Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Megan's Book Club

Nope, no baby yet. Three more days. To pass the time today I decided I would post on the many great books I've read (also to pass the time, mostly late at night when sleep wouldn't come) in the past couple of months. The list is pretty random, but I have some great recommendations if you're interested (in no particular order).

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This is probably my favorite of the whole bunch. I just finished reading this for book club and I LOVED IT! It's written completely as a collection of letters and is about an author who corresponds with a man who lives on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. He tells her about this society that was formed during the time of the German occupation of the island and she becomes interested in writing and publishing something about them. In the process she becomes friends with all of these people and becomes really involved in their lives.

It's interesting, funny, happy and sad all at the same time. I loved that there was nothing trashy in it. It's definitely one I'll be buying for my own collection.


What's So Great About America?
This book was written by an immigrant from India who has lived here for 20 years and is now a citizen. It was written after September 11, and he talks about the reasons why the terrorists did what they did. He presents their point of view, and those of others outside as well as inside of the United States who claim that this country is evil. He talks about his own opinions of the U.S. as well, and certain things he dislikes, but then goes on to affirm the reasons why America IS in fact great and why all of the arguments that the U.S. is evil and what those arguments are based on are absolutely and utterly incorrect. It not only gives a great lesson in the history of our country and those of several others (where relevant), but also reminds us that we are truly blessed to be citizens of this country. I think everyone should read this, and I would especially like to send a copy to Michelle Obama who, during the election stated that for the first time in her adult life she's proud of her country. Yep, that's our First Lady. I won't continue with how I feel about that.


Wake Up to a Happier Life
This is Amanda Dickson's book and it's just another that I simply loved. Simple ways to CHOOSE to be happier no matter what is going on in life. The next book kind of goes along the same lines:


Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy
Same kind of thing, but she focuses on not worrying so much about things that really don't matter. Great book!


Princess Academy

Everyone has probably heard of this one. I had too, but hadn't read it until last week. It was so cute! Simple and a really quick read, but it had some great themes and a great ending! Well, I thought so anyway. I hear there's a sequel. Does anyone know if that's true?


Recovering Charles
I got this one free with a purchase at Deseret Book. It's by the author of The Wednesday Letters which is also a really great book. This one is about a man who goes to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to try to find his missing father. It's all about forgiveness and understanding, but it also made me want to go back and reread the news stories and see the pictures of what New Orleans was like after the hurricane. Although it's a fictional story, it was really interesting to read about what life might have been like during and after Katrina.


Freakonomics

Another book club read. A lesson on cause and effect in this country and why it may not be what it seems to be. I thought it might be kind of boring, but it wasn't. It really kept my interest and made me look at certain things in a different way.


Common Sense
Oh yes. I read it. And it's now on the top of my list. For all of you who think Glenn Beck is the face of Republican propaganda, I recommend reading this. Yes he is conservative. But he's made it his business to uncover corruption in government on BOTH sides and if you've watched his show lately, you'll see that he's been very successful. Not that any media outlets are giving his discoveries ANY coverage at all, which was SO upsetting to me when he recently broke the stories of outrageous practices at Acorn. Yes, the Acorn that is funded by the government and endorsed by Mr. Obama himself, caught on camera encouraging prostitution, illegal immigration, and tax evasion among other things. I was absolutely stunned when I saw this video. And they uncovered it not just at one Acorn location but at eight.

*To appease Ryan, I'll note here that currently there ARE numerous media outlets covering this story. About time.

But this isn't just about President Obama. This book is about the corruption that has been infiltrating the government for years! The fact that there are no term limits and so corrupt people can stay in office until they die. About the fact that the American people, when polled, say they are extremely dissatisfied with congress but then we all elect the SAME people back into office. It's about the fact that BOTH Democrats and Republicans are allowing things to happen that the founding fathers NEVER intended for this country.

Ok, sorry...didn't mean to get up on my soapbox, but there it is. And this is a good lead-in to my next recommendation.


The Great and Terrible series
This series has six volumes. After I picked up the first last month, I could not put them down. The first book is set in the pre-existence and introduces the characters as brothers and sisters. It's so interesting because of how life there is described. They live in a beautiful city, ruled by God and they now have a choice to make because two plans have been presented. Many choose to follow Lucifer, and it tells about the war in heaven and how Lucifer and his spirits are cast out. The following books follow the characters from the first book during parts of their earth lives and the setting is the last days. The main conflict being war in the Middle East and corruption in the governments there and in the United States that causes disaster here.

These books are fiction, but what happens in them is so possible, and maybe even probable, that it made me start checking off a list in my head of things we still need to be prepared for this kind of a disaster. It was scary to think about things like this actually happening, but inspiring to see how the characters in the book got through it and continued stronger than before. I felt like the prevailing theme was that since the beginning we have had the strength to overcome Evil, and we always will, no matter what happens in the world.

Names of all the books: The Brothers, Where Angles Fall, The Second Sun, Fury and Light, From the End of Heaven, and Clear as the Moon.


The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams was one of the organizers of the writing conference I went to this summer. I hadn't heard of this book until I went to the conference and picked it up there. It's about a girl living in a polygamist colony. Interesting to read about how a community like that works, but I guess the most prevalent emotion for me while reading this book was anger because of the way they treated anyone who would not conform. And I felt sad to think that there are children having to accept this. But it was also interesting to get an idea of how the wives felt about each other and their situation, and what the husbands' feelings were towards their wives and also the leadership of their community.


So, aside from three David Baldacci books that I permitted myself to indulge in, I think that's about it. But let me show you what I'm reading now, at the risk of being laughed at:

I know. Totally random. But I'll let you all know what I think about it when I'm done!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nine Months


Well here it is, the middle of my 9th month. I feel like I'm a total wimp when it comes to pregnancy anyway, and so it doesn't really help that this time has been even harder than the last. I'm a whole lot bigger (and NOT just in the stomach area), I'm retaining a whole lot more fluid, and I have pains that I didn't have before. But I've also realized how humorous the 9th month of pregnancy can be. I thought I would share some of these things.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE NINE MONTHS PREGNANT WHEN:

-You seriously weigh the pros and cons of getting up to go to the bathroom. Is it going to be more painful to heft yourself out of the chair you've settled into than to just deal with the "gotta go" feeling?

-Your emotions take a rollercoaster ride daily. One person you see says you are a whole lot smaller than she ever was, and the next asks if you're having twins and wonders quietly to herself (or sometimes not quietly at all!) why you're not at the hospital in labor instead of at the checkout counter at Shopko.

-You go to bed with one chin and wake up the following morning with two.

-Your stomach hangs out the bottom of almost every maternity shirt you own.

-Your little boy gets hurt and is screaming but since you don't see any blood, you stay where you are, figuring he'll get over it.

-If the phone isn't right next to you, whoever is calling is going to be ignored until you're forced to get up for your next bathroom break.

-Your doctor tells you you only have two more weeks to wait before being induced, and you feel so relieved. Then you get in your car and burst into tears because...YOU HAVE TWO MORE WEEKS!

-You wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath as if you're in the middle of running a marathon. (Not that I will EVER know how that really feels.)

-The bras that are a cup size bigger than the ones you wore before you got pregnant are TOO SMALL!

-You feel like you're a toddler all over again because you're constantly tripping, running into things or people, walking around with some sort of food all over your shirt, and spilling whatever you happen to be trying to drink. In fact, you do all of these things more often than your child who IS a toddler.

-When you prepare yourself to get up from your chair or bed, your little boy starts to imitate the grunting noises that he has gotten so used to hearing.

-Sneezing is extremely dangerous and may require a change of clothes afterward.

-You eat ice cream multiple times every day and still feel that it's not enough (ok, maybe this isn't so much a pregnancy thing as a ME thing).

-You have wardrobe malfunctions daily. There's always something showing or sticking out that should not be showing or sticking out. Unfortunately, it is very probable that you've stopped caring.

Just a few of the many joys. Feel free to add to this list. Well...hopefully I won't be blogging again until Gaby is here. October 2 will not get here quickly enough.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer Project

Something I forgot to include in that last post are the pictures of a project I started in June sometime. I decided to make Gaby's blessing dress. I wasn't sure how it would turn out because I haven't sewn for a very long time, but I thought I would try. My grandma had a pattern for a few different blessing dresses, but I ended up making my own design. I used a pattern for the bodice of a casual play top and put it with the long skirt from the dress pattern and came up with this.





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I'm extremely happy with how it turned out because I was imagining to final product to not look anything like a dress at all. So I'm very satisfied!! On close inspection, it's definitely not perfect. Uneven and strings hanging out everywhere. But I'm ok with it. I'm sure it'll be slightly too big for her, but I compared it to my blessing dress and mine is even a little bigger, so I think it'll be all right. I can't wait to put her in it!

