Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not Enough Pictures from Utah

Rocky and I were able to visit Utah for a week and had a great time relaxing with family and friends.

It was a drag that Brandon couldn't come with us but it was worth it when I saw how excited he was when we got back.
It was kind of crazy because my parents have re-done their basement and I was able to stay in my old room. Even though things look much better I could still feel the old comfort that I knew through my young life. I think there is just something special about that house and I'm pretty sure it is the people that live there.

Rocky was able to make a new friend. In memory of Grandpa Jolley she calls her "Feller."

She has a square of white tape on her forehead because Jill and I were using her for a scientific experiment. We wanted to know if she knew that she was the person in the mirror. I heard on the Radio Lab podcast that they tested monkeys by drawing a dot on each forehead and observing if it would react by trying to wipe its own head, or the one in the mirror. The monkeys, incidentally, knew that the dot was on their own bodies. Rocky didn't do so well. Our first experiment failed because she was so enamoured by her face that she never even noticed the tape. We tried again later by using a sticky note with a cartoon drawn on it. She nearly stubbed her finger trying to get it out of the mirror.

I probably could have come to the same conclusion by reading it on Wikipedia but this was a lot more fun.

My little girl is very much like her dad in that she could sleep anytime, anywhere. (With the sad exception of when she is in a late-night flight on the way back to Eugene.) This picture documents how she feels when I wake her up before she is ready. But, when she started to cheer up I took a video of her sleepy eyes.

Unfortunately, at this point the battery in my camera died and I wasn't able to take any more pictures. It is pretty lame that when I get to visit the people that I don't feel I get to see enough I spend all of my camera energy on taking even more pictures of the only one who came back to Eugene with me.

Milk - It Does a Body Good

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rocky's First Valentine

Share the Love

Rocky woke up this morning and decided to take the same attitude about Valentine's Day as her dad.

She seemed to change her mind, however, when she got her first Valentine. It came in the mail all the way from Grandma's house and she absolutely loved it. She played with it all day.

I decided that in honor of the season I would make sugar cookies that could potentially be the match that would ignite my New Year's healthy eating strategy into flames. It took a little bit of debate but I decided that the risk was worth taking. After all, what are holidays for if not to create family traditions?

Peace, Love, and Cookies

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I read a theory somewhere that the obsession that people feel for their children is really a narcissistic display of the love of they feel for themselves. If there is any truth to that I must be completely self-centered because I cannot get enough of my daughter.

Some of it may just be that because the two of us are home together all day she is my main source of entertainment. But, I'm pretty sure that a lot of it is because she is really cute.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Keeping Quiet

Today is another big studying day for Brandon. I am proud to see him work so hard and I'm a little surprised that I can feel jealous that he is still in school. I'm waiting for him to become a professor so that I can go and take classes again.
On nights like this I am so grateful for my i-pod.
Bonus Picture

Sunday, February 8, 2009

When I was in high school I was on the cross country team. I loved it for many reasons, especially for the socializing. Because my mind was more on good conversation that split times I never was very competetive when it came to racing. But, the good thing about cross country is that they never had tryouts. If you showed up on a race day in a uniform you always got to play. By my senior year my 5K times were good enough to be a member of the varsity team but I was usually the 6th runner.

I've seen T-shirts at basketball games where fans claim to be the 6th man on the team because their cheering has the power to influence the outcome of the game.

Being the 6th or 7th runner is a lot different than being a fan.

For those of you who aren't familiar with cross country may think that the goal of every runner is to win the race. Not so. As the 6th runner, my job was to be a "displacer" or a "pusher" which lends to many a raised eyebrow, but is not near as interesting as it sounds. Basically it was my job to try and beat one of the top five runners from other teams. Cross country is similar to golf only in that whoever has the lowest score wins. Each person who crosses the finish line receives points and the more people who cross before you, the higher your point. If I, as a pusher, could outrun someone whose points were actually going to count, it gave my team a better chance at winning.

I liked my job because I didn't feel that it carried the same amount of pressure as the top five. It also made it really fun when I started out at the back of the pack and could slowly pass people. I would imagine them with point values floating in the air above their heads and could see them increase as I went by. Unfortunately people often passed me, but I was confident knowing that my value was solid and consitently zero. I could hurt them, but they couldn't hurt me. When the race was over I would immediately meet in big sweaty hug with my teammates. Our combined effort held value becuase I knew that we all needed each other win or lose.
I was thinking about this the other day while I was blow-drying my hair.

