Sunday, November 30, 2008

full and happy

Hello friends. I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was fabulous. To start things off, we had our annual High School group vs. College group flag football game ("Turkey Bowl") on Thanksgiving Day. It had rained the day before, but it was clear on game day. Sah-weet. College won for the 3rd year in a row! 49-21. Yeah baby!

Then I headed to my parent's house to eat myself silly and spend mucho time with JUDAH!!!!!!!! Oh and the rest of my family, too. Haha. Just kidding. But being only 5 days old, Judah was definitely the highlight of everyone's holiday time. I took a million pictures and videos of him. (some below)

Over the weekend we rested, ate, talked, went to the movies, got the Christmas tree, slept, went on walks, ate some more. On Friday I had the opportunity to have a mini-roomate reunion with 3 previous roomies. It was so fun!! Perhaps a tradition in the making??

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this picture. Judah's eyes are rolling into the back of his head.

Here's a 2 minute video. Sometimes after he feeds, before he drifts off to sleep, he gives a little smile.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Judah Immanuel

I am still in shock.

There is new life.

Judah is now a part of our family.

Here is the story.

First of all, I need to praise my sister. She is a ROCKSTAR! Her water broke Friday around 11 am and she did not have baby Judah until 8:10 Sunday morning. That is over 40 hours in labor. AND SHE DID IT ALL WITHOUT DRUGS. Good lord, I don't know how she did it. We are all very proud of her.

I had spent Saturday night at my parent's house. Neither my dad or I could sleep very well. We were excited/anxious for Amy and the baby, hoping that they were ok. I remember waking up at 6:30 am, not being able to sleep and texting my mom (who was at the hospital with Amy and David) to get an update. We got the phone call around 8:30 Sunday morning that the baby had finally been born, so my dad and I jumped in my Corolla and sped to the hospital.

I imagined that when I saw Amy and the baby, I would hoot and holler, laugh, and leap around with giddiness. But nothing prepared me for the reaction I had. My dad and I were in the lobby on Amy's floor, waiting for her to be wheeled in from the floor below. When we saw her, my dad and I jumped to our feet and ran over to give lots of hugs. I looked down and saw Amy was carrying Judah in her arms. And tears came. I literally became frozen and speechless. No words would express what I was feeling, looking at her son. I just stared and stared at him with tears falling. I was so overcome with emotion. Finally I choked out, "Aim...he is the most precious thing I have ever seen in my life."

I've been thinking about why I reacted that way. I mean, I obviously know those tears were tears of joy. But it was deeper than that. Maybe it was the realization that this little one had been inside my sister for nine months and now we finally got to see what he looked like. Or maybe it was seeing my sister and brother-in-law's face in his little face. Or maybe it was thinking about this amazing miracle God had given Amy and David. I don't know. All I know is there was a little life looking up at me with big eyes and my heart stirred deeply.

We got to spend the whole day at the hospital with them. What a treat! I did not want to leave. Poor Amy, David, and my mom were so tired. They had been up all night. So they caught naps whenever they could, which was good. We all took turns holding baby Judah. I pretty much melted when it was my turn.

To celebrate his day of birth, my dad and I had bought a chocolate cake and a "0" candle (since he was 0 years old). We also brought some sparkling cider and champagne glasses. So we sang happy birthday and toasted to Judah. We were all so surprised at how alert he was. He kept looking around with his beautiful blue eyes. The nurses and my mom (who is also a nurse) think it was because Amy didn't get an epidural. AND he was a stud breast-feeder. They said 15 minutes after he was born, he was already feeding. What a champ!

When my dad and I finally left at night, we drove home with some conversation but also some silence. I think we were both caught up with our thoughts from the day. Finally, as we neared home, my dad said, "You know...the world seems like a better place. Because Judah's in it." I looked around at the darkness, the lights of the houses, the hills, the bay...and I agreed with him.

Welcome, Judah Immanuel. You are very loved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

welcome to the world, little one

My sister and her husband are officially parents.

Their son has entered the world at last.

His name? Judah.

His stats?

Nov. 23, 2008
born at 8:10 am
7 lbs. 12 oz.
almost 21 inches

Blog and pictures coming soon.

I am in awe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


It's been a good week.

I'm being weirded out at seeing Christmas commercials, Christmas sales, Christmas lights up on people's houses, and hearing Christmas carols on the radio. I'm not usually in Christmas-mode until after Thanksgiving.

Took today off as a personal/mental health day.

Slept for 12 hours last night. Could have kept going.

Had the opportunity to be a part of this yesterday.

Saw the new Bond movie: Quantum of Solace.

Still waiting for baby nephew to be born...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catch Phrase

I had my co-worker/leader Jeff and our 6 college student leaders over for dinner and afterwards we played "Catch Phrase". See if you can guess what Jeff is trying to explain:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

any day now

Gas tank filled?


Camera battery charged?


My boss (Charlie) and associate (Jeff) forewarned that I might have to leave at any given moment?


Ok sister...whenever your son is ready to be born, I'm THERE...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

God's love in nature

Every other month, we do something at church called "Mosaic". It is an opportunity for people to bring in creative expressions of worship to God. You could write poetry. Or maybe paint a picture, do a sculpture, or make a collage. Perhaps you'd like to share a song you've written or play an instrument. One time two ladies baked for all of us (and spent their baking time listening to worship music and praying for people in our church).

We have a Mosaic coming up this Sunday and the theme is "God's love". (That's the teaching series we've been going through) I decided to go on a nature hike and do some photography. I wanted to see God's love through his creation. I went to a park nearby and then a redwood forest. Here are some of my shots.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Miss Saigon

This weekend I had the opportunity to see the musical "Miss Saigon". I saw it for the first time back in 1995 so it was great to see it again and be reminded why I loved it.

If you have never seen it, may I give you a synopsis? It's kind of long, so feel free to skip this blog if you're not into it. Ok, here we go.

The story takes place in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. It's the end of the Vietnam War. April 1975.

There's a sleazy Vietnamese club called Dreamland run by a corrupt man who calls himself the Engineer. Basically he's a pimp, selling the ladies to the American Marines who show up. They have kind of a contest every night. Each of the girls gets to do a song and dance and then the men get to vote for the one they want to crowned "Miss Saigon".

We meet the new girl, Kim. She is only 17 and her family and village have been burned in the war. She has nowhere else to go, so she is forced to become one of the bargirls at Dreamland. She is young, naive, scared. Her first night at the bar, we meet a GI named Chris. His friend John (and the other Marines) are talking about how they have to live it up that night because Saigon is about to fall and they will be shipped home. Chris is so not into the bar/girl scene and is pretty much disillusioned by everything he has seen in Vietnam.

Each girl does their song and dance and Chris is struck by Kim's innocence. His buddy John notices and decided to "buy" Kim for the night for Chris (without Chris knowing). The Engineer brings Kim to Chris and both are shocked to find out what John did. During a dance, Chris wants to pay Kim to leave the club (he wants to protect her from being prostituted), but the Engineer sees Chris starting to walk away and thinks he is displeased with Kim. Wanting to keep Kim from being kicked out into the street, Chris allows Kim to take him away.

That night Chris watches Kim sleep and asks God why he had to meet her just as he was about to leave Vietnam. When Kim wakes up, Chris tries to give her money but she refuses, telling him that it was her first time sleeping with a man. Chris hears her story and finds out that Kim is an orphan. Chris tells her that she does not need to sell herself at the club, because he wants her to stay with him. They pledge their love to one another and can't believe they have found each other in the midst of all the horror around them.

Chris calls John to say he is taking leave to spend time with Kim. John warns him that the Viet Cong are about to assume control of Saigon. America is in the process of sending people home before abandoning Saigon. And Chris better hurry and come back to the Embassy so he can catch one of the last helicopters out of Vietnam.

Chris goes back to tell Kim and asks if she wants to go live in America with him. The bargirls hold a "wedding ceremony" for Chris and Kim with one of the girls toasting Kim as the "real" Miss Saigon. Chris is called to the embassy and tells Kim to pack, reassuring her that they have plenty of time before they have to leave. Almost immediately after Chris enters the embassy, the gates are closed. Orders arrive from Washington for a total and complete evacuation of the remaining Americans.

Kim wonders why Chris has not come back and goes to the gates of the Embassy, suddenly surrounded by hundreds of terrified Vietnamese trying to find a way in. Chris unsuccessfully tries to call Kim, and is about to go out into the hysterical crowd to look for her. The Americans refuse to let Chris out and John is eventually forced to punch Chris in the face to stop him from leaving. John pushes Chris into the last helicopter leaving Saigon as Kim watches from behind the gate. Kim once again pledges her love to Chris as he leaves. The helicopter takes off with Chris screaming Kim's name.

The video I am about to show is one of my favorite songs from the show. It is 3 years later. Saigon has fallen. There is a new regime. Kim has been hiding in an impoverished area. She is still completely in love with Chris and believes that he will come back to Vietnam to rescue her. Then we see Chris in bed with his new American wife, Ellen. Ellen knows Chris is being haunted by his past but doesn't know why (Chris never told her about Kim). Chris sits up in bed shouting Kim's name. Ellen comforts him back to sleep, and both she and Kim swear their devotion to Chris at opposite ends of the earth. They don't know the other exists. The song is called "I Still Believe".

There's lots more to the story, but I think I'll stop there. You'll just have to go see it. =) If this musical ever comes to your town, you should check it out. It's a good one.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

things that put a smile on my face today

* seeing gas for $2.62

* going shopping with my friend Jenn

* after last weekend of rain, having the sun out (ahhhh...)

* listening to good music in my car

* Chili's bottomless chips and salsa

* "The Office" desk calendar I get to read and laugh at every day (today's quote: "Why are all these people here? There's too many people on this earth. We need a new plague." - Dwight at Phyllis and Bob's wedding)

* realizing today (Thursday) is my "Friday" (I don't work on Fridays) and we have Monday off

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prop 8

I want to start this blog by saying that I am not a political person. And I realize my last couple posts have been about politics, but oh well. We just had a historic election, so I guess it's ok.

I am hesitant to even post this. I think it is going to ruffle some feathers. But it has been on my mind a lot in this election and I haven't processed it much. So I guess this blog is a way for me to get out what I'm feeling into words.

It's about Prop 8.

If you live in California, you've no doubt heard all about Prop 8. Both sides have spent over 70 million dollars on this one prop. For those of you who live out of state, here's the sitch: if passed, the proposition would "change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California." A new section would be added stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

First off, I don't like the way this prop was worded. Because it just fed into the "discriminatory" vibe that people against this prop have taken. I wish it had been stated for what it truly is: clearly defining marriage between a man and a woman.

Secondly, I dislike how this all came about. Let me go back to 2000. It was the year after I graduated college. I was doing my student teaching/subbing. I enjoyed going on runs in the afternoons after I got home from school. I still vivdly remember running by all the houses with lawn signs for Prop 22. Basically Prop 22 was similar to Prop 8. "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California". The prop passed with 61% of the CA votes that March.

But then this past May 2008, seven judges from the CA Supreme Court voted and struck it down (the vote was 4-3). Suddenly, same-sex couples could be married and we all saw that in the news this past summer. I remember being kind of bummed and confused. How could those 4 judges change something that 61% of CA had already voted on?? Not to sound like a 7 year old, but it didn't seem fair. Shouldn't CA voters been notified? Given the chance to vote on this again?

But no. It passed without our say. I felt like it was a bit shady. So now Prop 8 was all negative and making me and other people who wanted it to pass seem like jerks because we wanted to "take away" something we hadn't even voted on in the first place. I just felt like it was all backwards.

Third, I am hurt by the way this Prop has caused people to react. I've been seeing signs around town saying "8 is HATE" or "Don't be discriminatory!!" It hurts my heart. Because like probably everyone else in this world, I have dear friends who are gay or lesbian. I love them very much. Just as much as people who are straight. I don't like being told that I now HATE those friends because I am choosing to vote yes. Do you even know me?? Needless to say, those signs just seemed to upset me even more.

Fourth and final, I know why I voted yes on Prop 8. Because the bible states that marriage is between a man and a woman. It is so simple and yet has caused so many people heartache. I sometimes WISH I could fudge around with what the bible says. I struggle with that. But I of course can not.

People have attacked me, saying I'm trying to shove my religion on them. Oh my gosh, no! Ack! I never want to be that sort of person. If they ask why I voted yes, I would share with them what the bible says and then they'd jump all over me. Again, I would get bummed, because I felt like not only were they attacking me personally, but they were attacking my faith. And I don't appreciate that.

*sigh* I know there are so many mixed feelings with this topic. I'm sad our state has to be so divided. I'm sad watching/hearing all the bad things that have happened in the past few months regarding this prop.

Thanks for reading. I just needed to open it up. Please comment if you feel like sharing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nov. 4, 2008

Politicians, you may now stop sending me pre-recorded messages to my home when I'm eating dinner, mailing me unwanted flyers and brochures, sticking up signs all over town, and airing your ads on TV.

Thank you.

Nov. 4, 2008 Part II

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the newly elected president of the United States!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween fun

This has been a great week. Wednesday night at college group we had everyone dress up (pictures below) and then sent the students on a digital photo scavenger hunt. When they came back, we played a few more games (bobbing for apples, pumpkin bowling, etc) while Jeff uploaded all our pictures. Then we all piled in to look at the pixs and watch videos people had taken with their cameras. I died laughing! They were so great! We awarded prizes for best costumes, the team who got the most points on the hunt, and winners of all the other games. Then we all ate junk food and watched "When A Stranger Calls" in the dark.

We don't get trick o' treaters at our house, so last night for Halloween we had some peeps over and ate pumpkin spice cake, drank hot bevvies, made a jack o'lantern (and roasted the seeds - yum!) and watched a scary movie in our pj's.

Other than that, it's been raining all weekend (so fun!) so I've been doing a lot of sleeping, errands, cleaning my room/closet/bathroom, reading, more sleeping, etc.

Here are some pictures from the Halloween par-tay.

The Incredible Hulk making a call on his cell phone.

Jim, Pam, and Dwight (with his calculator in jello!) from Dunder Mifflin (The Office)

A flapper and Elwood Blues (from the Blues Brothers)

Bon Qui Qui (from Mad TV), me as "Sarah Marshian" (Martian), and Jenn (who did my make-up!) as a princess

Aye aye, Captain!!

JD and Elliot from Scrubs

Winner of "Most Creative Costume": Potter Puppet Pals