30 January 2009


yup. thats right folks. we are having a boy. I have a really clear 3D picture, but since i dont have a scanner handy, you all will have to live without the proof. the baby will probably be very grateful in the years to come that his mother did not put him on display. so there you have it. a boy. i am so excited!

i am also accepting name ideas. if you have a boy name that you like, let me know....i want to hear them all!!

27 January 2009

i have a sunburn

yes. its true. i have a sunburn. and i love it!! i honestly cant remember the last time i had a sunburn. probably the summer of 2007 before i got married. and then now. 2009. i love arizona. i am moving here. it is fantastic. i was made for the heat, for the sun, for laying out by the pool and soaking up the sun. Although today my time by the pool will be limited. i have to spend a few hours at the spa getting a massage and facial. then back to the pool. i love my life. and today, i love my job.

thanks great job for taking me to arizona for a week in the sun, by the pool, getting massages.

23 January 2009

sunshine. finally.

i leave tomorrow afternoon for Arizona. It's a 'sales kick off' for work. What that really means is a few meetings here and there whilst the team enjoys 4 days of pool, spa, golf, horseback riding, jeep tours, massage, did i mention pool?....and sunshine!!! the temperature is set to be in the mid 70's. (think 20 for you people who work in Celsius) i am so excited.

after Arizona I will be in Tulsa for the rest of the week and weekend. good to see the fam, do some shopping, enjoy the sunshine...oh, and find out the sex of the baby. thats right folks, in less than a week from today i will know if little hulk is a boy or a girl. and i cant wait. as awful as this sounds, as this particular moment I am more excited about the sunshine than anything baby related. but finding out the sex is a close second.

and if all that wasn’t enough to be excited about, i get to see two very dear friends. tomorrow night, upon my arrival in Arizona, my friend Susanna is driving down from Vegas to spend Saturday and Sunday with me. i am picturing laying by the pool, enjoying some drinks, chatting away. oh i cant wait! Then, once i get to Tulsa, my dear friend Stefanie is driving down from Arkansas to spend Friday with me. shopping, baby stuff, good friend hang out. i cant wait!

so much too look forward to. except for tonight. tonight will be sad. my last night with rhys for 8 nights. i have not packed a single thing yet. oh, and i have loads of laundry to do. so yeah, not a lot to look forward to there. but oh boy, come Saturday. i cant wait.

22 January 2009

inside a meltdown

I am pretty much bored at work 75% of the time. I say 75% because 10% of the time i am planning a far away, exotic holiday or trying to find cheap plane tickets to some European destination, 8% of the time i spend on facebook, 2% of the time I spend doing actual work and the remaining 10% of my time, i spend reading random blogs. I start off with the usual blogs, Leah, Stef, Katie, Heather, Abby....and then click onto the people's blog list that they have up, then go to random page to look at who they have up and so on and so on. it really passes the time. and as i count down every last minute waiting for the work day to end, anything to pass the time is helpful.

a common theme that I have noticed in all the blog reading I do is that a vast majority of the females who blog seem to have a desire to be great homemakers, great cooks, great moms, have a great house, the perfect nursery, always be super cute, always have their kids super cute....essentially be the perfect little cookie cutter family. I don’t mean that last sentence quite as harshly as it sounds. there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a great house wife who is an exceptional cook. i think being a stay at home mom is a noble profession, I am not trying to downplay the difficulties that come with that at all. However, domesticity is not the only thing the blogs have in common. everyone lives in America.

that may seem like a small factor, but that particular small factor was the catalyst for my breakdown last night. and not just a breakdown, but a proper sobbing, hyperventilating, nuclear meltdown resulting in destruction of major towns kind of breakdown.

It’s weird the things you never really think about. i always said i wanted to marry someone from overseas, but never really thought about the detailed visa process, the continued back and forth between countries, the immediate reaction to sickness or joy and then realising that the same things don’t transfer (or even exist) on opposite sides of the ocean. i never really thought about any of that. i also never thought about how engrained into my mind certain ideas of 'life' are based solely on the area in which I grew up. I never thought about the cultural and monetary differences that different regions and different countries would present to me. I liked the idea of living in another culture. but that’s what it was-an idea. i had never done it before, so i had nothing to compare it to. no real way of knowing what to expect. i must say, living over here has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. but its been harder than expected in so many ways too.

all jokes about chick-fil-a and goldfish aside, living in London has presented me with the very real possibility that I will not get to be the 'domestic goddess' so to speak that my fellow bloggers so enjoy. Because Rhys and I live in the second most expensive city in the world, as opposed to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas where most of the bloggers seem to live, a house on some land with several rooms is not a feasible option. it is not affordable. so whilst i am pregnant and really wanting to prepare for little baby hulk, I am not sure how to. We only live in one room. I absolutely love our flat. love it. i think it is beautiful. but it is one room. i am struggling to see where a baby will fit. All you Friends fan's out there...think back to Joey and Rachel.... 'a baby is like this big, it can fit right here, or here on this chair'... that is literally the point Rhys and I are at. Joking about which couch little hulk will sleep on.

so what do i do? pray? think logically? trust that because God has so graciously given us this gift of a child that He will also so graciously provide? No. I do none of those things. Instead i attempt to plan a pre-baby getaway. That’s right, a really extravagant tropical holiday. I am thinking 2 weeks in the Caribbean, or Mexico, or Greece. Really? Is that really what I am doing? after just going through the fact that we can barely afford to live ourselves, let alone think about having a child, i want to spend hundreds of pounds, nay thousands of pounds, for an exotic holiday!? what is wrong with me? hence, meltdown.

We cant go on a holiday. I want to go some where. where are we going to live? what city? what country? will we have a baby room? will we have a bouncy seat? will we have a shower? how will i give birth? what if the baby has one leg shorter than the other and everyone makes fun of him/her and i cant protect them? what if, what if, will we, will we, and i want! that was essentially my meltdown. and then i was so tired from crying that i just fell asleep. can i blame the hormones?

So what have I taken away from this? 1.) as shocking as it is to me, travel does not really answer all the questions and solve all the problems. 2.) I need more sleep. 3.) I have the best and most supportive husband in the world, who listens when I freak out and then just holds me whilst I cry. 4.) it doesn’t matter what country we live in. this is our situation because God has put us here. He will provide in exactly the ways he sees fit. 5.) I really should get to working on my book so I can start making us millions.

21 January 2009

i NEED these things

1. colby jack cheese
2. goldfish
3. wheat thins
4. kraft mac and cheese
5. ritz crackers
6. gatorade in powder form (so i can mix my own)
7. Altoids
8. big red gum
9. lime serbert smoothie from Braums
10. chick-fil-a
11. a bean burrito from taco bell
12. a taco from taco bell
13. shaved turkey, like how they cut it at wal-mart

i cant get any of those things in this country. those are the things i want. those things and ONLY those things. (ok, not only those things. i am being overly dramatic)

if anyone reading this feels so inclined, i will accept packages full of those things. just throw the cheese, turkey and chick-fil-a in a cooler and ship it on over. i am sure that is possible and not expensive at all.


19 January 2009

ode to my husband

i love my husband for so many reasons. too many to name. i am constantly proud of him and I feel so lucky every single day that he married me. and on Saturday I was exceptionally proud of him. Saturday was his first rugby game back after injury since April. It has been killing him not being able to get out there on the pitch, and finally, after months and months of doctors, medicine, and gradual training, he could play.

and it wasn’t just Rhys who was excited to be back. his team mates mentioned numerous times how glad they were that he was back and whilst I was standing on the sidelines cheering him on, one of the coaches came up to me and the following conversation ensued:

coach: so rhys is back. good to see him out there.
me: yeah, first game in a while. he is really glad to be back.
coach: yeah, we are glad to have him back...
me: (smile)
coach: he asked if he could have a game and I said "uh yeah, of course" (read: you are the best player we have of course you can have a game. now we will start winning that you are back!)
me: (an even bigger smile)

see? its not just me that thinks Rhys is fantastic. the team and coaches couldn’t wait to have him back on the pitch. and he had a fantastic homecoming. he did so well. i was so proud. some of my friends back home wonder how i can stand to have my husband play rugby as its to rough. but i couldn’t imagine our life without it. rugby brings so much to rhys. i am just grateful that i have the chance to stand on the side and watch him. i love it. and i love him. i am so proud.

