Monday, April 30, 2007

you have to see this...

Okay, it's not that late, but I'm tired nonetheless. My day would have been incomplete, however, had I failed to post this picture...

Kim and I were laughing so daughter seriously looks like an "ogre" compared to Kim's little "bean". Man, they grow up so fast! ...and seriously, why in the world is Ruby still in an infant carrier? After seeing this, I promised myself that as soon as I return to Arizona, she is getting a new carseat! (Doesn't Lincoln look like he could be Ruby's toy baby doll?)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

my 100th post...

Brooke gave the best Young Women’s lesson in the Beehive class today. She taught about the importance of keeping a journal, and we had a group discussion (more like Brooke and I had a discussion, because the girls were too shy to say anything!) about different ways to chronicle our thoughts, and our day to day dealings. I have always felt and known the importance of keeping records, but haven’t ever been very consistent. (I was really good during my mission though…didn’t skip a day. I think that was mainly because my schedule as a missionary was so structured, and I had a set time, right before going to bed, to record my thoughts and feelings of the day. Plus, missionaries in general, tend to keep every commandment. Big or small.)
After my mom passed away, I remember finding tons of random scraps of paper, or loose pages from a notebook, which contained her thoughts, her feelings. They were her journal entries (more or less). I remember just wishing and hoping more of them would turn up; because, as I read them, I discovered so many things about her that I had never known. Reading them helped me to feel closer to her. They helped me to understand her on a different level.
It’s for that reason (and really many others), that I love blogging so much. Not only has it been a fun, easy, (and very addicting) way to keep a commandment, but I feel it also provides us the opportunity of really knowing people on a way different level. Discovering things we never knew, gaining a better understanding for, and appreciation of that particular person. Well, enough rambling…in honor of my 100th post (this is huge…for me anyway), I thought I’d list 100 things that make me, well…me. Enjoy.

  1. I was born on May 25, 1977 to Christine Ann Coombs and Brian Dean.
  2. My middle name is Christine, after my mom.
  3. I was sealed to my parents on June 17, 1977.
  4. I am the oldest of seven children - two boys and five girls.
  5. I married John Michael on May 4th, 2004.
  6. My husband is my hero and my role model .
  7. Together, we have two children - Isaac Joshua (still born June 29, 2005), and Ruby Christine (June 4, 2006).
  8. I hated being pregnant, but I loved the actual labor and delivery part (4 hours, from start to finish, isn't too bad...especially with an epidural).
  9. I am a very sentimental person. I have a really hard time getting rid of anything (even a little note) that someone else gave me.
  10. I have no problem, however, getting rid of clothes and shoes. John and I have had some pretty successful yard sales from my clothes (sales) alone.
  11. Sometimes I jump the gun by getting rid of things too soon, and then I end up kicking myself a month or so later.
  12. I love to travel...been on four cruises.
  13. I love doing laundry, and I put like six dryer sheets in every load to make everything smell yummy.
  14. I can't stand ironing! Poor John, I have a laundry basket full of his wrinkled shirts.
  15. I'm not a very good cook. It's so intimidating to me.
  16. I love to eat out, and I always order a coke with my meal.
  17. I can't share dairy products (milk, ice cream, etc.) with anyone...Okay, maybe with John.
  18. It bugs me when people say "I could care less" rather than "I couldn't care less". (Doesn't I could care less imply that there is some degree of care?)
  19. I have a birthmark (when I was little, mom and dad called it my beauty mark) on my right thigh, shaped like a crescent moon.
  20. Growing up, my biggest fear was of somehow losing my mom or my dad.
  21. I miss her every single day.
  22. I hated 2nd grade. (A different class mate threw up, it seemed, on a weekly basis. I just couldn't handle it.)
  23. I can't (and never have been able to) do a cartwheel.
  24. I would like to be more eloquent in speaking. (I can't ever express, in words, how I feel, and I fumble over my words a lot.)
  25. I am in charge of paying the bills at our house, and I actually love having that responsibility.
  26. If it lived in the sea, I cannot eat it!
  27. I served a mission in Argentina (Buenos Aires South). I've been home six years (this month).
  28. I think I'm slightly OCD. (I count stairs, sidewalk squares, every time my right foot hits the tread mill when I run, etc.).
  29. I worked for Nordstrom for 10 years before becoming a full-time mom.
  30. I thought I might, but I don't miss it. (I do, however, miss all of my Nordstrom Friends...and our daily lunch breaks.)
  31. If I borrow something, I will return it.
  32. I am an honest person, I cannot tell a lie.
  33. I need to lose 15 pounds of fat. I'm in the poor zone for percent body fat. Yikes!
  34. I love going to the gym each day. It's my release.
  35. I am trying to compliment more, and complain less.
  36. I love Sunsets. I've never seen prettier ones than those in Buenos Aires...simply breathtaking. (The sunsets in Arizona aren't too shabby either.)
  37. I love the soft serve vanilla cones from McDonald's...and their little cheeseburgers (with the tiny dehydrated onions).
  38. I love to dance...Latin dancing, to me, is especially enjoyable.
  39. I love to clean my house.
  40. I do not enjoy grocery shopping, but love going (shopping) for pretty much anything else.
  41. I love jewelry. (Just the inexpensive, fun to dress up any outfit kind.)
  42. I'm afraid of heights.
  43. I don't like taking risks.
  44. I once went an entire year without shaving my legs. (It was when I lived in Argentina, and wore long skirts, and thick tights everyday.)
  45. I inherited my dad's funny toes that curl under. Ruby inherited them from me. We call them her "macaroni toes".
  46. I'm not a flexible person (my body is not flexible).
  47. I am a flexible person (I go with the flow, and am pretty relaxed).
  48. I enjoy a good cry. I especially love it when a movie or book can trigger that emotion in me.
  49. I need to work on my posture.
  50. I have a really deep belly button. In high school, my girl friends called it the "black hole".
  51. I am, what some may consider, a home body. I lived at home pretty much until I was 26. And during my teenage years, my mom had to pretty much force me to go out with friends on the weekends.
  52. I have super dry skin...except for my face. My face is really oily.
  53. I think a lot of things are funny, but it's a rare moment when I actually laugh out loud.
  54. I experience a lot of anxiety in hospitals. I think it's because I had to say goodbye to my mom, and to my a hospital.
  55. I have a really weak stomach.
  56. I'm super ticklish behind my thighs.
  57. I love watching the birthing shows on TLC (although, I have to admit, they pretty much freaked me out while I was pregnant with Ruby. But still, I couldn't stop).
  58. I've seen Les Miserables six times, (and read the book, 1 1/2). It's the most touching story, and makes me think of my mom...such fond memories.
  59. I have a tendency to feel sorry for people...even for dumb reasons.
  60. I have a collection of over 200 movies (VHS), that I can't bring myself to get rid of (even though I haven't watched a single one in years), because my grandma and I started the collection together - it reminds me of her. (I told you, I'm really sentimental.)
  61. John and I read together in the Book of Mormon every night. I know that's why we have such a close relationship, and a wonderful marriage.
  62. I love a good book recommendation. (I haven't had the best of luck picking my own reads.)
  63. I love steak! I like it cooked medium well.
  64. I bite the inside of my cheek when I get nervous.
  65. I really like to mow the lawn.
  66. I don't like my outfits to be too matchy-matchy.
  67. I love the Beach Boys. They were my first concert (My brother Matt slept though it...hahaha!)
  68. Little children always put me at ease.
  69. My hand-eye coordination is other words, I am not an athlete.
  70. I love sleeping with the ceiling fan on, even in the winter.
  71. I get really nervous while instant messaging, I type slow.
  72. I suck at video games.
  73. I took an oil painting class when I was 8...I was actually pretty good. My mom had my paintings framed, and hung them in the house.
  74. I hate blowing my hair dry.
  75. I love music...all types. It brings out so many different emotions in me.
  76. Special needs people used to scare me, now I have such a sweet and tender love for them.
  77. Summer is my favorite season, then Spring, then Fall, then Winter.
  78. I love for things to be neat, and clean, and organized.
  79. I went to my 10 year high school reunion, and surprisingly, had a great time.
  80. I always have this strange sensation that someone is watching me.
  81. I am constantly doing math in my head. (Is that an OCD thing?)
  82. One of the coolest things I've ever seen was the Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico. If you've never seen it, it is a definite must!
  83. I love a relaxing bath, but rarely make the time for one.
  84. I love learning about the Second Coming of Christ.
  85. I love the gospel, and hate to think of what I might be doing, where I could be, or what my life might be like without it.
  86. I enjoy speaking in Church. Lessons scare me.
  87. I can't fall asleep if it's too quiet. (That's one reason I like having the ceiling fan on.)
  88. I gained 15 pounds my junior year of high school. (went from 95-115)
  89. I don't drink enough water. Did I mention that I have an obsession with Coke?
  90. I love getting pedicures. My own are always crap.
  91. I love coffee table books.
  92. I love learning something new.
  93. I've never been to Boston. I need to get out to Boston.
  94. I love picnics, and BBQ's, and the pool, and pretty much anything that represents summer time...and the outdoors (in the summer time).
  95. I want to learn to sew, and crochet.
  96. I love grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.
  97. I would love to get a nice camera, and learn to take pictures like Brooke.
  98. I want to be more Christ-like.
  99. I am passionate about my family.
  100. I love life.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

