a list of thoughts compiled over several days

:: I've decided that Josh's pillow is superior to mine. I told him so and he asked if I wanted to switch. (What a guy, right?) I would feel bad leaving him with my inferior one, but I reserve the right to retroactively accept that offer when my patience with pregnancy aches runs thin.
:: Whose idea was it to pop-ify this song? The original is so much better than the radio remix. Obviously.
:: Does anyone else think that Alexandre Dumas looks like Vernon Dursley?

:: I need chocolate chip cookies. Now-ish.
:: Mr. Babe's kicks are packing more of a punch these days. He's a pretty strong kid. Obviously.
:: It's been a rough week regarding pregnancy discomfort. I've been whiny, and Josh has been nice about it.


memorial weekend parties

I spent my weekend in Denver with the family (Josh couldn't come--no vacation time and expensive plane tickets). My weekend was wonderful and busy. We were going from the time I got there to the time I left.

:: The little brother graduated high school (though little is poor word choice--John is a full foot taller than I am).

{Taking self-portraits with this graduate is just about impossible given his incredible height}

:: We celebrated graduation with a big family dinner, complete with marinated flank steak and grilled salmon. Plus two cakes. Obviously.

:: Emily went through the temple on Saturday. (This was the ultimate reason I came to Colorado for the weekend.)

{Super windy day}

:: My close friends threw me a delightful baby shower. Those newborn onesies just about kill me with cuteness.

:: Sunday night Mom made homemade donuts for John and some of his friends for another graduation celebration.

{Because who doesn't love a picture of a newborn onesie?}

I returned to Oregon yesterday and crashed on the couch in complete exhaustion--it was a great weekend, but right now, this girl is all partied out.


28 weeks

 Yesterday marked the beginning of my third trimester (weird), and when I wear stuff like this, 28 weeks feels pretty good.


some listing

:: Check out these prints for the nursery. The orange, concentric circle print is for the glider cushions, and I'm deciding between the gray chevron and the gray geometric print for curtains.

:: Lots of maternity-wear is striped. It's not a bad thing, just a trend thing.
:: Josh has a new job. And it's awesome. We're stoked.
:: I found two super cool old books for under $10 total at my local library's secondhand store. Does your library have a used bookstore inside?

:: Colorado this weekend--yes.
:: Achy back
:: Last weekend we had a surprise going-away party for wonderful friends--Chicago, you better treat them right.


OSR: March and April 2012

It's been a while since I've posted about my reading! I have several reviews to post, some of books I loved and some of books that weren't my favorite.

(This first book I read because I got $10 from work to do so--does that make me a book slut?)

Letters in the Jade Dragon Box: A Historical NovelLetters in the Jade Dragon Box: A Historical Novel by Gale Sears
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an enjoyable book that gave me more insight into Communist China and the trials the Chinese people endured. This book read more like a young-adult novel to me, especially since the main character is a fifteen-year-old girl. I also found the development of Wen-Shan's relationship with her great-uncle endearing. I appreciated the notes at the end of each chapter, because going into this book I didn't know much about Chinese culture or Mao's years of power. It was also interesting to learn more about the LDS influence in Hong Kong.

AustenlandAustenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was just what I needed on a rainy day. As long as you know you're getting yourself into chick-lit, you'll have a fun, easy time reading this book. Austenland is a fast read with just the right balance between silly love and angsty love and Jane Austen-love. Looking for a light beach read? Look no further.

Falling to Heaven: The Surprising Path to HappinessFalling to Heaven: The Surprising Path to Happiness by James L. Ferrell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book didn't do it for me. Few of Ferrell's insights were groundbreaking for me, and I really struggled with his writing style. Many people enjoy his work, but I am not one of them.

A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me longer to get through this book than I expected, but only because I wanted to savor the writing. This story and its writing is uniquely beautiful; the characters are full, complex, and developed, their lives containing a good measure of both triumph and tragedy.

Francie's coming-of-age is no doubt a challenging one. My heart both ached and celebrated with hers. I loved her love of books and education. I loved her love for her father. I loved watching her grow up and define herself.

There was no part of this book that I didn't love. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn has found a permanent place in my heart, and I will be sure to revisit over and over.

Heaven Is Here: An incredible story of hope, triumph, and everyday joyHeaven Is Here: An incredible story of hope, triumph, and everyday joy by Stephanie Nielson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

NieNie's blog isn't my favorite, because I don't really connect with her writing very well; however, I did enjoy her book more than I thought I would. (Perhaps her edited writing is better than her blog writing?) Her story is intense and emotional, and I appreciated her honesty about her emotional healing process. Her husband-gushing (especially in the beginning) was a little too much for me, though I will admit that it's refreshing to see healthy marriages in the face of hardship. This wasn't my favorite memoir, but one that I don't regret reading.

