Monday, December 29, 2008


Yesterday, it finally felt like Christmas. Chrissy and Sanchez came over for Christmas dinner and to open presents. Plus, the snow is all but melted after a couple of days of 50 degree weather! Yesssss!

Friday, December 26, 2008

All month long, I've thought, "I'm glad that I haven't once been tempted to even HUM that sad Christmas song 'Where Are You Christmas?' from the Grinch movie." Last year, it was a mainstay in my brain. But this year was going to be different. I got so much done early, events and gatherings were planned well, communication was great. Everything was coordinated and the plans were set.

Then it had to snow. EIGHTEEN INCHES.

You might think that snow would ANSWER the question the song poses: Christmas is HERE with the snow! Huh-uh.

I can't really explain it and you won't understand unless you live here, but it just brought everything to a standstill and not in a cozy, let's-all-sing-by-the-fire kind of way. Yes, it's pretty. And yes, the first 2 days were fine. But the storm ended up lasting 10 days, which is 8 days TOO LONG. We lost power, but only for 4 hours. Our dear friends lost it for 4 days! And yes, you "make do" and press on. You cope. But then, when the power comes on and you have the luxury of letting your guard down, you crumble. At least, I did. Yesterday was just HARD.

And yes, I am a Christian. I get that Christmas is about Jesus and His birth and the implications therein. However, I also know that December 25th isn't the EXACT day of His birth and that if I was sad and tired and 30 weeks pregnant and just vedged in my pjs all day, that's ok too!

So there you have it. A weird, weird, weird Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ARCTIC BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn't pass up using "ARCTIC BLAST" as my headline. It's what all the news stations are calling the storm that's hit our area. And believe me, their coverage is non-stop. Yes, it's a big deal to get 8" of snow in one day. But seriously. How many hours, yes HOURS, do you need to be telling us about it, showing endless pictures, forecasts, and videos, and carrying on with endless anchor banter??? Anyhoo.....

Yesterday, we were able to get out and about. I had my glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. Won't have the results until Tuesday. From what I read, it'll just mean more monitoring - it's not the end of the world.

After the test, we went out and stocked up on movies and food - an excellent combo for bad weather! We got Forgetting Sarah Marshall (skip it, for reals), Batman Dark Knight (see it), So I Married an Axe Murderer (still watching it), and National Lampoon's Vacation (see it). Then we went to a person's house so I could buy some maternity clothes from her. I got a pair of jeans, a pair of khakis, and 2 skirts for a total of 10 DOLLARS! I'm so happy! And they're all Motherhood Maternity. I can't help it - sometimes, I do like the name brands, especially when they're at such a good price.

Today has been brutal. Ok, that MIGHT be too strong. But it HAS been harsh. The 8 inch layer of snow from yesterday is now covered with a 1/2" think layer of ice. Yikes. Greg got out and started shoveling people's driveways (so sweet) and thawing out our car. At about 10:30, the power went out. I spent the first hour wondering aimlessly about our apartment. At only 800 sf, that's a lot of repeated ground! I was just kind of "eh." I didn't know what to do. I couldn't cook, do laundry, look anything up on the computer, or watch TV. Think of all you do that requires electricity. Dang! Sometimes it's true - you don't know what you got till it's gone! Our phone didn't even work because it's cordless and needs to be plugged into an outlet. Thankfully, our neighbor gave us an "old" phone to use. LOVE it. So the 2nd hour, I started calling people. I was deep into my 5th phone call when -TA DA - the power came back on. Phew. What a relief.

How are things in your neck of the woods??

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


There's something about growing up in Montana that uniquely prepares you for life. As you locals know, it's been snowy and icy here in Portland this week. It is reminiscent of some of the winters I experienced as a child in Montana, although in Montana, there would be lots more snow and it would stick for more than a week! But I remember a few things about those cold days:
1.) DON'T FORGET TO SLED: Have fun while the weather seems daunting. Just because it's freezing outside, doesn't mean that your life freezes. Enjoy the difference in weather and get out in it!
2.) START YOUR CAR EVERYDAY: Greg has decided to drive my car to UPS every night, thank God! His car doesn't have heat and the tires are really bad. But we reminded each other today that we still have to at least START the Volvo everyday, just to make sure it's working.
3.) HELP EACH OTHER: When we were little, there was a blizzard that made for 5' snow drifts. We lived 5 miles out on a country road. To say that it was not "maintained" is a given. My sister, my dad, and I dug and shoveled snow all day just to get out of the driveway. Being that I was in 4th grade and my sister was in 2nd grade, I don't know how much we helped, but it felt like it was a group effort. It created a sense of togetherness. I think of what Greg said to a coworker last night: "If you ever get stuck, call me. Here's my number. I'll come get you." We need each other.
4.) DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY: Notice, I did not say "slowly." It's not that I'm against slow driving in ice. Hello! I'm not crazy! It is a GOOD idea to take it easy. However, you do not need to drive 2 miles an hour on a sanded (or thawed) road and hold up a 1/2 mile of traffic! If I were adhering to my DAD'S ideas, I would tell you that the faster you go on ice, the better because you will just ricochet off of whatever you hit vs. hitting it dead on. IF I were adhering to my dad's ideas. heh heh
5.) BAD WEATHER IS NO EXCUSE TO LET YOURSELF GO: The first time Greg came to Montana for Christmas, the weather was a doozy. We left to go to our family party about an hour from my parent's house. There was about 2 feet of snow on the 1/4 mile driveway so, you can imagine, we got stuck about 1/2 way to the main road. Well, I was all dressed up for the party. But that didn't mean I was exempt from helping dig the car out! I got out there in my dress pants and heals and starting heaving and hoeing (??). Greg was surprised, but hey! That's what you do! Yes, it MAY have been smarter for me to wear boots and PACK my heels but bad weather is no excuse to let yourself go!
6.) THINK OUTSIDE YOURSELF: There were many times growing up when our family needed things. I remember Christmases where we had very little money and someone would show up with gifts. Even at a young age, I was touched and mystified by their giving. Now, as I watch the news and look around me, I see the homeless who duck into "warming centers" to get at least SOME relief from the cold. One man said that he was thankful for the shelter, but that it was Saturday night and that was his big can collecting night. He couldn't afford to miss out on $40-$50 in cans just to stay warm so he was going to go out & start collecting after he got a cup of coffee. It was 15 degrees. I'm struggling with ideas about how to help. The word "blankets" keeps cropping up in my mind.....

I hope that wherever you are, whatever conditions you are in, that you know you are loved. I hope you are safe and warm and have loving support around you. I hope that you remember some of those lessons that you learned as a child. The passing of time is a funny thing, but one thing is for sure: we are who we are today in part because of what we went through yesterday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


How's your Christmas season "to do" list coming along? This year, I decided to start shopping in January. Little did I know what blessing that would be! What I mean is, I'll be almost 30 weeks pregnant when Christmas comes so I'm grateful that I've got the shopping part done. There's no way I could have known that 11 months ago!

We are saving over $300 compared to what we spent on Christmas last year. It seems like every year, the presents become less and less important in terms of focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. For me, that meaning is celebrating Jesus' birth - and beyond. It's celebrating what His birth signifies: freedom, grace, salvation, and hope. The true meaning of Christmas is also celebrating and giving thanks for what we have: family, friends, necessities. We may not always get what we WANT - but we always have what we NEED.

We might take it to the next level for Christmas 2009 and just get gifts for the children in our lives. Everyone else will get our time and a nice letter. We're thinking about it..... I mean, "stuff" just becomes less important as we get older. Don't you think?

What is the true meaning of Christmas for you? How do you celebrate? Do you give gifts? However you celebrate, I wish you all the best & I hope your holiday is full of merriment!

P.S. I just found a great new blog for savers in the Portland area:

Friday, December 5, 2008


Did ya ever have one of those days?

The night before, you woke up every hour to go pee?

Your partner, God bless him, kept you up with his snoring?

Your partner, I GUESS God bless him, smacked you in the face with his elbow while sleeping?

You woke up late so you couldn't shower. And you hadn't showered the day before?

You woke up late so you couldn't eat. And you're pregnant?

You wore your pajama top to work and didn't realize it until you GOT to work?

You ate pickles in the morning and then belched the rest of the day?

You downed enough Tums to chalk-ify the whole world for 3 days?

You solved other people's problems, despite your best efforts NOT to?

You cried from an act of kindness shown to you JUST at the right time?

Please say you have - just to make ME feel better!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I'm wearing maternity pants! I feel so much better now sitting at my desk all day! My "regular" jeans/pants actually fit, but it was uncomfortable to SIT in them all day. Today, I'm in the lap of luxury with a niiiiiice pair of maternity jeans. Ahhhhhh......the small joys in life.

Greg got a 2nd job. It goes from now until the end of the month. He is working at a friend's eye clinic, organizing their medical records. So he works there during the day from 9 am - 4:30 pm and then UPS from 7 pm - 1 am. Man, he's a hard worker! Oh yeah - and he's always got school every Tuesday night! Phew - that's a busy schedule! I admire him so much.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Times are tough
We hear it said
We live it
Bad boys, bad boys
Became real
Investments faltered
Families torn, divorce
Car problems
Where to put baby?
Job losses

Is there another side to this valueless coin?

