Texas Part 2: The House

The only other time I had seen our house was back in March when I went to Waco on my own to look at homes with our realtor. I had only actually been inside for about 15 minutes, but I knew it was the one. It didn’t need a lot of work- which was exactly what we were looking for. Waco is a great place to buy really affordable houses and fix them up, but with us moving from out of state and both starting full time jobs as soon as we got here, an intense renovation was unfortunately out of the question. That didn’t mean we weren’t willing to do a few projects in a new house, and our Chapman Road home is the perfect medium.

When we bought the home, the paint in every room was definitely not my style. It was a different color in every room and made it look even darker than it already is (although nice for keeping it cool, there are no windows that get direct sunlight which can make it seem a little gloomy). We wanted something that could brighten it up and make the house look more cohesive. This was REALLY tricky. We were 1300 miles away and picking colors that may or may not look the same in a completely different space. We took a huge chance and found a few samples. When Todd drove down on his own to close on the house he painted samples on the wall and through a facetime phone call we narrowed it down. We had an excellent painter come and paint the entire house. No small feat because in some rooms the ceilings are SUPER high- one reason we decided to have painters come in rather than try to do it ourselves. No furniture to move, empty house, new carpets being installed the next week, ideal painting conditions!

Here is a before of the office…




Before Kitchen…




Next project was figuring out what to do about the NASTY carpets in the dining, office, and bedrooms. Backstory… this home is almost 20 years old, and they had white, 2″ shag carpets in high traffic areas of the house. And they had dogs. Needless to say, we really wanted to make a change. At least in the bedrooms. I was concerned about my kids sleeping in rooms with that carpet (all the crazy things that can live in carpets, and all) so we decided to replace the bedroom carpets now and figure something out for the dining and office down the line (maybe paint the concrete underneath?) I would have loved to put wood floors or something in, but that sadly couldn’t be an option, so I went with a really light patterned carpet to keep things really bright. Looking back, I wish I could have picked it out in person, because the carpet is REALLY light and I am constantly nervous about staining, but you live and learn, and all-in-all I really love it.


We’ve never had a master bathroom, so to have this in the new house has pretty much been a dream come true. I mean, look at all that storage!!! The closet (through those double doors and behind the vanities) spans the length of the bathroom, which gives us even MORE storage! And I’m definitely utilizing it. All our canned food storage is packed in there, and it’s so great.


The next time Todd was at the house (poor guy was going back and forth from TX to UT for about a month), he was able to facetime and show me the ‘finished’ product. The paint color we picked is beautiful. BUT… and that’s a big but, it really emphasized the CREAM moulding that runs throughout the entire house (and sadly is the color of ALL the cabinetry). Because of this weird combo, the paint in some lighting and rooms looks 100% baby blue, and I was horrified. I had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’d just wasted all that time and money having my entire house painted the wrong color. It drove me nuts and poor Todd had to listen to me plot and plan trying to figure out a solution. Luckily, there was one and it is relatively simple. Paint all the moulding in the house white. I started in the kitchen and family room and you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes! Now the wall color is PERFECT and I can rest at night knowing that I didn’t completely botch this house. Downside to this plan? There is so much moulding in our house! It will be a slow project, but I won’t stop until all the unsightly cream in our house is a perfect, crisp white. Including the kitchen cabinets- but don’t tell Todd, because I don’t know if he realizes that’s part of my diabolical plan to fix the paint shade…

There will be many late nights, and lots of netflix and podcasts.

(Notice how yellow the built in cabinets and crown moulding look compared to the baseboards?)


Additional projects we’ve been doing around the house:

  • Repainting all the blue cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms (not shown in the kitchen photos because I already removed them).
  • Replaced the blue pendant lights with the beautiful globe pendants I bought from Wayfair.com
  • Window treatments. Sad story- I bought all the curtain rods and curtains, paid to have them shipped, then realized I forgot to add all the rod hardware to my order. Ugh.

TEXAS!! Part 1: The Drive

It’s 21 hours driving straight through. When two babies are involved it takes about 2 days. Ugh. Even now, 6 weeks later, I cringe when I think about it. Shelley and I were chatting about it, and I think making the drive to Texas is like being pregnant. It’s miserable when you’re doing it, and it takes a good amount of time to forget about how crappy it is. Then you do it all over again. In our case, however, that may not be for quite some time. Thank goodness.


For our first long drive together as a fam, it really wasn’t too bad. We were in the truck which gave us a ton more space and was a lot more comfortable than if we had tried to cram into our little Corolla. June was pretty much perfect because she’s so easily entertained. I bought her a little Melissa & Doug watercolor book thing, and she literally painted in it for four hours straight. It was amazing. Christian, considering he’s an 18 month old baby and not quite old enough to be entertained by movies or books, did really well. He doesn’t nap for long periods of time in the car and we had a few intense screaming fits, but for the most part, the kids were absolute champs.



We stopped for the night somewhere in New Mexico and had our first family experience in a hotel… we decided to make it fun and took the kids swimming in the pool and ordered pizza. Both were mind-blowingly exciting for the kids, so I’m counting it as a success. Christian was really nervous about the pool for the first few minutes, but after he calmed down a bit he had a blast. June- outfitted with her little puddle-jumper floaty- was like a little fish and just yelled and swam happily the whole time. When bedtime came around, Christian was pretty ticked about being put in the bathroom in his crib, so he and Todd had to go take a walk through the lobby for a bit to get him calmed down. June was pretty pumped to have a queen size bed all to herself, and again was so great.




The next day we finally made it to our new house! I’ll share more details about the house in another post. June was so excited to see it in person- she had only seen photos and some facetime videos up until that point, so it was like Christmas morning when we actually let her see it in person.



The only time the kids were asleep at the same time- about 40 minutes left in the drive… All in all- the drive went about as smooth as it could, and I’m so glad!


Hummus and Bowties

Here is what June looks like when she wants more hummus and strawberries…




June playing ‘Where is June’. A favorite pasttime. Mar201511


Yesterday we dressed Christian up in real church clothes for the first time. I figured we better have a trial run before his blessing next week.


Christian loves himself a warm, fuzzy blanket. And this little number is his favorite. He still loves to be cuddled when he naps, and seems to be pretty popular with all the daycare ladies at the Sportsplex.


March • 2015

Maybe this year I’ll be better about blogging. Here’s what is going on now…

Christian is chubbing up and is all smiles. He loves to be held and wrapped in warm blankets. We are going on 6/6 full nights of sleep, and we are rejoicing. Not that it was that bad before. He would wake up around 3 or 4, then sleep the rest of the night, but it sure is nice to that those few extra hours of uninterrupted sleep. His hair is growing exactly like June’s and I’m nervous I’ll never be able to cut it. I’ve been able to exclusively nurse him, which is amazing, with lots to spare. I think I’m nearing the 600 oz. mark of frozen milk, which makes me almost giddy since I had such a hard time with June.

June is a piece of work. Super sassy, and the biggest tease. She know’s now when she’s being a pill and will call herself a stinker all the time with that mischievous smile of hers. I still can’t take a photo of her doing anything natural, because the moment she sees a camera she wants to look at it. She loves nursery and can count to 10 (minus 5 and 8). She is starting to get better at identifying colors, and is great at matching animals to the sound they make. She had a great time this weekend riding her bike around the neighborhood for the first time, and this morning I found her in her bed wearing her church shoes. She loves to dress up 😉


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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

SAM_0321 SAM_0339


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.


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!