Sunday, April 28, 2013

the birthday girl.

our sweet little avery mae turned TWO on the sixteenth!!
she is such a bundle of joy.

we started out the day with a "princess" breakfast. even though her tiara didn't stay on very well at all, i think it was still a smashing success. max & ave were so well-behaved at their very own table and they were just so adorable about the whole thing. 

after breakfast, we hurried out the door for storytime at the library. max slipped in the mud on our way there and got covered!!! so we were a tiny bit late, but managed to have a great time.

since we didn't have time for a bath before library, as soon as we got back avery requested one. max was uninterested, so she got the royal treatment and had the entire tub to herself!

after baths, it was popcorn time!!! ave's snack of choice. she loves her doll "penny pen" and was so good to share with her ;)

after naps for the birthday girl, we had a photo shoot on mom & dad's bed. the lighting wasn't the best (and i'm definitely not the best photographer in the world) but i think these pictures are so sweet & capture ave & max's relationship perfectly. hah! they usually are really good buddies.

^^ this one, though blurry, is my absolute fav. those cheeks!! i could kiss her all day long. ^^

before my family arrived for her birthday party, ave's "nephi grandparents" chris & nell (and kurt!) stopped by to spoil her. she adores them all and was so excited about her new play kitchen. good thing she has such a patient daddy who put it all together for her!! (it was quite the assembly!)

my family came down for dinner, cupcakes, and presents...and we are so glad they did! we go see them a bunch, but it's been awhile since they've been down to see our place so it was fun to show them all of the improvements we've been making.

^^ she's two now!! practicing with graunna shaunna ^^

avery loves kitties so when i realized that for my 2nd birthday, i had kitty cupcakes, we had to continue the tradition! before my family arrived, we had fun decorating the cupcakes. i did the ears, max did the eyes, ave did the noses, and danny was in charge of whiskers. we ended up with some very personality-filled cupcakes! just like ave :) 

the birthday girl was so happy the whole night...until we sang happy birthday to her! it totally freaked her out and she burst into tears. her favorite song is "i love to see the temple" so we quickly started singing that instead, and she warmed up. it was the cutest thing :)

^^ max was lovin' it all. in case you couldn't tell :) ^^

and after cupcakes, she was finally able to open her presents! she got necklaces, a new hello kitty sippy cup & hello kitty lacing cards (they are the cutest!). a kitty book...and a strider! avery has been wanting her own bike, but when max spotted the new & improved bike...he's had a hard time remembering whose bike is whose. :) 

we love you so very much miss. avery mae!!
here's to a fabulous year ahead :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

birthday extravaganza!

april is no joke around these parts! with spring break, conference, and three out of our four makes for a busy, busy month. 

danny's birthday fell on a wednesday this year and when i asked him what he wanted to do, this was his response: eat sweet & sour chicken, have treats (he always wants those! haha), go longboarding as a fam, and watch the hobbit. 

so that is what we did! it turned out to be a pretty awesome day.

and since i had to throw in a surprise somewhere, the kids and i made a chips ahoy & swiss roll "cake" and surprised danny while he was teaching his class. he was very surprised :)

longboarding was a success! the kids (especially max) were so eager to hop right on and be as awesome as daddy. luckily, there were no terrible accidents, but i wouldn't be surprised if max took up longboarding when he gets older. the look of sheer delight on his face was priceless. and watching him carry the longboard down the street all by himself?? that was pretty darn cute too!

^^ see what i mean?! ^^

as for watching the hobbit at the end of the day...we did pretty good ;) i may or may not have fallen asleep forty minutes into it! but since it is so incredibly long, danny turned it off about halfway through, and i finished it with him the following night.

happy birthday sweetheart! i am so very happy to have you in my life.
love you!!

p.s. you guys are awesome!! the comments, emails, and texts i received on my last post totally made my day. it's so nice to know there are so many out there, struggling with the awful thyroid disease.

Monday, April 15, 2013

march fifteenth & hashimoto's

You know what is incredibly hard to come to grips with some days? The fact that my "due date" came and went (one month ago today!), and I have nothing to show for it. (The last few months have been emotional, to say the least.) When my miscarriage first happened, the love & support was incredible. We felt so loved and after a while I felt okay about things. But I clung onto a little glimmer of hope that so many offered me: You'll probably be pregnant by the time the due date rolls around.

Spoiler alert: I'm not. 

And while I'm actually realizing that this little fact is *I think* for the better, it's still heart-wrenching to think that this could have happened a third time:

(There is nothing like meeting your sweet babe for the first time!!!)

I've learned a lot over the last few months, and among other things, my testimony has been strengthened about the importance of families. Babies are such miracles and (hopefully) one day soon we'll be able to bring more little ones into our family. But until then, I'm determined to soak up Max & Avery with all that I've got and be the best mother I can be.


And while we're on the topic of learning new things...Have you ever heard of Hashimoto's disease? 

Well, last week I was diagnosed with that dreaded auto-immune disease and instead of feeling totally sorry for myself, I'm actually a little relieved (Ok, I do find myself feeling sorry more often than I'd like to. And I'm totally freaked out. But I am relieved. I'm not crazy after all!) 

After Avery was born (two years ago tomorrow!!!) I started noticing a lot of negative symptoms. I had veryyyy little energy. I didn't feel like myself. My memory was getting so incredibly horrible, I was worried I was getting Alzheimer's (It's bad you guys!) I felt distant from everyone (and in case you didn't know, that is a horrible way to feel right after having a baby. Or anytime for that matter.) 

I blamed it on post-partum. I blamed it on the small town we had recently moved to. I blamed it on a lot of things. But after a few months, things were getting worse, not better, so I started seeing a counselor for depression. After a few visits, she was pretty confident that I was not suffering from depression. She asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked. I had no idea what that was, but I made an appointment with my local doctor, and sure enough, my thyroid was wayyy wacky. He put me on Synthroid, which I took faithfully for a little over a month with zero results. I took it on & off for the next year (still, with no results...probably due to my inconsistency) but it wasn't until my miscarriage that I really started paying attention to my thyroid issues at all.

I started doing more research and I was finding all over the place that miscarriages can be strongly related to a thyroid imbalance. I got my levels checked again (nothing had changed) and I was dedicated to take it faithfully for the next three months (they say that's how long it really takes for your body to notice any changes...) Three months later, my symptoms were as strong as ever and I was getting frustrated. 

That's when I started thinking about diet and trying all sorts of things: first I went gluten-free/vegan. Then it was sugar-free (completely! No fruit or anything...sad day!) I'm not sure if I was just focusing too much on what I couldn't eat, but it was stressful, and I wasn't sure if it was doing anything so I was not the most motivated person in the world. You may have seen a bunch of posts on Instagram like this:

^^ these all happened to be pretty delicious. they were my saving grace! ^^

Well, to make a lonnnng story semi-short, after searching and searching for a doctor who I felt comfortable & confident with, I was given three separate recommendations for the same doctor. So I made an appointment with her and she is amazing. She had tons of blood work done and it was confirmed yet again: my thyroid is going absolutely crazy & my antibody levels are higher than she has ever seen. (This, along with my whacky thyroid, is what led her to be 99% positive I've got Hashi's.) She's upped my thyroid medication, I'm taking more vitamins than I've taken in my life (combined!), and I'm trying yet another gluten-free experiment, but I'm hopeful that I'll start to see improvement soon.

So. That's what has been on my mind lately.
Happy Monday :)

spring break: wahweap + home sweet home

after saying our goodbye's to alli, tony & douggie (their sweet little humongous bassett hound) we were homeward bound. the drive was incredibly long, but we were able to break it up a little bit with stops in flagstaff (avery had a major explosion!!) and page, arizona.

for those of you who may be wondering...the summer after my first year of college, my best friend and i moved down to page, arizona to work at the wahweap marina in lake powell. it was a crazy experience, working with people from all over the world (mostly australia, new zealand, and south biggie :) i was a boat instructor, so most of my days were spent on the docks and i grew to absolutely love lake powell. 

i haven't been back since jenny & i left (almost six years ago!!) so i was dying to go & give danny a glimpse at what my life was like. 

it was so so so weird to be back. the dorms were as creepy as ever (how did we live there???), the lake was gorgeous, and the dock was totally renovated! we got there after everything had closed down, but since wahweap is basically the most laid-back place on earth, we walked around and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

^^ i lived here!!!! ^^

^^ jenny, this is probably where you would have worked! crazy, huh?? ^^

^^ see that tiny little shack in the left hand corner?? that was our "office"...we basically just clocked in & spent the rest of the day out on the docks. ^^

what a fun little walk down memory lane! who knows if we will ever make it back to that marina, but i've got many fond (and crazy) memories from good ole' page. after a quick dinner & jammies, we were on the road for the last time (thank goodness!!!) i pulled out the glow sticks for some end-of-trip entertainment, and the rest of the night was spent driving through tiny towns with kids randomly waking up, screaming, and pulling at their seat belts :)

we were so glad to finally pull up to our house (in the wee hours of the morning!) but what a great vacation it was! if you missed out on any of the details, you can find them here: