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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Growin' Girl

Baby Q grows and grows and grows every day! She is up to 3 lbs 14.8 oz, and we are thrilled! We can't wait to have 4 lb baby. She is amazing, and I am so proud of the progress she makes daily. As I chatted with the doctor this morning she made it clear that our biggest obstacle in getting her home will be teaching her how to eat. Don't worry, she gets fed, but we have just begun to bottle feed her. She isn't sure if she likes it, and it tuckers her out. Sometimes she eats quite a bit and other times she won't eat more than a few millileters. However, we won't push her to eat more than she feels like eating. Our nurse last night told us that when the babies control how much they eat, instead of being force fed like they used to, they come home faster. We are all for her coming home faster! So, now our prayers have a specific focus...please help our little girl to learn how to eat and to continue to grow healthy and strong!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our little girl was visite by a very special man the other day. When the nurses first told us that Santa came to the NICU to visit the babies and take pictures, I was beside myself. I am often overcome with emotion these days, and the thought of having a picture of our miracle with Saint Nick was something I wished for deeply. My mom was with me, so we were able to take the picture posted above, and I just love how it turned out! We have copies from the hospital that Daddy will be able to take and hang up at work. The hospital staff really takes care of us. For example, when Mom and I went in to see Quincy tonight our nurse had presents for her parents. FOR US! I felt like we should be showering her with presents--and that still wouldn't be enough to show our appreciation--and here she is giving me homemade chocolate treats!
As of today Baby Q has been moved from her isolet (incubator) into an open air crib. This is a very big step, and I am very nervous about it. She is so strong, but I am worried about pushing her too hard too soon. I want her to be successful, and I don't want to have to move her back into the isolet...it would be a step backward. I am just a nervous mommy. She continues to gain weight daily, and we are thrilled! I can't wait until she hits four lbs.
I am sitting here watching The Muppets Christmas Carol with Mom and Nick, and this is the first traditional Christmas thing that we have done this year. It is so strange to think that tomorrow is Christmas. I will be spending the day back and forth from the hospital--Christmas in the NICU--who would have thought that this is where we would be? No one plans for these things. No one. So, I promise to try and focus on those things I should be most grateful for. There is so much. I know that. My little one is being watched over by a host of special angels--both those we can see and those we can only feel. I have my mom here. I have a loving and uber supportive partner in all of this. I have a beautiful daughter! This is a Christmas when I should just be very happy, and I am! This is also a Christmas where I will be very sad. Not because I have any right to be, but quite simply because I want my girl to be home.
Please know that I am grateful for this time of year. I am thankful for a baby born in a manger. And I am thankful for a baby lying in a crib growing, growing, growing every day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Girl

My mom took this, and she posted it on Facebook. I am adding it here for those family and friends who do not have Facebook. Enjoy! I know I could watch it over and over and over again.

video

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some of God's Greatest Gifts...

I had to post this one as my heart is so full of love from my Father in Heaven. As I have looked back at the events that have or have not happened to Nick and I since we got married and started our life here, I realize that we have been watched over and blessed...all in preparation for this challenge in our life. Here are just a few examples.

1. I don't have a job. For a year and a half I have questioned why I don't have a job. I'm qualified enough. I'm a pretty great teacher. I had quite a few interested parties this summer, yet no job. Flash to now where I can't IMAGINE trying to be a mom with a baby in the NICU and worrying about a classroom too. I love that I don't have to worry about that. I can focus all my time and energy on my baby!

2. I literally stumbled across my doctor by accident. I had no idea who to go see or even really how to find a good doctor. In my random search, I came across my doctor's partner--who no longer delivers babies--and was referred to Dr. Read. He has been a true angel through this process! He was the only one who was able to calm my angry and frantic husband, and EVERY nurse we worked with in the hospital sang him praises! We are so blessed to have someone with his compassion and expertise working so hard to take care of me.

3. My darling friend, Ruth, reminded me today that had my long term sub job actually could have made the PIH so much worse. I would have been working everyday until Thanksgiving. So, when my long term sub job ended early, it was actually a blessing in disguise.

4. The week before this all happened I had been offered a sub job that would have lasted the entire week. I accepted the job, but afterwards I didn't feel right about it. So, I told Nick that I just didn't feel good about taking the job, and he supported me cancelling it. I would have had to worry about calling in sick for a job last minute AND I would have been on my feet all week too. That probably would have been bad.

