Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

Last night, I read My Sister's Keeper. It's the book that a movie that comes out in a few weeks is based on. The movie looks good, so I wanted to read the book first. I'm like that.

The book is about a 13 year old girl, Anna, who wants to sue her parents for the medical rights to her body. Her older sister has cancer, and Anna was conceived to be a perfect match for her. From birth, Anna is her donor, and has been through the double digits when it comes to # of procedures for her. Anna is ready to be done... but not for the reasons you'd think.

I liked the way that the book was written. Each chapter was told from the point of view of a different character. Each one was how that person was feeling. Some of the chapters were re-peats of the same thing, but from a different persons perspective... does that make sense? The only thing that would have made this concept a little easier to the reader, would be if at the top of the page, instead of the book name or author name, it said the name of the person who's telling that chapter. Usually it was pretty easy to figure out, but there were a few chapters when I had to go back and look at the chapter title to figure it out.

I thought that was a really neat way to write it all out. It made it much easier to see everyones side of the story. Although the majority of it is about a court case, it's very hard to take sides.

This book was sad, had many surprises, and several great smart-alec remarks.
I'd rate it A-

Sunday, June 14, 2009


There is a group of women for whom life is not what they thought it would be. They have had their dreams of motherhood cut short, never getting to meet their child(ren). They are the TTCAL(Trying to Conceive after a Loss) women. I know that there are many many women who are TTCAL, but the ones that I have come to love are the TTCAL girls on the Bump.com.

This is such an amazing group of super-supportive women. I should know, I had been on the board for the past 5 months before recently graduating to the SAL (success after a loss) board. When you consider how much we share with each other... all the TMI details of what's going on inside our bodies, and the secrets we tell that we'd never tell to our IRL friends, we are probably closer, better friends than most people who see each other face to face on a regular basis. I'll be perfectly honest... I miss my TTCAL girls.

Oh, it's not that I can't go back and visit... and I do. I lurk constantly. But, I also remember being on that board, and depending on the day, and how my life was going, it could be really tough to see pg women comment on posts. Granted, the ones who I'd gotten to know, who came back from SAL to make the occasional post, I was happy to see. They are my friends and I am happy for them. But, on the occasion that a pg woman came and posted, and I had no idea who she was, and I was feeling particularly glum that day, it was really difficult to see that little baby ticker. I don't want to be that person for some of the newer TTCAL girls.

So, I guess this is just a shout out to the amazing TTCAL girls on the Bump. You Rock! and Ellen would be lucky to have us TTCAL and SAL girls on her show!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Fun Day!

Yesterday, my Aunt Sue and her grandkids (my cousins kids) came down for a visit. We put up the sprinkler and let them play in it for a while... all in all, a very fun day! The oldest is my Godson!
G. figured out that he could pick up the sprinkler and attack his siblings with it! It didn't stay on the ground much after that point!
Super G.!!

Subway... Eat Fresh!

So, the other night I decided to try the new sandwich at Subway... The Tuscan Chicken Melt.
Not too bad! The extra seasoning is pretty good. The way it's 'supposed' to be is with some Olive Vin. dressing, but, I didn't think I should risk that on a newly pg tummy! I'd order it again!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guess what WE Got!!!

We are very excited! Nervous too of course! We have decided to go ahead and share early, even with our recent miscarriage. We figure, the more people praying for us and our baby, the better... so, please pray that we get a take-home baby this time around!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yesterday my girlfriend Jessica asked me if I would design some business cards for her new Doula services. I’d volunteered to do this a few weeks ago, but didn’t know for sure if I was going to get to do it. Well, last night, I did. I love the name, but I don’t know if she’ll be using it or not… I just made it up on the fly! So, anyone in Colorado, or anyone willing to buy a plane ticket for a great Doula… check her out! The info on these cards may or may not be right, not sure yet… but the phone # is legit for business. What do ya’ll think?

Weekend Warriors Book Review

Book: Weekend Warriors
Author: Fern Michaels

Back Cover Blurb:

My Review: This book was recommended to me by my mother in law when we were visiting her for Mother’s Day. She told me about this series, and that afternoon, a girlfriend of mine was packing up some of her books to lend me and came across this one and also said I just had to read it. She actually gave be a 2-in-1 book that included the second book of the series, which I will review in a different post.

I really liked this book. It was almost instantly addicted to it. I think it took me 2 days to read the whole thing. For me, this wasn’t a great book to help me fall asleep at night, because I wanted to stay up all night reading.

As this group of women is drawn together by the fact that they have all been unjustly wronged by the justice system in some way. They call themselves a sisterhood, and it’s very easy to fall right into the group as another sister. During the first meeting, they all put their names into a box, and each book is based on the ‘case’ of the name pulled from the box. They go after the person or persons who have gotten away with hurting these women. Each chooses the punishment for the crimes. With a multi-billionare footing the bill for the projects, and a former government official with access to every data base in the world, the details are carefully laid out for each plan.

Granted, this is supposed to be a review of the first book, but they sort of lay out the format and what’s going to be happening in each of the books.

In the book Weekend Warriors, Kathryn’s is the first name to be drawn. She is a trucker, who’s now deceased handicapped husband used to ride with. Three bikers attacked and raped her while her husband was forced to watch. The Sisterhood dons costumes and make-up to appear as biker-chick as possible. They scheme a great plan to make these three bikers pay in a way that will haunt them the way they’ve haunted Kathryn’s life. I won’t tell you what they do, but, one of the women in the Sisterhood is a surgeon… so figure it out for yourself!

I rate this book an A-… it could have been longer and I’m sure I would have been just an intrigued throughout!

Book Review of Citizen Girl

Book: Citizen Girl
Authors: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Pages: 306

Back Cover Blurb: The blurb on the back cover looks like a newspaper classified ad. Very attractive in my opinion, although maybe not the best as to a description of the book. It reads:

SEEKING Qualified applicants looking to build their careers on sand. Requirements: a bachelor’s degree worth a fraction of the debt you incurred. One or two years of experience working for a deranged harridan who has sucked your very life force. Fluency in at least two major jargons. Must be resourceful, flexible, action oriented, stress tolerant, enthusiastic, and desperate. Primary responsibilities include: figuring out just what we’ve hired you to do; working closely with no one for clients we’ll never identify, and a practice we’ll never commit to. All interested e-mail your integrity to www.mycompany.com.

My Review: To be honest; I do judge books by their cover. This one seemed like my kind of book, as it appears to be the legs of an overworked hip and trendy New Yorker… something I personally long to be! Well, the hip and trendy at least. I feel like I’m slightly stressed in the work department enough. When I looked at the back, a review by Austin American Statesman read: Think The Beauty Myth meets Sex and the City. Again, I think where can I go wrong now.

I will admit, this was one of those books that I just kept reading, thinking surely, this has to get better at some point! It never did. The characters don’t seem to have real names; the main character is referred to simply as Girl in the whole book. She works for My Company, another nameless.

Throughout the whole book, she is attempting to figure out just what her job is. Literally, not how to do it best, but what she’s actually supposed to be doing. She never seems to figure it out, and the people she asks don’t seem to know either. Chapters jump from one subject to the next, work, boyfriend, boss (named Guy), party. None of these topics ever really seem to blend together, or have any point to the rest of the story.

I have to say that off the top of my head I can think of only two other books that I found this bad. I read quite a bit, and even if I’m having trouble getting into one of them, I put for the effort to finish what I’ve started, and have been pleasantly surprised by several of them. This one however, no such luck.

I rate this book a D+, the plus being for the cute cover.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baked Kale

So, I know it sounds weird, actually, maybe a little gross. But, my sister, Becky, is a nutrition major at school and is on a ‘find everything healthy’ kick. She found this recipe for baked kale… yes kale as in the nasty green leaf that comes on your plate at restaurants. Not so nasty tasting if you make it right I guess!

