Monday, April 28, 2008

Excuses Excuses

I have a very valid excuse for not posting in a while: I'm pregnant and have been fighting daily the urge to throw up. I do think that overall it's been better (so far) than the nausea I had while pregnant with Will, but the main difference is that I have him to take care of most days. Rodney has been so wonderful on the weekends, but that's nothing new.

Well, here are the details for those who are curious. I am about 8 weeks along and the due date is the second week of December. Will and his sibling will be 19 months apart, which is 2 months further apart than my sister and I are (and we've always been close). Rodney's grandmother just told us that Nancy and her two sisters were all 16 months apart! She said "we just did what we had to do." I am scared and excited at the same time.

This May we are celebrating two milestones in our lives. Will's 1st birthday and our 10th year as a couple. Rodney and I started dating in May of our freshman year at Greenville and dated for 3 years before marrying. So, in order to celebrate the latter milestone, we decided back in February to book a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Hermann, Missouri. Our plan was to leave Will with Jerry and Nancy for the weekend (if they wanted to and were available) and bike the Katy Trail while visiting some wineries. Lucky for us, Nancy and Jerry were available (and willing) and we booked the trip for this past weekend. Besides my nagging nausea (that kept me in bed a little more than usual and prompted us to abandon the bike idea) it was a great time. Here are some photos.

Second Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast was surrounded by 135 acres of farmland owned by the proprietors

view from the front porch

Down by the pond there was a barn full of animals

Our room- the smallest one in the bed and breakfast, but still very nice

Even though I felt sick, this was sooo good

View of Hermann

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blame It On The Rain

Spring is absolutely my favorite time of year. The sun starts shining more, the temperature gets warmer, and everything starts to bloom. The park is full of blossoming trees right now: dogwoods, magnolia trees and other white-blossomed trees of which I don't know the name. In Michigan the only trees that blossom are the cherry trees (that I know of) and they were off the beaten path in the town where I grew up. Ever since coming to this area 10 years ago, I have revelled in these fragrant and blooming wonders at this time of year. The only thing that gets me a bit depressed is the seemingly endless stream of rainy days. The rain has been coming down non-stop since I woke up this morning. These days are always hard for me because I so badly want to get out and walk. Ah well, I guess I'll just have to remember that this rain is the earth's incredible way of rejuvenativing itself after a long winter hibernation and that when it finally does stop, everything will be much greener. I've heard that the Botanical Gardens are beautiful right now and Will and I definatley need to visit when the "cats and dogs" stop dropping from the sky.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks, although at the same time I feel like nothing has happened. One of the biggest things was the NSAL vocal competition, held on March 29th. I did not win anything, but it was such a helpful experience and I believe I will look back on it someday and even say it was formative. I spent a good while depressed about what the judges had to say, but after lots of reflection and several conversations with Carol I've gained some good insight. One of the most helpful things is that I have started thinking much more seriously about my singing and how to approach my vocal issues. One thing Carol has "schooled" me in is the incompetency of certain judges and the useless critism they sometimes give. She has encouraged me to sense when a judge is critizising only for self-serving or power-mongering reasons as opposed to helping shape and teach a singer. A goal for myself is to not only be aware of but to work on my areas of weakness so that the next time I do this I will be prepared to weed out the invalid critism and not be crushed by it. Also, auditioning is a skill just as difficult as singing and it's something you have to learn by doing it. I see it as educaional and something that will get honed the more I do it. I've heard story after story of world-famous singers losing competitions for years before they finally win something. I'm reading Renee Fleming's book right now and it's incredible to me how she didn't just win every single competition she was ever in. It took her years to get where she is now, and she is so freaking talented.

Anyway, enough on that diatribe (yeesh). Will is so much fun lately. He's been clapping for almoth a month now, which is super cute, and just recently he started doing "so big" by raising his arms up over his head. Here is a video:

We also have visited the swings at the park for the first time this week and I can't believe we haven't done this before. Another video:

It's crazy to me that in little over a month he will be 1. I'm starting to think of his birthday and getting some good ideas from others. We definately want to utilize this historic park (Tower Grove) and have it in one of the victorian style pavillions. No one can resist a bar-b-que in May!

Here are some cute photos that we've taken recently:

See-Saw at Tower Grove Park

Preston- The Other End of the See-Saw

$1.00 Burger-Tuesday at Bar Louie

Sworn Enemies Make a Futon Truce

How the Other Half Lives