I am sure there are countless other ways we have been watched over and blessed in preparation for all of this. I am so overwhelmed by the love I feel continuously right now. I am an emotional mess, so when I burst out in tears (and this happens A LOT) please know that my heart is really just full.

This is a picture of daddy's first diaper change. He is really good at it! Thanks to my friend, Angela, for documenting this for me!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NICU

Well, here she is. Quincy Anne Sadler joined the Sadler Family on December 11, 2010 at 11:46pm. She weighed in at 3lbs. 4oz. and has been breathing on her own! We got to see her for a minute while she was wheeled by us and right on up to the NICU, and then the real adventure began.
Things went fine as far as the C-section went. There were no complications, but since my blood pressure had been so high for so long, the doctor started me on a magnesium drip. This AWFUL medicine serves the purpose of keeping a person from siezing when their blood pressure has been too high for too long. I was on the mag drip for 36 hours instead of the typical 24 hours because my BP was really bad. My poor hubby was really worried. He spent lots of time at my bedside and would only leave to go see our little girl when I made him. She has been doing really well, and the nurses and therapists in the NICU have been so amazing! They are a gifted group of people! We are blessed by their knowledge and their expereince.
The mag drip wouldn't allow me to leave my room. While you are on it, you can't go to the NICU, so I was stuck in my room--literally. I couldn't even get out of my bed. I might be enjoying my freedom too much now--my BP has been a little high today--but I love that I can go see Quincy any time I want. She is such a special little girl. She has such a strong spirit, and as I cuddle her, I feel the love of our Heavely Father surrounding us both.
Ok that was Jen and now this is Nick.  What a crazy week.  Life has never moved so fast.  Jen covered most of it but I would like to add how wonderful and strong both of my girls have been.  I got to hold Quincy the night she was born.  I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people here that loved her.  As Jen said she had me worried for a few days, I wish I could have spent more time with Baby Q but I felt like mama needed me more.  The only people who have really been worried about Quincy have been me and Jen.  Everyone else here knows she is doing great. 
I told Quincy the night she was born about all the wonderful people there are in this world to love her.  The wonderful grandparents and great grandparents, the uncles both real and extended, and don't even get me started on the AUNT conversation we had!! 
It looks like Jen will be able to come home Wednesday or Thursday depending on her blood pressure.  Quincy is still up in the air right now.  From what we have been told we are looking at 3-6 weeks before we can bring her home.  We want her there so bad and it will be frusterating having to drive up here everyday to see her but we also know this is what is best for her and at this point this is where she is in the best hands.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Quick Update

Just to keep people in the loop. I have officially been put on blood pressure meds to try and control that symptom. We will reevaluate my protien levels tomorrow through Monday and a decision will then be made as to whether I will continue my bedrest here at the hospital or at home. We are hoping for home, but I will have to be stable still for that to happen. My labs this morning were the same as yesterday, so that is encouraging! My blood pressure seems to hold steady (still high, but steady). We are just sitting tight.

It has been nice to have some visitors today, and we have plans to see more tomorrow! Thanks so much to those who have come to see us. Your support is very much appreciated!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jen, Baby Q, and how Nick is the best hubby ever!

We have been busy this week getting the house ready for Christmas. Nick put the lights up on the house while I gasped and sighed and handed him the light clips! Needless to say, he didn't get hurt or fall despite his precarious perches. The lights look very nice! We like to keep it simple.



The inside of our house is also simply decorated, and I love it. We have our six foot fake tree, and some decorations. I got some new candles this year, and they make our mantle sparkle.


















So, after getting all this finished this week, we were ready to settle into shopping and shipping off Christmas cards and gifts. The cards are in the mail! The gifts will have to wait. We have been sidetracked for what could be a very long time.



Thursday morning at around 2:30am, I woke up with some severe abdonimal cramping. They felt kind of flu like one minute and as if I was suffering from extreme hunger the next. So, I got up and went to eat something, hoping that would help. It didn't. Around 4am, I began to wonder if there was a pattern to this pain I was feeling--I have never felt contractions before, so I started timing them. I did that for about an hour before waking Nick up and filling him on what was going on. We called the on-call nurse around 5:30am. She thought I might have the beginnings of a virus that is going around, so her advice was to take a warm bath and try to get my stomach to relax. If that didn't work, then we should probably head into the hospital to get monitored.



At this point, I am 32 weeks pregnant, and up to this point, I have had a happy pregnancy. I sleep a lot, but I was lucky enough to not get morning sickness. We had some spotting issues, and while scary, they eventually went away. My weight, my blood pressure--everything has been great until lately.



When we checked into Triage and the nurses started checking things out, their first worry came because my blood pressure was REALLY high. 212/96 is not healthy. It came down in small increments, but it still isn't great. My last blood pressure reading was 141/72. My labs came back with elevated liver enzymes and protien in my urine. This was the expected result. All this does is comfirm what we alreay know. I have preeclampisia/PIH/toximia (it is known as all those things). If the protien levels in my urine spike out of control--to the 3000 level or above--then we will talk about getting baby out soon. We are not even close to that yet.



Honestly, I feel really good. I am tired, but otherwise, I feel very peaceful right now. I haven't felt this at peace for a while. In fact, for the past few weeks I have been very anxious about this pregnancy. Now we know why. And in thinking back, at the beginning, I was given a very wonderful blessing and felt a deep impression that the trials we were facing that day when I was afraid we were losing another baby, would not be the only trial to come--that before this baby came, we would have another curve ball thrown at us. Now we know why. Last week I was offered a week long sub job for this week, and I told Nick that I really wanted to take it, but something was holding me back--I just felt that it was a bad idea. Now we know why. I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and knows me and who is with me every step of the way right now. I feel His influence constantly around me and through the prayers of others. We want to thank you all for that. Thank you for thinking of us, calling, checking in, and coming to visit. We are so amazingly blessed by those around us!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

November Recap

Whew! Where is December going? I knew this month would fly by, but wow! Wasn't it just Thanksgiving Day? It was, I know...

We had lots of visitors in November, so I thought I should post a little recap from those visits--assuming I can even remember back that far! My brain is on the fritz. Thank you, baby, for that! (Yep, I am claiming pregnancy brain!)

Nick's birthday is the beginning of November. He is now the BIG 30! His dad's birthday is also in November, so as a birthday present to himself, Ed came to Texas for a few days to see his kids. We had a really nice visit. Nick and his brother, JB, (and Kobe--JB's girlfriend's nephew) went to pick Ed up while Savanna and I waited at home. We spent the day going to lunch, catching up, playing Wii, and going to a nice dinner at PF Changs--LOVE THAT PLACE! JB, Savanna, and Kobe spent the night here with us, and part of Sunday as well, but they had to head back to Abilene to move into a new place! We then had Ed to ourselves for a few days. The boys went shopping. Ed bought us all our Christmas presents, and we took him out to dinner for his birthday the night before he left. We had a really nice time together.


Candeling Ed and Nick's ears


Starting a fire in our new fire pit.

After Ed's visit, we began preparations for the arrival of the Mahan sisters and their families, spouses, or significant others! Shortly after Michaela was born, Stef decided that she wanted to come to Texas for Thanksgiving. This began a landslide of plans being made for the rest of the sisters to come here as well. We had me, Nick, Stef, Matt, Michaela, Holly, Eric, Lisa, Hondo, and Kelli staying at our house! It was madness! GLORIOUS MADNESS! We had such a good time doing what we do best--just hanging out together. Holly and Eric were the first to arrive on Tuesday night, and we had a steady stream of people coming Wednesday and Thursday. Stef, Holly and I worked our magic in the kitchen, and we had a really fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, along with three extra guests! We had some friends come for dinner who were unable to be with family this year. I like to see a full table, and we definetely had one full table! Nick borrowed some long tables from work, and we put them together in the living room to fit all 11 adults and the two babies. 
The Thanksgiving Crew
We were missing some key players this year. Of course, Mom and Dad were not here with us. This was the first year they didn't have anyone at home with them for a holiday. We missed them immensely! Plus, while all the Mahan girls were together, we were missing Adam and Kara! As much fun as we had, it just doesn't feel completely right without the brother there too! Love you, Adam and Kara! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Book #20

The Battle of the Labrynith
By: Rick Riordan

Somehow I managed to skip Book 20, so I am sure that I meant to post about this one here. I knew I was missing something, and here we go! I have posted about why I love Percy Jackson. These books open Mythology up to the modern day student, and makes Myths a little less daunting. I love that the gods and goddesses have such distinct personalities. I love that they are made a part of our world while maintaining a their authenticity. Riordan is a genius!

So, The Battle of the Labrynith is wonderful because it takes one of the greatest stories, and twists and turns it into a modern classic. Of course Daedalus would be some kind of underground technological wizard if he lived today! Of course the labrynith which is his home and his prison would be underground. Of course there would be all kinds of scary things to be found, and OF COURSE Kronos would need him to execute his evil plan.

Just read it, and love it! I know I do!

http://neolibrarium.com/?tag=percy-jackson


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book #28


Wicked Appetite

By: Janet Evanovich

I can't believe that I am about to admit this, but I think I am finally getting sick of reading the same old thing from Janet Evanovich. I love her novels, most of the time, and I think that if I were to go back and re-read the By The Numbers Series, I would still love them. The problem now is: THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THESE BOOKS THAT ARE ALL THE SAME! Okay, okay...the formula of quirky characters and sexual tenstion and unexplainable events has worked for Evanovich for a long time. She is successful and wonderful, and I really do like her. I was just hoping for more from this novel than I got.
Wicked Appetite follows a character, Diesel, who makes some appearances in the Stephanie Plum novels. He is, in this book, as yummy and mysterious and brass as he is in the other stories. However, all the other characters--with their names changed--could herald from the other series. The story is cute, but predictable. The main character, Elizabeth Tucker, is kind of a nobody who actually has a power she didn't know she had. Diesel needs her help. Someone else wants her help too, but for dark and devious reasons. She must come to grips with her power, help Diesel whether she wants to or not, and try to keep the chaos from all the other characters in the story from interferring. Sound familiar? I thought so. Maybe I will write a novel in the same style and see where it takes me. No? Yeah. No.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Prep


Source: Right From the Heart
As this is the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nick and I are gearing up for some truly fabulous people to come and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us! We will have a house full of family because all four of my sisters, their significant others and our one niece will be here to celebrate with us. That makes for ten people sleeping at my house, and we hope to have one more person for dinner on Thanksgiving Day. I am beyond excited, and it goes to show how truly wonderful my hubby is that he is almost as excited as I am! Bless him for loving my family so much! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I love to take the chance to focus on the things and the people I am most thankful for, although, the cartoon has it right, it should be a focus for the entire year!
Last weekend, the lesson I taught my Laurels at church was on Gratitude and Thankfulness. As I was preparing, I was reminded of a lesson about being thankful that I was taught by my very wise Beehive advisor, Sister Garfield. She told us that when someone paid us a compliment, to simply smile and say, "Thank you!" It boosts your confidence and makes the person who complimented you happy as well. I was thinking about that this week, and I notice that as people send compliments my way these days, it is so hard to smile and give thanks. So, that is my goal for the next few weeks/months as I grow bigger and bigger: to accept the compliments of others with style and grace.
This weekend, as Nick and I brave the grocery stores, I will be thankful for the opportunity to have all my sisters here. I will be thankful for the chance to spend the day planning and cleaning with my favorite person. I will be thankful for the people who are working so hard to make the holiday shopping as quick and as painless as possible. I will be thankful for and do my best to spread some holiday cheer to those who need it most!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book #27

The Other Boelyn Girl
By: Phillipa Gregory

You know I am seriously behind on posting on my books when I have to look back through the blog to even see what book I posted about last! I read this one forever ago, and I was actually surprised. I have seen the movie, and it disturbed me enough to make me curious about the book. However, it took several years for me to have the courage to actually open it and read it. So, for those of you who are not familiar with the story, The Other Boelyn Girl is about the inner workings of the Boelyn family as they rose to power (and then fell) on the back of a king. The maniuplating. The cunning. The planning. All very, very disturbing. I can't fathom that there are actually people in this world--even now--who are SO driven that they would essentially sell their souls to get where they want. It is filled with betryal, heartache, love, sex, adultery, and incest. Yikes! The book is long, but once one gets into it a little, putting it down isn't always easy. Granted, I had a hard time picking it back up some days, but I was determined to finish it. Read it if you dare. The insight into the crazy royal world, and into the world of one power hungry woman, is a ride into the wild. However, there are normal, wonderful, sweet characters too. I just couldn't get past Anne. That's all.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Halloween

Well, for the first time in a long time, I dressed up for Halloween. This never would have happened if Nick didn't like dressing up for Halloween so much. I love Halloween. I love the kids dressing up. I love the costumes and how creative people are with their costumes, but I have never really felt like I could accomplish the same thing others can. However, I actually liked my costume this year, so I am sharing. Nick was a vampire, and I was his mistress.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Fabulous Colorado Weekend

Seriously, the title pretty much sums it all up! If you ever read this blog you know that I love Colorado and I could do without Texas, and I very much needed some time to go home and just BE with my friends and family before we embark on the new adventure of parenthood. So, when we had some extra money, Nick and I decided to make a trip home happen for me. He had a really great time, but I promise, this trip was to keep his wife sane. So, because there was just so much, I will share parts of the weekend through pictures.

