Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hubby Graduates from BYU

I am very pleased to announce that my husband graduated from BYU with an Undergraduate degree in Business Management (Finance) on August 12, 2011! Congratulations sweet man! You're officially done! :D

Graduation pictures are always tough to take (poor lighting, far distance, moving people, etc) but please enjoy my captures of the day:
The undergrads walking in (above) and seated (below). T is second in on the right.
The Dean speaking. I love seeing the cool robes that many of the professors have. You can see some of them if you look closely in this picture:
At the end, the Dean had the graduates turn around and applaud their friends and family who helped them through the process. I'm so sad this picture turned out blurry because T is looking at me, smiling, and clapping. It makes me feel like one very proud wife!
After the ceremony, we took some pictures in the lobby/atrium of the Marriott Center. That's one handsome couple if I do say so myself ;) -
With Kanyon and Scarlett, Meghan's oldest two:
With Grandma Deanna and Grandpa Kayle (his mom's parents). I had a hard time getting Kayle to look my direction haha:
With all of his siblings except Mical (we missed you!) who had a busy weekend in Las Vegas where she lives:
With his parents, who have been great influences to him throughout his life:
And another picture of us. I requested to have my belly in the shot, so I can remember that we were a family of three :) I was 29 weeks and 3 days in this picture:
Oh, and I must not forget to mention that I bought T a used bike for graduation and surprised him with it! Thanks so much to my friend Anna who was selling it :) He's excited about it because he had taken up running as a hobby and was really enjoying it, but it made his knees hurt pretty bad. So, biking will be great because he can still get the aerobic activity without the impact on his knees. Plus you can go farther and see better scenery!
Like I said, he was pretty excited :) And I was excited to give it to him because I've never surprised him before. And that picture is an actual shot of his first reaction when he saw it!

Anyway, it was a fun day. T even wore the same cap and gown that I wore at my graduation over two years ago. Different tassel, though. I told him it probably wouldn't work if he wore my old '09 tassel to his 2011 graduation ;)

I also filmed the actual moment that he walked across the stage, got his name called, and accepted his diploma. Hopefully the video uploads... 45 MINS LATER.... Nope. It didn't work. Lame. Good thing there's Facebook: Go HERE to view the video :) Enjoy!

Oh, and don't forget to check out my post from earlier today, below :)

Belly Pictures!

Wow, so SHAME on me. I just realized I haven't posted a belly picture on my blog since I was 23 weeks along. Ooooops! And now that it's Sunday, which seems to be my weekly day of choice to update my blog, I figure I better update some pregnancy pictures. Today I'm 30 weeks and 5 days along. Sooo, it's about time! :)

Watch me grow:
(Above pic taken in my parents' bathroom in NC, below pic taken at beach house bathroom in NC, both on vacation woo hoo!)

And that very last one was taken today, August 21, 2011. So it's how I currently look. I feel like I'm growing, but definitely went through more of a quick growth spurt from 26-28 weeks.

Some fun pregnancy facts about me:
1. I get twinges of sciatica in my left butt cheek (yes, only the left side).
2. I've learned how to avoid getting charley horses in my sleep. If I feel one coming on, I pull my foot back and flex it toward me as quickly as possible, and, so far, I've avoided getting one for a while!
3. Passed the glucose test, which means I don't have gestational diabetes. In fact, my score was a 76 (normal is 60-140), so I'm actually near the lower end of blood sugar levels. I have used this as an excuse to eat more sugar! But having lower blood sugar does cause me to feel lightheaded occasionally, mostly in the mornings.
4. Little boy is VERY active still. More rolling around now than punching, but he's definitely excited to be awake and moving most of the time.
5. Yoga saves my life. My body would probably break apart without it! :D And it also means I can still touch my toes!!
6. Sleeping is starting to get a little more uncomfortable, but I'm still pretty darn good at getting to sleep and staying that way :)
7. Most days I have lots of energy and I feel great. Pregnancy has really been easy for me, and I definitely don't take it for granted!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trip to NC! (Baby Shower)

