The last month has been nothing short of crazy. We moved into the new house, Todd started Physical Therapy school at the U, and we had a rough pet week which included Potato making a desperate attempt to escape and our bees swarming in our backyard. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to some summer fun… plans include St. George, Cherry Hills, and lots of walks around the new neighborhood. Here are a few pics of June and the new house…


Can you say adorable? June is finally tolerating her bumbo, which is awesome. Her hair is starting to grow in lighter, and she even has a few blonde patches in the back. It’s kind of a crazy mess, but I love it. Notice how her hair on the left side is WAY longer than the right? Yep.


To say that June hates tummy time would be an understatement. This precious pic was taken about 5 seconds before she started getting ticked.


Still sleeping with her hands in the air…

And now onto the house:


Please disregard the sleeping baby in the middle of the floor. I didn’t want to move her since she was actually on her tummy.


Master bedroom- I have big plans including crown molding, wainscoting, and a heck of a lot of new fabrics, drapes, and decor. Don’t tell Todd.


June’s room. I must say, I love how this turned out, even though the room is actually T.I.N.Y. The wide angle lens makes all these pics look much larger than reality.



The office. Gross. And yes, that is a garbage can as the computer chair. Now you can see why this room needs some desperate attention.


We decided after much deliberation to move the office to the downstairs family room, just so we can keep this open as a guest bedroom and future kiddo bedroom. That way we can do this… (or something like it)


I also have big dream plans for the main family room… how cool would those columns look?!LivingRoom

Bathroom dreams…


Well that’s it for now. Next time… the big bee swarm. It was a nightmare, but I got some cool pics.


March was a fun month for us. I feel like June was finally big enough for us to feel more comfortable taking her out and being around people. 


SAM_0237Pigtails for the first time!

SAM_0251She’s so dainty and proper with her hands. It cracks me up


SAM_0252Bath time in the sink! I keep forgetting to get a tub for our regular tub, so until I do, she’s stuck with the sink. She’s so big now that all the water drains out hen I out her in!



The crates that would have been the chicken coop



Blessing Day!! 



The bees survived the winter! Now we just have to figure out how to get them to Kaysville, yikes!


Easter in Kanosh is the best. We had so much fun, and June got to go for her first Easter Egg Hunt!SAM_0318SAM_0319

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It’s starting to hit me now that we’re actually moving (let’s hope… we haven’t officially closed yet!) I’ve really been dragging my feet on getting anything ready, but thought today that I want to tie up loose ends before we leave. One of those loose ends is blogging. I want to be all caught up before we move so I can make a fresh start in the new house. The other loose end is getting rid of anything we don’t need, so if anyone is on the market for a new dining table/chairs, a gliding ottoman, popcorn popper, or electric omelet maker just let me know!

Here’s what was going on in the Monsen house back in February…


My Nephew, Ascher, was in the hospital and we were so sad we couldn’t be there to see him. This was our attempt at a get well card, but June just wasn’t having it.

SAM_0223 June is so adorable with Todd. She’ll always give him a big grin whenever he gets home from work, and it just melts my heart.

SAM_0212This is June’s first experience (of many) with fancy Sunday dresses. She’s looks a little skeptical to me.

SAM_0198Check it out! June is finally big enough for the Bjorn! Big day for us…

021413_0051SMWe finally graduated form the giant green pacifier from the hospital to this little cutie. She loves the paci… and so do we!


I can’t help but creep and take pictures while she sleeps. She’s just so sweet and peaceful. I have about a million photos already

June’s Birth Story at last!

Seeing as June is now a month old, I thought I better get a move on posting about her birth and add some pics (taken by the amazing Mandy Carroll!). Here it goes…


Sweet baby June decided she wanted to come a little earlier than her due date. Well a lot earlier if you count the 3 weeks we ‘skipped’ when Dr. Later told me at our first appointment I was 12 ½ weeks along instead of 9. June must have been very anxious to get here, and I’m so glad she was!

I went to see Dr. Later for my 38 week appointment on Tuesday, January 9th. Everything looked good and I was dilated to 2.5 cm and 80% effaced. Great progress since there had been no changes from week 36 to 37. He told me to go ahead and make an appointment for next week, but he wouldn’t be surprised if I went into labor before then. I must have just had a feeling that it was coming sooner than planned, because for the few weeks leading up I really kicked all my baby preparations into gear. I restocked all the shelves with updated canned food and made sure my go-bag was pretty much ready to go. I had a weird anxiety Tuesday night, and made sure I took a nice long shower (so glad I did, because I remember distinctly thinking that this could be my last shower before having the babe…) and was so happy to find out that Todd had Wednesday off. I put him right to work with about 3 different lists of things I needed done. It was absolutely wonderful on Wednesday knowing that Todd was home and getting all the last minute things taken care of that I couldn’t do. I was also really relieved that the baby hadn’t decided to come earlier than Monday the 7th because Todd had been in Rhode Island/Connecticut since Thursday for his Rhode Island interview. The lord knew what he was doing with all the timing- that is definitely for sure.

Wednesday morning I was feeling pretty crappy. I got to work at around 9 and was having quite a bit of throbbing in my back. It would come and go every 15 minutes or so, and gave me a bit of a stomachache. I decided to start timing the pains and see if there was any pattern to them. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I didn’t really say anything to anyone at work, they all just knew I wasn’t feeling very well. As the day went on the contractions plateaued at 5 minutes apart and lasting for about 1 minute. Now usually they would tell you that you need to head straight to the hospital at that point, but my pain wasn’t getting any more intense, and I could still talk and focus on my work throughout the contractions. I did think it was odd that they were really consistent at 5 min/1 min throughout the whole day. Well I survived work, and decided that I should clean out my desk just in case. By that point I had let on that I was having contractions and thought I was in labor, so I guess Greg and the guys weren’t too surprised when I didn’t show up the next day. I’m just sad I had to miss the baby shower Jeanette had planned for me for Thursday (but had an awesome time at the make-up shower a few weeks later!).


Todd came and got me at 4:45 so we could beat the traffic home. Once I was home, Todd informed me that he had an appointment with the cousins to ‘take care of a skunk’ and left to go about his business. I thought it was pretty funny that he would leave his pregnant wife who was most likely in labor to go kill a skunk with Austin and Alex. I used that alone time to get into my sweats and start cleaning up around the house. I just remember being so worried that I would have to come home to a messy house, and I’m so glad we got it cleaned up before we left. I made sure my go bag was packed and ready, and felt pretty confident that I could pick up and go when the time came.

By this time, Todd was getting back and decided he should try to get the dresser drawer fixed before we had to leave. I humored him for a few minutes, but then realized how hungry I was and sent him straight to Village Baker for a salad. While he was gone, I decided to look up possible reasons for why the contractions were so painful in my back. At this point they were coming every 3 to 5 minutes and had picked up in intensity. Turns out I had a high chance that I was in ‘back labor’ which is when the baby is turned the wrong direction and putting a lot of pressure on the back. I read suggestions that doing squats and lunges can help the baby to turn into the correct position, so I decided to start up my Summer Sanders Pregnancy workout DVD. I was only a few minutes into it when Todd got home with the salad around 6:30. I sat down to eat while Todd used our massage roller to try and rub some of the pain out of my back. Something must have hit in the right place because before I knew it, I felt the strangest ‘pop’ and my water broke! I just stood up crying ‘oh! oh!’. I remember being ticked that my shoes were getting wet and that my Real Salt Lake sweats were totally soaked and I couldn’t wear them to the hospital anymore. Todd was hilarious because this was the point where he started to realize the baby was actually coming and he got really flustered and started running around all over the place trying to get his bag packed. He then asked if it was ok to take a shower. ‘Sure, go right ahead, it’s not like my water just broke and I’m in labor or anything’ was my thought, but I figured the baby probably wasn’t going to come that soon anyway and Todd would feel better if he were clean and not smelling like a skunk.

Right before we left, Todd gave me a blessing. I’m so glad that Todd is a worthy priesthood holder and that we were able to start this amazing journey of parenthood with a blessing. After that we grabbed all our stuff, latched the car seat into the back seat and off we went! My contractions were steadily getting worse and by the time we got to the hospital at 7:30 I was really starting to feel them. I was so happy knowing that the epidural was coming soon, but I still had to wait about an hour and a half before the anesthesiologist was available to give it to me. I was at 4 cm and almost completely effaced! The nurse was excited about that and said she thought I’d be ready to push by 2 am, and that because June was so low I probably wouldn’t have to push for too long.


Once the epidural kicked in I was in laborial (is that a real word?) bliss! I laugh when I think about how many times throughout the long night I told Todd how amazing I felt and how much I loved the epidural. For the first time in months it didn’t hurt to lie down! Nothing hurt and it was fantastic! I could still feel my feet pretty well, and my legs felt really heavy, but the numbness wasn’t as bad as I expected.

By 7 or 8 the next morning nothing had progressed and my contractions were beginning to get farther apart, so Dr. Later put me on the Pitocin. Things picked up after that and by 8:30 I was pushing. About 20 minutes into my pushing Todd got a phone call from what he thought was a Rhode Island phone number. Although we were both extremely anxious to be hearing back from any school, I was pretty sure that was the WORST time to take a call, but I think it’s pretty funny that of all the hours we had been sitting around in the hospital, he’d get that call during the 45 minutes of pushing.


Things went pretty quickly after that, and before I knew it she was here! I wasn’t even bugged by her large and lopsided cone head from being sideways so long. I was just so relieved it was over! I didn’t get to see much of her for the first half hour or so. She had quite a bit of numbness on one side of her face because of her position, but other than that, everything looked to be good. 5 pounds 14 ounces and 19 inches long. Todd was amazing. He helped me so much during the whole process, and was so attentive to both the baby and me once she was born.

The rest of the day was a big blur. I was transferred to our recovery room, which coincidentally was the same room Matt and Sayward were in when they had Ascher. Our parents came and it was so fun to watch them with June for the first time. Everyone just couldn’t believe how tiny she was and how much hair she had!

Throughout the 2 days following June’s birth we had so many visitors, and it was great to feel so well loved by all our friends and family. I will always look back on those first few days as a really special time for our little family. Because I was mostly confined to the bed the whole time, Todd really had to step it up, and he was amazing! I grew to love him more and more every time I saw him taking care of June. I know he must have been absolutely exhausted because unlike mine, his body had no idea what hit it. I loved the quiet times (though rare) that we had to spend with each other and with June. It was nice to be able to send her to the nursery at night so we could at least get a few hours of sleep, but I knew I was really her mom when I started getting anxious to see her after just a few hours. The movie Dan in Real Life was playing over and over again throughout our stay, and I thought it a little ironic that it was filmed in the same area as the school in Rhode Island. Todd finally got a hold of them the next day and found out he was accepted! It was bittersweet news coming so close to June’s birth and having to face the reality of leaving with her, but we’re excited for whatever will happen.


Saturday afternoon was the big day. We got to take her home, which was exciting and completely terrifying at the same time. It was nice to be settled, and mom and Teresa were incredible helps. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 weeks since we had little June. I love being a mom, and feel like this is exactly what I was meant to do. It almost seems to good to be true when I think about being able to stay at home with June. Todd is so incredible; I love knowing that I can depend on him to work hard and provide for our little family.

I am so happy. I am glad that we waited, because now that this phase in our lives is finally here, I can fully enjoy it without any regrets. Todd and I travelled, finished school, saved financially, and experienced so many things we couldn’t have done with a little one. The Lord has definitely had his hand in our lives, and I love feeling his love around me as we raise this sweet little spirit.


Merry Christmas from the Monsens!

Well I finally got this bad boy to the printer today. So sorry family members that will probably be getting this after Christmas! Happy Holidays everyone!


A Little Love for Deseret Book

I feel pretty confident in saying I have an amazing job. I work with great people for a great cause, and I have so much fun everyday because I love what I do here. Deseret Book is such a unique company because everything we do is ultimately centered on one purpose- and that is to bring people closer to Christ. At my desk, I have a copy of the dedication President Henry B. Eyring gave when Deseret Book moved into the new corporate offices in 2009. Whenever I read through it, I feel an empowering sense of responsibility and opportunity to do some good in a scary world. Here are a few of my favorite lines from President Eyring’s address:

“Every person is born with the light of the spirit of Christ in them as they come from God into life…The moral darkness which seems to increase in the world is your opportunity. The tumultuous economic conditions which are here and will come again create great possibilities for you. Whatever offers light will be to the discerning eye more and more attractive.

Your opportunity lies in keeping faith that God is providing means to send His word to the millions who need it.

…Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost—all together as one—have put you in a situation where you can have, I think, an effect in the lives of millions and tens of millions and hundreds of millions of people. I pray that we may rise to that possibility.”

If that doesn’t give you chills, this video definitely will:

It’s exciting to think that as members of the church the Lord is providing incredible means of sharing his message with people all over the world, but that it is our responsibility to utilize those tools. Although I am only one person, I want to do my small part in sharing that message, and thought it would be nice to share a little ‘wishlist’ of the amazing products Deseret Books offers:

favorites1. For Times of Trouble- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. This book is Elder Holland’s personal insight on the Psalms. I’ve ordered my copy and can’t wait for it to finally get here! Especially because there is a 2 hour Q&A type dvd with Elder Holland that comes with it.

2. A Prophet’s Voice- President Thomas S. Monson. Basically this is the ‘greatest hits’ of President Monson’s talks. They have autographed copies at the City Creek store, and my mom was SO EXCITED when she found the signature in her copy.

3. Noel: Carols of Christmas Past- Jenny Oaks Baker. I had never really bothered listening to Jenny Oaks Baker until I saw her perform live at the Salt Lake Time Out for Women event this year. It was AMAZING! She played my favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount“, and since then, I’m a huge fan. I was so excited for this Christmas album to come out, and just bought her cd that is all Disney classic covers. Definitely look her songs up on youtube or something- so worth it.

4. Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites. These gals came out with another cookbook a few years back, but after spending quite a bit of time looking through this new book (I worked on a lot of the advertising for this project) I definitely think this book is worth trying out. Everything is divided by seasons so the recipes are super easy to pick out, and everything I’ve tried from the book has been delicious!

5. The Lower Lights. I love folksy music, so when a co-worker started playing these guys at work one day I was hooked. They have a Christmas album too which I was so excited about! Todd and I play it on Sundays since he can’t stand listening to the church music played over the radio. Look up their version of “There is a Green Hill Far Away” or “If You Could Hie to Kolob”, I seriously could play these over and over all day.

6. 17 Miracles. As any of my former young women can tell you, I love the movie 17 Miracles. I could always find a way to relate our lesson to something in the movie, so I was bringing it up a lot. I don’t think I every really felt connected to my pioneer ancestors until after I saw this film (I am a descendant of Ann Rowley, one of the pioneers featured in the movie). I even cried at the end- which any one that knows me knows that almost NEVER happens. ;-)

7. Charms. These came out a few months back, and have turned out to be the perfect gift when I need something nice (and affordable) for someone. They just came out with a whole new line that I can’t wait to check out.

8. Glass Milk Bottles. This might seem like an out of place item to be sold at a bookstore, but DB has a wonderful line of random home decor products that I LOVE! (Zion’s Mercantile) There are so many little things, that I always find something new every time i’m at the store. I couldn’t find an image, but they have a beautiful tin type photo of the Salt Lake temple that I have had my eye on for weeks.

9. Beehive Jars. So perfect for any beekeeper!

10. Chapters of Hope Stuffed Animals. This is a cool program Deseret Book has going that will donate books to children all over the world that can’t afford to buy them themselves. I’m obsessed with these animals and bought the giraffe for our nursery as soon as I found out I was expecting. I also got them as Christmas gifts for my nephews. I hope they like them!

Well my ‘little’ post about how great a company I work for turned out a little longer than I planned. I’m so grateful I work here, and for all the things I have learned in my short year here. And here is a little treat for any reader- coupons! Please use, i promise it’ll be worth it!

$10 off $50 Coupon or DB_WednesdayCoupon_Christmas f.pdf (This coupon designed by yours truly ;-)

October + November + December

Well the past few months have flown by, and I am already only 6 weeks from my due date. Yikes! I figured I better do a little catching up so I can be up to date when little baby Monsen gets here (she has no name yet, poor kid).

Pictures are easiest- so here are a bunch:

This room is now pretty much all put together. It’s so nice to finally have a clean from room!SAM_0052

Last night at the Christensen Family party- Grandpa gave all of his kids one of his ‘crazy jars’SAM_0050SAM_0049Todd drew the number ‘1’ for the white elephant game and was so excited to get these headlamps. Go hubby for thinking about our emergency preparedness!

SAM_0047 SAM_0045 SAM_0044

Friend baby shower. These 2 awesome girls threw it for me, and it was so much fun! We decorated onesies and made adorable headbands.  SAM_0040SAM_0039 SAM_0038 SAM_0036 SAM_0035 SAM_0034

Family baby shower- this is me at 33 weeks by the way.  SAM_0030SAM_0029 SAM_0028 SAM_0025

And we finally made it to a Utah football game this season. Too bad they had such a rough year…SAM_0017

We Can Finally See!

Well, this week has been full of random home improvement projects. Yesterday I hit it big at the DI and got some great items for the house- images and descriptions to come.

Our biggest event this week was FINALLY cutting down 2 huge trees that have overtaken the front of the house, and ripped down an old wheelchair ramp that led up to the front porch. Todd was able to get a few of the young men from our ward to help with cutting down the trees, then had my cousins and uncle help with moving it into the trailer. It was definitely a big project, made more difficult by the massive yellow jacket nest that has overtaken the front porch. It has been such a nightmare trying to get rid of these things, and the entrance to the nest is so small we can’t really get to it with any sprays or traps. We haven’t been able to use the front door in forever, and I’m hoping we can kill every last one of them as soon as possible. The latest suggestion… just put on your bee suits, pull the platform off (the last part of the ramp we weren’t able to remove because of the yellow jackets) and hit the nests with sticks. Then they’ll go away. I’m thinking that sounds just a LITTLE bit dangerous, and I kind of like my husband and don’t want him to be swarmed by thousands of angry yellow jackets. But that’s just me.

If anyone has a great solution for this problem, we would love to hear it.

Here are some before/after pics of the house…

Oh yeah- there are 2 windows behind each of those trees. It is wonderful actually getting light in the house again!!

Tada! We still have A LOT of cleanup to do (much hindered by those dirty yellow jackets), but this has been a good push for me to follow through on all my ‘someday projects’. Please ignore the dead lawn as well.

The entrance to the horrible nest… I want it gone and I want those yellow jackets dead.

And to end on a happy note- here I am at 23 weeks. This dress was an attempt at developing my domestic sewing skills, but as you can see I cut it a little short… thank goodness for Fancy Slips! This thing has already been such a great lifesaver for all those cute dresses that are just a little too short. Check out the website- the owner is local and is super nice!

Baby, Bees, Bikes, & Blogging

It’s been a while, and I know i’m a huge social media/blogging slacker, so I’m making the goal to clean up my act. I always look up friend and family blogs and think “Why don’t they update their blog more, I want to see what they’re up to!” and then I remember that I NEVER update this blog, and I have no room to talk. So at least for now, especially now that baby #1 is on her way, I’m making a decided effort to blog and document more. So here goes…

I have missed way to much of the year to try and go back and update, so I’m starting fresh with a little baby fun update. I am now 22 weeks along and am feeling great! Little Baby Monsen is expected January 20, 2013, and we are so excited. This whole thing has pushed me into an almost forced nesting mode and I am trying, to my husband’s great dismay, to put my house together (yes we’ve lived here 3+ years and I still have not ‘moved into’ the entire house). Our front room is a COMPLETE disaster—used to house our bikes, random furniture, and all our beekeeping equipment. The future nursery is Todd’s current ‘room’ (or office) and he’s getting the boot. Poor guy has to live with all the random baby stuff I’ve been picking up and everything is completely unorganized. I have beautiful dreams of getting these 2 rooms completely redecorated and put together in the next few months, so we’ll see if I can actually follow through. I did buy a beautiful couch for the front room, and am hoping that I can get it somewhat pretty before the couch arrives.

Here is what the current front room looks like…

I’m embarrassed by that. This is my inspiration for the big redo…

So if anyone knows of where I can get a great deal on pretty much everything in this image, I will be so grateful. I want to practice some of my DIY furnishing skills (which are none right now) for the chairs and accent furniture, and need an extremely large rug to cover the 40+ year old carpet that currently resides in the room. Should be fun, right? (To view the whole post of the room makeover pictured above, click HERE)

Next is the nursery. Below is a pic of my inspiration- (more pictures can be found HERE). This seems to be a pretty trendy style right now, but since I never decorate anything else in my house, I figure why not be a little trendy. I’m the only one that’s going to see it, right?

I’ve been able to pick up a few items here and there, but am now mainly looking for a cool old dresser to remake and possibly a bookshelf. I think I’m a little ambitious in all this, and will probably just end up buying it somewhere…

Yesterday was a big day and Todd and I ordered a crib and bought our stroller/car seat. One thing I have concluded in my limited baby shopping experience- there is WAY too much baby stuff out there. Too many options, styles, colors, prices, everything. I don’t think Todd will go into another baby store for a while. We’re pretty happy with what we got though, but I think I’m going to exchange the stroller we got for a different color- I’m already hating the tan and I haven’t even opened the box yet. The gray seems much better to me for some reason…

And here is the crib…

Here is a pic of me at 22 weeks. Please forget that I do own a nice camera but chose to use my crappy cell phone camera because I am too lazy to plug the nice one in to transfer the pictures…

A few weeks ago we had a little party to find out the gender of our little guy. My super awesome sister made a blue and a pink cake (since she didn’t know the gender either until right before the big cake cutting) Since I was so convinced the baby was a boy, Mimi made a special effort to make that cake look wonderful- a beautiful glass serving tray, perfectly symmetrical and frosted. The girl cake was on a tupperware lid and was unfortunately succumbing to gravity on one side. Needless to say we were both really surprised when my baby boy turned out to be a girl, but it was perfect anyway. We ended up eating both cakes, and I’m pretty sure they were the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Mimi is the best at desserts.

I’m so glad we were able to have so many good friends and family there that night (I was a HUGE slacker and didn’t take any pics) and it was so much fun.

I made the invitations with my special gocco screen printer, and practiced more of my newly learned skill of calligraphy. I have a long way to go, but they were fun invitations to make.

Again, crappy cell phone camera shots, but it’s all I have. Dallas thought the baby was a boy too, and brought us some congratulatory blue bubble gum cigars.

Until next time- hopefully a post that will share many successes of my decorating endeavors (and bees since I didn’t get to it today). Happy Sunday.

Disneyland Part II

I’m already planning the next trip. I love Disneyland so much!!


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