Amelia’s Birth Story

It finally happened! On April 25th and 12:45 PM, our little Amelia made her grand debut! Of course, it wasn’t nearly that simple. First, of course, was the fun, 39-week pregnancy, which was full of its own ups and downs (a lot of those during the first trimester, except those went down, then came back up, if you get what I’m saying), but was such an exciting time for J.D. and me. Around the end, J.D. was just getting so frustrated, he wanted to hold his little girl NOW! Well, now he’s got her!

Amelia’s original due date was April 30th, so I thought I had at least one more week to lounge around, finish binge-watching Lost, and clean the house. Thursday, April 28th, I had agreed to work the front desk for a piano sale on the U of U campus all day. I felt just fine all day, worst I felt was just getting a sore bum from sitting on a lightly padded folding chair for too long. Dinner that night consisted of French Toast lovingly made by my dear husband—I almost wish we’d gone with the Tuna Helper I had originally planned, but then the prospect of French Toast… Yummy! But that’s beside the point. I don’t remember what we did the rest of the evening, but we ended up going to bed around midnight, me falling asleep around 12:30 because hey, iPhone, I had some internet to do. Then, nary one hour later, I wake up, feeling very sore indeed, figured I just needed to pee, as I was at the point where that urge was usually a lot uncomfortable. So, off I go to the bathroom, do my business, and lay back down in bed. A few minutes later… Cramp! Hum, that’s interesting… Try to go back to sleep… About 10 minutes later… There it is again. So, I grudgingly pull out my handy iPhone and open up my handy contraction timer (which up to this point had only been used once before to measure what I don’t really think was really contractions, just gas), and start timing. All this while J.D. lay blissfully unaware of how exciting his morning was about to become. Lo and behold, they were coming about every 8 minutes, and all I could think was all the stuff that I had planned to do tomorrow and it was looking like I was not going to get to have my mom paint my toenails after all and that was a total bummer.

So, fast forward about two hours (sleeping between contractions, remaining about 8 minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long), I get up to go to the bathroom again, and, to sugar coat, pretty much confirmed that stuff was going down and things were getting real and I should probably wake up J.D. and call the midwife and change into something I wouldn’t mind throwing away or was easy to clean (which didn’t end up happening—I still have no idea when my water actually broke). So, I walk calmly into the bedroom (calmly because I felt like I was in some sort of crazy dream, so why panic) and tapped him on the shoulder, I think I said something like, “Hey, J.D., I think stuff is happening and we should probably go to the hospital soon.” But apparently I said it calmly enough that it didn’t panic him, but it definitely woke him up pretty quick! Up he went, and as I started having another contraction, we called the midwife, who informed us to head to labor and delivery once the contractions were five minutes apart, lasting for about 1 minute. Well, we skipped that and went straight to 3 minutes apart lasting for about 45 seconds just as soon as J.D. hung up with her. So, we let those go for about another 45 minutes while we finished throwing some things into the labor bag, brushed our teeth, put on some clothes, and continued timing the contractions (which stayed steady at 3 minutes apart).

We finally pulled up to the hospital around 4:00 AM, maybe 4:30, where we checked in and got all hooked up to the monitors in triage because I was only at a 2-3. Then I just had to sit there for what seemed like waaay too long to be stationary going through contractions. I think around 5:30 was when they finally took me off the monitors and let me walk around the halls in my stylish hospital gown while J.D. did an awesome job rubbing my back during the contractions.

When I couldn’t drag myself away from the hand rails on the wall between contractions was when we headed back to the triage room to get checked again (which consequently made me throw up any snacks I had tried to pack down before we went to the hospital). I had at least made some progress, going to a 3 or 4, so they gave us the option of going home or getting hooked up to the monitors again. I’m glad we decided to stay, because only an hour later of being monitored the screen turned yellow with the message “Admit Patient.” Dang was I glad, because there were some where the little line graph thingy didn’t even go back down to stasis, just dipped a little as a second contractions started right after the first one.

FINALLY we got our very own room. My WONDERFUL midwife came around, showed J.D. a FABULOUS counter-pressure technique to do while she filled up the Jacuzzi tub and the nurse put in my heplock (I had hoped I wouldn’t need one, but since I’d already thrown up and didn’t feel like I could keep anything else down they put it in so they could get some fluids in me). My midwife headed over to her clinic to re-arrange her schedule while I labored in the tub for I don’t know how long, but it was soooooo nice. Of course, I did throw up again, which sucked, but even with that, J.D. just stayed perfectly calm, bringing me another bag in case I threw up again. I cannot stress enough how great he was during the whole process. So, after what I think was an hour or two, I got out of the tub and labored for a while on a birthing ball, then my midwife got back and I labored for about a half hour in bed while hooked up the monitors and saline. Baby girl was doing great! I think at that point I was at about a 6. My parents showed up sometime during that monitoring stage, when my father and J.D. gave me a blessing and then we kicked my dad out and my mom hung around and acted as a support, finally went and got our labor bag out of the car (so much for all the labor stuff I packed)

So, after they took me off the monitors, we moved to a side-lying position and oh my word it was… Well, my midwife said sometimes the more painful the position is, the more progress we make, which we did—an hour later of doing that, I was at a 9 ½, 100% effaced, and just about ready to push.

I think the worst part was when I was feeling ready push (around 11 or so), but she told me to wait (hellooooo transition). She put me in a hands and knees position for this part, while I tried to keep my voice low low low, when all I wanted to do was sleeeeeeep (or push so I could go to sleep soon). Luckily, that only lasted two contractions, then we were ready to PUSH!

And, that was also apparently when my grandparents arrived at the hospital, because we hear a knock on the door, it opening, and then a “hello?” from my grandpa. Definitely a very inopportune moment, as there I was, getting ready to push in all my glory. Thank goodness for the curtain. J.D. darted away and shooed them out.

So, pushing. The first few pushing contractions I could only muster two pushes each, but then we started seeing the head and I was thinking, “Holy crap! This is happening! That’s a baby! Let’s do this thing!” so after maybe four of those, I started doing three pushes per contraction, and then things started moving MUCH faster. I could feel her moving down and down, and even turning and moving between contractions, and then 12:45 came around and my midwife told me to reach down and take my baby— There she was, beautiful, wide-eyed Amelia, immediately ready to suck on anything she could fit in her mouth, which at that moment was both her hand and her arm, NOISILY. We all sat and stared for what seemed like a perfect eternal moment, and once the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, they clamped it and J.D. was able to cut it. The staring continued. More staring, more hello’s; at some point my mother sneaked out so J.D. and I could have our moment. They let me keep holding and staring as long as I wanted; she was a great distraction from the pain of the stitches being sewn in, and as soon as my midwife was done with that, they took her and weighed her. The first thing she did when they took her was give out a perfect little squeak, sending smiles around the room. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 inches long. She was swiftly returned to me, and we got right down to the business of nursing. She caught on very quickly! Easy as pie.

So, 11 hours of drug-free labor and our magnificent little Amelia was here! She is bringing so much joy into our lives, and we feel so blessed to have been trusted by our Heavenly Father to raise one of His sweet daughters.

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The emergency room-Not as exciting as I’d hoped

In my lifetime, I have had to go to the emergency room or visit doctors for perhaps some of the least-exciting reasons ever.  Today, another lame emergency-room-necessitating events transpired.  But first, you shall be graced with a brief synopsis of some highlights.

Age three: I was attacked by a wild swing, perhaps pushed by a rabid cousin, and received stitches right above my right eyebrow.  But, instead of a super-awesome scar, I received a scar that may be described as “cute,” which I still have to this day.

Age eighteen: I lift my (nearly empty) backpack following a convocation at my college, only to feel something in my lower back pop, causing me immense, recurring pain.  I eventually sought treatment from a chiropractor, who informed me I had “spondylotheosis” (or something like that)–a common ATHLETIC injury, commonly seen in football players.  Am I athletic?  In no way.  Have I ever played football?  No.  Do I even LIKE football?  No.  I was just lifting my backpack.

Age 21/22:  A few days prior to my 22nd birthday, I wake up around 3 in the morning to stabbing pains in my gut and abdomen.  I try to ride it out, taking some pepto bismol.  This was no help, so I had my dear, cute, panicking husband take me to the emergency room, where they filled me up with some wonderful medications and told me it was probably my appendix.  Long story short, after an MRI and a visit with the surgeon (who reminding me vaguely of Dr. House), he determined it was NOT my appendix, and prescribed me a clear-liquid diet, Maalox, and Dulcolax to help whatever was in my system “move on out.”  And move-on-out it did.  About every twenty to thirty minutes.  And I got nothing but Jell-o and apple juice to eat on my birthday.

Today, age 23: I am making myself a sandwich. It was not to be a special sandwich, just a simple turkey sandwich with relish and cheese.  I have prepared everything to perfection, except the cheese.  Out I pull the cheddar cheese, and out I pull our brand-new Ikea cheese slicer:

https://i1.wp.com/www.ikea.com/us/en/images/products/smaka-cheese-slicer__42690_PE137693_S4.jpg

Along I go, trying to slice myself a perfect slice of cheese, when this scumbag decides that my thumb is also cheese, and slices it open.

(ATTENTION, THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH)

For a moment, I am confused, then begin to panic as I realize that there is blood coming out from under this flap of skin (for that was what it was).  However, being the smart person I am, I cover it with a paper towel (dripping a very small drop of blood onto the paper-towel holder, which will come into the story momentarily) to put pressure on it and staunch the pretty red color from getting on the cheese (no cheese was bled on during the process of creating this wound), but not before I had the fleeting thought of poking it in such a way that I could use it as a puppet and make it talk like a mouth (yes, I have done that with more minor injuries and cuts before).

Then, I stand there for a moment.  I had to make a decision.  Shall I just put a band-aid on it?  Shall I drive myself to the emergency room?  My husband has just gone to work, shall I call him?  The last idea seemed to be the smartest, as it is difficult to drive one-handed, so I call him.  At this point, my body is creating some cuh-RAZY endorphins to compensate for the tingling throbbing bleeding nastiness on the thumb, so I am both crying and having a giggle fit.  I think somewhere in that conversation with my husband, I said something to the effect of “blood is EVERYWHERE,” and by everywhere, I really meant that little drop on the paper-towel holder, but this freaked him probably a lot more than I was freaking out.  This wife-induced panic attack is most evident in his now-broken phone, which he threw against the dashboard in frustration when the directions it was giving him to the clinic seemed to be entirely inaccurate.

So, about 30 minutes after the incident (maybe longer) we finally make it to the clinic and into a room to get everything taken care of– except for the worst (and eventually best) part, where I, once again, get shot up with drugs to numb the pain.  It is now that I would like to make a public apology to the nice nurses who were helping me, as well as the wonderful parents who raised me, for I was QUITE a potty-mouth (a teary, giggly, angry, humiliated, manic potty-mouth–it was quite confusing).  However, my dear husband thought it was hilarious, and he is worried now that the nurses probably thought he was a total uncaring scumbag.  But I know it was laughter of love.

Anyway, the numbing stuff was AMAZING, and they were able to give me three stiches without too much more cursing from me, as well as a TOTALLY AWESOME circus band-aid to go over my tetanus shot!

Also, the nurse disagreed with my strongly that this was the most stupid injury ever.  She claimed that I was at least using the correct tool for the correct job.  So, on the plus side, at least this one wasn’t THAT stupid…

And now, J.D. will get to cut ALL the cheese in our house! *feel free to laugh at the pun I just made.  Because… Well… He’s very good at cutting the cheese… In many ways… Snicker snicker… Hey, I think the hydrocodone I took is having fun!*

Or something like that.

P.S.  My husband is amazing and wonderful and is taking care of me like a CHAMP!  There are SO many things I need him to do now that I can’t use my left thumb for anything, and he’s doing everything and is letting me sit back and watch episode after episode of Parks and Recreation guilt-free!

Me and my awesome pink-camo thumb bandage. Underneath that is PURE LAME-INJURY HORROR.

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“Quality Time”

J.D. and I have been spending some serious quality time with each other lately.  Since I’m basically all done with school and schoolwork for the semester (and he’s just a procrastinator), I’ve started playing Zelda Ocarina of Time on the Wii we “borrowed” from my family.  After I had reached the Temple of Time (a good few days of playing for me, because I’m… not very good), J.D. decided that he NEEDED to play as well.  Lucky for him, we also have an N64 and Ocarina of Time for that system.  So, today, we spent most of our free time playing our separate games.  At the same time. On the same TV.

How?  We managed to fangle a giant TV from his friend’s parents, who were just going to throw the thing away.  And I mean, this thing is huge.  Pre-flat-screen-huge.  82-inch screen, two feet from front to back.  It was interesting to fit it into our tiny apartment.  Anyway, we discovered that we can split the screen into two and play on two separate systems.  Of course, the sound only works for one of the games, but… We could both sit and enjoy our games together, and J.D. was always there to help me get through the difficult parts.

Yeah.  We’re boring.  But we’ve had a busy semester, and I’ve earned it.  (He’ll officially earn it by the end of the week)

Speaking of J.D.’s game, he named his character on Ocarina of Time something… Rather derogatory and mean.  So, everyone in the game sounds like a pretentious, sarcastic jerk every time they say something to him.  Like this, “Great job getting up here, stupid.”  Or, “Hey, stupid, get up!” It’s juvenile, but so far, we’re still laughing every time it happens.

P.S. On another note, I keep having dreams of being on a cruise again… My family and I, minus J.D., as it was a few weeks before we got married, went on a cruise.  And I keep dreaming about going on another one.  And drinking lots and lots of hot chocolate.

 

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5 reasons you don’t need an iPhone and what to buy instead.

As many of you in the world know, Apple recently debuted their most recent installment in the iPhone saga, the ‘iPhone 4s.’ Proclaimed to be the best and most exciting yet, it features “sexy Siri,” the bot that answers all your questions with the touch of a button and the easy use of your vocal chords–like a real person without the hassle of trite pleasantries!  I suppose the graphics are better, and even the price is better (for Apple)!  On top of that it comes with all the same features as a planner, a computer, and phone, a Gameboy, an iPod (or any other thing that plays music), a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a friend (albeit a cold one), and annoying child.  With all of these amazing features, who WOULDN’T want one?

The answer?  Me.  However, my husband is trying desperately to convince me that he needs one beyond all reason.However, on a newlywed’s budget, I am trying to convince him (and perhaps the rest of the world) that they are silly and we don’t really  need one.  I am very content with my flip phone, iPod touch (Christmas gift from my parents a few years ago–I just wanted a regular iPod; you know, with the circle thing?), paper-and-pencil planner, and looking things up in books and on the internet MANUALLY.  So, the following are five reasons you DON’T need an iPhone, plus five things you can get instead.

Reason #1: You already have a phone that fulfills its phone-like duties: making and taking phone calls.  It even has voice mail!  And as an added bonus, it can take pictures, AND send texts AND video!  Why do you need something else that does the same thing?

Reason #2: We already spend our hours whiling away our time on the internet with our laptops in wi-fi zones, why do we want to waste MORE of our time on the internet with a phone that can connect ANYWHERE?

Reason #3: Have you seen the price tag?  HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRICE TAG??

Reason #4: It will be obsolete in a while.  As I was looking up the iPhone 4s, I was seeing rumors flyinig around Google about the iPhone 5, which probably promises to be even more… Excessive.

Reason #5: Someday, the novelty WILL wear off, and when it does, you’ll only be left with the taste of regret that you didn’t wait until something better came along, like the following:

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN BUY INSTEAD:

#1: Food.  This is number one because I’m getting tired of wandering around after I come home from class, wishing we had some decent snack food or something to ease that grumbling in my stomach.  You can only eat so much tuna, so many egg salad sandwiches, so many 95-cent pot pies, so many (very) basic chicken recipes, and so much hamburger helper before you feel the need for something more, something… Substantial.

#2: Pants.  I say this because J.D. and I seem to have a shortage of them.  He keeps ripping holes in his (which I will eventually repair–maybe I’ll repair all the holes in his jeans for Christmas, if he wants to spend our money on an iPhone so bad), and I have to do my student teaching next semester, and something tells me that low-rise skinny jeans are not appropriate.  But who doesn’t want more pants?  Nobody wants to go around smelling like butt when they only have one or two pairs of jeans to wear.

#3: A house.  Someday.  That $300 for an iPhone could be saved, and eventually get anyone out of the renting cycle and into a home of their very own.

