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Me…A Hair Stylist!

Well, I did something new today: I cut my husband’s hair. Realizing that we were paying more than we wanted to for his monthly haircuts, we invested in a set of clippers a month or so ago and are already halfway to paying them off, just based on today’s adventure!

This is my cutie “Before”:

And here is my sweetie “After” his haircut, and a shower:

Not too shabby for my first attempt, right? Of course, I’m also not showing the almost-bald spot that resulted from not understanding what he meant about the comb, but oh well. He says his hair grows quickly, so hopefully it’ll blend in soon. And there was a crisis in the middle of the whole ordeal when I realized that I was NOT going to be able to use the scissors and make his hair look good. Tears were involved. So we finally got out the #7 comb and buzzed the top of his head. It was a fairly terrible ordeal and took way longer than it probably should have, but I’ll get better with practice, and the finished result doesn’t look nearly as bad as I was expecting: he still has hair.  And he’s still handsome!

Speaking of being handsome, I have school followed immediately by work on Monday, so we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow instead. I’m making him spaghetti and attempting a new recipe for breadsticks that his aunt served us one time and which we absolutely LOVED!! Hopefully the attempt to make perfect breadsticks will go better than the attempt to perfectly cut Todd’s hair! 😀 But I’m excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my eternal sweetheart, even though we’re not giving gifts or doing anything particularly romantic–I’m not even going to wear a negligee this year because, let’s be honest, my belly would never fit! 😀 It’ll be a very low-key holiday, but still full of warmth and love. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, and the invaluable support he gives to me daily. I’m so lucky to have found the perfect man in all the world for me!!! I LOVE YOU, TODD!!! Happy Valentine’s day, Honey!

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Utards

I would just like to ask anyone out there that might possibly know: what the crap is wrong with Utah residents? The drivers are INSANE and I’m convinced that the pedestrians are all suicidal. I’ve had cars pull out directly in front of me without even looking to see if anyone is coming toward them, or back out suddenly and almost hit me. There is a small stretch of road directly in front of where I used to live when I was single where there are two crosswalks maybe 100 feet apart but people just saunter out onto the road between them. Just off-campus there is a sign with huge letters saying “DO NOT CROSS HERE.” Where do I see people crossing more than any other place? There! Today, a construction worker tried crossing the street in front of our car, not even bothering to move the 15 feet north he needed to actually be walking on a crosswalk. All of these spots are on 9th East, one of the busier roads in Provo. Really, it’s just the “I’m a pedestrian and therefore invincible” attitude that really grates on my nerves. I don’t care if you DO have the right of way; if I hit you, my 2 ton car will still crush your 150 lb body. And if you DON’T have the right of way, you make me want to hit you with my car on purpose, just to teach you that you are, in fact, human. I’m pretty sure I’d win in court, too, if you’re crossing where there is a sign expressly telling you not to. Even though my Idaho license expired on my birthday, I’m resisting the notion of renewing it here in Utah. Honestly, the thought of actually getting a Utah driver’s license and becoming one of the infamous “Utah drivers” chills my blood. You know, on second thought, maybe I SHOULD get a Utah license. That way I can purposely hit one of the idiots who cross directly in front of me and the courts will just shrug it off as me being one of the insane drivers that are so common here. It’s not like they know how to drive anyway. Hmm…this idea has potential…

New Blog!

Along with my last post, I realized lately that all I ever seem to post about anymore is my pregnancy/baby. So, in an effort to return to my original  posting personality, I’ve decided to start another blog: http://blogboutbaby.blogspot.com/ in which-you guessed it-I talk all about the baby/pregnancy, leaving this blog free to return to discussions of books and other general…stuff. I’m really hoping that this will work out well and that I’ll be able to juggle everything like a true superwoman/mom. Wish me luck!

Books of 2010

So I was looking back over my blog posts from the past year and noticed something shocking: I barely mention books at all! The Bookmistress not mentioning books?! Disgraceful! Now granted, I did post a new page with all of my favorite books listed, but it’s not the same. In order to save my reputation as a bookworm among my friends and family, I decided to mention the really good books that I read last year. Unfortunately, I only came up with two. But, in my defense, they’re both really long books, and I did have other stuff going on that took my mind off of reading.  

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Both of them were utterly fantastic and have since been added to my list of favorite books. READ THEM!! Extra bonus: they’re also classics, which crosses another couple off of my “classics to read before I die” list. If you want, you can also count Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities, which Todd and I have been reading together, but we’ve both already read it, so I don’t know if it officially counts. We’re almost done, though, and then we’re going to read William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, which both of us have seen (and memorized) but that Todd has never read. I think it’ll be fun, especially after the dark mood of A Tale of Two Cities.

As for books that I’m reading this year, I know that I’m assigned to read Emma (Jane Austen), Adam Bede (George Eliot), and Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad-yuck!) for my British Literary History 2 class. I’m supposed to read A Long and Happy Life (Reynolds Price) for my Writing Literary Criticism class, and various poems and short stories for my Creative Writing class. I’m also planning on reading Henry W. Longfellow’s Evangeline (the long poem I mentioned in my last post) before my own Evangeline is born. So I’ll hopefully have lots of literature to write about for the coming year and be worthy of retaining my title of Bookmistress. Happy Reading!

