Wedding Bells are in the Air!

My little brother, Nathan and his fiance, Kari
These two crazy lovebirds are getting married soon...March 15, to be exact.

I've been helping them plan their wedding, because neither Kari's mother nor our mother currently live in Utah (which is where the event will be taking place), and my mother has asked me to step in and provide a little guidance (or, at the very least, a little more organization).

Anyway, this post is not actually about them...even though they're the ones getting married. It's actually about me, because I am awesome. :) 

Kari is from Idaho, so after they have their wedding and reception here in Utah, they are heading up north to have another reception in her hometown. She decided that she wanted to use artificial flowers for her wedding so they look good at both receptions and will travel well between them. We were lucky enough to find pretty much all of the flowers that she wants and needs on Saturday, and for a steal of a deal. Because I'm overbearing and typically have nothing else important to do (besides clean my house, and, really, who wants to do that?) I sat and arranged her bouquet and the throwing bouquets for her receptions yesterday. I'm extremely pleased with the way they turned out, especially since I've never really arranged flowers before.

I also sat and arranged the decorations for their refreshment table and one of the table centerpieces.

One of the table centerpieces. Kari absolutely loves Jones Soda and wanted to use the bottles for her centerpieces.

The decorations for the food table
Everything is coming together quite nicely. My lovely, talented sister-in-law Brittany is making the bows for the bouquets and for the food table decorations, lest you think that I've completely taken over and intend to do it all myself.

Seriously though, I've kind of taken over. I'm grateful that Kari doesn't slap me and tell me to mind my own business (I told he she could if I ever got too overbearing or obnoxious. So far, so good, though). She's totally awesome for letting me hone my creative decorating skills at her expense.


30 Down, 10 to Go

Well, I'm 3/4 of the way finished with what seems like the fastest pregnancy ever. I'm starting to panic a little bit, because if the next 10 weeks go by as quickly as the last 10 weeks, I'm going to have a new baby before I know it. Plus, I feel SUPER un-ready right now to be a mother of 3, especially on days like today when I take the other two to the grocery store by myself and I'm ready to tear my hair out after 15 minutes (but that's another story).

Anyway, I took a belly picture with my other two pregnancies at 30 weeks, so I kept with tradition and snapped a photo this morning. Here it is, along with my other two for comparison:
30 weeks with Kyle

30 weeks with Lucas

30 weeks with Lucas
It's so weird to me how different I've looked with each pregnancy. With this one, I think it looks like I have a basketball stuck under my shirt--my belly looks distinctly more spherical than with the other two.

I've now gone to two-week appointments with my doctor, and at my appointment last week I was checked over initially by a student doctor (my doctor ran out to deliver a baby). She joked a little bit about how inexperienced she was while she was measuring my fundus (FYI, my doctor never "measures"--he's been practicing so long that he just palpates and can tell if it's within a normal range), and then she said something really strange:

Student Doc: "Have you been feeling the baby move?"
Me: "Um, yeah...all the time."
Student Doc: "Well, that's the most important thing."

Ok, she said this WHILE she was feeling my belly, so I'm thinking, "What's that supposed to mean? Am I measuring too big? Too small? Is there a problem? Should I be freaing out right now?"

It's a good thing my doctor came back in time for the tail end of my appointment, because he measured my fundus himself and reassured me that everything was fine...minus the fact that I'm measuring possibly as much as 3 weeks early. Um, what?  The doctor didn't seem concerned at all; he just speculated that this baby (and I quote) "probably will be the kid who has to stand in the back row for his class pictures."

And yeah, I know that fundal height isn't an exact science and doesn't necessarily mean that this baby is coming early...but, what if he comes early? My brother is getting married two weeks before I'm due, and I'm absolutely terrified that I'll either go into labor on his wedding day or just before his wedding day so I have to miss his wedding. Plus, this is like the only time in the history of the world that a woman isn't hoping for her baby to come early, so I just know he's going to be a stinker and throw a wrench in the works.  But, I guess I should just relax and breathe, because my track record speaks for itself: my babies stick until I force them to come.

I'm still trying to decide about when a good day for an induction would be, by the way. But, that's a post for another day...


Why Numbers Shouldn't Matter

Numbers on the scale, that is...

This is obviously not the right time for me to be thinking about weight loss (or maybe it is, now that I think about it...). I'm 30 weeks pregnant and my waistline is, and should be, expanding to accomodate another person. However, it's January, and one of the most common resolutions made is to lose weight, so I'm being inundated with commercials for gym memberships and weight loss plans. It's hard to keep it out of my head.

