Monday, February 1, 2016

February Letters


Dear February,
Hello there.  You come bearing lots of love, even more so for Jeremy and I.  We have our wedding anniversary on the 13th and then Valentine's Day on the 14th.  I always look forward to you and dreaming how we will celebrate all of the love you bring.  I'm thinking some chocolate fondue will be in order.

Dear Anniversary,
Hooray for 7 blissful years of marriage! Hooray for growing older with your best friend! Hooray for presents in the middle of February! There is a lot to celebrate and be happy about this time of the year.  I love that you fall on a Saturday this year and we can dedicate the whole day to celebrating US!  I just love celebrations!

Dear February 29th,
How cool are you?  You only come around every 4 years and I love it every time.  We get a whole extra day this year thanks to you.  What will I do with it you ask?  Well, it's a Monday, so I will probably just go to work.  I will definitely write the date as much as possible though to try and keep it fun.

Dear Weather,
You are all over the place these days.  We have a few days of snow and then we have a few days of sunshine and 50 degrees.  I went snowshoeing one day and running in the sun (and mud - let's be real here) just a few days later.  I find that whatever weather we are having, I want more of it.  I either want crazy amounts of snow or if I can't have that, then let's just bring on spring.

Dear Baby Clover,
We got more pictures of you last week at our ultrasound.  We have officially decided to wait until you arrive to find out if you are a boy or a girl and your dad is just thrilled about that, along with the grandparents to be.  They will survive I'm pretty sure.  I'm busy dreaming up all of the stuff we need to buy for your arrival and researching baby names.  This is so fun!



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trusting in God

(Pieces of a talk I gave the other week in church)

Fear seems to be a big one for me that gets in the way of trusting God and becoming a mother has been my biggest fear. The idea of motherhood has been daunting my entire life. I wasn’t the teenage girl that babysat, I was the teenage girl that had the father that kindly warned the families in our ward, “No, Katie doesn’t babysit.” That really happened. Well, fast forward to June 2014… Jeremy and I had been married for over 5 years and I knew that motherhood was coming. It had been this big thing way off in the distance, which I assumed I would magically be ready for when it came. I was realizing that it was coming closer, and I was not more ready, I was more scared than ever.

Journal Entry from Father’s Day - June 2014
“I feel like I am living the dream. I love where I live… Boston has been a fantastic adventure. I love Jeremy so much. Our love continues to strengthen and grow. He is the perfect one for me. I choose him and I will choose him every day. He truly is the best. Today’s Father’s day which of course makes me think of Jeremy as a future dad. And then I get nervous and scared for the future. I know kids are in our future, I want them to be. I just doubt my abilities to be a mother. I’m having so much fun in life now, that I’m afraid to change it. I hear lots of things about motherhood, I see lots of things about motherhood. Most of them seem extremely difficult – sleepless nights, constantly sacrificing time, money, my body not being my own anymore – changes that I can’t control. It all seems inevitable when a baby enters the picture and that’s terrifying. At the same time, people say it is worth it. I wonder if that is true. I want to believe it. I want to believe that if I jump on that motherhood train that the blessings will outweigh the hardships. I want to believe that I will be a good mother and I’m afraid that I am too selfish for that ever to happen. I want to believe that I will feel comfortable holding a baby when now all I feel is fear when a friend passes their child to me. I can sometimes picture myself as a mom, exploring, laughing, cuddling. I want to believe these feelings mean I can do it and right now I don’t think I can. I am selfish and I like my hobbies, my time, my space, my clean house, our life full of traveling and adventures. I worry that having kids will take those things that I love away from me, especially my career, that I find incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. I’m scared that I will resent my children for the life changes they will impose. I’m afraid I will feel less like myself, that I will feel empty, lost, and angry and sad. I’m afraid I’m too wrapped up in my own hobbies, work, and dreams to be able to properly welcome a child into the world. I’m afraid I won’t be a good mom, that I’m not tough enough to make the sacrifices, deal with the pain, and get through the sleepless nights. I’m afraid of being a mother and the possibility at failing at something that seems so inevitable. What if motherhood isn’t for me? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m too selfish to make the sacrifices? What if I make the sacrifices and I feel empty and angry? Even now, here I am writing about motherhood and it’s Father’s Day. A day to celebrate my dad and the great men in my life, all I can think about is my unwillingness to let Jeremy be a father. Will I ever get to place where I am truly excited to have kids? I feel I have gotten closer in the last year, a tiny bit closer. I’m afraid I will never get there. I am afraid.”

I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to get to a better place, a place where I actually wanted to be a mom. I think Jeremy worried about the same thing. After writing that journal entry with tears sliding down my face, I passed it to Jeremy, and urged him to read it. I needed help. I needed him to know how I was feeling. I needed to get serious about changing myself, trusting in God, and preparing to take on the challenge of motherhood

Over the next 8 months, I worked hard. Expressing my worries and fears to God through many prayers, to my closest friends, to my parents, to my sweet husband. Everywhere I turned, I was met with compassion and wonderful reminders of Truth I had always known, but had forgotten while I was being swallowed by my fear. I remember my dad saying, “Katie, you don’t have to do this alone. You have Jeremy. You have God. You have us.” Through the many meaningful conversations, my heart began to change. My fears began to subside. My trust in God began to grow.

Looking at a Journal Entry in February 2015 the change is evident:
“Motherhood Preparedness Update: I have realized that I might not ever get that feeling of being prepared to be a mom. You can’t prepare for an experience or role like that. I will grow into it motherhood one step at a time. I will learn how to be a mother and that’s how it is supposed to be. The biggest thing I’ve recently realized is that being a mother – learning to be a good mother – will help me become the person I am designed to become. Learning to be a mother will stretch me, challenge me, and humble me. Becoming a mother is my next step. It’s the very thing that will help me develop Christlike attributes and become the being my Heavenly Parents want me to become. So I will jump in and embrace this crazy adventure!! I totally got this, especially because I don’t have to do this alone. I have Jeremy, God, our parents, siblings, and good friends to offer guidance, encouragement, and support. There is nothing we can’t do when we have God on our side and God is definitely on the side of bringing sweet, perfect, spirits into this world.”

My fears weren’t erased, they are still there. The difference is that my trust in God is now louder than those fears. God also didn’t just take this duty away from me, I wasn’t excused from my role of being a mother on Earth, but He has given me the support I need. Alma teaches, “I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.” I feel exactly what Alma describes, God’s support. I know that God will lead me into the uncertainty of motherhood step by step. If he wants me to be mother, then I can do it, He will guide me along the way. I didn’t receive all of the answers to my questions or any of them in fact… but what I received was the reminder that God will not leave me.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Snowshoeing









Yesterday we got some snow!! So today we headed out to the mountains with our snowshoes.  It was Jeremy's first time and he loved it.  It was so peaceful just walking in the woods, chatting, and finding all sorts of animal tracks.  We wandered over to the frozen Equinox Pond which is my favorite part because there is so much untouched powder.  Jeremy was pretty nervous about him or me going out there, but I convinced him it was totally safe.  We are both praying for more snow so we can get out there again. Come on Vermont winter... let's see what you got!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Bump


Today I am 20 weeks pregnant! 
Officially halfway!! And I am finally looking pregnant.

About 4 1/2 weeks pregnant on the left and 20 weeks pregnant on the right.


If I suck in it's less noticeable, but Jeremy made sure I wasn't sucking in so that my belly was in full force for the picture.  My wardrobe is getting more and more limited these days and I can hardly zip up my winter coat (and it's COLD out there).  Buying more clothes sure is fun though. 

It's so crazy how long babies take to grow.  Our first picture is right in the middle of fall, the halfway mark picture is in the middle of winter, and by the time the baby comes we will be one week shy of summer.  I'm certainly okay with it... more time to prepare ourselves for something you can never prepare for. 

We have our big ultrasound tomorrow and I am pretty bent on not finding out the gender of this baby.  Surprises are so fun!! Jeremy is still not totally convinced and says he's looking at the screen to see for himself.  We will see what actually goes down.  Regardless, we are happy the baby is growing like a champ!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I woke up to snow.



 And this time it felt like real snow.  The few storms that we have had so far have left 2-3 inches.  So yesterday when I looked out the window and everything was covered with 4-5 inches of fluffy powder, I was beyond excited! I didn't even know we were supposed to get snow, so that made it extra delightful.  I got out there to shovel right away, because I just love to shovel.  With the fresh powder it seemed like the BEST IDEA EVER to go snowshoeing with my buddies, Laura, Tiffany, and Becca.  We hiked around the Equinox Preserve and ran around on the frozen pond.  It felt so wonderful to get outside and enjoy the snow. I can't wait to go exploring with Jeremy!






Vermont, you are pretty fantastic!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2nd Installment


Well, time certainly flies and to remember 2015 we have the 2nd installment of our Time Capsule Project.  I made the first one in 2010 and decided that every 5 years I would add another jar to the collection.  So here is our time capsule for 2015:


Inside we have: an ultrasound picture of the babe at 10 weeks; Jeremy's Dental School graduation tassel; a business card from my job in Boston and a business card for my private practice in Vermont; a Charlie Card for the Boston subway; our room keys, a ship map, and 100 Russian Rubles (equal to $1.26) from the cruise; and a souvenir coin from Stonehenge, a "Baby on board!" pin from the tube (we found out I was pregnant the day before I left for London), and 3 other pins from our Girl's Trip to London.  I feel like I need to add something from Vermont.  If only I had saved a maple leaf!!  A bumper sticker may have to do.

It was a pretty fabulous year!  Stay tuned for the 3rd jar in 2020.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Goals of 2016


Here are some things I want to LEARN this year:


How to Tell Time
I can't tell time on a watch.  Well, I guess I can, I am just not very quick at it.  I am really good at the minute hand, but I really struggle to figure out what the hour is.  I usually assume it's whatever number is closest to the little hand and unfortunately that is not how it always works.  There are usually a lot of context clues with what hour it is (and digital clocks everywhere which enable me to cheat), so I think that is why I have gotten by for so long without knowing.  I figure now is the perfect time to master this skill.  I am already off to a good start this morning since I downloaded an app called ClockMaster.  It's for children, but I think it will do the trick.

How to do Winged Eyeliner
Because why not?  It will take some time, but I think even I can learn how to do it.  I will turn to YouTube to be my teacher and then practice, practice, and practice of course. Maybe I will even throw in wearing lipstick along with this challenge since they are kind of related.  They are both about just deciding you are the type of person that wears winged eyeliner or lipstick and then just rocking it!  Realistically, I may not be able to leave the house with the combination of the two, but I think I may be able to manage if I experiment with one at a time. 

How to be Selfless
I have spent the last 27 years basically only worrying about myself.  Am I happy?  Am I following my dreams?  Am I becoming the person I want to be?  Am I developing talents and skills I want to have?  Blah, blah, blah.  This slightly shifted when I got married (almost 7 years ago, if we can believe that) and started thinking in "we" sometimes instead of always in "I."  But Jeremy is a self-sufficient adult, so while we communicate, share, and create a life together, adding a helpless infant to the mix will be completely different.  I don't think of myself as great at sacrificing or putting others needs before my own... so this is the year that I will start that journey.  I'm already doing daily injections of Lovenox every night to keep this baby safe (thanks blood mutation), so there's a step in the right direction.

How to Create with Wreckless Abandon More Frequently
This is one I have hoped for for a while.  I am getting better at it.  I am caring less about the perfection of the end result and focusing more on enjoying the process of creating.  Deciding to start kicking perfectionism in the butt was one of the best things I ever did for myself.  I think what I really want to focus on this year would be to create more frequently.  I find so much joy in it.  I want it in my life more.  From knitting to drawing to calligraphy to painting to dancing and whatever other creative outlets I gather along the way, let's have more of it.  I better make this my focus before the baby comes because that selflessness might take over this one at times when a little one is around.




2016 is going to be AWESOME!  Let's do this!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

January Letters


Dear January,
Well, hello my friend.  I sure hope you have more snow in store for us than December had.  I am hoping for loads and loads of snow so we can get out there to play with our winter toys.  I dream of snow shoeing and cross country skiing every weekend for the next three months.  Doesn't that sound like a great idea?  Let's bring on that snow!

Dear 2016,
Welcome!!  Now that I have accepted that 2015 is officially over, I am pleased as punch that you have arrived.  You are the year that will likely bring the biggest change to our lives... ever.  You see, we are adding our first little one to our family in June and I'm sure our lives will be turned upside down.  There are many great times ahead and I will try to soak in every moment. 

Dear Passion Planner,
I finally purchased the compact planner for 2016 after finding you a year ago and now I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival (please come fast!!).  In the meantime I am using the free weekly printouts and I love everything about it already.  I am excited to be more intentional with how I spend my time, more focused on my goals this year, and the size is perfect for taking everywhere.  I think I may need to buy some new pens or maybe highlighters to celebrate!

Dear Seminary,
Well, this Christmas break sure has been lovely.  Two whole weeks off from the 5:40 alarm clock has been amazing.  I hope I can get back into the groove next week... I am a little worried.  I will have to start going to bed earlier and making sure I pencil in the time to prep those lessons.  The kids are great though and we have a good time even if we are all dog tired.  I'm sure we will be alright.

Dear Baby Clover,
I am now 16 weeks along and you are the size of an avocado.  You are looking less like an alien and more like a baby which we are very happy about.  You can now hear us (at least that's what the internet says) so we are trying to be on our best behavior and only say nice things to each other.  Don't worry, it isn't that hard when your daddy is so wonderful.  Hopefully, I will feel you moving and grooving in there soon.  Keep growing!

Dear Goals,
I feel I accomplished quite a bit in 2015, so I think I will take a year off from setting goals.  Ha, just teasing... sort of.  I do feel like I met some of my major life goals this last year, so I think I will make smaller and less serious goals.  Life is meant to be enjoyed after all.  I am still thinking it all out; I don't like to be completely flippant about this process.

Dear Blog,
I am sorry I have kind of ignored you the past few months.  I am been pretty exhausted by the whole 1st trimester and teaching seminary thing.  Not a whole lot happened anyways, except for lots of time spent laying on my couch.  I have more energy now that I am in the 2nd trimester of this blessed pregnancy, so I have great intentions about writing more.  We will see how that goes.  Thank you for always being there. 

Xoxo, Katie

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015


Here are my favorite memories of the year:

January 
  Playing in the snow while surviving Boston's Snowiest Winter Ever

February
Celebrating 6 years of marital bliss

March
Snowshoeing for the 1st time while Jeremy interviewed for his current job

April
Eating at Kane's again because they came out with a GF donut

May
 Jeremy graduating from Dental School followed by cruising with my family in N. Europe

June
Moving to the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont

July
Solo hiking on my days off because clearly, nature is my homegirl

August
 Exploring on our new mountain bikes

September
Camping (and canoeing) at Woodford State Park

October
Gallivanting around London with my Momma

November
Announcing to the world that we are having a baby with this gem:


December
Soaking in the magic of Christmas and loving all of my presents

Oh I get so sad when the year comes to an end.  I just have had so much fun.  This was quite the year for Jeremy and me.  We each accomplished our career goals!  I passed my LICSW exam and opened my private practice, something I have been dreaming about since I was 16.  Bam, dreams accomplished!  Jeremy graduated from Dental School, passed his boards, and is now an awesome Dentist.  His coworkers and patients love him!  I am not surprised... I love him, too.  Besides career goals coming to fruition we also cruised all over Europe visiting 7 countries in 10 days and then I got to go to London with my mom.  We moved (for only the 2nd time in our marriage) to Vermont and to top it all off we got pregnant!!  See??  Great things happened in 2015.  I will really miss our wonderful adventures we have had this year... luckily 2016 is bound to be another great one! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas!


We spent Christmas in Maryland with Jeremy's side of the family and we had such a great time.  We spent the holiday with Jeremy's parents, Aunt Bissie, and his twin Richie and his wife Nicole, and baby Easton. It was a pretty relaxing trip without many outings planned.  We hung out at home mostly and played lots of games, did puzzles, watched Christmas movies, went on a nature walk, did some shopping, and had many delicious meals and treats.   I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but here's what I got:

I learned the secret ways of how to make Mom Clover's fudge.

 We made ornaments out of clay and then painted them once they dried.

 Everyone got in on the ornament making action.

And we had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
 Jeremy and I got snowshoes and we are so excited to try them out this winter.  Now we just need loads of snow.  Come on Vermont, bring it on!

We got home today just in time to open more presents from my parents and each other.  We like to have as many Christmases as possible.  Why would we want this magic to end?!! Hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December Letters (late!!)


Dear Santa,
I have been really good this year.  I have been working hard.  I have been nice to my friends and even nice to strangers.  Also I am growing a baby this year, which is pretty important work.  I would love some awesome presents from you.  I promise to spread all sorts of Christmas cheer to those around me.  It's such a lovely time of year. 

Dear Snow,
You are feeling ever elusive with the temperatures we have had lately.  The 40s and 50s have been nice, but I feel like it is really your time to shine.  We all know that the Northern Hemisphere has some pretty big expectations about the magic of a White Christmas.  You have got to get it in gear, my friend!  Let's agree to meet and play soon, okay? 

Dear Hot Chocolate,
Oh you're my favorite.  Thanks for always being around to warm my soul.  You are a true friend that always has it in mind to teach me some much needed patience, so maybe someday I won't burn my tongue.  I love how we take our experience together so seriously - whipping cream is always needed with either a dash of cinnamon or some chocolate syrup to boost that fancy factor.  Just dreamy!

Dear Jesus,
You are the reason this time of year is filled with an abundance (if that's possible) of love, service, and all around good cheer.  We are celebrating you.  Your birth, your life, your teachings, your example.  There is so much for us to learn.  You are ever-willing to comfort and strengthen us.  Please help us to remember in time of doubt that you are our Savior!  Thank you for being patient with us.  Thank you for rooting for us. 

Dear Baby,
Your sex is currently unknown. I was set on not finding out until you arrive and recently I find myself wavering and wanting to know right now.  How am I supposed to wait 6 months!?  So your father might end up winning this won.  We will have to see, either way will be pure magic anyway, so nobody really loses.  Keep up the good work in there.  You are growing like a champ!

Dear Work,
It has been intense lately working three different jobs.  As of this week I get to enjoy a long break from the College and I am pretty thrilled about that.  Three days a week instead of 5 sounds downright perfect.  I will probably spend the first handful of off-days watching movies in my pajamas as I knit.  Don't worry, I will get productive eventually I presume.

Dear Frantic Shoppers,
I did most of my shopping online this year as I sat on the couch.  It was quite lovely and relaxing.  Don't worry though, I will save one or two things for the days just before Christmas.  That way I can do some great people watching, take in the last of the season's Christmas music, and pass smiles all around.  Deep breaths, repeat to yourselves, "Christmas will be wonderful!"  And then it will be!

Xoxo, Katie



Monday, November 30, 2015

With The Fam



We spent Thanksgiving in Utah with my cute and awesome family.

It was such a great vacation.  We did just about nothing... and I loved it.  We didn't have much planned and just did whatever we felt like it, which sometimes meant staying in our pajamas until 2:00.  It was dreamy.  We shopped; we saw movies; we ate out for Thanksgiving dinner; we played board games, card games, and video games; we made a 1,000 piece puzzle; we wrapped presents; we made pumpkin waffles/pancakes almost every morning; we made our thankful tree; we baked delicious treats; and we loved being together.  Again... it was dreamy.  I love my family!

I barely took any pictures because I was basking in the joy of not having anything to do (it was wonderful), but here are the three I did take:

Thanksgiving Dinner at Jeremiah's Restaurant

Monopoly!  Sam smoked us all.

The best Thankful Tree in all the land!

Holidays are the BEST!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dance Off


There is no better way than to enter #AlisonsPregnantLadyDanceOff (on Instagram) to announce that... I am PREGNANT! Baby Clover is coming in June 2016 and Jeremy and I can't wait to do this parenthood thing!




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weekend of Girls



The first weekend in November was an exciting one.  There were Girls Weekends happening on my mom's side (aunts and cousins) and my dad's side (grandma and grandkids) of the family all in the same city.  So I did my best to hit up both parties.  It was fun to see eveyone!!  I got to go to delicious places to eat and fun stores we don't have in Vermont.  The weekend also consisted of a lot of chatting, laughing, crafting, games, and some adventures planned by my grandma (riding through the desert and massages).  Here was our desert adventure on the Razors:


I crashed them about 15 minutes into the whole thing.  Ooops!






Crossing the river 14 times and running around in the slot canyons was awesome!!  I kept thinking how much my family would love to do this.  The boys would love it!