Wednesday, March 27, 2013

UPDATE OF THE LAST 4 MONTHS

...CHRISTMAS...
 Christmas this last year was SO fun.  We first had a family party for Braden's side of the family and we always have fun when we get together.  Games, food, and lots of laughs.  After the party we headed up to Heber to meet my family for our Christmas weekend.  I have worked Christmas Eve for the last 4 years so it was so nice to have an entire weekend off and not have to drive in a snow storm late Christmas Eve.  My parents rented a cabin there so the kids who work in Utah County would be able to go back and forth throughout the weekend for work instead of not being able to get together until Christmas Eve.  We had SOOO much fun, and that's an understatement.  We had a hot tub, 4 wheeler, pool table, TONS of snow, XBOX, food x's 10000, and the funnest group of people, you couldn't go wrong. There are seven kids in my family.   Kimee (24) is married to Landon, then Braden and I, my sister Jaimee is (21) and is married to Will, Branden (18), Sammi (15), Bailee (10) and little Hunter (7). All the kids slept up in the loft on Christmas Eve and had the Santa tracker app on for Hunter.  We were playing games while we all laid in bed and Hunter was getting pretty upset once Santa was in Denver and none of us were even trying to sleep.  He's my favorite. Christmas is so fun but is seriously MAGICAL when you spend it with kids.  This will be the last Christmas we have together before my brother leaves on his mission.  Having 5 sisters, you can guess this is a bit of an emotional roller coaster for all of us, we love our brother.  This Christmas we had 12 people, the next Christmas at my parents house will be my parents, Sammi, Bailee, and Hunter, quite a big change.  I made a prediction that the next Christmas we all have together will have an extra 5 people, you can do the math between grandchildren and maybe a wife or girlfriend for Branden :) 

Only missing a couple here

 
Hunter, Bailee, and Kimee playing Dance Central... it's a 2 player game so I'm not sure who thought they were playing but they really weren't!

 
JUST woke up bright and early on Christmas Eve

 
Braden's birthday was in February and we had a fun baseball themed birthday party and had a bunch of friends over. We had brats, peanuts and cracker jacks, everything to make you feel like you were at the stadium! Everyone wore sports memorabilia at Braden's request, we have the best friends!

 



 
 A couple weeks ago we took a much needed trip to Vegas with our friends.  It was seriously so much fun!  We just relaxed, shopped, went swimming, and ate and ate and ate.  I thank Heavenly Father every day for being blessed with such amazing friends. I can't express how thankful I am for them.
 
The only picture I took the entire trip was of Braden and I outside of church Sunday ha! 

Last night I unfortunately had to take a trip to the ER.  I haven't been breathing very good the last couple of days and then started feeling faint and getting chest pains.  I called my doctor's office and they said to go straight to the Emergency Room.  Of course I couldn't get a hold of Braden for about an hour and ended up meeting  him there. I was pretty shaken up  because I expected my doctor to just say, "The baby is just trying to squeeze in there so it's very common for pregnant women to experience problems breathing."  The doctor at the hospital explained to me that their main concern was blood clots.  He was using big words and I was trying to interpret what he was saying but all I caught was "And if you were to have a blood clot and die while delivering the baby, that would be a problem." ummm you think?!  He was going to run a test that he said would most likely come back negative and then I would be good to go.  Ran the test- positive.  The next 4 tests were all the same way.  The ones that we were hoping would come back positive, would come back negative, and vice versa.  After being there for 5 hours I was starving and starting to feel weak and nauseous. It was 11:00 at night and I hadn't eaten since lunch at 1:00 that day.  The ER was so busy so I tried not to be a burden but eventually I gave in and asked the nurse for something to eat.  She brought me back gold fish and saltines, not exactly what I was hoping but at that point I was happy with anything! My last test was a cat scan and for the 6th time that night I had to sign a paper that basically said "I won't be mad at you if my baby dies because of this test".  It's amazing how much we trust complete strangers.  Well the cat scan was SO weird! My blood felt like it was freezing one minute then boiling the next.  I had the yuckiest taste in my mouth and at one point felt like I had peed my pants!  (The guy who ran the test on me told me I would probably feel that but that I wouldn't really wet my pants, and even though he said that, I was still positive after that I did.) I had to wait just over an hour to get the results back from that and FINALLY got some good news.  The doctor said everything looked great .  He said a bunch of big words and the only ones I remember are "respiratory" and "inflammation", so make what you want of that!  He also said that I'm just a small person and she doesn't have much room and as a result, is pushing up on my diaphragm.  He prescribed some Lortab and told me to go to my doctor if I wasn't feeling better in a couple days, which works great because I already have my weekly appointment scheduled for the same day. He also told me that the problem is worse in the sitting position since she is compacted even more, so to try to avoid driving and sitting at a computer all day... Good thing I don't drive 30 minutes to and from work to sit at a computer all day!

 
 I am so happy that everything is alright and hope that the next month goes quickly so she can get big and get the heck out of me! With 2 baby showers, Easter, my birthday, Braden's graduation, and Braden running another half marathon, I have a feeling this month will be just like the last 8 and FLY by!

Braden graduates in 4 weeks and we will just apply for jobs everywhere.  I am very confident that if we are suppose to be somewhere this summer, we will.  I try not to feel stressed or overwhelmed when people ask me where we'll be living right after Harper is born and my response is that I haven't a clue.  But I do know this, BIG changes are coming for Braden and I, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it :)
 
video
This is when I was about 6 months along so she's much bigger now and it's easier to see her move, but you can definitely tell she's in there!

Monday, November 19, 2012

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

We're having a girl! SOOOO EXCITED.  Everyone keeps saying, "But you wanted a boy" or "But you thought it was a boy" so I am going to clarify.  Some/most of you are going to think this is crazy but nonetheless I'll try to explain what goes on in this peculiar little brain of mine.  I'm not super stitious... but I am a little stitious. I am however a big believer in the JINX.  This is how wiki defines jinx.. The superstition can be referenced when talking about a future event with too much confidence. A statement such as "We're sure to win the contest!" can be seen as a jinx because it tempts fate, thereby bringing bad luck.  So this is pretty much how I live my life.  In most everything I do, I remember my good friend JINX.  If my husband wants to go to dinner but I'm working that night I'll say, "Just go without me, I'll probably be the last one cut."  By saying that I somehow reverse the jinx and will be off in time for dinner.  Sounds simple right? WRONG.  What if I bring something cute to change into after work? JINX KNOWS!! If Jinx sees me bring a change of clothes then I will not be off work in time to go to dinner.  In middle school I would get invited to go to a friends house after school.  I would call my mom to see if I could go and just ride the bus home with them.  Mom wouldn't answer and then I would have to make an executive decision.  I thought well if I'm not allowed to go to their house, then I'll be in a lot of trouble because someone will have to come get me.  I would go home and ask my mom if I could go to my friend's house and she would say, "You should have just rode the bus home with her because I don't have time to drive you over there." JINX at his finest!  Sports? I can not pay attention to an entire game but when the last quarter hits and my team is up by 25 and I start cheering, they somehow lose the game. Even if I don't cheer vocally, Jinx knows my thoughts.  They can tell.  The first election I pay attention to and watch all the debates, my guy loses. JINX KNOWS WHAT I WANT!!! I don't know how they do it, but it's freaky.  There must be some weird makeup in my DNA that allows Jinx to access my mind. Anyhoo, my "friend" Jinx has been around since before I can remember so I've found ways to outsmart him.  I'm sure he's already reading this so after this, the jig is up, but it's fine because I like to think that I won this round.  So I've ALWAYS wanted a little girl.  I'm a girly girl.  I like bows and tutus and all the ridiculously cute accessories that no baby really needs.  When I was about 16 I realized that if I wanted a little girl someday I would have to do some SERIOUS mind games with Mr. Jinx.  From that day on I NEVER said I wanted a girl.  I usually would say I want 3-4 boys.  Boys are fun.  Boys are cute.  I've been saying that for almost 7 years now.  I haven't even said to Braden that I wanted a girl,  NOT ONCE.  One thing I've learned about Jinx is that he finds humor in you having to "explain" yourself later.  For example, if I were to say, "We're moving to California next summer."  He would find a way to make sure I didn't move to California next summer so everyone I told would say "Wait I thought you were moving to California" and I would have to say "wellll..." and explain our change of plans.  Obviously my first step was to vocalize that I REALLY thought it was a boy.  I put it on my last blog post, when people would ask what gender I wanted I would always say, "I think it's a boy."  When we told our parents we were pregnant, I bought little boy shoes and a basketball binki.  The other thing Jinx likes is to be inconvenient.  Just like I said earlier, if I bring the cute change of clothes to work, I'll end up working late and miss dinner.  This one was tough but I had a plan.  I decided to register my baby at Target and made EVERYTHING for a baby boy.  Boy bedding, boy stroller, boy carseat, EVERYTHING.  It was all thought out too, color coordinated down to the last bib.  I only looked up boy names online and in baby books.  I've called Harper "him" from the day I found out I was pregnant. When I went to my ultrasound to find out the gender, my 9 year old sister Bailee came with me.  The whole time I kept saying "Bailee look at his cute toes or his cute little fingers."  Finally the ultrasound tech said, "Well I'm 1000% sure what it is, would you like to know?"  ummm would I EVER!! When she said my baby was a girl, my world seriously stopped. I was speechless. I just started sobbing and she handed me the box of tissues.  She laughed and commented on how I kept calling her, him.  I just kept saying "CAN YOU BELIEVE IT BAILEE!!?"  She wasn't phased by it at all and said she knew the whole time that it was a girl.  We drove straight to Braden's work and he came out and I told him.  He wanted a girl so he was so happy.  He immediately was like are you ok, are you excited about it being a girl... It never occured to me that he had NO idea that I wanted a girl.  I told him why I never could tell him that I wanted a girl and he once again rolled his eyes and just said that he was happy I got what I wanted. OBVIOUSLY if we were having a boy I would still be thrilled to death! The little boys in nursery with me are my FAVORITE.  They always want to just snuggle with me and tell me they want to marry me someday.  OF COURSE I would love a little boy, but I am so.. happy and humbled and blessed that I get my little Harper in a little less than 6 months.  Mandi:1 Jinx:0 :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Baby Time




I'M PREGNANT!!!! I can't even express how excited we are and how nice it feels to finally tell everyone.  I'm going to use this post to share about this crazy adventure up to this point.  I am WARNING YOU NOW, some of it is not going to be pretty.  If you are thinking about having a child or can't handle watching Grey's Anatomy, TURN AWAY NOW! Where to begin... ah the beginning of course! Braden and I have been married about 3 years now.  We got married young and very quick, so I knew I wanted to wait a little while before we had kids.  I also am the second oldest of 7 children and have a very realistic view on what having kids is like.  I would always hear newly married people say, "I am SOOO baby hungry.  I just want a little baby to dress up and snuggle with at night."  I wanted to roll my eyes and say, "Oh is that what babies do these days huh.  You do know that baby is going to change your life.  You will always have a little human dependent on you.  You can't just run to the store when you need to get something for dinner.  You are going to have to pack a diaper bag, switch the car seat from the other vehicle, grab the stroller, pack an extra onsie in case they poop up the back, bring the box of cheerios, spill the box of cheerios, clean up the box of cheerios only to find after you have done so that they have tipped the kitchen garbage can over and are playing in last week's lasagna that went bad..Ya you're right, a baby tots def sounds fun."  OK a little dramatic but all you moms out there understand.  Being a mom is not easy, it takes so much work but it is the MOST REWARDING JOB!  I always told Braden that I didn't want to have a baby until I was DYING to have a baby and poor Braden has been ready to be a daddy for a while and has been so patient with me.  We had been talking this summer about starting our family sooner than later but weren't quite sure when would be the right time.  I never thought Braden and I would have a conversation like this because I always assumed I would get pregnant with a honeymoon baby, but lo and behold, our plan has worked for us.  We were blessed with an adorable nephew July 24 and went to the hospital to see him.  While holding him for the first time I looked up at Braden and it was like he could hear the small voice whisper to me, "It is time."  I felt 100% ready and excited but had to remind myself that it could be a long road to actually getting pregnant, something that I had already given much thought to.  I had always told myself that I would rather be dying to have a baby and it take a couple years for me to get pregnant than to just suddenly get pregnant and feel nowhere near ready for it.  A couple weeks later I was driving with Braden to Walmart and I said, "Braden, my boobs are HUGE.  Maybe I'm pregnant, because the last I checked, you don't get a growth spurt like that at 22."  I was most DEFINITELY joking.  I didn't think I was pregnant but it was too late, I already said it.  Of course Braden wanted me to take a test.  We went home, I took the test, and he told me not to look at it without him.  This wasn't the first time I had taken a pregnancy test so I knew the routine.  Wait 3 minutes, tell Braden it had been two minutes, run back and peek at the test to prepare him for a negative result, he comes back looks at the test and says, "Well I don't know why we're bummed about it, you're still on birth control", we laugh and go about our day. So I started the routine, I tip toed back to peek at the test... two lines... check the box.. two lines=pregnant... check the lines, check the box, check the lines AHHHH the emotions-"MANDI! are you looking at it without me??" I had no words, just silence.  He said, "Are you pregnant!?!"  I said, "UMMM come back here and tell me what you think."  He looked and sure enough I was.  We sat on the couch in excited disbelief.  I couldn't believe it.  For some reason I always assumed I would have a hard time getting pregnant, but thankfully I inherited my mom's extremely fertile genes.  He kept asking me if I was excited but I didn't think it could've happened that fast and easy and told him I didn't want to get my hopes up in case the test was wrong.  Then all of a sudden I start BAWLING! I realized I would have to face something that I have been terrified of since the day someone told me what is was, AN EPIDURAL.  I know, I know, it's music to a woman in labor's ears, but to my sweet little ears I just hear "You'll basically be wanting to die at this point so you don't even care that it crushes through your spine, and there's a chance they'll stick it in the wrong place but you'll know and they can just do it again." ... WHAT!@#@$@#$!#%^&&*(!@!! Oh is that all? Braden just started laughing and patted my back and said "You are definitely pregnant".  The next day I took 2 more test, both positive.  The next day just one test, still positive. I told Braden that I still couldn't believe it and would probably have to take a test every day for proof. The next day I threw up 8 times, that was enough proof for me. From that day on I have thrown up AT LEAST 5-10 times a day.  (it's about to get graphic so don't say I didn't warn you!) On a good day for me I would throw up about 5 times.  I would wake up, run to the toilet, get ready for work, barf before I leave, barf on my way to work (about a 30 minute drive), barf before lunch, finally feel like I could eat something around 2:00, eat 1/4 of a kids meal (if that), barf before I leave work, and usually be good when I got home and could just relax in my lazy boy all night.  That was a good day,  I won't go into detail about what a bad day entails. I was consuming about 300 calories a day.  At 9 weeks, I had lost 10 pounds. I called the nurse and she prescribed B6 and unisom, which I assumed she would.  I can't swallow pills but she told me (just like what everyone else says about every pill) "They are not hard to swallow, they're not big at all."  I have a tiny throat and have never been able to swallow pills.  When I was younger I had surgery to get my throat stretched and a pipe the size of my pinky ripped my throat, trust me, my throat is small. So I get the pills, chopped them all up to a size that I can swallow and 45 minutes later, I'm done.  It would take me so long because there were now about 20 tiny pills and each one I would swallow and then talk myself out of throwing it up.  It was rough.  What was even harder was that I was seeing no results from them. I called about 5 days later and spoke with the same nurse.  I said, "I want to die."  She chuckled and said, "Oh no sweetie, are you still not feeling better? What's wrong?"  I again repeated, "I want to die."  10 minutes later I had a prescription waiting for me at the pharmacy.  I read the directions for my dissolveable pills that said "Take 20 minutes before you start chemotherapy."  FINALLY!! Someone understood how sick I was.  Those pills have helped a lot, I only throw up 3-5 times a day.  I am still nauseous all day but I am at least keeping some food down. I am SO thankful for medicine, glad I live in a time when we have it. 



My First Dr. Appointment
I was very excited for this appointment. The nurses were so friendly and helpful.  They gave me a pregnancy test and then the doctor came in.  He said "Well is this good news?" I thought to myself, oh good that must mean I'm pregnant for sure (because throwing up over 300 times in the last 9 weeks wasn't proof).  I told him yes and that my husband and I were VERY excited.  He asked how long we had been trying and told me to congratulate Braden when I told him 24 hours.  He slapped some goo on my stomach and did the rolly thing just like you see in the movies.  He showed me my baby's head and little toes and printed the picture.  The nurse then came in to draw my blood. I have never weighed enough to donate blood before and had never really given much thought as to how exactly they get the blood out of you.  She told me they had to fill up 5 containers and that it would just pinch a little in the beginning.  It did.  I counted backwards slowly in my head from 10.  She wasn't done.  Did it again from 20.  Still wasn't done.  She kept saying "How are you doing".  I don't know if I responded.. maybe that's why she kept asking.  All of a sudden everything is blurry and I remember saying "I feeeeel weirrrr"  Next thing I know I'm laying on my back checking out the ceiling.  Maybe this is why little people shouldn't give blood.  She gave me some juice and told me I could stay as long as I liked and told me her story about giving blood the first time.  She was about my size and wasn't able to donate until a couple months ago.  It was nice just drinking my little box of apple juice and listening to her story,  I just wanted to stay there all day. All of a sudden my eyes are frantically shifting for a garbage can, she must have noticed because she grabbed the one in the corner and said have had it. 
EMOTIONS
HOLY TOLEDO my emotions are all over the place. It is seriously hilarious.  My first incident was crying over my epidural, the second was the next week.  I went to bed a couple hours before Braden and was fast asleep.  Braden got in bed and itched his ear... For SOME reason I thought he was holding on to our bed rails and shaking the bed as HARD as he could!  My heart leaps out of my chest and I kept saying STOP! Why are you trying to scare me?  He had to calm me down and explain that he had simply itched his ear.  He just patted my back and said "Being pregnant is hard huh?" I woke up enough to laugh about it and went back to sleep.  The next night I'm laying in bed and once again, there he goes holding on to the bed rail and shaking our bed as hard as he could.  I started crying again and said "WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME MAD!??  You're trying to scare me on purpose!" Braden once again had to calm me down and explain that he was laying on his right side and had simply rolled over to his left... boy oh boy.  We laughed again and went to sleep.  A couple weeks later I was down for my brothers football game.  It was an incredible game that was delayed 90 minutes total because of lightning and went into TRIPLE overtime! It ended up being over 4 hours.  They finally ended by beating a team with a 20-0 winning record.  When the final play happened and Hurricane fumbled the ball, Desert Hills fans are storming the field, parents are screaming, everyone was so excited.  Braden looked over at me to find me once again... Sobbing.  He chuckled and said "Are you so happy that Branden won?" I looked at the ground and somehow stammered "I am happy that they won but I feel so bad for that boy on Hurricane's team that dropped the ball, he will never forget that moment." Braden couldn't stop laughing at this one.  I knew I was being a little ridiculous but still couldn't control my emotions.  Once again he would just respond with, "Being pregnant is hard huh".

 Apologies
I feel like I owe 1000 apologies.  My first apology goes to 3 little girls in the Target bathroom I threw up in front of.  I am sorry you had to see that.  I'm sorry to the family in the white suburban that had to be stuck in traffic right next to me for 2 HOURS and had to watch me throw up in a bag MULTIPLE times.  There were probably 5 little kids inside the car with their faces pressed up to the glass just watching me with sheer terror on their faces.  I could just hear their mom yelling "WELL THEN DON'T LOOK!!"  I'm sorry you guys had to see that.  I'm sorry to the sweet nurse, front desk lady, and other pregnant women in the waiting room at the doctor's office.  I'm sorry to the group of young women that had to listen to me vomit for 5 minutes when I thought the bathroom was empty.  In my defense, I did wait til I heard a door shut and no talking before I started, I then walked out to find them SILENT and pretending to wash their hands. I was so humiliated.  I'm sorry to everyone who's house I've been to in the last couple months because there's a 99% chance that your toilet and I have become acquainted.  I'm sorry to the Victoria Secret worker who watched me throw up in the little perfume testing sticks garbage cans and then helped me back up after I had passed out.  I am NOT sorry to all the customers in line who just watched me the whole time and never offered to help. I am most sorry to whoever sits at the desk on the other side of the girls bathroom at my work, I would hate me if I was you.

This pregnancy has been tough to say the least, but I am already beginning to learn what you sacrifice to be a mom.  Not a day went by that I didn't barf my brains out and cry before I left to work but guess what, still had to go to work.  It's the same with being a mom.  Just because you feel deathly sick doesn't mean you get a day off.  You still have the responsibility of being a mother and you never have a day off from that.  This is my struggle and if it means I can have my sweet baby when all is said and done, it is worth EVERY second.  I REALLY REALLY think it's a boy, which I am SO excited about!  Braden tries to remind me that it's a 50/50 chance but I told him even the Chinese calendar said it's a boy, to which he rolls his eyes and says he's not going to waste his breath trying to explain to me why I shouldn't trust a Chinese gender prediction calendar. Boy/Girl/Squirrel, whatever it is, I just hope they are healthy.  I am SO excited for this next chapter of our lives!! Cannot wait to be parents :)

p.s. if you made it through this entire disgusting/dramatic/depressing novel, you are my true friend 



 Telling my mom and dad they are going to be grandparents!


 For Halloween, I dressed up as a pregnant woman.  This is how I decided to tell my friends. One of my friends said, "Are you really pregnant and this is how you're telling us?" I said "YUP!" They were taken a bit off guard.  I had to stop by Walmart before the party and was congratulated 3 times and they all asked how far along I was.  I liked their reaction when I would say 13 weeks :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

my brother


I would like to take a moment to brag about my amazing "little" brother.  Branden Ray Clark was born March 21, 1995.  I still remember him coming home from the hospital.  My sisters and I were SO excited to finally get a brother.  Having 3 older sisters, Branden was always being bossed around and told what to do yet somehow he turned out to be the sweetest brother any sister could ask for.  A few weeks ago, I was able to spend a couple days in St. George with my family and go to one of Branden's football games.  I cannot tell you how impressed I am with this young man.  He is the epitome of a team player and always has a good attitude.  I ran into a few of Branden's teachers at the game and each one had nothing but the nicest things to say about him and told me what a great kid he is.  They told me how he is always on top of his school work and every teacher's dream student.  He is always nice to others and goes out of his way to include people.  


Not only is Branden such a great student, but also a great person.  Throughout my quick trip to St. George,  I saw my brother constantly doing things for others.  He would pick up and drop off his little siblings whenever they needed a ride, go fix the TV when no one else knew how to, fix our printer, pump up balls, go find someone's missing shoe, whatever was asked (and sometimes not asked) he always stepped right up and helped.  What a hard worker and great young man my brother has grown up to be.  I think the best part of my trip was when I was about to leave.  I walked out to my car the same time my brother was leaving with his friends.  I just yelled "BYE BRANDEN" (because what 17 year old boy is going to come hug his sister goodbye in front of his friends.)  As I'm about to get in my car I hear him say to his friends, "Hold on one sec."  He ran over to me and gave me a big hug and said, "Bye Mandi, love you."  melted.my.little.heart.  I'm sure he doesn't even remember this or it had little significance to him, but it meant the world to me.  Love that "not so little brother" of mine!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Playing Catch Up

My oh my, how fast the time goes by.  I have decided I am going to start blogging more than once a year.  I love reading other people's blogs, helps me stay up to date on their lives.  Let's start at the beginning and go through some of  the highlights of our year.

JANUARY
 In January we went on a cruise to Cabo with some of our best friends and had such a grand time.  We went parasailing, laid on the beach and definitely ate enough to make every penny we spent on that cruise worth it.  Cruising has quickly become one of our favorite ways to vacation.  Always something to do, but more importantly, something to eat. 

MARCH
In March I was able to go stay with my cute siblings (I know what you're thinking, yes even Hunter is included in the cute siblings category), while my parents went on a cruise. I had SO much fun with them.  We did a lemonade and cookie sale and went to Samurai 21 (a hibachi grill restaurant) with our earnings.  The kids had a blast with the chef and it was fun going to dinner with almost all of my family. We also had the opportunity to go to the Blue Angels airshow.  I had never been to something like that and it was incredible.  Wish my parents could have been there to share the experience with us.  I always tell people I felt like I grew up as a mom (being the second oldest of 7) but this week was a big reminder of how much my parents do for our family.  The love and support they give us kids could never possibly be thanked enough.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

APRIL
Definitely my favorite month this year.  Not only does it contain the best day of the year (my birthday) but I also had been planning a surprise trip for Braden for almost 2 months.  This is such a fun story that I will NEVER forget.  So sometimes I like to save a little money and do something nice for Braden. Braden served his mission in Florida and it is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, state to visit.  I decided I was going to plan a trip and try my best to keep it a surprise.  I called the girl who makes his schedule at his work to see if it was even possible.  She was AMAZING and I could not have done this trip without her.  She made a fake schedule for him when the time came close so it didn't look like he just didn't work for 8 days. (Schweet right?)  I had to open a separate debit account so he couldn't see me buying Disney tickets or booking the flight and hotel.  I quickly realized that I must have talked about this trip a lot because every time I would go to the bank, tanning salon, work, ANYWHERE everyone was so anxious to see if it was still a secret and how it was all working out.  About two weeks before, I would slowly start packing.  I would put one of his swimsuits in, then the next day a t shirt.  I made sure not to pack anything that he would look for and miss.  Over the two weeks he was completely packed minus a toothbrush. The day before we left Braden had a softball game.  I was visiting with my friend Rudy who's husband also plays softball.  We were talking about how everything was going to play out the next day.  When her husband came up and joined the conversation.  He informed me that my husband was going to play golf in the morning ha.  I called my brother in law to make sure they would be done playing in time.  It ended up working out PERFECTLY.  I could BARELY sleep that night.  I knew that these next 12 hours would be the hardest of the entire 2 months.  The next morning he went golfing and I threw the last minute toiletries in the bag.  Now it was just a waiting game for him to get home.  He came home to find me watching TV on the couch.  He asked what time I worked and I said 10:30.  What he didn't know is that at 10:25 Pooh Bear would be calling him and telling him about his trip. I had found this cute website that has prerecorded messages from cute Disney characters.  You could have them call for a birthday, congrats on learning how to tie their shoe, pretty much anything. 10:20 I'm very fidgety. 10:22 trying to just breathe slow.  10:24 can't contain it and tell him I have to go to the bathroom.  10:25 sitting on the toilet listening intently for his phone to ring. 10:26... still sitting. 10:27 checking my email to verify the call. 10:28 rescheduling the call from 10:25 Pacific time to 10:30 MST. Finally I go sit by him on the couch.  His phone rings, he answers it, pushes one to verify that it is "Braden Bagley".  Looks at me and laughs.  I can hear Pooh Bear say "Hello Braden, this is Pooh.  I heard you are going on a very special trip today.  I am probably going to the river to play pooh sticks with Piglet. etc. etc."  When I told people about the Pooh call they would say "Oh he'll know for sure."  But I told them, you don't know our relationship.  Braden would just think that I found some weird app on my phone and was going to have Disney people calling him every day for the rest of his life.  He laughed, rolled his eyes, hung up and said "You know your already late for work right?"  I said "I know I know.  Before I go can you hand me that blue bag at the bottom of the closet." He brings this big blue present and tosses it on the couch and starts walking away.  I said "HEY, don't you want to open it?" He said "THIS IS FOR ME?" He opened it and found flip flops, sunglasses, and sunscreen.  I said "Where do you think we could use all of these" He said "... are we going to Disneyland?"  I said YUP. He got way excited and asked when.  I told him "RIGHT now, see that suitcase, we are all packed and ready to leave this second." He said "Do I not have to go to work today?" I told him he wouldn't have to go to work for 3 days (a lie) but he was happy with that.  We walked out to the car and I said "Hey I think I see something under your seat" Now he just had a huge grin on his face and didn't know what I had up my sleeve next.  He pulled out another present, unwrapped it and found a Disney World guide book.  He smiled and said COOL.  I knew he didn't understand what was going on so I just sat and stared at him.  I could see the wheels turning and he said "We're not going to Florida are we?" I just smiled and he started freaking out.  I said "Yup our flight leaves in 2 hours and you don't have to go to work for 8 DAYS!!"  He started calling old mission friends that he wanted to visit while we were there. It was fun telling him about all I had done preparing for this trip and how I almost had to tell him like 10 times.  We spent most of our time at Disney World but also got to go to Tampa for a day and see some familiar faces and drive through some of his old areas.  Braden had never been to Disney World and I had not been for several years so it was fun doing everything together.  Always fun taking trips with your best friend!

JULY
 We had a good ol' fashioned fourth of July in Richfield once again.  We were lucky enough to have my family and Braden's there to celebrate together. We are so lucky to have such great friends and family that can make just sitting around eating food a fun event.  Later that month we went to Lake Powell for the Annual Bagley & Holt Powell trip.  We always have such a fun time there and this year was no exception.  After that I had a family reunion for my mom's side in California.  Braden unfortunately wasn't able to get work off, but I'm so glad I still went.  It was so nice to see all my distant family and catch up.  My cousins around my age are all starting their little families so I LOVED seeing all the cute little babies.  The Bishop family only makes beautiful babies!
We were also blessed with a beautiful baby nephew on the 24th of July! Grayson Evan Ault.  He is so precious and we love him to pieces!
 
AUGUST
Braden just started back up with school and has two more semesters til he graduates with his Bachelors and then it's on to his Masters.  I am still working my million jobs and love being busy.  Braden is still the Secretary in the Young Men's and enjoys working with the youth.  I have been in nursery for 2 years now and have fallen hard for my little 2 & 3 year olds.  I like to think of myself as the cool Aunt who gets to play with her nieces and nephews every Sunday.  I love their unconditional love and excitement when they see me, seriously makes my year.  I have the most adorable little boy in my class that lives a couple houses down.  He will stop by about 3 times a week and ask if I can come watch him ride his 4 wheeler or his dune buggy.  He'll usually hold my hand and walk me out to his ride and show me the mechanics of the car (never letting my hand go mind you).  He melts my heart. 
We have loved living in American Fork these last two years.  We have the best friends a couple could ask for.  We are so blessed and thankful for the wonderful lives we're able to have.   

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

life is PEACHY

...Florida...





Us & the Sorensons at Clearwater Beach






Jaimee & Will's Wedding







the Beagleys & the Bagleys

Monday, May 2, 2011

Life has been just peachy lately! Braden is still working at SpRiNt, which has been a HUGE blessing! He loves it there which makes me so happy. He is still attending UVU and will be done with his associates in December. He's a hard little worker that Braden is. I just finished my last week working at Beaches Tanning & have been a waitress at Rodizio Grill for almost a month now and am loving it. I have about 4 months left of hair school and although I am enjoying it, it will be nice to someday not have to be at school 40 hours a week.
My little sister Jaimee married one of Braden's best friends a couple months ago & we are so happy for them. They were sealed in the Manti Temple and had a reception in St. George the next day. Since then, they have lived about 5 minutes away from us so we would hang out ALL the time. Last weekend they moved to South Carolina for the summer & we already miss them & are ready for them to return.
We also had the opportunity to take a trip to Florida in March. A company I work for had a convention there and was nice enough to pay for my husband to go with me!! One of Braden's mission companions/best friends happened to be in Florida with his beautiful girlfriend the same week, so we had the chance to go see their mission together. Between meeting the people Braden taught on his mission, theme parks, amazing restaurants, and just relaxing, we had an AMAZING time.
We've been in American Fork for a year now & are really loving it. Braden is serving as the Flag coordinator in our ward and if I may say so myself, he's the best dang flag coordinator I've ever seen. I've been in the nursery and LOVE it! We have the cutest little kids in our ward & it's nice to not have to bring fruit snacks to bribe the kids to come sit by me. My sweet little neice Addison is in nursery so I espcially love being able to spend time with her.
Once again, life is so wonderful. We are so blessed & so thankful for each other.