Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” He replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than the known way.”
–John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

2008 - a year of big changes

Gosh, how is it New Year's eve already? It has been such a strange, exciting, maddening, worrying, hopeful year. Here are just some of the big events that are going to go down in 2008 and shape the years to come - hopefully in many good ways but we'll still see what 2009 has to bring. So in no particular order, some big events from 2008.

* My trip to Argentina: This was a really powerful trip and Argentina and the kids of the daycare and church down there will always have a place in my heart. I made some new friends, expanded my understanding of history and the US's work in the world. Not to mention I saw amazing things. I can't wait to go back some day and bring my family to see what I saw.

* Mr Goat had a big year and it made for an interesting year. He graduated from law school, studied his brains off all summer, passed the bar exam and was admitted to the bar in MN. All of this is such wonderful thing for him. I do hope he is able to find a job he loves in 2009. I really want to see his confidence up again, and it is time the job market agreed with me!

* 2008 was also a growing year for me with my job. Circumstances allowed me to grow in my ability to deal with criticism and not to take things so personally. It isn't always easy but I do think I've grown in my job and I've had a few doors open to expand my talents. I'm still not sure I've found a vocation yet or not, but I am more confident in my ability to do my job well and that is a positive outcome from a negative period.

* While it is still very fresh, I have a feeling that Emilie's death will affect me in significant ways in the upcoming year. Her friendship, her illness and finally her death have all influenced my year this year. She is missed and I have yet to determine all of the ways she's touched my life in writing but they are many.

* Probably the biggest change though is being pregnant and awaiting the arrival of little Zy-Goat. We feel very blessed to be pregnant and to have things looking good. Last night I felt a kick from Zy on the outside for the first time and I hope Goat will get to feel that soon himself. I'm so thrilled to be bringing a new generation into this world, and as much as I can't wait to meet my child, I'm equally excited to see Mr. Goat, our parents, siblings and grandparents meet little Zy for the first time. He is already so loved by everyone. I know it will be a challenge that I can't even quite comprehend yet, but it has really shaped the way this year is shaping up. Today I'm 25 weeks which seems downright crazy. It is going so quickly and slowly at the same time. I hope that the next year continues to bring a healthy pregancy and a healthy baby too!

Whatever 2009 brings I am grateful for all of the fun of 2008. Hopefully we are moving towards even bigger and better things. I hope you all have a Happy New Year wherever you are.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Life moving on...

Yesterday was Emilie's funeral. It was beautiful and I was moved by all of the people who attended. I had the strangest feeling that I liked everyone in the room and would want to be their friend in real life. Emilie had that way with people. She knew good ones, or maybe it is that good people gravitated towards her.

I was honored to do the first reading, from the Book of Wisdom. It isn't a book us Lutherans use very often being in the Apocrypha but it was lovely. Here is the reading:

The Book of Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.

For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.


The funeral was so meaningful, and so are all of the online tributes I keep finding online. My friend Missy has them all linked on her blog so I'll simply send you to that post if you are interested in reading more about Emilie.

And even as I wish I could sit an ruminate on the life of my dear friend life continues to push in and demand attention. We finally were able to get our car looked at after Chris' car accident before Christmas (everyone was fine, the other persons fault and I wasn't even in the car)....Totaled. They didn't even do a full estimate, they basically glanced at it and said the damage wasn't worth that car. Ugh, so now we'll have to figure out what (if) we can afford. Can we get away with one car while Chris is looking for a job or not.

I'm back at work (luckily the only day this week) and sorting through piles. The news that the economy affects churches and thus its employees too adds to a bitter-sweetness in being back. And suddenly maternity leave seems a lot closer on this end of Christmas. We had to turn in our lease renewal - despite our hopes we won't be moving this year unless a fabulous job comes along that lets us buy out our lease or something. Knowing where we will live is good because now the back room needs to be sorted through, cleaned and transformed into a nursery - all on the cheap.

We looked at IKEA cribs because they are cheaper but supposedly just as safe and I'm less than wowed. I'm trying not to dwell in an elitist spot because we just can't afford it but who doesn't want a picture perfect nursery to welcome their first child. We hope to register this week but we'll see. This side of Christmas deadlines are closer and it is time to buckle down again. (Not to mention buckling down on the pregnancy binge fest that has been the holidays - I don't think I'll have a 0 weight gain on Friday at my appointment!).

Life paused for Christmas and to mourn for my dear friend, but today it continues unabated. It seems to be asking me "Where were you and what were you up to? Do you think all these problems would just disappear for a week?"

And yes, maybe I was hoping that. Or maybe in light of a friend and her fight with cancer and her new life with God made them seem much less important. I want to be able to keep that point of view. None of those things are as important as a loving family and a healthy baby. But I wish these everyday worries weren't trying to be so persistent in getting to my head these days.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sweet and Sour Christmas

It has been interesting to experience the Christmas season with some sadness around. It has been years since someone important to me has passed away, and it has never happened in a holiday season before. Suddenly words seem different in carols, time with family seems all the more precious, and the promise of the Christmas story holds greater depth to me than ever before.

And it seems weird that I can have times of joy and happiness in this place of sadness too. I'm sure going to Emilie's funeral on Monday will be very difficult, but having this time off to spend with my husband, our parents and our siblings is so special to me. Even when we get a little cranky with one another.

But even as I cling to my family for comfort in this sadness, I know that there is a family out there without its wife and mother this Christmas. We've been lucky to see both sets of families this week/weekend. It has meant a lot of driving in bad weather but it has been worth it to join our families for this holiday.

I hope you all found comfort and joy this season, even despite the stress and sadness in your lives. I hope the new year brings you joy. And if you haven't read Emilie's final Catholic Spirit article you should, after all it can be important to open yourself up to experience joy even when you are not happy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Goodbye dear friend...

My friend Emilie passed away last night. She was with her husband and her boys. If you check her blog you will see how deeply she touched many people's lives.

Even knowing it was coming I find myself a bit shell-shocked today. I don't think the reality of her being gone has sunk in for me yet. Still my heart is breaking. Emilie was a good faithful friend. I'm so lucky to have known her.

Rest in peace sweet friend. You are missed and loved. I hope that you are able to sing with the heavenly chorus tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No words

i have been lax about blog.
right now i don't care.
all my complaints
and whines
and joys
are dwarfed right now.
by the sorrow i feel
for a dear friend
facing a final chapter
f*ck cancer
and pray for Emilie
to quote my gramma
dammit

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What happened to the lazy gene?

As time passes in my pregnancy (22 weeks today, wow) I am feeling Zy-Goat kick more and more. And I am realizing what our ultrasound tech first remarked on, we have one active little guy. I find it really funny because Mr. Goat and I by nature are not the most active types. I'm so curious to see if this activeness continues throughout the pregnancy and into his life "outside." (I may be curious but Zy-Goat doesn't need to hurry in any way, a nice long gestation will be fine for us!) Still, I wonder, where did all this energy come from? I know I sure don't have much to spare! LOL.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I know, I know...

It has been a week since I posted last, and I didn't mean to go on a hiatus. There was some funs stuff this week - A good doctor's visit (good BP, no weight gain), ChristmasFest, the Children's Advent Program, a baby shower for a friend and other cool stuff, but the majority of last week and this I have been in a funk.

Or maybe it isn't a funk so much as a WTF-are-we-going-to-do-about-X,Y,Z-freakout. Taken singly most of our problems can be solved with hard work and such but together combined with the increasingly demanding Christmas-ness of Dec, I am in a tizzy of trying to figure out how to make everything work.

Just a few of the things stressing me out...

1. A job for Mr. Goat. Since he is now able to practice, he wants nothing more than to be able to find a job and work. And that would help bring in some much needed $ too, but the job market is shit right now. And I want to help but I can't really. I know he'll find a job eventually but I want employers to see how great he is NOW!

2. Hence, the money worries. We are doing the best we can, but the bottom line is I don't make enough right now. I'm knee deep in a freelance thing to try to get some extra cash but even that won't be enough, as if Christmas isn't hard enough to pay for when there is money.

3. Moving. Our lease is up in Feb. Do we move, do we stay? Can we afford to stay? Or move? We don't know.

4. Baby stuff. We need to make decisions to plan for the baby who is growing and thriving and will be here sometime hopefully when he is due in April. But it seems stressful enough to navigate the stroller, crib and baby-paraphanila stuff without wondering how to pay for it and whether or not to get it used and what to look for and etc.

5. My body. I am really working hard on not gaining weight with this pregnancy. My Dr. doesn't want me to gain much of anything and it is really a challenge. I'm doing really well but it stresses me out - it is like a diet without a diet. And even seeing the scale stay roughly the same my body is doing all these weird things. I slept wrong the other day and pulled something in my shoulder which made the whole weekend uncomfortable and I know this is just the beginning and the aches and pains will only get worse as I get bigger. I am more than willing to deal with all of that and more to have a healthy baby, but with everything else it hasn't helped my attempt at a calm and upbeat mindset.

6. Christmas - I haven't shopped yet, I want to get people things, I don't know what and I don't know what we should be spending, probably nothing, but I am not crafty by nature. Sure people understand but I still feel guilty being scroogy with our funds.

And the worst thing? As bad as all this is and as much as I want to complain and whine and moan about it, I know that there are families a whole heck of a lot worse out there right now. Families who don't have jobs at all, and kids already and are trying to make Christmas special for their families. And I want to help them too. At least I have a job, and an apartment, and a baby on the way. There is so much to be thankful for in spite of all the worries, but I've been stuck in the worries this week and I hate that I'm in that mental place. Bah humbug and all that jazz.

(Sorry for all the emotional crap here, its where I am and I am trying to be honest with that. I don't think it is particularly attractive though and want to get out of this mindset quickly, but it hasn't happened yet)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A few shots

Here are a few shots of Zy-Goat for you all. I decided not to share the "money" shot with you all, where he showed us quite clearly that he is in fact a he! If you are friends with me on facebook though I did put them all up there. But here are a few to show the absolute cuteness of Zy-Goat in all his glory (not that I am biased or anything like that!). I am a bit bummed that he didn't give us a good profile shot though, he was just too wiggly. But I'm glad for the wiggly too.


Monday, December 01, 2008

The Verdict! (Spoiler Alert!)

So do you want to know? I'm assuming that is why you are here reading the blog today anyway so I won't delay any more!

Well blogland, you are all very smart. You mostly guessed right all along. Mr. Goat and I are indeed having a BOY!! We are very excited and the ultrasound was the coolest thing ever. I knew that it was amazing technology. It gave us a very good shot of all of the boy bits, assurring us that yes, we are indeed having a boy. (Ultrasound pictures to come once we get them on this computer).

In addition to having a boy, we have a child with two of everything he should have two of and one of everything he should have one of. Seeing a little 4 chamber heart beating and a brain and spine and all of that was the coolest experience ever. I thought that my first ultrasound was amazing to see a little gummy bear of a baby in there but this one today was amazing.

He has his father's feet...we'll that whole side of the family really. He didn't want to give us a good profile but we have some good 3/4 profile shots and he is just adorable. I'm just over the moon in love with this little guy. And man, he was active, squirming every which way. At one point he had his hand between his legs and while this was before we'd been told the sex I figured it was a pretty likely possiblity there was something interesting for him down there :) He also gave us great shots of his little fingers and toes as he stretched, waved and played around in there.

I'm sure there will be lots more post about my amazing little guy who looks perfect and is growing a few days ahead of schedule but I won't bore you all right now. Needless to say, Mr. Goat and I are amazed, awed and more than a little humbled by this guy swimming inside of me and I'm more excited than ever about the future for our little family.

P.S. We don't know a name yet, but even when we figure that out we aren't going to share so there is no point asking! ;)

P.P.S. In sadder news, I found out that my grandfather who we visited over Thanksgiving fell on Saturday night (we left Sat morning). They are still figuring out what is going on but there are some seizures and possible broken bones and there could be lots more wrong than we originally thought. I'm also worried about how my Gramma is holding up too. They were moving today so at least a lot of the family is in town but it seems very scary all around. If you have any spare prayers I'd love them right now, it seems a bit more touch and go than I am ready for. Thanks!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I made it!

Well, I made it through National Blog Posting Month! I did post everyday this month - sometimes even twice a day. I can't say I had many outstanding examples of writing or deep thoughts to share with the world but it was fun to blog that consistently for once. I hope I can keep up some of the consistency even if it isn't everyday. If you liked the increase in posting, why don't you give my ego a boost and let me know and I'll try to keep it up. (Naturally, if you didn't like it let me know and I'll be sure to take that into consideration!)

In other news, it ended up being a busy weekend with the holiday travel and some church work but it all worked out. And given that my ultrasound tomorrow was smack dab in the middle of the day it seemed easiest to take a day off and take a break from the long weekend. And since I have some freelance deadlines this week it will give me a chance to work on that as well.

Also, I get to go to ChristmasFest, St. Olaf's holiday choir service, and I'm looking forward to it. I haven't missed a year since I graduated (a minor miracle), so technically since before I went to St. Olaf as I was in it for four years as well. It is a sign of Advent for me and will forever be may favorite part of the Christmas season. I feel so lucky to get to go again this year.

There are so other exciting aspects of the week as well, and lots of little appointments and stuff so it will be a crazy week. It all starts with the ultrasound tomorrow which has me excited and just a little anxious as well. I want so badly for everything to be looking good that it get me worked up even when there is no apparent cause for worry, but given my normal state I'm sure this is mostly a reflection of my own normal way of thinking. I am working on it though.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home again

What can be said about a day on the road mostly. It mostly was just that - travel, mostly passive on my part as Mr. Goat did all the driving. But when he gets to do the driving I get to do plenty of thinking (and a fair amount of sleeping too). I think this was an emotional trip for me. With Gramma moving and the whole first-great-grandkid-in-my-belly thing it made for some interesting thoughts. It seems official that we are no longer simply kids and grandkids but have moved officially into the realm of adulthood. And life it changing, with BIG changes on the way, and it all seemed a little scary and sad this weekend knowing all these changes were coming soon, and soon like NOW. And natrually change is good but there is some bittersweet emotions watching the changes, even knowing that they are things you 1) wanted or are 2) necessary.

These are still uncompleted thoughts but that's what the trip brought out of me today. So much of what is happening is wonderful and I'm thrilled to be headed that way but today it was all a little scary. (Not to mention hormonal I imagine!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The games people play.

We are still here at Gramma's and are heading back home tomorrow to be back for church on Sunday. Nevertheless, it has been a fun trip. Gramma is in the process of moving to her new condo so the place is strewn with packing supplies and nothing is where it normally is but that is fine. It will be weird to come visit Gramma and not have the same house there (with its quintessential seventies decor).

But it has been a fun few days with lots of game play. Mr. Goat and I have played with siblings, parents, grandparents, and distant relatives. And naturally all of them have been different games so far.

Games played so far:

Phase 10
Bridge
Apples to Apples
Sheepshead
Ticket to Ride
Euchre

There are a few noticable absences in the last few days however. I have yet to corner my dad for a game of cribbage or backgammon, and the annual turkey bowl with the neighbors was cancelled this year due to a death in the neighbors family. But the games have continued and it is a wonderful party of the tradition of the family.

It is a tradition that I hope Zy-Goat will be pleased to partake in. It is one of my favorite parts of both my family and Mr. Goat's.

P.S. Speaking of Zy-Goat there are just a few days left to leave your guess on the poll. We find out on Monday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

A quick note on Thanksgiving morning. (Boy there is decidedly creepy Thanksgiving clip art out there, so no picture for you guys today!)

I am so thankful this year. I'm thankful for my friends and family and all the opportunities before us, even when they seem scary. I'm thankful for Mr. Goat and Zy-Goat and the chance to make a family in this world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Many blessings to you and yours this holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Halfway there!

We are all the way there to Gramma's and had a lovely late dinner with her, and my Sister and family tonight. Naturally we did have an hour an a half delay in traffic where we went about 8 miles total, but other than that the trip was fine. I got everything really important done at least.

In other news, we are now halfway through our pregnancy! Amazingly enough we are at 20 weeks. With the ultrasound on Monday and becoming much more aware of a baby actually moving in my belly it is a shock to realize that we are moving along so quickly.

That's it. Its late and we still are going to play a late night no-holds-bar Ticket to Ride game so good night and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bad attitude

There is so much to do before we head to Thanksgiving tomorrow and it has me in a funk. I put in the work and finished my work so I am ready for Sunday but now there is stuff around the house too and I'm starting to prioritize. But the problem with prioritizing is that I'm still slacking on some of the things that I really should have done. Here is the list and where I'm headed...maybe it won't look so bad if I write it all out! And maybe it will keep me from rummaging around for chocolate or something instead.

To Do:

  • Drop off the keys at the cat sitters. DONE!
  • Do all the laundry. DONE!
  • Clean up the dining room table/papers.
  • Vaccuum living room.
  • Straighten and spot clean bathroom. DONE!
  • Put laundry away. DONE!
  • Finish the dishes. DONE!
  • Find pants that I still fit into. DONE!
  • Pack for the trip. DONE!
  • Stop by the bank on the way out of town. DONE!
  • Find and pack some healthy snacks for the long trip.
  • Remember that this is a Thanksgiving trip and to be thankful for all I have even if I don't finish the list.

Monday, November 24, 2008

In a week.

Well, it is going to be a crazy week. In just one week it will be Dec 1st - which seems odd enough given that I could have sworn it was just like Halloween or heck, Labor day. Also this week we will drive several hundred miles to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family - or at least one part of the extended family but I'm still really excited about it. I am less excited about the 9 hour car trip - but more excited about the fact that gas is under $2.00 and hopefully will stay for the next 5 days.

Also, one week from today is our BIG Ultrasound. I know that I've had some thought either way about whether or not we would find out the sex of Zy-Goat but right know we are a go to know. (This could change multiple times in the week but who knows). Naturally, since we'll know in a week I figure I should have a poll and people can tell me their guesses. I will *maybe* post a picture when I get home tonight to add your guessing but I may give up in depression before I find one worth posting. Other info you might want...last time we were at the doc Zy's heart rate was 150. It seems to me that I am carrying low so far but it is hard to tell with the extra layers.

Hmmm. Any other info you want to may a semi-informed totally-in-the-dark guess? You can leave me questions you want answered before you guess if you'd like or the reasons why you guessed the way you did in this post, but don't forget to click on the poll too.

I should say two more things.

1. Mr. Goat and I both have the same hunch at the moment and I'm curious if I'll be right or not. But I won't tell you which way our hunch lies.

2. Zy-Goat could end up being the first demure member of the extended Goat clan and decide not to reveal him or herself. So we'll just see what there is to see, provided we are given a good view.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random Thoughts - Sore Loser addition

Thank you for your new vs. used advice. Feel free to add anything that comes to mind. I have to confess that I'm feeling a bit sleepy right now (despite my nap this afternoon) so I am having a hard time coming up with something to blog about - so, lets go with random thoughts.

* Can I tell you how excited I am for a two day work week! Very, very, very excited! It will be fun to see the family too and sleep in a king size bed.

* Fantasy Football was HORRIBLE today! My teams bombed at a level previously unheard of. I'm trying not to be a sore loser about it but it is hard because I really like winning.

* Likewise Chris and I went to play Bridge tonight and lost gloriously, fresh off of our win from last week. It is a fun date night but today the cards (and my brain) didn't really go our way. Again, I really do like winning but I just need to get over it.

* On another positive though, I did manage to get to the gym three times this week. I should do more but it was better than the week before and was what my energy level could do.

* I am highly amused by all the people at church and in daily life who upon finding out that we are pregnant congratulate us and then start laughing a bit crazily. I know enough to know that I really have no idea what I"m getting into but the manaically laughter is odd.

* I played the trumpet in church today. I played ok but my lung capacity is definitely compromised due to the presence of Zy-Goat. I'm willing to make this compromise though!

* I need to work on my veggie quotient in coming weeks. It is a hard one for me. Also, eating every three hours. I'm just not wired that way...its a constant struggle.

* I finished the Twilight Series and book 4 was my favorite. The story came together much more for me then. In a way the 4 books really are one large book (more like the LOTR trilogy - though Twilight is in no way as amazing as the LOTR). Getting to book 4 made me enjoy it much more however.

* Although it also makes me want to read Harry Potter again. I have too many library books out to indulge that right now though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Old vs New

Mr. Goat and I are just starting the search for all the baby gear needed for a kid these days. I'm sure we'll be polling you experts out there often in the coming weeks to help figure out the best things but first and foremost we have one important question....What can you get used and what should you really try to get new? Obviously clothes are easily reused for kids but what about cribs, strollers, car seats etc. Any advice on what can be good for used items and where to look for them would be great. We are trying to face the reality that we are going to have to live frugally for a while - particularly until Mr. Goat finds a job so I want to start getting a sense of what we really need. But I also don't want to cut corners in a way that is a risk or irresponsible either.

P.S. We did get the Baby Bargains book - thanks for the earlier tip.

P.P.S. We hope you all will appreciate your Macaroni picture Christmas gifts this year :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

10 minutes to spare

Whew what a day. The state swim tournament was fun, even if my SIL didn't get to the finals. And Wicked was AWESOME! Of course I'm a musical loving geek so I fit right in. It was definitely worth tracking down tickets. The cast was impressive too - some good comedic timing too. Yay!

More tomorrow when I don't have such a time constraint!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let the weekend begin

I was at work late tonight -which was annoying but also good because I finished some necessary stuff so i don't have to worry about it as I go into my weekend! Since I work all the Sundays I typically I have Fridays and Saturdays off.

Last weekend I didn't get Friday so I had a one day weekend and now I'm finally prepped for a full two days off! Tomorrow I get to go watch the HS state swim meet. My SIL is swimming - Go Sister Goat! And tomorrow night we have tickets to Wicked! I am so excited to take in a good musical.

Saturday should be good too. I'm just glad for two work free days. And that next week is a short week doesn't bother me either. Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One final thought

The kids tonight were so squirrelly and I had to talk to numerous kids about behavior, appropriate language, fighting, etc. There were moments of slightly raised tempers. If Zy-Goat is now hearing things I hope Zy does not remember my angry voice instead of my calm voice. Maybe I should be reading some books to my tummy now to make up for tonight. I don't know.

19 weeks

Holy cow. I am now 19 weeks pregnant. Which is just kind of mind-boggling. Here is what babycenter says this week...

How your baby's growing:Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

I have to say that I'm still fluctuating between feeling huge and feeling barely pregnant. If I have been able to feel Zy-Goat it is still not regular enough to tell for sure. Rather it feels like someone is playing tidal wave (like I used to in the bathtub as a kid) in my torso. But if there are any kicks or nudges I can't really tell yet.

In the meantime, the acne continues, as does a really lovely dose of fat transplanting, so while I don't particularly look too pregnant (to me, Mr. Goat sees it differently) I do seem to be widening and growing from all possible angles. Yuck.

I think I am really struggling with being naturally larger and pregnant. I don't feel too pregnant, I don't look too pregnant, and I'm just glad that most people know at this point because I don't think there is much physical evidence to tell people yet. It is yet another frustrating reality of being a larger person in the world. Added to that the reality of needing to eat and still struggling with the what and when of eating some days it gets very hard to deal with. A naturally my hormones are still playing a part in this as well I know. Naturally this struggle also means I have yet to get the courage to post any belly pictures on here. I may when I actually look pregnant but we'll see.

But I shouldn't complain. I'm almost halfway there and for all intents and purposes it has been remarkably painless so far. I haven't had morning sickness and I have had nothing too extreme on any other issue either. So really, I've been lucky.

It is amazing to almost on the downward slope of this pregnancy. Next week will be half way there and that is assuming Zy-Goat goes full term. The thought that we are headed toward an actual child now just blows the mind. And there is so much to do, as we haven't done much of anything to prepare yet. Yikes!

On the one hand time could speed up and on the other it could slow WAY down for me. I'm sure it won't do either but I do hope that the rest of this first half and the second half of this pregnancy is as easy as the first, at least maybe until that labor part - I don't expect that will be easy even if I wish it to be so.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just because

I have to confess that it seems like a very odd week is shaping up. There are some productive things and good things going on and some bad. And since it seems weird to deal with it I'm going to post a random quiz early today and spend the evening going to the gym, running errands, and probably watching Biggest Loser and doing some cleaning. If you haven't visited Emilie please do so, as she is very much in my thoughts at the moment.

But to fulfill my blogging requirements here is a random quiz I found floating around the blogs. I like it because it is only two questions long, which is perfect for random momentary distraction.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!

mm.ingrid_.jpg

You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"


Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.


How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me


What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have


Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)


Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Monday, November 17, 2008

Something more important than Star Trek

Please go over and keep Emilie in your prayers as she is in the hospital right now.

Monday

It was a Monday. I am tired. Work. Gym. Dinner. That is all.

I was going to ask whether anyone was reading much anymore but with content like this who can blame them?

But, in an attempt to draw people to the awesomeness that is Geek Life....without further ado....

The New Star Trek Movie Trailer!

(Yeah, its ok to be excited even if you don't admit it out loud.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sneaking in under the wire

I'm sneaking in under the wire for Sunday but it has been a busy day. A few of the highlights...

1. Work went well this morning, no disasters, and it was confirmation Sunday which is always fun to watch. This is the first batch of kids that I taught in SS before they made it to confirmation so it was neat for me. A little surreal that I've really been there 4 years though!

2. The Packers destroyed the Bears. And the Vikings lost too, so we are all tied for first of the divison again. I'm glad to stay in the hunt.

3. My SIL is going to state swimming next week and it works out that we get to go...also we have Wicked tickets this week and I'm super excited about it.

4. I *may* have felt Zy-Goat move...but then again I don't really have the foggiest idea what I'm looking for. Still, 18.5 weeks is an exciting place to be. I finally can identify a little bump in the extra padding. Yay!

5. Mr. Goat and I went back to bridge tonight and we actually won the night! We won a half a master point. Go Team Goat! It is a bit redeeming since we are easily the youngest people in the room by like 20 years.

6. The key this time maybe? I actually had an early dinner and ate first. Turns out that food really helps a pregnant lady function. Who knew? :)

7. Thanksgiving is coming up and I'll get to see my Gramma and my sister and BIL and other family too. It will be fun and worth the drive.

So yay for happy news today. Even if it is all small stuff, but I'm glad for the small stuff today. But anyway, a busy week is coming up so it is time for bed! Night Blogland!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Breathing

Whew. That was quite a week. I'm finally decompressing after it and able to post things more than my desire for chocolate cake! I did have Monday off after a full week of work (Sat and Sunday included) the week before but since that was mostly spent running errands and doing important odds and ends it didn't feel restful. I'm also coming off a Thursday and Friday of working until midnight to finish a deadline for a new freelance project. I'm very excited about it but as deadlines kept changing the sudden due date caught me a bit off guard - and since I had full work days as well - well my pg self is TIRED!

I celebrated being done though by sleeping until 11am and then going to the Chocolate Extravaganza with Mr. Goat and some friends. They've had a crazy life for months now so it was nice to see them and the free tickets were great. There was loads of yummy chocolates and breads and candy stuff to try which was great. There was also a fair amount of wine and spirits which all the others enjoyed. I'll just have to settle for the chocolage today. And now I'm home. Mr. Goat and I finished up the homemade soup he made on Thursday which was yummy and I'm trully feeling decompressed right now.

I know the work starts all over again early tomorrow morning but at least for now I'm breathing normally. Maybe I'll even get to make it to the gym this week as I'm feeling bigger than ever right now - and not in a cute pg way, just in a bloated fat sort of way. Oh well, only one issue at a time right now. And today is about relaxing and reenergizing. And did I mention that there was actually sunshine today. Loved that, even if it got dark too quickly, but I suppose that is the price to pay for sleeping till 11am. And I don't regret it! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Geek^2

I was geekily excited to read that NASA and the Hubble Telescope had scored some new images of planets far, far away. So naturally I clicked on the CNN link to read about it and see the images. It was pretty cool. But I did have one concern, one which highlights my immense geekiness...


So is it just me...or do the pictures of the new planets remind anyone of the eye of Sauron? I mean I don't want to be alarmist or anything but it was a bit trippy to my geek sensibilities. I'm sure it is just infared light or something being picked up because of the distance...

And yet? I wouldn't trust any aliens from this planet right away...particularly if they looked like orcs. But again, that just might be me. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just what the day needs

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Frazzled

Gray dreary day

Disagreeing opinions

A deadline

An event to plan

Crabbiness

Bad-for-you lunch

Daylight Savings Time sunset

No chocolate cake

Long night ahead

Wanting a nap

Blah

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One more thing...

Lest you think that I am only defined by my craving for Chocolate cake...go listen to Keith Olbermann's take on the passing of Prop 8 in California. He says things very well and I wholeheartedly agree. In a world that has elected it's first African American President I feel confident that we will ultimately end up on the right side of this issue but until then we are in for a long bitter fight. Certainly the debate on same-sex marriage is in no way over, and I hope that in the future we all can stand up for all people's right to love the people they choose.

See....THIS is what I'm talking about.





What can a girl do?! I've had a bit of chocolate but it doesn't seem to help. I am going to try to resist until the weekend though. I won free tickets to the cities Chocolate Extravaganza. So there will be all sorts of decadent treats to try, and since I won't be able to partake of the free wine I might as well get my chocolate fix then. But just look at the lovely cakes above and say you don't crave it too.

I'm sorry, I'm mean, aren't I?

When I was in Seminary there was a restaurant nearby and whenever my parents visited we would go their for dinner. And they had this dessert...Bailey's Chocolate Mousse cake. Mom and I would always get this dessert. It was worth skipping dinner for if necessary. It was awesome. And then one day the restaurant had changed their desserts around and it was GONE. I never have been able to find its equivalent to this day. It was chocolaty and creamy and perfect. I wish I had a piece of that, but given the liqueur in it I probably couldn't have it anyway. It was a sad day when that dessert left the menu.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, simply that I take my desserts seriously. I don't crave them often necessarily but when I do...watch out! Since I haven't had too many cravings in this pregnancy to date I wonder if I should give in. But naturally, I don't NEED any chocolate cake. And there will be plenty of chocolate this weekend...sigh, I hope I can make it to the weekend. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

I'm sitting here in the middle of doing laundry, dutifully heating up leftovers for dinner, watching the Biggest Loser and desperately craving Chocolate Cake (and yes it does deserve capital letters at the moment)...so how about some Random Thoughts.

* You know how you get a message from the doctor saying to call and you worry the whole time you are calling them back only to have a chipper nurse ultimately tell you (after being on hold for an excruitating 5 minutes) that all your tests came back negative and normal. :) And you are thrilled but it is like couldn't you just tell me that on the message so I can avoid the stress. LOL. In this case it was our quad screen blood test that came back normal. Woohoo! But it was a stressful few minutes.

* Seriously, I need some Chocolate Cake! Rwoarrr!

* After finishing Book 3 of the Twilight Series I am officially into the series. It is in no way equivalent to the Harry Potter Series, or the Lord of the Rings but it is entertaining. Now I just need to wait out the library to get book 4 and see how it ends. It is good but luckily I haven't fallen so hard that I have to buy the books. I do kinda want to go see the movie though ;)

* I know why I want Chocolate Cake too. I didn't have any of the cake leftovers at staff today (it was leftover from Confirmation retreat). There was german chocolate and red velvet and I didn't have any. At the time it was fine but now....CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!

* I got to have Monday off this week which was amazing. I ran some important errands and got to meet baby Solomon who is totally precious. However, since I did have Monday off today was a total scramble to keep up with the works week. Suddenly it all seems very busy and crazy. I'm working hard to keep up though and I know that Monday was worth it.

* I am really struggling about worrying about things I can't control. I've always been this way and this evening seems particularly difficult. I wish I could find a way to just let it go and trust that things will more than likely turn out ok and that even if they didn't I would deal with it the best I can and my support system would be there for me. And more often than not it isn't even serious things that I worry about, though I often take the "what if" game to extremes.

* Don't you hate laundry? I actually like laundry except for one thing - folding and putting away. Ugh, just awful. And Mt. Laundry is waiting for me. Woohoo!

* It is very strange to me to be eating so healthy and still getting bigger, and that bigger is good. Trippy is what that is. Of course I can always eat heathier....but then again, where is the Chocolate Cake!

* I'll just settle down and watch a Tivo-ed Dr. Who instead and try not to worry. Yay for Dr. Who!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A good message

From LutheranChik and a good reminder for us all...

Today bloggers around the globe are joining to educate readers and advocate on behalf of the world's refugees.

According to Amnesty International, there are approximately 14.2 million refugees worldwide, and an additional 24.5 displaced persons. Most refugees are in African and Asian countries.

What can you do? Organizations like Amnesty work to pressure governments into abiding by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, to fight the factors that create refugees in the first place and to ensure that refugees are treated with decency and dignity. You can read about Amnesty's work with refugees here . You can also support denominational aid agencies and other aid agencies that help refugees -- to see what Lutherans are doing in this regard, go to the Lutheran Immigration Relief Service website.

And, of course, bloggers out there can do what we love to do -- blog. Feel free to borrow my graphic.

As a child I remember coming home from school and when I asked my mom what she did that day she would sometimes respond "Oh I wrote the king of Egypt or some president of a country. When I would ask why she would explain that someone innocent was in prision and she was writing to help convince the government to let them go. I always remembered that and am glad that I can take this small step today to help people too. Even if my blog is unlikely to be read by any kings or presidents today.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Football woes

It has not been a good year football-wise so far. In my two fantasy leagues I've been losing pretty regularly. I'm in the middle of the pack in one and way near the bottom in the other. Frustrating. Just like the Packers one point loss to the Vikings this afternoon. Since I have a "mixed marriage," Mr. Goat was naturally pleased that the Vikings prevailed but it is always sad to see my Packers lose, particularly to the purple.

Oh well, as a Cubs fan as well I have plenty of experience with "Well there is always next year" and of course the season isn't over yet. In this case there is always next week, for at least a few more weeks still.

Go Pack Go! Get those Bears next week.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Double Take

Today I was at a Children's Ministry workshop here in town. It was a long day and mostly good but it did call for an early Saturday to go across the cities in time for things to start. I got there in plenty of time but I sure was tired. Maybe too tired?

In our first talk there was a little activity and in our workshops was the following question....

How many pennies have you handled in your lifetime?

Call it sleepiness or possibly hormones, but I did NOT read pennies in that sentence the first time I read it. LOL.

Although to my credit, I did think it was an odd question to be asking in a Children's Ministry workshop.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Five: Funny Papers

From RevGalBlogPals...

After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!

1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child?

Calvin and Hobbes - I just loved the trouble-maker child and his huge imagination. There were plenty of geeky references too. Here are some favorites.


2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone?

I'll pick two here. I love Get Fuzzy (see a geeky example below) but I also love the webcomic xkcd.com which combines math humor with ultimate geek humor in crudely drawn stick figures. So really, can you go wrong there?
3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you?

Probably Charlie Brown, although I also identify with Linus. I love that they are both philosophers in their own right though.

4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you?

I agree to an extent but they are more like philosphy one-liners. I think it sometimes takes is a good way to show the ironies and oddities of humanity which is always good for people to be able to recognize.
5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples?

Well, I don't think I'd pick these as my favorite long-running comics but I think there is a familiarity to the characters in the comics. I think particularly of For Better or Worse. And having something continue that you knew as a child can be grounding.

Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print?

I want to see Calvin and Hobbes and Far Side come back, but also For Better or Worse which went back to the beginning and Fox Trot which is currently just doing Sunday comics and is on repeat for the others. I miss them all.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The new big question

We all know that there are always questions that follow you at any given point in your life. If you are single....are their any prospects? If you are dating....are you engaged yet? If you are engaged...when is the wedding? If you are married...when are you going to have kids? And now pregnant...(among others) are you going to find out the sex of the baby?

Now that is the question we are getting most often right now. I can tell you all this, we have our big ultrasound scheduled now for Dec 1st. I know people who have found out and people who haven't. So where are Mr. Goat and I leaning? Right now we are thinking about finding out but honestly I don't think we have a major opinion on the matter. I mean it is going to an amazing surprise regardless of whether it is in a month or 5 months.

Really I think we are planning to find out in order to plan well and because it seems more difficult to NOT find out these days. I could see not finding out if I felt strongly about the surprise, but since we don't seem to care that badly it doesn't seem like it is worth the effort to remind every nurse and doctor along the way that we don't want to know. Besides, then we can get lots of cute pink or blue clothing. I mean, I like green if baby has Chris' coloring green won't look good, and if it has mine yellow will be hideous so we might as well go gender specific.

And I do realize that there is still a chance to get it wrong on the ultrasound but I have to say, it is pretty exciting to know that in a month, if Zy-goat cooperates that is, that we'll know if we've got a boy or girl in there.

And as for that other question that we get...yep, we are thinking about names, and no, we aren't going to be sharing those!

So what did you do? Did you find out the sex of your baby or not? And why or why not? And did you just grow to hate the endless questions or were you tolerant because it was someone who hadn't heard about it yet?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Random thoughts on the morning after history was made.

* I'm still moved by the history made last night. Up until the results last night I'd hardly perceived of the historic nature of having an African-American as president. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, probably because I have very little sense of the real racism of our Nation's history. But after talking to those older than me, who have witnessed more of this nations civil rights growth I'm just stunned (in a good way) by what has been achieved. Not only has the candidate who I think is the better candidate won but history was made as well.

* I remain pleasantly surprised by the grace and dignity of John McCain's concession speech. I think he represented himself better in that moment than during much of the campaign.

* I was really dismayed by the boo-ing of McCain's crowd however. I remember being on the losing side of things for the last two elections and I don't remember quite so much hatred in the end. Of course I may be mistaken. I do know it is always easier to be a gracious winner than loser. Still I hope that they will give Obama a chance to prove himself.

* Likewise for those friends I have who are supporters of the GOP. I wouldn't think I'd need to ask them to give the admistration a chance after the last 8 years but some of the bitterness I've heard from them today is surprising to me. I don't remember being that acidic after the last too difficult elections. I remember being depressed but not taking it out on my friends of the other party.

* I thought Obama's speech was wonderful and am really looking forward to seeing him prepare to lead this nation and to take charge. There is a lot of mess to have to clean up but he seems prepared to do what needs to be done.

* And given that congress seems to be democratic as well it seems like he has a strong two years to get things moving in the right direction.

* All that is good, but there were some negatives too. The MN senate race is still too close and is likely to drag on into December which neither MN nor the candidates need. Bachmann and her anti-American propaganda has made it back into the house and while that is not surprising it is a bit sad. And then there are the gay marriage bans that passed throughout the country. It seems like we still have so far to go to reach equality on that issue and that makes yesterday bittersweet. Still I have to remain hopeful that we are moving in the right direction ultimately even given these setbacks.

* Finally, normally my Packer-sensibilities would prevent any purple clothes in the week preceding a Packer-Viking game week. However, given that today is a day for moving forward in a non-partisan way it seemed like a fitting color to where.

Yes we can.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Random Thought on a Historic Night

* Did anyone else vote and then triple check everything just to make sure they didn't fill in the wrong circle? I did. And I'm still irrationally concerned that I may have voted for the other guy unintentionally.

* I'm really surprised at some of the Republicans falling in the early elections. I mean, I haven't followed the races but it seems that Bush and his politics are going to have some major backlash in the congress.

* I know a few people in Grant Park in IL. What would it be like to be there if (and hopefully when) the first African-American President of the United States is declared. Unreal. Could you imagine?

* I'm guessing there are many others like me who can't be torn away from election coverage given the long delay in pizza deliver. *blush*

* I think Mr. Goat had a pretty quiet day as a poll watcher. I'm glad there were no major problems for people voting, but there is a little part that hopes for some drama!

* Look two posts in one day. Is anyone else just excited and unable to think about anything else?

From one to the other

Last night as I was watching the SNL Presidential Bash and trying to ignore all the campaign ads, a commercial came on that caught my attention. Lo and behold, it was not for a political candidate. Instead it was...Christmas music. Yes the Christmas advertising season has begun. Bring on the endless carols, materialism and whatever fad toy is the "it" thing this year. And it led me to wonder which is worse....all the political campaign ads, or the Christmas ones. Obviously there can be good examples of both but still.

So if you feel like voting one more time today, come drop by my poll and let me know which one will drive you the battiest. We may be out of the frying pan as it were but we've been dropped into the fire instead.

Merry Christmas? And don't forget to Vote!

Monday, November 03, 2008

One day more

Every time that the presidental election rolls around I'm awed, amazed and saddened by the vast amount of election ads, the bulk of it negative. As the election draws to the close I find myself on the eve of the election feeling a mixture of relief, anxiety and apprehension.

Relief because soon all the craziness will be over. Perhaps soon I won't be dragged into arguing with friends who don't agree with me. And I won't have to watch ad after ad that only disappoint my opinion of ALL the candidates. Yes, I have have strong opinions about this election but they all need to get better. No candidate is free of truth-bending and creative editing. And ultimately the world needs to sift through the crap to try to figure out what is going on and what is important.

But there is apprehension and anxiety there too. No doubt this will be a highly contested day. I'm sure that all the polling places will be crazy. I hope my Mr. Goat is able to stand up for all voters tomorrow as a poll watcher. I hope the electronic voting machines work. I hope the news stations don't start calling things with 30% of the vote counted. The TV will be endless speculative. And frankly, the thought of another 4 years of the way things have been going. I'm cautiously optimistic but there is definitely some worry in there too.

Regardless...no matter what your opinion, party or stance on the issues, go VOTE tomorrow! It is the American process and it will be 4 years until we get this chance again. I am hoping for change and not in maverick form, but I suppose I could spend 4 years in Grand Cayman if I had to. Either way...

Get out the Vote!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

NaBloPoMo

Well, it is National Blog Posting Month and that means people are being asked to blog everyday for the 30 days of November. So this year I thought I'd try to play along. Since I've been having some writers block I figured it would be a good challenge. Yesterday's post on Mr. Goat's swearing in counted as number 1 and so here is two. If you'd like to play along come and join me. I'm not a stickler so I figure it is better late than never. :) Still I'm going to try really hard to keep up with this. So I'm sure that there will be some definite random thoughts this month. But given my natural propensity for the random I'm sure it will fit right in with the rest of the blog.

And since the election is coming very soon, I thought I also would share one of the funniest pro-dem video clips that I've seen in a while. Enjoy and I'll see you all tomorrow! And now...Hockey Mama for Obama!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

May it please the court...or um, blogs...

Congratulations are due to Mr. Goat who on Friday morning was sworn into the Bar association of the state of MN. Joining almost 700 other lawyers, he faced the MN supreme court and former Purple-People eater, the Honorable Justice Alan Page. The sea of suits was impressive and more so knowing what they had to endure...law school, the bar exam, the WAITING. I am immensely proud of him and it was a proud day to watch him be sworn in.

Here is Mr. Goat signing into the Bar Association before the ceremony.


Also the day was special because if you have a family member who is a lawyer (and member of the Bar in good standing - see my lawyer language is improving) they can move that you be admitted to the bar. My father was able to come up and sponser Mr. Goat. I don't think it is every day that my father, who is mostly retired from law, gets to address a state supreme court and it was very touching to have Dad nominate dear hubby Mr. Goat.
Here are Mr. Goat and Dad together. I think it is fair to say that my dad had the coolest hair there...too bad you can't see the pony tail from this shot.
And here we are: Mr. and Mrs. Goat. And while I am not yet willing to say for certain that I am showing there does seem to be a bit more pregnancy-type fat than the normal fat of my stomach. Which I have to say I wouldn't mind seeing more of. Of course, it could still be wishful thinking too.
So 4 of 5 steps on the path to attorney-at-law are completed. The LSAT, law school, the Bar exam are all done. Mr. Goat is sworn in and a real attorney now. He can even officially give legal advice now. The last step...a job. I have faith that one will come as Mr. Goat has worked hard and is really going to be good at this whole law thing. Still, the last step seemed too fitting to pass up on Halloween, so enjoy...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I did it!

Well, it took longer than last year but I made it through the 50 books for 2008. I am by no means done reading for the year. I have a pile a mile high waiting to be read but I am pleased that I made it to 50. One of the coolest things about it so far...no repeated books. All 50 were books I had not read before. I may add some repeats for the rest of the year as I'm itching to reread Harry Potter and the LOTR. But we'll see how the piles go. I suppose I should add some baby books to the list too. :) But looking at the list does anyone want a review of the books and/or have good books to suggest for me? I'm all ears!

The 50 Book Challenge 2008

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
3. Resort to Murder: Thirteen More Tales of Mystery by Minnesota's Premier Writers by Minnesota Crime Wave
4. Evenings at Five by Gail Godwin
5. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
6. The Pillers of the Earth by Ken Follett
7. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
8. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
9. The View from Mount Joy: A Novel by Lorna Landvik
10. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See
11. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
12. Beware of Cat: And Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier by Vincent Wyckoff
13. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
14. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
15. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
16. Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
17. People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
18. Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
19. Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
20. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
21. Songs without Words by Ann Packer
22. Those who Save Us by Jenna Blum
23. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
24. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
25. A Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
26. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
27. Peony in Love: A Novel by Lisa See
28. Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father's Counterfeit Life by Jennifer Vogel
29. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
30. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
31. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
32. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer
33. The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman as told by S. Morgenstern
34. Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
35. Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley
36. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
37. Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
38. Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson
39. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
40. The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson
41. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
42. The Wise Woman: A Novel by Philippa Gregory
43. The Last Suppers by Diane Mott Davidson
44. Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson
45. The Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson
46. The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
47. Bridge of Sighs: A Novel by Richard Russo
48. New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) by Stephenie Meyer
49. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Trilogy, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
50. Certain Girls: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is it Tuesday Yet?

This election may kill me. Is it Tuesday yet?

Let's look at some of the things that have been "taught" to me this week in my attempt to support Mr. Obama for President.

1. Palin is more qualified than Barak because she is a governor and not a senator.

2. The last two years of democratic held congress account for all the problems of Bush's terms in office.

3. Jesus was NOT a political figure (this was particularly interesting for me to learn).

EDITED TO ADD:

4. Oh I learned this today too....Fox News is apparently the ONLY fair and balanced media news source. Did you know that?

Is it over yet? Most days it is all I can do to keep my head from exploding. Add to this that it is a documented Republican goal to stall and prohibit as many people from voting as they can it just makes me sick. Mr. Goat will be at a polling place all day on Tuesday just to make sure that the law is upheld and that any one who is able to may vote regardless of their skin color, income or political leanings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still here

Hi blogland,

I am still alive. I'm just...well, I don't know what I am exactly. Do you remember when you were a teenager and you had a week of insanity? That when you were with people you wanted to be alone and when you were alone you really wanted to be with others? That is sort of where I'm at. I feel emotionally all over the map and while I'm sure it is a result of crazy pg hormones knowledge of that doesn't make it easier to be there.

I'm trying hard to not dwell in stress and worry about it all, and for the most part I do feel like I'm succeeding. Most of the time I'm just working hard to get things done, but when I start to take the time to blog or dwell it all comes back...baby, pregnancy and all that goes with it - health, eating, exercise, not to mention jobs, finances, housing. And then I remember that it does no good to stress about it and I make myself do something else so I don't worry it.

That works for the most part, until I go to sleep. I have the weirdest pg dreams right now. None of them immediately relate to babies, or normal everyday life anyway, but I find that I wake up in the same emotional mood as my dream. The other day I had a dream where I was in a high speed car chase to escape an evil cop trying to get me (the good cop) and I woke up extremely anxious. It took several hours to shake that feeling even though it didn't relate to anything real.

And that's one reason I haven't blogged much. Who wants to hear about all of this. Firstly I don't want to come across that I am anything but thrilled and excited about being pregnant and going to have a baby. But there is also a bit of terror and a fair amount of curiousity about how this will change our lives.

But I do want to blog more. I want to be honest about this time in our lives and I want to share it with anyone who cares. I just don't want to always complain about it either, because it isn't worth complaining about really. I mean honestly, I haven't even had morning sickness!!! WHAT on earth is there to complain about. But apparently I'm good at finding things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayers Please...

Please go over to Vanessa's blog and send her good wishes and prayers. She is in early labor at this point with a placental abruption so it looks like her beebee is on his way. I'm sure it is scary and a bit earlier than she'd hoped so send them all the prayers you can spare.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Thoughts

* Why is it that when you go to the gym to walk on the treadmill for miles you drive around the parking lot looking in vain for the best spot? Or is that just me?

* If you are pregnant and happen to hear "I was there to hear your Borning Cry" you may get a little sniffly - Or again, that could just be me?

* In boob-ville they say that Mrs. Goat's boobs grew three sizes that day. Sorry for the poorly written Dr. Suess line but darn. I had to get new bras because of the pregnancy, which isn't surprising. What is surprising is that numbers and letters go that high! I don't know if boob growth is a benefit for the less endowed during pregnancy, but when you are already gifted it is just mind boggling. On the other hand, new bras = good! And now if you must gouge your eyes out due to TMI I understand.

* I'm so much looking forward to the weekend. I love weekends. Plus this one has fun stuff and opportunities for some sleep. Hopefully lots of sleep. The only bad thing is it is supposed to get cold for Sunday and that is the day we have our annual Trunk or Treat.

* Work things have improved. I don't want to have to do over the last several months, but sufficit to say, I did the work to keep my position and defended my skills well. I'm hoping this is the end of the ordeal and I am going to work to move forward at this job. And that makes me happy to know that I succeeded in proving my worth.

* Ooooo, and I cleaned a fair amount of my office today. I love it when I have a few hours to do that. So. much. better.

* I also have an exciting new opportunity for some free-lance work. I'm not authorized to say much about anything but I'll let you guys know when I can and I hope that the little extra income will help the finances as we ready for baby.

* I feel a bit proud of myself when the scale at the gym doesn't fluctuate more than a pound either way. So long as Zy's growth is normal I think I'm doing a good job keeping the weight reasonable so far. I hope to keep up with it. My diet isn't perfect by any means but I'm working on it.

* On the other hand my diet coke this afternoon was SO good and it made me glad that I allow myself one every so often. Mmmmmm....diet coke.

* Speaking of Diet Coke, and everything else related to pregnancy - Why, oh why, is there so much conflicting information out there about what you can and can't do. It can make me (and consequently Mr. Goat) nuts trying to figure it all out. I'm just trying to do what works for me and is consistent with what I read but damn, it can be super confusing and annoying.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gonna Party like it's 19-39!

Mr. Goat and I went to a competitive bridge game last night. There are two forms of the card game bridge...social bridge - aka playing with friends over wine and munchies and duplicate bridge - a structured game where you play the same hands as everyone else with rotating partners to see who can achieve the most success with the cards given. Duplicate bridge also has the master point ranking system for those "professional" bridge players - sort of like the ranking for chess players except in this case most of them are NOT twelve year old prodigies.

Mr. Goat and I went to a fairly beginner duplicate game and had a great time. Of no surprise though was that we were the youngest people there by at least 20 years or so...and that was to our nearest age couple I think. The irony is that it is a great game and I would love to see so many people I know play it because they would love it, but unfortunately it just isn't very big right now. So Mr. Goat and I may have to resort to partying it up on Sunday night with the Golden Girls.

I jest, but it is so much fun and really the age difference doesn't bother me. I was just glad that Mr. Goat and I could hold our own and keep up with the "real" players. We may just have some potential here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blogging mirrors life's mysteries

It is funny. Before I told the world about being pg, when it was still a secret between me and my husband, or even our families, blogging immediately became more difficult. There was this BIG thing that was still too new to share. And yet there was so little else to say because my world was already colored by this news. Immediately thoughts changed and priorities too. Maybe not dramatically, since a family is something I've always hoped for, but it was now a tangible change and not a future hypothetical one.

And now that it is out I want to talk about it...the excitement and fear, the uncertainty and hope and all of the little details that are now suddenly important in my life and future. But at the same time, there is still an internal struggle. Many of my friends have children, many don't. I don't want to alienate my friends without by prattling on about pregnancy symptoms or the search for the perfect baby swing, or whatever. I know that these are important things and that I will blog about them, but I don't want to limit my blog to discussing my new upcoming role as mother.

I never really thought I'd reach the existential dilemma of motherhood, but I see it hovering at the distance waiting to come in. I know lots of people who struggle with it naturally and I don't know why I thought I might be exempt. These smart, talented professional women all wanted children too, and yet there is a moment of "is that all I'll be from now on." I will be a mom, I'll be a blogger...ergo mommy blogger? I don't know. I'll be a mom and a wife and a church worker and who knows what else but does mom trump all now? I don't know yet but it is weird to think about.

All of these thoughts may be normal and my opinion of them and myself may change a great deal before I actually hold my baby in my arms, but is there a way to be fully myself and not lose myself in a mother identity. Is it even something to worry about since it is hard and good work.

I think every new addition to an identity adds some angst to the other parts of you. When you get married you may struggle to still have your alone time. When you go to college some of you is back home still. But then you go home and some of you is still at college. This may be another example of your identity growing and building. I think it can grow to include mother, but I want to ensure that mom doesn't squelch all these other parts of me as well.

In all things balance I suppose, but I do hope you'll forgive me if I mention babies a bit more than normal for a while. I'm still trying to figure out the balance, and I'm sure I'll still be working on it when April comes and I start to figure it out again, with a real baby this time, not just me and my thoughts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So, if you've been pregnant...

Any tips? My clothes are starting to get tight and I'm thinking I need to at least explore some options before I wake up one day without anything that fits. But now that I've gotten to the second trimester I realize that most of my early research has been more about nutrition and exercise and how to tell work and such. But apparently there is going to be a baby at the end of this road and it suddenly seems like there is a lot to do. Not only in terms of figuring out the rest of the pregnancy and the clothes and such but also figuring out how to prepare for the baby and all the stuff and everything. Obviously I'm not going to take care of everything at once but I'm three months in, so I thought I'd poll all of you smart pregnant and parent types out there and see what you all would recommend as this process moves on. Anything you think would have helped you or did help you would be great. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I was tagged..

I was tagged by Emilie earlier this week but with the pregnancy announcement and a lot to do at work and otherwise I haven't gotten around to it until now. I tried to do it yesterday but was in a real funk. I'm not sure if it was a natural introverted reaction to the very social part of telling people about being pregnant, or some serious work stress coming in the next week, or just some of the widely fluctuating pregnancy hormones but I have been in a mood. My funk hasn't quite lifted today but seeing as I've got to be productive at work tomorrow and I really want to get out of it I'm trying to think of these seven things to share with you all. So here it is... seven weird/random facts about me.

1. I have only been good at one sport in my life...soccer. I was only a marginal fielder but I was a great goalie. Something about me running and diving at smaller kids feet to grab the ball was intimidating or something I guess. :)

2. I really hate to wear makeup even though I really ought to, but the feel of it on my skin just bugs me all day long no matter what type I've tried. Now being pregnant I'm completely broken out too so it doesn't help.

3. I am a packrat - mostly with regards to books and school stuff. It just seems so hard to get rid of papers and books for me. What if I need my 11th grade geometry notes someday? My growing use of the library is helping me learn to give books away though but it is still a challenge.

4. I love to play games and am willing to learn any game out there. I also know several obscure card games like Sheepshead and games whose popularity is dwindling in my generation like Bridge. In fact I've been offered jobs on the spot at game stores just for the questions about games that I ask. Maybe I should have taken them up on it.

5. I sometimes think that if I could just have the resources to go to school forever that I would, nearly everything I've ever studied appeals to me on some level, even languages which is funny because I'm awful at them.

6. I wanted to be the first person on Mars and while I've given up on that I do wonder if one day we'll be able to go to space without being a scientist or pilot someday. When that happens (minus the multi-million price tag) sign me up for a trip in orbit. To boldly go where...only a few have gone before.

7. I really struggled to come up with these 7 things, because mostly I consider myself to be fairly boring. I so often end up on the lazy-book-tv-game side of the equation that when I look at it doesn't seem like anyone else would find my geeky self interesting enough. I've never really been a go out and party type, I'd much rather go and watch the stars. But deep down that's who I am and some days I'm more ok with it than others.

I hope I didn't end on a downer for people. I'm so excited to be pregnant and to start this new chapter in my life but what with that and the work craziness and such there is some "who am I and what do I want with my life" type dilemmas in my brain. I'm sure they are not resolved today or tomorrow or maybe ever but it makes it hard to focus on what I KNOW I want, and what I KNOW I am. Who knows...maybe tomorrow will bring it into focus. But for now, there are my 7 things. I hope they are a *little* interesting. :)

And I tag...

Kristie Tiffany Kristin Jessica Vicki Carrie Vanessa