ultrasound day!

We can use gender pronouns now.

We can start buying clothes.

We can start planning the nursery.

We have already picked a name.

These are his feet. Catch that? His feet!

Babe is a boy! Now I have two Mr. Wilsons--and I'm head over heels for both of them.


packing playlist

Moving puts me in a state of emotional flux, so my accompanying playlist is wildly eclectic.

:: Sting, Symphonicities
:: Amy Grant, Heart in Motion
:: Hannah Montana movie soundtrack
:: N*SYNC, Greatest Hits
:: The Weepies, Be My Thrill
:: Supertramp, Crisis? What Crisis?
:: The Killers, Day & Age
:: Mamma Mia! soundtrack
:: Jem, Finally Woken
:: Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
:: Adele, 21

Dance party, anyone?


cast your vote!

Okay, guys, it's time. One week from tomorrow we learn whether Babe is a lady or a gent, a miss or a mister, a girl or a boy.

Of course we're finding out. Are you kidding me? Besides the fact that there's no possible way I could wait until delivery, I'm pretty sure that Babe's grandmothers, not to mention Babe's aunts, would take serious issue if we held out on them.

I have my ideas of what this baby is, and they are different from Josh's. I'll withhold my leanings, however, so as not to sway your guess.

So cast your vote in the poll on the sidebar, and if you want, don't hesitate to let me know which way you voted!

T-minus seven days!

two wishes

I wish two things this week from the universe:

01. During moving week, endless milk in the fridge and cold cereal in the pantry. No grocery shopping, please.
02. Disposable clothes. No damn laundry.

I am, however, grateful this week for Dominoes pizza, a dinner-bearing mother-in-law, and This American Life podcasts.


OSR: January and February 2012

It has been a while since I've posted some reviews! I kicked off my year with a few rereads. Rereading a favorite book is like visiting an old friend, and especially in January, I like that reading comfort.

The ChosenThe Chosen by Chaim Potok

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rarely are the emotions that build a friendship so beautifully and thoughtfully displayed as they are in The Chosen. This is a quick read if only because Reuvan's and Danny's relationship is so compelling. Despite their religious differences their friendship is a simple one based on trust and honesty. This book teaches me so much about communication, love, loyalty, and friendship. It falls among the best work of the 20th century.

These Is My WordsThese Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

January 25, 2012
These Is My Words evokes more raw emotion in me than almost any other book I've read; reading this book is truly a cathartic experience. Going back to this book is like visiting an old friend. I know the story so well that I'm not surprised much anymore, but I still relish every detail and every moment. This story is wonderful, exciting, comforting, familiar, and real.

For the full review including the review of the last time I read this, visit my Goodreads page.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a fascinating blend of text and photography. The story itself in an interesting fantasy that involves a sixteen-year-old boy trying to solve a mystery his grandfather intimated with his last words. Interspersed with compelling photography, this book takes you into a very peculiar world. I didn't feel enough resolution at the end, and so I'm hoping that Riggs plans on writing a sequel. Despite that, however, Miss Peregrine was an interesting book that kept me reading.

Increase In Learning - Spiritual Patterns For Obtaining Your Own AnswersIncrease In Learning - Spiritual Patterns For Obtaining Your Own Answers by David A. Bednar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book that has revolutionized the way I learn the gospel and study the scriptures. Bednar emphasizes that we have a responsibility to take charge of our own gospel learning and that we have the duty to learn doctrine as fully as possible. The learning processes Elder Bednar outlines will take time and persistence but the effects and rewards are clear. This book hits at the heart of gospel learning and study.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've met few characters as honest, genuine, and vulnerable as Oskar Schell. This book had me laughing on one page and crying on the next. Oskar's journey is healing, mournful, fulfilling, and heartbreaking all at once. The emotion in this book is deep and real and intense. Oskar is a character who stays with you, and this is a book that I'm sure I'll return to again and again.

Wonderland CreekWonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With a bibliophile as the protagonist, I couldn't not pick up this book. After Alice's life takes an unexpected turn at home, she finds herself thrown into adventure. The characters were likeable and endearing, and I did relate to Alice's love of books. I was glad for the message that while books are wonderful you can't live life through them; you have to live your own life. This book was sweet and simple.

Love Life and See Good DaysLove Life and See Good Days by Emily Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I needed the message in this book to "love life and see good days." Taken from a scripture in 1 Peter, the subject of this book is about perspective and making our own happiness. This is a quick read with a direct and simple message. If we want good days, we have to take the effort to see them.

View all my reviews

I'm on my ninth book of the year, which makes me about one book ahead of my 2012 reading progress. What have you been reading this year?


she was made up of more

She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk.

She was all of these things and of something more that did not come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only--the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life--the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.

--A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


starting to pack

The prospect of packing has loomed in the back of my mind for a while now; you know you need to do it, but it's so overwhelming that you hardly know where to start. And then you also don't want to start too early because you want to minimize the time spent in moving chaos.

We're moving in a week, and even though our new place is just down the street, the effort needed to move there is still substantial. A couple nights ago I put together a packing schedule for the next week that will hopefully keep me on track for getting everything finished.

Today I took the plunge and started taking everything off the walls and pulling out the storage bins. Josh's job will be to take it over the new place as we go (we got the keys yesterday). So now everything is in complete disarry and will remain that way for the next week. Then I'll have the mess in the new apartment. Heavens.

Isn't there a spell in Harry Potter that packs everything for you? I need to practice that one.


