31 December 2006

a mother's gift

a mother's gift

i've come to a conclusion. in my short two weeks as a mother, i've learned that breastfeeding is hard. i now understand why so many women give up on breastfeeding after only a short time. before i actually tried it myself, i didn't really get it. i just thought you popped the kid on the boob, they sucked til they were done and that was that. but now i know it's so much more than that. it's not only getting the right latch and positioning but it's a completely selfless, sacrificial act. you're giving a piece of yourself and that is drastically opposite of our human nature. we are programmed to be "ME FIRST! ME FIRST!" kind of people and breastfeeding requires the opposite mentality. especially in the middle of the night. especially when the pediatrition doesn't recommend bottle-feeding for another month or so. there are no breaks in breastfeeding. it's all you...all the time. when the little one wants to eat, he eats. no matter if you're hungry or havta pee, no matter if you're so tired you can't keep your eyes open...when the babe cries with hunger, he eats. sometimes i look over at john, all cuddled up in the covers, blissfully sleeping and i almost want to make a ridiculous amount of noise just so he can't sleep either. but of course i don't. because i realize even in my sleep-deprived state that i'm giving my precious baby boy the best start possible and that breastfeeding is a priviledge...not an obligation. so i'm enjoying feeding my little prince and i feel blessed to be able to give him this piece of me. i thank God that he's a good little eater and that we haven't had too much trouble overall getting the hang of this breastfeeding business. well...i've had some trouble (sore nipples and a clogged milk duct) but my little man does so good...i'm so proud of him. at our doctor's appointment on friday, we discovered that elijah has already gained a whole pound! typically, babies don't gain weight that quickly. at two weeks, most babies have only gained back the water weight they lost during the first few days of life. but my little piglet has already gained that weight back and a pound more! he likes to eat...that's for sure...just like his daddy. :D

we're heading out the door for a brief new years celebration at john's sister's house so i should probably quit here. don't know how long i'm gonna last but we should at least make an apperance. happy new year to everyone...

here's to a blessed 2007...

26 December 2006

blessed quietness...

it's the day after christmas and all is quiet. john's watching t.v. while our precious little son sleeps next to him. it's been ten days since elijah entered the world...i can't believe it. sometimes i feel like i just got home from the hospital while other times feel like he's always been here. what an incredible ride these past few days have been. it hasn't been easygetting used to having this little man around constantly demanding attention...so needy...even when he's sleeping! (did someone say laundry?) but it's such a blessing too...despite the lack of sleep. and i wouldn't trade him for all the sleep in the world.

yesterday was a pretty low key day in the anaya household...and it was greatly needed and appreciated! we spent the entire day just lounging around in our christmas jammies...enjoying our little man...watching him sleep...laughing at his funny faces...sharing the duties of newborn life...it was a GREAT day. it was the first day since we've been home from the hospital that we didn't have to entertain anyone or go anywhere...and for that...i was extremely grateful. because although i'm feeling pretty good...my body is still healing and recovering from my 40 hour labor. i sometimes feel like i'm almost back to normal...then the ibuprofen wears off and i laugh at my ignorance. a 4th degree tear doesn't just heal itself overnight.

today we tried to take baby on his first walk...tried being the operative word here. after feeding him, changing him, getting him all bundled up and put in his stroller, we headed outside only to find that it was starting to rain. so instead of walking to starbucks...we walked around the block and called it good. and it was a good thing we did too since not 15 minutes after we came inside, the heavens opened and a torential (no idea how to spell that...) downpour began. oh well...maybe tomorrow.

i'm going to sign off here...my bed is calling my name and since the little one's still asleep, i might actually get some too. more pictures to come...

19 December 2006

finally...he's here!

finally...he's here!

YAY! he finally made it into the world!

after 41 hours of labor and a lot of "issues" (with me...not the baby...and thankfully nothing serious)...elijah johnathon entered the world at 7.28pm on december 16th. he weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 19 and 1/2 inches long. he is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way! i can't believe how amazing it is...

thanks to all for your prayers and encouragement...we are so blessed!

13 December 2006

argh! disappointment and frustration

well...the doctor didn't have any hopeful news for me today...everything looks the same as last week. i'm officially scheduled to be induced on the 21st...so if nothing happens between now and next thursday...elijah will be born then. we'll almost have the same birthday! i'm hoping and praying that he comes of his own accord because i'd really like to avoid induction...but he can't stay in there forever! so yeah...we're praying that he finally gets the hint and comes out on his own in the next couple days. i'll let you know if anything changes...but until then...we keep waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

10 December 2006

the day after...

it is officially the day after my due date...and baby has yet to make his entrance. not only that but there's not even any signs or symptoms that he'd LIKE to come. seems to me that i'm too good of a home...he doesn't want to leave! i must say...i truly thought he'd be here by now even though i tried not to look at my due date as written in stone. i guess i kinda am disappointed that he's not here yet. i was just reading a magazine this morning about all the different developmental milestones that babies go through in their first three months and i was getting so excited to see those manifested in my own baby...but alas...all i have right now is an empty bassinet and a huge belly.*sigh* everyone keeps telling me and i know it'll be true...that when the baby is actually here i'll be wishing for the simpler days of pregnancy when the only thing waking me up in the middle of the night was my own bladder...but still...i'm ready for him to be here...to start getting to know him...to kiss his sweet little toes...and kiss his baby head. i'm ready...and it's time...so baby elijah...get out here already! we want to meet you!

08 December 2006

and still...nothing

i guess in this case...no news really means no news. baby is still happily kicking around INSIDE my belly despite the encouragment from everyone. and apparently he doesn't want to be born on his grandma's birthday either (it's my mom's birthday today...and while technically he still has a few hours til her birthday is over...i'm just not seeing that happen). my due date is offically tomorrow...so he's not really late...i was just sure he was gonna come early! just goes to show that babies never do what their parents want...even before they're born.

06 December 2006

another update...

i know all of you are anxiously awaiting the results of my doctor's visit yesterday morning. heh... well...i'm sorry to say that the news is quite disappointing. apparently elijah likes his little home! although i'm 1 centimeter dialated...that really doesn't mean a darn thing! like my doctor said...it could be "see you tonight" or "see you next week"...there really is no telling when it'll happen. so...sorry to disappoint...but it looks like it could be a while. then again...i could go into labor tonight! only God knows...
anyways...i'm off to do some more "nesting"...ha! :D

04 December 2006

baby news...

well...no baby...not yet anyways. i just wanted to update all you curious peeps out there regarding the current situation. elijah is apparently VERY content to stay in his little home...and isn't making any attempts to enter this world. i keep poking him trying to make him as uncomfortable as possible...but he just kicks me back (kinda like his dad in that respect). speaking of his dad...john says the reason he's taking his time to make his entrance is because the baby knows how cold it is out here and is waiting til it warms up. uh huh...sure.

i do have a doctor's appointment tomorrow...so if anything changes or he gives me any new information...i'll be sure to pass it along. so until then...

