Sunday, January 31, 2010

Journal Jar: Childhood lessons

I've decied to journal-type posts every Sunday. I have a list of journal entry prompts in a metaphorical jar (a website, in this case) and every week I'll choose one of those prompts and write about it. I've seen actual journal jars - an actual mason jar decorated all cute and full of slips of paper with the prompts. Very cute and fun. As a kid, I wrote in my journal daily. I was very faithful about it. That waned when I went to college and lucky for me (and all of you) it's picked up somewhat with blogging. :)

Enough of an intro. I'll get started.


What lessons did you take as a child?
Did any of them carry over into adulthood?

I took ballet and tap when I was about four. There were a lot of girls from my neighborhood in the class and I really enjoyed it. The studio was on 1st Street. Though it's not there anymore, whenever I drive by the building, I always think of dancing there. I was very excited to wear makeup at the recital. For our tap routine, we dresses kind of like clowns and the song went "Silly samba one-two-three, hey, hey, ole!" Our ballet routine was to a song that went "A you're adorable, B you're so beauitful, C you're a cutey full of charm. D you're delightful. E you're exciting. F you're feather in my arms."

I took gymanstics which I also really enjoyed. I did floor gymnastics in Rigby, then I ended up at a place in Idaho Falls where I did things like the parallel bars, the balance beam, and vault. I really, really enjoyed that type of gymnastics until I fell off the six foot balance beam and landed square on my back, knocking the wind out of me. It spooked me and I don't ever remember going back.

My mother made sure all of kids took at least a year of piano lessons. I really wanted to learn to play the cello but I had to take piano for a year first. I started in third grade and I hated it. For three years, I went. For three years, I didn't practice and it was torture for both the teacher and me. I asked to quit - a lot. But my mom always said no, that someday I'd wish I'd learned to play the piano because that's how she felt. I can honestly say that as an adult today, I do not regret not learning to play. I love that Justin plays and I will force my kids to take at least a year, but I am happy with my limited piano abilities. I know my way around the simplified hymn book. :) After three years, my piano teacher asked me to not come back anymore. I am forever grateful to Mrs. Beard for "firing" me since my mom wouldn't let me quit.

I took other dance courses. I took voice lessons. I took art lessons. I took swimming lessons. I was in softball for three years. My parents were great - us kids were always involved in some kind of lessons or sports. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I have a lot of great memories from those things. I know it wasn't easy juggling five kids' extra-curricular stuff, especially on a limited budget, but I am so glad you did!

As far as anything going into adulthood, I still sing. I danced in college. Because of those years of piano lessons, I can read music, and I was able to pass my music theory courses in college more easily. I can plink out the top hand of simple songs. And I just know that if I'd been allowed to play the cello, my true passion, I would be playing first chair in a major orchestra today. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our Sealing Pictures

On December 12, 2009, we had the privelege of taking Jocelyn to the temple to have her sealed to us for time and all eternity. I got the pictures from our photographer, Lindsey Redfern of the r house blog, earlier this week. Aren't they breathtaking? Most are taken outside of the Salt Lake LDS Temple. The indoor photos were taken at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

If you'd like to see more, there are a few different pictures posted here and you can check out my pictures on Facebook as well if we're friends (if we're not friends - what's taken you so long? Go ahead and friend me already).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's a 9 Month Old Baby's Favorite Toy?

A rubber ducky, of course!

In the bath...

And out of the bath!
(sorry for the bad quality, but I had to turn off the flash
 so I could capture that big smile)

Is it just me, or does that last picture
resemble this baby at all?
That's me. Six months old.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Ultimate Combination of TV Characters

When I watch TV dramas that put me on the edge of my seat trying to solve some problem or stop some villain, I often find myself wanting to combine numerous shows.

Renee Walker in 24 is too shaky to go undercover with the Russians. Why not program Echo from Dollhouse with the necessary skills? That would be the perfect answer.

When Jack can’t tell whether or not someone is lying, (or maybe when Dr. House needs to know whether or not someone is telling the truth) I find myself screaming from my seat, “Bring in Cal Lightman from Lie to Me.”

I want Dr. House to solve the neurological problems the actives on Dollhouse experience. I want Jack Bauer to bring down the terrorist threat on Lie to Me.

Justin always laughs because I am constantly saying, “They need Dr. House. They need to bring in Lightman.”

I think they would make the ultimate super-hero team. Jack Bauer, who can break all the rules and push people to make them talk. Cal Lightman who can tell whether or not someone is lying and what emotions they’re concealing. Echo who can be programmed with any personality and skill set to get whatever job done. Dr. House who can solve almost any problem with his power of keen observance and mega brains. They're all characters on the Fox network. I don't see why we can't have a fun espisode where we mix and match them!

Plus, I would love to see the egos of Jack Bauer, Lightman, and House duke it out. Who would win?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hey Grandma - Look What I've Been Up To

Here are some videos of our busy little baby. They may be slightly long and not very engaging unless you're a Grandma or close relative. Sorry. But it's my blog and I'll post what I want. :)  I know both Grandmas (Grandpas too) are missing this little cutie so hopefully this helps.

