Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And Baby Killion is...

...a girl. Most likely. *Check out this side profile!

Let me explain. We went for the ultrasound this morning. I'm just over sixteen weeks along, so it's still a tad early--we shall see, said the technician. Well, we could see Baby, looking so cute and looking so big on the screen. (In reality, Baby is about five inches long right now.) Baby wasn't moving its legs very much, which made it troublesome to see if Baby was a boy or a girl. But the technician managed to get that all-important picture between the legs...and there's nothing there. (See arrow below.) "I'm 75% certain that your baby is a girl," said the technician. Although 75% certain is not 100% certain, it's better than 50% certain. I am scheduled for my "official" ultrasound in three weeks; this time around was more like a sneak preview. I will refrain from referring to Baby as Liz until the experts are 100% certain. (Chris and my youngest sister Julia are still holding out for that possible 25% chance of J.J.)

Speaking of pregnancy, have you heard about that school in Massachusetts that has SEVENTEEN pregnant girls in its halls? Apparently, this group of girls made a pact to get pregnant at the same time so they could all raise their babies together. That's not true, they retorted. They said they would only support each other when they got pregnant...and these pregnancies just happened to be now. Right. These girls are sixteen years old or younger. These girls are RIDICULOUS. Back when I was sixteen and a junior in high school (only four years ago), we made pacts like, "Oh, let's attend each others' weddings when they happen" or, "Let's get together during the summers in between college" or even, "Let's all get together and go prom dress shopping." Not, "let's get pregnant at the ripe age of sixteen and raise our kids together because everything will be so easy and fun." I cannot say what went through their minds...but let me tell you, this wasn't their smartest idea ever. Far from it.
**Further evidence that the majority of today's society is going down the toilet.

On a better note, thanks in part to an email from my dear brother Bill, I have once again picked up my clarinet to play. I was blessed to be in an elementary school with a band, so I started on the clarinet in the 5th grade. I then left MMS to go on to Wildwood Catholic, where we were told we would have a band...but naturally that fell through. (Typical Catholic high school=poor. Had to pay an arm and a leg to attend, but few resources were available.) No clarinet playing throughout high school or my first two years of college. However, last summer, while rummaging through a store called Tuesday Morning with my mom-in-law, I discovered a clarinet on sale for $50. A total and complete steal for a brand-new instrument. ...Naturally, I bought it. And it collected dust for nearly a year until Sunday night! I broke it out to play the notes I remembered from all those years ago.
When I was young (aka still living at home), I often played our piano when I was in a cheerful or thoughtful or spiritual mood. I only play with my right hand, but I love to do it. One of those spiritual moods hit me on Sunday night...and there wasn't a piano in sight. So, I turned to the only other instrument in the place: faithful, trusted clarinet. It feels good to play again. I'm reminded of how much my right thumb will hurt, or my left wrist, as I move my fingers to reach the keys. I absolutely love playing an instrument. Chris and I have decided we will introduce our children to music. Kate and I play the clarinet; Bill and Joe play the trombone; Julia...hmm. Julia will only be in the third grade this fall, but if she doesn't follow the route of her sisters, I can see her with a sax!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thoughts on home

Go Boston! As I wrote on facebook, I hate both the Celtics and the Lakers, but I hate the Celtics less than I hate the Lakers. (I really dislike Paul Pierce. But Ray Allen and KG are keepers.) And, the Celtics are from the East, so that gives them a leg up over the Lakers for me. Can't wait for next year...Chris would love to see the Mavericks in there, and I would love to see the Sixers. Let's just say the Mavs have a better chance of going far in the playoffs than the Sixers...but hey--this is next year! Who knows what can happen in a year's time?

Every Wednesday, I read the Wildwood Leader online, my newspaper from home. I love keeping up with everything that is happening on the island, everything that is changing. When I first left NJ for BYU, I'm not sure what I thought exactly, but somewhere in my mind, I believed North Wildwood would be the same town when I returned for Christmas break. As we (my parents and I) drove over the bridge and onto the island, I could already see changes. To my North Wildwood! We drove further into town, past the house, to inspect more things that had changed--buildings that fell, buildings that sprang up from the ground, well-loved novelties that were replaced with mostly impersonal condominiums. Things change! Things change. I can only imagine how much more has changed that I haven't seen, because I wasn't born yet or because I am too young to remember or because I am not there to see it happening at this very moment. My sister Kate is going to be a FRESHMAN at Wildwood Catholic this year; Joe will be in 7th grade; Julia will be in 3rd grade...Bill will be off in Colombia, trying to convert all the girls on the beach (HAHA)... I'm having a BABY in December!! (This Friday, I will be four months along! My mom refers to my belly as "The Mosquito Bite." Thank you, Juanita!) We all get older, we all move on...