Well, you've waited long enough - here's the final chapter to our trip out to NC this summer! My mom and some friends from church were kind enough to throw me a great big baby shower. It was great not only for the generous gifts that were given, but also so I could catch up with friends from NC that I hadn't seen in a year or more! While the girls got together and ate desserts and talked, the guys (my dad, brother, and husband) escaped the house and grabbed some food. :)

The colors/theme of the shower was based around these cute plates that we found at the party shop:
Earlier in the day, my mom and I worked hard on a couple of the desserts, setting up the displays, and, most importantly, creating tissue paper "poof balls" to hang from the ceiling in the colors of the theme. We were running out of time, so luckily T and Mike were kind enough to chip in and help fluff the poof balls (somewhat to their dismay, however, considering that was a very "un-manly" thing to do, haha!):
The gift table in the kitchen displayed collages of both T and I as babies, perhaps to give us all an idea of what our little man might turn out like. T was a pretty cute baby, so I wouldn't mind at all if ours looks just like him :)

Here is the dessert table in the dining room. Everyone brought such DELICIOUS desserts! A couple of my favorites were the fruit trifle and the milk dud cupcakes (which we adorned with tiny little blue pacifiers). Yummy! Too bad I didn't get a close-up!
And we also had a "keepsake" display table next to the gift table where we showed off my blessing dress as well as T's cute little blessing outfit. We also both had framed cross-stitched announcements of our birth that our moms made for us a long time ago, so we showed those off too! It turned out to be a really cute idea (and I'm totally taking credit for it!):
I felt so loved as I had probably 40 to 50 friends show up for my shower. Luckily there was plenty of dessert to go around! Here's a little collage to show just a portion of the guests who were there:
Since it was a pretty big shower, we did it more "open house" style, but still had some fun activities for the guests to do while they were there (other than eat sweets and talk!). One such activity involved 8 containers of different flavored baby foods. Guests were invited to write down on the provided paper what flavors they thought each one was. Some were even mixed flavors (like peas & carrots) to make it more challenging. And yes, some guests DID taste the baby food:
Another fun activity that we put together was we bought a pack of newborn size diapers and provided markers so that everyone could write notes on the diapers. It'll be really fun to use these diapers as my first set - especially because I'll have fun little notes to help keep me cheery and to remind me how fun changing diapers really is (ha!):
It was a really fun night and I was so glad that I had so many of my friends from high school (and even as far back as elementary school!) attend. Here I am with 4 of my friends from Wakefield High (still looking good, ladies!):

The boys got back near the end of the shower and actually spent a little bit of time socializing and saying hello. Although they did remark later that it was a bit crazy - like estrogen overload! Haha!

The shower was on the last Tuesday night that we were in town. It was the day I turned 27 weeks :) Since we were leaving on a plane the next night, we had to figure out a good way to pack up all of the baby "loot" that I received. Fortunately my dad had a box big enough to fit everything and we just put it on the plane as a second carry-on! Considering it probably weighed 40lbs, that was probably a lot cheaper than shipping it all across the country, even if Continental charges $35 for your second bag ;)

We were sad to leave NC, but after 2 weeks we were also glad to return to our little apartment home. It was nice to be back (except for the whole going back to work thing!). Anyway, I must remember to take pictures of our new place (when it's clean) so I can show it off on the blog! That will come soon, promise!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trip to NC! (The Beach)

First of all, I might start by saying two things: First, WOW I'm bad at blogging. Second, I'm hoping that will change now that I've downloaded the newest version of Picasa to my computer. Seriously... Best. Program. EVER. I can make collages easily with just a couple clicks, add text, sort the pictures around, edit photos... you get the idea. It's wonderful! And I suggest it to EVERYONE looking for an easier way to post a billion pictures to their blog (and you don't mind compromising a bit of quality and size). Anyway, thanks a ton to Kasee Thomas for teaching me how! I owe you, big time!

Second of all, on to my second (of three) posts from our vacation to North Carolina! We spent just over half the time we were there at an amazing beach house just a row back from the beach at Emerald Isle, NC. Just a little piece of heaven. And I've got lots of pictures I'd like to share with you!

