Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Card Dilemma

So there have been tons of blog posts floating around the internet where you can win prints from Shutterfly or Tiny Prints. There are SOOO many cute ones to choose from!

Image Source: Shutterfly

Image Source: Tiny Prints
Unfortunately I haven't won any of these said contests, so I haven't been forced to actually purchase holiday cards.

For the last couple of years, The Hubs and I have done photo cards that we purchase at Costco. Here's a refresher from our holiday card last year!We had just gotten The Pup, so this was the opportunity to show him off. The year before, we used a wedding picture.

This year, I'm sorta at a loss of what to do. I'm not sure that our family really wants to see pictures of our lovely mugs again this year. If we had a child or were announcing a pregnancy, neither of which apply to us, it would be much easier to figure out what to do (as evidence of almost ALL of the example cards on the web). I've also always wanted to do a family news update, but since nothing of exceptional importance happened to us this year, I wouldn't have much to say. That seems to be something that more people do when they have children to brag about (and although Rusty is our child, there's not much to say there, except he's maybe just a little less mischievous than he was last year, sometimes!).

So right now, I'm just thinking of sending out some normal (aka boring) holiday cards, unless I get inspired or get some great ideas from one of you! So bring them on!!

What are you doing for your holiday cards this year (especially those of you sans children)? 

Do you send photo or traditional cards?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Calling all #Reverb10'ers!

Any #Reverb10 participants out there?

We just found out that there won't be an official #Reverb11 this year. I'm a little bummed as that really got me into a blogging groove! I also have recently been rereading some of my posts and was quite amazed at some of my insights. The Reverb organizers are encouraging us to create our own, but I'm really not that great at organizing things like that. Plus I don't have THAT many blog friends yet...

But... the AMAZING Kim over at Kimberly Michelle is trying to gather people up to brainstorm a brand spankin' new Reverb that is all our own!!

So what are you waiting for??? Head over there right now and help us create something BIG!! :-)

Look Ma, No Cords!

So Saturday afternoon, we decided to head over to Target hoping the crazy Black Friday crowds had subsided, so we could get some extra plastic tubs for all of the Fall Holiday Stuff that needed to be put away. Thankfully, we found a parking spot relatively quick and the store wasn't too packed!

Although our main purpose was for plastic tubs and a couple of fabric bins for organizing a new closet shelf, The Hubs and I decided to all seriously look for a media console table for the TV in our living room. I always sort just look, but never can officially decide on what I want.

Target didn't seem to have anything that struck a cord with us, so we headed to Walmart (also not too crowded, lucky us!). Again, not much to choose from and the options we did have seemed kinda expensive by Walmart standards.

The Hubs was really into finding something, so he suggested that we try Ikea. Now I'm all for modern decor, but sometimes it can be a too avant-garde for my taste. In any case, we headed down to the Emeryville Ikea (which was a little out of our way) and explored all that Ikea (aka adult Disneyland) had to offer.

At first we noticed that Ikea didn't seem to have a lot to choose from. The few media centers that were there all looked the same and didn't really match our tastes. We were looking for something with a few shelves and glass doors that weren't too modern looking. It took us a few minutes to realize the ingeniousness of Ikea...

Everything we were seeing was MODULAR! You could pick your shelf size, add drawers or doors, glass  solid wood doors, glass doors with a thick or thin border, brown/black wood, light brown wood, or white wood. You also got to pick the type of hardware you wanted for a handle (or not! Your choice!) SOO COOL. The line was called Besta and apparently you can even go online and play with different combinations.

We ended up finding a couple of the example combos we liked, mixed and matched and for just under $200 came up with this!

We absolutely LOVE it! At first, we thought the TV was a little high (we previously had it place on a short table), but now we can't imagine it ever being any lower! It's so awesome not seeing all the cords and junk that you could previously seen under that table (I so wish I had taken a before picture!)

Now we have THREE full shelves for storage! I plan on getting some cute fabric baskets to house all of our gaming equipment and DVD's.

This has been something that was on my goals list for 2011 and I'm glad to have checked it off the list!

Definitely almost completes the living room! Only thing left is to maybe get some more art for the wall!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to reality...

