Thursday, December 27, 2012

a vacation to remember

I feel like my life has been turned somewhat upside down since we last talked.

We're just moving to a different state before our baby is born.  No big deal.

We have known ever since Tim got his new job that they would be moving us to Utah at some point in the distant future.  Summer of 2013 was the original estimate.  Then slowly but surely the estimate changed to April or May of 2013.  Then it became as soon as we could manage it after the baby.

And then suddenly it was...January.

We drove out to California on December 17th, because Tim needed to work out of the California store, and because it gave me the perfect opportunity to visit with my grandma and my aunt for a few days.  They only live about an hour from the store, you see, so Tim was just able to commute over there for a few days while I baked cookies and took naps with my grandma.

It was the perfect arrangement.

But the first morning after we got there, I got a phone call from Tim telling me that the board had changed their minds and that they wanted us up there ASAP.  In my own mind, this still meant after the baby, but in their minds it meant right now.  I spent the next two days in complete denial, not really thinking that this was actually going to happen so soon.  It wasn't until Tim described his various conversations with his boss over the past few days that it finally began to sink in.

We really were moving.  By January.

And since the absolute cutoff date for anything travel-related for me is something like January 20th, we knew we needed to make it earlier in January as opposed to later.

The emotional make-up of the past few days has been an odd combination of overwhelmed, distressed, excited, grateful, confused, and anxious.  And frankly, a million other emotions, too.  Sometimes I don't know minute-to-minute which emotion I'm going to feel next.

The prevailing emotion this morning, however, is one of gratitude.  I don't know how everything is going to work out, but I do know that we are so blessed to have Tim's job in the midst of this uncertain economy.  I know that there are amazing family and friends out there who are eager and willing to help.  And even more importantly, I know that Heavenly Father never leaves us alone.  And neither does His Son.  As long as I can remember that, everything will work out, just as it always has and just as it always will.

The next couple of weeks are going to be a whirlwind of commotion.  Packing, camping, more packing, flying up to Utah to find a place to live, even more packing, and then finally, moving.  The tentative date right now is January 9th.  Depending on how things go, I may or may not be a little MIA on this little blog of mine.

But before I go missing, let me just take a second give you a brief summary of the rest of our Christmas holiday.

Like I said, my grandma and I spent a few days just taking naps and baking cookies.  It was fairly heavenly, actually.  Those chocolate cookies in the picture with the marshmallows on top?  They're about to be covered with delicious chocolate frosting.  And that recipe for the chocolate chip cookies was the best I've ever had.  I guess my great-grandma knew what she was doing.

On Thursday the 20th, the rest of my family drove out to California to spend a couple of days at my grandma's before Christmas.  With eight people and two dogs running around, things always get a little hectic, but it is seriously so fun.  We went for walks, made soda runs to 7-11, ate doughnuts, ate cookies, ate out, watched Christmas movies, and just enjoyed each other's company.  They even let Tim and me open our presents before we left, and let me tell you, Tim and I were not the only ones to get spoiled this year.  Baby girl got her fair share of the loot!

On Sunday before we all left, I made my family take a picture with me just like I did last year.  Someday they'll be grateful for this tradition I'm creating.

Then Tim and I drove out to Yuma to spend Christmas with his family.  It was my first Christmas with the Devey family and it was so fun!  They are so good to me.  And they're just one of those families that you can't help but feel comfortable around, if you know what I mean.  And we got to spend some time with friends that Tim grew up with, which was awesome.  Made even more awesome by eating incredible street tacos.

On Christmas morning, I woke up to our baby moving around.  These days, that isn't an uncommon experience for me, but on that day it felt particularly significant - like it was a reminder about the true meaning of Christmas.  It was a beautiful way to start the morning.

The rest of the day was filled with presents, food, more food, nap-taking, even more food, and the movie The Hobbit.  I'd never been to a movie on Christmas before, but we loved it!

It was a vacation to remember, to be sure.  Partially for fun reasons, and partially for stressful reasons.  But now we are excited to start the next chapter of our Utah!

Pray that we don't go crazy in the process :)

Monday, December 17, 2012


Truth: My heart is still broken about what happened in Connecticut.  The fact that I'm about to be a mom brought it even more close to home somehow.

I have seen dozens, maybe even hundreds, of beautiful and heart-wrenching facebook and blog posts about this tragedy, and truthfully, I feel like I have nothing more to add.  Everything that I have thought or felt or wanted to say has already been said somehow, and probably in an even more poignant way.

But if you are looking for any measure of comfort, watch this video.  Nothing can completely fix the ache, but watching this grieving dad keep his faith in spite of the loss of his sweet daughter brought some peace to my heart.

