So the number one thing you think of this time of year at least for me is the change in weather. Well, that isn't happening for us here in Utah, we are stuck in an awful inversion with no end in sight. It has made me think as I begin this week of the changes that seem to be afoot.

Not only are we over due for a huge ginormous snowstorm, but it is the final countdown to Christmas. Aside from that as my wife always says once I get set up on direct deposit at work it usually means it is time for me to change jobs..... Also speaking of ginormous and changes afoot, my wife is huge and we have our third baby boy on the way. Lucas is our little sunshine boy and sometimes it seems hard to imagine another child smaller than him, but alas Matthew Tanner Christensen will join our family sometime in March.

I have also officially passed my first Math class as a College student and made plans to apply to the University of Utah at the end of next year. I was told to take the least amount of classes next semester, and what do I do, I take 19 credit hours. Maybe I will re-think that once I finish my last two finals and I get my final grades for this semester. I am very proud of myself for how I am doing in school and look forward to attending the U next year.

Besides a possible new job, school and baby, some new adventures and opportunities await me in the coming weeks and it scares the HECK out  of me. I have never been the type of person to talk about what I have done with my life and want to do with my life, but I am very optimistic about these next few weeks and through the beginning of 2012. I have hope and courage even though it scares the HECK out of me.

This year has been a very difficult but refining fire type year. I am proud to say that I am refined and in the best place I have ever been.  I know that this next year will be a better, busier, and more rewarding year for us. I just hope I can make it through the next coupe of weeks.

This is kind of my emotions at this point, a mixture of the following:


Rant for the Day

Ok, so I make a bad habit of reading the comments posted on KSL.com stories. This is a bad habit because it turns me into a ranting maniac...especially since I seem to gravitate towards articles about parenting and pregnancy, and I can't help but feel strongly about those topics. Cole sent me a link to a story which, upon reading, I found hilarious and spot on.

The 3 Things You're Allowed to Say to a Pregnant Lady

Anyway, like the idiot I am, I read the comments on the story, and I found one that bothered me a lot:

"...I have admittedly never understood why pregnant women are uber-sensitive about their perceived hugeness. I haven't experienced it so it makes no sense to me, but from my perspective there is little in this world that is more beautiful than a pregnant woman--swollen ankles and all. In my own struggles, there has been nothing more painful than an empty womb and knowing that I can never give life and will never be a mommy."

AND....now I'm going to be insensitive. I don't like to be insensitive, but this is MY blog and I'm saying what I feel. If you don't like it, don't read it.

First of all, this comment is borderline threadjacking. It's not entirely relevant to the subject and just screams for a story of its own. Common internet courtesy prohibits (or, at least, strongly discourages) threadjacking. Threadjacking bothers me.

Second of all, it is a BIG pet peeve of mine when people turn every conversation into one about them and their trials. Guess what? EVERYONE has trials. EVERYONE thinks their trials are harder or more important than anyone else's. NO ONE wants to hear about how you think you're worse off than everyone else.

Third of all, it makes me feel guilty for something that is completely out of my control, and that's unfair. I don't know why God decided I could have children and you could not. All I know is my own situation and how it makes me feel. Just because you're upset about your own situation does not make my feelings or emotions any less valid because you'd give an arm or a leg to be in my position.


I have been SO fortunate to have easy, problem-free pregnancies, labors, and deliveries. I've borne two healthy boys, and I am carrying my third with every expectation of a positive outcome. You don't need to tell me how lucky I am. It is something I thank God for every day of my life. It is NOT something that I ever take for granted.

My heart aches for all of the women who struggle to have their own children or who are never able to have children on their own. I will NEVER understand exactly how you feel, but I can imagine how I would feel in the same situation. If I could choose, no woman would ever suffer from infertility. No parent would ever have to outlive his/her child. I pray often for the women around me, especially my friends, who have experienced these trials because they are not something I would wish for anyone to have. I hope my comments haven't offended any of them, because they are women whom I admire and respect for their positive outlook on life and quiet strength in times of suffering.

I promise never to be purposely insensitive again if everyone else promises to do the same. Everyone in the world could do with a little more understanding for those around us, no matter our individual situations.

"Jesus said love everyone;
Treat them kindly, too.
When your heart is filled with love,
Others will love you."


Gobble 'til You Wobble

I've been thinking lately that Thanksgiving is a totally underrated holiday. Lots of yummy food, lots of fun family time (or fighting, as the case may be), no pressure to buy gifts or decorate excessively...plus, who doesn't need a specific day to think about all of the things with which we are blessed?

Anyway, our Thanksgiving this year was great! We spent the day at Cole's parents' house, who started out bright and early with breakfast, Christensen-style (aka cereal, donuts, and chocolate milk*).

*FYI, the Christensen men PROBABLY corner the market on grown adults who still enjoy cereal with cartoon characters on the box, and many of us wives have picked up the habit as well--my sister-in-law posted this facebook status a little while ago:

Order in which we spend our money:
1. Rent
2. Cereal
3. Gas


But I digress...

After breakfast, we relaxed, played games, and enjoyed one another's company. My nieces and I made these little babies:

Oreo Turkeys! Instructions found here
We sat down to dinner around 3. Everything tasted WONDERFUL. Since we were all assigned a part of the meal, it seemed extra special. We all ate until we were about to explode, and then some of us (read: me) ate a little bit more. Then came the best part of Thanksgiving: the women sat and relaxed while the MEN DID THE DISHES. :)

A few games and several hours later, we busted out the pies. This was MY assignment for Thanksgiving, and I may or may not have gone a little overboard. Even though there were only 8 adults and 8 children (4 of which are under the age of 2), I made 6 pies: 2 pumpkin, chocolate buttercream, coconut cream, banana cream, and Dutch apple. I wish I would have gotten pictures, because (if I do say so myself) every pie was rather spectacular. Besides 4 of the crusts (which I bought--I'm not quite up to making crusts myself!) I made everything from scratch, and I'm incredibly proud of that fact. You see, I have this inherent (insane) desire to overachieve when I'm cooking for others, so instead of taking the easier, faster route (which, I have to admit, is usually my MO for cooking) I have to do everything the hard way. So, it took me 7 hours on Wednesday, but I made 6 fantastic pies. Too bad we were all too full to enjoy very much of them...

After dropping by my parents' house and leaving some pie with them, I came home with an entire pumpkin pie, half of a banana cream pie, and about a third each of coconut cream, chocolate, and Dutch apple. Guess I'll be having a lot of pie in the next little while. :)

My mom also helped my boys make turkeys out of apples, which turned out really cute:

All in all, we had a fantastic Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for each other, for our health and strength, for our family, and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed, and we're grateful for the opportunity we had to think about all of those blessings this past month.


Breaking Dawn: Part I

I'm not a Twilight fanatic by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, I’ve read the books, I’ve seen the movies, but honestly, I’d prefer reading Wheel of Time any day. However, I had a strange desire to see the 4th movie, Breaking Dawn: Part I. My sister and one of her friends have made a tradition of seeing all of the movies at midnight the day they come out, so I decided I wanted to tag along. We invited my sister-in-law, Brittany, and decided to make it a girls’ night.
I was surprisingly stoked about the whole thing. Usually I’d avoid scenes of excessive Twilight fangirl-ism for many reasons. Maybe it was the promise of a night out with my sisters—away from kids and cleaning and responsibility—that was so appealing. Maybe I didn’t think my quota for ridiculous, screaming girls was quite full enough. Whatever the reason, I anxiously awaited Thursday night and my temporary Twilight fanaticism.

We got to the theater in enough time to find a good parking space but not so early that we’d have to sit and wait surrounded by all of the crazies.

Our coveted (or maybe not) tickets
After we picked up our tickets and followed the swelling crowds toward concessions, we passed a display that got my (temporary) inner Twihard hot and bothered:

They ACTUALLY wore these clothes in the movie! *SWOON*
After snapping a few pictures and garnering several strange looks (because OBVIOUSLY I was the strangest person there) we entered the mile-long queue that was the concessions line. The only way I was going to make it through the movie was with a turbo-sized tub of popcorn and a gut busting Diet Coke. At the front of the line, I made the impromptu decision to buy this little baby:

It's like two Kit Kats in one! Jackpot!
After loading up on sustenance (read: crap) we searched for a place to sit down and wait out the 40 minutes until our movie started. Brittany and I dashed away for a minute to take pictures next to the movie poster:

Note my burgeoning belly
As we waited, we speculated about the logistics of portraying Bella’s pregnancy and hellish delivery of her “demon spawn,” which prompted me to take a picture of my own gestating spawn:

Again, the belly
FINALLY the time came for us to take our seats. As the theater darkened and the screen flashed to life, I found out exactly why I paid nearly $10 to see this movie:

I may or may not have teared up during this preview because I'm SO excited!
I almost considered getting up and leaving, because seeing that trailer on the big screen was TOTALLY worth my money. But, I would have had to wait for the other girls, so I sat back and prepared for the worst.

I can’t say that I had high expectations for this movie. All of the previous Twilight movies were overhyped and underwhelming. However, I only found myself laughing at a few of the “serious” parts and cringing only half as much as I expected. I can honestly say it’s the best movie of the series. Of course, it was probably so enjoyable because I was surrounded by some of my closest friends, we were saturated with caffeine and artificial butter flavoring, and it was after midnight. But, whatever the reason, we had a most excellent time and are already planning a girls’ night for the release of the final movie (a year from now).

Maybe by then we’ll have worked ourselves up to dressing up for the occasion (NOT LIKELY).

Wordless Wednesday: New Best Friends


Matthew's Photo Shoot

We had our official midterm ultrasound on Nov. 15. Even though we already knew the gender of the little munchkin, we were still excited to get a more in-depth look at him and make sure that everything was growing properly. 
CLEARLY he's still a boy...and not the slightest bit shy
If you look closely, you can see him giving us a thumb's up here :)
We were happy to find out that everything is looking great and measuring right on course. I was even happier to find out that the boy is already head-down, face-down—in other words, he’s “assuming the position” for labor and delivery, which generally indicates a faster, easier labor (and who wouldn’t want that?!?!?). My doctor said he’s unlikely to change position from here on out, so fingers crossed for that.
My doctor tried for about 10 minutes to get a good profile shot, but because he's face- and head-down, it's virtually impossible. So, he settled for a pretty cool one of his spine

The little guy was kicking up a storm during the entire ultrasound, and I remembered how surreal it is to simultaneously see the baby moving on the ultrasound and feel him moving in my belly.

The only downside to the appointment? Finding out I gained 8 pounds in the last month. 8 POUNDS! But, since I lost weight in the first trimester,  that only puts me at 10 pounds so far for this pregnancy (not that I’m stressing about weight gain, because I’m totally not).


He's Coming Home!

My aunt posted this video to her blog the other day, and I sobbed like a baby the whole time I watched it. It's so hard to believe, yet so exciting to think, that my little brother, Nathan, will be home in 16 days!

I'm so grateful for the missionaries of the Church and for their sacrifices to bring people to the gospel. I'm so grateful for the men in my life who have served missions, because I know it has made them better men. I'm so grateful to have sons who will serve missions when their time comes.

And...I'm crying again. Must go find some tissues...

First Snow of 2011

Usually I absolutely DREAD the first snowstorm of the year. My biggest (and only, really) complaint with living in Utah is the virtual non-existence of Spring and Fall, which happen to be my two favorite seasons. Instead, we get a transition from WINTER-ICE-COLD-FREEZE-YOUR-EXTREMITIES-OFF to SUMMER-HOT-MELTING-PERPETUAL-GIANT-POOL-OF-SWEAT. Winter extends from September to May at times, followed quickly by a meteoric jump in temperatures and sweltering heat until the cycle begins again.
However, this year, we enjoyed a most spectacular fall with beautiful cool weather. So, when the first major snow fell on Nov. 5, I can honestly say I was excited about it.

Cole and Kyle, of course, were over the moon. Kyle has loved playing in the snow ever since he was barely 1, so when Cole went out to shovel our driveway, Kyle was hot on his heels.

This kid would live outside in the snow if I let him

Last year, Lucas was too little to go outside, so I decided to bundle him up and give him his first taste of winter.

All the boys hanging out in the snow

He is truly my son, because he was less-than-thrilled about it.

He's sitting REALLY still here...perhaps he's hoping that someone will take him inside

He wasn’t used to walking in all of the bulky snow gear, so he fell over a lot. Plus, he’s not a fan of anything cold (he refuses to eat popsicles and ice cream), so overall, the snow didn’t really leave a great impression on him.

He couldn't even stay vertical when he was sitting down...

That’s ok, though. I could use a buddy to sit inside with and drink hot chocolate.

Still, he makes a cute little snow-buddy!


November Decorations--Give Thanks

I was super excited for November to come this year so I could try out my new Thanksgiving decorations. I still don’t have a TON, but fortunately, a few things from October could be re-used since they were more “fall” than “Halloween”.

My cute sister-in-law Brittany called me a week or so ago because she bought an extra Thanksgiving craft from The Wood Connection and wanted to know if I wanted to come make it with her. We had a ton of fun making our cute turkeys together, and now I have one more thing to add to my meager collection of Thanksgiving decorations.

Even though I don't have a lot, I still feel mighty festive!

The entire bookcase
The charger I made for November

These blocks were too big to fit in one square, so I had to split them up...

Recycled pumpkin from October and cute Thanksgiving sign

Reused "FALL" letters from October

The cute turkey that I made with Brittany!


Halloween 2011

Ok, so I know Halloween is SOOOO passé now (since it WAS more than two weeks ago), but I had to update for posterity’s sake…and also because my kids had the coolest costumes this year.

We had gone back and forth about what Kyle wanted to be for Halloween. His dominant request? A Power Ranger. I was less than happy about that choice, so we tried to encourage him to choose something different. After a few different ideas (including Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales and an M&M) we finally settled on something we could agree on:

Kyle absolutely LOVES playing Angry Birds, so this was a winning choice. Wanting to stick with the theme, we decided Lucas would be the king pig. Thank goodness for my super awesome mother, who whipped these costumes up (without a pattern, BTW) in less than a week.

Kyle knew he was the shiz and strutted around proudly; Lucas was less-than-thrilled with the costume, but we made it work.

Saturday the 29th our ward had its annual Trunk-or-Treat at the church, so the boys got a test run for their costumes.

SIDE NOTE: Regrettably, we were S-T-U-P-I-D and forgot to take our camera and my parents’ camera mysteriously ate the pictures they took, so all we have are these pictures of questionable quality from Cole’s phone.

Monday the 31st we headed into Sandy to trick-or-treat in Grandma/Gammy’s neighborhood. My mom helped me take the kids around, and I have to say, we had a lot more fun than they did. Lucas wasn’t allowed to get out of the stroller, mostly because he couldn’t walk very well in his costume and it’s nice to prevent injuries whenever possible. We also took a stroller for Kyle in case he got tired from all of the walking. After about two streets, Kyle was fairly reluctant to get out of the stroller at all and asked me, “Are we done yet?”

After trick-or-treating we headed to Gammy’s house to show off the costumes and to claim her annual “grandchild goody bag,” which is always quite spectacular. We hung out for a little while then called it a night.


Marketing Class

So as part of my marketing class, I am doing a proposal for new product. I do need some help with a survey in my research. Please follow the link "Salad Survey" to participate and comment on this post if you have any thoughts.

Thanks, Cole

Salad Survey


Texas Trip 2

I had to add some additions from my previous Part 1!
So Adam brought up some points that I had forgotten. First, was when I took that picture of Adam riding the bear, it was the second picture, as Adam ended up jumping on the first time and totally missing and falling off. Then there is the spooning at Grandpas house, although it never happened as Adam smelled horrible, so I decided to sleep on the couch. Third was driving through Navajo country which was a long part of the trip and worrying about breaking down. I was picturing us getting out of the car to see what was wrong with the car and having the part stripped down immediately. Lastly, was when we stopped for dinner in New Mexico, and as we were coming out to get in the car this guy drives up and starts talking to Adam. I didn't want to talk to them so I just went over to the car. Adam felt that as his wing man I abandoned him, but in fact I was in a strategic place if in fact they did attempt to kidnap. Turns out, they were just pimps trying to make a living in this tough economy selling perfume. The problem with this was that Adam really did stink the rest of the trip as he had tried some of the perfume. Didn't your mother ever tell you not to talk to strangers?

***Original Post***
Before going into detail about my amazing time in Texas, I have to discuss a disputed animal fact from our trip. While taking this trip I really wanted to see an Armadillo, I mean come on it's Texas I should see an Armadillo. I did not even see a dead one on the side of the highway like Adam said I would. The debate comes in on what sound an Armadillo makes. Adam and myself came to an agreement that is sounds like this:


Joan on the other hand thinks an Armadillo sounds like a baby dinosaur......... I don't know!

Here is what an Armadillo really sounds like and some various pictures of what they look like as I did not have the privilege of seeing one for myself.

They are so cute all rolled up

Wish I could have seen one

I was even promised a dead one, but no go

Tribute to an old favorite show

In addition, did you know Armadillos have milk? You can milk anything with nipples, here is the proof:

This is real armadillo milk

Texas is where we really started having fun. We went to this place called "What a Burger" but Texans call it "Water Burger" at least that is what it sounds like. It was really good, and not badly priced. Adam and Joan then took me around town showing me the different sites. We got to see the historic stock yards, and got to walk around downtown Ft. Worth. They know the way to my heart and took me into every hotel in downtown Ft. Worth, it was awesome. We even went through some of the shops and I got some souvenirs for the boys. We then decided to head back to there place and rest for awhile before heading to the rodeo. Well, we got home and we all crashed and by the time we woke up it was late. So, we stayed in, Joan made an awesome dinner and they taught me a new game called Cribbage, The thing is, I kicked their trash! The next day it rained for the first time in like 40 days in Texas, and we headed to Six Flags Hurricane Bay. It was the perfect day to go, and we had a blast. The main reason why they wanted me to come with them to Six Flags was the fact that they could go faster on some of the rides due to my weight. So, we flew on some of the rides especially the Tornado where I screamed like a little girl all three times we did it. Adam also dragged me up to the big drop ones where I freaked out a ton, I have never done anything like it so I was proud of myself. We had so much fun, we spent all day in the park, from opening to closing only stopping once to experience authentic Texas BBQ, which is fabulous.

This is the Tornado, super fun

The big drop one, I may have peed myself

This one is called the banana

We ended the day by driving by the most beautiful stadium in the world, I wanted to stop and lick it!

We stopped for some dinner and then headed home, where we all crashed for the night.

I had the opportunity to video chat with my family through out the entire trip which was great but probably super annoying for my hosts. This was the first time that Jessica and I had been apart in five years of marriage, and the longest time away from my boys. I was not home sick or anything, I just missed them a ton. I am also not one to complain or intrude on someone else, and I hope that didn't convert to me looking like I was bored. I wanted to be a guest in there home and let them do there thing. They probably got very sick of me saying that I could fly home at anytime. I was so happy to be there with them, but would understand if they wanted me to leave.

All in all the traveling was great, I had so much fun being on my own, flying back to my family, but bitter sweet as I had a great trip with Adam and Joan. Thank you guys for everything from the bottom of my heart, and good luck in Texas. Adam, you still owe me one Armadillo.
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