Friday, December 2, 2011

Wild Goose Chases and Pots of Gold








I haven't been the one to post in a while, and I have something I just can't hold in anymore, so I guess I'll bust it out...
Have you ever had something that you're so interested in and completely fascinated by that you can spend hours and hours talking about it and never even notice the time pass? I like to call it the "passion", and it's got a reputation similar to that of the snipe. I first became aware of its existence as a freshman in college at Utah State. I was with my brother at the apartment of one of his former mission companions. It was one of those "friend of a friend of a friend" experiences for me, unfortunately, so I mostly just listened to what everyone else was talking about. There were more than a few of the other people there who were music majors, and, I kid you not, they spent the entire two-plus hours talking about nothing but music, performances, and the like. I was frankly quite impressed. I was an Accounting major at the time, and I couldn't even imagine spending an entire evening talking about ledgers, investments, or anything else business-related. It was then that I realized I needed to undertake what some view as a wild goose chase. I needed to find my "passion".

I came home from my mission two years later and still hadn't found it. It hadn't just come to me as I'd expected it to. I was kind of disappointed. In the meantime, I had definitely decided that it was most certainly not Accounting (no offense whatsoever to any accountants who read this; some of my dearest friends and family are accountants...). I switched to Psychology my second year at Utah State just in time to get married and transfer down to Dixie.

Best decision I've ever made, hands down. I didn't expect that, at all. I took a class down here that completely changed the direction of my professional life, and directed me away from the goose chase, toward a Leprechaun's rainbow. The class was "Child Family Mental Health", and it was all about helping parents engage with and understand their infants. I was in love. Anyone who really knows me knows that I have always had a particularly soft spot for babies, almost from the time I was one myself. I didn't even know this field existed, and yet, here it was, staring me in the face with those big, blue eyes... (I only became more sure when I found out that we were expecting, and Louise has blue eyes)

It's only now that we come to the Pot of Gold at the end of this rainbow. I recently applied, at the encouragement of the professor of the previously mentioned class, to-- get ready for it-- the University of Massachusetts Boston Infant Parent Mental Health Post-graduate Certificate Program in Napa, CA. It's the most comprehensive and complete program of its kind, and it's put on by the people who have basically laid the groundwork of this field. I realize that these names probably won't mean anything to the vast majority of you who read this, but I have to say them, because I'm just so darn excited. Among the faculty are Ed Tronick, T. Berry Brazelton, Dan Siegel, Bruce Perry, just to name a few. These people are the big cheese. It's really hard for me to come up with an appropriate analogy for others outside the field to understand what this is going to be like. It's like a music major going to a music camp where the conductors are Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. These are the people who make the field what it is today.

So, for the next 15 months, I get to travel with my wife and daughter (as often as they'll agree to come with me) to beautiful Napa, California, sit at the the feet of the field's Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and, heck, throw in John Williams, and learn about a topic that I absolutely love. There's no losing where this is concerned. I'm so stinking excited.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

4 weeks old





I can't believe she's already 4 weeks old! It feels like we were just in the hospital having her yesterday.

Louise is the most adorable child ever, and I absolutely relish every moment of her life. She makes us laugh so often with the many funny faces she makes, her little sounds (she's a very squeaky baby), and especially her sneezes. She inherited her mothers' weird sneezing. She'll have this huge wind-up, then no sneeze. It's adorable! We've been trying to get a recording of it, but have failed, so far (but gotten a ton of other cute footage!).

Last night she slept from midnight to 7. It was fantastic. Then I fed her and she went back to sleep from 8 to 11. She's been doing this more and more for the past few weeks. 4 weeks old and she already sleeps through the night! One secret that has made a world of difference in getting her to sleep in her crib that my mother-in-law let me in on: put a heating pad down in the crib with her blanket on top of it, then take it out when you go to put her in. Works like a charm!

Justin's Grandpa Keate and his wife Connie came to visit us yesterday and I found out where Justin gets his way with children. Grandpa was so precious with her, I couldn't take my eyes off of them. And Louise just loved him. She settled right down in his arms and stared at him for the longest time before finally falling asleep. She was very relaxed and comfortable with him, it was so cute to watch. It's odd for the men of that generation to be that relaxed with babies, I think, so it must be a family trait.

Louise is getting so close to smiling!

Justin has decided to get his Phd. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on infant mental health. He decided that if he just got his masters in infant mental health he'd really be limiting himself, so he's gonna go all the way to widen his horizon. I think that's very wise of him. He's the type that would always regret not going as far as he could. He's been applying to several different colleges lately, but the one we're hoping for is University of Utah. They have a really good program, are sort of close to home, and practically pay their graduate students to go there. We're really excited about it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

So blessed

She has such beautiful big blue eyes (sometimes very cross-eyed).


Wide eyed and wondering.


Her yawn while waking up. I love to watch her wake up. :)


Louise and Nana. She sure loves her.


