Monday, December 1, 2014

A month of Learning

You know that moment when you graduate, finish College, walk out with that degree and think, "Yes, I finally finished learning, now onto life." Yeah, I just rolled my eyes over that statement too. Funny how I thought that at the time though.

I feel like I am now earning three Master degrees: California Survival, Pregnancy and Mother Studies, and What to do with Life and its curve-balls. Throw in minors in Nannying, Marriage, Cars, etc.

We have enjoyed living in California for the most part. It is very new and different for us, which always takes awhile to get used to. There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons, the cons just happen to be more prominent.

One con is driving in California. People aren't joking about traffic. We do not go out driving for 4-5 hours of the day. Not just avoid, but we DO NOT go into the craziness. There are a lot of really really bad and aggressive drivers here and when the two mix it can be pretty scary.

We broke our rule of not going out during traffic two weeks ago when we took a friend to the airport. On our way home, traffic was as thick as frozen molasses. Our lane suddenly slowed down and we complied, talking back and forth about random things. Then Brent looks up and says, "Please don't hit us, don't hit us, don't hit us!" I had a second to tense before we were slammed into. Out tumbled our radio system and glass shattered all over the backseat.

The car that hit us made its way over to the side. We tried. A horrible grinding sound resulted and we barely managed to make the car move the two-lanes over to the shoulder (all while cars were zooming past, not letting us switch lanes to get over. I wasn't joking when I said California drivers are crazy and mean!) I got out of the car and forced myself to look at the damage on our only car. We exchanged information with the lady as the State Tow service showed up to haul us off the freeway. Our car wouldn't drive, and we had to figure out how to get an expensive tow truck to take us the 1 mile left to our apartment. Heavenly Father was watching out for us that night in more ways then making sure we weren't injured. The nice tow-man explained to us that he could get fired and in a lot of trouble if he hauled us home (his job was just to drop us off the freeway) but if we waited ten minutes his shift would be over and he'd take us home for free.

It was a small but huge blessing for us. We spent the next few days in a whirlwind talking to insurance companies, me freaking out over baby's health, and figuring out what to do without a car. The lady's insurance covered a rental thank heavens and so I was able to go to doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, and work!

Brent has spent the last week slaving over the computer looking at used cars for us to buy. After a lot of stress and hard work Brent found us a car! We were able to buy it, and I hope that it turns out to be a good car for us.

Pregnancy has been good so far. Brent and I joke that I could get a job as a surrogate mother after this because I have such easy pregnancies. I may not get sick, but I'm definitely feeling uncomfortable now. My belly has expanded like crazy and my belly button now has a mind of its own. I constantly find myself looking down and saying, "Well, huh, hmm, what's going on here?"

 This is a very accurate picture of what I look like when trying to get out of bed. 

And this is how my days and nights go (why??? it's 3am...why??)

All in all I'm loving being a 'mom' but am feeling very unprepared for all the things I should know. Books anyone? Currently I can only tell you how I will be feeding my child and how I can emotionally prepare myself for labor. There are a lot of gaps to fill.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Washington Break!

Lots of fun stuff have been happening in Cali on our road to figuring out how to live here, but that'll be covered later. Mostly because Brent has all our pictures on his ipad at school right now.

After every one of Brent's quarters we get a break! Also, before I move on, let me just brag for a minute on Brent. He's a 4.0 student!! He worked so hard his first semester and pulled off perfect grades. So he deserved a nice break!

We few to Washington to visit his family for two weeks. His parents live on Birch Bay, and you can't get a better view than that. It's stunning to wake up every morning to waves and bird calls. We spent a majority of the first week on Brent's dad's boat.

I come from a cattle ranching background through my father and growing up every summer on my Grandparents ranch. So I don't feel comfortable around sea things! But I was so surprised how much I loved being on a boat. I also love crabbing though could do without the eating part.

Pulling up the crabpots is actually quite hard! They're heavy, especially if they're packed with lots of crab.

 I don't like touching the crab, so I get the part of measuring them to make sure they're big enough!

I have to say, one of the things I love about Brent is he is always exploring the world around him. It's like being married to a five-year-old sometimes, and he makes me look at the world differently. Here is him showing me all the things that are growing on the side of the dock.

One day we went out on the boat to the island off Washington's coast. It was so fun to explore these islands, and as you can see, very beautiful!

We had so much fun visiting family. We loved playing with the kids (and even got to go to Great Wolf Lodge with Brent's sister and her three kids) and eating really good food with Grandma Mary.

