Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Things...

We have decided on a name:

Yes, the name is french. But that is purely coincidence. Joie is a fun spin on my name (the "ie" from Billie and the Jo), and my dad's name is Joe. Ricky's middle name is Elias, so Elise is a girlie version of his middle name. Plus, I've loved the name Elise for a long time.

This weekend, several of my amazing Oregon friends threw us a shower. It was so much fun. Some of our friends from Eugene even made the two hour trip to Portland to celebrate, and many who couldn't be there still sent thoughtful gifts for Joie. I must admit that there's just something so special about celebrating a new baby on the way. Many of my friends have had babies in the last couple of years, so it was wonderful to get advice from them as well as the gifts that I didn't even know to ask for but that they found super helpful in their experiences. I had a mix of friends from work, school, taekwondo, church, and kickboxing. We played a game where Sarah told us lines from nursery rhymes, and we had to come up with the title (super HARD...I have some homework to do before my mommy days officially start). We also had to estimate the price of a bunch of different baby items and whomever came up with a total that was closest to the actual amount won.

Ricky joked when I got home that he has already met his pink threshold. Lol. I love him bunches. :-)

Here are a few pictures from the day.

Yummy, beautiful cake.

My great friends who threw the shower. Candy, Sarah, and Allie.

The nursery colors are going to be lavender and yellow, so that was the theme. I also really love the light teal color, so they mixed a bit of that in, too. So thoughtful.

Our brunch spread. Cream Brule french toast (with raspberries, granola, and whip cream), savory egg bites, and punch (white grape, sprite, and raspberries). Sarah also had some cereal (one of my cravings) and muffins.

Jessica made the trip from Eugene with her new three week old baby Jack. He looked so cute in his big boy outfit!

Katrina and Rebecca surprised me by making the trek from Eugene. I miss my Eugene taekwondo friends so much!

Katie (above) handmade this beautiful blanket. The back is lavender and super soft.

One for Ricky.

In general, I must say Joie has been really good to me. I had quite a bit of queasies and a weird taste in my mouth (kinda metallic) for the first trimester, but it was tolerable. And as I am wrapping up the last bet of the second trimester, I have had a little sciatica pain and some pelvis soreness, but that's been the main quirks of trimester two. I was almost six months pregnant before people started telling me I "looked" pregnant, but now I certainly feel it! At almost 26 weeks, I still have a pretty good view of my feet and have managed to keep up kickboxing (albeit a bit lower intensity than before) or elliptical training pretty much daily. In addition, we typically take the dogs on a 30 minute walk if it's not too wet.

So... that's the news on the baby front. We are getting closer to our move to San Antonio. More on that later, though. This girl is pretty worn out for tonight. :-)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby Jo Team Selection

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged, but we have some big news. Here it is. I promise to start posting more regularly now. :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hi again

Well, it has been a while (ok a long while) since I've blogged. I don't know why I get in such ruts where I don't blog, but I'm going to try to do better. I think it's because sometimes I feel like no one is reading and what am I doing, but then I need to remind myself this is just as much for me as it is for anyone else.

Hmm... I'm not going to make this one super long but just going to fill in on a few things.

I'm poking my head into the job market again. In particular, I'm looking for faculty positions and possibly postdoctoral research positions. I just interviewed at UT San Antonio, and it went really well. I actually liked it there more than I anticipated. So, we will see what they say. There is a fun group of core school psych faculty, and they have a brand new SPSY masters program (literally just started their first group of students through this fall), so there's a lot of potential to provide some good leadership in research and in training. I'm looking around at a few other positions, too. So we are just praying that God will lead us wherever we are supposed to go. So far we've had a pretty good track record with that!

Ricky is still struggling with his injuries. The concussion symptoms are better but not 100% gone. He will probably go back to the doc sometime in late January to see if he can be cleared to return to umpiring. That will mean another trip to Pittsburgh, and he doesn't really enjoy those quick trips. His back has been bothering him quite a bit lately (well, really it's his leg that hurts but because of his back), and treatment has been pretty disjointed because it all has to get cleared through workman's comp. So that has been a blessing (in that we don't have to pay) and a pain (in that it takes forever for things to get figured out). So we are praying for healing in that.

We are looking forward to our upcoming visit to Arkansas. We haven't seen Ricky's family since last Christmas, and it's been since June for my parents (they came out for graduation). I'm looking forward to a break and some time to relax. I've been worn out working full time and looking for/applying to jobs. It's like another full time job.

We had a fun trip to Boston with Kyle, Laura, and Abby back in mid November. It was Ricky's first time to Boston, and he enjoyed the city. We did a tour of fenway, walked the freedom trail, and spent a lot of quality time with our great friends. I'll try to post some pictures of that, but they are up on facebook.