The two loves of my life.


Such a stud.

Louise is 3 weeks old today. I keep getting the feeling that we cheated or something...everything has gone far too smoothly (knock on wood). Louise is positively delightful. We couldn't have asked for a better child. We're both so in love with her. I swear she understands us. If she's hungry and fussing when I'm doing something I can tell her that I'll feed her in just a minute while I finish up and she'll calm down and wait patiently. Last night was her first time sleeping in the crib and she wasn't very excited about it at first, but after talking to her and telling her that mommy and daddy were still in the room, we were just in bed, she quieted down and went right to sleep.

These days she even sleeps through the night. I almost worry, because she'll go 6 or 7 hours without eating during the night, but my mom said she's just setting a routine for herself and if she eats a lot during the day (which she sure does - especially before bed) it's fine. And speaking of feeding her, she's a pro, and was right from the very first time. I haven't had any trouble at all breastfeeding. She's incredible. We can't wait for when she can smile back at us. She smiles now, a lot, but mostly in her sleep, and she can't really control it yet.

The labor and delivery were wonderful, too. Just as a little background information, and possible explanation for all of this, Justin and I are both incredibly laid back and not easily upsetable people. I didn't worry hardly at all during the pregnancy, even when I probably should have. I didn't feel any pain of note at all during the whole labor and delivery. Even the contractions didn't hurt, although I'll admit I have a very high pain threshold. On the day before we had her (Wednesday) at my doctors appointment I was dilated to a 5 and 80% effaced. She said to start timing contractions and go when they were 5 minutes apart. I asked if I was supposed to time just the ones that hurt, but she said that since I hadn't had any painful ones to that point and I was already at a 5, I should just time them all. That evening I started timing them during Andy Griffith and they were around 4 minutes apart. But I didn't feel any different, so I didn't think we should go. I was sure we'd be sent home. My mom insisted, however, and so we went around midnight. We both slept through the night in the hospital (apparently I was in labor for 12 hours, but I'm not sure it counts because it didn't hurt). The contractions did start getting uncomfortable around 6 am and I could tell they could get pretty painful if left, so I got an epidural and slept some more. I'm glad I had an epidural, but I really hated it. It freaked me out to not be able to control or feel my lower half. They could flop my legs around like a rag doll and I couldn't feel a thing. Anyway, at 8 I was at an 8, and 9 I was a 9, and at 10 they decided we should have a baby. It was probably a half hour between when they said that and got everything ready, so I had time to panic. That was the only time I felt scared, and let me tell you, I was petrified. You hear so many horror stories and it had all been so easy to that point I was sure it was gonna be awful. I couldn't look at Justin because I knew he'd see through the facade and I'd start to cry. They finally came back and everything was ready, so I was too distracted to be scared after that. I pushed for about 45 minutes (apparently that's a long time, but it didn't seem like it). Justin was so excited and was acting just like a little boy on Christmas Eve. I was laughing at him all through the delivery. Also I kept throwing up, which was annoying. I was starved and I always throw up when I get too hungry. The doctor came towards the end and all of a sudden they were laying a baby on my chest. :) We love her so much. The recovery was pretty rough and painful for 4 or 5 days, though. Glad I'm passed that. I LOVE not being pregnant (my skin misses it, though)!

Oh. By the way, we sold our two cars and bought a new one. :) We got a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 46,000 miles. We LOVE it. We've been looking at Corollas for a few months now. We want a car that will be reliable for a good 10 years to get us through grad school (which deserves a post of its own...remind me. We have an exciting future ahead).

Parenthood is just a dream come true. Louise is so sweet and such an easy, laid back baby. We just can't get enough of her. Here're some pictures of the last few weeks, plus a video or two. :)

P.S. We can't decide who she looks like. Any ideas?


video
We have a noisy little sleeper. :)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pictures!

Here's some picture of sweet baby Louise from birth to now. I'm not sure how to work the picture uploading thing, so they're not in order. She's already changed a lot. We are so in love. We just sit and stare at her all day. Or at least we would if we could. :)

This was today. Too cute to pass up.


Today. Guess what she's thinking about. She has an "angel kiss" over her right eye and this picture really makes it stand out.


Today.


Today. A little blurry, but would've been the picture I was going for. I was trying to get her looking at the camera, but she would only do it for a few seconds at a time before moving again.


Day 4. This is definitely a smile. I don't care what Grandpa says otherwise, and I definitely won't repeat it.


Day 4. Pretty little lady proves that newborns truly are incapable of touching their hands together above their heads.


Day 3. Grandma Chamberlain admiring the newest addition to her little gaggle of grandies.


Day 3. Grandpa Chamberlain is wrapped around her little fingers almost as much as her Daddy is.


Day 2. First day home from the hospital. Great-Grandma Heideman loves this little ball of sheer happiness.


Louise Doris Nuckles' first few moments.


