Wednesday, November 23, 2011

getting ready

Well we are just three weeks away from the due date and I feel like we get more and more ready every day. We finally got the vinyl dots on the wall in the baby's room, and in a satisfactory arrangement (which was more difficult than you can imagine, I am hard to please). I love the way the room has turned out and can't wait until there's a little baby to sleep in there.
We also got the blinds hung (thanks to my mom for helping me find the right brackets) and the curtains up (also courtesy of my mom, she made those for us) which help it feel way more cozy.

I also had all of my baby showers within the last week. They were all so much fun and I am so grateful to those who threw them for me and to everyone who came and was so generous! Last week some very sweet girls from my ward threw my first shower. They had a quiz about me for everyone to try to answer. It was pretty tricky, even I missed one! My sister missed one or two as well, and my mom missed three! See, tricky. The food was yummy and the company was great. So many people have such neat talents. It kind of made me ashamed. I got the most adorable homemade bibs, a hand stitched onesie, and a homemade changing pad, just to name a few. They were seriously impressive.
Then last night my mom threw two showers in one for me. First just a few friends from high school came over and we played a little baby shower game and decorated cloth diapers/burp cloths together. A couple of people couldn't make it so there were just a few of us, but it was so nice to have some time with just us as a smaller group. If we had just done the bigger shower I feel like I hardly would have been able to talk to them or spend any time with them. The game was hilarious and the burp cloths will be fun to have. Then my friends stayed and more people came and we had some delicious Cafe Rio/Costa Vida pork salads. My mom had ten bags with white powdery substances in them and we had to try to guess what each one was. And we played a game of matching different types of candy to things about a baby or a mother's life. It was a blast. Crystal also had everyone write down what they thought we should name our baby (since we have yet to decide). It was pretty entertaining. It was a blast. Again so grateful to my mom for all of her planning and to everyone who came and their generosity. We are very blessed to have such kind people in our lives.

Decorating burp cloths:

The crazy girls who helped me out by handing me the presents so I didn't have to bend over so much. :)
So the countdown is on. We are so excited. A little nervous, a little scared of the unknown, but mostly excited. And feeling loads better now that we are feeling a bit more prepared.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a long time coming

Almost a year and a half ago I bought this wood craft to do. It was just wood letters spelling "home" to use to decorate. Not hard right? Oh...and there were 13 different o's, one for each month and then a cupcake for when it is someone's birthday. Yeah. I don't know what I was thinking. It is a miracle that it finally got done. I finished the h, m, and e probably about a year ago. But it was a lot of work to get all the monthly pieces done. I owe a HUGE shout-out to my mom for helping (also to Brennan for being a good sport about sanding for me). She came up with all the cute little embellishments. It would have been so plain without her. Anyway, I am so excited to be done with it that I just had to do a blog post.

The finished product with this month's o. (Turkey face courtesy of Brennan. He says the eyes are huge because he's scared he's going to get eaten.:))
The rest of the o's...minus December and February...they are awaiting some finishing touches.

Stacy, I am a whole lot slower than you but I hope you're proud. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

me, a mom?

As D-day approaches I find myself thinking more and more about the fact that I am going to be a mom. A real life mom. I think for the majority of the pregnancy, I have just pictured being a mom to a little, cute as a button, baby. Maybe even envisioned the act all the way up to the baby's first birthday. But lately, as reality sets in and I realize that this is happening, and it's happening soon, I have started to think about how this baby is going to turn into a seven year old, and then an awkward pre-teen/early teen, and then a dramatic teenager and on and on. If I'm going to be honest I will have to admit that sometimes I panic a little. Or a lot. It is much harder to imagine myself capable of being a mom to older children than to little babies. This is not to say I'm not excited or that I am having regrets. Not at all! Sometimes it's just a little bit of an intimidating task.

I was really thinking about this one day on my long drive home from work. I was thinking about my mom (and my dad for that matter) and how they are just as much parents today as they were 36 years ago when they were just starting their family. I mean, I expect them to know everything. I always have and it looks as though I always will. It was just a few weeks ago that I called my mom, expecting her to be able to explain my medical insurance and billing to me. I mean she works at a doctor's office, plus she has had 5 kids, so certainly she must know. Haha. Even just today, I called both my mom and my dad because Brennan called to tell me he saw a mouse in our kitchen. Surely they must be able to tell me how the mouse got in and if he came alone and what I need to do about it. Why? Well...because they are mom and dad. See folks, this is what I'm talking about (because I am positive you have not been able to make sense of my random ramblings) I don't know anything. Really, I don't. And this little baby is going to grow up to be a child, a teenager, and an adult who will ask me questions!! How on earth am I supposed to handle that? I'll probably just end up telling her to call her Grandma or Papa. :) Or better yet, I will get the answers from them and then tell her so I look smart. Really I just rely on my parents a lot. And I am lucky enough to be able to do that. But now it's my turn to be the parent and this little one is going to rely on me. A lot. For everything, in fact. EEEk.

In all seriousness I am beyond excited to be a mom. It is what I have wanted my entire life. Am I intimated by the task that lies ahead? Most definitely. But for now I think I'll just keep picturing my life with a beautiful little baby in it. Hopefully she won't ask questions that are too tricky before I am ready. :)

On a related note, a high school friend of mine convinced me that I would want pictures of my big fat pregnant belly and that I would think it was fun to see how it grew. So we have been taking pictures fairly regularly, despite my feeling silly and complaining each and every time. So here's my belly progress for your enjoyment. Go ahead and laugh at me.

22 weeks
24 weeks
31 weeks

33 weeks
And now I'm at 35. For the record, my friend was right. It is kind of fun to see. And when your body is changing so gradually it sort of begins to feel like you were always huge. So it's nice to look back and see that was actually smaller anyway.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Duke

My parents took a trip out to Utah and Arizona for pretty much the entire month of October. That meant we got to have Duke live with us for 3 or 4 weeks. It was certainly an adventure. I tell you, he had no appreciation for the first class treatment we gave him here. He gets all weird and mopey when he first comes here and does this weird shaking/shivering thing all the time. It's kind of weird and Brennan was convinced that he really was cold and it was giving him the shivers. So what did we do? Started covering him up with a towel all the time.
Looks like quite a hard life doesn't it? And you might notice that that is one of our huge couch pillows underneath him. He just casually claimed one of those as his own during the first couple of days. Rather than fight that battle we just laid his bed towel over it and let him have it. But that's not all. No sir. We let him sleep in our room on said pillow and then we would move it out to the living room when we got home in the evening because he is lazy and sleeps a lot but likes to be wherever we are. And Brennan would literally get up in the night to re-cover him with the towel because he would accidentally shake it off when he changed positions. See what I mean, he was spoiled rotten!

One day we even took him for a ride in our car out to the Coralville Dam. We even rolled the window down for him, that's like dog heaven isn't it??
It was beautiful out by the dam, but we were regretting not making it out there a few weeks earlier when the leaves would have been even more full of color and beauty.
Anyway, despite the annoyance of the hacking in the middle of the night and having to clean up after him on our walks, it was fun to have Duke with us. But it was sort of disappointing to see his behavior when my parents came to pick him up last week. I really wouldn't have thought it mattered to him to come and stay with us after he gets used to his surroundings. But he absolutely lost it when they got to our house. He went berserk! I pretty much felt like chopped liver! And I kept thinking, "are you serious? I walked you and brushed you every day! Not to mention how we treated you like royalty, and this is the thanks we get! Sheesh!" I guess it's good practice for kids right? I better get used to feeling under appreciated. ;)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Brennan and I are about as lame as they come when it comes to Halloween. This was our third Halloween together and we have never dressed up. Brennan is just busy and I have no creativity in my veins. Lucky for us we associate with people cooler than ourselves so we didn't completely miss out on Halloween fun.

The Fonuas were nice enough to invite us over to carve pumpkins a couple of weeks ago. Catherine had told me that they use stencils to which I guffawed and told her that was cheating! But once we saw the sweet stencils they had, we just had to use one. Considering it was our first time doing something besides the classic jack-o-lantern, we definitely chose a stencil that was way too complex. The poor Fonuas were stuck with us way longer than they could have feared because it took us so long to finish our pumpkin.

The boys getting started on the lids:
Young helping Brennan because he was so slow. :)
When Brennan and I went to the store to pick out our pumpkin it was a flat rate price, so of course we thought we should get the biggest pumpkin we could. Yeah...we probably weren't thinking very clearly. It never crossed our minds that the bigger the pumpkin, the more guts to clean out.
She may look it, but I'm pretty sure she isn't evil:
Catherine took her job of cleaning out their pumpkin very seriously. We started to worry she was going to put a hole right through the pumpkin. There is no chance that we got our giant pumpkin even close to as perfectly cleaned out as she got theirs. It was really quite impressive.
Working on the stencils:
Working hard:
The finished products:
We put the guys in charge of baking the pumpkin seeds for us to eat. I'm pretty sure they would have been pretty delicious. Yes, would have been. But unfortunately, they sort of overcooked them...a bit. Oh well, maybe next year.
Despite the overcooked seeds and our lack of carving abilities, it was a super fun night. Thanks Fonuas!

We also had a ward Halloween party where cool people like Larkin and Cody came up with sweet costumes.