Doing What We Came to Do: Living a Life of LoveDoing What We Came to Do: Living a Life of Love by Ardeth G. Kapp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Examining the role that love--God's love, our love, others' love--plays in each of our lives, this book was a little on the fluffy side. This book is filled with sweet sentiments and some touching stories, good for a quick, noncommittal read.

View all my reviews

I'm currently reading my 16th book of 2012, and I'm planning on putting together a post of good summer reads. What have your favorite reads been so far this year? Do you like James Ferrell's books? What about church books in general? Have you ever been a book slut?


running away

Last Friday, I picked up Josh from work and we ran away to the coast for a night. It was bliss. We spent Friday night in Seaside.

Josh finally got to fly his new stunt kite.

See his kite way up in the sky?

Then we spent Saturday in Arcadia and Cannon Beach.

We took a walk along the coastline and named some of the features we saw. This was Seagull Rock (there were lots of birds on it that you can't really see in the picture).

And this is Lone Tree framed by Parabolic Rock. (Josh says the rock looks like a fourth-order polonomial--math nerd).

The weather was sunny, in the 70s, and very slightly breezy, so pretty much perfect.

We laid out our beach chairs and I read for a couple hours while Josh dozed.

Then we went to downtown Cannon Beach to our favorite fish market for fresh Pacific cod fish 'n' chips.

After some boutique browsing we ate huge, delicious crepes. Mine had Nutella and bananas and whipped cream.

We headed home a bit earlier than we would normally, because the beach was getting pretty crowded, and we knew that we wouldn't be able to get another parking spot. So we skipped the crowds and headed home with a giant bag of salt water taffy.

Like I said, it was pretty much perfect.


mothers--almost a mother

{26 weeks}

I tried on three different outfits today before going to church and cried because I was so frustrated that nothing fits and because I felt chubby instead of pregnant. (There were definitely hormones involved this morning.) I have many moments when I don't enjoy pregnancy for its pains and discomforts, and then I feel Mr. Babe poke me a hello and my heart melts.

I wouldn't take an infinite number of comforts if it took away my babe. And I would take countless more discomforts if that's what it took to bring a healthy babe into our family.

Every day I tell Josh how excited I am to actually meet this little babe. I wonder who he'll look like, what his personality will be, how he'll intereact with his world. Isn't it remarkable that even before he's born, this babe is already an integral, irreplaceable part of our family? My heart is already overflowing with love for this little boy--my heart is already his.

While I may not know much of anything about real motherhood at this point, what I do know is that I love my baby--and that love will go a long way.



:: I cut my bangs blunt again and no one noticed at first.
:: Everyone and their dog has already seen The Avengers--we're behind the times.
:: I finally unpacked my books, and it feels good.
:: I bought my first piece of nursery furniture.

I'll be back on Sunday to conclude my mother series with some thoughts of my own. In the meantime Josh and I are currently on our way to the coast for a much needed weekend away.


mothers--my mother-in-law

Motherhood is on my mind almost all the time now. Obviously. This year's Mother's Day will be unique in my life, because never again will I be almost a mother but not quite yet. I'm highlighting mothers in my life this week in the hope that I can learn from them how to mother my own babe and family.

When people find out that Josh and I live literally five minutes away from his parents, they often shoot me commiserating looks, presuming that I married into the Barones or something. The thing is, though, that I couldn't have picked better in-laws if I tried.

Over the past year and a half, I've gotten to know Karen beyond her role as mother-in-law. We're both family and friends, and I love it.

Since becoming a Wilson, I've tried and done many things that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Karen is outgoing and adventurous, and she has this uncanny way of pushing me to try new things while still loving and accepting me as I am, however unadventurous. Do you think I would have ever tried Lebanese food or rock climbing if Karen hadn't been there to encourage me to do it? It's unlikely.

Thanks to Karen I've learned how to take that leap outside of my comfort zone, because chances are that I'll find something pretty awesome. When I take those leaps, she's always right there to be my cheerleader, and when I'm not up for branching out, she says it's okay and loves me anyway.


As a mother I want to help Babe reach outside of himself and take risks, and when stepping beyond his comfort zone is a little too much at the moment, I want him to know that I love him regardless.


mothers--Carol Jean

Motherhood is on my mind almost all the time now. Obviously. This year's Mother's Day will be unique in my life, because never again will I be almost a mother but not quite yet. I'm highlighting mothers in my life this week in the hope that I can learn from them how to mother my own babe and family.

