Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quote from my sweet, sweet mama

So, my due date is just a few days before my parent's anniversary, and I was feeling a little bad that my parents would be apart, because my mom will fly out here and my dad will be in Michigan. (Good thing it's the 31st and not the 30th for them!) So, I e-mailed my mom saying sorry and that I hoped Dad remember to do something before she left. Her response:

"Hey, no worries. When you're in love every day is a celebration! But I'll let dad take me out to dinner or buy me a flowering bush for the yard or something!"

I love that line: "When you're in love, every day is a celebration."

Isn't it fun to be in love? To get to spend every day with some who loves you, supports you, watches out for you? It is something to celebrate every day. :)

My parents: Phil and Vickie Boling

Friday, January 30, 2009

Taxes Schmaxes

So, Jeff is always really excited every year to do our taxes, because in the past it has meant that the state and federal governments send us some moula, and who doesn't like that?

Haha. This year, he put in the W-2 form information, and shocker! The tax website that we always use said that we owe the government over $200. Which is a surprise to me. It seems like the government messed up. I mean, it's their job to take the taxes out of our paycheck right? Why did they forget to take some out, and why would we owe it if they just give it back to us?

Well, apparently me working full time and Jeff working full time for half the year makes a difference in what we get back. I guess not all people get everything back. We just did because we were poor.

Hmm. I kind of liked getting it back.

So, now Jeff is fiddling around and reading everything and trying to see what things he can claim, etc. etc. I really have no idea what he's doing. So, he's finding out all of these things that we could have done last year and that we could declare this year that make a difference in our taxes.

It has been a real learning experience for me. Every 20 minutes or so, he looks up and says somethig like "how much money did you spend on prescription drugs?" "how much did we donate to charitable organizations?" "how much have you paid in medical bills?" "do you have the receipt for blah bleah bloo?" And so forth. He even asked me what allowances I had. I am so confused.

The big benefit of all this is that we still don't make that much money and our family is small. Imagine if we didn't become educated (well Jeff become educated) on all of these things until the taxes get even more complicated? The days of using only the W-2 forms appear to be gone—far, far behind us. At least we're not waiting until they are due, like in April or whenever. :)

And yes, I know that my ignorance is dangerous. I should pay more attention and learn about it, because it is good for me to know how to do it, too.

Awwww. Jeff just wanted to see what would happen if Jill had already been born. Sigh. We would only owe the state $90, and the federal government would give us over $2,000. Hm. So, that will be fun next year. Although, since Jeff graduates in April, I do hope we make more money next year than this year. Maybe not though, because we won't have both of us working full time for part of the year. (I hope to not work at all or maybe do something from home depending on what I feel up to.)

Anyway, this is my tax story. I'll keep you updated if there are any exciting, exhilarating, fulfilling changes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birthing classes

So, my baby book said that this month in my pregnancy is when I should start looking into birthing classes, because some fill up fast and others have long schedules, like the Bradley method classes take 12 weeks for example.

I've been getting advice from friends and family about if they chose a method, if so what method, if they didn't what they did instead, etc., so please feel free to add your two cents and let me know what you think about it.

I thought my daily quote today was kind of relevant to my timid thoughts of labor:
"Filled with his love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others."
—Elder John H Groberg, "The Power of God's Love", November 2004 Ensign pg. 9

Up until this point, I had kind of been avoiding the whole thought of it. I knew that regardless of whether I thought about it or not, it would happen, so why think about it, but my baby book has convinced me that knowledge is power and the more I know, I have a higher chance of being relaxed, less scared, etc. Those sound like good things to me, so yes, I'm trying to think about it now. :) Please give me advice. I am interested in your opinions.

My friends who have never had babies before have been asking about what my baby is up to these days, so here are some interesting tidbits. Jill can now see. Her eyelids had previously been sealed shut to allow her eyes to grow, but around this time, they open. I have no idea what there is to see though. My innards I suppose and liquid . . . Also, she apparently currently has more taste buds now than she will at any other time in her life. I guess we lose them somehow at birth? So, she sometimes reacts to what I eat. Her bones are solidifying and her muscles are strengthening, so she's beginning to pack a punch. She is still small enough to flip and move around, so she's quite active. Soon, she'll start getting really cramped, like the genie in his lamp in Aladdin. Poor little Jill. :)

I did go to the doctor today and learned that we are no longer worried about my kidneys, because there was no more protein in my pee. Yay! It was, indeed, transient. Darn that little hobo protein. Hehe. :) I gained two pounds since my last visit. Success! I have only gained 10 pounds so far this pregnancy. I am kind of surprised by that, but hey some people don't gain early on. I must have thrown up too much. ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Belly Time :)

So here is a little evolution of tummy (and hair length apparently).
Hehe. I'm pushing my belly out in the 4 mos. picture, but can you blame me? I wanted a belly! Haha. I definitely don't have to push anymore. Now it's impossible to suck in. Yay! Grow, Jilly Bean, grow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Games

So, we had FHE tonight with some other couples in our ward, and it was lots of fun. Jeff and I were asked to do the games, but Jeff had class until 7:00pm, so it was really up to me.