12 on 12: march 2012

01. Stuff You Should Know podcast while getting ready
02. Breakfast and scriptures
03. Folded towels
04. Chick-lit
05. A nap
06. Out of tomato paste
07. Drying laundry
08. Soaking dinner pots
09. More chick-lit
10. Finished chick-lit (isn't that one of the qualifying characteristics for chick-lit, that you can finish it in a day?)
11. Babe bump
12. Arrested Development (Buster is my current favorite AD character)

My day was equal parts productive and relaxing. How was your 12th?


a midweek roast

I had this small roast sitting in the freezer, and when I say small, I mean that it was the perfect amount for two people. This morning I took it out to thaw, and even though I was tired and achy after work eight hours later, I browned this roast and put it in the oven for dinner.

I cooked and mashed some potatoes, peeled and steamed some carrots, and cut up some leftover French bread from spaghetti the other night. So for dinner on this otherwise ordinary Wednesday, we had pot roast and mashed potatoes.

Please don't think that we eat like this all the time. Trust me, if the roast hadn't already been thawed I would have called it a cold-cereal night all the way. But since I'd already taken the roast out, I thought I should follow through.

So, instead of wearing pearls while I put dinner together I wore polka-dot pajamas, and instead of pulling out pretty serving dishes for the potatoes and carrots, we just served ourselves out of the mixing bowl and stove pot. Dinner was the perfect mix of decadent comfort food and weeknight lazy. We ate roast, mashed potatoes, and gravy on plastic Target plates while watching Arrested Development reruns for the hundredth time--far from fancy, but oh so perfect.

For one final midweek treat, I took the liberty of whipping up our favorite pudding concoction while Josh went to Scouts.

I know I won't be able to get away with mashed potatoes out of the KitchenAid forever, and heaven forbid this child of mine grows up thinking that roast on a Wednesday is anything normal, but for just Josh and me right now, a Sunday dinner on not a Sunday is absolute perfection.


17 weeks

Babe is supposed to be the size of an onion, but all those size comparisons seem pretty arbitrary. I mean, lots of onions I've seen have been smaller than a peach, which is is the fruit Babe was supposed to be five weeks ago. Let's go with real measurements here and say that Babe is around five inches long. The crazy part, though, is that Babe has fingerprints now.  

Fingerprints. That blows. my. mind. (Josh was relieved to know that in the event that Babe is implicated in a crime via fingerprints, he/she will have an alibi a.k.a. my belly.)

I'm well into the second trimester now and feeling much better than I was a couple months ago. The nausea has abated, I have more energy, and we're going through about two gallons of milk a week. I have been getting more headaches, which thankfully respond to Tylenol, a drug that up until pregnancy never worked on my headaches.

Just this week I had to start rubber-banding some of my jeans, and when I'm home, I'm almost always in stretchy pants (as if I weren't before the baby). The baby bump isn't much to look at yet, but it's there. Kind of.

See it? Kind of?

This baby is necessitating some lifestyle changes, the most imminent of which is a move to a bigger apartment. When I say imminent, I mean that we're moving this month. In two weeks. We found a bigger apartment for less money than what we're paying now, which is all good things in my book.

And once we have a second room I can start executing the nursery. I am so excited for the nursery. My ideas have yet to be solidified because we don't know yet whether Babe Wilson is a mister or a miss, but come month's end, that will be settled as well. (Don't worry--I'll surely make a poll so you can officially say "I knew it!")

Just think: fingerprints. This babe has fingerprints. Fingerprints.


cascading tulips

Sorry to leave you with such a personal and dispirited post since Tuesday. The truth is that it's been a weird week at the Wilsons'. It's been a week of melancholy moods, weird work schedules, and a pervasive feeling of disconnectedness.

I woke up this morning bracing myself for my last day of work before my weekend, and in the kitchen I saw my tulips I bought on Monday. They looked like this:

And I loved it. Maybe this could be an indication that I should have trimmed them shorter or found a taller vase, but I love how these flowers have burst open and cascaded into my kitchen. To me those pale pink blooms bring so much simple joy that a vase can't hold it. To that happy beginning, I went out into a day full of chirping birds, shining sun, and balmy temperatures.

This afternoon, as I throw open my windows to let in the spring air, I'm so glad that tulips are the type of flowers that bloom and cascade.


on writing

Sometimes when people ask me what I do, I'm bold, and I say that I write. I'm not that bold very often, but it happens sometimes. And then promptly I feel guilty, deceptive. Because here's the thing: I certainly don't make a living on writing--I don't make any money on writing currently. I write on this blog, and I write for myself, and I think about how much I'd love to be a bona fide writer.

Sometimes I feel like I spent all this time in college honing these skills that I love, and now they're sitting next to me, desperately wanting to be profitably used and recognized. Sometimes I feel that if my college professors and editing friends knew how much I'm not an editor or writer that I'd be letting them down. Sometimes I wonder if, in a professional sense, I'm letting my college self down. And I don't like that. At all.

Can I call myself a writer when I haven't done any real professional writing in over a year? Can I be a writer when I dream about it more than I actually do it? Can I be a writer now that I'm away from the abundant writing opportunities of college? And here's the ultimate question: If I can figure out writing now, can I still be a writer when the baby comes?

When this baby comes, ultimately I want a healthy balance between mothering and writing. And of course that means that first I have figure out how to start really writing. I don't want these passions and talents that are so important to me to fade, and I don't think they were meant to. I read this post by a good friend and knew that that's what I wanted. I want balance. I want my baby to have a mother who values her talents and uses them, a mother who can find fulfillment in many things.

So here's the thing: I don't want to disappointment myself by not pursuing things important to me. So today I'm going to call myself a writer and find ways to make it happen more fully.

I want to be a mother and a writer. I want to make it real.


a Monday

Today I
:: felt emotional
:: bought tulips
:: cleaned out the computer desk
:: watched the Downton Abbey season finale (finally)
:: did laundry
:: ate a healthy breakfast
:: read up on freelance writing
:: changed into polka-dot pajamas

How was your day?
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