Monday, January 2, 2023

Favorite Discoveries of 2022

 To find out my favorite discoveries of 2021 go here.

As always, these are fun to write about just to see what landed for me in terms of books, movies, shows, podcasts, other things I've loved and benefited from. 

Music: A few JJ Heller songs, of course: "Neighbor", "Live the Dream", "Songbird", "Wild and Precious Life", "Growing Older". I jammed out to Imagine Dragons "Wrecked" and "Sharks". Cody Fry's "Underground" is insane. A commenter sums it up: Cody Fry makes getting hit by a train magical. 


All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle
Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas 
Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McCallister 

The Light We Give by Simran Jeet Singh
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Greene
The Turnaway Study by Diana Greene Foster
Stolen Focus by Johann Hari
A Walk in My Shoes by Ben Schilaty
I Never Thought of It That Way by Monica Guzmán
Better Than Happy by Jody Moore
Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig

Movies/TV shows: Our big show watching for this year was the entire series of "This Is Us." We started near the end of last year and blew through the 100+ episodes in less than 6 months. We looked forward to watching one almost every night. Since I was one of the last of my sisters to watch, I got to text them my real time reactions which was fun. One of the best shows I've seen. I definitely cried many times, especially at the end of it all. 

Loved Masterpiece Theater's All Creatures Great and Small, Around the World in 80 days, Atlantic Crossing, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, and enjoyed Magpie Murders this fall.

 Probably our favorite movie this year was Top Gun Maverick. There was so much hype around it but it lived to the hype!

Other discoveries: Worldle was the big deal back in the beginning but we lost steam a few months in. But fun for a little bit. I've loved the Day One app. I've noticed that my blog has been pretty non existent since I've had this. I just love how seamless it is to have my pictures and journal entries together. Once they have the safari version then I will post my previous blog posts to it so I can print them. 

During my entire pregnancy I basically was exercising every day thanks to Pregnancy and Postpartum TV YouTube page. 

I got the Faithful Plateful's cookbook this fall and my goal is to make everything from it. I just love her recipes and all the ones I've tried so far have been real good! 

I've not been much of a soccer watcher besides BYU women's but we got into the World Cup after watching it over Thanksgiving and I was hooked. It helped to pass the week when the kiddos was sick. 

Excited to see what 2023 brings!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Roy's Birth Story

I really feel like this pregnancy overall was fantastic. Despite the week that I got COVID and my iron being really low that I had to get an infusion, I really had no hiccups. And I'm really grateful for that! I worked out every day till about the day I delivered and saw the chiropractor several times a month. All of these things helped facilitate a comfortable and mostly pain free pregnancy. Bodies are amazing and I'm so grateful for all the little things I did to help get Roy here. 

Roy has been a long time coming. I talked about the miracle of getting pregnant again here. So grateful he is here, safe and sound!

My biggest concern for the whole delivery situation was the timing of it all. I found out that all my family close by would be leaving for the family reunion in Utah the day after my due date. My hope was that Dallin could go to Mere's while I was in the hospital and that my mom would be here for a couple of days during recovery before she had to leave on her trip. But I mentally tried to prepare myself to go into labor with the possibility of calling a friend to watch Dallin or figuring something out with the ward to help out. I had a lot of tears about the whole thing. This wasn't how I wanted the situation to go. 

I know everything worked out because other people had more faith than me, ha! At my 38 week appointment, two days before Dallin's 4th birthday, I found out I was at a 4 cm dilated. I wasn't too shocked as that's how I was with Dallin. They said I could get my membranes stripped but I didn't feel right about the timing then. I really wasn't prepared. 

Then five days later for my 39 week appointment I apparently progressed to a five. That was a shock because I really didn't feel contractions, some Braxton hicks but that was it. And with Dallin it took me a long time to go from a 4 to a 5 laboring at home. I really wanted to get my membranes stripped that day but because the hospital was full they couldn't do it but she told me she would do an aggressive cervical check but not to tell the hospital that. I also got put on the elective induction list at the hospital. If they had room they would call me and I would need to be in there 2 hours after I got the call. I was glued to my phone waiting for a call but it never came. 

On Saturday the 25th it was a really beautiful sunny day. We went to the trail and I walked while Austin and Dallin rode their bikes. We got some spicy Indian food that night thinking maybe this will help. I found out the day before that my Mom decided to purchase a train ticket for Sunday night. We debated between Sunday night or Monday morning. I had my 40 week appointment scheduled for that Monday morning at 11:30 but felt like just in case to arrive Sunday night. I got some groceries on that Saturday as well just in case I was still pregnant by the next week. 

Sunday came and Alice-Anne texted me how things were going. I was near tears feeling really discouraged that no progress was being made. She sent me a link to learn more about the Miles circuit. Basically it's a lot of stretching positions to help induce labor on your own and get baby in optimal position. At my 38 week appointment I found out he was sunny side up, which Dallin was too until I pushed him out and then he turned. 

So after church I did the Miles circuit positions. They were actually really relaxing and one of the poses put me to sleep. That was a blessing in disguise because twelve hours later I would be up in the middle of the night working through contractions so any rest was so helpful. 

Mom's train got delayed that night by about an hour so we got her to the house around 10:15. It's amazing that the train stop is 4 mins away from our house. Makes it so convenient for trips and the time it takes to go from here to there is actually a little less than in the car (obviously without train delays). Mom told me "tonight's the night!" I was like 'yeah we'll see.' 

But sure enough around 3:20AM I moved my leg trying to get it in a better position over my pillow and it's like it instigated something in my body to start contracting. It's kind of hard to explain but I was uncomfortable and wanted to get on the birth ball or in a child's pose on my bed. All I knew is that I didn't want to lay back down. Nothing about that position was comfortable. Every once in a while I would ask Austin to push on my back. I really wish I had him watch the double hip squeeze. I tried to demonstrate it for him and I realize that he could have taken a minute to look it up on YouTube but oh well! We did the best we could. I ended up going into the shower around 6AM which felt so good for my back contractions. Dallin woke up early too and I felt bad but we all went down early for breakfast which woke up Mom. 

I ended up contracting mostly downstairs after that. I would lean my head up against the chair while Austin pushed on my back. I tried different positions but I ended up just finding some comfort on my hands and knees. Dallin was a bit hyper rolling around the floor. Grandma had to coach him that every time I'm in that position that it means mommy is in pain and he needs to be quiet to concentrate. He did pretty well after that. Amazingly Bryan got off work right around this morning time and picked up Dallin for us. 

Austin was starting to get a little nervous with how close the contractions were getting. I was like 'we're fine, we have plenty of time' but I could tell he had nervous energy and got our bags in the car for when the time was ready. They started getting a little more intense but I felt like I could still talk through in between. But we called the hospital anyway around 10:30AM and said we would be on our way. It took about 17 minutes to get there and the whole time I put on Bridget Teyler's fear cleansing birth meditation that lasted the whole ride. I had some intense contractions on the way and Mom was in the back seat rubbing my shoulder. I definitely teared up on the way. 

Even after we parked and walking to the hospital I had to stop on the way to go through a contraction. A nurse asked if I needed a wheelchair but I declined. I just wanted to get there fast. The hospital was really full but they got me into a room to check me which was around 11:15AM. The nurse was like maybe a 6 but more 5.5. I was so discouraged because I thought for sure they were going to send me home. I was kind of kicking myself coming to the hospital sooner but she said she would be back in a little bit to check on me again. I thought she would be back in 10-15 minutes but it ended up being more like an hour. 

Luckily I had progressed or at least she said my cervix was thinner and I had dilated a little more. Finally I was admitted and then I felt like things really picked up. I tried doing the ball on the bed or on the floor. It was not that comfortable so I tried to support my legs with a pillow. There was a big picture in the room that had a huge wave crash over these rocks. I thought that was fitting for a labor room where every contraction feels like a huge wave coming over you. 

The contractions started to become more intense that I had a hard time doing the destressor breath. I felt like the only thing that helped was a horse breath. One of the nurses came in and asked if I wanted to do some pain relief. She said 'are you wanting to do it natural because you're doing a great job managing it'. The thing is this was the first time I really experienced some intense active labor contractions. With Dallin I was laboring but I was not progressing and so they had to do Pitocin to get things going and I believe that's when the active contractions happened. So I really wasn't sure what I could handle but I felt like I was close to getting an epidural. I don't know why I felt like I needed to prove anything but I didn't know really what I was up against. 

The anesthesiologist did show up and they administered the epidural but I also needed some pain relief medication just to get that in because the contractions were so hard. Austin was sitting in front of me and putting pressure on my knees and a nurse had to hold onto my shoulders. I had to be super still for the epidural to go in but it was so hard not to move. 

I laid down but immediately knew that it was not taking all the edge off. I could still feel some on my right side so they had me move to the right side to tip gravity in its favor over there. It took the back pain away but the groin area I felt it all. They brought her back in but she said she couldn't do anything for the sacrum. I wanted to yell 'then why the heck do I have this epidural anyway!' I'm sure it took some edge off overall but I was still in so much pain. It was intense and now I had to be laboring on my back mostly. Before mom had to leave the room for the epidural procedure, every time I felt a contraction start to come on I would motion her to come close. She wrapped one arm around my neck and I held onto her with everything I had. This is when I became like a little girl and just cried and cried for Mom to take this away. It hurt so bad.

Finally what seemed only 10 minutes for me (it was probably longer but time was really irrelevant for me) the doctor came in to check on me. They waltz in with the nurse nonchalant while I was laboring-I'm sure they didn't think I was ready but sure enough I was ready to push. It made sense because not long after I moved my body to the right to help the epidural I started tooting and really feeling like I needed to push. 

While I was preparing for labor in my pregnancy all the experts say not to push on your back and hold your breath but that's how I was coached in there to do it. I expressed before hand to the doctor that I worried about pushing on my back because of tearing but she said she would coach me through when the time was to stop pushing even though I would feel the need to. It was hard to advocate for myself in the moment and since I went to a clinic with a collection of doctors and midwives I didn't have someone who was with me the whole time and knew what I wanted. And this was the first time that I saw this OB. Plus she was an OB where most of the midwives I saw had no problem having me push on my side. Oh well. Not my favorite experience but I was still able to push him out. 

I probably pushed for 30 mins or so (it took about 10 or so contractions). I forgot just how intense pushing is. I'm so grateful though that my labor was shorter so I had some energy to push at the end. They kept saying 'you're doing amazing and we're not just saying that'. Mom and Austin were on my right side encouraging me and counting and Mom had a cool cloth on my forehead while I did it too. At one point a nurse had to have Austin move to the side so she could help when the shoulder was coming out. I think they had to turn him a little. I'm not sure if that's when I tore or not. 

One of the nurses asked if I wanted to see him come out but I was so focused on pushing while trying to relax my bottom that I just kept my eyes closed the whole time. I did get to touch his head. One of the random things that I'll remember about this labor is how many comments from nurses I got about my Chaco tan line haha!

Finally the doctor said 'open your eyes' and I got to see him come out! Amazingly afterwards while I was holding him I felt really good. I definitely had adrenaline for a while, days even, but I physically felt good and better than I had the first time around. I found out from one of the nurses that the amount of blood loss that I had was one of the lowest she's ever seen. That was so good to hear as I thought for sure I would need another iron infusion. I wonder if all that raspberry leaf tea, dates helped with all of that active labor and low blood loss. 

And funny thing is Roy weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, the exact same as Dallin. And I believe their height at 20.5 inches is the same too. I guess my body is just really good at birthing 8 pound 10 oz babies!

I felt like this birth was the hardest thing I've ever done but I did it! 

As I write this he's been with us for a week now and we're all adjusting to life with two kids but I simply love it. Emotions are definitely all over the place too thanks to crazy hormones but I'm so grateful for so many things that have gone well, breastfeeding being one of them. I cannot do anything of this transition without Austin. He has been so good to be up at night with him to help wake him up for feedings and allowing me to take all the naps I need. 

We love our little Roy Lewis! So glad he's a part of our family. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

2022 Summer Reading Guide

I love doing these guides even if it's just my family that reads them. I think it's so fun to put together a good book list, don't you? I'm going to keep generally the same categories so hopefully it's a wide variety to give you something to look forward to reading this summer.

Check out 20192020, and 2021 Summer Reading Guide if you want more recommendations!

History Comes to Life

Fallout by Steve Sheinkin: Sheinkin is the king of YA nonfiction and this one nails it again. If you wanted a 'sequel' to his earlier Bomb then this one is for you. It goes into the ins and outs of the Cold War with plenty of espionage to keep you engaged.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann: True crime is not normally my fare. This dealt with the murder of some of the members of the Osage tribe and the investigation that followed in the 1920's.  Even though this did have those creepy vibes to it, I was pretty fascinated with it all. The movie is set to come out soon. 

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman: This reigns in very recent history with the pandemic and that's what makes it unique. Words are so powerful and the way Gorman is able to craft them so well together is an amazing feat. She knows how to pack a punch. 

Let's Hear it for the Ladies

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig: This brought the disabled community to my attention and I'm so grateful for that. I'll admit that how to make things more accessible for them is not on my radar all that often but since this book I've definitely paid more attention and want to advocate more for them. 

Dancing at the pity party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder: I don't know how a book can be both equally sad and funny but Tyler does an amazing job of sharing her mom with us that you wish you knew her too (she sounded SO cool.) This has some great thoughts about grief as well. 

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett: I listened to this one on audio and Patchett reads it herself. I tend to enjoy Patchett's nonfiction essays more than her novels and this one was so so good. If you have read her latest novel The Dutch House then you will love learning more insight with her friendship with Tom Hanks and how he got to narrate the book. And it was a delight to hear the friendship that emerged with his assistant because of that meeting and how it changed her life these last few years. 

Beach Reads

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: Okay, I'll admit these books are kind of ridiculous but you can easily breeze through this one. I suggest going into it blind. Let's just say that Finlay is about to get herself into a whole heap of trouble without meaning to. And if you liked it enough then her 2nd book came out earlier this year and you can read that as well. 

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton: A story involving three women in 1935 who arrive to Key West under very different circumstances but paths cross when a hurricane hits. I love books that have multiple narrators but somehow they all converge together to make a really fascinating story. A fast paced engaging read. 

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Not Exactly a Memoir by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: I decided to put this on my list because I had such fond memories reading it that I want to read it again. Rosenthal is already known as a fantastic author in children's lit but this blends wit, creativity, and joy in sharing her wisdom of life. You may need to bring a tissue with you knowing that Amy sadly passes away after writing this. Makes it all the more meaningful.

Middle Grade Magic

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson: Astrid is trying to survive junior high and just when she thought she was going to be doing roller derby camp with her best friend Nicole, her friend bails on her for dance that summer. Now Astrid has to navigate this whole new sport on her own. This graphic novel was a lot of fun to read and I loved Astrid's character and her development over the book. 

Red White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca: This novel in verse is quite sad so know going into it. It's about an Indian American girl who grapples with her mother's cancer diagnosis. Heartbreaking but beautiful too. 

New From Here by Kelly Yang: Yang's latest novel centers around a family who immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong to get away from the coronavirus. Of course, that follows them there as well and now they are dealing with battling racism and other challenges that come from it. Yang always sets up a great story and heavier topics but handled very well. Would make for some good discussion. 

Audiobooks For The Road

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green: If you want a collections that go from a wide spectrum like Dr. Pepper to Canadian Geese to Googling People, this is for you. He gives every essay a 1-5 star scale (to also point out some ridiculousness of rating books like this) but I found this so fun to listen to. I think this would be a great one to chat with a friend or partner and compare what rating you would give certain topics if you could. 10 hours.

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle: This is about Hubert Bird who lives alone in his London flat. His daughter Rose checks up on him every week and to make sure she doesn't worry about him, he tells her about his pretend friends. She decides to make a spontaneous trip to see him and now he has to go make friends to cover up his story. This book was such a delight and I loved all the characters and loved learning about Hubert's backstory. He was a Jamaican immigrant so it was fun to get that accent in the audio version. This will make you want to reach out more to neighbors and those in your community. 12 hours.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz: This one is hard to describe except that it's a mystery within in a mystery. Editor Susan Ryeland has the manuscript for Alan Conway's newest novel that investigates a murder at Pye Hall but the last chapter, the ending of how the mystery is solved, is missing. The more she reads the more is hidden within these pages. We listened to this on a road trip and was absorbed in the story. Cleverly done. 16 hours. 

Nonfiction Worth Discussing

Good Morning, Monster: Five Heroic Journeys to Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner: As a therapist for decades, Gildiner has had many clients come through her office but she only highlights 5 stories here of those she considers 'heroes' because of their journey to overcome their past. Each one has significantly traumatizing childhoods so know that going into it but you will be rooting for all of them by the end. I learned so much too. 

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez: I read this years ago but still think about. Her main focus is that we collect data to make create inventions or use for medical treatment but we don't factor in gender because we see men as atypical. She points how troubling this is when making cars to what treatments we use for medical procedures to lack of access of bathrooms. And how women are the ones paying the price. 

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande: I think this would make an interesting family book club discussion. It revolves around what is most important for end of life care for a loved one and how to navigate that. Very eye opening. 

Have you read any of these? What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Friday, December 31, 2021

Favorite Discoveries of 2021

To find out my favorite discoveries of 2020, go here.

These posts are some of my favorite to write because I love getting to look back on all the good things that this year has brought. 

Music: Always have to include my favorite JJ Heller because she comes out with a new song every month. A couple of ones that I love were "Ordinary Days", "I see you" (a Jesus song-so good), a couple of older ones that were brought to my attention like "Unbreakable heart" and "I have Enough", and love her version of Ben Rector's "Extraordinary Magic". Speaking of Ben Rector, by far the most repeated song we listened to this year was "Range Rover." It was a constant request by Dallin. The music video is awesome. It's just pure fun! And Cody Fry's song "Flying" just makes me want to weep a little.

I really got into "The Lamb of God" music by Rob Gardner when we saw it performed in theaters. "Make me Whole", "Here is Hope", and "More Like Thee" are my favorite. 

Books: This year I've read the most than any other year: 140! I had a goal to read 150 and even though at the beginning of the year it looked promising, little by little that "# books behind schedule" started to creep higher and higher. That's ok! I waffle whether to do reading logs each year. I may skip it next year and just read longer books that I've been meaning to. Here's some of my favorites. (warning: practically all nonfiction-gotta up my game next year!)

More than a Body: Your Body is An Instrument, Not an Ornament by Lexie and Lindsay Kite: I already wrote a lot about this book here but I think about it all the time. Excited to discuss it with our book club next month.

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin: This felt like the sequel to Sheinkin's Bomb. It was another stellar YA nonfiction that kept me engaged while learning lots of interesting history. Recommend for older teens and up. 

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus: I just fell in love with this sweet middle grade novel. It's set in WWII time about three orphans who are trying to find a new family to take them in. I especially loved the writing in this one. Felt like a classic. 

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang: This amazing graphic novel is about Yang's experience chronicling the high school he teaches at their basketball team trying to win the state championship game. Yang never liked basketball himself but comes to appreciate the sport and the people by telling their story. This was so much fun. 

This is All I Got: A New Mother's Search For Home by Lauren Sandler: A journalist who follows for a year the life of a brand new single mother who is homeless. This really made me see what a mess the welfare system is in terms of the hoops you have to jump to get help. There were many moments of frustration and disappointments, especially by the end by I appreciated learning and experiencing a life I know nothing about. 

Crossings by Melissa Inouye: I loved this collection of essays on faith, motherhood, struggle, just every day life (her Christmas cards were so funny to read.) I really loved her writing and would go back to read some particular essays that stood out to me. 

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat: I was completely enthralled with this story. I just had a baby a few days before this incident happened so I was really out of the loop on what went on even though I vaguely remember hearing about it. I loved the banding together of the country and even different parts of the world to help in this rescue. It was intense to read-I had to remind myself to breathe a few times. 

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe: Investigative journalism is becoming a new favorite genre of mine and this is an excellent piece of work. Keefe unpacks the Sackler rise and control of Purdue Pharma that manufactures and sells Oxycontin. What Keefe does is how the family was a major player in the opioid crisis and lawsuits against the family are still going on today. Such a fascinating read even for a whole 18 hours on audio.

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning of the History of Slavery in America by Clint Smith: I think this book is the most highly rated on Goodreads from my list this year. It's really hard not to love Clint's moving story by giving us a tour of key places in the United States and how they have reckon with slavery; places from Monticello to Angola Prison in Louisiana. This would be great paired up with Isabel Wilkerson's work. 

Other mentions:
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
Bridges: Ministering to those who Question by David Ostler
Chasing the Thrill: Obsession, Death, and Glory in America's Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt by Daniel Barbarisi
Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder

Movies/TV shows: First with movies, we've really enjoyed the newest Spider-man movies. Excited to see the latest one that just came out in theaters. I'm behind on the Marvel world but I always love a good Spider-man movie. If I could pick a favorite Hallmark Christmas movie, it would be Next Stop Christmas. It had a bit of time travel (with Christopher Lloyd in it of course) and it was so cute. And I waited 3 years for the latest Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie and it did not disappoint. These are produced/written by the lady who did Touched by an Angel. It's surrounding 4 "postables" who work in the dead letter office that return missing letters/packages to their attempted receivers. It's a mystery without the murder if you know what I mean. So heartwarming. Did I shed a few tears? Maybe...

With TV shows, easily the best show out there is All Creatures Great and Small. It is the most delightful show and I'm someone who doesn't really care about veterinary work. But it's based on James Herriot's real life experiences in the Dales in the early 1930's. And the scenery is breathtaking. Can't get enough of the show and so excited for its return this January!

Another Masterpiece PBS show that we enjoyed was Miss Scarlet and the Duke. She is a feisty independent woman trying to make a name for herself in the late 1800's as a detective in place of her late father. But no one will take her seriously to hire her because she is a woman. So sometimes she needs the assistance of her longtime friend, William, a Scotland yard detective, to make a name for herself. The banter between these two will make you go bonkers but I love Eliza's character. The first episode was a little weird and one episode was a bit slow but the last two (there are only six episodes) got really suspenseful and Austin totally called the reveal! Also, the opening song for the show is awesome.

Other fun discoveries:

My parents moved from their beloved home of 26 years and I had all the feels when my sister Emily put this video together to remember it. An absolute treasure of a movie and a home!

I was on a podcast! This was kind of on a whim but I shared my health challenge experience and what helped me with it. It's the Wisdom with Trish podcast, episode 62. 

Loved this podcast episode with Sheri Dew. She's one of my favorite people. 

What were some of your favorite things you discovered this year?

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Miracle of Baby #2

After I had my miscarriage in February 2020, I was told a couple of times that this is a good sign that your body is ready and you will probably get pregnant really fast. Well, fast is relative, because that took about 20 months to happen again. 

In the back of my head, I was worried about my thyroid in being one of the issues of my miscarriage. Obviously it could be a host of reasons but it was lurking back there and I wanted to address it. I got my blood tested and even though it was in the range that I wanted it to be, I said, "can I please just have the smallest dose as a placebo?" 

What took me a long time to realize is that I guess I felt like I needed to do everything I could the second time as I did the first. I just wish I got on the ball with other practices much sooner. I was religious about tracking my cycles but still nothing happened for about a year. 

In the craziness of the move in May 2021, I called my midwife to say we were moving and to move my prescription over (I realized later that this is a very simple solution on its own without calling a doctor.) She asked how the trying was going and kind of hammered about Vitamin D and C. And she wanted to know if I wanted to be referred to a fertility specialist. On the fly, I said I wanted to wait 6 more months. I am so glad I followed my gut. Not that fertility specialists wouldn't have been helpful, I just wanted to see what more I could do in the next 6 months. 

And I was curious if changing our housing situation from being stressful all the time to more relaxed state would help. Well, a new stress just got added in June when I became the primary president but that's okay. It was pretty crazy for those first few months but soon it really only occupied a couple days of the week instead of 24/7. Austin started taking Vitamin C in June. Last time we tried to just up our Vitamin C content through bell peppers but 3 yellow bell peppers a day is a bit much and so I just had him supplement. His sperm count is on the lower end and even though there's not much you can do to increase your sperm count, vitamin C can help sperm quality (according to this study.) And the fact that the midwife said something about it too gave me the push to do it. And I upped my vitamin D content. 

But the last thing that we did last time that we still hadn't done this time around was see a chiropractor. Back in 2015 when I saw a chiropractor for my back, he mentioned that a couple who spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatment got pregnant as soon as the husband got adjusted. I know, I know, chiropractors are not all powerful gods that heal everything and that there are just things that don't align but it did intrigue me. Also, because my mother had similar success after multiple miscarriages. 

When I got pregnant the first time it was soon after Austin had seen a chiropractor a handful of times while I had seen him for a while. I kind of nudged Austin to set up an appointment here. And the chiropractor that Austin saw found out we were trying to get pregnant and said he heard that once the wife gets adjusted, then there's success. Well, I thought I was fine but maybe I really needed to be nudged to get an appointment because I soon started getting weird numbness, tingling in my fingers. It was like a burning sensation that would not stop. I wondered if it was something neurological that adjusting the spine could help.

And sure enough, the second cycle, not even a month after starting to see a chiropractor, I get pregnant. A miracle! Seriously. Will this work every time? Who knows but so far we are two for two! I have definitely learned my lesson to not wait so dang long. 

On my 5 weeks, 6 days (the same day I miscarried on my second pregnancy), I noticed my temperature had dropped on my Oura ring. I was starting to have a love/hate relationship with this ring. I was grateful for the information but I was worried every time I pulled up my body temperature. So when I found out that it dropped that day, my heart dropped too. I might have cried all morning just waiting for the cramping to start but it never did. Then my temp when up the next day. It was so weird how it happens like that. It's almost like there's a 50/50 chance on that day that either the baby will stick or not. I'm not sure but I'm just so grateful that it stuck this time! 

I've seen the heartbeat a couple of times and so far everything looks good. So happy for another June baby!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What This Summer Brought Us

 The biggest change we made this summer is we moved! Just 1.5 hours south from where we were before but with COVID working from home became more of an option, and we had my sister and her family move out that we decided to make the plunge to move. It's the first time that we moved because we wanted to rather than for school or job location. 

It was a whirlwind as most moving processes is but all in all in went fairly smoothly. We had so much help from my parents and sisters and niece Sydney. This was the first move where I had most of my house unpacked by the first day. We have loved living closer to Vancouver where we miss the Bellevue and Tacoma traffic and so it's much more of a doable day trip. We also especially love living closer to Meredith and co. After our family reunions ended in mid July, we pretty much saw them every weekend after that till school started. And even then we find excuses like BYU football games to get together. 

Another whopping change was I got called into as the Primary president about 2.5 weeks after we moved in. Bishop couldn't see my mask when he asked but I'm sure my eyes told everything-shock beyond belief. Thankfully I had a lot of support from members who wanted to step in and help which was needed as the week after I was sustained, we had to get 2nd hour up and running. We've had lots of mishaps and I cry almost every Saturday night just thinking about church/Primary the next day. I'm trying hard to be comfortable with my uncomfortable feeling. 

We have lots of construction going across from the park outside. Dallin is obsessed with all things trucks so we frequently take his strider back out for a ride, wave to a few workers, and stare at the massive rollers and diggers around. For Dallin's third birthday, we got him a set of three construction toys that he plays with EVERY day. He formed his own construction zone in the front dirt area. In the summer, I would leave the front door open as to not worry the neighbors that I was not watching my child. ;)

We had so much fun hosting Dani and Nic and their kiddos for a few days. Got to do a beach-y type day where we happened to be hunting for gooey ducks. We watched lots of Olympics around here too and I loved going on a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood with Dani and chatting it up about all the things. 

More highlights were going to Ocean Shores and Westport with the Williams', doing a hike in Dupont (gorgeous!), eating copious amounts of blackberries and grapes that just lovingly appeared there in our back yard. Despite the heat wave, we still got a good amount of both. We went to the zoo, saw Hilary and Marjorie and their kids, Caitlin and Natalie came for lunch before they headed off to the beach. We also ventured to Lake Tapps where Austin's company owns an area of it. 

Labor Day weekend we went to Vancouver because Austin caught a flight to Utah and I wanted to hang out with family while he did so. His parents left for their mission to Brazil and then he stayed for the annual Bro's ultimate frisbee tournament. Dallin must have grown up or something because he had no problems ditching me to go to Viv's house to surprise Daisy from school. It was like he was a teenager and I said I'll see you at Bryson's track meet in a couple of hours! Viv was so nice to have him hang out at her place a couple of times. And Dallin had no problem orchestrating a baseball game with his cousins. Grandma came over to watch at the park and unbeknownst to her Dallin has a plan for her to: "Grandma, you be the umpire!"

Once Austin got back from Utah, we had already set up an appointment to do a session at the Portland Temple. Almost a year and a half later, we finally made it back! Felt so good. 

Austin completed a half marathon last weekend! Bryan roped him into doing it a few months ago so the last 12 weeks Austin has been training for it. We luckily have more of an area than our last place for walks and runs. Since it was going to be in west Seattle, we got a hotel for the night before. Dallin had just transitioned to a toddler bed and with a makeshift of pillows on the both sides of his body, he did very well! 

I was in the middle of reading Steve Sheinkin's latest book Fallout and it was the perfect pairing for Austin and I to watch the movie The Courier. Sometimes I can't believe things that happened in that time period is when my parents were alive and could remember details. Don't worry, Mom and Dad, you're not THAT old. :)

Bryan picked up Austin early Saturday morning and while they were running miles, I was watching college Gameday on ESPN and figuring out where to park to meet them at the finish line. I have never been to this area before so I did not know the ins and outs of the neighborhood. I managed to find a spot on a narrow road about half mile from the finish line. Since I have Austin's location on Google maps, I could see how about how long we would wait. They didn't finish together but within five minutes of each other. They clocked in about a 8.30 pace which is pretty amazing. Austin said he finished about 8th in his age division. 

It was perfect that the half marathon coincided with Caitlin's daughter Natalie's birthday party back up north. Afterwards we hung out at Farah's and Sham's place who are so gracious with lots of snacks. We had a fun time chatting with them before we headed home.

Last couple of summer things: Tacoma Rainier's game. Dallin has really grabbed onto baseball and is always practicing his bat or picking up grounders. I think he was overwhelmed with the fireworks when they hit homers (and they hit a few) but we all had a really good time! I would definitely go back. Now that it's officially fall season, that means lots of sport watching, which is one way I feel sane as a mom. Screen time has definitely increased around here. 

Excited for what fall will bring!