Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Anatomy of an Amazing Birthday

1. Waking up to balloons, flowers and a husband-made birthday banner.
2. Going to a favorite restaurant in San Marino for a breakfast of (get ready) sourdough toast, candied bacon, fresh berries and a good latte.
3. Shopping at a favorite boutique in South Pasadena for a birthday present. The people there know us, so this time we were able to just walk in and hand Amelia to a lady that works there while we browsed. Jeff bought me a beautiful leather bag-- I have been desperately needing a new purse, but couldn't find the right one until now-- hurray!
4. Birthday wishes all day by phone, e-mail or in-person visits.
5. Having some dear friends over for dinner, eating fancy (but pre-made!) food, drinking wine, talking and laying on the grass looking up at the sky until it actually got too cold to stay outside.

What a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Here's a picture of my happy self with my #1 birthday present.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's really happening.
We are moving. Soon. Most of the home has been packed up, and we are pretty much on target for being able to get out of here. Amelia and I fly to Portland on Sunday, Jeff packs the U-Pak on Tuesday night and leaves on Wed. We were thankful and relieved to find out that he doesn't have to start until the 13th (previous start date was the 9th.) We're taking the day off tomorrow to have a good time as a family and see some friends in the evening (in honor of me not being 30 yet.) Then on Saturday we are having a yard sale-- one last attempt at getting people to actually pay us to get rid of the stuff we shouldn't take anyway. This week has been quite a whirlwind, and we are amost through the worst! Whew!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Amelia! What a sweet little girl. It has been amazing to watch her go from newborn to one year old. We are so thankful for this dynamic little life we get to share.

So far, she seems to be having a great day, and likes being sung "Happy Birthday" to, even more each time (I think it's been about 15 times at this point.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time to Celebrate!
Jeff had his last day of work yesterday (he checks out today,) and also his last day as a teacher. He is so excited to move on from classroom management to working individually with children and teachers. Hurray! He said he tried to be sentimental, since he's had this job for four years, and it was his first big long-term job-- but he just didn't feel anything but relief and excitement to be moving on!

We had a mini party outside in his honor: grilled chicken, chocolate cinnamon black beans, grilled veggies and sangria. Amelia joined us as diner and entertainer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So what do YOU do under pressure?
I'm not sure how I would have answered the above question before now, but I have had a funny revelation about myself this week. Tensions are very high. I wish I could push the fast forward button on the next few weeks (or maybe months, while I'm dreaming about it...) I'm not allowed to cope by staying in bed and refusing to participate in the whirlwind of my present life, so I am acting out in other ways. I can't think of a better way to describe it than to say that I am rebelling against my own personal principles. Keep in mind, these are my own personal quirky convictions, nothing serious. Since Sunday, here is a list of totally out of character behavior:
1. I went and bought Amelia a new carseat, FULL PRICE, without even really trying to find it cheaper or used. This is definitely the largest sum of money we have spent on her behalf so far.
2. I put bleach in my load of white laundry. I have never used bleach in my laundry before. I don't even know who this bottle belonged to-- I just had the compulsion to dump it in there, and the really annoying thing is that all of Amelia's stained clothes DIDN'T come out looking any better!
3. I baked a pan of brownies. I don't even like brownies.
4. This is the most embarassing one. I went to the drugstore and bought a lotion that "builds a healthy glow within 5 days and improves skin firmness." I don't use drugstore lotion! I don't put chemicals on my skin! I don't really believe in skin firming lotions! Also, I believe in REAL tans. And I bought some nail polish for the first time in five years, while I was at it.
Jeff is completely bewildered, and I am definitely feeling reckless. He is trying to think of some way to take advantage. Maybe we'll go to McDonalds, grab some donuts for dessert, buy a television, and dump our recycling into the regular trash bins... Yahoooo!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

If this doesn't make you smile, then we have a big problem.
Starting a Tradition...

I've been thinking hard about Amelia's first birthday. It's such a big event, celebrating the year she's been with us, but it seems kind of sad to me that she won't remember it at all. Gifts are one of my biggest "love languages" so I've been trying to decide what to give her, wanting it to be special and something she will be able to remember. I finally came up with the idea of getting her something valuable (but not necessarily too expensive) that she can keep and have for years and years-- some original artwork! It was actually pretty hard to choose one, since there are so many great, affordable prints out there. This year, Jeff and I ordered a print of the above painting by Cathy Nichols, printed on wood with some hand embellishment and signed on the back. It arrived today, and I am so excited! We can't wait to give it to her and hang it up in her future bedroom.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's been a while since I've given Amelia the spotlight, so I will give you a picture and some stats.
We are planning her first birthday party, and although it's been a long year, I still can't believe we're there already! She seems a lot smaller and more "babyish" than most one year olds I've known, but this is a really nice stage we don't mind enjoying a little longer.
She still isn't crawling, although she's looked like she was about to for a couple of months now. I hope she can just hold off until we've moved-- our home is not too baby- friendly right now.
She talks a lot, but it's still all in Vietnamese. I think she might have "all done" down, though I'm waiting for more confirmation.
She had a beef tamale for dinner tonight. I continue to be delighted by all of the things she'll try, only now she wants to fully experience her food: chew, then take some out, see what it looks like, feel it in her hair, watch how it coats nearby surfaces, put some more in her mouth, then atomize onto the person feeding her. So mealtimes take quite a while, and our carpet and floors are hard to keep clean, but it's a lot of fun to watch her discover different tastes and textures, plus she has a blast the whole time!
Amelia is generally very happy, and has such a charismatic personality. She likes to show us a good time and keep us entertained and engaged. She recently mastered a fake laugh that is really really funny. Sometimes it's the first noise I hear from her from her bed in the morning!
Sleep (or lack of it) is still a big thorn in my side, though we are partly to blame for putting her through three different trips last month. Plus, I think she is starting to get her molars and is really feeling it.
On a side note, we had been planning to start trying for a sibling for her when she turned one, but the last couple of years have held so much change and stress for us that we have decided to wait on that for at least another six months. I'm pretty relieved to be let off the hook-- even if I was the one making the timeline to begin with!
No, thanks!
We are not pursuing that house anymore. We found out that there are lots RIGHT in front and back that will be developed into 2-story rental properties this summer. That house is so adorable and has so many great features and I think it's a cryin' shame that it is being boxed in and basically ruined that way. Oh, well. Things got a little hysterical around here trying to figure all of that out and deciding whether or not to try to buy it before someone else. Now that we know its future, I don't think there's going to be anyone rushing in. So we will keep looking. The good news is that we took care of all the financial stuff and are prequalified and ready to go, once we find the right one. There are a lot of cute little places out there!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Portland, Ho!
So Jeff was offered the Clackamas position, and we will be moving in one month so he can begin work July 9th. Now all the wheels are turning and we begin the mental and physical move into the next chapter. We are so thankful for some friends who have offered half of their duplex for us to live in until we are able to buy a house. This makes everything so much easier and less stressful! Speaking of houses, there is one I have had my eye on for the past month, if you want to check it out, go to, then select the number search, then enter 7032867 to have a look. Pretty fun to start dreaming a little. Anyway, our internet has been down at home for the past couple of days, but I am at the library today to give the update. Thank you for your prayers for these decisions. The whole job search process has been an extremely positive experience for Jeff. He was actually offered three of the four positions he interviewed for, and even the one that turned him down really wants to keep contact with him as a networking resource-- what a confidence booster! We could definitely use your continued prayers as we pack up, bid our goodbyes and try to resettle, all in such a short amount of time!