Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Want to Fast Forward This Week

Oh my gosh, what a week it's been. SO much has happened, and SO much is threatening to happen if something very important doesn't happen. Let me explain.

First, the easy to describe part: hubby, Melissa and I have a trip to Brazil scheduled for this Friday. Awesome, right? Well, it will be, as long as I get the 2 dang passports we need (my renewed one and Melissa's), that over a month ago they guaranteed me it would arrive before this trip!! As far as I knew, this is over 2 weeks late. AND it's supposed to be express mail, from San Francisco - so if they sent me (which I'm hoping so!) it would've arrived the next day. I'm FREAKING OUT. Every time I look out the window and the USPS lady isn't there I feel my heart break, much like in my teenage ears when I'd expect a call/email from the crush of the moment. I'm a mess, you guys. I'm too hormonal to deal with this much anxiety.

If these passports don't come, of course we'll have to postpone the trip - and as upsetting as it is, it'd actually be the least of our problems. The tricky thing would be to figure out for when. I've called the consulate a million times to find out what the heck happened to our passports and no. one. EVER. answeeeeers!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO angry you guys have no idea. I've left 4 (or maybe 5) messages on the verge of tears pleading for them to get back to me, and nothing. Honestly, I don't think anybody even cares to check the messages there. Before you have a chance to leave a message, there's this ridiculously long recording (like 5 minutes) describing their requirements for documents (which you can also find on the website). So I guess they just assume this is all we need. Ugh!!! And to think that David and I couldn't stop talking about how nice everybody was when we went there.

So, believe it or not, this was the easy part to describe :). The hard part, and that might seem very sudden to our friends is that we have made the official decision to move to Texas. Not just, in the future, but soon. Like 2 months from now. More specifically, September 1st.

We'll try emailing our closest friends to tell more details about it, but sorry if we take a bit - we're still up in the air with this whole trip situation, and also with the things to figure out for the move. It's sudden for us too! But trust us, we're really, really happy about it. We've always thought of going there at some point (to raise our kids near family), and it seems like this is the first time we feel complete peace about it.

I don't want to give too many details here on the blog for the world to see, but we WILL explain it all to our friends eventually, please be patient. Just pray that we'll get through this week and maybe even make it to the plane on Friday. Oh, God, please. We REALLY need this vacation.

**Update: Good news - we got the passports!! They were on the consulate all this time, can you believe it?? The complicated news is that we realized that if we waited until September to travel (right before our move to Texas) we'd save a LOT of money. So I guess God allowed this for us to realize it. I'm sad I'm not arriving in Brazil right now, but glad we'll have a little more savings to help us with the transition. THANKS to everyone that prayed/sent happy thoughts!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aaaah!! There's Another Baby Inside Me!!!

If anyone wondered why I haven't posted nearly as often as I used to, here's the reason...

Here we go again!!!!!!! :D 10 weeks on Thursday - due date January 20th 2012.

I couldn't believe how quickly the positive line appeared. And it was even stronger than the one that shows the test is working! With Melissa, all I'd gotten was a very faint one.

So forgive me for my lack of creativity lately, I've just been trying to exist without puking on my child. Even though much like my first pregnancy, I haven't actually puked, but feel on the edge of it almost constantly. It SUCKS. Big time.

I look at all the people I know that might think pregnancy is this dream experience, and I'll tell you, it is NOT. You might be thrilled about the idea before it actually happens, but once you are, well, let's just say it's really hard to be nauseated AND excited. While your toddler whines in confusion of why you're not so playful anymore.

Of course I'm generalizing - I'm sure a lot of preggies out there have wonderful symptom-free pregnancies and/or a much much better attitude than mine. Or better hormones, it may be. I feel so altered I can't even stand myself. At least this time I know I'm not going crazy and this does not mean that my motherly skills are doomed (as I feared in my first), so I just put up with it with a fake smile. Most of the time.

Okay, before I sound like the grounchy old pregnant witch of the west... There are some things that make me smile. Such as:

Melissa's little girl-ness. The way she snuggles with her stuffed animals, dances and sings to herself. It makes me hopeful that, one day, I'll have two kids being this cute. Which is totally worth the first crazy months I heard of about having two kids.

