01 October 2012

Loss and the Gospel

I found out today that one of my former roommates has lost her second son. He was born on September 26 and he passed away on September 30. A member of her family took some photos of my friend and her husband saying goodbye to their newborn son. I have cried multiple times today and my heart is full of sorrow for her and her family. Tyson says that I am NOT crazy for feeling so sad for her.
The gospel teaches us that our children are sealed to us for time and all eternity. My friend may not be able to raise her son on earth, but she will raise him in the eternities. I know that this knowledge should be comforting in times such as these. I am sure that my friend logically understands this but that she is still suffering. I cannot imagine giving birth to William and then losing him. Not holding him everyday. Not kissing him. Not seeing him grow up.
My prayer for my friend is that the Comforter never leaves her side. That she is wrapped in the arms of Christ's love and carried through this valley of shadow and death. I pray that her faith and family grow stronger because they rely on the Savior.
Say a prayer for the Lewis family today. Say a prayer for my friend.

Family Portraits 2012

My mom has had the kids take yearly portraits for as long as I can remember. I think it's a great idea and one we've implemented into our family. Here are some of the photos from this year's session:

26 September 2012

I'm Collegiate

Tyson is taking a course titled "Foundations of Global Leadership." It's required for his major, that's why he's taking it. He had to read a book and write a paper discussing what the book taught him about leadership. The book Tyson read was "Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration". Sounds pretty nifty, right? So I was helping Tyson out by making up a little outline and fancying up his writing and I came up with the greatest introduction paragraph I think I've ever written:
From the chapter titles alone, I could tell that “Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration” was a book inspired by action. Words like StretchingReachingConnecting, and Deepening illustrate the contents of their respective chapters and give a description to the pioneers within. This book takes a new look into the explorative history of guided visionaries since the beginning of mankind and from all corners of the globe. These recitations expanded my understanding of leadership qualities by reviewing the forces that encouraged, drove, and inspired exploration. The pilgrims memorialized in this novel showed leadership through qualities such as innovation, determination, and perseverance.

Yes. That happened. So glad that I graduated from a top-level university so I can help my hubby have sweet sounding papers. Shazam.

PS A quick side note: this is my 200th post. What?!

24 September 2012

Tyson - The Fridge Master

Tyson is a man of many talents. He is a genius, he is super funny, he has the biggest heart ever, and he is a Fridge Master. He has the amazing ability to make any amount of food fit into our freezer no matter how much space we do or do not have available. It's gotten to the point where I don't even try to put groceries away in the freezer because I can NEVER get them all to fit. Tyson is an amazing problem-solver. His mind is perfectly attuned to puzzling and solving. It's really quite incredible. This talent extends beyond the freezer. He used this gift to help me rearrange our food storage and utilize the space under our bed for all sorts of things we use only rarely (think camping equipment, maternity clothes, etc.)
I am sure grateful for a hubby who is clever and much more puzzle minded than I am. Our kids are going to be fabulously well-rounded.