Friends who sit with you
when you're scared at night
Getting a check in the mail
When you need it most
Loved ones asking
"what do you need?"
And then acting on it
Full cupboards
Cookies fresh from the oven
A card that blesses the heart
Nice checkers
Nice gas station attendants
Nice postal carriers
Inspirational blogs
Everyday kind of blogs
Rich conversation
Dinner parties
New life


Monday, November 24, 2008


Friday was one of those days at work where you just want to go home afterwards, go to bed, and curl up in a ball, emerging only for food and bathroom. So I was tempted to cancel my plans for that evening. I'm so glad I didn't! TJ and I went to Salem to see the incomprable MARGARET BECKER. I've been a die-hard fan of hers since 1990. She is a Christian singer without all the nicey-nice crap that I find fakey or, at the very least, "light." She says (sings) it like it is. Her guitar playing is phenomenal. And this particular concert was special to me because about 3 weeks ago, her booking agent contacted me to see if I could find her a place to play. Unfortunately, I couldn't find her a place. But she ended up playing at Calvary Chapel in Salem, which seems like an awesome church. Anyway, TJ and I were a bit late so as we approached the doors, we could hear Maggie in the midst of an oldie but goodie "Innocence." Her voice was ringing out. I ran. I didn't want to miss another MINUTE! She went on to sing the following:
Soul Tattoo
All I Ever Wanted
Clay and Water
You're Still God
To be an Indian
I Wouldn't Know What Love Is
And a couple of others I can't remember

I approached her afterwards. I said, "Hi Margaret, I'm Charlotte. I was trying to help Vicky get you to Portland tonight, but I'm soooo glad this venue worked out. This is a great place. Ok, so here's the deal: "Honesty" and "You're Still God"??? My anthems!" She looked very happy and graciously said thanks. TJ and I got in the car and immediately turned on one of Maggie's CDs. I go, "Um, we just saw her and um, she's about 30 feet away from us right now and um, I got to talk to her and touch her, um, arm and we just heard her sing soooo......" Yeah, I was excited. And it was just what I needed after a hard day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This morning was not what I expected. I woke up at 7:00. And so did Greg. Now, those of you who know us know that Greg gets to bed around 3:00 a.m. due to his job at UPS. So you can understand why I was puzzled by his waking up at 7:00. I would soon find out.

Greg was on his way home last night at about 1:00 a.m. About 6 miles from home, he saw police lights glaring in his rear view mirror. He pulled over, kicking himself because he KNEW he had expired tags. We both did. Payday is the 25th. We can wait it out. It'll be fine. These are the things we had told ourselves. Well, this was his reckoning. So he was prepared for the officer to cite him for that. He WASN'T prepared for what followed. The officer came back to Greg's car and asked him to step out. He then asked Greg if he had any weapons on him or in the car, to which Greg honestly and emphatically replied, "no." All the while, he was wondering why they were patting him down and holding him by the wrists, not in a rough way, but still, not in a routine way. Come to find out, Greg's license was suspended. Greg, of course, had no knowledge of the suspension. The officer explained that the DMV said Greg didn't have insurance at the time of his accident in September. Greg told him that was untrue & he had documentation to prove insurance coverage. The officer was nice and apologetic, but said he had to immediately impound the car, which he did.

Stunned, angry, and confused, Greg did what any red-blooded American male would do - he WALKED the 6 miles home. He said it was therapeutic. I think he's nuts, but I kinda get it.

So what's the plan now? Get a 2nd job just to pay for all of this! (little joke there) Greg got his license reinstated today and tomorrow, we'll get the car out of impound.

Lesson learned: prioritize legal issues. I took this to heart and while Greg was getting HIS license taken care of today at the DMV, I was getting MINE taken care of. You see, I got Lasik eye surgery in March. I knew at that time that I needed to get a new license WITHOUT the corrective lenses classification. But I had put it off. So I bit the bullet and paid the lousy $25 to get legal. It's worth the peace of mind.

As change occurs, welcomed or not, it's important to remember the blessings. In our case, Greg wasn't hurt, he didn't go to jail, he and I are very close, he got his bonus check just in time to take care of all of this, and we are still pregnant and expecting the gift of life in March. Last, but certainly not least, God is still God. That is something I've clung to all year and continue to hold onto when circumstances seem to be spinning. It's kind of like when you were a kid and hung onto the center of the merry-g0-round on the playground. The world around you was whirling, but as long as you held on to the center, you knew you were going to be ok. We're holding on. We'll be ok.

Please read this link for encouragement during times of change.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Last night, it finally happened. I had my hand on my stomach and - BOOM! She kicked so hard, my hand moved!

Today, we were at a semi-annual Dr. Marten's shoe sale (thank you, UPS, for the $30 shoes) and a dad, mom, and baby sat down by us. After visiting, I found out the baby was 9 months old. She was kind of fussy at first, but then she and I started playing peekaboo. She giggled and smiled and cood (sp?). We both had so much fun. I'm going to be one of THOSE moms. Ya know - the kind that goes, "buzza babba boo boo boo" in that annoying, not-of-this-world voice?? Yes, the one I'VE complained about when I've heard others do it. But somehow, when *I* do it, it's ok! :-)

Today marks 24 weeks and Greg and I are starting to realize that in a matter of weeks, our lives are going to change. We are looking forward to her arrival....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What does it mean when you spray a HUGE spider with Easy Off oven cleaner (because that's all you have) - - - and it doesn't die??? I WILL get him!

Anyway.......onto other things....

I'm one of those weird ones who actually LIKES grocery shopping. It feels like a legitimate way to spend money. Hey, we NEED groceries so I HAVE to spend. Plus, I do something called the Grocery Game that helps me save hundreds of dollars a year. So I'm justified in the pleasure I find of this once-a-week excursion. There is one caviat to my joy. ONE thing that sticks in my craw (yes, I'm starting to talk like my mom). This kill joy's name is . . . Richard, and he works at my local grocery store. First of all, and I know this shouldn't matter, he creeps me out. He has no hair on the top of his head and a scraggly, gross pony tail on the back. He has looooong nails, but his hands are unkempt. His pants are baggy and he has a hunchback. I'd better stop there, as far as the creepiness factor goes. But hey. I'm sure I'm creepy to some, so I tried him out one day about 10 months ago. Ok, forget the physical stuff. He is a terrible checker! I use a LOT of coupons: mfr, in-store, other-store, you name it. Most checkers are very accomodating. They don't count to make sure I'm only use 10 other-store coupons. If a product is semi-close to the coupon I have, they give me the savings. Granted, they don't HAVE to do this (& they probably SHOULDN'T), but they do. Well, Richard does not give ANY lee way (sp?). Ever since that time 10 months ago, I have vowed never to go to creepy boy again. Guess who was the ONLY checker tonight?? Mmm hmmm. I contemplated asking another worker if he could open a till for me, but Richard didn't have any customers so I thought that would be out of line. I took a deep breath and proceeded to Richard's line. Wouldn't you know it - he immediately started by telling me that he wouldn't accept a certain type of coupon from me. He even told me that his own manager accepted the type of coupons I had, but that his manager was wrong and he (Richard) wouldn't accept them.

Well, I became verbal. Can I blame that on the pregnancy? I told him, "That's exactly why I don't like coming through your line. You are the sticklerest of them all (yes, I know that's not a word). " He goes, "Well, we can't take those coupons." I said, "So because I got you and not your manager, I get penalized. That's why I try to NEVER go through your line." He goes, "Well, I would've told my manager not to accept your coupons." I go, "What's his/her name?" He gave me the manager's name & I wrote it down. What Richard DIDN'T see was that I wrote down HIS name too. I'm contemplating a complaint letter.

The moral of the story? Not all spiders or creepy checkers can be stopped immediately, but they BETTER not cross a pregnant woman. And don't worry - I'm not going to spray Richard with Easy Off!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008


We had our ultrasound on 10/21 and found out - IT'S A GIRL! We are very excited. Greg admitted that he was hoping for a girl. He already has a daughter and all nieces, no nephews, so he feel comfortable with a girl. I think he also looks forward to being really tender with our daughter and having her call him "Papa." Not that a boy couldn't do that, as I tried to explain to him before the ultrasound, but he's just happy. He's not one of those guys who's like "We're going to keep trying until I get a boy!"

We've decided to stay in our 1 bdrm, 800 sf apartment for the time being so we're involved in some major downsizing (again - 2nd time in a year and a half). Ugh. It's daunting. I like my STUFF, darn it! But I don't NEED a lot of it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hello! I can't believe September is almost over and yesterday was the first day of Fall. Traditionally, I struggle with Fall. It's dark. It's cold. Things are dieing. Wa wa. But I'm aware of this, so I'm trying to counteract it by keeping my schedule pretty tame, exercising, and reading inspiring materials.