The un-mystery of labor. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I've already pushed a baby out once. And I didn't die. Neither did my organs all fall out from the gigantic whole caused by the baby's head. I know, I'm being dramatic, but this was my subconscious fear. I just couldn't imagine going through this and surviving, or at least dying of pain. But I'm happy to say it didn't hurt much more than a bad constipation.

The lower expectations. Much like your wedding, the first time you have this unrealistic view of what carrying a child should feel like. I thought it'd be magical 100% of the time, and since I'd always loved how pregnant women looked, I thought I'd feel like a goddess. Uh, not so. But at least this time I have no unrealistic hopes about still having ankles at the end of this. Which is strangely freeing.

The lower fear. I think the biggest characteristic of my first pregnancy was sheer panic. Panic that anything would happen to the baby, that I'd feel miserable forever, that I'd permanently morph into a whale. Not that the worry about the baby or myself ever goes away - it kinda comes with the fetus! - but at least I'm happy to report I'm not NEARLY as terrified as the other time. I think then I walked around in a constant deer-in-the-headlights state. Now, chasing Melissa, I don't even have time to panic as much. Besides, I'm much more confident I'm gonna like the end results :).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

First, pause for *squeeeeeeeal* about receiving this not yet published book of my very first favorite author! She asked on her newsletter if any bloggers would be interested, and I was like, "YES!! Pick MEEEE!!!"

Ahem. Okay, let me compose myself. I should give you guys a little history: when I was 13 (14 years ago), still living in Brazil, I discovered her Christy Miller Series. Back then, you couldn't find Christian teen novels, at least not contemporary ones that were as fun as hers. I was so hooked that, for my 16th birthday, I asked for 12 of her books ordered by Amazon (since not all of her series had been translated to Portuguese yet). So for entire 6 months, you'd only find me buried behind them, which probably hurt my social life, come to think about it. But I never noticed. It was an absolute dream.

The reason I mention this is that in Canary Island Song (which is for an older audience), there's not one, but two people who've been mentioned in her teen series. I think all of her longtime readers will agree with me that it's created an addiction that will not go away. We will forever wonder what happened to Christy & Todd, Katie Weldon and Sierra Jensen. Aah... I feel like I'm talking about my high school best friends. Which is making me sound more like a nerd. So back to the new book.

Another cool thing about it is that the main character lives in San Francisco (though she's out on a trip for most of the story), and I live in this area (just about an hour away). Also, Robin's description of the Canary Islands kind of reminded me of my homeland. Not exactly - the culture is still different, but just the concept of a more laid back approach to life. I think there is more of a mindset to enjoy life than I find here in the States. Though honestly, I don't think one place is better than the other, they're just different! But reading this book actually made me homesick, which I didn't anticipate.

I liked the character's transformation on her trip, but during the middle of the story I think I just missed more interaction between her and Brian. I think the author wanted to focus on her healing first and then unravel their relationship, but I found myself reading as fast as I could just to get to their dates haha. But I guess that's just me - I'm an EAGER reader. If you give me a potential couple in the beginning, from then on all I'll be thinking is, "have they kissed yet??" :) What I've been trying to learn is to enjoy the ride (also as a writer).

To sum it up, it's a lovely story about how we need God's healing in order to move forward and enjoy what's next in our lives. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: Robin's an ending expert. Even if you can already tell where she's going, she makes it happen in a way that still surprises you. Then you're like: "I knew they'd end up together, why am I tearing up??" Because she's an artist, that's why. And because she writes with her heart.

So without further ado, here's the publisher's description:

When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to "get a life," Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

Author Bio
Robin Jones Gunn is the much-loved author of seventy titles that have sold more than four million copies worldwide. Her popular Christy Miller series and Sisterchicks® novels have won a number of awards, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and a Gold Medallion Award finalist award. Robin's unique destination novels transport readers around the globe. To ensure that her tales of these extraordinary locations ring true, Robin has enjoyed the privilege of traveling to each location in order to experience the local culture. Her three visits to the Canary Islands provided bountiful research as she took flamenco dance lessons, rode a camel, and visited the chapel where Columbus prayed before departing on his famous journey. Robin and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

You can order this book on Christianbook here. It will be released on 07/05/11.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mornings With Melissa

I'm SO happy when you come get me!

But wait! I have to finish jumping up and down first.

Actually, it's just kind of fun to watch you try to catch me.

You'd never guess I was screaming bloody murder just a minute ago.