Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brought to you by...

This post is brought to you care of San Juan, Puerto Rico!

As wonderful as this place is (I can't show you yet, because my camera cord is still in Ohio), I wish I could say I was here for vacation.

We are here for work.  That's right.  Someone paid to fly me out to San Juan, give me a 2 room suite (with a king sized bed), and let me spend the weekend on the beach just because they want me to visit a manufacturing site. 

Ok, I need some sleep.  I will update more as I go!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A new master

A long long time ago, in a world that really does seem far far away, we redecorated the master bedroom!

The idea is to get one room done at a time in this house.  A year and 4 months into living here, and we've officially finished 1.  The master will be number 2.  And now baby's room will have to be number 3.  At this pace, the baby will be sleeping on an air mattress on the floor because I'm so freakin' slow at this.

Anyways, off the tangent.

Our bedroom was blah.  Very blah.  The rooms were an ugly creamy neutral (not to be confused with the pretty creamy).  We had 1 bedside lamp that was a broken fake Tiffany's UC lamp.  One window had a goodwill curtain covering it, the other nothing.  The back window at least had nice panel curtains, though.

See how awful it looked?

This was the only picture I took of "before".  Oops.

So first we had to move the furniture around.  And THAT means we got a new bedroom, temporarily.

(That's a preview of the future baby's room, by the way).  Irony is we found out we were HAVING a baby while sleeping in that room.

So first we painted.

The three window walls are a beautiful yellow, and then the wall with the closet and doorway are a rich chocolate reddish brown.  It matches the furniture almost perfectly!  I was so thrilled.

So then we moved the furniture back in and bought new side lamps.

We also re-hung the window panels, and my mom helped me make curtains (one set... the other set is still waiting by the sewing machine).  And we also bought some nice matching frames and hung a few pictures from our honeymoon.

This is my favorite:

I really need to get a good couple of pictures of the whole room, but that would mean making the bed and cleaning up the mess.  Oh, and probably finishing that last curtain (don't worry- the goodwill curtain is still covering the window).

It's a beauty, though!  I love my new room.  The lamps are perfect, the colors are just what I imagined, and the curtains match to a T!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Secrets Secrets are no fun

I have to unfortunately tell you that you are the absolute last to know my secret.  And since you are the last, it is obviously no longer a secret.

I have an ever-growing belly.  Ok, not FORever-growing.  Just about 26 1/2 more weeks of growing, and then hopefully WHOOSH it'll start shrinking back to normal.

That's right.  I'm 13 1/2 weeks pregnant!  (See why I've been sort of MIA around here?  It's exhausting starting a new job while trying to finish the first trimester.)

Of course, it's not my only excuse.  We're also hosting a bridal shower this weekend, we had to celebrate a birthday last weekend (and visit with an out-of-town friend), plus all the cleaning to go with having company, and oh by the way I started my new job, and I literally slept 12 1/2 hours the first night after (that means I got home, ate, fell asleep, woke up and went to bed).

Unfortunately you are the last to know.  I mean to tell you earlier, but I've been rather busy, distracted, sick, sleepy, and busy.

And of course, everyone is ecstatic.  Including Romeo.  He won't be once the baby's here, but he currently enjoys cuddling up next to my belly to sleep.  I kid you not.  I think he maybe thinks he's keeping baby warm?  I don't know.  He's also become clingy to the point that it's annoying both my husband (he won't even EAT when I'm home unless I'm right there with him) and myself (I have to be there with him for everything, including EATING).

So now you know.  I've been dying to write about it!  And I can't wait.  I'm not so sure I enjoy pregnancy.  But of course the fun is yet to come- feeling baby move and such.  I'm very happy about what the end result will bring, however.  It's all very much worth it.  Now if only I can get my mother to stop telling me what I'm not allowed to do, I'll be just fine!

To satisfy everyone, here are a few pictures.  Baby bump at 12 weeks (I haven't uploaded 13 weeks pics yet) and an ultrasound picture.

I honestly feel I just look fat at the moment.  But the bump is steadily growing, so I'm sure it's merely temporary.  And the alignment of the mirrors really is no help at all for the photos- Mike is supposed to be fixing that.

