Capitol Reef National Park








On Valentine's Day this year, we bought a national parks pass. I thought we'd use it a couple times, enough to make it worth the cost. But then we came up with the plan of going to every national park in Utah this year. Greg knows my love for a plan. I like to say, "I can make anything happen, as long as you tell me in advance." So one day, he typed up his annual plan. Almost every week had something he wanted to do- some super simple and others rather complicated. He had planned out the year so that we had a timeline to visit all of the national parks. The last visit would be a camping trip in October to visit Capitol Reef. After we got pregnant and tried to figure out a baby moon, a lot of other things got put on the back burner. 

But last weekend, we made it happen! We went to Capitol Reef. It's probably been our most spur-of-the-moment trip we've had. We didn't take any time off from work, and I reserved the camping cabin only 2 days before we were there (which is rather atypical of me). We went to the grocery store the night before and we ended up leaving half our meals at home on accident, so we had to wing it. I think I should get an award for being so chill while pregnant. I'm working on my spontaneity. :)

So we drove down Friday night after work. A lot of the drive was dark but the moon was full and really low, so it actually lit up the landscape around us as we drove. We were on very small roads but Greg is a champion driver and he dodged all the deer. We were lucky to reserve a camping cabin. Unbeknownst to me, the elevation is very high in that area of the state and it was actually about 20 degrees colder there than it was in SLC that weekend. We were planning to camp in our tent, but I'm so glad Greg suggested the cabins because it was a dream to have 4 walls, a roof, and a heater. I thought we could just camp in the tent and save money, but Greg said, "I need my wife and baby to be comfortable. So the cabin it is." It was very sweet. 

The next morning we went off-roading for the first half of the day. A lot of the park is only accessible via small dirt roads so it was to explore. The trails were a bit more tame than what we experienced in Moab, but my belly wasn't mad about it. Actually, the day before I had a lot of nausea and I ended up having to leave work. I was worried that I wouldn't feel better for the trip and certainly wouldn't be able to handle the bumpy roads. But Greg re-routed our off-road course to be a bit shorter and luckily I felt fine. 

There was hardly anyone in the north part of the park. We drove for hours and only saw one other vehicle (that was lost). We thought the park would be much more busy, but it must not be too popular because we didn't ever have to show our park pass. Crazy! 

In the afternoon, we headed back down south to the visitors center. The town of Fruita is in the park and there are pioneer homesteads and fruit orchards. On the day we were visiting, they had a town harvest celebration that was really fun. We got to sample freshly squeezed apple juice, and we shared a homemade pie with fresh peaches and old-fashioned ice cream (I couldn't pick a flavor so I ordered all 3. Eating for two! I love this game.). We got to listen to a folk band and hear a ranger talk about the area. There were craft demos too. Greg and I stopped at the quilting one and they taught us how to do English paper piecing, which I've always wanted to learn. I also ran into an old friend from college who now lives in the area, so it was fun to catch up with him. 

On our way back to camp, we strolled through the orchards and took pictures of deer roaming through. When we got back, Greg made our fire and cooked our tinfoil dinners. We shared smores and eavesdropped on the conversations happening next to our cabin at the other fires. It was a perfect Saturday. And I'm so glad we made time to get there. 

Mom's 60th Birthday

My mom turned 60 this year! We had a big party in St. George last year for my dad, but my mom opted for a small gathering with just our little family. We started the morning with family pictures by Lindsey Shaun Photography, then a pool party lunch, naps, a nice catered dinner and a family council at the end. 

My siblings and I had been working for months on a book for her. I scanned in a bunch of her old pictures from growing up and just memories through the years. Then we contacted hundreds of people and asked them to write a birthday note. We gathered them all up and assembled them in a book with the pictures. It was really special to hear all the nice things people had to say about my mom, so I’m glad she has a book to remember all those nice things. 

These are a few of my favorite pictures from the day. Especially the one at the end of Greg adding some pizazz to the shot. Ha! 


Hobby Week



One of the perks of having more energy in the second trimester is that we're making more time for our hobbies. Greg has been baking up a storm and I've had more energy to cook other things. In those top photos, he made a steak and ale pie from scratch and it was incredible. That's even a "W" monogram in the top.

Greg has also been doing some maintenance on the dirt bike and taking apart the Magna and Suzuki. That boy is so happy in the garage and we're trying to make use of the space and time we have right now.

We reorganized the sewing room so that I can enjoy plenty more sewing in the space before we need to convert it to a baby space. I started working on my dream baby quilt. I went to the store and bought 36 different solid colors of fabric and made a rainbow quilt top. It came together really fast, but I wanted to do something different on the back. We were brainstorming what we could do and I told Greg a few of my ideas. I was trying to figure out how much fabric I would need and what the math would be on everything. We were both on the same page, but we came up with totally different ways to communicate. Mine is the top, and then his.

Ha! I got a pretty good chuckle over these diagrams. I focus on how it looks and he focuses on how it works. We figured out all the math with seam allowances and everything. It was fun to design and execute it together. I can't wait for the next quilt he can help me plan out. After I made the quilt top, we basted all 3 layers together while we watched the BYU vs Utah game. I hope our little boy appreciates the group effort we made in his baby quilt. Wishful thinking! He might not appreciate it for awhile, but at least it was fun for me. It's fun to picture him using it and taking pictures of him laying on top of it. Ah, we're so excited! 


Pregnancy Update: 20 Week Ultrasound

First, the good news: we found out the gender of our baby!
The bad news: there was more emotional trauma than I anticipated. 

These days, most people find out the gender of their baby quite early. There's all sorts of tests that can be done, especially if you have a high risk pregnancy. We opted out of the elective tests and just planned on waiting until the routine ultrasound. Our doctor told us that would be just after the 18 week appointment. So we planned on that. But then of course, I had to change my doctor and the new doctor has a policy to not do the ultrasound until you hit the 20 week mark. I was a bit sad about that, but I thought, "Hey, I've waited this long, what's another 2 weeks?" But apparently I'm in the minority, because when I went in to my 18 week appointment and met our new doctor, she said, "So do you know the gender yet?"
I said, "Well, no we haven't had our ultrasound yet."
She said, "Oh most people have gone on their own to Fetal Fotos at this point. They can't wait this long."

So then we looked into Fetal Fotos and then thought, no we can wait another week. Ha! So finally yesterday morning, Thursday the 15th, we had our ultrasound scheduled for 8:30 am as soon as they opened doors. We went in and had a great ultrasound. At this office, an OBGYN does the ultrasound instead of a technician so that they can see if there is an issue immediately. She took all the measurements and most everything is looking really good. It was so nice to see the scan and watch our baby moving around. The brain and spine and legs all look good. She pointed out what she looks for in the heart and the mouth. It's really neat to see the view with blood flow and you can see that things are moving and working properly. The whole thing was just very reassuring and comforting when you haven't SEEN anything for a few months. 

At the end, she started looking for signs of gender determination. Unfortunately the umbilical cord was in the way between the legs and she couldn't get a clear shot. She tried moving the wand around a bit and then said, "Well I'm not positive, but I think it's a girl. If I had to go Vegas, I'd say it's a girl. But don't buy anything pink yet because I didn't get a very good shot." Greg got excited and said, "ok great, it's a girl!" But her so-so answer wasn't good enough for me. I wanted a stronger confirmation of gender before I got pumped. Especially because I had been feeling like it was a boy, so I was OK to be wrong but only if I really was wrong. 

She did say one thing that she wanted to check again, so she said I should schedule another ultrasound for 30 weeks to check the concern and "we'll confirm the gender at that time." 

So Greg and I go into the lobby waiting for them to burn the DVD of the ultrasound to a disk. Greg tries to cheer me up and calm me down, but I was pretty frustrated. I couldn't sleep the night before and I'd been counting down the days until we would know the gender. We had both taken the morning off work and we were planning to go to breakfast after the appointment and going to the mall to pick out a new little baby outfit together. But none of that sounded fun anymore when we didn't have a confirming gender. And I was sad about it. I held strong until we got to the car and then I just started sobbing. I felt jipped. 

I texted my mom and sister, and they thought I was joking that the ultrasound was inconclusive about gender. I knew I couldn't wait for another 2.5 months and my mom certainly didn't want to wait that long either, so her and Melissa suggested I just bite the bullet and go to Fetal Fotos. I called the doctor's office and asked if there was any other way I could find out the gender but they pretty much only gave me the option of Fetal Fotos because there was no other medical reason that they should perform another blood test or ultrasound at this point. 

