“True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well being of one’s companion”
-President Hinckley

Thursday, December 13, 2012


 If you weren't aware, yesterday was the day of 12. Dan kept saying it was the day of a century, so he took the whole day off and we celebrated.He and his brothers are kind of fanatics about the number 12, don't ask me why. I certainly don't have a favorite number, but to each his own. It was a lot of fun to have Dan home and it's always fun to celebrate something, so yesterday was awesome.

Dan stayed up the night before until 12:12 am. I did not.

 Dan woke up the next morning at 6 to go exercise, I obviously did not. I'm not crazy sauce unlike some.

Dan tried to run 2 miles in 12 minutes, but I'm not sure if he succeeded or not. I forgot to ask. Then he did 12 minutes of sit ups and push ups. He's motivated for sure. And attractive.

 Then, he read 12 pages of scripture.

We looked on Urbandspoon and found the 12th restaurant listed, which happened to be the egg bistro, so we decided to go for breakfast.

We had to get the 12th item on the menu, whatever that may be, but we each counted differently. He went vertically and I went horizontally, so we ended up with different breakfasts. Although, they were both eggs benedict and they were both delicious.

 Dan got one with tomatoes and feta cheese and whatnot, while I got the one with spinach, bacon, and hollandaise. Yum.

Next, we looked up the top things to do in Chesapeake and had to do number 12. Turns out it was our city park, and it was cold and rainy, so we just took a picture next to the sign.

Then we went to dollar tree and bought 12 items for $12. Evie had a blast.

We bought 12 donuts in the number 12 check out line.

And took a picture and 12:!2pm. Not a good picture in any way, but we were in a time crunch.

Dan played a nerdy video game and whatever he was doing had something to do with 12, but I have no idea what any of that meant, so I'm skipping it.

We wanted to see a movie in theater 12, but they only had 6 theaters, so we compromised. But, we got to go on a mini date in the afternoon, which was a lot of fun. Have you seen skyfall? I thought it was okay.

When we got home, we each donated a 12lb bag of old clothes. I'm pretty sure I could have donated 6 more of those.

And we finished the day by playing 12 games of mario kart.
Not bad, eh? It was such a fun day. I hope to have many more random holidays to celebrate in the future. This was all orchestrated by Dan, and I think he did an excellent job. What is the next random day we can celebrate, honey?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Well, we are officially moving to Korea in June, which is only 3 months after our baby is due, so I'm stressing out quite a bit right now. Not only are we moving to a whole different country, but we also have to do that with a brand new baby. I am trying my hardest to be positive and think about all the good things the move will bring, but sometimes it's really hard. I mean, this little man is coming in 3 months and the only thing I've bought for him is a blanket, and we all know that one blanket is NOT enough for a newborn. We need to buy a crib, changing table, a double stroller, and all kinds of clothes. But the reason we haven't bought anything yet is that we have no idea what our housing situation will be over there. Will we even be able to get a 3 bedroom place? What if there isn't enough room for two cribs? Then what? Evie is in no way ready for a toddler bed, so we can't use her crib cause she needs it, and I am freaking out. At first my thought was to not set up his room at all, ya know? I would get all of the stuff and then just move it all with us and set up his nursery in Korea, but now I'm not sure I want to do that because I have no clue if we will even have a nursery there, plus I'm not sure I want him in our room for 3 months. I would much rather have him in his own crib, in his own room, and get used to all that before we move, but then again, it is more convenient to have your newborn in your room since they wake up so much. I'm conflicted.

I'm nervous about going to a country that has a line drawn down the middle and is actively at war with itself all the time. Obviously we won't be seeing any of that cause my husband is a veterinarian, but it is still always present. Apparently there are times of day that you shouldn't be out at all. What?

I'm nervous about the kind of food we will be eating. I know that's ridiculous, but I'm not a huge fan of seafood or sushi and that is a lot of what their diet consists of. Korea is basically a tiny piece of land jutting out into the ocean, so they understandably eat a lot of seafood, but pretty much the only things I can stand are tilapia and salmon. Dan loves seafood and sushi though, so he will be just fine. We were talking about this the other night and I couldn't help but think how much I am going to miss Mexican food. I love love love burritos. They are probably my favorite food ever, so if I have to go 2 years without a burrito, I might die. (a little dramatic, I know)
I'm nervous about where in Korea we will be. They still haven't told us, and where we are determines everything about how we will live. If we get stationed near Seoul, chances are we will have a decent housing situation and a large army base to keep us feeling comfortable, but if not, who knows? Odds are, our housing will be tiny, as well as our base, and everyday comforts that I am used to right now will be hard to come by; namely wal-mart or a store like it. We may have to stalk up on clothes for both kids so that we won't have to worry about trying to find them new clothes while we are there, because I've heard that is a nightmare.

But, mostly I'm nervous about being so far away. I feel like I'm far away from everyone right now, but there is always some comfort in knowing that I can jump on a plane and be home in a couple of hours. This is completely different. I don't know what Dan's job will be like or what his leave will be like, so I'm nervous I won't see my family again while I'm there. Here, also, I'm probably being a bit too dramatic, but I'm pregnant, so I get a pass.

What am I supposed to do with a toddler and a newborn on a transcontinental flight? And, once I'm there, am I a strong enough person to be able to raise 2 kids, without any family around, in a foreign country? I'm not sure I am. This is the exact reason I never wanted to marry a military man, but just my luck, I marry a veterinarian who joined the military. Not fair, Dan!

In a lot of ways I am lucky, though. I get the opportunity to see the world and to have exciting experiences that most people never will. I have an amazing husband who serves his country and takes care of his family one hundred percent of the time. I just needed to get all of this out of my head because I think I may explode from all the nervous worrying I'm doing. I can do hard things. Right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

changes ahead

I don't know if you know, but we will be moving this coming summer to somewhere overseas. We haven't gotten our official orders just yet, so I can't tell you where, but it is coming. And fast. We will be spending the next two years overseas, and after that, I guess we will see what happens. The closer the time comes to this baby's arrival and our impending move, the more anxious I get. Seriously. Sometimes I lose sleep over it. I don't know how much we can take with us, what it will be like in a different country, and if we will ever get to visit the U.S. after we're there. So nervous! I do know that we report in June and our baby is due in March, so the thought of having a newborn on an all day flight makes me break out in a nervous sweat. Let's hope this kid is NOTHING like Evie as a baby. Maybe, just maybe, he will be a good sleeper and he won't cry all the time. Fingers crossed.

I am going to miss America. I love all the freedoms we enjoy and all the great shopping, if I'm being honest. We have a fairly good idea about where they're going to send us, and I'm pretty certain it won't have all the things I've grown up accustomed to, like target and wal-mart. So, my plan is stock up on clothes and things for both kids, so then maybe I won't have to worry about trying to find them clothes while we're there. What about me, you ask? I have no idea. I might just wing it and hope that I can find clothes and shoes that fit me and look good. We'll see.

I am going to miss our house. We have been so lucky to have this big, beautiful house while we've lived here. I honestly don't know what we will do if we have to go back to a 2 bedroom. Evie share a room with a newborn? I dunno...

I am not looking forward to not being in the states where we have good doctors and medicine. My limited experience with army doctors has been horrendous. Seriously. It's made me lose faith in the medical profession all together, and my poor baby boy is going to have to go to them for every one of his check ups. Ugh.

I'm nervous about the different culture and language. I know I'm not going to understand anything that is going on 90% of the time. I'm hoping against hope that we will be lucky enough to live on an army base, which is like a little America, cause if we have to live off base, what the heck am I going to do?

Seriously friends. I'm terrified. Whose idea was it to join the Army anyway? Oh yeah, Dan's. Well, at least we have no debt, so I guess it is worth it in the end.

Monday, November 26, 2012

catch up

This Thanksgiving Evie and I went to Wichita to spend some time with my family. Unfortunately, Dan couldn't come with us because he had to work, but he played football, basketball, and went fishing, so he did okay without us. It was so fun to be able to see everyone and spend some quality time with my family, especially since we will be living overseas next year and there's no guarantee we will be able to come home for holidays.My only regret is that Evie wasn't feeling well the whole time we were there, which made her super grumpy and a bad sleeper, and as you can imagine, in turn made me grumpy and zombie-like. I wish things had gone a little smoother for us because I think we would have had more fun, but overall it was a good trip. On my first night there, I got to go to a movie with Jill and my mom. That was a lot of fun because I definitely needed a break from Evie, and I got to have some quality time with my oldest sister and my mom. The next day we went to Red Lobster for lunch, where Evie threw the world's biggest tantrum about who knows what, wouldn't eat anything, and then fell asleep in my lap. Seriously Evie, what was that about? I felt terrible because she is seriously NEVER like that, especially not in public. She loves going out to eat and she loves people, so this was super out of character and I didn't know what to do about it. Oh well. That night, Justin and Melissa got there with their girls, as well as Lianne, Derek, and Calvyn. It was super funny and cute to see Evie's reaction to seeing Justin, because she was so excited to see him for some reason. I don't know if she remembered him from when we were in SLC over the summer or what, but it was pretty adorable. As you can imagine, with that many people in one house, things got pretty chaotic and crazy, but fun. On Wednesday, us girls went shopping for fabric for Blaire's baby blanket and started getting ready for her baby shower. We wanted to do a little something over Skype for Blaire even though she wasn't there. That afternoon we went to the zoo, and later that night everyone except my parents and me went to see a movie. Evie by this time was crazy grumpy and sick, so I didn't feel comfortable leaving her with my parents when they had 4 other kids to take care of. Sei la vie. Thursday involved lots of cooking, eating delicious food, and taking a family picture. Let me tell you, trying to get yourself and a whiny toddler ready for a picture is SUPER stressful. My life is so much easier when Dan is around. But overall, I think the picture turned out pretty well. And that was the end of our trip, unfortunately. We were sad to leave, but excited to see Dan. I wish we could have stayed longer and maybe did a couple more things, but Evelyn was a stinker, so I'm happy that I was able to do the things I did.

On the way home, we flew threw Atlanta. I noticed on the flight from Wichita to Atlanta that Evie was starting to feel really warm, but I didn't think much of it. She slept the whole flight, so I just counted myself lucky. I started to get a little concerned when she didn't want to eat anything and her breathing sounded funny, but we were still doing okay. Then, out of nowhere, she started throwing up all over everything. So, I ran to the bathroom and tried to clean her and the stroller as best I could, but there really wasn't much I could do. I called Dan in a complete panic, and he managed to calm me down somewhat. So, I went to one of the gift shops, bought a couple little shirts and a blanket, and changed her clothes. I had to throw her blanket away cause it was just covered in vomit and I had no idea what to do with it. Poor girl. She spent the rest of the time in the airport with no pants on, trying to sleep in my arms. I remember just praying that she would make it through our next flight without throwing up, and she did! She made it all the way to the car when we got to Norfolk before she threw up again, so it could have been worse. Not my favorite.

Needless to say, our weekend didn't go exactly the way we planned, but she's feeling better now, so that's all that matters really. Hopefully our trip to Utah goes better.

p.s. anyone know why blogger won't let me upload any photos? Annoying. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I love the month of November because it's the month of Thanksgiving, which means that all month long I get to reflect on what I am thankful for. My life is so incredibly blessed, so I have no end of things I am thankful for; from my family to hot water. As most people do this time of year, I am doing the thing where you say one thing you are thankful for every single day, which has been a lot of fun. When I start thinking about things I am thankful for, I start thinking about all my blessings, and sometimes it overwhelms me.

I can't believe how blessed I am. What have I ever done in my life to deserve what I have now? The more I count my blessings, the more I feel unworthy of having them all. I was thinking about this while I was sitting in church on Sunday and I just started crying. (Dang pregnancy hormones) I have the most amazing husband who loves me unconditionally, even when I'm sure I don't deserve it. He makes our marriage so fun and almost effortless, feeling, because he is so positive and humorous about things. I also have this adorable daughter who brings more joy into my life than I ever thought was possible. She brightens up rooms by her cute little personality and smiles, and I can't help but wonder at my good fortune that Heavenly Father would entrust her sweet little spirit to me. Knowing that makes me even more excited about this little boy in my belly.

I am thankful for my home, that we can come home and feel the spirit and be uplifted.
I am thankful for my country
I am thankful for the Army because they provide Dan with a stable job, which is more than most can say.
I am thankful for modern technology that helps me keep in touch with family.
I am thankful for my friends and family, without whom I would be lost.
I am thankful for the church and the absolute truth it provides.
I am thankful for the priesthood and the First Presidency.
I am thankful for forgiveness.
I am thankful for sweat pants (less serious, but just as important in my opinion)

The list could go on for days. So, count your blessings and I'm sure you, too, will be surprised.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ariel, this is my respose

True Love. Does it exist? I think we all want to believe it does, and just like any girl, I love romantic movies when the two people end up together, but is that realistic? Probably not. True love isn't something you just stumble upon by accident. It's something that you work on every single day of your life. If you are looking to meet someone and immediately know that they are the one for you, I think you will be looking for a very long time. Isn't that why dating is so important? Of course there are certain people you are more attracted to or more drawn to, but is there really just one person out there for everyone? I'm inclined to say no. I think there were probably several men out there who could have made me happy and complimented me in lots of ways, but I chose Dan. I chose him for the man that he was and the man I knew he would become. I chose him for so many different reasons, but the point is that I CHOSE to be with him, which makes him my soul mate.

What if I had never met him? What if he had gone to another Vet school instead of K-State? I firmly believe that we both would have eventually found other people (though she would have been ugly, I'm sure) and would probably have been happy in that alternative life, but thankfully that did not happen.

People who know Dan and I would tell you that we are crazy compatible. I mean, it was obvious from the get go, at least to me. Almost disgusting really, but that doesn't last long. All those things I loved about Dan in the beginning are still there, but if that was all there was for the rest of eternity, I think the love would fade. Quickly. True love is choosing to love the other person no matter what, day in and day out, flaws and all.

It's doing the dishes and cleaning the house, changing the diapers, making dinner, and sending flowers. It's all of those things, just like you said Ariel. It's also being more concerned for their well being than your own. If you are both giving 100% all of the time to make the other person happy, how could you not have a happy marriage? It's the selfish people who are unhappy.

Those butterflies that I used to get when I saw Dan don't come around much anymore, and it's not because I love him any less. Just the opposite actually. I would say that the love you feel when dating someone is superficial, though powerful. Once you're married and sharing a life together it becomes something so much more. It's deeper, more powerful, and ultimately, more satisfying. Spending each and every day together, learning and growing, is what true love is all about.

You know that country song that goes something like, "and I thought I loved her then"? It's like that. I thought I loved Dan when I married him and didn't think it could get any better, and then we had our 1 year anniversary. I thought after that, there's no way I could love him any more, and then we had Evelyn. And on and on. I am looking forward to the next 30 years, because if the trend follows, I can't even imagine the amount of love I will have for that man by the end of them. 

And what about those hard times in marriage? Because we have all had them. I know from my own experiences, that the hard work you put in when you are going through those rough patches pays off ten fold later on. I won't be specific, but I do remember a time when Dan and I just weren't clicking, for whatever reason. We just were not getting along and things seemed to be going down hill, when my amazing man told me that it was my fault. This may sound pretty shocking to some, but it was the truth. I wasn't trying anymore. I didn't want to read scriptures, go to church, or say prayers anymore. I wasn't being supportive to him in his calling or his work, but all I was seeing at the time was me. Me. Me. Me. I wanted this and that and I was disappointed that I wasn't getting it. Me monster. After telling me this as politely as he could, I was pretty upset for quite some time, but after a lot of reflection and prayer, I realized he was totally right. I was giving maybe 30% to our relationship, while he was still giving 110%.

After all of that, we are stronger than ever. I think. He may have a different opinion, but since I'm the wife and the one writing this blog, I'm going to say stronger.

So, that is what I think of soul mates and true love. I can't imagine ever being with anyone other Dan. He gets me in a way no one else ever has, and I think that will just keep getting more and more true as time goes on. He is my very best friend. He is the person I can be completely me around without any judgement or awkwardness. Dan is the person I call when I am happy, sad, or anything in between. He is my soul mate. My one true love, because I chose him to be so. We work hard, everyday, to make sure that is still true everyday and I am so thankful for that. And, that is what my true love looks like, Ariel.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

adventures of buying a minivan

Meet our new car. We went to just go look at some different cars on Saturday and ended up buying a minivan instead.  We knew going in that we wanted something with 3 rows because we didn't want to have to buy another car for quite a while, and something that seats 7 should last us forever. But, I have NEVER been a minivan person. Ask anyone. So, I was thinking of something more like an explorer or tahoe, but this Kia was such a great deal and was such a pleasure to drive, that we simply could not pass it up. She is a 2010 and only has 53,000 miles on her, and she was in her our price range, so we were sold. This was seriously the best car we found for the money we were willing to spend.

Down side:
When I went to test drive the van, it was dead, so they had to jump the battery. They assured me this was no big deal and we went on with our day. After 6 hours at the dealership, we finally went home with our new purchase and were feeling pretty good about our situation. Come Sunday, however, we were starting to maybe rethink things a little because that morning the van wouldn't start. Not only would it not start but it was also blocking our lemon into the garage so we couldn't use either car. Perfect. As the day went on, the van became more and more dead until finally it wouldn't make any noise at all. So, you know how they assured me the battery was fine? Yeah, they lied. Luckily, they towed it back to the dealership, fixed it, and gave it back without me having to pay for anything.

Now, here is where the story gets truly, truly tragic. As soon as Evie and I got home today from getting the car, I somehow managed to lock the keys, my phone, and Evie in the van. Complete panic. I obviously have no clue how to work this new car and I cannot even describe to you how mortified I was that I locked my precious baby girl, my life, my world, in this black van. So, I ran to every house on the block until I found someone who was home and he came out to help me. We spent quite a while trying to get it unlocked by ourselves, see evidence below, but to no avail. Finally he let me use his phone and I called a locksmith.

chipped paint from where we were prying the door open to get a hanger in. I was about 5 min away from smashing the window.
It took the locksmith about 10-15 min to get there, and by that time Evie was soaked in sweat and screaming. My heart was utterly broken. And then, like a knight in shining armor, the locksmith guy careens into our driveway (I told him to hurry repeatedly), jumped out of the car, and unlocked the door. It took all of 5 seconds for him. My hero. Never in the history of the world has someone pulled a child out of a carseat as fast as I did. I was so relieved to be holding her in my arms and that she was safe, they I immediately started crying. The nice locksmith guy didn't charge me anything (I would guess because of my embarrassing tears and Evie's adorable, sweaty face), but my neighbor took it upon himself to give him $40 anyways. I don't even know how to begin to thank these nice people. Without them, who knows how this would have turned out? Actually, I know. It would have ended with a broken window and a traumatized baby. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful and charitable people and the only thing I can think of to do is to repay my neighbor and make them both brownies or something.

So, that's my story. In case you were wondering, I stripped Evie down to her diaper, turned on the a/c and mickey mouse, had her drink some water, and she was as good as new. I'm sure glad it's over.

Friday, August 31, 2012

planes, trains, and automobiles

These last two months have been a whirlwind of traveling for Evie and I. We flew to and from Kansas, as well as Utah, and drove down to Dallas twice. Evie Lou, bless her heart, was such a trooper for all of it too. She loved being in new places and having people all around her to play with, and I think she's really missing that now that we're home. She gets quite bored of me. So, after all of this traveling, I think I can safely say that I am experienced in flying with a toddler. Let me pass on some knowledge, in case you ever need it.

  1. Spend some money on a scale so that you can weigh your suitcase BEFORE you get to the airport. This is a big one people, because on my way from Virginia to Kansas, my bag was over 50 lbs and they charge you $100 if you don't fix it. So, I was all alone with Evie, trying to reorganize all my stuff so my stupid bag wouldn't weigh so much. The whole process took me 30 min and that, plus security, almost made me miss my flight. 
  2. Invest in an umbrella stroller. However, I do have an addendum to this one. I took just my regular stroller this time because I don't own an umbrella one, and it was heaven. There's a basket to put things in, cup holders, and all other kinds of happiness. The only problem is, some airports (lookin' at you SLC) won't let you take those kinds of strollers with you and instead make you check them. So, get an umbrella stroller with a basket. Trust me.
  3. Don't bring an enormous carry-on full of toys. I brought one every single time and Evie didn't play with a gosh darn thing. She was way more interested in all the people around and playing on the seats. My last trip from KS to VA I finally got smart and checked that bag and only brought a few essentials things with me in my purse; namely a DVD player, snacks, and a ball. If she wasn't sleeping, she was watching a movie. Which brings me to my next one:
  4. Invest in a portable DVD player if you will be traveling a lot. The cheap ones are only $50. This was a serious life saver. I know a lot of parents are real sticklers on TV and movies with their little ones, and I have nothing but respect for them, but when you're in an airplane, you have to consider everyone else on the plane, not just you and your toddler. And, if a movie is going to keep them quiet and happy for 2-3 hrs, I don't see anything wrong with it.
  5. If you ever happen to fly through Dallas and are a member of the military, stop in at the USO center. It will change your life. Free food, movie theater thing, sleep room, and children's play area. I mean, they gave me a whole box of girl scout cookies. It just doesn't get any better.
  6. Don't let your toddler make it to the gate to get on the plane before you get there. It's a hairy situation. 
  7. Don't use the airplane bathrooms if you can help it because those toilets are really scary to tiny little humans, like Evie. 
  8. Try your hardest to get early flights. From my experience, the later the flight, the more ornery Evie got. She slept for most of all our flights except for the one that was late at night and late in the afternoon. Brutal. 
  9. Let them eat cake. And by that I mean, let them eat whatever they feel like eating, when they feel like eating it. Trying to keep a schedule and force it on your toddler while traveling all day will most likely only make you more anxious and irritable and your toddler more grumpy. I kept a plethora of snacks on hand in my purse and just had her eat meals when she was hungry. Traveling and flying does weird things to their appetites, I think. 
  10. Make sure, above all else, that they are either sucking or chewing on something during take off and landing. If they're not, their little ears will hurt and you will all be miserable. Evie had a binky and that worked great, but just go with whatever your baby likes. 

And that is what I have learned. Hopefully we won't be doing anymore traveling for a while because we are both completely fried. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


 On Wednesday we decided to take the girls to Botanica because we heard it was really fun, and really pretty. We thought that if we went in the morning, we would avoid most of the heat and be fine. Boy, were we wrong. I think while we were there at 10am it was 106 degrees. Whose idea was this again? Did we check the weather before we went? Nope. Needless to say, we didn't last long and had to run back the building and the a/c before our babies literally melted. After that, we got some lunch and put the girls down for naps. Here a couple of pictures I was able to take before everyone got too grumpy.

Hi, mom

whad up?

Friday, July 13, 2012

exploration place

My mom and I took Evie to Exploration place today, and she loved it. Now that she can walk, she has so much more fun. She even sat through the whole dome movie about galaxies with big, wide eyes and no complaints. Here are some pictures, Dan honey. Love you.

Evie wants to be a Vet just like her daddy

looking at some x-rays

loving the chicken

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