And this video about forgiveness is beautiful as well:

I don't understand all of this, and I certainly don't claim to, but I do know that Heavenly Father truly is in control.  And not just in control, but He is just and good and merciful, and He understands far more than we could possibly understand right now with our mortal comprehension.  Things will be made right through our Savior Jesus Christ, whether we can see it right now or not.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

John 14:27

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

breaking-in adventures

I realized today as I was on my walk that I never told you about one of my favorite adventures whilst I was in Prescott over Thanksgiving.

But first, for this story to make sense, I need to give you a little background.

When I was in high school, I forgot my house key at home...a lot.  Which meant that once I got done with the one mile walk from the high school to my house, I didn't have a way to get in my own home.  But since I didn't want to wait however many hours it would take for someone to get home to let me in, I devised my own strategy.  Rather than just learning from my own mistakes and remembering my key every day, I opted for the the breaking-in approach.

Let me clarify that this approach only works if my dog knows and likes you, lest any of you get any grand ideas for breaking into my parents' house.  And really, he doesn't like very many people.  Let's be honest.

Let me paint the picture for you: I would get home from school, pile up however many rocks it would take for me to jump our fence and hop over [without any attempt at being graceful], greet my dog, walk up the deck stairs, and...climb through the doggie door.

Yep.  I did that nearly every day for four years.  Classy.

Ok.  Back to the present.

While Tim was at urgent care, I went with my brother and my dad on a walk around the neighborhood, knowing full well that at this point in my pregnancy, I wouldn't be able to go with them the whole way.  Something about the combination of the extra weight, all the hills, and walking on pavement makes for very painful soreness in my joints the following day.

Ergo, I just figured I would head home a little early from the walk.  I know that neighborhood like the back of my hand, so I wasn't worried in the least.  The potential problems of this particular situation didn't occur to me until I was about halfway home.  I didn't have a key.  And since the dog came home early with me [he wasn't feeling too well that day], I couldn't figure out how I would lift him over the fence, let alone get myself over that fence with about 13 extra pounds attached to my midsection.  Just waiting in the front yard didn't seem like an appealing idea, since I knew the dog would be most unhappy strapped to his leash for the next 30 minutes.

One of my problems was immediately solved upon arriving at the house.  A contractor from my parents' church congregation was there working on the fence in our backyard [because, you know, when a drunk driver goes too fast on the icy roads and drives through the fence and onto the underground trampoline in the backyard, it tends to cause some problems], and consequently had a full section of the fence open.  That solved my first problem: getting into the backyard.

I climbed the deck stairs, allowed Casey to go through the doggie door, and considered my options.  I could sit outside on the deck and just enjoy the nice weather [possibly the more logical conclusion], or I could once again attempt to climb through the doggie door.  Which would have been a logical conclusion were it not for the fact that I had quite a few extra pounds in my midsection this time.

I decided to go for it.

I crouched down, stuck my head and shoulders through, and immediately assumed I was free and clear.  After all, it had been so easy up to this point.  Except for the fact that now things had slowed down a little and my midsection was now somewhat stuck, which meant that half of my body was inside the house, and half of my body was outside the house.  I started to panic, wondering if I was going to be in this uncomfortable and embarrassing position when my dad and brother got home.  Thankfully, however, with a little finessing, I was able to slowly inch my way past my midsection and make my way fully into the house.

Once inside, I just laid on the floor and took a few deep breaths.  Then I started giggling and couldn't stop, picturing my body in its halfway-in, halfway-out predicament.

The incredible thing about the whole situation was that nobody found my predicament quite as humorous as I had.  Maybe it was one of those you-had-to-be-there situations, but really.  A pregnant woman stuck in a doggie door?  Doesn't that warrant more than a few courtesy chuckles?

Maybe they were just too used to my antics to assume that my choices might have been more logical.

Monday, December 10, 2012

christmas lights

On Friday night, Tim and I set off on an adventure to look at some Christmas lights in our area.

First, however, we decided that peppermint hot chocolate was imperative.

We went to Dutch Brothers because I had a gift card there, and we loved it!

I might get blacklisted for saying this, but I don't actually like Starbucks hot chocolate that much.  I know. I know.  I love their cream frappucinos, but their hot chocolate?  A little lacking in my [chocolate connoisseur extraordinaire] opinion.  But we both loved Dutch Brothers and will probably go back soon.

Next stop was Natal Circle.  The entire street gets involved and goes all out with their Christmas lights.

It is seriously beautiful and worth the visit.

This was my favorite house last year, and it was was my favorite house this year.  Candyyy.  [Although apparently I took wayyy better pictures last year.  Meh.]

