Friday, August 31, 2007

Get Thee Up Into The High Mountains

Today we took the advice of a friend and struck out toward Mt. Evans, which is one of Colorado's "fourteeners." A fourteener is a 14,000+ foot mountain, and that particular height represents a real mountain out here. That's what you get when your baseline is 5500 feet.

Anyway, we decided to go to Mt. Evans, which has the distinction of being America's highest passenger highway. Indeed, you can drive nearly all the way to the top, all 14,200 feet of it. It takes about 15 miles of winding road to get to the parking lot, and at times you slow waaaaaay down to avoid careening to certain death. Once you get to the parking lot at the top, you have to walk the last quarter mile, which is really just a series of switchbacks that rises about 150 feet. Jessa ended up making that little hike, much to the amazement of several onlookers. The oxygen's pretty thin up there, and some folks were impressed with her bravery and endurance. (In case you're wondering, we got our doctor to sign off on the trip before we went).

Anyway, the view from the top was predictably amazing, with Denver visible some 40-50 miles to the east, and the rest of the Front Range visible in every other direction. There were glaciers dotting the landscape, several lakes, patches of alpine tundra vegetation, some mountain goats and bighorn sheep (with little horns), and lots of tourists like us. All in all, it's a pretty good Fourteener to start with.

Here are some of our pictures from the day:This is the view from one of our many bathroom stops--a glacial lake called Summit Lake, with the actual summit in the upper left, and a glacier coming over the ridge.

Ominous sign at the parking lot up top.

View from the top.

Denver is out there in the distance in the middle of the picture...if you REALLY squint.
Summit Lake from the summit.

A nice couple took our picture.

Mountain goats.
Bighorn sheep, with a glacial lake in the background (not the same one as above).
That's the summit again, on the upper left.

Overall it was a great way to spend a Friday. We beat the Labor Day crowds, and we beat the winter season, since they close the road to the top after Labor Day (because of snow, I kid you not). This will definitely be a featured attraction for any of you who come to visit!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Glorious Roundness

Hello friends,
There have been some curious friends out there who've been requesting bare belly shots. I think these people are a little off. I mean, I love the belly, but I don't usually think of it something other folks are itchin' to get a look at. Maybe I'm wrong.

It is utterly (odd word choice) impossible to imagine that there are 4 more weeks of growing left in this belly (I think the photo has minimized it a bit - trust me, it feels bigger). Eric tells me I'm eight ninths of the way grown. I feel completely and wholly 100% maxed out - but I'm willing to wait it out and see if I'm wrong. It's grown this big, right, so if it needs to grow more than I guess it will. It will be remarkable.

So here is my own personal architecural wonder, inhabited by one very wiggly cute tenant.
On a side note - I'm so short that I had to stand tip toed to get my belly into the shot. Good times. Jessa

Stuff We Still Need

A few people have asked what we still need. Our answer has been: mostly big stuff and little stuff. We've got plenty of clothes--that's for sure. We still need a few of the big-ticket items, like the audio/video monitoring system, a high chair, travel system/stroller, etc. And we still could use diapers and wipes...we've got about a 2 weeks' supply.

So if you're itching to buy us stuff, it's your lucky day. We're shamelessly posting this here hoping people will buy us stuff helpfully providing a link to our Babies R Us Registry, should you wish to lavish us with riches send us something for the baby.
I THINK this link will work. If not, you can always go to the Babies R Us website, click on the registry finder function, and search for Jessa Decker-Smith in NC (we haven't gotten around to changing it to CO yet).

Hope that helps!

UPDATE: After Jodie's comment, I went through and changed our address to Denver. SO...the above link might still take you to the registry, or it might not. If not, you'd need to go to Jessa Decker-Smith in CO, and that should do it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Belly update

Here's Jessa at the doctor's appointment this morning. Since we're in the last month now, we go once a week. We thought we would be getting an ultrasound today, to see whether he's head-down or in some other position, but they put that off until next week. All seems to be well and is right on track. 32 calendar days until the due date! Wow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Random Shoe Fun

Thanks to the fabulous REI Labor Day Sale, mama and baby Decker-Smith have matching keens. Now that's some random shoe fun.
Posted by Jessa, really.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jessa the potter

Hello my name is Jessa and I am a potter.

Ahhhh, finally, I can say that again. It has been almost 4 months since I threw a pot - and I was beginning to worry I wouldn't remember how, but yesterday I threw my first batch of pots in Denver. Fabulous news - I can still do it!

Here are a few shots of the Denver studio and me pottin' in it:

The wheel with packing table behind it. Tommy made a shorty-sized packing table for me while he was here. Can't wait to use it!

Work table, spray booth and glaze area.

Look at me go! Yay for potters potting!

A few things are different in my new potting experiences. First off - Denver is DRY. I started throwing around 4 pm yesterday, and the things I threw were dry enough to trim and put handles on by 8 pm. In Asheville I would leave everything out overnight and would still have some drying time the next day before they were ready. I'm going to have to pay close attention to pots as they dry so I don't miss the trimming window. It'll take some adjustment.

Next - being 35 weeks pregnant can hinder your productivity considerably. Normally, as excited as I was to be working, I would work for 10 hours straight. That's not possible while housing a five pound person in your body. I tired out much quicker and got super sore. So, I'll have to take it slow, listen to my body for when it's wearing out, and stay hydrated - but I'm so happy to be potting again!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Just to keep the presses rolling:

House and life updates:

--The bathroom now has a new sink (pedestal) and toilet. These are major upgrades, as the last sink was a boxed-in monstrosity that took up half the bathroom, and the toilet was old, leaky, and kind of gross. So the bathroom, which is really the last room to come together, only needs a few more things to be finished.

--Today is studio day. When our potter friend Tommy was here a couple of weeks ago, he got a lot of work done in the studio (which is in the garage): built a wedging table, built a kiln room, built a spray booth, built a packing table, and generally re-organized the whole place. Today we're putting the finishing touches on the whole thing by setting up the wheel, putting the last of our spare boxes and stuff into the garage's attic, replacing the hinges on the garage attic door, and cleaning the place up. By this evening, Jessa will be making pots.

--It's hot for the next few days in Denver--87 today and 94 tomorrow-but there has definitely been a break in the weather. Last week there were a couple of genuinely cool days, and in the 10-day forecast things are in the low to mid 80s, instead of the low to mid 90s, and there are even a few 70s days in there.

--Fun Denver fact: the average first snowfall is the last week of September or the first week in October. Due date: September 30th.

--Because I like posting pictures on this thing, here is a picture of us at Lily Lake up in Rocky Mountain National Park back in July.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Nursery is Ready!

I know at the bottom of this post it says "posted by Eric," but this is Jessa. Blogger does not seem to like me to post as Jessa, so I'm incognito as Eric until I can figure out how to blog as me. This is my 1st blog entry and it's a good one because I spent all day putting the nursery together and it makes me giddy! I hope it makes you giddy too!

Here are our boy's new digs:

His room was painted a super fun color called Spiny Sea Urchin (by the fabulous Selena) and I added a big tree with little fat birds behind his crib and stick trees on the opposite wall. Please note the fabulous bedding and window treatments, custom made by the amazing Selena. I think this should be her new vocation. This is the cutest baby bedding I've ever seen, and it's blissfully void of cheesy critters. Our own cheesy critter Wendell is there on the floor, eyes aglow.

Here's a closeup of the crib, bedding, and tree with fat birdies (love those fat birdies!). Notice in the corner of the crib Eric's brown bear from childhood - named Jess, coincidentally.

Here is where his tiny hiney will be cleaned. The leafy rectangle above the changing table is the perfect wall sconce for our nursery which I found at IKEA. Love that IKEA.

Here's his dresser and reading corner. That lamp is also from IKEA and is on a dimmer, for baby ambience (see below).

Now, aren't you giddy? Me too!

Later - Jessa (not Eric)

Belly Progress

Here's a photo for all of those who are wondering how the belly is progressing. This picture actually minimizes it a bit, I think. It's more impressive in person.

Five and a half weeks to go!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I added a stat tracking thingy to this blog, to see how many folks were coming to visit, and from where (we had one visitor from Nigeria, oddly enough). Even though there's not necessarily a lot to say at this point (we'll have our final ultrasound next week, when there will lots to say and maybe some pictures to post), I thought it'd be good to give all of you good people something to read. And don't forget--you can leave comments about posts, whether you have an account or not!

Right now we're FINALLY finishing the unpacking, 6 weeks later. We've been doing too much remodeling to really unpack up to this point. We've got every room mostly done, except for the baby's room, which is painted and carpeted, but not organized, set up, or in any way ready. That, I am told, is Jessa's agenda for tomorrow. We've got everything we need for in there except for a set of white drawers, which we're scouring the secondhand market to find. The child has a lot of clothes, and there's currently nowhere to put them.

Jessa's studio is about 70% set up, thanks mostly to the efforts of our friend Tommy, who is also a potter and who was out last week doing a lot of the work. The gas kiln isn't even ordered yet, but everything else is mostly in place.

Work for me (Eric) is going well. I had my first youth group meeting last night, and while it left me exhausted, I think it went well.

6 weeks from yesterday is the due date! Oh boy.....

Until we get next week's ultrasound pictures, here's the one from a LONG time ago, when he was just about the size of a hand. For comparison's sake, he's now almost 5 pounds and 20 inches long.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Childbirth Class

Last night and all day today we attended a childbirth class at the hospital where we'll be delivering. It was kind of the slackers' class--the one for prospective parents who didn't get around to signing up for the full, 6 week thing (or whatever) until it was too late. So the class was full of 30-35 week pregnant couples who, like us, hadn't gotten around to it. (In our defense, we have a number of excellent excuses, not the least of which is that 6 weeks ago we lived in North Carolina.)

We learned a lot in our short class, though, and we feel a little bit more prepared for what's coming. We also got a tour of the maternity floor, which was great. One piece of good news is that the whole floor has wifi, which means we'll be able to post pictures of the baby onto this blog and email very quickly--probably within a couple of hours of his birth.

We're thinking of taking another class or two, for fun and to get a little bit more prepared. Breastfeeding stands out as a good candidate.

It's getting real, people...6 weeks from tomorrow is our due date!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hi There

This is just a first post, to get things started, so that when we email you all to tell you this blog is here, there'll be something to see.

We're getting settled in Denver, working hard on the house and the studio, and trying to get our feet on the ground before the little one makes his way into the world. We hope that this blog will help us keep up with all of you, whether near or far.

For now, check out this set of photos detailing the work we've done on our house so far:

So bookmark this page, and expect more news and photos soon!