"I let go to transformation.

I let loose, flying off into death, birth, void, full...

I am one with the beloved again.

She died laughing.

She died in ecstasy.

She died with her eyes wide open."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The First Ultrasound

My twelve week appointment was scheduled the same day my aunt Jan was coming into town for the wedding.

I went to the Birth Center in hopes that I would hear the baby's heartbeat with the doppler. When the midwife didn't hear it she immediately called in for an ultrasound to ease my mind. I was very edgy in those first couple months and she knew I wouldn't be able to wait another four weeks.

Despite my dislike of technology, it was almost essential to my sanity at that point to see with my own eyes that my baby was okay.

I have had moments of being a completely insane pregnant woman and that was one of those days. I cried and thought the worst thoughts.

Three hours later my mom and I sat in the waiting room of obstetrix. John had to work and didn't get to see the very first ultrasound. My mom came with me for support, which I very much needed.

After an hour's wait I told my mom I wanted to go in alone. The tech was a man but was very nice and respectful. His vibe was good so I overlooked the fact that he was male :)
(It's a personal thing, I won't let men other than John have anything to do with my pregnancy or birth)

I stared at the large screen in front of me, unsure of what I was seeing until he said, "There's your baby."

If I wasn't in such total shock I would have cried. I cry looking back. In the moment I was intentionally numbing myself out in case something was wrong.
He said the baby looked great for 12 weeks and he asked if I wanted my mom to come in then. I nodded that it was okay.

She came in and the baby made a little kick / squirm and we listened to its heartbeat.
I suddenly referred to it as a "he" and my mom was like, "Why did you just say HE!?"

I wanted a girl SO bad, but I couldn't help it. It looked like a boy!
We got baby's first picture and took it to show Jan who had just arrived.

The baby's position looked uncomfortable, since he was sort of standing on his head with his feet in the air, but as long as he was happy lol.

John took the picture to work and put it up. Everyone there commented that it looked like a boy too. And, at 16 weeks we found out that yes, he is ALL boy!

A New Person Coming Into the World!

It was March, 2010. John and I were engaged in February, and planning our wedding in May, when all of the sudden we got a surprise - a surprise that we both wanted!

You'd think that I would have taken the absense of my monthly "occurrence" AND the sudden vomiting as a sign that something big was brewing, but I didn't. Instead I waved it off as "a weird cycle" and a case of stomach flu.

What a goose I am!

John suggested we get a home pregnancy test when I didn't have my period, and I laughed at him, but went along anyway. We couldn't find one (apparently they don't sell them at Fry's) and so it was a couple weeks later, when the nausea popped up, that I finally went out and got a test.
Before taking it I told John not to get excited and we had a big discussion about the odds of my actually being pregnant.

He went outside to smoke while I took the test.
Almost instantly there were two dark pink lines on the stick and I almost hyperventilated.

I still waited the five minutes or whatever it was, pacing the house trying to breathe normally!

When I went back into the bathroom I could't believe the two pink lines were still there. They weren't a figment of my hopeful imagination.

Two pink lines = pregnant. Two pink lines = pregant.
I still couldn't believe it.

I gathered myself and went out to John in the arizona room. I was in too much shock to avoid breathing the smoke like I normally do and instead walked right up to him.

Before I could speak I began sobbing. I couldn't catch my breath, I couldn't think straight. I just cried.

He put down his cigarette and held me, thinking the test had been negative and I was just taking it very hard.

You should have seen the look on his face when I was able to get the words out in a squeaked whisper. "It's positive."

He stepped back, "What!?"

I was so shocked I called my mom. Then I took the second test that was in the box, and THEN I went and bought another box and took those!

All were big fat positives. John and I are having a baby!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Marriage to John Billingsley!

On May 14, 2010 I married a man who is not only "Tall, dark and handsome" but sweet, kind, loving and genuine as well!

The ceremony and reception took place at the Stillwell House and Garden. It was my dream wedding. Everything was simply beautiful, and exactly how I wanted it.
I was thrilled with my dress, my wreathe, my bouquet. Everyone looked gorgeous and happy and the ceremony was short, simple and sweet.

I was so thrilled that family from out of town was able to make it. It was so nice to see my aunt Deanna and cousin Vanessa as well as my living grandparents and uncle David. I also got to meet John's mom for the first time!

There was fun and dancing after dinner. Dinner was delicious too, and we made sure that the wedding cake was the tastiest in town!

How incredibly lucky I am to be married to my dream guy! I married my best friend. He does daily things to show me that I am special to him and it's the most blissful thing in the world to get to spend every day with someone who you never get tired of talking with, who you know will always be there to comfort you and hold you. To get to take care of him, as he takes care of me is heaven on earth.

The Singer That Abused Her Fame

I list Jewel as one of my favorite musicians of all time. However, in reality, this praise is only given
based on one album. Strange, I know, to give such credit to an artist who only accomplished one work
of any worth, but for me, its depth, edge and artistic beauty easily earns its place in my spotlight.
This album is titled, "Pieces of You" and was her debut. It was first introduced to me by my cousin and
the hooks and raw quality instantly appealed to me at the age of eight.
I bought the album for myself eight years later, and that was when I truly realized its greatness. There
are spine-tingling moments as you listen to her voice bring out every ounce of meaning in those resentful,
passionate, sweet and often disturbing lyrics. The album does hit some low points, though, such as the
overly-poetic and aimless "Painters" and simply boring "Amen."
Even in this album, next to the skillfully indignant prose, she exposes some flaws. A few of the "flawed"
moments could be interpreted as intentionally open windows into her soul, while others are just flimsy artistry.

Instead of improving, growing in depth and finding more creative melodies, with the next album, "Spirit," Jewel
hopelessly embraced that very shamelessness that had revealed her weakness in "Pieces of You."
She reverted to alternately cryptic and obvious poetry, with little or no socio-political significance and led
us to the conclusion that she must have been high as a kite as she wrote these songs. The shift from earthy
guitar tracks to ethereal layering combined with the vague lyricism lends to this thought as well. With song titles
such as, "What's Simple is True" and "Kiss the Flame" it's not hard to make the case for it.
"Fat Boy" is the only attempt at recapturing the emotion of the first album and "Hands" is the only song worth
mentioning for its entertainment value.

The next time I heard Jewel's name it was accompanied by images of a heavily make-upped, thinner and more
intentionally seductive woman, along with music so forcefully glossed-over I nearly gagged. Jewel had apparently stopped
hitting the bong and started hitting the clubs.
What was up with this girl? Was it all some master plan to become a pop singer? A sneaky plan to weasel her way
into the homes of intelligent people through haunting stories and beautifully simple rhythms, so that once she had their
attention she could stop having to think so hard and continue making money by writing things like "U & Me = Love." ?
The title alone of that song is an insult to true musicians everywhere. Was she drunk and didn't care? Was she just
pretending before when she claimed she was an "artist" ?

Now she's trying to be some kind of country singer thing girl person, sporting a boyfriend in a cowboy hat and no looks
to speak of. Maybe he's her one claim to having a soul.

Either way, I personally find the misuse of her talent, fame and opportunity a slap in the face, as someone who thought
she was truly great - for about twenty-five minutes.