After that long but delightful Christmas absence from just about all things cell phone/laptop/internet, I am now back in Casper and back to work, expecting the proof of this week's paper any minute now.
Scott, sister Melissa and myself had a great and fairly uneventful trip to Iowa, which is a good thing, considering some of the terrible, stressful drives to and fro that have happened in the past. We arrived Dec. 23, so were able to celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Eve with both immediate and extended family.
One of the days mid-week the whole family traveled south to Ames, where Iowa State is and where I went to college. There we met up with one of my uncle's families for dinner and we attended a women's basketball game in Hilton Coliseum, and it was nice to be back and revisit campus, which I try to do on every trip home.
Scott and I also spent time with my dad the Tuesday that we were home to take all the calves to the vet, and brand all the heifers, seven of them, which came back to Wyoming with us as a half purchase/half wedding gift deal.
We also helped load in feeder pigs into one of the hog sites that my parents own and operate - Scott is slowly getting his initiation into what raising hogs is like. I helped my mom cook for our extended family's New Years Eve party at my parents house, and then I helped cook for our wedding reception held New Years Day, also at my parents' farmstead.
We ended up with just about 90 people coming to see us for our wedding party, and it was great to see people with whom I hadn't crossed paths in years, and I did my best to spend a few minutes visiting with everyone who came, although I know there are a few families that I missed. Scott didn't vapor-lock on me, and he held his own visiting with the many people who were curious to talk with him a little bit. For not being a crowd person, and not thriving on visiting with lots of new people, he survived quite well. But he was very glad to head home to Wyoming dark and early the next morning - 3 a.m.
So this week has been spent recuperating from all that. Thankfully the paper was easy to put together, as Heather and I had lots of overset left in our files from the holiday break papers.
And....... this week has also been spent recuperating from finding out that Scott and I are expecting a Mini Martinez! I'm nervous about handling a first newborn along with my demanding full-time job, but I think with proper preparation and ample planning we will be ok, both our family of three and the Roundup staff. If I didn't have to work full-time, and if the paper didn't take so much of my attention and energy, I would feel almost no pressure at all. I guess there's no time like the present! Scott and I have wanted to get started with a family sooner than later, and if all goes well and I can handle it, we'll have most of our baby births done around the time that he turns 40.
As far as baby names go, we had already settled a while ago on Levi Frank Martinez if it's a boy. The 'Frank' is chosen because it was his dad's first name, and it's my dad's middle name. The 'Levi' just because we both like it, and I'd like to go with a little bit of a ranchy theme on names and Levi fits. We're still kicking around girl names. We both like 'Sage,' and his mom's middle name is Lou and my mom's middle name is Louise, so the middle name will be either of those. Sage Louise Martinez? Unusual, but it would work. I'm open to other ideas, though. I also like Mae, but Scott doesn't for a first name, so maybe we will end up with two girls so I can use it eventually as a middle name. :-)
So anyway, that's just a little bit of what's been going on around Iowa and Wyoming since my last post two weeks ago.
The photo at the top of the post I took on an especially frosty day in Iowa. It had been cloudy and foggy for a couple days, and when we were out and about taking care of some farm work the sun came out and thankfully I'd had the chance to grab my big camera to take some pictures. The red building is the last original building standing on what we know as the Ruby Farm, where my great-granddad Ruby farmed and where my Grandma Hemken grew up. My grandma has really advocated for saving the structure, and last summer it was the proud recipient of new tin siding, and it sure is pretty in all the snow and frost.
Here are a few more views of it: