Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


We got the best Christmas present this year. The last ultrasound lasted 2 minutes... just enough time to measure and say "we can't do this now". This one was so much better. The technician took time for us to look at our SON from every possible angle and we were able to watch him move around a lot. It's amazing how much he's grown just in the last 2 & 1/2 weeks...he's filled out and I'm already convinced he's the cutest baby to ever exist! At every stage of my pregnancy it gets so much more real, and this was a big one. I'm so excited & thinking about how blessed we are to have this little one straight from heaven to my belly and soon to our home.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


So sorry I haven't posted... our internet has been down for a while. We had our 20-week ultrasound on Dec 5th. It was so cool to see our little baby... in fact, they said it was actually too little to tell much, but looks healthy! She started taking measurements right away and questioned me on my dates: apparently we were at 17 weeks, not 20...ooops. She tried to sneak a peak to see boy or girl but the cord was between the baby's legs. I'm kind of relieved because the books all said that I should have been feeling the baby by then, but I was just confused about whether it was gas or baby. Now the baby moves so much I sometimes wish it would know when it's naptime. My adjusted due date is May 15th. We're having another ultrasound this Wednesday, merry Christmas Eve to us!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Neutral Baby

Grandma Sorensen wanted to be sure to give the very first gift to Baby Huang so she made this adorable cuddly blanket & we got it in the mail just a couple weeks after we announced the baby. Justin wanted to know how she knew it would be a boy; grandma thought blue was more neutral than pink, and of course she's right. She must think like me - I really can't stand all gender neutral baby stuff in yellows & greens (although green is by far my favorite color). This is probably the biggest reason I insist on finding out the baby's sex. Thank goodness for modern technology. I can't imagine letting the it be a surprise at birth; it will be just as surprising in a few weeks when we have the ultrasound. It will also help us focus when it comes to narrowing the baby names - we think we want to meet baby before we pick a for sure name.

Congrats to Blake & Sara! We visited with them and their darling little Jacob last night & it made me even more excited.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Justin & I made a last-minute trip to Cambria on Friday & stayed at the Cambria Pines Lodge. We liked the place a lot. We had a big room with a fireplace & ate a complimentary hot breakfast in the garden with the butterflies & bumblebees. We spent the morning roaming the gardens & nursery. We'll definitely stay there again. We also took Tour 2 at Hearst Castle, which we both thought was more interesting than #1. We walked the beach & collected green rocks; we don't really know how to tell Jade from anything else, either way we found some pretty pieces to polish up. It was a really fun & relaxing getaway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You guessed it... I'm about 13 1/2 weeks pregnant now, we just made the announcement to our parents & family on Sunday night. We found out at 7 weeks & it was really hard for me to keep quiet so long but you know how Justin is! On Oct 10th we went to our 1st OB visit & got to hear our baby's heart beat...that was very cool! We're really excited. How am I feeling? Well... I think I'll not write about that part in hopes that I'll have forgotten in a few years when we're considering baby #2. At least the nausea is beginning to lighten. I'm due April 24th.
I've had several people ask me if we actually got the house, I forgot that last time I'd posted we were only in escrow! Yes, we moved in on Conference weekend. Justin & my dad spent many long nights making the 3 bedrooms move-in ready. Thanks, dad! We also had lots of help from Justin's dad & Uncle Eddie. We moved everything else into the garage & Justin is now working on getting the kitchen useable. We set up a makeshift kitchen in the 3rd bedroom. We bought a big plasma from a friend for cheap & Zeb is enjoying having it in his room for now.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Melissa & Brady - August 13, 2008

Click here to see photos via Flikr. Choose a set, then choose detail view.

We flew to Washington for Justin's cousin's wedding. He helped his uncle finish the beautiful deck & decorate for the backyard reception & I was the photographer. They are a cute couple. I'm so glad I got to meet Justin's cousins & get to know them a bit. I had fun hanging out with Charla & Bridgett. We also had fun picking blackberries & the aunts made all kinds of yummy jam which we flew back home with us. Seattle is pretty; there are trees everywhere. It actually started sprinkling when we were downtown taking photos but it didn't seem to phase anyone but me.

Eternal Marriage

Justin & I spoke on this today in sacrament meeting. I was glad for the topic because we just had our 3rd wedding anniversary! I'm so grateful to be married to a faithful man who makes me want to be a better person. I'm glad we started out by making sacred temple covenants and that helps us to love each other even more as time passes and as we experience all things together. When studying for my talk I found the story of the silverware & loved it: if you want something to last forever, you treat it differently... it becomes special because you have made it so.

Coyote Lakes

Justin, Blake, Steve Dunn, Kenny & Jarom went backpacking to Coyote Lakes for a whole week. They took 3 days to hike the 17 miles in & then hiked it out in one day. Apparently that's the last time many of them are doing that hike again. It was difficult & Justin was pretty tore up afterwards. One of the blisters on his big toe was the size of his next biggest toe.


At the beginning of August Justin & I went camping with the Ricks: Karissa, Kenny & their daughter Maleah (not sure if I spelled that right). We just stayed one night at the Redwood Grove & went to the Walk of 100 Giants, Dome Rock, & drove/walked around a lot. It was tons of fun.

School Time

Justin is taking an Auto-CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) class and I'm taking an online Abnormal Psych class & Cultural Anthropology in-classroom. When I showed up to Cultural Anth my sister Chrissy & I realized we were in the same class. That should maybe make the lectures more bearable, maybe? I think I might have to take a Mountain Dew to that class too; seems like it should be an interesting topic but sometimes all the interestingness does not sufficiently counter the dronings.


Our family has grown, though not in the conventional way. Justin's 14-year old brother came to live with us and we're excited to have him. He's a freshman at Highland. I don't have a current picture of him; I'll have to take one. I like this one, though. He's experiencing lots of 1sts this year: high school, seminary, church, living with us of course, Bakersfield heat, the list goes on... but he seems to be adjusting well.

We're in escrow!

Yea, after months of searching and lots of offers, we finally snatched one up! It's on Wenatchee St. I wouldn't be sharing before we actually closed the deal but somehow everyone seemed to know right away anyways, so I might as well tell. We're very sad to leave 1st ward but we hear there are lots of young couples in College Heights so maybe that will be good. The house reeks of smoke & it will take a couple weeks of scrubbing, painting, ceiling scraping & carpet ripping before we actually move in- probably early October-ish.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My sister in-law is in town with the kids so we went to the beach & had loads of fun with the kiddies. I really enjoyed the street fair that I guess they have every Thursday during the summer in San Luis. Justin stayed home & worked like the wonderful husband that he is! Justin was released from the Young Men where he served for the last 3-1/2 years & is now the ward Exec Secretary. I was just released from Primary 1st counselor & now I'm the... Primary Chorister, not too far from what I was before. You'd think with all my choir experience & my family genes I'd be a natural, but actually I tend to freeze up & get nervous when I have to direct anyone, even kids. I'd rather do sharing time than singing time any day! ...And to think I actually thought at one time that I wanted to be a high school choir teacher, haha yeah right. Of course, it's typical for me to be a little nervouse when I'm first called to something. Katie is the Assistant Chorister so that should be fun!
Justin & I have been shopping for a home here in Bakersfield for several months... we've had several disappointments & our patience has been stretched to the limit & wow this is a tedious process! I was excited to go see houses for about the 1st 2 months but now after some experience we've learned to not get our hopes up prematurely. It's a miracle that we can even afford anything - a year ago we thought there was no way we'd be able to buy in California. I also used to think that being a real estate agent would be fun, think again... it seems like soooo much work; props to our agent Desi who is always so on top of things. The search continues...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

San Jose

happy couple

Last weekend we went to San Jose for Justin's uncle Steven's wedding. He and his wife Cristal knew how to throw a classy party. It was tons of fun and I really enjoyed spending time with his family, some of whom I met for the 1st time. I'm glad I seem to fit in with them so easily, or at least they made me feel that way. I guess I shouldn't worry about that after nearly 3 years of marriage, but you know I have tendencies toward reclusion.

grandpa & grandma Sorenson

We stayed with my aunt Patty & uncle Danny & then on Sunday night one of Justin's uncles had an extra room at the Mariott so we stayed in a luxurious room there. We visited the Tech museum on Monday, which would have been cooler if we had kids with us, and then stopped by the Gilroy outlets on the way home. All in all a relaxing weekend.


