Sunday, November 25, 2012

Baby Boy Lachlan

We are parents now! Our baby boy Lachlan was born yesterday! If you want to read the nitty gritty of the birth story, here it is.

First of all, you have to understand that I had an irrational fear of not knowing when I was really in labor. It sounds silly I know, and everyone just kept telling me that I would "just know". This didn't help my fearfulness. On Sunday the 11th, I started super early labor. Meaning, I was kind of crampy and had more Braxton Hicks than normal. I hadn't let my hopes get up that I was going to have him early until this point. Every day that week, it progressed a little more. But even I could tell that I wasn't really in labor, but my body was taking its own sweet time getting there. Then, a week later on Sunday the 18th, we went on our usual Sunday walk, and after we came home I noticed that I had was having really hard Braxton Hicks really close together. Even though they didn't hurt, they were 3 minutes apart for over 2 hours. It was Sunday evening, so our doctor's office wasn't open. We called the ER, and they told us to come in. I had a handy-dandy app that was keeping track of my contractions for me, and they got 2-3 minutes apart. But it all seemed too easy - just like my fear. I was barely in pain.

I almost felt silly being sent up from the ER in a wheelchair. When they asked me to rate my pain, I honestly could only tell them a 1 or a 2. When I checked in, I was still barely dilated to a 1 - what I had been for the past 2 weeks. So I was pretty frustrated. I got to soak in the bathtub, which was nice because we didn't have one at home. They let me stay for 2 hours, but I didn't progress at all, my pain level didn't get any higher, and I barely stayed in the bathtub. My contractions stayed consistent though. Then we got sent home. I felt pretty sheep-ish walking out of the hospital at midnight that night. And then I was pretty grumpy in school the next day because we didn't get home til late (our hospital is 45 min. away - another reason that we felt like we needed to hurry and go that night, just in case). They told us to keep our scheduled doctor's appointment for Wednesday morning.

I was feeling so discouraged on Monday and Tuesday. Those were the last 2 days of class before Thanksgiving. It all worked out well, because Bear had a test on Monday and I had one on Tuesday, but I was so ready to have the baby out. There was no more room, and I was uncomfortable no matter what I was doing. And I was getting tired of the continuous Braxton Hicks that were seeming to do nothing. My fear of not knowing when I was going into labor was coming true. I had Bear give me a blessing on Monday, and it said that the labor would come quickly. I almost had to take a Facebook break because I couldn't handle all pictures and statuses of other people's cute babies. Bear made me watch an episode of "16 and Pregnant" to make me feel better about myself, but it just made me feel worse. I walked at least 2 miles on a track and then went window shopping after that, so I walked almost nonstop for 3 hours. Then we went out for spicy Thai food. Nothing.

We got up early for our morning appointment. We repacked our hospital bag to take with us, hoping that they'd tell me I had progressed and that I could check in across the street at the hospital again. Nope. I was still barely at a 1. So we went to Roanoke. We walked around the mall, did Where's Waldo books at Barnes and Noble, ate dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, and watched the new Lincoln movie (which we loved). My parents got in really late that night.

My sister was still in Utah at BYU, but the rest of my immediate family showed up at our house Thanksgiving morning, and my mom helped me make a Thanksgiving dinner. I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing though. We had a nice, relaxing day together and I got to eat a real Thanksgiving dinner. It made me really uncomfortable though because I had no room haha! My mom brought me a breast pump and some raspberry leaf tea, which I started drinking Thanksgiving night.

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to Charlottesville, and we took my family to Chick-fil-A for their first time. Bear took the kids to a movie, and I went to Monticello with my parents. Everywhere was crazy busy because it was Black Friday. We got to Monticello at 2:30, and we wouldn't have been able to get in til 5:30. So we just went to the gift shop, the movie, display, and took pictures with the Jefferson We statue.

Well, to actually get to the birth story, I woke up at 4:30 in morning to go to the bathroom, but wasn't able to  get back to sleep after that because I was having painful contractions every 5 minutes. It was getting to the point that I had to get out of bed and move everytime that I had one, but I wanted to let Bear sleep. So I kept getting in the shower because the warm water really helped, and I kept moving around. My water broke at 7 am. And now that it's all said and done, I'm so glad that this was all happening at home and not in wouldn't have been pretty. Once my water broke, I got Bear up, and the hospital told us to come in again. We told my parents and we went over to their hotel room to use their bathtub. After sitting in there a while, we decided to go to the hospital. My mom has really long labors, so she told me that I should wait at home as long as I could, but I was in too much pain. Even though we had felt so sheep-ish and silly when our doctor told us that we shouldn't have gone to the ER that one Sunday because that's just their protocol and they have to cover themselves, I'm so glad that we went through all of it. Because we knew exactly where to drive up to, how long it was going to take, and all of my information was already taken care of. Even though we had registered at the hospital a few weeks earlier, they still had a lot of questions for me when I came in that Sunday. And at this point, I definitely knew that I was in labor. These were no Braxton Hick contractions!

When I was checked in, I was at a 4. This was at 10 am. I wanted to get in the bathtub right away. I had planned to go natural with no epidural, but after being in the tub for an hour, I caved. The tub that had been helpful up until that point wasn't even helping anymore. I told them that I wouldn't get out of the bathtub unless I could get an epidural right away. Luckily, the epidural guy wasn't tied up and was able to do it right away. My contractions were 2 min. apart at this point, and I was already at an 8. I progressed really quickly.  I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to hold still for him long enough to put the epidural in because I was in so much pain. In a way, I felt silly for caving at what seemed like the very end. Because they almost didn't get it in time - I went straight to a 10 after they put the epidural in. And I probably could've made it if I had been like a normal person that only pushes for 15 min. But I pushed for 3 hours. And I wouldn't have been able to make it without that epidural. Because I progressed so quickly, my dad and the kids thought that they weren't going to make it in time. But then they ended up waiting around for 3 hours.

After I got the epidural in, I felt so much better. It took away the pain, but I was still able to move my legs around and feel where I needed to push. The baby's heart rate kept going down and they had to keep putting me on oxygen, which was scary, but then it would come back up again. I guessed that he was going to be 8-8.5 lbs. And that he was going to be really long, because he was seriously up in my lungs. Well the wonderful epidural didn't help my exhaustion at the end of the 3 hours. The doctor went past his 3 hour pushing limit for me. Which I'm glad that he did, because the other options were forceps or a c-section. And he was afraid to use the forceps. Because there was no room for them apparently. According to my mom, it was really scary, but I was out of it. I had to really be encouraged, and I just felt like everyone was lying to me when they said, "only a few more pushes!" etc. They thought he was posterior because of how long it took for him to come down, but he just couldn't get past my pelvic bone. He had a really bad cone-head. He chipped my tailbone and gave me a third-degree tear (a fourth degree is where you tear through your rectum to give you some perspective). Even though forceps seemed like a better option at the time, I'm glad that they didn't now, with how much pain I'm in without them being used).

So anyways, he was born at 3:54 pm Eastern time, 19 1/2 inches, 8 lbs 11 oz. The nurses kept commenting on how healthy his skin looked. He was tongue-tied, so they clipped it, and he has a receding chin, so nursing might be tricky, but I'm going to try my best. Thank you for all of your kind words and congratulations! We're excited to take him home and recover.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This is another subject that I feel very passionately about because it's personal.

Anxiety and depression run on both sides of my family. I've always had a pretty good idea of what depression is, and luckily, I've never really had a problem with it. I feel like the symptoms are more obvious to the person suffering from it, and the people around them. It is serious, and it breaks my heart to think about people who have been suffering from it their whole lives and feel helpless. But it seems like there are a lot of resources out there for depression, whether it's counseling, therapy, medication etc etc.

But...what about anxiety? I feel like it's just another word that gets grouped with depression. It's so different though! It was just another word to me until about a year and a half ago, when I realized that I had it. And that I had had it since I was a little girl. I had a secure childhood, but for some reason I was afraid of everything. Now I looked at my whole life differently. I had made so many decisions based on fear.

Ever since I have discovered this, I've made a goal to work on it. Sometimes, I get so frustrated and feel like I've made no progress. Bear points out to me when I'm having an anxiety attack and I try to calm down. I try to overcome my silly little fears a little at time, like talking to people on the phone that I don't know. It's been a little easier since I've gotten pregnant, because I remind myself that my stress and negative feelings affect my baby too.

And since this discovery, I've met a lot of people who have nicety too, whether they know it themselves or not. A lot of these friends are members of my church. I had a good discussion with Bear and one of our good friends recently. He is about to make a huge life decision, and he shared the complicated story and all of his anxieties about it. Luckily, when I made the decision to marry Bear, I felt peaceful about it, felt peaceful about it the whole time we were engaged, and I've never looked back. But, I totally understood where he was coming from. On the other hand, when I stood back and looked at it from a third person point of view, it was so obvious. It's his anxieties that were holding him back. And Heavenly Father doesn't speak to us through anxieties and fears. So guess who does? I've heard over and over that faith is the opposite of fear. But sometimes it's hard to realize that what we're feeling is anxiety, not revelation. The Holy Ghost can't talk to us when we're consumed with anxiety. And like I said in my last post, that's the most important thing. The Lord wants to help us, and if we could just look past our anxieties, we could see that. Easier said than done, though.

I wish we talked about this more at church. I tried to find what the Bretheren have said about it, but I haven't found much. I really want to read this book, Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin by Loretta Graziano Breuning. I'd really like some feedback. What has helped you, what articles or books have you read?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let go of he hurt

I don't want to have a preach-y blog, but I want to share a principle that I learned recently. Maybe I'm just behind all of you guys, but this was a big "aha" moment for me, so I really want to remember it so that I can apply it to my life from now on. If you need to hear it too, I hope this post can help.

This story starts back in high school. I had a good guy friend. Well, since I've graduated, I've heard about the horribly mean things that he was doing to my sister her senior year of high school. I was away at SVU, and my defensive mode for my sister kicked in, but I felt so helpless because I was so far away. He said mean things about me too, (to my sister). I cried and cried when I found out, because it hurt. Why would such a good friend do this to me and my sister? I thought the days of high school drama were over. Because we had been such good friends, I was tempted to confront him, instead of quietly suffering. But then I decided it would just be contentious, especially because I couldn't talk to him in person. I tried to let it go.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was talking to my mom on the phone, and she said she had stood up for me the other day. I was naturally curious. Apparently, at a recent Relief Society activity, the mom of this friend said to my mom, "my son is having a hard time imagining Lexi being a mom, because every thing grosses her out." It was said in front of a few people, and there was an awkward feeling in the air, and my mom replied with some good qualities that I have that she thinks will help me be a good mom. That wasn't the meanest thing someone could say, and of course it came through his mom, so who knows if that's really what he said at all. But with my pregnancy hormones and already having feelings of mommy inadequacy, I burst into tears when I hung up. My mom called me right back and said sorry that she had told me.

But this second encounter really made me reevaluate some things. Even though I was married, and he was about to go on a mission, it seemed like the nasty talk was never going to end. And even though I had been trying to forget the first bad encounter, I was still holding a grudge deep down and hadn't forgiven him the first time. Had I ever talked bad about someone, and it got back to them? Bear reminded me that "haters gonna hate" and I can't let what other people say get me down. Another friend said that the best "revenge" would be to live my life the best that I could and prove that I can be a good mom. Those helped a little, but I really was comforted and learned my lesson from these quotes:

The first was one that the cast of the Nauvoo Pageant learns together from Brigham Young.

"If you feel evil, keep it to yourselves until you overcome that evil principle. This is what I call resisting the devil, and he flees from me …. When you are influenced by the Spirit of holiness and purity, let your light shine; but if you are tried and tempted and buffeted by Satan, keep your thoughts to yourselves-keep your mouths closed; for speaking produces fruit, either of a good or evil character. You frequently hear brethren and sisters say that they feel so tried and tempted, and have so many cares, and are so buffeted, that they must give vent to their feelings; and they yield to the temptation, and deal out their unpleasant sensations to their families and neighbors. Make up your minds thoroughly, once for all, that if we have trials, the Lord has suffered them to be brought upon us, and he will give us grace to bear them. But if we have light or intelligence that will do good, we will impart it. … Let that be the determination of individual, for spirit begets spirit-likeness; feelings beget their likeness. If then we give vent to all our bad feelings and disagreeable sensations how quickly we beget the same in others, and load each other down with our troubles, and become sunk in darkness and despair! In all your social communications let all the dark, discontented, murmuring, unhappy, miserable feelings-all the evil fruit of the mind, fall from the tree in silence and unnoticed; and so let it perish, without taking it up to present to your neighbors. But when you have joy and happiness, light and intelligence, truth and virtue, offer that fruit abundantly to your neighbors, and it will do them good, and so strengthen the hands of your fellow beings." (Journal of Discourses, 5:351-352)

So by venting and whining about my sad story, I was bringing other people down with me. But that wasn't enough.

Next, I read President Uchtdorf's latest conference talk, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy". He said, "when we feel hurt, angry, or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment." "Christ...forgave the wicked, the vulgar, and those who sought to hurtand to do Him harm." And "love your enemies , bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite fully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44) "There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment." "Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord's way."

But the icing cake was Elder Scott's talk "How to Obtaim Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life" from this past conference:

"..Yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chance for receiving revelation is slight...haughtiness, pride, and conceit are like stony ground that will never produce spiritual fruit."

That's the most important. I'm driving the spirit away every time I get upset about what he did. This was probably something that I should've learned in high school. But I'm glad that I learned it now. I really, really, don't want to turn into a bitter old woman. I forgive him.

Monday, June 11, 2012


June 4th was our first wedding anniversary. Bear brought me home flowers (pink ones just to make me happy), took me out to lunch, and tried to take me roller skating after work, but it was reserved for the night. It finally hit us that skating probably isn't the safest activity during pregnancy anyways.

But this past year has gone by incredibly fast. I feel like we'll be 90 before we know it. We're in the same place that we were right after we got married last summer, but now I'm working too, and I'm pregnant. I think Bear and I have definitely grown up together a little more since last year, as proved by the flowers. Bear used to think that flowers were a waste of money because they just die. Haha Marriage is super great. I recommend it.

Right now I'm 16 weeks along and Baby Bear is very active today. We get to find out the gender soon!

I'm a little overwhelmed with my job right now, and sometimes it's frustrating that we're an hour away from LA and pretty close to some beaches and amusement/water parks but we work Mon-Sat til late at night. Boo. I can't go on rides or water slides right now anyways I guess. And earning our money in the summer will allow us to focus on our baby, schoolwork, and baseball without having to worry about both of us working on top of that during the rest of the year.

I do enjoy the local authentic Indian restaurant, Panera, the pool, reading, and working on making quilts out of my grandpa Limburg's clothes when I'm not working though. I can't wait to go maternity clothes shopping!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So Cal

Yes, we are back in California. Bear is working for the same Dewey pest control company as he was last summer. The company provided us with an apartment this year, including rented furniture, so that took a huge weight off our shoulders. We are actually pretty happy with our apartment. Mostly because there's a pool, exercise room, and privacy. I miss my Bustard kitty, but it is nice to not be wall-to-wall with other people, or live right above or beneath anybody. I do get a little lonely working alone in the apartment, but it is a breath of fresh air to not have any obligations and focus on having a relaxed pregnancy.

Speaking of that, I'm still not showing at all, so sometimes it still doesn't seem real...until I go throw up breakfast. I'm getting more and more antsy to find out if it's a boy or girl. I'm 13 weeks right now. And right now, I'm really looking into the Hypnobirthing method.

I'm not a fan of the high desert, or any desert in general, but it is fun living in a bigger city at least for the summer. We're only an hour from LA, and we have lots and lots of shopping and eating options around us, that we don't get in Nauvoo or BV, VA. (I'm trying to be good and cook dinner every night though). Still, by the end of the summer, I crave green living things and non-Californian driving, and I'm back in the mood for school. (Let's see if I still feel that way when I'm 6 months pregnant). As for right now, I'm burned out from school, and I want to catch up on my fun reading. And it's silly, but I love small-town banks. And the friendly-ness. And I'm just jumping all over the place here.

So anyways, Bear's baseball team got 4th in the nation overall, which is kind of a miracle considering they had such a rough start to the season. He has one more year of eligibility, and me and Baby Bear will be cheering him on! I have a fe more things I could update on, but I'll leave it here for today.

Monday, May 07, 2012


I haven't been blogging because me and Bear only have iPads...which are not very fun to blog from. But to update about our little family:

  1. Bear and I both finished another year at SVU the last week of April. Bear got really good grades (only one B+). I had horrible grades, but it was because I'm all done with my GE's and I took a bunch of really hard classes for my major. But I passed all my classes and was able to keep my scholarship that lets me go to school for free. And...
  2. I was pregnant for the second half of the semester! We're due to have a Baby Bear Nov. 24th. So I'm only 11 weeks, but it feels good to be almost in my second trimester. It was a surprise, but not a bad surprise! I've been a little bit sick, but nothing like my mom, and even though I'm not 100% yet, the worst seems to be over.
  3. Bear wants it to be a boy, I really have no idea and I would be happy with either one.
  4. Bear's baseball team made it to the national tournament in Springfield, IL! This was really convenient for us, because it was in Maine last year. This meant we had to hang out at school for an extra week doing nothing, but we moved out of the apartment that we hated, and our new landlords for the Fall let us live in our future apartment for free that week. We were very grateful for that, and they let us keep our storage there for the summer. 
  5. I got to stay in the Hilton (where the team is staying) for one night (the beds were heavenly soft), and then woke up early and came to Noah's baptism on Saturday. I stayed and went to church, and I will get to see Gracie's preschool graduation on Tuesday morning. At first it seemed like I wasn't going to be able to make it to the baptism, but I'm so happy that I was able to. These may seem like little things, but I already miss so much of the babies' lives while I'm away at school, and even though being home doesn't necessarily take my grown-up stresses away, it definitely makes them feel better.
  6. On the other hand, I've never been away from Bear this long before. Being with my family instead of home alone makes a big difference...but I miss him. I hope the team does well at the tournament!
  7. We're going to California to do the same thing we did last summer - pest control. I'm not sure what day we'll get there, but I'm excited for all the happy things happening in our life recently. 
  8. I promise to update again while we're here at my parents', so that my posts are not big and general. That is all.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Heart wreath

I need to fix it, but I made a heart wreath out of felt balls and felt strips that I sewed into hearts. The hearts are kind of squished right now, but I love looking at it in the morning when I wake up. If you want to make your own, I got it from Pinterest.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Letter from Gracie

This makes my heart so happy. I love having a little sister just like me. I love you, Gracie ♥

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

I know that I'm a little behind posting about Valentine's Day. It was 3 weeks ago. But it was my first V-day being married so I kind of feel like it's a big deal. 

The weekend before Bear had his first baseball game. And it was miserable. I had super thick sweat bottoms with jeans underneath, a hoodie, coat, scarves, super fluffy slippers and socks, 5 blankets, and toasty mittens. But it wasn't enough. I thought I was being the biggest cold wimp in the world, because the weather was supposed to be 40 degrees that day, but I hadn't looked up the wind chill. It was 5 degrees. They had to cancel the second game because it was so cold. It sounds silly, but it made me really appreciate the pioneers right at that moment. I think I would have been the first to die. Seriously. 

But Rachel and her boyfriend came and watched the game, and so on the way home we stopped in Roanoke and watched The Vow and ate at Olive Garden. I just loved that the movie was based in Chicago. Even though it didn't have the typical romance movie ending, it was a true story and we all know how it really ended. I would have been happy with just that, but Bear completely spoiled me by taking me out to eat again at another Italian place closer to school on the actual day, taking me to another movie, buying me an iPad, a day at the spa, and ended it with our favorite, brand new frozen yogurt place. One where you pay by the ounce. So you can get as much yogurt or toppings as you want. And they have mochi balls. So of course that makes it my favorite ♥ 

So the baseball underarmour and carved vintage  ice cream spoon that says "be mine" that I got Bear look like nothing. But I love him and the 9 months that we've been married. Bring the future on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bonfire in the Winter

We had a bonfire the other day with our friends. Where you ask? In the Blue Ridge Mountains! I live in such a beautiful place! My whole life I've heard songs serenading these mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, like the song Shenendoah (which is our school song btw), and now I get to experience the beauty myself. The moon was huge so we had tons of light, and it's been a warm winter so we were almost too hot once we got the fire going.
PhotobucketThere's a Bear! Oh, it's just my Bear. Phew.

We went up to the Indian Rocks, and started a fire without a starter log. I kind of feel like I could survive the apocalypse with Bear and all of his resourcefulness skills.

We have a Alaskan friend that came with us, and building a fire was like tying his shoes. He said he found a dead tree on the way up to the rocks and asked us if we wanted him to go get it. It made me laugh.

PhotobucketThose are Rachel's TOMs and my NIKE's. We usually have our matching TOMS together. I'm so glad that I have her as a friend.

Monday, February 13, 2012


This is Bear at our Institute Cultural Night. It was a bit frightening. He stuck his tongue out at the end, but I missed it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Cute towel

Photobucket My mom just sent a surprise package to me, and this cute little towel was included in it. I love Valentines. And my cute mommy.

She also sent me fabric to finish up the baby quilt that I'm making for my niece and friend. I'm so happy! But I need to go focus on my paper for Historical Methods...analyzing three primary source documents on checmical warfare in World War I. Wish me luck!

P.S. We've been married for 8 months now! And I've never been happier!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Chicago, America

Part of my Christmas present from my parents was going to Chicago a week before Christmas! We took Amtrax from Macomb to Chicago, and walked around the city all day. We pictures in front of The Bean. The weather was perfect! Sunny, no wind, and in the 50's. 
We walked all the way down Michigan Ave to go to the Cheesecake Factory. I think that and Olive Garden are my favorite restaurants. Oh, and Wasabi's in Roanoke. I just like food a little but too much. We went to the American Girl store, the Hershey's and Ghiradelhi stores, lots of fun clothing stores, and of course Tiffany's! I hadn't been in one since we lived in Tokyo. But my favorite was the Anthropologie store. They had so many sales that they didn't have online! Because they were half off, we stocked up on THESE and THESE for the guys and girls in our lives that we needed to buy presents for. And my mom bought the cutest apron! 
Photobucket We also got to go with Laura and Constance Skog, who knew their way around the city. The whole time, we kept saying "Chicago, America" like Tevye and Lazar Wolf do at the end of The Fiddler on the Roof movie. It will always be a good memory to me. We didn't go to any shows or museums, but I still had a ton of fun! I slept the whole train ride there and back. The buildings were so beautiful! And once I got back to school, the first day of my American History class started with the Chicago World Fair. And it made it that much more real in my head.

On another note, there was a window display for A Christmas Story: The Musical!. Look at the leg lamp! Now, that would be an interesting show :)

I want to go back! Maybe this time with Bear - he was bummed that it was a girls day. He really wanted to go.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Shoes

Because I'm taking a jogging class this semester, and my running shoes were from cross country my sophomore year of high school, and were falling apart, so I bought these lovely Nike running shoes. They're so light and comfortable and I'm really starting to love running. This next week I run a total of 3.5 miles. I'm so much happier with my body! I just need to start eating a little better. If you're looking for running shoes, definitely get these ones!
Bear got me these sequin TOMS for Christmas. And I love them. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baseball Cuff Bracelets

I just wanted to post about these cool baseball cuff bracelets that my friend Brandy made for the SVU baseball wives/girlfriends. Brandy is due to have a baby boy at the very beginning of March. These pictures are from her birthday party back in November. 
It's a horrible picture of me, but we had fun singing karaoke. I'm glad that I have made friends through baseball. And I love my bracelet! She got the idea from Pinterest, and you can too by clicking HERE.
But ours look more 'baseball' and have our men's last names on them. Even though the first game in Savannah was cancelled, I'm still excited for baseball to start in February! You can visit Brandy's blog by clicking HERE.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Sorry, these are old pictures from Thanksgiving break in South Carolina on Myrtle Beach. It was over 70 degrees that day and the sand was white...I was in heaven. The Price family are going to be staying on this same beach for Christmas 2012. I'm so excited! I'm also excited for baseball season and to move out of our current apartment! And to stop reading about the depressing Holocaust!

But I got a handsome husband ♥  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life is Beautiful

So life is beautiful but crazy. But mostly beautiful. It's always hard for me to get into the swing of things. I tend to get overwhelmed and have melt-downs...which broke one of my resolutions. So I decided the smart thing to do is not set a goal to completely stop them, but to figure out why I melt down first and go from there. I expect too much out of myself and compare myself with other people to no end. I get into the same cycle over and over again. I push myself too far. 

Which is when I need to step back and see how beautiful life really is. 2-3 days out of my week might be crazy busy, money might be tight right now, I may not love our living situation, I might be drowning in homework, and I might miss my family, BUT I still have 4-5 days of peace, I'm lucky to have a job, a hard-working husband, have the opportunity to go to an expensive school for free, I do have a place to live and we aren't starving on the streets, and I have a family alive and well that loves me. I have good friends that keep me happy. 

Even though my phone broke this week, a new one came in the mail the next day, even though ice skating was too full in Roanoke we were able to go to Chik-fil-a etc etc. I for one don't believe in chanting "I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy" and forcing positive thoughts or a smile while still being bitter on the inside. Sometimes we need to be sad and let it out. But I think it helps to step back subjectively and say "hey, most of the troubles in my life are in my head" and start being happy from there. 

I'm learning so much this semester because all of my classes are ones that I'm really interested in. Right now we're deciding if we want to do internships or go work in California again this summer, but I'm not going to stress about it. And I'm going to start taking more pictures. I promise.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Beginning of the Semester

Baseball practice starts tomorrow for Bear. Which means team weight lifting at 5:50 am, which will wake me up...but on the upside, I'm so excited for the games! We're also both in an opera workshop, which is our only class together. Who knew that would ever end up happening? Opera? Really? haha

But my class work load seems manageable so far. I'm finally settling into my major. And I'm only working 10 hours a week, with no class on Fridays. I'll be busy all day Tuesday and Thursday, but I hope that I can make it to most of Bear's home games. And...the best part is church is at 1 pm. So I don't feel like counting down the days til the end of the semester (to be put out of my misery) like last semester.

Bear asked me to marry him a year ago today. Of course choosing to come to SVU was the first good choice, but I really am so happy that I said yes to him. We've been married for a little over 7 months now, and every day things get better. So far, we've been able to keep up reading our scriptures every day and praying together for the past few days, but let's see what happens once baseball starts.

It's also been a week since New Years Day. In a way, I don't know where the past week went, but at the same time, I thought, "I've only been working on my resolutions for a week?", and I understood why people give up on their resolutions so fast. But I think it's important to set hard goals. Not to over-burden yourself with them, but to have at least one long-term goal that really pushes you. At least for me, I love looking back on how far I've come, and to be able to say, "I fulfilled my dream" or "I feel like I can do anything now!" So, when I really realized that I've been working out 5-6x a week for a month and half, instead of just a week, I really felt good. Not all goals have to start at the new year. The good thing is, I don't feel over-burdened with my goals. So I think I can do it. You can too.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


I watched the 2009 version of Emma last year when Bear and I were still engaged. I know British dramas are not Bear's favorite (that's mostly what we watched all of Christmas break), and he only suffers through them for me, but I really do love them. I guess it's because I grew up on them. I just love British humor, and my current obsession is Downton Abbey!

So, although not all the British dramas I watch are super mushy Jane Austen movies, Emma really is my favorite (even though Downton Abbey is keeping me on my toes). I love the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow version and didn't really like the 2009 version when I saw it a few months ago. But my dad gave it to my mom for Christmas, so I watched it again with her. And I like it a lot  better now. Mostly because of this video:

It just makes me so happy. I don't romanticize and yearn about my own future love story any more now that I'm married, but I would like to say that I'm happy that I grew up on Jane Austen. It taught me to not settle for anybody and to marry your best friend. Now that I'm married, I can feel as happy as Emma does in the above video every day if I want. It's the best time of my life. It's so worth the yearning-ful wait of my teenage years. I don't compare my own love story to Twilight, Jane Austen, or any other silly fictional romance, because the best love story is your own. Because it's real, and you get to live it every day. I made Bear promise me today that we will keep falling in love with each other our whole lives and not turn into Mr. Elton's definition of an "old married man". 

Now I get to buy all of my own Jane Austen movies ♥ 


Tuesday, January 03, 2012


So I have an adult body now with a slowing metabolism. I tried to workout during the summer, but I couldn't get a gym and the arid desert in California made it not fun to run in. Then I kept using the excuse of being too busy with school to work out. But like I said before, it's all about priorities. So I've been working out 5 to 6 times a week since the week before Thanksgiving. There's a free gym at school and I need to use it when I can! But since I've been at my parents' house, I've been using their Kinect fitness and Zumba. I love that it tells me that I'm not  doing it right and so I get a much better work out. I've never worked out this hard in my life. And the fact that I did it through Christmastime is a big thing for me. So I really feel like I can continue the habit on into this new year. And I really do look like the bottom half of the picture when I do Zumba. I know so because Mia, Noah, and Grace all started laughing at me. :( But I can do it! Priorities!

We're leaving to go back to school tomorrow. It will be a nice, all-day-long drive. With Bustard Kitty. School starts Thursday. This break has been exactly what I needed. I got enough relaxing time with my family. It's been 3 weeks! Bring on school. I'm ready.

It was also my aunt Nancy's last chemo today. I'm really proud of her! You can read about her story HERE.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Temple Goal

Every Christmas, our family gives a gift to Jesus by writing something we want to improve about ourselves. We put it in our stocking, and get to read it the next year. I found mine from a few years ago and it had to do with the Mutual theme for that year.

I couldn't think of what I wanted to do until I read Elder Russell M. Nelson's article in the December 2011 Ensign entitled The Peace and Joy of Knowing the Savior Lives. He states, "considering all that the Savior has done - and still does - for us, what can we do for Him? The greatest gift we could give to the at Christmas, or at any other time, is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, worthy to attend His holy temple. And His gift to us will be the peace of knowing that we are prepared to meet Him, whenever that time comes." In Elder Patrick Kearon's article, Come Let Us Adore Him,  he talks about Simeon and how his "righteous and faithful life enabled him to be present in the temple so he could testify of the Light when at last he found it" and that because of his worthiness "he was in the right place at the right time". Likewise, Anna "departed not from the temple" (Luke 2:37). He states that even if we haven't made it to the temple yet, we can still enjoy the blessings that flow into our lives when we worthily hold a temple recommend.

There were many articles about the Savior that I loved in that issue, and I want to keep going back over them. And in general, people can set goals to exercise, drink more water, save money etc etc, and I really do believe in setting goals and bettering ourselves. Sometimes I want to set the coolest or most resolutions to prove myself to somebody else. And I did set goals to not have as many anxiety attacks, show more appreciation for Bear, and learn new crafty skills. I said I wanted to be more careful with money and share my piano skills to help at church.

But after reading all of these articles, and after seeing everyone's goals and reminders to attend the temple every month, it has finally hit me that that should be my ultimate goal. Getting to the temple every month is super hard, especially where we are at school. But like my high school classmate's facebook status today: "It's all about priorities. If you want something bad enough, you WILL make it happen." And I've already been to the Nauvoo Temple twice during the break. It's my favorite. I can do it. That is my gift to Jesus.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Here's to the New Year

I am going to start afresh with posting this year. When I was taking 21 credits, even updating once a week became impossible. 

But I can report that we had a fun time dressing up as people from the 60's for Halloween (because I'm obsessed with The Help), enjoyed every last second of the 70 degree weather in South Carolina for Thanksgiving (and the amazing massage that I got from my sister in law Lora), survived finals and the craziness of December, and made it safely to Nauvoo for Christmas. 

I honestly don't know how I could have made it through this semester without Bear. He earned enough money for us this summer so that I didn't have to work during school, and he helped me get through the times I wanted to rip out my hair. Even though it seems silly now, it really felt like I wasn't going to make it through those last 3 weeks of school between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Even though it wasn't planned until last minute, a bunch of events fell into place so that the two of us could pick Tashi up from the St. Louis airport and surprise my parents. So the whole family was together for my dad's birthday, Christmas, and New Years. Seriously everything we've done has been as a family and we've hardly left the house. Even going to my grandparents' house in Missouri was spending time as a family! We have just been catching up on reading, quilting, and playing Ticket to Ride. Tashi has started The Hunger Games finally. I finished the quilt top for my baby niece Pearl's quilt. And the Prices got our own Ticket to Ride! I'm quite content. But because I've been spending so much time with my family, and because that has been the main focus of this Christmas, I keep forgetting about all of my presents and that Christmas is actually over. This is definitely one of my favorite Christmases. I've been in Utah the past 3 Christmases (for good reasons of course), but it really  felt nice to spend my WHOLE Christmas with just the Stouts in Nauvoo. I love Nauvoo.

I'm only taking 13 credits this semester. Which will be a nice change. I crammed my classes into Tuesdays and Thursdays so that only have one 1 hour class on Mondays and Wednesdays (at 4pm), with no class on Friday at all. I'll also be working again, but only 10 hours a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so that my weekends are still open. Bear won't be working, because baseball season will be starting and he'll be super busy with that. I'm excited to watch. 

Right now I'm signed up for these classes:

Historical Methods
History of the Holocaust
Topics in American History (1890-1940)
Piano Accompaniament

I can finally focus on history classes and music classes. And I get to go to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. for a field trip and I get to read The Great Gatsby for my American history class, which I've wanted to do for a long time! I'm so excited for this new year and semester! What about you?