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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brad Paisley & Mountain Splendor!

All Summer, I'd heard about the Brad Paisley/Dierks Bentley concert tour. It was coming to Phoenix!.....but in October, after I'd moved. It was at the Delaware State Fair!......but the day AFTER I was there. When I moved to Utah, I saw it would soon be playing here! And guess who got us tickets to go? We had a great time singing along to the songs & hiding under blankets when it started to rain! It was fun to see Rob laugh at the funny Brad Paisley songs he'd never heard (if you're not familiar with the guy--you tube a few of his songs. He's got quite the sense of humor, poking fun at our society!). The music also gave Rob the itch to go Country Dancing, causing him to spontaneously twirl me a few times, and declare music like that gives him the desires to move clear out to the middle of no where, and bail hay! :)Earlier that day, we tried to catch a tour at the Mt. Timp caves, but opted out of waiting in line for 3 hours. Instead we drove a little further for some great pictures, and exploring-the-woods adventures! I LOVE being out in nature. A fellow teacher this week said Utah "feeds her soul"--and I'd have to agree. This place is beautiful!!

We crossed a fallen tree to get to the other side of a creek, only to find that there was about a 20 foot climb up a 75 degree angled mountain side. Rob opted to shimmy up another fallen tree, while I got on all fours and pulled myself up the side, using roots, and a random rock or two! After trompsing through the woods for a good 15 minutes, Rob had the great idea to just take our shoes off and cross the creek (instead of go wayyyyyyyyy back and slide down the mountain wall, then cross the tree). It was a great idea!! Well......until we stuck our feet in the water! I thought Bear Lake was 10x's colder, but Rob thought it was nearly ice water and couldn't get out of it fast enough! All in all, it was an awesome day--lots of beautiful scenery, great music, and fantstic company! :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All Better!!

I really have to start busting my camera out up here in Utah a little more often. I come on here to update, and have no visual aids!! Suffice it to say.....I AM HEALTHY again!!! (Yay! *clap*clap*clap*!). I was a little worried my "disease" (as Dr. Tx so kindly put it), would last months--but after getting quite bored this past week on bedrest, AND spending a whole day yesterday running around town and not getting tired, I've realized that the stinky Mono virus is gone!! May he never come back!!!

So now it seems the real adventure begins! I get to try out my new ward today (by myself--ack! Slight anxiety with that one, but I know it'll be fine once I give it a week or two......or three or four...:) AND I finally get to start my new job on Monday! I went to a parent orientation on Friday, where I was introduced to the parents of a bunch of children I have never met, then blankly tried to answer their random questions: "Tell me, Ms. Beth, what do those Greek symbols on the poster over there in the random corner say?" uh............sorry! It's all Greek to me!

I am thrilled however to finally have some energy back and get back to a normal life! It's been awesome to have some extra time on my hands and slow down a little bit. Got to work on some stuff I never take time for (we're talking busting out the old crochet skills & listening to Tennis Shoes Among the Nephite tapes...I'm sorry, but Harry Potter has nuthin on that adventure series! :)

I also have been enjoying the adventures of living with an engaged girl one month before her wedding! Sandra is awesome and has been one of my closest friends for 8 years. I love the long talks we have about relationships in general, what we're learning, what we love, what we're confused about, and just the general strength and peace we bring to each other. I was actually sitting in a temple session this past week, surrounded by women, and had this longing come over me to be with Sisters again (i.e. I miss Relief Society!!!!!). There is something sacred and awesome about the bond between girls!

OH--and I may have found a new fave restaurant! Rob and I went to some steak house last night....and wouldn't you know I can't remember the name! :( Anyway, it was kind of like the Texas Roadhouse, only fancier (you couldn't throw the peanut shells on the ground!). Really nice place, great service, and the food was a-MA-zing! They gave me this baked sweet potato, complete with cinnamon butter, marshmellows, and toasted pecans. HOLY HANNAH! It was like sweet potato pie for dinner...mmmm, mm :) Anyway, I highly recommend this place to any and all who can figured out the name of it! It was by Trolley Square....which means nothing to all of you outside of Utah! Oh well! :)

Happy Sunday everyone, and have a great week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lovin' Utah!

