Saturday, October 27, 2012

Big Changes Come in Small Packages

After taking quite the hiatus from keeping anything on our blog, I have decided to once again try to be a little more diligent about keeping it updated. And what better time to start than with the arrival of little Jaden Marcus Brady?!

I guess the best place to start is at the beginning of the end. Any pregnant ladies out there, or anyone that has ever been pregnant, knows that towards the end of the pregnancy you are soooooooooo done being pregnant. It's uncomfortable, you're just ready for baby to be there, you know delivery won't be a piece of cake but are willing to go through it to get baby there and the waiting, waiting, waiting is killer. Suffice it to say, I had reached that point several weeks before my due date. So the week before I was due I went into the doctor and during that appointment she stripped my membranes. I had high hopes for little baby boy's arrival that weekend. Mostly because it was labor day weekend and if he came by then, I knew my parents would be able to come down to Utah and see baby and spend some time with us. If he chose to come later, I had no idea when they'd be able to come down to visit. So I kept holding out hope each night that it could be THE night for Jaden. For some reason I always envisioned going to the hospital in the middle of the night....probably because that was the time of day that baby always chose to do his moving around!

So while I said I was holding out hope, I have to admit it wasn't much hope. What are the odds something like that would work out that nicely? What I was really hoping for was that Jaden would just come during Eric's 12 days off work. I know Eric was really hoping for that too because he was stressing out and nervous about the whole delivery thing. In the end, Jaden chose to make himself at home in the womb for a while longer.

Labor Day came and went and the end of the following week, on Friday, I had my 40 week appointment. For the past several weeks each time I had gone into the doctor she would tell me at the end of the appointment that she hoped she wouldn't be seeing me at our next scheduled appointment....but here I was at 40 weeks and still making appointments for the following week. That week I was at 2 cm and 80% effaced. I had been at 80% for a couple of weeks and dilation was slow in moving along. So she stripped the membranes again, this time saying she really got it good. We were both hoping for results. She told me that she wasn't on call that weekend, but if I did go into labor that I could let the hospital know it was okay to call her to come in for me. I loved my doctor! Once again, I left the doctor's office with hopes of no return (at least not with a baby still in the belly).

As that Friday progressed, I found myself really paying attention to what was going on with my body, hoping the Braxton-hicks contractions would turn into the real thing! As the day wore on, I started to suspect that labor might indeed be in our future for that weekend. Eric kept asking me all the time how I was feeling and if I thought tonight was going to be the night. Now, he still will get after me for this, but I wasn't the best at being completely honest about how things were going because I didn't want him to worry or start to get nervous. That evening we were playing some games as a family and about 7 o'clock Eric asked me why I kept looking at my phone so much. I told him I was timing contractions and that they were about 4-5 minutes apart for the last hour. From then on Eric was constantly asking me how things were going, if I was okay and if I thought the baby was coming that night. I kept telling Eric everything was fine and that I didn't know if he was coming that night or not, but truth be told I had felt for most of the afternoon like that was the night. But again, I didn't want Eric to worry. After continuing that way for the rest of the night, Eric and I eventually went to bed with me still having normal contractions but nothing too painful. I didn't go to sleep because again, I thought I might be going to the hospital soon. In retrospect, I should have gottn sleep while I could! lol. At about midnight, after I took a shower, I woke Eric up to tell him that we probably needed to take the girls to his mom's house. I had packed an overnight bag for the girls earlier that day (because like I said, I thought I would be going in that night!) so they were all good to go. While he took the tired girls to grandma's house, I finished getting my stuff together in the infamous "hospital bag". I was such a procrastinator about that and how do you even really know what to put in there the first time you go to have a baby?! And to be honest, I ended up using almost nothing of what I packed. Anyway, Eric got back home and off we went to the hospital! By this point the contractions were indeed getting painful. I had to stop and crouch in the parking lot of the hospital in the middle of a I really felt like things were at the point where this was it.
Apparently I'm a bit of a worrier, and for weeks the buildup of the impending delivery had left me a little scared at the possibilities of what could happen. But I have to say, now that it seemd the time had come for baby boy to arrive, I was ready to do whatever it took to get him here. We got to the hospital about 1am and I got all hooked up to have things checked out. At that point, I quickly realized how vital and necessary it was to have a good labor and delivery nurse.....and how bothersome it was to have a nurse that didn't seem to care. The first nurse I had fit into the latter category. Even Eric mentioned how she seemed a little rough and unsympathetic. He said it was the only nurse he's ever seen that has had to get in a linebacker position to get a running start to do a pelvic exam! lol. I'd been having normal contractions all the way up until I got to the hospital but it seemed as soon as I got hooked up, they started becoming terribly irregular. However, I was dilated to 3 cm when earlier that day at my doctor's appointment I had been at about a 1.5, so at least that was exciting that some progress had been made. However, when all was said and done, after about an hour and half of observation I was sent home due to lack of progression. I was honestly very surprised that I was going home. I really thought that was the start of everything. The gave me a shot containing some morphine and sent me on my way. Apparently, the shot was to help me sleep but didn nothing for the pain of the contractions. When we got home at about 3am Eric eventually went to sleep and I would sleep in between contractions. They were still getting worse and worse and so I really didn't get much sleep because I would wake up every time a new one started. I ended up on the floor curled up on my knees with my head on the floor to get through the contractions. When Eric woke up at 8am, that's how he found me.

That was when Eric insisted we go the hospital again. I admit, I was resistant about it. I figured if I had been wrong about being in labor when we had gone in earlier, then I would probably be wrong again. I kept putting Eric off about going and said I wanted to call the nurse first to talk to her. I'm sure Eric was frustrated with me at this point becuase I know he was worried and here I was being stubborn about not going back. I did call the nurse but that didn't really help anything. After Eric insisted some more and told me it would be better to be sent home again than wait until it was too late, I conceded to return to the hospital and we got there a bit before 9am. The contractions were definitely painful by then and I really felt like I was in labor but was still wary what they would think at the hospital. Once at the hospital, I again got hooked up to be monitored. And luckily, I had a different nurse that was definitely more compassionate to someone in labor. Upon initial examination I was dilated to a 4 or 4.5 so that helped me feel validated that something was definitely going in the rght direction. This time I did get admitted and I was grateful Eric had been so insistent that we return.

From that point on things started to progress pretty nicely. It seemed like I was dilating quickly and that Jaden would be there before too long into the afternoon. Eric watched football and held my hand as the contractions started to get worse. I felt bad for him becuase he obvioulsy wanted to do something to help but at that point there's not really a lot for the husbands to do. I gotta say, though, that he was the best ice-chip getter that a gal could ever have! :) Just having him there was all I really needed. I was going through contractions pretty well, just closing my eyes and breathing through them. I sat on an exercise ball for a while and really liked that better than laying in bed. The worst part was always when the nurse would come back in to check on my progress and I'd have to lay flat on my back. Luckily that was only about once an hour. At about 1pm the nurse brought in the delivery cart with all the necessary stuff for the baby to be born. That got me excited because she felt like things were going well enough that the baby would be born soon. She said she hoped I would deliver before she got off her shift at 2pm. Little did we know I wasn't even close to making that timeline. By then I was dilated to 7cm but 2pm came and went with no delivery so I entered a new shift with a different nurse. The nurse I had in that first shift was exceptional and the second one I got was even more so. Man, how quickly I realized what a difference a good labor and delivery nurse can make!

As the new shift started with our new nurse, I remained at 7cm. After several hours of staying there, my doctor called me to suggest breaking my water. Contractions over the course of that time had gotten worse but I was still at 7cm so she thought by breaking my water it would help bring baby down further because it would intensify the contractions. When she broke my water about a half hour later, the contractions did indeed intensify, but it seemed to make no difference on Jaden's positioning. However it was during the time that the doctor broke my water that she told me he had hair! That was funny to hear. After 3 more hours, I was still in the exact same predicament of 7cm dilation. However, by then the contractions had become what I could only describe as excruciating. The nurse came in and told me that they needed to put some kind of monitor up inside the uterus to measure the strength of the contractions to see if there was a problem with the contractions not being strong enough to push baby down. In my head I was saying that was crazy because how could these contractions (extremely painful at this point) NOT be strong enough??! Oh, they were definitely strong enough! At least in my opinion since I was the one going through them lol. So they did that and sure enough, the strength of the contractions seemed to be just fine. By this point I think the nurse was feeling bad for me because I was obviously in pain but nothing was progressing. After over 6 hours at 7cm, when she came and did the pelvic exam she told me that I was still at a 7 but it felt like a DIFFERENT 7. She later admitted that it wasn't any different but she was just trying to help me feel positive about it haha. She was a good nurse. She would massage my lower back through contractions since I needed Eric within handholding distance. Eric's poor hands. By that time he had removed his wedding ring because I was squeezing his hands so hard during contractions that it was painful for him! For the past couple of hours I had cried when the nurse would come in and say everything was still exactly the same because it was so painful but things weren't going anywhere. I think it is easier to handle that pain when you feel it is going somewhere and leading to something. But here I was, stalled at 7cm for over 6 hours. And I was so tired from having pretty much no sleep the night before. Despite how painful the contractions were, when the worst part of a contraction was over I would fall asleep and be out by the end of the contraction and wake up when the next one was starting. However, these contractions were lasting about 2 minutes each and were extremely intense (even the nurses and doctor had commented on this) with only about 20-30 second rests in between so I had lots of 30 second little naps during this time. Eric was there by my side the whole time, telling me each time  when the worst part of the contraction was over. That was always such a relief to hear, knowing that I was on the downhill side of the contraction. That is, of course, until the next one started. It's amazing how even at that point, between each contraction I caught myself thinking that the next contraction couldn't possibly be as bad as I remember the last one was, but every time it was worse than I remembered from just a couple minutes previous. I think in general women have been blessed to quickly forget the real pain and struggles of childbirth.

Eventually my doctor called to make a recommendation. She caught me in between contractions so I talked to her at first, but as soon as another contraction started, I threw the phone at Eric and said I couldn't talk. I'm sure she could hear me in the background as she talked to Eric, because let's be honest, I wasn't exactly suffering in silence at this point. I wasn't screaming bloody murder or anything along those lines but let's just say that anyone that came in my room had no question that I was hurting. And I'll admit, that pain was a lot worse than I imagined when I thought about delivering naturally. I was doing my best to deal with it. I honestly didn't know, though, how I was going to ever be able to make it long enough for Jaden to be born, especially since nothing seemed to be happening. During this time Eric was talking to the doctor and told me that although she knew I wanted to deliver unmedicated, she thought I should get an epidural and see if that helped becuase otherwise it looked like I might end up having a c-section. I pretty quickly agreed to the epidural and once that decision was made I wanted the anesthesiologist there NOW! I asked the nurse how long before he would get there and she said he was on his way. I might have cried a little when I heard that because earlier in the day when my doctor had been "on her way" she was coming from home and took about 30 minutes to get there. However, the nurse quickly assured me that she meant he was on the unit and was just getting what he needed and would be there in just a couple of minutes.

When the anesthesiologist showed up and started to get everything ready for the epidural, he said it might hurt. Oh please. Did he not know what point I was at with these contractions? Getting a needle in the back was nothing compared to that. Honestly, I didn't even really feel it. However, about 15 minutes later, I DID feel the epidural. Hallelujah. Immediately as I started to feel the pain subside I started to relax. Eric was on top of things with the button pushing for the epidural, pretty much making sure I was maxed out constantly on what I could have. He was doing everything he could to lessen the pain :) haha. My nurse, and later my doctor, knew that I had wanted an unmedicated birth and so when I got the epidural she tried to reassure me to not feel bad. Truth be told, I didn't feel bad about it at all. I felt like I went as far as my body could go. For reasons that I didn't know at that time, things had reached a point where I couln't get Jaden where he needed to be for delivery. If I thought enduring the pain of the contractions would have gotten him here, I would have continued. But after over 6 hours of that it didn't seem to be the solution. So I didn't feel bad at all that I pushed my body as far as I could before getting assistance, and once it was necessary, the assistance was welcome.

As the epidural took effect, Eric said I became very much more pleasant! lol. Which I'm sure is true since I wasn't in pain and became conversational. It was at that time as well that Eric snuck me some Club crackers. I hadn't had anything but ice ships since 3 am that morning (it was then about 7:30pm) and I can't even explain how delicious those crackers were! Manna from heaven. For real. After about another hour, the nurse came in to check me again and what a blessing it was to hear that I was nearly fully dilated and that the baby was dropping further. By 8:30 everything looked good to go but was told that the doctor wanted to wait about another 30 min to let the baby get in position a bit more before we started pushing. By this time I obviously couldn't feel anything so was just fine with hanging out for another half an hour. This was also the time that I found out why things might have stopped progressing earlier on. The nurse thought that the baby might be posterior, just meaning he was face up instead of face down. Positioning like that could have been preventing the proper part of his head from engaging in the birth canal and could explain why he was stuck. Sure enough, when the doctor came in, she confirmed that he was posterior. I had started to push before she got there, but the first thing she did was try to turn Jaden into the proper position during a contraction. As I was pushing, she had to reach up and push him up a little bit before turning him and allowing my pushing to hopefully lock him into the correct position. In the end, that didn't work because he was indeed born face up. However, while the doctor was trying to turn him, she did accidentally create an internal tear that ended up bleeding quite a bit. But since I had the epidural I couldn't feel anything at that point and I only knew about the tear because the doctor told me.

All along Eric and I had talked about him not watching the baby being born, mainly because I just don't think he wanted to see all of that happening. But in the end he couldn't avoid it since, due to the numbness of my legs from the epidural, he had to help hold one of my legs when I was pushing. So he got to see ALL of what was going on. I think he may have been a little discomforted by watching the doctor try to turn baby because according to him, she was in up to her elbow! lol. All I know is I couldn't feel a thing except for the actual movement of the baby, so I was all good. Pushing was pretty uneventful, just focused on pushing when the nurses and doctor would tell me to since I couldn't tell. Was it a little weird when as Jaden was crowning the nurses said they were just sitting there playing with his hair? A little, but it made me laugh. After about 30 minutes of pushing, at 9:23pm on September 8, 2012, Jaden was finally there and crying his little heart out. The doctor put him up on my belly (which didn't seem to have shrunk at all, by the way, even though a human being had just come outta there) as soon as he was born and there he was, my little boy, all slimy and squishy faced and cone headed haha. It was the weirdest sensation to finally see him and know that he was actually mine. But immediately I loved the little guy even more than I already did during the time I was carrying him.

I held Jaden for a few minutes and helped get him all wiped down before they took him to the other side of the room to finish cleaning him up and to get him weighed and measured. He came in at 7 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long. The nurse then came over to tell me that they were going to take him to the NICU because he was having some struggles breathing. She really made it sound like it wasn't a big deal and that it wasn't necessarily an uncommon thing, so I honestly wasn't that worried about it. And especially since Eric didn't seem to be too worried, I stayed pretty calm. Eric left with Jaden to have him taken care of and the doctor and her student doctor lady worked on getting me stitched up. I guess besides the internal tear created by the doctor I had a 2nd degree tear from pushing Jaden out. Again, here I was happy I couldn't feel anything! It was at this time that the doctor told me if I decided to have a natural birth on the next go around, it should be much easier and go more smoothly. Most babies aren't born posterior, so she didn't think that would happen again, and my body would just be more familiar with delivery. So we'll see if next time I give it another go at delivering unmedicated. I really think I could have done it this time if things had continued to progress as nicelly as they had in the beginning. In the end, my body was just too tense to allow anything more to happen. The stitching up took a good little while and once that was all done and everything was all cleaned up, I finally got to have something to eat! The nurse had come in earlier in the evening and had me order something before the cafeteria closed so I could have something to eat later on, and ocne again the food tasted SOOOO good, possibly because I was extremely hungry and just physically depleted of energy. After I was done with dinner they moved me on down to the mother/baby floor where we stayed for the remainder of our time in the hospital.

Before the nurse took me downstairs, so took me to the NICU to stop by and see Jaden. So sad to see the little nugget all hooked up to tubes and things when all I really wanted to do was snuggle him. We stayed for just a bit before moving on to our room. Eric was back with me by then and he was pretty tired and fell asleep pretty quick once we got settled in. I stayed awake because despite how tired I was, I was so anxious waiting for them to bring Jaden. They said they would bring him in once he was all done in the NICU. Finally, at around 2am, they brought me my little boy and I really got to hold and snuggle him for the very first time. Eric was still sleeping, so it was just me and Jaden enjoying our first moments together like that. I can't even describe how much I loved having this little guy with me. He was beautiful and perfect and he was ours.

The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful. I do have to say though, I don't know what the bum rap is about hospital food because I thought everything I had was very delicious! Also, it was interesting how much the belly DOESN'T go down after the baby is born lol. During the couple of days we had the hospital Eric and I were able to enjoy some time getting to know little Jaden. Eventually Eric was looking out for me and made me send Jaden to the nursery so that I would sleep because as long as he was in the room, I wouldn't really sleep. Not because he was crying or anything, just because I liked to look at him too much to sleep. When it was finally time to go home, I had more mixed feelings about that than I originally thought I would. I always assumed I would want to get home as soon as possible, but when the time finally came, there was a part of me that wanted to go and a part of me that wanted to stay. I wasn't worried about taking Jaden home, despite him having jaundice and going home half a pound lighter than his birth weight. It wasn't anything like that. I think I just felt taken care of in the hospital because the whole ordeal was more emotionally draining than I had accounted for. The morning of the day I was discharged, Eric had to leave to take the girls to school and Jaden was in the nursery getting checked out by the pediatrician so I was going to be all alone. As Eric was about to leave I just started to cry. He asked me what was wrong, but there wasn't really anything wrong. The best way I can describe the sudden rush of emotion was that I, and we, had just gone through one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but we did it. We had our baby. And everything worked out. I was just so grateful for Jaden's arrival and for the enormous support of my husband. I know he thinks he didn't do much, but my goodness he did exactly what I needed, and that was just to have him there holding my hand. He told me he was so proud of me and that I bore more than he would have been able to and that of course just made me cry more. I am so lucky to be married to such an extraordinary man.

What an amazing couple of days it was. Going through labor and delivery was definitely one of, and probably the most, difficult experience I have ever gone through. I admit that during the middle of it all, I was really questioning whether I would want another baby. But I'm so grateful to be able to say that everything, every contraction, every tear, every pain was worth it once Jaden was here. What a special and happy baby boy we have been blessed with. And after all is said and done, I can confidently say there will be more children coming from Eric and Brittany Brady!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spring to Summer Recap - Part I

