Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So, we have a few pictures of visitors we have had to the house in the last couple months... I thought I'd put them in a post together...
(All of the pictures are conveniently taken at pretty much the same spot on our property in front of the house.)

Our friend Angie came to visit for a weekend in August. We had a great relaxing weekend chatting and eating great food!! I tried out a couple new recipes and both Angie and Greg loved them! We also took a day trip up to Kings Canyon National Park. (I will post about that at some point!)

This is from our visit from Mom, Dad, Dom, & Naomi earlier in August!! It was decided that we needed to take the picture RIGHT THEN because of the sunset, even though we were in the middle of dinner... Anyway, I think this is one of over 30 pictures that were attempted with two different cameras.

Gotta love my dear husband wearing my pink flipflops!!

I promise that I do wear different clothes, even though I've got the same skirt on in this picture!! :) Greg's brother Tim, his wife Cindy, and their son Tyler were our first visitors to come to the house. They came for an overnight visit in June and were the first to have my, now famous, overnight cinnamon rolls!! What fun to have a baby in the house too!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

-- 144 --
We were quite blessed to hear our baby’s heartbeat yesterday at our doctor’s visit.
It was such a special experience to hear our precious little one. In my own womb for that matter!!! We are so blessed. Praise God for this amazing gift!!! I am so thankful to have such a supportive husband holding my hand and accompanying me and our precious little one to each trip to the doctor’s office!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

what a difference three years makes ... I love my husband

I received this e-mail from my dear husband:
"Three years ago you saw me and sent me a smile!!! THANK YOU!"
we definitely communicate much more in person, but occasionally we use e-mail when we are at work, etc. :) Anyway, here is a bit of history to that e-mail...
Three years ago - September 23, 2004 - I was looking online at
I saw Greg's profile and thought... hmm, I think we'd be a pretty good match. Even though I did NOT initiate contact with any other guys (we actually had to search the archives to see that I did contact Greg first) I sent him a virtual "smile" through the website. Too bad Greg had just started volunteering to help at the youth group at church and was super-busy, because he didn't respond until April of 2005. But luckily I had been patiently waiting - I knew God had something wonderful in store!! That started it all though... We met in May 2005 and the rest is history - well, actually its the present and we are living it as we speak... We love being married and in less than six months we will be parents... We love each other more and more everyday.
Thank you, my dear husband, for remembering another one of our special days

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chilly Camping

**pictures for this post will come at some point -- hopefully soon**

This last weekend we went camping! We love camping. Its been our tradition for the last three years to go up to Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park during the early fall. The first year we just went up for the day and hiked to the top of Lembert Dome. Last year we camped and hiked out past Soda Springs to the Tuolumne Falls on Saturday and went all the way up to nearly 12,000 feet on Sunday to hike the Gaylor Lakes trail (we were hiking on snow in September!). This year we camped again and did our hiking on more level terrain because of baby in belly. We went out the John Muir trail through Lyell Canyon. It was beautiful – meadows, fairly dense big tree forested areas, huge granite boulders, creeks, streams, rivers, flora, fauna (deer, marmot, etc) … quite lovely.

Now the chilly part – well on Saturday night I cooked us something over the camp stove that tasted kind of like chili, but I call it taco soup – it was great! But the really chilly part was that the low overnight temperature was 22. Twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit! Last year it was 24 and we were quite cold, but this year it was even colder. Mind you, we are tent camping – i.e. tent on tarp on ground. I had us bundled up in four sleeping bags and four blankets and we actually were pretty comfortable. :)

On Sunday we had a great breakfast – my standard camping breakfast of breakfast burritos. Greg loves them and it think its primarily because most of it is cooked in bacon grease!! :) We enjoyed our lovely campsite a bit more and packed up our stuff to head back down the mountains into the valley. We made it to town about a half hour before church, just enough time to use the bathroom, change into church clothes, report to mom & dad that we made it back, and run into Target for a quick shopping trip – we still hadn’t showered, but hey that’s a good excuse to sit in the back of the church and at least I wear a headcovering (veil) at Mass so I didn’t have to worry about my hair!

After Mass we headed down to the church we teach at (about thirty minutes from the church we attend). We ate a quick dinner of sandwiches I had packed and prepared for our class – making sure to tell the teens that we had been camping and that is why we smelled like smoke. Our class went really well and at around 8:45pm we were finally on our way home. Its about 45 minutes back up to our house and it sure did feel nice to jump in a hot shower and some clean clothes!!

A great camping trip though and we are both really looking forward to next year – going camping with a kiddo in tow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Peach Cobbler

I made this cobbler a while back, I just finally got the pictures so I can post about it!!
I highly recommend this cobbler recipe - especially when you have fresh, ripe fruit handy.
I can't take credit for the recipe, I found it on this blog:

First, toss the berries or chopped fruit with 1/4 cup sugar (if needed). My fresh peaches were so ripe, I definitely did not need any sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 while the fruit releases its juice.

Next, melt one stick butter or margarine in a casserole dish (8 x 10 or 8 x 8).
Simply double this recipe for use in larger baking dishes.
-- I use butter when baking and for this recipe I used an 8x8 inch glass pan. --

While the butter melts, combine dry ingredients with milk:
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup milk

Here's my kitchen counter with the recipe and my measuring stuff. I love my mixing bowls, they were a Christmas present from my dear husband while we were still dating!

Next, pour batter over the butter. Don't mix!
Then, spoon fruit over the batter. Don't stir! Bake for 40 minutes at 350.
Here's what it should look like before you bake it:

This recipe makes a crisp, buttery top.Beneath its sugary crunch lies a soft layer of cake and hot juicy fruit.
Here's the final product: (pretty isn't it!!)

Very easy recipe and very tasty - eat it warm and fresh - maybe with some vanilla ice cream on the side :) Have a great day!! Blessings, Sarina & baby

Monday, September 17, 2007


ok, so up where we live there is a community church that does a yard sale every year. it is three days long and they have an entire parking lot full of stuff. now, I am not one of those people that gets the newspaper and drives around town all Saturday hoping from garage sale to garage sale, but when a huge one actually happens to be in our little town... sounds like something good to do. so, the first day of the sale was Thursday, and knowing that we would be out of town camping on Friday and Saturday, I asked my dear husband if on our way home from work we could drive through town rather than taking the roads to our house that hit the highway before town. (again, our town is one that you miss if you blink driving along the highway)
so, on Thursday after work we parked at the church and there was definitely quite a bit of stuff. being pregnant, as well as frugal, I haven't done much clothes shopping lately, even though I really do need/want some additions to my wardrobe – especially ones which will accommodate our little baby growing inside me and that can be worn while nursing, etc. My dear husband is always on the look-out for nice clothes for me and actually he has done most of my clothes shopping for the last couple years!! Anyway, with that being said we headed straight to the clothing racks. There were a lot of women’s clothes! We sorted through the skirts and found three that we liked. I decided to just get one or two until we saw the prices – cheap – So Greg said I had to get all three. One might need minor adjustment, but there were in very good condition. We headed over to the dresses and after some laughs at the ridiculous styles that were obviously from the early eighties we settled upon a lovely jean jumper that still had the tags on it. We looked through the rest of the assorted stuff in the church parking lot and found a brand new box of socket covers (you know those things you put in electrical sockets so kids wont put fingers/toys/spoons, etc in them). While Greg was looking at some stuff I remembered that my parents always get really good deals on greeting cards at garage sales, so I walked around the books and stuff until I found a box with greeting cards! So, I sorted through all the cards and took all of the ones that I thought I could use – with envelopes too! The stack was two or three inches high – lots of cards. We headed to the counter to pay… thinking three skirts, a jumper, a box of socket covers, and a big stack of cards… hmm, $10, $5, something around there… and the nice church lady said "$2.50" and I said "for all of this?" and she said again "$2.50" So Greg handed her $3 and got $0.50 back we thanked them and jumped in the car … How exciting!!! What a deal!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Absolutely hilarious…