28 November 2006

riverbank: the city of action

it's true. our little tiny town's motto is "the city of action". no one's quite sure where the moniker from...however...there are plenty of theories. one implies that riverbank is inhabited by "loose women" and therefore it is the place to come for ahem...such services rendered. another theory i've heard is what i like to call the "footloose" theory. supposedly, back in the day, modesto (the nearest town) didn't allow high school dances but riverbank did...so the local high school students had to have their dances here in riverbank, along with other forms of entertainment (kind of along the lines of the previous theory). whatever the origins of the title, the fact is that in the two years (almost) that i have called riverbank home, it truly has been "the city of action". for example...the police have been called at least four times for domestic disturbances in our neighborhood. three of them involved the same couple (thankfully the woman moved out...since then their house has been pretty quiet) and the other time was for a child molestation...yikes! on a separate occasion, a police helicopter spent a good fifteen minutes flying over our little block with its search lights on looking for someone while several sheriff cars patrolled the streets with their own search lights blaring. good times. we've also had a flood! last spring, it rained so hard for about thirty minutes that the streets were literally covered with about twelve inches of standing water.

why do i bring all this up you ask? because this weekend we had another evening of excitement to add to our our growing list of disruptions while dwelling in the fine city of riverbank. on saturday night around 10.30pm, john and i were startled by a loud explosion outside our bedroom window. i didn't think much of it actually...i just thought our neighbor was banging around in his work truck or something. but curiousity got the best of john and he peeked out the window only to discover that one of the houses across the street was on fire! smoke was billowing out of the garage and before long, flames were licking up the sides of the house, causing the van that was parked in the driveway to ignite as well. i've never actually seen a house burn before so this was quite the experience. john went outside and watched from across the street...however, i was content to stay inside and watch from the warmth of my bedroom. eventually...before the night was over...seven firetrucks, an ambulance (thankfully it wasn't needed), a police car, the fire cheif's suburban (why do they ALWAYS drive suburbans?) and a boom truck with stadium lights filled our tiny street. thankfully, no one was hurt and most of the damage was contained to the garage and van. the house had smoke damage of course but they think most of the inside is salvageable. we still don't know what started the fire...we assume it had something to do with the explosion we heard...but who knows? houses don't just randomly catch on fire...so it had to be something. we're fairly certain it wasn't drugs (a big problem here in the central valley) because of the lack of chemical precautions taken. and i'm pretty sure it would have made the news if it had been drugs...and so far...it hasn't. anyways...like i said...riverbank has lived up to its infamous name...the city of action. ha!

a quick update about the rest of the holiday weekend...luke was here from tuesday evening to sunday afternoon. gosh...i like that kid! it was great having him here. we didn't do a whole lot but that's really ok. supposedly he likes it better that way. wednesday we took him to the cingular store to get him a phone for his birthday (from my parents...i'm not that generous!). this was his first cell phone...so it was pretty funny watching him figure it all out. while we were still in the store, he was just standing there with it in his hand looking a bit awkward so i asked him what was wrong. he said that he didn't really know what to do with it! i told him to just put it in his pocket and answer it when it rings. he seemed ok after that. :D

thursday we spend mostly at john's parents house. we had mexican style lunch (tacos mexican style...the good kind! my mouth is watering just thinking about them...) and then a more traditional turkey dinner. so i guess i got the best of both worlds. luke had his first "official" beer...since he turned 21 on sunday...we let him fudge a little bit. john and luke played basketball with john's neice and nephew in the afternoon...i wanted to play...but the belly kinda prevents any kind of activity like that. :( oh well...i'll be able to join in pretty soon.

friday we went to go get our christmas tree! after much deliberation we decided not to drive up to the foothills to chop our own down because i really didn't think i could handle sitting in the car that long. so we just drove down the street and picked out a cute pre-cut one from one of the tree farms that are so populous around this area this time of year.

i spent friday afternoon decorating it and then saturday afternoon decorating the rest of the house. i didn't put up as much stuff as i did last year just so i won't have so much to take down later. it'll be a lot harder to deal with with baby i'm assuming...so i figured i could have a little less of a christmas wonderland in my house this year and a little more sanity because of my sacrifice. :D
luke left us on sunday...the sky cried with us. it started raining just as his ride came to pick him up. it was great having him here...hopefully he can make it again in the spring.
anways...that's my thanksgiving weekend...how was yours?

20 November 2006

the most wonderful time of the year...

it's foggy and quiet today. foggy days are almost as good as rainy days. not quite...but prolly at least next in line in the list of "good inclement weather" days. i'm supposed to be cleaning the house...as it is monday and mondays are not only laundry day but also "clean the house" day...but i'd so much rather sit here at my computer and listen to christmas music. so here i am.
i cannot believe thanksgiving is this week. so crazy how time flies. we're still a bit undecided as to what's actually happening on the actual day of thanks. undoubtably we'll be going to john's parents house but we're still not sure if it's going to be crazy mexican style thanksgiving with about fifty people there or just john's parents, sister and her family and us. if i had my way...it would be the smaller version of john's family...but as hispanic families are not democracies (that totally doesn't look spelled right but i looked it up in the dictionary and it is...) my say really doesn't hold much weight. there's nothing wrong with the bigger version of thanksgiving except for the fact that it wouldn't really be thanksgiving. instead of turkey and the traditional fixings we'd be forced to have carnitas (pork cooked in pure lard...and i'm not even joking about the "pure" part of that last statement. it is for that reason alone (and not even that i don't typically even like pork that much) that i refuse to eat them), beans, rice, tortillas and if we're really lucky...maybe a salad. now...any other day of the year...i'm completely satisfied with beans, rice and tortillas (especially if they're homemade!). but thanksgiving is not just any other day of the year. so at the risk of sounding like a spoiled little kid...i'd really like to just have thanksgiving with turkey! is that too much to ask? anyways...i'll stop this rant now...and console myself with the fact that i can have my own mini thanksgiving meal on friday if i want.

another happy thought i could dwell on is the fact that my littlest brother is coming to visit me! yay! it's almost become a tradition...luke coming for thanksgiving...and it is definitely a tradition i would love to continue. when he finishes up at biola the tradition will probably be forced to end since he will most likely not remain in california...but then again...who knows? i like it when my brother comes. we have fun just chillin', listening to music, reading, eating (he likes that part more than i do typically) and the best thing of all...decorating for christmas! (i'm pretty sure he doesn't like that part as much as the eating part...) the pic is from last year when he came up to see us and we went to see harry potter for luke's birthday. we loves our harry potter...yes we do.

this year on the day after thanksgiving we're gonna drive up into the foothills and chop down a real tree...should be fun! last year we just drove down the street to one of those "tree lots" and picked one up there. and although we got a killer tree, this year i wanted to actually chop it down myself. really...i'm not gonna be doing any chopping whatsoever...i'll be watching john and luke do it...but still...it'll be a fun first time. luke's birthday is also this next weekend...on the 26th...so we'll prolly take him out for dinner and a movie or something fun like that. it's his 21st birthday...so i'd love to take him out for a beer...but unfortunately...he's under contract at biola (like most christian schools, they have you sign a contract at the beginning of the year that says you won't drink, smoke, etc.) and since his actual birthday is on sunday...he'll be driving back to biola on the actual day. so yeah...no beer for lukey on his 21st. kind of a bummer...but the beer's not going anywhere...it'll be there when he's not under contract anymore. it'll just havta wait til next time. plus...it's no fun to take someone out for a beer when you can't have one with them. and i definitely want to partake in that with him.
speaking of being pregnant (nice segway...i know), i've only got about three weeks left. um...did someone say yikes? exactly. i'm certainly looking forward to not being pregnant anymore...but the radical life change that's coming still scares me a bit. but i suppose that's completely normal...and i must say...i am excited to finally meet this little man. after so many months of wondering what he'll be like...i'll finally get some answers to my questions...and that is very fun.

anyways...i should really get going. i'm starting to feel a bit guilty just sitting here transcribing my random thoughts onto a computer screen while my house continues to be dirty and the laundry pile seems to grow by the minute. hope this thanksgiving week is relaxing and restful for all...