Hope every had a Happy Thanksgiving! I know I did and the couple of days away from work were delightful. I even unplugged completely for two whole days, much to The Hubs's delight!

However, now it's back to reality and if the traffic in to work this morning didn't give it away, the long list of things I have to do at work that I didn't get done during the short week will. It does seem that things are off to a slow start though. I'm thinking maybe some people decided to stretch out the Thanksgiving Holiday just a bit more!

In any case, we've had an eventful week that I was away.

Last Saturday, we headed to Monterey for my company's 20th Anniversary Party.

The company rented out the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the weekend and it was beyond awesome! There were little cocktail tables set up throughout the aquarium for us to sit and enjoy dinner while watching the fish (or jellyfish as we our location choice!).

It was seriously so cool to have uninhibited access to all of the aquarium attractions sans strollers and little kids running around. Not to mention, we got to imbibe in delicious wine and cocktails while we explored! AWESOME! I would highly recommend a party their for any large group, if you can afford it!

Sunday we headed back from Monterey and I was not home longer than an hour before I headed to Berkeley to participate in a SWE Mixer with some collegiates. It's no secret that I love participating in Outreach activities and this was no exception.

The short work week was hard to get through, but it made the two days off worth it. We had a great Thanksgiving at my parents house, where both my family and The Hubs's family celebrated together.  I don't have any pictures (bad blogger!), but know that the food was delicious and the wine was yummo!

Black Friday found us sleeping in and NOT venturing out to the stores to hit up the supposed greatest deals. I loathe shopping and waiting in traffic, finding a parking spot and waiting in long lines were not worth the deals I might have gotten. Instead, The Hubs and I signed up for an Amazon Prime account and began marking the things we would be buying our families for Christmas. WAY EASIER!

Then we went out and saw The Muppets movie with my bro and his girlfriend. I don't totally remember The Muppet Show (I think I was pretty little when it was on...), but once I heard some of the songs it jogged my memory. I definitely remember The Muppets though (Fozzie Bear was my favorite!), so it was fun to see them on the big screen. I LOVED the reaction of the kids watching it with us! Their excitement was infectious!

Image Source: Daemons Movies
Saturday and Sunday were spent Christmas decorating! I love the holidays and our house always looks so cute! I can't wait to show off all of my decorations at the SWE Holiday party coming up next week! The Hubs was a BIG help with the decorating! He put up the tree and decorated it making it the best I think it has ever looked! He also put up all the outside lights and garland!

We did one other thing this weekend that was shopping related, but I think I share that tomorrow! The Hubs and I were pretty excited about our purchase! :-)

For now, I'm going to try to make it through the day... keeping my eye first on lunchtime (when I plan to get my oil changed) and then 4:30 (when I plan on leaving for yoga)!

Have a great first day back to work everyone! Only a few more weeks till the next holiday! I LOVE THIS SEASON! :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

On Self Acceptance...

I was reading a post written by A Long Far View the other day about Being Yourself and it really got me thinking.

Am I ok with just being myself?

If you had asked me last week, I might have said mostly yes. Work was going really well. I was checking thing off of my yearly goals list and really feeling like I was accomplishing things and making a difference. I also had the opportunity to talk to a group of high school girls and their parents about my career at an orientation for a program that gets girls excited about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing things like this and both the girls and their parents seemed to enjoy my presentation. I think I may have even convinced a few that Materials Engineering might be in their future! Home life was also great! The Hubs and I had the opportunity to hang out with great friends who I've known since college and who will definitely be friends for life. It felt great just being with people we love being around!

Now, fast forward to last night... If you had asked me then if I was ok with being myself, it would have been a resounding "NO!". I had an especially bad self esteem evening as I was trying on a dress I've worn over the past couple of years to multiple weddings. Since we have a work party this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to figure out if these dresses still fit. (Nothing like waiting to the last minute, eh?) Well, the dresses ended up fitting, but they felt much tighter than I remember and I felt like I looked especially bad in it. I knew I'd gained a little weight and this was evidence. A little too many treats and not enough working out will do that to you. But then I really started getting down on myself... comparing myself to my friends who are pregnant and weigh the same as me. That escalated to the inaccurate perception that I'm broken since I can't get pregnant. That let to me just getting in bed at 8:00pm by myself throwing myself a pity party while The Hubs was watching TV in the other room.

So moral of the story.. I guess I haven't fully figured out how to accept myself as I am, even at 29.

I definitely don't feel the need to doll myself up like I used to in college, but I still do the evil thing of comparing myself to others. I need to continually remind myself that people love me and want to be friends with me just the way I am. Doesn't matter my size or shape or my crazy Type A anxious personality (although it does leave me wide open for teasing!).

Guess I need to catch up on the 17 Oprah's Life Classes I have on my DVR. Maybe I'll learn a little more about self-acceptance from her!

Are you ok with just being yourself or do you still struggle with it?

How have you been able to let go of all of your self-criticisms?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude Photo Challenge Edition Part Deux

Still behind in the Gratitude Photo Challenge, and still catching up!

Day 10: Nature

This is the avocado tree The Hubs bought a few months back. He thought it would be a great idea to have avocados at the ready since we go through them so fast. Well apparently, it takes a few months for the tree to mature, so for now, it's sitting in a pot on our porch. We haven't killed it yet! So far so good!

Day 11: Something Old

I have two something olds that I'm grateful for since both are sentimental items associated with The Hubs and I's courtship. On top, is a picture of the ticket stub from our first date (look how cheap! $7)! Kinda crazy, but I found it in a stack of old letters that I had stashed away in a box. Little did I know at the time, that the boy I went on my first real date with would be my husband 11 years later! On the bottom, is a picture of the garter The Hubs got me for Junior Prom. It ended up also being my "Something Old" at our wedding!

Day 12: Hands

This is a picture of my hands (or one hand) that I'm definitely grateful for, but I really wanted to take picture of The Hubs's hand. This week The Hubs had a Jeremy Affeldt moment (for those of you non-SF Giants fans, you can click the link to find out what he did!). While I was at the gym, he was trying to speed up the thawing of some ground beef by cutting the frozen meat into smaller pieces. In the process, he cut his thumb. Apparently, it was bad enough for him to feel the need to drive himself to the doctor to check it out. It ended up being minor, even though there was a lot of blood. I'm grateful though that all five of his fingers are still in tact and that I wasn't there when it happened (This girl would have freaked out!).
Day 13: Written Words

I LOVE written lists. I love physically checking each item off the list as I complete them. I don't get the same satisfaction from checking things off a digital list. Here is my latest list of things I need to remember to do now that the Internet is back on!
Day 14: Movement

I wasn't really sure how to take a picture of movement, but after a little bit of a downer evening, a nice warm shower was in order. The movement of the warm water from our NEW shower head was so relaxing and actually made me feel a little better.

Day 15: Technology

We've been without the internet at work all week and although I have my handy Smartphone, it still isn't the same as typing out an email on the computer or checking a coworkers schedule. I've never been SO HAPPY to see the Google page as when I took this picture!  Being without technology for a week made me appreciate it that much more. I don't know how people got any work done before the internet!
Day 16: Animals
We've only got one and he is very rambunctious! This is a picture of Rusty completing his latest trick - "Bang! Bang!". It's the more fun way of teaching him the old play dead trick!

Day 17: Memories
This is the scrapbook I kept of The Hubs and I pre-marriage days. I just looked through it for the first time in awhile and WOW what great memories! I was so good about keeping up with the scrapbook until the wedding, when wedding planning took over. I never really got back into it. I guess you could say this blog is a bit of a digital scrapbook, but it's not quite the same. Maybe sometimes I'll start up again. I still have a TON of supplies around!
Are you participating in the Gratitude Photo Challenge? Are you all caught up??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yoga for Fertility

Image Source: Love to Know Yoga
I haven’t talked much about fertility or trying to conceive on the blog yet. I’ve got a few posts in draft form that I’ve used sort of been using like a diary, but I just can’t seem to hit publish. I don’t know if I’m afraid of jinxing the current cycle (or in my case non-existent cycle) or if I’m afraid that I’m not ” infertile enough” to begin sharing my journey.  It’s probably more of the latter…

But this weekend, I attended a workshop where I thought sharing my experience far outweighed any shyness I may have talking about the subject on this large platform. 

I had read a couple of Babble posts (here and here) a few months ago about how certain Yoga poses can be beneficial to fertility. Now I am by no means a Yogi… I practice every once in awhile at a 24 Hour Fitness Yoga class (which some may argue isn’t even real yoga!). I would attend because I found it to be a great way to center my mind and body after a busy day. I can’t always do all the poses, but just focusing on my breath and the sensations in my body always seem to put me at peace.

In any case, I began doing some research into Yoga for Fertility, to see if there were any classes on it in my area. Lucky for me, I live in a very culturally diverse area where yoga and meditation classes abound. I found Kat Atkinson, a prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, who also just so happens to offer a monthly Yoga for Fertility practice in Berkeley.

Now, attending something like this definitely puts me out of my comfort zone (similar to the meditation class I attended earlier this year). So it took me a couple of months of just looking at the enrollment screen before I actually paid the $25 fee and reserved my spot. I kept thinking that maybe I would be pregnant and wouldn’t need it!

So yesterday, I put on my comfy new yoga pants and long sleeve yoga shirt (I wanted to look the part! Hehe) and I drove to the Yoga Tree (formerly Yoga Mandala) in Berkeley. I got their a little early since I didn’t want the anxiety of rushing and trying to find parking over excite me. Being the first one there, I entered the studio and looked at the myriad of yoga dvds, books, and clothes being sold. A few more women trickled in and finally the doors to the inner studio where we would be practicing opened.
I entered the studio, still a little anxious about the whole process. The studio provided blankets, blocks and straps that I picked up with the rest of the women (eight in all). I was hoping that I wasn’t in for some sort of hard core yoga class, because these were all tools that I was NOT used to using!  

Kat started the class by explaining a little about how yoga can help fertility and what we would be doing in the class. We started with a restorative pose where we did the butterfly and then laid back (see below). We held it for quite awhile so we could center ourselves and create an intention for the practice. Now I’m not overly spiritual on a daily basis and I don’t meditate as often as I probably should, but I wanted to be fully present for the class so that I could retain any possible benefit from it.

Image Source: Yoga Journal
After gently coming out of the pose, Kat invited us all to sit and introduce ourselves in this comforting and accepting space. She told us of her own struggles with infertility and how she felt many of the same things that we are also feeling. She reiterated the fact that it is important to be happy with ourselves as we are, whether or not we have a child. That we are whole women, regardless.  She said that even though her yoga practice didn’t in the end result in a second child for her, the emotional benefits she has gained were SO worth it. Everyone else introduced themselves in turn – one about to do her first round of IVF, two who just completed their second rounds of Clomid without success (just like me!), three or four who had miscarried - some multiple times, and one women who want to try a holistic and clean approach to fertility after all the drugs. 

I must tell you how comforting this part of the workshop was. To be around people who understand what I am going through. To be told it’s ok to cry and release those feelings even if I’m just starting my journey. To be told its ok to have feelings of sadness and jealousy when others around you get pregnant. A few of the girls were part of a support group at Kaiser, something I think I need to look into within my own medical group. Although sometimes it’s scary to see how long some of these women have been trying without success, again the benefit of being in a group of people who understand far outweighed the fear.

The rest of the practice continued much like a normal yoga class, but the meditations and poses were all for those who are trying to conceive or are in early pregnancy (lots of opening the hips and pelvic floor!). I’m a bit bummed that I can’t remember them all off the top of my head, but Kat is supposed to send out an email with info on how to create your own “Home Practice”. She offers personal sessions with people, but she stressed that she does it only to ensure that the student can become self sufficient in creating their own home practice. She also said she is recording something for download in the New Year so that students can have a guided session at home (much easier in my opinion then doing it on your own!).

I will definitely be going back next month, regardless of where I am in the trying to conceive process and I would recommend it to others. Kat, the instructor, was awesome!

The whole afternoon reiterated the fact that it is so important to seek out others who are going through similar struggles for support and friendship. WE ARE NOT ALONE! 

Have any of you hears of or tried practicing Yoga for Fertility?

P.S. - If anyone in the Bay Area is interested, the next monthly practice is December 4th and you can already sign up if you go here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Anniversary Week" - The Proposal!

**Hopefully most of you figured out that my original feed moved. Google Reader notified me, so I hope it notified you too. I think it has to do with deleting my Feedburner feed to help with the No Reply issue (which it didn't..lovely.)**

After four years of dating, I was obviously getting a bit antsy to take our relationship to the next level...

February 13, 2009 started out like any other day, but ended more incredibly than I could have imagined.
I was having a busy day at work and was so glad that it was Friday! I was excited for the weekend because Kris, my sister, and I planned to head to Tahoe the next morning to go snowboarding and take advantage of the fresh powder.

That afternoon, before I left work and headed home, I called Kris to see if he wanted to go with my family to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Since my sister, Kristina, was coming home from Cal Poly it would have been a family affair. Kris really didn't seem into the idea so typical me got a little annoyed and told him he could decide what we were doing for dinner instead. He said for me to just come home first and we'd figure it out then. On my way home, I called my best friend Sarah to tell her about the incident and also how I was sure nothing special was going to happen for Valentine's Day weekend since we had planned our snow trip.

I was chatting on the phone all the way to Kris's apartment door. Normally, I would knock once and then use my key to get in. This particular afternoon I was a little more stubborn. When I got off the phone I knocked a few times expecting Kris to come and open the door. He didn't come, so I persisted to knock again and again. Finally, the door opened quickly a crack and he ran back into the apartment.

At that moment, I pushed the door open and couldn't believe my eyes. There was over a hundred tea lights in various glasses lit all around the living room. There was a red table cloth, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and even more tea lights on the kitchen table. A bottle of champagne was on ice behind it. And standing there in front all decked out, on a white sheet, with scattered rose petals around him (Bachelor style...for all of you who love that show as much as I do :-) ), was my handsome boyfriend.

I walked toward him and all I could say was "Oh my God! Oh my God Oh my God! Is this really happening???". Kris got down on one knee and told me that I was the love of his life and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he pulled out a black box, opened it, and asked me if I would marry him. Of course I instantly said yes! The ring was absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't stop staring at it and smiling!

That was when the phone calls began, telling our family and friends the exciting news! I also continued saying "Oh my God!" a hundred more times that night and not a single thing could wipe the smile off my face all weekend!

 February 13 was one of the happiest days of my life, but I look forward to many more "happiest days of our lives" to come!

So that's the story of our courtship. Stayed tuned for Wedding Fun in the week or whenever I get around to writing them! :-)

Catching Up:

Anniversary Week: Where it All Began...
Anniversary Week: The Re-Introduction
Anniversary Week: Seven Years Later the Story Continues

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Anniversary Week" - Seven Years Later the Story Continues!

One weekend in October 2005, Jen decided to take a trip to Cal Poly to visit her best friend Sarah. She had been out of a relationship for about a year and was ready to "hit the scene" again. When she got to San Luis, Sarah and Jen decided to go out with Jen's fellow Materials Engineers (MatEs) Amanda and Rodger. They first went to happy hour at the Cliffs in Pismo and then decided to go out to the Mission (Mission Grill..not the actual Mission) for drinks and dancing. While they were there, Amanda and Rodger suggested calling Kris to hang out since he was also still in SLO going to school. They sort of slyly were trying to hook Jen and Kris up cause they thought they would be good for each other..considering their history. They called him, he showed up, and after a few drinks, Jen and Kris started dancing and having a great time! It felt so right for both of them. By the end of the night, Jen had her second first kiss with Kris and it was SOOOOO much better than the first one! :-) The picture below was from that exact night! Kris said he would call her the next day to hang out a little more and so they did.

Seven years later the story continues...

The next weekend, he came home from school and they went on their second official first the movies. This time Kris made sure Jen KNEW it was a date! They made their relationship official shortly after that and the rest is history!

And based on their history, Jen and Kris are definitely MEANT TO BE!!!

Catching up??

"Anniversary Week" - Where it all began...
"Anniversary Week" - The Re-Introduction

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude Photo Challenge Edition

I'm a bit behind in my Gratitude Photo Challenge, what with Anniversary Week in full swing, so I thought I would take this week's Thankful Thursday to catch up a bit!

Day 4: Leaves

In California, not all of the trees' leaves change to pretty fall reds, oranges and yellow, but I set out to find some anyways. Leaves changing color are one of my favorite parts of fall, so I definitely appreciate it when I see them.

Day 5: Morning Sky

Now that the days are lighter earlier, I was able to snap this dawn photo. If this had been last week, I would have been either driving or inside my cubical dungeon and wouldn't have been able to see this lovely sight. I try to take time to look at the sky every morning now as we're leaving the house (since I won't be able to appreciate the light in the evening when I get home!).

Day 6: Books

So I LOVE reading and I LOVE reading on my Kindle, but I also sometimes like to read actual books. I found the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver in our work library and read the first few pages while I was waiting for my food to warm. I was instantly drawn in. So starting last night, I'm trying to set aside 15-20 minutes of SSR (sustained silent reading - did anybody else have to do this in elementary school after recess to calm us down?? I LOVED SSR! :-) ) every night before bed.

Day 7: Something Funny

I think that The Hubs is pretty funny (most of the time...sometimes he means to be funny and I get annoyed!). I took a couple of these pictures and told him that it was because he was funny. He says he's not funny and proceeded to give me a few unintentional funny faces!

Day 8: Favorite Color

My favorite color has been and I think will always be purple. My dorm room was covered in it in college. I don't have it around the house as much anymore (The Hubs wouldn't appreciate it like I do!), but I do have a few pieces of purple clothing, including this fun scarf that has purple glitter thread running through it!

Day 9: Inspiring Person

This obviously isn't a photo that I took, but I think that Oprah's teachings are pretty inspiring. As I've said before, I've been enjoying her Life Class and think that a lot of what she is teaching based on her own experiences are important lessons to remember. I'm A LOT of episodes behind, but I want to make sure I make time to watch them and fully engage in what I'm watching, so I've been putting it off! I need to find some time to catch up on that too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Anniversary Week" - The Re-introduction

The Re-introduction

Senior Year, Jen and Kris had another math class together and although they talked and Kris still teased Jen, they didn't hang out outside of school at all. They hung out a bit at our Senior Grad Night and have the picture above to prove it! After graduation, both went their separate ways...Jen to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Kris to the local JC. They lost touch for the next few years and other than one brief encounter at the JC when Jen was picking up her brother, they never saw each other.

That was until the spring of 2003, when Jen was working at the Materials Engineering Open House, showing the prospective students around. As she was giving the tour, she thought she noticed someone she recognized. Low and behold, there was Kris with his mom checking out HER department at Cal Poly. Now Materials Engineering is a small major so this was quite a shock. She quickly told all her friends that the guy who she had her first kiss with EVER was here! Soon enough, Kris earned the nickname, JFK, Jen's First Kiss! EVERYONE including the teachers knew Jen and Kris's history (it was a VERY small major!)

The next year, Kris started school, and although they were in the same major, Jen and Kris had all different classes. Jen was dating someone else at the time and didn't think much of Kris being around. Kris, however, being a social and fun loving type of guy, resumed his old ways of teasing Jen whenever he could. One time in particular, Jen was moving out of her Mustang Village apartment and was stressing out over the whole ordeal. Kris lived nearby, happened to drive by, saw a stressed out Jen and her mom standing outside and yelled, "Don't stress! It'll all work out!"

Jen graduated in 2004 and since she still had friends in the major they would periodically update her on the happenings in the department and often Kris was mentioned. However, she really didn't keep in touch with him personally.

How did Jen & Kris finally reconnect?? Stay tuned!!

Catching up??

Anniversary Week - Where It All Began...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Image Source: Babble

I couldn't go without commenting on the fact that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have just announed that they are having their 20th child. 20th!

I must admit that I do watch The Duggars on occasion. I'm a reality show junkie, so this just falls into that category. I just really can't believe after everything they went through with their last child (where both Michelle and the baby almost died), that they would want to take the risk. They already have 19 healthy children! To me, it's crazy. To them, it's God's will.

I guess the green giant of envy is rearing its ugly head in me. We (and tons of other couples) are having trouble just having one baby and they have 20!  It's hard for me to even grasp the fact that she has been pregnant most of her life.

Seriously. Crazy.

End of rant. Now back to your regularly scheduled "Anniversary Week" Blogging.

"Anniversary Week" - Where it all began...

Junior year at Foothill High School started off like any other year. Jen was anxious to start school and get going on what some say is the hardest and most important year of high school. She had scheduled herself with some very difficult classes including Honors English, AP US History, and Algebra 2. Algebra 2 ended up being one of her most interesting classes...and it wasn't just because math was one of her favorite subjects.

As Jen entered Mr. Sullivan's Algebra 2 class, she realized that he was assigning alphabetical order seating. She wandered to the left side of the classroom and ended up sitting right behind a boy named Kristopher D. Kris was a cute guy and was always ready to provide a good laugh. As he got to know Jen better, he would tease her endlessly about stressing out all the time over homework, tests, and school in general (...some things never change!).

Early in the month of December 1998, Jen was getting ready to leave with her family to go take pictures with her younger brother and sister. As they were about to leave, the phone rang. It was Kris! Jen was very surprised, but talked to him for a little while. He asked if she would like to go to the movies and thinking that she was just going out with a guy FRIEND, she said Yes. One night in mid-Dec, Jen's mom drove her to the Galaxy 8 theater to meet Kris. (She didn't exactly trust "some random guy" to drive her daughter all the way from CV  to P-town at night!) Kris picked Elizabeth as the movie they were going to see. He thought it would be perfect! Jen, on the other hand, was somewhat shocked when the opening scene of the movie showed people being burned at the stake! Kris tried to hold Jen's hand a couple of times, but Jen just kept her hands on her lap not really thinking much of it. She wasn't much experienced in the boy department! All in all though, both Jen and Kris had a great time and they planned to hang out again.

For the next 6 months, they continued to "hang out as friends" according to Jen and "date" according to Kris. They went to the movies, went bowling, and hung out at Jen's house. Kris would even help Jen's younger siblings make lanyards! They would hug on occasion, but Jen wasn't really comfortable with the touchy feely stuff. Often times, Kris and Jen would be sitting on the couch and Kris would scoot a little closer to her and Jen would move a little further away. This would continue until she was out of room on the couch to move! Regardless, Kris and Jen still had fun together!

In April of 1999, Jen came home to find a big container of M&Ms sitting on her porch. She opened the container and found a little note that said "Will you go to Junior Prom with me? Page me YES or NO." She recognized the pager number as Kris's. She was excited to be asked to go, so she paged him back YES.

To make a long story short, they went to Junior Prom together and danced the night away. At the end of the night, they climbed into Kris's Blazer and started the long drive home from the dance. Kris and Jen didn't talk much in the car, but Jen noticed Kris popping Altoids the whole way home. At this point she had finally figured out that Kris really liked her and that he wanted to try to kiss her by night's end. Since she had never kissed anybody before, she was quite nervous. As they pulled into her driveway, Kris didn't waste any time planting a wet one on her...LITERALLY! Once it was over, Jen said thank you and goodbye, entered her house and proclaimed to her mom "He slobbered all over me!!!"
Where it all began...
Jen & Kris at Junior Prom. Sorry for the blurriness. This was before digital photos!!

About a week later, Kris showed up at Jen's door with a single red rose and asked her to be his girlfriend. Jen had never had a boyfriend before and wasn't sure she was ready for that, with the stress of school and everything. So she tried to gently let him down. It was a REALLY hard and horrible thing to do, but it seemed like the right thing for her at the time. Kris was upset, but bounced backed fast and everyone moved on...

To be continued... :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary To US!

I can't believe it has been two years since our wedding! Time sure flies when you are having fun!

Thank you to The Hubs for always making me smile and keeping me grounded when I get kinda crazy (which is quite often!). I don't know what I'd do without him!

I'm so excited to see what the future holds for us, but wherever we go and whatever we do, I want to do it TOGETHER! Love you!

All photos courtesy of Peters Photography & Video

Tomorrow, I'll start telling the "Story of Us". It's fun!! So stayed tuned! :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Anniversary Week & Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 3!!

Since The Hubs and my two year anniversary is on Monday, I thought it might be fun to do a week's worth (or more!) of posts filling you all in on our courtship and wedding! I know Katie over at Bower Power and Sherry over at Young House Love have both been known to do this in the past, so I thought I'd follow in their footsteps!

Our story is quite fun to tell, as I have alluded to in the About Me section, and since I know I have at least a few of you out there who are lovers of all things weddings, I plan on writing a few wedding recaps (ala Weddingbee!)

I think it will be a fun process, as two years in I've sorta forgotten some of the things I loved best about our wedding! It will be nice to take a trip down memory lane with you all!

The fun will start next week! Hope you enjoy it! :-)

And for Day 3 of my Gratitude Photo Challenge...

Day 3: Happiness

A lot have people have been Twittering about how happy they are that the "Red Cups" are back!  The "Red Cups" make me happy because I know that the holidays aren't far away and that means less time at work and more time spent with family and friends!

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to "Fall Back" and enjoy the extra hour of sleep!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday & Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 2

This week I'm thankful for,

1.) Being able to spend time with friends, enjoying delicious food and good conversation.

2.) That colder weather is a comin'. (I'm looking forward to sweaters and snuggling.)

3.) Exciting sports events that gets me excited! (Go Cardinals! Both St. Louis and Stanford! Even though Stanford is a mortal enemy, I still like them better than USC!)

4.) For a stable job that I've enjoyed more than normal (could be because I have a friend at work now!)

5.) My favorite little one's smile (even if it is a bit blurry). Can anyone resist it??

Day Two: Smile

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude Photo Challenge!

Image Source: Postively Present
There have been so many photo challenges going around in the blogosphere lately! I've been reluctant to commit to one because I wasn't sure if I could hack it (i.e. actually take a photo everyday worth having others look at...)

But then I came across Postively Present's 30 Day Photo Challenge: Gratitude. (If you haven't ever been over to Dani's blog, it is so much great information on how she has incorporated positivity into her life!) It's no secret that being grateful is the start of being more present and happier. I've been trying to incorporate this weekly by my "Thankful Thursday" posts. But I thought, what better month than November to really recognize things that I should be grateful for that I don't even think about!

I haven't decided whether I'll post pictures daily or compile them in a few single posts, but you'll be sure to see most of them all throughout November!

On a side note, I have some other fun posts in the works that I'm sure many of my Weddingbee friends will appreciate! More on that in a couple of days! ;-)

But now, on to the challenge!

Day One: Favorite Food

This was a hard one as I have so  many favorite foods. Do I go with a dessert (mint chip ice cream with syrup)? Or my "I must have with every meal." favorite food, BREAD! ?

Instead, I decided to go with something that I am especially grateful for because apparently if I lived anywhere else other than California, they'd be hard to come by!


Do you plan to participate in any photo challenges this month??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Festivities

This Halloween, instead of staying home and handing out candy, we decided to head over to our friends' Bret and Lisa's for a festive fall dinner.

Lisa and I both dressed for the occasion. She was Minnie Mouse, I was a Cal football player (albeit a sad golden bear after our very embarassing loss to UCLA this weekend!).

We set the table with some fall decorations and served up a Southwester Pumpkin Soup in seasonal pumpkin bowls with a side of cornbread. Delish!

Minnie Mouse revealing our dinner!

The doorbell rang continuously, as little ones came to get their fare. At one point there were so many Trick or Treaters that candy had to be rationed! hehe :-)

But our favorite Trick or Treater of all??

Little Link (from the Zelda cartoon)!

 He also showed off some super new skills!

I love this little one! :-)

The Hubs and I both thought it was an especially fun Halloween even if we weren't out partying like crazy!

How was your Halloween??