See, they are way cooler than us. Maybe one day we will be able to be as cool as them and come up with sweet costumes.

Brennan was cool enough to participate in the donut eating contest though. He made me proud. :)
We had a great Halloween. Hope you did too! I can't believe it's November. Where did October go?! Only six weeks left until our little of bundle of joy comes to join us. Eeek!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

older and wiser

I had a birthday. Boy, am I getting old. I really did used to think that 24 sounded so old and mature. I am a disgrace to the 24th year because I certainly don't act mature enough to be this old. I think I am just now getting to the point where birthdays just aren't that big of a deal to me. Maybe I am a little old to have just reached that point, but nonetheless it is sort of a sad and depressing point to get to. I miss being so excited for my birthday I could hardly stand it. But even without as much excitement it is still nice to have a day of your own.

My birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, which is just sort of a lame day for a birthday if you ask me. At least when you have a husband in school it is. Needless to say the celebration wasn't huge, but it was still very nice and much needed. Brennan didn't do any homework or studying and we didn't have to feel guilty about it! That was probably the best present I got. Spending that much time with him seems to be a rarity these days. He made me a sweet video so we watched that together and then I opened the gifts he gave me and we headed out to eat. After dinner we stopped at a couple of stores and browsed together and then we headed home for some ice cream cake, games, a walk, and clay creations. It might not have been extravagant or expensive, but it was sure relaxing and fun.

Me and the Mr.:
Duke decided to pose with me, my big pregnant belly, and my stash of gifts:
The clay Brennan got really stained your hands, especially the green:
Brennan's "Barney in Reverse":
Sometimes Brennan is just like a little kid, and sometimes it's kind of funny:
Brennan got right to work with the clay. He made the reverse Barney, a pig, some sort of tree, and I think the list goes on. It was creation after creation. And he kept getting annoyed that I hadn't made anything, but was just messing around with my clay instead. At one point he said, "who is going to sit down and play with our kids and teach them how to do this?!" I just stared at him. Clearly he will. I have no creative juices in my veins. But to appease the poor guy, I finally came up with a beautiful robot. (because he needed something that could fight his dinosaur. duh.)

Here's the big fight about to unfold:
Haha, don't worry, we weren't complete dorks for too long. We eventually played a real game and had some yummy cake. (And we didn't actually have the clay figures fight. He just wanted a pictures of all of them.)
Thanks to everyone who made my birthday great. From the phone calls to the gift left on the porch to the facebook posts, I appreciated it all. It was a good day. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

wrong way...again

A couple of weeks ago Brennan and I were able to go to Nauvoo to attend the temple. It was our ward's temple day so we were able to carpool with our friends, the Shahas. Little did we know how much embarrassment we were about to experience. Especially me.

We ended up leaving our house a few minutes later than we wanted to, but figured we would still be okay. However, on our way to pick up the Shahas we came to the realization that neither one of us had a clear recollection of where to turn to get to their house. Keep in mind we have been there multiple times. And at least a couple of those times were without looking up any sort of directions. How on earth we both happened to have amnesia at the same time is beyond me. So...we had to call them and ask them. Luckily, we were only about 5 blocks from their house when we called, but it was still adequately embarrassing.

Here's the real zinger though. I was trying to be a good and supportive wife so I volunteered to drive so that Brennan would have some time to work on his homework. Big mistake. We had barely begun on our journey (feeling confident that we had managed to leave early enough to make the session in plenty of time) when I decided to start reminiscing. About none other than taking the freeway in the wrong direction on our way to Nauvoo. *See said story at end of post.* We were on I-80 at this point and just needed to get on I-380 going south. Literally right while I am telling them about my prior mistake I mindlessly get on I-380 going north. In my defense, 2 days a week I work in Coralville for the morning and then I have to drive to Marion, taking 80 to 380 north, so it was a path I am used to driving without thinking. But still...I was horrified! I could not have been more embarrassed. And I was so afraid it would make us late to the session. I figured the Shahas would seriously regret agreeing to carpool with us! In fact, they probably do. BUT! I did manage to get them to the temple on time so I wasn't a complete failure. We did have to drive all the way back to North Liberty, where Brennan and I had just come from, in order to turn around and go the right direction on the freeway, but it was a beautiful day and I just wanted them to enjoy scenic Iowa. ;)

All-in-all I thought it was a great trip to the temple. It felt like Brennan and I hadn't been there for awhile and it was quite refreshing. The company was great too, so thanks for putting up with us Shahas.

On our way home, we even stopped to see the Nauvoo High School viking. Brennan almost knocked the giant thing over (again, embarrassing, but hey, we keep things interesting, right?:)), but luckily we managed to leave with the viking still standing.

