I am overwhelmed in the best kind of way. My husband is amazing. We have the sweetest little baby girl. Everyday I love her "gigantically" more. It just grows and grows, and I love how the happiness completely consumes me. We're blessing her at church this Sunday, and I'm so excited. I just finished reading about how well my friend, Angie's, first pregnancy doctor's appointment went. She has a sweet littled girl, but has not had an easy time with pregnacy and miscarriages in the past. I loved her excitement, and I know how wonderful and reassuring it is to see that little alien head moving around and being alive inside.

And now to the tip of the iceberg, the cherry on top, the whip in my cream - on Sunday, Mhari called me from the airport after having been at Seth and Kiersty's graduation. She asked when we were going to bless Cora, I told her, and she said that she and Jame and Kiersty and Seth might come. Kiersty called last night and said they were still working it out, and even if things don't work out, the fact that they are even considering it means so much to me. I'm technically an only child, but I have these five cousins who are my sisters, and while we haven't been in the day-in-day-out stuff, there isn't a place in my heart big enough to hold all the love I have for them. And I can't even begin to describe how it makes me feel that they love me that way too.

ABC's Tag

I've been tagged by Kiersty... Here it goes:

C.CAKE OR PIE? Pie...unless it's CHEESE CAKE - which is much more like pie than cake anyway.
E. ESSENTIAL ITEMS? Haha, these days: burp rag, pacifier, shield.
F. FAVORITE COLORS? Black and white.
H. HOMETOWN? Apache Junction, AZ
K. KIDS? Cora Adeline Grace
M. MARRIAGE DATE? 3 January 2004
O. ORANGES OR APPLES? Oranges, generally...but I LOVE Pink Lady Apples.
P. PHOBIAS OR FEARS? I only fear things that are out of my hands.
Q. QUOTE? "...Almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."
R. REASONS TO SMILE? Sunshine, the Memorial Marathon going on behind our house, Cora learning new things-Jake teachng them to her.
T. TAG 5 PEOPLE- Whoever...
U. UNKNOWN FACT ABOUT ME? Um, I have a birth mark on my tummy that only shows up when I get some sun.
W. WORST HABIT? I never close drawers all the way...sand I don't even realize it.
X.. XRAY OR ULTRASOUND? Ultrasoud because little babies show up on them.


I haven't met my biological father's mother.

Her name is Kathrine.

I think about her everyday. I dream about touching her, hugging her, listening to her stories. Lance, my bioogical father has been trying to call for the past few days. I called him back. We talked for a while about apples, and his friend Patrick, and I can't remember what else.

And then he casually states that his mom is flaking out.

She's in the hospital because she took too many pills and drank too much alcohol.

I've never faced her mortality as much as within the last 40 minutes or so. I need to meet her - I NEED to.

I always knew that maybe that wouldn't happen, but she called me right before school started and left a message. I called her back, left a message, and repeated the pattern a few times.
She hasn't called me back yet.

I've heard her voice. And that voice, that somehow was very familiar, said that it had always loved me. She's the one who is short and blonde, like me - like her. I never thought that she would be the one who would instigate her death. I thought it might be something more like getting trampled by a horse, or attacked by a bear (she has held the record for killing the largest bear in Arizona).

I don't feel hurt, but I do. I don't know her, but I do. I feel sad for her. She called the police and they came got her help. What does it feel like to know you're dying?

I'm tired of coming from a broken family line. My father doesn't know his father, and I went a good deal of my life without knowing mine. His grandpa lived about an hour away from me in Oklahoma, and I never knew until I read his obituary on-line...less than a month after he died. And now this elusive women who has me under some sort of spell is about to destroy my dream of holding her hand and secretly breathing in her hair. I want to go hold her in some hospital room in Arizona. Whenever Cora is sad I tell her that I'm scooping her up. And soon she is better.

I want to scoop my Kathrine up and tell her how much I love her and kiss her forehead.

Five Things About Me

What were you doing 10 years ago?--I was in 7th grade and adjusting to a new family. I was also about to make the big 3 block walk to church, something I hadn't done in 3 years.

5 things on my to do list

1. Write more - I need to get my portfolio for grad school ready.
2. Finish the painting that I left on the shelf in our dining room MONTHS ago.
3. Look into breastmilk donation because I have a huge surplus of it.
4. Lose the muffin top left behind in pregnancy's wake.
5. Write my little talk for New Beginnings tonight. I know I should be doing that right now!

5 snacks I enjoy

1. Jamba Juice - Pomegranate Paradise
2. Homemade bread with butter
3. Pink Lady Apples
4. Chips and Salsa

5 places I've lived

1. Mesa, AZ
2. Eagar, AZ
3. Apache Junction, AZ
4. Lake Comanche Village, CA - though it was more an extended vacation.
5. Oklahoma City, OK

5 jobs I've had

1. KFC - that's right
2. Ceramic Pot Painter
3. Visitor Services @ OCU
4. Financial Aid @ OCU
5. High School English Teacher

5 things you may not know about me

1. I love Sunshine, Cicadas, Lightning Bugs and Mud between my toes.
2. I'm proud that I'm one of the weirdest people I know but have an exceptional knack for acting normal.
3. Chicken is a fun word that I randomly say out loud for the joy of it.
4. I want to live on a farm some day...and have a cow, or two so they'd have a friend...and a HUGE garden.
5. I still believe I can fly.

Oh my goodness

I'm a nursing machine - all hours of the night and day. I got up at 2:40 this morning, went the the bathroom really quick and then grabbed Cora and went into the kitchen to get something. I looked out the window to see if our neighbor was home because he's been gone for a few days. As soon as I look out there is this man coming out of our garage!!! It freaked me out! I jumped, and looked out again, and he's just walkin' away. He never saw me because we live on the second floor. Our garage is open in the front. It's enclosed besides that with a storage room behind it that can only be accessed through the backyard. The fence the the backyard was closed, so he was just in around our cars.We park our Fit in there, and the alarm never went off, so I wasn't too worried. I don't know if he was sleeping in there or what, but I feel so violated. It's strange knowing that someone is where they're not supposed to be when it infringes on your space...at 2:45 in the morning! We always have our front porch light on, which means it wasn't a totally dark decent up our impressively long driveway. The odds of me seeing him were so slim. Of all the times to look out the kitchen window...


23 Mar 2008

I don’t know where Jake and I are going to end up for good after school is through. I’m not even sure where we’ll end up for his doctorate and my master’s. Jakes asked me about the "long run" place a few days ago - I just instantly said "I want to be somewhere with cicadas and lightening bugs." Realizing that left out pretty much everywhere in the West, I said, "And mountains." I still harbor a definite sentimental attachment to the terrain and memories of growing up in Arizona. Roxaboxen, after all, is still my favorite children’s book. I also really love where we are now, which leads me to believe I’ll love wherever we end up. It’s a pretty deep love considering how five years ago I naively questioned what people did in Oklahoma. That was when I met Jake and found out where he was from. The second he said it I envisioned grassland for as far as the eye could see with some cows in the middle of it. The schools we’re looking at for our next stop are:

North Carolina - UNC/Greensboro
Berkeley/San Francisco

There are a few more, but as you can see, we have a wide variety. It’s exciting, mixed with just a tiny touch of scary.

We’re going to Holdenville for Easter. It’s Cora’s first trip. I’ve been trying to pump for the car ride there, but I have no reason to pump because she’s been eating when she’s supposed to, and my milk supply is perfect for her right now. Breastfeeding is a delicate balance. You always have what you’re supposed to. I could increase my supply by pumping more often, but I don’t need to just for this trip. Even when I go back to work...I want to have a bit stored away, but breast milk looses 40% of all of its good stuff when it’s frozen, so what I pump at work when she should actually be eating will be what she eats the next day so it doesn’t have to go through the freezing process. I say all of this because I just fed her and tried to pump after she ate, but I didn’t even get an ounce. I think I’m stressing about it a bit too, which makes it even more difficult to get milk to come down. I’m hoping we can just leave right after she eats for both "big" rides there and home. I love breastfeeding, but it is hard when things get in the way of our schedule...our schedule being Cora lets me know when she’s hungry which is ever 2 1/2 to 3 hours...that’s from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of another. Enough of that...

I call Cora by a different nickname almost every time I talk to her. I was on a website/message board with lots of other pregnant ladies. When the were coming up with names they would say the name and the nickname they planned to use...Like Mia for Amelia, and Maddie for Madison, etc. I believe nicknames are something you earn based on a particular trait you posses...like Breezy. Basically, you can’t plan one in advance...one just forms around you. I’ve been jokingly comparing Cora to Nacho Libre because she passes the most amazing gas, like it stuns Jake and I - we are completely amazed by the sounds her little body makes. I’m already completely prepared to be accused of passing gas in public (a stretch, I know...this coming from a girl who used to have farting contests) because no one will believe it was her. Back to my point - Nacho Libre is a gas passer...I even made Cora watch it with Jake and I...and she did, but her eyes were closed most of the time. My nickname for her today, which is now yesterday, is Nacha. Feminine of course. I like it. It suits her for now ;)

With Heavy Heart

14 Mar 2008

I just told a person I admire more than almost any person on the earth that I wasn’t going to be returning to a job I love next year. I want to cry. Not for the decision I’ve made, but for having to tell my principal about it. I was on the phone with her trying to find a time to come in. After a little bit, she said, "You’re not going to tell me you’re not coming back are you?" I was silent for a second or two.

I said, "Well, I won’t be back next year." I really have my dream job as far as teaching is concerned. I work at the best school with the best administration and the best students. But I have a Sweet Cora. I think the weird part is that Jake and I have been discussing this for months. I’d made my final decision a few weeks before I went into preterm labor, but it was mostly between Jake and I. I’ve had to hear good teacher friends telling me about all the things "we" were going to do next year. I went into school earlier this week and another wonderful woman in the educational field ran a course idea by me for next year. In a way I feel like I was lying to them somehow...but the time wasn’t right yet.

My principal told me she adored me and to let her know if I change my mind, and that anytime I want to come back I’d have a place there. Man...I know this is the right thing, but the actuality of it is so heavy.

An Introduction to something old

I have always been an avid blogger on myspace, but decided that maybe I should try a different approach - an approach that will most likely consist of me copying and pasting my myspace blogs here or these blogs there. With that being said, I'll start with a quick introduction of our family.

Jake and I met in April of 2003. April 11th, I believe, in Winter Park, Co. We were there at a music festival at the end of our senior year. He was with his band, I was with my show choir. His group was staying at the hotel where the competition portion of the festival was being held, and it just so happened that they didn't have anything planned, so they were in the ballroom watching. After we'd performed and changed, we went back in to watch the other choirs. Through the night we made our way from the back of the room up to the front. I was the first one to move up from my group. I saw this boy...It wasn't until a break in the competition that I heard someone say, he should get up and play piano between sets. I turned around out of mere curiosity, and I don't remember how the conversation began, but the piano player was the boy who I later found out was Jake. We started playing "the people game." I was on a hot streak, I've always thought I was a bit psychic, about guessing what some of the people's lives were like in the second row. We spoke until their chaparone came to take them back to their rooms. When I saw him leave the room, I turned to my best friend and said, "Sarah Keller, I didn't even get his last name." Her reply, "Go follow him." I thought about it for a moment then responded, "No, that would be way too stalkerish...if I see him tomorrow on the slopes, it will be fate."

Well, after I fell down the side of a mountain at the ski resort the next day, fate stepped up. I was waiting at the bottom of the main lift for Sarah so I could get the key to our locker and get my shoes because I was so over ski boots. I was standing with another friend who was also done (she went through a fence at the bottom of a run) when I spotted Jake. I tugged on her shirt and said, "there he is."

"There's who?" she responded loudly. He looked over and I turned my back to him! I shushed her. I was not a flirty, boy crazy girl, but I had that riduculous (and wonderful) fluttery feeling in my heart, and needed a minute to catch my breath. I told him the boy from last night. When I got over being giddy, I turned around to face him, and he was gone. My heart instantly sank. I turned back around to see where he'd gone, and he was right there facing me. He said, "hi," and I said, "hey," and we spoke for about 10 minutes until his friends lost patience and wanted to go eat lunch. I looked at my friend and said, "Maybe we should give skiing another shot." I was on my way out of the locker room when he came scooting up beside me. We spent the rest of the day together, with all of our friends of course. We happened to be sitting of the lift together when he pulled a piece of paper out of his coat pocket. He said, "I don't normally do this, but I knew I'd kick myseld if I didn't. Here's my information, you can do with it what you will." I opened this piece of paper he'd put together before he left his room that morning. It had all of his contact information on it.

After we left for the day, we saw one another again that night at the block party/awards for the festival. I'd scribbled my info on the backs of friends as we made our way to the "block." When he left that night, I could hardly stand the idea of never seeing him again. we left the next morning, I was sick the whole way home. When I did get home, I parked my suitcase in the living room and went into the computer and sent him an email first thing. To make a really long story a little less long, I went to Oklahoma to see him in July, he came to Arizona in August, and again when he "officially" proposed in October (another really great story). I went to see him in November for his birthday, Thanksgiving, and his baptism, and then we were married in Arizona on January 3, 2004. If you did the math, we were actually physically in one another's presence for about 3 1/2 weeks before we got married. Relationships are pretty amazing when you get to talk to someone for 2 1/2 hours (the life of his battery) every night.

Since then, we both went to and graduated from Oklahoma City University. He majored in Piano Performance, and I double majored in English and education. Jake is working on his master's in musicology at the University of Oklahoma and working as an accomanyist at OCU. I am a 9th grade English teacher at a great high school. I'm only working through the end of the school year and then I will stay at home with our sweet baby girl. Cora Adeline Grace joined our family on February 15, 2008. She came five weeks early, but with zero complications, except for a little jaundice. We are in absolute awe of her.


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