Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Advice

"Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."
--P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jack-Jack Attack Update

My last two-week appointment was today, and to celebrate the doctor decided to check my cervix to see how I was progressing. So how am I doing?

Dilated: 2 cm Effaced: 50%

That's right ladies and gentleman, I am well into the early stages of labor. Depending on how active I am, I really think I can crank this baby out of me at anytime. But that's just the inexperienced pregnant lady speaking...who knows when Jack-Jack is really gonna come.

Speaking of my activity level, I've been doing absolutely nothing lately. Last Saturday and Sunday I was having contractions pretty close together (not to mention the ligaments below my stomach were killing me) so I had to take it easy. Since then I've had to shorten my work day (only by two biggie) and live out my nights lying on our couch so baby Jack can stay in my belly and fully develop (I'm barely hitting 37 weeks on Saturday). Let's just say my new best bud is Netflix (which is streamed through our Xbox).

So that's my life in a nutshell...lazy but great. Everything is still excellent with the pregnancy, and I couldn't be happier. :)

All the Best.

P.S. I found stretch marks on my stomach and I'm trying to be positive about it. Key word: trying.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Inspiration for a Rainy Day

"Good habits are developed in the workshop of our daily lives. It is not in the great moments of test and trial that character is built. That is only when it is displayed. The habits that direct our lives and form our character are fashioned in the often uneventful, commonplace routine of life. They are acquired by practice."
--Elder Delbert L. Stapley

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Motherhood: Good for Your Soul.

OK, you guys asked for them...

So here they are: pictures of me and baby Jack-Jack, taken by my wonderful friend Bernadette.

warning: shameless plug ahead.
Bernadette did an awesome job portraying the relationship between me and my little boy...and her ideas, poses, and props were amazing. And she was so patient with my cheesy smiles and always-blinking eyes. Her full name and contact info can be provided upon request :).

This pregnancy has been a great experience. Of course I say this when my sides aren't aching, Jack isn't kicking me in the ribs, I'm not waddling to the restroom for the 10th time in two hours, and I'm not worried about all the baby fat I'll have to loose when he's finally out of me. But really, being able to carry my child has been an eye-opener.

For those of you who don't know, I am the last of six kids in my family...and all through my life I've been known as the "Baby Brat". Needless to say, I have some selfish tendencies. And now all of you mothers out there are chuckling at me, because you know what kind of rude awakening I'm in for. Selfishness doesn't show up anywhere in the Mommy Gene...especially when you have a newborn crying at 2 am needing to eat. What a great way to cure my vice (and disguise the tedious process in the form of children whom I can't help but love).

Just some very brief thoughts on motherhood that were floating in my head. This doesn't even begin to cover everything else I'm thinking...but most of you would rather not know. :)

All the Best.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I love "self-help" books. When you find me reading, (or listening to audio books...also my favorite) 95% of the time the book will try to help you in some sort of subject. So this book I'm about to recommend is no exception.

The book:

(image from:

How I heard of it: I was listening to a motivational speaker who specializes in the mortgage industry talk about how he "made it" (as in become super successful) in the mortgage world. I was prepared to hear the typical answers consisting of: "I worked 20 hour days" or "I didn't listen to the pessimists" or "I was persistent", etc. which are all well and good, but his real answer shocked me. He said the three sources that made him so successful was his religion, some organizational book, and lastly the The Five Love Languages. My thoughts: Really?! How in the world did a book about love languages (whatever they are) help you to become so successful in the mortgage industry?!?! So I asked for the book for Christmas (as an audio book, of course).

What it's about: Pretty much how to keep the love in your marriage alive. Gary Chapman, the author of said book, believes there are five ways (languages) someone can express love to their spouse. They are:
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
Mr. Chapman believes the key to a successful marriage is finding the love language that matches with your spouse and expressing your love through that channel. It's a great book! Cheesy at times, but overall it really struck home. Here is what we (Bart and I) have discovered so far:

Bart's love language: Gifts
Ashlee's love language: Acts of Service

And you don't have to read or listen to it just once...I'm working on my second take and still discovering things I didn't hear the first time.