hot! hot! hot!

It hit 99 degrees today! Yep, it was a hot one! John and I decided to take Ruby to the pool, right here in our little community. It's not heated, so it felt pretty icy at first, but, after getting over the initial shock, it turned out to be rather refreshing. Even Ruby loved it. We had the place to ourselves, and enjoyed the afternoon blaring tunes from the ipod, and sipping gatorades...I love Arizona!

Ruby with her very own Gatorade...

Friday, April 27, 2007

my joy...

I walked into Ruby's room yesterday, to check on her during her nap, and to my surprise, she was sound asleep...standing up!

Here she is getting ready for her bath...I couldn't resist (those little buns).

Can you see the tiny black specks around her mouth?...she's been chowing on her crib again. (Man, I really need to invest in some plastic rail guards!)

...And here she is exploring the magazine drawer!

Oh, and I guess it would be safe to say, I got a bit carried away in PSE (photoshop elements) tonight...oh well, it was fun nonetheless!

as promised...

here are some pictures of my perfect little nephew, Lincoln Christian Barney...

Little Lincoln 6 lbs. 5 oz. 18 1/2 inches

With proud parents Kim (top) Christian (bottom)

Doesn't he look so angelic?

Kim called yesterday to tell me that she and Christian thought Lincoln's profile resembled that of Isaac. They didn't send any profile shots, but the very bottom picture definitely reminded me of my little son. I just can't wait to meet Lincoln in person, and, thanks to my wonderful husband, I'll be able to do so in two days! John surprised me with a plane ticket to Salt Lake! I was supposed to hop on the 1:30 PM flight yesterday, but then I remembered (and panicked when I did) that we were asked to speak in our ward on Sunday. (Last time we were supposed to speak, back in February, we had to call the Bishop the morning of, and tell him that we wouldn't be able to - because of my ER visit the day before, and doctor's orders to stay down. I was totally embarrassed, and would be completely mortified if I cancelled again.) So, needless to say, John was able to call and arrange for a different flight, in the which I'll be leaving Sunday evening. I'll probably be staying a week or so. I'm super excited to be able to hold Lincoln, to help Kim in any way, and of course, to see my's been way too long, and I'm rather missing them!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

he's here!

Kim and Crit on Ruby's Blessing Day (August 2006)

It's about 9:30 AM. My cell phone rings. Who could it be? My phone's in the bedroom. Should I just let it go to voicemail? My curiosity gets the best of me. I wander to the room. Look at the caller ID. Oh, it's Kim! Did she have a doctor's appointment today? Last week she was dilated to a 3, but she's not due until May 13th. I answer "hello"... and then, to my utter astonishment, Kim informs me that I have a new nephew!

Lincoln Christian Barney was born today, April 26th, at somewhere around 8:00 AM. He weighs 6 lbs 5 oz and is 18 (or 18 1/2?) inches long ..(such a tiny little guy)! Kim says he's just beautiful, and flawless, and has black curly hair all over his head...and a perfect little nose, and huge feet (it must run in the family)...oh, and she said that he's got his cousin Isaac's hands (super long, thin fingers)!

I want Kim to know that I'm so proud of did it Kim! She's been so nervous the past couple of weeks, just feeling inadequate and inexperienced. (Don't we all feel that way at times?) But I know that she'll be a wonderful little mother. Wow! I'm an aunt! I'm an aunt?
I haven't left cloud nine since I heard the news, in fact I have done pretty much, well, nothing, since I got off the 4 hours ago! (I'm just too dang giddy!) I'm an aunt!

Kim and Christian, I want you to know that I am ecstatic for you both, and for your new little addition. You're a real family now...(not that you weren't before, but you know what I mean)! I love you guys. I'm proud of you both. I'm so happy that you got to witness the miracle of birth and of new life! There's really nothing quite like it! Congratulations!

Kim holding Ruby ( In the photo, Ruby is actually wearing Kim's blessing dress that our mom made for her when she was a baby.)

Kim and Christian promised to email pictures, so, as soon as they do, you know what I'll be posting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"president eagleston"

...has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

John as a Missionary, in front of the beautiful Oakland Temple

John has just been called as the Elder's Quorum President of our ward...which, by the way, does not surprise me in the least. Ever since the day I met John, I've known that there was something special about him. And then, as we started courting, and I became even closer acquainted with him, those initial feelings were reiterated...again and again. Now, we're married, and I thank Heavenly Father every day for allowing our paths to cross (over 5 years ago), and for blessing me with such an amazing companion. Have you ever met an individual who almost seems too perfect for this mortal existence? An Angel on Earth? Well, to me, that's my John. He is the essence of love and the epitome of goodness. He can light up an entire room with his smile. He has a special gift of helping people see and recognize their self worth. He puts people at ease. He has a happy disposition. He has a testimony of the Gospel, and a love for the Savior. He loves his family.
If I am ever in doubt about how to react or respond in questionable situations or circumstances, I simply look to him; or when not in his presence, I think, what would John do? He is a true Christian, in word and in deed. He is my exemplar, my friend, my eternal companion. I promise to sustain him, and to fully support him in this most important call, and in all others...(as I know he will serve in many many capacities). I know the Lord trusts him, and needs him at this time as an instrument, in doing much good. In building the Kingdom.
I love you John...and, couldn't be more proud.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

happy day...judy

Judy holding John May '79

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday, and I wish we were there to celebrate with her. I'm sad, because we were supposed to be in Utah this weekend because of my 1/2 marathon, but, (despite the countless, agonizing hours at the gym), I'm just not going to be ready to run it. So, because I won't be there in person to tell her Happy Birthday, I'm going to pay her a little tribute... right here on my blog.
I was reflecting today, back to the very first time I met Judy. John and I had just begun to date, casually; and he was in Sandy one night, staying over at his mom's. I happen to be living at home(in West Jordan), so John asked me if I'd like to come over and hang out. He gave me directions to the house, and when I got there, I was greeted by one of the most beautiful, softhearted, and pleasant people I had ever met...John's mom. I just remember that her kind smile was so welcoming, and put me right at ease. You know what she did that night, that so impressed me? Well, John's foot (the one with the pin in it) was really bothering him, and so Judy (who can't stand to see her children in any kind of pain), grabbed some lotion, and began massaging his afflicting extremity. You probably won't believe me when I tell you that she offered to rub mine too! It's true, she really did. That whole experience made me think of the Savior, when he washed the feet of his twelve apostles. Said he unto them:

"For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto
you. Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than
his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye
know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

Judy (throughout her entire life), has striven to know these things (the Lord's teachings), and this I believe, is why she is such a happy individual. I know that she loves the Lord, because she had truly patterned her life after His. She lives as He taught us to live...through her kind words, her charitable service, her unconditional love toward her family, and others.

Judy has a way of putting people at ease, and showing interest in them. She loves to laugh, and we love to laugh together. She speaks ill of no one, and focuses on the good qualities, rather than dwelling on the flaws. If you've ever seen Gone with the Wind, you'll understand what I mean when I say that Judy is a Melanie. (I know my Dad knows what I'm talking about, he's the one that recommended I go watch the film, and closely observe the character Melanie. I am not quite there yet...but my mother-in-law is.)

Judy has especially been kind to me. She told me one time - and I will never forget this - "If I had passed away, and couldn't be there for my daughters, I would need to know that someone was there to take care of them...and love them, just as I would, if I were there." Well, Judy has done just that. She has loved me like her own daughter, and cared for me, and lifted my spirits, and given me words of encouragement, and supported me...all the things that mothers do with, and to, and for their daughters. Thank you Judy, I know my mom couldn't be more pleased.

I love you, and wish you a very Happy Birthday!

Ruby's Blessing Day August '06

Judy and Vaughn with Isaac June 29 '05

UVSC Parent Appreciation Night April '04

John and Scott's Graduation Day April 30 '04

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

new porsche...

Okay, so it's not exactly our new Porsche (it's my Father-in-law's), but we (John, Ruby, and I) enjoyed tooling around in it during John's lunch break today. We went through a drive-through to get some food, and then through a couple of neighborhoods. The tunes were blaring, the wind whipping through our hair - It was fun (for a minute), pretending to be a couple of high rollers...
but alas, the clock was ticking, John's work was beckoning, and, our few moments of "wordly Eminence"... quickly dissipated.

Here's Ruby strapped in the almost non-existent back seat. I should've taken a picture of my knees smashed against the dash board (in an attempt to make room for her infant carrier).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

just catchin' up...

on the last week or so.

I watch from a distance as Ruby spots her reflection in the standing mirror. She rapidly crawls toward it, stands up, and while pressing her slobbery mouth against the mouth of the "other" baby, I hear a loud ummaah (kissing sound). She then repeats, over and over, while displaying a huge toothy grin, bebe bebe (or baby). Definitely one of those "laugh out loud" moments for mom!

Here she is again, snoopin' around in mom's night stand drawer...

Okay, I realize this shot is really blurry (she was moving around like crazy under there), but I couldn't resist...she fits just perfectly - under the kitchen table.

Uncle Terry (dad's older brother), and Aunt Lynda, paid us a friendly visit. They are from Oklahoma, and on a road trip. How fun for us, that Arizona was on their route!

Some of my favorite things are - 1) new books, and 2) packages. Well, here are my newest books that arrived, in the mail last week...happy day for me!

Saturday, I went on a five mile hike (more like a 5 mile stroll through the desert), with some of the Young Women, to prepare for girl's camp in June. Here they are passing off their fire certification.
from left: Kailey Porter, Cody Dobson (camp director's husband), Allison Melchin, Natalie Dobson (camp director), and Kareena Chism

...and these (from today), I just thought were cute. Ruby with her adorable friend, Nicole Garn.

How funny is that?! Nicole was obsessed with kissing Ruby...and I think Ruby liked it too (look at her face)!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I watched a film last night that gave me a sentimental yearning for my days as a missionary in Argentina. The film (recommended by my brother Aaron), is an inspiring, and heartwarming depiction of the young Ernesto "Che" Guevara, and his travels (with friend Alberto), across Latin America. The movie is filled with breathtaking scenery, geographical diversity, and stunning beauty; and, as promised by my brother, it took me instantly back to the mission, and filled my heart with a renewed love for the South American people. Even the dialect of Spanish used in the film was the beautiful sing/speak castellano used in Buenos Aires and Uruguay (where Aaron served). Upon hearing the language, and it's intonation, I had a wistful desire to return to the beautiful place that is Argentina, and to be reunited with la gente...
One day, I will make it back (with John), and what a glorious day that will be, filled with laughter, tears, embraces, kisses, joy, rejoicing...

I remained awake for several hours after viewing the film, reminiscing, reflecting, longing.
This morning I broke out my albums, journals, mementos, anything that might take me back, (without actually going back), and appease my nostalgic pangs...

Thought I'd share a few of my treasures...

This is in my first Area, Burzaco. We're walking home from the baptisms of Matias and Silvina, (my first baptisms...they are the two on the far right).

This is my second area, Mar de Ajo. We lived only 7 blocks from the ocean, and would sometimes go running on the beach in the mornings, or (if we could get up early enough), watch the sun rise, and do our morning studies , on the beach. (This photo was taken on my 23rd birthday, with my sweet Chiquita...she followed us everywhere for seven months!)

This is in the home of some of our greatest investigators, La Familia Pereira. Every night when we came over for a discussion, there were more and more people there to listen to us. Maria Elena, Daiana, Daniel, Veronica, and Javier, were all baptised.

My sweet Barboza family. This picture was taken when they began the discussions.

This photo was taken almost five months later...on their baptism day. Juan, the father, was actually baptised two weeks earlier, received the Aaronic Priesthood, and then baptised his wife Sandra (8 months pregnant), his daughter Sol, and son Yael. (A year later, Sandra and Juan took their 4 kids to the Buenos Aires temple, to be sealed. To this day, they remain true to the faith.)

Dafne, myself, and Sol...that's their home in the background.

This was taken the night I was transferred from my beloved Mar de Ajo. My bus left at midnight, and look at all the people that came to see me Argentinian Family.

I'm reunited (for a short time) with the Pereira's. This is at the end of my mission, when my dad and Aaron came to pick me up.

The breathtaking Iguazu Falls, with my brother Aaron...

Another shot of the Iguazu falls, with Aaron and Dad. This is when we were in Brazil, looking at the falls in Argentina.
I remember meeting a girl there who had traveled all over the world with her mother. She told us that South America is "the best kept secret"...well, after seeing these falls (and the scenery from the film)...I couldn't agree with her more!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

lions & tigers & bears...oh my!

oh, and I mustn't forget the orangutans...

The most adorable and lovable little creature...all snuggled up to his mommy

I took Ruby to the Phoenix Zoo today. I was pretty excited because the last time we went, (over Thanksgiving break--with Paul, Amy, Rob, and Brooke), Ruby was only five months old, and frankly, hadn't a clue what was going on. I really don't know why I figured, at ten months, she'd suddenly "get it", like a light would just go on or something. I seriously pictured her having the time of her life, just laughing, and oohing and aweing over every creature and critter...
As it was, she pretty much napped the entire time, and during her few moments of vigilance, I don't think she even acknowledged the subsistence of a single species.
She did, however, get a few moments of enjoyment from the water fountains, and was easily entertained while observing the frivolity of the other children...
I myself, benefited in more ways than one. First, there are these great hills everywhere, which enabled me a second workout for the day. Second, the sun was out, which meant the beginnings of a golden suntan. Third, I got some social fulfillment from conversing with the other moms that were present.
All in all, it was a good experience for me, (and hopefully for Ruby, too). I guess I wouldn't be opposed to trying it another five months or so (ha ha ha).

Ruby with little buddy JR

This crazy new crawl she's been experimenting with...

Laughin' and lovin' the water fountains...

Our trip to the zoo this past November...we were really going to take that thing out (with all of us on it), until we were so rudely prohibited...I guess they have some rule that kids under two cant ride (something dumb like that) least it made for a great picture :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

grandma judy...

We were so privileged to have my sweet, sweet Mother-in-law in town this weekend. We hadn't seen her since Christmas, so when I heard that she'd be coming (last minute), I was absolutely beside myself. She was the breath of fresh air that I was so needing, and the few days we were able to spend with her did not disappoint. She has never treated me less than one of her own, and indeed, I am blessed to have her as a Mom! It was definitely not easy seeing her off this morning...but, June really is just around the corner. I love you Judy...thank you, thank you, thank you, for your countless sacrifices in our behalf.

I had to throw one in of Ruby with her gorgeous Aunt Julie...