Tuesday, March 25, 2008

march madness

March has been a crazy month, but we have loved it! On the 8th, Sam and I went to the Houston Rodeo, our first. I forgot my camera, but you can imagine all the rides, big hats, boots, and meat for sale. We loved watching all the events and were glad that they explained all the rules as they went along. Bull riding was certainly the most exciting, but we also appreciated the hulking steer wrestling, and the skillful calf-roping. We will definitely go again next year.

On the 11th, I flew to Utah for my brother's wedding. I spent a couple days hanging out with my mom and making the sign-in book for their reception (which I forgot to take pictures of-- maybe I can beg that of you Steve). I really enjoyed doing it and think my skills have improved. Sam flew in late Thursday night and we spent Friday with my family. We went to the Salt Lake Temple in the morning and had a wonderful, peaceful couple of hours there and then came home to a delicious lunch of chicken salad and good company. We spent the rest of the day preparing for the dinner with the Halls that night and getting some food ready for the first day of Steve and Rachel's honeymoon so they wouldn't have to worry about it.

At dinner we got to mix and mingle with Rachel's family. Steve introduced his best friend Nate to Rachel's younger sister, Deb, who lived in Steve's apartment complex, and it was at their wedding that Steve and Rachel met. Needless to say, it was great to see Nate again and reminisce on all our adventures while we were RA's and afterwards. We all chatted and ate for almost three hours, so I'd call it a success.

The next morning was the wedding. Sam and I leisurely got ready and headed back to the Salt Lake Temple. I was so glad that I'd be able to see the ceremony for at least one of my siblings, and it was a beautiful ceremony with wise words of counsel before hand. Steve and Rachel couldn't stop smiling and gazing adoringly at each other. I loved it :) Afterwards, I changed into my specially made pregnant-woman version of the bridesmaids dress (thank you to Mom who remade almost the entire dress in one night so it would fit just right), as pictured here:

We took lots of pictures at the temple until we were all too cold to be outside anymore and then we moved into the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where we took even MORE pictures. By this time, my young nephews' patience was wearing very thin, so Sam put our digital camera into the hands of one of them. By the time we got it back, it had over 150 more pictures on it with such classics as this:

Finally, it was time for the luncheon to start. I sat with several of my dad's siblings and they told some great stories about their childhood together. Eventually, we went back to grandpa's house to rest a while before heading to the reception, which was like any other wedding reception, so I'll spare the details. Here are a few pictures from the day instead.

The happy couple

The adoring (and very lucky) groom

The beautiful bride

Elizabeth (2 mos.) in the dress mom made her with extra fabric from the bridesmaids dresses

Martin, the camera-man

The Stay side


Mommy practice

Daddy practice

One buff bride

On Tuesday I flew home again, and was so happy to be with Sam and have my own bed where I know just how to arrange all the pillows so my big pregnant body can rest. Sam had both Thursday and Friday off work, and after we ran all our errands on Thursday, we decided we should go somewhere on Friday. So we called up Sam's grandpa in Austin and told him we'd be there the next night. After Katrina got home from work on Friday, we hopped in the car and headed to the capitol along the wildflower lined highways of Texas.

We had a great dinner with Sam's grandpa Frank, who I'd never met. He is one suave and witty guy. Again, I forgot to take a picture with all of us, so I guess we'll just have to go back. After dinner, we took a very round about way to get to a campground where we could sleep for the night. (Don't worry-- I was sleeping on an air mattress. I would not survive a night on the ground at this stage.) I woke up at the very earliest stage of dawn to birds chirping and that feeling you always seem to get when camping, which is, of course, compounded by pregnancy, of really having to go to the bathroom. However, once I took care of that and could relax again, I got another hour or more of sleep before we all woke up to breakfast on our bagels.

Saturday was warm and sunny and we started the day with a walk along Town Lake in Barton Springs park, enjoying the boaters, turtles, and cool water on our feet. We ate our fill of burgers and fries at Hut's and then went to the Capitol Building. It was beautiful and I enjoyed learning a little more Texas history. We tried visiting the Governor's Mansion (closed for renovation) and the Texas History Museum (more money than we wanted to pay) and the UT business school (no parking) but eventually just headed home. I felt really tired and slept most of the way, and by the time we got home, I had a bad headache, and when I was getting in the shower, I noticed a rash all over my belly. I took a cool shower and described my symptoms to my mom over the phone. She diagnosed it as heat exhaustion, and after eating a sandwich and a delicious smoothie that Sam suggested we make, I felt much better and the rash went away later that evening as we watched "Dan in Real Life."

The dome

Governor material

Six flags

Easter Sunday was relaxing. Sam did great playing the piano for about 40 min straight during the cantata our choir performed for the service at church. It was a very uplifting meeting and I felt the love of my Savior as I sang about and pondered His atonement and resurrection. After church we went to a friend's house for Easter dinner with several other families from church and had a great time. I'll be going over later this week to look through her baby clothes from when her daughter was born in June three years ago. We're so grateful for kind families like the Longs!

For Family Home Evening yesterday, Sam and I dyed eggs (we also decided PAAS dye kit is way better than Dudley's) and to finish, here's the latest pregnancy profile, though I think I'm already bigger. It's exciting to be 30 weeks pregnant and on the last stretch! Baby Anna is a mover and I'm working hard to love all my kicks in the ribs. Sam is so helpful with lots of massages and picking things up off the floor. We'll keep you updated, though hopefully, in smaller chunks next time.

28 weeks

Sam's clever globe egg

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

10 points for baby

For the past two days, I've been babysitting a friend's children while she was at a family reunion and her husband was at work. They have three children: boy, 5, girl, 3, and boy, 2. They are very well-behaved and we had a great time. We made and painted salt dough, painted pictures, colored, played board games, played video games, went to a park, went miniature golfing (at a free course at the park), and made cookies. But when everything else failed to please-- either they were bored of an activity, or I was tired of running and screaming, a main staple to many of their made-up games-- we played hide-and-seek.

This is how we played: I would sit on the couch and rest, counting to 20 or 30 really slowly while they would all run and hide. Then, I'd pretend to look for them in ridiculous places like the microwave, an easter basket, or inside a book while they giggled until I "found" them. If I wasn't fast enough, the 2-year-old would come out and yell, "You found us!" with his arms up in the air. Then, one of them would count, while I would hide and the other kids would follow me to my hiding spot.

Inevitably, after a round or two, the oldest would start assigning points once everyone was found. He'd get a few points if he found you quickly, and others would get points if he thought their hiding place was clever enough (this is where the majority of my points came from). Once, yesterday, he said, "I get two points, Sister Cosby gets one point, and Sister Cosby's baby gets one point." "Awesome," I said, "my baby loves points."

We'd talked a lot about my baby that day. They'd painted her pictures and asked if she would wear pink, and wanted to know if they could see her when she was big enough to start growing outside my tummy. The next day, when we were driving the oldest to pre-school, he asked, "Sister Cosby, how do you know what your baby likes?" I didn't really understand him since he sitting at the back of the mini-van, so he repeated his question.

"You mean, how do I know if she's tired or hungry or something?" I replied.

"Well, yeah, that too," he said, and then, quieter, "but also that she likes points?"

"Well," I said, trying to keep from laughing, "everybody likes points, so don't you think she would too?"

He didn't say anything else for a while, and seemed to have forgotten about it. But then, in the afternoon, after he and his sister had argued about how to play "Jenkers" a made-up robot game, we started hide-and-seek again. And this time, nobody got more points than "Sister Cosby's baby."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

taste of texas

Yesterday, Sam and I went to the Swinging Door, a barbecue restaurant that has been highly recommended to us on several occasions. It takes a while to get there since its out the much more rural town of Richmond, south of Katy, but it was well worth it.

The decor was kitchy and included a fair amount of dead animal heads and bones, and country music came from a big juke box in the hallway. We got seated and our waitress gave us our menus and starters: dill pickle slices and onions, with a jalapeño on the side.

On the handwritten and photocopied menu, we found we could get almost any combination imaginable of the meats and veggies they served there. I saw a list of meats-- brisket, chicken, pork ribs, sausage, and pecan sauce-marinated turkey-- and a note on the menu said they also served ranch style beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and green beans. Sam and I discussed which meats we wanted to try and we concluded we'd just have to ask the waitress what the vegetable choices were.

Our waitress soon came with our drinks and bread (wonder bread, butter, and a cup of bbq sauce to dip it in) and asked us what we'd like to order. I told her it was our first time there, and she suggested we split the 3-meat, 3-veggie platter. That sounded good to us and we asked what the vegetables were. She said, "ranch style beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and green beans." Who knew coleslaw was a vegetable?

Anyway, we opted for the brisket, chicken, and ribs and beans, slaw, and green beans. In the mean time, we made little sandwiches of bread, pickles, onions, peppers and bbq sauce. That may sound gross, but don't knock it till you've tried it.

Soon enough our food came, and it was DELICIOUS! It was smoky and tender and the sauce was great. The ribs were huge and meaty, and we continued our sandwich creations adding in the brisket. And the green beans were amazing. They must have been cooked in bacon grease and had some nice garlic and pepper to season them.

All in all, it was great food (and a great price-- our platter was only $15!) and lots of it. Even after dinner and sharing some leftovers with Katrina, there's still an entire thigh piece of chicken for Sam's lunch tomorrow. It was fun and busy and so quintessentially Texan that if you come visit, we'll definitely take you there. Besides, Sam really wants to try the sausage. So if you want great barbecue and a good time, come visit us and the Swinging Door!

Just be sure to bring a change of clothes because you'll smell like a smoke house when you leave...