Us in the hospital.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Announcement

Welcome Louise Doris Nuckles!
Born: October 20th at 11:19 am
Weight: 7 lbs 12 oz
Height: 19 1/2 in

Pictures and a post coming soon (we're a little busy right now. :) ). Until then, just know that she is beautiful.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

37 weeks! (Full term)

I take back the "not overly emotional with this pregnancy" thing I said a couple of posts ago. I feel like these days it takes very little to overwhelm me and cause a few tears. It's just because I'm plumb worn out and tired. Everything hurts. It takes so long to do anything because I waddle, can't bend over without the risk of throwing up, etc. I'm so grateful for this opportunity, but I'm SOOO grateful that it's almost over. Several times this last week Justin would look over to see tears running down my cheeks and with panic on his face ask what's wrong and the only thing I can think of to say is that I'm just tired. That pretty much sums it all up.

On a brighter note: at my last doctors appointment the lady said that I'm dilated to a 3 1/2 and 70% effaced. That's good, right? Even so, they still didn't sound like they expected me to deliver anytime in the next year.

We got Justin's motorcycle back. Finally. It seems like it's been one thing after another with that bike. We bought it and got it home, figured out how to get it out of the truck (getting it IN was a trick), then the next day Justin tried to ride it and discovered that it would only start about half of the time and die at the end of the driveway. So it sat here for a few days while tried to figure out what to do and asked his brother in law to come look at it, who diagnosed the problem, so we took it to a mechanic in town. Well, he looked at it for a few days and decided he needed the manual to figure out what the problem was, so he ordered that. A week or so later he got the manual and decided what he thought the problem was and ordered the part. ANOTHER week or so later he got the part and said he could put it in and have the bike back together in 30-45 minutes. The NEXT DAY he finally finished and said we could pick it up (we've now owned the bike for nearly a month and only had it in our possession for a few days). During all of this time we weren't just sitting at home twiddling our thumbs. Only mostly. Justin bought a helmet, ordered a jacked and leather chaps, and got his permit. I got it registered, insured, and plates for it. All we needed was the bike. Justin went and picked it up yesterday morning and rode it home (it works!!!) and then figured out what he needed to put the plates on. Then he wired it on for the trip to Hurricane and left for his first official ride on his motorcycle. He arrived at Ace just fine and bought the parts he needed, called and told me he'd made it and that he was going to drive by Quail Lake and Leeds on the way home, then put the plate on in the Ace parking lot and tightened the bolts by hand. When he got home 20 minutes later he noticed the plate was gone. Seriously? Can't he just have something go right with this bike? So he and I got in the car and drove around for over an hour retracing his route twice, but didn't find it. Good thing the DMV is now open on Fridays. We went and got new plates and put them on with a wrench (or whatever tool it takes), which brings us up to date. My parents went for a ride yesterday and seemed to have quite a good time. I can't wait to be able to ride it. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Humbling experience today


I work at the Toquerville City Offices, and it's typical for people who come in to look at me and ask when the baby's due. I was feeling particularly heavy today when a woman on her way out asked and I replied "not soon enough!" She looked at me significantly and said "well, at least you can have children." Oy. Open mouth, insert foot. I felt so stupid. She's completely right. This pregnancy really hasn't been that bad, for all of my complaining. Sure, I've had my fair share of sickness, but I can endure this short time of discomfort for the eternity of joy we'll receive because of it. I mean, we get a BABY for crying out loud (no pun intended)! I can't believe how blessed we are and how much faith Heavenly Father has in us to entrust us with one of his precious little spirits. I'm so very grateful for this chance to carry Louise and be her mommy.

And yes. I did just google "cute babies" and use the cutest one I could find. It's the best I can do for the next few weeks until I have my own cute baby.

Friday, September 30, 2011

5 more weeks to D Day!

We are so close to having a baby, it's crazy. I'm so excited and ready to be done. :) Not that I haven't loved being pregnant. I'd just like to walk/look/feel/think like a normal person again. I've noticed a few things in the past few weeks that I think are noteworthy.
First, for some unfathomable reason I continue to wear white shirts, regardless of the fact that EVERY time I wear one I spill or get something on the front. Every time. Often I don't even notice or know how it got there. Why do I still wear them?
Second (and this illustrates how lazy I've gotten), I mentioned to Justin the other day my theory that when you're pregnant there is some magnetic pull to everything that makes it end up on the ground one way or another. He looked and me a little strangely and said "well it's not magnetic..." I then realized how stupid that had sounded. Duh. But seriously, I think that gravity increases or something, causing you to drop everything or knock everything down. I've gotten to the point where when I drop something, if I don't need it right at that moment, I just leave it on the ground figuring someone will pick it up eventually. Horrible, I know.
Third, you get winded from the stupidest things. Like doing your hair. Or trying to get comfortable in bed. Or standing up to do your makeup. Or getting in the car. It's ridiculous.
Fourth, and this one may not apply to everyone, I find some of her movements and kicks nauseating. The thought of it. The feel of her little elbows scraping along the inside of my stomach or the sight of my stomach doing flip flops without my consent. After a moment when I remember what it is it's fine, but for that split second when all I know is that my stomach is doing things that are completely unnatural and not controlled by me, I want to throw up. I know this sounds terrible, and I really do love Louise and I love being pregnant with her and carrying her and everything. It's just a little foreign and my brain is having a bit of a hard time with it.
Fifth, I think the curl in my hair is gone. I'm very sad about this. It used to be so easy to do. In high school and college my hair took me about 2 minutes to do. Is it normal for your hair to change during pregnancy? Any chance it'll change back after? I guess it could just be that it's too short (my curls were always big), but even then, you'd think there'd at least be a little wave in it. :( Sad day.
I've not been overly emotional with this pregnancy, but then I'm not really overly emotional ever. But I do have moments when I just start to cry for no reason. It only happens maybe once a month, but I always feel pretty stupid. Also, I haven't really had any real food cravings or aversions. Except hamburger and some spice that is in a lot of Italian foods and Papa Murphy's pizzas, but I had that one even before I was pregnant.
Well, I think that's about all for this week. We'll keep you posted. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Still Pregnant!



33 weeks! This picture makes me look huge. I really didn't think I was that big... Also, I forgot to smile and look at the camera, but didn't want to do it again when I realized, so deal with it. ;)

Well, we're at 33 weeks and still pregnant! Everything's going very well. Louise moves enough that it actually hurts sometimes now. And sleeping is getting a little uncomfortable mostly because of my hips. The muscles hurt so bad that it wakes me up every time I move. I told my doctor about it at my appointment the other day and he suggested I try a chiropractor, so I went yesterday and he adjusted my back and neck. I have no idea how that made my hips better, but it did. I went to Walmart after and noticed I was walking normally with minimal pain. I have weird hip issues anyway (super loose joints), so you add the pregnancy hormone that relaxes all of your joints and my hips and shoulders have given me a lot of trouble with this pregnancy. They feel like they're going to fall out of joint all the time. Oh well. It's almost over.

We had the baby shower last weekend and it was wonderful. So many people came. I was shocked and so grateful. We now have everything we need to start a family. Well, except the baby...but I'm working on that.


We've decided to sell both of our cars and get a newer, more reliable one. Preferably a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. Since we're going to be going somewhere away from family to grad school I wanted to have a car that wouldn't break down every month, not that ours do now, but they're old enough that they probably will start to in the next 6 years. We also decided to get a motorcycle for Justin. He's going to pick it up Monday. He's not excited or anything. Not at all. He's just wanted one since he was 12, that's all. It's a Kawasaki Vulcan 750 or something like that. It does have a seat for me, though, so that'll be fun. Now we just have to get the gear: insurance, LIFE insurance to guarantee we won't have to use it, a good jacket, a helmet, I don't even know what else you need...I'm excited for him. :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lots of Exciting Stuff!

School has started again and Justin's excited (weirdo...;) ). I'm really excited to NOT be going. I think that as soon as I don't get all anxious and stressed by just the thought of school I'll go back. And I'm sure it'll happen. It's just not right now. I may finish online. And I may change my major altogether. Just some thoughts I've been entertaining lately.

We're almost to 30 weeks, which means 10 more to full term. But according to the doctor she probably won't go full term. At my last appointment he asked casually if I was having any contractions and I said yes, just the Braxton Hicks ones I've heard about. He looked a little concerned and asked how often. When I told him, he and the nurse immediately started talking medical gibberish and then did a test called fetal fibronectin that basically tests for fluids that should just be in the amniotic sac that are in other places (apparently the contractions weren't Braxton Hicks). The test is supposed to be negative and they told me they'd call back with the results later that day. Then they finished all their measuring and stuff and I left. On the way home they called and said the test came back positive and they'd like me to come back so they could monitor the baby and contractions. So Justin and I went back a few hours later and waited for another couple hours for the machine to warm up (not bitter or anything). When we finally got in and all hooked up they watched for a while and said that everything about the baby looked terrific. As far as contractions go, of course I didn't have any of the big ones the whole time they were watching (and had 4 in a half hour as soon as we left), but according to the monitor I was having pretty steady little ones that I couldn't even feel. After they gave me a steroid shot of Betamethasone to speed up her lung development and told me to come back the next day for another, gave a me a prescription for some medication that suppresses contractions, changed me from once a month to weekly appointments, and told me that besides work I was basically just supposed to rest (haven't been doing very good with that part). So we bought a car seat.

I was a little nervous for a few days after that (and if you know me, you know it must be bad because I don't get nervous or worried over ANYTHING), so I got a blessing from Justin and my dad that said basically that while she would come on her own time, developmentally she'd be fine. I'm not worried anymore.

So our car seat is pretty awesome. We got if from Costco after much research. It's for 5 to 100 lbs and converts from a rear facing infant seat all the way to a booster seat, so basically this will be the only car seat Louise ever needs. We practiced with a doll last week. :) We also ordered an awesome stroller from Zulily.com. It's a GoGo Babyz Urban Advantage stroller. 3 wheels with stabilizers that are activated when you put on the break. It was $160.00 at Target and only $98.00 on Zulily. We're pretty stoked. It should get here tomorrow.

Louise is moving so much lately! Enough that you can see it even! It's so fun. She doesn't really kick, more just squirm. I was trying to explain what if feels like on the inside to Justin and I came to the conclusion that it's most similar to those massagers that have 3 rotating balls in the end just moving around, pushing on the fabric.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Middle Name



It's been so fun the past few weeks to feel the baby start to move. She moves a lot by now - enough that you can see it! I'm almost 6 months along now, so 3 more to go.

Her full name will be Louise Doris Nuckles. We had initially decided to not give our girls middle names so that their last name can take that place when they get married, but a week or so ago I just knew her middle name had to be Doris, after my Grammie (dad's mom), and luckily Justin agreed. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. My dad always tells me I'm a little mini Doris, which I love. I've always felt a strong connection to her, although she died when I was 5. If you want an idea of what she was like, just think of the little fat blue fairy on Sleeping Beauty. That was my Grammie. She ran a little beauty shop in her home in Hurricane where all the little old ladies in town would go gossip. She was always happy and looked at the world through rose-colored glasses. My dad is a lot like her, in fact. They love everyone and just assume everyone loves them, so they do. You can't help it. Louise will be blessed in a dress that my Grammie made for my older sisters' blessing, and that me and almost all of the younger girl cousins on my mom's side were blessed in, so I think it's quite fitting.


I have a confession. This may come as a shock to people who know me well. I haven't bought ANY baby clothes yet. But not for a lack of trying! I've been on several shopping trips with the intent of buying some precious little baby items, but in the end was unable to actually buy anything. It's like I have a mental block! I just CAN'T. I'm too inexperienced in baby clothes. What if it's not actually as cute as I think? Or what if she's a really big baby (her dad IS 6'6) and nothing fits? I've decided I just need to take Justin or my mom or something with me to talk me in to things. I finally had to appease myself with buying a diaper bag, just so I could say I had started buying baby things. It is super adorable, though. It's hot pink and white damask with a lime green lining.

I think in my last post I mentioned that Justin had gotten 2 jobs...? Well, he quit one of them yesterday. We're both quite relieved. Me because all the girls at Falcon Ridge had crushes on him and would say awkward things behind his back, him because it's less stress and the people at Sunrise are treated better. I really like Sunrise for him. He seems happier when he gets back from it. And they'll work around his school schedule in the fall. He's pretty excited for school (crazy kid).

Justin is going to be such an adorable daddy. :) I'm so excited. The other day we got a sling thing that we ordered in the mail and Justin was more excited than I was. He tried it on and put a doll in it to show my dad and wear around. :) I can't wait for Louise to get here.

P.S. I just figured out how to work the scanner, so I may post some ultrasound pictures. She's pretty darling, if I do say so myself. ;)

P.P.S. Another thing! I got a mommy Boppy! It's just like the little baby ones, only for mommy! I love it! I've been having trouble sleeping because I have hip problems and ever since I got this I've slept like a baby. It's a miracle. It was a little spendy, but we decided to invest in it because I still have 3 months left with this pregnancy, plus however many more we have. It was definitely worth it. I'll attach a picture of that, too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A much needed update


Me, again. We really need to be better about posting. Then I wouldn't have to try to remember what we've done in the last 2 months.
Justin finished the semester with all As and one A-. Incredible. 19 credits. I don't know how he does it, but he seems to enjoy it. I'll never understand that aspect of him.
We've gotten to spend a ton of time together in the last few months with school out and ECCOCI closed. It's been so nice to be together all the time and I love him even more than I used to, which I doubted was even possible. He's the most amazing person I've ever met. And he's all mine. :) Mwahaha!
Although we've been spending so much time together, we had our first separate overnighter. Justin went on a river kayaking trip with the scouts for 3 days. It was the first time we've been apart since our marriage one year ago. I hated it. My parents were very helpful and kept me busy the first day, and the second day I spent some time with Jennilyn at her mom's pool, went to lunch with the ECCOCI ladies, and watched a movie with Whit that night. The third day was just waiting, though. It brought back some torturous memories of our engagement when he lived in Logan and I lived in St. George. Just counting the hours until he would be home. He had a great time, but we both agreed that we couldn't do that very often. It was just so boring and weird. Like losing your right hand for a few days.
We found out at the end of April that they were going to close ECCOCI in May. Kind of a shocker, but we were all pretty used to it by a few days later (after deciding that we'd all go to lunch every month. It's the people we'd miss - not so much the work). It's been really nice for all of us. We've all had time to spend time with our families and relax and get our lives back in order.
Justin and I decided to move in with my parents so that we'd be able to actually save money instead of barely making it every month. It's been a huge stress off my mind. We paid off the credit card and still had money in the bank. Such a blessing. I was pretty useless during the move. It was so hot over at the old house that I would help for a few minutes and then just be sick from the heat. Justin was so sweet to me, though (of course) and made me sit and watch mostly. What a sweet husband I have.
Justin spent a few weeks taking resumes around town and it paid off. He was offered at least 4 different jobs and took 2 of them. He's working at Sunrise Academy in Hurricane full time (sort of. It's as full time as they get - 25 hours a week), and Falcon Ridge as an on-call employee. We figured that one could make up for the other. Also, Falcon Ridge is building a new building in Toquerville, so we figured it would give him an in for when they open that branch and need employees. We've been so blessed it's crazy.
Our anniversary was yesterday, so last weekend we went up north and played. We left on Friday and went to Fazoli's with Brittany and her kids. I had been craving Fazoli's for a couple of years - ever since they closed the one in St. George - so I was very excited to go. :) Then we went back to Brittany's and watched Joe Vs. The Volcano with the Tilbys. Such a great movie. Then on Saturday we went in the Salt Lake and went to Gateway Mall for a few hours, then we decided to go to the zoo so we wouldn't spend any more money. The zoo was AWESOME! It was my first time and I absolutely loved it. The gorillas were probably my favorite. And the reptile room. Then that night we went to a Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband concert, which are always fun. This was probably my favorite concert of theirs. It was so casual and amazing. Then we went back to Brittany and Ryan's and slept, then went to church with them, then back home. It was such a wonderful weekend. I can't believe it's been a year already.
I'm mostly over the morning sickness, I think. At least I don't throw up every day now. Just every few. And I get headaches every day. But I got them a lot before I was pregnant, so they said I just get them a lot since I was already prone to them. We get to find out what we're having tomorrow! :) I'm so excited to not have to call it "it" anymore. It can have a name and a pronoun. And we can start planning and collecting paraphernalia.
I'm really starting to show a lot. But as the doctor said, it doesn't really have anywhere to go but out. Justin went to my appointment with me the other day to hear the heartbeat for the first time (for him). He got quite a treat! The doctor was feeling my tummy and was really surprised by how big the uterus was, so she did a little impromptu ultrasound to make sure it wasn't twins (it's not). So Justin didn't just get to hear the heartbeat, he got to see the baby, too! And it was quite cute, if I do say so myself. It kept waving. :) Now I just wanna know what it is.
I've had several people ask me for a picture of my pregnant self on Facebook, but I felt a little weird posting pictures of that on Facebook, so I'll put them on here. That way everyone that wants to can see it.
Wow. Long post.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Holy Hannah!

Well, since the cat's out of the bag...we heard the heartbeat!!! Well, actually I heard the heartbeat (sorry Justin). The nurse was telling me how unlikely it was that we'd hear the heartbeat on the first visit, so I shouldn't get worried if we didn't, and she wasn't even going to call Justin in since we probably wouldn't hear it, when "oh! There it is!" She said we have a very cooperative baby. Of course we do. Justin, you'll get to hear it next time, I promise, Love.

So there really is a baby in there! I'm not just sick for fun! What a relief. ;)

It's spring (besides the fact that it's snowing as I type this. This is just an accident, I'm sure). The other day was so beautiful and I got off of work at 4, so Justin and I went and walked the pipe (Toquerville people know what this is. There's a big black pipe that goes for about a mile out of town. Although it's black, it's really cold, so you walk it barefooted. There's not really a point to it. It's just kind of fun. My mom wrote her name on it when she was little, and I wrote mine by hers when I was little). We used to live on that pipe in the summers playing all kinds of "pretend." My cousin and I were Harry Potter's twin sisters on it, indians, pirates, etc. There's a little brick building at the end with a little tube as the entrance and we used to crawl up in there and play. Justin wanted to go in, but I promised him that NEXT time we could since we didn't have shoes and he was wearing a white shirt. Then we came back and contemplated going to the creek (pronounced crik), but decided to skip it and eat dinner on our front porch instead. It was fantastic! Then we came inside and watched Gone With the Wind (Justin's still not a fan, but I love it). It was a wonderful day that made me realize how nice it is to not be in school because I haven't really been able to enjoy spring without worrying about something else for ages. I love it. :)

My birthday last month was probably the best birthday I've had. It was wonderful. We slept in, then had pancakes for breakfast, then Justin's siblings called and wished me a happy birthday (thanks so much, guys! That was so kind of you!), then Justin and I, my parents, Paige and her kids, and Alex's kids (my mom was babysitting them because Jenny's baby was overdue and she needed a break) all loaded in the truck and went to Grafton for the afternoon. I had been super bored at work all by myself since everyone was gone for spring break and I was working doubles, so I had had a lot of time to do some research for fun. I read a lot about different ghost towns in the west and decided that's what I wanted to do for my birthday (I also found out that there are some Tibetan monks that actually mummify themselves! Ask me about it sometime. It's fascinating!). We explored out there, ate lunch, went to the cemetery ("Killed by Indians"), and went home. My two siblings that live out of town randomly both decided to come down that day, so Brittany and her kids (missed you, Ryan), and Michael, Heidi, and little Stockton got there around dinner time. We had beef stroganoff, which is one of my favorites, and angel food cake with mom's glue frosting for dessert. Then we all sat around talking for the rest of the evening. Best birthday present ever! It was so fun to have almost the whole family there. :) Thanks everyone!

Justin has been struggling to remain sane with his 19 credits about to come to a close. He's still enjoying his classes, but there's so much work for each one, and only so much time in each day. He's truly amazing. I don't know how he's managed to stay on top of it all. He comes home every day around 3, goes to the elementary for his internship, then comes home and studies for the rest of the night, except on Tuesdays, when he does to Young Mens at 6 or 7, THEN comes home and studies. He has such amazing self discipline.

That's a little of what we've been up to lately. Just work and school. I'm still loving my job, although my clothes don't fit as well as they used to...oh well. Bundle of joy, bundle of joy, bundle of joy... ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh, by the way...

I like to think that I'm a man who likes to take my studies seriously. I'm taking 19 credits of classes this semester, and I'm enjoying all of them to varying degrees. If asked to single out my favorite, it would have to be "Infant and Family Mental Health" with Professor Larsen-Rife. It looks at infants in the context of the family, and looks at both helping the family to adjust to the infant, and helping them to be able to read the infant's cues, as manifested in its behaviors. The mantra for the class is, "All behavior is meaningful."

Anyone who knows me knows that this class is right up my proverbial alley. From a very young age, I can remember having an acute interest in babies and their welfare. I won't go into the details, but my behaviors were meaningful in communicating that I had an interest in young children. Oddly enough, I've been working with kids of varying ages in one context or another nearly every year since the beginning of high school up to the present time. Considering all of this evidence in collective measure, I consider it only fitting that my career path be somewhere along this vein. Further updates as warranted.

Claire is doing very well. We're still waiting to hear on that (verbally) promised promotion and pay raise at work. Note to self, get everything in writing. That aside, she is really enjoying her continued position at Eccoci in the Red Cliffs Mall. She loves being able to help other people look as good as they possibly can. She has a definite gift. I recently witnessed a consultation with one of her family members, leaving the concerned party absolutely thrilled with the forthcoming chance to strut their stuff in perfect confidence at an upcoming social event. (You know who you are, and you looked great!)

That about sums up our continued existence. People keep getting after us for not updating our blog more than once a month, but... what are you gonna do?

Oh, by the way, we've recently decided to conduct an in-depth case study for my favorite course. We're in the process of obtaining our own little research subject, and looking forward to making a lifetime of observations. Just FYI. ;-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

V8 & Vice

We're busy. That's all I can say. They say that the more familiar a routine becomes, the less dense your memory of any one particular recurrence of it becomes. This would explain why moments of intense fear seem as if they're in "slow motion". Our brains are just making more sensory-dense memories, because, hopefully, it's not something we experience very often. It would also explain, and much more relevantly apply to the fact that our days fly by so fast. The same routine, day in, day out, makes for very quick weeks. (Forgive my rambling. I'm a Psychology major. Sue me.)

It was one of these relatively quick evenings that found Claire and I sitting at our table, deeply involved with our evening interests. I was reading a book (It was Sunday. The only day I have for recreational reading.) and she was perusing the posts and updates of various acquaintances on the web. To further set the scene, allow me to describe to you our snacks: Claire had chosen a dish of Nielsen's Frozen Custard-- Chocolate (she highly recommends it) accompanied by an occasional m&m and washed down with a glass of water. I had opted for a handful of raisins, mingled with a carrot or two, followed up with a glass of Great Value V8 equivalent (If you know us well at all, you'll know that these choices are fairly typical).

At some point during our evening repast, Claire nonchalantly picked up my glass of V8 equivalent and moved it to the far end of the table. This was not my first rodeo. I voiced the observation that-- perhaps even the smell was too much for her? She readily agreed. I laughed, and wondered aloud "If you can't stand even the smell of it now, I wonder how it will be down the road when you're expecting?" --Author's note: This is not an announcement. Read on.-- She laughed in turn, replying that perhaps she wouldn't even allow it in the house at that point.