Now if you're still wondering how in the world my motivational speaker used this book to become successful in the mortgage industry, let me enlighten you. He was able to apply this theory to others around him, therefore showing them (co-workers, clients, friends, etc.) how he cared for them. Pretty ingenious I must say.

So, enjoy! I hope it helps you.

All the Best.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm Smart.

My fortune cookie told me so. It read:

"You have made a brilliant choice today."
I'm glad I need a fortune cookie (which doesn't even contain an actual fortune in it) to confirm to me that I do indeed make good decisions. But hey, whatever works.
Also, has anyone else noticed I've been going crazy with the side comments lately...? Yeah, me niether.
All the Best.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Call It An Obsession.

Here's pair #5!

And yes...that big, white bump you see that takes up almost the whole left-hand side of the picture is baby Jack. But at least I can still see my feet. :)

All the Best!

Another Self Discovery

I really like teaching.

I haven't quite figured out why, but I think it has something to do with the high you get afterwords...knowing that you just helped someone increase their knowledge that could actually help them someday. It's an awesome feeling.

But I did not get my degree in education. Why?! I'm not quite sure.

Don't get me wrong...I still get way nervous (as in sweaty palms, shaky voice, can't-remember-what-I-just-said mentality, etc.) when I'm up in front a group of people. And I get easily intimidated when I know someone in the crowd knows way more about a subject than me...and they should really be teaching it.

Yet I still like it. Go figure.

Maybe I should channel this energy to working on church lessons sooner instead of the night before. I'll have to work on that.

I want to leave you with some pics of my family that I've taken pretty recently. So enjoy...and I hope my family members don't mind. :)

Bart in his bow tie that I bought him for Christmas.

Beautiful Peyton in her blessing dress (edited by Bernadette).

Dave and TeriAnn's family portrait on their half pipe
(That's right, it is in their backyard).

Paige, the niece who never complains about getting her picture taken. I love it!

All the Best!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mommy (Panicking) Moment

Has anyone taken a look at Jack's countdown lately...cuz I sure haven't.

Until today that is.

How in the world do I only have 39 days left until Jack is going to be an official member of our family?! (and that's only if he decides to come on his due date and no sooner) Where did my nine months go (am I the only one who was jipped a month or two in my pregnancy)??

Usually I wouldn't worry about stuff like this, but there is no way I'm prepared to be Mommy right now. I don't even have baby Jack-Jack's bedding yet (although in my defense, bright color bedding with cars embroidered on it is very hard to come by these days...and I am not waivering from that theme), which again wouldn't be a big deal if I had a crib set up to put the bedding in. And don't even get me started on how I'm supposed to take care of and raise this little boy...I can hardly take care of myself right now.

Although, I'm not doing as bad as I think. For example: I have already pre-registered for our hospital, I'm about to call a pediatrician for when the little monkey is born, and Bart and I spent six (yes that's right, 6) hours in a basic birthing class on Saturday to gear us up for labor and delivery (at least now we know the signs of when I am in active labor). These have to be worth something, right??

So really, I'm just trying to relieve some of my stress and guilt (stupid procrastination) by writing this post. For those of you who are due around the same time as me...and are way more prepared...great job, and I hope you feel better about your situation as you read about mine. :)
All the Best!
P.S. I lied. I actually found Jack's looks something like this:

But I just barely discovered it and I still have to buy it. And a BIG "thank you" must go out to my sister-in-law, Jessica and her mom, Jennifer for helping me find this bedding that fit my exact criteria. I am in love with it and hope it's still available.

Maroon and Gold, Baby!

It's official...
...we are now Sundevils!!

Bart was accepted to ASU for the Spring 2010 semester and we are super excited. Just two years here and two years at NAU and he'll be a licensed physical therapist. Ahhh, so close...yet so far away...

Let me tell you I'm not excited for the price tag that comes along with a full time student at ASU. Granted, it's not as expensive as other universities, but still...$6K a year for tuition only?!? (Our pocketbook is cringing). Such is life, I guess. But it will be very much worth it in the end.

Congrats, baby for getting accepted! I'm so proud of you!

All the Best!