Throwing rocks into the water entertained this little guy for 15+ minutes. 

 This was one brave girl! She was nervous but was game to try any ride! 

Apples Apples Book! I think I read this book at least ten times in two days with Gage. He would surprise me by having certain parts memorized. It really made me laugh each time.

Brent LOVES the water. So of course he plays catch in freezing water with his nephew. 

 This melted my heart. I didn't even prompt this! She just started hugging my little belly bump and would say goodbye to 'baby'. It's funny how she has more faith that there is something in there than me. I've seen the ultrasounds, and I still question every day that there is actually a human in my belly. But not Adelle! There is a baby in there and she insists it will be a girl. I feel like I might never disappoint anyone more than her if I have a boy. 

We also got to spend some time in Canada! We went to a really cool mine museam with Brent's parents along with Whistler where the 2010 Olympics were done and hiked with Brent's twin. That hike was so beautiful but really hard for me. My body really reacts differently to exercise now that I'm pregnant.

  Wahoo! We're going inside the mine!

Isn't this view unbelievable? 

My sister-in-law also really surprised me by throwing me a baby shower! It was so sweet, and I was so excited for all the adorable baby things!

It was so nice to have a long break and to visit so many family members. As you can see, we really packed in the events during this time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

California here we come!

I ended my first block of student teaching with a bang! Such a great class, I loved every one of them! They really taught me a lot, and I felt like a real teacher. 

Here's a funny story for you. I have a strict NO NOTES policy in the class (especially because I have two 'mean' girls who can write really interesting notes). I noticed one girl was walking around the class, and I finally saw she had a note in her hand.  So of course I stopped her and told her that she knows there isn't notes in this class and that I was disappointed in her. She held up the note and this is what I saw:

I felt so bad! Poor girl was doing something so sweet for me! So there's one of those FAIL moments as a teacher, but oh well. 

The last thing I watched as we drove out of the valley was the mountains. How I’m going to miss those beautiful, tall mountains that surround the valley like a big hug. I cried a little as we drove away. I’ve lived in Utah for 22 years. Each move I’ve made hasn’t been far, and I’ve always had my family near by. I guess I’ve been spoiled until now.

The drive was pretty long but made livable because of Harry Potter on CD and talking with Brent. We got to stop in Lake Tahoe with Brent’s cousin for the night which was an awesome way to break up the trip. She even took us out to the lake in the morning! Then it was off again on the road.

California is in a drought right now, so we were a bit amazed at how dry it was. Thankfully we found our apartment and our Bishop got some men from the ward to unload us. The elders came too and it was fun to see them. One of them is from Pleasant Grove, which is the town next to my parents.
I was very overwhelmed and felt completely alone and scared. New place, new everything! We had actually never seen our apartment before we got there. Thank heavens it was quite nice and turned out to be bigger than we had thought.

We had a place lined up, but it fell through. So two weeks before we were supposed to move we were trying to find a place. It was so scary because we didn’t know what the ghetto areas were and where we would be safe. So dad told us to call bishops in the area. We called seven bishops and none answered. I prayed so hard the whole time Brent called. The next day one bishop called Brent back and said, “you’re in luck, I manage an apartment complex right across the street from our church. It is expensive…but it is safe and nice.” I was so excited! So without looking at it we got it. Talk about a leap of faith…

The day after we moved here the next-door lady invited us over. She is from Sri Lanka and is a convert of four years. She said she was so worried about who would move in next door because she is a single mother and wanted to be safe. The missionaries here fasted and prayed for her to get good neighbors. And she got us! Isn’t it cool how the lord works? We needed an apartment, and she needed us.

She has been a huge help to us. Bringing us food and all kinds of stuff. I babysit her daughter for her sometimes in return. I don’t have pictures yet, but it’s a pretty nice place. We like our ward; it is very different though. We also met a couple in our ward where the husband is also going to Brent’s school. They are amazing, and it was so nice to finally get friends.

I’m back in Utah to finish my student teaching, leaving Brent for five weeks. It has been pretty hard and it’s only been a week! I can't believe all the preparation needed for the start of a school year. But I loved writing the name tags and putting up the cute decorations. I can't wait to meet my next batch of students! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sick days/weeks

Well, the semester is winding down, my very LAST semester at BYU. I don't even get to enjoy it because I have been so sick for the last 13 days. Just in time for finals I got a who knows what illness. Brent left for the weekend to visit a chiropractic school and left me alone and very helpless. It's times like these that I thank Heavenly Father that my family lives close by and that I have an amazing, self-less, honorary nurse mom. She took me to their house where I slept, required a lot of attention when my fevers got bad, and read books. I am so grateful for them because I honestly don't think I could have kept myself alive on my own.

When Brent got back he took over my care, and the care of the house, and food, and everything. I feel awful but I don't have the energy to do anything but sit around and nap. He has been wonderful about it and hasn't complained or gotten annoyed with my illness, thank heavens.

I honestly don't know how I did on my finals. I didn't really study for them. I have gotten to the point where I don't care, and my priorities are a bit different. I have one more to go and it should be fine. I also start teaching next week. I am praying that I will get better before then. Right now, I walk up a flight of stairs and feel like I ran a mile, and sound like it too. I've lost 10 lbs in two weeks because I have no appetite. That's possibly the only positive out of the illness. Yep, definitely.

I got assigned fourth grade for my TELL student teaching, which is wonderful because I just finished my practicum in fourth grade. So I really know what to expect; sass and all. It's a wonderful age, but I'm really worried because I'll be working with the english language learners. This means a lot of planning and a lot of supporting.

Easter was wonderful, we spent it at my parents house. I couldn't eat much, but we had fun hiding the eggs over and over again. That has always been one of my favorite things to do at easter. The other is obviously remembering Christ. The church came out with a wonderful video on Christ that everyone should see: 

Life is moving on whether I am ready or not. Our college years are done. I finish student teaching in August, and I will be done. Brent starts chiropractic school in San Francisco in July. We'll be living there for the next three years. Who knows when a baby will come into play, or if we'll financially make it through the next few years, or what my job will be etc. But one thing is clear. I have a wonderful family that supports and loves us, I have a Christ and Heavenly Father that I can always turn to and who will always help me, and I have a wonderful husband who is the logic behind my crazy. So I guess we'll make it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hard Work and a bit of Pixie Dust

 In December I went to a doctor to find out why I couldn't lose weight. It was a rather drastic measure for me to take, but I was very hopeless after months of healthy eating and activity that lead to more and more pounds piling on. After some investigation, I found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). It's just as much fun as pronouncing its name. I was given a medication to help subtract the symptoms PCOS gives you, one of them being weight gain, yay. A lot of women with PCOS can get type II diabetes, and that's not something I plan on experiencing.

Since then, I have been working hard and exercising my butt off (literally) to try to get myself healthy again. Today, I cried a little in the gym when I got on the scale. Contrary to what everyone around me was thinking, they were tears of joy!! I've lost 12 pounds since December 20th and have gone down a pant size. Ahhh the joy of success after hard work. Right now you can mostly tell in my arms, face, and legs. 10 more to go and it should show in my stomach too.

Here is me in August 2013...I still shudder when I look at my chipmunk cheeks...

Here is today! Literally right after my forgive the exhausted sweaty look. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Peasant Wife

Brent and I got a gift certificate to a fancy italian restaurant in town. The food was amazing, especially the homemade sauces. I got a bit inspired and have been obsessed with making italian food lately.
Sadly...pasta is really hard to make by hand. The mixing part is fine, but rolling it out takes some serious muscle. I would usually be sweaty and panting after it. So we used some money from our wedding (yeah...we still have some) to buy a pasta roller/cutter. It has been so amazing! Nothing beats fresh pasta and fresh sauce.

Brent came home from his church meetings yesterday and laughed at me. He called me his 'peasant wife'. I guess kneeling on the floor barefoot with floor all over you makes a person a peasant.

In other news, I never posted about the trip my family made during Christmas Break! We got to go to Arizona then Bryce Canyon. It was beautiful, and we had so much fun as a family. It was our last trip before Taylor went on his mission. My parent's surprised all of us with a helicopter ride through the canyon...pretty special! So here is a collage.

 (doesn't this one look like a sideways face?)


Monday, February 3, 2014


So Brent did a summer sales job last year. The only good thing (besides some money I guess) that came of that job is we got two tickets for an all day pass at a snow resort. Brent has been snowboarding for awhile, but I've never been. So we went snowboarding!

It was actually really frustrating. I biffed it off the snow lift the first time and was unable to get up for a long time. Mostly because it is impossible to get up. I had my good little cry then Brent came over and picked me up. He helped teach me for three hours until I'd had enough. 

It was really fun, and I was starting to get a hang of it, but I was so tired. It is a really good workout. I have been pretty passionate about learning to speak Spanish, so I went into the car and practiced on our ipad while Brent did his own thing on the slopes. We had a great day!