I has so much fun last night seeing some old friends from highschool, I seriously think I haven't seen some of these girls since graduation...
It's so fun to catch up and find out whats going on in people's lives (and refreshing to not do it through social media...). We really don't get to have people over very often, so it was fun to show some people our house after all the projects we've done (and are in the process of doing).
Brad's turning into a photographer- here's some candid shots he took:
Don't you wish you knew what they were talking about?
He can't get a candid one of me, I'm noticing I always make this "party face" where I open my mouth wide open, it looks like I'm happily being attacked by a bear...
a fancy camera so I can take adorable pictures of our kids!
So brad spoiled me and got me this for Christmas.
But, it's not all I got- I was so spoiled this Christmas- in a way that it was thrilling opening awesome surprise gifts, but also made me feel like I needed to give 1/2 of it away to orphans to put the universe back in balance (except orphans probably don't need a new ipod, prenatal massage, or lens for a DSLR camera...) We agreed that beyond the camera I would only get a couple little stocking stuffers, but Brad found so many cute surprises for me- it was seriously like being a kid on Christmas. Thank you babe, and Santa, and family for such generous gifts. I'm sure we'll be all about the kids for all future Christmases so I'll keep my loot- just this one time... :) Plethora of gifts aside, it was really just a great Christmas, one full of fun memories that I won't forget. Here's a sampling of post Christmas mess:
But I meant to be talking about the camera...
I've only ever used a point and click, and I've been very loyal to Canon, but after doing my research, I felt like everyone was telling me to get a Nikon: our amazing wedding photographer Scott Jarvie, the infamous pioneer woman, and informative reviews like this. Although I'd never actually taken a picture with a DSLR camera I felt confident in going with Nikon. Even an older model Nikon seemed to outclass the latest Canon and finding a slightly older model made the whole thing much more affordable as well. I surely hope I can figure out all this fancy camera stuff. As long as I can I think I'm going to love it!
The desire has been there for a while, but really ignited when I randomly saw these cute pictures on project nursery: I thought, I want cute pictures of my babies too. Brad thought they were weird, but I think they're sweet. (and not tacky and not just your average newborn shots)
(don't worry, I won't experiment with hanging my babies from trees..)
Then my friend Brooke posted about these pictures on her blog, and I could immediately tell it was the same photographer (she has great style). I was so excited, I knew who took the pictures now and they were in Utah so I could theoretically get cute pictures of my own babies just like them!
Until i saw the price. If I'm going to pay $500 (yes, 1/2 of a thousand dollars!-no prints included) on one little photo shoot of newborn babies, I may as well buy a nice camera with that money and learn how to take cute pictures myself for years to come. So that's exactly what I'm doing. Teach a man to fish, my friends.
So I was going through the manual for a while trying to figure out how to take pictures, formatting memory cards, all this new stuff, but it still wouldn't take a picture. Brad finally figured out we didn't have the lens attached quite right, the camera suddenly perked up and was ready to shoot. Brad pulled it up to his face as I said "nooooo....I want to take the first picture!" But it was too late, so these are the very first pictures taken:
ESPN and ungroomed feet. Yup, sounds about right. So Brad took a pic of me pouting, he hates when I make this face.
my first picture:
Thanks for the awesome Christmas gift Brad, I love you! xoxo
Pregnancy is like running a marathon. Except the farther you run the fatter you get, so by the final stretch you can barely move. And you get something way better than a t-shirt at the end, I'm hoping.
29 weeks now- I think I'm past the "fun" part of pregnancy. My belly is no longer a cute little ball. People don't tell me I'm tiny anymore- instead they look at my stomach and say "whoa." And when I tell them I'm due end of February they say "oh my gosh, wow." They don't ask to touch my belly much anymore either (which is fine), it probably reminds them of Santa. I'm afraid of getting bigger, which is silly since it's the only direction to go. Sleeping is a nightmare. Sitting after a couple minutes is no good either, standing is worse. There is no hope of comfy anymore, I wish I could fast forward two months, past this final stretch... but I'm trying to enjoy being pregnant during Christmas, who knows if that will happen again. I eat all the goodies I want and don't even think twice.
Having been a youngest child and always a healthy, young girl I'm never even on the totem pole for special assistance or people giving up their seat for me. Its kind of been a fun change, I really appreciate when I'm at a store and someone says "let me help you with that", "are you sure you can get that all by yourself? why don't I get someone to carry it for you". And occasionally when there are more seats than people, people stand up so that I can sit down. I know its because they pity me with my big belly looking as uncomfortable as it sometimes feels, but the special treatment still makes me feel like a queen. :)
That being said, it's funny to me when there are several people who could "deserve" the seat. I feel like I've met eyes with an older person and we're both thinking the same thing- "should I let you sit down... who needs it more?" That's when people are conscientious of each other.
I've noticed some older women already seem to feel entitled to their sitting position, they have had their babies and don't seem that impressed with my belly- they let me stand. A surprising amount of younger women too, probably just used to guys giving up their seats and they don't even think about it. I haven't had a guy yet not offer his seat, if he were young and didn't I'd think he was kind of a jerk, but I'd understand if he were frail and elderly. Some older gentlemen who don't seem so frail do seem used to people getting out of their way at their convenience, that bugs me a little when they don't realize that they are getting around better than me at this point.
I guess my point is, that once you are up on the totem pole for special treatment, some people get used to it and forget that there are other people who need it too. I think I was good at recognizing it before this, but to be honest I can't remember. I can tell you this, in the future I will try to take good care of anyone who appears to be limited in their ability to get around (I guess that still might be me lugging around 2 babies...) :)
So, in the spirit of Christmas, as other people are shoving their neighbors down in the grocery aisle, remember that you have an opportunity to serve someone with a giant belly (or hip replacement) by making their outing a little less challenging!
Our family puts together gingerbread houses over Thanksgiving every year. My mom, sisters, and I only got around to baking them and getting the basic structure together. So we've had this charming, but bare little house sitting on our table for a while now, and I decided decorating it would make a good FHE activity.
Brad is actually really good at this stuff- he's very creative and sometimes we're both working on things and I notice his is just a little cuter. I think to myself- hey, this is my thing...I'm supposed to be better than you at this. (at least he wouldn't know how to roll out/bake the dough or do stained glass windows, right?...) Oh well. It's so backwards- I built the house and he decorated. :) Luckily I get to do most of the decorating in our life-size home! Notice the snowman sledding and the ivy growing up the house? Yup, Brad did that. He truly is a man of many talents.
A week or two ago we went to our favorite little tree lot and picked out a tree. Last year was our first Christmas together and we were a little frivolous when picking out the tree...this year we agreed we would go a little more charlie brown style. However, we got an awesome deal on a tall if not somewhat sparse wild (as opposed to perfect-shaped farmed) tree. Once I filled in the blanks w/ decorations it was actually quite lovely:
I love colored lights, I know all white is more elegant and adult-like, but I grew up w/ a beautiful, festive tree every year filled with colors- and I want our tree to be just as magical.
I love to pick out ornaments when I'm on vacation somewhere, they bring back fun memories when I see them. Although less sentimental, also enjoy finding cute ones on sale after Christmas, but my favorite way to get ornaments is inheriting them from my mom's surplus decor.
These are a couple of my favorites:
My great aunt Vilo's snowflakes that she crocheted or tatted or something very special and labor intensive like that:
My mom gave me this ornament of my Grandma Burt's, I will probably worry about breaking it every year:
I got this little treat after Christmas last year, it's beauty and significance to me is self-evident:
This is a Russian ornament that I got in Alaska while visiting my parents on their mission. I can't quite explain why I love it. Maybe the bell. Maybe the painting. Maybe how it's reminiscent of an Alaskan winter wonderland and a fun, mission-y time in my life:
I made this little baby Jesus in young women's, I was probably 13. For some reason I just love getting it out every year and sitting it on a quaint little branch:
One more nice addition this year is stockings with our real names on them. I still bought them cheapy, they just happened to have our names on them at the store! (thanks to my sister Melinda for finding them) I'll probably have to unpick them and embroider mommy and daddy for next Christmas, but I'll worry about that next year.
I just love Christmas- the goodies, the decorations, the music- I always have big plans, but this Christmas will be a success if I at least make a few fabulous treats and remember to keep myself and this tree hydrated.
This is my favorite time of year and it’s especially fun this year being pregnant! It just adds one more magical aspect to the Christmas season. It’s our last holidays without these little girls, I can't wait for them to be a part (and probably the center) of all our future holidays and traditions. This is my theme song this year, the lyrics capture so many of the feelings I’ve been having lately. I was reading in Luke the other day about when Elizabeth feels John leap inside of her when Mary comes to tell her that she is pregnant- all the while feeling my babies kicking. How fun is that?
It is really amazing to feel these little babies moving around inside of me, and to see them during ultrasounds. I mean, there are people inside of me. I’m growing people. It blows my mind whenever I think about it. There are 3 beating hearts in my body. (we're counting mine, I'm still in here too, you know) 3 working brains. 6 lungs. I can feel little heads and limbs poking up into my stomach. It really is a miracle, I’m so grateful that I get to be pregnant! (and am trying to remind myself of that) I really think I'd miss it if I didn't know I'll have 2 little baby girls afterwards, it sounds boring just having me in here.
THE LAST CHRISTMAS
I feel your heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
That night in a stable
Our Saviour was born
Yes, we have so much
To be thankful for
On the last Christmas
The last Christmas
They're choosing the colors
Preparing your room
For one day; Midsummer
The advent of you
Together we wait for
A heavenly gift
Is winter a wonder?
Enchanted that this is
The last Christmas
See the stars shining from above
Hear the singing
Praise to the Giver of Life and Love
Maker of Beautiful things.
I feel you heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
When darkness was shattered
The dawn of God's grace
And the journey'd begun
To the first Easter day
On this Christmas
The very last Christmas
man, how is it I already love you so much little babies? I can't wait to see your sweet little faces and kiss your little toes. I'm not looking forward to changing your diapers, but I'm sure you'll be worth it. :)
Let's talk food again, it's been a while. (my posts as of late mostly just gush over my babykins and complain about pregnancy symptoms)
So how fun are these to make for a holiday appetizer? I used to make tamales at new years with my mom, but the tradition has been fading. These are definitely easy to make more frequently as they require no washing of corn husks, borrowing lard from the neighbors and such. I used my own pork recipe for the meat, but the masa was great and I'm sold on the idea of tamale bites!
I made them for a relief society Christmas party tonight- they were yummy and Brad requested that I make them again. Better yet, I learned Wal-mart sells mini muffin tins for $4, since I have a double oven I decided I needed 2... I don't care what you may have against Wal-mart, you just can't beat that.
I don't know if disneyland is really the happiest place on earth, but it is definitely a happy place. We went there with my family the week before thanksgiving, it was kinda different not being able to go on any of my favorite rides, but I lived vicariously through Brad who had never been there before. It was hard though because he didn't get nearly as excited about the rides as I do. After space mountian you don't say, "yeah, that was cool." Shouldn't you say: "YEAH! that was sooo cool!!! I love it, I love it, I love it."
Thats okay though, I can't hold everyone to my high standard of childish delight in nostalgic things and places. I really enjoyed soarin' over california, it's a small world, pirates of the carribean, and the haunted mansion. Everything is decorated so cute for Christmas in disneyland so it all still put a smile on my face! It was most fun to enjoy warm weather, eat places I can't eat in Utah, and relax with family. Southern California is a nice place to visit, I don't have to wear face lotion there and its amazing what a view of the ocean can do for your inner chi.
it's a small world was so stinking cute.
here we are prentending to be parents, grandpa then bought the girlies their first stuffed animals:
oh yeah, i got to go on this "cool" ride too:
a lovely breakfast w/ the girls:
a hideous image of me looking like a pregnant snowman whale, with a cute husband and the beautiful fashion island tree in the back:
So I just tweeted about how Thanksgiving was perfect. It really kind of was, but it made me laugh reading those words because I probably wouldn't have said that in the chaos of yesterday morning! I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to help my mom get the turkey in at 6 since I had nothing else to do. So we prepared the turkey in the dark. That was kinda fun. My sister came over a few hours later and we began pie prep, among them this beautiful looking pumpkin pie with pureed roasted hazelnuts. I roasted the nuts the night before and made the dough and baked it perfectly in our neighbor's oven who was out of town. While carrying it back to the house I thought "it is so hot and perfectly cooked, it needs to cool down now"...so I thought I'd brush the bottom of it in the snow on the bushes before putting it in the garage. All at once the glass pie container cracked down the middle fell between my mitted hands and crashed to the ground, shattering into a million pieces and spreading less than appetizing looking remains all over my parents walkway. I still probably would have cried in normal conditions, but being pregnant, I just started sobbing. I came inside and my dad cleaned it up for me after being reassured I hadn't fallen on ice. I went back to my mom and sobbed some more. I'd acctually made extra pie crust, but we had just baked them into cookies. My mom, dad, and me all scrambled to put together another pie crust, hazelnut paste, filling, and get going on all the other food. It looked decent for how fast we made it, and it ended up being pretty delicious so I'm glad I made #2. I actually had never made dressing before so I'd complied parts of different recipes and added things that sounded good to me so I could try it this year. I was so rushed I just threw things I'd bought together and hoped it worked. It turned out great too, so all in all it was a thanksgiving miracle!
Brad woke up just a little before we were ready to eat and was kinda like "haha...so you broke a pie, then made it again. big deal. thats funny." He wouldn't have laughed in the heat of it all though, my glares then probably could have killed. The meal was fantastic and once I sat down to enjoy all the food I really appreciated it and loved it. Turkey was tender. Gravy was well seasoned. Mashed potatoes were creamy. Dressing was savory goodness. Yams were perfectly sweet and lovely. Cranberry chutney elevated the flavor of the turkey. Rolls were fluffy clouds of heaven. Pies topped it off. We had fun with our family and it was all yummy!
