Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Spring!  It's amazing how quickly the green sneaks up on you. I've been watching the trees bud slowly - tracking the progress by an early-budding beech outside my window - but yesterday when I was out for a little hike it hit me full on.  The ground in the forest was green with vines and small bushy things, the air was cool but not cold, the car was warmed from sitting in the sun - all sure fire signs of the changing season.  

I'm trying to expose Owen to as much spring as possible.  He won't remember anything but I'm hoping it will subliminally instill in him a love for the outdoors.  Sneaky, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thoughts on Fatherhood: What you think you know

When you become a parent, you have many lofty ideas of how great a parent you're going to be and, even though you tell yourself that you're ready for anything, sometimes that's not always the case.  When you're baby cries, it can have any number of effects on you.  You may feel...

but you can always feel some not so great things..


There's no manual or guide to soothe your fraying nerves when your child has been screaming for three hours straight... and nothing you do seems to help or matter.

I think this is especially hard on us guys who love to fix everything and expect that we can do so at the drop of a hat.

So you find out a lot about yourself... how patient you can be... how much love can come out of your heart... what kind of person you really are.  

And prayer really helps.

A grace... a sort of unseen, unexplainable help... kicks in and somehow calms your nerves and makes your heart expand much larger than you can possibly imagine.

And you love your child even more.

Thank God.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Photo Session

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the photoshoot with GI.  If you love his work as much as I do check out his new blog here.   He just started it but make sure to check back frequently!

By the way - these are all untouched photos - I have yet to do anything to them in Photoshop...that's how awesome they are.  All of them were taken at our house too!


It was Joya's birthday (84th!) and she let us take a few photos with her.  I love this one of her hand holding Owen's.

My favorite of the two of us.

My favorite with Jon

cute, cute, cute


Friday, March 20, 2009


Our little Owen has piercing eyes.  Even though you know he can't focus perfectly, when they lock on you know he's tracking you.

I think he's got his mother's eyes.

They are the type of eyes that swallow you up and make you forget about everything else.  All your stress or worries disappear.  

Yeah, he definitely has his mother's eyes.

And his smile?  Well, when he breaks out his secret weapon on you, you feel like your heart is going to burst through your chest.

Well, at least I do.

Again, just like his mother.

Life is good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Picture Pages, Picture Pages...

Hold the presses!  Celebrity photog G.I. stopped by to take some pictures of our happy little family today.  Here's a taste of what's to come.  

(Actually I haven't seen any others yet...but I'm SUPER DUPER excited!)

Barn Sour

Whoa Nelly.  Yep, that's us.  

Few people know this but back in the day Jon and I were cattle hands on a ranch in Texas.   Ok, fine.  We were stunt horse trainers for western movies.  Well, we were actually just champion synchronized barrel racers.  

Alright, so I've only ever ridden a horse twice, but we have had some pretty amazing adventures in our day (days?) so it's understandable if you believed any (or all) of the above.

I was recounting one such adventure this morning and it's a pretty good one so let me tell it again.  We were deep in the heart of Flint Hill country in Kansas.  A beautiful land of wild, bare hills that roll all the way to the horizon.  There's little to remind you that this is not the wild west of 1850, the occasional house and car maybe, and a lone dirt road that stretches off into the distance.  This is the authentic world in which I first rode a horse.  I am a cowboy (or girl).

The first ride was not exactly glamorous.  It was 10 pm, pitch black, and I basically followed the other horse 100 feet up the dirt road and back.  I had kind of pictured more of a long trail ride across the scrub land, into the setting sun, with my hair flowing in the wind, but beggars can't be choosers.  

My second horse ride, the next day, was a little more exciting.  Or rather, it had potential.  Gayle Jenson, the TRUE cowboy, and friend of Jon's dad, is of the 'throw-them-in-the-deep-end' school of thought.  Enough of the girls-scout, walk-around-the-ring, pony rides.  We were going to play horse tag.  I think it took me awhile to understand that he really did indeed mean that we were supposed to chase after each other, 'tag' someone and yell - "You're IT!"  All while galloping at full speed and trying not to fall off. 