Speaking of inspiring materials, I just got a media kit from Margaret Becker's booking agent. I'm trying to bring her conference, "Coming up for Air", to the Portland area. Maggie B has long been a favorite singer of mine & now she's written 2 books and is a speaker. Her fee is less than I thought, but will still require a step of faith - and lots of planning. So I'm praying it's God's will for her to come to the Northwest!

The pregnancy is going along fine. I'm really tired - haven't quite caught that "2nd wind" that some people say you get in the 2nd trimester. Oh well. It is what it is. Greg is still looking for full time work, either at UPS or elsewhere. If he doesn't find something, I'll go back to work just as soon as I physically can and Greg will be a stay-at-home dad! That'll be different, eh?? He'll do an awesome job though. But pray for full time work for him because we both really want me to be able to stay home, at least for a few months.

Christianna is busy working and starting school. She and Sanchez are still living with her mom, but they have plans to move out soon.

The Spirit at the Mountain event was really fun. Just before the last chorus of my first solo, the sound went completely out - mic, music, everything. But I just kept singing! I finished the song and then we figured out what the problem was & went from there. It was so fun to sing with Amy! I'm hoping we do more of this kind of thing together.

On October 3, there is a women's event at our church called "Draw Me Close." It's a time of reflection, relaxation, and togetherness. Oh yeah - dinner is served too! If you're in the Portland area, I invite you to come. It's October 3 at 6:30 at Mt. Scott Church of God, 10603 SE Henderson, Portland, Oregon 97266. Tickets are $5.

Have a great week. Know that God is God, no matter what your circumstances, and that He is always with you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So the internal software we use at work is "down" (who knows what that really means - gremlins, some IT person hitting switches 'cuz they're bored?) so I'm taking a risk and (dunn dunn dunn......) BLOGGING AT WORK! Shhhhh!

It's been almost a month since my last entry. Wow. I was so OCD about updating and then this happened. Let's see - what's going on? Greg and I had an appt last week and we heard the baby's heart beat. We heard it back at 6 weeks, which was amazing in and of itself, but there's a huge difference between 6 weeks and 14 weeks! The heartbeat was strong and fast, as it should be at that age. The doctor had a hard time finding it because the baby was turning flips! Greg said, "Well, she'll have your hyperness and MY good looks and wit!" He's been so awesome through this whole thing. He insists on coming to all my appointments, getting me things I "need" (the other night, it was powdered donuts & chocolate milk at 10:00!), and basically putting up with my mood swings. I think that's a full time job in and of itself.

Sept 6 was my friend Amy's CD release party. We all get dressed up & went to a coffee shop in NE Portland that she had tirelessly transformed into an orange ballroom! There was even a candy table that had only orange candies on it. You'll have to go to my Facebook page and look at the pictures. Just either google Charlotte Kammer or go to Facebook and search by my name. Anyway, it was a realization of her dream, and to an extent, a realization of MY dream. I'm so grateful she gave me the opportunity to join her. And now, we are both singing at a Christian music festival called "Spirit on the Mountain" this coming weekend in Welches, Oregon. We sing Saturday morning from 11 - noon. Come join us!

What else? Oh. Something kind of sobering. Greg was involved in an accident this weekend. He is ok, as is the other driver. But the other driver apparently just stopped abruptly on the freeway and Greg rear-ended her car. It appears to me that our car is totaled, but Greg says he can fix it. If anyone can, he can. He has an amazing talent with cars. The whole thing has left me a pile of raw nerves. I just can't handle much these days so I've been just kind of shut down for the last couple of days. I did get 12 hours of sleep last night, so I think that will help my perspective.

Ok, folks. They're telling us our software is back "up" so I better call this quits for now. Take care!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I haven't blogged in awhile because they just put out a new policy at work that we can't update our blogs at work. We can't do anything blog-related, like leave comments or view them. But I'm bucking the system right now just to let y'all know I'm doing ok. Just ok. I've always considered myself an honest person, especially where feelings are concerned. People say they want honesty, but oftentimes, they don't. They just want to hear that everything is awesome. Well, for me, it's not. It's very difficult to be off my anti-depressants. I have more sad days than glad. I am out of control of my body and my emotions. I have many, many fears about having a baby and sustaining him/her financially. Yes, I wanted this. I can be happy that I'm expecting, and yet still be worried. I try to "give my burdens to the Lord" but it's not always that easy. It's just a hard time right now. Not bad - just hard. Have you been there before? I imagine you have because I think it's part of life, these ups and downs. Through it all, God is God and He will not leave me. That is the basis for my getting up everyday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm kinda tired of talking about myself! What's goin' on with all you guys?? Tell me a story!

Monday, August 4, 2008


I had to share this blog entry from my mom's blog Hezzy's Hangout. I'm so touched and humbled by her words.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

34 Years Ago
34 yrs ago my life changed forever. My daughter was born & God smiled at me. He knew eventually she would lead me back to Him. He had a plan. I followed it. I'm saved. I started back to him almost immediately by His miracle gift to me ever so thankful. He knew I wouldn't be attending church or teaching her about His Word & Way... He knew the hypocrisy I had witnessed all my life. He knew the feelings of inadequacy. He knew of my pain .....and He knew she would lead me back to Him. He never gave up on me. He used her to bring me back to Him. So He waited. She found Him w/o my help. He knew she would. He called to her. She listened & found Him. He saved her. She was ready. She made me cry- not sad tears- just the opposite. I am forever grateful she found her Heavenly Father whether it was on her own, doesn't matter. She found Him & that's all that matters. He became very important in her life. And I followed by her example. He lead me to Him through her. She is partly responsible for my salvation. My life was changed forever on the day she was born. It would lead to my coming back to the Lord. It would lead back to my salvation. A mother's Love. A Father's gift from above. He never gives up on us & He uses other people in our lives for His plan for us. I cry happy tears for on the day she was born, I was reborn onto the path back to Our Heavenly Father. She's been my angel here on earth. Thank you, Charlotte. Thank you, God! xoxo
Posted by hezzzy at 10:40 AM


Yes, my birthday was yesterday. I'm now officially 34! (I've been saying I'm 34 for like the last 6 months, not on purpose - just not thinking it through) Friday night, I hung out with TJ and Kell at TJ's house. It was very relaxing and wonderful to be with friends. Saturday was Carlita's funeral. It felt like her service had pieces of her personality, but the sermon part was confusing to me. It just didn't "feel" like her. Plus, I'm not ready to put her death in a nice box with a bow on it and put it on the shelf. I'm still working through it so I'm not ready to say "so-and-so is closer to the Lord now so that must have been why she died and therefore it ok." I don't know if I'll ever agree with that.

Back to birthday fun. Please.

Saturday night, Lisa & Kell took TJ and I out for dinner. It was so fun! I haven't done that in a long time! We went to Claim Jumper. None of us had ever been there. I recommend the mud pie, of course! We talked politics, sex, religion, motherhood. Very refreshing.

Yesterday, we went to church and had a really insightful, relaxing worship time. Michael, Andrew, and Daniel Ryan are a brood of brothers who are so musically talented, it's sick! AND they have a sensitivity to the Lord's leading that I don't often see. There was a moment during worship where I just told God, "Worrying about ANYTHING (baby, housing, etc) does me NO good. I'm handing this over to you." Now, that phrase has sometimes troubled me because it sounds so ambiguous. How does one "hand worries over?" However, yesterday, I did feel a weight lifted when I made the decision, so I have to think that at least for yesterday, I did actually trade burdens with the Lord. His is light. Who wouldn't prefer that??

After church, Greg and I just hung out all day. Jeff, Kelly, and the boys came over for a bit. Joelfre and Wilman visited in the evening. It was simple. And lovely.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I had a consultation with the doctor yesterday regarding my fitful sleep. When you go to the doctor, you expect him/her to have the solution, or even several solutions. Such was not the case yesterday. He basically said that it's too early in the pregnancy to take any drugs, and I don't want to anyway. At one point HE leaned HIS head on MY shoulder and said, "I'm sorry - I feel so helpless." Argh! So last night, I tried a different approach. I woke up at the following times & durations:
10:00 - 5 min
11:00 - 5 min
11:30 - 5 min
2:00 - 5 min
2:30 - 1 hour (Conan's on at 3! Who knew??)
5:30 - 5 min

At first, I thought, "Great. Here we go. Yet again, I'm going to be up all night." But then I decided to think of it as a game or something that was happening to someone else or something that just my baby and I were experiencing together - like a secret or something. I started to look at it as part of the process of her (or him) becoming a whole person and doing so in a way that she will be healthy and strong. It actually helped.

One good thing my doctor did remind me of is that estrogen is an extreme "personality." Once the estrogen crashes, it's Cry Cry City (like Bear Bear City for you SNL fans). He cited a study that was done on MALE med students. They were given estrogen steadily for 6 weeks and then they were cut off suddenly. The crash caused ALL of them to go into depression and 2.5% of them were on suicide watch! Oh my word! So the weepiness will have to be accepted too. It doesn't mean I don't want the baby or that I'm not grateful; it just means that I'm going to cry a lot for awhile, and then later, I won't cry as often. I'm still working on accepting the tears. They are disturbing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This week has been a challenge. I have a lot of fears associated with becoming a parent. And it seems like everyone has advice. Sometimes, that's great. Other times, it's like I just want someone to listen, ya know? I have great friends and they all listen, but some people who are not as close to me, and who have good intentions, tire me out and overwhelm me with all of their advice. I knew this would happen, but it's just affecting me right now.

