30 December 2009

what we've been up to:

lots and lots of this.


I love having a boy.

22 December 2009

exactly one week later...

I look like this.

I had a lot of braxton hicks contractions on the trip down to Georgia to pick Rob up (which is not so fun when you're just sitting in a car for hours on end), with the result that I exploded! I'm probably twice the size I was in that previous picture.

Oh, and this baby is crazy. I started feeling him (we think) on the car ride down (again, it's hard to miss when you're doing nothing but sitting still for hours), and last night when I laid down for bed he started going crazy in there. And I mean crazy, I'm only 16 weeks and I could feel him kicking my hand (granted, it was only twice that I felt him with my hand, but the theatrics went on inside for awhile). This kind of scares me as Max was the most chill, calm baby ever.

Oh, and do you like my new top? I got it on post at the PX. Tax-free baby! If you pay any attention to what I wear, you may notice a trend: I really like henley tops and stripes. So naturally I bought this without even trying it on.

Oh, and on another note... the Goodwill pile is bigger. Someday it'll actually make it to the needy.

14 December 2009

my belly

Here I am at 15 weeks. Yes, I know there is barely anything there to you. But had I taken this picture before I was pregnant, it would be a straight line from the bottom of my ribs to my legs.


And fyi, that is not a pile of dirty clothes behind the door. It is the pile of stuff for Goodwill (in my defense, it was all in a big bag before Max used it as a stepping stool/playground)

01 December 2009

hello again.

Did you miss me?

I'm (hopefully) back after a way-too-long absence. I'm hoping that I'll keep up with things on here from now on, though, as we have some big changes coming up...

The first is, Rob leaves TOMORROW for OCS (Officer Candidate School)! It has been a looong wait and we are so ready to finally get this show on the road! I will admit, I am going to miss him a lot, but we're lucky and he'll only be gone for a couple weeks or so before coming home for Christmas. But after Christmas we'll be sending him off for 12 weeks, so I imagine that goodbye will be a little harder. And then in March we'll find out what he'll be doing and where we'll be going.

That means, we'll be moving! We're not sure at what point I'll be joining him: it all depends on what sort of training is involved with his job. But come March, I'll be packing up the house and getting things here in order to be left (we're keeping our houses). As I've never had to move an entire household before (just me and my bedroom) I'm a little nervous about getting it done, and done well (I'm OCD about organization, and if I can't find stuff I go crazy), but I figure I'll get plenty of practice in the next 20 years.

And I get to start adjusting to life as a military wife. That too, I am a little nervous about as I still feel clueless (I think it's the kind of thing you learn through experience, not reading the little pamphlets they give you). But I'm going to do my best to keep upbeat and send Rob all my love and support while he's rolling through mud and running with 50 pounds on his back while getting his head crammed with tons of information that makes no sense to me.

But really, I am VERY excited this is all finally happening!! (especially when we start getting the paycheck!) And I think that is because I am excited for another reason...

We're having a BABY!!! I'm due June 3rd, and I've been sick as a dog. I'll be 14 weeks Thursday, so I'm hoping this pregnancy sickness crud will go away in the next couple of weeks (especially as I will no longer have Rob here to do stuff for me). It has been getting better, so I don't think I'm completely crazy hoping that. I have, of course, been terrified of another miscarriage 'cause I REALLY want this baby, but so far everything's been good. I'm starting to show (I'll have to put up a belly picture soon to see if I'm the only one who can see it), and I can't button my pants anymore, and I'm very excited to get big and fat. And feel the baby move. Oh, and we're pretty sure it's a boy (Nicola).

So yeah, that's our life for right now. And that's why I've been absent: being upright would make me puke so I've been in bed for the past two months. But I am determined to update regularly as I can now be upright and move around, and so Rob knows what we're up to while he's tracking drug dealers in the wilderness and fording rivers in all his gear (ok, so that might be a little bit of an exaggeration).

And as I'm sure you would rather not see a picture of me puking (that's about all I have to show for all this time), here is a picture of Max at his Nana's (I think it's kind of obvious that Nana's house is the fun house).

And maybe I'll get around to posting all about the fun stuff we did the past few months, before I got pregnant...

13 October 2009

update from the business...

Ok, so I've been a big blog slacker lately, and I have no excuse.

But I did just want to pop in and let you know that I am having some fall specials in the next couple of weeks, so if you're interested, here are all the details.

If you're interested, just email me at jax@jaxharmon.com or the email you've got.

Hopefully I'll see some of you through my camera soon!


And because it just seems wrong to have a photography-related post without a photo, here is a funny little (well, it was kind of large to be honest) mushroom (that resembles a certain part of human anatomy) that was growing in our yard.

29 September 2009

oops.

So, meet:
I took Othello to get neutered last week, and the vet told me that "no news is good news." I then got a phone call that afternoon and as I was picking it up I was thinking "uh oh, something's gone wrong." But no, Othello was doing great, but just happens to be a girl, not a boy, so she got spayed instead.

I felt like an idiot.

But when I picked her up, they told me that they have sex changes all the time, especially with kittens. That made me feel a little better.

After that, I wasn't sure if I could trust our judgment on the sex of all the kittens. Did we just get Othello wrong, or are they all different than what we thought?

Today I found out that we weren't wrong at all, at least at first. My sister's friend who took the other black kitten took hers to get spayed this week. But got neutered instead.

So I just accidentally took the wrong kitten home. Oh well. Ophelia is definitely ours now.


note: i had to take alfonzo back because 3 cats were too much for our 900 square foot home and there were some territorial issues going on. But he is still up for adoption if anyone is interested! He is SO SWEET and it absolutely BROKE my heart (still does) that he couldn't stay. He also has a sister awaiting a home too: she's a gray kitten and really sweet too.

22 September 2009

this day 3 years ago...

I was lying in a hospital bed, languishing in IMMENSE pain.

Lucky for me, I was received an end to my misery when,
in the wee hours of the next morning,
I was blessed with this dark-haired little cone-headed alien.

Named Maximillian.







(and no, today is not his birthday. Tomorrow is. [Didn't you get the wee hours of the NEXT morning bit?])

11 September 2009

i want to be here again.



10 points to whoever can tell me where this is.

08 September 2009

labor day festivities

So, my new title is Jackie Harmon, pandemic survivor.

Yup, that's right, I had the swine flu. For labor day. Lucky me.

And what's even luckier, I had it while Rob is out of town and had Max all to myself (although my sister took him off my hands for a few hours yesterday).

Want the run-down?

It wasn't bad AT ALL. I have NO IDEA what all the fuss is about, it was by-far the EASIEST flu I've ever had. As long as I had motrin in me, I felt fine. Like, maybe a little tired, but otherwise fine. But the weirdest thing was that I never had the contagious symptoms: I never had a runny nose or sneezed, and I had a SLIGHT fever for all of a couple hours the first day. Like I said, definitely EASY to deal with.

And today, I feel normal again without any motrin so I think it's safe to say I survived. But I will still be quarantined (just in case) and will be taking my temperature constantly just to make sure I'm ok. And maybe we'll venture out tomorrow. (You're supposed to stay away from people 24 hours after your fever breaks and that would've been last night, but I'm being cautious)

And guess what? I STILL have NO IDEA how I got it. I don't know ANYONE who's had it, or even where it's been found. But I guess if any of you get it, I'll be patient zero. Sorry.

21 August 2009

tips for a successful mom and max date.

This summer has been absolutely crazy for us. Despite the fact that I was gone for half of it, and busy with other things for most of the rest, Max has been really good. So I decided it was time for us to have a date. So today we had an outing full of some of Max's favorite things, and mom all to himself (well, I may have slipped a couple of things I needed to do into it: lame, I know).

Here's how you do it:

First, it is completely necessary to fall asleep in the car minutes after leaving the house because mom completely bores you by stopping by the bank:


Then go to the bookstore and endure mom picking out a book for herself:


And then FINALLY get to play with the train table:

But have to leave earlier than expected because you throw a MAJOR fit. (I'm 99% sure it was a result of napping in the car)

Then have a happy meal picnic at the park (that was actually a location mom was scouting, sorry buddy):



And to top it all off, stop at Krispy Kreme for some donuts!



It was a good date.

18 August 2009

my new favorite!

Ok, so I'm admitting it: I LOVE Europop. LOVE IT. I do not, however, like American pop, just to be clear. But there is something about Europop that makes me happy. And just in the past week, my Russian friend introduced me to these gems: QUEST PISTOLS. And they are my new favorite. Upon hearing this song, I immediately went to amazon and put all of their albums on my wishlist. And what's even better, Max LOVES them too. Any time we need a pick me up, we listen to this song.

And just a side note: these people are not for real, they make fun of pop culture in general. Which makes them hilarious.

12 August 2009

super duper

Just wanted to share these photos of me taken at the workshop:

taken by the FABULOUS Jonathan Canlas. (the one who put on the workshop)


taken by Kristopher Orr.


taken by Missy Cochran. (I had no idea my legs were so skinny. Or my waist for that matter.)


I am seriously in love with them. SERIOUSLY. Isn't film beautiful?

11 August 2009

whew!

So we are back for real this time. And very glad to be back, I might add. Never again will I plan so many trips right in a row: it was a whirlwind of a summer and is taking longer than I'd thought to recover from.

Yet I don't think all of us are happy to be back home (where it's boring):
Now it's back to real life, and back to work!



Stay tuned for pictures from all our trips!

18 July 2009

I'm back....

until Monday. But San Francisco was AMAZING! Great location, great people, great food, and lots and lots of information stuffed into my head. Not to mention the 15 rolls of film I shot. But seeing as how it will be a couple of weeks until I get them back, here is one of the few digital photos I took:


The view out my hotel window. What a beautiful city.

03 July 2009

... and then there were three

So, you already know


But I am crazy and now we have

and
too.

They all drive me crazy. And Alfonzo has some potty issues.

But they're SO CUTE!


Wouldn't you agree?

30 June 2009

the sweetest thing.

Today Rob and I are celebrating our FIVE year wedding anniversary. Man, does time fly by! Some days it feels like we're still newlyweds. But at the same time, it feels like we've been married forever: I honestly can't really remember what life was like without him...

so here are some wedding pictures for you to enjoy: (is it just me, or have we changed a lot?)


And today we got the best anniversary present ever................ A JOB!!!!!


After many prayers, fasting, and even more prayers, Rob signed the papers today and is now part of the United States Army. Joining the military again has always been our backup backup plan, but one day last winter Rob came home from work and told me he'd stopped by the Army recruiter's office. I was sort of like, ok, why?, then I just knew that that's what we're supposed to do. I don't know why yet, and we may never really know, but we're trusting the Lord on this one. It's been a loooong process (we started way back in March) and at one point we weren't sure if was going to happen, but it's really happening! He leaves December 3rd for Officer Training School, and should commission as an officer in March. And at that point he'll find out what specific job he'll have and where we're headed (we're hoping for overseas at some point, but we'll see). So now we just sit tight until December.

And I, of course, have some pictures to commemorate the event. We thought that he'd be swearing in today in addition to signing the papers so I brought myself and my camera to MEPS in Raleigh to capture it. Ends up he didn't have to swear in because he's prior enlisted. So instead I just took a picture of him with his Army sticker:
And here's Rob with his recruiter, (Staff) Seargent Vernon. He's been awesome throughout this whole ordeal and we've grown quite fond of him: if you're looking to join up, we highly recommend him:
On the way back from MEPS we stopped for a yummy lunch (instead of an anniversary dinner) since it was not only lunchtime, but Rob hadn't eaten since about 2am when he left to go to MEPS. Oh, it was so good, see for yourself:
And lucky for us Max behaved himself (although he still made a mess, thank goodness we ate outside). And we snapped an impromtu family portrait:
And then snapped a couple of us. The turned out kind of weird, but when you're taking them yourself what do you expect?

And now comes the hard part (for me): learning all the military jargon. Right now it seems like everything Sgt. Vernon has told me has gone right over my head because I don't speak military yet (oh! the acronyms. They're going to be the death of me!) I hope I can do it. (And then the even harder stuff will start...) But we're all extremely excited and definitely ready to start the next chapter of our life!


Oh, I forgot to mention the best part: we can retire in 16 years if we want!

27 June 2009

the trek

Where to begin? I guess a little bit of background would be a good place.

Most everyone who knows me knows I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A Mormon. And if you didn't know before, you do now. Anyway, there is a rich history associated with my church, full of persecution and faith and obstacles and more faith. (If you are interested in a much better and complete history of my church, go here) And a big part of that history was the trek west to the Salt Lake Valley. After the official organization of my church in 1830, the members were forced to move around a lot because of persecution, and in 1846 were finally forced out of the United States. Thus began the exodus west to find a place no one else wanted, where no one would hurt them or force them out of their homes anymore. And that place was the Great Salt Lake Valley (basically, a desert). However, at the same time there were missionaries (just like today!) sent out, and those sent to England (and some other European countries) were very successful. Back then, all the members were called to join together in one place, so those were baptized in other countries basically sold everything they had to go to the United States to join the other members of their church there. But once the members moved to the Salt Lake Valley, it proved to be a huge obstacle for most. They were very poor, and barely had the means to make it to the U.S., let alone all the way west. Which meant a wagon and team of oxen were out of the question. So they scraped together what money and supplies they could and bought or built handcarts: a little square container with two wheels and a frame in front that you would use to pull it yourself. And they went west, pulling their own supplies and possessions. Unfortunately, in addition to the obvious hardships traveling like this has, many of the handcart companies left late in the season and ended up traveling in the winter. Many, many died on the trek west and today they still serve as an example to us of faith and fortitude. So many gave their lives for what they believed.

