Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Here's a few highlights from our holiday:

The Fam at Christmas Village

Nathan and Austin 'playing' with Pudgy (I think actually Nathan was protecting Pudgy from Austin)

Aunt HaHa (that'd be me) and Bubba cooking

Dad and one of his Christmas Presents...if you know my dad and the GI-freakin-NORMOUS shop he just built, you'd understand the humor behind the rug. 

Me and one of my Christmas gifts...but I don't know if it is really me...I mean, shoes?  I don't know if I even like shoes...

There was also much Guitar Hero, fighting over what would fit in/on a pickle, The Farming Game, snow, food, Birthday Cake, snow, more food and not nearly enough sleep.  

Good Times.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cancel that...

I must apologize to anyone who I accused of taking the shovel...especially all the neighborhood kids and several of our neighbors.  (Although I never accused them to their faces...but I did drive awfully slow past their houses on my way back to work yesterday looking to see if I could see our shovel)  Turns out Nathan had put it in the garage and it fell behind a large filing cabinet.  He had forgot that he put it there...and I couldn't see it when I initially looked for it because it was hidden.  But now all is well in shovel land.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh, and one of these

Cause someone stole ours...

Dear Santa,

My wish list is pretty easy this year. I just want one of these:



Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I don't want to go. I am not excited. I am almost dreading it. But I realize it is the best opportunity for our current and future family. It sucks that we have to move away from family. It sucks that we have to find home for our dog. It sucks that we won't be able to buy a house, and that we'll have to 'share walls' with other people. It sucks that we'll be moving in horribly cold weather. I get all that, but I also know that it SUCKS not to be able to just get pregnant and have kids whenever we want. It SUCKS that for four and a half years our life has existed in two week sections, and has been full of disappointments. It SUCKS to live in a neighborhood where no one wants to know you. It SUCKS to have a congregation at church that is perfectly fine with you not being there.

But you know what sucks most? Having people try and talk you out of going...especially since I don't really want to go in the first place.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Ok, I need your help

We have decided to do it. Yep, we will be Navy Folk once more. And we will be moving to Chicago... in the middle of winter...grr.

SO I need some help, well, my OCD needs help. I am looking for anyone who knows the Chicago area. The base (in Great Lakes) is about 45 mins or so from downtown, so we will not be living IN Chicago, but rather looking for a nice suburb somewhere northwest of the city...we are not opposed to even living just over the state line in Wisconsin, doncha know.

So if you know of anyone who might be able to help, please refer them here or have them e-mail me: hollydward(at)mac.com.

I am also looking to create a list of 'Don't Miss' stuff for our stay there...so if you have lived there or vacationed there and think there is something I just cannot possibly not do, please share. :)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

11 years in the making

Nathan officially graduated from college today.  He was done with classes after summer semester, but there was some unfinished paperwork to be done before it was official.  He graduated high school eleven years ago...but before you think he's one of those eternal students let me clarify...he spent two of those years on a mission for our church, he spent another four of those years on active duty service in the US Navy.  So in reality it only took him five years, which is pretty good.  

Here's Nathan in a classic Nathan pose.  

Here he is with his mom and dad.

Here we are - whoo hoo!!

Here he is with my fam.  

I am very proud of him for finishing.  As we were talking about a week ago about his impending graduation, he told me he never thought he would ever go back and finish his degree.  He doesn't think the degree matters because it is 'only' (his words, not mine) a Music Performance degree...but a degree is a degree. 

So how about giving a little blog love to my awesome hubby.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Ok, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The good news? Ok. Nathan got back in

The bad news? They will ONLY send us to Chicago. Now before you get all angry with me thinking I am just hating on the Windy City...hear me out. I want to finish my degree (afterall I have been graduated from high school for almost 10 years) and we REALLY want to adopt...oh, and I hate winter. I know I grew up in Utah. My family LOVES skiing, my hubby's family loves snowmobiling....I guess I am just missing that gene. In elementary and junior high school they used to have a ski day and everyone would go skiing...not me. I went one year, hated it and elected to stay home all the years after.

Jacksonville (which was our top choice after much careful consideration) was great for a couple reasons:
#1 - No winter...well at least no below freezing, slipping on ice, scraping windshields winter
#2 - UNF - a good school, pretty reasonably priced and RIGHT near where we were looking at living.
#3 - Um, it's FLORIDA. 3 hours from Disneyworld, less than an hour to the beach...who wouldn't love it?