Greg is my rock. When I get nervous about something regarding the baby, he reminds me that God ordained this time to be THEE time for us to be pregnant. Greg reminds me that God will take care of our every need. The biggest worry on my brain right now is where are we going to live? I'm starting to have that nesting feeling that many mothers get, but I don't feel I can nest where we are because we are moving before the baby gets here. At least, that's the plan. I don't know. I just don't feel like anything is settled or calm. There is a lot of transition right now and in the months to come.

I like change. Change is good. And I feel like I'm getting closer to the Lord because I have to rely on Him more right now than perhaps I felt I had to before. I was home from work yesterday and caught Joyce Meyers on TV. I'm not a fan, per se, but I did listen to her sermon. It was all about God's love for us as individuals. She said to look in the mirror and say "God loves you." That sounds kind of "Stuart Smalley" to me, but it did stike a cord. (I didn't actually GO to the mirror, but I did say it to myself.) God loves YOU. God loves ME. So much so that he rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

We have a friend whose 4-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with Leukemia. She is having to undergo chemo and the whole bit. Why do people hesitate to tell people they're pregnant before the end of the 1st trimester? I mean, bad things can and do happen all the time. Sounds pessimistic, I know. But my point is that the fact that bad things happen reiterates the point to me how much we need to cling to the One who is ultimately in control. I don't know why Carlita died at 39. I don't know why a 4-year-old has Leukemia. I don't know where we're going to live in the coming months. I don't know if I'll be able to stay home with my baby. But I do know the One who knows. And He has to be enough for me.

Friday, July 25, 2008


On Tuesday night, my friend Carlita died. She had been battling brain tumors and they recently found more on her spine. Her daughter, Madeline (15), and her husband, Aaron, were at her side. She will also be missed by her 4-year-old son, Micah. What do you say when a 39-year-old wife, mother, sister, and friend dies at such an early age? Right now, I can only say I will miss you. You were special. Your smile lit up a room and your sense of who you were was inspiring. You had a curiosity that showed how intelligent you were. You were a Christian, but never in a disengenuine way. You had a hunger and thirst to be closer to God. And you always had a smile, even the last time you came to church, which was just a month ago. We laughed about how awesome your hot pink kerchief was! I wish I'd had more time to get to know you better. I will miss you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Jojo, Jen, Weeza, Jerm, and I all went to a restaurant last night called "Fire on the Mountain." They specialize in chicken wings. The night prior, they had emailed everyone on their email list saying that on Tuesday, wings would be 25 cents a piece! WHA?? HUH?? I'm not a wing fan, necessarily, but that's cheap! Or cheep, if you prefer! And I found out that they give pregnant women FREE chili cheese fries! Don't worry, I didn't partake. It actually kinda makes my stomach turn. But isn't that cool that they offer it?! would you PROVE you're pregnant? Anyway, if you have a hankering, check out Fire on the Mountain!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Parker Michelle Yoo was born on June 30th. She is doing so well! She knows what she wants and she wants it RIGHT NOW. But once she gets it, she's good to go. Sounds liker her Auntie and her mom! :-) I love you, Parker dear!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Please to enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Greg and I celebrated 10 years yesterday! Can you believe it?? I should say, Greg, CHRISSY, and I celebrated 10 years. We became a family, officially, on July 10, 1998. Chrissy was 9 years old. She was so beautiful as my Jr. Bridesmaid. She smiled the whole way down the aisle and didn't wrinkle her dress all day! :-) After the ceremony, we were all outside in the receving line. I looked down at Chrissy, who was right beside me, and she was crying. I immediately became concerned and asked, "Sweetie, what's wrong?" She looked at me and said, "I'm - I'm just so happy." That was one of the most precious moments of my life.

And here's another precious moment. I asked Greg if I could share this with all of you & he said yes. Here's what he wrote on one of my anniversary cards yesterday:

Hi mama,
I know I'm young and very little, but I wanted you to know that I love you. I'm gonna hang on real tight and grow big and strong so that I can be with you and daddy. I love you.
Baby Ain't Born Yet

I'm married to the most wonderful person on the planet. I feel sorry for y'all because I got him! :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What. Is going. On.

I work in sales, specifically telephone sales. I sell classified ads over the phone. 95% of our business comes from people calling us to place an ad vs. us calling out. So one would think it is safe to assume that when people call us, they are doing so because they WANT to. Today, I have had nothing but people who sound anything BUT happy to call me.

It started at 8 this morning with a complaint call from someone whose primary language is not English. Apparently, they called in last week with changes to their ad. My associate read back the changes at that time, but the customer called today to say that the changes are incorrect. Oy! My associate isn't here today so I took the call. Oh man - you can be SURE that I read EVERY detail back to her. I made NOTES in the computer. I told her EVERY stinkin' paper her ad is going to be in. I read EVERY date it's running. If she calls next week saying it's wrong, I'm going to freak out!

Just now, I had a call from someone who wanted to place a garage sale ad. They usually range in price from $15- $30, depending on how many lines the ad is. Well, this ad was quite lengthy and as she spoke, I could tell she was JUST IRritated. So as we went, I tried to be extra friendly, saying things like:

Yes, we usually can't do that, but I'll make an exception for you, is that S as in Sam or F as in Frank, how do you spell that, let me read this back to you so that I'm certain I get it exactly right, etc.

At the end of me typing the ad, I told her the price would be $31. She shouted, "Forget it!"

I said, "Would you like to shorten the ad to reduce the cost because we certainly can do that."


I said, "I don't know if this helps, but it's my understanding that THAT paper hasn't raised their rates since the 80's. We hadn't either, until this January. We just couldn't continue to give away ads. We're sorry."


I said in a very friendly, empathetic voice, "I hear that you are frustrated. What can I do to help?"

"Well, this isn't very USER-FRIENDLY."

I empathetically said, "I understand. How can we improve the process? We really appreciate your suggestions and we want to make this better for you."

She goes, "JUST FORGET IT!"

Ok. Folks, when you've had a bad day or the heat is getting to you or you've changed 5 poopie diapers or your debit card was stolen or WHATEVER the issue is that's put you in a bad mood, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try not to take it out on a service that YOU called and that YOU want, especially when that service is REALLY trying to work with you. Remember that on the other end of the phone is a person too, just like you. Let's treat each other well. We're all we've got!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


It's amazing! It's wonderful! It's almost unbelievable!

We found out on the 4th of July, which is a special day for us because that's when Greg proposed. It's also one week before our 10th wedding anniversary. I did a test the night before & it was positive. But I didn't believe it! So the next morning, we took another test. It too was positive. Greg and I sat there and stared at it.
Me: Should we believe it?
Him: I don't know. Should we get another test?
Me: I don't know. I think we can believe it, right?
Him: Yeah. I think we can believe it.
Me: YAY! Now I can cry! (tears of joy, of course)
Greg's been carrying that 2nd test around with him ever since!

We are so thankful that God has blessed us with a pregnancy. (I can't even believe I'M typing those words!) Please pray that it is a healthy, viable pregnancy and that the baby is born happy and healthy in late March! Thank you all sooooo much for your prayers and encouragement these last 2 years. We are shocked and overjoyed. Oh. And we already "know" it's a girl.

Friday, June 27, 2008


This weekend, we will be celebrating the recent nuptuals of Scarlett Pedersen and Hunter Sims. They met at Tulane University in New Orleans, and that's where they got married in May. They are so considerate! They are having a reception in the Northwest for those of us who either couldn't make it down South or, as in the case of the Grants who DID go down South, just want to have twice the fun!

Congratulations, Scarlett and Hunter! May you have many years of happiness! And may you be each others' best friend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Life is precious
Life is sweet
Goodbye to Aunt Edna
Happy Birthday to Jackay
Welcome Parker in mere days
Let things go when possible
Life is good

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sparkling eyes
Reading the paper everyday
Blue jacket always
Hot cup of tea
Always observing
Smart as a whip
Loved a good joke
Shoulders humped
Sparkling eyes

We will miss you, Grandma Dorothy.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Houston, we have an egg. Come in for a landing.*
*You've GOT to keep your sense of humor, people!

The doctor's appt went well last night and, yes, we have an egg. One more ride around on this roller coaster. It's like when the roller coaster allllmost comes to a stop. You're ready to get off. You're already thinking about what ride you want to get on next. You say things to your riding buddy like, "That was fun" or "Let's do that again" or "I think I'm gonna be sick". All the while, the ride is slowly coming to a stop. Or so you think. All of a sudden......WOOSH! The carnie decides to put the hammer down and send you flying again. (wait. Did I just compare God to a CARNIE?? Greaaat.) So we're flying now, waiting to see if we'll get pregnant or not. Hang on......WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Boy, I was wiped out on Friday from a confrontation with a coworker, and I can't seem to get out of this funk. I had made a lengthy (& apparently loud) announcement over the intercom, and this guy came to where I was and got in my face about how unprofessional I was for doing so. Mind you, this was for a fundraiser that we'd been having at work for 2 days. I just kind of felt like that saying "No good deed goes unpunished."