Well… this morning my dear husband and I were off to a bit of a slow start – apparently it decided to become fall overnight -- we woke up to a freezing house. I mean it was so cold that Greg got our bath robes and put them under our covers with us to warm them up before we got out of the bed. It was like 58 degrees outside – and mind you about two months ago it was still 85 degrees outside at 6:30 in the morning.
Anyway, so its cold, we were moving slow and were a bit late grabbing everything to head out the door. A bit late is usually ok for most folks, but again, we live an hour away from work. So, I was grabbing our lunches out of the fridge and Greg was putting his shoes on when he noticed that our pig had gotten out of her pen. Now, she has a huge area fenced off with an electric fence – probably almost an acre – with her little house and a mud pit and a plastic swimming pool and her food, etc. she should be plenty happy in there. For some reason this morning she was out wandering around by the house. So, Greg informed me that he was going to put her back in and I proceeded to tidy-up the kitchen. Luckily our house has huge windows in the front and back and our side door is glass because I turned around to see the pig running around the back of the house and my dear husband chasing after it. One lap, two laps, three laps … I am laughing hysterically as my dear husband is chasing our crazy pig around our house!!! Usually the pig will run to her house when Greg tells her to, but this morning I guess she was up for a little rambunctiousness because she likes the cooler weather. I heard Greg’s angry voice and saw him offering treats to the pig, as well as punishment. But finally after I think they were both a little tuckered-out the pig followed Greg into her pen for some additional breakfast (pellets). Greg patted her belly and rechecked the electric fence to make sure everything was secure and in operation.
He came inside for a drink of water before we headed down to work. As we were driving he asked me if I thought she got out everyday and just went back in before we came home. (I don’t think so.) But it was funny, he said "We’ve got a rebellious teen-ager on our hands." Hahahaha… Luckily we have at least a couple more years before our little baby will be running around and trying to sneak out of the house!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

six years ago today

six years ago today... law-abiding Americans went about their duties at school and work

six years ago today... the West coast was barely waking up, while the East coast was being shaken

six years ago today... some traveled aboard airplanes for business, some for pleasure, some for terror

six years ago today... my dear husband was on his way from Arlington to Washington, D.C. - luckily he's not an early riser

six years ago today... I was traveling in Europe, briefly insulated from what was going on back home, even though I had previously scheduled plane travel on that day

six years ago today... my friend/coworker/classmate Deora caught an earlier flight and had her life tragically ended by evil strangers on Flight 93

six years ago today... changed the feeling of security forever

we will never forget

First Corinthians 1:18 - The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.

God bless America

Monday, September 10, 2007

telling sarina's parents

my parents are pretty young - early 50's - and they are fairly recent empty-nesters... but with both kids married off, and a full life ahead of them... what better time than this to become grandparents!!! :) We waited to tell mom and dad until we saw them in person. This was nearly impossible for me as I talk to mom everyday and had a bit of a difficult time answering her questions. For example: mom would ask - "how are you?" - to which I wanted to scream in reply - "I'm pregnant!!" - but I didn't. The only thing keeping me from telling them over the phone was imagining in my head the priceless moment of telling them in person that they were going to be grandparents. So... here was the plan... mom and dad were supposed to come down to visit in July - a couple weeks after we found out about our little baby. My dad's birthday is also in July - so we decided that for dad's birthday present we would give him a card that said "Happy Birthday Grandpa" and include a copy of our first ultrasound picture in it. Brilliant. Well, mom and dad decided to postpone their trip until August to correspond with a family reunion!!! ARGG... another couple weeks of having to answer the dreaded "how are you?" question... but we remained strong. I told dad we had his birthday present and we would give it to him when they came down. His response always was..."but I don’t like presents, I don’t want anything" – to which I would respond - "you’ll like this one, its just something little." (hehehe) Well the day finally came – mom and dad were on their way to our house – we could finally tell them!! One minor glitch in the plan – our driveway was being paved that day. No problem you think… well, think again. Our driveway is approximately 750 feet long, not straight (curvy), not flat (very steep), and not yet dry from being paved – think flipflops sticking to wet asphalt… So, mom and dad call saying that they are nearly at our house and we warn them about the driveway and tell them to park at the bottom of our hill near the well. We told them we’d come meet them at the bottom. They got their quicker than we expected (and I was in the process of cutting Greg’s hair so we were a bit distracted). But when we realized they had arrived, we grabbed Dad’s card and started running down the driveway to meet them. To our surprise they were already walking up the driveway (it was very hot and they wanted to get to the cooler house). We stopped them to hug them and say hi and I basically shoved the card in dad’s face – "here’s your birthday card" Luckily he opened right away without much convincing. Here’s what happened next:

(you can see the driveway paving equipment in the background)

My dear husband did a FABULOUS job capturing the moment, as my Dad exclaimed: "My baby is having a baby!!"
We yelled up the hill to my brother and sister-in-law, who we already ahead of us on the way to the house… and they came back to us for hugs and congratulations!
Needless to say we then continued to make the trek up the driveway which left us all a little sweaty and out-of-breath, but definitely very happy

Thursday, September 6, 2007

first OB visit

ok, so on July 26th we had our much anticipated first OB visit. The OB office at Kaiser is great, small enough that it feels personal but open and airy with an awesome view out the window. My dear husband and I walked up to the desk and handed over my id card, etc. They promptly checked me in and offered me a label (which I was then instructed to use on the cup for my urine sample – which apparently Kaiser wants from me every time I walk in the door!). I was pointed to the bathroom for the obligatory sample and Greg made himself at home in the waiting area – he holds onto my purse very well!! J I joined Greg and waited to be called. The wait was brief and I was then taken to a scale to be weighed (I made a point to take of my sandals even though the attendant gave me the option to keep them on – come on I don’t need any extra weight recorded!). My weight wasn’t a surprise, so that was nice. I have absolutely no idea what my "pre-pregnancy" weight was (don’t have a scale) so… I told the nice lady that it was probably about the same as the current weight (keep in mind this appointment was at about the 8 week mark). I then have my blood pressure checked – it was apparently very good – yippee. We were then ushered into an exam room and I was instructed to disrobe and put on a gown and hop on the table. I obliged and we waited – me a bit cold – for the nurse. The nurse was great!! I am forgetting her name now, but she was wonderful. She was surprised that I was in for that appointment… I dunno if Kaiser messed up with scheduling, but I was apparently supposed to have a pregnancy confirmation appointment prior to my appointment with the nurse… Well we didn’t care (we knew the baby was there) so the nurse just proceeded with business as usual. She talked to us about possible due dates – based on our estimate it was about March 7th. She talked to us about tests we could do on me or the baby to determine possible pregnancy/birth/after birth risks. She told us she was completely against abortion!!! Yippee!!! (that is a good thing for several reasons, but one being the fact that she is an OB nurse!!) That was also great, as we then knew that she was being honest with us about the need/needlessness of the elective tests. – we opted for only the blood test at 16 weeks (I think its called AFT, or APF or something similar). Greg was very involved with asking questions about the tests and was glad that if something about our baby was found that they were not going to encourage us to "take care of the problem (AKA abortion)" but rather "figure out the best way to address care for this baby!!"
Anyway… the discussion continued with the nurse, again, I didn’t feel rushed at all and I loved that it felt like we could take as much time as necessary and ask questions. It was like the nurse cared about us!! I am not really fond of doctors in general and ask anyone who knows me, I would rather be pretty much anywhere than in a hospital, so I was surprisingly comfortable! I think that has a lot to do with my dear husband being at my side – literally a few inches from me – throughout this whole process! Ok, so here was a funny part of the conversation. The nice nurse asked what kind of birth control we were planning on using after this baby is born… well, we looked at her kind-of dumbfounded and said – "none" and she seemed surprised… "no birth control at all" To which I innocently responded "well, we’re Catholic" I guess she might be used to cafeteria-style Catholics, as she didn’t seem to think being Catholic had anything to do with not using birth control… so we then proceeded to explain to her that we got married in January, we built our house, we conceived this current baby, and are now planning on starting our family – and by starting our family we mean that we are going to continue having children after this first one. She still seemed a little glazed over, so to allay her fears of me coming to Kaiser every 10 months popping out another baby, I told her that we have practiced Natural Family Planning (NFP) and anytime we want to naturally space our babies then we have the knowledge on how to do that. This apparently set her a little more at ease – I think she was familiar with NFP. HAHA! - crazy people living up in the foothills wanting to actually raise a family of children!! We must be insane! J or filled with the love of Christ and in full awareness that children and blessings from God Himself!!!
Ok ok, so the next part was also a but humorous/exciting/slightly uncomfortable. I was stripped down and in a gown during this whole time of conversation mind you, and I am a fairly modest person… so when our friendly nurse proceeded to hike up the table and have my put my feet in the stirrups I kindly informed her that I had only had a "woman exam" once in my life – a few months ago before we got married. She responded almost in the same way as when we told her we weren’t going to use birth control, but then said she would be very gentle and talk me through it. So, to spare you the details – she did an internal exam and determined my uterus was at 8 weeks (HOW THE HECK DID SHE DO THIS???) then, since the baby was little at the point she used the internal sonogram wand – hmm- prior to this visit, I didn’t know that this instrument existed! Well, we were pleasantly surprised when the machine beeped on and the were able to see our baby live!! Greg promptly pulled his chair right up in front of the screen – I could barely see, but I didn’t want to break that too him, so I let him narrate to me what was going on … the baby looked very cute – the nurse was trying to get a good shot to measure from the head to the bottom – so we got to see quite a bit of the baby: legs, arms, head, heartbeat, etc… at only 8 weeks we were just blown away at how amazingly developed this precious life already was!
I had tears in my eyes as the nurse printed off a picture for us and congratulated us on our baby… she scheduled our next appointment and then left to room – allowing me to redress and Greg and I to excitedly oogle over our first baby photo.
Praise God!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

lack of pictures and first day at kaiser

so... there has been a severe lack of pictures on our blog recently. by no means am I making any excuses, but here are my "reasons":
- I blog at work and have no idea how to make the pictures from our digital camera jump into my computer.
- our digital camera is usually with my dear husband all day (he uses it for work sometimes).
- other than taking the occasional (very very badly shot) picture, I am rarely ever in possession of our camera.
- I do NOT want to nag my dear husband on a daily basis to some how magically get our pictures from the camera onto my computer.
- you get the gist - I really don't quite grasp the digital camera thing yet, but I assure you that we have plenty of wonderful pictures on there - stored and ready to share at some point in the hopefully not too distant future!!
(thanks for the patience)

ok... another pregnancy update post --
back in July I called Kaiser and said - I think I am pregnant, what do I do? They congratulated me and wanted to make sure I had the right coverage/had picked a doctor/etc... I told the nice lady on the phone that I had missed my period and had a positive home pregnancy test (hpt), but she didn't seem too concerned and believed that I was pregnant :) I liked how positive and encouraging they were on the phone!! After two days of phone games with Kaiser - (I had taken the hpt on a Sunday - so I couldn't get too much accomplished until Monday) - we were scheduled for our first "early pregnancy class" on July 14th and a visit with an OB nurse on July 26th!! I couldn't hardly wait!
Now, the early pregnancy class on the 14th was great - my dear husband came with me and we went to Kaiser - pretty much giddy that we were there because of the impending baby arrival. The class was about an hour or so long and again I was quite surprised that so far, Kaiser was just going by my word that we were pregnant!! I just loved the nurse that conducted the class!! There were a few other couples and some single moms (sad) in the room. The nurse was very pro-life, pro-baby, anti-crazy tests and very positive about pregnancy and childbirth and raising babies --- I loved it!! Greg was very supportive and actively participated in everything! After the class was over we were shuttled down to the lab - were I believe Kaiser was actually able to confirm that I was pregnant - or at least I assume - I had to do the usual: pee in a cup and have a needle stuck in my arm to give them some blood - routine. It went fine and within a couple days Kaiser had e-mailed my test results back and my glucose and everything looked really good, although there still wasn't any lab confirmation of the baby :) We knew though :) ... more about our first OB visit next post :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ok ok ok, finally some blogging news!!!

well hello again to all my faithful blog readers (emily & my mom & maybe someother random people) ... :) it has been a long drought from blogging but, I think I'm back... with some news:


yippee!! My dear husband and I are planning on welcoming our first little baby into the world sometime in 2008 - probably around the beginning of March.
We found out we were pregnant towards the end of June (about three weeks after moving into our new house!!). We waited til after the first doctor's appointment to tell anyone except for my best friend. Then we waited until we could see my parents in person before telling them and then the family reunion was conveniently that same weekend, so we took care of telling most of my family at around the 9 week mark... We then went on our marathon road trip and after finally being home for a bit we were able to make it out to see my dear husband's parents in person to tell them, as well as some other relatives and friends. We were then waiting to post anything about the baby on the world wide web until we had told all of our immediate family - lest anyone randomly see the announcement on the web and feel slighted that we didn't tell them ourselves... so this weekend we were finally able to tell pretty much everyone and my dear husband went and sent out a mass e-mail announcing the newest addition to our house... a baby due in about six months!!!
so, here it begins :) I am hoping to keep up with some more faithful blogging, as well as some pictures and stories of what we have been up to, what the baby is up to, how the house is, so on and so forth...
thanks for reading :)