#4: Friends.  As in, throw a party.  Make some mac n’ cheese and invite everyone over for some hard-core face-to-face interaction (something that would likely not be happening if one were too busy building a relationship with a fake woman named Siri– See video below).

#5: Here, I have three options: For the price of an 8 gig, $200, you could get a fainting goat:http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=18418782&cat=&lpid=&search=

For the price of the 32 gig, $300, you could get one male purebred Corgie puppy!  OHMYGOSHCUTE!!!!  http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=18009816&cat=&lpid=&search=

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=18011641&cat=&lpid=&search=

And, for the price of the 64 gig, you could get you could get a used couch, loveseat, AND chair!  Because who doesn’t love lounging around on furniture?  Especially when the furniture you currently own smells like butt and consists of one used recliner and an old loveseat.

There you have it.  iPhones were obsolete before they were made: we already have screaming children, friends, planners, the internet, mp3-players, phones, cameras, and books.  We even have plenty of things to touch, thank you very much.

I’m sticking to my flip phone.

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The difference between me and… Others.

Yes, I am still in the planning stages of this wedding.  Yes, my engagement has lasted this long.  And yes, I do live in Utah.  You’d think I’d have it all done by now?  Actually, you’d think I would have had it done by the time I was 18.  Well, I don’t, and I didn’t.  How many days until the big day? 35.  Yes.  Just over a month.  Now, an acquaintance of mine recently got engaged (to my ex who recently returned from a mission in December, which is… Ahem… Awesome.)  So, I’ve found it humorous to play some comparison games.  Because I’m like that.

Me: Brunette, short hair, like to wear men’s cargo shorts and read science fiction, 21.

Her: Blonde, long hair, likes to wear dresses and flowers, probably reads books by the guy who wrote “Charly,” 18

Her: Dated him for… Something like… Maybe three months? That might be pushing it.

Me: Dated him for… Something like… fourteen months.

Her: Engaged April 24

Me: Engaged February 12

Her: Hand felt like a museum piece first day back at school after engagement.

Me: Had fill-in ring first day back at school after engagement, just wanted to eat m&ms all day and not tell anybody–waited for people to notice my new jewelry.  The (very) reluctant attention hog.

Her: Considering elopement on April 28th

Me: Considering elopement now, because I only have 35 days left to make all this stuff for my wedding.

Her: Engagement photos done May 3rd (that’s only one and half weeks following the engagement)

Me: Engagement photos done April 10th (I think)– Two months after the engagement. Wow, slow.

Me: Engagement photos outfit: Jeans, Shirt from the D.I., and my boots of AWESOME.

Her: Pretty dress.

Me: Engagement photos: Park, messing around, and a giant pipe.

Her: Engagement photos: Trees, hay bales, and a tractor.

(My roommate is also getting married.  She was very adamant about doing her photos up at some national park.  I think that is boring.  “Stand next to this tree and smile.  Stand next to that shrub and smile.  Walk down that path holding hands and smile.” Ours were more like, “Hey, let’s go play on the swings!  Let’s ride these dolphins!  Let’s climb this wall!  Let’s see if we can both fit down this slide!”  Yep.  Much more fun.)

Her: Grateful for girl’s nights in the midst of “crazy wedding planning” (hint, her date is in August–it’s not crazy yet, dear)

Me: Grateful to be able to eat nachos and watch Bones/America’s Next Top Model/The Office by myself to relax from “wedding plans.” (AKA doing homework and letting my mom and future mother-in-law stress while I take “brain breaks” from said homework.  Also grateful that I at least finished planning the middle school band festival.  That was a higher priority than the wedding.)

Anyway, I’m a terrible Utahn/bride.  Dating for more than a year??  Procrastinating wedding plans???  Not including some shade of pink or purple in my wedding colors??? (BTW my colors are green, white, and gold)  No hay bales??? No matching denim?????  No hair extensions (might even cut hair back to a pixie)?????  Man!  What is MY problem??  Heck, I may even add a drum circle to my reception entertainment, just to let people know how TOTALLY wack-o I am!

Also, if I hear the phrase “It’s your day, do what YOU want!” I might throw up.  My favorite, though, is, “It’s YOUR day, do what YOU want!  But you’re GOING to want this!” I’m perfectly content letting J.D.’s mother do as much as she wants.  I have no idea what’s going on for the luncheon, but she apparently has it completely under control.  Thank heaven for mothers.