14 November 2006

christmas survey...and no...it's not too early!

Christmas Survey - Something to get us into the mood a little early...how fun!

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
apple cider please! preferably with a little rum in it...but i guess i'll havta pass on that this year...boo.

2. Turkey or Ham?
turkey! i'm not a pig fan...

3. Do you get a Fake or Real Christmas tree?
last year was the first time i got a real christmas tree in manymany years...and it was so fun! we're gonna go cut down our own this year...

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
if it was up to me...of course we'd have lights up (not any of the cheesy inflatable santa or snowmen though)...but john's kinda lazy...so usually we just have a wreath.

5. Snowball fights or sledding?
both! but especially sledding when you have a rope tow to take you back up to the top!

6. Do you like hanging around the fireplace because it's warm?
um...sure. except our fireplace is ghetto and doesn't really put off that much actual heat...it's more for looks i think. lame-o!

7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
in san fran...YES! in modesto...uh...no thanks.

8. Favorite Christmas song?
oh gosh. this is the hardest question in the world! maybe i could do my top five...in no particular order though...steven curtis chapman's instrumental "carol of the bells" (stinkin' sweet!), jewel's "oh holy night" (who knew she could sing like that?), michael w. smith's "all is well" (what's christmas without boy's choirs?), rebecca st. james' "sweet little jesus boy", and jars of clay "bethlehem town". there are a ton more...but i'll stop there.

9. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
cheesy...but you gotta love 'em.

10. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
never! i listen to christmas music year round! although they are way more fun with the decorations up too...

11. Stockings before or after presents?
always before! silly...

12. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
i've never actually got a chance to listen to them! we were always the ones doing the carolling...

13. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you?
going home. but if i can't do that...it's always nice to have people come to you...

14. Do you read the Christmas Story (Twas' the night before Christmas)?
we always read the biblical version from luke christmas morning before christmas. although sometimes we read max lucado's version of it...just for some variety.

15. What do you do after presents and dinner on christmas?
clean up and just chill...prolly eat more. work on the christmas puzzle...

16. What is your favorite holiday smell?
apple cider (with lots of spices) and christmas tree!

17. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
ice skating please! i hate the mall...

18. Favorite Christmas memory?
luke coming into my room super early on christmas mornings to cuddle while we waited til it was time to wake mom and dad up. i miss my little cuddle bunny! (he would die if i knew i still called him that...ha!)

19. Favorite Part about winter?
everything! i LOVE winter!!!!!!

20. Favorite Christmas decor???
lights, lights and more lights...snowflakes and cranberries and pine boughs...and of course...MISTELTOE!

21. Lights...colored or clear????
clear...always clear. but the red ones can look cool in the right situation.

22. What is the best Christmas gift you ever received?
if i'm gonna be materialistic about it...prolly my telephoto lens john got me last year...but really...it's so not about the presents!

23. What is your favorite Christmas tradition in your family?
just being together...all of us. i miss that.

11 November 2006

it's raining...it's pouring...

i think rainy weather makes me more introspective and therefore...more likely to blog. hence the large amount of blogging this week. i feel like winter is almost here! finally the rains have come...dousing the central valley with wet...turning the fields green and the leaves on the trees yellow. it still has yet to snow much in the mountains...just in the really high elevations but i think that might change in the next week considering the weather patterns heading down this way from the north. yay! i love this time of the year! i'm getting so excited for christmas to come...which is not unusual i suppose but still...it catches me by surprise every single year. this christmas is going to be decidely different...since we'll have a newborn baby and most of our house packed up in boxes but still...i'm not going to let that deter my holiday spirit. i was so excited yesterday when i wandered into our local starbucks and found the store decked out in its finest christmas decor. the peppermint mocha has returned! woohoo! actually...it really doesn't compare to my usual drink (double tall decaf non-fat latte with valencia and extra foam...try it! it's magnificent!) but still...it's a fun diversion that does keep my tastebuds occupied for a while. :) silliness...true silliness i know...but there's just something about the christmas season that brings out the kid in me...and really what's wrong with that? (i'm swimming with the dolphins again mom! sorry...inside joke)
so yeah...we're off to church here in a few minutes. john and i have started going to a church in modesto called big valley grace and they have a saturday night service. we really enjoy the service...and it frees up our sunday mornings for some much needed sleeping in and cuddle time! ;) i really dig the worship...it's wonderfully fresh and not recycled at all...which is so nice. the preaching is right on too...it's just that sometimes i find it hard to concentrate on the message because i'm so uncomfortable in the pew. *sigh* i'm thankful that that won't be a permanent condition. :) speaking of my present condition...starting next week i will be considered FULL TERM! that means baby could come ANY TIME! yike-o-la. most likely he'll wait til his appointed time period (my official due date is the 9th...so within a week or so of that date) but still...just knowing that he could come any time does kinda strike a stressful chord deep down in my gut. i'm still filled with questions...like...am i really truly ready for this? are we gonna be good parents? and the ever present question...how bad does labor REALLY hurt? lol...i know the answer to the first two questions and i know God's gonna guide us through this time of transition...but still...i tend to give into my worried human nature more often than not. something i think i'll always be working on i suppose. and as far as labor goes...i know God's gonna help me through that...i HAVE to trust Him in that because if i don't...i'm gonna have major problems. ha. seriously though...with Him i can do ALL things! even endure hours of mind-numbing pain. joy.
anyways...i should get going. i should probably eat something before we head off to church even though i'm not really hungry. this little one still hasn't dropped yet and he's certainly taking up his share of my insides. i look forward to the day he does drop so i can enjoy more than a few bites of my meals. oh joyous day...

10 November 2006

ooo...the new house!

as promised...here are the pics of the new house! it's not quite finished yet (just some minor things left) and we can't get into it to put our "touches" (like paint and millwook) it til escrow closes (on the 8th of december) so it's a little blah right now. but not for long! anyways...here's some pics i took today. some of them are of the model...just cuz it's way more fun to look at rooms that actually have some furniture in them rather than empty blah rooms! plus we're doing similar colors and millwork to the model throughout our new house. anyways...hope you enjoy!

09 November 2006

yup...number three.

despite the fact that i have a myspace account and a bebo account...i have decided i need an official blog. so. here i am. my blog posts will be the same as my myspace and bebo ones...but i've realized that not everyone has myspace or bebo...or even wants to have pages like that! and it's for those of you that i'm doing this. cuz you're special too! :D anyways...i'm generally pretty good about keeping things updated (that might change once baby comes...we shall see!) so yeah...keep checking back...and happy blogging!

08 November 2006

sittin. waitin. wishin.

waiting...waiting...waiting. that's what my life is all about right now. waiting for our new baby. waiting for our new house. waiting for winter to come. waiting for a new semester to start. waiting for the new year to begin chalk full of new, exciting experiences. so many changes ahead...but i'm just sitting here...waiting. i want to do something...anything really...but praticality holds me back. there's not much i can do to make baby come any sooner...he'll come when he's ready. i want to start packing up for our move but john wants to wait til we have a loan (still in the works), hands to help (my mom and dad are coming soon!) and the keys in our hands (if all goes well escrow should close on the 8th of december). and i completely agree with him on all three points since my body really won't let me do much in the physical exertion category anyways and there's no reason to start packing up this house if the move's not actually gonna happen (which it most likely will...but you never know with real estate). i want to start shopping for christmas presents...preparing for the holiday season to come...but financially and physically...i just can't. i want to assemble my christmas cards but considering the fact that they mainly consist of a picture of baby-to-be...i can't start til he gets here. i'd even love to start on some of my assignments for next semester. anything to jump-start my creative juices. it's frustrating just sitting here...waiting for time to move onward. i guess it's just because there's so many changes coming up in our lives...i'd kinda like to get a head-start. a lesson in patience? i guess so. so many things i want to do...so many things i want to create...to be...to know...to experience. but yet...i'm stuck here...vaguely frustrated with my inability to DO...to do the things i want to do...to do the things i need to do...to do the things i wish to do. a season of waiting...of quiet anticipation...of calm expectation. almost like i'm waiting for my life to start...

06 November 2006

monday, monday.

it's almost ten am on monday morning and although i'm still in my jammies, enjoying a steaming cup of tea, i have started the laundry and cleaned up the kitchen so i feel like i've got a little bit accomplished for the day. it's kinda hazy here in riverbank this morning...and although it's supposed to reach the mid-seventies this afternoon...it's still not even sixty degrees so i've got all the windows open, taking advantage of the cool breeze. being almost full-term...i'm always hot. it's like i've got a little heater stuck to the front of me. i'm so thankful that it's not summer! i'd be dying if it was...
things are starting to get wrapped up with baby stuff...now we're just counting down the days. i'm hoping he decides to come a bit early (but not before my mom gets here on the 28th) but we'll see. babies rarely do what's convinient for their parents. the big news on the anaya front (besides baby's eminent arrival)...we just bought a new house! it's a really cool, really scary proposition for us but we're excited to have the opportunity. it's a bigger house (not exactly what i was wanting...) in the great little community of ripon, about twenty minutes away from where we are now. a little scary for me, the house is about three houses down from john's parents new house, so i'm going to have my in-laws as neighbors. not exactly my idea of a good time...but hopefully it won't be as bad as i'm imagining. it's just that the hispanic culture is so family-centric that they don't really understand that i grew up completely differently and it totally bugs me when the show up unannounced ready to be fed or to stick their noses where they don't belong (ie child-rearing!). we're definitely gonna sit down with them and set some boundries before we move in...but still. not my ideal location. *sigh* the other scary thing is that our current house still hasn't sold. it's been on the market for about three months...and although we've had a few nibbles, no one's really interested in buying it since it's kinda on the pricy side. anyone know anybody who wants to move to riverbank into a great house? we'll get you a good deal... oh...i almost forgot. the final yucky thing about buying this new house...we close escrow the day before my due date. so yeah...not only will i have a brandbrand new baby...we'll be moving! thankfully it's only across town and not across the country and my mom will be here to help me pack. and...as silly as it sounds...i'm kinda bummed i won't be able to put up all my christmas decorations! that's one of my absolute favorite things in the entire world too. oh well...at least i'll have my christmas tree up in one of the houses. we'll actually probably wait til after christmas to "officially" move into the new house (the one nice thing about having our current house still on the market)...so i have about six weeks to pack up and get ready to go. we have a walk-through on wednesday and i'm gonna take a bunch of pictures so i'll be sure to post them as soon as i can so everyone can oooo and aaaaah at this fabulous house. cuz really...as much as i'm complaining about the timing and the possible financial difficulties and the house's proximity to my in-laws...it really is a beautiful house. almost $100,000 worth of upgrades!...my dream kitchen...a great bonus room for all of elijah's "stuff"...two fireplaces...a pretty big backyard (for a development anyways...it's nothing compared to the backyard i had when i was a kid...but hey...this is california. i'll take what i can get for now)...an insane master bath...a beautiful curved staircase...yeah. this thing's decked out. i'll get pics up as soon as i can...
anyways...i'm starting to feel a bit lazy just sitting here in my jammies...my tea's pretty much gone and the laundry needs to be switched over so i guess i'd better get off my duff and get going. it is monday after all...

26 October 2006

tears and introspection.

today is a sad day. my parents had to put their dog, tipper, down today because she has a chronic bladder condition. they thought they had fixed it but it turns out the surgery wasn't successful and her stones came back. i loved that silly little mutt and really wish i could've seen her one last time. as annoying as she could be...she was a precious little pup...i'm gonna miss her. she lovedlovedloved belly rubs and i loved giving them to her. my favorite memory of her was when i was on the phone with my mom and she put the phone up to tipper's ear and instead of trying to eat the phone like she usually does, tipper heard my voice and plopped right down on her back in anticipation of a belly rub. wish i could've given her one more...

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Your wind is mighty...it bends the backs of trees
it moves among the fields along these california streets
we've come to know as highways...they can take us anywhere
but all we know is where we're going and how fast we're getting there
the world outside my window is shaming me again
with the things i haven't seen cuz i've been writing about them
the sky's a waiting witness to the truth i would possess
but i've forgotten all its mystery in my quest for second best

i want to live with wider eyes...there's far too much to see
to think of nothing else but where i've been and where i'll be
i've been longing for the freedom that is waiting silently
in the life that's just beyond the small perimeter of me

Your rain is mighty...it weathers mountainsides
it raises these canals til they look a mile wide
and i think that i have crossed them on a bridge a thousand times
and haven't even seen the rivers from the corner of my eye
i'm frightened by how easy it can be to live so long
going from one thing to the next thing to the next til months have gone
and you realize you have really not done anything at all
at night you fall asleep believing you've just climbed so you could fall

and i don't believe that who i am is something i can find
it's whatever i create with what i do with all my time
it's who i choose to love with all my heart and strength and mind
and whether i believe that what i have is really mine

i want to live with wider eyes...there's far too much to see
to think of nothing else but where i've been and where i'll be
i've been longing for the freedom that is waiting silently
in the life that's just beyond the small perimeter of me

23 October 2006

you know you're hormonal when...

gosh. i dunno what my deal is today...but i'm seriously missing my homeland. maybe it's the fact that it's supposed to be fall and yet it's still 80 degrees...or maybe it's the fact that my mom was here for two weeks and now she's gone...or maybe it's just all these stupid pregnancy hormones...i don't know. but i do know that i'm wishing for my cold, amazing state with an intensity that kinda scares me.

here's some pics of baby noah (my friend shannon's baby) that i took at my baby shower last weekend. plus a pic of the current prego belly with my too cute cake my friend cindy made for me!

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and finally...some pics from my friend laura wedding three weekends ago. i was in the wedding so i didn't go too crazy with photos...but these are two of my favorites from the day...

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29 September 2006

attack of the pumpkins

pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere...fall is definitely in the air!
raise your hand if you liked my cheesy rhyme! i'm thinking of becoming a poet in my spare time...lol. seriously though...the pumpkins have arrived...seemingly overnight! literally...they weren't there yesterday but today, at every roadside stand we passed on our drive to and from the doctor's office was piled high with the bright orange things. the pumpkins fairies must have been busy last night.
other evidence that fall is here? it's almost 11 o'clock in the morning and it's not even 70 degrees yet. lovely! winter is on it's way and i can't wait...

25 September 2006


i'm just sitting here chilling...it's about 9.30 on monday night. normally i'd be watching csi:miami with john right about now...but he's not home and i don't like watching csi without him. they tend to give me creepy dreams. although lately i've been having all sorts of weird dreams...i blame it on the pregnancy...but who knows? it might just be something else entirely.

this past saturday my friend shannon had her baby...little noah robert. i was thankfully able to be there for the birth and i got to see him about an hour after he was born. so sweet! it's so amazing to see them when they're only hours old...knowing where they just came from! of course it got me thinking about little elijah's coming...especially since eli will be born in the same hospital that noah was. it's a really nice hospital...as far as hospitals go. i told john that we are definitely bringing warm blankets from home since it's freezing in there. poor shannon had about a zillion piled on top of her and she was still cold. i'm sure some of that had to do with the hormones and the epidural she had...but still...i had goosebumps and i wasn't under any of those conditions. anyways...i digress.

(did i mention he has a TON of hair? lol...he is definitely a little monkey! too cute...)

anyways...not much else is new here in cali-land. i'm sure most of you have heard by now that i'm not going to school this semester. turns out that if i was going to take the classes i had originally planned on i would need about $6000 worth of new equipment. brand new computer (a mac to replace this pc), software for the new computer (adobe photoshop is NOT cheap...even with student discounts), lighting equipment, new printer, etc. etc. etc. so...after much deliberating and discussion and prayer...john and i decided it would be best to wait til spring semester to take those classes. now we have a few months to save up our pennies and purchase the equipment bit by bit instead all in one big gulp. to be honest...i'm a little bummed just because this semester was my last chance to do school without little ones in my life...but it's turned out for the best. i'm not nearly as stressed out as i would have been which is good since i've been feeling a bit crummy lately. nothing major...but i think i've had a teeny flu bug for the past few days. plus without school assignments clogging up my schedule i'm able to work on all the "fun stuff" i want to get done before baby makes his entrance...like scrapping, knitting, cleaning the house...etc. so even though this means i'll be in school even longer (will i EVER finish?)...it's turning out to be a good decision.

welp...my hubby just got home...so i'm off to warm up his dinner. hope all is well in the land of wherever you are...

06 September 2006

the unofficial end to summer...

so. labor day has come and gone...the unofficial end to summer. it's certainly about time. even though there will be several more weeks of summer-like weather...at least the end is in sight. the cool breezes in the evening are so refreshing! i'm looking forward to falling asleep to the sound of the rain...waking up to the sound of the rain...sweaters and scarves and socks and snuggly blankets on the bed...being able to cook using the oven again...hot coffee (no more of this iced stuff!)...no more AC!...being able to listen to christmas music without feeling guilty about it.......oh i'm sure there's more. i just can't wait til this oppressive heat of summer is gone and is replaced by the crisp air of fall and winter. if i can't have snow...at least i can have crisp air.
school starts tomorrow. i kinda just wanna get it over with. 15 credits. which really isn't that much except that i'm gonna havta have everything finished a month early due to this little one growing inside me. he can't stay in there forever...and my due date is three weeks before the semester ends. so yeah...i guess it's a good thing i'm pretty self-motivated and that all but one of my classes are photo classes. it's a lot easier for me to be motivated to get behind my viewfinder and be creative with my camera than it is for me to get excited about writing compare and contrast essays for my art history class. not that i need an excuse to get behind my camera...but it will be nice to be required to push myself creatively...not so much for the grade (although those A's are certainly nice) but just for my own growth as an artist. it's so easy to just sit back and rely on what worked in the past rather than push through the sometimes frustrating creative process. so yeah...here's hoping for a uber-creative semester. one of the classes i'm taking is people photography...so if anyone wants to come be my model...let me know. i'm always looking for fresh, willing faces...

16 August 2006

brothers and sisters and silly kitties

so yeah. i'm kinda depressed. my brother peter and his way cool wife erin just left my house this morning on the last leg of their almost cross-country journey to kansas city. they got here sunday evening and we had a great two full days of uninterrupted hangout time...so wonderful! i forgot how funny my brother really is. quite the silly boy. we had lots of great laughs reminising about our childhood memories. mostly we were laughing at memories that involved our youngest brother luke...laughing at someone else's expense when they're not there to defend themselves is a rather good time. :D but yeah...they left me this morning...to venture off into the unknown land of the MIDWEST. i'm not so sure about that. hopefully they'll make it there in one piece...with no major mishaps and without going too crazy. nani (their very cute kitty) might be scarred for life...but i hope they're not. ha! poor nani doesn't like car travel very much. but...she LOVED the stairs in our house. she'd never seen them before venturing into our house...but once she got over her initial apprehension...she had a great time running up and down and getting her paws all tangled up together. who knew a cat was such cheap entertainment? too bad john has no tolerance for the cuddly creatures. *sigh* oh well...maybe i can get a fish. it's just not quite the same.
well...hopefully i'll get some pics of p&e's slightly silly visit posted soon. until then...YAY for brothers and sisters!
here's some pics...

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09 August 2006

cool song of the mo...

(Nichole Nordeman, Jay Joyce)

Did you come that we might just survive?
Did you come so we could just get by?
Did you walk among us
So we might merely limp along beside?

I was bound, I have been set free
But I have settled for apathy
Did you come to make me new
And know Id crawl right back into the skin you found me in?

Its where I am, not where Ive been

You make me want to live
You make me want to live
You came to shake us
And to wake us up to something more
Than wed always settled for
And you make me want to live

Weve all been up on the mountain top
A golden glow thats bound to soon wear off
Then its back to the mundane telling tales of glory days
When we were hopeful that this change was here to stay

So why would a young man
Live in a waste land
When the castle of his dreams is standing by?
Why would a princess
Put on an old dress
To dance with her beloved and a chance to catch his eye?

07 August 2006

bellybuttons, little boys and big bellys...

i made a startling discovery today. i have a little mole/skin tag in my bellybutton! after twenty-five years of not knowing what the depths of my endless pit of an "innie" actually contained (kinda gross thought...i know...) i finally know! it took being pregnant to stretch it out enough so i could actually see inside. my pregnant friend (who's due in september) says i'd better enjoy it since i'm not gonna be able to see it much longer...which is ok by me...cuz really...i don't need to know what's in my bellybutton.

we found out last week that i have a little boy growing inside me! little elijah jonathon. i was actually a little surprized...i really was expecting a it to be a girl!...almost to the point of betting on it. not that i have anything against boys...i just felt like the little flutters inside me were coming from a girl. my pregnancy's been so different from everyone else's that's expecting a boy...that and i'm still barely showing and it seems like everyone else got super huge super fast! just goes to show that those old wives tales really are just that...fiction!

it's so funny how many people are pregnant with boys! me, my friends shannon and wendy and two of john's cousins...there's probably more that i'm forgetting. our little elijah certainly won't be lacking in the friends department! i pray that our little guy will be a strong spiritual leader of all his little buddies.

now that i know we're having a boy...i find myself thinking about what he'll be like. i suppose that's only natural and that every parent wonders about things like that but i can't help wondering whether he'll be like his dad: strong and independent but with a hidden soft and cuddly side or if he'll be more like me: slightly introverted and shy but with a hidden kooky and silly side or will he be a mixture of the two? a most of all...what on earth is he gonna look like? some couples you can just look at them and predict what their kids will look like down to the dimples but when you start off with parents that are so completely different to begin with like me and john...who knows what you'll end up with! he could have dark skin like john or super light skin like me or have a permanent tan...he could have brown eyes like john or blue eyes like mine...his hair could come out light or dark, straight or curly, thick or thin. most likely he'll be short and his hair won't grow in for a while but just because john and i both share those characteristics doesn't mean our children will. what a fun surprize it will be to see him for the first time! especially to examine him from head to toe figuring out which specific character trait or facial feature came from which parent.

i'm definitely starting to feel more pregnant these days. most of my "normal" shirts aren't long enough to cover my belly (or the lovely elastic of my maternity pants) any more. i'm already tired of my limited selection of maternity shirts so i'm having to get pretty creative with my clothes. i suppose it could be worse though...i could have to wear those awful maternity clothes my mother was forced to wear! i'm still pretty ok when it comes to sleeping...thankfully (i'm trying to enjoy it while i can!)...i only get truly uncomfortable when my uterus is stretching out to accomodate my rapidly growing child. i swear my belly gets bigger every day! he's moving around a lot more too...or at least i can feel his movements a lot more. john still can't feel them very well since they're more like ticklings and flutters than actual kicks. he always seems to wake up around bedtime...maybe because he knows it's storytime! i'm reading the chronicles of narnia to him every night...

my mom just sent me a box of baby clothes and books last week. YAY for fun packages from my super fun mummy! and as i was taking the tags off and getting ready to wash them (they're so little and cute!)...i started thinking about holding little elijah in my arms...him all cuddled up in the yellow ducky shirt i was holding in my hands and i dunno...i almost couldn't believe that it was actually happening. me...having a baby? a little son? it seems so impossible. so surreal. that the little flutters and touches inside me are really coming from a human being that will soon come into the world so fresh and new completely blows my mind.

we finally have some baby furniture in the nursery...the changing table is here! it looks so good in there...i can't wait to get the rest of the pieces to go with it. now that we know a little boy is gonna be living in that room i'm getting really excited to start decorating. i've already decided on a theme (moons and stars "winken, blinken and nod" style) so i've already got plenty of ideas...probably more than i can actually do. i registered at pottery barn kids for some of the things i want in there...but most of the other stuff i'm hoping to find at antique stores and re-finish. hopefully i can convince luke to do some artwork to hang on the walls. i've picked out some pages from "winken, blinken and nod" that i'd love to see what he could do with...but i suppose i should ask him first before i too excited about it. (so luke...whatd'ya think?) i heard a kendall payne song the other day and thought some of the lyrics would be cool to write out and hang on the nursery wall but now i'm thinking that they're a bit too heavy for a baby's room. maybe i'll hang them in the guest room (since it desperately needs something on the walls) or maybe up in the master bedroom. here's the lyrics in their entirety...the song's called "ups and downs"...

all that i've found through the ups and downs
is that i'd have it no other way
life in the raw is both fragile and strong
it's both lovely and ugly the same
who can attest that when they're at their best
their worst is still crouching close behind
it's coming to peace with the darkness in me
that allows the true light inside to shine

*so let it go for we are still far from home
though you try and you try to escape
to live and to love will always be dangerous
but it's better than playing it safe*

we are all composed of a symphony of notes
every life is as music to His ears
i'll play my melody be it haunting, be it sweet
unashamed of what anyone might hear

*so when the load breaks your back and your will
you must still keep your heart in the game
to live and to love will always be dangerous
but it's better than playing it safe*

*so let it got when you don't feel like home
when inside is your only escape
to live and to love will always be dangerous
but would you want it any other way?*

the second line of the choruses (the *-ed ones) and the second verse are the parts i really like. i think i just liked the idea of our lives being like music to God and that each life is a separate symphony written specifically to glorify Him. maybe i can still work that into something i end up hanging on the nursery walls.

going back to the prevelence of my belly...it really is starting to make itself known by getting in the way. someone even said at church yesterday that i'm starting to have the "pregnant lady waddle". lovely. i thought that didn't come til the end! and my belly really seems to get in the way when i'm in the kitchen trying to reach something up on the higher shelves. either i'm gonna have to continually climb on the counter to get what i need or to put the dishes away (which i'm sure will get progressively harder as i get bigger) or i'll havta go out and buy a little step-stool that i can leave out and not trip over all the time. anyone who's actually been in our kitchen probably wonders how we've lastest this long without a little stool since the cabinets are so tall but john doesn't want one in there cuz he's afraid of stubbing his toe when he's too lazy to turn on the lights. silly boy...

i'm going with my friend shannon to register at babies r us tomorrow. i'm really getting overwhlemed at the sheer amount of stuff we need to get to properly outfit this baby! who knew something so small needed such a large amount of stuff? i've been given an assignment for tonight...i need to figure out the bigger stuff (ie stroller, play-pen, etc.) that we'll need and then i have to go online and read reviews of the different products so i have a better idea which ones i want to register for. shannon says it'll make the registering process go a lot faster. she should know since she just did it a couple months ago. should be interesting anyways...and since i've got nothing better to do right now...i might as well get started on that.

31 July 2006

old maid, outhouses and other such nonsense

so...right now i'm listening to my husband play old maid with his niece and nephew downstairs...except it's the alaskan version of old maid so they keep laughing at the old maid card which is actually an outhouse. it's getting rather silly down there. they start school on thursday (why thursday? and why so early? who decides these things anyways?) so john and i are trying to get their minds off the impending doom. i took them to the movies earlier...now it's john's turn to entertain. HA...just kidding. actually i was playing mancala with jackie until the dryer clicked off...so now...instead of folding the increasingly wrinkled pile of clothes beside me i'm writing to my blog. typical.
life here in cali is pretty good. it's cooled down about twenty degrees so i'm a happier camper in that respect. plus...we just bought a BRAND NEW CAR!!! woohoo! we needed a bigger vehicle since we'll be carseat toting parents here pretty soon...and after much research we finally took the plunge and bought a 2006 subaru tribeca. for some reason john wanted the suped-up model...so now we are the pround owners of a car with a dvd player in the back. i never thought i'd be one of those people that had a dvd player in their car...they just seem a big frivilous to me...but oh well. they'll be nice for long trips. and i am glad for the navigation system. with my sense of direction...of lack thereof...it will certainly help me out. i'm gonna take some pics tomorrow so everyone can drool over it. :D

so until then...i'll leave you here while i go fold the clothes...finally.

05 July 2006

there is nothing worse...