William Baby

I just love this little boy to pieces. When I found out I was pregnant I started having dreams that I would have a little girl and I was thrilled. But as I got closer to 20 weeks I started having new dreams with a little boy and then a baby girl. I knew going to my 20 week ultrasound that I was having a boy; I just didn't want to admit it. Mostly because I was terrified of having a son. My brother wasn't exactly like Tyson and his brothers. The first time I met all of Tyson's family the brothers wrestled on the floor and I was convinced someone was going to die. Or at least break something important. Add that to the HORROR stories of Tyson's youth and I was pretty nervous to have a son.
As the weeks went on I got more used to the idea of having a boy. Eventually (think 40+ weeks) I got to the point where I was physically aching to hold William in my arms. It killed me to be patient and wait for him. He was in no hurry to come and, meanwhile, I was crying in my shower not understanding why my little boy wouldn't come out. I was mad at my body for doing NOTHING until the nurses at the hospital helped me. At 41 weeks I checked into the hospital and I was having zero contractions. Zip. The nurses hooked me up to a machine to track my contractions and there was absolutely nothing going on. Irritating. I sincerely hope that this birth experience taught my body what it is supposed to do next time. Otherwise I'm going to have another really wonderful (NOT) experience in patience.
Anyways, now that William is 13 months old, I can't imagine having a baby girl instead of him. I can't imagine dressing up my baby in dresses and playing with little dolls. I love everything about William. I love that he is curious and smart. I love that he gets frustrated because he can't tell me what he needs yet. I love that I can teach him some signs to help ease that frustration. I love that he is a snuggler. I love that he, of his own will, gives me kisses. I love that he is obsessed with Finding Nemo and a stuffed dog-toy beaver we named Charlie. I love that he is part-fish. I love that he likes me to chase him. I love that I can make him laugh. I love that I can hold him close and kiss him forehead. I love that I can kiss him a billion times a day and he never says "Mom. Stop it!" (Mostly because he can't talk. But I'm going to sneak in all the kisses I can until he gets embarrassed by me in a few years.) I love that he is sealed to Tyson and me for all eternity. This little boy is mine. I grew him. How amazing is that? I grew a baby. I gave him life and love and will keep loving him for all eternity.
I never thought I would enjoy being a mother so much. Yes, it is tiring. Yes, I get frustrated when things aren't perfect. Yes, I am still learning. Yes, there are some days I want to quit my job and be a stay-at-home-mom and I get so angry/sad that I can't do that. But yes, I love every second of my new role in life. Motherhood is divine. Parenthood is divine. I wish everybody viewed it as such: I think the world would be a much better place.

12 September 2012

Mmm...I work out

This semester my work schedule changed from 1pm-5pm to 8am-12pm and I love it! It's still rough getting up in the morning but it is getting better. Our sitter comes over at 7:45am and as soon as I get off work I change into my workout clothes, drive her home, and head straight to the gym. This routine works great for me because it makes me go. I'm glad that I got the membership plan with child care. William really enjoys the kids and staff at the Gold's Gym child care. I don't feel any different yet but I am really hoping to see some improvement. My goal is to get back to my wedding weight before I get pregnant again. Luckily, that is quite a bit away so I'm looking for lasting results, not a quick fix.
It's all about a lifestyle change. Eat less, eat better, move more, sleep regularly. Tyson and I have made this goal together and we're working on it little by little. I think he has the tougher go since he is also on medication but hopefully our reward (CHILE!!! and then a baby!!!) will be enough motivation to keep us working.

Making an Apartment a Home

We have lived in our current apartment for over a year now. We moved in when I was five months pregnant and now William is almost a year old. When we first moved in the priority was getting ready for a baby. We ended up with a bunch of stuff I have never used but still can't seem to part with. Tyson and I have saved up our monies to buy a few things to help our old apartment feel like our home.

Item #1: Our bedset. Okay, so we bought this when we lived in our old apartment but it was a sweet deal and it has helped us bring our own style into our home.

Item #2: A rug. We bought a beautiful rug for $400 less than the list price. Woot! It was the cheapest we could find that Tyson still liked to lay down on. The carpet in our apartment is horrendous. Seriously. And with a baby we wanted a space where he could crawl around and not get immediate rug burn. We're still working with our landlords to get the carpet fixed by the kitchen: it's pulling up to reveal the nails beneath. TB anyone?

Item #3: An entertainment center. Well, it's more like a TV stand with some cupboards. I saved all my editing money and we found this stand at Wal-mart on clearance. It's super heavy for Tyson asked some workers for help getting it on the cart. One of the kids (emphasis on kid) said "Aw man, I don wanna lift this" and kicked the box. Thanks for the extra 10% off, kid! We moved the bookcases around and now we have a makeshift entertainment center. Moving it made us switch our couches which actually removes focus from the TV. I like it.

Item #4: We made a fun piece of art with some lace, fabric, and a frame we found at Deseret Industries (D.I.). Tyson is actually super crafty, but he'll never admit it. He came up with the idea to make the background changeable. Right now it looks black but that is because it's on the table. We found some cheapo fabric in all sorts of colors (color of choice right now is blue) that we can switch out per the season or my mood :)

I found a few free printables online that I fell in love with but needed some new frames to put them in. Instead of buying new frames, I used some white spray paint to re-purpose some black frames from our wedding. (At our wedding we had LOTS of pictures in black frames and we had them all hung up all over the place in our old apartment. Now that William is here we wanted to include pictures of him so we've slowly changed out wedding pictures for family pictures. But don't worry: we still have some wedding pictures up. They're too good to put away forever!) I still need to print out the printables and put them up. One is going in the bathroom and I'm not sure yet about the others. (The middle one is a quote from my favorite poem Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost. I designed this little print myself. WIN.)

My next project is to turn our kitchen table into this:

Actually, I think my next project will be to recover the kitchen chairs. Right now the fabric is a tan, red, and green plaid that has been there forever. This set was given to us by Tyson's family so it has really been forever. I'm recovering the chairs with a bright happy yellow fabric. After that I will do the table and then I want to make new, non-black, curtains for the kitchen window. Maybe purple flowers or blue something. I don't know yet. I'm waiting for a sale at Hobby Lobby or Joann's.

We'll be in the apartment for the next TWO years (sigh) while Tyson finishes school. We want to make our time here feel more permanent and less...bleh. Ya know?

Being Brave

Do you know Pinterest? In my spare time (bahahaha) I peruse the plethora of pins (alliteration, much?) for things to do with William, dinner inspirations, holiday ideas, and fashion stuffs. I call most of those items my "If I were brave..." items. You see, something happened after I had William. My ability to be brave in clothing and style vanished. I don't know where it went but all of a sudden I don't feel like me anymore. I'm sure it has to do with my post-baby body and the fact that breastfeeding did NOTHING to help me lose the baby weight. Everyone told me things would go back to semi-normal but I am still one pant size away from my pre-baby size (not weight) and despite my many hours at the gym, nothing has changed. Pouty face.

In my attempt to come to terms with my new post-preggo body I donated a ton of stuff from my closet and even had to part with some of my most favorite shoes because my toes got longer. (Okay, technically, just my second toes got longer which means I either have to wear pointy shoes or open-toes shoes all the time.)

Tyson has been so supportive. He loves me the way I am and constantly compliments me even when I feel like this:  
(me post-workout)
It's been hard. It's been a long process. It started with getting rid of my pre-preggo clothes that did not fit. Then I put all my maternity clothes away. Now I'm slowly buying new, super cute items that I love and will wear a ton.
I bought a skirt at DownEast Basics Outlet Store for $25, originally $40. I wanted it in navy but the "carmel" color has forced me to be adventurous and it's working. I think I wear this skirt at least three times a week. They should have made WAY more of these skirts 'cause I think I would've bought all four patterns if they had been available.
I bought some shirts (cream, turquoise, and purple) at Target for $7/shirt. Yay for clearance!

I found a rose colored shirt at Maurice's, a Utah/Idaho store that is pretty hit-and-miss for me. It took me awhile to find this shirt, but I did. I own a lot of pink so I'm trying to get out of that and into some other, bolder colors, but this is more rose, so that's okay, right?
This all started before my friend's wedding. I was the maid-of-honor and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and buy some new things. I found a super cute pencil skirt at JC Penny's for $22 (NORMAL PRICE! Love their new pricing.) and two different black shirts at DownEast. Tyson's mom bought the shirts for me which I was not expecting but I am still so grateful! 

I found some cute pink sandals before the wedding at Forever Young Shoes and some other hot-pink sandals at Maurice's. Remember: I am slowly replacing my old shoes that I cannot wear anymore with new shoes. It's difficult because I LOVE the rounded-toe style. It just doesn't work for me now :(
Well, I'm trying very hard to be brave and confident again, like I used to feel. Here's to self-confidence!

Two down, two to go

Winter semester was rough on our little family. Really, really rough. Tyson ended up taking Incompletes in four out of five classes which means that he could continue to do the homework and such over the summer. Two of those classes were due in August and two are due in April. Tyson finished the work for all four classes!!!! I am so proud of him. He still has a paper and two tests to take but that all isn't even due until April. Tyson worked so hard to finish up these classes; I wish he could have a summer break now!
Luckily, the next four semesters should be pretty laid back in comparison. This and next semester he's taking 12 credits each, and the last two semesters he'll only have 10 required credits each semester. His advisor MESSED UP his schedule so he can't condense these classes into fewer semesters. We hope that it will be better this way. Now that we have an extra summer in Provo, Tyson will be applying for internships for the summer. We already have some opportunities we're looking at. I hope he can find something in Utah, but if not I'm in for one lonely summer.
Anyway, I'm just so proud of Tyson for overcoming his health and academic challenges.
I love you, honey!

01 August 2012

Two Months

Hey everyone! It's been almost two months since I last posted here and I have to say I don't really miss the pressure of posting. Uploading a zillion pictures to Facebook is way less time consuming than writing here. However, I wanted to jot down a few things that have happened in the past two months (in no particular order):
1. Our two year anniversary!
Tyson and I weren't able to spend the whole day together since I still had to work but after work we went to our (my) favorite restaurant, Thai Mango, for dinner with William. We then dropped off William to our friends Ryan and Annalise who graciously offered to watch him for the evening. Tyson took me to see "Crazy for You" at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. We had a blast! That musical is so funny and the tap dancing is always awesome. I was in that show my senior year of high school so it was fun to remember all my friends from back then.

2. Tyson's birthday! I surprised him by taking the day off and whisking my boys away to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake. Tyson had NO IDEA where we were going and I feel very proud of myself that I surprised him :)  HA! 

We had a great time even though it was SO HOT. William was a trooper but by the end of the day he was sporting overalls only (see picture) and diaper only once we were back in the car. We drove up to Ogden to take care of some medical stuff and spent the night at his parents' house: watching the Olympic opening ceremonies, chilling, and cooling off. Overall, it was a great day.

3. Ward Camp-out/William's first time camping/First camping trip of married life!
Our ward hosted an overnighter at Rock Canyon campground up Provo canyon. It was beautiful!

We took no pictures at the actual campsite since it was pretty dark once we got up there. Sorry. We played games and made some new friends whom we adore! I was grateful to get to know some of the couples who faithfully come to ward choir. I'm glad that Tyson is so friendly and good at making friends. It has helped me a ton over the past few months.
William did great! He slept pretty much all night. We received a tent for our wedding and finally got to use it. It's a six-person tent and there are only three of us so we had a TON of room. We don't have sleeping bags so we just brought every blanket in our house (only a slight exaggeration) to keep us warm. We had William sleep in his stroller all bundled up so we wouldn't have to worry about squishing him. 
We got home just after 11am and set up the tent again to clean it out. To keep William entertained we took turns pushing him in the tree swing set up outside our complex. He loved it!

4. Fish Lake! We went to Fish Lake with my family for two days. Not nearly long enough but I was super grateful to see my family at all. We visited them in April but won't see them again until December UNLESS MY MOTHER FLIES OUT HERE LIKE A GOOD GRANDMA SHOULD!!! :) Just sayin' ;) 
Anyways, we had a good time hanging with the cousins and Tyson caught lots of fish. We took William on his first boat ride which ended up being one of the scariest boat rides EVER. The wind picked up and we were battling some pretty intense swells trying to get back to the harbor. My sweet sister Jane relinquished her seat at the back of the boat so that I could protect William from the freezing water. She and our other sister Katie were drenched by the end of the ride. Of course my dad was at the front of the boat jumping up and down trying to increase the wave action. Cheers, dad.
Best part of the trip was seeing my immediate family AND my aunt and cousins who(m?) I haven't seen in a year. Those little kids are precious and I love little Allie so much. Last year at Fish Lake I was still preggo and Allie copied me by putting a beanie baby up her shirt and called it her baby. Presh.

5. William is starting to walk! BAH! Nothing is safe! His birthday is August 29 and he'll be a year old! We're going to have a little birthday bash for him. Nothing crazy. Here are some gratuitous baby photos since he's the handsomest little boy around. (Really though. The girls in my ward who have baby girls fight over arranging a marriage between William and their little girls. It's funny!)

08 June 2012

Once we went to California

We went to California in April to visit my family. I will have to do a picture-only post but I wanted to include the ones I had with me at work. (Can you tell how busy we are? It's Friday afternoon, and my boss and the chair of the department left more than 40 minutes ago.)

Jane and I took William to the L.A. Zoo. He loved it!

Lunch at Los Gringos's new location.


The whole fam!

