Sunday, November 29, 2009

Surprise! He's here!

This past Wednesday, November 25 at 10:30pm, Edmund David Niesluchowski was born. He was 6 lbs 4.5 oz and 18 inches long. He's perfect!

So, here's how it all went (warning, some of you might hate me after reading this :) ):

Wednesday at 11:30am I had my first weekly appointment (36 weeks and 5 days). I got to my appointment and found out my regular doctor had a family emergency and so I was with a different associate. Bummer, but what can you do? I meet with the doctor and she does an exam. Disbelief and shock was on her face as she told me that I was six centimeters dialated. Since the physicians' offices are connected to the hospital, she had me sent to Labor and Delivery. I was in shock and couldn't stop shaking. "Are you sure?" I kept asking. "Can I please go home?" (my mom was 6 centimeters dialated with me for six weeks). She pretty much looked at me, smiled, and said, "You're going home with a baby." What?! In Labor and Delivery I continued to ask if I could go home (my fear is that I would be like my mom and they would end up inducing me -- SO not part of my plan), but I was told that once I was admitted, I couldn't leave. WOW.

They took me to my room and I immediately called Walter at work. Not really sure what to tell him and totally confused. See, here's the deal, I NEVER FELT CONTRACTIONS. After talking with Walter, I called my mom (who I was hanging out with before my appointment) and she came straight over. As I sat in the L&D room with only the clothes on my back, I started to cry and pray. I'm not ready. Will be baby boy be okay? I just kept trying to think of Bible verses to comfort myself and remember that God has an ultimate plan and he is in control. This situation wasn't even close to my birth plan -- I was planning to stay at home as long as possible, eat before heading to the hospital (hadn't really had anything to eat all day -- was supposed to meet a friend for lunch after my appointment), pack the rest of my bag (yes, I didn't even have my overnight bag packed -- at least I had a list!), and have my doctor deliver me. Instead, I was incredibly hungry, worried that I would labor in the hospital FOREVER and then be induced, no bag with me, and my doctor was unavailable. But, as always, God is in control.

I finally calmed down and changed into the hospital gown. The nurse came in (loved all my nurses at Rush-Copley!) and wanted to monitor me (thankfully, not the entire time so I was able to walk around). I was definitely having contractions and strong ones, yet I STILL FELT NOTHING. When the doctor came to check on my, I really thought they would tell me that I was less dialated, but instead, I had progressed to 7 centimeters and 0 station! Soon, it was 8 centimeters. Then 8 centimeters and 100% effaced. STILL FELT NOTHING. They broke my water and then my back started to ache a little bit. My contractions became more spread out, but all systems were a go, so they put me on a small amount of pitocin to have my contractions be closer together. Now my lower abdomen would ache and I felt a little bit uncomfortable. But, I think the worst part was the incredibly hunger that I felt (you feel sorry for me right now, don't you? ;) ). Finally, it was time to push (to spare any male that might read this...there is no way to explain pushing, but pushing a baby it out is FAR from what you think it is.). I pushed for about 30-45 minutes (not sure -- have heard different from different people) and then he came shooting out. Yep, once the head was through, the body came flying out. Felt really stretched out, but never even felt myself tear (had two different tears) and didn't even feel them stitching me up. So, what have you learned from my story -- God gave me no nerve endings. :) I was able to go with no medication (BIG part of my birth plan), but I didn't even need it, since I felt hardly anything. I don't even know how long I was in labor, since I don't know when contractions started.

God is in control. He knew it was time for Edmund to meet the world. Edmund is perfectly healthy. Plus, I happen to have a printed copy of my Birth Plan to go over with my doctor, so I was able to give it to the nurses, who were AWESOME about it -- they let me come off the monitor and walk around, didn't even mention the epidural, and my doctor was all about not giving me an episiotomy. Oh yeah, didn't need the Bradley Method at all. :) Glad we didn't spend all that money on birthing classes. :) Also, what if I didn't have a doctors appointment that day? Since I didn't feel contractions, I wouldn't have even known I was in labor and might have just delivered it at home.

Walter was AMAZING! He was so encouraging, rubbed my head, and held my hand. He even got to see the baby come out (which he originally wasn't planning to do). I had my sister stand right out the door, so as soon as Edmund was delivered, I called for her to come in and she was able to get some awesome photos with me holding the baby right after he was born. Many of my close friends came as soon as they heard I was in the hospital and stayed until Edmund was born. WOW.

God is good and we are thrilled to have little Edmund David in our lives and at home with us now. He is such a good baby and more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Continuing the countdown to baby...

With only 38 days left to go, my pregnancy continues to go well. I'm tired, but can't complain too much. The baby does love to move onto my sciatic nerve once in awhile when I'm sleeping, but that's just more annoying that anything else. I expect the aches and pain. Not much swelling, however, I have managed to cash in on a weird pregnancy side effect...

I've developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from pregnancy. I had never heard of that happening, but I guess it is actually quite common. The extra fluid from pregnancy gets in the wrist joint and pushes on the nerve. I haven't really swollen much, but I have noticed my knuckles getting a little bigger. This just started a few days ago and has made sleep difficult (on top of getting up to pee every two hours). I found, however, a brace yesterday to wear to bed and it helped tons. I was able to somewhat sleep through the night without my fingers going numb and pain radiating into my elbow. Woo hoo! My right hand is the main problem. I didn't bother buying a brace for my left hand, so it had some numbness, but nothing like what I experienced in my right hand. So weird.

Tomorrow Walter and I have our Baby Care Basics class. Yea! I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be nice to learn how to bath a newborn, etc. The baby seems to be doing fine and moving around a lot. I have another check-up on Thursday.

In other news, today is Walter's birthday! Yea! I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is an amazing man and wonderful husband. And I know he'll be a fantastic father.

This past weekend, I went scrapbooking with some friends. It was so much fun and I got a lot done (although, I didn't bring enough photos). I even started working on the baby's album -- put in my baby shower photos. Speaking of showers...Walter's mom is throwing a baby shower for me this Saturday. It should be a lot of fun. I've received so much from people already, but there is still so much on my registry that I need for the baby. And I'm inheriting a bunch of stuff from my sister! Two things I don't need are pacifiers and bibs -- I have received tons of those!

We have our stroller and car seat travel system AND I LOVE IT! I need to go have it installed in my car. I had my parents make it my birthday present (birthday isn't until December 13th) -- can't leave the hospital without one. I can't believe he'll be here so soon...my life is really about to change... :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

32 week Ultrasound update

Well, I had another ultrasound this past Wednesday to check on the growth of baby Nski and he is doing great! All his measurements were perfect and he weighs 4lbs 10oz. I also made sure that they checked again to see if he is a boy and they pointed out everything to me. It's a boy. Whew! It also looks like my due date is still correct (was kind of hoping it would move up. Oh well). It's amazing the difference you can see between a 21 weeks and an almost 33 weeks ultrasound. The ultrasound wand was right on his face and so far, I think he looks like his daddy, but we'll see if that's true when he's born. I also got to see his heart, bladder, stomach, kidneys, etc. I'm so thankful to God that my baby boy is doing so well. The body is amazing -- it will feed and protect a child before the mother, so even when I forget to eat, etc. my boy is still healthy and growing. Despite my faults and weaknesses, God is creating a beautiful boy within me. :)

In other news...only 7 more weeks!! Yea!!! :) I was thinking this past week...as impatient I am for this baby to come, it doesn't even compare to waiting for a wedding. I remember thinking my wedding day would NEVER come, while I know that this baby will.

I finally found a floor lamp for the baby's room! I've been trying not to spend too much money, but still get a good lamp. Well, they just recently opened a Land of Nod outlet (Crate and Barrel's kid store) in Naperville and I found the perfect lamp last night at the outlet and with an additional 40% off, I got it for $29! Now I just need to find a lamp shade...

I washed all the baby clothes that I have right now and the baby's room is coming together. We need to hang some stuff on the wall, but that's no big deal. We haven't gone over a lot of birthing stuff together yet, and that makes me a little anxious, but I'm sure we'll find some time soon. I've been watching a DVD about caring for a newborn, etc. It's been very informative so far.

That's all for now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eight weeks to go!

