January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Sunday, September 23, 2012

38 Weeks

Both Trav and I can't believe we're 38 weeks into the pregnancy!
Two weeks from today is our due date and it came FAST.

I know these pictures are nearly identical but I thought I'd post both of them anyway. :)

1. Our little girl is moving like a mad woman. 
She LOVES my right side, specifically my right hip and ribs.
Trav has been able to watch her move each night.
He lays on the bed (I'm laying on my side) and stares as my stomach moves all over the place.

2. Last ultrasound she measured at approx 5 lbs 9 oz
This was done a couple of weeks ago.

3. At my doctors appt last week her heart rate was 141 bpm - exactly where it should be.

4. She gets the hiccups nearly every day
I love feeling her hiccup!
She has to be head down because every time she gets the hiccups I feel them near my left hip.
Unfortunately Travis has only felt her hiccuping once.
Other than that he hasn't felt her hiccup when he puts his hand on my tummy. :(

5. Travis has had two dreams about her this past week. 
It will be interesting to see if she looks like what he saw. :)

6. When Travis puts his hand on my tummy she usually responds by moving where his hand is.
This typically only happens at night when we're going to bed.

7. I am going to miss feeling her move once she arrives.
I love feeling her move - even when it hurts. 
Hurts? Yes!
I think she thinks my ribs are her jungle gym and my hip is her punching bag.

8. My stomach is HARD to the touch.
There's no more room for this little princess to grow.
She is squished in there and you can tell!

9. I have to get out of bed sideways. 
I can no longer just sit up like a normal person.
My stomach doesn't bend like that.
My stomach is so hard it doesn't move when I lay on my side at night.
It just floats.
And it HURTS.
Thank goodness for my beloved body pillow.
I stuff that sucker under my tummy to support it so it's not throbbing.

10. Travis can sit in a more feminine position than I can.
Yup, my stomach now rests between my knees when I sit.
Let's just say I make sure to wear skirts well below my knees! Ha!

Children really are a miracle.
My eyes have been opened to this truth even more the last nine months.

I love my daughter. 
I love my husband - my best friend - the father of this miracle baby.

Travis loves his daughter.
He loves his wife -  his best friend - the mommy of his daughter.
(I know this because he not only says it, he shows it.)

We love that we're going to meet our baby girl in the very near future.
We're so excited for this new stage of our lives.

We can't wait!

Today we went and did a tour of the hospital Labor and Delivery Unit we'll be using.
The unit is small and personal.
In fact, there was only one baby and three nurses in the nursery.
The rooms are enormous.
Plenty of sitting space for visitors.
Even better, we stay in the room we deliver in - meaning NO TRANSFERRING from room to room.
Um, sign us up! 
We're okay with all of the above!

We have an amazing doctor.
He has an incredible reputation within and outside of the medical world.
Clinicians and patients all love, trust and value his opinion & expertise.
He works with mostly high-risk pregnancies and because of this he's very, very thorough.
This has been a huge comfort and blessing to us.

We are almost done with our baby room.
(pictures to come in the near future)
We've washed and organized all our baby clothes, blankets, burp cloths, etc.
We've gone through and emptied nearly all our bins.
I think we're getting there!!!

Now it's a waiting game...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Little Friend, Berkley

and her doggy-brother, Kota. :)

I have had the wonderful opportunity to babysit my little niece, Berkley, for the past month.
I have her three days each week.

There was definitely an adjustment period for the both of us:
I didn't know what I was doing
how to read her
how to best respond to her.

And she didn't know who the heck I was
what I was doing with her
or how she could communicate best with me.

I can honestly say I think we've now figured each other out for the most part.
(Thank goodness her beautiful mommy shares helpful tips!!)
There are still some bumps in the road but overall we're getting pretty good at working together.

It has been fun getting to know this little person.
She is such a joy to have.
I bundle her up and take her on morning walks each day
(she usually takes a good long nap while we're out)

We both take naps at the same time.
(LOVE IT!!!)
And after she's had her meal I usually put her in the swing while I eat.
(which she seems to love)

I've been able to read books to her.
Sing songs to her.
Play with her.
Get to know her.

This has been especially rewarding because my brother
- her daddy -
was just offered and accepted his dream job as a life flight helicopter pilot

We are so, so happy for them!
Beyond thrilled, to be honest.
They are so deserving of this opportunity!!

And with this blessed opportunity comes the realization:
This adorable little family may be moving down to New Mexico in the next few months.
Which means I won't get to spend as much time with this little peanut.