Sometimes it seems like we are in a race against each other and some people seem to be winning and some people definitely seem to be losing. Because we are so competetive in our society it is hard not to think that displacing someone else will benefit us. But, the secret is that we are all on one team. There are no zeros in the race and passing someone doesn't change their point value. Our values are fixed and won't be changed by anything that anyone around us does or does not do.
The secret of cross country is that racing is DANG HARD. We need to be there for our teammates as much as we need them to be there for us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Poached Pictures

Brandon always gets annoyed because I use pictures on my blog that he has specifically taken to put on his blog. Unfortunately he sometimes forgets that he is in grad school and therefore has no time for blogging.
I, on the other hand, have more free time than I have ever had before and rely on my blog which has become a good friend on otherwise lonely nights. Nights like tonight when Brandon finally got a ticket to the U of O basketball game. I'm glad that he went, but, since he is gone and I am alone there is nobody here to tell me that I can't use this picture.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry

Our Rock Star is growing like a weed. She has her first little tooth which we fondly refer to as the 'nub'. I took her for her 9 month checkup which she passed with flying colors weighing in at just under 18 lbs. At 28.5 inches she is still very tall for her age. She's already starting her
G-Pa Rigby's famous jumping program so that she will be able to dunk a basketball by the time she is a year old.
She's not only tall, but she is pretty darn tough because she got her flu shot and anemia test and wasn't phased at all. She was more interested in the nurse than in the needle. I'm really lucky to have such a sweet little girl.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Although it was horrible to return to Utah for a funeral, out trip turned out to be extremely fun because everyone was in town. We were able to have some major bonding time with Brandon's siblings and their spouses. I have always loved the Rigbys but I think that this opportunity brought us even closer.
I especially like it when we are together at Mike and Kathy's. It seems that by merely walking through the door of their mother's house those men are transported back into being giggly teenagers. Brandon has a specific laugh that he saves for moments with his brothers.
When you lose someone that you love it is easy to take a step back and appreciate the people that you still have. I am lucky that my in-laws are some of my very best friends.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Memories of Grandma Jolley

We were saddened this week to lose Brandon's Grandma Jolley. Brandon and I lived in her basement apartment for three years. During that time I was able to get to know Grandma and I have many fond memories of her.
The first thing that always comes to my mind which isn't really that surprising if you know me is the amazing food that she would make. She was always trying out new recipes and we were the willing volunteers when it came to tasting them. She made all kinds of breads and the house would smell warm and comforting as we would come home from work. She taught me how to make pizza and always made extra copies for me of the recipes that she liked. She had a huge collection of cookbooks that she'd let me borrow. As a new wife I was always running upstairs to borrow spices and ask advice. After I started to get better I would take my food for her to taste and she seemed to be proud of my progress. We also spent a lot of evenings, especially while Grandpa was alive and refused to sleep watching Alton Brown on Food Network.
She also introduced me to HG TV where we dreamed about all the improvements that could be made in her house and in our apartment. It wasn't until we left that she actually got to see some of those dreams come true.
I appreciated Grandma's yard, which is where we had our wedding reception and where I spent many summer afternoons because the Central Air inside made our basement feel like we were living in an icebox. When she was out watering her plants Brandon would always ask her about the different varieties and she always knew the answers. She loved that yard and she did everything she could to make it beautiful.
I enjoyed watching Grandma and Brandon talk because he could always get her giggling. Once she started it would escalate into a silly mood. He would tease her about her old hockey days because she had a couple of fake teeth in a partial that she would take out at night. He would tell me that she got hit by a puck and she would pretend like she didn't love his teasing. He also always tried to catch her saying "warsh" instead of "wash" but she would deny it every time.

I liked to talk to her too because she always knew the news about everyone in the family. There are family members that probably don't even know who I am, but I know all about what is going on in their lives. She knew about every single person and what they were up to. I thought it was pretty neat that she had such an interest in every single person in the family.

When Rocky was born Grandma showered her with love. She would wrap her in a blanket and snuggle with her. Because I was such a new mother it was always reassuring that I had an expert in the same house.

Grandma's house will never be the same without her, but I will always think of it, as it was, with gratitude and love.