Oh. We've really enjoyed college football this year! Go Ducks and Go Razorbacks! Two of our favorite teams in BCS games? That's hard to believe!

Well, there you have it for a quick update. Hopefully, I'll be back on the blogging rhythm now and can be a bit more interesting.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our New Edition

After months of spinning and spinning and ultimately hand wringing many of our clothes before putting them into the dryer, and many debates about the pros and cons of purchasing different types of machines, and many hours of research on my part, we have finally replaced the old washer and dryer with new high efficiency front loading washer and a new dryer to match.

Here they are...

(drumroll please)

Meet the newest members of our family:

Samsung wf330 Washer

Samsung DV330 Dryer

While the colored ones are very nice, we couldn't bring ourselves to pay more just for the color. We also didn't buy the pedestals, but these are pretty tall and not any more bending is required to load/unload than our previous dryer. They were rated #4 for energy efficiency and rated by a consumer search site as the number one high efficiency washer/dryer (the one on the site was replaced by this model number fairly recently). While there are a lot of options and all have a lot of pro's and con's, Samsung tends to be highly rated overall. We got them on sale, delivered, and lots of rebates. Hopefully, these guys will be members of our family for a long time to come. Maybe once I've done a few more loads of clothes, I can provide a more thorough review. In the mean time, I am contemplating plopping myself on a stool in the garage and watching the magic spinning machine!

If anyone has suggestions for how we should name them, I'd be open. I think they deserve a name.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Allee

One of my good friends from the SPSY program at UO, Candy, had a beautiful baby girl on June 21--Natalee (Allee for short). Because my summer has been fairly busy with my parents' visit, Laura's visit, my visit to Phoenix and teaching the class at PSU, I didn't get a chance to go to Eugene until early this week. I was able to go Sunday afternoon and spend a couple days with Candy, Chris, and Allee. I know being a new mom is hard, but Allee is doing everything she can to make it as easy as possible for Candy. She is such a happy baby...And did I mention how stinkin' cute she is? Well, here are a few pictures for you to judge for yourself. Happy 1 month old birthday today, Allee. You are such a sweetie! I'm excited to be your Auntie Billie Jo.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Livin' Like a "Leaguer"

It is mid-July. And that means that professional baseball season is officially well under way (and actually about half way finished). Ricky, as you may remember, has had a lifelong dream (or since he was 15 years old) to umpire professional baseball. He was an honor graduate from umpire school in January and received a job to work in rookie league baseball after his evaluation last March. This was an exciting but very bittersweet development. The two rookie ball leagues are in Florida and Arizona (where all the major league teams have spring training facilities).

In case you aren't up on geography, let me remind you that neither Florida nor Arizona are very close to Oregon, which stinks for me. Because Ricky is hanging out in Phoenix until the end of the summer or until he gets promoted. We have no idea when promotions will happen. Umpiring professional baseball is complicated. The umpires work their way up like the players, so when someone hangs his hat, gets fired, or gets hurt, then someone else takes his spot and all the guys under that get shuffled around. Then there's the slight complication of trying to be economical about promotions and keeping riders and drivers straight and keeping folks on their respective sides of the country without disrupting the order of promotions. I actually don't know how they effectively organize all this...but that's not something I have to know. Anyway, all that to say I am proud of my hubby for doing something that he's always wanted to do. I'm glad we were able to make the decision for him to do it, even if I do miss him lots.

The best part about Ricky umpiring professional baseball for me to this point is that I had a good excuse to go be lazy in Phoenix over the July 4th holiday weekend. It seems that Phoenix is not the #1 summer vacation destination, so we were able to stay in a really nice resort for a very reasonable price (with rooms that typically go for $600-1000 per night during the winter--and most of the people staying at the resort were Phoenix residents "staycationing" because of the cheap prices). The resort was well kept and had exceptional service. Ricky joked the whole time that I was living like a "leaguer's" wife. He is referring to the fact that MLB umpires make a lot of money and have excellent living accommodations. We had such a fun time. Ricky worked a baseball game all but one day that I was there, so I had plenty of time to sit at the pool and prepare for my class, relax, read for fun, and sunbathe.

We hit up an Arizona Diamondbacks vs. LA Dodgers game on his off day. They closed the roof, so we sat in the air conditioning. After the game, they opened the roof and shot fireworks. The game was not good (lots of errors and a very lopsided score), but the company was great, the seats were good (and free), and the fireworks were pretty.

Don't you think he could handle life as a Leaguer? Love this handsome man.

Dinner at a yummy local restaurant. Latin food with a flare...including fresh corn tortillas, table side guacamole, and a famously wonderful pumpkin bread pudding.

Prepping to teach class is much more fun at the pool.

Some pretty shots from the grounds at our hotel.

This is camelback mountain.

I loved the soaking tub. So relaxing!

Yummy pizza with fresh greens on top.

Sneaky wife. Ok, ok. So I'm not really a rule breaker. I just snuck in quickly to pose for this picture. Was there for like 10 seconds. Promise.

It was great to visit my husband and get to watch him work some professional baseball games. I'm not sure that Phoenix would've been on my short list of places to visit, so I'm glad I went. Now...let's cross our fingers and pray for a promotion to the NW League, so he'll be a little closer to home.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Best Friend a Girl Could Have

Can I just start this post by saying how difficult it is for your best friend to live all.the.way. a.c.r.o.s.s. the country? At this point, Laura and I are maintaining earthly (or at least national) balance by pinning down opposite corners of the US until we can get ourselves relocated somewhere a bit closer to the middle as next door neighbors. Sigh. It's bittersweet, but one of the sweetest parts came last week when she was able to sneak away from Boston to come and visit--just us (no kids, no hubbies). We had an amazing time, and if you follow her blog, you've seen much of it from her perspective. But, I felt I had to do her trip justice and document it myself, too. Well, I guess it's impossible to do the trip justice in just a few (or even a lot) of pictures and words; we had such a great time. I do want to document it here the best I can. Beware, I should probably split this blog into multiple posts, but I'm not... :)

Laura's trip was perfect because we were busy the entire time but we started the week with absolutely no agenda (other than I had to teach my PSU class two times and at some point we knew we wanted pedicures). We were able to plan each day as it came. Don't get to do that kind of entertaining too often. Oh, and all of these pictures are Laura's. That's the joy of having a best friend who LOVES to take pictures. I just take her cool places and she captures all the memories. No since duplicating work, right? Let the pictures begin!

We started Saturday at the farmers' market (well, actually we started it at kickboxing class and then went to the market). The same one we went to with my parents. I was in desperate need of more fresh fruit and produce. We get so spoiled here in the summer!

And what's a trip to the farmers' market without a few treats? These little homemade cookies were wonderful. I had the oreo and Laura's was peanut butter. Yumm-o!

Saturday afternoon ended with happy hour with a couple of friends from work and then relaxing time in the backyard enjoying the wonderful Oregon afternoon sun.

Sunday was a decision day. It was supposed to be pretty nice, so after a trip to the gym, we trekked (in the car) to the coast. It was, as usual, mostly cloudy along the coast. But we did find some sun and some cute kids selling lemonade.

Oh yes. We also found the Tillamook cheese factory, too. Where they just happened to sample cheese and sell all their ice cream in freshly baked waffle cones.

Monday morning, Laura and I went to a Power weightlifting class, and then we got ready to head downtown. I taught my students at PSU while she explored downtown. When that was done, we headed to have happy hour sushi where it's $1 per plate. We had lots of fun trying different dishes and searching for our favorites on the track. We made rice krispie treats and hot chocolate for our midnight snack (the first picture at the beginning of the blog entry).

Tuesday was a fairly perfect, yet all backwards day. We lounged around the house until late morning, had the famous voodoo doughnuts and local Stumptown coffee around noon, headed to the Columbia River Gorge for photos and some leisurely waterfall tour hiking, hit the gym for kickboxing class (where I found out my favorite instructor is taking a leave from teaching...*tears*), showered and headed to Portland City Grill for late night happy hour at 10pm. We had the best calamari either of us had ever tasted, yummy spring rolls, spicy fries, and girly drinks. We stayed until midnight and then stayed up at home until the wee hours of the morning chatting.

Signature VooDoo doughnut dolls.

Vanilla Late? Yes, please.

Columbia river (Washington on the left and Oregon on the right side)

By Wednesday we were pretty tired. Neither of us remembering the last time we'd been up at 2am, much less the last time we'd done that two nights in a row. So, we had pedicures, and I taught my class at PSU while Laura explored downtown again. We snuck over to yo-cream for treats and watched tv/worked on laundry that evening.

Laura left Thursday morning, and I worked out, mowed the lawn, taught taekwondo, and packed for my trip to Phoenix (more to come soon).

Words really cannot express how good it was for both of us to have the time to just relax, be together, and catch up. We do a good job keeping in touch from our respective coasts, but a chance to do it in person with no real agenda and wonderful Oregon weather was so refreshing. I really am such a lucky girl to have someone like Laura in my life.