16 January 2009

can i only eat cantaloupe?

i have started this blog post over several times. everything I want to write doesn’t seem to come out properly. It sounds foolish and trite. I just don’t have it in me to write a meaningful post. I am constantly surprised at my total lack of energy. Yesterday I could not keep any food or fluids down at all. I am sure that has to do with my inability to sit up straight and actually function like a normal human today. But seriously, no food yesterday cant be helping me out today. and I know that I tend to exaggerate, but the only thing I consumed yesterday was half a piece of toast. Shame really, cause the poor little baby inside me needs more. but literally every single thing, food or beverage, that touched my lips forced me to run full speed to the bathroom, violently throwing up any remaining thing in my stomach. By 11am, stomach bile was the only thing left. for those of you out there who have been sick (or pregnant) and reached the "i have nothing left to throw up so i am throwing up bile" stage, you know just how revolting it is. i think if i added up the time spent with my head in the toilet yesterday it would come out to about 5 hours.

but one good thing has come out of this so far. i have discovered that cantaloupe tastes exactly the same going down as it does coming up. I am strongly considering only eating cantaloupe from this moment on because lets face it people, throwing up is disgusting. throwing up cantaloupe is quite nice, almost like enjoying it twice. (ok, so that was a bit gross)

I am open to any and all suggestions. i dont care if you have ever been pregnant or not. maybe you have only had the stomach flu. but if any one out there was a remedy that they would like to offer, I am all ears. I have tried pretty much everything at this point, from prescription medicine from the doctor, to ground ginger, to stretching, to warm water, to dry toast, to donuts....but PLEASE before I change my diet to only cantaloupe, give some suggestions!!

13 January 2009

a hero

yesterday the word became a little darker, a little colder. William Stone took his last breaths and the world will forever be a little more empty because of it. He was a brave man, William Stone. Conscripted into the Royal Navy at 18, Mr. Stone proudly served in both the first and second world wars. He was the last surviving veteran in the world who saw active duty in both of the wars. and it wasnt grunt work for Mr. Stone either; most famously his ship played a key role in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

I could go on and on about Mr. Stone and the part he played in both the first and second world wars, as well as his home and family life. He was a brave man, he was a good man, he was a humble man. and i am honoured that i had the chance to see that first hand before he died. I will forever treasure Rememberence Day 2008 for several reasons. Mostly becasue it was a dream come true to be in the same space as 3 of the oldest surving First World War vets. But also because there will never be another chance for that moment again.

Let me leave you with this, Mr. Stone's motto: "clean living, contentened mind and trust in God. Keep going" William Stone 'kept going' for a long 108 years. Today is a sad day as the world is without one of it's best. But rest assured, the legacy left by men such as Mr. Stone will forever be remembered...

...Lest We Forget.....

(from L-R, Henry Alingham, Harry Patch, William Stone)

12 January 2009

peace in the gaza strip or a blond baby?

all weekend the same thought has been plaguing my mind. what if i have an ugly baby. I am not one to immediately agree that all babies are cute. some are not. yes, i realise that sounds awful to say out loud, but come on people, not all babies are cute! I have been obsessing with the idea that my baby may turn out not as perfect as the image i have in my head. blond hair, blue eyes, nice even skin (not the red blotchy-ness that I inherited from my dad) healthy, beautiful, perfect. unrealistic. I have tried to remind my myself that it doesn’t really matter if my baby has blond hair and blue eyes, i will love it anyway. i cannot control anything about the appearance or health of my baby. and in no way should those things determine my love for it anyway. I am not sure if it is just me and my irrational thoughts, or if it is a common thread in pregnancy, but i am thinking some awful, unreasonable thoughts of late.

so whilst i sat there and pondered the thought of having an ugly baby, i was reminded of Eliot He was a truly beautiful baby. An amazing baby. and i started to cry. I am sitting at my desk at work, tears running down my face. humbled. embarrassed. not because all my co-workers are staring, but because I was that selfish and that obnoxious as to think blond hair was a necessity.

it weird because from the second i found out i was pregnant, i started smiling. granted that smile has come and gone from day to day depending how much time i spend with my head in the toilet, but the joy that i felt that day has not left. but along with that joy, doubt has started to creep in. me trying to take control from God and decide the future for myself. this only results in fear, questions, anxiety, and for lack of a better word, foolishness. The Lord has blessed Rhys and I with this gift of a child. we accept that this little boy or girl will be given to us exactly how God intends. health or not, blond hair or not...whatever comes i must trust in the Lord. Obsessing over anything else is me, taking my eyes off of the Lord, losing trust and accepting fear and doubt as a way to live.