This is what the guys came up with, when Wendy told them to be fierce:
And the girls:
Yeah, we got nothin'. Dave kept waiting to even take a picture because he wasn't seeing any fierceness. I think he finally gave up and decided he wasn't going to get anything more impressive out of us.

*Previous embarrassing story goes like this: It was the day before Brennan and I were getting married. We were headed down to Carthage with my friends, Kassy and Whitney, so we could get our marriage license and then meet everyone else in Nauvoo. I was going through the temple that day, so we were on a schedule. Brennan was driving but when we got to the freeway I told him to get on eastbound thinking, "Well I know Illinois is not WEST of Iowa, so obviously we go east." Oh dear. I mean, that was an accurate thought. But Nauvoo is really just south of us. Barely east. And to get there you need to get on the westbound freeway. Once again I have a defense for myself, I had never driven to Nauvoo before. I was always just a passenger and you just don't pay very close attention when you aren't the one driving. Needless to say after heading east for quite a long while I began to realize that nothing was looking familiar so of course I called my dad. He was shocked ("you got on 80 going WHAT???") But by calling him regularly and taking weird, random turns here and there he was able to get us to Carthage on time. Again, I was mortified. Not to mention the fact that I was panicking that I had just ruined my own wedding! If we didn't get our marriage license that day, there would be no wedding. It was not a wonderful feeling.

Moral of the story: Always make sure you are getting on the freeway in the right direction. But when you don't, if your destination is the temple, I'm pretty sure the Lord will help you get there on time. ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

farewell to summer

I was recently looking through some of our old blog posts and I realized that there are a lot of things that get recorded on here, but nowhere else. It made me recommit to blogging regularly, but we shall see how long that actually lasts. It also made me want to fill in the events of our life, even if those events aren't always very exciting.

The weekend before Brennan's classes started we decided to have one last hoorah to send the summer out in style. And oh what a hoorah it was. Ha. We went camping in Jones counting with my parents and Crystal and Rich and the kids. It was right before the kids started school as well so it really was our farewell to summer. We really didn't do much, but it was still enjoyable. Brennan, Rich, and Caden did quite a bit of fishing but unfortunately didn't catch a thing. We played so Kubb and frisbee. My mom made her usual delicious foil dinners, Brennan made some dutch oven peach cobbler, and we had some banana boats. So we certainly ate enough! Once it was dark we had a grand old time trying to scare each other. I realized one of the benefits to being pregnant. When you're camping and your dad has two sleeping mats and your mom is opting to sleep in the car, you are next in line to get the extra mat. Score! It actually really helped I think. I don't remember being uncomfortable anyway.

I guess it rained sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Once I thought I saw lightening but when I didn't hear any thunder or rain I figured I was imagining it and went back to sleep. But our tent (dad, Brennan, Caden, and I) got up to find everyone from the other tent (minus Rich) trying to sleep in the van! Apparently there was quite a storm so they all took cover in the vehicle and left the rest of us to fend for ourselves. (But really, how bad could the storm have been?? NONE of us even noticed it was raining! Chickens.)

The best event of the trip involves Macy and her bike. Just earlier that week she had mastered her two wheeler so they brought her bike and one adult bike. She was anxious to show off her new found talent to the rest of us. Our campsite was on the inside of a horseshoe-shaped road which was slightly sloped. Macy and Crystal were riding around on the road and when they were coming back toward our campsite (on the decline) we heard Crystal saying "brake, brake". I really didn't think anything of it, but then I look up to see Macy flying toward us in the grass, her feet OFF the petals and a look of terror on her face. My dad was sitting in a camping chair and Macy was literally headed straight for him and really rather quickly. Crystal's call to "brake" got louder and at the last possible second Brennan, the only one standing, ran over and grabbed Macy's handlebars right before she ran into dad. She was scared to death. Right after he stopped her she just breathlessly whispered, "thanks". After the shock wore off we all got a real good laugh out of it. The look on her face was priceless. Apparently she was only used to riding on flat surfaces so she was accustomed to just slowing down and stopping when she veered into the grass. When that didn't happen she wasn't sure how to get her feet back on the pedals or what on earth to do. Poor girl.

Now that I have written a novel, here are some pictures. Too bad I didn't get a picture of the bike incident. :)
Macy was Papa's little helper in setting up the tent.
Just chillin'. Enjoying the great outdoors.
We decided to play charades in the dark. We used a little lantern and the Eskelsens had some crazy glasses with lights on them. They were quite handy to the one wearing them, but rather blinding to anyone else. Good times.

Considering that was the only camping trip we managed to fit in this year, it was kind of pathetic. Pretty short and not much to it. But I'm still glad we got to head out at least once and I still had a lot of fun.