, but I am ever-acutely aware that the things that take me away from time with my family need to be immensely meaningful. I wish I could say that was the case right now, but it unfortunately is not. I am sure that it will be someday. For now, we're grateful for what we have - which is so much.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The above was written by Harper, with no parental input or assistance. We're expecting a call from the NYTimes any day now...Harper now has an attraction to all things shiny, noisy and, well, everything! If it's within his grasp, or even when it's not, he's pulling a leaping' leaner in the direction of the object he so desires and won't quit until he gets his hands on said item, which inevitably ends up in his mouth. Luckily for Shauna, her laptop is a little too big for him to put in his mouth, so instead he happily bangs away on the keys, getting a kick out of the tactile feedback and noise it creates. Only pausing to turn and smile at us, and then he's back at it. We always knew he'd be a geek (hey, with parents like us, it was inevitable), we just didn't realize how quickly he'd head down that geeky path. Well, it is said that the 'Geek shall inherit the earth,' so the geekier the better, right? And of course it doesn't hurt that he's a dang cute lil' geek.

Oh, and don't worry about the fact that he's using a PC. Once he's old enough to be really dangerous with a computer, he'll be on a Mac :)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Excitement! Rapture! Thrills and surprises around every corner!

Life can sure take some unexpected turns, can't it? We are truly thankful for all that we have. Who wouldn't be endlessly grateful for this adorable little guy? Just having him in our lives is all we could ever need in life. He is so much fun! His goofy personality shines through more and more each day. He's definitely taking after his daddy!

Though I am so appreciative of everything we have, and know things could be so much worse... times are quite stressful for our little family of six (yes that includes "the three mangies"). However, I will choose not to dwell on these things today, since I've been feeling a bit down about it all. It's more important than ever to remain positive.

Harper recently had his 6-month well-baby appointment. His shots weren't as traumatic as the others, and his new eye medicine is finally helping that blocked tear duct. We've decided that we're quite pleased with our new pediatrician. The doctor is great, she's five minutes from home, the clinic is open 24/7, and it is part of a hospital campus.

He's been a little piggy-piggy-oink-oink with the sweet potatoes. He loves the solids, but pretty much always wants milk afterward. I'm not sure if it is a comfort thing, or if he is still hungry (because he gets quite a bit of the solids). I think we're going to try bananas next. Maybe it will be fun to let him feed himself, but I'm not totally sure he's ready for that kind of exploration. He does greedily reach for the spoon when I feed him though. I know - - isn't this the most thrilling blog post ever? I'm sure you're all sooooo interested in reading about Harper's food. Next up - the effects of sweet potato on baby poop. Ok, I won't go that far (but I'm sure you can imagine).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wife, Mom, and.... Student

From the moment I made those few mouse clicks that initiated my return to school from my maternity LOA, I felt regret. I start school again on Monday, and I'm not fully confident that I can handle this additional item on my proverbial plate. Why am I putting myself through this if I'm unsure? To be honest, I am exhausted with school. But - I have been working on my "2-year degree" for over 3 years now. I'm only 15 credits away from completing it. Though many people say that it is easiest to go back to school while children are little babies, I'm taking it slow. Hopefully, Management of Information Systems won't prove to be too difficult while juggling the many other things I have going on.

Oh - other exciting news... Our Seattle house is finally listed. Though we're doing a short sale, I hope the process doesn't take as long as so many people have said. The house cleaned up really well - check it out for yourself: I REALLY miss Seattle, but know that this path is the right one for us. Just as I hope the house sells quickly, I hope that the person that buys it will love it and give it the TLC that we were unable to.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Exactly Six Months Ago

Exactly six months ago today, I was nervous. I had no idea what I was in for, but I knew it was something bigger than anything I had ever experienced before (even bigger than ME, 60+ lbs up in weight, haha). I didn't know how much motherhood would change my life, and didn't know that it would give me my own little meaning to life. Exactly six months ago today, our precious little baby was born. How can I express the love that he has given us? I already did... exactly six months ago... and his name is Harper.

He has grown so much, and boy oh boy is he cute. Every little worry, stressor, pain, and sacrifice is worth it (whew, and man are there lots of those). Every little bit of joy that we share is never taken for granted, and always celebrated. We've learned so much about Harper over these past six months. First off, aside from being the cutest baby ever, he is so goofy. He loves to play, laugh, and smile. Even more so, he loves to make other people play, laugh, and smile. He has little habits, preferences, and expressions that we just adore. Though he is made of little bits of us, he is entirely his own person.

We observe in amazement as he reaches each milestone, and continues to develop from a teeny (well he was never THAT teeny) little baby into a big boy. We think back in wonder on the first time we felt him as a little ball in my belly, the first time I felt him kick, the first time we SAW him kick in my belly, and of course... the first time we laid our eyes on him. I can't believe how much he has grown (physically, mentally, and emotionally). This lifetime with Harper is worth more than anything in existence - and any thing not in existence for that matter.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Jeff is so wonderful. Though I am all about practical gifts (and he knows that), there is no girl out there that doesn't enjoy flowers - even if they're modestly picked from a flowerbed or yard. Jeff had these flowers along with a small box of chocolates delivered to me. AND, he got me a big and beautiful jewelery box! I've never had anything like it, and haven't really had a good place to put my jewelry (I know, shame on me for not taking better care of it). What did I get Jeff, you ask? See the previous posts about his birthday gift - a Macbook Pro. I'll be using that as somewhat of a re-gift for quite awhile. :)