We're Back!

So I guess I took a little bit of an extended vacation from the blog. I was going to update back in July and then got lazy because there was so much to post about! So eventually, I'll get back to the beginning and middle of summer, but right now I'll just post the most recent events.



First of all, I am pregnant. Still. It's so strange how the time can go so slowly, but yet pass quickly at the same time. It's like the time passing while I was on my mission. The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days. I don't know how else to explain it. When I was 30 weeks Gaby DID try to make an appearance. Out of nowhere one night I started having major contractions every three minutes for a couple of hours. Ryan and I were both freaked out because it was still way too early. Even after taking the medication the doctor gave me to stop contractions, they didn't stop. So she got a late-night call which I'm sure she was extremely excited about (I could tell from her groggy, monotone voice that I was her best friend that night). She told me to take a little more medicine and to head off to the hospital in an hour if they hadn't stopped. Luckily they stopped. I guess Gaby realized that the first few months of her life weren't going to be fun and games if she continued with that behavior! So, here we are...it's September. I'm larger than I was with Tyler so most of my maternity clothes from last time don't fit anymore and I had to get things in a bigger size. That's always a good feeling. I'm 36 weeks now and I'm pretty ready for her to come any time now.

I think Ty is ready for her to come too. He's got to be sick of his boring mommy that can't play with him for more than ten minutes before needing to lie down. He's so patient though and he's such a sweetheart.

He loves to give Gaby kisses.


Monica and Jorge had their third little boy last month and they named him Mason. He's a little cutie and so tiny! Well, you know, in comparison to Aaron, Cameron and Tyler. I forget how small they are at first!



Last month we went camping for one night with my extended family up at Monte Cristo by Pineview. It was beautiful there and we had a great time that evening just chatting by the fire, eating dinner and roasting marshmallows. The next morning, however, the rain had started and wouldn't let up. Ryan and I were supposed to make breakfast, but it just didn't happen. Everything was soaked and so we packed up and headed home...and then it stopped raining. Of course.


Tyler loves Amy's husband, Aldo. Ty followed him around everywhere!






Tyler sleeping peacefully in the morning after having kept me up all night, rolling on me, whacking me with arms and legs, etc.

Me the next morning as a result.

At the campfire that night Ty took turns sitting with everyone. I got some time, then Ryan, then he climbed up with Aldo's daughter Sophie, then Aldo, then Lori, then Grandma. I guess he just wanted everyone to feel the love.

He sure loved the S'mores!




Last month was also my birthday. My dad made his famous carne asada and we had a big yummy dinner that night! Then we went to Park City to hang out at the condo Carla and Craig had for the week at the Canyons. It was fun! Thanks guys!


I had one broken green candle on my cake. It was Sunday and no one realized the supply of birthday candles was on it's last leg, literally. I hope lone, broken birthday candles aren't bad luck! :)
Guess what I got! BIGGER maternity clothes!



Tyler having fun in the huge bathtub at the condo. He loved it!



The day after my birthday Ryan took Tyler and Linda and me out to dinner at Bandits. After dinner we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some ice cream. Linda and I got out and left Ryan and Tyler in the car. When we got back only like 5 minutes later, there was a big vase of red roses on my seat in the car, and Ryan and Ty just sitting there grinning innocently. The second we had gotten out of the car, he and Ty ran in and bought me flowers and were back before we were. It was so sweet of him!

A couple weeks later was Monica's birthday, for which she received NORMAL clothing and gift cards to buy NORMAL clothing. Can't wait for that! And NO Monica, two weeks doesn't count for much. Especially when we get in our 50's or 60's. Me turning 68 two weeks before you isn't going to mean a whole lot! :) Happy Birthday!

The kids pretty much took over the cake.


Ty and Grandpa taking important phone calls.
Next came Carla's birthday at which Ryan took a million pictures on a camera he borrowed from a friend...meaning I have none of those pictures, but I will soon! Happy Birthday Carla!

Last but not least, on Labor Day we went to a Luau at Thanksgiving Point. They do it at the outdoor amphitheater at the waterfall. We spread out blankets and had some great food and then watched the Polynesian dances. It was lots of fun. Unfortunately we had to leave halfway through the show (at about 8:30. It was a LONG show!) because I couldn't sit anymore. Sorry guys!


I don't thin Mason liked the roasted pig.








Just in case you were wondering what the inside of my nose looks like. Thanks Ry :)