So, this summer the youth of this area of my church had the opportunity to re-enact part of the handcart trek. Obviously, we're in a different part of the U.S., so our topography and climate is different, but they were still able to get a little feel of what it was like to travel with a handcart. I went as a photographer and took a lot of photos, but it was TOUGH so I must admit, they aren't my best. After the first couple of miles into it I went into survival mode:) And I'll let you know, I call it a re-enactment, but it wasn't a true re-enacment. We were all dressed like pioneers from the 19th century, but only to an extent: we all wore our own underwear and tennis shoes and I highly doubt there was a single corset. And we had kool-aid and tents and porta-potties and 4-wheelers to cart the sick and injured out. But I'm sure we looked crazy enough to the people who would drive by on the few parts we were hiking down the road.

It was in the 90s all three days and HUMID and really muddy because it had rained a lot the days leading up to it. And there were CRAZY obstacles those kids had to work around, like hills (and hills and more hills), and logs, and switchbacks, and a 4 foot drop, and creeks. And honestly, before I went I wasn't too worried about the physical side of it. I mean, I'd been jogging in the mornings and walking a lot, and I'd been on my fair share of hikes and death marches (really really hard backpacking trips). Well, I could not keep up with these kids. I would start out in the front, and slowly work my way to the back as one handcart after another would start to run me over. They were incredible. Not only could I not keep up with them (granted, I was carrying a very heavy camera and a bunch of other stuff, while they carried nothing and took turns pushing or pulling, which is a little easier than straight up carrying stuff) they tackled each obstacle like it was nothing. The last day they had to deal with some switchbacks and then the 4 foot drop. And they breezed right through them so fast they were forced to take a long break so they wouldn't get to the "valley" before their families were there to greet them. So even though I struggled and was completely exhausted every night, I'm so glad I went. It really was an incredible experience.

And now for some pictures...

They started in "Nauvoo," which is the city on the east bank of the Mississippi in Illinois that the original Mormon pioneers left from. One of the most recognizable features of Nauvoo is the temple there (which was actually burned as they left, but was rebuilt a few years ago) and they actually built one out there in the wilderness of the Cherokee Scout Camp. It was so neat and helped to set the mood (although we did not burn this one).
And an example of what we were hiking through. It was all over our legs and hems and hands and bums.
My adorable sister. And that's actually my other sister in the greenish dress that she's looking at.
The wheel of one of the handcarts.
Notice the mud? And it got worse as we kept going.
We had our dinner out of dutch ovens the first night. YUM. Everything tastes good out of a dutch oven.
Here is what a handcart looks like.
We even got to witness some spectacular sunsets out there in the wilderness.
And did some folk/square dancing. This is one of my favorite photos: I love the girls expression and the yummy light.
Here is one of the hills. This one literally made my jaw drop when I saw it. They had to attach a rope to the handcart and wrap it around a tree at the top to get them up it.
And here are the "badlands." THey were trekking over small logs and stuff. In direct sunlight. Man, were they troopers.
And here is the gator. After the first two days I was beat. And not sure I would make it another day. So I got to ride in this to as far as it could go and only had to hike about a half mile to the creek with the drop-off where they wanted me to take photos. It was so nice. If I do this again, I'm going to insist on them doing this everyday. Not because I'm a complete pansy, but so they get better photos. When we'd get back to camp I had no energy to move, let alone muster up the creative energy necessary to take great photos. And if I hadn't gotten a ride the last day, there would be no "if" I do this again, it would be an "I'm NEVER doing this again."
The pretty sky. And fun with the fisheye. Sorry for the ginormous watermark in the way.

And here is one of the many logs they had to maneuver those carts over.


So I hope that gave you an idea of what I did and why I did it. They're making a movie of the whole experience for the reunion in August; hopefully they'll put it online so everyone can see!

Oh, and here is a link to the article about it that was in the paper.

22 June 2009

june 22nd

Today was my birthday.

My 24th birthday to be exact.

And yes, it was very good, thanks for asking.

After 24 years, I still think birthdays are kinda cool.

Just in a different way than when I was, say, 4.

It's like I have rose colored glasses every time it's my birthday.

No matter what I do (or don't do) it's still a happy day.

And now I have 365 days to go until the next one.




I can't wait.

20 June 2009

home again, home again, jiggity-jig

I made it out of the wilderness alive.


And this nasty picture is all the proof I have that I was there.

Was it rough? Most definitely.

Was it worth it? I'm still working on that one... but I think the answer is yes.








p.s. the only reason I look happy in this picture is because this was the day I got to ride in the gator to my spot instead of hiking the ump-teen miles to it. Riding in a gator is fun. If I ever do this again, I'm insisting on one for my own personal use.