But… I am really, REALLY excited. 🙂

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Awkward acting

So, this evening, I attended a production of The Mikado put on by my university’s music department. I was actually supposed to be IN the show but declined due to the realization that it would bring me little to no joy throughout the process and in fact would NOT give me friends. Anyway, that’s beside the point. What IS the point is that I HATE “actor voices.” And what I hate even more is a decent character with a BAD British accent that ranges from about five areas of the UK and other nearby areas, including Utahn, especially when NOBODY ELSE is using a fake British accent. I mean, come on… Just because you can say a FEW words with a fake accent around friends does NOT mean you can do it on stage. Especially if you’re from Utah. Also JUST because you got to see and talk to The King’s Singers a few days previous doesn’t mean you’re well-versed in the nuances of the language– and yes, I do categorize it as a different language. Sometimes I just can’t understand anything they’re saying, partially because it’s just so much nicer to listen to than the “happy valley” accent.

Anyway, that’s it for this two in the morning rant. 😀

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Planning a wedding

So, guess what, internet… I’m planning a wedding.  For myself.  Because I’m engaged.  I figured you should know.  So I think I’ll share some of my thoughts on planning a wedding, specifically in Utah.

I recently printed out a checklist of all the things I have to do before I get married.  It’s a long list, but we’ve been working on cutting out things we don’t need.  Like a wedding coordinator.  Why would we need someone to tell us what we want for our wedding (which will be in a free venue, mind you–a huge perk to LDS-dom–in a beautiful, pre-decorated castle), and what we want our decor to be in our also-free reception venues (two receptions, one south, one north Utah).  In this day of the internet, where I can find all the ideas I need (and some I don’t need) for this stuff, what would be the point to pay someone to look on the internet for me?

Another thing I’ve crossed off because we don’t need it?  Bridesmaids.  For an LDS wedding, there’s not a huge procession where all the women involved have to wear matching dresses.  In all reality, I don’t see a point in having bridesmaids except to pose for a few pictures wearing dresses that are only flattering on 50% of the girls (unless you were part of the “popular” crowd, where all of the girls you would ask to be your bridesmaids were carbon copies of each other.  This is probably what my insane roommate’s wedding will look like, however.  I believe she is also engaged.  Although, I haven’t had occasion to ask, or even talk to her.  But that’s beside the point.  In fact, I don’t even know if I’ll find a maid of honor.  I’ll probably just have my mother help me out.  I can’t imagine asking one of my few female friends to do it–I’m not necessarily close enough with any of them to ask anyway.  I can’t imagine any of them WANTING that kind of responsibility on my behalf.  It just seems very silly when I have a mother and myself who are both very capable of taking care of ourselves and this occasion…  Although, this may mean I will likely have the tamest-ever bridal shower, filled with gifts like nice hand soap from Bath & Body Works or a gift card to Maidenform or Target.  Perhaps a nice bath rug or framed picture.  Which is cool, too.  That’s how I roll.

Let’s see, what else… Ah. Reception entertainment.  Now, we haven’t necessarily nixed this concept altogether.  I’m actually throwing around the idea of hosting an drum circle for the So-tah (southern Utah) reception, inviting all of J.D.’s percussion friends and letting them have at it with their djembes. Which I probably didn’t spell right.  Other than that, there will be plenty of children running around to keep everyone entertained.  I think we’ll have a table for them, though, with coloring books and games so they’re not SO all-over-the-place.  Haven’t decided if we’ll do much dancing.  I can’t say I’m really INto the whole Utah dance thing… I still have memories of those awkward middle school “dances” (which I ended up calling “stands” because that’s really all it was–standing, perhaps swaying, and doing a lot of perspiring) and remain jaded.  Oh, and church dances.  Those were relatively similar.  I was never really into the whole standing and swaying thing.  I just ended up talking a lot and being three times my awkward self.  I don’t think I ever talked so much in my life than I did when I was swaying awkwardly in tandem with a young man who was far more adept at keeping his mouth shut than I was.

Probably why I went to prom with my 11-year-old brother…  But hey.  J.D. loves me for it. 🙂

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