So, I count my blessings.
I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with her recently.
I have been fortunate enough to really get to know her -
not just as my niece but as a sweet individual.
I have been fortunate enough to create a friendship with her.
I have been fortunate enough to be in a position where I could offer help to my brother and sister-in-law.
I have simply been fortunate.

I guess what I'm trying to say is:
overall, I've had the wonderful blessing to just enjoy being an Aunt
to a sweet little girl named Berkley.

Oh, How I Love Autumn

Travis and I went for a walk up the Provo Canyon, near Bridal Veil Falls, last Sunday evening.
It was a perfect evening: cool with a slight breeze.

We walked to a beautiful little pond area.
There weren't a lot of people there - in fact we only ran into bikers and joggers.
It was nice to have a moment to ourselves without the disruption of others chatting, laughing, etc.

I loved every minute of it.
I had fully expected the leaves to be all sorts of color - higher on the mountain they are.
But there was plenty of green on the trail and I'm okay with that.
It just means we get to take advantage of the autumn colors for the next few weeks.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the crisp mornings and the cool evenings the last couple of weeks.
I welcome Autumn.
I have waited three or four months for this.
There's a lot happening this season, this year:

Two of the larger events:
Welcoming our first child into the world
celebrating our 9th anniversary.

Plenty to celebrate.
Including the beautiful colors of the season.
My favorite season.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 11th, 2001

I know I'm a few days behind.
That's intentional.

September 11th, 2001 was a day I can't tap into without feeling overwhelming sorrow.
So many people posted pictures and messages on facebook.
I read every one of them.
But I couldn't get myself to post anything, to like anything or to even leave a comment.
It's so much deeper than that for me.

I remember sitting in my English class that morning, completely oblivious
Then the television was turned on, the news reporter, the videos, the horrendous images.
I sat there in complete shock.
I couldn't move.
My eyes were glued.

I didn't know anyone in NYC.
But my heart broke as if every person on that island was a part of my family.
I couldn't stop feeling...crying for them.
Innocent people.

Disturbing images.

How? How could this happen?
And why?

I remember leaving my English class, going to my choir class.
As I left the English classroom there was a girl who had no clue how devastating this really was.
She was mocking the people of Manhattan.
The news reporters were showing people crying.
This girl actually stood up and mocked those terrified, helpless people.

I remember feeling hatred towards her.
The hatred was deep.
It was a hatred I still feel towards her.
How could she mock?
How could she be so heartless?
I still remember her name.
I will never forget her.

And then there was my choir class.
My choir teacher had recently taught us a stunning arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner".
We went into the hallway, at the most central point of the school.
We held our beautiful flag and sang.
We sang that powerful song over and over and over again.
Even when the bell rang to dismiss us from class we, as a choir, didn't move.
We just kept singing and singing.

"Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

I went home that afternoon and sat in front of my television.
I couldn't do anything else.

I remember sitting at the dinner table after watching hours and hours of footage.
I wasn't hungry.
I was angry.

I sat at the table and cried.
How many people were buried alive?
How many people jumped?
How many children lost a parent?
How many parents lost a spouse?
How many parents lost a child?
Key word: LOST

How could I help them?!?!?!

What did tomorrow offer?
More death?
More destruction?

I felt America was in for an enormous attack.
I felt no one was safe, that we could be next.
Big cities were vulnerable.
Small cities were easy targets.
No matter where you were, you were next.
My family was next.
I was next.
Life as I knew it ended.

Sound dramatic?
Over the top?
Almost crazy?

That day,
that week,
that month,
that entire year
was full of sorrow.
Soul deep sorrow.

I love hearing about the heroes
I love hearing about people forgetting 
where they came from, 
what they've accomplished on paper, 

I love hearing all that was forgotten.
That people were remembered.

I love hearing about the common man and woman who couldn't stand by, 
knowing they were safe but others weren't.
I love hearing how our country was united in one cause.
I love hearing about the goodness of others.

Not only does it inspire me to be a better person,
it inspires something deeper then that.
Something we all need a little more of.
What is that, you ask?

"Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

God Bless America and the many, many good people.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Do you have children?
Do you have grandchildren?
Do you have nieces/nephews?
Do you have friends with children?
Do you hope to have children one day?

It's worth ten minutes of your time.
I promise.
It could save a child's life and keep you from a life-time of suffering with the "what if's".

Not later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 36: Pregnancy 101

Multiple charlie-horses/leg cramps each night: CHECK

Nausea every time I eat or drink anything: CHECK
-No space in my tummy. In fact I think my tummy no longer exists. It's been squished outta me.

Headaches caused by crazy-intense hormones: CHECK

Contracting throughout the night: CHECK
-Typical at this point in the pregnancy. Don't get too excited. Last time my doctor checked I wasn't dilated at all. Not one bit.

Waking up each morning just as tired as I was when I laid down for bed: DOUBLE CHECK

Baby moving like mad: CHECK
-I told my family if my skin were any thinner she'd kick right through it. I'm not joking either. Sometimes my stomach feels like it's going to explode because there's no where left to go! And I still have 4 weeks before hitting the much awaited 40 week mark.

Getting up to pee multiple times during the night: CHECK
-My brother's room is right next to the bathroom and they sleep with their bedroom door open. I have given them fair warning that if they see a floating light in the middle of the night it's me with a flashlight making my way to the bathroom. Chances are I'm not fully clothed either. That's right. I'm in my undies usually with my stomach hanging out. I feel like my clothes are so disgustingly tight I can't sleep with more than a thin top on. And I sleep in men's boxer-briefs I bought a few weeks ago because my "stuff" doesn't fit comfortably anymore. So, my dear brothers, you can choose to open your eyes and be scarred for life or you can chose to close your door. Either way, when I'm making my way to the bathroom at 2:30am I don't give a crap who sees what. My focus is the toilet and that's it.  ...Thankfully they've been closing their door.

Hemorrhoids: ummmm...we won't go there. ;)
-But I hear it's all a part of this fun party we call pregnancy. Yipee!

Am I being too realistic right now? Then stop reading this post. Seriously. Sometimes things are hard and it's important to recognize them as being such.

Sorry. I guess I'm getting good at calling a spade a spade.

In all honesty, we have been blessed with a good, healthy pregnancy thus far and for that we're both incredibly grateful. Thankfully our little girl is healthy and doing super well. And I know when we meet this precious little lady we'll forget all the above stuff and feel it was worth every bit of "hard".

But I'm not going to lie. I want to find those women who feel absolutely beautiful and love being pregnant so I can kick them in the face.

Pregnancy is a miracle. It really is. But damn it's hard.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Who is THAT???!

 That beautiful model is my sister Crystal.
Isn't she gorgeous?

5th Annual "Walk Now For Autism Awareness"

Here are some pics, in no particular order, from today's autism awareness walk.
As always, it was a lot of fun!

 Kacey thought he'd offer Scarlet some shade.
The funny thing is she didn't seem to mind wearing his hat. Ha!

 Love this little bug

 Marin & Berkley

 Kacey & Scarlet

 Braxton was invited to share his "talent" during the opening ceremonies.
What's his talent, you ask?
He can tell you what day any date in the next year or two falls on.
It's pretty crazy!

 "Brother Trav" and Braxton

Best Buds: Tyler, Braxton & Peter 

 The Ladies :)

 Front of our team t-shirts

 Back of our team t-shirts

 Love, love, love

 Rockin' the baby belly :)

 When they turned on some upbeat music to kick off the walk Braxton wanted to dance!
So dance they did!!

Trav & Kacey...tender :)

 I love that Braxton knows he's autistic and is PROUD of it!


 Tyler, Alicia & Braxton


 The man of the day.
What a stud.

 Team Braxton

 I'm sexy and I know it - not!!


 Team Braxton

 Pizza Party after the Walk

 The impromptu Smith Family Pic


I don't know...I think we all are proud of and love our "kid with autism".   :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Last Hoo-rah

I can't express how happy I am summer is coming to a close. 
It has been miserably hot.

This past weekend we had not one but two BBQ's as a last summer hoo-rah.
I say "Good bye summer - you won't be missed."

Other than the freakishly large windstorm that nearly spread our fire into a neighbor's field - 
Fun was had by all.
It was great!!

 He loves having his picture taken.

 This is Ashley not me. ;)

 Cute little family: Kade, Megan & Berkley

 Kolton, Megan, Kody & Nic

 Kody & Nic takin' on the cookin' duties.

 Braxton (Auriel's boyfriend) was our fireman.
He did a great job starting and extinguishing it.

 Cousins :)
..soon there'll be three!!!

 Auriel, Ryan & Chantel (cousins)

 Our blue eyed bug. 

 Berkley Baby.
Isn't she a doll?!

 Megan (Kody's girlfriend) & Kody

 This cute little turd is a busy body. 
She grabs anything she can get her hands on, including momma's bowl of peaches and cream.

She loves him.
He loves her.
It's really cute. :)