Sunday, December 19, 2010

WAR. What is it good for?

I haven't been posting a whole lot, as you may have noticed, because I've been using Facebook so much. However, this blog is the perfect medium for this topic. I don't want EVERYONE to see my honest opinions - only the chosen few whom I know and trust!

I'm from a small town. The population is MAYBE 3,000. Recently, a 21-year-old soldier from Ronan was severly wounded when he came upon an IED. His left leg was amputated at the hip, his right leg was amputated at the knee. He also lost all of the fingers on his left hand. His family has started a Facebook page for him and the pictures of him in the hospital are pretty shocking. And they didn't even show the main injuries, thankfully.

I don't know this soldier personally, but I know his family. I graduated with his cousin. I talked with her and she is deeply saddened by all of this, naturally. So even though I don't know him, I joined the Facebook group page. The family is very excited that there are almost 1300 group members. They feel loved and encouraged, which is exactly the point.

I am feeling so conflicted about the whole thing. So many of the sentiments are hero-focused: You are my hero. I don't know you, but I look up to you. You are the town hero. You are a true hero. My cousin/brother/friend/dad is in Afghanistan too and you're all my heroes. It's because of you I have freedom.

You get the picture.

And I don't disagree with these sentiments. I really don't. He IS a hero.

He was awarded a purple heart yesterday. The head guy in the marines (can you tell I DON'T have a military background??) came to the hospital and personally presented it to him. There were several pictures on the FB page. All the comments were very supportive: You're amazing! Way to go! Congratulations!

Here's the problem I'm having. Why are we celebrating such a tragedy. Here's this young man who was a wrestler in high school and had a penchant for coaching it even. I guess he was on a tenuous path in high school until about his junior year and he turned himself around. He has pictures on FB from just this May where he was at an amusement park, living life to its fullest.

Then he got sent to Afghanistan. Apparently, U.S. soldiers do a lot of foot patrol there. The Afghani soldiers know this so there are thousands of IEDs, so much so that CBS recently did a story about the large numbers of wounded soldiers, specifcally amputees, coming out of Afghanistan.

Why? Can someone tell me? Why are we there??

I mean the specific reasons. I've already heard that our soldiers are fighting for our freedom, but I don't see that in this case. How is getting blown up in Afghanistan protecting me from another 9/11 IF that is even a valid reason for starting this war.

I'm no war strategist - not by any stretch of the imagination - but couldn't we operate on the DEFENSE rather than the offense? I mean, if a group or country from Afghanistan moves onto our soil in a defensive way, then we'll fight back. I understand that a LITTLE more than this. We are invading this country, scaring their citizens, killing and maming our soldiers, and at the very least, changing the destiny of the young men and women fighting.

From the sounds of it, the soldier from my home town is a fighter. He's tough. He's resillient. He's not one to get stuck in the mire. He is the life of the party and doesn't let much get him down. I'm sure his outlook on life will help him through the journey and what people are saying is true: God DOES have a plan for his life. But a "bigger" plan? That's what so many of them are saying. Is losing limbs a bigger plan?

There is an element here of "we're experiencing this tragedy, we have to make some kind of sense of it or we'll go crazy so we'll say it's better, we'll reward it, we'll box it in a container marked 'meant to be.'" Maybe then it won't hurt so much. I get that. I totally get that. We all DO that.

I just can't bring myself to celebrate something that I find so senseless.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Pictures are coming, but until then....

We waited and waited for a new friend to bring some costumes to us for Bella. First, she forgot them on Wednesday. Then she said she'd bring them Friday. But wait. She decided to go out of the country for a few days. Then she said Saturday for sure. Huh uh. She got back late from her trip. I finally gave up and bought 2 costumes off people from Craigs List: a dog and a mouse. Then, lo and behold, the new friend showed up this afternoon. The costumes she brought were all soooooo darling: 2 giraffes, a leopard, a fairy princess, a hunny pot from Winnie the Pooh, a pea pod (Abby's size and she wore it), and one other one that I can't remember right now. At first, Bella wanted NOTHING to do with ANY of the costumes. Then she finally put the leopard one on. It was the only one that was styled like a coat and not a full body suit. But then tonight, she chose the mouse costume. She was soooo cute. She went to maybe 3 houses. The rest of the time, she was perfectly content to be pushed in her stroller while playing with her flashlight from Gwamma Hezzy.

Abby was the cutest little pea pod! She did really well. She generally does not like her car seat so the fact that she was ok being pushed in it for an hour was great! The weather was very mild, thankfully.

Greg was able to join us this year! Yay! Being that Halloween was on a Sunday night, he didn't have to work! :-)

On a totally separate note, I can't WAIT for the elections to be OVER. I'm soooo tired of the ads and phone calls.

Okay, I DON'T want to end with that mini-rant! Halloween was lots of fun. Oh yeah - Bella ate her first Tootsie Roll. Now THAT'S entertainment!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Yikes. I've been VERY tardy with posting about the arrival of our sweet baby Abigail. She was born on Aug 31 at 1:10 p.m. She weighed 9 pounds and was 20 inches long. Now, almost 7 weeks (yikes!) later, she weights 12 POUNDS! We're so happy that she's healthy and strong. She's already smiling (and SMIZING, you ANTM fans!). She's also trying to hold up her head.

Bella is AMAZING with Abby. She loves to pat her on the head and help us burp her. Bella gets so excited, we often have to remind her to be gentle. "Gentle touches, Bella, GENTLE." Sometimes, her eyes will get kinda crazy and her whole body shakes and we just ever-so-subtly move her AWAY from the baby..... But mostly, she's very helpful and protective. She's always reminding us not to forget Abby!

I'm off work for another month and a half so I'm very excited to be home with the girls and Greg. Though there have been days where I've WISHED I could go back to work! Having 2 girls under 18 months of age is TOUGH. Jojo recently reminded me it's the toughest job on Earth. He's right. But, oh, the blessings! Showers of blessings. That's what my girls are to me.

I'll try to get some pics up and get back to blogging again. Thanks for being patient! :-) Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


It was another great weekend! VERY different from last weekend, but highly enjoyable. I took Friday off from work and went garage saling with TJ and Kell. I got some onesies for the new baby - yay! They are soooo little. Also got Bella a new pair of shoes. That girl LOVES shoes (and all accessories). She may LOOK like her father's twin, but she's got my love of accessories. :) Came home and took a nap, which I don't often do, but I guess being this pregnant will make you wanna do that sometimes. Then, TJ and I went out for dinner. I had been craving my favorite Chinese place, Hong Kong 97 (weird name, huh?) so we went there. Bella and I took Greg to work, but he arranged for a co worker to take him home when he got off at 2 in the morning! YESSSSS. Thank you! That was the last Friday we have to think about that. Come Monday morning, he's "back in the Volvo saddle again."

Saturday was really a family day. We need to have more of those. We hung out together all day. It's so good for all of us to be together. I find I have more patience with Bella the more time I spend with her. She's so sweet. And mischievous. She gets these looks that let us know she is about to do something pesky. And she loves it! It's usually harmless, but we're working on her NOT pinching me.....ahem. Anyhoo, another afternoon nap was had by the pregnant lady and at night, we went to our friend's house. They are out of town. They have AC. We have a key. It was 100 degrees. 'Nuf said!

Today, we went to church. It's been awhile since we went as a family. It was, well, rough. We finally came to the conclusion that it's just not the church for us. So the search goes on....... but we got another idea for the new baby's name....... WE'RE NOT SAYING IT YET! It's just that everyone has their opinions and criticisms and with my hormones raging, I just can't take it! But you'll know when we choose. We will share it with the world! :-) After church, I read, relaxed, and napped. Again, not something I'm used to doing, but I just physically HAVE to right now. This evening, we've been playing, cleaning, catching up on things we've put off. Greg and Bella went for a long walk. I couldn't bring myself to join them in this 97 degree heat!

All in all, a very good weekend. I hope yours was good too!

Monday, August 9, 2010


This weekend, the birthday celebration continued! :-)

Friday night, we took Bella up to Alanna and Del's. They had her for TWO nights! They even took her to the beach. That little sweetie (Bella). THOSE little sweeties (Alanna & Del). So Friday night, I stayed up late and then picked Greg up from work. It's nice not to have to wake Bella up at 1:30 in the morning to do that! :-)

Saturday was a HUGE day! Christine and Kelly had arranged for Tae-J and I to have a birthday DAY, and I do mean an entire DAY! We started at the salon. I got a color weave and cut. I love it. The stylist put blond streaks in my reddish brown hair and then she cut it all spikey and cool. At one point, we both commented on how it felt like she was Edward Scissorhands - - - and I loved it! :-) So dramatic. Meanwhile, my friends got their massages and it sounds like they were wonderful! After we got done at the salon, we went to lunch. Mexican. Mmmmm... It was so good. Then, as if the day wasn't decadent already, we went to the movies AND they bought us treats. My word. We were so spoiled. We saw The Other Guys and we all really liked it. But our moods may have been altered at that point due to the sheer delight of the day! I think I got home around 7:00 so I was pampered for 10 hours. Soooo luxurious. Thank you, Christine and Kell!

That night, Greg and I got movies and a pizza and stayed up late and slept in the next morning. We missed our Bella to pieces, but it was a nice break.

Sunday, we picked up Bella. She had a wonderful time and travelled very well. Her new favorite toy? A small calculator. She likes when I press the buttons and tell her what numbers they are. She's so cute! Anyway, I dropped her and Greg off at home and I immediately went to get Nicole. She and I had fun. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of weeks. We went to Shari's for lunch and then browsed at Michael's for about a 1/2 hour. We always have fun, no matter what we're doing.

So, yeah. A wonderful weekend was had by all. I feel so blessed as I reflect on my 35th year and look forward to the blessings and experiences in my 36th year.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Dad's visit was really fun. We went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook Air Museum, and Cannon Beach. What a fabulous day!


We went to a wedding on July 3. Nicole's mom got married! Sadly, none of the pictures of Nicole or her family turned out. These are the pictures that DID turn out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SLIGHT change of plans

Shortly after I posted my last blog, dad called to let me know that his ride to Portland got his dates wrong and they are actually going to be here TODAY! So yeah, still excited. Just not as prepared......

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So I had all these big plans for this weekend - I was going to take my Little Sister to the Audobon Society for a tour, lunch, and interaction with some big birds. Then I was going to go to an annual slumber party that I had to miss LAST year and was looking forward to attending THIS year. Then Greg was going to have some much-needed, much-deserved alone time at the house on Sunday for about a 4-hr time frame.

One phone call changed it all.

Not in a bad way so don't get all worried! My dad called and said he would be here Thursday - Sunday and could he stay with us? Well, sure! Of course! I mean, he is my DAD! In fact, when I said, "Let me look at my calendar just to see what's going on" he goes, "Whatever you've got planned, cross it out and just put 'Yo Daddy.'" We both laughed. Well, I laughed. He just kind of goes HMPH when he laughs, unless it's a full on belly laugh and then he gets silent, his eyes light up, and his face gets red from not breathing! But that's a different subject.

Anyhoo, so we've changed the plans and got everything set for his arrival. I emailed my aunt, his sister, and got my grandma's chocolate cake recipe from her. I'm gonna surprise dad with it. I also took my lunch hour and an hour after work to go grocery shopping and got some of his favorites. (I promise you - that's the ONLY reason we have 1000 Island dressing in our fridge) I also got a beef roast. I cook THAT so regularly, that I had to actually get a recipe for it on! I'm not really what you'd call a "cook."

So we're all ready! Come on down, Dad! :-) Bella's waiting for your peck on the cheek!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


If you're a keen blog reader, you'll notice that the Baby Countdown seems to have skipped ahead by a few days......hmmmmm.......curiouser and curiouser.....

We have scheduled the c-section for August 31. Yessssss! I'm getting to that point where I'm tired, walking to my car is a chore, and I have to PLAN my bathroom trips in accordance with trips up the stairs for other things. I pile stuff up at the bottom of the stairs and then take it up the next time I have to pee! Hey, if it's not urgent, and really, what IS, then I see no problem with my methodology!

So we're excited to meet this new little one! Still no name, but I'm sure we'll decide when the time is right. Great Scott! I just realized we've shaved a week off of our deciding time...... Okay, time to hit the book Greg's mom got us: "25,000+ Baby Names"..........

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hi all,
I've been inspired by reading my mom's blog and jojo's blog. They are such excellent writers/story tellers! They both fill their blogs with basic, everyday things from their lives. I always feel like I have to wait until something momentous happens before I can blog. That's why there are days (sometimes weeks) with no post on my blog! But hey, here's what's going on in my world!

We officially moved into our new apartment on June 26. I feel blessed because we have 2 bedrooms, a nicer kitchen, and NO TRAIN. I think I've blogged about this before! :-) So why am I not LOVING our new space? I finally figured it out this weekend. There are certain cosmetic things that I don't love. For instance, the carpet is kind of a brown/mauve industrial carpet & it's all over the house, except for in the kitchen and bathroom. I'm a barefoot girl and I just HATE the feel of it. I'm also not LOVING parking RIGHT next to the garbage containers that serve the entire complex, which only has about 15 units, but STANKS! And there are other little things like the floor creaks and the refrigerator whirrrs loudly. But as I reflected on those things, I thought, well all of that is just little annoyances. So again, why don't I love our new space? I guess the answer is that it's not my "ideal space" yet. I don't "want" to be there. I want to be in a 3 bdrm, 2 bath home with modern amenities, lots of parking, and a garage for Greg. I wanted to be in the Ore City duplex, but everything before and after that has been out of necessity. And I know there's a time for everything and we are in what Dave Ramsey calls our "patience time" where we are preparing ourselves financially for a more desirable home in the future. But right now, I'm just struggling with "settling." Have you been there before?

Our 12th anniversary was this last weekend. We had a really good time. We each got an hour-long massage (heavenly) and, thanks to Jeff & Kell, we stayed the night at a local hotel suite. It was a nice getaway. Of course, we missed our Bella, but she did fine with J & K. In fact, she had a blast! When we arrived to pick her up, she was chomping on a full size peach - too cute! And Kell got some fantastic pics of her playing in the wading pool. I'll try and post them when I get them from Kell.

Greg is doing so well with his CPAP machine! It's made such a difference in everything from his energy level to his wit! I used to tease him that he would tell a lot of jokes that were "in the valley" (stink bombs) before he would finally tell one that was "on the peak" (a good one!). Well, now he's just zinging me left and right! And I love it! Mostly, I love that he is feeling better.

I guess that's enough of an update for now. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Hez is all hot and bothered because everytime she's checked my blog lately, she's greeted with the headline "Holey Cream" and she's SICK of it! So for her sanity, and your enjoyment, here's a picture of Bella and Greg from Father's Day. Are you happy now, Hez??!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm a Rosie fan. I don't have Sirius radio so I can't listen to her show, but I enjoy the recaps on Today, they talked about a donut shop in NYC called Holey Cream. Read about it (from

"HOLEY CREAMPete made a stop at the Holey Cream donut shop yesterday to pick up a menu and to try to get them to give them free items (which didn't work). He said they don't have a menu so he wrote down everything they offer. They make their own donuts and then they fill it with their own homemade ice cream. There are 36 flavors of ice cream (Pete wrote them ALL down and read them off!) to choose from. You pick your donut and then you choose an icing to dip it in, either vanilla, chocolate or caramel. Then you pick a topping (oreos, heathbar, sprinkles, etc.) Rosie picked a donut iced with vanilla with chocolate chip ice cream with mini chocolate chips on top. Jeannie picked a donut iced with caramel topped with heathbar crunch ice cream with heathbar cruch pieces on top. Pete chose a donut iced with chocolate stuffed with midnight mud pie ice cream and oreo pieces on top."


About a week ago, I was in a video store renting Child's Play and All About Eve. Strange choices, I know. But this is not your run of the mill video store so it was a great, local place for me to find these particular movies. It was a Friday night, very busy, and there were a few cashiers working the counter. My cashier was a nice, young man who was very patient in trying to figure out my account, which I hadn't used in something like 8 years! The cashier next to him was a young woman who was very hip looking and was kind of bantering with her customer.

I couldn't keep my eyes off this cashier! Why? Was it because she was so beautiful? Or was it her quippy conversational skills? Maybe her cute outfit?

None of the above.

I couldn't stop staring at her because she had a moustache on her upper lip. It was dark, pencil thin, and looked as if it had been drawn in. So as I stole sideways glances in her direction, I heard her customer finally say to her, "Your moustache has me intrigued."

She replied, "UNH! I keep GETTING that! What's the big deal? It's just a moustache!"

Gotta love Portland!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


My dear sweet friend/brother asked me to do a new post so here we are!

Let's see - what's going on?

Ever feel like there's nothing going on, but there's EVERTHING going on?? Nicole and I are having a garage sale this Saturday. I told her we would do it last year, and we never did so this is our year! Man, I can't believe how much crap we have - especially since our apartment is only 800 sf!

Speaking of apartments, we are moving next weekend! Yikes! It's coming up so quickly! We found a 2 bdrm townhouse (2 story) apartment not far from our current place. With the new baby coming, we desperately need the 2nd bedroom. I hope Bella transitions well. She's so used to her crib being in our room, that it MAY freak her out to wake up in the morning and not see us right there. But we're excited about the move. I'm going to have my piano in MY space! (thank you, Griggs, for storing it these last few months)

Things on my mind:
  • "The" oil spill

Our country's sensitivity to the way things are worded

The devastating effects on the shoreline life

The devastating effects, known and unknown, on the people who live there
  • The government's new policy, as of March '11, to only issue electronic payments - no more checks. That makes it so difficult for those members of our society who do not have checking accounts and do not want government-issued debit cards.
  • New baby - names???? We only have a few ideas and we're not in love with any of them!
  • My niece, Peyton, who is going to be a big Kindergartener in the fall. Love you!
  • Bella's cough. Sounds awful!
  • Packing, packing, packing
  • Nappy D with Nicole on Friday night!

Okay, so there's my totally random post! Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Yes, I changed my hair. . . again. I was wearing it up everyday, trying to find the right claw clip for the length it was at, etc. I couldn't get it all up in a pony tail at night so sleeping was uncomfortable. It wasn't as stylish as I like it to be. So I got it chopped. I like it! If you're in the Portland area, you NEED to go to Beverly Payment (yes, Payment). I'll give you her number if you are interested.
(I threw in a bonus pic of Bella - couldn't help myself!)
Note: I guess I STILL haven't figured out the order in which to post pics from my camera to the blog. Sorry for starting the post with the BACK of my head! Sheesh!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SMUCKERS STARS ON ICE. . . with my Lil Sis

Our view was great! Thank you, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, for the ground floor seating!

Gotta love the zamboni!

Nicole, getting ready to ride the MAX train for the first time!

We had a blast!

Monday, May 24, 2010


A little over 3 years ago, I started the process of being matched with a Little Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Nicole and I were matched up in March of '07. Since then, we've had many adventures - we love to shop, bake, and play games. Last Wednesday, we attempted to bake. We ended up dumping the cake pan, batter and all, all over the oven door! We laughed, took pictures, cleaned up the mess, and decided to play Monopoly. What fun! What a treasure I have in her! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Greg sent this email out the other day, and I thought it was so sweet, I HAD to post it:

Hello all,
As most of you know we are expecting another little " eatin'&poopin' " machine. :-) The email on this pregnancy has been a little slow to come out. However, get ready to be informed. We have an appt for May 5th, at which time we should be able to determine the sex of the baby. This should help ease all of your concerns and you will finally know if you are going to be an aunt or uncle!

wait for it, wait for it...

See what I did there? I made a funny. Anyway, expect more details and info as we progress in our pregnancy. So far, this prenancy has been going very well. Char hasn't really been sick much. She is definately starting to get more tired. She has done a great job adjusting. Baby II is growing stronger everyday. All the appointments thus far have been very positive and we expecting and praying for a smooth 4 months to go.

Take care and we love you all,

Greg, Char, Chrissy, Bella, and the littlest one of all

p.s. feel free to suggest boys names, we are a little stumped at this point.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Yes, the baby countdown widget is back! I was a bit disheartened when it showed up saying 133 days or whatever, but hey - that's almost 1/2 way there, right? (I'm pregnant - don't make me do the math)
In other baby news, Bella is getting sooo big. She goes from a sitting position to standing with no help from people or things. She is very excited to have learned this. She is babbling more and more and discovering her voice. She takes 2-3 steps here and there. She LOVES to be chased. She loves to wear necklaces. She holds and lovingly pats her baby doll and her panda bear as she smiles and laughs. She is a true joy.

Monday, April 26, 2010


How in the WORLD did Pandora get from my FIRST choice song, Speechless by Lady Gaga, to The BEACH BOYS????? Sometimes, I question the "intuitiveness" of modern technology.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rest in Peace

Bernie can rest now. He died on Monday morning at 2:00 a.m. with family by his side. He gave his wife a "kiss on the cheek" as he took his last breath. So thoughtful till the end. We will miss you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"My Sweet Dad"

Greg's father is dieing. It's difficult to see those words in black and white. But it's reality. He went into the hospital in late December to have surgery to remove cancer. In the process, he suffered a stroke. But he still had his speech and other functions so we were cautiously optimistic about his chances of survival. Throughout the next couple of months, there was rehab, physical therapy, moving to a nursing home, going back to the ER various times, going BACK in the hospital and then a few days later going BACK to the nursing home. It's been a roller coaster, to say the least. A couple of weeks ago, or maybe it was just last week - I've lost track - we were told that the cancer was not gone and had, in fact, spread to the liver. Not only had it spread to the liver, but the counts were so high, the machine could not calculate the massive amount of cancer. With his fragile health, there is no way his body can handle cancer treatments of any kind.

As of yesterday, he is in a hospice facility. It's really "nice" if you can describe such things that way. We saw him today. They say it might be the last time we see him. But he seemed so good! It's hard to believe that his body is failing when his mind is so much in tact.

He is such a sweet man. I got to tell him that today, through tears. I told him that MY dad has a lot of really good qualities, but that Bernie is my sweet dad. He's always thinking of others. For instance, today the hospice chaplain came in and introduced himself. He asked Bernie if he needed anything. Clear as day, Bernie replied, "No, but what can we do for YOU?" And he meant it. Sincerely. The chaplain was taken aback. I don't think he's used to people asking HIM that. But that's how Bernie is. And that's his legacy. I love you, Bernie.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


My wonderful sis-in-law got some great snaps at Bella's party so I HAVE to share them with you. :-)