 We spent a really random Friday running around Denver visiting people and places. We got breakfast at Santiago's--something I have been craving for months! We went to see Adam at work, former co-workers at PVHS, and then had dinner with Ashley, Adam, Kara, Rob, Anya, John and Korina at Old Chicago. Ashley (pictured with me on the left) left for Chicago the next morning, and I am just so glad we got to see her for a little while. It was great to see everyone that evening! I am so blessed with great people in my life!
 Saturday, we picked Nick's mom up! She was able to come to Denver with a friend, and she spent the day playing downtown with us and having lunch and shopping. We got her all settled at her hotel, and then we were headed back to Kristie and Ron's house (where Nick and I stayed for the weekend) to help get ready for a little BBQ with friends.
Okay, truth be told, the BBQ was actually a surprise Baby Shower for me. I kind of knew that it was happening, but what I did not know is that my mom and baby sister, Kelli, were driving over for the event. I walked in and sobbed as soon as I saw them. Yes, yes...I love my mom! She is pretty wonderful. Lots of people came to help us celebrate the new life we will be welcoming in January, and once again, I was overwhelmed by the people who love us so much!

 Pictured here are my two besties, Amber and Kristie. They planned the shower, and they are seriously two of the best people on the planet. It has been too long since we were in same room together, and I was completely emotional when we took this picture. It was good to be together again. I needed their company more than anything else.
From left to right pictured here are: Nick, Seth, Ben, and Parker. These are some of Nick's friends from college. They came to the party, and we were so happy to see them. They really are some of the greatest guys, and it was a lot of fun to see Nick laughing and reminicing with them. I think Cindy had a lot of fun chatting with them as well.
 This is after the party, as I was pondering how we were going to pack the new baby stuff into the suitcases that were already full. Don't you worry! I made it all fit, and the Frontier lady was nice enough to allow our two extra pounds to slide and she didn't charge us extra!
 This is just a sample, but at the shower, people could decorate a onesie for Quincy. This one is one that my mom decorated, They are all really cute, and I can't wait to get her little body into them! She is such a loved little girl already!
 This was the cupcake cake that Kristie picked out. It was so cute and so convienent! No cutting, not too much mess. There were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. I had one of each, and they were divine!

This should probably have been the first picture, but this is the car that we drove all weekend. You see, when you are chatting with someone else at the rental counter, and your husband is given the option of an H3 to drive all weekend, apparently the logical thing to do is take it. It was fun to drive for a minute, but getting in and out was a chore for me. We thought we looked cool, but I am not sure why anyone would own one. It wasn't all that comfortable...just a fun story!
I have said time and time again that last weekend was the greatest weekend. We did so much, and I am just sad that we were unable to see more people. I loved being able to spend so much time with Adam and Kara! It was fun to see the Beutens. The Broncos played a horrible game, but we were glad to be at home watching the game with others who were suffering. I was able to refuel with good company, beautiful fall weather, amazing colors, family, and, of course, my love by my side the entire time. Colorado is my home, but it would not really be home without Nick there with me. So, for now, we make Texas our home and dream of Colorado winters...well, I do!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A little hike and now some pain...

http://www.kellytools.com/lakepointe/lake.htm
I/We have been kind of bad about going to the gym lately. I know I need to be going more, and I know how much it will help me when it comes time to delivering this baby, but even cleaning the house is so exhausting these days. I like to bake and take naps, and while those things keep me happy, I am not going to pretend that eating cookies and laying around the house are helping me any. So, when I casually suggested to Nick that we head out to Eagle Mountain Park and take a little hike, he jumped at the opportunity. It has turned into a rare thing for me to suggest a walk/hike or a trip to the gym, so I think he was excited. We actually only hiked about a mile and a half, but that mile and a half completely kicked my tush! I already feel sore, and I can't believe how hard our outing was on my body! The biggest surprise with being pregnant is how hard all the things I have always been able to do so easily have become. Vacuuming requires a thirty minute rest. Cleaning the bathroom takes twice as long. Emptying the dishwasher has me winded. It is unbelieveable! In fact, I can't believe that I am up right now. I am tired from today. Very tired. So, on that note, I wish everyone sweet dreams!  