The Final Stretch!

I have now officially entered the third and final trimester of my pregnancy. Woo-hoo!

My belly really popped out over Christmas break!

Adorable shirt is courtesy of my wonderful mom. It is possibly my favorite shirt now.

I have cleared the final hurdle and am sprinting for the finish line (metaphorically, of course. I hated running even pre-pregnancy.)!  This scares me a little and excites me a lot. It scares me because I’ve passed the last known landmark and am trekking into unknown territory- I have no idea when little Evie is going to be born. At least with the other two trimesters, I knew the exact date I would transition into the next one. But this final trimester ends when she decides it ends, and I have no control over that. That lack of control secretly terrifies the snot out of me. On the other hand, I am excited because it is going to be one amazing surprise! All I want is for her to arrive safe and healthy: my very own gift from heaven. I’m so looking forward to holding her warm little body in my arms, and counting her tiny fingers and toes, and dividing her features between mine and Todd’s (he’s already convinced that she has my nose instead of his). I can’t wait to rock her, and sing lullabies as I nurse her, and push her in the stroller. I love zoos, and I have a vision of going as a family and watching her fascination with all of the different animals.

Speaking of animals, I know that I mentioned in an earlier post that we were planning on using a Noah’s Ark theme for decorating. Well, in my mythology class last semester, there was a really sweet girl that I sat next to who brought her little boy to class. We started talking about babies and strollers, and became friends. One day, while we were talking, he dropped his fleece blanket and I bent to pick it up. It was the cutest  motif of baby animals I have ever seen! I asked her where she’d gotten it, and she didn’t know because it was a gift from her mother. Then, when we went to Idaho to visit my family for Thanksgiving, my mom pulled out a quilt panel she’d found and was planning on sewing for Evie. I think I startled her when I shrieked “That’s the fabric Allison had!! Where did you get that?!?” So on Black Friday, we went to Porter’s and I got one for $2. Then, we went to Wal-Mart and happened to find the matching fleece:  

Patty Reed Jungle Babies Fabric Material 2 Yards

It is so soft and warm and adorable; I can’t wait to wrap my baby in it and just snuggle with her. Best yet, there’s a whole range of fabrics that match it, so we can make sheets as well as the blanket and the quilt! Finding that pretty much made my whole weekend. 😀 I wanted to hold it on the drive home and just stroke it, but Todd looked at me sternly and asked “Is this for you or the baby?” But I still sometimes sneak the fabric out and wrap the teddy bear that we made for her in it and just practice rocking. Yes, I’m a dork, but I accept this about myself. 😀 This is the teddy we made for her at Build-a-Bear all those months ago:

Isn’t he cute? We sure thought so. And, speaking of animals AND of strollers, Todd and I picked out the most adorable travel system. It’s great quality (we were assured) and also very cheap, especially with the coupon we have.

I’m slightly obsessed with monkeys lately. Sadly, I can’t enlarge the picture without making it fuzzy. Oh well. I love it so much, and can’t wait until we can go buy it for her! The best part about all of this stuff is that it’s gender-neutral, so we can use the same gear if/when we have a little boy. Hooray for saving money!

As for the actual pregnancy itself, everything is great. I’m still feeling fantastic, although a little achy. I’m also experiencing painless Braxton Hicks contractions, but that’s entirely normal. Evie is being interesting: sometimes she’s really REALLY active, but increasingly she’s calming down. I don’t know if it’s because she’s getting too big to move around as easily, or if it’s because she’s busy dreaming (REM sleep this week, according to the book!). I’m not worried though, because she moves around often enough to keep my life exciting. Over Christmas break, people across the room could see her shifting around and got quite a “kick” out of it. (Yuk, yuk, yuk. Cheesy, I know.)

Also over Christmas break, it came to our attention that some people might come to some incorrect assumptions about her name. I’m going to clear those up right now. NO-she is not named after Evangeline Lilly, the actress who plays Kate on LOST. I like LOST, and Kate, but I did not name my baby after her. NO-she is not named after the star in the Princess and the Frog, NOR is her middle name a nod to the firefly named Ray in the same movie. That one surprised me, actually; the connection hadn’t even occured to me. NO-she is not named after Eva from the movie Wall-E. Her nickname is Evie, NOT Eva. Where I DID get the name: Henry W. Longfellow, American poet. From the time I was little, my whole family would get together and play Authors, a card game based on Go-Fish, except with 4 specific books by each author. One of the books listed for Longfellow is his poem Evangeline. When picking out baby names, I was looking for elegant names of 4 syllables that began with a vowel and had an “interesting letter.” (Alexander, Elizabeth, Olivia, etc. (Yes, I know I’m way too… anal? about some things. I accept this about myself, too.)) Well, Todd’s brother had already named his son Alexander, and Todd didn’t like the name Olivia, so I was running low on options. Suddenly, the name Evangeline popped into my head and I decided I really liked it. Todd agreed. It took another eternity to find her middle name- nothing seemed to go with it. We didn’t want something super long, since her first name is pretty lengthy, and Todd didn’t want something “hoity-toity” like Belle. So I was cruising around Facebook, stalking my friends, and came upon one of my best friends from middle school and early high school. Her middle name is Rae, and I looked at it and said the whole thing to myself. Then, I tentatively suggested it to Todd, and he loved it. And thus was our baby’s name born. I kind of hope her own birth will be that easy. 😉

Jess

**On a side note, I’m purposely not including the brands of the stuff I’ve pictured. This is because I’m evil and selfish. I want to keep all of the cute stuff for myself and not share any of it with others. I want to imagine people pulling out their hair trying to FIND the cute stuff, and smugly sit back with a smirk and fondle my treasure hoard. I’m feeling very draconian just now.

Life is made up of beginnings and endings- it begins with birth and ends with death. But there are smaller changes that also give meaning to life, and this week I’ve experienced several.

First of all, Tuesday was my 21st birthday. It brought an official end to my teenage years and caused my driver’s license to expire. However, it set me on the path of enjoying my future years as a legal adult; for example, I now get to sign for any package that gets sent to my house, regardless of its contents. Perhaps most importantly to me, my birthday signalled a transition from my own childhood into parenthood, since my daughter will be born in just a few short months.

Second, tonight is the last night we are staying in Colorado. We leave early tomorrow morning for our home in Utah. Tonight is the end of  our wonderful Christmas break that we have enjoyed so thoroughly and I’m so sad to have it come to a close. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new era: a new semester, a new year, a new ward, and (possibly) a new job. These are all good changes, but still a little scary since they speak so clearly of change.

Third, yesterday was the start of the New Year. At midnight, as Todd and I brought in the New Year with a kiss, it occured to me that we had spent our first calendar year together as a married couple, and were essentially pledging to do it again this year. So much has happened during the past year, and there is also so much that I want to make happen this year!

Experiences of Year 2010:

  1. Todd graduated from BYU with a Master’s degree in Trombone Performance.
  2. We found out we were having our sweet little girl.
  3. We moved into a beautiful new apartment.
  4. Todd got hired on as adjunct faculty at BYU.
  5. Both of my best friends had their baby girls.
  6. I completely destroyed my friendship with one of my dearest friends.
  7. I posted on this blog more than 3 times.

Heaven knows I made mistakes last year and experienced the bad along with the good. But I like to think that I learned from those mistakes and gained a little more wisdom by the end of the year.

Goals of Year 2011:

  1. Deliver a healthy baby girl.
  2. Find a good new job that will help provide for our family.
  3. Finish the stitchery I’ve been working on by February.
  4. Read at least two classics not related to classwork.
  5. Post on this blog even more frequently than I did last year.
  6. Finish watching all Lost episodes with Todd.
  7. Get a new driver’s license that will hopefully be valid for longer than a single year.
  8. Finish the temple work for all of the names Todd’s mom gave us.
  9. Learn to do pottery.
  10. Learn to ballroom dance.

I am really hoping that I can be a better person this year than I was last year. I’m hoping I can be a kinder, gentler, more loving individual and can be focused on making life better for my family and neighbors. I want to be the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I can possibly be. I want to be the best ME that I can be. The last year has ended, and I begin the new one a little older, and wiser too.

Here is the post you’ve all been waiting for! I’m going to be posting tons of pictures: first, of the old apartment; second, of the new aparment while it’s empty; third, of the new aparment all moved in and clean. Ready for the tour? Let’s go!

We lived behind the roses

And, we STILL didn't get our mail sometimes. Go figure.

See? No wonder I felt like a hobbit!

The living room

This tiny kitchen was sticky and gross when we moved in. It took FOREVER to clean up 5 tenants' worth of grease to check out.

Storage room

The bathroom. Todd didn't get a picture of the toilet or the FOUL shower stall just beyond the washer/dryer.

Our bedroom. That's the closet sticking way out into the room.

The study

The study from the other corner. The closet makes the shape of the room really odd.

Now for the good stuff!!

Apartment I -only down two steps!

A little nook in the living room which is where we put our Christmas tree

The entertainment center next to the nook

The living room and looking into the dining room

The living room with furniture in it. And Todd ran laps around the table just because he could!

It took me all of 15 minutes to unpack all of our books. And my sweetie put the pictures up for me!

Our beautifully huge kitchen, complete with pantry, full-size stove, coat closet, and cute husband!

Our clean kitchen and newly organized pantry

The study/baby's room

The baby's corner!

Right across the hallway from the study is our linen closet.

Our bright and open bedroom

Still lots of room around the bed

The bedroom closet -big enough to fit our dresser AND all of our clothes.

It has a BATHTUB!!!!

Laundry/storage room. Now we just need a washer/dryer!

Isn’t the new apartment simply beautiful?!? We love it so much!