Giving Good Gifts

When I was 8 months pregnant I attended a conference. The opening session of the conference was packed. Fortunately I had gotten there early enough to get a good seat. Unfortunately about 30 minutes into the presentation I needed to use the bathroom, one of the joys of being 8 months pregnant. I was irritated, knowing that my seat would be taken once I left. When I returned from the bathroom the room was even more packed than before. Every seat was full and there were about 30 people standing in the back. Tired and hugely pregnant, but not wanting to miss the captivating speaker, I joined the people standing in the back of the room. Standing was even more uncomfortable than I had anticipated and I was feeling more and more irritated by the second. After standing for maybe 10 minutes or so a man came up to me and offered me his seat. I was incredibly relieved and grateful. That small act of kindness from a complete stranger made my day.

Over the last 6 months I have been the recipient of small acts of kindness like these that have made such a difference. There was the manager at the grocery store who insisted he help me unload my cart when I was enormously pregnant, the woman who rushed to open a door for me when she saw me pushing my stroller, the person who returned my cart to the store when my baby was screaming,  and many others. These acts were simple, but someone saw that I was in need and they helped.

These complete strangers have made me want to be more kind, and I think that is the biggest difference that these people have made. Too often we focus on the bad in the world, but we can do something to make sure there is more good. Since seeing what a difference small acts of kindness can do, I have been trying my best to look for small kind things I can do for others. I have also made a goal to be more accepting of  the kindness of others, because I believe that is just as important.

I can’t help but think that by being kind to others we are in some small part doing the work of God. In the Book of Mormon I read in Moroni 10:18 “. . . remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.”

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Baby Blessing

A few weeks ago we had Porter’s baby blessing. This was a sweet experience and rare opportunity to have all of our family together. Joe’s dad was even able to make the trip, which is something he hasn’t been able to do since our wedding. We are so grateful to have Porter in our lives and that he is officially ours in the records of our church. Even though he pooped on his white outfit and popped off some the snaps, lost one of his shoes, and  whimpered through the blessing, it was one of those moments we will always cherish. Thank you to everyone who made the journey to share this moment with us. All photos were taken by my mom.

Our Family

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Bump Update

In case you were curious I am still pregnant and officially at 36 weeks. When this baby is going to come is anyone’s guess. And if you would like to be in on the fun you can cast your own guess through our Google form.

Here are some pictures of the growing baby bump.

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Sometimes When You’re Pregnant…

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Your belly looks like a basketball. People also like to mention this a lot.

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You get to look like a druggie. No I did not take up IV drug use but was being tested for gestational diabetes. Thankfully with the longer, much less fun test my results were in the normal range.

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Your belly is the perfect shelf for your water bottle. Hands free hydration!

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You get to buy fun little outfits like this one. Our little man is going to be well dressed.

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You get excited by the passage of time. Each week seems like a huge landmark. You may also get very skilled at finding different ways of counting down to your due date. Right now I have a little over 8 weeks or about two months or less than 60 days til my due date.

What’s Not to Love

I recently read a statement from a pregnant woman that made me cringe. She stated that she loved being pregnant, when I read that statement I burst into tears. I cannot say that I love being pregnant, one of the reasons being that I cry pretty easily. That day had been particularly stressful and I found myself feeling deeply guilty that I am not loving every moment of being pregnant. After some introspection I decided that even though I have been blessed with a relatively comfortable pregnancy, it is ok that I do not love every moment. However, there are many moments to love. In order to focus on the positive, here are my top ten list of lovable pregnancy moments.

  1. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat, especially for the first time. That moment reassured me that the exhaustion that I felt during my first trimester was indeed doing something more than making me fall asleep every night at 8:00.
  2. Reading the weekly updates on my baby’s development. I have three pregnancy apps that I regularly check, it may be a bit excessive but they each give me a little different information which I enjoy.
  3. Seeing the baby on the ultrasound. I don’t think I can even describe how exciting that was.
  4. Finding out the gender of our baby. I feel that finding out that we are expecting a boy has made it easier to bond with our little one. It has also made planning for the future easier.
  5. The kindness of others. Even though I am just barely past the halfway mark of my pregnancy, I am already amazed at the kindness of those around me. We have received several beautiful gifts from friends and family as well as several gracious offers to throw me baby showers.
  6. Feeling the baby move. Every week I feel the baby move a little more, I can’t help but smile (for now) when he kicks surprisingly hard.
  7. Dreaming of bringing our baby home. Sometimes I’ll sit in the baby’s room and look through the clothes and other little baby things we have and imagine what our little boy will look like.
  8. Reminding myself that pregnancy is truly a miracle. There are many women who would love to be in my position, we are lucky to have this baby on the way. In the end we’ll have a little person who is a little bit of me and a little bit of Joe, which is terribly exciting.
  9. Seeing Joe in a new light. Joe has been so supportive in doing little things to help me through this pregnancy. He’s gone with me to all of my appointments, he lets me sleep when I’m exhausted, and he’s been doing extra chores around the house.
  10. The support of those around me. Even though I sometimes get sick of people asking me how I’m feeling, it’s great to know that there are people all around me who support me and are concerned about me and the baby.

I am also coming to realize that pregnancy takes a lot of patience, nine months is a long time. Dreaming of the future moments also keeps me more positive. Here are the top 5 things I am looking forward to in the coming weeks and months.

  1. Seeing and holding my baby for the first time. (Of course that has to be number one.)
  2. When Joe is able to feel the baby kick.
  3. I look forward to the 18th of every month because that means I am one month closer to my due date.
  4. Baby showers. Who doesn’t love getting cute baby things? After the baby showers I will also allow myself to buy more things for the baby which I am looking forward to.
  5. Definitively deciding on a name for our little one.

22 Weeks

It’s a Boy!

On Monday we had our first ultrasound of our little one. Joe and I (and a lot of other people) were both convinced that we were having a girl, so when we found out that we are actually expecting a little boy we were surprised. Surprised in the best way possible. My eyes were glued to the monitor as we caught the first glimpses of our baby. We are thrilled that everything is checking out to be healthy and now we get the excitement of coming up with names for our little boy.

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Our little guy was really wiggly, looks like we’re going to have our hands full with this one.

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I love this picture of his little legs.20 Weeks

Last Minute Ragnar

Yesterday I finished the Wasatch Back Ragnar for my second time. Unlike when I ran the Wasatch Back for the first time three years ago, this time I joined my team days before the race. A friend from my Master’s program had several people drop out of her team last minute and asked if I would join. But even more last minute than my joining the team, was my brother joining the team. When I met up with my van the night before the Ragnar to head up to Logan I found out that yet another person had dropped out. I contacted my little brother Mitchell and he was able to get work off and joined our team hours before we arrived at the starting line.

Considering my last minute joining of the team, my lack of training, and only knowing two people on the team–the race was a blast.

Me just after I finished my first leg.
Me just after I finished my first leg.

My total mileage for the race was longer than I have ran in a week since I trained for my marathon eight months ago. Two of my three legs were longer than I have run at one time since my marathon. Despite my lack of training I felt pretty good about how well I ran. My pace was fairly consistent through all of my legs, even through my last leg which was long and hilly.

Mitchell running his first leg.
Mitchell running his first leg.

Mitchell was a champ and passed more people than almost anyone on our team.

Wearing our wings, and a photo bomb from our team members.
Wearing our wings, and a photo bomb from our team members.

Our team was called “Wings of Mercury.” In honor of our team name we all wore wings for at least one of our legs.

Mitchell waiting at the exchange point
Mitchell waiting at the exchange point

The only hiccup came when we had to exchange with the other van. Somehow Mitchell always finished long before the next runner was ready.

Mitchell running very safely in the dark.
Mitchell running very safely in the dark.

There was also the typical Ragnar fun of running with all of the required safety gear in the dark.

Me handing off to Julia after my second leg.
Me handing off to Julia after my second leg.

As the race went on our exchanges got better and better within our van.

This exchange point was the only one I saw that was decorated.
This exchange point was the only one I saw that was decorated.
My van (minus Julia who was running) after my last leg.
My van (minus Julia who was running) after my last leg.

The people in our van were a lot of fun. We all got along well even when we were extremely sleep deprived.

Mitchell killing his last leg.
Mitchell killing his last leg.
Mitchell and I at the finish line.
Mitchell and I at the finish line.

Thanks for letting us run with you Wings of Mercury, it was a blast.

Repurposing: tights to headband and hemp twine to belt

One day on Pinterest I found a tutorial for making a headband using old tights. I was extremely excited. I love tights and I love headbands and I am always getting holes in my tights. Turning tights with holes into headbands seemed like a perfect solution. I followed this tutorial and I will definitely use it again.

Using tights as a headband gives a headband with a lot of stretch.
Using tights as a headband gives a headband with a lot of stretch.
The headband is wide enough to keep all of my hair out of my face, including the pieces that are just a little too short to fit into a ponytail.
The headband is wide enough to keep all of my hair out of my face, including the pieces that are just a little too short to fit into a ponytail.

My next project started with me wishing that I had more belts. Belts seem to be extremely popular for accessorizing lately. I decided to resist buying one and looked for belt tutorials on Pinterest. I was surprised at how many great ideas I found and will probably be making more later. The one I made was based off of this tutorial. I used some thin, hemp twine left over from hanging signs for my graduation party and the D rings from a belt that I had and never wore.

For my belt I used six strands of the hemp twine for each section and used 5 sections to braid the belt. I machine stitched the beginning and the end of the braid. When that was done I hand stitched the D rings onto one end and then folded over the other end and hand stitched it in place to make it look more finished. The result is a small belt in a neutral color that I love.

New belt
New belt
Very versatile
Very versatile

Oven Mitt Surgery

It seems that there are some things that I will just never learn. Like how to keep my apartment clean for more than a day, the rules of football, how to roll my “R’s,” and how to not put my oven mitt on a hot stovetop. Fortunately most of those things I don’t care about that much. But the last one concerns me just a little. Once again I left my new oven mitt on the stove, luckily it did not light on fire this time, but it got a nice scorch mark on it. It looks like I will be working on this lesson for a while. In the meantime I decided to patch up my poor oven mitt.

Scorched Oven Mitt
Scorched Oven Mitt

I still had some leftover fabric from when I originally made the oven mitt. I cut out a square of the fabric, paired it with some more batting and quilted them together in a similar style to the original oven mitt.

Quilted Patch
Quilted Patch

Then I hemmed the edges of the patch to make it look a little more uniform.

Hemmed Patch
Hemmed Patch

Then I hand sewed the patch over the scorch mark on my oven mitt.

Patched Oven Mitt
Patched Oven Mitt

With the Oven Mitt surgery completed, I don’t think it looks too bad. I figure it will work until I someday learn the lesson of keeping flammable items away from extremely hot surfaces.

One Year Since my Pixie Cut

One year ago I cut 14 inches of my hair off and donated it. It was a win-win situation at the time. I got to try a new hairstyle while donating my hair to women with cancer. Ever since I cut my hair I’ve been growing it out. I loved it short, but missed it long. Unfortunately I can’t switch between short and long that quickly. But my hair is growing out. This is an overview of all the stages my hair went through while growing out my pixie cut.Image

It’s good for me to look at these pictures and realize that my hair actually has been growing.

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The picture above gives a more dramatic look of the change in length.