(Break in the narration, Jeff just jumped out of his chair and rolled around the ground stomping and moving like a dog with an itch, all the while laughing hysterically. I'm pretty sure he is g-chatting with our neighbors downstairs and had a very good reason for doing so. Boys will be boys.)

So, I want to write down all of these games, so that I can remember them.

Paper Telephone
Sit in a circle and give everyone a piece of paper. Every person should write down a sentence on the piece of paper in front of him or her. Sentence examples: "The fox ran through the gate to get to the chicken." or "Chocolate chip cookies are the little girl's favorite." Once everyone is done writing, you had the paper to the person next to you. You read the sentence on the new paper you've been given and draw a picture underneath it. You then fold the paper to hide the original sentence and pass the paper on. You then look at the new paper with only the drawing visible, and you write a sentence based off of the drawing. Then fold it, so the drawing is no longer visible and pas it on. Then draw a new picture based off of the sentence. End on the sentence phase when your original paper is about to get back to you, and share how your sentence was reinterpreted by each new person. It can be pretty funny to see how changed your original sentence is, just like in the game of telephone. (This game was shared with me by my sister, Amy.)

The Skittles Game
Put a bag of Skittles in the middle of the table. Go around the table and roll the dice. If anyone rolls doubles, he will begin taking Skittles out of the bowl/bag and putting them in his mouth one at a time. He cannot chew or swallow until someone else rolls doubles. Then that new person has to begin filling her mouth with Skittles until someone else relieves her. You keep going until all the Skittles are gone. Whoever eats the last Skittle "wins." In my opinion, the winner is the person who manages not to have any drool come out while holding all the Skittles in his or her mouth! :) (This game was shared with me by my friend Anna.)

The Candy Bar Game
Buy a bunch of candy bars. I like to have more candy bars than people, but you could make the competition really fierce by having fewer candy bars than people. Put all the candy bars in the middle of the people. Try to have a variety; I recommend only one of each type of candy bar. Then people really fight for them. Using one die. You pass the die around, each person rolling once. If you roll a 1 or a 6, then you can take a candy bar from the middle or steal from someone. However, you have to remember the name of the candy bar. I can't just say, "Jeff give me your candy bar." I have to say "Jeff, give me the Twix." So, if I tell him to give me the Twix, and he isn't the person who has it, then I don't get a candy bar. You only have one chance per roll to remember who has the candy bar you want, so pay attention! Meanwhile, you have a timer set for 10 minutes (I recommend). When the timer ends, you get to keep the candy bars in your possession. So roll fast, and remember who has the candy bars you want to steal! :) (I found this game on the internet.)

The Newlywed Game
This is a standard game apparently based off of a TV show, but I never saw the TV show. I play it by having a few questions and having each person write down what he or she thinks the answer is and what he or she thinks his or her spouse thinks the answer is. So, if the question is what was our first date, I would write bowling for my answer, and write bowling or eating lunch at Panda Express for what I think Jeff would write. Then you share the answers and whichever couple matched the closest wins. (I have no idea where I heard of this game for the first time, but it has been a popular one on the cruises we've been on.)

Phew. Now I won't forget these games the next time I have to think of a game for a group of adults. :)

Update

Yay! The test for syphilis came back negative (shocker!). ;) So, that pretty much means my rash could only be pityriasis rosea as I assumed all along. So, it won't hurt my baby at all, and in a month or two it (and the itching) will gradually fade away. Yay! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Basketball

Well, basketball games are getting a little bit more uncomfortable now, but I've found that walking around helps. Of course, with all the bathroom breaks, there is a lot of walking around. And after walking around the entire fieldhouse a few times, I have come to the opinion that the most amazing smell ever is the cinnamon roasted almonds booth. Oh my goodness. That smell needs to be turned into a candle. Wow!

Go Cougs!

Jason and Amy watched the game with us.

Before the game, Jason and Amy treated us to a yummy dinner. It was an Asian (most likely Japanese, since Amy is half Japanese, but I did not remember to ask) meal called . . . Shambu Shambu, or something somewhat similar to that. It works kind of like fondue. You have a pot of boiling water, to which you place the things you'd like to eat. There were thin slices of beef, tofu, bean sprouts, noodles, cabbage, etc. You throw those things in, and then the water boils them quite quickly. You take them out and dip them in one of a variety of dipping sauces. It's kind of a fun, community style dinner. :)

Dermatologist Results

So, the dermatologist thinks that it probably is pityriasis rosea. A nice thing is when I had it in 2005, the doctor said that the cause was unknown. Now, my doctor said that recently people are pretty sure it's from Herpes type 7 or something. So, it's a viral rash. You are really only supposed to get it once though, so me having it three times is slightly odd. My dermatologist said that maybe it was something else before and was misdiagnosed and I really haven't had it that many times, but it is acting exactly the same except for the itching, and only half of the cases of PR itch.

For the itching, it appears that I will have sweet, sweet release! He gave me a perscription for medium strength cortizone cream. I picked it up, and they gave me four tubes and the prescription has 6 more refills and expires in 2010. Whoa. I could get a lot of this stuff. :) I don't think I'll need that much though. It should go away in about a month or so.

There is one thing that he wants to rule out though just in case. Some sort of asexually transmitted second strand of syphilis. He had his nurses call over to the hospital, and they are going to do a RPR test on the blood that was taken from me yesterday. I'm glad I don't have to give more blood! I can handle it, but I do not enjoy it.

The reason he wants to rule it out is because of me having it more than once and because I have had foreign travel, where he said it can be as easy to get just by shaking hands with someone with an open sore who has it. So, in 2008, I was in the Bahamas; 2007, I was in Belize and Mexico; and in 2006, I was in Mexico and the Cayman Islands. He said this type can take a year or longer to show up, so he wants to make sure.

Oh yeah, and he's pretty sure the thing that has been on my tongue since September is geographic tongue, something my OB/GYN mentioned was a possibility. So, there is nothing that can be done about that, but it is nothing to worry about. Just something to live through. I've made it this long, so I'm pretty sure I can keep going. ;)

So yeah . . . that's that. :)

I would like to give a very positive review to this dermatologist. It was Eyre Dermatology in Orem, Utah. There are three doctors there with the last name of Eyre. I saw Dr. Steven P. Eyre, I believe. He was very informed, very friendly, very polite, etc. He made you feel reassured, like he knew what he was doing and was in charge. All of the nurses were very friendly, and the office was beautiful and immaculate. I wish I had gone there the last time I went to a dermatologist. I recommend him to everyone.

It was kind of funny. I had to put on this shirt thing, so I could show him my rash easily. Do you remember those like cloth things that are clamped around your neck at the orthodontist or dentist? It was kind of like a shirt made entirely out of that material. That was rather interesting and unexpected. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

And so it begins . . .

From Family Watch International

Sharon Slater, President

As expected, today U.S. President Barak Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy which prohibited U.S. tax dollars from being used internationally to promote or perform abortions.

There had been a glimmer of hope that he would not overturn this policy since he did not rescind it yesterday, as expected, as part of the celebration of the 36th anniversary of the Roe V Wade decision that struck down all state laws prohibiting abortion and ruled that it was a constitutional right.

However, those hopes were dashed when Obama signed a new order allowing millions of U.S. tax dollars to be used to promote abortion.

Some speculate that Obama delayed this action for a day out of respect for pro-life marchers who yesterday assembled in Washington to mourn the deaths of the over 40 million children that have been aborted since the US Supreme Court struck down all state abortion laws with the Roe V Wade decision.

A statement on Obama’s action by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the foremost U.S. group fighting abortion, is particularly good. Douglas Johnson, their legislative director commented:

"This is the first in an anticipated series of attacks on longstanding pro-life policies, as the new administration pushes Obama's sweeping abortion agenda. That agenda includes repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which would result in tax-funded abortion as a birth control method in the U.S., and imposition of sweeping pro-abortion mandates on private employers through health-care reform legislation.

"One effect of Obama's order will be to divert many millions of dollars away from groups that do not promote abortion, and into the hands of those organizations that are the most aggressive in promoting abortion in developing countries. President Obama not long ago told the American people that he would support policies to reduce abortions, but today he is effectively guaranteeing more abortions by funding groups that promote abortion as a method of population control."

Contrary to some misunderstandings, enforcement of the Mexico City Policy did not reduce the amount of money spent on the program, nor will Obama's order increase the amount (which is $461 million in the current fiscal year). Rather, the policy affects what type of groups qualify for grants under the program. "Obama's order will predictably result in a redirection of funds to groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which are ideologically committed to the doctrine that abortion on demand must be universally available as a birth control method," Johnson said.

Although Obama's order will result in major subsidies for organizations that promote abortion overseas, the direct use of the U.S. funds to perform abortion procedures will remain unlawful under the Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. "The Helms Amendment can be changed only by an act of Congress, but because the Obama Administration is joined at the hip with the abortion lobby, we will be watching carefully for any evidence that the Administration is failing to enforce the Helms Amendment," Johnson said.

The details of the Mexico City Policy are spelled out in an official handbook issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is available on request from NRLC (in PDF format). Basically, the policy required grantees to refrain from performing abortions (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest), or lobbying to legalize abortion, or otherwise promoting abortion as a family-planning method. The policy explicitly allowed responding to questions about where abortions may be obtained, in countries in which abortions are legal.

President Obama has made it clear that he will pursue a broad range of anti-life, anti-family policies. Unfortunately, this is merely the first of many. It should serve as a good wake up call for pro-family citizens to oppose these policies by every means available to us.

Sincerely,
Sharon Slater
Sharon Slater
President


News like this makes me sad. Please do not think that I believe abortion should be illegal. I just don't think it should be promoted and made more accessible. I believe it is already too accessible. It has proven to have so many detrimental mental, emotional, and physical effects on the woman (let alone death to the child), and so many people are not educated about the negative aspects. They view it as a cure-all, or something that has few side effects down the road. I wish we lived in a society where unborn babies were only conceived into loving families and were safe from dangers like abortion. Call me naive or ignorant, but that is what I wish.

Doctor = Superman

Doctors do have special powers! When I called the dermatologist, I was told the end of February. When my doctor's office called, I was told tomorrow morning at 9:30! I've never been to the doctor on a Saturday before, but I'm excited to go and lay the rash concerns to rest.

Slight Resolution

So, after the failed call with the dermatologist, I called my OB/GYN and left a message on the nurse answering machine. About an hour and a half later, a nurse called me back and said that I should go to Labor and Delivery.

So, I called a friend or two and found one who could give me a ride (thank you so much, Candela!) and went over to the hospital in Orem. I was admitted to a room and got to lie on a comfortable bed.

Four and a half hours later, the baby's heart beat was normal, there had been no contractions, I had peed five times, I had gotten really hungry, my blood results were fine, and my doctor ruled out normal viral or pregnancy rashes. The only red flag they found is that there was protein in my urine. Apparently, protein should not be in my urine.

From what Jeff was reading on the internet last night, a kidney problem could explain a lot of the symptoms. The doctor had been worried about my kidneys at the beginning of my pregnancy, because of my kidney past, but the tests then showed normal functioning. So, they set an appointment for me to come back next week and see if there is still protein or if the protein was "transient." :) Hehe. It makes me think that there are proteins rooming my body like hobos or something.

One plus is that they decided not to give me an IV and just kept me longer drinking a lot of water and grape juice. I am very glad I did not have to have an IV.

Oh yes, the doctor ruled out the PUPPS (that may be written wrong) and chicken pox. It's not acting the way that would, and he is very convinced that it most likely is pityriosis rosea like I mentioned in a previous blog post. I told him about how the dermatologist couldn't see me until the end of February, and he said he would have his office call their office and see if they couldn't get me in within a week or two.

So basically, I still don't know anything, but I am feeling better. I think I probably was a bit dehydrated, and of course just resting does wonders. :)

Thank you, Candela, for waiting with me so long!

To make up for the grumpy posts

So, my last two posts were a little grumpy, so to make up for it, I have stolen pictures from my sister-in-law to exploit the cuteness of my brand new niece! :) Drum roll please . . . here is some more of Emily Ruth Boling!

Here are Rachel and Emily. Rachel somehow survived four hours of straight pushing and a C-section! Go Rachel! And look at all of Emily's precious hair! :)

Emily Ruth Boling, 9 lbs 9 oz 21 in

Here she is with my brother and her papa. :) I think she looks cute sleeping.

With Danny again. Congrats!

So, that kind of cuteness, sweetness, softness is what I have to look forward to in just a few short months. On February 8, I'll be six months' pregnant! Yay! Let's do a hoo-rah dance!

So much for good intentions

So, I looked, and the two dermatologists my OB/GYN recommended were not listed on my insurance's website. My insurance's website had three listed though and I found a positive review online, so I decided to give them a try. (By the way, the one I went to months ago for my tongue was not listed, so I wonder if he got booted or if I did something wrong in my search last time.) So, I called these guys. They share a clinic and all have the same last name. There are no openings until the end of February. Well. I certainly don't want to wait a month with this itch, so I said no thanks. I asked if there was a cancellation waiting list, and she said but that I would be at the bottom and there were no guarantees if anyone would cancel. That makes sense. I might not even have this rash still by then. I'm not sure what to do now. I've never not been able to get an appointment when I need one with a doctor covered by my insurance. I guess I've been a spoiled girl.

So, I have Select Health, but I think out of their like eight levels, I have the second to the lowest level. I just went up one level and searched again, and now the dermatologists my OB/GYN recommended are listed. The one I went to a few months ago and disliked it there now too. At least now I know why it cost me so much money to go to him! My insurance didn't cover him like I thought.

Urgle

Sigh. With the risk of getting too graphic, let's just say that my body is unhappy with me. Acid reflux; vomiting; sharp, stabbing pains; unusually moist, odd-colored stool; and the rash is spreading like . . . daisies. It's everywhere. I kind of had a horror movie moment two nights ago when I woke up with blood all over the inside of my top. Apparently I scratched way too much in my sleep. Anyway, Jeff and my mom believe that maybe I'm kind of anemic right now. It sounds like a good, normal theory to me. I'll go get it tested out. And I'll finally get around to scheduling that dermatologist appointment.

Sigh.

On the plus side, for the last week or so, Jeff has been able to feel Jill move, so I get to share that joy with him. :) The other day (when we were in Las Vegas), it felt like she was using my side as a spring board, and Jeff is positive that he could tell he was feeling her foot. :)

Thank you, Martha, so much for the Tums! Sweet relief so far!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What have I done today?

"Almost every day brings opportunities to perform unselfish acts for others. Such acts are unlimited and can be as simple as a kind word, a helping hand, or a gracious smile."
—James E. Faust, "What's in It for Me?", Ensign, Nov. 2002, 19

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gambling

So, while in Las Vegas, I wondered to myself why so many people gamble. The house always wins. These people actually come with a plan to just spend money and not get something back, like a show or food or clothing or night's stay. Perhaps they get a thrill or something in return, but that's just not worth it to me.

Anyway, Get Fuzzy appeared to be thinking about the same thing as I was.

Photo taken from www.comics.com. For those of you needing visual assistance, click on the comic to make it bigger.

Good-bye Again!

Well, all good things must come to an end, and our jobs and Jeff's school beckoned, so we left this morning to come back to Provo. Zach was already at work like a good boy, so he's not pictured. I'm pretty sure he won't mind. :)

One last play date between Ryan and Jeff.

Bye bye, Ryan! Aunt Michelle loves you!

One last picture of Brooke and I before we left her to get back to her normal day-to-day activities. I definitely miss not having her next door.

I tried to take a picture to show how nice the home they are renting is, but the sun is kind of disrupting my shot. Oh well. It has three bedrooms, two full baths, with a spacious living room and kitchen. The best parts to me (haha) are the garage, washer and dryer, and dishwasher. Sigh. I can't wait to live somewhere with those again! It backs right up to a big park, so that's great for walking, and it even has its own backyard! While sad for those being foreclosed, foreclosures are definitely nice to those looking to rent and buy right now!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday in Las Vegas

We went to church with the Bellows in their temporary ward, Willows Ward. It was a wonderful experience! During every hour, multiple people came up to us, greeting us, welcoming us. Some even remembered our names or where we were from. They were a perfect example of how fellowship should be done.

After church and lunch, we headed over to the temple. None of us had ever seen the Las Vegas Temple before. I was very impressed (once again) at what a good job the Church does at choosing the location of their temples. They always are so prominent and higher up when possible. You could see it from very far away driving up the street to it.

I thought these were really interesting flowers. I've never seen anything like them before. Does anyone have any idea what these are?

Dr. Bryan Fellows and his gorgeous wife, Brooke
So, someone heard Zach's name wrong and thought it was Fellows and not Bellows, and then upon learning what neighborhood they are currently living in someone asked if he was a doctor. We made it into a joke (since they're only going to be there until they can move into their new house end of Feb./beginning of March) that Zach might as well live the dream and pretend to be Bryan Fellows, MD, while they're there. :)

Jeff and I in front of the temple right before I jumped to my near demise. Sometimes I forget that I'm bigger, less agile, and more breakable right now . . .

We were wondering how they got the grass so green when everything else in Nevada seemed pretty dead/yellow. We thought maybe they spent millions of dollars on irrigation like a golf course. Then, Jeff discovered their economical secret: We're pretty sure they're spray painting the grass. Isn't that genius?