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Furniture and Other News...

When we moved into this house we Nick and I made the best of the furniture and other decorations we had (and didn't have) between the two of us. Earlier this year, we traded our squeaky queen bed for a gorgeous platform King size bed. Now, as we prepare for the new person to join us in a few months, we decided it was time to trade in our couch and chairs for something nicer and cleaner and more modern. So, a few weeks ago, we did just that! We now have a real house with real furniture in it! This is just another check mark on the long list of ways I have grown up in the last year and a half since getting married and moving to this place. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment!

 Here is our new couch. It is sitting against the picture wall, and our only issue right now is getting Joey to stay off of it when we aren't around. She loves it, and she misses the chair we used to let her sit on. I think Nick is going to go crazy trying to get her to stay off of the couch. I don't know who I feel more sorry for, Nick or Joey!
This is the cocktail table that we chose. The table that actually went with this set was a glass table, but we had to swap it out! I can't imagine having a glass table with little fingers around. Besides, I really love this table.

This is our new lamp, and I love it too. It gives off great light, and I love the shape!

This might be my favorite thing we have. This chair is SO comfy, and I cannot wait to snuggle a little on this chair. Nick calls it his "Dad Chair" but he is nice enough to share with me.

This is the love seat which sits right across from the couch. Our ottoman fits in front of it nicely, and it is nice to curl up on and watch a movie together.

This is the end table that went with the set. I love this table, and the cocktail table was similar to this. I can handle the end table being glass, and I am glad we kept it.

The only thing not in the living room yet is this TV console. We went to a furniture store that offered a deal--buy the living room set and get a new TV! So, we should get the new TV sometime this week, and then we will make the big switch. I will post pictures then too.
In other news...we are taking a trip to Colorado in ten days! Just a quick weekend one, but I am so excited to go to Denver and see everyone! I can hardly wait! So, to all my Denver peeps, SEE YOU SOON!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book #26


Picture from http://www.hungergamestrilogy.net/2010/09/mockingjay-quiz/



Mockingjay
By: Suzanne Collins

I promise that this contains no spoilers. I am not even going to discuss the plot. I actually just need to write out my feelings about this book.
I finished it less than two days after it was released in August, but it has taken me this long to write about it for a reason. For those of you who have read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire and have fallen in love with the characters in these stories like I have, just beware! Please understand that this trilogy is brilliant. The plot will snag you and keep you on your toes. The characters are very real and very believable. The story cannot end well for anyone involved. The reader, the author, Katniss, Peeta, Prim, Finnick...no one. The world that Collins created is too corrupt. It is too evil to be able to completely wipe out evil, and it makes me sad. Probably because it is too much like the world we live in. We can get rid of those who revel in the power they crave, but there will always be someone else to take their place and introduce another kind of evil. I will never say NOT to read this book. I loved the others too much, and you MUST finish this story. I will say, proceed with caution. I couldn't talk about this book for days after reading it, and I still feel pangs of depression and regret as I think about all the things that happened.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book #25

      Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By: J.K. Rowling

I know! You are shocked that I am writing about this book, right? Well, let me clear things up for you. This is not my first read of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is actually only the second time I have read it, but I wanted to read it again before the first part of the movie comes out in November. Once again, I am in awe of the story that Rowling has so brilliantly told. There is nothing disappointing about this story. Don't get me wrong, there are things which shock the senses and send ones mind reeling! Just when you think you know a character, it turns out, you don't! I cannot help but smile and sigh and even cry at all the same parts. This is a story--a series--which will neve get old! Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and everyone, EVERYONE, else will remain as real to me as my own family. Too much? Okay, I do understand that this is a book--a story, a made-up thing--but I can't help it! When the characters are so wonderful, so believable despite being completely fictional, I just can't help myself. I still wish that Hogwarts was a real place, and that somehow I was overlooked as a powerful and clever witch. Believe or not believe, think it is evil (but ONLY if you have read the books), but I promise you that there is good and hope in all of these books. I will never tire of these stories, and I will read them to my children! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to the Hustle...and a little sad

I haven't posted about this yet, but I don't know why! I have time on my hands again because my long term sub job ended early...very early! I was booked to work through Thanksgiving, but when we landed in Colorado the Thursday before Labor Day, I received a phone call from the teacher I was subbing for to let me know that she would be back on the following Tuesday. Great for her! I am glad her recovery is going so well. Not so great for me. Now I am back to hustling jobs on a day to day basis. This is NOT my favorite, and the jobs have been well...nothing. I haven't worked since we got home--not for lack of trying. I do have some jobs scheduled, but they are few and far between. Just frustrated, but trying not to question it too much.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Powderhorn 2010

For those of you who don't know, the Mahan Family has a tradition that takes place over the Labor Day Weekend. For many, many years we have left the world behind us and headed to Powderhorn (located on the Grand Mesa) to just enjoy one another's company. It is probably the best weekend of the entire year! It is better than Christmas! We relax, we eat, we play games, we hike. This year was no exception. Everyone was able to make it, even the Nashville folk which now includes my niece, Miki Jo! What better way to share the weekend than with pictures!

Here is our darling niece sitting in her Uncle Nick's arms. I loved watching him play with her. He is very smitten with this little girl, and it makes me so very excited to watch him with our's. He is going to be a truly amazing daddy...no matter what he seems to think!

Uncle Adam and Aunt Kara met Michaela for the first time, and I think they were pretty smitten with her baby charm as well. Kara got some hands-on training. Stef let her change diapers and everything.  

Lisa brought her boyfriend, Alejandro, with her. We were excited to meet him finally, and Nick was excited to not be the new guy anymore! In all seriousness though, we really liked him, and were glad that he was able to join us for this weekend. I know we are an intimidating group, but I think he managed quite well.

We went shooting. We played at the lake. We laughed a lot. We took a ton of pictures. We let Eric turn everything we did into a competition. :-) He's good at that.

We made the usual trip up to the top of the Mesa, and FROZE in the frigid wind. If you stuck your head over the barrier wall, the wind would blow your hair straight up. Holly and Eric are seen here modeling that look for us, but we all had to do it.

On Monday we were able to go have lunch at Carino's in Grand Junction with Christopher! He was in town for his sister's reception, and it was so great to see him! We are all so glad that he loves New York so much, but we do miss him terribly!

Finally, Mom purchased this for us. We were able to announce to the family over our weekend that we are going to have a girl! I'm still in shock, and it doesn't feel quite real, but she is coming. In fact, she will be here in about 20 weeks. Yikes! We are about half-way through this pregnancy, and I can hardly believe it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I am working...

No, that is not a fluke title. I really am working right now. I have a long-term sub job that will (hopefully) keep me working and busy until Thanksgiving. That is what I have been hired for, anyway. The teacher for whom I am covering is recovering from a very severe accident she had over Spring Break last year. She is itching to get back and gain more control over her life. So, updates have been few and far between, but I am still here. Still ticking, and now working! Yea! It is exhausting, but I am happy to be here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby News

It occurred to me the other moment that I haven't actually blogged about our baby news. We made our new "Facebook Official" weeks ago, and I have yet to actually write about it on here. So, for those of you who are interested, here it all is:

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

As of right now, I am a little over 16 weeks pregnant, and feeling good. I was one of the lucky few who did not experience any morning sickness during my first trimester. Although, I waited for it to come. I didn't always feel wonderful, but I actually felt my worst at night. This allowed for us to have some pretty early bedtimes, but that was just fine with me! I have taken serious advantage of nap time so far as well. I have always loved naps, but they have become a necessary part of my day. 
My official due date is January 30, 2011. I am a January baby, so I can't help but hope that I will have a January baby too, but my wonderful grandmother has her birthday in February all by herself (this is unusual in our large family), and I know she would love to share her birthday month with a great-grandchild. So, we shall see! My mom's birthday is January 25th, and I think she wouldn't mind sharing either. 
We will find out what we are having in a few weeks. I can hardly believe it, but we are almost at that point. Then we will be at 20 weeks and half-way through this thing! Yikes! We still have so much to do! We are turning our current "office" into the nursery, so we still have a guest room for everyone to come visit. I am calendaring visits. I don't want everyone to converge on our house at once. I want everyone person (especially the excited grandmas) to have their share of time with this baby. So, we may have visitors from January to June, but really...I love it! Come one, come all! 

