Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our Canadian Holiday

We just returned from what was an unforgettable trip to Beausejour, Manitoba. All of our families came together. My parents made the long haul from NC and Connor's family took good care of us in the Manitoba praries and towns - Winnipeg, Gimli, Piniwa, Selkirk, and, of course, Beausejour!

The ladies threw me a surprise baby shower our first full day there - I was floored! Completely surprised! They threw a spectacular event - filled with tons of healthy food concoctions (key for me these days!), fancy drinks, mountains of beautiful gifts - and a room filled with family and friends. It brought me to tears, I could not believe they had done so much for me! It was a fantastic time, and little man Bates totally RACKED UP!

We spent most days on one adventure or another - day trip to Piniwa Lake (and small boating accident - victims include propeller and some other random boat part, ugh), shopping day in Gimli, sports day, explosion day - good fun for guys and girls alike. It was an absolute blast! I will not forget this trip.

Life is better when shared! It was incredibly special to share this unique (rounded) chapter of life with my mom and dad, and Connor's family. I swear love them like I love my own family, and that's a WHOLE LOT!

Check out all the Bates - Akulis Good Times Here

The Bates Boys! Piniwa Lake Picnic Day - Cole gets buried alive!

On the bird

Random Trip to Boston

This is a trip I have to blog on. August 4th, Friday - mid afternoon...

Sitting on the bird, only an hour and a half after the ticket was purchased - on a total whim. Staring down at the shrinking landscape, I was completely emotional. I know, it’s got to be the prego hormones. But, so much inside me was screaming out loud (and, no, I did nothing overly embarrassing on this particular flight!) I wanted to travel, be off in a moment’s notice – skip across the country to one of my favorite cities…just because it felt like I should! And, so I did.

Connor had been relentlessly pursuing me all week to join him in Boston for the weekend. No, no no. Then, something hit me. My life is under undergoing so much construction. It is soon to be completely remodeled. And, that just shook me. I had to catch that flight!

And, so glad I did. I LOVE Boston - it is a town drenched in memories and good vibes for me. This is one to remember!

Seaside in Beantown @ 19 weeks

By the New England Aquarium

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Yes, it’s intermission time for this gal – we are half baked. Acutally almost 2 weeks past half-baked (I'm on back-order these days with posting my life events!) Twenty-one, almost twenty-two weeks. Over half way through our Prego Experience. It is really going by fast, and I am so thankful that I've been feeling so good. It is still really hard to fully absorb. We look at my growing belly and we’re like, that’s SO weird!! It is an absolutely wild experience!

I am just returning home now from a fantastic trip to Canada... My folks from NC made the trip up this summer & it was really one for the books! More soon...

Friday, August 18, 2006


Yes, that about sums up our recent hiking trip in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. We hit a semi-rigorous trail in the Alum Rock Park on about three Saturdays ago. It was a very dry, HOT Saturday afternoon. The ascent up the side of the steep hill wasn’t too bad given our stop-and-go pace! Ha! It was Connor, Allie, and myself on the climb. We did happen to see a few signs – something about watching out for rattlesnakes which had been spotted on the trails – or something like that. Yeah, yeah. I had seen the mountain lion, wild boar and various other ferocious animal warning signs, never actually spotting one – or encountering one myself. I felt nearly invincible – ha!

Just off on a daydream or a ramble, I suddenly saw Connor, leading the group, freeze dead in his tracks and extend both arms back in a wide arc, signaling us to stop. What? I didn’t see anyth…. And, just then … I saw it! AHHH! He was well camouflaged – blending right into the surroundings. A giant adult snake coiled up in a huge ball sat on the corner of our trail. He could not have been more than 10 feet away from Connor. I was so freakin’ scared! I very slowly began taking big steps backward, looking behind me for brothers or sisters of this slimy beast! The snake was HUGE. He slowly began uncoiling himself and little by little and then began slithering his long thick body up the side of the grassy hill back into the wood. He was long. VERY long. At the end of his trunk, probably about 10 feet long, we spotted his identifying marks – a large rattle was sticking up in the air at the end of his tail. HOLY PETE, Sweet Mary! We watched until he had completely slipped away.