The other thing that has me down is this whole baby thing. Greg and I are both ready to give up. I told my friends last night when we got together at Dairy Queen (nothing like drowning sorrows in a hot fudge sundae!) that I would rather give up than have hope because with hope, you're constantly up and down. We have eggs! We're still not pregnant. We have eggs! We're still not pregnant. We have eggs! You get the drift.

On that note, I have yet another ultrasound this Thursday to see if I have eggs. I mean, of course I HOPE I have eggs, but I really hope to be off of this roller coaster one way or another.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Check out what we're doing today...... too much fun!
2nd annual Community Classifieds Rose Parade

Click on the link and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

AHHHHH......THE RECORDING STUDIO (said in a mellow tone)

Me, hamming it up in the studio!

I absolutely LOVED going into the studio this past weekend. Thank you, Amy, for giving me the opportunity! Scott at 57th St. Productions was incredible - so patient & encouraging. The 4 of us (me, Julee, Suzanne, & Amy) had nerves before we got to the studio and he put us all at ease. Actually, it's funny - I wasn't TOO nervous. As we were driving to Monroe (outside of Seattle), I told Suzanne, "I bet I'm gonna cry in the studio." That's who I am - that's what I do. But the crying isn't associated with nerves - it's associated with singing in front of so few people and feeling exposed. Fortunately, Amy MADE us :-) rehearse for several months so I felt really confident with my parts.

Songs we recorded:
  • More than You'll Ever Know - originally recorded by Watermark. All 4 of us sang on this one.

  • I Think of You - an original written by Pastor Bruce Hill of Foothills Foursquare Church in Monroe, WA. Bruce and his wife, Esther, were really supportive of all of us. Thanks for the lemon bars! All 4 of us sang on this song too.

  • Magnifcot (Mary's Song) - an original written by Amy's friend, Dana (sorry, don't know the last name). Duet with Amy and Suzanne. Beautiful, chanty song. Takes you to another world.

  • As the Deer - Traditional hymn. Duet with Amy and Julee. Beautiful harmonies.

  • For Such a Time as This - originally recorded by Crystal Lewis. Amy and I recorded it as a duet. This is a deep, introspective song about taking risk and blowing the doors off of our comfort levels. Scott turned off the lights and lit about 25 tea lights around the studio to set the mood. If he was trying to conjure up emotion (don't worry-he wasn't), he didn't need to - Amy and I kept having to take breaks because our voices were cracking. The first time it happened, Scott said into our headphones like the voice of God, "Kleenex is coming." So sweet!

For Such a Time as This has special meaning to both Amy and I. We have had similar musical journeys and this just seemed like a pinnacle, especially for her. Pinnacle isn't the right word - more like that recording this album was what she was meant to do at this time in her life. After selling her house, quitting her job, & moving to London for a few months to refocus, she came back ready to do this. That was about a year ago and now she's done it. How inspiring!

We thought we might be in the studio Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but things went more quickly than we anticipated. We were done by Saturday at 4:00. I TOLD Amy I was a one-take wonder! wink wink

I discovered a lot of things about myself.

  • I yearn for the companionship of Christians who are genuine, yet gentle.

  • I am actually a "moving" person. What I mean is, I like to move: stretch, run, leap through the air, tip over the side of an exercise ball, etc. Sitting at a desk all day is becoming increasingly more difficult.

  • I really adore animals. Granted, I was a little scared of the chickens (they came running for me when I went out to my car to get something - I kept TELLING them I wasn't their mother, but they didn't care - they wanted food!) The chihuahua and I got along very well. The cat wasn't so impressed with me, but that's ok. I still took a couple of pictures without him knowing it!

Most of all, I learned that I want to seize the day. Ok, so I've really always known that about myself, but this trip just really drove it home. In fact, Amy and I are talking about some really fun possibilities that I hope to share with you soon! Until my next post, do your own seizing of the day. Explore your passions. Discover what you love. And then take a step to be involved in it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Cali was great! Wade & Evie were wonderful hosts. They made us feel so welcome. And they fed us like we were kings and queens! Their home is very inviting. We visited a ton, which was nice, especially for me, because with the exception of Alanna, I didn't know Greg's siblings very well. We played games, watched movies, took walks, played with Chloe, the dog, and hung out. Simple. Relaxed. Family. Beautiful.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Wow. Has it really been almost 2 weeks since my last blog?? A few updates:
WEIGHT LOSS: I'm in the 280s now! Woo hoo! Granted, it's 289.4, but I'll TAKE IT! I'm still going to the gym a couple of times a week, and ice cream is still a weakness for me.

SINGING: What a weekend of singing I just had! Saturday, I sang The National Anthem at the American Heart Association's annual Heart Walk. That was really fun. There were about 3000 people there, and the weather was beautiful. Sunday, I sang a solo in church. It was a song that I had wanted to sing ever since I first heard it 5 years ago. I also sang on the worship team. So much fun!

MY CHRISTIAN WALK: The sermon yesterday was really good, which was a nice contrast to what felt like a beating up during the week. I think satan tries to get us down sometimes and we get in trouble when we start to believe the lies. Yesterday, the lies were set to the truth and I found some peace. I love the song we closed with, "I Surrender All." Even though I don't "have what they have" (they, meaning those who have babies, a house, a high-paying job, more money than me, etc), I can rest in Jesus & give all my worries to Him. My job is to be faithful to what He asks me to do (in His still, small voice). The results are up to Him. Listening for him. That's what I'm working on this week.

TRAVEL: We are getting ready to go down to California this weekend to spend time with all the Kammer siblings. I'm a little nervous just because we'll be doing a lot in the water and my body is not where I want it to be. But, I'm not going to let that stop me from having fun and being myself.

I hope you readers are doing well and recovering from our heatwave (if you're in the Portland area, you know of what I speak!). Life is good.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Argh! Someone has hacked into my hotmail account and hacked me right off! I hate that! They did this a couple of weeks ago, too. And it's someone whose 1st language is not English so then I worry that I'm unknowingly getting involved with some Nigerian bank scandal. Ugh. So if you get an email from me that A.) isn't written with proper spelling or grammar, and/or B.) is recommending you go to a web site for products or services, and/or C.) has a ton of people on the "cc" list, PLEASE DELETE IT! And then run a virus scan.

I'm taking measures to make sure this doesn't happen a third time. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully, the only thing these phishers will catch is my wrath!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Weekend of Ups & Downs

Friday night, Greg and I went down to Salem to meet Kristen & Matt, who were in Salem for Matt's graduation. It was fun! I swear - we drove around Salem for an hour just looking for a cool place to go. It was late - about 10:00 - so after we didn't find anything cool, and after Greg had stopped at Rite Aid to ask where stuff was (it ended up being closed so it was no help at all), we ended up at good ol' Shari's. They didn't disappoint, meaning the Shari's experience was as weird as it usually is. We wanted to toast Matt's graduation so we did, but with PLASTIC cups. Then, we were sitting there in a deep conversation, and the waitress comes over with a huge garbage can and a hose, leans down right by Matt and Greg's feet, plugs in the hose, and starts vaccuuming! Kristen could NOT stop laughing. From there, we went to Winco to get some medicine for Kierra. The ONLY reason I mention something as exciting as a stop to Winco is because I started taking pictures in the store, despite Matt's objections. He was like, "Seriously? We're in the grocery store." I go, "Well, I'm sorry. I take pictures of what we're doing and this is ABOUT as exciting as our evening has been!" We all laughed.

Saturday, we celebrated Damian's 5th birthday. There were about 20 people there. Scott planned the games (pinata, jedi training, and treasure hunt) & Tae-Ja and her mom did an awesome job on the food!

The rest of the weekend was tough for me. Greg and I were going to take a pregnancy test today, May 5th, but by the 2nd, it was clear we would not need to. I was fine with it until I sat behind a newborn baby in church. We ended up leaving before the sermon began. Then, I saw babies everywhere: the library, the grocery store, etc. So that made for a hard day. But thanks to Greg and Kelly, I'm feeling better today. Greg always talks me down from my ledges. And Kelly gave me a little gift bag with spa goodies in it. She also invited me over & it was so great because she set up a foot bath for me and we gave ourselves pedicures & facials & watched The Office. It was a "tiny piece of heaven" as Hezzy says. Today is a new day, and God is still God. He knows what the plans are for our family. I trust in Him.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It's Thursday morning. Wish it were Friday. 7:55 is too early to be thinking, let alone too early to have been at work for an hour already. Got a lot on my mind. Got God on my mind. Justice and mercy. Mercy and justice. I hope I have more mercy than justice. Got friends on my mind. We all have struggles. Pray for one another. Be there for one another. There is power in sharing troubles. There is power in fun. Have fun today! That's my goal. And I'll get right on it just as soon as I wake up.

