Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Joci's First Steps

Joci took her first steps!!!!

She's been so ready for so long, just timid. I've known for *months* that she could walk if she wanted, she just needed to be ready. So tonight I stood her up about a foot away from me and at first she just leaned and fell into my arms. We did that a couple times and then she took a step! It wasn't very steady and she was still leaning really far forward, so it wasn't a very supported step, but I was excited. I stood her up a few more times and she got steadier and steadier. After she took two steady steps, I thought I could officially call it. She took her first steps!

I called Justin. He had been working late and should've been home any time. He was still 20 minutes out, so I kept Joci up past her bed time so he could see it. And it wasn't just a fluke because she did it when he got home. She took steps back and forth between us, even doing three steps at a time. Already she is even more confident about standing. Oh, it's crazy. I can't believe how excited and proud I am! It's such a natural, biological milestone, it's not like my baby is doing this amazing thing other kids don't do. But I felt so euphoric and just...I'm soaring. And I can tell she is too. (Maybe it's because she's a little later on walking than I expected - and I'm a worrier.)

We'll try for pictures within the next day or so.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pictures from Wyoming

I just noticed this is my 365th blog post! Yay! It's like a year of posting!

Here are pictures from our trips to Cody.

A mama and baby buffalos

playing with cousin Haiden

notice the red welt on her right eyebrow. she took quite a tumble on a toy and we thought she would have a black eye. luckily it didn't last long.

our anniversary dinner at the irma

grandpa is always trying to feed joci ice cream. he's got a frosty here.

justin's uncles and mother

justin's family. we are missing one of his cousins, Louis, and Louis's wife and children. other than that, everyone was there.

justin and joci in front of his grandmother's home

joci's first four-wheeler ride

drumming on a ball

naked babies!

playing our own version of uno with grandpa

joci's first horse ride. grandma and joci are on hollywood. justin is on little bit. right before this was taken, little bit got spooked at something and began dancing wildly with justin on his back. we were all worried. justin's dad was able to dart in and grab the horse. i was impressed that justin stayed on - he could definitely last 8 seconds in a rodeo!

chillin' with uncle jon at dinner.

stopping at the firehole river in yellowstone park

the water feels so good!

a neat thermal feature near the firehole river

our cutie baby making a mess with zip-loc bags

1995 Mustang for Sale

Justin is selling his 1995 Ford Mustang. We are asking $800. Remember when the transmission went out in February? Well, we forked over $1600 and replaced it (honestly, we had to finance it and we're still paying on it). Two months later, it stopped working. This time it was the head gasket. We decided not to replace it and opted to buy Justin a different car. Anyway, the Mustang is officially for sale now. If you know someone who is handy with repairs, this could be a great project car. It is way fun to drive. It's a Mustang, after all.

Check out details here.

Justice Unserved

I have officially completed my duty as a good American citizen. I finished jury duty yesterday. It was a trying experience, pun somewhat intended.

It was a rape case.

The morning I responded to my summons, I just knew I would be on the jury. In the pit of my stomach, I just knew. My name wasn't drawn at first. Then they started dismissing people with the really good excuses. When the third person was dismissed, they drew my name. I knew it!

I can tell you that no one on this jury took this case lightly. We deliberated for hours and hours - went home for the night, came back and deliberated again. Sitting in court for 8 hours a day and hearing testimonies and examining gruesome evidence is exhausting! I am so tired! Not to mention the nightmares and lost sleep I had over this.

In the end, the jury could not come to a unanimous decision. For some, there was enough reasonable doubt to refrain from convicting the defendant. For others, they strongly felt he was guilty. After all those hours of deliberating in a locked room with no contact with the outside world, we conceded that we were a hung jury. The judge called it a mistrial and later informed us that this was the second time this case was tried. And the first time resulted in a hung jury as well. The judge said this case was really on the border with some of its evidence and two trials with the same outcome really proved the justice system worked for him. For me, I find a little comfort knowing that we weren't the only jury confused by the evidence and testimony - and lack thereof. I don't know what happens next. I don't know if the state will push for a third trial or just call it. I feel horrible for the victim who has lived through her hell on the stand twice now. I even feel bad for the defendant whose life has been on hold for almost two years, with his freedom in the balance.

Ugh. It really took an emotional toll! I still think about it when my mind wanders. I still dream about the details.

I need a massage.

It was fascinating to be a part of this. To see the justice system up close and personal. It was enlightening. It's something I think every American should have to do. But as for me, I hope I never have to do it again!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beating around the bush...

Don't weed the flower beds surrounding the rose bushes at ten o'clock at night.

Just don't.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bizarre-O Month

Sorry that I've kind of been MIA. June has brought a lot of surprises with it and time has just vanished. I promise to post pictures and have better stories later.

We drove to Wyoming the day after Justin's grandmother died. That day also happened to be our 9th anniversary. So we celebrated it in Yellowstone. Actually, I was thrilled to discover the "restoration" of one of my all time favorite ice cream joints - the Arrowleaf in West Yellowstone, Montana. Joci traveled well. We saw elk and a couple herds of buffalo. A brand new buffalo that could barely walk was toddling along the shoulder of the road. The mother was protectively standing between the baby and traffic and snorting at the passing cars. The baby toddled right in front of our car and hung out there for a few minutes while mom stared us down. We also had to break for big horn sheep dancing across Sylvan Pass. I go through Yellowstone yearly and see this kind of cool stuff almost every time, but it never gets old! I love those experiences!

We stayed with Justin's parents for 5 days. It was a really, really great visit. There was a lot of sorrow and grieving but also reminiscing and healing. Justin's parents took us out a couple nights later for our anniversary, and we ate dinner at The Irma - the hotel Buffalo Bill Cody built for his daughter. I also read up on the history of Buffalo Bill. He's really a cool guy.

I don't remember too many animals on our drive home.

Back to work for three days. Then the next Thursday we made the drive back to Cody for the memorial service. We hit snow in Island Park (about 60 miles north of where I live) and drove through snow and crummy weather through most of the park. No snow on the roads, just falling snow and snow covered trees. It was very pretty, but odd. We didn't see many animals. Lots of fishermen though. We did see a baby grizzly near Old Faithful geyser.

The memorial was beautiful and healing. It was so good to be with family at a time like this. There's a reason why family rallies together.

Two other events worth noting: Joci had her first ride on a four wheeler and her first ride on a horse. She did great with both.

We drove back home on Father's Day. We saw two bald eagles, elk, buffalo, and squirrels. We stopped at a couple of places to get Joci out of the car. At a peaceful, accessible section of the Firehole River, we dipped her feet in the warm water. (The Firehole River has geysers and fissures that warm it. It is "warm" compared to other glacial fed rivers at 7,000 feet - but still pretty cold in my estimation!) A fisherman thought he'd be helpful by telling us to wash our baby off because the river would give her arsenic poisoning due to all the crap coming out from the center of the earth through the geysers. I've swam in this river for years...maybe that's what's wrong with me. :P

I came home to a jury summons. So yesterday I went to court. I knew in my gut I was going to be on the jury. And  yes, I am on the jury. I should be back to work on Friday. But I did slip in after court yesterday to talk to my boss. I asked him if he got the memo that I wasn't going to work for him for the month of June.  Luckily, my busy time ended right before Grandma died and I've done a few projects at home to keep up.

In a couple days when I can talk about the trial, I will do so. I have a few insights I want to share.

And I'll get pictures of my adventures up soon.

Oh, and Jake and Vienna broke up today. Is it too late for him to call Tenley?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Get a Frosty; Help Adoption

This weekend, treat yourself to a nummy Wendy's Frosty, and 50 cents of the purchase price will go toward helping increase foster care adoptions. Pretty much a win-win situation. I can't see a downside at all. I will personally be eating Frosties all weekend. :)

Also, go to FrostyCard.com and create a freee-card to send to your dad on Father's Day and Wendy's will donate 25 cents. Pretty cool.

Read more details here.

I'm already craving the cool, chocolately goodness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is This the Rat Race Everyone Warned Me About?

Yesterday, something dawned on me.

I was in my friend/coworker's car coming back from a friend/coworker's birthday fiesta at a fun Mexican restaurant

and five of us girls were blasting the Glee soundtrack and singing "Don't Stop Believin'" at the top of our lungs and racing our boss to a parking spot which we totally got.

Then I went back to my desk and wrote a fun article on how we (adults, especially adult women) can help teenage girls have more confidence in their natural beauty. Next, my next-cube-neighbor posed her wooden figurine in front me to make it look like my hair belonged to it and took silly pictures.

And then we broke out some astronaut ice cream and had freeze dried Neopolitan awesomeness.

And I thought...am I really an adult? Do I really get paid for this? It was almost like a high school flashback. Cruising and jamming and then writing some fun essay for English.

I love my job. I have so much fun there in so many ways. Is this the "real world" everyone warned me about? If so, it's totally underrated. Life can be good. Don't stop believin'. :P

Monday, June 14, 2010

Open Adoption Writing Prompt

I am part of Open Adoption Bloggers and every now and then there is a prompt to write about. I liked this one and so I thought I'd take a shot at it.

Imagine your child as an adult describing their open adoption experience. What do you hope they will be able to say about you? How did you view their birth parents? In what ways did you support their relationship with them?

I hope that in twenty years Jocelyn be able to say this about me:

"My mom has always been honest, open, and compassionate when talking about my adoption. She honestly loves my birth parents and birth siblings. She has an actual relationship with my birth parents independent of my relationship with them. She made sure I always had an open channel to my biological family. I grew up with phone calls, visits, emails, and as much intermingling as I wanted. My mom let me determine the kind of relationship I wanted. When I had more questions and wanted to spend more time with my birth family, my mother made sure it happened. When I wanted to pull back, that was okay too. She has always been comfortable and confident about adoption and she's always been really cool and supportive about my birth family."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roberta "Nana" Johnson

Today, we lost the matriarch of our family and we are all hurting. Justin's grandmother was very generous and very involved with her family. She always made family a priority and went out of her way to attend every event and be there for every member of her family. She loved to tell stories and seemed to have one for everything. Her culinary talents were the stuff of legends. From her famous homemade pickles to her rhubarb pie and German chocolate cake, she knew her way around a kitchen. More importantly than her knack for card games or cooking skills, she was important to my husband. He was lucky enough to grow up in the same town as his grandparents. And as one of four grandchildren, he was very close to his grandmother. She was an integral part of his childhood. Of his life. And therefore mine. Things will not be the same without her.

We are leaving for Wyoming tomorrow. It will be hard. For the first time, we won't sit down and play games after dinner. As Justin plays the piano, his grandmother's deep, rich voice won't join in the harmonies. We won't make one last stop by Grandma's house before we drive home. So strange. So sad.

It's impossible to say goodbye. I'm glad we don't have to. Not really. Yes, for now. In this life, in the probation of our mortality, we'll have to manage without her loud laugh and gracious hugs. But I know with every single part of my heart, mind, and soul that we will all be reunited again. I am happy that Nana is enjoying a sweet reunion with her beloved husband right now. And I am at peace knowing that this goodbye isn't forever - it's just more of a "see you later."

But still...it doesn't really help at the moment. And this will be an emotional week saying our goodbyes for now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Whatcha Wearin'?

When I first read this article saying that the average woman wears over $1400 in clothes a day, I did not believe it. There's no way I'm wearing over a grand! I'm cheap! Whenever I read fashion magazines and they say what a good deal a $130 blouse is, I flinch. I'm an Idaho girl. I value quality, but I'm also pretty frugal.

But breaking down my daily wardrobe, I guess the $1400 is fairly close.

This is what am wearing today:

$6 underwear
$12 bra
$4 socks
$30 pants
$8 tee shirt
$17 cardigan
$40 coat
$60 purse
$30 shoes
$200 watch
$1000-$6000 in jewelry depending on which rings I wear.
Total: $1207 - $7207

Obviously, the bulk of the expense is in jewelry. I have two very lovely diamond rings. I wear at least one of them every day. They will be the rings I wear for my entire life. So they will always be the thing that pushes my daily outfit into that staggering figure.

When I look at the figures provided, my clothing average is less. I've never owned a $150 hand bag. But that's not to say I never will. I've learned that $15 purses don't last six months, and if an $150 purse would last several years, that would be worth it. I'm not totally cheap. :) Just usually : P

So how much are you wearing today?

P.S. Before you think my taste in gold and diamonds is disgustingly extravagant, I must say that I obtained all my jewelry with the exception of my enagagement and wedding rings when I worked at a jewelry store during college and got everything for at least half price. I quoted their retail value above, but I didn't pay that much.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Videos of Jocelyn

I had just gotten off the phone with my mom saying how Joci has never tried to drink out of the dog dish. And then this happened.

Her interpretation of the "All Done" sign. She will sometimes even say "All done."

Joci saying and signing "I love you." It comes out more like "I uh boo." Very cute.


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