Family Picture after church

Eloise and William

We were so lucky to find someone to watch William while Tyson and I are at work. I have known my friend Laura my whole life. Her parents are friends with my parents so we grew up thinking we were pretty much related. Laura has a baby girl, Eloise, who is just over a year old. William and Eloise get along so well! It makes me happy to know that my baby is safe and loved. Here are some pictures of Eloise and William from last week (Eloise is teaching William all the things she knows including "how to make a mess", which William CLEARLY loves):

21 May 2012

The Ideal Mother

For a while now I have been struggling with all the things I should be doing but can't. My little family has been struggling through some tough stuff and I have been battling some negativity in my life. Here are all the things I should be doing as a person, a wife, a mom, a worker, and a member of the church:

1) Pray daily
2) Read scriptures daily
3) Exercise daily
4) Make wholesome meals for my family
5) Spend quality time with my hubby
6) Feed, play with, change, put to sleep, cheer up William
7) Visiting Teaching
8) Work
9) Laundry
10) Dishes
11) Vacuum
12) Attend the temple
13) Do service
14) Blog
15) Clip coupons
16) Keep in touch with friends
17) Look beautiful all the time
18) Do canning
19) Sew/craft
20) Practice piano
21) Go to counseling
22) Visit family
23) Did I mention work?
24) Journaling
25) Family history

This is a whole lot of stuff that I can't do all in one day. 
It gets harder when William keeps me up until 4 or 5 in the morning or if Tyson is having a depression episode. It's even harder since we have no one to watch William while I go to work for 4 hours a day. That makes it harder because Tyson has to watch him which means he can't go to work. The nature of Tyson's job is all 8 hours or none at all. So I am the only one working which wouldn't be that bad except that William is always super fussy for Tyson (William has learned that crying=being given to Mommy) so Tyson can't do chores around the house while I'm gone. 
Most days I feel like I'm drowning in all the stuff I should be doing but just can't get done. Some of these things have gone by the wayside. Some of those things should not be on the sidelines of my life. It has been hard to re-prioritize my life but I am slowly making the necessary changes. 
I signed up for Gold's Gym. That was a hard choice because it's a lot of money per month but I need to be more healthy and exercising helps me manage my stress and I feel more confident about myself. My brother is also a member/trainer there so he's been helping me learn the best way to exercise and he keeps me going when I want to give up. Tyson has been super supportive and he really encourages me to keep going to my classes and he massages my sore muscles and doesn't tease me too much when I whine about how much I hurt.
My house is a disaster. We finally got our room totally clean after like...a year. William's room is a hazardous zone. Right now our living room is littered with clean laundry and baby toys and mail. Our kitchen is almost clean...but not quite. Having a messy home makes me crazy but we are tackling it a little bit at a time. I am determined to have a peaceful home to live in, not a disaster area.
I took myself to the temple last week. It was the first time I could get myself to go in almost a year. It was also the first time in a long time I felt truly beautiful. Going to the temple reminds me that I am a daughter of God, that He loves me, and that I am sealed to my husband and son for time and all eternity. The temple was so peaceful and calm. I loved it. I loved it even though I could only go at 7am after only 4 hours of sleep.
I am working out other things but my blog is one thing I have to let go. It simply is not important right now. My husband and my son have to be my number one priority. I have to make time for myself, too. I can't make menu plans or gourmet food but my boys are fed and they know I love them.
If I can get up, go to the gym, get to work, and cuddle my boys, the day is a success.

03 April 2012

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

This is an email I sent to my parents. I didn't really feel like re-writing my experience so good ol' copy and paste helped me out.

Hey Mom and Dad!

Well, I wanted to send you the link to the Haiti Health Initiative website (http://haitihealthinitiative.org/) because I am going to be an editor for them! Paid, even!

Dad, I told Mom this story but I don't know if she told you.

On Friday, Marc-Aurel (founder of HHI) came to our office looking to post a job for a student editor. He didn't really know what to put on the listing so I asked him about the job requirements and gave him some potential qualifications he could ask for in an editor. After talking with him for 30 minutes, he asked if I was an editor and when I told him I was he asked if I would be interested in working for them. I told him I could not work for free (which is what he wanted from a student editor) but that if they would be willing to pay me, I could definitely edit for them. I gave him a price range, told him about my experience as a student editor at BYU, and pointed out some of my flyer designs that were posted around the office. Marc-Aurel asked for my contact info and said he would discuss the option of paying me with the other two co-founders and he would get back to me. When I didn't hear anything today I figured they couldn't/didn't want to pay me and that is fine. I get it: student for free or pay me. Well, I got an email from him at 12:45am (it's 1:51am right now) saying that they would like to pay me to do a few projects for them this month. 

Can you believe it?! I feel so blessed right now. This will be a wonderful opportunity for me to do editing in a different genre AND what a great resume booster! Editing for a non-profit that is so cool? Totally. I am grateful that the Lord preserved my job as a secretary for me because it has been a HUGE blessing in our lives. My boss and co-workers are amazing and everyday I feel validated that my work and designs are helpful and good. And now I have the opportunity to do editing, from home, and get paid for it, and I didn't have to scour job postings to find it!

Life has been pretty difficult for our little family these past few months but it is moments like these that remind me that the Lord is mindful of our needs and righteous desires. I know that He loves me, that He loves Tyson, and that He is going to help us grow through these special trials.

29 February 2012

They Walked, and walked, and walked, and walked...

My friend and I have been going walking a few times a week. It's a great chance to get out and exercise but mostly I love to just spend time with her. We've known each other since high school and we roomed together our first year of college. After that, our lives went in different directions, and after a few years we finally live in the same town. Luckily, our hubbies get along so the four of us get together almost once a week for game night.
Tonight we walked almost two miles. We decided that once we do two miles a few times a week we're going to start running the last lap. The idea is to work up to running two miles. Once we do that, we are going to do a 5K! Eventually I would like to do the Disneyland marathon :)

27 February 2012


Tyson has been plugging away at his major and is currently in his fourth year of school. Chemical engineering is a super tough program and the trend is to finish in five years. Well, Tyson met with his academic adviser last week and he has two years to go. His original adviser messed up with academic plan in a big way. Since the ChEn courses are only offered once a semester and only during Fall or Winter, he has to taken certain classes first before other ones. His new projected graduation date is April 2014. Sigh. We were so excited about him being done next April, 2013. The good news is that this new plan gives him two summers to work and apply for internships before graduation. Also, his class load will be significantly reduced: 12 major credits Fall 2012 and Winter 2013, and 10 major credits Fall 2013 and Winter 2014. William will be 2.5 years old when Tyson graduates. 
The other reason I was hoping Tyson would be done next April is related to kids. I was hoping (ideal world, right?) that Tyson would graduate with a job offer, we would move to wherever this new job will be (hopefully, Seattle!!), and then we could start trying for another baby. I wanted to have another baby before William turns 3. I love that my brother and I are almost three years apart. From what my mom tells me, it was great for her too, since I was older and a great little helper. There is no way for us to handle having another baby while Tyson is still in school. His courses are so demanding that I'm pretty much the only one working and I'm only working part-time. We are worried about child care because as William gets older Tyson won't be able to take him to classes and Tyson already has trouble studying while he watches William. We just can't afford to pay someone a ton to watch him while I work four hours a day. We really miss having Tyson's sister live near us. She watched William last semester and it was awesome. She wouldn't be able to watch him anymore anyway though, since she's having her second in May/June.
These past few months, but really our whole marriage, has been tough. We've had a lot of unique trials that most newlyweds don't have to worry about. There are many days when we just don't know how we're going to make it. But we do know that if we trust in our Heavenly Father, give 110% to our responsibilities, and love each other like crazy, that things will work out. Somehow, someday, things will be alright. 

24 February 2012

Thanksgiving and William's Blessing

This year my family came up from California for Thanksgiving. We waited to bless William until Thanksgiving since that was the first time my family could come. We had dinner with my aunt, uncle, grandparents, parents, and sibs. It was a lot of fun!
William's blessing was up in Ogden. My parents and sisters were the only people from my side of the family who came. I guess it was alright since Tyson's family alone made the blessing circle HUGE. I still wish my brother had been there though.
My mom took me and my sister shopping on Black Friday and it was nuts. Obviously. We all ate lunch at The Steak Center. This place features "Mormon" food, church benches, and green jello. It was super good and pretty inexpensive. Enjoy the pictures!