{The Woods circa the grooviest era--obviously. Grandma is the mom in this photo, Dad the grooviest--obviously.}

When I talk about my grandma on this blog, I almost always am talking about my mom's mom; however, I really do have another grandmother who is very dear to me. She passed away almost 20 years ago, when I was only five. I am the only one of my dad's children who even remembers her, and my recollections are mere snapshot memories.

Whenever I think about my grandma, I think steadfast. She lovingly held her children accountable to the doctrines and principles she taught in her home. She taught my dad to be a man--a man who loves his wife and children and who loves his God. Even though she left us two decades ago, she lives on through her family; her influence radiates beyond herself and into her posterity.

So though I may not have many memories of her I feel like I know her, at least the most important parts of her. She's just as much a grandmother to me as my grandmother who was able to participate so actively in my life.


As a mother, I want to be steadfast; I want to teach Mr. Babe to be the truest kind of man.



Motherhood is on my mind almost all the time now. Obviously. This year's Mother's Day will be unique in my life, because never again will I be almost a mother but not quite yet. I'm highlighting mothers in my life this week in the hope that I can learn from them how to mother my own babe and family.

{Grandma and the Wood girls circa May 2008}

CJP is short for Charlotte Jane Petersen, my grandmother and namesake. I lived just blocks away from my grandparents my entire childhood and adolescence; my formative years would be completely different without my mom's parents.

When I was young, I would have sleepovers at Grandma's, and while I eagerly anticipated the Shirley Temple movies and decadent breakfasts, my favorite part was chatting. Instead of a bedtime story, we would sit in her bedroom and chat. I don't remember many conversations from when I was a child, but I do remember the topics of those chats as I grew older.

In high school and when I'd come home from college, I'd sit in Grandma's kitchen and chat with her. I could talk with her about anything--school, friends, boys, jobs, the gospel. While not all of our conversations explicitly focused on Christ, and even though I may not have recognized it at the time, during our countless conversations her own relationship with Christ was making an indelible imprint on my own soul.

Grandma taught me that it's our privilege and gift to have a very personal relationship with our Savior. The open and unfettered way she spoke of Christ indicated a developed, honest, and trusting relationship with her Savior. Christ was very much a part of her every day, very much a part of her role as wife, mother, friend., and disciple. She radiated a countenance like unto her Redeemer, and she was beautiful for it.

She passed away two years ago, and though we're separated for a time, I believe that she is with my babe now, teaching him the vital importance of coming to know your Savior.


As a mother I seek to deepen and refine my relationship with Christ and live that relationship and testimony for my family.


mothers--my mother

Motherhood is on my mind almost all the time now. Obviously. This year's Mother's Day will be unique in my life, because never again will I be almost a mother but not quite yet. I'm highlighting mothers in my life this week in the hope that I can learn from them how to mother my own babe and family.

Growing up I remember we had many people coming in and out of our home--people stopping by for church callings, people dropping off or picking up things, people coming over to chat for an evening. Our home was often a hub of comings and goings and stayings and leavings.

Once or twice (and with a couple of different people) we even had teenagers who lived with us for brief stints of time. In high school my friends and my sister's friends spent lots of time over with our family. We had neighbors who came over almost daily, sharing various family occasions with us.

If we had vistiors who happened to be around come dinner, Mom often invited them to stay, willingly adding one or two more plates to the table, whether it be a run-of-the-mill weeknight or Christmas Eve dinner.

I never gave much thought to this phenonemon that was my hub of a home. Sometimes I itched for more just-my-family time, but I never resented my mother for opening our home to anybody who wanted to be there. Not too long ago I identified the characteristic that defined my home and explained its frequent visitors: My mother created a home where the Spirit could be, and because of that, our home was a safe place not only for my family but for others as well.

Whenever I'm home I feel loved and accepted, and others outside of my siblings and me feel that same love. My mom created a safe home and a loving home--a home defined by the gospel and its unique and permeating spirit.


As a mother, I hope to fill my home with the Spirit, with love, acceptance, and safety.



Here's a prescription from me to you in case you end up working until 10:00 one night and have to go back into work at 6:00 the next morning for store inventory, like I did:

:: Do everything in stretchy pants
:: Treat yourself to lunch at your favorite sandwich shop
:: Rent a chick-flick at RedBox
:: Catch up on your TV shows
:: Talk to your mom and sister on the phone
:: Spend an hour online looking up Hey, Girl memes
:: Make an easy dinner that your man incidentally loves, like meatloaf
:: Book a room in an oceanfront hotel for not this weekend, but the next weekend, thereby satisfying your desperate need for some coast time


If you do even some of those things, I promise your recuperation will be well underway--especially if you book the room at the coast.
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