As much as it pains me to see things change, it also gives me joy. Change is good! We move onto bigger and better things. Sometimes I find myself thinking about moving on, so let me say this: (This applies directly to my home county, Cape May County, NJ, but this can readily apply to anywhere and everywhere.)
When you graduate high school, LEAVE CAPE MAY COUNTY. Don't get me wrong, I desperately love my county; in fact, I hope to go back there permanently someday. With that said, you must leave. Whether you go to college, a trade school, an internship, a job, whatever you do, go do it. I firmly believe that you need to get away from your roots here, those binds which decidedly are good, but can be bad if you never spread your wings, fly away, and try something new. I always became sad when I heard about friends who had left CMC to try something new but quickly returned because they missed it. Of course you miss it--it is all you knew before you stepped away. Things take time--give them the time they need. I was terribly homesick when I left NJ, but I sure as heck wasn't about to run home to my family because I missed them so much. I had a mission to accomplish--I'm still accomplishing it; I'm going to graduate soon! I believe once you have an experience under your belt, an experience you can call yours--away from the comforts of your home--you can return. You can return because now, CMC will have the benefit of your singular experience. You make CMC better with your travels, with your knowledge, with leaving for a time and the decision of coming back to share it. I see so many people who never left CMC when they had the chance...and now, they will never leave. They lost their opportunities and they have nothing to show for it. Some do, but many do not. The world beyond CMC has an innumerable amount of possibilities--go find yours.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scouting Adventures

Chris and I have been chaperones at Cub Scout Twilight camp for the past two days, and we have three more days to go! We've had a wonderful time with our boys so far. Combined with the Webleos of the Fossil Ridge Ward, we're the Privateers of Den 12. (The camp theme is all pirate-related. Each of the groups has a pirate name, like Swashbucklers, Swabbies, Looters, Mauraders, etc. The heat was pretty searing yesterday, but we made it through. Word has gotten around that I'm expecting, so I'm kindly given the nice chairs and lots of water upon request. (I have the best, most helpful husband I could ever ask for!) I'll tell you though, being out in that sun and walking everywhere to complete activities--it gets you tired! Chris and I have fallen asleep on the couch while watching TV the past two nights, and then we stumble to the bed; we are simply exhausted! This is pretty much the last time we'll really be with our Webleos, since we were released as leaders on Sunday :( We love these guys and we will surely miss them when we move.

On a side note, I've been thinking about this ever since we got back from Dallas last week. On the city's official brochures, there's a tagline. Guess what it is? "Find your D-spot." Yep, find your D-spot. Chris and I cracked up at that. That reminded me of NJ's dearest Atlantic City's tagline (which is also on a large sign as you approach AC from the mainland/parkway): "Always turned on." Yep, always turned on. I wonder what Dallas's and Atlantic City's city councils were thinking. I don't think these people are particularly young...maybe they thought they are being "hip" or something. It just makes us laugh. I wish I knew some more questionable city taglines to share, but if you know any, I'd love to hear them.

Oh yes, I'm FINALLY taking my Spanish 441 final tomorrow--wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Chris and I were married in the Washington D.C. Temple one year ago yesterday. :D That is a great feeling, a sound assurance to us, and it is also another step added onto our eternal staircase. For our big day, we started with breakfast at Waffle House, which we will sorely miss when we move. We then decided to take the train to Dallas, so we wouldn't have to worry about traffic, parking, or worst of all, GAS (it's up to $3.83 here, but that was yesterday so it has probably gone up). Here we are, in the Train Station in downtown Fort Worth: (tired)
It took just about an hour to get to the big D, and we got off at Union Station in Dallas's West End district. We found The Spaghetti Warehouse and had lunch there, and then we proceeded to take in the rest of the West End. I have never been to New Orleans, but for whatever reason, the West End reminds me of NO...or what it looks like in my imagination!
We walked up Ross St. to find the Dallas Water Aquarium, which we found...but considering it was $18.95 for each of us AND since both the penguin exhibit and the sea turtle exhibit were closed, we said FORGET THAT. We continued up Ross St. to see the Dallas Museum of Art...which we discovered is closed on Mondays. From there however, we found the electric-cable trolley going uptown, so we hopped on for a little ride. We were dropped off in West Village, a pretty ritzy part of downtown, we must say. After a cool-down break in Border's (did I mention that it was nearly 100* outside...there was a breeze, but still), we found the DART subway. We rode that back to the West End and decided to check out a few museums, like the Sixth Floor Museum and the Old Red Museum. Well. We ended up taking pictures of the buildings. I LOVED the architecture of the Old Red Museum:
Even though it was sweltering hot and even though we ran into a few snags, we had a marvelous time in Dallas. We took three modes of transportation to see downtown and it was an adventure. *Our favorite part of the trip: After we got off the subway in the West End, some random black guy approaches Chris and starts talking to him. I had just retrieved my apple from my purse for my afternoon snack, and I immediately realized what was going on. He wanted money. Of course he wanted money--don't we all? He didn't exactly say that though. Having grown up with the daily and weekend trips to Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C., I knew better than to stop, but that guy had asked my naturally kind husband Chris for a "bite to eat," essentially code for: "Give me some cash so I can go buy my beer/crack/cigarettes." Chris turned to me and said, "He wants a bite to eat." "Ohhh," I said. "You want something to eat? Here--I have an apple. And some pretzels." I handed these to him and said, "Have a nice day," grabbed Chris's hand, and walked away. I began to explain to Chris that YOU NEVER GIVE THEM MONEY, when a policeman approached us and wanted to know what the guy asked us. We explained what had happened and he said," He eats at the soup kitchen down the street every day." He also said that not only could the man have gotten arrested for soliciting us on the street, we could have been arrested too had we given him money. Hey--the man asked for a "bite to eat," I'll give him one. I just won't give him my (Chris's) hard-earned cash so he can throw it down the drain. No way!

We later met our friends Rob and Jamie Chaffin at Olive Garden for our anniversary dinner. The Chaffin's (from our ward here in TX) share the same anniversary as us, June 2nd, only they got married two years ago! We had a great time...even though our waiter messed up my dinner and Rob's dinner and we had to wait for them. Hey, that's what they have the salad and breadsticks for, right? We love the Chaffin's, and we will miss them as they move up to American Fork, Utah at the end of the month. But we'll be up to Utah before we know it, so we'll see them there!