Wow, I can't believe I'm at 32 weeks. It is going by quickly, although I'm getting impatient. I'm hoping the little guy decides to come a week early. :) I know, first children are often late, however, both my mom and sister were early with their firsts...

Walter took a "Boot Camp for New Dads" class this past Saturday and we had our Maternity Unit tour on Tuesday. It was so much fun and I think it's finally hitting Walter that the baby will be here before we know it. As women, we have months in which we watch our body changes, etc. and think about the baby, but I don't think it hits the men until later. :) We still don't have a name. The list is at 15 right now, so we really need to narrow things down. I picked out my top 5 and now I need to have Walter do the same and then we can compare lists. Obviously, with the last name Niesluchowski, we have to have a simple first name and one that won't be ridiculed or tough to spell.

I had my first baby shower on Sunday and it was wonderful. I am so blessed to have so many friends who love and care for me. My sister is amazing and she worked with a group of my friends to organize and run everything. I'm humbled that so many people came out -- it always blows me away to think that there are people out there who really care for me -- and everyone was SO generous.

Two weekends ago, Walter ran and finished the Chicago Marathon. I am so incredibly proud of him! He did a great job and trained for it in only 5 weeks! He's such a stud. ;) My cousin's wedding was in the afternoon and was so much fun. It was an incredibly busy weekend.

I have another ultrasound this coming Wednesday (to check the growth of the baby, etc.). I'm looking forward to seeing the little guy again. I wonder what the pictures will look like this time...Pray that everything looks good.

I'll try to post again soon. I haven't been doing a good job so far...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Third trimester!

Okay, I guess it's time to report in. Didn't really have much to say for awhile, but since I'm now in my third trimester...

Baby boy Nski is doing great! He's moving all over the place and at my last appointment, his heartbeat was at 130bpm. I'm feeling great, although suffering through a cold right now. Ugh. I've also developed Achilles Tendinitis in my right foot. NOT FUN. Of course, I am horrible about letting it rest. So, I run one day (yep, still running and desparately need some new workout clothes) and then can hardly walk, so I go for a walk (still hobbling) the next day. Take a day off and repeat the cycle. I know, I need help. :)

In August, my sister helped me register at Babies 'R Us. It was so much fun! I also have a registry on Amazon.com, since you can find almost anything on Amazon these days. :)

My brother-in-law finished painting the baby's room this past week (he's an AWESOME painter -- if anyone needs a painter...) and the baby's furniture was delivered this past Wednesday! Yea! I'm so excited to get the baby's room together. Too bad I still have three months to go until he arrives. Walter is trying to get me to slow down a little bit. :)

In other news...Walter has decided to run the Chicago Marathon in October with Livestrong (raising money for cancer research). I'm so proud of him and I'll be there to cheer him on. Later that day we have my cousin's wedding in the city, so it will be a busy busy day! Please keep him in your prayers.

Friday, August 07, 2009

It's a...

Yesterday morning, I had my 21 week ultrasound. It was awesome and I'm so glad Walter got to be there too. :) The baby is perfect! You might not know, but I have a partial seizure disorder and am on seizure medication (have to stay on it while pregnant). Because of this, the doctor was looking for some specific things with the baby -- spine, heart, and lips (a side effect can be a cleft lip). The spine looks great, I could easily see the four chambers of the heart working -- which was SO COOL -- and the lips are perfect. Yea! He does want me to come in for another ultrasound at 32 weeks, just to keep track of the baby's growth -- positive side: get another ultrasound! The doctor was also very encouraging regarding my medicine. The medicine I'm on, Lamictal, has very few side effects for me (which I knew) AND low fetal side effects. Whew! I had to switch neurologists during my pregnancy (insurance issues) and he made me worry, etc. (In general, I'm finding that neurologists are very intimidating...). The doctor who did my ultrasound was AWESOME.

Oh yeah, and the doctor agreed with the ultrasound technician and said it is definitely a boy! It's so fun to know and I can't stop smiling after all the good news and finding out the sex of my baby. I'm ready to do some shopping!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Halfway there!

It's hard to believe that I am already 20 weeks and halfway there! My uterus has moved up to my bellybutton and I am definitely starting to show more now. I wore my first maternity shirt last week (that I bought in Texas). So much fun!

I'm already so excited for our precious child. Walter and I went crib/baby's room shopping this past weekend and found exactly what we wanted. :) It was so much fun. This coming Thursday is our ultrasound. Woohoo! Finally. We have been planning to find out the sex of the baby, but now we're thinking about waiting. Why? I realize that the way we want to decorate the room and the bedding we found are all gender neutral (not a pink person myself, so that was out of the picture for a girl's room). Who knows? Well see what we decide come Thursday morning.

Now, I'm starting to figure out childbirth classes. My friend introduced me to the Bradley Method -- an approach to natural childbirth. I am looking to start taking classes using that method. The class meets for 12 weeks and starts the end of August, so Walter and I need to decide soon.

Still need to buy a body pillow. Considering my pregnancy brain has KILLED my memory, we'll see if I ever make it to the store (thank goodness for Amazon)! I can't even remember to buy presents for people -- I've always been bad about it, but now it is REALLY bad. I'm surprised my lack of memory hasn't driven Walter insane yet. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Texas and baby


Just got back last night from Texas. I flew to Fort Worth on Wednesday for our Premier Designs National Rally. It was so much fun! They introduced the new jewelry line and new catalogs on Thursday. Woo hoo! On Saturday, I flew from Fort Worth to Houston to visit my friend, Brooke. We had SO MUCH FUN!! Even if we haven't seen each other in a while, the conversation is easy and it seems like no time has passed. I'm so blessed to have her as my friend. We did a variety of things together and went maternity clothes shopping. Yea!! Other than my BellaBand, I bought my first maternity clothes. :)

My trip was great, but it was a long time to be away from my husband. I missed Walter SO MUCH and it is so nice to be with him again. He needs to come with me to Texas next time. :)

So, I'm 18 weeks and five days today. My ultrasound is in two weeks from tomorrow (August 6th). I've posted a picture that I took a few days ago. It is really hard to take a picture with your phone while standing sideways. :)

A really cool thing that happened during my trip to Texas is that I started to feel the baby move! It's still really faint, but so nice to feel. I couldn't wait to tell Walter. :) I am also starting to get hungry ALL THE TIME. That is really unusal for me -- I'm the person who can actually forget to eat. Not anymore. If I don't have food for that baby, I start to feel lightheaded. I seriously have to snack every two hours. Oh, and I'm still chugging my milk nonstop.

It is fun and miraculous to watch the changes happening to my body. It's weird, yet wonderful. I'm so thankful to have a wondeful husband who constantly shows how much he loves me, supports me, and encourages me. I'm so glad we're in this together -- I wouldn't choose anyone else.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

17 weeks, 4 days

Had another doctor's appointment last week and everything went well. The baby's heartbeat was at 142 and I'm doing great with blood pressure and weight gain. I was all excited to schedule my ultrasound that day, but found out that I had to wait to hear from the hospital. Because of my seizure disorder, I have to have a Level 2 ultrasound so that they can get a really good look at the spine. Not fun to hear, but I will have really good pictures. :) I finally talked to the hospital yesterday and my ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, August 6th at 7:45am (for this ultrasound, they wait until I'm 21 weeks). I am SO excited and impatient -- I want to know if baby Nski is a boy or girl! I can't believe I have THREE MORE WEEKS until I find out.

Walter was in DC this past Friday-Monday with our church high school youth group. Everyone had a great time, but it is great to have him home. Of course, I leave tomorrow for Texas. I'll be in Fort Worth, TX on Wednesday-Saturday for Premier Design's National Rally (my jewelry business). Then I head to Houston, TX Saturday-Tuesday to visit my college roommate and dear friend, Brooke. I am SOOO excited to see her!! She is pregnant (but with her second child) and due in February! We'll have to go maternity shopping together. :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sleeping advice

I love being pregnant, however, I didn't expect my sleep to get altered this much already...I need some advice.

This side sleeping thing is a real drag. I prefer to sleep on my back, hands folded on my chest, and not move. I easily fall asleep and remain comfortable that way. Well, as this pregnancy progresses, I have to sleep on my side. My hips and shoulders hurt when I sleep on my side. I don't know where to put my arms. I don't like having my face stuffed in my pillow. Blah, blah, blah. Thankfully, my doctor did say that I can somewhat lay on my back -- just put a pillow under one side of me so my body is angled a little bit. That does help me to fall asleep, but I still have to adjust during the night. (Of course, I have the additional fun of having to go to the bathroom at least once -- many times twice -- a night...what in the world will it be like towards the end of my pregnancy?! I'll have to bring a pillow to the bathroom with me! Ha!) Thankfully, I don't seem to be waking

So, all of you who have been pregnant before, any ideas of how to sleep comfortably on my side? I know there are those body pillows...do you wrap it behind you? Does it allow you to lean backwards into it? What about the pillows that you just use for your belly and between your legs?

I will be SO happy to sleep on my back again after I have this baby! :)

I've started looking at cribs, etc. Is it too soon?

People ask me if I crave anything...not really, but I do drink a gallon of milk in 2-3 days and have been eating watermelon whenever I get a chance. Walter's lucky if he gets any to eat! I'm so glad it's summer. I'm a huge fruit eater, so it's so nice to have good fresh fruit (not just apples and bananas like in the winter). I need to find a Farmer's Market to go to that is open on my days off from work...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Still not showing...

I'm 14 weeks and 3 days today and STILL waiting to see a pregnancy bump. I mean, I can totally see my body change and there is a little something there, but with clothes on, it is hard to see anything and no one would know I'm pregnant. My friend, Nikki, is due only three days before me and she has the cutest pregnancy bump! Oh well, it will be here soon, I'm sure.

It's funny how you feel during the beginning weeks of the second trimester -- I find that my fatigue isn't so bad, etc., but you can't feel the baby move, etc., so now I can't wait until my appointment on July 8th so I can hear the heartbeat again. Maybe I should buy one of those at home ones so I can worry less.

It's finally summer in Chicago. Yea!! 90s and humid this week -- makes for some good thunderstorms which I LOVE (but scares the dog half to death -- poor girl). I'm not a real dress girl, but I so want to get a couple of cute sundresses. They would be so nice and cool and easy to wear as my belly gets bigger. Think I'll check out Old Navy...since I'll be buying maternity clothes soon, I don't want to spend a lot of money.

I'm thinking of teaching voice lessons again. Looks like I might be able to get a piano and once I get that I can have people over for lessons. :) Yea!!! It would be a great thing to do after the baby comes -- don't have to leave the house. Plus, I REALLY miss sitting down and playing the piano. It would be nice to even start taking lessons again.

As always, Walter is an amazing husband and I am so blessed to have him. :) He is going to be an AWESOME dad!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oh yeah, I forgot...

The other thing about running the half-marathon this past Sunday is that I was 12 weeks pregnant. What?! Yep, you heard me. I'm now thirteen weeks pregnant. SURPRISE!! :) Walter and I are super excited and the baby is due December 18th (my birthday is December 13th!).

Obviously, we didn't want to completely announce it until the end of my first trimester, when the risk of a miscarriage is reduced. I feel great and haven't had much morning sickness (just felt a little 'ugh' once in a while). I just had an INCREDIBLE amount of fatigue -- getting out of bed seemed to take everything out of me. So, if I've seemed a little bit out of it the past couple of months, that's why. Walter has been great, even though I've been too tired to even clean the house. :) Thankfully, I have started to feel TONS better this week.

Gotta go to bed, but I'll post more later! :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

So Proud!

I am so incredibly proud of my sister!

This past Sunday, my sister and I ran a half marathon in Chicago. This was a huge accomplishment for my sister. She had never really run before and decided three months ago to make this her goal (most people start with a 5k, but us Veermans like to take on a real challenge :) ). We signed up for the race and I created a training plan for her. I know it was difficult at times for her, but she persevered through the training -- even threw up after one of her runs. Now that's a champion! Oh yeah, did I mention that she just delivered her third child only six months ago!

We got up EARLY Sunday morning and headed to the city. Kara was incredibly excited and nervous. She had worked so hard and had so many people rooting for her... I decided to run beside her the whole race and I'm so glad I did. I told here there was no way in he** I was going to let her quit and knew that I would drag her to the finish if I had to. :) I found myself tearing up as we came around the home stretch because I am so proud of her. She is an amazing woman and I keep thinking about what she has just modeled to her own children. I know they are incredibly proud of her as well (and bummed they couldn't see her run. Although they would have been completely bored since they are only 4 and 6). Plus, she got a cool medal for finishing it. :)

Anyways, just wanted to pass on how proud I am of her and how much I love her. We actually got to spend a lot of the weekend together -- Friday evening/night we headed to the city to pick-up our race packets, had dinner at Adobo Grill (YUM! -- one of my favorite Mexican restaurants) in Old Town (Pipers Alley), and then headed to the Cadillac Theatre to see "Mary Poppins." I have a wonderful sister. Way to go, Kara!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dancing With the Stars vs American Idol -- guess who got it right?

Yes, the DWTS finale was Tuesday and the American Idol finale on Wednesday, so you might have wondered why I have written yet. Well, it's pretty much that I've been trying to process things and calm down, etc. :)

On a positive note, let's start with Dancing With the Stars. I was expecting Giles to win, so it was a surprise that Shawn won. Pretty cool -- I voted for her. Here's the deal: she brought it during the freestyle routine. Past shows have proven that often the person who does the best freestyle routine wins. The best example is when Drew Lachey won DWTS (I can't remember what season -- 2?). Drew and Stacy were the best two dancers. Stacy's freestyle was pathetic and Drew's freestyle is still one of my favorite dances. Drew won. Kudos to Shawn. She did an amazing job -- especially for begin only 17. You can tell she's a competitor and can handle criticism -- she always kept her composure.

Now onto American Idol...

Ugh, America, you've let me down again. Quick side note...here's another reason why DWTS has a better voting system: not only do the judges votes count, BUT you have a limited number of votes. I find it humorous when AI talks about 800 million votes. Well, I voted at least 20 times (yes, I actually voted!), and I know there are plenty of people who would have voted WAY more times. SO LAME Amercian Idol. You need to fix your voting system.

You all know that I'm incredibly disappointed that Kris won (he is talented, I won't discredit him, and he really brought it the past weeks, but Adam is still better). But, I realize that his style and sound of music (college, acoustic, etc.) appeals to a large number of viewers - moms, tween and teen girls, etc. I'm still disappointed though. The thing is, I know a rocker can win (David Cook -- way to go America last year! :) ), so the real reason Adam lost was that the Danny fans and the people who disliked Adam for some dumb reason voted for Kris.

I've only seen the last half hour of the results show (taped the rest), but when Adam and Kris sang Queen's "We Are the Champions"...you SERIOUSLY think Kris is better! Hearing the two of them sing together showed how much better Adam is. Still wish Allison and Adam were in the final...Oh well. What's done is done. Congrats, Kris.

USA Today had an article talking about how Adam is so much more marketable than Kris. Adam's got the personality and flair to have the endorsements and advertisements. Even though Kris is the "All-American boy," he's limited in his ability to draw people marketing-wise. Again, I agree. Heck, Adam was on the cover of Entertainment weekly a couple of weeks ago! I also respect that Adam didn't talk much about what people thought of him, the rumors, etc. I'm a private person and I understand and respect that. Danny was the widowed worship leader, Kris the married college student, Adam the...um...the... Exactly. I think he was smart. I'm sure there are a million celebrities who wish people didn't know so much about their lives!

*Side note: I do feel bad for Kris that his first song recording will be "No Boundaries." That song is SO cheezy!!! AND it's absolutely horrible for his voice! Poor, poor Kris.*

Here's a key thing: I'm really going to miss seeing Adam perform each week. He's the only contestant that I found myself rewinding so I could hear his perfomance again. Each week, I didn't care tons about the other singers -- I couldn't wait till I got to hear Adam's song and what he would do with it. To me, that shows an amazing performer. I could listen to him over and over. Even though he didn't win, people will always know who he is and he will go far in this business. I already can't wait till he brings out an album and he would be AWESOME to see in concert. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DWTS Finale

I got to watch the Dancing with the Stars finale last night!! Woo hoo!! Everyone really did a great job and Shawn, Giles, and Melissa are definitely the three that should be there. So, last night...

I agree with everything the judges said. In the freestyle, Shawn was amazing. Her dance was fun, had a lot of tricks but also a lot of dancing. They were really in sync. Melissa was a disappointment. VERY disjointed and un-entertaining. Even the audience thought so (if you listen, the response was A LOT less than the response to Shawn and Mark's dance).

Here's what is really disappointing: Tony is a great professional dancer, but he bombs in the finals. He had Stacy Keebler in the finals and she did one of the most boring freestyle routines and it didn't highlight her talent at all. And he did the same thing with Melissa. Gotta blame that on the professional. I think that Shawn should be above Melissa not just because of the freestyle dance (Shawn got a perfect score), but becuase Shawn does her routines almost flawlessly everytime and she really becomes a part of the dance. Melissa misses a lot of her steps and there is sometimes a disconnect. PLUS, what really aggravates me about Melissa is that her outfits are getting skimpier and skimpier. It's almost as if she is trying to win the audience over with her body and not her ability (plus, many of her fans want her to succeed because they feel bad for her and what happened on "The Bachelor").

Giles has been the frontrunner all the way, even getting comments from the judges that it was hard to tell who the professional dancer is -- plus, his partner is Cheryl and she's awesome. His freestyle fell a little bit short as well. Cheryl does amazing freestyle routines (amazing routines, in general), so I was surprised that this was a little sub-par, especially since she is dancing with one of the best partners she has had EVER on DWTS. Giles, however, will probably win (and rightfully should) because he is an amazing dancer.

So, here's how I think things should look: Winner -- Giles; 2nd place -- Shawn; 3rd place -- Melissa. I guess we'll see tonight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

American Idol -- can you believe I'm actually following it?!

This is the first year that I've followed American Idol. I started to get into it some last year -- watched most of the stuff through YouTube -- mainly because I really liked David Cook. I refused to watch AI for years but finally gave in.

I have really enjoyed the season. Adam Lambert is by far the best one and so amazing to watch. It seems like most people either love him or hate him, and this is what I have to say: There is no denying that he is the best vocalist, musician, and performer in this competition. Some people thinks he is cocky, but I think he's confident. He's been able to come out and have great performances EVERY NIGHT. Plus, whether or not you think he's cocky, whether or not you believe he is gay, HE IS THE BEST MUSICIAN! He deserves to win.

I think all three of the contestants really brought their A game this past week. Danny's "You Are So Beautiful" moved me to tears -- especially on the results show when I kept picturing him singing it about his deceased wife. Adam's version of U2's "One" was a great tribute to the band -- he stayed true at the beginning and then brought some of his own feeling into it. Even though he changed it some, the message of the song was brought out just as much as in the original.

Okay, now I might offend some people here, but this is my opinion on Kris: he should have been voted out two weeks ago, when Allison got voted off the show. I hear so many people talk about his potential, but I haven't seen him live up to it yet. He does too many catches and swoops with his voice instead of varying the sound. I feel like people vote for him because he is a pretty boy and comes across very humble. People vote for Kris not because he is the best, but simply because they don't like Adam.

This is what's hard about a show based totally on America -- the majority don't know what it takes to be a good musician and performer. As you know, "Dancing With the Stars" is one of my favorite shows. And what I really like is that the judges' score counts for half and the viewers' score counts for the other half. So, the people WHO REALLY KNOW ABOUT DANCE get a say, but America can still rally around their favorites. BTW, the top three this week (Giles, Melissa, and Shawn) are exactly who should be there. Way to go, America!

BTW, now that I'm on a rant :), does Kara (the new Idol judge) drive anyone else crazy? I think she adds a lot of great information and counteracts Paula, but she talks SO much. The more she talks, the more Paula talks. Honestly, the only person I really care to listen to is Simon. :)

Ha ha! I'm getting really animated while writing this blog. :)

Look, here's the deal: As you know, I'm very conservative in my views. But I don't think Adam should get penalized for possibly being gay. He's a great musician. Period. God has given him a gift and who knows what God will be capable of doing with it. Have you ever been passed by on something simply for being a Christian? Or for having conservative values?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Whew!...Ugh...Oh boy!