I've posted before about my relationship with diet, exercise, and self-esteem. I'm a woman, and, like 99.9% of all women, it seems that insecurity about the way I look is written on my DNA. I don't think it's a battle I will ever stop fighting in this lifetime.

Here's where I stand right now. Before I got pregnant this time, I was the heaviest I've ever been. I had 30 pounds to lose to be at the TOP of my normal BMI range. Yeah, it was that bad. I typically lose all of the weight I gain during pregnancy within the first 6-8 weeks postpartum, so assuming that is the situation, I'll still have about 30 pounds to lose after Matthew is born. But, here's the thing:


Let me tell you why. After having Kyle, I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. But, none of the clothes I wore before he was born fit me anymore. After Lucas was born, I gained 15 pounds. All of the clothes I was wearing before still fit the same way. I was also told, quite frequently, that I didn't look like I had gained that much weight.

Basically, the point is this: what I see on the scale doesn't necessarily reflect what I see in the mirror, or what other people see when they look at me. OBVIOUSLY, being overweight is not healthy or desirable. I know that I need to lose weight. However, in my experience, focusing on the numbers too much causes a lot of discouragement.

For example, let's say I had a great week: I was conscientious of what I ate, I exercised a sufficient amount--I was generally more healthy than I am on average. But, when I got on the scale, the number I saw didn't reflect all of my hard work. Maybe it even went up a little. Who wouldn't be discouraged by this scenario? I'm doing all of the right things, so where are the good results? I've experienced this in my battle with my weight and for my health, and it's been a major deterrent for me.

Here's the thing about weight: it's a terrible indicator of health. I have a friend who I consider to be in very good health--she jogs/runs daily, she eats healthily...but, if you look at her, you'd never know it. She is not what society would call "healthy" because she doesn't look like Jillian Michaels. She might even look overweight by some people's standards. I have another friend who is very thin and looks to be in excellent shape. However, she has serious health issues that affect her every day. Focusing too much on a "goal weight" or how many pounds to lose negates the more important issue: attaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

So, even though it's still a few months away, I'm trying to commit myself to this: when the time comes for me to get in shape, I'm going to focus on changing my lifestyle rather than reducing my weight. Living a healthier, more active lifestyle will, by default, bring my weight down, but bringing my weight down will not necessarily bring a healthier lifestyle.


Christmas 2011 in a Nutshell

December is always a crazy month, and this year it was made crazier by Nathan getting home. As always, I apologize for the dearth of pictures. I'll try to skim over the non-media-aided sections in an attempt to reduce general bored-ness with this post.

The month started off a little early with some early decorating. Because I'm totally lame I didn't take pictures of our setup, so you'll have to just take my word that our house was festive and fun for the holidays. I even made a few things that I'm very proud of...but, I only managed to get one cell phone picture:

One of my aunts made this cute block last year for everyone and I really wanted to think of some way to use it as a decoration. I found some printables on this website that I thought I could use. After a little adaptation and some embellishment, I had something I was reasonably pleased with. It ended up being perfect for one of my credenza holes.

We had our ward Christmas party the first weekend in December, complete with a visit from Santa. I didn't get a picture of the kids with the Jolly Old Elf last year, but (surprise, surprise) we forgot our camera. So, again, all I have is a cell phone picture. I'm quite happy with how it turned out:

I love it when one (or both) of my kids scream on Santa's lap. I also find it comical that Kyle and Santa have the same facial expression. Kyle was actually pretty excited to sit on Santa's lap and he proudly recited his huge Christmas wish list before I pulled him away to give another kid a chance.

We had my extended family's Christmas party on the 17th in Payson. Every year at this party we do a treat exchange, where we all make a treat for all of the other families and end up taking home a bunch of different types of treats. This year I decided to dip pretzel rods in caramel and chocolate (which didn't go as well as I'd planned, but that's another story). I wanted to make a cute container for them, and I found this idea on Our Best Bites (which is one of my go-to websites now):

A little tissue paper, some Mod Podge, ribbon, and some die cuts made the perfect containers, which also happen to be festive luminaries. Holy awesomeness, Batman!

We spent Christmas Eve with my immediate family. We had a GREAT Christmas dinner, exchanged sibling gifts, and opened a few from my parents. My sister-in-law Brittany made me the cutest plate where I can write down what's on our dinner menu for the week (I've been really into meal planning the last couple of months, so it was the perfect gift for me!). My sister Stephanie got Cole a super awesome shirt (she works at Eddie Bauer and gets a killer discount) and a nice laptop bag. We gave Stephanie and Chris gift cards, since they were entirely unhelpful about what they wanted for Christmas. :) We all got matching jammies from Grandma and Papa--the little boys got fuzzy footie pajamas with guitars, and we got pajama pants that literally look like distressed blue jeans (totally awesome!) We also let the boys open their big toy present from Grandma and Papa, and they were ecstatic. Kyle got a Thomas the Tank Engine gold mine playset, and Lucas got a little shopping cart--he's been totally into pushing things around for a while now, and he absolutely freaked out the whole time Cole put the cart together because he was so excited to play with it.

Then, we headed home, put out some cookies and milk for Santa (homemade sugar cookies, natch), and hit the hay. The next morning we got up bright and early so we could open our presents before Sacrament meeting at 11.

Lucas enjoying the Goldfish from his stocking

Kyle opening presents. I actually had to open most of Lucas'--he was fairly uninterested

Kyle with his Thomas playsets all connected. The gold mine was from Grandma & Papa and the pirate ship (behind him) was from Santa

Lucas' present from Santa

Lucas' shopping cart from Grandma & Papa. Yes, he did try to climb into the front seat, which was quite comical.

After Sacrament meeting, some lunch, and a nap, we headed back to Sandy. Cole's little brother Adam and his wife surprised the family by coming into town for Christmas, so we wanted to take the opportunity to see them as much as we could. We played some cards and enjoyed one another's company and opened a few more presents.

The next day, Cole's family got together for our Christmas party. We exchanged gifts, enjoyed LOTS of yummy food (fish tacos and chicken taquitos--yum!) and had lots of fun!

Christmas was a wonderful mix of family, food, giving, and the Savior. I tried really hard to help Kyle understand the real Christmas story (especially since he was kind of a gimme monster this year and I wanted to nip that in the bud) and I think he began to understand what Christmas is really about. We're so grateful for Jesus Christ and His life, and we're grateful for the holiday season in which we celebrate His birth.


Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

I mentioned that I'm planning on redecorating the nursery for new baby when he comes. One of the ideas I had is something I NEVER thought I'd consider, mostly because I think it's super trendy and I usually poke fun at trendy stuff rather than embrace it. But, for some reason, I'm a little jazzed about this. I want to put a vinyl saying on the wall that has something to do with little boys. First of all, is this totally lame? Second of all, if it's NOT totally lame I have a few ideas, and I want to know what y'all think is the best. Also, if you have any good suggestions, I'd appreciate them.

#1: "God made the little boys for fun, for rough and tumble times of play." ~Edgar Guest
#2: "A boy's will is the wind's will. And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
#3: "Mothers of little boys work from son up until son down." ~Unknown
#4: "My lovely little boy, My hope, My nap, my love, My life, my joy." ~Guillaume De Salluste Du Bartas
#5: "With little boys, you always know where you stand...right in the path of a hurricane." ~Erma Bombeck
#6: "Two small arms to hold you tight, two small feet to run, two small eyes full of love for you, one small son." ~Unknown
#7: "There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
#8: "A boy is truth with dirt on his face, beauty with a cut on its finger, wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the hope of the future with a frog in its pocket." ~Alan Marshall Beck
#9: "There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." ~Mark Twain
#10: "Nobody knows what a boy is worth, And the world must wait and see; For every man in an honored place, Is a boy that used to be." ~Phillips Brooks


Christmas in January!

Cole and I don't typically exchange gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Neither one of us is particularly big on giving or receiving gifts as a sign of affection or devotion (which is one reason why we are quite perfect for one another); plus, we don't always have an abundance of money to spend and what we DO have we'd rather spend on the kids.  However, every now and then when we have a little extra we splurge on something we both really want.

Cole and his brothers all enjoy video games. It's one of the ways in which they bond and enjoy one another's company. After spending some quality time together during the holidays, Cole was pretty enamored of the new XBox 360 with Kinect. So, being the awesome wife that I am, I told him he could buy one for himself. I don't think I've ever seen him get so emotional (even during the births of our children!). Seriously--if he could have promised me his firstborn son as repayment he would have (which wouldn't have made sense anyway, since he already belongs to me and some days, I'm not sure I want him). Instead, I settled for his eternal soul and some desires of my own heart.

Since this baby is our third boy and I'm a frugal sort of person, he'll probably spend most of his life wearing and playing with hand-me-downs. I really wanted him to have something special, just for him, and I found the perfect bedding set. It's green and brown and totally adorable. The set came with the comforter, fitted sheet, dust ruffle, bumper pads, a soft fleece blanket, a diaper stacker, a valance for the window, and three coordinating wall hangings.

Wall hangings

Diaper stacker

Bumper pads

So, this bedding set OBVIOUSLY didn't cost as much as a new XBox. Don't worry. My end of the deal was more than fair...because I also picked up a new ride for the boys...

Joovy Caboose Stand On Tandem Stroller in Appletree
We've needed a new stroller for a while now, but I was super reluctant to go the traditional double stroller route--they're either too wide or too long to be manageable. I'd seen the Baby Trend version of a Sit 'N Stand stroller and fell in love with the style, so I shopped around a little and found this one. I LOVE the color, it had overwhelmingly positive reviews, and it was a great price. When it arrived yesterday, the boys were just as excited as I was--anything with wheels gets their motors running. They watched impatiently as I put the wheels on, then had a great time climbing in and out of both seats. With all the excitement in the air we just had to take it for a test drive.

The sun was in Kyle's eyes, but check out the pure joy on Lucas' face!

Lucas in the front...

Kyle in the back

Our first ride was a success! It was pretty easy to maneuver, and both boys had a great time! I foresee lots of long walks with this baby.

We've now met our gifts quota for the next five years, so it's a good thing we are enjoying our selections!


Returned with Honor

On December 7, we began our holiday celebrations a little early. My younger brother, Nathan, returned home from serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown mission!
We were quite the spectacle at the airport. My mom and sister made several (read: a bajillion) signs for us all to hold--much to Cole's chagrin. My mom had balloons in the colors of the Sierra Leone and the US flags. Plus, with 7 adults and 3 boys under the age of 5, we really were a spectacle without all of the extra paraphernalia. Apparently we were too much for one lady, who spent quite a lot of time muttering angrily into her cell phone and glaring in our direction. :)

Anyway, I was a little bit worried about how Kyle was going to react to seeing Nathan again. They were pretty close before Nathan left, but two years is a long time for a little kid (especially since Nathan was gone literally half of Kyle's life!). I needn't have worried...

Don't mistake the limp arms for apprehension...he was just trying to keep hold of his sign
As soon as Kyle saw Nathan get off the escalators he ran straight for him and gave him a big hug! He spent the rest of the day glued to Nathan's side.

After we had our loud, obnoxious reunion in the airport and picked up Nathan's bags, we draped him in a heavy coat (he was FREEZING--guess it's quite an adjustment going from 70+ degree humid Africa to dead-of-winter-dry-freeze Utah) and headed home. We spent the afternoon listening to him tell stories and jokes in his accented English, playing games, and just enjoying being one step closer to having our whole family together again.


A New Year, A New Blog (Commitment)

Ok, so I've been a royally terrible blogger as of late. I apologize, especially since I get so annoyed when other people neglect their blogs (since the only way I experience real life in any form is vicariously through others) and I've been the biggest offender.
Typically, I'm not really big on making New Years' resolutions. To me, it's cheesy, and trite, and insincere, and I pride myself on not being any of those three things (ha!). However, my parents just moved to Oregon for the next 3-5 years (I laugh because this sounds more like a prison term than a countdown to retirement), and I promised my mom that I would update the blog so she knows what her most cutest grandsons are up to (note: they are usually up to trouble, no-good-niks, and various other hijinks). So, to keep me out of trouble, I hereby promise to blog at least once a week (even though it MIGHT just kill me). I make no guarantees on the quality of the post or the cuteness of the subjects, so call that a disclaimer.

In addition, since a blog is not a blog without a picture (and I also promised my mother to document our lives through photographs since she won't be here to witness them firsthand) , I hereby commit to take at least ONE semi-decent picture (most likely of the chilluns) and post it along with my obligatory weekly post. Again, I make no guarantees on, well, anything.

You guys, I'm seriously getting a stomachache thinking about all this commitment. I better not resolve to make my life better in any other way, because it might just kill me.

(Although, I probably should resolve to limit my parenthetical interjections to 1 or 2 per post--this one has 9, including one in the title. Yikes.)

Also, there are update posts on our holiday festivities forthcoming.
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