Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You are what you read?

I've always thought that the books a person reads are an interesting insight into their personality. This blog post by my friend Smash over at Great Books and Fresh Coffee really got me thinking. What has my 2009 reading list looked like?

Now, there has been some pleasure reading mixed in with all of this...but just take a look:

The bible of fertility...I actually recommend this for any woman who wants to really know about how their body works. I was amazed at how much I learned about female fertility that I didn't know until I read the book! There actually is a natural fertility method explained in the book, which involves charting your waking temperatures and following other fertility signs so that you can actually know when you ovulate. With help from the website Fertility Friend, I charted for three months - two months to avoid, and then we were able to get pregnant the first month we tried. All because of what I learned from this book.

So of course, after finding out that I was "with child" (that term cracks me up for some reason), I had to find out what to expect from this crazy ride called pregnancy. Great book, and I plan on picking it back up soon to read the final section on the third trimester, now that I'm there.

A great (and very comprehensive book) not only on how to save money on baby gear but also with a wealth of information on what you do and don't need, what products are worth the money, which ones are reasonable extravagances, and so on. Tons of great reviews - I would've been lost trying to create a baby registry without this book.

Another book that came highly recommended for information on baby products. I enjoyed some of the reviews, but I didn't rely on this one as much as Baby Bargains, surprisingly. Still a good reference tool, though.

And my latest read, which I just started a few days ago. I realized about a week ago that in just a few months, we're going to have a baby, and I really need to start learning what I should expect from this amazing creature.

Interestingly enough, I rarely actually buy books - and almost never for full price. As the daughter of a librarian, I make heavy use of my library card. But I have purchased each and every one of these books, and I'm glad I did - they're all excellent reference tools, and I find myself constantly referring back to many of them.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December, in pictures

I just uploaded a whole batch of pictures from my camera, so I figured a picture post was in order.

First up - Wayne's plaque at the DFW National Cemetery. We visited on 12/13, after we finished up our anniversary celebration.

Branden took this picture of me talking to Wayne.

On 12/19, my aunt and uncle came to town, and one of our stops was NorthPark Mall, to see the holiday decorations made of pecans. My uncle saw these decorations when he was a little kid. :o)

Here's a picture of our Christmas tree, after we finished wrapping presents to take to Midland.

Branden, in the living room at his parents' house in Midland. They're all about Christmas!

Haley opening up the DART Bus from "Uncle B". She always plays with his when she comes over - now she has one of her own!

Rae and I each got one of these nifty grabber things. But the boys had much more fun with them. Here's Taylor, feeding Rae a cookie.

A picture of the pregnant ladies! I'm at 27 weeks, Rae's 16 weeks.

And last but not least, today Branden put together the adorable baby swing we got from Rae & Taylor!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So special

On Sunday, Branden and I went to my mom's house to have our Christmas. We watched both Home Alones, listened to some Christmas music, and ate some really yummy chili.

After opening presents, she told Branden and I that she had something for each of us from Wayne. For Branden, it was Wayne's signet ring, a beautiful gold ring with a square opal stone flanked by two small diamonds, with a gold "H" on top. He put it on, and it fits perfectly.

For me, she told me that when she went through Wayne's papers after he died, she found a list of people he wanted to write letters to. But she didn't find a single letter, save one which he had just me.

I think the letter says it I'll leave you with that.

I miss you, Wayne. And I love you so, so much.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Anniversary Celebration!

Hard to believe, but it's already been a year since Branden and I were married!

We celebrated on Saturday, since our anniversary fell on a Monday this year, and who wants to celebrate on a Monday?! We started off the evening with a trust walk. That's right - I walked, blindfolded, all the way from our apartment to the other end of downtown. I knew we were going to a hotel, but I had no idea which one - and this way Branden was able to keep it a surprise until we were inside the lobby.

He made a very, very good choice...the newly opened aloft hotel in downtown. Another successful building rehab (this one a former railroad depot/warehouse) by Hamilton Properties. Branden's kind of tight with the elder Hamilton, Larry, who once told Branden over dinner "My apologies to your wife, but I think we might be soulmates." (I am not making this up, folks!).

After checking into the hotel and spending some time in our fabulous room (with a view of City Hall), we headed out to dinner, which was my treat. After my original plan fell through, we headed to Twisted Root Burger Co., the site of our rehearsal dinner. And just as happened the night we were there for the rehearsal dinner, when we arrived, the TVs were tuned in to the Heisman Trophy award ceremony. We didn't get to see it awarded to Sam Bradford this year, but it was still cool to see such an uncanny parallel! We may have to start making it our yearly tradition.

I was even able to stick to my protein-and-veggies plan, thanks to Twisted Root's Burger-in-a-Bowl, which I've enjoyed on more than one occasion. The buffalo patty is quite delicious atop a bed of greens, I must say!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and had an enjoyable night with no responsibilities - Branden had arranged for neighbors to walk our dogs for us, so we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves.

The next morning we stopped by our old standby, Urban Cafe, for breakfast. After some down time, we headed to the cemetary to see Wayne (his plaque is finally up), and then to my mom's house. Branden put together a piece of furniture for her, then hooked up her new Wii! And then she beat us both at Wii Bowling. I hear she's still bragging about it. ;o)
All in all, a VERY good weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fun Shopping Day

This past Sunday, my mom and I had a nice day full of shopping and mother-daughter time. We started off at the mall. After Sears and another quick stop, we headed up to Motherhood Maternity. I needed to pick up a couple things, and my mom surprised me by telling me that she was going to pay for whatever I bought! And then, she made me buy even more than I had planned on getting! I ended up with 3 new shirts, a new sweater, and a really nice new purple pea coat - one that actually buttons around my belly!

After we left the mall, we made the trek up to Frisco to visit Ikea. Mom had several pieces of furniture she wanted to pick up (and of course she had checked them all out online first!). We started off walking through the showroom. Before heading down to pick up the furniture, we stopped by the restaurant for a late lunch. Mom had the Swedish meatballs (and they were yum - I know because I helped her out a little!) and I had a chicken caesar salad and a bowl of fruit. Bellies full, we headed down to pick up the furniture. I didn't leave the store empty-handed, mind you. I found a couple of pillow covers for the pillows on the couch, so that they now coordinate with the slip-covered couch in our living room. And I couldn't resist buying a few packs of cute, multi-colored kid's clothes hangers. I'm sure those will come in handy soon!

After all that shopping, we headed back to Arlington, unloaded the car, and settled on to my mom's new sectional sofa to watch some figure skating. Perfect end to a great day with one of my favorite people in the whole world!

In other news, Branden and I finally got the Christmas tree and decorations up last night, at his urging. I was ready to just not bother with it, but I'm really glad he insisted. It looks great, and I had a good time hanging ornaments with him and listening to John Denver & the Muppets singing Christmas songs (only the best Christmas CD ever!).

Tonight was Branden's last final for the semester, so he's officially done until January! Four more classes down. I must confess, I am so very proud of him and all the hard work he's putting into this degree. I know it's for all of us and our future, and I just can't express enough how much it means to me that he's devoting so much time and energy to getting this degree.

And last but certainly not least, the baby seems to be doing well! Since being put on the low-carb diet by my midwife, I've lost at least 2 lbs - and yes, that's a good thing! Ben's kicking up a storm, and I just love feeling him all the time now.

Here I am just a few minutes ago. Twenty-five weeks pregnant today! And I'm wearing my new sweater also. :o)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I've Grown!

Just for fun, I thought it might be interesting to compare my 21 week picture with my 24 week picture, especially since I'm essentially wearing the same outfit. Here I am 3 weeks ago, at 21 weeks:

And here I am today, at 24 weeks:

I don't know about you, but I can definitely tell a difference!

According to, our little Benjamin is about a foot long right now, and weighs a little over a pound! He seems to be growing well, and he's kicking up a storm these days - though still not really strong enough for Branden to feel, except for one little kick he barely felt last week.

Childbirth class is going well. We have our third session (of 8) this Saturday. We've already gotten a lot of good relaxation techniques to use, and I'm sure we'll learn lots more before all is said and done. Our checkups with the midwife at the Birth Center are going really well - I really love both of the midwives, and will be happy to have either one assist us with our birth! I did get a bit of a talking to at the last appointment - I'm gaining weight a little too quickly, so I've been put on a low-carb diet full of protein and veggies and told to exercise every day. So far I'm doing pretty well, and I'm already starting to feel better as a result of my healthier eating and increased exercise. Amazing how that works!

That's it for now...except that I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Saturday is the Adolphus Children's Parade here in downtown, which I'm hoping to catch a little bit of before we have to take off for class. Sunday I'm having a mother-daughter day with my mom - we're going shopping and lunching. Can't wait!