So to get things more or less caught up, we need to start with last spring. The girls finished up kindergarten and had their first of many graduations to come. They did so good in all their parts and singing their songs and did all their gestures perfectly in singing along with songs like "This Land is My Land". We were so proud!
The little graduates
Afterwards everyone shared in cookies and juice while Halee ran around trying to chase down her crush so that she could get a picture with him. It was like Mission: Impossible. I watched as she tried to approach him each time and just as she would get ready to talk to him, he would walk away to do something or talk to someone. It was nothing he was doing on purpose, he just wasn't seeing Halee. I'm hoping that this would help Halee realize that she doesn't need to invest a lot of time and energy into worrying about liking boys when she's only 6 years old!! But lo and behold, just like last year she has a multiple little boys she is crushing on again this year. She'll learn lol.
The girls have started first grade this school year and have been loving it. Their teacher, during our initial encounter did not leave a fantastic impression as she seemed a little adrift. Not to mention that Eric dubbed her "Shrek's Grandmother"....jsut because she seemed a little....ogre-ish haha. But since that time as we have had more contact with her we have found her a very capapble and kind teacher. The girls are doing well in her class.
Now, returning to the past......over the summer Eric introduced me to the world of fishing. I don't really remember having gone fishing since I caught my first fish, a time during which my excitement resulted in my dear fish having his eyeballs squeezed right out of his head! But I am happy to report that on mine and Eric's fishing adventures, all of my fishs' eyeballs stayed in tact.
Eric with one of his many fish
Me trying to catch something to keep up with Eric
The only unfortunate catch we had was one poor little fish that just didn't recover quick enough from being caught and went belly-up sporadically in between attempts to swim back out to the deeps. One of his belly-up episodes was just a titch too long for the quick and hungry eyes of a passing seagull. The great circle of life in action.
On the upside, we did encounter a river otter that was spying on us from between the rocks. For anyone that tries to lure an otter closer, a quick, Nacho-Libre-like chip throw doesn't do the trick. Maybe the otter didn't like chips?
I'm also happy to report that thanks to the good luck that I bring Eric, he caught his largest fish ever up at Strawberry. However, my luck was not so great because it seems like the general ratio of caught fish was 6 of Eric's to every 1 of mine. Nonetheless, I had an absolute blast and I see lots of fishing in mine and Eric's future. The girls love to go fishing too, but they will have to wait a few more years to develop the mountain goat-like skills needed to slip and slide your way down to the secret spots along Strawberry.
Climbing down to the water to fish
Eric's goal now is to get a go at fly fishing, so I expect we'll have some good adventures with that as well!
There's still more to cover from the summer, but it's hard to recap 10 months in a way that do them justice, because our life has been pretty awesome. There'll be more to come!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time of My Life!!!!

Well, I guess after nine month of marriage, I should post something about that! It's been a busy year so far but I suppose I should start at the beginning. Eric and I got married on January 8, 2011 in the Portland Oregon Temple, and it was a day to remember! It rained most of the day (in true Washington/Oregon fashion) but it held off just long enough for us to take a few pictures. We appreciate everything that was able to be there!
The reception was amazing, graciously hosted at my aunt and uncle's house, and it was so great to see so many people that have been a part of our lives.

The Bradys and the Rigbys!
After a couple of hours at the reception, Eric and I set off on our honeymoon! We stopped in Portland for the night at a hotel that I don't even remember the name of now (I guess that's what happens when I wait until now to blog) and it was AMAZING! Our dinner, after eating absolutely zero at the reception, consisted of sparkling cider and wild boar gnocchi! Interesting but delicious and a great way to kick off our post wedding vacation. The next day we flew to Florida (talk about taking AAAALLLLLL day to cross the country!) and spent the night in Ft. Lauderdale where we had a Taco Bell feast, and I don't think Taco Bell has ever tasted so good either before or since then!! Next day......all aboard and bon voyage!!!! We set sail on the Carnival Dream (I think lol) to check out the adventure of the caribbean.
Where we hung out onboard until we actually set sail.
A pic taken from the deck as we're coming into Half Moon Cay
We had some great adventures! It was a lot of fun and another bonus is that our table mates weren't crazy awkward psychos or anything. I was really hoping that in the dining room we would be at a big table with like 4 or 5 couples, but the first time Eric and I went to the dining room to scout out our spot, what did we find? A real cozy booth built for 4 nestled into a corner. No chance for escape if the other couple were real nuts! We kept our fingers crossed that no one would show up....but eventually the other couple came along and while we didn't end up bosom buddies, they were normal enough. Wonder what they thought of us? LOL.
All in all, a pretty awesome trip and a great way to celebrate the beginning of our life as Mr. and Mrs. Brady!! We returned to start our family life along with Halee and Kennedy......and it's been great!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mid Winter Tales

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!!! Throughout my life I've had exactly ONE white Christmas, and most of the time I have always thought how great, and how proper, it would be to have a white Christmas. Well, the one, and now it appears to be two, white Christmases I've had in my lifetime have pretty much squelched any further desire for white Christamses. The first was two years ago, and we had 23" of snow at my house, which on Christmas day, caused the roof of my grandpa's barn to cave in and destroy the building. And today marked what is likely to be my second white Christmas....unless we can escape from Utah like we planned!!!! Like a thief in the night, a five to six inch thief, the snow has come to try and thwart our travel plans to spend the Christmas holiday with my family in Washington. I might have to live up to my claim that I would drive through 20 feet of snow to see my family for Christmas!!! Yikes! lol. We will see if we make it back alive.......
The last few months have been busy with wedding plans, the girls' school, excitement and wedding plans. A few of the highlights:
***Less than three weeks from now, Eric and I will be MARRIED!!!!!
Three weeks from now we will be on a cruise and officially have those wedding rings on our fingers. I'm going to put Eric's ring in his stocking for, some might say he shouldn't have it before the wedding, but he's the one that picked it out so it's not like any big surprise what it looks like!
***A week and a half ago Eric's cousin Alicia and Eric worked to set up a surprise bridal shower for me, and it was an absolute blast!!!! I was blown away, and a few tears might have run down my cheek at having people here that care about me. Well done! to my new cousin for her efforts, to my almost new husband for his ability to carry out the surprise, and to Halee and Kennedy for not spilling the beans
***Halee and Kennedy got their room decorated for a Christmas present, so that now it looks like a "girl" room. After repeated complaints at how ugly their old room was, Eric and I decided to surprise them with an upgrade! And you know they loved it when Halee said that it was such a great room that she'd never ask us for food again!!!! Haha
***During the month of December I moved! Eric will follow when we get married, but for now it's really fun having a place to decorate and feel like home. And I may or may not have gone on some crazy Christmas decoration shopping spree in order to make things look a little more festive. Did I buy a santa and snowman salt and pepper shaker? Who wouldn't?! is more the question that you should be asking. And there might be a Santa figure gracing the table that would make my grandmas's santa collection proud. For the most part it is a great place to be.....on the other hand, the pilot light of the water heater going out has proved to be a bit of a nuisance
***Eric and I had our own early Christmas. In a very unplanned occurrence, while Halee and Kennedy were with their mom, Eric and I exchanged and opened all of our gifts. It was a lot of fun, and since we were planning on having an early Christmas anyway before we went to Washington, we didn't see any harm. However, I still wanted to have something for Eric to open on Christmas, so I went out and got a couple more things. Incidentally enough, those gifts did not make it to Christmas. They only made it until Eric got home from work that same day!!! I admit, I am an anxious gift giver and have a hard time holding off, although I usually do pretty good at Christmas. So once again, Eric has nothing to open on Christmas, so I might have to go out and remedy that situation.....hopefully I can hold out on giving him the gift for one day! LOL
***At the Williams' family Christmas party, Eric was a bingo winner, which if you know Eric, is a VERY big deal because nothing puts a smile on his face quite like winning something.....even if it's only a game of chance. Just don't mention the fact that the bingo game continued until EVERYONE won something....haha ;)....however, to his credit, Eric did win the finale game of blackout, so go on you sweetheart! You make me so proud! :)
***In November it was my birthday, and I found out that Eric is an anxious gift giver as well, as he gave me presents a week before my birthday! But I must say, he is an excellent gift giver and everything he has given me, pretty much ever, I have absolutely loved! He knows me well.
*In October we went to Cornbellys and went through the corn maze. Eric and I split up and I took Kennedy with me and Eric took Halee with him. We wanted to race to see who could get through the maze first. Well, I must say, I expected the maze to be complicated and misleading and tricky, and so Kennedy and I wound up waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the field. Eric just took the logical turns that seemed too easy to actually be the right way, and sure enough, he got out about 10 minutes before me and Kennedy. Shoot!
***In mid-October Eric got in a car accident and totalled his Audi....sad day for him because he loved that car. Sad day for me because Eric was hurt! He did get some stitches and possibly a fractured/broken nose, but it all turned out okay in the end. Now you'd never know he'd gotten hurt, except for a slightly less than straight nose. But that's what we call personality :)
***We attended Eric's brother's, Matt's, wedding to Jessica. It was beautiful and fun. Only problem was, it was earlier in that same week that Eric had his car accident and the swelling of his lip made some say that he looked like a turtle when he smiled in the pictures. Jason and Matt had a hard time supressing would could only be termed as giggles when they would see their older brother with his smile. Would I be a bad fiance to say that he kind of DID look like turtle? ;) But a very cute turtle that I love very much, mind you! " I not turtley enough for the turtle club?" hehehe

Now it's just a countdown until the wedding!!!!! Can't believe it's so close, after what seems like so long! Wish us luck! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

End of Summer

Well, the summer is kind of winding down, and so we're trying to take advantage of whatever sunshine is still left. Eric and I have recently made a couple of trips up to the SLC area and have enjoyed spending some time around the city and going to Temple Square and things. Parking, we found out, is an absolute disaster anywhere near Temple Square, and the food court at the mall we wanted to go to was equally as frustrating since the mall closes at 5 or 6. What mall does that??? That doesn't even give people time to get off work and go there. Bad business, if you ask me! lol.
Last time we were up in SLC was on Tuesday. We went for the proofing session of the photo shoot I did for the Gold's Gym competition (which was actually something quite fun, despite how completely unnerved I was for it....believe me, you can ask Eric how I was bouncing off the walls! lol). We were able to walk up to The Gateway and enjoy a little stroll around those parts. We also did an impromptu photo shoot around Temple Square and the JS Memorial Building. It was a lot of fun! We even had some random guy that wanted to take our picture with his fancy camera that he was just learning how to use, and boy did he get all into it! He was down on the ground trying to get the right angle and everything. It was great!
Like I said, we've been trying to spend some time outside, so for Labor Day we all went to play tennis and then to play mini golf. It was the girls' first time with the mini golf, and it was quite the learning experience. It took them a while to understand that you can't just pick up the ball and move it, or pick it up and put it in the hole, or that you stick with the same colored ball that you started with and don't switch to hitting someone else's ball just because it's closer to the hole! Haha. Overall, we had a great time though! Needless to say, though, we did not keep score :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chit chats & Tidbits

Hey yo! So it has now officially been one month since the big proposal day and things are just moving forward. We've been covering lots of wedding plans and have a good amount of things figured out. We've tended to keep things pretty simple. Our colors are pretty much crimson red and silver, with what has come to be a good dose of black as well. I think it'll be classy and elegant looking when it's all said and done. I've also found my perfect dress that I just absolutely fell in love with! I never imagined I would actually feel that way about a dress, but I sure enough did. It's a funny thing because I had actually already ordered a dress online, but when Eric and I had been walking bya bridal store and I saw the big mirrors and the pedestal and everything, I decided that I really still wanted to go in and try dresses on, get the whole experience you know, even though I wasn't planning on buying anything. Now the dress I ordered online I had really loved the way it looked, and honestly had no intention of getting anything else. I just wanted the experience. I tried on about 5 dresses just figuring out the way that I would like something to fit. You see, there's those girls that have envisioned every detail of their wedding since they were little and go into an engagement and a wedding knowing exactly everything they want. And I am most definitely not one of those. When, growing up, I thought about getting married, I always just imagined how I was going to feel and how happy I was going to be marrying the person I loved. All the other details never really crossed my mind. And so it was that I didn't really even know exactly what kind of dress I wanted. So after trying on several dresses, it came to THE dress and when I saw it on and could imagine myself all dressed up for my wedding in it, I knew I loved it. Even so, I still refused to buy it because the price was drastically greater than the other one that I had already ordered and still liked, even though after actually trying on dresses I began to gather that I might not like how that dress fit. Eric could tell that I really wanted the dress I tried on, but even so we left the bridal store just as we had come in - empty handed. After that, Eric walked me down to Orange Julius and in the time of the walk, he managed to talk me into going back and getting that dress that he knew I loved. And I have not had a moment of regret or buyer's remorse and can't wait until the dress comes in at the end of September!
It's going to be so exciting to get married up in Washington! But we'll be having a reception down in Utah as well for any friends and family that can't make the trek up to the northwest. The winter weather in Washington can tend to be a little temperamental (and wet!) and so although the wedding is still 5 months away, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate!

Lately we haven't had any big doings going down, but we've just been enjoying time together. We got all registered at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target and Eric had a lot of fun playing with the handheld barcode scanning machine. It's lucky that some kid passing by didn't get their eyeballs burned with the red laserlight as they walked by us! LOL! But we were able to get all registered without any red scanning laser injury to anyone.
The weather has generally been great so we've been spending a good amount of time out at the pool. As long as we don't lose the pool Eric's apartment complex, as at most complexes, to get inside the gates surrounding the pool, you have to use a key. If we lose the key we have, we can't get into the pool, unless you pay to have it replaced. So we had searched with great diligence to find they key after it had been misplaced when Eric's brother borrowed it. We searched high. We searched low. We turned over couch cushions, went through drawers, looked in the laundry, went through toys....we looked everywhere we could think of. No luck in our search. Eventually, we went ahead and just broke down and bought a new pool key. Sure enough, about two days later, I got a text from Eric saying he found the long lost pool key. It happened to be in the one place that we didn't look.....behind the girls' toy bins in their closet. Now why, oh why, did we not think to look there?! Hmmmm. But now the good thing is we have an extra :)
The extra time in the sun has definitely resulted in some extra sunburns, but that is mostly just speaking for myself. Especially after we went to the waterpark in Lindon. Four hours in the sun will really kind of toast you if you're not wearing any sunscreen! But we had a GREAT time playing in the lazy river, going down the slide, playing in the kiddie pool and just messing around. Kennedy and I went down the waterslide about a dozen times so that Eric could get a picture of Kennedy in mid-air as I threw her into the splash pool at the end, but in the process we ended up getting enough pictures to fill an entire sequence of coming down the slide and landing in the splash pool! It was way good times!
The girls and I have been bonding a bit more as they have developed a liking for sleeping at my house whenever they can. As a matter of fact, that's where they are right now, all cuddled up in my bed. Where do I sleep? Well, I just curl up on the end of the bed, kinda like a dog, and just sleep at the foot of the bed haha! What can I say, I try to treat the girls good, so they get the cozy spot :) Maybe that's why I'm out here typing on a blog instead of in my bed asleep...or should I say, at the foot of my bed asleep lol.
We have had the chance to celebrate a little bit with some birthdays in Eric's family. We went over to his grandparent's house this las tweek because it was both of their birthdays, and it's great to be around Eric's family! They are all great people and I'm loving every chance I have to get to know them more. They are all so kind and welcoming and open, and that's really something I've needed as I'm still trying to adjust with missing my family. I'm loving them and looking forward to marrying into the family for sure. What exciting things lie ahead!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's Official - Officially!

