Monday, May 31, 2010

Is There Something In The Water?


I've heard this phrase a lot since the word has spread to the rest of the Maceys store that 3 of the 4 photo lab ladies are expecting. I love working with these ladies and it's been so fun sharing this experience with them. It's definitely been interesting also with 3 extra emotional and extra tired women all working together! :) This photo was taken about a week ago, on pregnant lady #1 (left side) last day of work. Pregnant lady #2 and I are both due the same day and have 2 months to go. We've been extra busy trying to train new workers before the big days arrive, otherwise our #4 photo lady will have to run the lab all by herself! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

It's hard to believe how fast the time is flying by before our little baby girl is here! Only about two months left...crazy. It's hard to say what we've been doing with our time though. We bought a crib about a week ago, and it got us thinking more about where we're going to fit this baby. We live in a two bedroom apartment, but our spare room had become a storage place for... well... a lot of stuff. We cleared out a corner of the room though and set up our crib. I know she won't be sleeping in it for months after she's born, but it does feel good seeing the crib all set up in there. :)

Reading instructions beforehand-this is serious business

Trying to help with all the little gadgets

Finished product

All done... for now.

So we still have some more work to do in there, but this is what we have done already. It's a good start. :) I also have been working on a baby blanket with some help from my sister Lia. I chose the fabric and she helped get it ready for me to crochet around the edge. She showed me how to do a basic stitch (or whatever it's called) and then a pretty little scallop stitch over that. It's taking me forever, but I'm almost done! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

we're getting there, slow and steady

it has now been over a year since we first posted about our quest to read the 100 greatest books ever written (according to the easton press). i figured it would be fun to do an annual blog showing the progress we've made in the past 12 months. the x's italicized mark our newly read books since last year's blog. (and again, not in any order, just numbered for my sake)

1. twenty thousand leagues under the sea - jules verne (x)
2. the scarlet letter - nathaniel hawthorne (x)
3. dr. jekyll and mr. hyde - robert louis stevenson
4. walden - henry david thoreau
5. gulliver's travels - jonathan swift (x)
6. moby dick - herman melville
7. a farewell to arms - ernest hemingway
8. the red badge of courage - stephen crane
9. the jungle book - rudyard kipling (x)
10. the odyssey - homer
11. the pilgrim's progress - john bunyan
12. a portrait of the artist as a young man - james joyce
13. paradise lost - john milton
14. tales from the arabian nights - richard burton
15. great expectations - charles dickens
16. candide - voltaire (x)
17. oedipus the king - sophocles
18. the hunchback of notre dame - victor hugo
19. the last of the mohicans - james fenimore cooper
20. the sea wolf - jack london
21. cyrano de bergerac - edmond rostand
22. the canterbury tales - geoffrey chaucer
23. collected poems - robert browning
24. the essays of ralph waldo emerson - ralph waldo emerson
25. the portrait of a lady - henry james
26. uncle tom's cabin - harriet beecher stowe
27. treasure island - robert louis stevenson (x)
28. adventures of sherlock holmes - sir arthur conan doyle (x)
29. collected poems - john keats
30. on the origin of species - charles darwin
31. don quixote - miguel de cervantes saavedra
32. collected poems - robert frost
33. the legend of sleepy hallow & other stories - washington irving
34. animal farm - george orwell (x)
35. wuthering heights - emily bronte (x)
36. she stoops to conquer - oliver goldsmith
37. of mice and men - john steinbeck (x)
38. pride and prejudice - jane austen (x)
39. the brothers karamazov - fyodor dostoevsky
40. les miserables - victor hugo
41. the iliad - homer (x)
42. lady chatterley's lover - d.h. lawrence
43. the count of monte cristo - alexandre dumas (x)
44. brave new world - aldous huxley (x)
45. aesop's fables - aesop (x)
46. lord jim - joseph conrad
47. the autobiography of benjamin franklin - benjamin franklin
48. the three musketeers - alexandre dumas (x)
49. politics and the poetics - aristotle
50. the aeneid - virgil
51. the cherry orchard and the three sisters - anton chekhov
52. the tragedies - william shakespeare
53. pygmalion and candida - george bernard shaw
54. the analects of confucius - confucius
55. the prince - niccolo machiavelli
56. jane eyre - charlotte bronte (x)
57. the divine comedy - dante alighieri (x)
58. robinson crusoe - daniel defoe
59. madame bovary - gustave flaubert
60. collected poems - william butler yeats
61. the picture of dorian gray - oscar wilde (x)
62. vanity fair - william makepeace thackeray
63. the decameron - giovanni boccaccio
64. beowulf - anonymous (x)
65. anna karenina - leo tolstoy
66. the necklace and other tales - guy de maupassant
67. the time machine - h.g. wells
68. fathers and sons - ivan turgenev
69. heart of darkness - joseph conrad
70. war and peace - leo tolstoy
71. the history of early rome - livy
72. little women - louisa may alcott (x)
73. the talisman - sir walter scott
74. tess of the d'urbervilles - thomas hardy
75. alice's adventures in wonderland - lewis carroll
76. dracula - bram stoker
77. the rubaiyat of omar khayyam - omar khayyam
78. the red and the black - stendhal
79. a tale of two cities - charles dickens (x)
80. the republic - plato
81. collected poems - emily dickinson
82. faust - johann wolfgang von goethe
83. the comedies - william shakespeare
84. tom jones - henry fielding
85. the federalist papers - a. hamilton, j. madison and j. jay
86. silas marner - george eliot
87. the rights of man - thomas paine
88. leaves of grass - walt whitman
89. billy budd - herman melville
90. the confessions - st. augustine
91. tales of mystery and imagination - edgar allan poe
92. ivanhoe - sir walter scott
93. the way of all flesh - samuel butler
94. the sound and the fury - william faulkner
95. crime and punishment - fyodor dostoevsky
96. grimm's fairy tales - jacob and wilhelm grimm
97. adventures of huckleberry finn - mark twain
98. frankenstein - mary shelley
99. david copperfield - charles dickens
100. the histories - william shakespeare

22/100
that means we've read 9 books off the list this past year. not horrible. almost a quarter of the way there. still a long way to go though. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

tangents

well i'm told it's my turn to write. i suppose it is. amber has done the last few blogs, so i guess it's only fair. problem - nothing to write about. there's just nothing too grand going on these days. i can't even take the easy way out and write a book review because i haven't finished a book in forever (at the moment i find myself trapped within the words of shakespeare, which isn't exactly light reading). now don't get me wrong - it has been an eventful month with football, ob/gyn appointments, baby gear shopping, amber realizing she is no longer in control of her own body, mother's day, and other such activities. but i normally write about the top news stories as opposed to these smaller, everyday events. but i heard it once said that there really is nothing bigger than the little things. so this is my attempt to take an insignificant moment, break it down and analyze it, go off on a tangent or two, and make it headline news.
it was just another softball game. i've played enough of them that it really isn't anything special. i must say upfront that softball is not my sport. i consider myself capable at excelling at most athletic endeavors, but i know my limits - i can't ice skate and i can't bat. maybe with time i could learn to skate (not too many chances to practice in west texas), but the extent of my batting skills will always be to either hit the ball straight into the ground and use my speed or to pop it straight up and pray for an error. with this deficiency clearly in mind, i reluctantly signed my name on the roster for the ward softball team.
a word now on the married student ward that amber and i find ourselves in at the present time. we have been here well over a year and a half now, but we still have trouble calling it "our" ward. the only real friends we've had in the ward were the maughans, who followed us over from the singles ward, and have now moved on and left us to fend for ourselves. we have absolutely nothing bad to say about our ward. we fully accept that we are to blame for not bonding with the ward like we wished. amber and i are just two very shy people who don't make friends quickly. it's not that we need friends in the ward. we go to church because the church is true. but having a friend or two doesn't hurt. i was in the singles ward for well over a year before anyone realized who i was. it wasn't until the summer hit and the singles ward starting playing some sports that i finally made some friends.
and that leads us to my self-realization. i am a shy guy. i don't shine in social situations with people i don't know. i just don't have much confidence in myself. but one of the few things that i believe i am good at is athletic competition. it's the one area of my life i feel sure about. through the years i have found that nearly all of my friends have been made while playing sports. it's where, in most instances, i can relax and be myself, with no worries of looking silly. it's where i actually know what i'm talking about and can contribute to the conversation. this all came to mind while i sat in my elders quorum meeting with the sign-up sheet in my lap. was i jumping for joy at the thought of playing softball? not at all. i enjoy playing it for fun, but like i said, it really isn't my sport. i was a little worried about looking like a fool. softball is definitely not the sport i would have chosen as the opportunity to bond with my fellow brethren. but it was an opportunity. i'd never feel like i'm part of this ward until i tried.
the day of the first game finally rolled around. our wonderful downstairs neighbors and fellow ward members, the stewarts, offered us a ride to the game. unfortunately this meant i couldn't run away and escape after my first strike out or throwing error. i was stuck. trapped even. we got to the field and it was time to warm up. and that leads us to my next self-realization - i am a mental case. i really wouldn't be surprised if, given the chance, a psychiatrist diagnosed me with anxiety problems, to go along with my many other problems. i am, in sporting terms, a choker.
let me paint you a picture. on one side of the canvas is cool and composed scott. he's funny and charming. he's somewhat smart, articulate, and just a pleasure to be around. and he could quite possibly be the greatest athlete you've never known. when playing sports with friends, he can pretty much do anything he wants. and did i mention how incredibly humble he is? :) but on the other side of the canvas is nervous and anxious scott. he is quiet as a mouse, stutters on any word over two syllables, and he's a touch sweaty and stinky at times. and when it comes to sports... well the words "bumbling idiot" come to mind. and what is the difference between these two scotts? pressure. i can't handle it. both in my social life as well as in sports. put me in an organized league where winning matters and you might as well blindfold me. i miss wide open lay-ups, let easy pop flies bounce off my head, trip over my own feet, and show an overall lack of coordination.
by far the worse situation you could possibly put me in is have me throw a softball around with someone i don't know in a small amount of space. and that's exactly where i was. my teammate stood not ten feet away, and i threw that ball everywhere but to him. i actually worried for my life when i hit another teammate, a giant of a man who happens to be a byu shot put champion, in the back with an errant throw. that was where i would have jumped in my car and took off had i been driving, but i was stuck. so the game begins. and sure enough, my first at-bat and the bases were loaded. great. dang pressure.
now i don't know if God cares so much for sports, but i know He must care for me. with the first swing of my bat, the ball goes flying past the center fielder, giving me my first ever grand slam. and with that swing, all of my anxiety was swept away and i could have some fun. i finished the day with a couple more doubles, a couple catches in the outfield, and, most importantly to me, zero errors.

i can't say if this will open me up to the ward or not. who knows if at the next game my anxiety will get the best of me and i'll be the spaz once again. and next time i go to church i just might be the same guy who sits there not saying much. but for that one hour, i opened up just a bit, had some fun with my fellow brethren, and, for a moment, could call it "my" ward. at least i'll always have my amber. :)

and for the record, the pictures and video are from our second game, where i succeeded once again in not being a total goofball. oh, and amber wants it known she is not the one yelling in the video. :)