So now we have to decide if we want back in the Navy enough to go to Chicago...and not only to go to Chicago...to go to Chicago IN FEBRUARY. In the below freezing, slipping on ice, scraping windshields, bad idea to wear high heels DEAD OF WINTER. (There is a reason they call it the DEAD of winter you know...)

In true OCD form I came home and scoured the internet to find universities, apartments, military housing, adoption agencies, etc...and have found some good things on the adoption front...school, not so much...oh, and it was only 26 degrees in Chicago today. Fun.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

4 Things

Bethany tagged me...so here we go. 

4 Things I was doing 10 years ago
~ Finishing my Senior Year of High School
~ Planning where I was going to go to college
~ Dating Mark
~ Being a band geek

4 Things on my list to do today
~ Finish burning the band DVDs
~ Get some sleep
~ Laundry
~ De-stress

4 Things I love about my husband
~ He lets me pick the restaurant
~ He does the dishes
~ He loves me for who I am
~ He's excited about adoption too

4 Jobs I've had
~ Nanny
~ Smoothie Maker
~ Cherry Picker
~ Waitress

4 Movies I have seen more than once
~ My Fellow Americans 
~ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
~ Legally Blonde (I & II)
~ So I Married An Axe Murderer

4 Places I've lived
~ Pleasant View, Utah
~ Virginia Beach, Virginia
~ Newport, Rhode Island
~ Logan, Utah

4 Places I want to visit
~ Europe
~ Africa
~Prince Edward Island/Halifax/New Foundland
~ Malaysia

4 TV shows I watch
~ Grey's Anatomy
~ Desperate Housewives
~ Lost
~ Seinfeld

4 Things you may not know about me
~ I snore.  Bad.
~ I drink the juice out of pickle jars
~ I have never broken a bone
~ I hate wearing socks

If you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged. 

Saturday, December 06, 2008


So we have not heard.  Still.  Grrrr.  

I woke up Wednesday and my throat was sore...I didn't want to go to work, but I had a bunch to do so I went.  With the help of drugs, lots of drugs.  Thursday, same thing.  Thursday night came, and I didn't get to sleep until 5:30am...which I guess is technically Friday morning.  I thought that I could catch a good 2 hours, and wake up and go to work and be fine.  Not so.  I woke up at 7am and wished I could crawl into a dark hole somewhere.  So I called in sick. I am suck a slacker. 

I think the stress of all of this has not helped.  I feel like my head is in a big balloon, my chest aches and my teeth hurt.  I am glad that it is a certain type of hurt though, because it is 'sinus-cavity-hurt' not 'oh-crap-i-have-to-go-to-the-dentist-hurt'. 

Well, I am going to go drink something warm and take some drugs. Hopefully we'll hear on Monday.  

Monday, December 01, 2008


(This is just a warning, this post will be long...because it is serving as a journal entry too...I won't feel bad if you want to skip it, BUT it will be rewarding should you choose to stick it out, I promise)

Ok, so for those of you who didn't know we went to Seattle last week so Nathan could audition for the Navy. (A lot of you might not have known since I was afraid to say we were leaving for a few days for fear of some blog stalker breaking in to our house while we were gone...paranoid, I know) We flew out Sunday morning and flew back Tuesday late afternoon, so it wasn't too terribly long, but it was great to just get away for a bit and get a little very much needed R&R.

If you haven't read the little blurb about our flight experience, go here to get the laugh first, then come back. After we flew in Sunday we decided to head over to the hotel and check-in, take a shower and a nap and then head back into the city to see some sights. Only when we got to the hotel we were told, by a not-so-friendly front desk lady, that we had to wait until 3 to check in and no, there was NO WAY she could check us in early. It was 12 by this time...most places will let you check in early as long as their is a room ready. So we decided to swing by the commissary and pick up a few food items, check out the Nex and then take a drive up to see the area North of the base.
Here's a shot just off the side of the road. I was just amazed how much water was everywhere...and how green everything was.

Here's our rental car - and my awesome hubby.
Monday we got up and went into Tacoma to go to the zoo. The weather held out for us and we were able to see all the animals and not get soaked...and I got to use my spiffy camera and not be worried that the rain would ruin it. This (or these) is the the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It was weird because you only had to pay a toll one way.
Here is Nathan at the entrance to the zoo. Can you believe this was the first time he's been to the zoo, EVER?

