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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's going on with Tyler!

For the first couple months after Tyler was born I kept a journal for him in which I would write feelings I had about being his mother, different milestones he was reaching, things unique about him that I loved, his height and weight at each doctor appointment, etc. But since I am horrible at keeping a journal I think the last entry I made was when he was 6 mo. old and since we've moved I haven't even been able to find it. So, in an effort to get at least some things documented for his toddler months I want to write down some of the things he's doing right now, or has been doing for the past few months, that I love or just things he does that make me laugh!

Favorites:
-Food:Ham, grapes (purple only), string cheese
-Book: The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss (we read this 15-20 times a day)
and Elmo's Pop up Shapes and Color's book
-Movie: Elmo's World
-Friend: His Aunt Alena
-Toy: Giant Lego blocks and cars
-Animal: Toss up between Elephant, Monkey and Lion
-Thing to do: Play outside-especially at the park with daddy
Go swimming
Sit on Mommy's lap-every day-while she puts on her make-up
Take pictures of himself on our cell phones
-Letter: "O"-He says it when he sees anything round that even closely resembles an O
-Song: Popcorn Popping while doing all the actions. We sing this every night, usually 3 or 4 times, before bed.

Making goofy faces whenever we tell him to say "cheese" for a picture.

Makes me "soup" by taking the blender out of the cupboard and mixing (making blender noises and all)the food, then scoops out the soup with a spoon for me to eat.

He says "Bye Bye" anytime he wants to leave-no matter where we are; church (right in the middle of sacrament meeting), restaurant (as soon as we sit him in the high chair), the house, a friend's house, etc. And he says it over and over while nodding his head yes with a very desperate look in his eye as if to say, "please, please don't make me stay here anymore!". And then he starts to whine if we tell him it's not time to go yet. It's only mildly embarrassing.

Knows several letters in the alphabet and LOVES to point out and say the letters he recognizes anywhere he sees them-tv, books, on buildings, jars, etc. Letters he knows 100% (forwards, backwards and even upside down): D,F,L,M,O,P,R,S, and T. Letters he gets right most of the time: C,G,I,Y,and Z. The only number he recognizes is 9 and he's not counting at all! He likes to listen to us count and will hold up toys one at a time while we count them, but he will only repeat the #9. Weird! And we're working on colors and shapes but he's totally not interested. I guess he's going to be more of a word person than a number person...just like his mamma!

If Bobby and I are laughing and he hears us he starts laughing really hard and blinks his eyes fast. I don't know what that's all about but it makes us laugh.

Randomly, and several times throughout the day, he will start singing opera like Mr. Noodle does on Elmo's World. I really wish we had a video camera so I could post this because it is so funny!

I love that he calls Elmo "Mo-Mo".

He loves it when Bobby spins him in a circle really fast and he gets all dizzy. As soon as he's not dizzy anymore he wants to do it again!

He loves to wear his sunglasses (the ones from his Uncle Nathan and Aunt Rebekah!!) and as soon as we put them he flashes us the "cool dude" sign-which he does by sticking out his thumb and forefinger (spread out like a peace sign. Apparently a simple thumbs up doesn't do his coolness justice). The other day when we were at the pool we told him he couldn't walk past where the fence ended. So he walked to the very edge of where the fence was and just stood there. He had his sunglasses on and a little girl walked up to him and they were just staring at each other (like little kids do...always trying to figure the other one out or something), when he started pointing past the fence. He would point and then look back at her over and over as if he was trying to tell her that they should walk over there together. After a couple seconds of getting no response from the girl he flashed her his "cool dude" sign, shruged his shoulders and walked away as if to say, "Whatever, you don't want to walk with me, I'm too cool for you anyways!" We were laughing so hard!

During his bath he dunks Bobby's head in the water, and holds it under, so that he will blow bubbles.

After his bath, I pull him out of the tub, Bobby wraps the towel around him and then we stand up and make faces in the mirror together. Tyler knows we do this and loves when we copy the faces he makes (rather than the other way around) so he always makes sure he's the first one to make a face.

He loves to clean-up his toys. I don't know if this is just a phase, but I'm hoping it will turn into a good habit!! Anytime I say, "Okay Tyler should we clean up your toys?" He excitedly nods his head yes and just starts picking them up AND puts them all in the right baskets; toys in the toy basket, books in the book basket, shoes in the shoe basket, etc.

He folds his arms and bows his head whenever he sees anyone with their arms folded, even if we're not in church. For example, we were walking through JCPenny today and there was a manikin with its arms folded in a window so he pointed at it and then folded his arms and bowed his head. It made me laugh so hard! He's such a sweet boy.

He is SO good about sharing. If another kid takes a toy out of his hand he just looks at him like, "that was rude" and then goes and picks another toy. He never cries or tries to take it back. And if I ask him to give a toy to someone else he immediately hands it over-no whining. When my visiting teacher was over last week she brought her little girl that is 15 mo. and anytime Tyler would start to pick up a toy that she had been playing with she would start to cry and run over and take it from Tyler. Tyler just looked at me like, "what the heck is her problem?!" and handed it to her without me even telling him too. I think he was more scared of her crying than he was actually trying to be nice, but I was still so proud of him! I'm just praying nursery doesn't corrupt him!!!

I love when it's his nap time that we cuddle together and watch Sesame Street on the couch under his green blankie 'till he falls asleep (usually takes less than 15 min.!). I know you're supposed to put your kids down before they're asleep so they can teach themselves to fall asleep, but I did that when he was younger for all his naps and we do that when he goes to bed at night now, so I know he knows how to put himself to sleep, and he has always been a really good sleeper so I'm not worried about it. I just love this time I get to spend with him all snuggled up, holding him in my arms. And since I don't know how much longer he'll want to snuggle with me I'm taking FULL advantage...so, judge if you want, but this is one of my favorite parts of the whole day!!

I love that he gives pats and kisses to the baby, and that he tells her hello and goodbye while lifting my shirt up and down over my belly. He totally doesn't get the whole baby thing though because he'll do this to Bobby too! We try to tell him only mommy has a baby but he doesn't care, he just likes the game!



This is everything I can think of right now, but I'll probably remember more later and add to the list! We just love you Tyler, thanks for coming to our family!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bed time Poll

So Bobby and I have had a few discussions lately about whether or not we should go to bed together-like at the same time. I wouldn't say I go to bed early, but it's usually around 10:30/11:00, and Bobby doesn't ever go to bed till close to midnight. He always says he's just not tired enough to go to bed yet, but if he comes and lays down with me for a few minuets to help me fall asleep, 95% of the time he falls asleep before I do. He now claims that since that happens so often (him falling asleep first) I am somehow tricking him into going to bed early (apparently I have very magical powers!), so he has decided not only will he not go to bed with me, he also will not come and lay down with me till I fall asleep anymore. If he has to (aka I beg him to) I get a time limit...5 min. max. What I want to know is, are all of your husbands this way?! Please take my poll so I can find out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ward Campout-Aug. '08

Last weekend our ward had a camp out in the canyon and since we've never been to a ward camp out in any of our previous wards we decided that since we're new and trying to make friends this might be a good way. We couldn't stay the night since Bobby had to work the next morning, but we went up for the dinner which was BYOM (bring your own meat). We made foil dinners with steak, potatoes, carrots and onions and they were SO good! The ward brought stuff to make S'mores and I forgot how much I love them-I don't think I've had one since I went to girls camp like 8 years ago! It makes me want to go camping a lot more just so we can eat fun things like that because really, eating's my favorite thing in the whole world!

There weren't a ton of people there, but it was nice to get to know some of the other couples better and Tyler loved playing out in the middle of the woods where he could throw sticks and rocks and who knows what else! He was one of the only kids there (our ward hardly has any kids, but EVERYBODY is pregnant. Seriously, over 40% of the women in our relief society are pregnant) so he got lots of attention and ate it right up! Here are a couple pictures from the night.

This girl was the one other kid that was there and she was a raunch. She kept stealing all of Tyler's toys from him and I just wanted to say, "where is your mother?!"


His "cheese" face


Bobby cooking our foil dinners


Tyler was watching a couple guys play badminton and every time they hit it really high Tyler would open his mouth really wide and say, "ahhh". I was trying to catch that face, but he had just started to close his mouth here.


He sat in this same spot for like 10 min. taking all the balls out of the bucket and then putting them all back in...one by one.


I asked him what he was doing and he showed me the ball in his hand like "duh mom, can't you see?"

Monday, August 18, 2008

18 Months=Nursery!!!!

Tyler turned 18 mo. yesterday which in the LDS world means no more having to drag your child to all three church meetings on Sun.; where you are constantly running after them, picking up cheerios-and other unknown items which you can only hope are the remains of some sort of smashed up food left in the bottom of the diaper bag-from off the floor, enticing them with "quiet books" that are not at all enticing, pulling their finger out of their nose before anybody else sees and thinks they picked that habit up at home (which may or may not be true), and telling them "shhh" so many times that the people sitting in front of you begin to feel spit on the back of their necks-only happened once. Although in some situations having a child can be quite the entertainment during church, especially handy during certain Sunday school lessons-and every priesthood lesson for Bobby, by the end of Sacrament meeting we are ready to hand him off and have looked forward to this day for months!

It's just not fair to make those little ones try to sit still and be quiet for 3 hours straight, their bodies are just not made that way and this past month has been torcher for all 3 of us! Although the people in our church are NOT perfect, I love how perfect the church itself is. Every program: Nursery, primary, young men/women's, Relief Society/Priesthood, Home/Visit teaching, ect., is perfectly set up in such a way that every person in that age group is receiving the help and direction they need appropriate for their age. Everything runs so smoothly and efficiently it would be impossible for me to believe that these programs were not an important part of the Lord's plan for His people on the earth, and I am so grateful to inspired leaders whom have set the church up this way.

I was a little worried about how Tyler would do with nursery because he is still a pretty shy little kid and when he gets into a situation where there's lots of people he doesn't know he sticks pretty close to me. Bobby and I both wanted to be there to drop him off so we somewhat nervously walked down the hall telling him how fun nursery was going to be. We set him down right outside the door and when we opened it he stood there for a moment, kind of surveying the situation, and then took right off for the toys. We were a little late getting there so all the kids were already playing and he just walked right up to a group of kids playing with a rocking horse and jumped right in the middle of their circle. He didn't look back at us once, it was so funny! After Sunday school we went to check on him (they have a window at the top of the door) and he was busy playing away. The nursery leader saw us and came out to tell us that he had been doing great and loved playing with the blocks. No surprise there, he does that all day at home too! After church was over and we went to pick him up, the nursery leader said he was better behaved than all of the kids in the nursery that had been there for months, what a relief! He didn't even see us walk in so we called his name and he turned to look at us, gave us a half smile and a wave and went right back to playing with his toy. Totally did not care that we were there! We were laughing so hard! He put up a bit of a fuss when it was time to leave and we took him out of the nursery, but hey I'd rather that than him cry when he goes into nursery!

I was worried I might be really sad when I dropped him off at nursery for the first time, but after sacrament mtg. I was SO ready to let him run free under someone else's care! And the fact that he loves nursery helps me feel better about leaving him. So that's it. My baby is no longer a baby. I find myself just trying to soak up every moment I have with him so this next stage doesn't fly past as fast as his baby stage did. Unfortunately I have feeling it's just going to go faster.

After we got home from church he let me take his picture. You can see the sticker and the sucker he got at nursery, he was very proud of both and kept saying, "icker, icker".


I wanted a picture of him standing in front of something so that I can start to track his growth. Most people do this from the beginning by using a stuffed animal or something that they can compare their child to every mo. or 2 mo., but I'm lazy so I'm just starting now! It's fun to see how much they grow in a picture because you don't always notice when you're with them every day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bear Lake

A couple weeks ago on one of Bobby's days off we decided to check out Logan canyon. Everyone kept telling us how beautiful it was and since it's less than a 5 min. drive from our house we thought it'd be fun to pack a lunch and have a picnic in the canyon. As we began driving through the canyon the only thing we were really paying attention to was the scenery because it is absolutely gorgeous! I figured we'd see some sort of big parking lot off to one side of the road where there would be picnic tables and a big grassy area to play in so there's no way would miss it. As we wandered farther and farther into the canyon I wasn't worried that we'd NEVER come out! Now you have to understand that the Provo canyon is about a 20 min. drive from start to finish so we just assumed this would be the same. After we'd been driving for 30 min. with NO sign of any picnic areas or ending of the canyon we thought maybe we should just turn around. It was close to Tyler's nap time and he had fallen asleep in the back so we figured that while we had a little peace and were enjoying our beautiful drive we might as well keep going and see everything. We pulled out our lunches and ate them in the car while I checked out where we were on our Atlas. I was hoping that it would tell us how long the canyon was to see if we were anywhere near the end. Turns out that we were only about another 20 miles from Bear Lake. Apparently the canyon takes you straight from Logan to Garden City (the city where Bear Lake is). Since we'd both heard of it but never been, we decided to drive the next several miles and check it out. Bear Lake is a HUGE lake that is cut in the middle by the UT/ ID border so it is at the very most northern part of the state. As soon as we pulled into Garden City Tyler woke up so we thought it would be fun to check out the city and the Lake. The city is pretty much just a big tourist area so there are bed and breakfast's, inn's, camping grounds, shops and hamburger shacks everywhere. It's one of those places that's just super low key where everyone's walking around in their bathing suits or riding bikes in the streets. We kept seeing signs that said the city was famous for their raspberries: raspberry shakes, raspberry jam, raspberry syrup, etc., so we stopped at one of the hamburger places and shared a raspberry shake that was delicious!! Then it was onto the lake.

We drove around and found lots of places that wanted to charge you to drive onto the beach but since we didn't have bathing suits (Yea, I was wearing jeans-so hot!) or anything and weren't planning on staying we didn't want to pay to go onto the beach. We really just wanted to drive up closer to the water to see if it was a "clean" lake or not. After we drove around the lake for a LONG time and got farther outside of the city we finally found a place that didn't charge and it wasn't crowded at all so we pulled up and got out. We were so surprised at how clean the water AND the beach were. The beach has soft, white sand and the water is actually somewhat clear. Apparently this lake has some sort of mineral in the water that gives it the "aqua-blue" appearance that it has. (I don't know, I read it in one of the brochures we picked up) Anyway, since it wasn't crowded we decided to get out of the car and walk around the beach for a little bit; maybe see if Tyler was at all interested in the water. Holy cow, that kid RAN straight for the water and didn't stop once he got there. I barely had enough time to strip his shoes and shirt off before he soaked everything. Thankfully I keep sunscreen and an extra pair of clothes for Tyler in the diaper bag or we would have had a pretty miserable drive home. He liked holding onto Bobby's hand so that Bobby would take him farther and farther out into the water but if Bobby turned him around to walk back because it was getting too deep he would just let go and keep walking by himself. We ended up staying and playing in the water for over an hour and Tyler screamed his little head off when it was time to go. To say he LOVED it would be an understatement! I'm just so mad I didn't have my camera! We had so much fun that we decided to spend the whole day the next week up at the Lake. But why is it than when you make plans for something it never turns out, but when you do something spontaneously it's the best day ever?!

The next week when we went up and had of course packed a whole cooler of food and snacks, our bathing suits, towels, and I had my camera it was really overcast and windy so the water was freezing and we couldn't swim! It was okay because we bought some beach toys and just played in the sand most of the day and since it was cloudy we didn't have to worry about being hot, but we're going to make the trip again sometime when we check the weather before hand (leave it to us to just assume the weather is always on our side!) so that it will be a nice day and we can play in the water. Since I did bring my camera the second time here are a few pictures from our trip.



























Friday, August 15, 2008

Wells Fargo Appreciation Night

Bobby found out after we moved here that he had qualified to attend the Wells Fargo appreciation night from his old branch in Orem by being one of their 'top 100 performers'. When they have nights like these they usually have somekind of dinner, but this time they wanted to put all their money into the prizes so they just had appetizers and TONS of cool prizes to give away. Plasma TV's, laptops, video cameras, computers, bikes, patio furniture sets, etc. Every person that attended (100) would walk away with a prize worth at least $100.00. We debated on whether or not to attend because it was in Provo, which means we'd have to make the almost 3 hour drive twice in one evening (Bobby wasn't going to be able to leave work till 3:00 so we'd have to leave after that), but the thought of winning a big prize was just too enticing so we decided to go.

They decided to work out the giveaway by randomly pulling everybody's name out of a box and once your name was called you had 15 seconds to pick a prize and you could choose from any of the prizes that were available. They gave everyone a list of all the prizes the week before the event so that you could go through and choose which ones you wanted and the order, so that you would be ready to pick a prize when your name was called. Now, we were realistic and knew we probably wouldn't be in the top 25 but figured our chances were that we'd be in the top half (50). Wrong. Top 60? Wrong. Top 75? Wrong. We were number 87. The 87th name out of 100 people. Like I said, they had lots of cool prizes so we thought that we would for sure win something really cool, but by the time we were called and there were only 13 prizes to choose from...slim pickins'! We ended up taking a printer/faxer/copier combo thing that we hoped we'd be able to return and get store credit for (Target) because we already have a combo printer that works great. Turns out Target doesn't take returns over $30.00 without a receipt. Bummer! So I think we're going to try and sell it. Anybody need a printer?!

Even though we didn't walk away with a TV it was a really fun night and we got to see our friends Adam and Jana since Adam qualified to go to the event also-which totally made the trip worth it! We didn't get home till 1:00 am, but as soon as we hit the road Tyler was fast asleep and slept the whole way, which was a MUCH nicer drive than the one going down there! (I can only watch Elmo's World so many times before I want to poke Elmo's little eyes out!!)

Birthday/Anniversary

Back to the Saga...

My birthday was on July 21st and our anniversary was on the 24th, just one week after we moved here. We weren't expecting to really do anything since we knew we'd be in the middle of chaos, but Bobby met THE nicest girl at work (Sarah) who said it was just not okay for us to not celebrate and offered to watch Tyler so that we could go out. She knew I might not feel comfortable droping my child off with a stranger whom my husband had known for less than a week, so she invited us over for dinner the Sun. before my birthday (the 2nd sun. we were here) so I could meet her and Tyler could get to know her 2 little boys. After our last dinner experience I was a little nervous about meeting her, but she could not have been sweeter and the dinner was SOOOOO good. People in Logan are so kind and are constantly going out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable and I have been so touched by their generosity. It makes me a little more aware of how unwelcoming I can be sometimes!

She also invited her brother in law and his wife over for dinner because they have a daughter just a week younger than Tyler and they live in the apartment complex right next to us. We totally hit it off with both the couples there and our kids had so much fun playing together. We stayed for almost 5 hours just hanging out, playing a little rockband, and eating. It was so good to meet people that were normal and fun! Since the next night was my birthday and we didn't have any plans, the brother in law and his wife invited us over for dessert at their house. Bobby had to work all day Mon., so Tyler and I just hung out in our pj's all day (my bday present to myself) and then we went over to our new friends house where we had cake and ice cream!

Bobby had the day off on our anniversary so we dropped Tyler off at Sarah's house to catch an afternoon movie (Ironman-I loved it!). She actually lives in the town south of Logan so it takes a good 20 min. to get to her house and we didn't want to take advantage of her kindness so we decided to pick Tyler up after the movie and then go out to dinner together as a family. Tyler's really good at resteraunt's so it's usually never a problem to take him out (probably because we go out so often! ). I started to feel a little bit sick so we decided just to go to Chili's because it would be fast, but as soon as we pulled in the parking lot I got really nauseous. Lately I've been able to "hold in" the sickies by doing somekind of 'mind over matter' thing until the nausea passes, so I didn't tell Bobby about how I was feeling because I didn't want to ruin our anniversary dinner. We go inside and sit down at our table and are trying to decide what to get but nothing looks good to me. I told Bobby that I wasn't feeling very well and for him to just order something and I would have a few bites. He says, "Are you sure?... Oh, you don't look so good." And I RAN to the bathroom without saying a word. Apparently I cannot control my body as well as I thought I could. And may I recommend NOT eating a full bag of greasy movie theater popcorn on an empty stomach. I'm guessing that's what did it. When I got back Bobby told me he just ordered his fajita's to go and I almost kissed his little face off because I was not looking forward to doing anything but lying on the couch for the next several hours. Which is exactly what I did.

So that's how our birthday/anniversary week ended. Not the worst, not the best. But hey, at least next year's can't be worse...right?


Picture of us on our anniversary...before I was feeling sick!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ultrasound-8/13/08

It's a GIRL!

I had my 20 week ultrasound today and along with finding out that everything is progressing normally and the baby is growing as it should, we found out that we'll be having a girl (hence the song dedicated to her playing on my blog!) ! This makes 2 right guesses in a row for me. No super big revelations or anything, but both times I had really strong feelings what the gender was going to be and I've been right both times. Hmmm, maybe there is something to that whole mother's intuition thing. Ironically, when I was pregnant with Tyler I wanted a girl but knew it was going to be a boy, and this time I wanted a boy but knew it was going to be a girl. Ha Ha, oh well now we'll have one of each! We're super excited and ready to start buying PINK!!!

Her legs were spread WIDE apart...we'll be working on her modesty issues later!


We had the most perfect profile shot and just as the tech froze the image the baby moved so the picture is a little blury. This is almost identical to the profile picture we got of Tyler; same nose and mouth!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moving-Part 2

Overwhelming. That's the best word I can think of that describes what our first week in Logan was like. Like I mentioned, we arrived here around 9:00 pm on a Sat. night. Not the best time to try and find someone to help you unpack your Uhaul and help you move into an upstairs apartment. Before we could even go inside and check out where we were going to be living for the next several months we had to call the on-call R.A. (yes, we have R.A.'s in our married housing apartment...weird!) to give us our key and let us in. It took her about 10 min. to get there and when she did arrive she decided it would be an excellent time to show us all around the apartment complex: where the laundry room is (no more having our own washer and dryer...tear!), the housing office, volleyball courts, playgrounds, etc. It was a nice thought, but we were SO exhausted and not looking forward to unpacking tonight so we were more annoyed than anything else. She finally leaves us be and we have a second to kind of take in our new surroundings before the next wave of constant moving takes over. Small does not even begin to describe the size of our place. It's a 2 bedroom, 1 bath shack with 3 windows and a roof. Awesome! It takes only 3-4 steps to be in any new room in the house and if you spin in a circle in the middle of the room you're guaranteed to hit one of the four walls. I don't know if it was the tiredness or the pure ridiculousness of the situation (a family of, soon to be, 4 living someplace like this!) but we just started busting up laughing and dancing around like goons in our empty apartment. (I'll post pics later) Tyler just sat on the floor staring at us. Wow, we're the coolest parents ever! Around 10:00, when we got all our wiggles out, Bobby went down and began unpacking some boxes and some essential things we would need just for the night. We didn't want to have to leave everything 'till Sunday, but we were so tired and there was no way we were going to be able to move everything by ourselves anyway so we took a gamble that maybe people wouldn't be too judgmental and would look at helping us move in as doing service, therefore an acceptable sabbath day activity. Thankfully, just as we were closing up the Uhaul for the night, the R.A. for our building saw us and came over to see if we needed help. It was close to midnight so we told him we were done for the night and he said that he would send a couple guys from our new ward over to help us the next day after church.

Sun. morning we woke up to a horrible smell in the apartment. We walked around everywhere trying to figure out where it was coming from and although you could smell it anywhere in the house, it was the worst in the kitchen. We realized that the "light" smell we had picked up on the night before had either gotten WAY worse, or we were just too busy to really notice it. What was the smell you ask? I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but apparently the family living below us is from Prussia (not sure if that's how you spell it) and their bodies have a VERY distinct odor. It is so strong, and the walls so thin that their smell just seeps up into the apartment and no amount of leaving windows and doors open, cleaning with every cleaning product imaginable, or holding your nose can keep it out. And to top it all off the husband of the family is a big smoker and although you're supposed to be 25 feet from the apartments when you smoke, he smokes on his back porch. Lovely. We found out later that our apartment had been vacant since Jan. because nobody could stand the smell. That's what you get for finding an apartment online and not checking it out before you move in! I thought it might just be me with my more sensitive pregnant nose, but it even made Bobby sick so I knew it really was bad. Every time I would walk in the door I was running to the toilet because I just could not stomach it.

Later that evening 8 guys showed up to help us move in and it only took them about 45min. to completely clean out the Uhaul. I couldn't believe how willing SO many people were to spend their Sun. afternoon helping out perfect strangers. The blessings seemed to be coming so fast now that I couldn't keep up with them all! Just another testament that Heavenly Father DOES answer our prayers and pours out the blessings when we are in the right place for us to receive them. After everything was moved in, our R.A. (who is also the 1st counselor in our Bishopric) invited us to come to a dinner get together with a few other couples from the ward. We were grateful for the offer because we had NO food and were just planning on making a trip to the gas station for some snacks to hold us over until tomorrow when we could go grocery shopping. But at the same time, after the last couple of days we'd had we really just wanted to go inside and sleep. Not have to make first impressions, not have to make small talk with people we would probably not remember and we desperately needed showers! But we didn't want to be rude so we told him we'd be there in about 30 min., enough time for us to clean up a bit. Apparently they wanted to have dinner right then so he told us to come over in what we were wearing and not worry about changing. Nevermind that we had not taken showers, I had NO makeup on and was wearing a pair of Bobby's swim trunks with a tee-shirt that had holes, and had a headache that was quickly turning into a migraine. Sigh. So even though it was so generous of them to invite us over, we were in a little bit of a sour mood...basically because we're snobs. Let me explain. We're just not really "people" people. We kind of like to stick to ourselves and do our own thing. We had 1 or 2 good "couples" friends that we hung out with, but that was the extent of our friend circle. That's just how it was in the last several wards we lived in. Nobody really went out of their way to be friends with you, have you over for dinner, have game nights, parties,etc. (Not that I'm saying it was everybody else's fault, we never made the effort either) But we just got used to being that way and now it works for us. I guess we're out of habit of being friendly, something I'm going to have to get used to because people LOVE to be friendly here! Anyway, back to the dinner. So we get there, all grubbed up, and are met by 3 other couples all still dressed in their church clothes. And none of them had kids. Not that that would normally matter, but Tyler was being a beast and their apartment was not even remotely baby proof. We spent the entire time chasing him around, trying to hold him on our laps during dinner, because of course they didn't have a high chair or booster seat, and tried to keep him from crying every 5 seconds because he was ridiculously exhausted. Poor guy hadn't had a real nap for days and hadn't been to bed before 10:30 in the past week. So of course now everybody thinks we have a whiny kid that we don't know how to control. That was the kind of thing I was hoping to avoid by turning down the dinner offer. And to top it all off there wasn't even CLOSE to enough food for everyone and I was starving!! The girl that had us over made 4 chicken breast for 8 people! And not the big Costco size breast (come on people, chicken breast!), that you can split between 2 people and still get full off of. I guess it was sort of like a pot luck thing, so everyone else brought a side. There were mashed potatoes (about enough for 3-4 people so everyone got about 2 bites of potatoes), rice (that was burnt) and rolls. Good thing nobody was on a no carb diet. Oh, and salad, but by the time it got to me it was all gone. After dinner they wanted to play games, but we excused ourselves to go home. People without kids just don't understand that is almost impossible to sit down and enjoy playing games with other couples when there are not other children for your child to play with. Tyler would have been all over us the whole time, putting pieces in his mouth, and crying because we'd be taking them away. Just not my idea of fun! So now you know. The Brickers are snobs. We don't like people that are nice to us. We snub our nose at free food and we think we are too cool to be friends with people who wear socks with sandals and/or jean jumpers. Don't hate, just understand that we are awesome and we know it.

This next part seems SO silly now looking back, but it was a pretty big turning point in not only our attitude about being here, but in our relationship as well so I feel it's important enough that I want to write about it so I don't forget. We walked into our apartment that night after dinner feeling a lot of negative feelings. Discouraged, overwhelmed, worn out and confused. Despite all the blessings that we had received, I think the fatigue from the past week just took complete control over our emotions and we just let ourselves fall victim to despair. I sat down on the couch looked over at Bobby and said, "I don't like it here, I want to go home." He sat down next to me and held my hand and said, "I know, me too. This is hard." I laid my head on his shoulder and just started to cry. I missed my friends, my normal friends that made enough food for everyone to eat, that dressed normal, that loved me for me even if my kid was being a little out of control, that loved me for my sense of humor even if it's not always the nicest, that just loved me. Bobby got off the couch and knelt down in front of me and held my face in his hands. He didn't say anything for along time, he just cried. (Never has he cried since we have been married) Then he told me that he was scared too. Scared that he wouldn't do well in school and would have moved his family for nothing. Scared that I would hate him for taking me away from my friends. Scared that we wouldn't find our place here. Scared that I would be disappointed in him. Of course this only made me cry more because I could NEVER be anything more than proud of him. I told him that I believed in him. In his ability to successfully finish school, in his ability to pray for and receive revelation for our family, in his role as father and husband, and in him as a person. I would not have made this move if I did not believe in him and in us. We both reaffirmed our belief that this is where we are supposed to be at this time and got down on our knees and apologized to our Father in Heaven for not appreciating our blessings and allowing our emotions to take us to negative places. We thanked Him for opening the doors that led us to this place, for keeping us together as a family, and for helping us to pull together during this struggle and lean on each others' testimony and strength (lesson learned from previous experience during my first couple mo. of being pregnant) rather than pull apart and suffer individually until it was too much to bare, leaving us to make choices we might regret.

The next day, Mon., we decided to talk to the housing department about moving apartments because the stench was too much to bare! The apartment right next door happened to be vacant so we asked if we could move over, and said that we would willingly pay any sort of fee to do so. Thankfully they said that wouldn't be a problem, they didn't have anyone scheduled to move into this one for about a month and they would just reassign them an apt. And to top it off, no fee! We had really been praying that we'd be able to move apts. telling Heavenly Father that this would be the absolute last thing we would ask for for a long time!:) Bobby had to work all day Mon. so we started Mon. night and finished up on Tues. and it has made such a difference. I don't recommend moving twice in one week, but at least it was just right next door and we didn't have to go up or down any stairs!You can still smell it in this apartment but it's not nearly as strong so it's actually liveable. I still get sick almost every time we come home from somewhere because the smell is really strong in the stairwell, but I'm getting better about holding my breath and running up the stairs as fast as I can! If they leave their doors or windows open we have to close ours because then the smell does get really bad, but we don't have to worry about that too much because it's so hot that we just have the air on most of the day anyway. (Which is another thing-no air in these apts. so we're renting this huge air conditioning unit from the housing dept. At least they have them for rent so we don't have to buy one. I'll have to post a picture of it later!)

So here we are. Settled into our new, and then new again, apartment, making friends (sort of; we're really working hard on our snobby thing!) and doing lots of exploring(future post) in our new city. Since this job for Bobby was just part time he is only working 3-4 days a week and I LOVE it! He has every Tues. Thur. and every other Sat. off and we spend all day on those days out and about doing fun things, really trying to take advantage of this break before school starts. It is absolutely beautiful here and has a wonderfully small, home town feel. We are lucky to be here and are looking forward to many more "fun" adventures!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving to Logan

Before I start this next post I just have to tell you all thank you so much for your support and moving words of comfort that you left for me in the comments on my last post. You have no idea how much that meant to me. It kinda felt like a good idea at the time I wrote it to get EVERYTHING out and I hoped it would be somewhat therapeutic (which it was), but the next day I had one of those "Oh no" moments. Like, what the heck was I thinking writing such crazy stuff down for everyone to read, but at that point it was too late to delete it, too many of you would have already read it! :) But I really don't regret it, and I appreciate how kind you all were in response to my honesty and I am comforted by the fact that maybe every once in awhile you have hard days too. I love you guys!!

Moving to Logan-Part 1:
There is A LOT that happened during this time so I'm going to break our move up into 2 parts. The move from Provo to Logan and then moving in and our experience the first week or so in Logan.

Several months back I posted about our decision to move to Logan. We had been praying for 3 months about where, when, and how Bobby needed to finish his education. Which path would be the best one for not only Bobby's education and his future employment, but also for our family as a whole. I won't re-hash the decision making process because that's all in that past blog, but as you know we ended up deciding upon Logan, UT where USU is located. Once that decision was made and finalized there were lots of other things that needed to fall into place in order for that to happen.
1. He needed to find a job 2. We needed a place to live 3. We needed to sell one of our cars
May/June 2008-We were planning on making the move sometime in Aug. since USU classes begin Aug. 25, so we began working on #1 and #2. The ideal situation would have been for Bobby to be able to transfer to a Wells Fargo in Logan. That way he wouldn't have to bother looking, applying and interviewing for jobs which saves us TONS of time. However there is a little bit of a downside to our ideal scenario. He would have to take a "demotion" from personal banker to lead teller, because a banker is a 40 hour week job and he can only be working part time while he is taking his major classes, but on the flipside we would get to keep our insurance (major plus!!!). Since it is a "demotion" that translates to pay cut. Ouch! So not only would he be making less money, he would also be working only half as many hours. Double ouch! (And to be honest, I was pretty comfortable with the lifestyle we'd been living for the past 4 years!!) But he would still be making more than he would be starting brand new at some random job, and the amount of time we would save moving up here with a guaranteed job could just not be passed up. So he immediately started looking for job openings at all the Wells Fargos in the Logan area and applied for several of them with NO positive response. All the positions that were open wanted people to start working almost right away and we wouldn't be able to move for another couple months. (Bobby was in the middle of summer classes)We were getting so discouraged. I found myself a little disgruntled with my Heavenly Father, questioning why it was that if we were supposed to move to Logan (which I KNOW we were) why were things not falling into place for us immediately?! Isn't that how it works? You pray for something, you receive your answer, you act on it in faith and you receive an outpouring of blessings for being faithful. Well hadn't we had to wait long enough for the answer to our first prayer (where to go to school?)? Didn't I patiently wait for that answer? And once that answer was received didn't I immediately accept thou's will for me even though it is not at ALL what I wanted the answer to be? (The absolute LAST place I wanted to move was Logan. It puts me on the very opposite end of the state from my family and we know NO ONE in the entire city) But I did not question. I said (happily even I might add), "I will go where thou wants me to go dear Lord, I will do what thou wants me to do!" So where are all my blessings?! (insert stomp of foot here)

Thank goodness for my ever so faithful husband! I'm sure I would have been struck down by lightening numerous times if not for him. He never wavered. Not once. It drove me nuts, how I was always the only one worrying about this move. He would always just say, "Angela,you need to quit freaking out. We both know that this is where our lives are supposed to be going and we know we are going to be moving sometime this summer. Everything else along the way is just simple details. Heavenly Father has always taken care of us when we have been doing our part and I know he will not leave us alone this time. We just have to be patient a little longer." Which of course did not really ever give me hope and remind me to be more faithful, it just made me more angry that I was the only one that seemed to care. (I told you, struck be lightening!) But sure enough everything DID fall into place. And so miraculously I might add, that I will spend the rest of my life asking my Father in Heaven to forgive me for my weak spirit and poor faith (as well as my husband).

July 1, 2008-no sign of anything on the job front; however we do have a place to live. Since I had been so sick we never had a chance to come up to Logan and look for housing like we had planned so we had to do the next best thing. Find something online. Since we didn't know the area at all (like where the ghetto places are, etc.) we decided it might just be best to live in their oncampus married housing for the first few months till we can get a feel for things here and then if it's really that bad we can move. And rent is SOOOO cheap (a big plus since Bobby gets that awesome pay cut!) with pretty much everything included (cable, Internet, most utilities), so we decided that was probably the best we were going to do with the limited time and knowledge we had and signed ourselves up for that. Done. Downside? We have to accept a move in date of July 12 (less than 2 weeks away). We don't necessarily have to move in that early, but that is when we have to start paying rent, which means we get to pay rent for 2 places in July; yea!

July 2, 2008-An opening shows up online for a job as a part time teller at a Logan branch and Bobby applies

July 3, 2008-Bobby gets a call from the manager of the branch and has an "interview" over the phone with him, says she thinks he would work out well at their branch, but she would need him to start the following week. He tells her we can't move in until the 12th so his first day couldn't be till the 14th. She says she thinks that would work and she'll call him next week to let him know for sure.

July 7, 2008(Monday)-Bobby gets the job. Our landlords don't know we're moving, we need to pack our entire house, we need to drive to St. George and pick up all my furniture from my parents, and we need to sell our car. By Saturday. Let me just tell you. That week was MAYHEM and to top it all off I was still sick so Bobby did EVERYTHING! Every night Bobby came home and packed non-stop, made plans to get a uhaul and drive to St. George, called our landlords (who were very gracious, but still made us pay for a full month of rent for July), took care of Tyler and I, and put the car up for sale. 2 days later we sold it and it sold for more than we thought it would.

July 11, 2008-We get in the car early Fri. morning and drive to St. George where we pick up the Uhaul and load my furniture at my mom's. We stay for a couple hours because it's probably the last time we're going to see them for a long time (we can't go down for Thanksgiving OR Christmas :( ) and I just don't care that we're not going to get back until late that night and still have to pack our whole house into the Uhaul! We get home at 9:45 pm and Bobby calls a couple guys from work, who offered to help us load everything up, to come over. I put Tyler to bed and they work for almost 2 hours! I still can't believe they came over that late and worked so hard for us. We never would have been able to do that without them! (Jana, give Adam another BIG hug for us. We really appreciated it!!!) Even with all that help, we still had our whole bedroom to pack and load into the Uhaul, but we were too exhausted and decided to just do it the next day.

July 12, 2008-Moving day! My sweet visiting teacher was out walking her dog while we had been loading the Uhaul the night before and found out we were moving. Everything had happened so fast that we really didn't have time to tel anyone! She offered to watch Tyler for us this morning so we could finish packing and then clean our apartment, which turned out to be a HUGE blessing! There was so much going on that it would have taken us double the time to do everything if Tyler had been home. So after we dropped Tyler off at her house we got busy packing up our room. (I do not recommend taking only 1 week to pack your house!) Around 10:30 my sweetest most dear friends Jaime and Maranda came over just to say goodbye and ended up staying to help us clean. Actually I shouldn't say help clean. They did ALL the cleaning. I was really sick Sat. morning and Bobby was loading everything that we had just packed and they saw we needed mega help and just jumped right in. Cleaning toilets, showers, walls, filling in holes, you name it-they did it! What was I doing you ask? Sitting on the floor watching them. That's right. I have the best friends in the WHOLE world. And when they were done cleaning did they just leave? No way! They stayed and entertained Tyler (who had just come home) for the next couple hours as Bobby and I finalized everything. And even then, did they say goodbye and leave? No way! They stayed with us as we did our last walk through, as we locked the door on our house forever, as we buckled ourselves into the Uhaul and then they waved to us until the Uhaul was out of sight! Now, not once I had cried about moving or leaving friends or Provo or my family or anything. I think everything happened so fast that I didn't even have time to think or let it register that we were really leaving, but the second I buckled my seatbelt and we began to pull out of the drive it all hit me and there was no controlling the flood gates. I cried all the way to Salt Lake! I waved goodbye to my friends and the second we drove past them the tears just started coming. A couple seconds later Bobby said, "Hey look in your mirror, they're still waving." And I was so touched that I had friends that cared that much. Even though we couldn't see them, they could still see us so they didn't stop waving! It's been a really long time since I have that kind of connection with anyone besides my family. You two are such a special part of my life and I know that we were in each other's lives at this time for a reason. I love you both to bits and miss you horribly!

We left provo at 5:15 that evening and arrived in Logan around 9:00 that night. It's a bitter sweet thing I guess. Moving on. A necessary evil I say. If you're not moving forward in life you're not progressing, but if you do move forward you're taking a chance. A chance on the unknown. A chance on others. And even more scary; a chance on yourself. If we never move or change we don't fully recognize how much we are capable of. How able we are to overcome challenges and trials. When we sit still in one place for too long I think our spirits can become numb which hinders our progression in fulfilling our mission on this earth. I was so comfortable in Provo, so comfortable with my ward, my friends, and my family. So comfortable that I wasn't allowing myself to be challenged, developing my talents, or taking on new hurdles. I was content with where I was and where I was going. Nowhere. That was safe. My spirit was numb. Accepting this new challenge, no matter how hard it has been (next post) has been exactly what I have needed. Change is necessary. I'm sure many of you recognize this in your daily lives and make the necessary adjustments and continue growing without needing something as dramatic as moving to a new place to jumpstart you. I However, am grateful to my Heavenly Father for patiently teaching me this lesson. He knows what will touch our spirits individually and provides us with tools to grow and draw closer to him. For that I am truly grateful.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Bricker Saga-1st Trimester

Okay, so here's how I'm going to do this. So much has happened over the last few months (has it really been months since I've blogged!!) and I don't want to forget ANYTHING that I'm going to break down everything by giving each "event" it's own post. I guess I'm doing it mostly this way for journaling purposes (I'll be honest, I don't keep a real journal-this is it. If I want to remember something, it has to go down on the blog), but also so that I don't overwhelm myself (or you the readers) by trying to finish it all in one post/sitting. Also, I warn you, I'm going to treat these next few posts as real journal enteries so some things will be very personal, honest, and maybe somewhat abrupt, so I ask that you please don't judge me or my family. This summer has been one of trials, faith promoting experiences and an outpouring of blessings and I want to document everything that happened to us so that I remember all the lessons and experiences that I/we went through. Enjoy!

1st Trimester:
So I'll start from where I left off. I was pregnant and sick, sick, sick! This is kind of a tender subject with me because I have so many wonderful and amazing friends that struggle on very deep levels with fertility. Hearing 1st hand about their trials makes me feel almost gulity for being able to get prengant so easily. Both times that I've wanted a baby I've gotten pregnant pretty much right away. I've never had a miscarriage. And I carry my babies with no problems (on the baby side) from day 1 until delivery. I've often wondered how and why Heavenly Father can watch some of his most precious daughters suffer over the desire to bear childern, while others who couldn't care less if they have children (and some who don't want their babies at all), are blessed with that ability. But I'm sure He cries along with you, and I know that HE understands your pain and wishes it could be another way. I understand that some concepts are not meant for us to grasp in this lifetime, and those righteous mothers who desire children so badly will have the opportunity to raise children in the next life, but it doesn't make their suffering or pain any easier for me to understand or watch. I just pray that all justice will be met, if not in this life, in the next.

That being said, being pregnant is my trial. As unfair and cruel as it sounds, being pregnant is THE hardest thing I have ever had to do and there are times during both my pregnancies that I have wished for a miscarriage, even prayed for one because the pain-both emotional and physical-was almost more than I could bear. I am so ashamed to admit that. So ashamed, and even now I cry just thinking about what an awful thing that is, but it's the truth. I distinctly remember several weeks ago kneeling by my bed and begging Heavenly Father to take this baby and give it to somebody else as tears poured down my cheeks. It just wasn't fair for me to have this baby when somebody else would willing go through the pain I was going through, just to have that blessing of a beautiful child. But I absolutely could not make it through one more day of the non-stop vomiting, the tubes in my arms, the weakness from lack of food and water taking over my body so that I could do nothing but lay on the couch and watch my baby play by himself all day for months. I couldn't shower for days at a time because I couldn't stand up long enough to take one and I changed my clothes, maybe, every other day.

The emotional pain was even worse. I couldn't hold Tyler, hug him, or sing to him at night like I have done every night since he was born. I know years from now, he will never remember that, but that didn't make it any easier for me to watch him cry on the floor because he was hungry and I couldn't feed him because I didn't have the energy to walk or even crawl to the kitchen; or to have to watch Bobby drag him away from me as he tried to climb up to me on the couch to have me read him a book. I struggled with the conflicting feelings of having the desire to help our family grow, while trying to decide if what I had to go through was actually worth it. When Heavenly Father commanded us to have children did He actually mean me, or just those women who could more easily bear children? And I'm not going to lie, I had a problem with the "why me's?" Why does this have to be my trial? Why not some teenager that couldn't keep her hormones straight on prom night? Wouldn't that be more fair?!

Not only is it a trial on my body, my emotions, and my relationship with Tyler, but being pregnant puts a very big strain on the relationship between Bobby and I. I'd like to think that after 4 years of marriage we're stronger than this. That we know what it takes to have the perfect marriage. That we are pro communicators and never have any problems. I am so embarrased to admit all of this, but maybe some of you long time married folks are still having some struggles in your marriages too. I guess that's how you keep learning and falling in love over and over right? In May and June Bobby was taking summer classes and working full time. He came home every night exhausted only to be met with a house that looked like 5 children lived there rather than 1, piles of dirty laundry, no clean dishes, no dinner, a starving child, a dying wife and loads of homework. At first(for like a week)he felt bad for me, but then the stress of it all started adding up. Bobby is not one to EVER complain, instead he shuts down. He says he does everything that needs to be done because it HAS to get done and there's no reason to complain about things that cannot be changed. So he did everything he had to do, but didn't talk to me-not because he was mad at me, he was just frustrated that he was part of a situation he couldn't fix(such a guy!). And I didn't talk to him because I didn't care. How's that for bratty?! But I was seriously just too sick to care that he was stressed, almost too sick to even notice. I never asked about his day, he never asked about mine. We didn't talk about anything! We didn't laugh, we didn't touch, we didn't even really acknowledge each others existence. He came home, did what he needed to do, and we went to bed. I don't know if you've ever tried that with your spouse, but it doesn't work. If no communication is going on, the relationship goes downhill...fast! Especially if that's the way it is every day for several weeks. I think every couple is different, some of you would have sat down talked things out, kissed and made up. It was just too far past that point for us. We needed a break from one another...bad. He needed a few weeks to finish up school without the stress of keeping his wife alive, and I needed a few weeks to not feel that I was a constant burden to someone. That's the point where I decided it would probably be best if we (Tyler and I) went to stay with my mom for awhile. Tyler and I would get taken care of, my mom would be in heaven, and Bobby and I would get the break we needed to realize just how much we needed each other. Which is exactly what happened. We were gone for 2 weeks, the longest I've ever been away from Bobby, and when we got back it was like we were newlyweds! It was sick! But we would stay up talking all night, he was more caring and considerate, I was more helpful and open and we talked through ALL of the things that were making us both crazy before. Problems were solved, hearts were mended, and the relationship was saved. Bobby even wrote me the most heartfelt/romantic letter I have ever received from anyone (which if you know Bobby you probably don't believe that for a second, but I promise he wrote it, it was in his handwriting!! :) ) while I was gone and gave it to me the night I came home. *And just as a side note, that was the first letter he has ever written me, EVER, which of course made it all the sweeter and better!* It was seriously like we were falling in love all over again. I now understand what they mean when they say that not only is it possible, but a must, to fall in love over and over with your spouse. We realized how important it is to cling together and rely on one another, as well as our Father in Heaven during trials, rather than to pull away and sulk in our own seperate worlds. A lesson we didn't even realize we would need to face again just a couple weeks down the road. (future post) I'll just say this, Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. If we trust in Him, His will, His way, we will be blessed greatly for our faith. My mom always reminds us that, it is after the trial of our faith that the blessings come.

Even as I prayed for this baby to be taken away from me, I knew that that was not Heavenly Fathers plan for me or for this child. This baby is going to be a very special part of our family and I know that I am meant to be his/her mother and that it is necessary for me to go through this trial. I don't exactly know why just yet, only that my struggles throughout this pregnancy are part of a much greater plan so I need to not only endure them well, but also take for granted every lesson I learn to prepare me for future trials ahead.

Please don't take this post as me asking for pity or complaining about my lot in life. I simply wanted to document this part of the trial so that I will more fully appreciate the blessing in the end, as well as all the blessings along the way.

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