At this point it was 9:15 am and Fetal Fotos doesn't open until 10. I had been crying so much that I knew I needed to get water or I was going to get a headache. And I had been planning to go to breakfast, so I was super hungry. Plus I am pregnant and emotional, so hunger and thirst certainly don't help the equation. Ha! So we drove home. I got some toast and water and called to cry to my mom while Greg popped in the ultrasound DVD. I had him fast forward to the end and he paused at a spot where she was going to measure the femur. He thought he had seen a little something when we were at that point in the doctor's office. He said, "Remember when I squeezed your hand at that point? I thought I had seen something."
I said, "Oh I thought you were just excited that it had a long femur and would be tall like you!" Ha!

So we go through it slowly and Greg pushes pause at just the right spot. It definitely looked like a little boy part and not an umbilical cord! So Greg googles "baby boy ultrasound" and we're comparing the google images to the screen trying to figure it out. 
I said, "Ok this is too weird. I don't know if we can trust our screen shot of the DVD as our answer." So we racked our brains trying to think of who we know in the baby industry that we could text our screen shot to and see if we were right. 

Greg says, "Well I think at this point we have a 50/50 chance of it being either a boy or a girl. Let's just call Fetal Fotos." Ha! Greg calls and they have an opening in 20 minutes! 

We race down to Murray (and get there 15 minutes before they could take us, we were anxious). I had been chugging water because they said if my bladder had been full at the first ultrasound, it might have been better. But then at Fetal Fotos, they said they prefer if I have an empty bladder, so that's confusing. 

We go into the appointment with their ultrasound tech and it's totally different. At this point, we know that there are no issues with the baby and we'd just seen all the cute little things like the little hands moving and the foot print. All adorable, but I wanted to focus on the goal! Who is this kid? Baby girl or baby boy?!

Our tech there was really sweet and acted as if she plenty of time in the world. She let us just watch it moving around a bunch and showed us some of the cuter, traditional views like the profile and playing with its arms. It was fun. Then she focused in on gender. We could see the umbilical cord in the same spot but she moved it around a bunch and said she had a pretty good idea of what it was but she wanted me to lay on my side for a few minutes and poke around my stomach to try to get the baby to move. So I did just that. She came back in and we tried again. The umbilical cord and shifted over just slightly, but enough that we could definitely see a little nubbin on our baby boy! She went around and around and showed us the umbilical cord pulsating and transparent so we could really confirm it for ourselves. It was all so exciting!

We came out and she gave us our pictures and the proof we were looking for! I felt so relieved that my instinct was right and that we had a confirmation. Of course, I would have been ecstatic with a girl too but just knowing that we really had a gender and we had seen it for ourselves, was so neat. We thought about how good it was that we didn't do a gender reveal party, because the first ultrasound doctor would have just written "girl" on a piece of paper in an envelope. But we were really part of the diagnosis process and we're glad we were there to see it all and really know for ourselves that we are having a boy! 

At that point, we needed to get back to work so we didn't have time for our fun plans. Greg dropped me off back home so I could go back downtown and he could drive to Park City. Our families were excited for us and we're so pumped about how real the whole thing feels now. I feel like I can finally picture our baby knowing that he is a boy. 

I tried to think back about why it felt like a boy and there were a few random things. Here's one I feel comfortable to share: 

About a year and a half ago, we got tickets to go to EnduroCross. It's a dirt bike competition they have at arenas around the country and it's a tight course where the competitors go over big logs and rocks and race to the finish line. In between one of the races they brought out a bunch of little boys on mini dirt bikes to do a mini version of the course. They were probably between 5 and 8. And they were absolutely adorable. Greg had mentioned that he wanted our kids to dirt bike when they were young, but I hadn't actually seen a mini dirt bike rider and I just lost it.
He turned to me and said, "Wait are you crying right now?" 
Ha! I said, "Yeah, it's just really cute. That could be our boy someday." 
We were on the front row so I had a great view and they were just so cute. And I pictured a little boy of ours with all his gear and Greg teaching him how to ride. Of course we won't force him if he isn't into it, but I just really hope they can share that hobby together. And I'll be the overly worried soccer mom on the sideline. :)

As Greg says, we're just happy we have a healthy baby. But for me, I'm glad to finally know more about him and start prepping for the details!