Friday, August 29, 2008

Today's Thoughts

1. Today is Friday, and I couldn't be happier. It is also a three day weekend, so that means getting to spend more time with Mike.

2. We are going to Canada this weekend. It will be my first time there and I am eager to practice my Canadian with the natives. :)

3. I constantly observe Vessel. It is the best when he knows I'm not watching. During my observations I have found something interesting. Vessel always draws with his right hand. But when he feeds himself with a spoon or fork, he always uses his left hand.

4. I am craving Indian food. Sadly, Great Falls has no Indian restaurants.

5. I have been on a Ben and Jerry's kick for a couple of weeks now. I told Mike that if I keep this up I can picture my heart looking like it's been dipped into a giant vat of lard. Attractive eh?

6. Fall is on it's way. The kids are all back in school. The pool is closing up for the year. And the nights are getting colder. Where did the summer go?

7. There is no sales tax in Montana. I am blown away every time I buy something for a dollar and the total amount of my purchase comes out to...a dollar.

8. Who made up the silly rule that you can't wear white after Labor Day? I'm gonna wear white when I want regardless of what the fashion police think!

9. And the most exciting thought on my mind is that we are going to make an offer on a house at 5:00 tonight!!! As a first time home buyer I am so nervous and scared. But I think this will be a good house for our family to live in while we're in Montana. I guess we'll see if they accept our offer.

10. A superb number to close on. Go get yerself a pint of Ben and Jerry's. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shippy

Here is a video of Vessel at 21 months old. I made it primarily for the grandparents and other relatives since they don't get to see Vess very often. It's about 5 minutes long so I figure nobody but grandparents and other close family will even find it interesting anyway. :) Mostly I was trying to get Vessel to smile or point out different parts of his face but he seemed more concerned with drawing. He's really good at it though, as you'll find out. He can color in the lines pretty well and hold a pen like an adult. (something he's done since he was about 14 months old.) Oh, but there is a part where he picks a booger out of his nose, which I thought was pretty darn funny, but maybe some of you will be grossed out by it. :) He bonked his head pretty hard a few days before I made the video so he's got a bruise on his forehead...just so you don't think we abuse him or something. :( Anyway, here is the video. Sorry if it's really choppy. Gotta love the digital camera video functions, right? Oh, and sorry you have to sit though my stupid voice for most of the video. :( Otherwise, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!


video


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Movies

The Rocker
Staring Rainn Wilson

Mike and I went on a date last night and ended up watching The Rocker at the local theater in town. The movie stars Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) and it's his first appearance as the lead in a movie. Mike and I didn't have high expectations after the reviews we read. Basically everyone said it was stupid and not worth watching. But I have to disagree. It wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be. Trust me, I've seen many movies that were WAY worse. Yeah, it had it's stupid moments, but for the most part I thought it was pretty funny. I even laughed out loud a few times. I especially enjoyed the facial expressions "Fish" made as he was playing the drums. There was also a line in there about John Lennon that was a little crude but for some reason made us bust up laughing. Yeah, we're immature. So here's the lowdown on the flick: In the 80's, Robert "Fish" Fishman and his band Vesuvius play at small venues, bars, and things of the like. Their agent promises to get them a huge deal opening up for a big name band, if only they agree to let drummer "Fish" go and replace him with someone else. "Fish" is booted out and moves on with his life working one crap job after another while Vesuvius ends up making it big. "Fish" spends the next 20 years being bitter and cynical about the band's success, until an opportunity falls into his lap. His nephew is in a band called A.D.D. and they just happen to lose their drummer. Convenient right? A.D.D. agrees to let "Fish" play with them for their "big gig" at the high school prom. After botching up that performance, the band decides to get rid of him. However, "Fish" persuades them to let him stay in the band if he can get them a real show. He actually comes through, but some obstacles get in the way to deter them from making it. The band members are all grounded and unable to practice together, until Fish's nephew Matt comes up with the idea to practice with eachother via webcam on their computers. Out of touch Fish doesn't realize he's on camera and practices naked. Matt's little sister uploads the video on the ever popular You Tube and the video gets millions of hits and becomes known as the "naked drummer" video. Soon after, a record producer is offering them a deal and a tour. The rest of the story is pretty predictable. Fish has a small romance, the band goes on to be successful despite the many obstacles and mishaps along the way, and Fish finally feels like he's making up for lost time. Yada yada yada. Some people have compared this film to Almost Famous or School of Rock. Except, there really isn't a moral to this story. Follow your dreams maybe? I don't know. The movie doesn't have a lot of depth or creative plot twists, but it wasn't completely boring. And there were some ideas that were a little hard to believe. Like a heavy metal "butt rock" hair band still being popular now, or some really old drummer playing with a bunch of punky, angsty teens. Wait for it to come out on DVD so you don't waste 8 bucks on something you might not like. The only thing I wasn't a big fan of was the incessant footage of Rainn Wilson's naked body. Way too much skin for my eyes, considering what Rainn Wilson's body looks like without clothes. Otherwise, not a bad film if you're in the mood for something stupidly funny that doesn't require a lot of thinking.