That's it! I can't do it! I can't seem to keep up with this blog thing. I mean, how could I have not updated on all the AWESOME things that have been happening in my life. Time flies!! Guess I need to play catch-up...AGAIN.

Walter and I went on our Caribbean cruise the end of February (flew home on our wedding anniversary -- March 2nd). I can't believe we've been married two years. I am so blessed to have married my best friend. Everything is better when I'm with him. :) Anyways, back to the cruise. We left out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and went to Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Thomas then back to San Juan. It was AWESOME and Grenada was my favorite -- the people are SO nice and we had the best tour guide ever. I also enjoyed St. Thomas where Walter and I rented a scooter and went all over the island. We got to see everything!

I now only work part-time for my dad at Livingstone -- Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. It's been great. We've been struggling some with work, so I feel so much more productive and I have time to do Premier stuff during the day and not spend the evenings Walter and I have together doing it. And I DID do Women's Bible Study this past semester! :)

There's probably so much more I could post, but I need to get back to work. I do have a lot of cool stuff coming up, so I should be posting again soon. REMIND ME!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Okay, so I lied!

I know, I know...I never posted a picture of that haircut (going again tomorrow to get it cut and highlighted -- yes, I admit that my hair color is partially fake). Not gonna promise to post a pic -- if you're on facebook, you can see photos of me there. :)

I keep talking about doing better about blogging, but still I suck. Maybe it's because I don't have much to write about. Maybe I'm just lazy. Or maybe I have too much to write about (yeah, that's not it). I guess once I have kids I'll do better. :) No, I'm not pregnant. That I will post on here right away. :)

My 30th birthday (December 13th) was AWESOME! Walter and my friends threw me a surprise party the end of November (Scavenger hunt -- Chicago Cubs and Bears theme -- ROCK ON!). My sister is amazing -- she went around town hiding clues THREE DAYS AFTER HAVING A BABY! That's incredible. Maybe one day I'll be as cool as her. ;) The day of my birthday was busy but great -- lunch with the fam at Egg Harbor in downtown Naperville, Walter surprised me with our own mini-celebration, Growth Group Christmas party in the evening. I am so loved and so blessed.

We had a wonderful Christmas (celebrated with BOTH families that day -- kind of crazy!) and a fun New Year's Eve/Day.

I am so excited for 2009 and all the possibilities. Even with the slow economy, my jewelry business continues to thrive. I've reduced my hours at Livingstone to spend more time focused on it and to clean the house -- he he. Plus, I'll be able to go to Women's Bible Study at church (for those of you who might not know, this is HUGE because I tend to avoid women groups where I have to share, etc.). With the regular hours Walter has with his new job, he seems to have a new lease on life -- rested, less stressed, and enjoying the time with me. It's SO great to have him around. The end of February, we are going on a Carribean cruise -- SO PUMPED!! It will be great to get away. This replaces the Alaskan cruise we were supposed to go on this past September and had to cancel at the last second.

This past Sunday, Walter's brother, Mario, and his wife, Micki, came over to hang out (Mario was painting our laundry room -- AMAZING painter...I can give you his number). Micki and I get along super well. We had a lot of time to talk and it was AWESOME! I'm thankful for her.

Not sure what else to say...I'm supposed to be working...my nieces are ADORABLE...my friend Amanda has one of the cutest babies ever (he he -- I know you're one of the only people who read this blog!)...Julie's girl, Kate, is precious (shout outo to my other reader)...

Oh yeah! We have our Regional Rally for my Premier Designs jewelry business this Friday and Saturday in Des Moines, IA and GUESS WHAT?! They asked me to sing at it!! I'm so excited. Pray for me -- I sing Saturday afternoon. :)

Seriously, God has bless me with amazing friends and an amazing Growth Group. I have really begun to experience for the first time what true Christian community is -- they have surrounded Walter and I with love and care.

2009 is going to be great. I can tell. I can't wait to see what God has in store this year.