Evan and I are both VERY excited for 2011! I have really been feeling Rylee move around lately, especially at night. Evan hasn't quite gotten to feel her yet, but each time he tries he gives this certain look and talks about how he wishes she was here already. 2011 will bring some changes for us as well. I will graduate in May with my Masters in School Counseling. This new degree will also bring a job change. I have started applying to school districts closer to where we live. If I do not get a counseling job, I still plan on changing schools if a teaching job becomes available closer as well. I just know spending 45 minutes in the car each way away from Rylee is going to be too much for me to bare every day. We are about 75% sure that Evan will stay home with Rylee and take night classes towards completing his bachelors in Special Education. Depending on his class schedule, he might also take some day classes a few times a week. I have decided that during the summer and winter breaks from work, I am going to complete the extra 5 classes it takes to be a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). This way I have more flexibility in the future if I wanted to work for a hospital, my own private practice, or even for our church, I could. We have pretty much finished the nursery for Rylee except for a few finishing touches I want to complete soon. I promise to post pictures, but not until I think it is complete. We are trying hard to prepare for Rylee's arrival, however I know we can not be fully prepared. There will be lots of changes for us in 2011!
This Christmas has been very relaxing. We have decided to switch off holidays and this year was my families turn to have us because next year EVERYONE will be in Oklahoma for Christmas including 2 returned missionaries and 3 new babies! My family has a Christmas Eve tradition of going out to eat. To keep the tradition alive, we made reservations and ate at Cheesecake Factory. It was great to not have to help cook or clean. We ordered 3 different appetizers and had a piece of cheesecake or dessert for each of us. So yummy! Afterwards everyone came back to our house to relax and sit by the fire. Christmas morning Evan and I work up and took the puggles to my parent's house. We opened presents, watched "Salt", ate a big Christmas lunch, went to the movies to see "Little Fockers", and then came back to relax and watch the Cowboy's game. Memorable gifts this Christmas included our first grill, a new printer, a fireplace screen, and the start to our Disney DVD collection for the both of us. Evan got a beard trimmer with a vacuum so he doesn't have to clean up tiny hairs. I got pajamas and money to buy maternity clothes with. Evan got me a pedicure foot bath set and a "powermat" for my iphone. I got Evan an Xbox 360 (which he got in early October), the tickets to see the Big 12 Championship game, and a new headset to use while playing on his Xbox 360. Rylee even got presents this Christmas! She got a new stocking, some Christmas ornaments, and an OU bib. It is nice having this 2 week break with Evan. I am very grateful that we have the same work schedule! I ended up having to take a class over this break in order to get my financial aid in the Spring. It is a marriage and family therapy class and so far has been quite interesting. Here are a few pictures from this past week. I will have more once I get them from Nanny's camera. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!
This is my sister and I taken at Cheesecake Factory on Christmas Eve
This was taken at my friend Melanie's house when a few of us girls who were in town got together to visit.
We are having a girl!! Rylee Russell will be joining us in April! Our doctor appointment was on Wednesday. The sonogram tech wrote on the sonogram what the sex is and put it in an envelope. It was really hard to not peek in the envelope, especially for Evan. We had a fun "gender reveal" party Friday night. We had around 20-25 people at our house for the big reveal. We waited until Evan's mom flew into see us until we revealed. She looked into the envelope first, and then handed us each a cake ball. When we bit into the cake ball, they revealed pink cake which told us that we will be having a girl! We are so excited! Saturday we spent time at Babies-R-Us and Target registering for baby stuff. I have been a little addicted to craigslist lately, and have gotten all of the furniture for the nursery and am now working on the decorations. We decided we wanted bright happy colors, so we are centering our nursery around this painting of owls we found at Target. It is so cute! Anyway, I am at 20 weeks now (5 months) and we are so excited for April to get here. :)
Well, Monday could be described as a "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". It started with my first parent conference totally ditching me. Which I got to school early for by the way. That always upsets me. I had to reschedule 5 parent conferences to get blood drawn at my doctor's office because the nurse was sick at my previous visit and they couldn't find anyone to take my blood. Bright side: All 5 parents were happy to reschedule for another day. So on the way to my doctor appointment on Monday, the Equinox starts acting funny and all of a sudden will not go over 5 mph. We ended up sitting in a Michocana parking lot off of the 360 feeder road for 2 hours while waiting for a tow truck and someone to get us. Bright side: my mom was available to come pick us up. We dropped the equinox off at the dealership. Bright side: my mom took us to Mimi's for dinner to cheer us up. We got home at about 8pm. Side note, yesterday my parent conferences lasted until 7:45 with only a 30 min break, so we got home at 8:30 last night. Well it turns out that the transmission is out and the engine needs to be taken apart. Bright side: the dealership is 98% sure the cost will be covered under the power train warranty. So we are without a second car for at least the next week. Bright side: We carpool to work and rarely use two cars in one day.
Yes, it is official. Evan's wishes have come true. For those of you who do not know, every day since we were married, Evan has touched my stomach and said "Baby?" with sad lonely eyes. His lifelong dream is to be a dad. Well the time has come! We are now 8 weeks pregnant! I was feeling pretty tired and queasy about 4 weeks ago, so I thought, just for fun, I would take a pregnancy test. We were going to start trying and I had just gotten off my birth control about a month earlier (the dr. said it would take about 2-3 months to wear off.... little did she know). Anyway, it came back positive and I couldn't believe it. My whole life I have feared not being able to have kids. So I decided to read more on the Internet about what a positive means and it said the most accurate results come with a morning test. So as hard as it was, I didn't tell Evan I had taken the test. I didn't want to get his hopes up if it was a false negative test, as he has been wanting this forever. The next morning I took another test and it too came back positive. By that time, Evan was still asleep and I had to leave for an 8am Saturday summer school class. Obviously I could think of nothing else during that last class session. I still needed to know for sure that the tests were positive. So I called up planned parenthood (pretty much the only place open on a Saturday) and went by myself to get a more accurate test done. Sure enough, it was also positive and they gave me an anticipated date of March 23rd. On my way home I stopped by Target and bought Evan a onsie that said "I <3 id="SPELLING_ERROR_5" class="blsp-spelling-corrected">grand kid, I bought them each a bib that said "I love Grandma" or "I love Grandpa". Their reaction was priceless too. I know they wanted us to wait until Evan was done with school, but now just seemed like the right time. My sister got a onsie that said "My Aunt is my BFF". Overall it has been fun slowly telling people, but after our great doctor's appt today, I just couldn't hold it in any longer. The official due date is between April 8th and April 11th. My doctor could pick up a good heart rate visually, but we couldn't really hear anything. She said it is a healthy gummy bear. haha! We call it "mini muffin" because Evan's mom's nickname for me is muffin. I have had more nausea lately, but mostly at night time. Most of my exhaustion has been due to starting back at work, trying to finish my Master's degree, starting a new church calling, and keeping up with our dogs and Evan. Evan is going to help out more with chores and house stuff to take some of the pressure off of me, which is really nice. I couldn't ask for a better husband. He will be an amazing dad! Well, here is the sonogram of our little mini muffin. The left is the head and the right is the rump. Ha ha!
We took our anniversary trip a few weeks ago and had a blast! We flew to Orlando first class both ways (thanks to my grandma's standby passes). We stayed with Evan's sister Jill and her family. It was so much fun just getting to relax, swim, go to the beach, and eat some good food. On the last day of our trip, we went to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. We also got to stay at the Hilton (which was really nice). Overall it was a much needed break. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
At the Florida Temple with Jill and Tyler.
Evan surfing with Tyler
Swimming in their pool
Taking a trip on the black ghost
Evan with our nephew Keith
At one of the happiest places on Earth
One of my favorite characters growing up was Cinderella, so Evan was nice enough to stand in line with me for an hour to take a picture with her.
In front of the spitting camel
A yummy bakery we went to.
Evan's favorite ride.
Evan hit the jackpot when at "Pacos Bill" he ordered a hamburger and you could put as many sauteed mushrooms on it as you wanted.
This morning Evan and I flew 1st class to Orlando Florida. It was quite wonderful. I have flown 1st before, but never in the very 1st row of 1st class. It was nice. We were served egg breakfast quesadillas. They were really tasty. We both had a good nap after waking up at 3am to check ourselves in to standby on line and not really going back to bed after. Jill and Tyler picked us up from the airport and then we got to go to the Orlando temple. It is SO beautiful! It seems bigger than the Dallas temple. Afterward we got some yummy food at Olive Garden and then drove to Satellite Beach, where Jill and Tyler live. It was a great 1st day of our vacation! Tomorrow is going to be a day at the beach filled with boogie boards and laying out. :)
One week from today we will be on our way to visit Evan's sister Jill, her husband Tyler, and their 3 adorable children in Satellite Beach, Florida. The fun includes many beach trips, swimming in their pool, Jill's yummy cooking, and DISNEY WORLD! We can't wait!! We have beach fever!!!!!!
I have this App on my iphone that lets me watch news clips. So every night before I go to bed I catch up on what is going on in the world. Anyway, this one really disturbed me. Especially when the mom says that she won't give her kid Ridilin but she will give him pot?!? Anyway, you have to see for yourself. Also, I want to know what you think. From a parent or teacher's point of view. What would you do if your student showed up high every morning because his/her parents are giving them medical marijuana? Just wondering.
It is the start to another week of Summer. Recently I have not remembered what day of the week it is. However, taking summer classes keeps me in check. This is the last week of classes for me! HORRAY!! This is also Evan's last week of Summer school. I'm not sure who all heard about the mother in Irving who strangled her 2 children to death because they were Autistic and she wanted "normal children" but the little 5 year old boy was in the summer school program across the hall from Evan. He said the teacher and other staff have been having a really hard time since last Monday's incident. I can not even imagine. On a lighter note, we recently attended a Ranger's game. It was really hot, even for a 7pm game, but alot of fun. Former president George W. Bush was there. Here are a few pictures from that.
In less than 2 weeks, Evan and I will be on a plane to visit Evan's sister Jill and her family in Florida. We are REALLY excited. They live in Satellite Beach, which is on the Atlantic Ocean side. We are also planning on going to Disney World and Epcot. We can't wait! Other than that, summer is quickly winding down, which is sad, but inevitable.
Yesterday was the wedding of one of my best friends Lydia. We have been friends for about 12 years now. She married one of the most wonderful men on this planet, Jared. The festivities started with the rehearsal dinner Friday night at Dickey's BBQ. Friday night all of the bridesmaids stayed at a hotel together. Lydia woke us up bright and early Saturday morning running into our hotel room singing "It's my wedding day!" while jumping on our beds. ha ha. It took from 10am-4pm for all 6 bridesmaids and the bride to get ready. We had a blast! At 5pm we went to the Irving Arts Center to take pictures and get ready. The BEAUTIFUL, but hot, ceremony was outdoors in the sculpture garden at 7pm. The reception was AMAZING. Lydia borrowed a friend's dining room chandelier for the event. Needless to say, it was one of the top 5 best days ever. Lydia looked gorgeous and there were very few mishaps. They flew standby and got to fly 1st class on their honeymoon to Lake Tahoe. It was great and we had a blast!
Diet to me, is a four letter word. You know what I mean. I have never liked any diets because mostly I am a VERY picky eater and I like very few vegetables, and most diets consist of vegetables. Well, a little over a week ago, Evan's sister Heather sent the whole family a message asking us if we would like to take part in a nutrition study her friend is doing. So we all said yes! Lets do this together! Everyone decided they would start on July 1st. Evan and I got excited so we started on June 29th.
My diet consists of Breakfast: 1/2 cup egg whites and 1/2 cup oats Morning Snack: 1 TBS Natural Peanut Butter, 1/2 apple, 1 protein shake Lunch: 4 oz chicken or tuna, 1/2 cup brown rice or sweet potato, and green veggies Afternoon snack: 1 TBS Natural Peanut Butter, 1/2 apple, 1 protein shake Dinner: 4 oz chicken or tuna and green veggies.
I get 1 "sweet treat" a day which consists of either a sugar free low cal Popsicle or a cup of sugar free jello. To tell the truth, I am really NEVER hungry. I feel like I have to force myself to eat to keep my metabolism going some times. However, it is hard because you are so tempted by the foods around you. The hardest part so far was on Thursday when my summer school class had a pizza party. There was left over pizza and I just couldn't have any. We have to eat pretty much every 3 hours, which can be hard if your at work, class, or on the road. So it takes some planning ahead for sure. So far in the 5 days Evan and I have been doing this, he has lost 7 lbs and I have lost 5 lbs. We are supposed to be exercising too, but haven't really gotten into a good routine with that yet. It has been really nice to have the support of Evan's family. You really need someone to be held accountable to. Evan and I help each other be strong. We will do this diet for a month to complete Rachel's study, and then after that I think we will continue it but give ourselves a reward at the end of each week. We will keep you updated!
For those of you who don't know, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. There is many reasons it makes the top of the list, but here are my top 5:
1. It occurs during summer break.
2. The days are longer so there is more time to party!
3. The FOOD FOOD FOOD! I love hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ, potato salad, and beans.
4. The DESSERTS! I love pie, cake, cookies, puddings, fruit salads, etc.
5. The American Spirit!
We have decided that we are going to go to Stillwater for the 4th this year. We are REALLY excited because Evan's mom makes some amazing food. We are also excited because Evan's sister Jennifer should be having her baby around the time the 4th gets here, we aren't exactly sure when they will have to induce her. Anyway, do you have some favorite 4th of July traditions?
Some days I think, has it really already been a year? Then I think, wow it feels like we have been married forever. Recently, the talk about marriage and cheating has been discussed in my family due to some unfortunate events. The other day I asked Evan, "Do you wish you would have been single for longer to have more single experiences" His response, "Heck NO! Married life is awesome! There is absolutely no way I would go back to that!" Ha ha! I love Evan so much I can not even express it. Of course, like any marriage, we have our good and bad days, but I can say we have had many many more good than bad days this past year. In one year of marriage we both went back to school, Evan started a new job, we bought a new car, we got 2 super cute puppies and we bought our first house!! We truly have been blessed! Our goals for this next year are to continue to get out of debt and to loose weight. I hope each year of marriage is as good as this one was. I love you Evan and Happy Anniversary!
Every year is bitter sweet. What's sad is that this year, namely this bunch of kids, has been so rough that I am not too sad to see them go. This year was probably the toughest for me so far. Anyway, here are some pictures of my classroom ready for the summer. They are painting every room, so every shelf, counter, and wall has to be cleared. Which means everything gets put in the center of the room so the painters can get to the walls. Yay for summer!!!!!!
We were married on June 20th, 2009 in the Dallas LDS Temple. We purchased our first home in Mansfield, TX in 2010. Our daughter Rylee was born April 7th, 2011. We have 2 puggles named Barkley and Bella. Shelbee is a school counselor in Mansfield and Evan is in school for Special Education. We are excited to continue our adventures in life together as a family of 3!