Here's me...gotta watch out for those hippos.
After the zoo we went back to the base to have Nathan's audition. It went ok. Not as good as we had hoped. After Nathan was done playing for the audition he had a 'de-briefing'. The Chief gave him some pointers, and then said he'd score between a 2.8 and 2.9 (on a 4.0 scale). I was DEVASTATED. I remembered hearing that Nathan needed to score better than his outgoing score from the school of music (he scored a 3.0 then...which is really good). He is playing MUCH better horn than he was then, so the score surprised me. We went back to the hotel so Nathan could change out of his nice clothes. We had planned on going into Seattle that night but after the bummer news all I wanted to do was sit and cry. All I could think about what 'what do we do now?'. Nathan talked me into going out, and I'm glad he did. Afterall, we were 'on vacation' and we shouldn't let the audition ruin it for us. (Today is Monday, a week after the audition and we still haven't heard back. Hopefully we'll hear soon. Nathan's brother told us he heard we only had to have a score good enough to graduate from the school, which is 2.75 I believe. BUT the Navy is chuck full of horn players, so it will all depend on how bad they want him as a sound guy...the not knowing is KILLING me!)
We got directions to the ferry from one of the guys in the band and then took the ferry over to Seattle to check out Pike's Place and the Space Needle. Here's a shot of Seattle from the ferry when we were about half way across the Puget Sound.

Here's a shot of us on the Space Needle, I know you can't see anything else...but my arm is only so long.
Here's the funny part of the night, well couple funny parts. So we got into town and the ferry drops you off right downtown. I consulted my handy map and saw that Pike's Place was only 8 blocks or so away so we decided to walk. It was dark and I am a bit of a scardey cat so I started to get weirded out when a couple creepy guys passed us. We got to Pike's Place Market, saw that it was closed and decided to head up to the Needle. We started walking, and thought we would grab a cab along the way. Nathan's brother had been trying to call him for a while, and despite my urgings, Nathan called him back as we were walking. (I had read somewhere online that distracted people, a.k.a. people on cell phones, make better targets for muggings, rapes, etc) I am holding on to his arm with a death grip and he tells his brother "Holly's afraid someone is going to rob us"...just as someone was walking past us. I rip my hand out of his and tell him it isn't funny. He hangs up with his brother and we have a little tiff on the street...then I hail a cab, because Nathan refused to do so...and we rode to the Space Needle. By the time we got to the Needle, our tiff was solved. Nathan has just learned to deal with my paranoia, and I deal with his lack of paranoia. We lucked out because the night was incredibly clear, we could see all of Seattle and most of the Puget Sound from the observation deck.

We had to make it back to the ferry landing in too short of a time to walk (Phew!) so we got another cab. Now, this part of the story is funnier in person when I can do the voices, so if you want to amuse yourself, when the cabbie talks do a voice just like Apu on the Simpsons and it will be like you were there. We get in the cab and he starts to fiddle with his meter and can't get it to start (this should have been our FIRST red Flag). After about 2 minutes he gets it working, he then asks us "Where we you like to go?" We tell him we need to catch the Bainbridge Ferry, at Pier 52. "66?" he asks, no, 52. "I do not know where that is. Can you please show me on a map where you would like to go?". I pull out my handy map and show him where we are and where we need to be. "Well, I do not know where that is. Let me go ask my...my...friend." He gets out of the cab and walks to another cab just behind us. Nathan is getting ticked because the meter is running, and I am thinking 'don't anger the cabby who probably has a gun under his seat'. He comes back, "Ok, my friend told me where to go." Nathan asks him if he's going to charge us for that time. I hold my breath and wait for gun shots. "Yes, um no, I will take off one dollar". We pull out and make our way towards the ferry. "I drive a school bus" he says while taking {{BOTH}} hands off the wheel to fetch his wallet "I only do this part time to earn extra money. My wife is an accountant" he hands me the id. I look at it and show Nathan, who thinks I am crazy for talking with this man. I am just thinking 'be polite and he won't take us to a back parking lot and murder us'. "We move here from Utopia." ..?.. "Do you know where that is? Africa." Hmm. "We move here for our kids. For better education." That's nice, I say, education is important. Meanwhile as we're driving his GPS is telling him to turn other ways than the way we're going, and after every missed turn it says 'recalibrating'. He must sense our discomfort because he reaches across the front seat where the GPS has been thrown uncerimouniously on the passenger seat and holds it up for us to see. "I do not use it. I would get in an accident." Ya, that would be the reason. "I do not know how to work it. I will have my daughter teach me how to use it. She is very smart." He sees Pier 66 above and this sparks something in his memory. "Pier 66, right?" Nope. "Pier 66 nice. Restaurant, bar." Still nope. 52 I tell him, keep going. As I see the familiar landing I encourage him to stop and let us out. We throw a ten over the seat and get out quick. We started laughing and laughed about our cabbie the whole ferry trip back.

