Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pictures! Pictures!

Here are some random (and cute!) pictures of Nugget from the last month or so.

My new calling

For the past year or so, I've been a ward missionary. I didn't particularly enjoy the calling for various reasons, and I finally was released and extended a different calling a few weeks ago.

I'm actually pretty excited about it, although it is a little daunting as well. I'm the new ward choir director. (And if Miriam is reading this, she's probably either laughing or wondering why in the world I was asked to do it! I understand!)

The reason I was called was...well, I sort of accidentally volunteered. I'm good friends with the ward music chairperson. She and I served in the Young Women's presidency, and now she is my visiting teacher. So we've known each other since Brett and I moved into the Maryland Heights area. We were just chatting one afternoon, and she mentioned that our (then current) choir director was moving soon, and she was afraid they were going to ask her to take over. She doesn't have any choir experience nor the personality to direct a choir (according to her). I told her if that was the case, that I'd be more than willing to help her out.....hence my being asked to do it. :)

We had our first rehearsal on Sunday to get ready for the Christmas program. We're singing 'Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains', which is actually one of my favorite Christmas songs. Practice went really well! I guess I shouldn't be terribly surprised, but...I kind of am. Nearly all the choir members are older than I (most of them considerably so), and I have to admit I was a little nervous that they would be, I don't know, a little unwilling to take directions and constructive criticism from some young little twit. Apparently, I was quite wrong. Everyone was great, and the song is already shaping up to sound fabulous.

I'm really looking forward to working with them. We're planning on singing a musical number as a choir every other month, so I've got my work cut out for me!

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

I absolutely LOVE the holiday season. I just love everything about it! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. It's just fabulous. I look forward to so many different things, and it just makes the entire season so much fun! Here are some things I'm looking forward to this year.


--We're going up to Brett's parents' house in Ohio. We really miss them since they moved away from us, so it's always fun to see them!
--Brett's ENTIRE family is going to be there! I'm so stoked about this. I don't think we've all been together since Brett and I were sealed. I know his family reads this, and I really don't mean to be corny, but I just love his family! I really hit the jackpot with all my in-laws. They are so much fun! So I'm really looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with them.
--The traditional Minster appetizers for lunch. Shrimp ball, stuffed mushrooms, and all the other yummy food. Delicious.
--Since we're going to be in Ohio for Thanksgiving, we're celebrating it early with my family. My sister Annette and her family are coming up a few days before the holiday, so we'll get to have Thanksgiving with them, Kristin and her family, and of course my mom, Heather, and Chandra. I just love spending time with family!
--And since Kristin is here, we're sure to have some amazing new food, too!


--We're spending Christmas here, with my family, so we'll get to take part in some of the Johnson family traditions. (I'm hoping Christmas Eve will include the long-standing tradition of Seafood Bisque....)
--My sister Sharon and her family are coming up for Christmas. This hasn't happened in so long! They do visit pretty regularly, but I don't usually get to see them for holidays. Her family is so great, and I just love spending time with Sharon! I'm really excited for this!
--Food. Of course, I could easily mention food any time we get together with ANY family, so....yeah. But I love food. And our family (on BOTH sides) knows how to cook some tasty, tasty food.

~New Year!

--We're going back up to Ohio to celebrate the New Year. I'm not sure about other plans as far as this holiday, probably because it's the furthest away. Regardless of what happens and who all is there, I know we'll have fun!

I know I've said it several times already, but I love spending time with family. Family has always been important to me. I've really enjoyed the past few months getting to know my sister Kristin better and spending time with her and her family. I never really had a relationship with my older sisters since I was little and obnoxious when they were teenagers, so it's been really fun lately. I enjoy it when my sisters come to visit so I can spend time with them, and I really look forward to their visits. I'm glad I live so close to Mom so that I can go down and see them at least once while they're here! I'm so excited to see so much family over the holiday season!

My "real" mom

This is something that has ALWAYS bothered me, but it's come up a lot lately so I just want to get this out there. I belong to an online community that is focused on women who are trying to have a baby, are pregnant, or are new moms (or even not-so-new moms). Adoption has been a popular topic recently, and of course, I like to chime in with my 2 cents.

The thing that bothers me is this: People will ask about my family, I'll explain that I'm adopted, and they'll make a comment. Then they ask about my "real" mom, or my "real" parents.

Um...as opposed to my fake mom?

They are referring to my biological parents. Of course, I then have to explain to them that my adoptive parents ARE my "real" parents.

My real mom is the woman who raised me. She is the one who took care of me after the abuse I endured at the hands of my biological mother (either directly or indirectly through her neglect). My real mom is the one who changed my bandages after my many surgeries. She's the one who loved me, despite how mean and hateful I could be sometimes. My REAL mom is the one who took me in and made me a part of her family. She is the one who refused to give up on me, regardless of the direction I had taken in my life. She is the one who has always encouraged me, has motivated me to try harder, to take advantage of my potential, to be a better person. My real mom is the one who has loved me unconditionally, who has protected me, and done everything else that a mother should. She may not be perfect, but in my book, she is pretty darn close.

This is my "real" mom, the only mom I remember. The only one that counts.

Quick update

So here's a quick update on what's going on with us.

Brett is doing well in school. He has four classes this semester, and we're working on signing him up for next semester. It sounds corny, but I'm so proud of him! I know it's tough to juggle work and school, and now he has even more responsibility at home. He does well, and even manages to give me a break when he gets home. (A good thing, since I'm sure he would like to have a sane wife.)

Amy continues to grow. She has a checkup at the end of the month, so we'll see just how much bigger she's gotten. I'm guessing she's grown at least a couple of inches, and she's definitely getting heavier. Not chubby by a long shot, but she's filling out! Fortunately our pediatrician knows Brett, so he's not worried by her long and skinny frame.

I'm still adapting to life as a stay-at-home mom. It seems like every time Amy and I get a good schedule going, she decides it's time to change it up. Definitely keeps me on my toes! By and large, she's really a good, mellow baby. But she has her days. Like yesterday. She was so crabby and unhappy all day, and just cried most of the time. Of course, it was only AFTER Brett got home that we figured out she probably had gas all day. She felt better after a little bit, and didn't scream anymore. Again, good for my sanity.

I'm trying to figure out now what I want to do with my time, once I've really got a handle on the whole baby thing. Granted, I think I do fairly well now, but I'm definitely still figuring things out. I've already offered to volunteer for the Burns Recovered Support Group, so that will give me something to do. I keep thinking about taking up something like crocheting, but...that just isn't really me.

I need a hobby.

Time for cluster posting!

So I haven't been great about updating this. I know. I would like to blame it on Amy, but of course it's not completely her fault. :)

We finally got internet in our apartment two weeks ago (and promptly had to get it fixed, because something was wrong with the wiring and the first guy didn't do anything about it). It's running well now, and at the speed it's supposed to instead of more than 3 times slower.

The only downside to this is that now I have unlimited access to the internet! It's great for email, keeping up to date with stuff, finding recipes....but I don't have great self-control, especially when I would rather be doing something fun, like playing online, rather than doing something awful, like cleaning. I'm working on it, but my willpower just...isn't really there.

Rather than posting a huge long update that would take forever to read, I'm going to post several short ones. Much easier that way. Plus, then I can put up more pictures.