Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Just thought I'd note that. Anyway, this post is really about a kind of silly sign of the financial times from my own life. As Tim likes to say, quoting a talk radio personality who shall remain nameless, we are choosing not to participate in this recession. Honestly, we have been so blessed by his job, and as we're not homeowners that whole situation has really left us pretty untouched (except for his 401(k), stocks, etc....you can't avoid it completely).
Anyway, that's not really the point. The point is that I got my hair cut today for the first time in months. I went to this little salon down the street that does a midday "happy hour" where haircuts are cheaper than normal on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Gotta like that. I still hadn't found "my stylist" after living here for two years, and since I only get my hair cut 2-3 times a year as it is, maybe that doesn't matter. Or maybe I just go longer with a bad cut. So, I decided to give this place and its sale prices a try.
And I was pleasantly surprised! I like my hair, and I will probably go back to the same girl in the future. The cool thing is that, as I was paying and getting ready to leave, they told me if I referred someone to the salon I would bet a $20 gift certificate. That's halfway to another haircut at the happy hour price! Cool cool.
Then later today I was at the mall trying to cool off and get some work done, since the library was PACKED and there was absolutely nowhere to park. I sat myself down at one of the random tables and got a good amount of stuff done amid the hordes of strollers and people of all ages trying to beat this insane heat. After I was done, I rewarded myself with a little peek into a boutique kids' store to search for some baby going-home outfits, which Tim and I still haven't found.
The woman working in the store said she liked my hair (finally! Along with my bad luck, I never got any compliments :( ) and asked where I got it cut. So I told her about the salon and the happy hour deal, etc, and she wanted my name so she could ask the stylist to make her hair look like mine. Ha! Anyway, I left the store and totally didn't remember about the referral until about 20 minutes later. Darn! If she only had my last name, then she could tell them I referred her and I would get the gift card.
So...I pulled out my receipt (I did end up buying some boy and girl options for Tim to look at later) and gave the store a call. Voila! I gave her my last name and she said she'd totally be happy to tell them I referred her so I can get the gift card. Now, would I have done this if the economy wasn't the way it was? Probably not. It's a little bit, well, desperate? But still, 20 bucks is 20 bucks. And another step out of hairstyle purgatory!
Monday, July 27, 2009
As we've hit our second anniversary of living here, I am struck by how many of the truisms about Seattle -- a lot of rain, no snow, never hot -- are just not that true.
1. Yes, it rains, but not that much more than other places. It's just more concentrated in the winter months than yearround.
2. Both winters we've been here have had several days of snow, and last year we had feet! Remember those pictures? Feet of snow, as in buses and cars getting stuck places. I think the city has wized up and will be using plows in the future.
3. Not hot? Tell that to my thermostat. Last spring Tim's birthday weekend was deadly, and this year we had a brutal week in the beginning of June with temps in the 90s daily. And the forecast for this week? 90s. Again. As in, I need to take a cold shower at 10pm so I can even think about sleeping (true story of last night). We are considering buying an air conditioner at Costco because these "infrequent" heat waves are not that few and far between anymore. (I think the general lack of central air in Seattle-area residences is starting to look more like denial than lack of need).
As a matter of fact, June and July have had hardly any rain at all, which I guess is typical for a nice Seattle summer...but I think it's a bit unusual that we've had temps in the 80s very frequently. Or maybe the wool was just pulled over my eyes regarding what kind of climate we are dealing with here!
I do get lots of "sympathetic" comments from strangers about being pregnant right now. August?! You must be miserable! Thanks. I tell people it's not that bad, and up until last night (there was a noticeable shift in the temp in our room around 4am...yes I was awake to note that) it wasn't. But now, yes, it stinks. It is forcing Tim and me to get creative with how we cool down!
A few favorite options (not all of them entirely serious)...
Saturday, July 25, 2009
2. Baby has a big belly. Apparently. She said that baby was in the 50th percentile for leg length and head size (that is, dead average), but the belly measurement was closer to the 75th percentile! Couple this with the hair (which Tim also likes to call a beard or a hairy chest...just a hairy baby!) and the fact that baby's hand was over his/her mouth during the entire ultrasound, we are picturing a dude with a beer belly sitting on the couch dipping into an bottomless bag of potato chips! Baby, if you're a girl, you're certainly not very ladylike!
3. Baby's head is waaay down there. As in, "have they checked you yet?" That's what the technician asked me. They haven't, but I don't really expect baby to just drop out of there without fair warning. I am having some painless, hardly noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions, but that just means things are getting warmed up. I would definitely love baby to come between 37 and 40 weeks, but like I said, I'm probably not going to wake up one morning and find a third person suddenly in the bed with us! Surprise!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Cute, right? That's Mike and Karen's Yankee bear for baby. Luckily they tell me a newborn will be smaller!
Here's the thing about the carseat. It's great, it really is. It's a Chicco KeyFit 30 (for those of you who might be researching brands right now), and we liked it because it's the highest rated for safety--or at least the regular Chicco KeyFit is, and the only difference is that this one holds a weight of 30 pounds instead of just 25 or whatever. But the thing is this: it doesn't fit in the car! That is, it doesn't fit without sliding the front seat it's behind up so that the passenger is doing what looks like one of the birthing positions -- knees pulled up to your chest! So the search for a new car gets on its limping way again...
HOWEVER... behold the stroller!
No, that's not all there there is to it, but this is how small it folds up (and stands!) without the seat on it. And it's basically this size when folded up with the seat as well. Here are some more shots...
With the seat facing mom or dad
Hi, baby! There is a rain cover that zips into the canopy and comes down over the footrest, and also a mosquito net sort of thing. You know, in case we go to Panama.
And here is where baby will ride for the first few months -- the bassinet! It's so easy to clip in and out, and we've heard it's great for sleeping, too! I think this also has a mosquito net. These people thought of everything, except the cup holder, which you have to buy separately (boo).
And check out the awesome storage!
Okay, I really don't mean to brag by putting all these pictures up here, but we are very excited about this stroller, and I have to say it was the thing I was personally most stressed about researching. Tim originally liked these British brands called Mutsy and Miralite, which look similar to the UppaBaby (this one), but as we weren't able to actually try them out (not retailed on the West Coast) they would have been a bit of a shot in the dark, despite all the great reviews and ratings we had seen.
The reason we went with a stroller that looks all utilitarian like this is its versatility. It has adjustable handle bars, making it easy for both Tim (6'4") and me (5'6") to push; turns really well and can be maneuvered easily with one hand; has foam-filled wheels, so they won't pop; will be sturdy enough for brisk walks over not-so-smooth terrain; has lots of options with the adjustable and reversible seat; and has a bassinet, meaning we won't need a "baby stroller" and a "big kid stroller" - this will cover all our bases until baby is a great walker. And, though it hasn't come yet, this stroller has a car seat adapter we can use with the car seat we bought, so if we just feel like snapping baby into the stroller directly from the car (a plus side of all those travel systems sold by Graco and the like), we can do that, too! Oh, and it's lightweight enough for me to fold it easily and stick it in the truck. I think that's about it. But...that's a whole lot! An investment, certainly, but one we think will last!
I can't wait to go on a walk with baby!
We brought the glider home on Sunday, and the stroller came yesterday...a nice anniversary present! The glider is so comfortable...I spent three hours in it today reading through and editing my latest manuscript for book #2, and I think it's a great investment for the many long nights to come. Who knows, I might try sleeping in it even now -- the bed is not that comfy anymore!
So here are some pics of the (still unfinished, bare walled) nursery with the glider set up, and also of the car seat we got and the stroller.
I am meaning to put those photos behind my laptop up on the wall...4 more of the bird pictures...or say I am meaning for Tim to hang them!
Glider and our nursing pillow
Tim hung some PVC pipe to attach curtains that will hide the shelving next to the changing table...I feel like I've mentioned this already, but here you are again!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I have been overwhelmed over the last several weeks with just how much God is blessing us, and it's because of no merit of our own. We don't deserve it. And when I look at all the many ways He's caused our life to be a joy, I both understand that we did nothing to earn it, and that this season of happiness and blessing is not where I should place my hope, because even if God should choose to take it away, his goodness and forgiveness and mercy in calling us his children are more than enough blessing for this life. Tim reminds me of that when I look around the landscape of our life and start to wonder how long it all can possibly last. I mean, when things are this great, something's got to go bad eventually, right? But that's not the way we're supposed to look at God--dealing out three nice things and then a zinger. It's not a game, and it's not a formula. So while I try to remember that His goodness is infinitely better than any good thing he gives us, I remain thankful for so much.
We love our apartment and the community of Kirkland. What a wonderful move this has been for us! I love walking to the grocery, bookstore, coffee shop, restaurants, lake and community events. I love our view and high ceilings and comfortable living space, which we're getting ready to make a home for a family instead of just a couple. We are so blessed to be here.
I love love love our church community and the amazing people God has put in our lives. I wrote recently about my "village" of moms and moms-to-be who have been a tremendous encouragement throughout my pregnancy, and nearly all of them also attend Mars Hill. Since moving to Seattle two years ago I have developed truly wonderful friendships that I never thought were possible, and I know it's because every one of those is rooted in our shared faith and hope in Christ. I am blessed to be part of a women's group in addition to our Tuesday night community group (which is mostly married couples), and to have people regularly praying for me who are also sharing their lives. My prayer life has grown so much in the last two years as a result of these women who have opened up their lives and shared themselves, both in good and bad times, and allowed me to pray for them. And I am grateful for the solid teaching we get at church every Sunday that always points us back to Jesus and the Bible.
Great health. Provision. Tim's job. A safe, easy, ridiculously effortless pregnancy, and our sweet baby--healthy baby! Plus two years of marriage today! It's our anniversary and I can't help but feel giddy when I think about the early days of my relationship with Tim. It all started in August 2003 when we met at a Navigators event on the Cornell campus. Though we didn't start dating until January 2004 when the second semester started, my heart has belonged to him ever since that fall, and when I think about how much joy and blessing God has poured out on me in being married to such a godly man of righteous character, I just want to dance around! Plus, he's really cute and silly and just makes me laugh all day long. Sorry to gush, but since it's our anniversary, I'm allowed!
I'm so glad I've been able to spend the last two years focusing on my writing, and now I nearly have two completed manuscripts, even though I have yet to place them. I know that all will come in God's timing if it's the right thing.
There is so much more I could say but I'm about to be late to pick up my sweet husband, so that will have to do for now.
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Also on the table are the teddy bear with the Yankees t-shirt that Mike and Karen made for baby, and my little Cornell bear that I've had since college.
Yep, we did get it all the way home (not without a bunch of looks from other drivers!), and the silly thing was that we put the sunroof back to run rope across the front of the box, and with that vertical blockade we got a ton of breeze down on our heads while driving! The glider is now set up in the room and we're trying to figure out the best way to configure everything, so once that's done we'll have some real pictures of the nursery!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I am continually AMAZED at how many babies are being born/about to be born to our friends and acquaintances, whether in our community group from church (our closest friends here), other folks we know at church, and even people I knew in high school who are announcing their pregnancies on Facebook!
Here's a list of all the 2009 months with babies that we know of:
March - 1
April - 1
May - 1
June - 2
July - 2
August - 3 (including us)
October - 3
November - 2
December - 2
Granted, some of these people aren't close to us (ie the Facebook friends from high school), but most of them live in the Seattle area and I am either in community group (which Tim leads every Tuesday night) with them or know from my Thursday women's group. That's 17 babies. Crazy!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thanks for bearing with me as I keep learning about this stuff!
So if anyone knows a great source for a new template, please let me know!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
1. Lying on my back in bed. This literally is the number one thing. I think that after the baby is here and I can just lie back on the bed without fear of anyone losing oxygen it will be the most blissed-out feeling ever!
2. Not being a Nazi about refrigerating food. Sheesh, the number of times I've thrown away milk that was a little questionable, or ate something that sat out for a couple hours and felt guilty guilty are too many to count.
3. Wanting to make a recipe that calls for wine, and finding that we already have some. It's pointless to buy a bottle now and open it for 1/4 cup of dry white wine to simmer in the frying pan.
4. Going to bed and not waking up until morning. But I suppose I've got a good year before I can do that again!
5. Having more than 5 shirts to wear. I'm going to feel like I've got a whole new wardrobe once this baby weight goes away!
Things I'll miss about the pregnancy...
1. Feeling baby kick! This is really the most fun part. I absolutely love when baby shifts around and both Tim and I can feel it. Also the hiccups, which just make me laugh. They feel like a rhythmic little kick further down on my abdomen, where baby's head is.
2. Knowing, even though I worry about baby plenty, that he or she is in the safest place ever. Someone said this to me the other day, and I hadn't really thought about it. Pregnant mamas worry a ton about their babies, but talk about opening up a whole new can of worms once the baby is born and is interacting with the rest of the crazy world!
3. The absence of other aspects of womanhood. Sorry, fellas, I know you don't understand. But in some ways pregnancy is a real break!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
To our friends' credit (as in, everyone from the area who has ever been to our apartment), yes, we were able to see the Kirkland fireworks from our balcony! And the Lake Union ones (across Lake Washington in Seattle). Here are a few pics. It was amazing...especially as the Lake Union ones were nearly as big, and definitely more exciting, than the fireworks in Kirkland!
Happy Belated Fourth!
It was a great trip, and Tim and I met my parents as well as my brother Logan and sister-in-law in SF for 5 days. We took a motorized cable car tour, went to Muir Woods and the Academy of Science, ate out at great restaurants, and walked around the city. One of the silliest things Tim and I did was wander into Coach, Kate Spade and Prada "in search" of diaper bags. For $400-$700, yeah, right. We also went to the Museum of Modern Art to see a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit. We had fantastic weather the whole time, even if ironically it was warmer in Seattle!
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a great trip!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
But the purpose of this post is not to gush about my massage, but rather the concept behind the InSpa chain. They have a bunch of locations in Washington and California, and what sets them apart is their no tipping policy.
That's right...the price you see on the services menu is the price you pay. That mean no more sitting in the pedicure chair or making small talk with your hair stylist and trying to do a calculation in your head: If it costs $X, and I want to tip X%, then my total will be $X, and then trying to remember that number until you get to checkout. The worst is trying to enjoy something like a massage and having to do this, and on top of it having your stylist/masseuse check you out and ask the dreaded question, "Do you want to add anything?" Gah! Why can't these places just give you a receipt with a tip line like everywhere else?
Aha, but InSpa does neither. I had a stupendous massage and the only thing I had to think about was how silly it was to feel baby kicking while I was getting my back rubbed. And unlike most restaurants in Spain and other European countries, where gratuity is included and therefore your service goes down the toilet, InSpa delivers.
So, ladies and gents, that is my recommendation. Inexpensive services with great service...what a concept!