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Tear the Kale into pieces, about 2-3 inches each… not really a big deal here.
  3. Wash them in a colander and spread them out on a towel. Pat the pieces dry with another towel.
  4. Spray with a butter flavored spray
  5. Sprinkle seasoning on, I like Salt and Pepper, with or without Garlic, but this is an open book here!
  6. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan Cheese, not too much (use sesame seeds or another topping for variety)
  7. Bake until the pieces have a dry brittle feel to them, 5-10 minutes

  • These are good plain or dipped in ketchup, ranch, or any other dip you’d like to try!
  • A full bag of Kale will feed 2-3 people… it looks like a huge pile, but really isn’t that much once you start eating!
  • The one downfall to this recipe… the odor that will be left in your kitchen isn’t awful, but doesn’t exactly smell great. I suggest candles or an open window.
  • She could tell you all the benefits of this stuff, apparently it’s really great for you… I just know it tastes YUMMY!!!

Moving Scoot

On Friday the 26th of May, Bib and I drove 4 hours to Illinois to help his long time friend, Scott, move. Scott, Scooter or Scoot (pick a name any name) and Bib have been close friends for many many years. Scott was one of the Best Men in our wedding.
We spent Friday evening dining on amazing, and enormous, Italian dishes at this little restaurant that he took us to. We spent the rest of the evening at his new house. His girlfriend Jan came over eventually too.

On Saturday the 27th, we went over to Scott’s house bright and early to start moving. Before we started though, we walked across his yard to the bank that he works at… needless to say, he’s anxious to not be living next door to work anymore! The Morton Community Bank was awesome! It was huge (used to be a grocery store) and decorated with the coolest antiques!

I t took two trailer loads to get almost everything from Scott’s old house to his new house. His girlfriend, Jan and her 10 year old son, will be moving in with him also in about a month. His new house is pretty cool. I’ll be interested to find out how moving his elliptical machine to the basement went though… it was a pretty tight squeeze to get around the steps to the basement!

Taylor Reece

Many of you know that just 7 weeks after our wedding we found out that we were 5 weeks pregnant! It was a little bit of a surprise that we were able to conceive so quickly, but we were sooooo super happy and excited!

I surprised Bobby at work by telling him that I had a surprise for him. I held out two fists and told him to pick a hand. He picked the right one, which was also the correct one, and I opened my had to reveal a pacifier! He was really shocked and had to go sit down! He quickly recovered and started calling his family.

We told my family the next day by hanging the pacifier on their empty Christmas tree!

Our pregnancy was going very well except for the all day morning sickness I was having!

On January 31st, we were 13 weeks pregnant and were so glad to be coming out of the first trimester. My morning sickness was tapering off and food was starting to taste good again!

Then things came to an abrupt halt for us. I ended up in the ER where they informed us that our baby had passed away. We are devastated, of course. According to the dr. our baby had passed some time ago.

I had surgery to remove the baby on February 4th. Recovery was rough for a few days. They asked us if we wanted to participate in the Share program. We chose to. 4 times a year the Share group takes all of the babies who were not carried to term (mostly late 1st Trimester losses like ours, and early 2nd Trimester losses), and has a memorial service and burial. There is a special cemetery in Cape specifically for this group. This means that we will actually have a grave to go to where our baby will be buried.

We would like to thank you all for the prayers that you have sent our way. We have talked many times about how much harder this would be if people were not praying for us.

It has been just over two weeks since we lost our baby. In order to feel some closure, we have decided to name our baby Taylor Reece Stell. We feel that this is the perfect name for our baby, who's gender we will not know until we get to heaven.

We will also be purchasing a plant to have in our home in memory of Taylor.

Thank a Soldier

So, Xerox is doing a really great thing. You can go to the website: Thank a Soldier and choose from a ton of different designs of cards. You can add one of their pre-written notes, or write your own. Xerox will Print and Mail your card to a soldier, Free! No, you don't get to pick the soldier, but let's face it, they are all working hard for us!