Just then I think it was Allie who turned to say, ‘You know, he’s really more scared of us than we are of him.’ It was too late for me. I had already taken off high-speed down the trail. I hollered back over my shoulder, ‘Fat chance!’

That is one encounter I will not forget. And, I think I’ll pay attention to those wild animal warning signs now too!!

Crying While Eating

The new marketing hotness in the online world of SEO (search engine optimization) and viral marketing is 'link baiting'. Getting online sites to link to your site is a very sought after phenomenon to many SEO gurus looking for number one rankings in Google. The latest strategy in increasing these backlinks to your site? Brainstorm "brilliant" ideas that people will naturally want to link to. Set up this viral campaign, and watch the ahrefs pour in.

Well, now doesn't this just open the playing field WIDE open. How creative can you be? One online guru group really captured the spirit of link baiting if you ask me with:

Crying While Eating

See, I'm linking to it, because it is a friggin' riot!
Check it out for a good Friday afternoon laugh!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally, It Has Sunk In... I'm Growing an Alien

May 21st, 2006, Sunday, I had just returned home from my week-long work trip in Vegas. It had been a very stressful month for me, both personally and professionally. I gave very little thought to the fact that I had gone period-less that month. And, when I realized the event that had gone missing that month, it was not a great surprise, given the month's hairiness. Besides, I can barely keep track of my conference calls, travel dates and whether or not I remembered to feed Frankie that day. Heck, I was not really sure when my day was to come! Still, for some reason, maybe an itch of responsibility, or a sign from God above, I felt compelled to take a home pregnancy test. I was thoroughly convinced of the results before I even saw them. In fact, I did my business on the stick and went about unpacking my suitcases... Laundry, ugh!

Oh! The test. I went back in to have a peak.


Numbness. Disbelief. I stared blankly at the pink line forming a cross in an utter stupor. ‘What does this mean’ I kept asking myself despite the crystal clear instructions (and illustration!) all over the packaging. I stood there for what seemed to be eternity. And, then, I heard a small shaky voice eke out of my throat, “Hey Connor, you better come up here...(voice crack)”


We hopped in the car and drove straight to Target (where else?) where we bought one of each type of home pregnancy test kit they carried. Digital, not digital, Clearblue, the cheap-o brand…

Then, we raced home and I promptly did the deal with all the test sticks!
Postive * Pregnant * Positive
By Sunday night, it was looking like we were pregnant. Yikes! But, with so many questions.

The top of both of our lists: How??? Yes we know how, but not really. We were using what is advertised to be a 97% effective form of birth control! It was all very confusing. [Yes, you must insert the famous 'Friends' episode here when Ross finds out Rachel is pregnant]

OMG, what a tremendous surprise!

We ultimately came to only one conclusion—this child is meant to be. God is in control and it is His Will for this child to be here at this time.

Surreal. It is a beautiful surprise that we are embracing. I am filled with gratitude. God is great!

Prego @ 18 weeks

P.S. For those of you with more time on your hands, or an abundance of curiosity, you may like to know that there is actually much more to this simple suprise pregnancy story. I have been through MANY surprises - not all good ones. I must say this, BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR HEALTHCARE. No one else will for you. And, choose wisely who you entrust your health (future) to! As soon as I can figure out how to post a Word Doc here (geez, I know, I work with computers all day!), I'll post the story of what happened to me here. But, don't worry. The ending is a happy one!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

I'm just kidding! This is a very beautiful thing. My sister recently (about 2 weeks ago) got engaged to a great guy, Matthew Raynor. They are a perfect match for one another, both generous, patient, and brilliant! Two doctors in the house - look out! I'm sure together they will change the world - or at least find the cure for cancer! I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

Check out my cutie sis, Carly, and her fella below, in my 'Sister Sessions' ramblings.

Olay, Carly Renee!

The sparkler!

Dad celebratin' with a stoge, a brew, and Maggie, Carly's hounddog! The kiddie pool is for pooch...but I'm not sure who had more fun!