after reading through eliot's old blog another thought hit me. When i spend my time and effort thinking and praying for blond hair, (yeah, praying for a hair colour. how sad is that?!) i lose sight of what is going on around me. the things in life that actually demand my time and attention. things like the conflict with Israel and the Gaza Strip. I have some dear friends who live around the area. what will life be like for them and their friends directly affected by the death and destruction? what is our duty as followers of Jesus in response to this situation? prayer is a necessary first step. actually necessary. not like the 'need for blond hair' but a true necessity. we are to pray for peace. those are things that truly require my attention.

this is not to say that for the next 7 months of pregnancy I will never again think a foolish thought or freak out. But it is to say that I will try to keep a realistic perspective. there is more to life than being pregnant and having the perfect baby. there is a big world out there. one that requires Rhys and I to spend time praying on being Godly parents, preparing our hearts to raise a child, remembering those around us who have so graciously and wonderfully done it before, remembering the 'real' world events. praying for our country, our leaders, our world.

when it comes right down to it, despite my wishes for blond hair and blue eyes, i would rather raise a child that seeks the heart of the Lord, that loves people, that understands the issues around and has a true desire to do something about it, than a child who desires to look perfect and stay clean. I am excited to see what little baby comes my way. and in the meantime, I am extremely grateful for the reality check that has been given to me.

5 January 2009

a list, some vomit, and a baby.

yeah, its been a while. In my defence I have done nothing for the past few weeks but vomit, cry, moan about the crying and the throwing up and then do both some more. I am pregnant. 12 weeks. and whilst it is a beautiful and wondrous miracle, I am sick. all the time. It never ends. So sick that i will forever have NO picture memories of anything that happened between the dates of 10 November and apparently now, 5 January. I went to America for Thanksgiving, celebrated my adorable nephew’s 5th birthday with him, great American family time, saw friends, spent time with Jamie and Laura in Boston, had Christmas in Wales, adorable niece Nia, New Years Eve party with the Rice's et. al....But NO pictures of anything. why? because it was a struggle to actually make it to all of those things, let alone keep my head out of the toilet long enough to take a picture of two. sad, but true. no photographic memories of the first 3 months of my pregnant life.

I am still sick, but I have renewed hope that come next week, the dawn of the 13th week, there will be no sickness. i am hoping for a miracle. today however there is a slight ease in my throwing up. By 'ease' I mean I have only thrown up 6 times this morning so I have some free time to sit at my computer and write a blog entry. so here I go.

I was planning on having a '2009 To Do List' post. I am a big fan of lists. I make lists for pretty much everything. Rarely do I follow my lists, but I enjoy making them all the same. I have actually been working on a 2009 list for quite a while. Things I wanted to accomplish for the new year. But then i found out i was pregnant...and that list had to change. There are now only 4 things on that list.

1. Learn to be a good Mom
2. Go to Greece before the baby is born
3. Gain some weight. (with all the throwing up I have actually lost 14 pounds. this is the one time in my life where I think losing that weight is awful!)
4. Move to a place that has more than one room.

But a list cant just have 4 things. I feel that is a really wimpy list. So I have decided to make a new list of all the cool (and not so cool) things my baby has already done. Because I knew our kid would be cool, I just didn’t know how cool the kid would be already. Oh, and this is in order of occurrence.

1. Had some pints in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day....Ok, ok I didn’t know I was pregnant and I have been reassured by doctors there are no problems as a result! (don’t judge people....I know how you are)
2. Ran a Half Marathon
3. Got pneumonia
4. got over pneumonia with no problems. Tough baby
5. saw the Stereophonics live.
6. Been to Millennium Stadium to see Wales v South Africa.
7. Flew to America.
8. Toured around Boston.
9. Hit all the major sites of London
10. Already lived in two different years
11. been on the top bit of the classic two story red bus.
and coming soon....
12. end of January work trip to a spa in Arizona
13. 6 nations games in Cardiff
14. shopping with mom in Tulsa

See that is one cool baby! and since that list actually has more than 4 things on it, I feel it is a better representation of a list. and to conclude the list and the post, I have included a picture of my favourite Christmas gift. Mini Welsh Rugby kit. thanks husband....you knew just what I wanted! :) (no sarcasm people, this really is just what i wanted!)