Capitol Reef May 2017

The weekend we got home from the hospital after having Lars, both Greg and I were pretty fried. We'd waited for 9 months for his birth and now that he was here, we both felt a longing to resume our other activities we like to do. I think we were both in shock mode. So we sat down with the calendar and planned some tentative trips for the year. We decided Capitol Reef would be fun with a new baby because we could stay at the camping cabin at the RV park which has a heater and electric outlets. We were probably also feeling deprived from friends so we invited a bunch of friends to come down with us. It was a really fun thing for me to able to plan out the trip and have something to look forward to during those first couple months when it was really tough.

We went the first weekend of May. Sadly, I only have a few pictures because we were holding Lars a lot of the time and didn't have free hands. We had great food, visited the Gifford House for dessert, Greg and his friends played a few games, and we went on a hike. It was great to catch up with our friends we hadn't seen in awhile (6 of us have had babies in the past 6 months). But I think my favorite part of the trip was being with Lars outside. It was his first time being outside for long periods of time. We go on walks quite a bit, but he usually is asleep or the sun is out so his cover is on and he doesn't actually get to see what's happening. But when we were camping, we took turns holding him, just sitting on the camp chair and it was like he was a new baby! He was so calm and content and was happy as a clam to just sit up right and take it all in. I don't know if we can technically count it as his first camping trip since we were in a cabin, but it was fun!

One other little tidbit I want to remember. In this photo above, you can see that there are some dark clouds nearing. As we approached the end of the trail it started pouring rain with strong winds. The trail was really sandy so as the wind came, it whipped the sand in our face and eyes. It was a little scary since it came so fast. I was carrying Lars and I just hugged him and tried to protect his little face so he wouldn't getting any sand in his face. Greg was ahead of us trying to block the wind, but I felt like I had one of those "fierce mom - stronger than she looks" moments. I moved faster than I expected and I didn't care about anything but keeping my baby protected from the elements. I felt like  we were his protectors. And even though I don't really want to get trapped in a canyon during a storm with a small baby, it was a special little experience for me to see Greg leading the way for his wife and baby and finding us shelter. 


Birthday Week in St. George

Greg's last week at Skullcandy





The heavens smiled upon us for a 3 week break! Greg starts a new job today but he ended his job with Skullcandy at the beginning of April. His new employer knew we had just had a baby and so he told Greg that he didn't need to start the job immediately. So we ending up having him stay home for 3 weeks in between jobs and since I've been on maternity leave still, we've had lots of free time and it's been absolutely glorious! We knew we wanted to tackle a few home and personal projects, but we first wanted to make time for a vacation. My parents have a lovely home near St. George and they kindly said we could use it for a week, so we packed up and headed down! 

We had to pack quite a few more things than normal, now that we have a baby! We also had to make a few more stops so we could feed him and change his diaper on the way. But it was super chillaxing once we arrived. Every day was pretty much the same. We would both sleep in and play with Lars in the morning for an hour or so. He's so happy in the mornings after he's eaten so we like to just dote on him and take videos of him. Then we'd put him back down to sleep and eat breakfast and get ready for the day. When he woke, we'd go up to Snow Canyon and go on a hike with Lars in the carrier. After the hike we'd drive around the canyon and surrounding neighborhoods (we're working on a remodel, so we like driving through older neighborhoods and getting ideas for what we can do to our house) and then drive into town to get lunch somewhere. When we got home, we would take turns taking naps. One person would take a nap while the other would watch Lars and their favorite shows on TV. We usually watch TV together which means we have to find shows that we both like. But this was a nice change to have alone time so I could watch lots of Keeping up with the Kardashians and he could watch Top Gear and Grand Tour (auto shows). Then we'd go on a walk or run an errand. Then we'd make dinner and/or a baked good, puts Lars down to sleep, take the video monitor out to the hot tub, and then watch a movie. It was an absolute dream! We've been to my parent's house many times but it's usually for a long weekend so we don't get as much time to just chillax. 

A few other notable fun things. Greg had a good time driving the Razr around. The car seat wouldn't fit so he had to go on a solo trip. They are street legal down there so he had fun driving around and finding dirt trails to visit on his dirt bike at a later time. I enjoyed taking some walks with Lars while listening to my podcasts and trying to show him my favorite desert flora. He prefers sleeping right now, but I'm sure he'll be into it next time! We also re-watched some of our favorite episodes of Great British Baking Show and he some of our own baking. Greg made biscuits using his own starter, I made focaccia bread, and we made eclairs together. He also smoked some pork that was delicious! 

We celebrated my birthday while we were there and it was lovely. We got some tacos for lunch and then went to Neilsen's custard. Greg kindly took care of a fussy baby and a major diaper change in the car while I went in and got our order. We also celebrated my birthday earlier in the week with my parents in Lehi. We got sushi and Lars was a dream baby while we ate. And then we bought some Vans slip-ons for me at the outlets. Greg loves his slip-on Vans so now we're matching. :) When we got home from St. George, my mother-in-law made a lovely dinner for us to celebrated my birthday and Easter. Another wonderful year of life with the people I love! 


Name Origin: Lars Snyder Woolston

News to me! Naming a child is serious business. Of course I've thought about baby names my entire life, but not very seriously. There's one girl name that I've always loved but Greg isn't a fan. In regards to boy names, I had never really thought too much about it. But once we found out the gender of our baby, I was making lists and lists of potential names. I wanted to get a name picked out as soon as possible so that we could start getting to know him in the womb with his correct name. We spent hours and hours going through baby name websites, but in the end, we went with the first name we ever really talked about: Lars.


I was familiar with the name Lars but it was fresh in my mind after I married Greg. There is a movie called Heavyweights with Ben Stiller. He has an assistant from Europe named Lars. There's a part in the movie where Ben Stiller is lying down on a bed of nails and he wants Lars to put an ice block on top of his stomach, so he shouts, "Do it to it Lars!" So whenever Greg and I are getting to leave the house and I say, "Ok, are you ready to go?" He replies, "Let's do it to it Lars!"

Before we were expecting, I think we had mentioned that Lars could be a fun name since it already felt like we said that name a lot in our home. Greg also has a special place in his heart for those northern European names. He served his two year church mission in The Netherlands and so Lars is also a bit of a nod to his time there.

I really like that Lars is a short name. Woolston is 8 characters and a bit of a mouthful. Most of my other favorite boy names are long and just sounded too heavy with Woolston. I've realized the last few years that I really appreciate the Scandinavian mentality and I hope that Lars appreciates the regional origin of his name. I think they've mastered simplicity in design and lifestyle. I appreciate their aesthetic and that they're known tobe happy, even in the darkness and chill of winter. I hope that Lars appreciates the simple things too.

Both Greg and I have a Lars in our family history. I've really enjoyed family history ever since I took a class in college (and fun fact, I have been the family history consultant in my ward a few times). So I spent hours just clicking around on our family trees to see what sort of names we had in our history. It took awhile to figure out how to sync my account with Greg's, but I had a fun time doing it. And I love being able to tell people on both sides of the family where Lars came from. I also think it is nice that Lars has "Snyder" and "Woolston" from the paternal line of both families. But Lars comes from the family history of both of our mom's lines. It might be easier to just look at these screen shots of our family trees. Arla Cox is Greg's maternal grandma. His Lars lived in Denmark. Elmer Johnson is my maternal grandpa. His Lars lived in Norway.


Before we delivered, we had narrowed it down to 3 different names but we wanted to wait until we met him to make our final decision. One of the perks about the name "Lars" is that neither of us know anyone with that name, so it would be a clean slate with no bias or preconceived notions. We had about an hour alone in the hospital after the c-section when I got to meet Lars for the first time. It was a special time for our new little family and we decided that he was Lars right then and there.


As we talked about names, we had always planned on Lars being the middle name because I thought it was too unique to be his first name. But the more we talked about it, the more I wanted Lars as the first name. Because we knew he would take our surname of Woolston, we thought it would be nice if the middle name was from my side. I spent a lot of time looking at my family tree and trying to decide which name I wanted him to have. Ultimately I thought Snyder, my maiden name, summed it all up. It's the legacy of my mom's family and my dad's family and my family.


I have an unpublished blog post about my decision to take Greg's last name. I felt like it was important for the feminist in me to document that it was a process and a decision and not a blind expectation. Sharing a last name with Greg is now very special to me and I love that we share it. I don't have a middle name so my maiden name became my middle name, which I'm also very happy about. I'm glad that Lars can share in our last name too. And it's extra special for me that my son and I get to share two names. 

Not that it super matters, but I also really love that his name is like a pyramid. Lars is 4 letters, Snyder is 6 letters, and Woolston is 8 letters. The math and symmetry of it all makes me happy! 


Lars is in Charge

Greg loves to make up little songs. I didn't know this until after we were married and as we would get ready for the day he would sing to me, "Oh Rebecca, she's so kind, so sweet, so gentle..." Ha, it's great. But now there is a new special someone in his life and Lars is the main man in his songs. It's mostly just a melodic version of him saying, "You're a baby. You're a baby. Yes, you're such a sweet baby." If he's not singing that one, then it's this one... "Lars is in charge, yes Lars is in charge." Aint' it the truth? Lars has taken over our house and our hearts. I've seen some folks do what they call a "lifestyle newborn photoshoot" and it sounded really fun. I wanted to have some pictures to capture this phase of our life. Our new home and our new baby have transformed the past couple months of our life (and all our energy). My brother-in-law, Aaron, has started doing photography and he kindly offered to take some pictures of us when he was in town for a short visit to Utah. I'm certainly not the size I want to be and I haven't finished arranging things in our house, but I'm so so glad we took the time to capture this moment. Thank you so much Aaron! You're the best!