We were about to head over to the Mesa Temple Christmas lights when we got a call from Tim's sister Brigette asking if we wanted to meet her family there.

Hello, Fate.

We love hanging out with them!  Their kids are so cute and so full of personality, and they keep every moment entertaining.

For some reason Jack was being a little camera shy that night, but I still snuck some pictures in. :)

Jack decided to hide from me in the above picture, but I found him in this one:

Sneaky, sneaky.

If you can't tell, the bottom two buttons of my coat longer buttoned.  That's what happens when maternity clothes are the only clothes that really fit these days.

Love this place.

And love these two.  Isn't this picture precious?

After we all left the temple, Tim and I decided to drive around a couple of neighborhoods by our house to look at their lights.  I love seeing how creative everyone gets.  It's so fun.

And then we met a sweet old man in our condo complex and quickly became friends with him.  One of the best parts of an already incredible night.

I love Christmas, and I love Christmas lights, and I love hot chocolate, and I love family, and I love new friends, and I love my husband.

The end.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

ultrasound pics

I have two pieces of good news.  First, I passed the glucose test.  And second, we got to see our baby again.

Of course, there was some scheduling confusion involved with the glucose test.  No biggie - they just told us to come in when the tech was going to lunch and it didn't actually happen until two days later.  But the results were fine and I didn't throw up, and that's really all that matters, right?  ...Right?

Jk, it really wasn't a big deal.  Mostly we were just really confused.

Anyway, onto the important part: seeing our baby girl.  Except that she kept hiding her face in my back and then covering it with her hands...and even her feet.  Which makes me wonder if she's training to be a ballerina.  [Definitely doesn't come from my side of the family.]

We did get to see part of her face just as she was taking a big yawn:

Tim said, "Oh look, Katie, she has your mouth!"

And I said, "What? Big?" and we both laughed, because in my family, my larger-than-ordinary mouth is a running joke.  Our ultrasound technician, however, did not find our comments amusing.

I absolutely love our baby girl's ultrasound pictures, but does anyone else think that the 3-D ultrasound pictures make all babies look a little alien-like?  Like I said, I still love them, and of course my heart melts every time I look at them.  But really.

Here's one from last time (at the end of September) where you can see her just a little bit better:

Our baby girl is currently in the 51st percentile for height and weight - almost exactly average.  And I am 100% ok with that.  For obvious reasons.

[Though Tim and I always joke that it would be our luck to have all of our daughters get my family's tall genes and all of our sons get Tim's family's short genes.  Our sons might never speak to us again.]

I was happy that Tim got to see her moving around on the monitor so much, because he can only feel her moving like 10% of the time.  And let me tell you kids - she moves all the time.  Part of me feels absolutely impatient for her to be here every time she moves and part of me just enjoys bonding with her this way.  She'll come when she's ready regardless of my feelings anyway.

Oh and because I hadn't taken a picture yet during this post about the beginning of the third trimester, here you go:

The doctor pushed around on my stomach for a few minutes and then declared that she pretty much only has room to grow out now...which means I might have quite the beach ball by the time this pregnancy is finished.

But I'm ok with that. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

an incredible weekend

Tim and I had a great weekend.

For one thing, Tim had an event at work that we had been praying would go well for a couple of weeks.  And the turnout was amazing!  What an incredible answer to prayer.

And for another, I got to go shopping with Tim's sisters in Casa Grande on Saturday.  It was my first time ever buying anything for our baby girl and, I'm a bit addicted.  Seriously.  They should have an anonymous group for this kind of thing.  I am sincerely attempting to show some restraint, but I am now tempted to buy every single cute baby thing I find.  Which is a lot.

And now I'm already agonizing about accessories.  Talking about baby fashion with Tim is in no way satisfactory, which is why it was heavenly to spend an entire day with his sisters.

And going to Olive Garden didn't hurt, either.

On Friday night and Sunday night both, Tim and I spent some time decorating our condo.  I love decorating for the holidays, and Tim loves...making me happy.  Just kidding.  He likes it too.  [Just maybe not to the same degree.]

Late last night, I even convinced him to help me put up outside lights.  [Read: Put up the lights himself without very much helpful assistance from me.]  Sorry these pictures are blurry.  No one should ever hire me to take pictures of Christmas lights.  Like, ever.

There may have also been Christmas music and caramel apple cider involved.  Oh and an incredible BBQ:

We make a great team, that man and I.

Friday, November 30, 2012

the third trimester

28 weeks.

6 months.

The Third Trimester.

2/3 of the way done.

1/3 left.

The time has arrived.

For endless baby shopping sprees, that is.  Shh.  Don't tell my husband.  [Just kidding.  I think he's just as apt to spend money on her as I am.  She's already got him wrapped around her itty bitty finger.  Not to mention the fact that he's probably reading the post as we speak.] [Heyyy boy heyyy.]

Last night, we did a tour of one of the hospitals we're thinking about delivering in.  It was crazy, you guys.  It made everything feel so real.  I had heard from a lot of moms that you have labor and delivery in one room, and then they move you to a completely different room for recovery.  But at this particular hospital, it's all in one room.  One very nice room.  And there's even a little couch in there for Tim to sleep on.  Assuming, that is, that I let him get any sleep at all.  I guess we'll see.  They even have wi-fi that you can access on their tvs, which means that we will get to watch Psych on Netflix.  And I find that thought very comforting.  Strange but true.

As controversial as this all is amongst moms, I am pretty much already planning on an epidural, unless by some freak chance I'm one of those supermoms that barely feels any pain from the contractions whatsoever.  I would just rather have some positive feelings towards the whole experience than decide I never want to have any more children after this baby because I thought I was going to die during labor.  Just me?

Oh well.  I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that no matter how much I prepare myself, probably nothing will turn out like I think it will.  And that's ok.  I'm willing to be flexible.  The most important part is that she comes out healthy.

I have another ultrasound on Monday, which I am stoked about, along with the glucose test, which I am not so stoked about.  Mostly because I have been having sporadic morning sickness again, and forcing myself to eat or drink anything never turns out well.  But how bad can a drink that tastes like a melted orange popsicle really be?  Heck, I eat sugar cubes for fun.

Whether you can tell from all my nonsensical ramblings or not, Tim and I are beyond excited for this little girl.  I spend so much time daydreaming about the color of her hair, the color of her eyes, her personality, her smile.  And then I ask Tim endlessly what he thinks she will be like.  He is so much more patient about all of this than I am.  But we are both beyond excited for her arrival.

Baby girl, hurry up and get here!  On second thought, take your time.  But know that I can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a prescottonian thanksgiving

Oh man I love the holidays.  Every year, my heart just feels a little happier during the holiday season.  And this year has been no different. [Except that this year, I didn't have to study my butt off right after Thanksgiving dinner was done, and that was high on my list of things to be thankful for.]

Last year, for the first time in my whole life, I spent Thanksgiving away from my family.  Except that I didn't really.  I just spent it with some new family.  Approximately forty new family members, as a matter of fact.  Thanksgiving with the Devey family was definitely something I was not used to, but it was incredible!  The amount of food in the kitchen probably could have fed a small army.  [And it did!]

This year, Tim and I drove up to Prescott to spend Thanksgiving with my side of the family.  It was a smaller group, to be sure, but oh, how I loved seeing my family.  I don't think I've laughed that hard in a while.  My brothers and dad kept telling me how fat I'm getting, and my mom told me that if I kept gaining weight like this, I might end up in the hospital in a few months.  I would just laugh and roll my eyes, secretly pleased that my family loves to tease me that much.

And this year, my friends, was the year I truly became a grown-up where Thanksgiving is concerned.  I finally contributed to the feast!  I made candied yams, cheesy potatoes, and stuffing.  And they turned out pretty dang good!  [Even if I do say so myself.]  Of course, I may have had to call my grandma to ask her advice more than once, and I may have also made my mom tell me incessantly that I was doing everything right.  But hopefully that just means that next year will be that much easier. :)

And, of course, my mom my the table look cute, as always:

And my little brother decided that Thanksgiving was to be no exception where his odd picture-faces are concerned:

[He is actually really cute when he wants to be, I promise.]

And my parents looked lovely, as always:

My only wish is that I had enough leftovers to last us the next two weeks.  Or two months.  I'm not picky.

On Friday, everyone but my mom all piled in the car to go on a hike by Granite Mountain.  It was perfect weather, and it was so fun, but let me tell you - hiking is getting harder every time I go these days.  I feel like I'm carrying 13 extra pounds, or something.  Sheesh.

Tim decided he'd had enough holiday fun and woke up with tonsillitis on Saturday morning.  He then decided he'd rather spend two hours in Urgent Care to get some antibiotics than make the daily soda run to Circle K with my family.  Such a spoil sport, I tell ya.  [And he wouldn't even let me come to Urgent Care with him!  Some lame excuse about pregnant ladies and sickness...]

All sarcasm aside, I am so grateful for a husband who is so considerate of me, even when he feels terrible.  And I am grateful for him for a million other reasons, too.  He's pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me.

My Thankful List is actually about a mile long [at the very top of which is our unborn baby girl], but I won't bore you with all of it.  Just know that I spent a lot of time being grateful this last week.

And now I can't wait to put up all of our Christmas decorations!