A view from the back of the temple.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Las Vegas—The Strip

So, Bellows withdrawal was just too hard to handle. I got work off, and Jeff already had school off for MLK Jr. Day, so we jumped in the car and drove to Las Vegas. 5 1/2 hours later, we were with the Bellows again. Yay!

Wouldn't he be an awesome sight to wake up to every morning? Hehe, I have to remind myself that he doesn't always wake up happy, but he is just such a doll!

BYU played New Mexico today, and the Bellows don't have cable yet. (They're renting this amazing place for a few months and then moving into their awesome new house.) So, being in Las Vegas, we (*cough* Jeff) decided there would be no better place to watch the game than the ESPN Zone, of course. So, off we went. The food was a bit pricey, but they gave you lots of it, so it worked out. :)
Crazy amount of TVs. In addition to all those, our table had its own smaller flat screen, where we could choose any of the channels from the big wall to watch.
That is Jeffrey's hamburger. It was called a Double Triple or something. Basically, to me, it's like four hamburgers. He (and Zach) managed to get it done though. :) We did have to make lunch last the whole game, hehe.
The Bellows in BYU (or maybe baby boy) blue.

Jeff and Mimi. Just Jeff and Mimi. Sigh. Still waiting for Jill.

Ryan thought he was pretty fancy up on that tall ledge. Look at him crossing his little feet! So cute. :) Too bad he was so eager to get to our dessert that he fell off. :( That was sad.

After lunch, we decided that since we were on the Strip, we definitely should take in some other sights. The Bellows have only lived there for like two weeks or something (if that), so lots of stuff was new to them. Down below, you see the lions at the MGM. They were sleeping, and apparently they do that for the vast majority of their day. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. House cats love to sleep all day, so why wouldn't the bigger version?

Here we are at the Bellagio looking at their exhibit. When Jeff and I were here last year, it was this amazing fall scene with apples and a water mill thing. I think this time the theme was Chinese New Year, perhaps? Whatever it was, it was amazing. I think Courtney Workman should look into getting the job of decorating the Bellagio!
Real fish. They really don't mess with the details. Look at them hiding by the pagoda. :) Brooke's excellent theory is that they got sick of being hit with pennies. Hehe.
These pandas were amazing. I don't know if the bushes they're trimmed from were alive or not, but either way, snaps for whoever made something this cool.
Ryan has got some serious static goin' on with his hair. He's a happy camper though. Lots of people for him to look at, and luckily he won't remember any of the billboards! :)

Here we are out front of the Bellagio, waiting for the fountain show to begin.

This is for you, Daryl and Laurie! :)
Jeff's mom is a huge, huge fan. Pretty much all of the family vacations growing up were centered around Donny Osmond concerts. He's actually what introduced her to the Church when she was a teenager, and we're definitely glad that happened!

We also walked up to the Mirage and looked at the aquarium in the lobby. It was cool, but not exactly what we were expecting. The City Center (under construction) is going to be the biggest City Center I've ever seen. I think Zach said it's a 9 million dollar project. A few parts of it have been contracted out to the company he works for, Burke. Cool, huh?

We meant to see the outdoor light show, but after walking for three hours, we were all pretty tuckered out. I definitely got some good exercise today!

ABC Interview with Ballard and Cook

Elder Russell Ballard and Quentin Cook allowed themselves to be interviewed and took press members through the Draper open house, along with providing them with Church footage of the new temple.

Here is the link.

It's mostly positive, and even though polygamy is mentioned, they at least say that the mainstream Church outlawed it in 18-whatever. Sad. I wonder if I should know that date . . .

Friday, January 16, 2009

Welcome Emily Ruth Boling!

After a long labor, four hours of pushing, and a C-section, my brother Dan and his wife Rachel were blessed with a beautiful baby girl: Emily Ruth Boling. She came in at 9 pounds 9 ounces, so she's definitely not messing around! Rachel and baby are both doing well. :) Jeff and I are excited to have another one of our nieces arrive, and we're excited that now we're next with the granddaughters!

For those of you who don't know, my three siblings and I all got married between April 2006 and August 2007, and we've all had girls (if you count me) from January 2008 to May 2009. It's crazy how quickly your life can change!

Emily Ruth at two hours' old.

Little Archuleta

So, I think David Archuleta is amazing, and I think this video is hilarious/awesome. What a song to have been chosen for him to sing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Basketball and Looses

After many futile attempts at making plans, we finally got to spend some time with Steve and Trina Loos. Trina and I were on the activities committee (she was the chair and I the mentor haha) in the singles' ward for almost a year and a half. For the last few months, Steve was Trina's co-chair. Jeffrey credits much of their successful love to his putting them together in that calling. Haha. :)


BYU beat TCU, so all was well in our world. Jeff and I didn't realize we were wearing the same shirts until we got to the game and took our coats off. Funny stuff. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doctor Visit Again

So today we got to go back to the doctor. :) Blood pressure is normal, and Jill's heartbeat is going strong! Yay :) Next month I am having something called a sugar test. I never got around to asking what that actually means. I was just told it would take an hour and to not eat or drink for two hours before coming. I guess I'll find out next month. I meant to ask, but I was distracted, because I was busy asking him about my rash, tongue, and cold. I've had a cold for three weeks now. :( I know colds are not the end of the world, but it seems slightly unfair to have a cold and be pregnant, hehe. Life's not fair, eh?

Yes, I said rash up there. I have a rash. From my chin to my hips. I'm quite positive it's the same one I had in 2005. It started the same way with a herald patch that you kind of don't notice (I thought it was a large, slow forming zit on my neck haha silly me). Then more patches pop up and pretty soon you're covered. The only real difference I've seen so far is that I'm not as covered, but I do have more skin now with my baby belly, so that could be why. Also, when I had it twice in '05, it didn't itch, and it itches this time. That's slightly unfortunate, but not the worst thing that could happen.

My OB/GYN wants me to go to a dermatologist, but it is acting exactly like previous rashes I've had (except for the itch and I was told last time that it commonly itches, so I'm not worried about that), so it seems kind of pricey to go just to have him confirm what I already know about my own body. We'll see . . .

It's called pityriasis rosea, by the way.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wirthlin Quote

"If you feel that Heavenly Father is not listening to your petitions, ask yourself if you are listening to the cries of the poor, the sick, the hungry, and the afflicted all around you."
—Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Law of the Fast," Ensign, May 2001, 73

The man, and by that I mean inspired man of God, has a very valid point. One, God helps those who helps others (and themselves). Two, I think when you help others, you are more likely to accept help yourself. God may be sending earthly angels that you're ignoring. Three, I pretty much always agree with what Wirthlin has said. Four, your problems might go away by serving someone else, because you'll just feel happier.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good-bye Bellows and Poultons!

So, the Poultons and the Bellows flew back to Utah tonight just to leave again in a day or so. The Poultons are going to Virginia for a political science internship for Aaron, and the Bellows are going to start "real life" in Las Vegas, Nevada. I think Aaron's internship is with a senator (?) or maybe a lobbyist, and Zach's real job is with a construction company called Burke.

I love how by saying that he'll have a real job, I'm implying that my job is a fake one. ;)

We will definitely miss them both.

Brittany with beautiful Chantilly


Brooke and Ryan—looking great in blue


Jeffrey and Chantilly. Boy! He's really got her attention. :)


Little Chantilly Victoria Poulton. I wonder how big she'll be when they come back in four months! I might not recognize her. She already got so big just in the two weeks of Christmas vacation.

Two good ones in a row!

"How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death."
—Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Marriage That Endures," Ensign, Jul 2003, 2–7

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another quote I like

"The secret of a happy marriage is to serve God and each other. The goal of marriage is unity and oneness, as well as self-development. Paradoxically, the more we serve one another, the greater is our spiritual and emotional growth."
—Ezra Taft Benson, "Fundamentals of Enduring Family Relationships," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 59

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back Where It All Began

The trip ended where it began: back in Indianapolis. Amy, Devin, and Hallie had to leave to go back to Peoria, but other than that, I had all of my family together again. Poor Hallie and Amy were sick. Rachel still hasn't had her baby (her due date is Jan. 11), and I am slightly disappointed, but babies will come when they want to and not a minute sooner, unless the doctor gets involved. :)

We went to an art show for starving artists. There were some very beautiful pieces there. Pete and Mindee got some for their home. My childhood friend and old high school sweetheart, Jacob Jackson, met us at the show, and I got to meet his current sweetheart, Jami Ullrey. Jacob had only met Jeff once (at my wedding reception), so it was a nice get together. Jacob's always been like part of my family, so we all enjoyed seeing them.

We went to a nice Mexican restaurant, where Jeff saved me from myself twice. I wanted to eat diced up peppers. Straight peppers. Nothing added. And then later I tried eating fresh guacamole, and Jeff had to remind me that we think I'm allergic to avocados. (I've gotten sick the last three times I've had them.) Sometimes I honestly wonder what I would do without him, and I hope I never have to find out. :)

Jacob accidentally left his car lights on when we were in the restaurant, so Jami, Rachel, and I got to learn how many men it takes to properly hook up jumper cables. Hehe. Five apparently. I think it would have gone a lot faster if there had only been one or two.


