Thursday, December 8, 2011

Because Mary gave birth in a manger

It has burned me up since Ethan was born that he had to be in the NICU and for no reason, as test results later proved. Aside from the enormous bill that racked up, the main reason I was so mad was because I didn't get to be with my baby as much as I wanted in his first few days. I didn't get my first night I'd always dreamed of, holding him and staring at him and having him look back at me and just reveling in the joy and bonding together. Instead he spent that first night all hooked up. Being cared for by random nurses who got to do his first diaper change and figure out that he liked being bounced and didn't like a pacifier. He had to lay on a table and be checked on now and again, instead of being constantly in my arms and knowing he was loved. It's really burned me up.

During testimony meeting on Sunday, a woman I know stood up and bore her testimony. She just had her third baby. She bore her testimony of great women that have come before us. She talked about Mary, and how labor is such a scary and intense experience as it is, but Mary had to ride a donkey in labor and give birth outside on the ground in the cold surrounded by animals. She said how frightening and hard that must have been. Tears filled my eyes. In that moment I decided to let go of my anger. I will probably always feel a little heartache over the first night, not getting to be with him, and I think I have every right to feel sad about it. But I'm not angry anymore. Mary certainly didn't have the ideal birth experience. The task before her was far greater than my own, and required so much more faith. I'm sure it wasn't her life's dream to bring her sweet baby into the world on a bed of hay and into a world where others would persecute and try to harm him. And because of Mary, I am letting go.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving! It is time for my tradition of writing a list of things I'm thankful for, in the amount of my age.

I'm thankful for...

1. Ryan. I know it goes without saying that I am thankful for my husband, but I still think it's important to say it. I'm thankful for him because he is the best partner for me, and he has done the best job since the baby was born of showing me that I am still his number one priority and that I matter so much to him and I come first. I'm thankful for him because he works hard so that I can be home with our baby. I'm thankful for him because he is a great dad and cares so much about our son. I'm thankful for him because he tells me that my changed, post-pregnancy body is beautiful because it shows what I did. I'm thankful because I know that so many other blessings I am thankful for are a part of my life because I chose to marry him.

2. Ethan. I am thankful to Ethan because he is the one who made me a mother. I'm thankful for him because he makes my day with his smiles, laughs, baby sounds, when his eyes get wide and he kicks his feet because he's excited that I looked at him or spoke to him. I'm thankful for him because he is so loving - you can see it in his eyes, almost like when he looks at you sometimes, it's as though he has a thought bubble above his head that reads, "I love you." I'm thankful for him because he sleeps through the night (thank you Ethan). I'm thankful for him because he has made my heart grow - not just for him, but for others. I look at everyone now as someone's son or daughter, and it makes me have more compassion for others. I'm thankful for him because being his mother has given me answers to questions I've pondered over my whole life. I'm thankful for him because he has taught me that sacrifice doesn't have to feel like sacrifice.

3. Mom. I'm thankful for her because she is a giver. She gives and gives and gives to her children (and to others). I'm thankful because she's provided an excellent example of sacrificing for her children - I never did understand why she didn't seem to feel that she was sacrificing, and I understand her better now that I'm a mother. I'm thankful that she is always there for me and listens to every detail and worry. I'm thankful that she always wants to help in whatever capacity she can, and I'm thankful that she is such a wonderful grandma to my Ethan.

4. Dad. I'm thankful for him because he is always able to calm my fears or lay my worries to rest with logic and evidence. I'm thankful that I can call him anytime with a question and he'll go look up the answer for me. I'm thankful because he makes me laugh (especially with his text messages) and gets fired up for me when I've been dealt an injustice. :-)

5. Joseph. I'm thankful for my brother because even though it didn't look possible, he made it happen so that he could come to Utah and surprise me and be there for Ethan's baby blessing. I'm so thankful he did that. I'm thankful for him because he makes me laugh, and I have a lot of great memories of him from high school because he was such a good friend to me and would be protective of me, and come talk to me at night until I fell asleep.

6. Rachel. I'm thankful for my sister and that she lives nearby now and that I get to see her so much. I'm thankful for her because she will baby-sit so Ry and I can go to the temple, or she'll come hold the baby while I clean. I'm thankful for her because she'll see that toilet paper or paper towel is on sale for a really good deal, and buy me some. Or she'll see that my favorite ice cream is on sale and buy it for me. She'll pick up a Sunday paper, unrequested, for me so that I can try my hand at couponing. I'm thankful for her because she is such a great example to me when it comes to the gospel. She is a great example of someone who seeks the Lord's guidance and follows it. I'm thankful that she is such a great influence on me and that she is one of my best friends.

7. Sam. I'm thankful for my brother and that he lives in Utah now and I get to see him on long weekends. I'm thankful for him because he has got to be one of (if not THE) nicest and most helpful people I have ever met. He comes to visit and takes out the trash, does my dishes, willingly and happily holds the baby for me for as long as is needed so I can get things done, is happy to baby-sit so Ry and I can go on a date, and is so nice to me. I tend to apologize a lot ("I didn't have enough of this particular spice so dinner might not taste that great I'm sorry!") and he always reassures me and makes me feel better. When I do something dumb and make the comment, "I'm a bad mother!" He always tells me that "bad mother" is the last thing he thinks of me. He's always so helpful and nice to me and I'm really thankful for him.

8. Elena. I'm thankful for my littlest sister and her phone calls, text messages, Facebook communication, emails, etc. I love hearing (or imagining) her sweet voice, and she's just got a fun way of speaking that puts a smile on my face. I'm thankful for Elena because she was born when I was almost twelve, and I got to have a big part in taking care of her as a baby, and she is the one who gave me the desire to be and the faith that I could be a mother. I thought if I loved her that much, then I could probably love my own child a whole lot, too. I'm thankful for her because for some reason, she's kind of my conscience. Because of her existence, I have more compassion.

9. Noah. I'm thankful for my baby brother and the host of funny and/or sweet memories that the little boy Noah gave me, many of which are documented in my journal for me to enjoy over and over again. I'm thankful for him because he has a big heart, and he loves my son and wants to help take care of him when he's in town. I'm thankful for him because he shows kind gestures when I'm sick (turning on soft music for me to help me feel better) and he is always thoughtful - giving me a rock shaped like a heart, etc. I'm thankful for him because he was a great example to me when he was preparing to be baptized.

10. Aunt Pam. I'm thankful for her because she is the BEST aunt anyone could ask for. I'm thankful that she has made the drive from Seattle to Portland at least a thousand times so that she can be there for all of us six kids when we have something going on - first day of school, recitals, etc. Sometimes she even makes the trip there and back in one day. I'm thankful that she lived with us for a big part of my childhood and when she moved, she made and continually makes the effort to still be just as huge a part of our lives. I'm thankful for her because she is an excellent listener and always listens to me go on and on and acts interested, even though much of the time I am probably not saying anything interesting. I'm thankful that she's great at keeping in contact via Facebook and email, and I'm thankful for her awesome laugh (especially when she and my mom laugh together).

11. Uncle Dave. I'm thankful for him because even though he stole Aunt Pam away when I was in fifth grade, and I hated him for it for a little while, he has become one of my favorite people. I'm thankful that he makes the effort to come visit us with Aunt Pam when he can and that I've gotten to spend so many holidays with him. I'm thankful for him because you know he thinks of you - he'll send an email or a recipe or a link and you'll know that you were thought of because he saw something and had to share it with you. He is also good at thoughtful gifts and I'm still thankful for the awesome recipe box he gave me (backed up on CD, even) when I went to college. I'm thankful for him because he makes me laugh, a lot.

12. Aunt Connie. I'm thankful for her because since I was a little girl, she has been such an amazing example to me of charity. I'm thankful for her because she always texts back, and she loves to hear about and see my little boy. I'm thankful for her because she infuses everything she does with so much joy, laughter, and heart. It's made my life - holidays, my wedding, etc. - that much more enjoyable and memorable.

13. My family acquired by marriage. I'm so thankful to get along so well with my in-laws. I'm thankful that my son has cousins. I'm thankful he has aunts and uncles who care about him. I'm thankful to be close to both my sisters-in-law and to learn from them and spend time with them, and that we all had baby boys in the same year and that we were brought closer by that event - and will probably be kept close throughout the years because we all have sons in the same year of school.

14. Our next door neighbors. Kam and Steve are a huge blessing in our lives. I'm thankful that they are great neighbors as well as great friends. I'm thankful that we live next to what I would call "high-quality people." Integrity, sense of humor, wholesome, spiritual, logical, and the kind of people you just feel safe around. I'm thankful that they are always there for a helping hand, a laugh, company when my husband is out of town, for near-daily stroller walks with Kam, for their little girl Ruthie and how Ryan and I can chuckle together hours later over a "Remember when Ruthie did _____?" I'm really thankful to live next door to these people.

15. The gospel. I'm thankful for the knowledge it gives me and the light it sheds on my understanding of everything.

16. Breastfeeding. I'm thankful for it on so many levels.

17. Cloth diapering. I'm thankful that it's allowed us to save money, avoid adding to landfills, keep our baby away from chemicals, and avoid blow-outs and diaper rash. And that they make Ethan's bum look so cute. :-)

18. The temple. I'm thankful for the little bit of Heaven it adds to my life here on Earth.

19. That I get to be the beneficiary of Ethan's smiles, laughs, and loving glances.

20. Gospel Principles manual. It is chock full of doctrine, is easy to read, and is a great resource to answer so many questions and lay so much speculation to rest.

21. HypnoBirthing.

22. Midwives, particularly the one who delivered Ethan, and her presence of mind at the end of delivery when a dangerous situation presented itself. I'm thankful that with the help of a nurse and Ryan, she and I together were able to bring Ethan safely into the world.

23. Good music and the talented musicians who create it.

24. Childbirth and what it taught me about the Atonement.

25. The Internet. How did anyone raise a child without it? I'm thankful that I can research anything and everything. I'm thankful for the Internet for teaching me how to cloth diaper, how to make baby food, activities I can do with my baby to encourage his development, and more. Thank you Internet for helping me be a better parent.

26. That families can be together forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A video of our Ethan

Just thought I'd share a little video of the cutest baby ever:

He's been rolling over since he was between 5 and 6 weeks old, and we have lots of videos of good rollovers on our video camera, from which we can't yet post videos. This rollover isn't one of his good ones, but I like the video because I just think he's so stinking cute. He's 8 weeks old here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome to the world, sweet baby boy.

Ethan Ryan Copeland was born July 11, 2011, on our two-year wedding anniversary. He was 9 1/2 pounds, 21 inches long. Labor was long. My water broke Saturday evening and he was born early Monday morning. We used the HypnoBirthing method and it was a rewarding experience that bonded Ryan and I in amazing ways. He was a champion throughout such a long and difficult labor. They told me I could begin pushing and Ryan leaned over and whispered, "Happy Anniversary," and kissed me. I looked at the clock and sure enough, it was midnight. After three hours of pushing, our sweet baby was here. The moment he arrived was intense - he was in some trouble. I was shoved backward, all the nurses in the room jumped on me, one of them pushing hard on my stomach, and I heard the midwife, who had been so encouraging and positive the whole time, say frantically, "Lola, push NOW." She had told me the last one was the final push and I thought I'd given everything I had, thought I had no more to give, but in the split second that everything was happening, all I knew was that tone in her voice. I knew I had to summon everything inside of me and give all the strength I didn't have. I'd tried so hard to keep labor peaceful and quiet so my baby could enter the world gently, but it was in that moment that I finally really cried out as I reached inside and gave everything. And then he was there. The next few moments were emotional and crazy, but when he eventually heard my voice, he stopped crying. They laid him on my chest and I knew that he knew me.

 We love this beautiful baby.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Disclaimer: I wrote this a couple days before our anniversary. I just felt it strongly. Ha. Good thing I did it then, as my water broke two days before our anniversary and little man was born ON our anniversary.

Two Years...

It's been two years since we got married and I love my husband more than ever. I think he's wonderful and perfect for me. I still think he is the handsomest guy ever and I can still watch a movie with some A-list hottie in it and think that he doesn't hold a candle to my man.

In two years we've been through a lot more than I thought we had. A wedding, Ry finishing school and graduating, getting his first professional job, going on a cruise, moving to a new place, callings, job changes, insurance, experiencing the 9-10 months of pregnancy together, family hardships and health scares, and our first baby is due any minute. These experiences have brought us even closer. I mean, we even experienced trying escargot together:

Yes, these experiences have brought us closer. We are best friends in the truest sense.

I adore him.

Getting married was the most exciting thing. What a day. Walking into the temple together, and then walking out of the temple together, going "Ohmygosh, I can't believe we're married," as we stepped out the doors and greeted friends and family.

Looking at each other all evening, laughing, and thinking, "Did we really just get married? Is life really this good?"

And then waking up the next morning, looking into each other's eyes, and getting to do that every day since...bliss.

Marriage is work, but I welcome the work. People say marriage is hard, but I wonder if what they really mean is that marriage is work. I'm not sure those two words: "hard," and "work," have to be interchangeable. Maybe I am young and naive, but that is how I see it.

We may not get everything right every day, but I am proud of our marriage and some of the goals we have met. I'm proud of us that we have gone on a date every single week since our wedding. We've never missed a date night. I'm proud that we made a goal to go to the temple at least once a month and have met that goal for two years.

I'm glad we bought a car together, that we have learned about finances and budgeting together, that we cuddle in church, kiss after every prayer, and go to bed together every night.

I will miss being just us. I will. We love spending time together and being Ryan and Lola. But I know it's beautiful that we're building our family. And I am so thankful to be building a family with him.

Happy Two Year Anniversary to my best friend, the man of my dreams, and the love of my life.

I love you eternally.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I'm thankful for my dad. He's taught me a lot. He taught me to be a skeptic. He taught me not to accept the first thing I hear about something. He taught me to be a critical thinker. He taught me the basics: throwing a ball, kicking a ball, riding a bike, how to do math. When I was younger, he taught me to see the good qualities in people when I was speaking disparagingly about others. He's set a great example of how to treat the elderly, and growing up I watched him serving the widows in our neighborhood. I have yet to meet a single person who loves babies as much as my dad does. He really loves my mom. He's always worked so hard, sometimes at the cost of his health and sanity, to provide for us. Even though he's a total workaholic and we all tease him about it, he's always shown up to all our things - no easy feat, I'm learning, with six kids. Yet he is always there at every school thing or whatever else we're involved in, standing in the back with this enormous proud grin and a video camera. When I turned sixteen, he set up a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood and at the end met me in a park and asked me on my first date. He took me to a really expensive restaurant (I'd never been anywhere like that) and then to my surprise sweet sixteen party. At the time I was kind of embarrassed about the scavenger hunt/date thing and how it ended up being my dad of all people, but now I can see how sweet an idea it was. I'm thankful for my dad.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Maternity Photos

I tend to think that people who hate and make fun of maternity shots are anti-feminist and stuck in a different era. There's my little disclaimer before I post these. :-)

VERY last-minute, our friend Sarah Michelle did some maternity photos for us! I had gone back and forth forever about it, but her offer was too great to pass up. This is only her second maternity shoot - she picked up photography as a hobby in the last year, and man does she have some skills! I probably did mine later than most people do - I'm just about 9 months pregnant. But it was fun to see our friend Sarah and document this important part of our lives. We've been taking weekly shots of me standing sideways since I got pregnant, but I really wanted to capture what a great dad Ryan already is and how loving and great he's been through this whole pregnancy. We took them this morning and she already had a few up on Facebook for us a few hours later! Thank you, Sarah Michelle!

We love this baby. He was wiggling and making us giggle throughout the entire photo shoot. Even though I was originally very against getting photos done, I'm glad we did because it's good to have some nice family photos at this stage of our baby's life. :-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."

"As in all things, the Savior set the perfect example in the love He showed for His earthly mother. In the final, most pivotal moment of His mortal life—after the anguish of Gethsemane, the mock trial, the crown of thorns, the heavy cross to which He was brutally nailed—Jesus looked down from the cross and saw His mother, Mary, who had come to be with her Son. His final act of love before He died was to ensure that His mother would be cared for, saying to His disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that point on the disciple took her unto his home. As the scriptures say, then Jesus knew that “all things were now accomplished,” and He bowed His head and died." -Bradley D. Foster

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this." - Neal A. Maxwell

"When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman's most sacred role. While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord's language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve "the mother of all living" - and they did so before she ever bore a child...Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature..." - Sheri Dew, "Are We Not All Mothers?" (I love this quote because Sheri Dew does not have children.)

I'm thankful to my mother for showing me what it means to truly sacrifice everything for your children. I'm thankful she taught me to be intolerant of intolerance. I'm thankful that she has always expected me, since I was very little, to be the person who stands up for others and never to be unkind. I'm thankful that even though she is incredibly busy and tired, she picks up the phone when I call 6 times a day. I'm thankful she taught me by example to be honest. I'm thankful for her thoughtful care packages. I'm thankful that because of her I always know I have support and I am never alone. I hope everyone has a mother like mine and I hope I can be at least half the mother she is.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I love this man

I have more fun with this guy than anyone else. Just a Costco run (pictured here) or cooking dinner side by side, or a quick walk around the neighborhood is too much fun. I love being married to my best friend. I honestly can't imagine that better husbands exist. I know I don't have the monopoly on awesome husbands and the world would be a terrible place if I got the only good one, but he is pretty dang amazing. I think I make a list of reasons I love him like once a week, and find all different reasons each time than the last.

I love him because I NEVER wonder or worry whether he's telling the truth or hiding something. I love him because he reads to me at night to help me fall asleep. I love him because he senses when I wake up in the middle of the night and then he can't sleep until I fall back asleep. He'll get out a book and a book light and read to me until I'm out again. I love him because he never makes comments about me getting back into shape after the baby is born, and he makes me feel like being pregnant is the most beautiful thing in the world. I love him because he'll make me breakfast, pack my lunch, and take me to work just so I can have a better day - not to mention he goes ahead of me to warm up the car, and always gets my door. I love him because he's skeptical without being cynical. I love him because he's more concerned with doing right than with being right. I love him because he always listens to me, even when I talk too much, over share, and worry. I love him because sometimes I'll be sitting in church and hearing about traits we should develop, and usually I can't help but think of people I know who already have those traits, and more often than not, it's Ryan who pops into my head. I love him because he has amazing self-control. I love him because he loves the gospel. I love him because he informs the baby boy in my belly that if he disrespects women, he will be grounded. I love him because he is sensitive to others and thinks about how his words will affect them. I love him because he is sweet and kind but without being a sissy - he's firm when he needs to be and doesn't let people walk all over him. I love him because no man looks better in a suit.

In summation: I love and adore Ryan Copeland. I can't imagine marriage to anyone else.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's a BOY!

It's a BOY!

I love that I have a son. I love when I feel him kick. Sometimes I lay there with my hand on my belly and feel him move and think to myself how special this time is, that I'll never have him this close again.

We are very excited. I love the idea of having a little Ryan. If he's anything like his dad, then I will consider myself the luckiest mother in the whole world.

And just look at those legs! I want to pinch them.

We love him and we are very excited.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Of Thee I Sing

I may or may not have gotten totally choked up just now while trying to read this book to my belly. What an inspiring children's book!

I was like, "My baby is so lucky is gets to be an American!"

I never say the popular phrase, "Proud to be an American" because I really don't get how you can be proud of something you didn't earn. If you traveled oceans to get here and worked your butt off to be made a citizen, be as proud as you want. But I didn't help found this country. I didn't choose to live here. I was born here. I didn't earn anything. I just got lucky.

So I will tell you all day how blessed I feel to be an American, how I love to be an American, but not that I'm proud to be an American. Just doesn't sit right with me. Plus the whole concept of pride makes me uncomfortable on numerous levels, but that's not for this post.

So much is imperfect, but that's with any nation. I'm so thankful my baby will have freedom of speech. I'm so thankful he or she will walk down the street and be relatively safe from a war attack, unlike many children in Israel or Palestine. I'm so thankful a Black president won't be anything to blink at for my baby, nothing to be as excited as I am about it. It will just be a given, like when I was little and it was like, "Why not have women vote?" Why not have a Black president? I'm so thankful for my baby's sake that it already happened. I'm just feeling thankful. Darn book got me all choked up.

Monday, February 14, 2011


In high school and college, my Valentine's Days were always disastrous. Bad bad things always happened. Even if something good happened, it would cause catastrophe. Thus, while I've never hated Valentine's Day, I never really loved it, either. Why would I?

Ever since Ryan has been my Valentine, though, Valentine's Day has been awesome. The last two years we've stretched it out over two or three days and really gotten into Valentine's Day. Now I just love this holiday. :-) Guess it took finding my true eternal Valentine to turn "Valentine's Day" from being a holiday accompanied by a host of yucky memories to some of my favorite memories.

And today has been no exception! I woke up early with plans to make Ryan a red and pink breakfast, only to find he'd woken up early for the same reason and he beat me to it. :-) I got to start off my day with pink waffles. How's that for festive?

Then I heart attacked his office. Some hearts had love messages, some had special coupons, and some were just plain hearts. He was surprised! Yay.

Tonight is our date, and I can't wait! Our third Valentine's officially together, and the last before we become parents! It's going to be awesome.

What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day memories?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

100 Things (By Lola)

My sister-in-law did this on her blog, and I thought it was kind of fun. I don't expect you all to read it through, but I thought I'd do it for me. Something to look back on in future years. Maybe we can get Ryan to do one, too, since this is also his blog. We'll see, though. :-)

1. My favorite color is red.
2. I am LDS and it makes me happier than anything and adds so much meaning to everything for me.
3. I want to go on a cruise for every vacation. I love it.
4. I have a fear of heights but I went parasailing on our anniversary trip and it was awesome.
5. My favorite place to be is in the temple, standing in front of the ocean, snuggled in bed with Ryan, or onstage.
6. I don't find myself onstage anymore, but in my teen years it was a regular part of my life. I sang, danced, and acted, but mostly sang.
7. I feel really blessed to be tight with my in-laws.
8. I like dogs, but I'm a cat person.
9 I love anything soft or silky. I'm very tactile. Probably why I'm a cat person.
10. I have the best mom in the whole world.
11. Mashed potatoes are my favorite.
12. A little obsessed with polka dots.
13. Every time I see a cute baby, I want to chew on it.
14. I love to play volleyball.
15. I'm a Democrat.
16. I was born in Boston.
17. I grew up in Portland, Oregon.
18. I've lived in Utah for over 6 my 7th! Crazy.
19. I'm pregnant for the first time. And I love being pregnant.
20. I love herbal tea more than anything. Especially mint. Soothes me and pleases me like nothing else can.
21. I only eat meat 2-3 times a week (maybe more when I'm pregnant).
22. My favorite temple so far is the Portland Temple. Salt Lake is awesome, too. It would be my dream to do work in every temple in the world.
23. I was married in the Portland Temple.
24. July has always been an awesome month for me. When I was younger, I'd travel, fall in love, and have adventures in July. Ryan and I became official in July, I was endowed in the temple in July, I was married in July, and now I'm set to have my first baby in July.
25. I prefer odd numbers. I never like the birthdays in which I turn an even number. I was married 7/11/9.
26. I don't believe in war and never, ever will. I think it's inarguably evil. Don't waste your time trying to change my view about it. I don't care what looks good on paper. "The heart has reasons which reason can't explain."
27. I like all word games. Scrabble, Boggle, TextTwist, etc.
28. I love to decorate my home for holidays.
29. Anne of Green Gables is my favorite movie.
30. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott is my favorite book.
31. I love to ballroom dance, especially Latin, and I'm okay at it, but I love to watch the pros and be impressed/jealous.
32. I like going to Jazz games.
33. I am really close to both my sisters and I adore them.
34. I'm the oldest of 6 kids.
35. I think two boys and two girls would be ideal for kid-having, but we'll see!
36. I speak Japanese.
37. I've never broken a bone.
38. I genuinely enjoy my husband more than anyone else. We can read each others minds and we have so much fun together. People think we're opposites, but we're more compatible than anyone really knows.
39. I love baby laughter, or being somewhere and overhearing someone guffaw. Sometimes people turn around and glare at loud laughers, but I'm glad they're adding some happy noise to the world. I'd love to know why they're laughing so I could laugh, too. :-)
40. I don't much like TV, but I have a guilty pleasure show: Pretty Little Liars.
41. I don't have cable and don't intend to ever get it.
42. I own every season of Friends and Cosby Show.
43. I love pizza with olives, but plain cheese at Escape from New York Pizza on 23rd in downtown Portland is the best pizza in the world.
44. I think in puns all the time.
45. Can't live without my planner.
46. My Aunt Pam lived with us for a lot of my childhood and she's still the best aunt ever. We're really close.
47. My brother Joseph was one of my very best friends during the high school years.
48. I have a "soulmate" friend, Bethany. We share the same birthday, similar hair, same eye color, pale skin, and a lot of the same personality traits.
49. I've been to Canada and Mexico but never outside the continent, and I'd love to travel to Europe and Africa.
50. I had LASIK eye surgery and a couple years later, I have to wear contacts and glasses again.
51. I still have the same BFF I had in the third grade: JuJu. She was a maid of honor at my wedding.
52. When Heidi and I first went to college together, people thought we looked like sisters. I love that she will always be one of my very best friends.
53. I collect children's books.
54. All of my kitchen stuff is red and a red rose is my favorite flower.
55. My friendship with Isaac Holyoak has been one of the most influential of my life.
56. My favorite song is "You'll Never Walk Alone."
57. I cry easily when I'm touched, but not when I'm sad or hurt.
58. Ralph Nader quoted me on the front page of the Oregonian in the 8th grade.
59. I love museums, art galleries, and old bookstores. D.C. was one of my favorite trips because I could wander for free through the Smithsonian museums all day.
60. My mom's family mostly lives in Michigan and I spent some time out there one summer a couple years ago. I loved getting to know my mom's family better.
61. I got a Bachelor of Science from Southern Utah University.
62. My degree was a composite major in Public Relations and Interpersonal Communication, with a minor in Early Childhood Development.
63. I'm really interested in health promotion and positive social marketing and would love to work on health campaigns.
64. I'm a nationally certified prevention specialist.
65. I like everyone. To know me is to be loved by me.
66. I am fiercely protective of my girlfriends.
67. I'm a feminist, but feel like saying that doesn't mean much, because no one really seems to know what feminism is anyway. They say it with such a bad taste in their mouths. It's a little disheartening how uninformed and closed-minded people are about it.
68. I teach special ed preschool and love it!
69. I think I have learned some of my greatest lessons from the very young and the very old.
70. The calling that seems to follow me most is relief society teacher. Even if I have a different calling, it ends up being an aspect of my calling to teach relief society.
71. I think I could live off fruit.
72. If I find out someone is racist, they lose a lot of credibility with me.
73. Being itchy is my biggest pet peeve.
74. I think ignorance is a really ugly trait, especially among people who are supposed to be an enlightened people.
75. My three favorite words in the English language are: Integrity, Peace, and Grace. I strive to live those every day and sometimes fall short, but those are the qualities I strive for and the words I hear in my head constantly.
76. As a general rule, I don't eat red meat, but now and then a REALLY good hamburger hits the spot.
77. I never like steak, though.
78. My first kiss is debatable between two guys. I'm not sure if one of them counts, because it was a New Years out of nowhere kind of thing, but the funny part is they were both Daniels, and they were within a few days of each other.
79. My favorite boy name has always been Ryan, but now I can't use it as a first name because I married a Ryan.
80. I like my name and think my parents are awesome for naming me Lola. I really think it has made life more fun to be a Lola.
81. One of my favorite memories is my senior trip with my best friends at Tyler's ranch in Sisters, Oregon. It's just one of those times you look back on with soft music and lovely sunlight and beautiful smiles permeating the playback of the memory.
82. I believe if you look for the positive, it will be there. I laugh every day.
83. People always ask if I'm Latina, Asian, or Middle Eastern. I blame the name, but sometimes they even ask when they don't know my name. I find this amusing because I think I am very plain-looking.
84. I really enjoy talking to my parents. My mom is a great listener and really supportive. My dad's texts always crack me up. He's funny and gives great advice.
85. I love the Oregon Coast. That's where we had our honeymoon.
86. My whole life I dreamed of marrying a man like Ryan, and never believed such a guy existed, or that if he did exist he'd ever want to spend eternity with me. I feel so blessed and like I'm living a fairy tale every day because of him.
87. I honestly think my husband is the most gorgeous man on the planet. Celebs don't do anything for me anymore. AND, I thought he was super hot before I ever had feelings for him, so I know it's not just marital bias.
88. I get high off of budgeting and saving and using coupons and finding bargains. I love dumping a whole paycheck into a debt and eliminating said debt.
89. I think midwives are awesome and I'm so glad I chose to go that route.
90. I started wearing a bra pretty young and got so much crap for it. The guys harassed me, and the girls were if being harassed was fun or something. Sometimes I'd hide in a classroom between classes so no one could holler at me while I walked down the hall. I still have bad posture because of it.
91. I like sage green. I think it's a healing color.
92. I love yoga.
93. I like to cook. It makes me feel happy to make someone else feel happy and full. I try to make my home a healing place - where you know you can always go for a hug, a good friend, a mug of tea, or a warm meal. I've known people and places like that in my life and want to be the same healing presence for others.
94. I plan the menu two weeks at a time.
95. In college I was on student government and made some amazing friends and great memories. I was involved in a lot of other stuff, too, and I think that is the way to go for college. The college years are my favorite memories.
96. One of my favorite college memories is Tues/Thurs Rotunda lunches with my best girlfriends - Marie, Chelsea, Bethany, Kylie, Jordan, Megan, and then whoever else could make it.
97. I knew my hubby for 5 years before we got married.
98. I'm not addicted to caffeine, or sugar, but I am addicted to bubbles. I love anything carbonated. I avoid caffeine, and 100% while pregnant, but I'm still a sucker for any bubbly beverage and suspect I always will be. I love the bite.
99. I love adventure. I love trying something new. I love going to a restaurant I've never been to, or stopping at a little craft fair, or just whatever. I love those events in Portland where you can listen to different musical artists and watch old hippies with long gray hair dance. I just love exploring and seeing everything that is out there.
100. My family and friends are my everything.

Whew! That was long. I hold nothing against you if you did not read it. :-) Have a lovely day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carl Bloch

Okay I was totally confused/wrong about the art exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art we went to for date night on Friday. It was NOT an LDS artist, it was Carl Bloch! The Lutheran painter from the 1800s who did a bunch of famous paintings from the life of Christ (as well as some other non-religious paintings). His paintings are well-loved and much-used by the LDS church, though.

It was free. You just reserve your tickets online, and you get a free parking pass, too. I'm so glad we went. I was so touched, and so was Ry.

Music is the one kind of art that I would consider universal. Music moves everyone. Everyone has been uplifted, or felt melancholy, felt the need to dance, or cried because of music. Other art forms, however, don't affect everyone like that. Dance, theater, visual art like paintings or sculptures...not everyone is equally affected by those forms of art.

I am no artist. And I don't always get art, either. I appreciate art. I stop and visit every art gallery or art museum I pass when I am able. I feel like it's a wholesome recreation that makes me a better person, and so I go and I appreciate. But I don't always get it. Which is why exhibits like this are so great for me - I can read the little explanations to the side of the art and see what the artist was trying to do. And then I can be touched.

Well, I was incredibly touched at this exhibit. I spent the whole evening with a lump in my throat and tears behind my eyes. One wouldn't even need to read the words to feel it, but reading them made it that much better.

I just couldn't believe the talent of this man. And how sensitive he was to the situations of others. He would paint people he saw in the street that he felt the world overlooked. There was this particular painting of a poor old woman sharing her meager crumbs of bread with the birds. It reminded me so much of Mary Poppins and "Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag." Ryan was particularly affected by that painting.

(And might I add that when I first knew Ryan, when we were college freshman, he didn't seem that deep to me. He seemed nice, but...good-looking and into sports, you know? Which is fine, but through dating him and being married to him I have come to learn how much he appreciates anything edifying and anything beautiful in this world. I hope our sons learn that trait from him.)

It was all just beautiful. Google the artist if you want. They had these enormous originals flown in from Copenhagen and other places, and in front of the especially big ones there were chairs set out so people could sit and marvel. This was one of my favorites:

The plaque next to it explained that the artist paid particular attention to light and dark. His paintings are his interpretations of scriptures, and this was the scripture about Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, when an angel comes to aid him. Traditionally, artists have depicted the angel bringing Christ the bitter cup or the cross, but he chose to interpret it more sensitively. The rock is to remind us that Christ is our rock, and the red robe reminds us He bled from every pore. The bright light in the engulfing darkness is to draw our minds to the Atonement - how it can be a light in the dark of our lives. Isn't that incredible? I sat for a long time in front of this one.

This man was so inspired. I really believe that. It makes me a little sad to think about people who think we are just animals, eat drink and be merry, we're just a bunch of bloodthirty savages, nothing more to us than that. That we just eat, make whoopee, and die. It seems like a way of...avoiding responsibility, maybe? I mean, this man was so undeniably inspired! Look at the kind of beauty he created. Look what human beings can do when they tap into their talent and their spirituality. Not everyone can be an amazing painter, but I truly believe we all have gifts and we can all do beautiful things with our lives. This man didn't avoid his gift - he harnessed it. I wonder how many more people there are who could do such beautiful things. I'm thankful that people like Carl Bloch existed and do exist to remind us of that incredible potential inside us.

Art really does offer a spirituality about it that you don't feel or experience in quite the same way anywhere else.

I'm glad we went, and I'm thankful that there are things like this for us to attend and enjoy, nearby and without cost. It was a great date night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby Copeland!

Well, I'm really terrible with this blog and still don't know how to do anything cool, but to the few readers, I thought I'd announce that Ryan and I are having a baby! I'm in my 14th week and began the second trimester today. It's all very exciting. We already love this little babe so much and it's barely a few inches long! Pregnancy has not been nearly as hard as I was expecting, and we have felt very blessed. We told my family at Christmas by wrapping the ultrasound picture and putting it under the tree and they were shocked! Obviously there are a lot more feelings and emotions about all this, but I am pretty devoted to my other online journal so that's where all the real stuff is at. So far, everything is good! We heard the heartbeat last week and I cried. I can't wait to feel this little baby move inside me. Ry and I love each other so much, we just can't wait to meet this little manifestation of that love. Ryan has been the best husband anyone could ask for during pregnancy. Every day I'm amazed by him. He loves me and serves me so unselfishly. I've got to stop though because it embarrasses him when I talk on the Internet about all he does for me. See, he's humble, too. ;-) I love being a mother - none of this mommy-to-be garbage - if you're growing a life inside you from scratch, you're a mother! So that's the news! Baby Copey due July 17, 2011.