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.

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Birthday Celebration 2014

What is better than celebrating a birthday? Celebrating it over the course of the week! I felt the birthday love last week as it started with my aunts wishing me happy birthday before my birthday even started. Hope and I enjoyed lettuce wraps and other Chinese deliciousness at P.F. Changs the night before my birthday. I arrived at work the next day to find my desk decorated. Several coworkers gifted me candy, and one even bought me an exquisite strawberry shake. That night I lived out a childhood dream as I fought other kids for the driver’s seat in a fire engine at a fire station open house. To top it off Hope gave me an awesome gift: a giant cast iron skillet to cook my bacon in. I could not have asked for a better week.

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Recent Happenings

We’ve been pretty busy for the last few months, spending a lot of money fixing our car, working two jobs, mourning the loss of my grandmother, set backs at work, etc. In the midst of all the chaos we have been able to fit in some fun things.

Months ago I bought tickets for us to go to the One Republic and Sara Bareilles concert at the end of August. It was a blast, we even stayed through the whole thing (though we were late enough we completely missed the opening band) which is something we don’t usually do. We usually leave a little early to beat the traffic. I was most excited to see Sara Bareilles, but I was surprised at how fun One Republic was live. I felt it was money well spent.

Sara Bareilles and One Republic Concert
Sara Bareilles and One Republic Concert

Since Labor Day is a Monday holiday it meant that Joe and I had a whole day off together, which doesn’t happen often. We took advantage of the day by attending a breakfast in our new ward and meeting lots of friendly new people. Then we went to Ikea and bought lots of as-is furniture, the benefit of which is that it is already assembled. The main event of the day was a drive to Mirror Lake in the Uintas. We had a pleasant picnic in the cool weather and took a stroll around the lake. On the way home we also checked out the beautiful Provo Falls.

Provo Falls
Provo Falls
Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake

We’ve also enjoyed exploring our new neighborhood. There are sunflowers growing everywhere. One day we decided to check out a huge park a little ways away from our apartment. We were surprised that there is a network of short running/hiking/biking trails along with a stunning view of the valley.

Sunflowers
Sunflowers
Sunset at the park
Sunset at the park

Because Labor Day is a Monday holiday and Joe’s day off is on Monday it meant Joe had an extra day to take off. He chose to take a Saturday off to spend with me and we went hiking with some friends. We went up Big Cottonwood canyon and hiked the Brighton Lakes trail. It was perfect hiking weather.

Hiking with friends
Hiking with friends

Finlandia

In high school I was part of a regional youth symphony. Every year we participated in a music festival at Abravanel Hall, home of the Utah Symphony. It was one of my favorite performances of the year because watching the Utah Symphony perform as a child was the inspiration of my dream to become a musician. One year we performed Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia in its entirety. The entire piece is beautiful but the most well known is the hymn part which has been adapted to be played on its own and is one of Finland’s most important National songs. I was excited to play this piece because I am 1/4 Finnish and my Finnish grandmother was there that day to hear me play. I proudly played out the part of the flute melody that most people know as the hymn “Be Still My Soul.”

My Finnish Grandmother was always encouraging of my talent as a flutist. She passed away a little over a week ago. Shortly after I got the call that my grandmother was not likely to live much longer I remembered a conversation I had with her a few months previous. I had played my flute at my brother’s missionary farewell and she and my other grandmother were joking about me playing my flute at their funerals. My Finnish grandmother got fairly serious (which is unusual because she loved to joke) and told me she wanted me to play the flute at her funeral and she even knew what she wanted me to play, Finlandia. As soon as I remembered this I got online and searched and searched for the perfect arrangement. 

A few days later as my family got together to plan my grandmother’s funeral I found out that she had specifically written in her plans that I was to play Finlandia at her funeral. I was honored. As I played at her funeral service I was overcome with emotion. I was saddened that I won’t see her again in this life, comforted by the knowledge that I will see her again, slightly frightened that the high A I was going to play would be egregiously out of tune, pleased that I could honor my grandmother’s wishes, and proud to be 1/4 Finnish. 

Graduation X2

The end finally came, I finished my Masters degree and graduated for my second time from the University of Utah.

Graduation twoThis time I hope it feels more final. Last year after I graduated with my Bachelors degree I returned to school to begin my Masters only two weeks later. This time I’m not planning on going to back to school, at least not for a while. Joe knew how hard this last year was for me and made a medal to commemorate my efforts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was excited to have lots of family at my College’s convocation. I even got my sister, my niece and nephew, and one of my brothers all of whom had to travel quite a distance to be there. I know there were other people who wanted be there but couldn’t, I felt of your support too.

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I don’t know what I would have done with out such a loving and supportive husband.

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It was a great day. It was especially great to gather after the convocation with many of the 20+ people from my domain who I spent so much time with this past year.

My nephew Cooper and his family came all the way from Colorado to celebrate with me.
My nephew Cooper and his family came all the way from Colorado to celebrate with me.

Later that day even more friends and family gathered for more celebration. I was especially grateful to some of my good friends from high school who traveled about an hour to be there. They stayed the entire length of the party and helped put everything away when it was over.

Jenny, Camille, Jennica, and Mikaela, you are the best!
Jenny, Camille, Jennica, and Mikaela, you are the best!

Thank you to all the friends and family who have supported me in my education and helped celebrate with me this last weekend. I couldn’t have done it without you!

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.

Feeling Like a Grown-Up

It is amazing how roles change as time continues. I remember the days when my father or other adults did things for me. I have been feeling more like a grown-up as each month passes by. Starting my career with my first salaried job last August, picking and purchasing a new couch in February, and now this: doing my own plumbing. It was not anything too complicated, but our bathroom sink was draining extremely slow, and cleaning it from the sink was not doing the trick. So I put a bucket underneath the sink, unscrewed some pipes, and pulled a bunch of hair that looked and felt like a nasty, wet rat. I will spare you the pictures, but I sure do feel accomplished at doing simple things on my own without having to call in the professionals. Some days I do not like the grown-up feeling, but as long as I mix some fun in there it will be worth it.

Redhead

I get so impatient with my hair sometimes. This is my third time that I have chopped my hair short and donated it, but this time has been the hardest. When I cut my hair it was the shortest I have ever had it. I absolutely loved it, I didn’t even have to do anything and my hair would look nice. It was very refreshing. Now I miss my long hair and I feel like it can’t grow fast enough. But I also like change, it has taken a great deal of will power to keep myself from cutting my hair to a place where it would be easier to manage. So in order to prevent myself from doing something I would regret I decided to try something else with my hair. Instead of cutting it I temporarily dyed it red. I’m quite enjoying it so far.

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Technical Battles

It seems my luck with technology in recent months has been lacking. Back in October after a terrible day at my internship I came home and bent over to check something on my car when my iPod touch fell out of my purse and landed on the pavement. I heard the thud it made and hoped it was my cellphone that has survived countless falls on cement, but was disappointed. The fall left thousands of tiny cracks on the screen of my iPod. I thought I could live with it, but as time went on pieces of the screen fell out leaving unprotected holes on the face of the iPod and minor cuts on my fingers. About a week ago we finally decided to go to Apple and trade it in for a new one at half price. Right before we went to our appointment at the “genius bar” my phone fell into the toilet. The irony of the situation thankfully made Joe and I laugh. We took the phone apart and placed it in rice for three days and it appears to be working ok. The only problem appears to be that the “end” button only works sometimes. So if we’re talking on the phone—please hang up first, just in case.

Oh the irony.
Oh the irony.
You can see all the cracks, and where the pieces were beginning to fall out.
You can see all the cracks, and where the pieces were beginning to fall out.

Hair Update

It seems that when I have time to post it is typically about my hair. I will continue that tradition today and hope to diversify our posts in the future. Right now I will show evidence that my hair is getting to be a more uniform length along with more options for styling short hair.

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This photo was taken back a little before Halloween.
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This photo was taken today. A little over 7 months since I got my pixie cut.
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This is what I did with my hair for Halloween. Maybe it could be a good option for everyday 😉
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This photo was taken back in September.
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This photo was taken towards the end of October
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This photo was taken a few weeks ago. My hair is now getting long enough that I can pull some of it up away from my face.
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Curly hair is always fun 🙂