Thursday, December 29, 2011

Changes of 2011

Our (slightly late) Christmas Card with our 2011 letter below.  
Hope you enjoy both!
Click to play this Smilebox greeting
*
Dear 
Family
and Friends,
 I remember when
 2011 just started &
 feeling so uncertain
 about the year because
 we expected so many changes
 but at the same time didn't know
 what, if anything, would happen.  Well, 
I'm pleased to report the changes were
 wonderful and our lives are so deeply
 blessed.  First, I was hired as a full time
 Family and Consumer Science teacher at
 the junior high we both attended growing
 up.  It has definitely been a learning experience
 this year with times of feeling overwhelmed and
 wondering why I am doing this but generally I
 enjoy it.  The next change resulted in us moving.  
I fall asleep so easily in cars that commuting for
 around an hour (possibly longer) both directions
 for me was not an option.  Casey instead commuted
 back to UVU but generally took the bus and was able
 to study while riding.  Casey also had a change this year
 when he started working on campus as a help desk technician. 
 He greatly enjoyed this job and was good at it but change happened
 once again when he decided to quit because he working way too many
 hours a week.  Another big change for Casey was he was called to serve
 as the Elder's Quorum Secretary in our new ward.  We love our new ward
  though it was a huge change from our student ward the first Sunday realizing
 there was actually a large primary and mutual as well as several seasoned
 members.  Probably the biggest change in my life is that I got my life back.
  I started out 2011 with a determination to loose weight.  Well, this has been a
 lifestyle change for both of us and one that I'm never returning.  Seeing the difference
 and feeling the change in my energy level was amazing as I continued to gradually loose
 weight week by week.  Bringing the grand total of weight loss to 93 pounds.  Finally our
 biggest change this year (in case you missed it) is we are expecting our first little one.  I am
 due in June.  We are both so excited for the wonderful opportunity and know it will bring a whole
 new set of changes in 2012 but we are eager to face them together and with the help of Heavenly Father.
Although there have been so many changes there are some things that will never change.  One our love for each other.  Two our testimonies in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And three being together
 for eternity.
We hope you
 had an equally
 wonderful year.
Wishing you the
best in 2012!!!
Photobucket & Casey

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Q&As

It seems with announcing our wonderful SURPRISE that it tends to bring (1) several congratulations {THANK YOU everyone for your sweetness and support of us!} and (2) a whole list of common questions.  So enjoy {or skim} as I try to answer all of the questions I hear frequently.

How far along?  14 weeks 4 days

Due?  June 23 (apparently that is Pres. Hinckley's birthday--that would be cool!  The baby would have a great legacy to live up to... LoL!)

Morning Sickness?  Yes.  Unfortunately.  I have been very blessed though that I have not thrown up--I don't throw up--ever.  So I guess this makes sense.  But oh my I have felt awful.  I have been sick from about day one--even before the pregnancy tests came positive.  To help I would smell ground ginger often.  And pray.  Most of the time I would only feel sick at school during first period and luckily those classes were amazing.  I would normally survive until about 3 or 4 pm when it would hit again.  I have been blessed to have the sickness interfere so little with teaching.  As a general statement, I am getting a little better.  I now have better days (not great) and trying days still.  I am hoping this trend continues and I start having mostly great days with only a few better days!

School and being pregnant?  Generally it hasn't been too bad.  Some mornings when I felt sick, sick, sick, it made teaching lovely.  I have to sit more often and snack on stuff all the time.  My students don't know.  The worst moment was when we were making Rice Pudding.  Some of my kids decided to use less water and left the rice cooking on high to make it go faster.  Needless to say I could NOT handle the extreme burnt smell in my room.  I had to go stand in the hall for several minutes.

Tired?  For the first time in my life, I have been able to take naps.  And I do so regularly.  I have always had sleeping problems/ insomnia and naps were out of the question.  Now they are a part of my day--especially on Saturdays and Sundays.  And I get short of breath so easily.  Seriously.  I do miss being able to run up and down our two flights of stairs with easy.

Sleep?  I still have insomnia on some nights.  Pre-preggers I would sleep on my stomach.  That doesn't work so well.  I can't sleep on my side though if my knees touch so I have to put a pillow in between.  And no back sleeping--I can never get comfortable.  I wake up generally only once during the night and am able to go back to sleep {sometimes... sometimes I don't go back to sleep} after going to the bathroom.  We bought a memory foam topper for our mattress.  BEST INVESTMENT EVER!!  Seriously.  It saves me from all of the pressure points and pains I hear others complain about.

