Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

he got down on one knee, and she said yes.

Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any more crazy, exciting or happy, Jeff popped the question while we were on our babymoon in Newport Beach, California.


The story? Goes something like this…

His heart had been pounding out of his chest all day, but I didn’t notice. He seemed calm, cool, like nothing life-changing was just around the corner. We spent the afternoon walking around the island, talking, laughing, lunching on the Balboa Pier, watching fisherman struggle to keep their fish from flopping about the dry land, and playing arcade games on the boardwalk. Nothing out of the ordinary for a weekend at the beach.

“We should get our faces cartooned!” Jeff suggested enthusiastically as we strolled past the Ferris wheel and into the arcade for a game of Skee ball.

“Ya!” I replied, just as excited. I love the idea of real people transforming into cartoons on paper.

“Okay, I’ll go see how much it costs. You stay here.” He said.

But before he could turn on his heels and dart off, I looked at him, puzzled. The giant sign—Get Tooned for $8—was right outside, in plain sight.

“Why don’t we just go together? We’ll see how much it costs while we’re waiting in line.” I said, still confused. We usually do these types of errands together.


Little did I know I'd ruined Jeff’s plan. He didn’t want to know how much cash it’d take for the cartoon; he wanted to ask the cartoonist to draw him on one knee, holding a diamond ring to the sky, ready to place it on my cartoon finger after hearing the word “yes.”

It would have been a perfect surprise.

But I’ve been known to spoil a few surprises in my day, and Jeff’s a quick thinker, so he promptly came up with another plan. After the cartoonist had drawn our silly extra-large faces on our stick-skinny bodies, and after we’d paid him and giggled over the ridiculousness of his artwork, Jeff announced he needed to use the restroom. (Lucky for him, I don’t usually ask to join him on these types of errands.) While I waited in line for the Ferris wheel, Jeff walked back to the booth and asked the cartoonist to draw a ring in his big cartoon hand. When he returned, the paper was rolled up so I couldn’t see it.

We rode the Ferris wheel and drove home.
After we walked in the door and put our bags down, Jeff said, “Let’s look at this thing one more time.” He unrolled the piece of paper with our cartoons on it and pointed to the ring.

“What’s that?” I asked, my heart beginning to thud.

“I don’t know…” he trailed off. “Maybe it’s…” He reached for his pocket, got down on one knee and opened a little box that looked well over 100 years old. From the floor, he held out his great-grandmother’s ring, an Old-European cut diamond—the forerunner of modern brilliants in the late eighteenth century—on a thin gold band.

It caught the light just right, and…

I don’t really remember what happened after that, except that I laughed and cried and my hands shook uncontrollably. It was the most special moment of my life! The ring is absolutely perfect—antique, brilliant and elegant—and the guy on the other end is even more so.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

hello, babymoon!

tomorrow at 6:40 a.m., i’ll be up in the air, on my way to balboa island for a relaxing weekend with jeff. the occasion? a babymoon: one last getaway before we have to start hauling diaper bags and bottles around with us. and perhaps the last time people will want to stand behind us in the security line at the airport. (soon we’ll have a stroller in tow. and no one likes to wait behind one of those!)

the weekend forecast? seventy-five and sunny. the plans? sunbathing, walking, talking, enjoying sunset cruises on a little speed boat, dining out, and soaking up every minute of this end-of-summer retreat.

i couldn’t ask for anything better.

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

okay, so i don't know a thing about football. but i ❤ my ducks!

there’s something about autumn that makes me really happy. when the leaves start changing and the weather cools, when the days get shorter and i get to order pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, i don’t miss summer one bit. i love putting on a soft, flowy sweater for the first time, pairing it with leather boots and new jeans.
i love crisp, fresh-from-the-store jeans. they remind me of back-to-school shopping with my mom and sisters, back when I was twelve or thirteen years old. When we’d arrive home after spending our $100 each, I’d hurry to my room and try on my new tops, boots and pants and then decide which days I’d wear them to school during that first week back.

The air smells different in autumn, too. Like wood-burning fires. For me, the smell evokes an image of families and friends, cozy on their couches in front of their fireplaces, watching the roaring flames and listening to the crackles and pops of the wood. It reminds me of pajamas and wool socks, and that winter—and Christmas!—is just around the corner.

One of the best parts of fall, though, is football season. I don’t know much about the game, but I do know there’s nothing better than cheering for your alma mater with friends, in front of that roaring fire.

Unless, of course, you’re cheering from the stands at Autzen stadium.

Last weekend, that’s just what I did. Check it out… 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

hospital tour...

yesterday evening, jeff and i took a tour of the hospital where we’ll be having our baby girl. we expected to show up and get right to the tour. i imagined following a nurse around through the hallways and up to the maternity ward, taking a peek in one of the rooms and calling it a night.

but that’s not how hospital tours work these days.

we arrived on time despite the rush-hour traffic, thanks to jeff’s driving tricks. (and by tricks I mean changing lanes much too often, just to keep moving.) there were about five other couples in the room when we got there. much to our surprise, in addition to the tour, we’d signed up for a (very informative) 40-minute class on:

1) when to come to the hospital
it seems that, in real life, my water breaking won’t mean what it does in the movies. so we shouldn’t jump in a cab and speed to the hospital right at that very moment. because the baby won’t come for hours and hours—and hours.

2) what to pack for the two-day stay
on top of a toothbrush and toothpaste, we’re supposed to make a birthing playlist! (mom, did you and dad make a playlist (er, mixed tape?) when i was born?) it’s supposed to relax me.

3) how to stay calm if we need to have a c-section
we’ll need to remember why we’re doing it: to have a baby! a real, living, breathing baby. we’ll have to trust our doctors and remember that this surgery is extremely common; about 30-percent of babies are born this way. and by we i mean jeff. (i’ll be freaking out!)

4) some fun facts
did you know that if a newborn baby isn’t warm enough, a mother’s temperature rises an entire degree to warm her with her body heat? and if a baby is too hot, mom’s temp drops to cool her. (wow!)

5) and a whole bunch of other stuff that i hope i’ll remember in december

*     *     *

because hospitals don't make for very exciting photos, here's one of freddie with the mini pillow i made for him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

week 25

This week, baby is as big as big as an eggplant. (An eggplant!) She's enjoying her new sense of equilibriumshe now knows which way is up and which is down. And she's growing more fat and hair, too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a break for brunch

last weekend, sometime between unpacking and painting and driving to and from ikea, jeff and i took a break for brunch. we made the trek to portland--the big city!--where we lived just two weeks ago. i'm not sure if it's the boxes scattered about or the fact that we don't have enough furniture yet to fill it, but our new house doesn't quite feel like home. i'm sure that will change with time, but for now, the city of portland still has our hearts. 

(it's hard to get used to suburbia. there's no street noise. the only sounds that enter our windows at night are dogs barking, children laughing, and wind blowing.)

(yes, we can hear the wind blowing.)

(when you're used to sounds like garbage trucks and the hustle and bustle of city streets? that's pretty creepy.)

while waiting 45 minutes for our table at besaw's, we ordered iced coffees at a cafe up the street. and our breakfast was totally worth the wait. now i'm even more determined to continue brunching at our favorite spots when the baby arrives. mmmm.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

a lesson on moving and painting while pregnant

The big move? Didn’t go quite as planned. We got all the boxes in, yes, but they haven’t budged an inch since Sunday. This is extremely frustrating for me. My personality is definitely Type A—ambitious, highly competitive, impatient, time-conscious—which means I’d normally have these things unpacked with their contents organized in drawers and closets as soon as humanly possible.

But I’ve been laid up.

Apparently lifting heavy boxes, painting twelve hours per day, stretching unfamiliar muscles while standing on ladders, forgetting to eat right and failing to drink enough water are major no-no’s for expectant mamas, because I landed myself in the hospital on Sunday with strained back and stomach muscles (and other “injuries” that I’d rather not disclose to cyberspace—sorry). So each night since we’ve moved in, Jeff has come home to find me on the couch, clutching a bottle of Tylenol (and other antibiotics that will remain nameless) for dear life, tears of frustration in my eyes, with Freddie by my side. The tears of frustration aren’t only from back pain but also from the pain of helplessly watching these boxes remain unpacked and clutter our new home. (Jeff has been working so hard, don’t get me wrong, but there’s only so much he can do when I’m wailing and whining for him to stay next to me on the couch.)

The lesson I learned? Is don’t overdo it! Type A personality or not, pregnant or not, patience is key when you've got a big job to do. I also learned that I’m so, so lucky to have such amazing family and friends to help. A gigantic thanks to everyone who worked so hard to paint those lofty ceilings and move that heavy furniture! 

(Oh, you’re wondering about that photo of the broken stove? That’s our stove. Jeff stood on it and broke it while he was painting. So we have to fork over the cash for a new one.)

(We’re kissing our dreams of hardwood floors goodbye!)