The next morning we got up early and headed out to see a few things before our flight. We drove into the city and I, being the fabulous navigator that I am, found the route and parking to get us to Pike's Place and the Space Needle.

Here we are at Pike's Place with one of the fish-thrower dudes.

Here is Nathan enjoying our awesome clam chowder on top of the Space Needle. This day the weather turned yucky...typical Seattle weather. We were lucky to have two days of great weather. I wanted to take a picture of us in the daytime up there, but it was raining and I didn't want to get my camera wet.

After we went to the Space Needle we headed across Seattle Center and went to the Experience Music Project. It is REALLY awesome. They have all these neat exhibits on different musicians and some music history stuff. They even have a sound lab where you can learn to play drums, guitar and keyboard. You can even mess around with a mixing board or sing to a music track. This statue is incredible. It is all guitars, I put the pic of us in to show just how tall it is.

Here's the rest - well, most of the rest. It is about 10 feet higher than what shows up in this frame.

If you want to see more pics, I'll be posting some of the arsty ones on my photo blog later today.


For Thanksgiving we had my parents and grandparents up for dinner.  I cooked the whole meal except mom brought up a dinner salad.  Most of what I made was from scratch...which I repeated over and over to anyone who would listen.  Here's what was on the menu:

Cranberry Sauce
Honey Pecan Encrusted Ham
Harvest Stuffing
Candied Yams
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Rosemary Carrots
North Pole Broccoli
Strawberry Pear Chiffon Jello
Green Salad
Relish Tray: Pickles, Beets, Olives

Here's me, with my Vanna White pose, showing off the table.  Ignore the non-hairdo...I spent all day cooking food so I didn't have time to blow-dry and flat-iron.  

My Grandpa carving the turkey. 

The turkey...not my best looking one, but it tasted great. 

Here's a shot that shows off four of the pies I made.  Pumpkin (from scratch), apple (from scratch) and cherry (crust from scratch, filling, not).  we also had Chocolate Silk Pie, Grasshopper Pie and Lemon Cheesecake. 

After we ate, my brothers and their others came up and we played games and ate pie.  While the big kids played a game, dad, mom, grandma and my great-aunt played with Marble Works with Blaine. Truth be told, I think my dad had the most fun. 

A New Perspective

#29 - Pink Lady Apples - I LOVE Pink Lady Apples.  I have yet to find them since we moved here...well Saturday I (and my mom and sister-in-law) took my grandma grocery shopping.  The grocery store we went to I haven't been to in probably 10 years.  I was amazed at how many different produce items they had.  And much to my surprise and excitement they had Pink Lady Apples!  mmmmm.

#30 - A Month, a New Perspective - This month has been really good for me, in two ways.  First, it has made me focus on things I am grateful for.  I have said more than once that I hate a lot about my current situation and so it has been helpful for me to look beyond all that I don't like to find the things I am grateful for, that may be hidden by my attitude.  Two, I have thought A LOT about adoption this month.  I spent quite a bit of time this month working on a blog that will serve as our profile for adoption.  It is not yet as I would like it to be so you won't get the link yet, sorry...but I promise it will be soon. :)  (I know you'll lose sleep with the excitement!)
My friend Ann tagged me, and since it deals with adoption, I thought I'd do it here:
Here are the rules:
1- Link to the person who tagged you
2 - Post the rules on your blog
3 - Share 6 adoption related things.habits/quirks about yourself
4 - Tag 6 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5 - Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Since I am a newbie in the adoption area, I could only come up with 4 things.

1- The first book I bought on adoption was the Complete Idiots Guide to Adoption
2- I bought it over a year a go, even though I knew it would be a while until we started the process
3- I have always felt deep down that I would adopt, even through all the fertility treatments
4- I have a blog already created, even though we haven't even begun our homestudy yet

Ok, I am tagging Amanda, Lori, Kara and Janus.  I know I am supposed to tag 6, but these four are the only ones I know of who have experience with it.  If you are reading this and want to share, leave a comment with a link to your blog, or just leave your 6 things in the comments.