Saturday, January 17, 2015

Carter's Birth Story

October 21st 2014 - 7:51 pm our lives were changed forever.

I've been wanting to write about this day for the past month, but I have not been able to put into words the euphoric joy that this day brought, and all of the incredible feelings that I felt.

My labor went perfectly, It went almost exactly as I had envisioned it. That's another reason why I haven't known how to write about this day, because I know so many women have really, really hard and stressful labors, and part of me felt guilty for sharing my labor story. I think that the Lord allowed my labor to go so well, because he knows what we all can handle, and I'm kind of a big baby. I admire you sweet girls out there who have gone into labor wanting a blissful experience, and were handed a tiring, hard, and painful many hours. You were strong. But it occurred to me, that we all are strong. No matter how wonderful, or terrible your labor goes, the most important thing is that your baby comes into this world, and is healthy. So here is my story of the day that I met my first born son, Carter David Christensen.

The end of my pregnancy, like most womens, was very painful, and long. My belly looked small, but I was carrying this baby in my back, and was in a lot of pain those last few weeks. There was pressure, nerve pinches, aches, and lots and lots of Braxton Hicks. When I went in for my 37 week appointment I was 1 cm dilated, and 75% effaced. My doctor told me that if I didn't have my baby soon, he would induce me on October 21st, because I was progressing well enough. That news was music to my ears. I was so ready to get this baby out of me, At my 38 weeks appointment we officially scheduled my induction date. The rest of that week was extremely long, and painful. I spent most days laying in bed, taking probably 3 baths a day, watching Greys Anatomy, and breathing through Braxton Hick contractions.

On October 21st I woke up around 8:00am. I woke up smiling and remember thinking, I'm going to meet my son today. It was the weirdest, and coolest feeling. The morning was calm and peaceful as I made sure the house was spotless, our hospital bags were packed, and everything was ready to go. I showered and got ready, ate a small breakfast (which I would later regret because I was starving the rest of the day) and sat in my rocking chair, praying over and over again, and watched the clock. I then sat down on the bed next to David and said, "Hey baby, you're gonna be a Daddy today." He got ready, and gave me a beautiful Priesthood Blessing, where I was told that I was going to deliver a healthy baby boy today, and that I needed to remember to listen to my Doctors and nurses.

The drive to the hospital was a fun moment I won't forget. It was a beautiful day, the leaves were bright yellow and the sky was perfectly clear and blue. As we got in the car I said "It looks like a great day to have a baby." The 15 minute drive there, we held hands and had the biggest smiles on our faces as we listened to some of our favorite pump up happy songs. My husband gave me a little pep talk during all of this as well. When we arrived at the hospital, David dropped me off at the entrance to start getting checked in while he found a parking spot, and bring in our stuff. As I was registering, one of the ladies at the counter looked at me nervously as I was sitting there by myself and asked, "You're not doing this labor thing by yourself, are you?" I laughed out loud and said "OH HEAVENS NO."

We got up to labor and delivery around 11:30am. I met my nurse Marie. She was in her 50's, very knowledgeable, relatable, and hilarious. We instantly hit it off and I was so grateful I had a nice nurse. She checked me into our room, had me change into my sexy blue hospital gown, and hooked me up to the fetal monitors. There was a girl next door who was in labor at that moment, that was on the verge of having to go in for an emergency C-section, so most of the nurses were busy attending to her. So while we waited for things to get started, I sat in my bed listening to my baby boys heart beat. I kept looking at the screen and thinking how I will soon feel that little heartbeat on my chest. I still couldn't believe this was real life, and that I was actually having a baby today! I was so excited.

Finally around 1:00 pm, they hooked me up to IV's and started me on Pitocin. The nurse told me that I would have to wait until after 4 for the Doctor to come break my water, so it was probably going to be a long day. Once the pitocin started, I was still feeling great. I kept having mild braxton hicks, like always, but nothing was too painful at all. At around 2:40 my nurse came in and told me that Dr. Nance was coming in 5 minutes to break my water. I was so pumped, this was happening faster than planned! My Doctor came in, put on his gloves to check me, and while checking my cervix he inserted the "hook" and moved it around a bit until I started to feel like I was wetting my bed. I couldnt stop laughing because it was just awkward and hilarious at the same time.

Breaking my water didn't hurt at all, but within about ten minutes I started to get real contractions, and oh boy those sure did hurt. It felt like someone REALLY strong was taking my uterus in their hands and just squeezing it as hard as they possibly could, like they were wringing it out. It was very painful, but cool at the same time to be feeling this pain I had never felt before in my life. I breathed through the contractions as best as I could, and was able to manage pretty well for about an hour. My nurse came in around 4:20 and asked me if I wanted my epidural. I was shocked that I was allowed to have it because I was only at a 3. I debated in my mind if I wanted to tough it out and experience the pain for longer, until I got hit with the hardest contraction yet, and I eagerly asked for that sweet, precious epidural. Within 20 minutes the Nurse Anesthesiologist came in. His name was Jason, and when he walked in I said "Oh Jason buddy I'm sure happy to see you." He probably thought I was a weirdo, but oh well, haha. Getting the epidural was pretty easy. I held on to my husbands hands, as i sat in the bed and got poked, (stabbed). The only thing that hurt really bad, was when he was inserting the catheter part, it grazed some nerves in my spine and gave me the craziest "zingy" feeling. It was like someone was snapping a rubber band on my spinal nerves. It was crazy! Within minutes I started to go numb from below my chest on down. It was happening slowly so it made me a little nervous. My right side was feeling more numb than my left side, so they positioned me better to even it out. Jason gave me the perfect epidural. It numbed the excruciating pain, but I was still able to feel the pressure of my contractions, and I was grateful for that. I gave Jason a high-five before he left, thanked him a hundred times, and told him he was my new best friend.

By this time it was about 5:30, and I was so hungry, and so tired. My nurse got me an orange popsicle, and orange jello which turned my mouth orange, but i didn't care because my hunger pains were outweighing any other pain at that moment, haha! For the next hour David and I just tried to rest a little bit. My nurse came in at 6:30pm to check me, and said I was at 7 cm and 90% effaced. She said that based on my baby's station, it would probably still be another 3-4 hours before I would need to start pushing. I had David call my mom and sister, and tell them that they should probably come in around 8 pm. David and I dimmed the lights, and planned on taking a nap for the next few hours. Within about 30 minutes I woke up to the feeling of really strong pressure in my pelvic area. It felt like I had to go to the bathroom really really bad. I told David to go tell my nurse, just in case. She came in at 7:05 pm, checked me, and said "Holy sh*t how the heck did you do that!?" (She later apologized for this reaction. I thought it was hilarious though. I loved her, seriously the best nurse ever.) I was cracking up at her reaction, while trying to ask what she meant by that. She looked at me and said "Girl you are complete, you're at a 10." My eyes widened, and I looked over at David who had the same look on his face as I did. We started laughing as we realized that our nap was being cut short. All of a sudden 3 different nurses started flooding the room, and started setting things up. I was like "Wait, what, this is really happening, I'm about to have this baby." The nurses just laughed and nodded their heads. I frantically told david to "CALL MY MOM AND SISTER NOW, I NEED THEM!" By this time it was about 7:20, and my Doctor walked into the room and started getting gowned for labor. I was feeling so giddy, but also so terrified that my Mom wasn't there to hold my other hand, and that my sister wasn't there to keep me calm and take the pictures. Before I knew it they pulled out the stirrups and whipped my legs up on there. My legs felt like they were 100 pounds each from the epidural. My Doctor was down there getting things ready and I suddenly started shaking so hard. I didn't understand why because I wasn't that scared, but I was just giddy. They said that it was totally normal, and that it was an epidural side effect that occurred when my adrenaline started to kick in. My doctor was watching the contraction monitor, when he suddenly goes "Okay Loriel, give me a big push." I was still in shock that this was actually happening, but gave him the best push I could. My nurses were on my right side telling me not to clench my teeth, and telling me when to breathe. My husband was on my left side holding my thigh back, as I clenched his wrist with every push. Between pushes I kept looking up at David as he was telling me how good I was doing. Just after my first pushes my sister walked in. I was so glad she was there. After about 5 sets of contractions, or about 10 minutes, things had changed and my Dr. said "Loriel you need to push even harder this time." I broke down in tears and said "But Dr. Nance my mom isn't here yet I can't push." Then David just said "Don't worry honey, your mom will make it, don't worry." Almost out of a movie, right as I was crying looking at him as he said that, I heard my mom walk through the door, and open the curtain. I broke down crying and said "You're here mom, you're here!" She was crying as well, as she stood next to me and stroked my head.

The next 5 minutes seemed to go in slow motion as I looked around me. The lights above me were hot and blaring in my face. My sweet husband was standing there, my mom and sister, my nurses, and my amazing doctor were all looking at me, believing in me, and telling me when to push. It seriously felt like an out of body experience. I remember looking over at the incubator across the room thinking "Oh my gosh I'm about to meet my son, and he is going to be in that bed." I remember locking eyes with my doctor as he told me to push again. Oh he was such a good doctor. That look in his eyes spoke to me. They motivated me. I trusted this man. I squeezed my eyes tight and pushed as hard as I possibly could. I was giving birth. I was bringing my son into the world RIGHT now. Suddenly I opened my eyes and could see a tiny head coming out. The tears wouldn't stop coming. THAT was my baby. My doctor told me to stop pushing. He positioned Carters tiny body, and said "Ok Loriel, one last push." Time seemed to stand still as I gave one final push. I squeezed my husbands hand as hard as I could, closed my eyes, and pushed. I looked down to see my sweet boy's body completely emerging from my body. The time was 7:51 PM. He was here.

This moment was a moment I will never forget. The spirit in the room was incredibly strong. That tiny body that just took his first breath, came straight here from the Pre-Mortal life and you could feel it. You could feel the innocence, and pure presence of his new little soul in the room. I remember hearing his little cry. It was like a tiny whimper and it was the cutest sound I had ever heard. Immediately after he was born, my doctor suctioned out his mouth, and placed him on my chest. I couldn't contain my emotions, and I just let it all out. I remember sobbing, while saying "Oh my sweet boy, oh my goodness you're here, you're really here!" His tiny body was warm and slippery. He was bloody and fresh from the womb but I didn't care, this was my son. It was so surreal to put a face to the baby I had talked to for 9 months, and had dreamed about my whole life. I remember looking into his swollen little eyes and saying, "Hi baby, I'm your momma, I am YOUR mommy." I remember looking at David and just soaking this incredible moment in. I was still in disbelief. That is my husband. He made me a mommy, and this is our son. He is our baby. TO KEEP. FOREVER. I felt so much love from my Heavenly Father at that moment as well. It was like he was hugging me, as I held my baby. It was like he was quietly telling me that he trusts me to take care of this baby boy. It was such a beautiful, sacred, and unforgettable moment that I will forever cherish.

Monday, August 11, 2014

29 Week Pregnancy update

 Due date: He is still currently due October 25th, 2014.

How far along: 29 weeks! I'M FINALLY IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER :D

Size of baby: Chart says 2.5 pounds. but I'm reeeeallllly hoping that's a typo and that the baby is more like 25 pounds, because that would make me feel a lot better about this weight gain ;)

Maternity clothes: I found the best maternity leggings at Burlington Coat Factory on sale for $4.00 (I'm a huge cheapskate bargain shopper) I've been loving leggings, dresses and skirts. I bought some maternity jeans the other day, but it's still too hot for that nonsense. I'd rather just walk around in a swimsuit..... but that's awkward.

Weight Gain: I stopped looking at a scale a few weeks ago. It was making me too depressed, haha. My theory is that I will just do the best to eat healthy, and take care of my body, and the weight I gain is what is necessary for my chubby little boy to thrive, which is all that I care about :)
Sleep: This is still a real struggle. David calls me his tornado sleeper, because we will go to sleep in a nice straight covers bed, and wake up with like 3 pillows contorted around my body, 2 pillows on the floor, and blankets everywhere. I blame it on the baby, he's a kicker, and he keeps me moving!
Best moment this week: I HEARD HIS HEARTBEAT WITH MY OWN STETHOSCOPE! I'm going to Medical Assisting school, and one day in class I thought I would try and hear his heartbeat, and I found it within 10 seconds. I had just drank orange juice, and his heart rate was around 160 BPM. Now I check his heart rate almost everyday like a psycho stalker mom.

Movement: Constantly. He is hiccuping a ton (which is so cool, and sad at the same time).

I don't know what the kid is doing in there. He moves so much! I'll randomly feel a little foot/elbow/knee sliiiiiiide across my belly, and I always get excited. 
  Food cravings/aversions: I basically just crave all foods all the time... :) I seriously feel like I'm always hungry. But my favorite thing lately has been fruit, and whole wheat carbs. (Like the other day I was desperate for carbs, and I ate a plain whole wheat tortilla as I ran out the door, and I had to run back in to get more because it tasted so good... what the heck?)
Gender: stilllllll a boy (at least I hope so...)

Labor signs: I've been having Braxton Hick contractions for about 8 weeks now. Which are "practice contractions." They don't really hurt, they are just really uncomfortable at first, and then I can't breathe very well until I switch positions. 
  Belly button - in or out?: This little sucker is mostly still in, but if I have eaten a big meal, or laugh really hard, it pokes half-way out. My sister in-law told me that the baby isn't done "cooking" until the belly button pops out (that's my timer) :'D
What I miss: Not having Acid Reflux, not having back pain, and not having to waddle :)

and being able to go in a HOT hot tub. Also, being able to stand up by myself without having David help me up, and me grunting like an old fat guy.
What I am looking forward to: My baby shower next weekend! I can't wait to see a bunch of awesome people that I haven't seen in a while. Also, I'm obviously excited to have my baby in 10 weeks.

Any scary moments the past 9 weeks?: 
I layed out on the pool for a little while the other day, and didn't think I was going to get any color. I thought that my black Tankini would be too hot for him (dummy), so I lifted it up while I layed on the pool lounger for a half hour, and the next day my tummy was BRIGHT red. I felt so bad :( 

Also, I have been having episodes of really low Iron spells, where my levels are so low that I act like a zombie, and I can't keep my eyes open. But if I consistently take my iron pills, all is well. Other than that, not much. I mean, I am constantly worrying about him, but I feel very, very blessed.

Funny moments I want to remember:
  • I work in an Alzheimer's Unit, and my residents are so funny about me being pregnant. Every time I go to work, I (re)tell them that I am pregnant, and they get so excited for me each time, poke my belly, and ask me the same questions over and over again. Last month, I pointed to my belly out to one of my residents and said "Joe look, I'm pregnant!" and he goes "Oh crap. It's not mine right?" :'D hahaha!
  • At our family reunion my little nephew Andrew was really fascinated with my belly. One morning I was wearing a tighter shirt and he pats my belly and says "I think you might be stretching your shirt out." The next day he was just staring at my belly, so I knew something good was coming, and he says "Do people know you're pregnant, or do you think they just think you're fat?" ha, bless him. 

Any purchases for baby?: So many purchases, I love it! Seriously I love shopping for him WAY more than for myself. Again, I am a big bargain shopper, so I have found some really cute stuff on the Sale racks at Target and Old Navy. I found him the cutest tiny little shoes. David thinks baby shoes are pointless, but I'll prove him wrong, don't you worry. I got him his "First Christmas" outfit and his "First Halloween" outfit :) Still don't have ANY of the little necessities, but we'll get to that ;) I have done a lot of shopping around and have most of the things we want picked out, but we don't really want to store them in our little apartment until it's time for the little guy to actually use them. 

 Current pregnancy symptoms:
  • Back pain: We drove to Idaho last weekend and I had to put a  pillow under my bum the whole drive. And I can't sit for too long without my tailbone feeling like it's going to split in half.... trying to brace myself because I know it will only get worse!
  •  At about 24 weeks I started feeling nauseous again :( Not as bad as first trimester, but I have thrown up a few more times the past few weeks.
  • Acid Reflux: Still pretty wicked. It isn't constant though, it comes and goes. But I have officially gone through a whole bottle of Tums which I didn't think was possible.
  • Braxton Hicks
  • Hungry all the time
  • I have to pee like every hour. This little boy uses my bladder as a trampoline, bless his bouncy little heart.
  • Nesting: This is real you guys. A couple of weeks ago I borrowed my sisters carpet steamer, and it was the most therapeutic thing ever sucking up all that dirt. I was in heaven. (so weird) And I have been really OCD about trying to keep my house clean (which if you know me, is also SO weird)
  • Pregnancy brain: Also not a myth. I have lost count on all the times that I will walk into a room to get something, and I will just stand there for a minute having no idea what I'm doing. It's awkward.
I hope this doesn't sound like I'm complaining too much! This was really long, but I just want to remember everything. I am LOVING being pregnant, it is such an adventure, and such a miracle! Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

20 Week Pregnancy Update

Pregnancy has been such an adventure! The beginning was pretty rough for me, but things are getting so much better and I am extremely grateful to be carrying this healthy little guy. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Due date: He is currently due October 25th, 2014

How far along: 20 weeks and 2 days! More than halfway. WOO HOO!

Size of baby: Apparently the size of a banana, so i call him my little monkey. 6.46 Inches, and a little over 10 ounces. It's crazy to think that he is only that tiny, and over the next 20 weeks he will get alooooot bigger. (and so will I, yay)

Maternity clothes: The other day I had to do the rubber band around the button on my jean pants trick... that was weird. But David thought I was really innovative! I bought a ton of maternity clothes about a month ago, mostly shirts and dresses because I have a long torso, and apparently it's not "In" to wear belly shirts ;) But i mostly just wear my yoga pants and leggings everyday right now because that's all I can wear to school.

Stretch marks: None on my belly or hips, but these Ta Ta's have a couple glory marks on them. Oh well!

Weight Gain: Um I think like 9 lbs so far?

Sleep: Oh this is an adventure. I'm always trying new ways to fall asleep, because now it takes me forever. I sleep with about 5 pillows, need to have a fan on me or window open, and I wake up almost every night around 4:00 am, and sit there debating whether or not getting up to pee is worth all the hard work, lol, but seriously. But I can't complain, because I still get like 9-10 hours of sleep each night.

Best moment this week: The other night David was able to feel him kick so many times and I loved seeing the smile on David's face, and his eyes light up when our little man kicked him. He's gonna be the cutest daddy.

Movement: Oh yes. This little rascal is a kicker and I love every second that I get to feel him. If you ever see me staring off into the distance, smiling, and awkwardly holding my belly, it's because hes kicking me and I'm cherishing it :) Yesterday I was holding our Tablet computer on my belly and he kicked me so hard it bounced the tablet. SO cool!

Food cravings/aversions: Juicy green salads with ranch on top. And mexican food. But mostly it's just a random "current craving" that I have to have RIGHT NOW. Like the other day it was garlic bread. And yesterday it was a peach. You never know with this crazy pregnant lady.

Gender: We found out on May 14th that it's a BOY! 

Labor signs: Thankfully, none.

Belly button - in or out?: Still in. But it has started to stretch horizontally, and if I sit up slowly like I'm kind of doing a sit up, it starts to poke out, so I'm sure it will happen in no time.

What I miss: Being able to eat without having to "chase" it with Antacid tablets :)

What I am looking forward to: My belly growing! And Our Anatomy scan appointment next week.

Any scary moments this week?: Yes. I work in the Alzheimer unit at an Assisted living center, and the other day a 93 year old lady suddenly got very angry and back-hand hit me in the stomach. I was fine physically, but emotionally, I was a mess. It really scared me.

Current pregnancy symptoms:
- Posterior Pelvic pain on my right side. It's where I randomly have a sharp pain right above my bum, on my pelvis, and it occurs usually when I stand up or bend down. And when it happens I grab my back like an old lady, and let out a moan that probably sounds like a cow. It's awkward. We're working on that.

- Round ligament pain. Random sharp pain on the right side of my tummy. That was a scary moment when I first felt it, because it is so sharp and sudden that it takes your breath away for a second, but it's normal.

- Leaky Ta Ta's. I hope that's not TMI. Oh well. When it first happened I was like "WHAT IS HAPPENING?" and then I was really grateful and emotional because it meant that I would be able to nurse, David wasn't as excited as I was.... hahaha. But my Doctor said it was normal for some women to leak this early. Gosh pregnancy is so glamorous.

- Acid Reflux. It's all fun and games until you realize that you have to rush home from dinner to get your Antacid tablets before you start breathing fire. (and just kidding it's not all fun and games)

- Emotions. Seriously, who cries while watching the Miss USA pageant? Or when a pregnancy commercial comes on? Or the other day at church, the Young Women were in Relief society and we had to all recite the YW values, and I was totally crying. It was embarrassing.

Any purchases for baby?: Um no. Is that bad? A friend gave me the cutest onsie today, and I bought one a while back, but I just have been too busy with school and work to worry about buying all of that just yet. I still have another 4-5 months,and I've definitely done a lot of research on bassinets and cribs and strollers, but I'm not in a huge rush because I have no idea where we will be living in the next few months so I don't want to buy a ton of stuff.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

This month in Pictures.

April has come and gone. We've almost been married for a whole YEAR! Marriage is seriously the greatest. I've never had so much fun, been so frustrated, been so madly in love, laughed so hard, or worked harder at anything in my life. Having a boy roommate forever, rocks. 

April really was so good to us though.
Here's to Good habits, new friends, and new beginnings. 


This handsome man of mine is quite the reader.
 I obviously have a crush on him, because I sneak pictures of him when he's in his natural habitat. 
On April 26th, He graduated from BYU, Double majoring in Business and Communications, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. 3 days later he started his Masters program in Manufacture Engineering.
 He's a genius. 
And oh so attractive...... just sayin.

And we totally matched that day... without even planning it. How tender. 

My amazing in-laws came down from Fresno to see their baby boy graduate. I seriously scored on in-laws, they do so much for us, and make me feel sooo loved.

I started my first day as a Provo LDS Temple volunteer. I work there once a week, and it is such a huge blessing in my life. (this is me holding the little bag they give us to carry in our dresses, I just have a ton of mints in there... haha)
My cousin Derrick Harris got called to serve in the Narobi, Kenya mission. He landed in the South Africa MTC on April 30th. What a stud!
I found spring in my backyard.
And I made my very first little flower box. Our front porch is ugly, so I went to Home depot, got wood cut to size, nailed it, painted it, and put in my cute little spring flowers. I just love them. And I'm an old lady.
Got to see some close friends from Seattle at Haleigh's wedding. Congrats Hal! We're all married!!!
(p.s. - I love the rice in Haleighs hair... cute) 

Bring on MAY! :) 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lessons of Love from Wrinkly hands.

In 2011, I got my certificate as a Nursing Assistant. I loved the spunky sweet personalities of the little old ladies, and quirky old men, and how they had stories that could draw you in for hours and leave you crying in the end.  There are countless times where my job was so hard that I couldn't handle it. I met so many individuals who had hearts of gold, that were going through unbelievably painful experiences. I watched as family members wold visit each day with a saddened, yet distantly hopeful look on their face. But the moments that changed my life, were the lessons I learned on love. Although old, weak, and frail, these people had been through many decades of life, and had a lot of wisdom that heaven knows I needed.

I remember as I watched as a sweet old man in his late 80's, sat at the bedside of his wife as her body slowly failed her. Two days before I had sat talking to her as she discussed the many callings she had in the LDS church, and how she had served as relief society president two different times, and how she was the Rodeo Queen when she was younger. We smiled, laughed, and cried a little. Today the scene was different. There was a spiritual, yet silent feeling that blanketed the room. I asked him how he was doing, and put my arm around him. He looked at me with a sorrowful long stare and said "If my sweetheart is not OK, it's hard for me to feel OK." Only a few days later, his darling wife's soul soon left her mortal body. And a little over a month later, he soon followed.

Another experience I remembered, was a Married couple that lived in the Nursing home together. They had pushed their beds together, and each night they slept side by side. One day in particular, I came in to bring the Woman in to take her shower. As i wheeled her out, her husband woke up, and quickly said, "Wait Miss!"

I stopped.
"My wife and I haven't said our morning prayer yet, could you please bring her back to me."

I wheeled her back in. Both of them, in there late 80's gently knelt on the side of their hospital bed and he began to pray. I waited around the corner and listened, as I bawled my eyes out.

I couldn't believe the beautiful faith of a strong, old love. In his prayer he thanked God for their health, and asked that he would lead them to help serve someone around them today. This sweet old couple, living in a nursing home, had all the reason to complain about their health, and excuse themselves from kneeling on the cold hospital ground to pray, but they knew what was important. After they finished their prayer, he kissed her and they said I love you. You could tell this was nothing out of the ordinary for them, this was just what they had always done.

Then there was my dear sweet Violet. She was a temple worker, and I worked with her in her home as she was recovering from a hip replacement. She had been a nurse for over 30 years, and had a husband who I like to think of as the gentle giant. He always would care for Violet when I wasn't there, and any of her simple requests were always met with a quite, "Yes Dear." One day I was sitting with Vi, and putting cream on her scar. We were talking about how I was getting married soon, and how excited I was. I asked her, "What is some advice you could give me as I start my new marriage?" She wrinkled her brow slightly, and a serious face came upon her. She said, "From the beginning of our marriage, I always made sure that I had a crisp, ironed white shirt ready for my husband, in case he was called to perform a Priesthood duty for church." Such a simple little thing, but such an example of honoring and respecting a Husband who is definitely a Man of God, with a strong Woman of God right next to him.

Last, but certainly not least, is the story of Elden and Alice. David's great Uncle and Aunt, who i swear could be angels. Last month, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. SEVENTY YEARS PEOPLE. He is 94 years old, and just a couple months ago retired as a temple worker. She is 91, and has the most spunky personality you could imagine. Neither of them look like they are in their 90's, nor do they act like it. But they are darling. We visited them last Sunday night, and stayed for over 2 hours. They told us the story of how they met, how they made sacrifices and weren't able to live together for 5 years due to his service in World War II. They told us how they lived in a tiny run down unfinished basement apartment for $16.00 a month, and how they only dated for 3 months before they got married.
Three Months.
This is like the story of David and I. We met in February 2012, and got married the last day in May 2012. Everyone thought we were crazy, and apparently a lot of people thought they were too. But there they were 70 years later, happy as can be, sitting in their recliners next to each other telling us about their 29 grandchildren, and over 45 great-grandchildren.
 Of course, I asked them my favorite question, "What is your best advice on marriage?" Alice chuckled, looked at Elden and said, "Just do your part." Elden nodded in agreement as Alice continued, "In all of our 70 years of marriage we haven't gotten in one argument.... well, we have disagreed on a few things here and there, but nothin nasty."
My jaw hit the floor.
How is that possible? I've been married for only 11 months, and I definitely can't say the same... But It's possible when you have two humble, unselfish people who do their part, and continually work.

Heaven help me as I have so much to learn about marriage. 

Marriage is the greatest blessing God has ever given me. Seriously the most fun I have had in my life has been in this past year with the love of my life. But I'll be the first to tell you that marriage is hard, and it is work. But happy be the day when we celebrate our 50th anniversary, or If we live long enough, 70 years.

Read any book you want to, Learn about love languages, watch Dr. Phil (Jk, don't).
But the best advice on Marriage you can get on this earth, in my opinion, is from the wisdom of those wrinkly hands that still hold tight to the one they have journeyed with for years, and years, and years.... and years.

70 Years. Not one fight.

That my friend, is real, deep, hard working love, with two souls who understand the importance of Marriage that is eternal, and forever holds the center of their lives, and love, with God.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Aspiration: Master Chef (Not quite there yet...)

When I was planning on getting married, I was so excited to be a wife and to learn how to cook and hopefully make the best meals that my husband had ever tasted, ever (high hopes). But, lets be honest, just because your brother made you believe you were a really good grilled cheese maker your whole life (just to get you to cook for him), doesn't make you a master chef (even though you might feel like it). Cooking is actually one of my favorite things to do, I'm just really grateful that I have a husband that is okay with being my guinea pig for awhile.

We rang in the new year in the sunny state of California. David's parents took us to a yummy Tepinyaki restaurant and we ate the best Steak we had ever tasted. Which is good and bad, because whenever I try and make steak now, we talk about how much we miss that cool Asian guy that cooked the filet in 10 seconds, made it look so easy, and created the most mouth watering, juicy filet you could ever imagine. Then there is Mrs. New Wife over here. Trying to cook the best steak just like the cool Asian guy, and it ends up being beef jerky. Mr. Christensen is always a good sport though and promises that I make the best beef jerky he has ever tasted.... Which gives me hope. Bless his heart.

This was tough for me in the beginning because I have this problem where I really want it to be perfect the first time. But God knew this was a flaw of mine and sent me a husband that let me know that it's okay to not come out of the womb as a master chef. He helped me realize that even if I overcook a steak or two (or 3, or 4) and that I might accidentally leave the noodle strainer next to the oven burner and create burnt plastic noodles, and it's okay. Practice makes perfect. 

As women, we need to learn to not beat ourselves up if we don't nail it the first time. If cooking (or anything, really) is a talent you really want to be good at, work at it, and let God help you be patient with yourself! I'm slowly learning this as well. SO in conclusion, here is one of my new favorite, easy, Fail proof recipe,

(Crock Pot) Pesto Ranch Chicken (JUST 4 INGREDIENTS)
-6-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
-1/2 Cup Chicken Breast
-1 6 oz. Jar of Pesto 
-1 Packet of Dry Ranch 
Put chicken in crock pot. Dump in pesto, dry ranch, and chicken broth. Stir together.
Crock Pot: Low for 7 hours (or high for 4) 
Serve over rice :) 

(Photo courtesy of this blog

Ps. I saw this on this cute blog, and it helped me realize something really important. 
perfect 2

Friday, November 2, 2012

And just like that, I'm Mrs. Christensen.

So the last time I blogged was in April. 

Let's just say that between April and November, a lot has happened.
Basically the most life changing few months of my life. To say the least. 

I can't believe where my life is at right now.  Again, if you saw me a year ago, and told me that in 365 days from now I would have been married for 5 months to David Christensen, I wouldn't believe you. 

But I am so, so stinkin happy. All I can say is that LIFE HAPPENS. Whether you're ready or not. 

Here's the break down of life since MAY 2012.

#1 - I got to go through the Temple for the first time on May 25th, 2012. This has been a day I have prepared for my entire life. Many (not all) of my very close family and friends were there, as well as the love of my life. It was a glorious day that opened the doors to many amazing blessings ahead.

#2 - May 31st, 2012, No big deal, just the day I married prince charming in my castle. Seriously the best day of my whole wide life. Never been happier to be sealed for time and all eternity to Mr. Christensen. Remember that post about how "I found him" well, I wasn't lying, cause we tied the knot. For eternity. Not only was it 78 degrees with the prettiest blue skies EVER, but I got to be in the Salt Lake temple with a lot of amazing people that meant the world to me, as they witnessed me bawl my eyes out as I agreed to be Mrs. Christensen forever.

#3 - June 1st - June 22nd. First time out of the country. My partner in crime, Mr. Christensen, took me on the greatest honeymoon in the history of forever. We spent a couple weeks in the Caribbean. We visited 11 different islands. Unfortunately I still came back white, but that's OK. I just listened a little bit too closely to my grandmas advice of making sure I had a lot of sunscreen on. I have many, many stories of our adventures in the Caribbean. Anywhere from running over toads, to talking my way out of a ticket to a cop that didn't speak english, to loosing our rental car keys and costing us $1500. The list is endless. But all in all, it was a glorious, some days hectic, 3 week honeymoon. Details later. Promise.

#4- We spent 2 weeks in California with the Christensen family. We got to stay in the family condos for a reunion in Lake Tahoe. SO beautiful. But so cold. I inherited 5 new nieces and nephews that I'm stinkin crazy about. Cool how over night I become an aunt to not just 2, but now 7 woooo! We also Got to visit Seattle and see all of my favorite people that I grew up with. And they got to finally meet the Hubs. Thanks for the many people that supported, or bunked us in your house.  Sorry for our inloveness. But not really that sorry.

#5 - We spent our first month back from our honeymoon living with my parents. Fun, awkward, cramped, and awesome. Love my parents, so grateful for a month of free rent, love my mothers amazing cooking, and my dad's weird stories, but it felt like I was trying to live with my boyfriend in my parents basement. Not the norm.

#6 - August 25th we moved into our first cute little home! 2 bedroom 4-plex on the South side of Provo. I love being a wife, love decorating (Mr. Christensen comes home to decor changes almost daily), and cooking for my husband that eats more than the average man, times 2. Or 3.

So this is our happy little life so far. On Halloween we celebrated our 5 month anniversary. Marriage is a blast. I'm learning so much about myself. How to grow up, how to love, serve, agree to disagree, and enjoy this life together as a team. 

On May 29th I was Loriel Jenson. 
24 hours later, I'm Mrs. Loriel Christensen. So cool how that magic works.

I'll update this thing more often now. I promise.