Friday, July 4, 2008


Grandpa & Grandma Isaacs had so much fun playing the wii that I had to post pictures (mostly of my dad being a poser). They came over for father's day & they usually leave around 30 min. after dinner is over but they stayed all night (until 9 or so) playing!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


My mom took Chrissy, Katie and I. I had heard it was good but I had no idea... fantastic!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Justin planted a potted flower garden for me this spring and the Dhalias are just starting to bloom - gorgeous! When I was outside taking this picture Justin and Andrew walked out outside, got in the car and drove away. After a minute or so I realized I was barefoot and locked out without my phone. It's a good thing we live so close to my parents. I burned my feet walking to their house and Justin had a hard time feeling bad for me because I walked outside on the sidewalk instead of "grass hopping", which I guess is a favorite past time of his or something. My excuse is that I didn't walk around the streets barefoot like a motherless child. No offense, Stephanie, I know how hard-headed he can be.

for Katie

My little sister is not so little anymore. Everyone is asking me if it's a shock that she's 18 and graduated and my reply is not really. She's seemed pretty grown up to me for a while now. She has a part-time job, has realistic college goals, has made good choices in friends, and has always been the level-headed, no-drama girl in her peer group. I remember a while ago - maybe a year or so - my dad telling me he was impressed because she took notes during General Conference and then initiated an in-depth conversation about what had impressed her from it. I remember being pretty mean to her when we were children. She was scared of the movie Hook and so I'd curl my finger and chant, "Hook, Hook, Hook.." to her when we were home alone. When my friends were over we'd play hide and seek and Katie would hide and we would conveniently forget to seek. I'm glad she has forgotten some and forgiven a lot more. I'm proud of her - I love you, Katie!

Friday, April 25, 2008

You HAVE to check this out!


It looks like an AMAZING exhibit. Megi, it's supposed to be showing in your temple visitor's center, I'm so jealous! On the Blog link on the site there is a cool slideshow where you can see more images from the collection. I've been watching it over and over all morning. Thanks Crystal for the tip!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bakersfield Junior Miss

Bakersfield Junior Miss, class of 2009: Julia Berchtold

Jr Miss is finally over! Well, most of it anyways... I still have to sort through hundreds of pictures from the show & send proofs to all the girls. I took the portraits for the program book and displayed an 11x14 framed/matted grouping for each of the 18 girls at the show. I still hope to sell more than I did after the show, as of now I haven't even covered my costs. This has been taking up a considerable amount of my time lately & with school as well I've been just swamped. I had a pretty good guess at who would win (she got 1st runner up). Working with the girls is fun (the moms who think this is a pageant... not so fun). If you don't know what the Jr. Miss program is check out

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Big Sur

We took a long weekend & drove up highway 1. This little vacation was long overdue for Justin, who's been working so hard with no vacation for over a year and a half. I bought a new lens which I've been needing for a while now & it came just in time to take with us on the trip. I'm very happy with it. It's a good thing Justin is super into art/photography - he was awesome about me wanting to stop every 15 min. & take another picture. He even insisted on stopping several times when I said I was was too tired cause he knew I'd want the pictures later. Wow, this is a beautiful place. We took a tour of Hearst Castle & went to the Monterey Aquarium, and took a lot of short hikes off right off the road and were blown away by the stunning views. It was super cold/windy but completely worth it. After deleting tons of bad pictures I have exactly 700 left. Here are just a few:

Salmon Creek

Hearst Castle

Elephant Seals - very odd creatures in my opinion. Besides their looks (the little ones are cute but the adult males, VERY ugly) they have a distinct smell, which after a while we figured out must be coming from the mounds of decaying carcases which they indiscriminately cuddle up to. Gross! That's true love (or a bad olfactory system).

There was a cave right on the beach in San Simeon full of thousands of tide pool creatures. These anenomes were bigger than my hand.

17-Mile Drive - This image of this tree is actually owned by some company & you can't make a profit off of any pictures of it. How lame is that - they didn't even plant the tree & it's on national forest property. It's called 'The Lone Cypress'. The new Lexus Pebble Beach is named after the company...seen the commercial?

Monterey Aquarium - my new favorite animal is the sea otter... ok so I don't really like animals but sea otters are pretty darn cool. No matter what they're doing it looks like they're having a blast! The river otters were pretty cute too. The "living art" jellyfish were pretty cool - brainless, spineless, beautiful.


The Coastline