Here's Jacob and Jami. :) I am glad to have met her. She was a very sweet, nice girl. I hope that Jacob holds on to her! (I think he hopes so, too.) ;)

After dinner, Jeff and I were off to the airport to catch our flight. I really am impressed by how nice Indy's new airport looks. *whistle* That must have been a lot of tax dollars at work.

A pleasant surprise was that our tickets for the flight from Indy to Denver were Classic Plus (or something) instead of economy, so we got free television and snacks. Woot woot! Sadly, the BYU/Wake Forest game was not on any of the channels on the TV, but ESPN did show us the score every now and then. It seemed so close, but then we ended up letting it slip out of our fingers. I'm sad to see our longest home winning streak go, but I am glad that we played well against a really good team.

Now in Denver, our flight is delayed, so that's a bummer. :( We were supposed to get home at 11:00pm. Now who knows when it will be. It looks like three or four more hours. Sigh.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Back in Fountain City

Our stay at Jeff's parents' had to come to an end, and we all traveled back to Fountain City to spend a little bit more time at my grandparents' house. Here's my cute, cute niece Hallie.

My grandpa's favorite game is Othello, and he's been playing with his grandkids for years. This was Jeffrey's first experience, and he learned quickly that the board game's box does not lie. It says that it's a game that takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. Well, my grandpa has had a lifetime, and Jeff has not. Needless to say, Jeff never beat Grandpa.

Here's my dad and Hallie's grandpa. He's always stealing quality time with our resident cutie!

I got to see some more of my cousins: Jon, Stevie, and Rob. Also featured is my aunt Ramona.

Oxford, Ohio

So, my great-grandparents used to live in Cincinnati, so my family would often make the drive to and from Cincinnati and Richmond (where my grandparents live). We would often break our trip in Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University. Since we were doing that drive again, we decided to stop there again. We ate lunch at Great Steak & Potato Company, played around a little bit in the park where your voice echoes, and tried to force Hallie to sit on animal statues Amy and I used to sit on. Haha.

It's a new era of me in purple and Amy in pink. :) My mom picked colors for all of the kids. The boys had red and blue, and Amy was purple, and I was pink. She would then buy all these matching outfits and other supplies (like pencils, backpacks, etc.). You always knew which one was yours, because it was in "your color." So, this year our mothers-in-law bought us coats (with our approval), and we ended up in each other's colors! ;) Jeff is sporting his new coat as well. We love our new coats. I wonder how long I'll fit in mine. Jill keeps stretching me further and further. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Batavia, Ohio (near Cincinnati)

The next step in our journey was to go to Jeff's parents' house in Batavia, Ohio. Jeff was already there, having gotten there on Saturday to see his family and hang out with his best buddy, Chinh. Did I mention that Saturday's weather was so nice Jeff got to go golfing? Sigh. I felt silly carrying my coat around in the beautiful, spring weather we had blessed with.

I am a lucky girl! My niece Hallie fell asleep in my arms.

This time she was given to me after she had already fallen asleep, but I still felt special and promptly joined her. Amy is faking in this picture, but she did eventually fall asleep, too.

Some of the highlights of the trip were . . .
  1. Laurie's fabulous New Year's Eve party: There is always way more food than the amount of people there could eat, but we sure don't mind having leftovers for the next few days!
  2. Celebrating my dad's birthday on January 1. My mom, sister, and I got to sing all of our favorite birthday songs that I haven't sung in forever! "Happy birthday, uh" anyone?
  3. Playing a new board game called oh shucks. I forgot the name. Well, you get half an expression and you have to make up how it ends. Then you vote on each other's and the real one. It was a really fun game. I also got to play some standard games, Clue and Scrabble.
  4. Dana Daniels—he is a comedian magician that Jeff's parents saw recently in Las Vegas. They bought his DVD, and we definitely watched it three times. Funny stuff. If you see me and have a box of animal crackers, I will show you the disappearing tiger or disappearing monkey rump! :) I loved listening to my dad laugh and seeing Devin enjoy something so thoroughly.
  5. Watching Kung Fu Panda and Prince Caspian, a second time for both, but still good. :)

Here's the Devster with his Hallie

Jason and Amy (Jeff's brother)

The day before I got there, Jeff's family went to this place that had funnel cakes, and I had never had them before. Jeff's family thought that was really sad for me, so his dad googled a recipe and we had funnel cakes for breakfast one morning! Thanks, Daryl. :)

Jeff's youngest brother, Kyle, playing World of Warcraft

My mother-in-law Laurie and her "baby boy." (Jeff is her oldest.)

My sister and I, looking cute as usual.