Monday, April 28, 2008


This weekend was so great! On Saturday, Nicole and I went hiking with BBBS. We met at the Audobon Society and went into Forest Park. We had a guide, who was very knowledgeable and let us go off the trail. We even fished! I'll post some pictures later on tonight!

We also found out that we are going to California for Memorial Day weekend (thank you, Wade & Evie). That means I'd better let these alabaster legs see some sun in the next few weeks! They won't know what sunlight is! I'm kind of nervous about going, just because I'm faaaaar from my weight goal, and there's going to be a lot of time spent outdoors. Wade & Evie have a boat & they love to go out on the lake. They also have a pool so we'll spend time lounging. I don't want my weight issues to diminish the fun of being together! I'm sure I'll buck up and rise above, as usual. I don't let too many things stop me from having fun! :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Yesterday was Greg's birthday. We went to McGrath's Fish House to celebrate; hence the fish on his head. He sure is a good sport. I love him so much! Here are just a few of the qualities I adore in him: kindness, gentleness, great listener, compassionate, safe, fun, reasonable, persistent, consistent, & loving. Happy Birthday, Dovey!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Ok, my coworker just got here & she told me the FUNNIEST thing! Ok, so she went to a lot of effort to find the TV channel that the Beavers game was on last night. She finally found the station & settled in. The game was supposed to start at 7:00 so she started watching at 6:50 - just to be safe. Then, as sometimes happens in Portland, it rained so there were rain delays. So my friend & coworker, who by the way is NOT a sports fan, was annoyed, but thought "It'll be worth it." The sports announcers kept saying, "10 more minutes, 10 more minutes." FINALLY, at 7:28, my friend heard the stadium announcer say "Please remove your hats and stand for the singing our our National Anthem by Charlotte Kammer." My friend sat up in her chair. She positioned her cats so that they could watch. Her eyes her big with anticipation. Then........THEY WENT TO COMMERCIAL!!!!! Guess how long the National Anthem is? 1:30. Guess how long the commercial break was? 1:30. When the commercials were over, all my friend saw was my backside walking off the field! Too funny! So much for my big debut!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Book club was so good last night. I got to meet jojo's friend, Wil from the Dominican Repbulic. He seems so nice. I always marvel at those who speak 2 languages. He endured us talking fast and gossiping. He's from the Domincan Republic so I can only imagine what he was thinking while we were jibber-jabbering!

We are reading "A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers. It's a memoir. I like it because he is sardonic, self-effacing, and uses humor to deal with tragedy. Dave is about my age so I can relate to a lot of what he's writing about. For instance, he auditioned for the first cast of MTV's Real World. He didn't make it, but the whole subject made for very interesting conversation last night. Why do we blog? Why do we put things on Facebook that we would never tell people in person? What is it about "being real" that we only feel safe doing on cyber space? And is that truly reality? (aw geez, I sound like Carrie Bradshaw now...) I believe this is a multi-facted issue. Some of the factors are: children (yes, including teenagers) come home to empty houses after school, more people are in urban areas where a sense of community may be lacking, people just want someone to listen to them, and churches are not community hubs anymore. I think all of this leaves people feeling extremely lonely and vulnerable. In many ways, it's "safer" to have an email conversation than one person-to-person. It lends itself to a disconnected connectedness, or as I would call it, a false connectedness. Anyway, I love conversations like this and my book club friends are awesome to talk with!

We had a birthday cake for Leeeeeeeeza. It was delicious! Jenny From the Block made it. It was white cake with white filling and white frosting. Think Leeeeeeeeza has a thing for all things white?? If you only knew...... Then we had strawberries to cut the sweetness of the cake. The frosting alone was 2 cups of butter and EIGHT CUPS of powdered sugar! Holy sweetness, Batman. But oh so good!

All of the goodness from yesterday has spilled over into today and I am feeling really good. Tonight, I'm singing at the Beavers game. I gave them a list of demands: a star ryder, if you will. Thankfully, they saw the humor in it and said they would drop everything to accommodate me. I told them everything is as it should be! Here's a copy of the ryder. Please to enjoy...
  • A golf cart to take me from the side area to the field (air conditioned, of course)
  • The scent of gardenias to go before me, wherever I go.
  • A 2 quart bowl of pistachios. IMPORTANT: all of the shells have to be partially cracked. It is unacceptable to have a pistachio shell that, try as you might, won't come open because it's not properly cracked.
  • A personal attendant to take my chewing gum before I sing and to give it back to me after I sing.
  • 4 feather pillows for my seat, as well as a protective canopy so that adoring fans won't bother me.
  • Unlimited 1-liter bottles of Diet Coke, hot dogs, & ice cream desserts.
  • A wardrobe attendant to make sure I don't have any wardrobe malfunctions.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"WEIGHT!" I'm still in the 290s!

Huh?? What??? I haven't worked out for 3 weeks (will be getting back on the horse tomorrow) and I've lost weight?? I'm now at 290.7. I've got a long way to go, but I honestly didn't know if I could lose any weight, what with my PCOS and all. I have to say, Metformin is a God-send. My doctor told me it would help me lose weight. I had a hard time believing him because I didn't understand what Metformin did. But the doc was right.

The benefits of weight loss are well documented. Specifically, for me, there's a really big benefit: I have TWO EGGS right now!!! So Greg and I will be busy this weekend! Doctor's orders - what are ya gonna do?? :-) Pray that this is it. Maybe we'll even have twins. The last time I ovulated, I only had one egg so I feel like our chances are better this time.

I'm reuniting with friends tonight and I'm so happy. We need each other, folks. Call someone today who you've been meaning to call but haven't gotten around to it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I got to work today at 6:30. EARLY! And I'm working until 4:30. I need to make up time that I missed due to my cold last week. I would take sick time, but I'm already 0.84 hours in the hole because I used it for the time I took off for my Lasik surgery. Why doesn't every place of business just give you a chunk of Paid Time Off at the beginning of the year and you can use it as you see fit? That makes the most sense to me. We have an accrual system. But my workplace doesn't always do things that make sense. For instance, last Friday, we received an email from HR at the corporate office. Attached was a memo titled "Exercise Plan." I got excited. Was it going to be a discounted membership at Bally's? An in-house incentive plan? Something free? It was none of these things. It was a formal memo stating that if you wanted to take an extra 1/2 hour during your day to exercise, you could. Sounds good, right? Then it went on to say that you would have to make up the time during that week. So I mean, unless you have a really strict boss (I haven't heard of one in our organization), you could already do this if you wanted. My coworkers and I all laughed. Even our BOSS laughed. Someone said, "I would be embarassed to write that memo." I agree. So I'll continue to just go to the gym after work like I usually do, thank you very much.

Friday, April 11, 2008


My friend, Judi, and I just went to the MAC counter at Nordstrom. I HIGHLY recommend it. We both got makeovers and we look fierce! I didn't bring my camera with me, but when I got home, I snapped a shot. Please to enjoy.... Oh! And if you go to the Clackamas Nordy's, be sure to ask for Robin - she's great!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Encouraging Words from a Loving Friend

Be good to yourself this weekend...try to rest and relax and watch somesappy movies and take a nap and give your hubby a backrub and fix a reallygood dinner and sit out on your deck in the 79 degree weather and have some iced tea with fresh lemon in it and count your blessings and don't spend any money and feel virtuous about it

and then decide to spend "some" money and buy a little pot with some mint, parsley and chives to put on your deck and use them to cook with and put some of the mint in your iced tea and sleep in really really late and

Set the timer to 26 minutes and you and Greg go as fast as you can to seehow much you can get cleaned up in 26 minutes and then STOP and go back out on the deck and have some more iced tea.

Then do that thing where the neighbors have to call the police

And have a really good weekend 'cause you deserve it!!!!!


Wanna create
Wanna feel something between my fingers
Something woven
Something paper-y
Something to hold and manipulate
Until it's a new form.

Wanna feel hot and cold
Wanna do that thing
That awakens me
Sustains me
Infuses life in me
Life is short - create.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I got a call from the Beavers yesterday and I'm singing the National Anthem on Monday, April 21st! If you can't make it, you can see it locally on Portland TV. It's going to be on the FSN network. Every cable company has different channels, but on our TV, it's channel 34. Fun times!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I had an eye appt yesterday and my vision is improving! :-) My doctor is happy with where I'm at. I asked him if it it realistic for me to expect to have the same concise vision as I had with my glasses. He said, "That's my goal and it's totally realistic." YES!!!! I'll see him again in a month, at which time we'll decide if enhancements are necessary. If they are, we'll do them at the 3 or 4 month mark. I was just so thrilled that my vision is getting better! I went out and bought my first pair of NON-PRESCRIPTION sunglasses after the appt! I was so excited, I was literally jumping around. Ya see, I hadn't wanted to buy any cheapie sunglasses because I thought it was a possibility that I would have to wear prescription glasses again. So purchasing the sunglasses yesterday symbolized my faith in the process!