PS- My mom has nicknamed him/her as "Panda"  apparently because that's what he/she looks like in that same ultrasound photo.  So that is what we are calling baby.

Monday, April 4, 2011

11K in 2011- An Echo in the Bone

This massive book was rather disappointing to me, and if the author happens to read this, you really upset me.  It is the 7th installment in what my colleagues and I have nicknamed "The Jamie Books".  The series starts with Outlander, and continues with A Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager (my favorite), The Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breathe of Snow and Ashes, and finally this one.  If you love history and romance, and wild amazing plots, and terrifically rendered characters, you should pick up Outlander.  If you already have, you've already read this book and can ignore my ramblings.

And not that I was disappointed in the story per se.  It just seemed that it started with no real direction, too many plots to keep up with, and way too many details that could have been left out.  The second half really picked up, but then I guess she felt she had to stop writing after 820 pages so, she did.  In the thickest part of the plot when everything was FINALLY coming together and really had you on the edge of your seat.  I really hate it when my favorite authors do this.  I was going to buy and read the next book anyways.  You could have at least rewarded me with ending the story.  I DID read 820 pages, after all!

Anyways, without further ado:

The back of the book:


"Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he'd rather die than have to face his illegitimate son- a young lieutenant in the British army- across the barrel of a gun.

Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win too, but not what the ultimate price may be.  That price won't include Jamie's life or his happiness, though- not if she has anything to say about it.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire's daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna's parents' story comes to life through Claire's letters.  The fragile pages reveal Claire's love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles- as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire's fate but to their own.  Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.

With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure- a novel that echoes in the mind long after the last page is turned."

I would like to add that I disagree with this "Back of the Book"- it really doesn't paint the picture well at all.  If I had written it, I would not have mentioned Claire and Jamie's "flight" as they call it.  I would more or less word it as their journey, and not on the seas, because they spend very little time on the boat.  They also don't mention William (Jamie's illegitimate son) enough- he has a huge role in the story (along with Jamie's nephew Ian).  And Brianna and Roger's fate is certainly not as connected with the past in this book as it lets on.  It will be in the next book, however (shutting up now).

The Bibliography:

Gabaldon, Diana.  An Echo in the Bone.  New York, New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.

You can find the book here or at your public library (support the libraries!).

Total Pages: 820
Total pages read in 2011- 386

Total pages for 2011- 2,031

Total pages remaining- 8,969


The Back of the Book (Outlander, book 1 of the series):

"The year is 1945.  Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon- when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles.  Suddenly she is a Sassenach- an "outlander"- in Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord... 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life... and shatter her heart.  For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire... and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives."

I would like to add that the author has done some extensive research.  While this is obviously a work of fiction, the history is legitimate.  Even the clans.  Don't let the fantasy portions of time travel push you away.  It is extremely well done, with lots of history, great characters, and an amazing plot that continues to thrive 7 books into the series.  You'll understand why we call them "the Jamie books" very quickly.  And Claire is what every woman really wants to be.  I swear.

The Bibliography:

Gabaldon, Diana.  Outlander.  New York, New York: Dell, 1991.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yes, I am actually alive still

I've been tempted to get rid of my blog.  I swear I have all of these ideas to write about, and all of this crazy stuff happening around me to write about, but it never gets put on paper.  So I think I'm going to start writing all of my blog posts on a weekend and letting them post for me during the week, because lately I'm just too busy living life to write!

And of course, I'm not deleting the blog because it's my connection to some super awesome people, and I don't want to give that up.  I just need to try harder.

I did not die, by the way.  I did not abandon you.  I swear.  I just happened to join a few other "realms" that have taken a LOT of my time and energy.  I will probably write about ALL of them today, but spread them out so that you have something interesting to read about for the week.  And at least one of them will have pictures.  Ok, 2.

Much love!  And apologies.  Oh, and hopefully here soon I'll update the reading list again.  It says I'm behind something like a thousand pages, but it's really about 2-3 hundred less than that because I'm actually in the middle of THREE books.  That's right.  3.  And once I get the ball rolling again I swear I'm going to catch up.  It's just an extra hundred or so pages here and there, right?  Along with actually keeping up?

So here's to a big week ahead!!!!  Yay!!!!!