August 31, 2007


The hubby has been talking about starting a "cleanse" on the 2nd of September. Drinking nothing but lemon water with cayenne pepper and maple syrup in it for 10 days straight. He's doing it along with some other guy friends. It sounds like it would be good to do for me as well, but I am SUCH A WIMP when it comes to fasting or not eating for long periods of time. I've never done anything like it before.

I know that it would be good for me to do something healthy for my body... I've never been one to watch what I'm eating. I eat mostly junk. I've never dieted or gone any amount of time eating healthy. All of my friends seem to eat/cook pretty healthy and organic, while I can't seem to stop eating Hot Pockets and drinking Diet Coke. I really want to change this, but the thought of completely rearranging my eating habits feels really overwhelming, so I just never do anything about it. Maybe something like this cleanse would help me kick start a healthier lifestyle? I need something drastic to shake me out of my patterns, usually. This cleanse seems like it could be just that.

I think it would help me if I knew that the benefits of the cleanse would be worth the sacrifice of not eating for a while. And, (just like Operation: Grow Hair!) I would need a healthy dose of accountability to get me through it. Like, oh, I don't know, telling THE INTERNET I was going to do it. And then letting you guys know how the progress was going.

So, here's my question for you: Have any of you ever done a "cleanse" before? Was it WORTH it? How long did you do it for? Did you feel better after doing it? Or is all of this "cleansing" stuff just hype? A fad? A waste of time?

And, would you help me get through it if I committed to doing it by listening to my experiences and cyber-slapping me in the face when I speak of quitting and eating pie?

I eagerly await your testimonies or thoughts. I'm still not sold on the idea, so I'm anxious to hear what you all think.


Computer Cramps.

My hard drive is FULL. I resisted my first urge that told me to calmly lift the eMac off of the desk and throw it out of the window into the backyard, and instead told myself a joke about how it should wait an hour before it goes swimming. Get it? Because it's FULL? So it shouldn't swim due to....the cramping...and whatnot?


I have a little external hard drive that my mommy got me for my birthday after I nearly drowned Chris' laptop in Decaf Hazelnut Cream Coffee a couple of months ago, but once I hooked it up and started talking about moving files over on to the external hard drive and deleting them off of our computer's hard drive, Chris got nervous. He says that he's pretty sure that external hard drives are the first things to kick the bucket- and if all of our files are on there, then we'd be really screwed if and when that were to happen.

So, now I'm in a pickle. What are external hard drives FOR if not to make room on your computer's internal hard drive? Am I missing something here? Do I need a row of 6 external hard drives sitting next to the computer so that I can backup my files 6 TIMES "just in case" before I move them off of the eMac?

It's times like this that I start really missing 35mm film. There is nothing worse than that feeling you get when you realize some very important files have evaporated into thin air and you can never get them back. A few months ago I realized that I have NO pictures of myself from when I was pregnant with Ezra. They have all disappeared somewhere. Didn't get transferred onto the new computer or didn't get burned onto a CD along the way. The only evidence I have are the 3 or 4 crappy pictures that I printed to stick in Ezra's baby book.

And, a couple of days ago, I went to find the little video I'd edited together from Chris and I's wedding, and that has vanished into thin air as well. Poof! Gone-o! Sniff.

So, any advice? What do you all do to protect your files while not crowding your hard drive?

How could my computer be TOO FULL for precious moments like this one? Ezra spitting in the sink after brushing his teeth, momma looking on and looking ill, and the POINTIEST little butt ever made that we finally coaxed into big boy undies for the first time last night! Does my computer have NO HEART?!

August 30, 2007

Ezra's New Kicks.

Lord help me, I couldn't resist.

(For now) Just One Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed.

On the drive up to Kansas City, Chris and I were talking about the whole "having another kid" issue that seems to hover in and out of my thought-life oh, I don't know, every single waking minute or so. I've never been one to let others pressure me into anything, but there's something about having your first kid that can feel like you've accidentally just pulled the 'start lever' on an assembly line, and then it BROKE OFF IN YOUR HANDS.

It is pretty much assumed by everyone around you that you will have another child in the very near future after giving birth to your first. This is totally and completely natural for people to assume, because, hey! That's pretty much how life goes! Most people don't see the point in dragging out the "parenting a baby/toddler phase" of life- it just makes more sense to get it all out of the way quickly so that your kids will be somewhat close in age and you won't be changing poopy diapers when you're 60, right?

Well, that may be true, and that's really all well and good, but then what happens when having another baby is pretty much not even a faint blip your radar screen and your first born son is suddenly old enough to operate the DVD Player without any assistance? What then??

I always talk about how I refuse to parent Ezra out of a place of fear, because I know that kids can sense those kinds of things from their parents, even when we think we are sooo super sneaky and good at hiding things from them. It's like a sixth sense. They just know. So, in this same vein of logic, I have a real issue with feeling the NEED to have another baby ASAP simply because I'm afraid of my kids being "too far apart in age", or simply because I'm afraid of spending too many years of my life trapped in the "baby phase".

This was a huge personal revelation for me. I suddenly felt all the (self-imposed) pressure of having another kid lift off of me. Through a simple conversation with my husband I realized this:

I am the kind of person who becomes overwhelmed pretty quickly. The thought of having a toddler and a baby at the same time just seems like it would be too much for me. I know I would be able to handle it just fine if it were to happen that way, but I'm realizing that I'm one of those people who would MUCH MUCH MUCH RATHER spread things out a bit. Like, waiting until I have a kid who's a bit older (4? 5? 6?) and then tackling the baby thing again. Because, big picture, I know I want to have more than one kid. But, for me, it might be nice to saunter along the "raising kids" time of my life, rather than feel like it's a mad dash to have them and raise them quick enough to where I'll still "have a life" again after they are grown and gone. Think of it! If I were to have three kids- one right after the other, in 18 years, they are going to all be out of the house one right after the other too. What a whirlwind! I've finally realized that I'm more of a gentle breeze kind of gal. (Not that raising kids, no matter how far apart, can EVER be considered a "gentle breeze", but you get the point...)

So, for now, for today at the very least, I'm content with this plan. To wait. To wait until the time feels right, just like I knew when I was meant to have Ezra. If I'm meant to have more kids, I know that I'll know it. Maybe God has other plans in store for me. We've talked about adoption. And to be honest, the very thought of that being a possibility at some point in my life stings my eyes with instant tears of joy and wonder. Can you even imagine? Literally saving the life of another human being? A human being who is too vulnerable to defend themselves?

If that's what God has for me, I'm open to that. After all, He's got a track-record of being even wilder than my wildest of dreams.

More Pictures of Kansas City than you can shake a stick at.

Our trip to Kansas City started out very difficult and painful because the housing situation wasn't exactly what we'd expected once we got there, and I don't know if you know this or not, but trying to keep a toddler entertained allllll day loooong BY YOURSELF in a city you've never even seen before is not the easiest of tasks- especially when you have no home base to return to for naps and relaxing time. By the end of the second day, I was in tears- telling Chris over dinner that I was packing up my stuff and driving Ezra and I back home first thing the next morning.

The guys were in the recording studio all day everyday, sometimes not calling it a night until 2 AM or so. So, Ezra and I were on our own to wander (aka drive aimlessly) through a town I'd never been in before. It was just way too much for me, but the day I meant to head home, my new friend Alissa called and graciously arranged for a nearby family from her church to take us all in for the rest of the week. Um, HOSPITALITY MUCH??

They took us under their wings and we immediately fell in love with these amazing people who opened their home up to strangers and fed us good food and took us swimming and drew us maps of the city so Ezra and I could explore fun places. If it weren't for this family, our trip would have been a disaster. Because of them, it ended up being really hard to leave.

We all had a blast, and the guys got everything recorded just in time. We plan to make many trips to Kansas City in the future... That town is insanely COOL!

The cookies are bigger in Kansas City... the minimum allowance up there is approximately the size of your own face.

These are two of our new most favoritest people on the planet earth. (Check out Jon's website here, and maybe buy an album or two or three or a gajillion because his music is just that good.)

Good times are sure to be had whenever Uncle Joel is near!

Contemplating the fountain.

"I'm not so sure about this, momma. That there water be real high."

Feeling little.

Bravery! And joy!

Soggy socks and soggy shoes, Thunderstorms out of the blue.

Union Station. One of those amazing buildings that makes you feel dizzy even though you're standing solidly on the ground, looking up. Just staggering. I read a billboard there that said the previous Union Stations only had to be destroyed by floods THREE times before they finally decided to MOVE IT TO HIGHER GROUND. Ha.

Eating at a restaurant where a little train brought you your food. Ezra's head only exploded two or three times.

I've never seen him get so excited. This kid was as passionate about the trains in this restaurant as his momma was about her rootbeer float. Ecstasy!

Many, many park days. Many, many blue plastic slides to conquer.

The family that we stayed with the last few days just happened to have a large tub filled with awesome old toys. I owe this tub of toys my very SANITY.

Swimming at the country club with dad.

Leaps of faith.

He doesn't look like me at all. Nope, not one bit.

We found this at the MALL of all places.

We tried to snap a family photo before being booted after the ride was over. You can see Ezra asking for "Oon Moo?" (translated: "One more time? One more time?")

The family that singlehandedly saved my trip to Kansas City from being a total disaster. Aren't they cuuuuute?

Kansas, she is beautiful.

August 29, 2007

Chapter Twenty: "All Conquering Love."

The planning for the big day went really smoothly. I didn't find myself stressed at all. Four months was just enough time to put all of the pieces that were important to us together for our wedding, which was going to be held in San Luis Obispo instead of Reno this time around. We knew we wanted two major things: Personal Vows for the ceremony, and DANCING for the reception. Our wedding was going to be nothing but one big, huge CELEBRATION of the love we'd worked so hard for with the people we loved the most in the world. And that's exactly what it turned out to be.

The ceremony was beautiful and, by the time we said our vows, I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. God showed up in a powerful way, and I still to this day have people tell me that our ceremony affected them in a deep way... It was like this sense of love conquering despair... it filled the little chapel from the floor to the roof until I could hardly breathe from the closeness of it all.

The reception was dance-tastic and it was seriously FUN. Everyone joined in right after food, and the dancing didn't stop until we called it a night and hopped into our getaway car. (Chris' truck. Snazzy!)

It was a perfect day and a perfect evening. Pictures will tell the tale better than I ever could:

All photos by Kenneth Morgan
of San Luis Obispo, CA.

So, that's the story of Chris and I. Thank you guys for reading along through all the heartbreak and the joy. It feels really good to have gotten that all out- to have cemented it in my head so that it won't get mixed up and jumbled and lost as the years wear away at the memories we've created.

God has been so good to me. He is continuing to heal me, and He's slowly forming me into a wife that loves her husband well and fights for the dreams deep in his heart. Some days are easier than others, and some of the choices that I made before we were married are still affecting me today... Like, how for years I was hurt and confused by sleeping with Chris... and how all of those feelings didn't just magically disappear on the day we finally said "I do"... I made some poor decisions before we were married, and I'm now having to work through the effects of all of that. I'm learning the beauty of being ONE with someone, but it hasn't been an easy road. But God is redeeming that part of my heart bit by bit, and I'm falling more and more in love with my husband with every passing day.

For all of you girls out there who aren't yet married: Guard your hearts. Guard your bodies and your minds. Love yourselves enough to know the worth of what you have. Don't squander your heart away in hopes of finally feeling satisfied in love. You have all the love you need in God. You have ALL the love you need in God. Even when you may not feel it, you have all the love you need in God.

I think I'll end with this- one more song I wrote after we were married and all was said and done. Sorry to post so many songs lately, but they really do capture this time better than anything else could, I think. So, one final song for you all- I call this one "My Dreams". Hope you like it, sorry for the poor quality once again. Just click below:

***The End.***

August 28, 2007

Chapter Nineteen: "The (Second) Proposal, Part TWO." (Confused yet?)

I was standing in front of the castle with my friends when I suddenly noticed a small ruckus coming from the center of the plaza. I looked over there and I saw my friend Jason asking people to clear the area a little bit. This was, um, confusing. I had NO idea why he was suddenly walking up to strangers and asking them to CLEAR THE AREA.

I walked over to where he was and was about to ask him what the heck he was doing, when I suddenly saw him.

This moment in time will forever be etched in my memory because it was the moment that my heart finally got what it had been aching for for all of those years. It was the moment my dreams crashed into my reality. And it came in the form of a man dressed in a familiar white tuxedo, with a top hat perched on the top of his head to match.

This man in white was the man that I loved. And he was walking straight towards me, looking at me intently, from the little garden across the way. He walked confidently, and he held a red flower in one hand. He was also attempting to contain a huge smile on his face, but it was so wide and so deep that it threatened to spill over at any moment.

Time froze. I buried my face in my hands and burst into tears before Chris had even made his way to where I was standing. A few people gathered around us. Everyone was taking pictures. Chris dropped down to one knee and asked me to marry him.

Everyone cheered and clapped. In an emotional blur, I grabbed the ring from his hand and fell down on my knees, too.

And then I said yes. And my heart screamed "YES!" from within my chest. And it finally felt right.

It wasn't until about 20 minutes later that I realized I had been CLUTCHING the ring in my clenched fist (along with my red flower) and had never even put it on my finger. It is a miracle that I didn't drop it somewhere, because I had no clue I was even holding it until Chris and I took a walk together and I was like, "Oh! What's this in my hand?" OH, IT'S JUST MY RING. GFDA^%R!@%!!

The rest of the day was spent having tons of fun on the rides and other Disneyland-ish types of things. Chris wore his tux the rest of the day (even though it was ridiculously hot outside), and people kept coming up to him asking if they could take a picture with him. He obliged them all, of course, and later we asked someone who they thought he was, and they said matter-of-factly that it was OBVIOUS that he was Prince Charming.

I couldn't agree more.

So, what's next for two people who have been in love for SO long and are finally engaged? (Well, engaged again, I suppose...) A WEDDING! And QUICKLY! So, we set a date. A date that was only four short months away...