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.