...than being sick in the summertime.

ugh. i've been infected with a lovely cold-thingy and all i want to do is cuddle up in bed with a thousand blankets and a nice, hot, steaming bowl of soup. but the whole "it's a thousand degrees outside" thing makes that a little unbearable. grr...oh well...i guess i can think of worse things in life.

just had another doctor appointment on monday. we got to hear the heartbeat again...it's so fast! plus...we also found out that we're getting another ultrasound on the 1st of august! so...if the baby's not feeling modest...we'll find out if it's a boy or a girl! YAY! we're both excited about that...

not much else is going on lately...i just got back from a rad worship conference last week and i'm totally gonna blog about it...but i'm still working through everything that was said. so...i guess everyone can look forward to that... :D

laters skaters...

15 June 2006

things i'm thankful for...in no particular order

i'm thankful for...

~brothers and sisters
~air conditioning!
~my husband
~my ipod
~clean sheets
~francine rivers
~feeling the baby move
~cool nights with the windows open
~bethany dillon's song "beautiful"
~frozen lazagne that cooks in under an hour
~baby stuff!
~scrapbooking mags that inspire me to create
~re-discovering old cds that i love
~an organized desk
~walks in the mornings when it's still cool outside
~my new brownie camera
~better than 20/20 vision
~my husband's hugs
~dinners with friends
~kitties! (i miss nani...)
~mutts comic strip (it never ceases to make me smile!)
~a beautiful house
~my brown maternity cargos
~jamba juice
~jack johnson
~argyle socks (seriously!)

06 June 2006

the dog days of summer

well...summer has offically hit central california. the high today? oh...just a balmy 99 degrees...should be LOVELY. *sigh* i'm seriously melting. thankfully john's sister has a pool...i've been frequenting it quite often. the cool water does provide a bit of a reprive.

on the baby-front...the baby's doing good. after a slightly rocky first trimester...i have offically entered the "feel good" trimester. i still haven't quite got the "feel good" part of it yet...but i'm confident that they're just around the corner. thankfully...most of my nausea is gone...but i'm still dog-tired all the time. even a half-hour walk requires a two hour recovery period (read: naptime!). i'm trying to be healthy and exercise...but it's pretty hard when i can't swim more than a few laps at a time. oh well...along with feeling better i'm supposed to be gettting more energy too. i'll keep my eye out for the ups man to drop that energy by... ;)

anyways...not much else is going on in the anaya household. i'm headed to washington for peter and erin's graduation in a few days (just a little bit embarrassed that my little brother is graduating before me...*sigh*). i'm so looking forward to it! not only will i get a brief break from the oven down here but i get to hang out with my way-cool little bro and sis-in-law, my parents and one of my best friends! after the grad...i'm heading to canada to visit with a really good friend of mine for a few days. i can't wait! :)

welp...i hope everyone's first week of june is going swell..."talk" to you later! :D

15 April 2006


kinda crazy.

semi-offical due date: 7 december 2006 (praying it's earlier cuz i wouldn't wish a december birthday on anyone...especially my own child! lol...)

i'm 4-6 weeks along...so not very far...but my first "official" doc appointment in on the 28th of april...so we'll know more then!

06 March 2006

me? infused with holy? nah...

so i've been thinking a lot lately about the whole "being made in God's image" thing. chris rice started it with his song "the final move" (love it!)

...molecules and men infused with holy...finding our way around the galaxy...

infused with holy...hmmm. makes me wonder how my life is changed by that fact...conviction much? *sigh*

so my english prof says i've got the "juice" (his word...not mine) to be a novelist. i'm not sure what to do with that. should i be thrilled or terrified? i'm leaning towards the latter. so what if i can write? it seems like it's just one more thing i can fail at...one more opportunity for people to critisize me...one more thing...it's always one more thing. just like with my photography stuff...i'm so stuck in a creative rut right now. it's like i'm afraid to be creative because i'm scared people will laugh at my pathetic attempt at creativity. what if they think i suck?


i almost feel like my camera's gonna jump up and start praising God (the rocks will cry out...) because i'm doing such an apathetic job of it right now. i'm supposed to use my talent for God's glory...so why do i feel like i don't have any??????

"i have a song...
so let the earth sing along
cuz i just wanna praise You"

just one of those days i guess...

14 February 2006


k...i promised a week ago that i'd write about mexico...and here it is. i'm finally getting around to it. what an awesome experience! first of all...what a blessing to be able to take off for an entire month! that was totally God right there. we spent the first two and a half weeks in a little town called tangancicuaro (don't even think about asking me how to pronounce that...) and the second half in cancun. john's parents grew up there in tangancicuaro...and it's right in the middle of the state of michocan. they still have a house there...so that's where we stayed. absolutely beautiful! it was the REAL mexico. none of this touristy beach town stuff that i'd come to associate with cancun and other coastal mexican cities. we walked to the market everyday to buy our groceries for the day...we'd get this juice...MAN! it was a hundred times better than jamba juice. everything fresh...blended up before your eyes and then the funnest part...they gave it to you in a plastic bag with a straw instead of a cup! so fun...i miss that juice. anyways...we did a ton of stuff while we were there...went to a bunch of different towns...most of which i'm sure you've never heard of since i'd never heard of them before i visited them. they were tiny and unique and so very mexican. i picked up a lot of spanish while i was there...i can almost get around by myself without john as a translator. i can't barter or haggle with the sales people yet...but i get the basic jist. oh man...i wish i could tell you about all the fun experiences we had while we were there...but your eyes would probably fall out before you finished reading. so i'll just stick to the highlights. one of my favorite memories is of a little girl named katrina (almost like my name! but pronounced karina...without the T). her parents are friends of my inlaws...and we had dinner at their house one night...and they came over for dinner another night while we were there. katrina's about six years old...and beautiful! i think i uploaded a picture of her into my album...if not...i'll be sure to do that soon. (there's for sure one on my website) anyways...for some reason...she just fell in love with me! the only problem was...she doesn't speak english and my spanish is horrible. she just couldn't understand why i couldn't understand her all the time! i kinda turned it into a game...but really...it made me sad. cuz she wanted to share her secrets with me...but most of the time i had no idea what she was saying. well...when we go back...i'll be sure to know more spanish...that way we can chat all we want and make fun of the silly boys and all that fun stuff.
anyways...my parents flew down on the fifteenth...what a fun experience to share with them! hopefully we can do it again someday...then the four of us flew to cancun on the nineteenth. that time was spent mostly relaxing on the beach...such a hard life. ha! although one day we drove to this really cool ecopark thingy. i'm not exactly sure what to call it. it was kinda like a zoo in that it had wild animals...but it was also like a park cuz it had beaches to relax on and activities to do. there were also nightly shows about the mexican culture...those were killer! the first show we saw was a horse show...pretty cool. the second one was all about the myan culture...super interesting. they play this weird game that's kinda like soccer...except instead of using their feet to move the ball around...they use their hips. it's really cool to watch. then they played this field hockey like game...except there was no net...just a bowl of fire as a goal...and oh yeah...did i mention the ball was on fire? yeah...instead of a puck (like in hockey) they used a firey ball. and of course they don't wear shoes...yikes! then the final show of the evening was a performance showcasing all the different mexican states. that was fun to watch.
let's see...what else? my parents took off on the twenty-fourth and left john and i in cancun for another few days until the thirtieth. we celebrated our first anniversary in cancun...actually the whole vacation was kinda the celebration...so the actual day felt rather anti-climaxtic...but still. it was our one year anniversary for crying out loud. i can't believe it...it went by so darn fast!
probably the coolest thing about the whole vacation was the things that God taught me about Him and about me and my photography. it would take another novel to explain all the stuff He taught me in that month...so again...i'll just stick to the highlights...but really...it was an amazing God time. first of all...i took almost 3500 photos while i was there. whoa. that's a butt load of images. and that got me thinking about why i do what i do...just to have an incredible scrapbook or coffee-table-worthy photo album? nah...i realized that it goes so much deeper than that. i have this passion for great photos that i can't put out. and i don't know where God's gonna take me with this passion right yet...but i do know it's from Him and He's got some great plans for me and my passion. (compassion international...here i come! lol...) He also helped me realize that i do take good pictures. it may sound weird to some of you...but i'd never really thought my photos were anything special. they were just something i enjoyed doing...and if they got to the level above snapshot...well...wouldn't that be something. but God really got to my heart and let me know that He wants to do a lot more than that with it...and that i don't have to worry about whether or not i have talent or whether or not people even like my stuff. that's His job...all i have to do is show up...camera in hand. and that...i can do.
the other thing i wanted to share that God taught me came from a song...so of course i havta write the words here...(it's by nichole nordeman...of course)

