Friday, August 31, 2012

here's to us.

The 5-year couple at the Utah game on Thursday.

Five years ago today, I married the love of my life.
Over the years we've traveled together, gotten through one degree and halfway through another, grown gardens full of vegetables, taught primary kiddos together, coped with difficulties together, and started on the biggest project of our lives (parenthood).
I can honestly say that marrying A is the best decision I've ever made. He is the best person I know. I am still amazed to this day by his willingness to serve others, his self control and dedication, his work ethic, his concern for the well being of others, and his mechanical brilliance.
Sometimes I'm feeling too serious to fully appreciate some of his his humor, but other times he makes me laugh like no one else can. Kids love him, and I can't wait to see him in action with our baby girl.
Honey, I love you. You are going to be the best dad ever. I am so exited to be a parent with you, and to be with you forever. Thanks for the best five years of my life, here's to the rest of eternity.

week 24

How far along: 24 weeks.

Total weight gain/loss: Mostly trying not to pay attention, but my belly is getting pretty big!

Maternity clothes: I've acquired a pretty good collection of wearable clothes now. Woohoo! Hopefully they last me through December.

Stretch marks: No new ones since last week.

Sleep: Grrreat! Like Tony the Tiger great.

Best moments this week: Pavlova, made made by Andrew's sisters' husband's cousin's husband. Yeah, figure that one out. It was enormous and I wanted to eat the ENTIRE thing. Pretty sure that is my new favorite dessert.

Worst moment this week: Either I've blacked it out, or this week was really good. I'm thinking the latter.

Food cravings: I could eat that pavlova everyday, but I don't think that pregnancy is to blame.

Any new symptoms: Nothing new, heartburn is persistent and kicks constant. That's the good and the bad of it.

Labor Signs: I went to the doc, and she confirmed that I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions. Weird! They are really only uncomfortable if I'm sitting or slouching.

Innie or Outie: Innie slit still.

Wedding rings on or off: Swelling is getting worse, but in the office all day it is cool enough that the rings are okay. If I'm spending time outside I definitely leave my engagement ring at home. My wedding band is a half size bigger, so it is okay.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Feeling happy, but sort of overwhelmed with all that remains to be done. Baby registry, storage unit coordination, name choosing... not to mention the whole trip to Germany next week. Yikes!

Looking forward to: More progress clearing out baby's room. It's happening, people.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

drinks in happy valley.

Vote Swanson. Or don't.

Spark is the best.

More from Deer Valley

The pretzel was really good.
A and the lemonade.

week 23 photo.

Getting bigger everyday!

week 20 retrospective.

20 weeks was awhile ago, but here's a picture! My mom got this dress for me, she is the best ever. I love it so much.

pre-anniversary weekend

Okay, ready for a too-long post and a picture overload?

Our 5-year anniversary is on Friday, can you believe it? A has started school already, so before he had to deal with classes and homework, we took a little getaway to Southern Utah, a few weeks ago.

Thursday we drove down to Cedar City and saw the Shakespeare Festival production of "To Kill A Mockingbird." We went to a matinee, and beforehand we had lunch at Centro Pizzeria. 

This is when I was still feeling good.

A likes to make awesome faces when I'm taking pictures.
The killer salad.
The pizza (it had sausage on it, I think).

It was delicious, we shared an arugula salad and a pizza. Unfortunately, the salad dressing had honey in it. I discovered this after gobbling it up and having a horrible allergic reaction. I ended up going to an insta-care clinic, and the doctor recommended taking a Zantac everyday, which I'd never thought to do, so that was good. By evening, I was feeling back in tip-top shape.

Anyway, the show was phenomenal. A didn't think he liked the theater, but I think we both really enjoyed it. The story is so good to begin with, and the production was excellent.

After the show we headed to St. George to find our hotel. We stayed at the Best Western, but it was swanky! 

The room had a little sitting area, where we had breakfast. It was very glam.

Picture silliness on the "luxurious" bed.
  For dinner we ate at the Patio Grill. It wasn't the best, to be honest. I had spaghetti, A had shrimp fajitas. The guy next to us had fish and chips, and they looked pretty good.  

We watched some Olympic events after dinner, then went to my favorite frozen yogurt place: Menchie's. Part of the reason I like it is they have the most adorable spoons, ever.

Friday morning we had breakfast brought to our room, and watched synchronized swimming! How have I never seen that Olympic event before? It is pretty much amazing. The Russians were so intense. I liked the mirror-ball swimming caps on the Spaniards (or was it the Canadian team?).

Breakfast spread, it came on a cart!
After breakfast we went to the St. George temple. It was so beautiful, but terribly hot and bright so we only managed to get a few pictures.
Belly bump.

So bright!

After going to the temple, we headed off for home, and saw this fire from the freeway. I wish the state would stop burning up.

The crazy smokey fire.

 Friday dinner was at Spark, my favorite Provo restaurant (though, admittedly, I've only been to three total). We ordered the rosemary fries as an appetizer, then I had the kobe beef southwest burger, and A had the salmon. Of course, we swapped halfway through, and finally the waiter brought us some cheesecake for dessert because the salad he brought with my burger had honey salad dressing on it (thankfully I double checked before taking a bite).

Saturday we we went up to Deer Valley to see Pink Martini with the Utah Symphony. It was lovely to get out of the nasty air in the valley and up into the cool air (we actually wore jackets and blankets!), and the concert was really good. A even liked. I got a pretzel with mustard, he got nachos, and we split a cookie and a rice crispy treat and a lemonade. We even got up and danced along with the drunk old people sitting around us in the encore. We definitely hope to attend more concerts there, it was so beautiful! And next time we'll bring a lovely picnic spread.

Amazing view at the concert.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

when mullets are okay.

You know what are awesome when you are rocking the baby bump? Mullet skirts. You know, longer in the back, shorter in the front. I'm not talking mini front-maxi back, just slightly asymmetrical around the hem. Because with a mullet skirt, it doesn't matter if it gets even shorter in the front as it goes over your bump. It just looks like it is supposed to be that way. Brilliant.

I thrifted a mullet skirt last week at Savers, only $5, and I've already worn it twice.

week 23

How far along: 
23 weeks. I really think this weekly posting makes the time pass more quickly.

Total weight gain/loss: Last I checked, 14 lbs gained.

Maternity clothes: Still loving them. Still hoping to get some long maxi skirts, leggings, and comfy sweaters.

Stretch marks: Maybe? They are not purple/red, but I think I may have spotted some. We'll see.

Sleep: Still pretty great.

Best moments this week: Andrew finally feeling baby girl kick. So special.

Worst moment this week: Some stress at work. Let's just say we'll be discussing deadlines at the next staff meeting.

Food cravings: I really haven't had any real cravings, but I've been loving bacon! And I really want to get a raspberry shake before summer is over, and if we can't make it up to LaBeau's in Bear Lake, Arctic Circle is the next best thing.

Any new symptoms: My belly is starting to get in the way of things. I can't squeeze behind chairs as easily, or reach things across a counter-height table. Weird. Also baby girl has been moving a lot more, like when I'm driving to work. Or trying to go to sleep. Or in a meeting. I love it.

Labor Signs: Still having what I think are Braxton Hicks.

Innie or Outie: Innie slit. :)

Wedding rings on or off: Still on, and hoping that cool weather will prevent further swelling.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy, maybe a few meltdowns (sorry honey).

Looking forward to: Mani/pedi and doctor appointment on Friday, whipping our house into shape (Andrew is on a roll, and helping me do better, which I've been trying to do for a long while), MUSS football starting, our five year anniversary next week, Germany in like two weeks (what? crazy!), someday getting to start a nursery. Hopefully in September.

Monday, August 20, 2012

let's do the numbers.

Weeks until we fly away to Germany.

Years of marriage, next Friday.

City Council meetings until I go on Maternity Leave.

Percent off all clothes at Savers on Labor Day. Monday holidays are the best.

Days until baby girl is due.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Hey guess what. I'm six months along. When I hear someone is six months pregnant, I think they must be practically done. And now that's me!

It is so unreal, until she gives me a little jab in the side-belly, or suddenly I can't stand to slouch for another second because it feels like the pregnancy equivalent of putting a toothpick in your mouth horizontally, so it jabs both cheeks (did you ever accidentally do that as a kid?).

I don't feel ready at all. I have one box of baby items from my sister-in-law. Everything in it is pink. It is currently being stored under my mom's second dining table, because I have nowhere else to put it. I did buy something for the nursery yesterday, a shiny silver piggy bank. I have another one, that I painted at Color Me Mine, with baby in mind. I didn't know she was a girl at the time, so it is light gray with turquoise polkadots. One more pig and she'll have a collection.

I still need to register, but at the same time I'm not really sure what else I'll get handed down from family, so I'm waiting a bit longer.

Rachel commented on Facebook today that in Austria they start maternity leave at 6 months. I would so totally love that, but I'll be working up until the end, unless for some reason I have to go on bedrest. Sigh. Oh to live in Austria.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

let's get political.

I mostly try to steer clear of politics on here, but A and I have been discussing things a lot lately and I have some facts to share (you may or may not know that while I come from a fairly liberal background, he comes from a fairly conservative one). I say facts because we both feel like while we know what we think, we don't always know what the facts are. So we went looking for some facts, and this is where we ended up. is supposed to be non-partisan. I am trusting that it is.

Here are the facts or quotes that stood out to me:

"...federal tax rates had fallen to the lowest in 30 years when President Barack Obama took office — and fell again in his first year in office."

The 1%, as defined by the Congressional Budget Office, means earners of $282,900 or more for a single person, or $565,800 or more for a family of four in 2009. This group is not at an all-time low for tax rate,  paying 28.9% in 2009. The all-time high for this group was in 1995, under Clinton, at a rate of 35.3%.

The middle one-fifth of all households means "those with incomes between $34,900 and $50,100 for singles, or between $69,800 and $100,200 for a family of four." Tax rates for this group did hit an all-time low in 2009, at 11.1%.

So while average household tax rates did hit an all-time low in 2009, after Obama took office (and as far as I can tell, no changes to tax rates have been made since the Stimulus Bill), and while taxes for middle-class Americans are at an all-time low, taxes on the 1% are not at an all-time low. That being said, they have been significantly higher in the past (under Clinton).

Next up? I would be really interested to see how recent presidents compare on budget balancing. These facts make it sound like Clinton was a real taxman, but did that correlate to a balanced budget? Bush seems to be known for cutting taxes (cuts that are soon to expire without Congressional action), did that correlate to budget deficit? These questions are based on assumptions and my existing political thoughts, but I"m willing to be proven wrong. I'd also like to look at where this tax money is going. How is the federal budget broken out? I guess we'll just have to find out.

week 22

How far along: 22 weeks. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it feels like the weeks are flying by.

Total weight gain/loss: I haven't checked recently, because I don't really want to know. All I know is that I need to move more and eat less junk food. Why is that so hard to do?

Maternity clothes: Next on my purchase list? Some maternity leggings and more tunic-like tops, and one or two jersey maxi skirts.

Stretch marks: None yet.

Sleep: I got a new pillow, it is wonderful! The other two that I was using are now taking support positions, one between my knees, the other wedged behind my back (I sleep on my sides). It is so comfortable, I don't know why I've never done it before.

Best moments this week: We had a lovely little getaway last week. Thursday we drove to Cedar City and saw "To Kill a Mockingbird." We stayed in an amazing suite in St. George, and went to the St. George temple on Friday morning. On our way through Provo we stopped and had dinner at our favorite Utah County restaurant, Spark. Saturday we went to an outdoor concert at Deer Valley (Pink Martini played with the orchestra). The music was fantastic, the setting idyllic, and the company couldn't have been better. We even danced with the drunks (or among the drunks).

Worst moment this week: Work was really busy, after being in training for a whole week and out of the office, but not bad. Just busy.

Food cravings: Anything cold.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Replacing this with "Any new symptoms." The answer is yes! Ribs are starting to hurt, not from kicking, but I think from just expanding. Not super happy about that one. Also, heartburn is worsening so I am now taking Zantac every day in addition to treating with Tums.

Labor Signs: Still having what I think are Braxton Hicks.

Innie or Outie: Innie, but becoming more of a - than an o as my tummy stretches.

Wedding rings on or off: On, but getting tight throughout the day instead of just at night.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy this week.

Looking forward to: Figuring out the housing situation. We'll either be buying a condo or renting a storage unit. We look at a condo today, a short sale near Andrew's parents' house. It is a really good price and a nice development with big beautiful trees. I hope it works out. If not, we get to stay with my parents, and they are pretty awesome. Plus, there are three other pregnant women in our current ward, due within 2 months of eachother. And that will be pretty fun to stick around for, so either way things will be good. And as soon as it is decided, I can start nesting, which I'm dying to do.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Primary Olympics, Take Two

Remember the Primary Olympics of 2008? Well four years later, I'm the primary chorister in another ward, and we did Olympics again. This time I did things a little differently.

I wrote all the songs we've learned this year up on the chalkboard, and left space to the right of each for "scores." The categories for scoring were volume, words, and reverence. We sang through each song, and with the advice of our special judges (the primary presidency), scored each song in each category, 1-10. I think it really helped the kids perform their best! It also brought up discussions of team work, and how if one or two team members are not reverent or not singing the words, it can bring down the score for the whole team. This took all of singing time, so we wrapped up the next week.

We started off by re-doing the songs we didn't get perfect tens on. The kids were super motivated to get top marks, it was great! Then we had a "medal ceremony." I called each class up individually, and gave them gold medals* made from three inch circles of yellow paper stamped with a gold design and with a metallic temple sticker in the center (stickers found at Seagull Book and Tape, but you can buy them here), and stapled onto a red or blue ribbon to make a necklace. Junior Primary was ecstatic about their medals, and most of Senior Primary thought they were tolerably cool as well. After handing out medals, we all stood and sang our Primary Anthem (Choose the Right, since that is the theme for the year). It went so well, I would definitely do it again! 

*Originally I wanted to make the medals using chocolate gold coins, but our medal ceremony happened to fall on fast Sunday so that plan was nixed. 

dream a little dream

I dreamed last night that baby was coming. Somehow they checked me and I was dilated quite a bit and baby was turned the right way and ready to come out. And I was in shock, how could baby be ready at 22 weeks? That is too early! I was also very concerned that they would put me on bedrest. I never did make it to the delivery part of the dream. But it was still really weird. It wasn't logical for me to deliver, but somehow it was all okay in the dream. And I was thinking, so we won't have a December baby after all.

Seriously, pregnancy gives me the strangest dreams.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

mover and a shaker

So, I've felt baby girl move around for the past few weeks, but it seems like yesterday and today she is really kicking. It is the coolest thing.

I put my hand on the place where I can feel her on the inside, trying to feel it even more. I push right there, give her a little poke, hoping she'll move in response. I stare at my belly, to see it shift or jerk. It feels like it should be visible movement, and definitely feel-able with a hand. But it isn't yet, and my prods and pokes haven't seemed to change her movement behavior (she just does what she wants to do).

Regardless, it is fun and exciting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

week 21

How far along: 21weeks.

Total weight gain/loss: 14 pounds gained.

Maternity clothes: I'm to that point. Pants no longer button at all, dresses show slip in the front, and shirts aren't quite long enough. It is crazy, but it means progress so I'm okay with it.

Stretch marks: None.

Sleep: Had a really bad morning the other day. I woke up at 4:00 am with terrible congestion and asthma, plus having to go to the bathroom, and I was hot and hungry! And I couldn't really get back to sleep after that, even though I didn't need to be up until 5:30.

Best moments this week: Andrew cleaned house, like a champ. He's the best. And we've been enjoying watching the Olympics together. I like to suggest athletes' names as possibilities for baby girl (how about Greta?).

Worst moment this week: I had a bit of a meltdown on Wednesday. We were supposed to go to the first session of a birth class. That didn't happen.

Food cravings: None really, maybe that means that my vitamins and minerals are well balanced? I've heard that some cravings suggest deficiencies.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing. I feel like I should replace this question with one that is more applicable to me...

Labor Signs: I think I've started having Braxton Hicks contractions. Randomly my stomach will get really hard, and after a few seconds it goes back to normal. Not painful, but definitely noticeable.

Innie or Outie: Innie.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, minus drama Wednesday, as previously mentioned.

Looking forward to: Everything. This month is our 5-year anniversary, next month we go on a trip to Germany, the next month is baby shower time and Andrew's birthday and Halloween, the next month is Thanksgiving, and then it is Baby Time! When I think of it like that, I can't believe how fast she will be here. It is unreal. It also stresses me out a bit. Not the being a mom part, but the where am I going to put all her stuff and when can I make a nursery for her stuff. We're kind of in residential limbo right now, waiting for a few things to happen before we can make any moves, and it is really tough. But I know in the end it will all work out, I just need to have some patience.

Monday, August 6, 2012

before and after.

Before pregnancy:

I'm so hungry. I'll just eat a bunch of food and stay full and maybe not have to eat my next meal (or at least as much).

After (during) pregnancy:

I'm so hungry, but when I eat I just get full really fast and then feel uncomfortable, and then get hungry again after an hour.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

week 20

How far along: halfway! 20 weeks.

Total weight gain/loss: 12 pounds gained, as measured at my twenty week appointment.

Maternity clothes: wearing a hand-me-down belly band almost every day and enjoying a super cute maxi dress my mom bought me after I mentioned seeing and loving it. She is the sweetest.

Stretch marks: None.

Sleep: I get really super congested at night so sometimes breathing is not so good, but generally just fine.

Best moments this week: My sister came to town for a fun girls' night. We dressed up, went out to a lovely dinner, and then saw Wicked. It was amazing, and baby girl loved it too, she was moving like crazy! Also had the twenty week ultrasound where we were told that baby girl was measuring right on (10 ounces) and everything looked just right.

Worst moment this week: Almost passing out during the ultrasound. Baby was on my aorta, so I suddenly got really lightheaded, hot, add my hearing was dulled. It was so weird!

Food cravings: Nothing specific, but I've been loving the Indian food lately!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing, thank goodness.

Labor Signs: None.

Innie or Outie: Still very in.

Wedding rings on or off: Still on.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: Kicks hard enough that Andrew can feel them through my tummy, and planning a last-ditch vacation sometime in the next month. Also really happy to have hit the twenty-week milestone!
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