I said yes!! I wasn't surprised that we got engaged, but I was surprised about when Eric did it. He got me :)

A little reenactment....and I realize that in this picture, Eric is crouching and not kneeling, but believe me, when it was the real thing he was kneeling! :)

The ring that Eric picked out on his own. I thought he did a great job! :)

This is it!!!! We are now on the fastrack to happily ever after and have taken the first step on our life together when Eric officially proposed on July 14.....just shy of our six month anniversary. And I'm sure what comes to mind is the famous did he do it??

Well, Eric and I have known for months that it would come to this. And we knew it was going to be even more in the imminent future after our trip to Washington and Eric's talk with my dad. So I knew it was coming, but I didn't know when. Eric knows I am a curious person and I think he got a lot of fun out of teasing me and alluding to things about the ring he may or may not have bought, when he was going to propose, and how he was going to do it. He loved it :) But so did I.

The day before he proposed, he and I and the girls had gone up American Fork canyon to find a camping spot to roast some hot dogs and make some s'mores. It was a great night! While we were there, Eric asked what I wanted to do the followoing day for date night. I said I was up for whatever and he suggested coming back up the canyon to make some foil dinners. We had been talking about foil dinners recently and how delicious they are, so I eagerly agreed to the idea. And I love being outside and it was a beautiful spot that we had found to enjoy a campfire.

So the next day Eric and I headed up the canyon after I got off work. The girls were with their mom and so we were just going to take advantage of some time with just me and him. Eric had very lovingly prepared everything for going up the canyon while I was at work, and so he was all ready to go just as soon as I got home. We packed up the cooler and chairs in the car and went on our way. We got to the little picnic sight next to the river and Eric started employing his Eagle Scout skills to make a fire while I wrote a letter. The foil dinners required a bit of monitoring since the foil started to disintegrate in the fire haha. Eric managed to save the dinner c0mpletely but got burned on his arm in the process, and has since dubbed that mark a love scar, since it will indeed leave a scar.

While we were starting to eat dinner, Eric asked if I wanted to play one of the card games he brought and I said of course. He said he forgot them in the car so he went to go get them and came back with his backpack. I didn't think anyting of it until he sat down and pulled my laptop out of his backpack instead of a card game. After a minute, he came and sat by me and we started to watch a slideshow that he had put together that day. It was really sweet and went over pictures of when we had first started dating up until the previous weekend when we had been in Washington. It was perfect. And then at the end there were some slides that said he loved me and felt so lucky to know me....first as his friend....and then as his girlfriend.....and now hopefully as his fiance. At that point he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. He said some things to me, expressed some of his feelings, and then told me it would be his great honor if I were to be his wife and asked me to marry him. To which I said.....OF COURSE! :) And so he slipped the ring on my finger and it became officially official :) Shortly thereafter I found out that the girls had not gone with their mom, but were in fact with his mom who was watching them so that he could take me up the canyon to propose :) Apparently Eric had been a little scatterbrained throughout the day as he was running around stressed trying to get everyting ready for that evening. Halee and Kennedy had been excited to find out that Eric was going to ask me to marry him and Halee told Eric that she has to let her know, as soon as he knew, if I said yes or not, because she really wanted me to. When we got to Eric's mom's house the girls came running up to see what the result was and when Halee found out, she turned to Eric and exclaimed, "I can't believe she said yes!" Haha it was so cute.

Since that day we have been finally officially planning what we have been talking about for months. And the wedding excitement begins as well as a new and thrilling chapter of our lives! :)

Raime's Big Shin Dig Wedding

Raime's big day was something special indeed and super fun to be a part of! There were LOTS of pictures, but that's no surprise to anyone that knows that newly hitched couple ;) It was a gorgeous day and perfect for seeing my BFF marry her sweetheart. Being in the bridal party, I stuck around for all the picture taking and all that. Eric was an absolute star with his patience and willingness to wait around. The girls did a great job as well of keeping good attitudes. I think the girls especially liked the reception and the candy bar that was available there :) Who knew they would love gummy blue sharks so much? haha. In the end, it was a long day, but we had fun, we had laughs, we danced a bit and we enjoyed spending the time together. Raime's reception was definitely done in signature Raime style and loaded with lots of good times :)