 
Here is our little kumquat when he/she was the size of a kumquat. This was taken at about ten weeks. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book #23 and Book #24

Pop
By: Gordon Korman

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Korman, I highly recommend reading his Son of the Mob books. There are two, and they are HiLaRiOuS! I saw this book on the library shelf, and I immediately grabbed it hoping that it would be as fun a read as those books are. I wasn't disappointed, exactly. This book was different simply because of the tone and the topic surrounding the story. In this story, the main character is new to a small town. This small town has a BIG football team, and he wants in. He is a pretty good player, but the team is less than receptive to having a new guy come in and bust up what they have accomplished. However, when said character, Marcus, wants to be a part of something, he works hard to make it happen. Marcus begins practicing his throw in the park one day and out of no where comes a HUGE grow man who plows him over. This guy has to be at least 50, but he acts like a 17 year-old boy. He has the lowest center of gravity Marcus has ever seen, and Marcus and this mystery man begin practicing knocking one another over...okay, not just knocking one another over, but tackling with all their might. 
As the story progresses, Marcus discovers that his mystery man is none other than Charlie Popovich! He was a great NFL player, and his son (who HATES Marcus and is ex-boyfriend of the head cheerleader who has taken an interest in Marcus) is the staring QB. As it turns out, Charlie has early Alzheimer's from too many concussions. He thinks Marcus is his best friend from when he was 17, and he actually gets Marcus in a lot of trouble. However, Marcus and Charlie help one another out in many different ways, and when it comes time to say good-bye...well, you have to read it. 



1984
By: George Orwell

I never had a desire to read this book. The only reason I picked it up this summer was because I had hoped I would be teaching it in the fall. I did not love it. Not at all! In fact, it depressed me more than any book has since Lord of the Flies. I was silly enough to actually think for a minute that Winston and Julia would/could actually escape the horrible control of a government so set on controlling the people. Why did that happen? The world turns on itself and the people just let it happen. Big Brother will save you! Big Brother--as one person--did not exist, but as a group, yes! We worry today about the government taking over our lives, but I cannot imagine living in a world where they can actually SEE into your living quarters. A world where reading and writing and thinking for oneself was dangerous and took a person to the Ministry of Love where no love exists. In fact, no love exists. The irony and oxymorons of the world where Winston lives are frightening. The reality and the similarities of his world and ours is too much to think about. I think I would like to live as the proles...unknowing and in my own happy place. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Weekend at Home

Nick and I split up for the weekend and each went to visit our own families. We would have liked to both be in the same place at the same time, but well...we weren't.

I know that Nick had a nice time visiting with family and seeing some of his friends, but since he didn't take any pictures, and he isn't here to contribute, that is really all I can tell you. Maybe I will be able to get him to post a little something later...notice the MAYBE.

The reason I went home that weekend was to be in Montrose for Mom's 50.5 Birthday Bash! Her birthday is actually in January, but who can really travel or have a truly fun party in the dead of winter? So, she had a Half-Birthday Party instead. It was really a fun treat for her and for us! So many people came, and we had a lot of fun together.

Mom's first surprise were her aunts from Michigan! They flew in special for her party. These are my grandma's sisters, and they make a special sister trip each year to see one another. This year, the MI bunch came to CO! It was so great to see them all!
From left to right: Aunt Joan Kelli, Aunt Patti, Holly, Me, Grandma, Lisa, and Aunt Linda

Another special MI treat was Mom's cousin, Judy! She came, despite the crys of her children, to come and visit for the weekend. It was so nice to her here too, and I know Mom was thrilled!                        

Again, left to right: Lisa, Kelli, Eric, Holly, Me Dad, Judy, and Mom.







The party was a great turn out, and Mom (well, all of us, really) got another surprise when Bishop and Sister Moses walked in the door! I guess that all Siser Moses wanted for her birthday was to come to Mom's party! They moved to New Mexico years ago, so this was no small trip for them! It was really great to have them show up. They were some of the last to leave, and sat talking with Mom and Laura (Mom's bestest friend who came from Broomfield) until 11:30pm.




Holly had a genius idea to make Mom a Memory Jar. She got a pretty vase, and we filled it with 50.5 memories we had of our mother. It was fun to think of them and write them, and even more fun to read. We laughed and cried, and Stef was even ther via Skype!


Here are some more crazy picture from the weekend because that is how we do!