Monday, January 23, 2012

Time Marches On...

My last blogpost didn't SEEM like it was from a long time ago, yet now it is nearly the end of the first month of 2012.  It has been a delightfully busy month so far.  Of course, there was the wedding and all of its preparations.  Then, a few days after that, my awesome cousin Chandra came to stay with us for a week.   She is Ruby's godmother and definitely has some fairy godmother qualities to her (washing dishes, shopping for groceries and then preparing tasty meals, cleaning up Ruby's messes, reading books to Ruby over and over again).  It was great to see her, and I'm very pleased to hear that the powers that be in the world of educational conferences have deigned to hold another conference in Portland this coming November, so we can be assured of two visits in this calendar year!  Of course, by then Ruby will be a 2.5 year old big sister!  Wow!
Tomorrow marks Ruby's 20th month, and I feel like she's been practicing her "terrible twos" a bit early.  She's got four months to go, but that hasn't stopped her from tantrums, yelling, and being generally willful. Maybe I'd have more energy for all of that if I weren't 7 months pregnant, but it seems like the past few days she has been wearing down my nerves more easily than usual.  I'm very glad I'm not a single mom.  Ruby keeps me running.  Here's a video of one of her more charming achievements.  Well, the video doesn't actually capture her achievement (putting on a sock).  She plays a bit coy with the camera, but she can put on and take off socks, put on pants most of the way, and put on shirts most of the way.  She is quite fascinated by dressing herself, or trying to!

This past Friday Ruby, Chandra, and I drove up to Seattle to take Chandra to her conference (the business reason precipitating her trip to see us).  Chandra graciously offered to let us share her hotel room for a few nights so we could enjoy a weekend trip.  When we got to Seattle there was still quite a bit of snow on the streets, which prompted Ruby to learn a new word: "nowy" (snowy).  Thankfully it all melted in the space of the next day or so.  Ruby is pretty great in the car.  It was about a 3.5 hour drive and she took naps, looked at books, or played with her toys in her seat.  She has learned how to snuggle out from under one or both arm straps in her car seat, though.  The first night was a bit rough, sleep-wise.  Ruby woke up at about 1 AM and had a hard time going back to sleep, and in so doing kept me (and probably Chandra, to some extent) awake, too.  Ruby was cranky in the morning, and I did not want to risk the hassle of driving to the zoo, paying for parking, paying to get in, and being there for 20 minutes before she had a complete meltdown.  It would have defeated the point of having fun. So, instead, she and I both napped and then after lunch we went to the Pacific Science Center.

It was closer to the hotel, right next to the Space Needle, and best of all, we got in free due to our OMSI membership (thanks Mom!).  It is a huge science center and we definitely only scratched the surface. We mostly spent our time there in the Tot Area, which was perfect for Ruby.  She LOVED the huge water table they had and at one point tried to climb into it!

She also enjoyed the pretend cars and the slide.

We also visited the legendary Pike Place Market.

 Here's Ruby next to the famous pig statue.  When we pulled her up alongside it, her first response was to moo!  I guess I can see her thinking it was a cow, from the side at least.
On Sunday, Ruby and I went to the downtown campus of Mars Hill Church.  It was a cool experience to be there.  Allen and I have watched several sermons from Pastor Mark on the Mars Hill website, so since we were in Seattle, I figured we should go to "the real thing!"  I heard a great sermon on the importance of friendship in marriage (as in making sure your spouse is your best friend and cultivating that friendship), and Ruby had a great time in the children's area.
After church, we headed back to Portland, just in time for the GROW meeting (Germans from Russia of Oregon and Washington, an organization which Allen's grandpa heads up).  It was a busy but enjoyable weekend.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wedding pictures

Okay, so it's a link to my Facebook album I just made. I'm sure eventually I'll get around to posting pictures on here too, but it's almost 9 and I'm tuckered out.  And why, oh why, is Ruby still making noises from her room?  Sigh...

A big day...

Hello blog readers!  Well, it's January 7th.  For many, just an ordinary Saturday, but for two people I know, one of the most life changing days they'll ever know. My brother-in-law and his fiancĂ©e become man and wife today.  I have known Andy for close to 3 years now, and although I wouldn't say that I know him extremely well, I feel that I know him reasonably well, since he has spent a lot of time around us (particularly in the past year).  I have only known Alishia as long as she's been with Andy, but moving in across the street from her in August definitely means we see her a lot.  Andy will be moving in with her (and the two other, they won't all be sharing one room!) so we will still get to see each other all the time.  It's a pretty nice arrangement, really.  I live with my brother, and Allen lives across the street from his brother.  Back in the day, it wasn't odd to have family members all living in close proximity, but it is less common now.  My side of the family, for instance, is all spread out.  My mom's parents and many of her relatives live in New England (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire), but my mom and my dad and my sister live in the midwestern burg of St. Louis.  My other brother lives in New York City.  We are spread out across the whole country!  In a few years, my sister will be college age and who knows where she'll go then?  Maybe she'll find a school close to home, as Chris did, or maybe she'll be like Toby and me and go far afield for her education.  Toby will be finishing up his MAT this year; will he stay in this area to work, or go somewhere else? Only time will tell.  I never really thought much of family being all spread out.  That was just our family's reality.  But marrying into a family that is not at all spread out makes me realize that there is something nice about being close.  I sometimes wish our country was small enough that even if we lived on opposite ends of it, it would still be close.
Last night was the bachelor party and bachelorette party.  Both seemed pretty fun from what I heard.  The bachelor and his crew went to Tac Ops, a local airsoft gun range, and spent several hours shooting each other silly with air rifles.  They came home covered in little welts...oops! But they had a good time; at least, Andy and Allen did!  Then they did some last minute wedding prep, hung out, played a home-made mad lib, entitled "What I love about Andy by Alishia" (which I made based on what she had actually told me), prayed for Andy, and went to bed.
The girls, meanwhile, went downtown to the Benson Hotel
Whitney's big gift to the couple was to buy two nights at the hotel: one for the bachelorette party, and one for the wedding night.  The hotel was SO cool.  I definitely wouldn't mind spending a night there myself!
Of course, the room was *tastefully* decorated for the bachelorette party!
The ladies gave themselves pedicures and manicures in matching nail polish and made matching anklets (since they'll be walking barefoot down the aisle).  Alishia opened her presents ("ooh la la!" is all I'll say), and we took a lot of goofy pictures in the lobby.  Here's  a picture of one of the presents I gave her.  I made us matching tank tops (well, I bought the tank tops and then decorated them).

In case you can't make it out, the front says "Mrs. Cook" and then has our respective wedding dates (8-8-09 and 1-7-12) on a red satin heart (leftover fabric from her reception dress).  On the back are iron-on angel wing decals.  Above that it says "Allen's Angel" (on mine) and "Andy's Angel" (on hers), and then Proverbs 18:22.  What is Proverbs 18:22, you ask?  "He who finds a wife finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord."  I think she liked it, and I think Andy will like it too. I know Allen likes the one I made.  
Well, time to get ready for the wedding!  I just hope Ruby can make it through the day without a meltdown...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The ceremony dress is the white one, the reception is the red 

The backs of the dresses 
The dresses are done!  Well, technically, one bridesmaid's dress is not quite done because she hasn't tried it on yet.  But it only needs to have the elastic fitted and then sewn and then it, too, is done.  The dresses don't look all that amazing on hangers, but they look good on Alishia!  
I would update more right now, but Ruby is climbing me like a jungle gym so I'd better stop for the moment.  But I knew that people would want to see what I had done.  More pictures of her in her dresses and the bridesmaids in theirs after this weekend, I promise!