I thought about everything I had learned the night before, which was...nothing...and realized that maaaaybe this wasn't a good idea.  My protestations fell on deaf ears though as Gail simply said, "Ah, you'll be fine.  I'm going to start on the other side of this pasture to make it harder for you to catch me." and turned and galloped off.  

My palms got sweaty as I saw future Emily collapsed in a puddle of broken bones on the ground.  But I'm not a quitter!  I will conquer my fears!  I will gallop!  Full speed!

I pulled myself up in the stirrups, dug in my knees and said (in my brave voice), "Let's go boy!"  Biscuit* reared up, took two steps forward and stopped.  

I tried again.  "Come on boy!  Giddyup!"  Same response.

Hmmm...maybe I'm not doing this thing right.  Maybe I need to turn his head.  Nope.  Dig in with my knees more?  Nothing.  Yell louder?  Not working.  Gosh darn it.  

Just then Biscuit whips his head around and begins trotting back toward the barn.   "Whoa!"  I try to pull back the reigns but he knew I was a beginner and wasn't fooled by my non-assertive little tug.  "Humph, city girl!"

Gayle gallops up in a cloud of dust.  He grabs the reigns, shouts a few unprintable lines and pulls Biscuit back into the pasture.   "Ok, let's try this again...ready, set, GO!" 

He races off into the distance and Biscuit immediately turns the other way and starts trotting back to the barn.  Only faster this time.  I quickly realize that I'm just along for the ride and hang on for dear life.  By the time Gayle catches us we're at the barnyard fence.  Biscuit stops and shakes his head as if to tell me to get off, the pony ride is over.

An exasperated Gayle pulls up alongside.  "Darn horse is barn sour.  He knows it's time to eat and won't do anything else.  Sorry...we'll have to play horse tag another time."

I hop down while sending up a quick prayer of thanks that I will live to see another day.  Biscuit must have been guided back to that barn by angels.  Seriously.  A quiet walk into the sunset is much more my style. 

Although training stunt horses would be pretty cool...  

*names changed to protect the innocent.  Plus I can't remember.  Plus if I had horses I'd name one Biscuit.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

40 Weeks...week by week

Just for fun I put all the Pod Pics together into one giant pregnancy review.  I started at week 12 because that's the first time that 
a) you could notice anything and 
b) I finally got motivated to take a picture each week.  

I missed three weeks: 22, 31, and 33, but I think you still get the idea.  The belly got big.

And big, and big, and big.  Man...that was a lot of baby.  It already feels strange to look back at those pictures and remember what it was like.  Which makes me really glad I took all those pictures to remind myself that yes - I really did look like I stuffed a watermelon under my shirt.

Ellyn and I were talking about how we have such good intentions when it comes to recording life's little happenings; the high hopes for journaling, filling out baby books and such (not the baby books for me, I know my weak areas people, and baby books are never going to happen no matter how well intentioned I am).      

This is especially relevant to me because I have such a terrible memory.  Just ask anyone who has ever borrowed money from me.  I can't even remember who owes me how much and why.  And no, you may not borrow money from me.

But even if I don't remember that Owen's head measured 14.75 inches (and really...why does that matter?  If they measured his fingers at each Dr's visit would I feel compelled to write that down too?) I will remember that I loved cuddling with him, that I loved his tiny head, and the happy face he makes when he has a full tummy. 

I'm giving renewed vigor to my journaling quest.  

Because hey, someday I might really want to know how ginormous I was at 37 weeks pregnant.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Happy Month!

Wow - time flies.  

By the way, I found another sweet blog that better expresses my feelings from the last post.  (She also records her baby's growth in a similar way - go great minds!)  You can read it here.