I was shocked, and not a little dismayed. Knowing that her father shares my affinity for the stuff, albeit at a lesser potency, I interjected that he and I would, of necessity, become drinking buddies. Oh, cruel world, that so strongly rejects a man's drink, that he must pursue the opportunity to indulge outside of the comfort of his own home. And what, when I came home late at night, the distinctive scent of that elixir on my breath? What then?! Would she put me out? Would she bar my entry to my own domain? Upon raising these concerns to her, she merely smiled, in her winning way, and said something pseudo-comforting, devoid of even the inkling of backing down. Alas. A man must choose his battles, and choose them well. Oh cursed day, that saw me possessed with a vice of V8 (equivalent).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Musings...

This post may not be very literarily (is that even a word?) correct, fyi. It helped a lot to talk about it with Justin last night, so I figured I'd write it down.
Yesterday while folding clothes I got a call that one of my friends, a lady from work, had passed away. I was completely shocked, as I'm sure everyone else was. There was nothing at all leading up to this. She's in her early 40s or late 30s. I called the other 3 ladies that I work with and let them know, which was hard. When I hung up I started thinking of everything we ever talked about how much I had learned from her. Questions for the future, and remembering the past. The last conversation I had with her was on Tuesday. Her mother is dying, so all last week she had been in California with her. When she got back she was telling me everything that is going on there with all of her siblings, who are all into drugs, and I asked her why she isn't a druggy since she was surrounded by it the whole time she was being raised. She's truly lived an exemplary life. She's a remarkable woman. She had a very rough upbringing in a home where everyone either smoked or drank or both, and yet she was never involved in any of it. Never had any desire to be. Many other defining events led her to where she is now.
She was such a strong woman. Just from watching her you'd never know that she had so many hardships in her life. She's one of the most energetic people I know. She is ALWAYS doing something. She made the rest of us look bad, because if there was nothing to do at work, she'd still find something to do. If there truly was nothing to do, she'd draw (she was an amazing artist). She had to be doing something at all times. She was a wonderful mother. She was always talking about her 3 kids and the fun they had together. She never had a thought for herself. She was always so concerned about others. She would always talk about how excited she was for Justin and I to have a baby (that is not an announcement) so I could bring it to work and she could hold it all day. One day she was joking about how she was afraid we didn't need her anymore (we did her job while she was gone) and I burst out with the song I Need You by America and she teared up and said that's the loudest she'd ever heard me be and she felt special because it was for her. Haha. :) I didn't think I was that quiet. I think she just meant soft-spoken. I was having some customer service problems with Barnes and Noble for about two weeks and by the end she was itching for me to let her talk to them and give them a piece of her mind. She said she'd never yell at them if it was for her, but if it was someone she cared about she had no problem. :)
These are a few of my favorite moments with her and I wanted to write them down while they're fresh. I'll miss you, Wendy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Check out my dad's blog!

My dad has a new photography blog that showcases some of his photography. Check it out!
www.outdoorphotoquest.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Life Itself is a Most Wonderful Fairytale. . .

So decreed the 19th century author, Hans Christian Andersen. I'm of the persuasion that he knew what he was talking about. In fact, I liked this idea so well that, for Christmas, I had it put on a mirror, along with the family name and the increasingly popular "Est. (year)" motif, wrapped it up, and gave it to Claire for Christmas. It now hangs where I can casually glance up and, if I'm lucky, catch a glimpse of the heroine of my story. We both like it a lot.

I've been reading quite a bit of Dickens lately, and there's one thing about Dickens that I've identified as striking my fancy. He knew that all will end well. During the course of his story, terrible things happen to characters that you've come to love. (C'est la vie, non?) And yet, by the final page, he's managed to somehow wrangle a heartwarming tale of triumph from some of society's darkest hours. (For instance, see "Tale of Two Cities" or "Barnaby Rudge".) If that isn't a microcosm of what it means to be human, I don't know what is.
I've decided that fairytales are what one chooses to make of them. On the one hand, at left one could choose to see only a temporary reprieve from the mundane struggles of an average newly-wed couple. But if one were to look closer, one could see the looks bespeaking pure enjoyment, or the ripples reaching through time from a single day's activities. Some would call me a romantic; often even couple it with the word, "hopeless". I pity these people. Love, the great ingredient in all fairytales, is found in the simple things. It's finding an open pair of arms at the end of a day's work. It's found in making that trip to town: buying and spending nothing but time. It's being able to hug them and say nothing, while having it all said in perfect eloquence.

Life is a fairytale. What more can I say? Claire and I are both very excited for what this new year will bring. For me, I'm anticipating leaps and bounds toward the checkpoint of my Bachelor's in Psychology. Three semesters more should do it. It was recently brought to my attention by a family member that I've found "my thing". That area of interest that I can't talk about without a smile creeping into my voice and features. I'm really excited to become a child psychologist.
Claire is excited for the job she loves, helping others accomplish what seems to come so easily to her: looking good. She'll be the assistant manager at Eccoci this year. She's really looking forward to this next big thing in her life. . .
We have it all. We're young, we're still in love, and our life's just beginning. Tell on.