For the first half of the week, we had the entirety of my Mom's side of the family come to the beach with us (this includes her 3 siblings, their spouses and children). But don't worry, our beach house was spacious and awesome enough that the 15 of us fit happily and comfortably and didn't drive each other crazy ;)

This is how we all looked most of the time - just hanging out under our rainbow umbrellas:
I usually took to sitting in a beach chair and soaking in the rays on my front (since laying on my tummy is a bit of an issue these days!), but I didn't want to be totally uneven, so I got smart and used the malleability of sand to my advantage. Lo and behold, I dug myself a belly hole in the sand and placed my towel on top. It was actually so comfortable, in fact, that I fell asleep laying on my towel at least twice. Ahh I sure do miss sleeping on my stomach! Do they make beds with belly holes? :)
Anyway, here are a couple pictures of the beautiful ocean with some of my favorite people. Like my brother, deciding which wave to skimboard next:
My husband and my brother, both playing the role of "beach bum" marvelously:
Later in the week, about halfway through, the Kepley (mom's) side of the family left and my Dad's side (Hopkins) of the family came in. This includes his parents (my Nana and Granddaddy) as well as his two siblings, their wives and kids. The total count for this side was also 15!

This next picture is pretty special because it actually shows my Nana dipping her feet in the ocean! They weren't on the beach too much, but I think she really enjoyed her time out. From L to R: Taylor, Brittney, Mike, Lauryn, and Nana:
Also, I did snap a shot of my Granddaddy Frank during his approximate 15 minutes of beach time. You've got to document these things, you know! :)
So, now I'd like to share with you (via some of my awesome new collages) some of the beach activities we did all week! Feel free to click on the pictures to make them a lot bigger.

Bocce ball was a huge hit. I don't think there was a single day that we weren't up playing it. And yes, I played a couple of rounds. Although throwing a heavy ball sometimes made my belly hurt since I no longer have abs to support anything haha!
Going on walks and spotting jellyfish! The one of the left we identified as a Portuguese Man O' War jellyfish. You want to stay away from those suckers! The one of the right is a less-threatening, normal, boring jellyfish (official name unknown):
We did a lot of reading. In fact, my mom and Trevor were reading the same book at the same time (book 2 from the Hunger Games series - Catching Fire), so they had to play nice and learn how to share:
We built a sandcastle! And spend most of our energy just keeping the huge waves from washing it away. It's kind of a lame sandcastle, but that's what you get with a tiny shovel and a shortage of creativity ;) Although I do have to say my Dad's ideas to add the "tennis court" and "pool" were pretty awesome!
And for the most part, the girls usually took to their favorite activity of sunbathing! :) Here are me and all of my cousins on my Dad's side (minus 7 year old Lauryn). Yes, we are all girls, which is why it's even MORE fun that I'm adding a boy to this family! From L to R: Me, Brittney, Morgan, and Taylor:
Oh yes - I have to prove that I was a part of this beach trip too. And my baby bump. Please enjoy this lovely self portrait of me and my belly:
I also thought you could appreciate my view at the beach. Hey! I can still see my toes down there! :)
Also, I really love the above picture because it shows how much the change in weather changed the beach while we were there. Earlier in the week (on the left), it was really clear, dry, and breezy. It was gorgeous beach weather! Starting about Wednesday, some offshore storms caused the wind to pick up and the ocean became really choppy and the waves were much bigger. It also caused the air to become very humid and the sky looked hazier. With all the wind and waves, a lot of seaweed (and jellyfish) washed up onto the beach, leaving it looking like the picture on the right in many places. Cool, huh?

Anyway, I'm about done with this very long post, but I did have to include our beach heart, which is a family tradition that I can't ever remember not doing. It includes the dates we were at the beach and the names of everyone who was there with us. This beach heart has quite a few names, since it includes everyone on both sides of my family (minus my Mom's late parents). It really was great fun to get to see everyone!

Anyway, now that it's done, I'm glad I made this post. And I'll be glad to make the next few posts I have on my list. Let's just see how long it takes me to get to the next post. Hopefully less than a full week this time ;)