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!