Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Baby #4!

The big news of 2016 was that Mike and I are expecting our fourth baby! I found out in August right around the time we were moving that I was pregnant. Because of the miscarriage I had had 5 months earlier, I was a little nervous about how everything was going to go this time around. Mike and I both agreed it would probably be better to wait to tell anyone (even family) about the pregnancy for as long as we could. Well, that didn't go over so well when my mom pulled me aside while we were moving in and said, "Rose, I can tell that you're pregnant." WHAT???!!!! I was like, maybe 4 weeks along! Moms. Why does their intuition have to be so spot on? I lied to her and told her that I wasn't, but she didn't buy it. Several weeks later when I told her that I was in fact pregnant, she refrained from the "I told you so" comments and just smiled knowingly to herself. Haha. This pregnancy has been by far my hardest. I was so sick for the first 18 weeks. Trying to take care of 3 kids, while moving into a new place and being constantly nauseated and throwing up was really difficult for me. I felt like I had lost complete control over my life. I was so unorganized from the move, the weather was turning cold and grey, and it was just not a good time for me. I did eventually get on some medication that really helped, and made my life a lot less miserable! So, I would say the first half of this pregnancy was probably the longest 20 weeks of my life. I'm not 33 weeks and time is going so incredibly fast!! I'm so unprepared for this baby, yet also so anxious to finally meet HER and incorporate her into our family. The kids ask every single day if it's time for their baby sister to come out yet. I have loved being able to experience their anticipation this time around! When I brought Leona home, Georgia was only 2 1/2. She was as excited as any 2 year old could be, but also just did not even comprehend what a "new baby" would be. This time, Georgia, Lane and even Leona are always talking about the things they are going to do with their baby. I'm proud of Laners, because being the only boy was a rough prospect for him. Leading up to the gender ultrasound, he would not stop talking about his baby brother. He would save all of his outgrown clothes in a special spot and tell me, "can you put these in a box for my baby brother? I think he will love these pajamas." He and Mike were really holding out hope that this baby would be the baby brother Lane kept talking about. It took a second for it to sink in, but now he is ecstatic about being the only boy! He thinks it's really special and cool, and always says that we have two boys in our family, Michael Lane and Michael Spencer.
 We received some exciting news about our house last week! I have been driving myself crazy feeling like the house wasn't going to be done in time for the baby. The process as a whole has taken way longer than I initially anticipated, and there have been a lot of pregnant hormonal tears shed over the whole matter. But we finally got a closing date solidified! We will close and hopefully start moving into our house on April 21st. I'm going to be induced on May 1st or 2nd, so if all goes smoothly, we will be in our house before the baby!!!!! I mean, we won't be organized at all, but brining a new baby home to a brand new house is really giving me something to look forward to. So things are on the up and up over here, and I'm starting to feel some nesting urges which has helped me to buckle down and de-junk my belongings and pack up the apartment. We are SO EXCITED about this new addition to our family, she is so loved already. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Holidays!

It's so sad that we are nearing the end of February and I'm just now getting around to writing down some memories from over the holidays! I told myself that I need to catch up on the writing of this blog first, before I go back and add the pictures that go with it. I wish I wouldn't have gotten so far behind in my journaling! It makes catching up that much more overwhelming, but I'm determined to push through and keep writing, even if I'm drowning in constantly trying to catch up!! 
The month of December is always so crazy! It seems to go by way too fast, and also creep by slowly, leaving me wondering, "Is it January yet???". This year was a little bit different for us because we were living at my parents. I normally love to decorate for all the holidays, I feel like it gets me in the best Christmas spirit every year. This year, however, I didn't feel the desire to decorate AT ALL. It's a hard in between place to be, with most of our things still in boxes in my parents garage. I didn't want to go sifting through all my junk to find the box labeled, "Christmas Decor" only to have to pack it all back in a box and put it back in the garage a month later. We did get a tree though, and we also hung stockings, which made me feel (unreasonably) giddy. There is just something about a fresh Christmas tree to illuminate your living room that makes it feel so homey and cozy. The kids didn't seem to mind that I didn't decorate at all because they would just go upstairs to Nana's house and admire all of her fun decorations!
This year's Bear Hollow Preschool Christmas Sing was extra special because we got to have two of our kids in it! Georgia and Lane were both so excited about their performance. It happened to land right on Mikes birthday again this year, and both sets of Grandparents were able to come. The kids had been practicing their songs for over a month leading up to the performance and could belt out all the lyrics to the Christmas songs we listened to on the radio. We got to the University Mall and I could tell from the moment we walked in that the concert was not going to go well for Lane. Sweet boy. He has a hard time with large groups of people and especially strangers watching him do anything. Georgia got right up there in the very front row and sang her heart out! I stood by Lane the entire time and held his hand while he looked down at his feet and didn't sing a word. Haha, the difference between those two is hysterical. It turned out to be great though! Georgia absolutely loved it (until Santa walked in at the end), and I was extremely proud of Lane for holding it together up there and actually standing on the bleacher with the rest of the school, even if he didn't sing a word. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get! They were both so cute with their Santa hats on. I love watching my kids perform or pretty much just do anything. After the performance, we went the Spaghetti Factory with Grammy and Grandpa for Mikes birthday lunch. I can't believe Mike turned 31! The years are cruising on by for us old folks over here.
Christmas this year was so much fun. All of the kids are the most amazing age for Christmas excitement and magic. We did our annual Christmas Eve dinner with my family, and loved having everyone together! Ryan and Katie came into town from Nebraska, and it was so great to have all of my siblings together again, as it had been quite a few months since it had happened. My mom and dad always do such a great job putting together the dinner and entertainment for the evening. The Nativity is always a hit with the grandkids and adults alike. My kids still talk about that Nativity and what they want to be next year! Georgia starred as Mary this year, with Lane in his supporting role as a Shepherd, and Leona coming in strong as the Angel. I just love to see them come out in their costumes with the biggest smile on their faces. After the Nativity, we opened the gifts from my parents. They spoiled us, like usual! It was the perfect night to kick off the magic that would continue on into the next day. We ended the night with popcorn and The Polar Express as a little family, then sent our little angels off to bed while Mike and I began the heavy task of CHRISTMAS MORNING MAGIC. Luckily this year I had tried to wrap a few things as I got them, to try and make Christmas Eve a little less hectic. I thing we still went to bed around midnight, but that's way better than 2 or 3am! There is nothing more magical than Christmas morning. Seeing our kids faces and hearing their squeals of excitement makes all the stress of Christmas melt away. Georgia and Lane both got new bikes this year, which have already been put to good use. Leona got a dollhouse and a new baby with a stroller, etc... The big gift for all our kids was this "Extreme Coaster" that they can ride on, and they all loved. We have put a lot of miles on that thing since December 25th.
We spent the morning and afternoon of Christmas playing with all of our toys and eating candy from the stockings. Mother Nature blessed us with a very white Christmas! It was beautiful and magical, and such a pain to drive in. We had our traditional Kimball side Christmas Dinner at Shannon's house in Farmington this year. The roads weren't too terrible until we got to Bountiful, and then they got a little scary. Luckily it stopped snowing shortly after we got to Shannon's, which made the drive home totally fine. So fun to be with the Kimball's! We don't see them nearly enough. Again, I loved having every single one of Mike's siblings there. There is something special about "no empty chairs" around the dinner table. The cousins always do a gift exchange that everyone loves, and we normally go caroling around the neighborhood. This year was really special. Everyone kind of had a bad attitude about the caroling, and no one really wanted to go but Robin was determined we do it. Shannon had this great idea to go to a local care center a block or two away from her house and have us carol to the patients that lived there! It was the highlight of my day! To go around to to these cute elderly people who were in this care center on Christmas Day and sing them some songs was the sweetest and most touching thing. All the kids loved it, and the adults came away from it with a full heart. After caroling the kids were so exhausted from the full day, we packed up and headed out!
As the years race by, I'm grateful for the moments amidst all the chaos when time seems to slow down, if only for a moment. Christmas this year was one of those times. I'm beyond grateful for the families that we have, for the family that Mike and I have created, and especially for my Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Thanksgiving 2016.

Thanksgiving was with the Kimballs this year! Mike's oldest brother Billy hosted the masses at his home in Farmington, and the feast was quite the feast indeed. I was asked to make the rolls this year, which actually worked out so well because we are currently living with mom who is the very best bread maker in all the land. Originally when I was asked to make the rolls I was thinking that I would bring about 80, which seemed like sooo many to begin with. That is until I talked to Robin and she asked me to bring 160!!!!!! That is not an exaggeration either. So my mom and I set to work on making one batch of her famous rolls every day the week of Thanksgiving. We would finish the batch of rolls and then stick them right into the freezer to keep them fresh. It ended up working out beautifully and the rolls tasted completely fresh as if we had made all 160 rolls that morning. We had a very full house that day, with 7 out of the 8 Kimball kids + their families, plus this sweet Venezuelan family that has been living with Daniel and Marianne. The kids had such a fun time playing with all of their cousins and with Billy's dog "Utah". Ben also has a pet turtle that Georgia was obsessed with. Georgie is such an animal lover! It's amazing. Any animal that she see's she is immediately drawn to it. I keep telling her that she would be such an amazing Vet someday. We ended the day snuggling cute baby Charlie (our newest nephew) and eating enormous amounts of Ice Cream Pie. We love being with the Kimballs and spending Thanksgiving with them was perfect. I just hope that next year I don't have to bring the rolls. 


We took a little Disneyland trip the second week of November! It's kind of getting ridiculous how often we go to Disneyland, but we love it. I have done so much research on going to Disneyland during the best time and when it is the least busy, and we have pretty much gone during every time of year. But, to be completely honest, Disneyland is just a busy place. Even if the crowd calendars tell you it's going to be a GHOST TOWN, it's still busy. This trip was a pretty calm one though. We did a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and the only day that I felt like it was way busy was Sunday. Tuesday it was so hot. I kind of felt like maybe I might die from heat stroke. Mike really pulled through for all of us and kept saying, "come on guys, we're at Disneyland! Let's go have fun!" Hopefully we never go to Disneyland when it's in the 90's again. Georgia has turned into such a little thrill seeker! She would have rode Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain the entire time if she could have. Mike had a ball with Georgia this go around, because she seemed less interested in meeting characters and princesses, and more interested in going on the big kid rides. Thank goodness we have the tallest kids! Lane was a good sport with the bigger rides, but they definitely scared him. He went on Thunder Mountain once, and that was enough for him. He has had this obsession with Matterhorn for the last few months. He always wants me to ask him "Disney trivia" questions about the Matterhorn and the Yeti! So funny. I kept telling him he probably wouldn't be tall enough to ride Matterhorn, but we would see when we got there. Surprise, surprise! He was totally tall enough to go. Mike took him, and said it was hysterical because he kept his head down the entire time, in fear of seeing the Yeti. Haha, I took Georgia after they got off, and to be honest, I actually forgot how scary that ride was! I was laughing until tears, because I couldn't believe Lane even did it, and that I took Georgia. Leona was quite the party animal this go around! She would not close her eyes for ANYTHING. I was totally banking on her taking a nap every day, like she does at home, but that definitely didn't happen. She was so entranced with everything that she saw, she refused to nap. Which made for some cranky Leo moments, but surprisingly not very many. She was just happy to be there. She and I pretty much spent the entire trip together. Mike would take the older kids to the bigger rides and I would take Leo on the rides her size. Her favorite ride this time was Ariel's ride. She still talks about it every single day. Lane found a new favorite ride this time, Goofy's Sky School! Georgia goes back and forth, but ultimately sticks with Thunder Mountain Railroad as her top favorite of favorites. My girl! Some other highlights from our trip: the theme parks being decorated for the holidays! So much joy walking around Disney with "Jingle Bells" playing in the background and wreaths hanging from every lamp post. Soundsational Parade! Huge highlight for us and the kids. Meeting Goofy, and Leona actually giving him a hug. Meeting the princesses and seeing how excited all of my kids were- Lane included. Making friends with some random lady in the line for Winnie the Poohs ride. The conversation ended with her giving Mike her business card and saying, "If you guys are ever in the Bay Area and need a place to stay, you call me right up and I'll make up a room." Haha, I don't think we will take her up on the offer, but how nice???? Lanes epic meltdown on Main Street USA over a scoop of ice cream. He cried for so long, he didn't even eat any of the ice cream because it had melted. Being at Disneyland on Election Day, and coming home to see the amazing upset win of Pres. Donald Trump. Spending sun up to sun down with my people. I can't tell how precious these memories (tantrums and all) are to me. I look back at these Disney trips with only the fondest of memories, and I hope that our kids will do the same. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spain Part 2.

Because we were technically in Spain for Mikes work conference, I knew that I would have time on my hands to explore on my own. I also knew that because we were only there for 5 days, I wouldn't have time to go to a different country, but I definitely wanted to get a feel for Spain outside of the big city of Barcelona. I ended up booking myself a day tour out of Barcelona to an area about 60 miles north called the Costa Brava and Girona. I was a little hesitant to go because I just felt like a loner going on this tour by myself, but I realized that I was in SPAIN and I needed to take the opportunities to go explore this amazing country. I'm so glad that I went! This day tour was hands down the highlight of my trip. Our tour guide was an Englishman that had lived in Barcelona for 9 years, doing these tours. Mark and Janell, and Pete and Diane, both retired couples in their 60's were the only other people on the tour with me. Haha! I felt like I was on a tour with my parents and my inlaws. They were all so cute and fun though, I really did enjoy having their company for the day. The Costa Brava is a Mediterranean paradise. It was hard to decide where to look because every angle of every view was breathtakingly beautiful. I kept sending pictures to Mike like, "can you even believe this????" The weather was balmy and warm, the ocean was crystal clear, and the cute little houses and shops that lined the cobblestone street that bordered the sandy beaches were unlike anything I have ever seen. I wish so badly that Mike was able to see it with me. We spent a pretty large majority of the morning meandering through this coastal town and soaking it all in. After that we went to this really cool Medieval (thats the hardest word to spell by the way) town of Pals, where we were able to walk through all of these cobblestone streets. Again, everywhere I looked I was amazed at the beauty. It's amazing to realize how old some of those structures have been around. You really understand the meaning of America being "the New World". At this point, it was probably 2 pm and I hadn't eaten since breakfast so to say I was hungry was an understatement. Also, adding fuel to the fire, I was deep in the pregnancy nausea stage and not having any food was definitely not helping. We all got back in the van and started for a town that borders France, called Girona. I was trying so hard to be talkative and friendly in the van, but I was SO SICK and I hadn't told anyone I was pregnant. The tour guide looked over at me, and realized I wasn't doing too well and asked if I was ok. I sheepishly asked if he could pull the van over and I jumped out and started puking my guts out. Not my finest moment! I got back in the van feeling like a new woman, and turned an incredibly awkward situation into a celebratory situation when I said, "I"m so sorry! I'm pregnant with my fourth baby." At that point everyone was so excited and overly nice to me. Haha, in hindsight I should have told them earlier? Once we got to Girona we got to eat an authentic Catalan meal at this really cute restaurant. Girona was an amazingly cool city. So much history! There is a huge Jewish museum there because of all the Jewish history in that area. Diane was a really devout Jew so it was really cool to go through that museum with her and talk to her more about our different beliefs. We visited a church there that has been around since the days of Charlemagne! It was such an eventful and exhausting day. I enjoyed every single moment of that day and like I said, am so glad I went. The only thing that could have made it better would have been Mike right there with me. I was so excited to see him when I got home that night. It made me excited for the day when we can be retired and just go explore the world together.

Spain Part 1.

Mike's job requires to him to a pretty large amount of traveling! Which is a bummer for a lot of different reasons. Most of the time his trips aren't very long, around 3 days, but when he travels out of the country, they are always around a week or longer. Thankfully his international trips aren't the norm, and those only happen two or three times a year! So when he told me that he had to go to Barcelona for a work conference, I was so sad, until he invited me to go with him! I figured that this kind of trip would be a once in a long time type of trip because of the ages of our kids, etc... My parents were so kind to gladly watch the kids while we went, which made me leaving them a lot easier. Just knowing that your kids are in the hands of people you completely trust gives you so much peace of mind! 
Spain was my first European experience! I really never travel anywhere, so this was such an adventure for me. Like I said, I have never been to another European country, but if you ever have the opportunity to go to Spain, GO!!! It is the perfect mix of palms and pines, beachy yet very metro. It's like a tropical dreamland that's oozing with history and modern art. The flight there was long, exactly what I expected it to be. I watched like 6 movies or something, which was actually kind of enjoyable because I feel like I never get to go to the movies that often. We had a brief layover in Amsterdam and then it was only an hour and half longer to Barcelona. Once we got there I was exhausted! I cannot sleep on planes to save my life, so I was running on fumes. We checked into our hotel and Mike and I took a two hour nap before exploring the city that night. We did a ton of walking that first night. It was fun to get a a good vibe on what Barcelona was like. It's a HUGE city with so much going on at all times. I think we got lost trying to find a place to eat like 4 different times. Haha, which made our walking excursion much longer than it needed to be, but it was still fun. The next day was Monday, and Mike didn't have to start working until Tuesday, so we had the day with each other. We decided to take a bike tour of the city, which was probably one of my favorite highlights from the trip! The weather was amazing that day, and we were on the tour with another couple from the bay area that were really nice. Our tour guide was a girl from Holland that had been living in Barcelona for the last 6 years and knew so much about Spanish and Catalonia history. I love history, so that tour was the perfect mix of history combined with exercise and sight seeing. After the bike tour we wandered around the city a little more before going back to hotel to freshen up for dinner. The amazing thing about tagging along on these business trips, is that Mikes company paid for all of our dinners, so we definitely ate like kings! Plus it was so fun to go on a date every single night for a whole week!
The next day, Mike had to be at his conference all day so it was my first day out on my own. Like I said, I haven't done a lot of travel, and definitely zero travel on my own. So it was a day of adventure and new experiences for me! Like, catching my own cab for the first time ever, and trying to communicate with locals. I went to the MNAC, National Museum of Art Catalunya. It was a really rainy day that day, so getting lost in the most beautiful Museum for a few hours was perfect. I really enjoyed that experience alone, because I could go through all the exhibits at my own pace and not worry about if Mike was bored out his mind or not. After the museum I walked around the grounds, and saw the Olympic Park, also went to McDonalds for lunch (so classy, I know), before catching a cab back to the hotel to read my book and wait for Mike. When Mike got home we went on a tour of the La Sagrada Familia. This is the most incredible work of art by the late Antonio Gaudi, Barcelonas crown jewel. This church was his life's work! It's a quirky looking building, but once I started the audio tour I was amazed by it's true meaning and beauty. People come from all over the world to see this church. It's been under construction for over 100 years!! I think it is set for completion in 2020, which would be the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi's death. I couldn't believe how free I felt the whole week!!!! I didn't have to pack diapers, strollers, baby carriers, kid snacks, or even think twice about a nap time schedule. It was almost an out of body experience. It was so out of the routine of  my normal life. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but I couldn't help but miss my kids every time I saw a stroller pass or a toddler holding his moms hand.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Halloween 2016.

Halloween was so much fun this year! I made my life 100 times harder, and decided to make Georgia and Lanes costumes again this year. Lucky for me, we are currently still living with my mom, and she literally did Georgia's entire costume! It is the most incredible Rapunzel costume, ever! I don't think I could have pulled these costumes off without her. Actually I know I definitely would not have been able to. We had a crazy month in October because Mike and I took a trip to SPAIN  the week before Halloween! I have to write a post on Spain, maybe even 5 posts, it was incredible. Anyway, because I knew I wouldn't be able to work on the costumes the week before, it was so helpful to have my mom helping out. Leona wore a costume of Georgia's from a few years ago. It was so cute, every time someone said, "well look at you" or something like that she would just say, "I'M WITCH. I'M WITCH." She wanted to be very clear to everyone that she was dressed as a witch. It was so stinking cute. Lane was the tough guy in his Thor costume. He has the cutest little voice, I hope I never forget his voice as a little boy. He has a hard time pronouncing certain sounds, like the "L" sound and the "TH" sound. Anytime someone would ask what he was going to be he would say, "I'm going to be four!" But of course was trying to say, "THOR". It was really confusing for people, so I had to explain that he was going to be Thor, a lot. They all looked so adorable. Mike and I even got into the fun and dressed up as Batman and Alice in Wonderland. 
We took the kids trick or treating at Mikes work in the late afternoon. Digicert really went all out and decorated all of their respective "pods" with a different theme. The kids loved it, and they made out like bandits with buckets full of candy. After Digicert, we went down to the Alpine Main Street trick or treat! My parents came with us, and we got to go around to all the local little businesses in Alpine for some candy. The weather was so beautiful that day, which made walking around outside so enjoyable. Most of my Halloween memories as a kid consisted of my mom putting an entire snow ensemble over my costume, so no one even knew what I was. I'm glad our kids have enjoyed nice weather on their Halloweens. After the Alpine trick or treat, we came home to eat some chili before setting off to our old neighborhood in Lehi to meet our friends, the Olson's. It was actually kind of hard going back to our neighborhood to trick or treat. I got out of the car and immediately thought to myself, this is a mistake. But then once we got going, I found that I really enjoyed seeing my old neighbors again. Even though it gave me a huge dose of home sickness, it also made me happy to reconnect with the friends and neighbors I have been missing.