Maternity clothes?  Yes.  They are the only things that fit.  I tried wearing some of my "plus sized" clothes that I saved but I looked like a clown.  They would fit (or still be too big) on my waist and then be huge on my legs or arms.  My "small" clothes that we bought to start the school year are too tight now.  They hurt and make my morning sickness feel worse.

Wedding Rings and Shoes?  I am still able to wear my wedding and CTR rings.  Hopefully my fingers don't start swelling.  Also my feet are the same size and I still wear all of my same shoes.  I would love it if this continued till June. ;)

Showing yet?  I think so.  I will have to post a recent mug shot of myself so everyone can judge for themselves.  But my coworkers are all starting to speculate because I hadn't announced our exciting news.  I think if you know what I looked like in September when I actually {for the first time in my life} looked skinny/ healthy and compare it to now--you can definitely notice a change!

Stretch marks?  Well--my skin was already stretched out from loosing so much weight and it didn't take much at all for them to appear again.  I think I will be blessed to always have stretch marks and it will remind me of my weight loss journey and how I never want to make a return trip.

Movement?  I'm going to say yes.  It is so weird but so thrilling at the same time.  I can feel flipping in my lower stomach and it is different then when I feel sick (which the sick feeling is normally in my upper area).  It is hard to explain but I definitely think it is our little baby saying "I Love You Mommy!"

Cravings?  Generally I haven't had very many cravings.  I don't like cooking so much anymore.  I guess I could say my cravings would be anything I don't have to cook. :)

Food Aversions?  Anything sugary, greasy/ fatty, or vegetables.  All three make me sicker.  I used to be able to not eat ANY sugar without getting sick.  It is getting a little better and I was able to enjoy a few Christmas treats but it definitely has to be kept within a very small amount.  The vegetable intake is also improving slightly.   I can eat and love starchy vegetables like potatoes.  I ate some corn and iceberg lettuce recently and managed.  Dark green, healthy stuff--no.

Doctor's visits?  Our first visit was on Dec. 1.  It was hard finding a time because I have to have after school hours appointments.  It was SO exciting because we heard the heart beat and saw our little baby bunny.  Everything was measuring perfect and there is for sure just one.

Gender?  We are going to find out the gender.  The ultra sound will probably be around the end of January/ start of February.


Well... that is about all of the questions I can think of for the moment.  If I skipped something, leave a comment and I will try to answer it.  Thank you again to everyone for your well wishes and support.  We are SO excited and so grateful to be on this journey together!
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P.S.  In case anyone in the future is searching by topic for all of the pregnancy updates, I labeled it "Miracle in Progress" because we truly feel we are experiencing a miracle right now! <3

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Surprise!

Casey and Lisa
{Standin' near} a tree...

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

First comes LOVE...

Then comes MARRIAGE...

Then comes a BABY in the baby carriage!
(in 6 months!)


Merry Christmas!!!
Photobucket & Casey

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Introducing Jingle Bell

I would like to introduce you to Jingle Bell.  Jingle was dropped off by Santa to observe good and bad behavior so he can make a full report to Santa when he comes on Christmas Eve.  (To be honest, Jingle was RIDICULOUSLY hard to find!!  But I'm so grateful to have found our elf.  I can see him becoming a favorite tradition for December in the future.)  If Jingle reports good things, then Santa will leave presents and if not... well, a lump of coal or something.  Today is Jingle's last day in our home until next year.  When Santa comes down the chimney tonight, he will listen to the report and then take Jingle back to the North Pole with him.

Jingle gets bored extremely easy and you turn your back on him and he ends up into mischief of some sort.  The other day I found him climbing the Christmas tree.  I do have to admit, he is good although I was nervous for the ornaments breaking.  He made it all the way to the top.


Happy Christmas Eve!  I hope all of your elves have good reports for Santa tonight! :)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Accidental Discovery

The only good part about being cold in the winter is the abundance of Hot Chocolate.  I recently found some individual packets that are fat free and around 25 calories or so per glass.  Pretty sure I'm on a at least weekly visit (if not daily) with this amazing warms my fingers and soothes my soul drink!

I made an accidental discovery with Hot Chocolate the other day.  Mine was too hot--like burns your tongue and you can't taste it hot.  I should have watched the timer a little better.  Oops!  But it turned out to be one of those blessing in disguise type of a moments.  I wanted to put some (fat-free) whip cream on top to help it cool down.  But we didn't have any so that option was out.  Instead, I saw the container of egg nog and decided why not.  It was perfect.  The best "too hot how can I cool this down" discovery yet.  And one that I have since purposefully recreated.  Seriously, my friends, if you like egg nog and hot chocolate you HAVE to try this!  Trust me, your mouth will thank you as you savor every sip of this delightful creation!

And for your enjoyment, I thought I would share a classic Hot Chocolate clip.
Happy Hot Chocolate with Egg Nog splash drinking! :)


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet Tooth Confession

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  We were able to see both our families and everything was delicious.  The problem was the deliciousness was short lived.  With several people in attendance at both, the leftovers were few and we were not sent home with any.  The next day, I bought a clearance turkey and decided we would have our own feast once the bird defrosted.

About a week later, we had our own Thanksgiving Dinner with just the two of us.  And we now have leftovers to spare! :)  My favorite use of turkey leftovers is (1) on a sandwich with Miracle Whip and cranberries or (2) in a casserole called Turkey Tetrazzini.  Both are incredible!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post--"My Sweet Tooth Confession."  To accompany our feast, Casey decided to make a pecan pie instead of pumpkin.  Allow me just to say, we both LOVE pecan pie.  I can't ever remember having it homemade before though and Marie Calendars puts up some tough competition.  But I am in L.O.V.E. with Casey's made-from-scratch, melts-in-your-mouth, lick-every-crumb pecan pie.  Needless to say, the pie didn't last too long at our house....


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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Called to Teach

Last Sunday when I was asked to meet with a member of the Bishopric, I was super curious.  I was anticipating a calling of some sort but had no idea what to expect.  I am still the ward chorister and was not released from that.  I was nervous that we would be called to Trek.  I would love to be a trek ma with Casey as the pa but the timing of next summer just didn't seem right to either of us.  So as we waited, we hoped it wasn't for Trek.

To our relief, no Trek call was issued--at least not yet....

I was called to teach Relief Society.  I know this probably sounds kind of odd but I was so excited that I almost squealed.  I really do enjoy teaching!  And being able to teach about the things that matter the most to me, instead of trying to do everything to side step around the religion topic at school, will be amazing.  Well, I obviously accepted eagerly.  Hopefully it isn't too weird that I was excited for the calling!

Today I was sustained by my ward members and then set apart after church by the Bishop.  I will get to learn from and study the manual, George Albert Smith as I prepare to teach and discuss the lessons with the other sisters in my ward.  Before I started reading my manual, I knew that he was called as President of the church--no idea when but long before my time.  And I was guessing that he was related somehow to Joseph Smith.  I {obviously} have SO much to learn this coming year.  But I am still excited because I really do LOVE teaching! :)
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Collecting Cards

As we were putting up Christmas decorations, I wanted to display Christmas Cards.  I decided our coat closet was the perfect place.  And so I strung wide ribbon back and forth across the door and then got out some regular clothespins.  Simple, easy and practical.  But it is beautiful, sentimental and slowly filling up!


Now all we need are more cards!!  The top is filling in nicely but the bottom needs some more love. ;)
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Evidence

Last week, we were privileged to be able to attend our ward Christmas party.  It was a delicious breakfast and I am deeply grateful to all the hands involved in the preparation!

I already knew that I am the luckiest girl in the world because my husband is absolutely amazing.  But now... now, I have EVIDENCE!


I don't think Casey even knew I took the picture.  But thanks sweetheart for always finding ways to serve me and to also serve others.  You truly are the best! <3
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

Christmas is all about the magic of doing something for someone else without them knowing.  It is looking at beautiful Christmas decorations and realizing that this season really is happening.  {Sometimes it is easy to forget that anything happens outside of teaching....}  It is taking the time to make something gorgeous and then giving it away to someone whom you love dearly just to spread Christmas cheer.

So to my dear Teacher Fairy... thank you!  Thank you for brightening my classroom and making the next 11 days be filled with Christmas magic instead of wishing the time away.  Thank you for making me excited to go home everyday just so I can see a beautiful wreath reminding me that someone loves me deeply.  I love both of your sweet, beautiful, thoughtful wreaths and can not even begin to thank you enough.

Small wreath hanging up in my classroom
(Thank you Teacher Fairy!)
Large wreath (really it is much bigger even though the pictures look practically the same)
hanging up on our door at home.
Fairly certain we have the most BEAUTIFUL door in the neighborhood!
(BIG THANK YOU TEACHER FAIRY!!!)
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