Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our winter wonderland

It's that time of year-- when snow softly falls and blankets Utah valley in muted white.  Plows scrape their way down the streets and cars with little traction, like mine, slip and slide behind them.  Shovels are brought out from summer hibernation and sidewalks are salted in order to keep that shoveling to a minimum.  Paul slips on his trench coat, purchased for his two wet years in Washington, and heads outside to see what kind of damage he can do to the great expanse of pavement that surrounds our house.  I stay in.  We only have one shovel.  I decide to make soup for my hard working man and I chop vegetables until he saunters through the front door, wet and pink.  I smile at him and tell him the soup will be done soon as he heads to the bedroom to warm up.  I find him on the bed fifteen minutes later dozing, and my cooking is not enticing enough to move his frozen bones to the kitchen.  I rub my warm hands on his chilled arms and kiss his still red nose.  He hesitantly joins me in the kitchen and stares at his warm soup claiming his arms are too tired to lift.  I spoon one bite into his mouth and his arms miraculously find their strength and manage to feed him the contents of the bowl.  I smile and marvel at the simple memory that's just been created.

Friday I got a call from my older sister who told me she wanted to buy us our very own Christmas tree.  We braved Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving and picked out the perfect little tree.  Last night Paul and Tessa and I decorated it and sat it neatly in the corner while a evergreen scented candle burned on the hearth.  (Evergreen scented candles make fake trees seem a little more romantic.)

I pulled out my penguins for their yearly debut and positioned them happily on the couch.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. . . hoping that I'd be able to afford real stalking holders in the years to come.  Those lightweight clocks weren't going to hold very well.  (Little did I know that my grandmother had already sent some Christmas money which my mom used for this very purpose.)

The table was outfitted with its festive duds while David Archuleta sang from my laptop carols of Christmas, snow and angels.  Everything felt perfect except it hadn't snowed yet.  I woke this morning to that surprise.

After soup, Paul and I went outside to build a snowman, savoring our last few moments as a family of two.

We decided to build a snow princess, but the more we sculpted the more we realized that it wasn't the best snowman snow.  We packed all around her body and sprayed her with mists of water, strawberry scented from the perfume that owned the bottle previously.  We chiseled and smoothed, added snow and took some away.

But the snow was hardening and she wasn't looking very much like a princess.

In fact, she was beginning to resemble African war masks. . .

Combined with an elderly samurai pioneer woman.
(Which I will tell my kids was exactly what we were going for.)

She turned out pretty scary.

But she was our creation, and I was proud!

Here we are as one big happy family.  I "photoshopped" myself into the picture, and by "photoshopped" I mean I used Paint because I don't have Photoshop on my laptop. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

37 Week snapshot

Today was the first real day off I've had in a while.  No school, no work, no schoolwork.  It was beautiful.  Because this semester has been so chaotic my house has been a little neglected.  Bathrooms needed cleaning, dishes needed washing, and the carpet. . . hadn't been vacuumed in a while.  Once Paul left for work I began "project housework."  I felt so alive and in my element scrubbing around the potty and sweeping away the cobwebs (which I discovered were actually still occupied).

I also spent some time staring into here:
I'm working on getting the baby closet organized and after my baby shower on Saturday I actually have something to put in there.  There is still much we need, but we have a great start!  I love opening the double doors and touching the little clothes while imaging them on the body of my unimaginably precious little girl.  I even caught Paul in there this evening.

37 weeks!

I have more pictures to post, but I'm waiting for my little sister to e-mail them to me.
(Cough cough, hint hint, Tessa, cough cough)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where I'm suppose to be

Certain familiar smells are creeping into the air.  Customers at work are coming in smelling like mall cologne samples and leather.  Christmas shopping has begun.  Outside has taken on its fall fragrance of rich earth, wet pavement, and decaying leaves.  Ironic how the smell of a dying season brings so much life to the one it's replacing.  Upon entering my home, the smell of cinnamon and vanilla wafts below my nose and I long for holiday cooking and family gatherings.  This is a glorious time.

Just a few weeks away from giving birth and the reality of becoming a parent is slowly nestling itself into my bones, radiating from my core and pulsing down to my toes.  People tell me I still look so small, but I feel BIG.  I feel on top of the world and full of a life I've never experienced.  I feel like I'm home staring in the mirror at a person I barely recognize yet have known forever.  She's always been there, this strong presence, but I've been afraid to see her.  But when I was so weak, the little one inside me pulled that strength to the surface as if to say, "It's about time.  You may need this!"

I don't fear labor and I don't fear pain.  I've been called crazy for wanting to give birth naturally, but I feel so in-tune with my body right now that I can't imagine going through such a transcending experience and not feeling it.  I want to know.  This curiosity burns inside me begging for me to satiate its desire to have such a mortal experience.  I could be crazy after all.

I also know that a birth plan and the actual event can be quite different.  My sweet mother didn't plan on a c-section with her first two, but it happened that way.  So, I'm praying for an opportunity to give birth as I've outlined, but I've told God I'm up for alternatives if it means getting my little girl here safely.

Saturday was my last day of work.  The bittersweet experience did not make me cry as I thought I would.  Yes, there will be people I'll miss, but my heart has been so full of a peace that I can't seem to shake.  Not that I want to.  I feel I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be in this moment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween aftermath

With Halloween out of the way I thought I was all done with spooky things.  November is for turkeys and pilgrims and overeating, none of which are too spooky.  Unless that turkey is alive and chasing you.  However. . . spooky is what I've dealt with all week.

I am terrified of crickets.  They are scarier than spiders.  Spiders are creepy but most of them just crawl and I can get close enough to them to kill them without them touching me because they just crawl.  Crickets. . . jump.  I don't want them to touch me and I can't get close enough to kill them because I have this irrational fear they will attack my face.  So I usually solicit the help of some wonderful person to dispose of the beast.

Just look at this guy.  I think I just peed a little.

Just kidding, but barely.

I have a couple of these bad boys living just outside my door and I do not like them.  They have tried to follow me inside before, and with my ninja skills and my amazing good looks (or something) I've managed to keep them out.  But Monday afternoon as I sat at this very laptop typing a paper about facebook killing social competence in adolescents using my studies in a preschool as proof (don't ask, weird assignment), I heard an occasional ticking noise behind me.  I ignored it at first, assuming something was clinking in the dishwasher.  After twenty-three minutes the wash cycle ended but the clicking did not.  I turned around.  Behind me, staring up with beady black eyes, was a large cricket

It looked like this.

I didn't like it.

I cannot confirm or deny that I may or may not have screamed.

I picked up Paul's shoe and whacked it.  It's bigger than mine so I could maintain some distance.

I lived.  Barely.

Can't say the same for the cricket.

"Ha ha!" I thought.  That must have been my Halloween scare, just a day late, but I was wrong.  Wednesday I walked into my dark apartment after morning classes and closed the door.  It smelled funny, like old shoes and vomit.  Like someone vomited in an old shoe. I sat my backpack down before hearing a strange noise.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.  I turned on the light to this baby:

It was sitting in a pile of it's own fluids which had puddled on the counter and were dripping on the floor.  While not as scary as a devil cricket, it was much nastier to clean up.  I wrapped it in a garbage bag, laid it in a box, and drug it to the front door leaving behind me a trail of slim.  I picked it up, trying to hold it away from me and, stopping every three feet or so to set it down and pant, I walked around the house and chucked (up-chucked, nearly) this bad boy in the dumpster.

I think Halloween is officially over now.  Bring on the turkeys!