Weight Loss:
I have officially lost 9 pounds since January. Yes, it's been slow. And I have a long way to go, but I'm very happy with my progress. With the Lasik, I haven't been to the gym in a good week, but I will get started up next week. I knew the process would be slow. My dad was good to remind me that the weight wasn't gained over a 3-month period, and it's going to take time to lose it. He's right. Plus, my PCOS makes it difficult to lose any weight. So I consider 9 pounds a major thing!

Baby Making (not for the faint of heart!):
Just kidding! It's nothing gross! Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm starting my 2nd round of Clomid today. Eggs, start dropping! I need ya!

Monday, March 31, 2008

A HAWK AND A BALD EAGLE WALK INTO A BAR (because they can't see it!)

Lasik. The word strikes fear in the hearts of some, relief in the hearts of many. Some think the technology is too new, not realizing that the technology is actually almost 20 years old. Or maybe they realize it, but it's still too new for them. And others think "that laser thingy is gonna blow out my eye - I'm not risking that!" Still others enjoy wearing glasses and add them to their wardrobe as fashion pieces. EVERYONE I've spoken with who has had the procedure, has LOVED it and has not regretted it.

If you know me, you know I got Lasik last Wednesday. I was not nervous going in. I thought I would be, but I wasn't. It was something I had been wanting to do for about 3-4 years. I'm glad I waited because my surgeon told me the technology even in the last year has advanced to the point where my astigmatism could be corrected, or at least improved.

Well, we are at the "corrected -not-improved" point. I am seeing better than I was without glasses BEFORE the surgery, but not as good as when I had glasses. Yes, I am frustrated. Yes, I am impatient. Yes, I am developing a hunchback from having to physically get so close to my computer screen at work and my scrapbooking stuff at home. But it's like Greg said when I was whining just hours after my surgery: "Soooooooo you want to see like a hawk and a bald eagle COMBINED. YOU HAD LASER SURGERY ON YOUR EYES! It's going to take awhile." Bless his heart for keeping this diva grounded!

But you know what? I have no regrets. There are a few points of light (sorry - I just watched a Golden Girl episode where President George Bush Sr. came to their house; although, all you saw was his hand so you know it wasn't him!)
  • It hasn't even been a week since my surgery. Vision tends to improve with time after the surgery.
  • I haven't had any "halo" vision or scratchy eyes or headaches.
  • The surgeon can do an enhancement (go in a 2nd time) if necessary.
  • Worst case scenario: I'll have to wear my glasses again. And that's ok. Like I said, I have not regrets. If I hadn't tried, I would have never known.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I didn't even mention that I tried out for the National Anthem at PGE Park on Saturday! Moelfre and Greg were with me. It was so much fun. I hope I get chosen! There was one gal there who had a MINI Chihuahua in her coat. As the woman hit the high notes, her dog would peak out, strain his neck to the sky, point his ears sideways, and just howl. It was so funny! Here's a pic of me singing at one of last year's games. Fun times!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Man, Extreme Home Makeover ALWAYS gets me! 5 minutes into the show last night, I was crying like a baby. And I didn't stop for 4 hours. Ok, so there must be something else going on besides just a sappy TV show making me cry. As I analyzed why the waterworks weren't stopping (I really must stop analyzing so much), I realized there are a lot of reasons. They all led me to the same place for hope: the Bible. Some think the Bible is not the inspired Word of God. Others think parts of it are. Still others say that it is the inspired Word of God, but pick and choose what concepts to believe in. I don't know where I fall in that mix, but I do know it comforts me when I'm down. Here are some of the passages I found comfort in last night. Some are favorites; some I discovered for the first time last night. That's another beautiful aspect of the Bible: the truths aren't new, but sometimes you discover them for the "first time."
  • Zephaniah 3:17-The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
  • Psalm 34:18 (an old fave)-The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
  • And perhaps the one that encouraged me the most-Zephaniah 3:20-At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home.

This last verse is the most encouraging to me, and yet it will rub some the wrong way. I've heard it said that heaven is here on earth and that when we "hope for heaven", we merely exist on this planet. That can lead to an "Eeyore" mentality. But for me, it lets me know that there is more to this life than what our eyes behold and our bodies take in. There is more to life than trying to have a baby. There is more to life than trying to lose weight. There is more to life than finding job satisfaction. There is more to life than __________ (fill in the blank). And because there is more to life, I will rejoice. Heaven is my home. Heaven is my hope. I will hope in the One with whom I will finally be at peace. And until He gathers me, I will rejoice.

  • Habakkuk 3:17-18-Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I just weighed myself and I'm at 299.4. Ho hum. I'm actually really surprised that I gained 2.5 pounds this week! My doctor told me before I started this weight-loss journey that I wouldn't lose a lot of weight because of my PCOS. I guess he was right! But I do feel good about working out. The thing that needs to happen is that I need to have an eating PLAN. Whether that means making sure I always have healthy and tasty options at home or not eating out or cutting out ice cream or or or.......I just have to make some changes. In fact, when I joined the gym, the sales person told me that dietary changes would make a bigger difference than going to the gym! Guess it's time to throw out the tub of cookie dough that I bought on Tuesday!

GOALS for this week:
  • work out 3x
  • make low calorie, high protein food choices
  • discover a low calorie, low fat ice cream alternative

Monday, March 10, 2008


Saturday was the big day! We had 12 participants at the Scrapbook/Project day. Some of the projects were:
  • photo organization
  • scrapbooking
  • making cards
  • file/paperwork/bill organization
  • quilt making
  • mural making
  • wedding crafts

We had so many comments about wanting to do it again so I take that to mean it was enjoyable! The food was great and the field trip to A Joy Forever in Milwaukie was awesome! They gave us some really cute door prizes. Needless to say, Sunday was a vedge out day!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


295.9!!! Yay! I'll take it! That means a weight loss this week of 3 pounds and a total weight loss of almost 5 pounds. Doesn't initially sound like much, but given that my PCOS makes it harder to lose weight, I'm satisfied. I still have a looooong way to go, but I'm happy with my progress today. PLUS, the loss this week happened DURING my Seattle trip where it would have been soooo easy to over indulge.

Changes I am starting to notice:
  • Chest getting smaller, which in my case is a good thing!
  • Enjoying work outs more and more
  • Becoming increasingly aware of my caloric intake
  • Having to increase the speed of my treadmill to get my heart rate in the target range.

All of this indicates.....


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


My good friend, Amy, is cutting a CD in May. This has been a life-long dream of hers and she's finally doing it! She inspires me. She sold her HOUSE to finance the project. No, she's not going to sell it. She's doing it for her own fulfillment and to share with friends and family. I am 1 of 3 back up singers. We had a rehearsal last night, and it was so fun to be part of the creative process. It's frustrating sometimes because you want every idea to be stellar, but that's what creating is all about - trial and error. Or should I say, trial and SUCCESS?? Thanks, Amy, for the chance to be part of your dream!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


We had such a great time in Seattle and Port Orchard this weekend! Here are some pictures to enjoy!

Friday, February 29, 2008


Can I just say that people are driving !Crazazy! today??!!

So I HAD to have some coffee this morning. I usually don't have that NEED, but today, I did. And I had won a Starbuck's gift card yesterday at work. Perfect! So I headed out and go to an intersection by my work that is notoriously crazy. I had my eye on a semi that was going to turn left. I was going to go straight, but I was watching him right beside me in the left turn lane because 9 of his 18 wheels were in my "straight only" lane. So I'm really eyballing him. Traffic in front of me seems to be moving. I clear his wheels and proceed forward. I gunned it in order to make SURE I cleared his wheels. Well, by the time I actually LOOKED forward, I saw that I was running a full-on RED LIGHT! I am so lucky that I didn't get schmucked (or pulled over)!

I was trying to calm down from that incident so I was glad that right after that light is a school zone where the speed limit is 20 mph during school hours. Trust me, when it's before or after school hours, I barrel through the school zones. But I'm very concientious about going 20 between the hours of 7 & 5. So I'm breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in. Breathing out. Getting my barings. Calming down. I look in my rear-view mirror (because I want to prove to myself that I am a safe driver) and what do I see?? No, not a cop, thank goodness. The driver behind me is flapping her arms like she's suffering a seizure. She's yelling at me, glowering, riding my tail. So I smile and point to the SCHOOL DIRECTLY TO OUR RIGHT! The gestures don't stop. She doesn't get it. So she keeps convulsing and contorting and I continued to point and say (outloud, mind you, because you know - other drivers can HEAR you when you're both in your own, closed, moving cars): "It's a SCHOO-OOOOOL ZOOOOOO-OOOOONE." Well, by then, the blessed "35 mph" sign had appeared and I just gunned it. I mean, really gunned it. I think I was up to 50 mph in about 0.2 seconds. I showed her! (aside: I realize I didn't really show her anything and that I still chose to break the law - just not in the school zone - and that I was not being a safe driver when I ran the red or when I gunned it after the school zone!)

Ok. So I collected myself, got to Safeway, and ordered my coffee. I got back to the office without incident, thank God!

I went home for my lunch hour and almost got hit while I was going 40 on a main road (this time, I was following the speed limit!) when a car pulls out right in front of me!!!! I laid on the horn, not so much out of being annoyed, although I clearly was annoyed, but more because I wanted her to see me and TRY not to hit me at that point. She did hear my horn and she quickly high-tailed it into the bike lane. Thankfully, there wasn't a biker there!! So that was a near miss.

At that point, I was literally 2 blocks away from my house. I thought, "Ok, smooth sailing. Nothing more to contend with. The stress is over." Well, the Lord must have thought I needed to REALLY slow down because as I went to turn left into my block, I spotted a neighbor of mine at the intersection. This neighbor is confined to a wheel chair but gets around pretty frequently with the help of her motorized chair and her trusty black lab, Alkaline. Being the safe, courteous driver (& neighbor) that I was, I thought, I'll wait for her to cross the street. It would not be good for me to rip out in front of her just so I can literally go a 1/2 block. That's not good for neighbor relations; nor is it good for karma! (not that I believe in that). Anyway, so I let her and her dog cross onto our street. Well, she didn't know I was there. And she took up the whole width of the road with her chair and her dog. Ok, right about now you're probably thinking I'm heartless and how dare I care to hurry the handicapped? Don't worry - I didn't hurry her. And after all, I only considered LIGHTLY honking. After what seemed like an eternity, she maneuvered her chair off the road toward her aparmtent & I was able to get on with my day. Very carefully, slowly, and courteously.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I'm so enriched by loved ones in my life who email, call, stop me at church, etc just to say hey. These people fill my life with joy and wonder and restore my faith that God DOES love us. It's true that we reflect God's love to one another.

Friday, Greg wisked me away to the beach! We went to Tillamook and Seaside. Of course, in keeping with tradition, we never actually set foot on the beach! But we took some cool pictures and had fun with our "no business talk" rule. What a great day!

Saturday, TJ, Moelfre, and I went shopping at Bridgeport Village (FINALLY got my MAC products), out to lunch, and shopping at Clackamas Town Center. That place is really nice now since the remodel.

Yesterday, I sang in church while Greg did PowerPoint. I feel a real symbiotic relationship when I'm singing and he's doing PowerPoint. I feel a connection with him that is ALMOST musical! Cool! After church, Kelly and I surprised Tae-Ja with an "un-birthday" celebration. Her birthday is in 6 months, so why not celebrate NOW?! We took her to the movie of her choice. Beings it was Oscar night, she chose Juno. Good movie. After the movie, we went to my house where we watched the Oscars. It was fun. I missed Hez. Last year, she and I put on an Oscar party where we dressed up, had ballots & prizes, admission tickets, a red carpet, and a concession stand. I miss her zest!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


One line
Zero babies
5 days, no meds
28 day cycle
One line
Zero babies
99% accuracy
100% chance to try again

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


As many of you know, Margaret Becker is my FAVORITE SINGER EVER! I was introduced to her when I was 15 and fell in love with her immediately. I recently signed up for her blog and I just love it. She has created a section called "Wanna Talk", which is for having discussions about current events or "hot topics." She sets up some guidelines (basically, be civil) and away we go! Her first topic is about the 2008 elections. She asks her bloggers to discuss who they are voting for, why, and whatever else they want to add to the discussion. Margaret endorses Hillary Clinton.

I decided to leave my own blog entry as part of the discussion. Here it is.....

  • Your "Wanna Talk" section makes me appreciate all the more the lyrics to "Honesty." The picture that song paints has done more for my relationship with Jesus than any other element of the faith. How refreshing to see a Christian woman NOT fitting the mold and just blindly voting for a Republican. When I first registered to vote at 18 years old (15 years ago), I registered as a Republican. Since that time, I have always voted on party lines, where candidates are concerned (not always where ISSUES are concerned.)
    But during the last 4 years, I've done a lot of thinking. Maggie, there WERE no WMDs. Osama is NOT in Iraq. What in the heck are we doing there?? NCLB is not working. And this has all been under Republican leadership. So what do I do with these new insights, especially in light of the fact that I love Jesus? Is it as simple as the now-trite "WWJD?" It CAN'T be that simple. However, it doesn't have to be complex, either. I no longer want to vote Republican because "that's what every good Christian does", nor do I want to vote Democrat just to be contrary to the Christian masses (like you said, a dissenting voice).
    But I get overwhelmed with thinking that there is a right or wrong choice and that if I vote for the president who, it will be revealed later, is arm-in-arm with the antichrist, will I be smitten? Smote? Smited? Whatever the word is, I don't want to endure God's wrath if I choose the wrong person. But then, by espousing that fear, I am saying that the salvation of the U.S., and subsequently the world, lies in my hands, which it doesn't. See, right about now, my brain feels like it's got a beanie propeller on it and it's whirling and whirling and whirling and POP! It just burst out of my skull! ha ha! It's just so much to think about.
    Breathe. Jesus is with you. HE is omnipotent. HE is omniscient. HE is in control. Breathe. Be at peace. His peace He gives to me. His peace He leaves with me. His peace will carry me through this decision and other decisions. And the beanie rests nicely on my brain again. THUD. I only hope I don't hear its whirring again until AFTER the election. Or at least until tomorrow.


Greg has decided to try out Daily Plate! Wahooooo! I'm happy for him. He's going to become aware of his caloric intake. I'm also happy that we'll be on the same, well, plate as far as goals go. He freaked out the other day when he opened the fridge and saw that I had purchased (dun dun dun...) V-8 Juice and SOY milk!!! So yeah. Healthy choices are always easier when someone else is making them too.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I just weighed myself and it's 296.8 so that's a loss of 0.8 pounds. Not the best, but not bad either. I will now be weighing on Thursdays, starting this week, because I joined a group through our nurse's clinic at work and she weighs us on Thursdays. It's called T.P.A.Q. which stands for Ten Pounds A Quarter. They've been doing it since the first of the year, but you can join at any time. Delores, the main nurse, is awesome. She has her own weight struggles so she GETS IT, ya know? She goes, "When the bag of chips says 13 servings, you and me only see one serving, huh?" I'm like, "Ohhh yeah." So portion control is still a big struggle for me. So is keeping up with the Daily Plate. But I just keep doing what I can do. I mean, after having weighed in at over 300 pounds at the start of this venture, it's nice to know I've lost 3.2 pounds. Hello! It's the little victories we NEED to celebrate. And any time I haven't GAINED weight, I'm happy.

One thing I did this last week that really worked, is I programmed my iPod Shuffle according to my workout. So I have some slower songs for warm up, 80's rock for weight lifting, fast songs for cardio (thank you, Fergie!), and back to slower songs for floor work. That definitely helped, especially where the cardio was concerned.

So, goals for this week:
work out 3x
Read the intro to the book Delores gave me
Maintain the Daily Plate for one full day
Weigh in with Delores on Thursday


Saturday, February 16, 2008


Moelfre & Greg listen intently to the ranger at Tryon Creek State Park.
Is it moss or lichen? Do YOU know the difference?
Local artist, Baba Wague Diakite, originally from Mali, Africa.
Greg MIGHT not be able to tell you everything that happened in the 1st movie.

Me? Out in the fresh air? Walking? Identifying different kinds of moss and lichen??

Who IS this girl???

This is the new me. The one who not only GOES outside, but actually enjoys it. Well, I'm not gonna go that far YET, but I'll get there.

Moelfre, Greg, and I went on a nature walk today at Tryon Creek State Park, which is this beautiful, lush forested park only 8 miles from our house. Unbelievable! The walk started at 10 and we were done by 11 so it was NOT strenuous. But it was more than I usually do on a Saturday. The ranger, Christal Florion (sounds ranger-ish, eh?), was VERY informative, which was cool. But I did have to laugh at what she said at the end: "I'm reading a really exciting book right now. It's available in the visitor's center, if you're interested. It's called "A Natural History of Moss."

Um. Yeah. THAT sounds exciting.

After the walk and lunch, we went to the 18th Annual African Film Festival at the Kennedy School. Kennedy School theater is really cool because it has big couches, overstuffed chairs, etc. It's kind of set up like a huge living room. Anyway, we had the privelege of listening to an artist/arthur tell us a traditional Mali story. After the storytelling, we saw 2 films: In Search of the Sky King, which was animated, and The Red Glasses. I really enjoyed seeing things from another culture's perspective. The stories today were big on lessons about right and wrong. It was interesting.
This evening, I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the eliptical (as well at 15 minutes on the treadmill)!!!! Do you realize that when I got on that thing 2.5 weeks ago, I could only do 5 minutes!
So all in all, it was a great day!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Now what? I'm so bored. I've surfed all the web sites I want to surf, checked all the blogs I know of, emailed all the clients I can think of, flossed my teeth twice, clipped my nails, done all the faxing I can think of, researched colleges for a friend's little brother, tried to get a hold of Chrissy, emailed back and forth with my mom a bit. I just have nothing else to do. And I still have an hour left to be here. Sitting. At my desk. Doing what now? Ho hum. Well, shoot.