(can you tell I'm feeling sassy tonight?)

Joci babbling

Joci scooting

Joci pulling up. For some reason, the carseat is her most successful pull-up place. I'm sure she just gets the best leverage there.

She was tired this night, as I'm sure you can gather from her whining.

P.S. Mom, if you aren't able to view these, look them up with the links I posted under each video.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hope for Haiti

I haven't been to Haiti. Last year, Justin and I spent a day in the Dominican Republican. We were about 150 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Dominican Republic is not a common cruise stop. It's a poor country. After our guided tour, Justin and I ventured into Samana Town on our own for lunch. It was a cultural experience, to say the least. We were followed by all kinds of pathetic looking peddlars. Children begging us to buy seashells for fifty cents followed us on foot for a quarter mile and probably would've followed us even farther except that cops ran off the beggars.

We ate lunch at a little outside restaurant that basically looked like the front yard of a house. There was a white picket fence around the "yard area." Policeman patrolled the sidewalk and street to make sure beggars stayed outside of the fence.

the little row of quaint shops and restaurants. while they are seriously cute, they don't give any idea of the surrounding squalor we walked through to get there.

On our tour, Justin sat next to the guide and talked to him for an hour or so. His mother was Haitian and he told us a lot about Haiti. He told us that despite how poor the Dominican Republican looked, Haiti was much worse. The DR has a huge problem with illegal immigration from Haiti. He compared it to the US and Mexican immigration.

At the time, I really wondered about how poor Haiti must be if their people would rather risk a legal nightmare to go into a country where tthe best opportunity for a better life was to peddle sea shells to tourists for 50cents.

Tonight we watched "Hope for Haiti." On a side note, Joci really digs Justin Timberlake. :) Although we've already donated some money to the Red Cross, Justin tried to donate on the show since celebrities were answering the phones and taking the donations. He wanted to see who he'd get to talk to - Stevie Wonder? Taylor Swift? Steven Spielberg? Jennifer Aniston?

We haven't been able to get through all night.

And that's so miraculous.

I can only imagine how many people's hearts were touched. It's been a tough couple of years. America is having its own mini crisis, yet we know our priorities when others need more.

Sorry, I don't mean to get all preachy and philosophical. It's just on my mind. I can't help but be so grateful for the roof over my head, to know exactly where all my family members and loved ones are, to be able to get a glass of water in my own kitchen, and to have to luxury of going to a movie tomorrow.

Anyway, tonight, my heart's in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

9 Month Stats

Jocelyn is growing so fast. Nine months old last Sunday. Here are some things about her:

  • She's a walking fool and tries to do summersaults
  • She says seventeen words including "squash" "bath" and "purple"
  • She likes to sort her toys into little lines by size and by color
  • She just started singing her ABC's but she forgets G all the time
  • She has just started to sign full sentences. We're working on conjugating verbs
  • She does all the actions to Patty Cake

Okay, so I'm totally kidding. She doesn't do any of those things. Doesn't it always seem like when you're reading about other's people's babies on their blogs that their babies seem to be doing much cooler things than your kid? So I just had to poke fun at that.

We had her 9 month appointment yesterday. Here are her stats:
Weight: 18 lb 3 oz, 34th percentile
Height: 28 inches, 75th percentile
Head: 44 cm, 70th percentile

Here are some things she's actually doing:

  • Scoots, rolls, and army crawls like crazy. She's pretty quick at it too.
  • Sleeps around 11-12 hours at night and takes 2 naps
  • Recognizes the signs for "milk" and "more"
  • Sometimes does the sign for "milk"
  • Babbles "da-da-da" and "ba-ba-ba"
  • Loves to stand and holds herself up against furniture and will even take a few steps
  • She's pulled herself up a handful of times
  • Can watch a Baby Einstein video for 40 minutes straight without moving a muscle (I try not to take advantage of this very convenient fact)
  • Loves eating and has no preference for any foods
  • Can pick up small bits of food and feed herself
  • Plays Peek-A-Boo
  • No teeth yet
  • Really loves baths and loves to play with her rubber ducky
She's a doll and we love her to the moon and back.

in the Baby Einstein zone

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Movie Date

For Christmas, Santa brought Justin a gift certificate to the movie theater. Seeing as we don't get out much anymore, we spent a long time deciding what movie to go to. Thanks to Red Box and Netflix, I'm okay with not going to movies as much, but we decided that we definitely had to go to the theater to see Avatar 3D. So we arranged for my sister-in-law to watch Joci while we went.

Much to our chagrin, the movie was sold out. In our pre-Joci days, we would've just gone to lunch and hit the next show, but you can't really do that when you have a babysitter for a certain block of time. So we decided to take advantage of the time we had and see Sherlock Holmes. I absolutely loved it. Very intelligent, laugh-out-loud funny, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Loved it.

Maybe we'll try see if we can find a sitter for next Saturday and try for Avatar 3D again. If we get someone lined up, I'll definitely buy my tickets in advance.

But if it happens to leave the theater before we get a chance to see it, please don't tell me how amazing it was.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bad Omen? Maybe Not

When I got in my car this morning I noticed two small heaps of frozen cat vomit on the hood.

Seems like it would be a bad omen. But my day has been okay so far.

But still....gross.

General Jocelyn Cuteness

I filmed this two nights ago. Nothing really special about it. Just Jocelyn being happy and cute right before bedtime. She's sleeping right now. I can hear her rhythmic breathing on the baby monitor. But watching this video makes me want to wake her up and play with her!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lots of Endeavors

2010 has hit the ground running! On Saturday, we spoke on an adoptive parent panel  for FSA during a training class for hopeful adoptive couples just starting their journey. I remember being on the other side of the table not too long ago, full of hope and enthusiasm yet doubt and fear. There were two other couples on the panel as well telling their stories. Every story is different and full of blessings and trials, but I found myself again greatful for our smooth adoption with no long out-of-state waiting periods or legal obstacles. I am also greatful for birth parents who allow us to have contact and a relationship with them.

Then on Sunday, Justin and I sang a duet in church. I really love to sing and I have a nice voice (even if I do say so myself) but in the past my nerves have always overshadowed my ability. I've always been a "shower singer." I sound wonderful in the shower and hit every note, but put me in front of someone else and I squeak like a mouse. This always vexed me in high school and college since I was always involved in drama and I never got great roles in the musicals because I froze. Well, I was excited for this opportunity and I prepared like crazy. I'm sure I annoyed Justin with how much I practiced. He's so talented and easy-going that he could just run through it once or twice and be good. I practiced for at least two hours a day this past week. Justin made me an mp3 of the song on his music program on his computer so I could listen to the song at work and practice alone while he was at work. Although my performance wasn't flawless, I am actually very proud of myself and think I did a great job. Justin said I have now set myself up for many more musical numbers in church - even solos, eek! It's scary, but it's a talent I want to develop, so I welcome the fear and the growth. It goes to show that preparation really goes a long way toward success.

And I have also officially entered the freelance sector of copywriting. I have my first freelance project which also happens to be a very large project by industry standards. It's daunting, but an exciting opportunity, and I am working with a former colleague/friend who I am thrilled to rub shoulders (well, e-shoulders since this other company is a few states away) with again.

Sorry for the lack of posts. But I've been busy. And I have a lot of pictures but I've used up most of the memory on my computer and I need to move a lot of my picture/video files onto DVDs and our backup hard drive before I can put more on.

But here's a picture I haven't posted before. It's Joci after the sealing with her cousins Ellie and Jessica.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Unexpected on the CW

Excited for this new show that starts January 18. I think there's definitely got to be some suspension of disbelief for a few of the legal aspects, but who cares about that? Plus, I've loved Shiri Appleby (the brunette) since I saw her in Roswell. She's adorable.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our New Old Family Motto

As the legend is told…

In the reign of King Kenneth III, about the year 980, the Danes invaded Scotland and a fierce battle ensued at Luncarty. The Danes broke through one of the wings of the Scots army, and the Scots soldiers fled in confusion and fear.

A countryman named Hay and his two sons, plowing in a field nearby, saw this happen. The father, commanding his sons to follow with their implements, snatched up an ox-yoke as a weapon and barred the way of the fleeing Scots soldiers. He and his two sons led them back into battle and they triumphed over the Danes.

The King marched with the man and his sons back to Perth in great honor. The King commanded that a falcon be let off from Kinnoull Hill and as far as it flew, the land would belong to the hero and his sons. The falcon’s flight was long and wide and it finally came to rest on what became known as Hawk’s Stone. This encompassed some of the best land in the Carse of Gowrie, so overnight the peasant became a powerful man.

Kinnoull Hill, Perthshire, Scotland

Hawk's Stone, Perthshire, Scotland

The Hay Coat of Arms displays three bloodstained shields for the father and his two sons, the falcon, and the ox-yoke.

Clan Hay Coat of Arms

The Hay Clan motto is Serva Jugum. It is Latin for “Keep the Yoke” and comes from the legend of one man and his two sons using farming implements to redirect the fleeing Scottish soldiers back to a victorious battle against the Danish invaders.

I am Scottish through my father’s side and this legend is part of our rich clan history. We knew the Clan Hay motto before we knew the legend behind it and I always thought it was kind of lame. A coupld of years ago when my sister came up with a great idea to put together a Clan Hay history book for my Dad's birthday and asked for my help, we unearthed the legend (equally together the help of Google - except it was Julie's idea and her initial research and I just expanded upon her research) and it become very poignant to me.

We’re adopting this ancient clan motto as our modern family motto. I’m not even sure if that’s anything new since the motto stands, but it’s a new focus in our family.

To me, Keep the Yoke means to be faithful, to be strong, to keep fighting, to endure. When all seems lost, take up all you have, all you know, and stand side-by-side with your family stalwart and steadfast, never yielding, and turn the tides of the battle. Keep the Yoke is a reminder that three peasants changed the fate of a nation and that—with determination and action—I can do similar things.


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