"We stand behind every cow we service"

So we found a house that I'm pretty stoked about. I like the floor plan, the yard is big, it's been remodeled, etc. Plus, it's in the ole' price range, so that's a plus, right?

There's a compromise we'd have to make, though. Let me ask you all a question:

Would you live across the street from this sign?


Pretty crazy, eh? Yeah, right in the middle of a nice, quiet residential neighborhood, you've got a sperm bank for cows! Here's a link to the company website.

So what do you say? Is this a deal breaker??? We need opinions!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ode To My Husband


Just thinking I am a pretty lucky broad. Mike is an amazing partner in life. I feel so blessed to be married to him! Here are some reasons why I love my sweetie so much.

1. He is a very hard worker. He has a wonderful work ethic and does his best at whatever job he's given. It is because of his hard work that I am blessed to stay home with our lovable Vessel.
2. He never complains about it.
3. He is a great cook.
4. He always puts me and V first.
5. He always listens to me when I go off on one of my rants.
6. He's hella funny! He cracks me up continually.
7. He's bloody good at Dr. Mario.
8. He works hard to fulfill the responsibilities of his church calling.
9. He's an optimist.
10. He likes to have a good time.
11. Vessel adores him.
12. He is very spiritual and very knowledgeable. He is such a strength to me and can melt any doubts I have with his unwaivering testimony.
13. He likes to keep the peace.
14. He thinks about things long and hard before making an important decision.
15. He knows big words. I'm always like, "honey, what does this mean?" And he has the definition stored somewhere in his brain.
16. He's easy on the eyes (i.e. he's HOT)
17. He helps me wash the dishes.
18. He motivates me to be a better person.
19. He gives me room to grow and develop my talents and find my own way when I need to.
20. He is always up for trying something new. For instance, if something sounds incredibly weird (i.e. gross) on a menu, he'll want to order that exact thing.
21. He's a "curb kicker."
22. He does the grocery shopping.
23. He's excellent with money and ensures that we make wise financial decisions.
24. He's not afraid of a challenge.
25. His kisses make me melt.
26. He's always willing to give me a back rub.
27. He gives me compliments all the time.
28. He has great taste in music.
29. He works hard to achieve his goals. He will find a way to get what he wants in life.
30. He's got crazy names for people and things, which always makes me laugh.
31. He never criticizes me.
32. He likes to exercise, be active and play one on one sports with me.
33. He does random acts of kindness for me and others.
34. He is very loyal and trustworthy.
35. And forgiving.
36. He shaves before he kisses me.
37. He's got killer dance moves.
38. He's got mad banjo playing skillz.
39. Even though he has a fear of heights, he'll go rock climbing with me or anything else involving high places.
40. He balances me out. His strengths are my weaknesses.

There's plenty more, but to save you all from dying of boredom reading a super long mushy list about my baby, I'll stop here. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hooray For Michael Phelps!

Mike and I just got done watching the men's Olympic 400 medley relay and it was awesome! I was screaming the whole time and holding Mike's hand and then I think I may have danced around the living room at one point. Anyway, Michael Phelps rocks! Way to go U.S.A.!

Two and a Half

Whenever Mike, Vessel, and I go out to eat as a family, the hostess at the restaurant ALWAYS asks "Two and a half?" before seating us. Today was no different as we headed into Boston's. Afterwards as we were walking out to the car Mike says to me in all seriousness, "Can I ask you something?" I said, "Sure, you can ask me anything." Then he asked, "Doesn't it bother you that everyone considers you half a person just because you're a woman?" Yeah, as chauvinistic as it was, I had to laugh. Very funny babe.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It Sounds Belly-rific

About 5 months ago I read an intriguing article about belly massage (Chi Nei Tsang) that really got me interested in finding a practitioner with experience in this area. Recently I read another article that made me want to try out this CNT therapy, and I thought I'd share a little of what I read. In the article titled Belly Up, by Frances Lefkowitz, our stomachs are a storehouse for physical and emotional issues. This makes sense to me because when I'm really stressed or have a lot of emotional turmoil, it affects my stomach and digestion quite a bit. Also, about 5 years ago I received a Reiki session where the lady performing the therapy told me I most likely had bottled up anger and unresolved issues causing a tremendous strain on my liver. The same day an iridologist told me I had a spot on my liver from built up agitation. Although it seemed easy to blow it off as just some hoax, I actually was going through a difficult time with some unresolved issues in my life. And maybe my liver really was being affected by it, who knows? A few years ago I began suffering from headaches quite often, and was seeing a chiropractor regularly. Although I received temporary relief, I never felt like the underlying cause was ever addressed. Perhaps it was emotional, perhaps it was physical. Either way, I still had headaches. Since then I have overcome a lot of emotional crap on my own. My headaches still come and go, but I wonder if this belly massage technique could help me.
Here are a few blurps from the author of this article.
Give me a back rub any day. Knead my shoulders, neck, even my head. But the belly is a very different story. A private space, shy and vulnerable, my abdomen rarely gets touched by hands other than my own. It would take a leap of faith to allow a stranger to probe this tender region.
Like much of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the goal of chi nei tsang lies in harmonizing your internal systems...encouraging the body toward health from it's core outward. As I would come to see, however, something else happens when you allow your long neglected abdominal skin, tissues, and organs to be massaged. Surrendering to your vulnerability brings on a relaxation of the deepest kind. ...this is called the parasympathetic state, and is "where healing takes place." ...the technique detoxifies the body, releases long stored tensions, and stimulates the circulatory, metabolic, and lymphatic processes. Furthermore, it can aid digestion on multiple levels---easing intestinal troubles while helping you process "stuck" emotional and energetic issues. Because emotions are stored in the gut, "working on the belly allows us to work directly on the feelings," says Marin (founder of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Oakland, California.) Profound emotional releases are not uncommon, and several clients I spoke with experienced tears, visions, or long-forgotten memories during their treatments.
Like most people, I had never allowed my belly to be massaged, so there was a lifetime of trouble stored there. It's no wonder it emitted sharp throbs as it let itself go.

To read the entire article, click here.


I think it sounds really interesting. But now I want to know what you guys think of this and any other alternative medicines such as acupuncture, iridology, hypnosis, etc. Let me know if you've ever tried it or know someone who has!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ward Temple Trip

Last Friday, we left for the ward temple trip after Mike got home from work. We packed a bag and took off around 6:30. The closest LDS temple (besides Cardston, Alberta) is in Billings, Montana. I drove the whole way there, and despite the fact that it was only a 2 lane highway the entire time, the drive wasn't so bad at all. There were very few towns between GF and Billings, except for very, very small towns like Belt.) Just a lot of wide open space, and land and crops. But it just made the drive incredibly beautiful. I was seriously at a loss for words. It started raining huge, heavy drops making everything look really misty for awhile. But once it mellowed out a bit the sky was breathtaking, as I literally could not catch my breath at the sight. The eastern sky was dark with black clouds and the sun was setting in the west producing a bright, gigantic rainbow across the sky. Each end of the rainbow was touching the horizon. There's just no way to describe how beautiful that scene was. I had to pull over to take pictures, but I couldn't get anything decent. Mike was on the phone with his Dad at the time, and I'm sure all he could hear in the background was me saying "Wow! Oh my gosh! Wow, that is so beautiful!" And then we drove through a big wind farm, and maybe I'm just crazy, but those wind turbines are so beautiful to me. I remember driving through a wind farm on my way to California and it was so impressive, like it was from a movie or something. Anyway, with the fat raindrops, the various colors of the shifting sky, the rainbow, along with the wind farm, it was such a wonderful drive the entire way. It's moments like that, that I can't deny that there is a God. The world is His canvas.

This picture was taken a little after the rainbow first appeared and it was just starting vanish.

Mike tried to take this picture from the window as the car was moving.



By the time we got to Billings I was tired and hungry. It was about 10:30 and Mike ordered a pizza to be delivered to the room. In the meantime we got ready for bed and played with Vessel who enjoyed exploring the room. He slept most of the way in the car, so I didn't know if he'd go to sleep very easily that night. The 3 of us sat on one of the beds eating pizza and watching T.V. until about midnight. We knew we had to get up early so we finally called it a night. Mike and I layed on one bed with Vessel between us. Vessel just kept talking and jabbering in the dark. He would say the word for everything he touched, like blanket, pillow, "mommy hair" and various parts of our faces until eventually he fell asleep around 1am. The next morning we got showered and ready to go to the temple. There were some very nice volunteers from our ward to watch children while their parents did temple work. The temple was beautiful, inside and out, just like every temple I've had the opportunity of seeing. There was something different about my experience at this temple, which I will probably go into more detail in a later post. It was powerful and spiritually strengthening and I seemed to develop a greater love for EVERYTHING. It was truly amazing. Afterwards we picked up Vessel from the Stake Center and went back to the temple for the traditional ward picture.

Here are some pictures of just our little family.


The Billings Montana LDS temple.


Billings is a much larger city than Great Falls, and I wish we could've spent more time there just seeing what was around. We found a Johnny Carino's restaurant and decided to eat there for lunch before making the drive back. This is where the story gets pretty funny. We were seated at a table (not a booth) kind of situated in a little cubby, if that makes sense. Vessel was put in a high chair and enjoyed coloring and what-not while Mike and I talked. Another family was seated across from us in a booth, and kept looking at us strangely. I would even say rather rudely. But I didn't think too much of it and just kept talking to Mike. After awhile Mike bent down to pick up the crayon Vessel dropped and when he came back up he looked completely shocked. He looked at me and said "We've got a problem." I thought, "What? What kind of problem?" Mike said there was poo all over the floor. Poo? Really? It must be something else, because I couldn't smell anything and Vessel seemed fine and happy in his chair. Well, another look and sure enough Vessel had diarrhea so bad that it exploded out of his diaper up his back down his legs, all over the high chair and a formed a big puddle underneath. I was mortified. That's why that family kept looking at us strangely! They should've said something, am I right?!? Anyway, Mike and I huddled and made a plan. I ran to the car to get his diaper bag but Vessel didn't have any clean or dry clothes (he spilled water on his last outfit) and we only had 3 wet wipes left. Only 3! I knew it would take a miracle to clean up that mess. Anyway, I took Vessel out of his chair, held him at arms length in front of me and hauled butt to the restroom. I put him in a stall, stripped him, wiped him down, diapered him and found a plastic bag to put his clothes in. Before that happened, the waitress was just about to bring our food out. We told her we had a situation on our hands and she put the food under a heat lamp or something until we were ready for it. I almost just wanted to leave. While I was in the bathroom, Mike had to wipe up the chair and floor with paper towels. The whole time that other family just sat there eating! If it were me, I would firstly, tell us that our son had a major blowout, and secondly, request to be moved to another table. Stupid people. So we figured out the reason Vessel had exploded like that. Apparently while we were at the temple, one of the men helping with the babysitting gave Vessel 5 apple juices! 5 juices in 2 hours! I could've strangled that man! Who gives a child that much juice?!?! Of course I can laugh about it now, and I don't have any hard feelings for the guy.... but geez, what was he thinking? Anyway, we finally got our food, and it wasn't as good as it probably would've been, had it not been sitting there for some amount of time. I was truly beet red from embarrassment....
We finally got back on the road, and Mike drove most of the way home. It was just as beautiful. I'm so happy we were able to go on the trip, regardless of the not so good moments a long the way! It was worth it. :)


Voyagers Ballgame

Just a few shots of my boys at the Great Falls Voyagers vs Helena Brewers baseball game.




Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I have been tagged by my friend Melissa J. Here we go, I'm suppsose to list:
3 joys, 3 fears, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 facts about myself, 3 goals, and then tag 5 other people. Leave a comment for the people you tag so they know they have been tagged.


Joys: (okay, I'm not going to state the obvious like friends, family, etc.)
1. Cruising on my longboard on a crisp day
2. Anything artsy or crafty
3. Swimming in the ocean and lying on the warm beach afterwards

Fears:
1. Becoming paralyzed from the neck down.
2. Losing my mind.
3. Being buried alive.

Obsessions:
1. Lists. Making them and checking them off.
2. Blogging.
3. Lately, finding the perfect house.


Facts:

1. I gave birth to my son completely unassisted by drugs or epidural.
2. I worry about losing things constantly. Files on the computer, my wallet, my wedding ring, pictures, friends, and just about anything that's important to me I'm scared of losing. (I guess I could've put this in the fear category, but it was already filled up.)
3. I get motion sickness pretty bad.


Goals:

1. Be a better listener.
2. Work on getting my food storage where it needs to be.
3. Follow a schedule so I use my time more wisely.


Tag your it:

1. Bekah
2. Tracy
3. Melissa T.
4. Josie
5. Claire

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bloom Where Your're Planted

Hey everyone! So it's been almost 2 months since we moved to big sky country. You know, our first couple of weeks were rough, which I think is to be expected, but we are finally starting to feel at home here. Mike's job is going well and he really likes what he does. It makes me so happy to know that Mike enjoys his job, otherwise we'd both be in a miserable situation, right? So, although his hours are a little long (in my opinion) everything is going well.
Vessel is growing up fast. He probably knows over a hundred words now and is putting small sentences together like, "watch movie," "I'll do it," or "made a mess." Of course a lot of words still come out sort of unclear to other people, but being around him all day I've learned what he means (i.e. "ah-dai-kit" means "I like it.") We got him is very own potty recently and he loves the thing because it has a little button on it that plays music. The first thing he said when he woke up this morning was "Vessie potty." It made me laugh because he thinks it's his toy or something. He is such a sweet kid and I just love that boy so much! He's always copying everything Mike and I do and say, which is a good thing since it reminds us to set a good example. We have been striving to have FHE every week and family scripture study (something we've always struggled with in the past.) We aren't a perfect family, but I've noticed that when we are making an effort to do these things, our lives go more smoothly and there's less contention in our apartment.
Things for me are going all right. I have had time to work on a number of projects that I never had time for before. I have almost completed the editing and compilation of my journals. I have also been able to read books for pleasure (imagine! for pleasure= not required for school!) and do some painting projects. I have also been honing my cooking skills and that is a huge accomplishment for me. Last week I got called as secretary in the Primary of our ward. I've never had a calling in the primary, but I anticipate it will be enjoyable. I have been able to make some friends (members and non members) since living here. You know, I had been praying to meet some people I could relate to and hang out with. And then just last week I had a cool experience. It was hot so I thought about taking Vessel to the pool. I kept going back and forth with the idea, just because I wasn't really in the mood, but I knew Vessel needed to get out of the house and would have a good time. So eventually I had this feeling I should go. At the kiddie pool I was able to meet a nice girl and her son that is about Vessel's age. We had a good time talking and laughing and it turns out we had similar moving experiences (she's new to Montana too.) So we swapped numbers before I left the pool. Then when Ves and I arrived home, there was a young girl walking down our sidewalk pushing a stroller. I didn’t think anything of it, but she saw me and asked how old Vessel was. She was very outgoing and if it wasn’t for her friendliness, I probably wouldn’t have talked to her. But I’m so glad I did! She is very nice and I found out that she and her husband just bought a little place 3 houses down from our apartment building. She invited us over so we hung out in her backyard and talked while her son and Ves played together. We’ve done a few things like go to the farmer’s market and shopping, and then she came over for dinner a couple nights ago (her husband is out of town for new job training.) I feel like I can connect with her and she is straightforward (a quality I like) and very easy to talk to. So I’m glad I went with that “feeling” to go to the pool, because if we hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have met that first girl at the kiddie pool and I wouldn’t have been outside right as the other girl was just walking by our car when we got home. It’s so interesting how Heavenly Father answers our prayers.
In an earlier post I mentioned that our new ward was questionable. But after attending for a few weeks now, we feel more comfortable and have come to realize that there are lots of nice people who we can see ourselves being friends with. We are going to Billings this weekend for a ward temple trip. We get to bring Vessel with us, which is really convenient! I guess while some couples are doing a session, the youth and other couples will watch the babies, and then swap. We are going the night before and staying in a hotel the ward reserved for us. We are so excited because it’s been awhile since we’ve gone to the temple.
We’ve been thinking about taking a trip up to Glacier National Park at the end of August and visit Canada while we’re up that way. Why not, right? We have some friends up there who offered to let us stay with them if needs be. It would be nice to see them. I hope our plans work out because I’ve heard Glacier is beautiful. Erma, you going with us? :)
In other news, Mike and I are in the beginning stages of buying our first home! We found one we really liked and seemed to fit the bill of what we wanted. It had remodeled EVERYTHING, new carpet downstairs, hardwood upstairs, 4 bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, a yard, a 2 car garage, etc. And it was in our price range. Unfortunately it turns out someone had already made a solid offer on it. We were bummed, but we kept looking. We’ve scoured the neighborhoods and looked online for stuff in our price range and what we want. Like I said, we don’t want a fixer-upper. We want a house that we can just move into as-is. Yesterday, the realtor we’ve been talking to mentioned a cheap house we should look at. So we drove over there last night and fell in love! The house is incredibly affordable for us, and it’s just the right size. The main floor has the living room, kitchen, dining room and a bathroom. Upstairs has a master bedroom, bathroom, and two more bedrooms. The basement is unfinished and I don’t see us finishing it if we actually buy the place. Basically we’d just do laundry and keep food storage down there. We like the house, and although it’s been updated, it still scares me to buy such an old house. I think it was built in like 1910 or something. So we need to get the low down on the place like if the foundation is good and get it inspected. The yard needs some major TLC, but I’m not too worried about that. I’d rather have a nice house and a fixer-upper yard than a nice yard and a fixer-upper house. We would probably plant more trees, make a garden and start over with new grass and build a picket fence out front. I have all these ideas swimming in my head of what I would do with the place. It’s got really high ceilings, which Mike and I LOVE, a deck, a balcony leading out from the master bedroom and all new windows and doors. There are a lot of things we like about it, especially the price. Oh, and it’s in the ward boundaries that we’re in now. But who knows if we’ll end up getting it. I guess we’ll just have to pray about it.
Anyway, like I said, life has just been good. Of course we’ve had our ups and downs since moving, but what normal person doesn’t? We've just tried to focus on the ups and make the most of our lives. And the Lord has really blessed us and I am grateful for that. Since finding out that Montana was going to be our new residence, I've been repeating in my mind the adage "bloom where you're planted." Montana wasn't our first choice of where to live. But I know there is a reason for us to be here. And I suppose I could complain a lot and hate it here and constantly think about our old life with all our family and old friends (who we still miss dearly by the way!) or I can make our life here as great as possible. I think I'd rather do the latter. And so far Montana hasn't been so bad at all...


Here we are at the Pet and Doll parade in GF.



Montana has some really cool storms. Here after a storm Mike, Vessel and I were blowing bubbles off the deck. The humidity in the air made it possible to blow really big bubbles and made them last longer. I had more fun blowing bubbles than Vessie did.





Some cool looking clouds. I'd like this kind of paint job on our bedroom walls.