We've had a rough last couple of days. I came down with a nasty bug on Wednesday evening. It came on suddenly - a (very) high fever, hot & cold flashes, and even nausea. It persisted until today. It was really difficult to take care of Harper, since I felt so lethargic. Jeff stayed home to help. I'm not sure how I could have done it without him. The biggest deal here is that I called in sick for the first time in like 8 (yes EIGHT) years. I certainly don't feel guilty about it, either. I'm so glad to be on the mend.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Locks of Love

The last time I did this, I was 18. I chopped my hair off today. In fact, I donated twenty (yes, that is 2-0) inches of hair to Locks of Love. I was going to do this the day before, but chickened out. The cut was long overdue, and I am so glad to have done it. No more finding long rogue strands all over the house, getting tangled in Harper (including his kung fu grip hands), getting caught in the car door and windows... I could keep going, but I'm sure you get the point. And the best part is that it will help a child in need. Who could ask for more?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Morning

Ah, Saturday morning... it holds such nostalgia for things like sleeping in, cartoons, and finding ways to get out of chores. I also love Saturday mornings because it is the one day of the week that the three of us get to wake up together. On this lovely morning, Noodle decided to wake us up. Poor girl just wanted to go outside. It's hard to resist her pathetic, adorable face. The below picture is her peekaboo, resting her head on me. "Mama, puulleeezzzeee..."

Harper has also been in impeccably cute form today. He's been very interested in my phone lately (maybe it's the color), but it has always seemed to be just out of his reach. This morning he finally conquered.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nintendo Sixty-Fouuuuurrrr!...Er, MacBook Prooooo!

So yes, that's me. The goofy dude holding the spanking new Apple MacBook Pro that my wonderfully wonderful wife, Shauna, whom you can't see, gave me for my birthday! It was completely unexpected, but it was exactly what I have been wanting (well, besides an iPhone hehe, but we'll work on that). I guess it doesn't help that I work for the competitor haha. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view), we have expensive tastes when it comes to electronics. With school coming around the corner though, she knew that I'd need a laptop on the go and picked the perfect model.

She played it up pretty well I must say. Going on about how she wasn't able to find the right gift and that she'd try to make it up for me. I honestly thought I was getting some boxers. She even tricked me by giving me the new Lord Of The Rings book first and telling me that's all there was. Of course she wasn't really finished though. She told me she needed my help putting some of Harper's milk in the fridge and sitting at the top of the stairs was this heavily wrapped box. At first I thought it was Logan's so that he wouldn't feel bad about not getting a present hehe. Then I started to get suspicious once Shauna got our nice camera out and told me to sit down. I literally had no idea what was inside the box, and boy was I surprised once I found out!

Thanks for the wonderful birthday hunnee bunnee (and you too Harperpotamus)!


They Say It's Your Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

You were born on a Sunday, under the astrological sign Aquarius.

You are 31 years old. You are 372 months old. You are 1,617 weeks old. You are 11,323 days old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:
Jennifer Jason Leigh (1962)
Christopher Guest (1948) (LOL)

Barbara Hershey (1948)
Henry 'Hank' Aaron (1934)

Billboard's #1 song on your birthday
Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees

Your cake will have 31 candles.Those 31 candles produce 31 BTUs,or 7,812 calories of heat (that's only 7.8120 food Calories!) . You can boil 3.54 US ounces of water with that many candles!

Your birthstone is Amethyst, your birth tree is Poplar The moon's phase on the day you were born was waning crescent.


You are the most wonderful best friend, husband, and daddy. Thank you for changing my life in such wonderful ways that I could never imagine. ...And thank you Carol for birthing and raising the most loving, thoughtful, selfless, funny, brilliant (I could keep going) man! We love you so much, my "Geoffrey with a G". Happy Birthday!

-Shauna, Harper, and the three mangies

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me...

It was such a long week. I am not a morning person, and have been known to sleep through alarms or even police chases outside my bedroom window (ask Kristen). I'm proud to say that I was great about being on time to work, though I must admit that I was rushed almost every morning to get out of the door. This early shift has worn on me already. Both Jeff and I have been tired as a result of this new routine. Hopefully we'll get used to it.

Thank goodness it is the weekend. I am sad that 1- Saturday is the only day off Jeff and I share, and 2- Harper has to go back to day care on Monday. (Oh and 3- I have to work from home for a couple of hours on Sunday morning - yuck). Thankfully, as seen in these pictures, I was able to visit Harper every day on my lunch break. He got a belly full of milk, cuddles, smiles, and playtime with his mama.

There have been quite a few runny noses in the baby room there, so my poor little guy has a cold now. Though he had one a few weeks ago, this one has a raspy, sad sounding cough to go with the runny nose. I think he's sleeping it off, as he's been taking long daytime naps, which aren't very common for him. Illness exposure is definitely one of the worst parts about daycare.

Each time I pull into that daycare parking lot, I am anxious to know what I'll find when I walk through the doors. Sometimes I'm greeted by frantic screaming, while other times he is completely content, or even in a happy, playful mood. So I know daycare isn't all bad - I just wish it wasn't necessary.
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