Reading Roundup 2010

I made a goal to read 40 books this year.  Here are my results:

1. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
2. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
3. Where Angels Fall by Chris Stewart
4. The Second Sun by Chris Stewart
5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
6. The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
7. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
8. Fury and Light by Chris Stewart
9. From the End of Heaven by Chris Stewart
10. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
11. Clear as the Moon by Chris Stewart
12. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
13. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
15. Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
16. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
17. Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde
18. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
19. The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
20. Small Steps by Louis Sachar
21. Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute
22. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
23. The Ten-Cow Wives Club by Joni Hilton
24. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
25. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
26. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
28. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
29. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
30. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
31. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
32. The Shack by William P. Young
33. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heid Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
34. Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry
35. In the Dark Streets Shineth by David McCullough
36. Marley and Me by John Grogan
37. Prudent Advice by Jaime Morrison Curtis
38. The Book of Mormon
39. The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins
40. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

I did it!  I am still working on Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman.  I have about 20 pages left and we're about to make a 3 hour drive to Baltimore so I should beat my goal by one.

Bring On 2011!


New Faces

While here Jillian has gotten to meet lots of people that love and spoil her.  Here she is with Uncle Tyler, Grandpa, Aunt Jenn, Aunt Katie, Soon-to-be Uncle Neal, Aunt Leslie, Great Grandma Rice, Aunt Bethany, and Great Grandpa Rice.  What a lucky girl!

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Merry Christmas!

We made it to Virginia and have been having a marvelous time.  Hope you are too!


Silly Girl

Jillian is obsessed with her arms.  She's constantly waving them around and we love it when they land in funny positions.

We call this one TOUCHDOWN!!!  And we like it best when it's for BYU.

"Stop bugging me!"

Whenever Jilly raises one arm Bryan calls on her, "Yes Jillian, what do you have to say?"  I think she knows that students who call out and don't raise their hand drive her mother crazy so she's practicing now.
 (Sorry for the blurry picture, I wasn't willing to stop the swing and wake her up)

Because her arm movements often startle her and wake her up we started swaddling her at night.  I think she looks so cute as a little glowworm!  

ps- Thank you so much for your travel advice, I'm starting to feel a little bit better about our trip.


Airplane Help!!

In just eight days we will make our epic journey across the country.  I couldn't be more excited but I'm also starting to panic.  Because we like to keep things exciting around here we're taking a red eye with stops in Denver and Newark, N.J.  I think my baby is pretty much perfect and even when she is crying she's just so adorable that I can't be upset at all, but I can't be assured that every other passenger on our planes will feel the same way, especially if she chooses 2am to start screaming.

So, I need your travel tips/advice/suggestions/magic spells to get us to Virginia without making any mortal enemies.

I know, I know- how could this girl ever have any enemies, right?!?!


One Month

I can't believe my baby is one month old.  It has been quite the month for us- so difficult yet so fun and wonderful.  We are very lucky to have this little girl in our family.

(I wrote this yesterday because I knew today would be busy and I almost deleted that last sentence when she screamed inconsolably for an hour last night, woke up every 2 hours during the night, spit up all over me, and peed all over our bed.  But then she slept until 9:30 this morning and woke up her cute and happy self so all is forgiven.)

Happy One Month Birthday Jilly!
I love this picture because a. that is the half smile we get from her all the time, b. her little arms are in motion as they almost always are and c. finally her chubby cheeks have some competition in those sumptuous thighs


Mommy Thumb

The summer after my freshman year at BYU I got tendonitis in my wrist.  The doctor said it was common for this to happen in the summer because we have much more free time and are holding books open a lot and turning pages and this places stress on our wrist.  But my mom wasn't fooled.  She had noticed that ever since I had gotten home my phone had never been more than 3 inches away from my body.  I was constantly texting all those wonderful friends I had made at college.  And, this was back in the day before full keyboards so it was constant stress on my thumb and wrist.  I tried to deny it and go with the book excuse, but finally just gave in and called the injury my "texting thumb."  It eventually went away.

Fast forward to now, I've been getting the same pain in my wrist.  But this time it's not the phone's fault (though I have been guilty of sending a high volume of picture messages to Jilly's grandma in VA) it's my baby's fault!  At night I tend to be a little bit tired (read: exhausted) and thus get lazy when I'm lifting her out of her bed.  This poor lifting technique has brought my tendonitis back.

Lisa (who actually is the main cause of my first tendonitis because she was most likely the one I was texting) sent me this article as a warning before she even knew that my wrist/thumb problems were back.  In the article she found the way to prevent "Mommy Thumb" which is "A proper warmup before doing any lifting." So now when Jillian starts crying at 3am I will calmly and alertly say, "Just one minute darling, mommy needs to do her warmups then she will be prepared to properly lift you out of your crib." 

Or maybe I'll just stick to ice and ibuprofen.  


It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's been very fun to Deck the Halls this year knowing that this may be our last year that the decorations actually stay where we put them.  I'm thinking next year Jillian will be far less content to just sit and enjoy the beauty and more keen on touching (breaking) everything.  We'll deal with that then, but for now I can enjoy my Christmas decorations exactly the way I want them.

I got the free printable art here.

Icicle lights and we finally have curtains!

A student gave me these plates and we've never had a wall to hang them on until now!

Festivity on the bookshelf- the nativity plate is my absolute favorite decoration

This year we got a real tree for the first time and our house smells divine.

Bryan asked if we could hang Jilly from our tree.  Though she would look adorable up there I don't think we'd get high marks for parenting.


Don't you wish

you got to go to church with these two?

Yes, you should definitely be jealous of me.


Just me and my girl

This past week was my first week home alone with Jillian.  We LOVED having my mom here for the first week- I really don't think we would have made it through that week without her.  Then Bryan was able to take off all of Thanksgiving week so that was a lot of fun.  I was very nervous for this week, but Jilly and I had a great time.  I learned that the key is to make a list of the things I think I can accomplish during the day then cut it in half and if I get that much done, it's a good day.  

When I do get anything done it's because of this marvelous invention.  Jilly loves her swing, and I love that it allows me to take a shower every once in a while!

I was delighted to find that my daughter is a champion shopper.  She loves riding in her stroller and never makes a peep.  She's already been to Target and Jo-Anns four times each in her three weeks of life!

Jilly also loves her bath (now that she can have a real one.)  I love cuddling her in her cute towel afterward.

We love listening to Christmas music together.  I'm enjoying this time when she can't get mad at me for singing along- I'm sure one day she won't enjoy that as much.

Taking naps together is another one of our favorite things.

Jillian also got to spend some time with her dad this week while I went to my Relief Society Christmas party.  I think they were secretly sad when I came back home.   
(She's yawning, not crying here, and her shirt says "Daddy adores me" which is oh so true)

Altogether it's been a great week.  I think this little girl is a keeper.