Monday, August 10, 2009

Okay, so I know that I promised that I would be a better blogger and constantly and consistently update this blog. And here it is eight months later. But, come on seriously, raise your hand if you're surprised. Anyone? Hello?

Well, even though this news is several months old, this is the blog post I have waited so long to write. The one I dreamed about. That's a lot of blogging pressure, which may be one of the reasons I delayed it.

On Friday, June 26th, 2009 Heath and I found out the greatest news of our lives! That is the day that we discovered I AM PREGNANT!!!! Finally, after 7 1/2 years of marriage, innumerable prayers, many tears, tests, and drugs that made me go crazy, we were able to conceive! The miracle of this is hard to put into words. And it all happened without the help of infertility drugs.

Without going into the steamy details of the conception, I will say that I KNEW that I was pregnant the day that I conceived. Again, it's hard to put into words exactly how I knew, but I remember it vividly. That night I was driving home from work and an overwhelming warmth and peace flooded my body and I just knew that this time it "worked" and that I was going to have a baby. I felt like Heavenly Father had let me in on a little secret. I just had to wait a couple weeks to confirm it to tell everyone else. Those two weeks felt like two months. After about 9 days I started taking pregnancy tests. I knew it was too early but I couldn't help myself. I saw the dreaded negative that I had seen so many times before, but it was different because this time I knew I was pregnant. Of course doubt started to flood my mind. What if I had only imagined how I would feel if I was pregnant? etc. But I reassured myself that I knew what I had felt. I took the pregnancy test every morning for 4 days and then on the fifth day. . .

Even now I am flooded with the emotions of that day. A wonderful, blissful day that I will cherish my entire life. My initial reaction was mixed with tears and hysterical laughing as I frantically tried to get dressed so I could go and share the news. I am filled with love for all of the friends and family who cried tears of joy as we shared the news. I am so grateful for all of the many prayers that everyone offered on our behalf. We are so excited to enter this new phase in our life and continue to pray that our little baby will be born healthy and strong.

I so look forward to being a mother.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Heart Shabby Blogs

I'm in love with my new blog background so I thought I would share the joy. My very creative friend Megan just launched her new website yesterday, Shabby Blogs. She has the cutest backgrounds I have ever seen and they are all FREE! YAY! And I believe she will be adding buttons and banners and extras in the future.

So, everyone go and get yourself a new background . . . just don't steal mine. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blogging Marathon

WARNING: This post is LONG. . . it is a marathon, after-all. Basically, I’ve written about anything and everything that I ever thought “I’m going to blog about that.” since my last post in November. So, if you tap out after mile 13, I understand, but please leave a comment anyway.

The irony of the blog is that when you have to most blog about, you have no time to actually sit down at your computer and type it all out. And while posting pictures isn't TOO difficult, it still takes time. So, you will notice that my last post was in the middle of November. . . almost 3 months ago!! I didn't think it was that big of a deal since I thought that no one really read it, but then people, real people actually complained to me about my lack of posts. And my sweet husband kept reminding me that changing my background doesn't count as posting. I kept meaning to its just that well, you see, I am a procrastinator. December was so busy that I truly didn't have the time to write, but there were things that I wanted to write about but felt like it would just take too much time to sit and catch up on all my missed blogging opportunities. I mean who has a whole day to just sit and blog, right? . . . and then I realized that I did - today. So, here I sit at the Paradise Bakery enjoying my Crumbly Bleu Cheese Salad and chocolate chip cookie and blogging my little heart out.

I had thought about posting separate posts for each blog topic, but decided to just make one long continuous blog, a stream-of-consciousness narrative, purging all of my life events for the past few months, like blog vomit. . . Blog Vomit, haha. maybe that should have been the title of this post . I have to resist the strong urge to apologize for not writing because almost all of my journal entries since I was 8 started out with some form of "Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote, SO MUCH has happened." I'm not sure who I was apologizing to. . . my future self, maybe, for not recording all of the crucial moments of my life. Maybe my young self knew that my older self would not have a very good memory and she was sorry that those memories would forever be lost. . .

The end of November was a fun ride. Especially Thanksgiving weekend. Greg & Brittany came from California and Ryan, Eileen & family drove in from St. John's. It was the first time in YEARS since the entire family had been together for a holiday. My dad absolutely glowed with the excitement that can only come when he has his family around him. He said repeatedly that this was "the best Thanksgiving EVER." So, he wasn't so disappointed when everyone couldn't be together for Christmas. My mom decorated and set up tables in the garage. I’m not sure how or why but for several years it has been a Thanksgiving tradition that we each have our own two liter of soda. Weird, but fun.

It was adorable.

We each made a paper bag puppet that was supposed to look like us, though some drew a secret identity.

Apparently Heath is a pirate and Steve is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

We sang our traditional turkey song and used the puppets to sing it which was hilarious. For those of you who don't know the Turkey Song, it was something that my grandfather used to recite when he was in grade school and I don't ever remember eating turkey at home without singing it.

If turkeys were tall, As telegraph poles, And ten times broader and fatter. Who'd do the carving, To keep us from starving, And what would we use for a platter?

And then we each completed this phrase, "I am thankful to be me because I can. . . " I thought it was a fun and different way to think about being grateful. . . not just for things that we have, but being thankful for who we are and the gifts that we have. Thank you Mom for coming up with these fun things!

The day after Thanksgiving is the notorious "Bro Time" and the unofficially titled "Ho Time". All of the boys get together for the day and then spend the entire night and into the wee hours of the morning playing Rock Band and other video games while stuffing themselves with Pizza and caffeinated beverages. Bro Time is a very elaborate affair with its own blog and custom made t-shirts.

This year they also went goofy golfing at Golfland and, yes, Greg & Heath wore those mullet wigs the entire time.

The excitement that Heath gets for this event is unbelievable. Let me put this into perspective. Heath had a calender made from this website. You can add your own special occasions into it. He added: Our Anniversary, his birthday, my birthday, and Bro Time.

The girls don't make such a big deal about it, since we really end up together as a default to Bro Time, but we have just as much or more fun.

This year, for our girl time, we had a joint baby shower for Kiera & Brittany. To my surprise, it was wildly successful. I got the invitations out WAY late, so as we were putting out all the food, we kept joking that we would be lucky if 3-4 people showed up. Well, family and friends totally came through and there ended up being standing room only and ALL of the food was eaten. It was super fun to see all of the cute things that they each got, especially since one was having a boy and one was having a girl.

I made a blanket for each of them.

Since Kiera was way on the other side of the room. Amy is standing in for me. HAHA!

Two days later, Kiera went into labor. I am taking credit for this because the day before, I gave her essential oils and massaged her feet on the reflex points that are supposed to put you into labor. Eileen & Ryan just missed it, but Greg & Brittany were still here and we were all at the hospital during the delivery. A beautiful, healthy bundle of joy. Only Steve was in the delivery room during the birth but me and Amy hid in the hallway for a bit, just long enough to hear Steve give some great words of encouragement, "Keep it up."

Dylan Davis Ethington
Born: Dec. 1st, 12:27 AM
7 lbs. 6 oz. 20 inches long

December is a hectic time for everyone, it seems like there just isn't enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it is especially busy for our family since there are SEVEN birthdays during the month of December. My Dad's is the 3rd, my brother Jacob's is the 6th, mine is the 16th, my niece Kamry is the 27th and nephew Jeremy, the 30th. Dylan even waited a few hours this year so he could be born on the first of December and Cali came an entire month early to be born on the 28th. Why not? everyone else is doing it. . . :)

Cali Kaye Ethington
Born: Dec. 28th, 11:41 am
6 lbs. 6 oz. 19 1/2 inches long

The proud dads:

Although I complain about having my birthday so close to Christmas, it's actually a wonderful and magical time. Heath is VERY good about making sure I have a distinct and separate birthday present, which is nice.

Speaking of birthdays, I spent my 31st birthday at the spa. It was six hours of pure bliss. A 90 minute massage, a facial, manicure, pedicure, and shampoo & style. I loved every minute of it.

Afterward I went to Joe's Farm Grill with Heath and my Mom & Dad. Heath gave me a sewing machine which I REALLY wanted and was super excited to get, but I am ashamed to admit still have not used. I need my mom to give me a lesson.

That weekend, we had a little joint birthday get-together for me and Nate at Darshon's parents where she was house sitting. Darshon also made us a birthday cake. I can't even remember the last time I had a birthday cake. It was so much fun.
Britani was also there, but she must have left before I started taking pictures or all the pictures of her were on someone else's camera.

This year, for the first time ever, I sent out Christmas cards. I swear the powers of the universe were against me as I tried to get them out on time. Every imaginable obstacle placed itself in my path. If I had not sworn an oath to myself last Christmas when I didn't send them, I would have given up. But I was determined and although they didn't get sent until after Christmas, they DID get sent. If you did not get one and want to be on the list for next year, fingers crossed, please give me your address.

One especially challenging day led to a really funny story and a ironic commentary on the world. It was one of those days where every hour was planned out exactly so that I could get everything that I needed to done. I had massage appointments in the morning, but didn't have any more until the late afternoon. Normally, I would go to my parent's or go shopping or something other then all the way home since we live so far. But today, I was on my way home to finish my Christmas cards quickly before heading back.
Well, on the way home, I blew out a tire on Ironwood. I pulled over to the shoulder, freaked out for a second, and then called Heath. I wasn't too far from his work, so I asked him to come and help me. As I was sitting there waiting for him, I realized that I could probably change the tire on my own, but I had to pee so bad that I could hardly think straight. For a second, in a brief moment of insanity, I actually considered peeing my pants. But reason prevailed and somehow I managed until Heath arrived. It didn't help that I had the dogs in the car and they were crying and whining in the back seat.
Heath came. He changed the tire. It was simple and painless and took less then 15 minutes. Thanks Heath for saving the day!! But then as I was trying to pull out back on to the road I realized that I was completely and hopelessly STUCK IN THE MUD!! Thank you Pinal County for not giving us a shoulder but just a sloping pile of dirt that turns to thick clay-like glue after the rain. There was absolutely no way I was getting out of this on my own and the more I tried the worse it was. So, I had to call USAA and have a tow truck come out and pull me out. When I finally got back onto the road, it was time for me to go back to work. AARRGHHH!! So, I headed back the way I came but as I was getting off of the freeway, the spare tire that we had just put on started freaking out. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. Lucky for me there was a discount tire right there and I miraculously was able to pull into the parking lot. Apparently, spare tires are not made to withstand wheel spinning in the mud and it had a huge bubble in it. So, I had them put a new one on and I ended up being late for my appointment, but it all worked out. In the end, I just had to laugh. . . what else can you do?

Now, for the ironic commentary on the world part of the story. As Heath was changing my tire, I mentioned to him that I thought it was sad that for the 30 minutes that I was sitting here, not one single person stopped to see if I needed help. This was also the case several months earlier when Staci ran out of gas. We were two girls with a four-year-old and an infant in the middle of summer and NO ONE stopped. I hypothesized that maybe it was because everyone has cell phones, so we just assume that you have one and you'll call for help, or the dangers in this world, make us fearful of strangers, or we're just too busy or don't care.
Well, while I was waiting for the tow-truck driver to come, Heath had gone back to work and I sat knitting in my car when there was a tap on my window. It scared me because I was not expecting the tow truck for another 10 minutes, but I got out and started to explain the situation. He scratched his head and said, "well, I guess I could try to pull you out. . . " That's when I looked behind my car and saw that this was not the tow truck driver but just a nice normal dude with his two kids in his truck.
"Oh!" I exclaimed. "Sorry, I thought you were the tow truck driver!" This realization made me ecstatic considering the conversation I just had with Heath. "WOW! You just stopped out of the kindness of your heart!?!" I explained that while someone was coming to pull me out of the mud and didn't really need his help, I was so grateful that he had stopped to ask. And as I tend to do, I laid it on thick, real thick. "You are the ONLY person to stop and ask if I needed help. You win the prize for the nicest man in Queen Creek! You have completely restored my faith in humanity! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Then as he was leaving he asks something puzzling, "what do you do for a living" HUH? He then begins to tell me about this great business he has just gotten into and how he's looking for business partners and two of his friends have just retired with all the money they have made and they're having a meeting tonight in Queen Creek and blah, blah, blah. My mind was swirling as he handed me his "business" card. JUICE. He was selling JUICE! But not really selling the juice, just the exciting business opportunity and the millions of dollars I could make. He told me how he is just telling everyone he meets about it. Seriously? You really only stopped to talk to me about your JUICE!? Of course you did. How could I be so naive to think that someone would just stop to be nice without an ulterior motive. My heart sank in "et tu, brute" moment. Not you. Not my restorer in humanity. *sigh*
So, I vowed to always stop to see if someone needs help from now on. . . out of the kindness of my heart.

Deep breath. . . just like a real marathon. . .this blog is LONG. . . keep going . . .

Christmas was good, but weird. It was the first time since we've been married that we weren't in California. But Heath really wanted to spend the first Christmas in our new house IN our new house. He meticulously hung the lights, hiding the cords in Mcgyver-esque ways. I played Santa and hung stocking for us and the dogs. It was quiet but memorable.

Heath's work Christmas party. Inspired by this gallery of pictures.

I bought Lucas & Moco sweaters. But, as you can
see, Lucas doesn't fit into his. HAHA!!

This is one of my favorite pictures in the whole world. Moco's face is priceless. It takes him a good hour to get used to wearing clothes and we really rarely put them on him.

Which leads us to January. . . One of things that has taken up most of my free time is my newest crochet project. I am finally making something for myself. I am making a throw/afghan and it's pretty time consuming as it is much bigger than a baby blanket. I found this hexagon pattern on ravelry and I fell in love with it. I was so inspired by the colors and there are really endless possibilities as far as color combinations. I used Attic24's hexagon how-to, but made up the color pattern myself.
Check out the Flickr Pool of Hexagon Love.

It consists of many palm sized, multi-colored hexagons like this one.
I am using 15 different colors and I love the crazy, fun randomness of it.

I started out making all the little center parts. 127 of them. They each had their own little personality and were like dozens of little flowers to me.

And last week I just started joing them together. This is my progress so far:If there was such a thing as crochet true love, I would be in it.

It's hard for me to not work on it, which is one of the reasons I am writing this blog at Paradise Bakery instead of at home. . . I am easily distracted.

I got a jump start on this project when Heath and I went to Heber for our 7th anniversary. My aunt and uncle let us stay in their cabin there. It was a perfect and wonderful relaxing long weekend. We spent most of the weekend doing nothing, which is exactly what we wanted.

It was freezing, but fun. We did go to St. John's for the day on Sunday. It was fun to see the Browers and Ryan gave us the big tour.

Heath bought me this beautiful anniversary band.

Funny story. . . while I was in the shower, my rings were sitting on the nightstand and he took my current plain white gold band and replaced it with this one with diamonds in it. Well, I picked them up and put them on without looking and did not even notice. I wore them ALL DAY!! It was 6pm when I FINALLY looked down at my hand and saw the diamonds. We laughed and laughed. Do you know very many people who would have the patience that Heath did to not say, "hey, dummy! Look at your hand!" He is amazing. I have the best husband in the world.

Thank you, Heath, for 7 wonderful and fun-filled years. I love you with all my heart.

In Feburary, we finally got to meet Cali Kaye for the first time. It was a sort of spontaneous, last minute party on Super Bowl weekend. Everyone was there except Mom & Amy. Mom was in Germany and Amy was in Utah. Having everyone come over made my Dad especially happy since he thought he was going to be all alone the whole weekend.

It is my dream for awhile to have boy & girl twins. Here I am holding Dylan & Cali. While they are both pretty light. After a few minutes I was really starting to feel the burn in my arms.
I think it's so fun to see their very different personalities emerge. This picture sort of pegs it. Dylan is fast asleep and Cali is wide-eyed and checking everything out.
They are both absolutely adorable.

I really love these pictures both sent via cell phone of some of their first smiles.
Although Dylan looks exactly like Steve, I didn't think Cali looked like Greg until I saw this picture of Cali.

Baby Greg.

Well, I think that about brings us up to date.

Whew, that was exhausting. Do you feel like you just re-lived my last few months in fast forward? I do. Let's drink some Gatorade and get a massage, or something.

If you made it all the way through this post, thanks. I promise to never post like this again.