Day 16--A Song That Makes You Cry (or Nearly)

I always cry when I listen to Gortoz A Ran-J'attends written by Hans Zimmer. It's from the movie "Black Hawk Down." (Never seen the movie oddly enough.) The song just releases some kind of trigger in me and I can't help it. It's so beautifully sad. (The tears came even before I was pregnant so it's not some hormonal thing either.) Usually, for me, words detract from a song, but this is in a different language and their voices are so haunting and evoke a lot of emotion in me.

Gortoz A Ran-J'attends

Day 15--A Fanfic

No fanfics worth blogging about so...I am not writing about that.

I finished "Sweetness" and I love it. It's definitely one of my favorite books now. As mentioned in a previous post, I am not good at reviews...at all. I have a hard time really saying what I feel about books because I know other people may not think that when they read. So I will try and overcome that. That being said...

This book had one of the best main characters/narrators I've ever encountered in literature. Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old girl with the wit and brains to keep you entertained the entire way through. From her fascination with chemistry (especially with poisons) to her quest to get sweet revenge on her two older sisters, Flavia never fails to delight. The plot, I feel, is propelled forward at just the right speed and the mystery is neither too complicated, nor too easy. I highly recommend this book and hope that you find it as enjoyable as I did.

I started reading another book yesterday (The Monsters of Templeton), but not far into the first chapter the author drops the f-bomb twice. How pointless. It really disappointed me because I had really high hopes for this book...and I still really want to finish it. The plot sounds enthralling, but, if the author feels the need to use that language in the book, then I don't need to read it. I hate how authors ruin perfectly good books like that.

Starting to pack up the house today. We found a house to buy in a neighborhood about 5-10 minutes away from our current house. I am so grateful to have found something that we can move into before the baby is born, especially something we can buy instead of rent. I am sad to leave my ward, but am looking at the bright side and knowing that they are all still only 5-10 minutes away. I detest packing and moving...strongly detest, but I just have to tell myself that the end result is worth it...and it totally is.

J and I went shopping yesterday. He was in need of shoes and a few clothing items. While we were out, I showed him a cute jean jacket and some onesies that I had seen earlier. He loved them too...so we bought them! I adore the jean jacket...SO cute. We got to the counter and I told J, "I'm shopping for my boys today." And I almost started to cry (yes...those emotions are running high and it feels like I'm a leaky faucet). I can't believe I'll have my son in my arms soon. I love him so much...I can't wait!


Day 14--A Non-fictional Book

I thought I would type this now so as to avoid missing a day again as I think I will be working/reading all day (I have a lot of books to get through before I need to return them to the library).

This is, by far, my favorite *non-fiction book (besides the standard works, but that kind of always goes without saying). I am not good at reviews and making it sound so appealing where people want to read it. All I can say is read it. It's worth it. It will give you a whole new perspective on the Atonement and how to apply it more fully to your life. My testimony of the Atonement was strengthened by having read this book. It's a fast read--fairly short. Go get it. Now.

*This book has fictional characters (very realistic characters whose story could be anyone's story, really) in it, but the main things (scripture stories, the principles that the author is trying to teach) are non-fiction which is where I am basing my "non-fiction" categorization on.

Day 13--A Fictional Book

So I didn't type this yesterday because I was reading this fictional book all day. It just might be my favorite new book, but I am not done yet so I will let you know.

Due to the fact that I'm not quite finished, I will save my review/synopsis for a later date. I don't want to rave about how great it is, then have it end horribly (the kind of horrible ending that ruins the entire book).


Day 12--Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

The red is the temperature that "came" with this thermometer picture. O how I wish it were that temperature. But the orange is what we've actually been dealing with this week (110-115). Luckily, I've only had to go out in it a couple times. Today I went out. My feet haven't returned to their normal size since.

My brain is fried. I can't write anymore.


Day 11--A Photo Of You Taken Recently

In answer to yesterday's trivia question, I am the cute little thing first row on the left, sittin' all lady-like. I was one cute little girl.

Not so cute in this picture though...
This photo was taken of me last night. The first time my trusty boxed highlighting kit failed me miserably. Very grateful for being naturally brunette...when you are naturally dark...mess ups are way easier to fix.


Day 09--A Picture You Took

Wolverine Jason
(He he...I love this picture)


Day 08--A Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad

It's not that this is a sad memory...I am sad looking at it for a few reasons. We won't be making any more memories like this at the cabin. We packed up everything in the cabin when we went back home in April because we have to sell it or we lose it in August. Either way...it's pretty much gone. I cried a few times while we were packing it up. This is where J first kissed me. This is where we spent our first Christmas together. We spent the "Summer of Fun" there before we moved here. This place holds a special place in my heart and I will miss it a lot. But Heavenly Father has a plan, and we will find another place like this eventually...one where we will make many more memories.

This also makes me sad because I am incredibly homesick right now. I'm homesick for our family and I'm homesick for Montana itself. I'm having a really hard time being away from mine and J's parents being all big and pregnant like I am. I was supposed to experience this with them and I feel somewhat gypped sometimes when I think about it. But, then I think, "I am blessed to be having this experience of being pregnant and having this baby at all." And then I stop complaining real quickly because no matter how sad I am, I realize that I am truly blessed and have a multitude of blessings and tender mercies to be grateful for. Every time my little man kicks I am reminded of that and say a little prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for loving me so much and blessing me with an abundance.


Day 07--A Photo That Makes You Happy

I'm amending this to 3 photos that make me happy. There are many more, but I will try and stick to just 3.
"Raptor Jason"
How could this picture not make me happy? Everytime I look at it I giggle a ton and get really nervous and then I try and hold very still. This man is a convincing raptor folks...let me tell you...even a picture of him imitating it makes me nervous! I love him.

I'm never happier than when I am with Jason. I found my other half. That's why this picture makes me happy.

This is my son...my little man. I love him so much already, it's incredible. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and feel that overwhelming joy. He's kicking away as I type this...and that makes me even more happy.


Day 06--Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there! And a very happy birthday to my own mama! She turned 45 today (although she looks about 32).

We bought plane tickets the other day. We bought tickets for the Moss by Mosswest reunion in August. We bought tickets to go home for Christmas. AND...we bought tickets to go home for a week in July! Ecstatic? Why, yes I am!

Dear Montana,

I love you. Did you know that? I know you may not believe it because we've been separated for so long, but what is it that everyone says? "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Please, save a cloudy day or two for me (but don't tell anyone there I asked you for it). I think of you daily and can't wait to swim in your lakes, climb your mountains, and soak up that beautiful, Big Sky.

All my love,
In other news...

I woke up about a week ago and lifted up my shirt to say good morning to my little man and look at my cute belly, and to my surprise, stretch marks had popped up overnight. I was pretty sad that day, but after a little bit of reflection I realized I am okay with it. Sure, it's not ideal, but it's definitely part of the price I am willing to pay to have this baby come. I am looking at it as a badge of motherhood and a sign that my baby is growing and is healthy and strong. Plus...it's not like I'm going out in a bikini or anything.

We will be moving into a new house in a couple of months. More details on that later. I am really excited to get into a house we know we will stay in for awhile and to get settled in that place before the baby comes.


Day 05--Your Favorite Quote

D&C 68:6

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you..."


Twice Baked Blogging

I already blogged today, yes. But...it's my blog and I can blog twice in one day if I want to. It will be long so you don't need to read it if you don't want to. This blog is for me anyways.

I remember when I was younger (think ages 3-6), my brothers would get into trouble a lot. I never would...I'm an angel, remember? A lot of that "trouble" would mean they would end up fighting. Nate scratched Ty, then they would kick... and wrestle...and so on. Mom used to make them sit at opposite sides of the long couch and stare at each other. Within a couple minutes, the glares would melt and they would start laughing. Mom would then release them and they would be on their way. I remember being on one side of that couch (obviously my mom was mistaken because I, of course, was not at fault). I still laugh thinking about it. That's probably why whenever J is getting on my nerves, I start to laugh.

I remember we would go for bike rides ALL the time. We only had one car and Dad would take it to work, so Mom would either walk with us, or ride bikes with us everywhere. I remember one particular outing we went and saw some horses that were along side one of the roads we were riding down. I had never been taught how to properly feed a horse, so I proceeded to feed this gigantic, white horse the completely wrong way. Mom said, "I remember looking over not a minute later and your entire arm was in the horse's mouth." I don't remember freaking out...but maybe I did. (That was strike one with me and horses, by the way.)

I remember playing Batman all the time. Ty was always Batman, Nate was always Robin, and I was either Catwoman or Batgirl. Mom used to cut up old black sweatshirts to make our face masks out of. Then we'd throw on towels or blankets and chase each other around the yard. I still have an urge sometimes to throw on an old face mask and run around. We also used those masks to play Ninja Turtles. I always wanted to be Michelangelo because he was the funny one, but Nate was always Michelangelo and Ty was always Leonardo. They always made me play Donatello because he was the purple one and purple, of course, is a girl color.

I remember feeling that Fall was magical. Something in the air always changed and I felt like anything could happen. Fall was my favorite time of year. School started (this is back when school was fun) which meant school supply shopping, Halloween was just around the corner, which meant Christmas was on its way, and there was pretty much nothing but cloudy days in sight for the rest of the year. I was definitely raised in the right state. I could give a hoot for sunny days, but you throw me a cloudy day and I feel like a new person. (I live in the totally wrong state now.) I think second grade was my favorite...ever. It even topped kindergarten.

Speaking of kindergarten, I remember walking to the bus stop one day in the fall and I slipped on a patch of ice. I landed right on my nose onto the loose little bits of gravel. I walked home crying not only because it hurt, but mainly because I was so concerned that I had little bits of gravel permanently embedded into my nose. Mom let me stay home for a little bit, then drove me to school. I felt so self-conscious. I knew for sure all the kids were going to tease me. And, I still remember coming home, eating some macaroni and cheese with a side of carrots, and telling my mom, "And Mom, not one kid made fun of me! They didn't even know!"

One year for Halloween, my mom thought it would be fun for me to dress up as a bunch of grapes. I readily agreed thinking, "How original!" (In a 6-year-old's language, of course.) I remember when she got done doing my face paint all purple, I looked in the mirror and thought, "I look like those weird orange guys on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." (Nevermind that orange is totally not the color purple.) And I started to cry. Why couldn't I be dressed up like a pretty princess?? My little 6-year-old heart was broken. So even after all the hard work of blowing up and attaching all those purple balloons to my little body, my mom took a couple pictures, then took all the balloons off and let me go to the carnival just dressed in purple. If I could, I would go back in time and tell my 6-year-old self to quit wanting to be like everyone else and stay dressed up as a bunch of grapes (with more tact...I was a sensitive little thing) . That was the cutest costume ever.

When we were homeschooled with my cousins when I was 8, all 6 (three cousins, two brothers) of us would ride our bikes everywhere. We used to ride to the closest grocery store where they had 10 cent Shastas, then we would go to the library, and the park, and just ride up and down the whole town. We owned that place. After school, we would work on our tree fort we were building--it was a three story tree house that was the coolest thing since peanut butter and jelly to our young, adventurous eyes. Also among our favorite activities was going up to my great-grandparent's ranch and roaming around the land. We'd play with the horses and the cats and the dogs. We'd climb up to the hayloft and play in there. We'd come up with all kinds of secret games and clubs. We were excellent spies. I remember we would be playing in our neighborhood and we wandered over to the far side and found this little trail leading to this secret place that no one knew about (or so we thought). We might as well have stuck a flag there because as far as we were concerned, it was our country.

I remember Dad coming home from work to Nate and I while Mom was at the hospital with Ty doing his MRI and tests. He brought Nate and I into my room, sat on my bed, told us that they found a tumor in Ty's brain, and started sobbing. My 9 year old brain couldn't process the severity of it. All I knew was that my Dad, who never cries, was crying on my bed. I looked awkwardly at Nate, and kind of smiled a weird, "What do we do?" When Mom and Ty got home, I was so nervous because I didn't know how to act. Then, I gave Ty a hug and everything was normal again. This was just my brother. He was just sick. We went to Utah the next afternoon. "Childhood Ty" went into surgery and never came out again. He was still there...in some ways, i guess...but he was different. No more Leonardo or Batman. No more pogs. No more bike rides and crazy adventures.

"Childhood Ty" was gone, but Ty was still there. The same sweet, caring, protective older brother of my younger youth was always manifesting himself. I was I think in 8th grade one day when I got sick. I remember Ty came over to me and threw his favorite blanket on me (which was my favorite blanket...so big and soft...totally coveted that blanket) and proceeded to tuck the sides in completely so I was in a cocoon. I remember thinking that it wasn't very comfortable, but I was too touched to move and undo the work he had done. He still had double vision, couldn't walk straight, and was so swelled up, but he didn't even think about himself. He just took care of me. Asked if there was anything I wanted. Gave me the remote. Let me pick what we watched. Pretty sure I've never met a more Christ-like person than him. He was always doing things like that.

A lot of the time, Nate and I would be by ourselves. Mom and Ty would be in Utah doing more Chemo and Radiation and Dad would have to work so we'd be left to our own devices. I remember cooking a lot of instant mashed potatoes. I loved those things. We also watched a lot of Johnny Quest and Scooby-Doo. Nate and I quickly adapted our play time from the 3-person game of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl/Catwoman, to Johnny Quest (He was Johnny, and I was Jessie). His old trunk was our jeep. One day we got really bored, so we decided to use the recliner our grandpa gave us for Ty to use as a catapult/sea-saw device. We would kick out the leg rest and push the back of it almost parallel with the floor. One of us would be balanced on one end while the other would jump onto the opposite end which resulted in someone flying off into the living room. We played that until Nate got his hand smashed in the footrest when it closed on accident.

When Mom and Ty were gone, and we would be with Dad, he would cook steak and ravioli (Chef Boyardee) pretty much every night for dinner. He went through his pro-wrestling phase then. Monday Night Wrestling and Thursday Night Thunder. That's when I first saw the preview to the movie Chucky...that freaky doll. I still get scared of that thing.

I remember standing in the front yard talking with our friend Marianne when I was 14. Her husband ran out of the house with each of his daughters under his arms like they were footballs and said, "Marianne. We gotta go." Marianne started to cry and gave me a really quick hug and said, "I love you, Jess." She then ran away and my grandpa came outside and said, "Jessie. You need to come inside." I was oblivious. Seriously confused. Until I followed my grandpa into Ty's room and saw Dad kneeling beside the bed, his body wracked with sobs. It set in. Ty was gone. He had left. We knew it was coming. He'd been on a morphine drip all week long. Completely out of it. He waited for my aunt and cousin to come into town before he left...I'm sure of it. They lived in Utah and we were with them all the time when we were there. My cousin is one of my best friends. Mom told Aunt Cori how bad Ty was getting and she said, "We're on our way." We thought he was going to go a few days before that but he held on. It was probably about 3 hours after they got here and got to say good-bye that he left. That was a whirlwind. I remember everything...almost every detail; but, at the same time, it feels like a blur. That was 7 years ago.

I'm very reminiscent today. It's weird to think about my life then. Sometimes, it feels like a dream. Most of the time, I feel like I've always been in my 20s and have never been a kid. It's good to remember all of this.

It's also weird to think that someone who was so apart of my life...was so apart of me...isn't part of my life now. My husband doesn't know him. My children won't know him. I often think about what Ty would be like now if he hadn't gotten sick. He was so handsome. He would've broken a whole lot of ladies' hearts. He'd probably be married now (to my best friend...he was so in love with her). He'd probably have children. My child would not have been my parent's first grandchild. What would I be like? What would any of us be like? I start thinking down that road and I know that was never an option. We signed on for this. We always knew it would be like this...would end this way. And that makes me happy. And it makes me love my brother more for accepting the plan that Heavenly Father had for him. He took on the pain and sorrow of his physical body so we could all learn from that experience and become who we are today.

I'm surprised if anyone got this far. This was a lot to write and therefore, a lot to read, but I did it for me. I hope if anyone has read this, they don't think I wrote this to get sympathy or anything. That's always been my biggest concern when I tell people about Ty. I don't want the sympathetic looks. I definitely don't want to hear the, "I'm so sorry"s or "You poor thing"s. I just wanted to write about my childhood, and this event was obviously a big part of it. So there you have it. My reminiscent ramblings.

Day 04--Your Favorite Book

Ok...these favorites are kind of driving me nuts. I am obviously an extremely indecisive person. So here are a few selections from my library that I could read over and over...

Harry Potter series (which my love got me for Christmas! Yay!)Pride and Prejudice

Twilight series (yes...I'm a "twi-fan"...get over it)
A Tale of Two Cities

Guess How Much I Love You


Day 03--Your Favorite Television Program

Seriously? Was there ever any question about it? No. How awesome would it be to be able to do that?! I sometimes go to cook dinner, pull out a main ingredient, and try to be my own iron chef. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't, but one of these days, I'll be able to cook just like them.

Runner ups:

30 Rock


The Office


Day 02--Your Favorite Movie

Again, can't pick favorites, so I am putting a few down.

I'm a sap...what can I say? (Wow, these movie covers all look pretty much the same...)


Day 01--Your Favorite Song

I hope no one read the previous version of this post because I am re-writing it. If you did read it...here is my explanation:

The songs I put on here are all pretty much recent favorites and after I wrote this I thought about the songs I put and how, in probably a month or two, I would get tired of listening to them and move on to new favorites. This is not a good recipe for a lasting favorite, and so I'm starting over.

The lasting favorites I have (the ones I will never get tired of listening to) are all instrumental. Lyrics have a way of mussing things up--distracting from the music with unnecessary jibber-jabber. The kind of music that speaks to you without lyrics, to me, is a masterpiece...a real work of art.

I had the very fortunate experience of being in the school orchestra from 6th grade on to 12th. I play the violin (a noble instrument; however, I always wanted to play the cello...it's my favorite string instrument in existence). During this time in orchestra I was exposed to all kinds of beautiful music. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, New Age, etc. All kinds of composers--Beethoven, Copland, Sibelius, Haydn, Elgar, etc. In this kind of educational forum, I was able to discover music...really discover it and it's meaning to me. This is where I began composing and letting my soul speak itself through my music. I am not good with words. I never have been. But music? Totally different story. I can speak with music.

All-time favorites (in no particular order):

"Finlandia" Sibelius--the melody for the hymn "Be Still My Soul" was taken from this piece of music. Sibelius was from Finland and wrote this as an anthem for his country. He wrote the beauty of his country into this piece.

Beethoven's 5th (1st movement)--I will never forget the feeling of finishing playing this piece on stage. I felt completely empowered and entirely on top of the world. (And I remember playing this on stage the second time and being so angry at the horns for being out of tune and ruining it all.)

"Adagio for Strings" Barber--Just listen to it and you'll understand. I can't really put into words what this song does to me.

"Enigma Variations-Nimrod" Elgar--This piece is just filled with hope and believe it or not, when we performed this song, I cried. It moves me that much. I still cry.

There are a number of composers these days that have an amazing talent and I find the ones I love the most are the soundtrack composers. For example, Hans Zimmer. I love his pieces. It's probably the "Romantic" in me because most soundtrack compositions could fall into the Neo-Romantic category and my favorite period of music is the Romantic period. There is also Harry Gregson-Williams, James Newton Howard, and Howard Shore.

These are my real favorites. There are many more, but these songs have stuck with me for a long time and influenced me and the music I write. I am awe-struck when it comes to music. I love the duplicity of it. It can be so complex and intricate, but then another piece could be so simple and provoke a greater amount of emotion. I've done enough talking. Now it's time to let it speak for itself:

"Adagio for Strings" Barber

"Finlandia" Sibelius

"The Gravel Road" James Newton Howard


30 Days of Blogging...

Starts tomorrow.

I saw this on someone else's blog and I thought I would give it a try. Wish me luck.

Lions and Tigers and Bears...

O my!

Way back in March J and I went to the aquarium and zoo with friends of ours for a birthday celebration (we didn't actually get to see the lion, and there were no bears). We had a ton of fun! The friends we went with are also pregnant and she is due about 2 weeks ahead of me so we have had a lot of fun going through the pregnancy experience for the first time together. Can't wait till we can both go back and bring our little boys! :)

We'll start with the aquatic animals:

Dun dun...dun dun...dun dun dun dun dun...

These guys swam in circles...all the time. Made me feel a lot better about my life.

Teeny tiny Seahorse

Can you spot the fish?

These guys looked pretty mean.

Moving on to the more interesting creatures:

This little guy grabbed on to J's finger and wouldn't let go! He was a wiry little fella.

Cute little Joey.

Lu petting the kangaroo...see the little one in her pouch? It was pretty cool because you could buy some food and feed them...but so many people had fed them, a lot of them wouldn't even come because they were too full!

Kickin' back

This shot is right before the front one kicked the back one. The zebras were one of my favorites!

Feeding the baby giraffe. That look of surprise on my face is because I had no idea giraffes tongues felt like cat tongues...rough like sandpaper.

Lu feeding the baby giraffe.

Isn't it cute? These were my other favorites.

Mama and baby :)

TONS of birds, and if you know me, you know I hate birds. This one wasn't any different.


I called him Bagheera (don't know if I spelled that right...think "Jungle Book")

Lounging away. Little does he know...

that in a moment two trouble makers would come along...

and start teasing him with the zoo map. 10 seconds after these pictures were taken, a zoo employee came over and threatened to kick us out if she ever saw us doing that again. Come on lady! We were just trying to play with him! And I think he actually enjoyed it too...


It's About Time...

Right? That's what I thought. We FINALLY got a camera cord! Woo woo! So here are some belly pictures of me and baby for you viewing pleasure. More pictures will be up tomorrow of other adventures we've had lately! :)I think this is around 14 weeks (more bloat than baby) ...

These are me at 22 (?) weeks (and now definitely baby)...

Baby is doing great! He is kicking like crazy and is kicking SO strong now! I love feeling him kick. We are getting the nursery stuff together and I can't wait till it's done. It's going to be SO cute.