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Trains and Fall and Pumpkins (oh my!)

Lots of photos this weekend! While I've learned in the past that it's really hard to set up for photos when I've got Peter with me, I've also learned to just suck it up and bring my camera with me when I take him somewhere, just in case I get a chance to take some shots.

First up, Pumpkin Fest! We got there right when it started, and skipped getting pumpkins. The line for the pumpkins was HUGE, and I figured that a) It was only October 2nd, so plenty of time, and plenty of places to get pumpkins, and b) there were virtually no lines for anything else, so why not do all that stuff? We were the first on the hay ride, and ended up being able to go twice because people were in the long pumpkin line, did the bouncy slide, petting zoo, saw the firetruck (Peter got his fireman's hat), and wandered around checking everything out. They did have a little "family photo area" where you could pose your child, so somehow managed to do that. I really didn't like the lighting, but didn't have much choice. :)

Posing

Sunday we went to the Colorado Railroad Museum. WOW!! This place is so freakin' sweet, and much bigger than I thought. So many trains to wander around and see, and some of them you can go inside. I really want to go back when I don't have Peter with me to take some photos, but I did end up getting my favorite weekend photo while he was playing around in the gravel.

Vintage engine

I used one of Matt Kloskowski's Lightroom presets (the Vintage one) for this shot, and love how it turned out.

However, I do need to share another photo I got that I love - Peter walking down the railroad tracks.

Walking Down the Tracks

And finally, I'm taking a class over at Big Picture Classes called Picture Fall, where you get an email prompt everyday, and you have to take a fall related photo dealing with that prompt. So far, I'm 4/4 on photos, which is a new record for me. I took this one yesterday for the "things you see outside but never think of photographing" prompt of the start of the neighbor's firewood pile.

Start of the firewood pile

I Know the Best People

I have a confession to make.  From the moment I was a little kid, I was a tomboy.  Not only was I (and still am) a sports fanatic, but I'm one of those who just always got along better with the boys than I did with the girls.  I hate shopping, I hate makeup, I don't feel like spending hours getting ready for something, I'd much rather talk about who's going to win the Stanley Cup than Paris Hilton's lack of talent.  In any case, my best friend (besides Leif) is a guy, and that's ok.  I definitely have female friends, but I've never felt like I "fit in" properly with any of them, but again, that's ok.  I still consider some of them good friends, but I'm definitely not going to be the first one on anyone's call list for stuff.

I say all this just to put things in perspective, and also to say that my becoming pregnant has given me more in common with my female friends than I ever had before. Even though I still refuse to go on pedicure runs with them, they've all (and I'll add that "they all" includes all my neighbors including those I am not necessarily very close with) made themselves available should I have any questions on babies or pregnancy, they've given me very much solicited advice, and have generally made me feel like I fit in somewhat. :)

Cool package I received...2 things have happened recently to make me realize more than ever that it's the quality of the people you know, and definitely not the quantity.  First, today was a random, ordinary day - nothing exciting was going on, and I was counting the days (2 months) until the baby would arrive.  Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and it's the postman with a package from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  As I do the tech support for them, sometimes I'll get random things in the mail, but I definitely wasn't expecting anything.  Imagine my very pleasant surprise when I opened the box, and found a load of baby stuff in it!  Washcloths, onesides, burp cloths, an outfit, hats, socks, hooded towels, and a really soft blanket.  Paula, Kayce, and Stacy, you guys are the best, and it was so cool of you to send this to us!

The second thing hasn't technically happened yet, but I still feel very grateful.  A few months ago, I was talking to one of my neighbors, Mariela, who informed me that I absolutely had to have a baby shower.  I really didn't give it a whole lot of thought, until later on she informed me that not only did I have to have a baby shower, but that she was going to put it together for me.  Honestly I didn't know what to say.  Not only did she handmake all the invitations (with stamps, scrapbooking, and ribbon!), but apparently she's going overboard in decorating her house (which she won't let me see until Sunday), and several other neighbors (we invited the whole cul-de-sac) have volunteered to bring various food dishes (all homemade), and help decorate.  For these people to do this for me, the local tomboy who's never really had any close female friends, is just fantastic, and words just can't describe how much I appreciate having these people in my life who will go above and beyond for me.  

These aren't the only people who've helped out a lot during this pregnancy. As an example, Brien and Beth Wankel sent us a whole box of baby clothes that their kid grew out of. Granted a lot of them are for the summer, but there's definitely a bunch I can use as well!

So yeah, I'm probably doing a "hormonal rambling" on this post, but it's ok, I'm allowed to, I'm pregnant, dammit. :)

Design Your Life!

I have several favorite scrapbookers besides Stacy Julian, and Cathy Zielske happens to be one of those at the top of my list. I love her clean style, and I always look at her layouts thinking "wow, that looks really nice and simple, yet I love it". She started teaching a class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking called Design Your Life, all about becoming a better scrapbooking layout designer. Although I do tech support for BPS, I haven't really taken a lot of classes (I peek in at a bunch though) since I haven't had the time, but this is one that I'm jumping at the chance to do. I figure I can attempt to keep up with it at least until the baby arrives, and then I'll have to finish the assignments sometime next year. :)

In any case so far I'm doing pretty well. The first assignment came out today about balance and symmetry, and I've already completed the first layout.

I'm not 100% happy with my title - I was going to go with "Doggone Weird", but I'm trying to use up stuff in my stash, hence why it's "King of the Castle" instead. Thor does think he's the king though, even now at 11 months. He always has the "I'm so cute, so you can't be mad at me" look.

Part of first assignment

October 1st Present Moment Scrapbook

A few weeks ago I received an email from Stacy Julian. She had this great idea to do what she called a scrapbooking blog blitz. On the same day, a bunch of bloggers whom she invited would all post parts of a mini-album that they did, which she entitled Present Moment Scrapbooking. Between September 17 and October 1, you were to take 10 photos which represented your life at that exact moment in time, and then put those photos into a mini album. On October 1, write a blog post illustrating some of these photos you took and why.

I thought it was a great idea since too often as scrapbookers we're caught up in scrapping events, or people, or anything besides just what's going on at that exact moment in time. Since my life is in complete flux right now, I jumped at the chance to do this, and it will be interesting to look back on this mini album in a year to see what's changed, since I know once the baby is born in December, everything will.

Although I'm only posting a few images here, here was my hierarchy of photos. I'll go more in depth on the ones I post (the ones where the photos aren't linked directly below like the others).

Posing - picture of me
Tugging - Loki/Thor
Slugging - Odin
Waiting - ultrasound and belly picture
Caring - Linnea, Leif
Working - Yahoo, Big Picture Scrapbooking
Playing - iPhone, Rock Band

As I'm a very simple scrapbooker, and a computer geek to boot, I didn't do a whole lot with my cover. I really am missing the creativity gene, which makes it so weird that I like to scrapbook.
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I chose to highlight my "Waiting" page because that's probably the biggest thing going on in my life at this exact moment. We don't have kids, weren't sure we were going to have kids, and finally made the decision to start trying, and then I got pregnant. Both of us are very active people, and it's been extraordinarily difficult for me to give up that lifestyle. Much more than I thought. No snowboarding, no scuba diving, no dirt biking, no wrestling with the dogs, etc... I've encouraged Leif to keep up with our activities, and he has gone dirt biking almost every Sunday, but I wish I could participate as well. Now that we're getting closer (2 1/2 months to go), we're both getting more and more excited, especially as we see the nursery taking shape, and especially as we not only realize that our lives are going to change (hopefully for the better), but as we realize all the cool stuff we'll be able to share with him once he gets a little older.

Hed_080930_1201

The second page I'll highlight is my Playing page. Although I can't be as active as I want to be, I still have found ways to keep myself entertained. My biggest saving grace has literally been my iPhone. It's so much more than a phone. I use it for music, videos, movies, surfing the web, email, todos, games, if it can do it, I probably have as well. I keep it on the nightstand next to me, and since my sleep pattern has lately consisted of "waking up every 90 minutes to go to the bathroom and not being able to fall back asleep", I've been using the iPhone to kind of help me relax again so I can fall asleep. If it angle it the right way, the light doesn't bother Leif at all, so that's been nice to have. Also when I was recently in the hospital, I was able to use it to text people, surf the web, and just generally keep in touch.