I've enjoyed hearing about what other people are thankful for this year, and especially this year my heart really feels full of gratitute. I may get a little phsyco in the chaos of things at times, but I am always reminded quickly that I am blessed and life is good.
So I noticed on one of my friend’s blogs that shutterfly is doing a promo for people who blog to get 50 free Christmas card prints. It may have pushed me over the edge to send out a few Christmas cards this year. It’s tempting to just wait until next year when we can send something out that has 2 little people who are way cuter than us on it, but I just can’t pass up a good deal, especially ones including the word “free”.
I used shutterfly to create our guest book for our wedding and photo books of our wedding after. I’ve always been a manual scrapbooker, but shutterfly is so easy and professional looking so I loved it. They have so many options for Christmas cards, but I’m thinking about this one. There are a lot of cute ones though!
I'm 25 weeks now and I pretty much say this every week, but I've really exploded lately. humongo exploded.
this was 2 weeks ago:
and now this week:
So much to be thankful for this year!
*an amazing husband who is always looking out for me
*two little girls that are growing inside of me
*the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives
*our cute house that is WARM and starting to come together, almost ready for little babes
(*I guess I'll highlight our new mirror and fireplace, I'm thrilled to have a mantle to decorate!)
*getting to make yummy holiday food
So count your blessings and cook, cook, cook!
I try not to be an overly paranoid pregnant lady, but sometimes it's hard not to be. This is my first time doing this, new things are happening to my body that have never happened before (times two) and it doesn't help that I recently finished nursing school. (giving me just enough info to get me worried, without enough experience to reassure my fears with facts on my individual case...)
So maybe I have run into my Dr's office to have them check on my babies after my rambunctious niece head butted me in the uterus when running to hug me. It freaked me out, and I didn't care that everyone in the office was certainly laughing at me after I left. I felt a little idiotic by the third time explaining the scenario (first to the secretary, then the nurse, then the doctor "now describe to trauma to me? what was that, a 3 year old girl head butting you? Hmm...she seriously thought a 3 year old running into her damaged her babies? ha. And yes, I did.)
The pregnancy discomforts are amplifying daily. Here's a couple of examples of recent concerns I've gone to my Dr. with:
*"Um, my left ribs have been numb for the past 3 weeks. " That doesn't seem good right?
SELF DIAGNOSIS: inflamed gallbladder? ....some kind of nerve damage??
DR. DIAGNOSIS: sounds like stretching ligaments, get used to it during pregnancy.
*I occasionally feel sharp, tingly pulling in the middle of my stomach at random times.
SELF DIAGNOSIS: maybe one of the placentas is pulling away from the uterus.
DR. DIAGNOSIS: sounds like stretching ligaments, get used to it during pregnancy.
*Okay, but what about a really sharp, intense pain on my lower right side that happens at night sometimes...this ones got to be serious, right? I better check, just in case...
SELF DIAGNOSIS: appendicitis.
DR. DIAGNOSIS: sounds like stretching ligaments, get used to it during pregnancy.
Apparently if you're pregnant and not bleeding, you can blame pain on your poor, overstretched ligaments, doing their best to support your enormous uterus. Hang in there guys, we've still got a long way to go. I know you used to just have to hold onto a little lemon-sized muscle, that little lemon grew into a watermelon, in fact it will be more like 2 watermelons...good luck w/ the stretching, dear ligaments. I can handle your stretching pain as long as you do your job.
It's amazing our bodies can do this whole thing! I've tried to explain to Brad that I can have a stomach ache in my ribs, here's why:
Our wedding photographer, Scott Jarvie is pretty awesome and does an annual charitable shoot (for free!) for past clients. It wasn't really perfect timing for us (I was showing enough to not look normal and it was about a week before I popped out obviously), but free is always perfect, so we went with it:
we didn't mean to do this, but it was kinda cool that timp was in the background of some of these, since we hiked to the peak while pregnant with the twins- they've already been to the top!
then Jarvie asked us to lay in some hay, and since we pretty much just trust him and do what he says:
but then he had me lay in the hay (or wheat or whatever...) by myself. That felt weirder. Turns out when you lay in hay and the camera gets the right angle it looks like you're trying to be a sexy mama, even if you're just laying there kinda dazed and awkward. (I have a bunch of these shots, I don't think there's much for me to do w/ them...)
and back to standing on two feet, we do much better here:
and just in case you couldn't tell, some hand placement so you know I'm pregnant: