Thursday, May 30, 2013

memorial weekend [part 1]

This past weekend was amazing.

It involved camping [and psuedo-camping], family, St. George, more family, and a baby blessing.

Ellie's baby blessing, to be exact.

But let's start at the beginning.

On Thursday, Ellie and I packed up the car [she's a great help, don't let her fool you], picked up Tim from work, and drove out to the Bryce Canyon area to meet my family.  Growing up, this was one of my family's favorite places to go camping, and it holds many fond memories for me.  Initially, we had thought that we would just camp with my family, but after thinking about it more thoroughly, we decided that Ellie and campgrounds might not be a great fit.  Which meant that we actually ended up staying at an inn in Panguitch at night and driving out to the campground during the day.

Tim found some creative ways to keep Ellie warm on Friday morning:

And then we drove into Bryce Canyon National Park to do some sightseeing:

During the car ride, I heard my brother, Jeff, laughing in the back seat and turned around to see Tim in this position:

He was obviously still a little sleepy.

I realized on Friday morning that I'd forgotten to bring Ellie's hat [and her pack...but that was a lost cause], so we made a pit stop at the gift shop and got the smallest hat we could find.  Which was obviously not small enough.  But I'll be danged if she wasn't the cutest little baby I ever did see.

Along the Navajo Loop Trail, people kept stopping to take pictures of Ellie, know...taking a three month old baby hiking probably isn't the most normal thing.  And it's probably even less-normal that Tim and I have been taking her hiking for about a month now.  But it's good to know that Ellie will be in photo albums around the world!

Casey obviously wasn't thrilled to be taking pictures with me [I think he was more interested in the hamburgers...but I can't really blame him]:

My cute parents making our dang good hamburgers:

My mom bought this little Bugs Bunny outfit to keep our little girl warm:

And none of us could stop laughing at the expression on her face.  It was like she already knew what this picture would mean for her in 16 years.

That night, we all sat around the campfire and roasted marshmallows and told stories and loved every second of it.

Aaaand I'll finish up with St.George in a separate post.  Keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

buy a house or move to neverland?

Tim and I are officially grown-ups.

Minus the maturity part, anyway.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that that particular attribute shows up at some point before we die.

But we are buying a house.  And that's pretty grown-up, right?  At least that's what we tell ourselves.

[Though I have a sneaking suspicion that "grown-up" is actually just code for "more-bills-and-more-responsibility."  Which is why we occasionally consider moving to Neverland instead.]

I would show you a picture of the house, but I hesitate for two reasons:
  1. The house isn't ours yet.  We just had the appraisal and the inspection, both of which went well, but they're estimating that we won't close until mid-to-end of June.
  2. Creepers.  Part of me wants to believe that every single one of my readers is both sane and goodhearted, but the other [mother-bear] part of me screams that such a belief is both naive and possibly dangerous.    Maybe someday I will.  We'll see.
But just know that the house is cute.  By starter-home standards anyway.  We have lots of plans for gradual improvements on the inside, so I'm sure I'll be posting before and after pictures as we go.  It's totally move-in ready, but it was built in the 80's, and so there are lots of fun, mostly-inexpensive changes that we can make along the way.  We're excited for that part.  For all of it, really.

Assuming all goes well, we have two changes we want to make immediately before/immediately after we move in.  First, we want to put in a fence - for our kids and for that dog we've been itching to get ever since we got engaged.  And second, we want to put new carpet in two of the bedrooms.  They recently put new carpeting in throughout the house, but they just didn't do two of the bedrooms.  Not sure why.  [They needed it.]  The owner is going to leave carpet samples for us so we can match it easily.

I have a feeling that most of you are probably yawning at this point, so I'll stop now.  But just know that we are so excited and feel so blessed.

Here's to hoping we still feel that way after our first mortgage payment!

[But I guess there's always Neverland to fall back on!]

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

in this moment

Her soft snores whistle quietly in my ear.

I hold her tiny body close to mine for just a second longer - that second in which my mind is fighting with my tired body over whether I should just cradle her in my arms for the remainder of the night.  My body wins, and I set her carefully down in the bassinet at the foot of our bed.

I take comfort in her continuous, delicate snores as I lay down in our bed.  I turn on my side, facing the wall, and will my body to fall asleep.  Unexpectedly, I feel your arm come around my body as you move closer to me.  I relish your warmth against my back.

"I didn't know you were still awake!" I exclaim quietly.

"I haven't been able to fall asleep yet," you answer.

There is a pause.

"I love you," you whisper breathily into the back of my neck.

"That tickles!" I protest.  We both giggle silently in the darkness for a few moments, ever aware of our sleeping princess just a few feet away.

A quiet smile still on my face, I whisper back to you.

"I love you, too."

And in this moment, I know my whole world is right here in this room.  Right here.  In this moment.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

with bated breath

All right, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The wait is over.

I know you've all been anticipating this moment with bated breath for many days now - some patiently and some not-so-patiently.

But it's finally here.

An update from Ellie's doctor.

But first I would like to say what a wonderful job all the other local physicians out there are doing.  Choosing Dr. Barker was one of the most difficult decisions we've ever made.  They're all so talented in their own way and we just needed to make the decision that was right for us - find the doctor that was right for our situation.  But this choice kept us up at night, night after night, because they really are so unique and wonderful, but we know that no matter what, a career has been started for each of them.

Just kidding.

Tim and I have been watching a little too much of The Voice lately.  Anybody else feel like the judges take for-freaking-ever to announce their decisions, always preceded by an obligatory and infinitely long speech directed toward the subsequent losers?

But I digress.

Ellie's appointment went really well...up until the dreaded shots, of course.  The moment the pain registered on her shocked, red face was as heart-wrenching as I'd expected it would be.  She cried for a couple of minutes, but I was actually surprised how quickly she calmed down with our comforting.

outside the doctor's office 

cute, pink camouflaged bandaids

As long as we were cuddling, she was perfectly content the rest of the day.  [Naturally, however, she got really, really fussy later that night when we were with our broker trying to sign paperwork.  That was fun.]

And now, the part you've all really been waiting for.  Her stats.

At birth:
19.75 inches
6 pounds, 9 ounces

As of last week:
22 inches (40th percentile)
9 pounds, 6 ounces (20th percentile)

I hope your curiosity has been assuaged.

[You're welcome.]

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

friend flashbacks

I had a really good group of friends in high school.

Like, really really good.

And then they all moved away to attend BYU.  Where I saw them all like twice a year.  [If I was lucky.]  [But I'm not bitter.]

Now that we live in Utah, however, I get to see them more often.  In theory, anyway.  But I really did get to see some of them last week.  The first time was last Wednesday when Ellie and I drove down to West Jordan to meet up with Ashley and Cait and their cute sons at Cafe Rio.

I already knew I missed them, but I missed them even more after it was all done.  And it's so fun - and crazy - that we all have babies now!  I wonder what we would have thought if we'd caught a glimpse of that moment seven years ago.

And the second time was when we went to Jeremy's wedding reception.  Tim and I picked up my friend, Jeff, beforehand, but unfortunately his wife was working that night so I couldn't meet her!  Then we all headed over to Jeremy's reception, where we saw Jeremy, his new wife, and his whole family.  I love them all!  And Jeremy and Alhy look so happy together.

I tried to take a picture of them cutting their cake, but it didn't work out so well.  See for yourself:

I'm an amateur, remember?  Don't judge me.

And, of course, I have to post a picture of my little posing princess:

After the reception, we took Jeff home so he could study [Mr. Smartypants Accountant], and drove over to see Cait again - this time with her husband, TJ!

It was so fun.  All of it.

And now I want to see them all again.

I guess it's a good thing we live in Utah.

[But don't quote me on that.]

Saturday, May 4, 2013

that time Panda Express reprimanded us for bad parenting

Well, ok.  It's not exactly like it sounds.

"Let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up."

About a month ago, Tim and I decided to go on our very first date since the birth of our precious baby girl.  Tim was a nervous wreck.  I was totally comfortable.  After all, Tim's brother and his wife would be watching her.  And they are only the sweetest, most responsible people in the universe.  And we would only be gone for a couple of hours.  And Ellie probably wouldn't even notice we were gone.  Piece of cake.

Or so I thought.

When we arrived at their house, Ellie started crying almost instantly.  And then she had a massive blowout.  And then she started crying harder.  And then I tried to comfort her and couldn't.  And it was then that I realized...this was going to be a lot harder than I'd thought.  Despite totally trusting Jeremy and Ali, my heart felt heavy with guilt at the thought of leaving our baby girl.  Eventually, they convinced us to go.  They'd dealt with crying babies before.  They would text us with updates and send us pictures, and she would be absolutely fine.

I told them approximately 97 times to call if she became inconsolable, already planning to replace Tim as the designated driver and drive at the speed of light to her side if necessary.  Even after they texted us and told us that she'd stopped crying two minutes after we'd left their house, I reminded them again that they could call us at any time.

As Tim became more and more comfortable, I became more and more anxious.  Finally we arrived at Panda Express. We'd decided to eat somewhere where we could leave quickly if we needed to.  I took several minutes in the [very long] line to consciously calm myself down.  I even made Tim take pictures with me to document this momentous occasion.

Ali texted me a picture of a calm and happy Ellie.

Everything was looking up.  I could feel the knots in my stomach start to loosen.  But as Tim opened his fortune, the universe decided to deal me a solid punch to the gut.

"Time once lost can never be regained."

Welcome aboard the ever-popular Guilt Trip, hosted by Panda Express.  Amenities include self-pity and self-loathing.  A guaranteed bad time.

It took the remainder of the meal for Tim to convince me that it was not necessary for us to immediately return to our daughter in a vain attempt to regain lost time.

We headed over to the Logan mall to find a birthday present for me, but instead we ended up finding two dress shirts for Tim.  [$15 each at JCPenney.  Holla!]  My decision-making skills had apparently been depleted for the night, and thus, I decided to do some online shopping at home.  But not before making Tim take more pictures with me.

Naturally, I made him take like 10 pictures of me with the very definite goal of hiding my post-baby gut, and then ended up using the first picture he took anyway.  Go figure.

We returned to Jeremy and Ali's to find a sleepy and obviously very relaxed baby.  I finally calmed down and realized that perhaps we weren't such terrible parents after all.

Thank you for choosing the Guilt Trip, where all your worst nightmares come true.  Hope you had a terrible time!