Besides the iPhone, I've really been enjoying Rock Band, and now Rock Band 2. I splurged and bought the Ion Drum Rocker for Rock Band 2, and it's so much better than the set that comes with the game. I'm hitting notes I never could before, I'm able to do the 16th notes which I usually suck at, the cymbals are fun, and I almost feel like I'm playing drums (maybe I am. :). Considering Rock Band 2 has songs like Livin' on a Prayer, and Hungry Like the Wolf (I haven't unlocked Round and Round yet), I've been having a grand ol' time with it. Even when Leif doesn't want to play in our band, I'll think nothing of booting up the Xbox 360 and practicing Livin' on a Prayer on Expert mode.

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The Rock Band picture especially is interesting to me since you can completely see how pregnant I am, and I'm still not used to looking at myself like that.

There you have it, my life as of October 1, 2008. As a bonus, I'm challenging others who are reading this to create their own Present Moment Scrapbook. Take 10 photos of your life right now. Compile these photos in a really small mini album, and keep this album someplace where you can refer back to it a lot. In 1 year, create a scrapbook page about your experience, including how much things have changed or stayed the same during the past year.

Random Thoughts for Today

Nothing specific is going on, so figured I'd write down some random thoughts.

Went to Vegas last week for our "last trip just the 2 of us before the baby is born" vacation. Just from Tuesday-Friday, so nothing that long, but that's about as long as I can handle Vegas anyways. Saw David Copperfield, ate dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant, played some blackjack, and just relaxed. Leif was picked to be in David Copperfield's grand finale. I managed to get a couple pictures of him onstage before they told me to put the camera away. I'm a scrapbooker dammit!

Leif onstage during David Copperfield

Only 3 months and 1 week!! Not that I'm counting the days or anything. Still not enjoying this. I'm guessing the person with 18 kids just had the last few slide out at the end.

Is it wrong that I dislike both presidential candidates? I mean, one seems to be concentrating on the fact that he's a war hero and doing a lot of personal attacks, and the other wants to tax the middle class to oblivion. Maybe what they say is true, that the people who actually are qualified for the job are too smart to run, so we're left with the runoff. Sigh. I just wish the election were over so whomever gets elected can go about destroying this country even more than Bush has.

I love my puppies. I haven't taken any pictures of them in awhile, but I have the best dogs ever.

I read Twilight, and don't get all the hype. It was "ok", but I guess I'm way outside the demographic (teenage girl) for it. This book is not the next Harry Potter - the writing isn't that good, the story isn't that good, and I'm wondering what all the fuss is about. I'll read the others in the series just to see what happens, but I'm really glad I got it out of the library instead of buying it.

Excited to see Avenue Q tonight. I've seen it already, but love the music. I mean, how can you not love a musical when one of the first songs is "It Sucks to be Me", and another song is "The Internet is for Porn"?

Cathy Zielske is doing a class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I'm excited for this since I love her stuff so much!

That's it.

The Times They Have a'Changed

As part of my class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, I'm going through all my photos and memorabilia, from....forever. I've come across a lot of interesting photos and news clippings and such that I had completely forgotten about. I saw this one today, and just had to laugh.

This is from the Apple internal newsletter, dated September 17, 1995. At this time I was about 3 1/2 months out of college, Apple had literally just established their web presence, and I was the webmaster of the Apple Developer website. The date is important to put this quote into context.

...Developers like the fact that they can download the information they want - for free. We get about 10,000 people looking at our content each week. It's a really great service for them.

So in 1995, the developer site got 10,000 hits a week. I found some statistics on alexa.com, that shows the Apple website gets roughly 600 million - 1 billion page views a day. The developer site is 1% of that. So roughly the minimum page views per day for the developer site is 6 million, so per week the developer site will get 42 million hits. I know that's page views and not users, but still, that's still an interesting statistic.

Oh yeah, here's the crappy picture that went along with the article:

Apple Webmasters - circa 1995

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