did You come that we might just survive?
did You come so we could jsut get by?
did You walk among us so we might merely limp along beside?
i was bound, i have been set free
but i have settled for apathy
did You come to make me new
and know i'd crawl right back into the skin You found me in?
it's where i am, not where i've been

You make me want to live
You make me want to live
You came to shake us and to wake us up to something more
than we'd always settled for
and You make me want to live...

we've all been up on the mountain top
a golden glow that's bound to soon wear off
then it's back to the mundane telling tales of glory days
when we were hopeful that this change was here to stay
so why would a young man life in a waste land
when the castle of his dreams is standing by?
and why would a princess put on an old dress
to dance with her beloved and a chance to catch his eye?

You make me want to live
You make me want to live
You came to shake us and to wake us up to something more
than we'd always settled for
and You make me want to live...

i was wandering along the secluded beach humming that song to myself...not really paying attention to the words (or the fact that i was getting the sunburn of a lifetime...yike-o-la.) just watching for cool shells tucked away in the sand. it wasn't til i got on my hands and knees in the sand that the words started coming to me...it was like i was hearing them for the first time. and i realized three things. first of all...i realized that God knew about that moment before i was born...before the beginning of time even...He put those shells on that beach just for me to find. isn't that the coolest thought? i know God made everything for us to enjoy...but it was like i was touching something that i KNEW God had touched before...very powerful. secondly...i realized that the Christian life isn't about always being on an "emotional high". i've always known that intellectually...but my heart that was feeling so barren and dry finally got it on that beach in cancun. my heart understood that just because i couldn't feel God didn't mean that He wasn't there walking beside me on that beach (with sunscreen on most likely...heh...no sunburn for Him). so what that my Christian walk felt like back to back monday mornings...He was still there with me. what a comforting thought! and finally...the last thing i discovered while i was getting burnt to a crisp on that stretch of beach is that while there were plenty of beautiful, whole shells scattered around my feet (courtesy of hurricane wilma)...i was mostly attracted to the broken ones. the broken ones had more character...you could see their insides (which were often times really bright beautiful colors)...the whole shells...the "perfect" ones just weren't as attractive to me...and that got me thinking. that's kinda how God sees us. we're no where near perfect...often times as far from perfect as possible...yet He created us...and He finds us so unbelievably beautiful we take His breath away. another comforting thought...God doesn't expect me to be perfect...He knows i'm not. He doesn't want perfection...He just wants a willing vessel. mmmhhh...thank you Father for that beautiful time on that little beach! despite the sunburn...it was amazing experiencing God in the process of finding my twenty pounds of shells (literally...it's quite ridiculous...but so very fun at the same time...)
anyways...this is getting really long...i didn't mean to get so carried away. sorry about that. give a call if you'd like to chat more about mexico...or check out my pictures on my website. don't worry...i didn't post all 3500 of them...although i thought about it. haha...just kidding. (here's the url again since so many people seem to be having trouble with it lately...www.betterphoto.com?kayti7. no spaces!)

08 February 2006

my heart is dismayed...

and this is why...spring is here. waaaaahhhhh! that means summer isn't too far off...and for those of you who don't know...i simply cannot handle the summers here. 103 in the shade? um...no thank you.
it's been crazy warm here...it was almost 70 degrees yesterday! the almond trees are blossoming and you'll never guess what i saw in a nearby pasture yesterday...lambs! oh...they were so cute with their little knobby knees that could barely hold their bodies up! but still...i felt a little twinge of sadness as i watched them play...cuz i know spring never lasts long enough and then all of a sudden...it's summer and i'm sweating. ugh.

04 February 2006

i won!

k...this may seem silly to some or maybe even most of you...but that's ok. i have to share my excitement!
you know those mini handheld poker games? well...my mom got john one for his birthday last year...and it's been sitting on the back of the toilet since then...for you know...to help pass the time when you're sitting. heh. anyways...i was playing it earlier today and i beat the game! i know you can't really beat a handheld computer game...but i got the ultimate...a royal flush! i didn't even think that was possible. haha...that's 5000 points! so...now i can't ever play it again...cuz i don't want to ruin my super high score. hmm...guess i'd better go buy another one. heh...

31 January 2006

welp...we're home.

doesn't that just say it all?

huh. wow. it's weird to be home after being gone for a month. everything looks different...but the not at the same time. even my kitchen seems bigger to me (ugh. more to clean...)

so i'm completely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done around here...the fridge is completely empty (except for a couple wrinkled apples...and some mustard. yum?)...the laundry is attempting mutiny with plans to take over our bedroom...there's sand in the suitcases...i have worship practice tonight...school started yesterday and i'm already behind...i have over 1,000 pictures (the number is shockingly closer to 2000) to upload onto my computer and work on...sigh...and here i sit...writing to my blog. not surprising i suppose. oh well...there's always tomorrow right? heh.

anyways...i have so much to share about my month in mexico...but i really do need to get started on stuff around here. maybe tonight when things settle down i'll post another blog...

hope everyone's january was splendid!

oh...and for those of you who requested postcard (and for a few of you who didn't)...they're on their way. the whole $.39 stamp (and the fact that they cost almost a $1.50 to send from mexico) thing kinda threw the whole thing off...so...sorry they're a tad late. better late than never eh?

02 January 2006

i'm off to see the wizard...

well...the day has arrived...a bit wet and windy...but it's here nevertheless...we're leaving for mexico!!! YAY!

technically we don't leave the country til tomorrow...but one of john's friends is coming out to pick us up in a few hours and we'll spend the night in the bay area since we havta be at the airport so bloody early.

so. we'll be gone til the 30th of january. i'm not sure how much access we'll have to the internet...but we're taking john's computer and maybe i'll pop into a few internet cafes if i get a chance.

looking forward to taking some awesome pics!

if you want a postcard from us...post your address in the reply section of this blog...

have a great january!