Even if you can only do this once, it's worth it, and it only takes 2 minutes! So please, Thank a Soldier today! Pretty much everyone knows that my brother is in the service, that's why we all wore flag ribbons in his absence at our wedding. Even though he isn't overseas at this time, I know that when it is his turn to go, notes from home (meaning the USA) will mean so much to him!

Engagement Photos

Well, we finally had our engagement session... may need to do a few more... we seem to have lost the camera card with all of the indoor pics on it, but, here are a few of my favorite ones so far!!!





I think that this one is my favorite so far!


I'll post some more when I get more of them fixed up a bit!

More Engagement Photos



Our Engagement

So, pretty much everyone knows we're engaged...

On Friday, March 28th, we were all hanging out on the back porch. Bobby’s niece
Anna and her baby Kailey were out in the yard so I went out to walk
with them. Bobby stopped me and suggested we go for a walk to look
around the property where he used to play when he was growing up, so I
said ok and we started walking away from the house. We were holding
hands and his mom followed us out into the yard saying "oh you two look
so cute holding hands, let me take you’re picture!" So we stopped and
turned around and looked at her... I was on Bobby’s left, but we had
stopped holding hands so she told us to hold hands again, well, me
being the photographer that I am, I tried to lean in front of him and
hold his right hand in my right hand so that we looked cuddly, but he
just acted like he didn’t want to cuddle and told me to hold his left
hand instead, so I grabbed his left hand and put my hand on my hip and
smiled at his mom so she could take the picture.

As soon as she
took it (or I thought she did) he started tapping my hand with his
pinky finger (the hands that we were holding) and he just wouldn’t
stop! Tap Tap Tap, I gave him a look to tell him to stop tapping my
hand and he just tapped harder! TAP TAP TAP! So, I tried to pull my
hand out of his and he wouldn’t let go so I looked down at his hand and
saw that he had put the ring on his pinky finger and was tapping me
with it!

I started crying right away, and he got down on one
knee and asked me to MARRY HIM!!!! I said yes of course, and we went over and hugged his
family, I couldn’t stop crying and my hands were shaking but it was

The one thing that totally cracks me up is how I’m
standing... cause these pictures are of the REAL thing... I just kept my
hand up there on my hip like an idiot or something!

I was
totally surprised, but as his niece Anna pointed out later "weren’t we
obvious all standing there on the porch watching Ya’ll?" Well, I guess
they probably were, but we were walking away from them all, and then I
was looking at the camera and didn’t see them!

The whole thing happened soooo fast, I’m really glad that we got the pictures of it!




We're Engaged!!!

On Friday, March 28, Bobby asked me to marry him and I said yes! His
mom took pics of the proposal, which meant so much to me since I love
to have pictures of important events!


On Saturday, I took
pictures of the entire Stell Family, this was the first time in several
years that the whole family had been together! It was great to get to
be a part of it! Bobby's Aunt Suzi took the family pic after I had set
it all up, and his niece Anna took the one of Bobby and I! I think they
did a great job!



Welcome to My New Blog!

So, yeah, Bib and I had a wedding blog, that I fully intended to keep up with after the wedding to keep every one updated on our lives… yes, I guess I do believe some might be interested, but honestly, the title was just too long and complicated! I posted a few thing non-wedding related on that one, and will probably copy and paste some or all of those posts to this blog so that my Bump Girls are updated.

I’ll do a little bit of everything on this one. Some will be baby related stuff, but, since not too many guys follow blogs, I doubt too many will get grossed out. Everyone who knows us, knows we’ve had a loss and are attempting to get pregnant again, so, no secrets here. I will also put recipe’s, book reviews, movie reviews and (hopefully not too many) political opinions on here. If you want to read my blog, you’re gonna get it all! I don’t discriminate against topics! So, be prepared!