Thursday, May 27, 2010

Model Behavior

A few months back my friend (who was in cosmetology school) asked me to be her hair model for a photo shoot. I went into the school, got my hair done, make up done, and Grace was doted on by some of the other students. Spa day and babysitting? Best day ever.

Didn't she do an amazing job?

I wish that I could say I'm super awesome at modeling and that it totally comes natural to pose in front of a photographer. This is definitely not the case for me. I was so nervous that I was laughing the entire time. I kept asking the guy what I should do or how I should pose, and he kept telling me to do things like this:
It was awkward. Melanie and I got a good laugh out of it.

Mel is incredibly talented. Did you know she was offered a job before she even graduated? She is amazing. Anyway, I'm just glad that I was able to help her out (and I'm really glad that she is the person who cuts my hair).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Golden Birthday

This year I celebrated my Golden Birthday
If you don't know what that is, it means the year that you turn and the day of your birthday is the same.

I celebrated my 24th birthday on the 24th

I felt really cool

We had a little get together the weekend before my birthday. Pretty low key: costco pizza (which seems to be a celebration staple in our family), diet coke, chocolate cake, and games.

I love playing games.

Our friends the Sagers introduced me to a new game. You put on sound canceling headphones and you sing along with a song and everyone has to try to guess which song you are singing.

We were able to go up as couples. It inspired impromptu sing alongs, and really stellar dance moves
and it was absolutely hilarious. I loved it.
Blowing out the imaginary candles
The group
The necessary funny face picture
Monday was my actual birthday.
24 on the 24th... woot!

I went to work, then out to lunch (Togos of course) with some girlfriends. My favorite thing on the menu just happened to be a #24: Turkey and Avocado.
Cue twilight zone music.

Aaron was able to get off work early so we could head out to dinner
(which was a gift in and of itself)

When we got the bill I thought it was amazing that it came out to $24 even.
Continue with twilight zone music...
Instead of cake I wanted homemade chocolate chip cookies. My friend Mel was awesome and made me a batch. Then we had the gift opening.
The night was topped off with the Bachelorette premiere. Aaron even watched it with me, what a good husband
It was an incredible birthday. Thank you to everyone who made it so special, I am one lucky girl.

I have also been informed that being 24 gives me special Jack Bauer powers. I'm pretty excited to use my new found powers and now I have the sudden urge to protect the president.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Pool Is Open

Last weekend it felt like summer had officially begun

We grilled some burgers, ate outside, and dusted off our swim suits.

We put Grace in her first little swim suit and prepped ourselves for the "first reaction" shot of her entering the pool.

We got nothing. No cry. No jump. Nothing.
I guess I shouldn't have expected anything considering the fact that the pool was heated making it a very large bath tub rather than a pool. But I guess I should be grateful that she is comfortable in water.
In true Grace fashion she immediately attempted an escape to the deeper end of the pool, so a necessary road block was made.
It was a little bright, can you tell?
Grace is now ready for the family beach trip in June.
Bring on the ocean and the never ending consumption of sand.

I love the beginnings of Summer. I hope we have many more pool filled weekends in our future.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back to Work

To make a long story short, a few months ago the stars aligned and Rachel and I realized that it would be beneficial for both parties if I came back and watched Blake a few days a week.

With Gracie in tow, what I call work actually feels more like an extended play date

Blake is very sweet to Grace, or "Gracies" as he calls her. He pats her head gently, leans down and talks to her in a high pitched voice (like adults do to kids), and gets excited when she comes over. I'm pretty sure he still doesn't know my name, but he repeats Gracies over and over.
Don't they look like an old married couple in this picture?
We try to go for walks as much as the weather permits. In the few short weeks since I've been back I've gotten many comments while walking
"How old are they?"
"He is 21 months and she is 8 months."
"Wow! You really have your hands full."
I feel no need to correct people. Its a much longer conversation trying to explain everything, so I just laugh as I walk away toting the wagon behind me.
Grace and I are having a great time with Blake and its giving me a glimpse into the life of a toddler. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Grace is as good as Blake.
One thing is for sure with this job, there is a lot of love.
Blake did this hug all on his own... the boy has skills
Its nice to be back at work

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Yesterday I celebrated my very first mother's day.

Aaron took care of everything. It provided me a lot of time to think and reflect. For some strange reason I felt like I had become part of an elite group. A group of women that knew that they would have to sacrifice everything: their body shape and health, their comfort and efficiency, their brain power and time, their date nights and sunday afternoon naps, in order to have a little piece of heaven.

Mother's come in every shape and size and what makes a mother a mother doesn't hinge on birthing a child, but hinges on the sacrifices that one makes.

Whether its the time and effort that you put into trying to conceive when the cards seemed stacked against you.

Or the determination you have and the stress you endure as you battle the legal system in order to make that precious spirit truly yours.

Or the effort you make to show those children who need it the most that you love them and care for them even when their parents seem to have given up.

Or the nine months of scarfing down wheat thins and the 12 hours of labor to bring a little life into this world.

A sacrifice is made. All for sweet children and
all for Motherhood.

I felt so honored to be a part of this group. Honored to be standing with women so willing to set themselves aside for something greater. Like my mother and sisters, mother-in-law and sisters-in-law, friends and neighbors.

It was all very humbling

To the woman who made incredible sacrifices on my behalf, Thanks Momma.

To the little one that I made a sacrifice for, I want to tell her it was/is well worth it.

What an awesome holiday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

8 Months

The Gracernator is 8 months old

Getting into everything: Check
Located the DVDs: Check
Notice the DVD dropping to the ground. You can see it to the right of her torso
Looks awesome in a sweet pair of shades: Check
Thanks for the shades Liv!
More Facts:
Crawls and scoots
Pushes up from laying down to sitting
Sleeps from 7pm to 7am (with two great naps during the day)
Always wants to be doing something or going somewhere
Pulls herself up on everything
No teeth- but we are seeing some potential
Is just like her Dad

We love her.


Aaron got the day off for our anniversary, so we made a day of it.

In classic Barnard fashion we got pizza at Costco for lunch
We walked to the park (the pizza calories weren't going to burn themselves...)

We dropped Grace off at a friend's house, got dressed up and headed to Maggiano's for dinner (Maggiano's is where we had our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding). Free Lemon cookies for dessert.. thank you very much.
I wanted to get a picture of me and Aaron dressed up. But we both got in our jammies in record time (apparently comfort is the most important thing to us). So we attempted to take pictures, in our jammies, with PhotoBooth. Honestly, this was the best picture of the bunch. Sad. Maybe we'll try again next year.
A low key celebration, but a celebration nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

4 Years

4 years later and I'm still smitten.

Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Half Marathon

I've debated whether or not I should give the long version or the short version of this story. There are very few firsts that occur later in life, so I figured I might as well give the long version while the memory is still fresh.

We drove up to Sacramento after Aaron got off work on Friday night. We left around Grace's bedtime and hoped that she would sleep in the car. She felt like a 30 minute power nap was all she needed on the two hour drive. We checked into the hotel around 10:45pm and immediately got ready for bed, set up the pack and play, and said our goodnights. My stomach was a big basket of butterflies. I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on the fact that the thought of running the next morning was making my stomach tie into knots because Grace was screaming. For the next hour we tried every method to get Grace to sleep: crying, singing, rocking, cuddling. She wanted nothing to do with any of it. I got to the point where I was begging her, "Not tonight, baby, please not tonight." Finally at 11:45pm, she fell asleep, and so did we.

My wake up call came at 6:00am. I ate a banana, chugged some water and laid back down. I didn't sleep, but I figured relaxing wouldn't hurt. At 7:00am, Aaron got up and started packing while I got dressed and ready. We headed over to the start line. There was no where to park so Aaron dropped me off. I ventured into the start area, got my number, went to the bathroom, and munched on some sport jelly beans (thanks Alie!).

As I moseyed around I felt like I was the only person there who wasn't with a group. I made my way to the crowded starting line, and as we waited for the last shuttle of people to arrive I chatted with a woman who was doing her first half marathon too. People were decked out in all sorts of running gear: belts, water bottles, braces, tape, hats. Things that I had never seen before. I felt like I was entering some sort of club for runners only. Suddenly the starting lights lit up and we were off.

For the first mile we all ran in a clump, slow and steady. I couldn't find my pace, was I going too slow or too fast? I weaved in and out of people. After the third mile things started to clear up. I found my pace and let my mind wander.

Mile 6 I started to lose energy. I grabbed a gu pack and slowly ate it. I hoped it would kick in instantly, but it didn't. I kept running, but people behind me kept passing me. Around mile 8, a good song came on my iPod and I had the sudden urge to sprint, my legs felt twitchy and the only cure was to run full speed. The gu pack had kicked in. I took off. It was the weirdest feeling. I kept thinking "Why are you running so fast? This will make you so tired." but at the same time i thought "This feels so good." After a while I slowed down and eased back into my normal pace.

Mile 9.... 4 miles to go..

Miles 10... 3 miles to go..

Mile 11.... Is that a cramp? No no no no no, I cannot be having a cramp right now. It slowly got worse. I didn't want to stop, my whole goal was to run the whole thing. Breathe in, breathe out, you can make it. As the pain got worse I started praying "Please help me so I can keep running, even if its painful please ease the pain enough so I can just keep running." My pace slowed but I still ran. I rubbed my side. It never got to the point where I needed to walk. I love the power of prayer.

Mile 12... I started seeing people with their finishers medals around their necks.... I was close to the end. The more people with medals that I saw, the more I thought, "Well rub it in why don't you!" I wanted to ask someone.. how close is the finish line from here? How much further? My side was killing me and I wanted to be done.

Then I saw the balloons. I was there. I broke out into a sprint. I think my whole body went numb as I was sprinting because I didn't feel a thing. I crossed the finish line, I had done it, I ran the whole thing even when the cramp at mile 11 tried to stop me. 2 hours, 28 minutes.
As soon as I stopped running my legs hurt. Everything from my hips down was in pain. I just kept walking. I grabbed my medal and a water bottle and went to the spot where Aaron and I were supposed to meet if we couldn't find each other. I needed to sit down and knew that if I stopped, I would be down for good.
I didn't feel an immediate sense of accomplishment. I was too tired, and too sore to really think about anything else. But now I can say that I'm so glad that I did it. I did it on my own and I did it for myself. I trained for 4 months and all my hard work paid off.
I'd like to run another one in the future and next time I'd like to go with a group of people to see how its different. If you're in the mood to run one and want a running buddy, let me know.