It's officially been a week now that I've been calling Utah home again, and even though I've spent the majority of that lying around in a bed, I can honestly say....I LOVE UTAH!!! It just might have a little something to do with the fact that it's been in the mid 80's all week (compare this with seering 110 AZ heat I left last week). I love the fact that when I went outside the other night, I had to bring a jacket with me, just in case! (I was going to post pictures, but just realized I haven't taken any this week.....so enjoy sunset at Bear Lake!! It's only 2 weeks old, so recent enough :)

I am feeling worlds better in the health department. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and well wishes for getting better. I remember the moment I overheard the Doctor urgently order a "Mono Spot" and the words "94% positive.....Mono.....Alamo....Room #7...." came drifting back to me that interesting night I spent in the care of ER's oh-so-not-comfortable services. I was in complete denial and a feeling of devestation came over me with what Mono would mean for me as I moved states and was scheduled to start a new job--a dream job--in just 2 days. I had a good 2 hours to mull the idea over and accept the fact before Dr. TX (Yep, that was his name--Tex. He came complete with rattlesnake cowboy boots!!), before he came in and dropped the news. He said it so gravely......he kinda scared me. It was like he was telling me I had terminal cancer. Seriously, it's just Mono.

What I have come to discover however is that.....bedrest ain't so bad :) Actually, I've come to realize it's a matter of attitude. Sure, a few days have beeen mind-boggingly boring as I've itched to get outside and have a little fun. Sure, it's both frustrating and a major guilt trip that I've put my brand new school in the position of starting school without a teacher (or a replacement). However, I've also come to relish this rare occasion to have TIME. My room is nearly all put together and unpacked (wait....that might not technically be "bedrest" activities....so....shhhhh!), catch up on some books, email friends and family, and basically....just BREATHE! I've actually really loved the thinking time & non-rushed scripture study. I could still do better with that, but it's been a great time to reflect.

I've come to realize these past few months what is important and who is in control (hint: it's not me). I have been humbled (and then humbled again when I don't get it the first through third times), my patience tried, my faith tested. It's been an interesting journey--a whirlwind that has come so quickly, and yet moved so slowly at times. At this point, all I know is how extremely blessed I am, and how grateful I am to "the true and living God" (Moroni says it a lot in the last chapter of Mormon--I love the phrase. We're given this time on earth to come to know and serve the True and Living God.)

I am greatful that I even though I'm sick, I'm not in pain. I'm greatful at the huge improvements I've seen in my health--especially the signs that my Liver is doing better. I'm greatful to be eating solid foods again--even if it is just Hamburger Helper noodles, minus the hamburger! I'm greatful I have an excuse to buy & drink Naked Juice (that stuff is divine!! Way too expensive, but simply heavenly :). I'm greatful for loving family & friends who have been so supportive. And I am greatful for the feeling of peace and calm I have right now--even when everything that I think is so important to my life right now seems to be dangling on a cliff about to fall right out of my life. It's been interesting to see the important things to me threatened, and to feel a peace that even if I lose them, life will be okay. In fact, life will still thrive, and march forward. God is in control. There's a huge peace that comes with that knowledge. I keep thinking of President Gordon B. Hinckley's advice he constantly gave out--"All will work out. Stick with it, with time, all will work out."

Anyway, enough philosophizing :) Point is (here's the cliff notes version people can jump to for the udpate!) I am feeling better! I am happy, and life is good :) Rob and I discovered a Nickel Cade around the corner from my house today too (It's an archade with old games from the 80's, and everything's a nickel to play. We went in with 5 bucks worth of nickel's, played our hearts out, and still walked out with a cupfull of change.)---It was a good day :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sick Days & Moving Adventures

Phew, what a weekend!

This past week just may have been one of the most stressful in my life, but also one filled with blessings. Throughout last week, I kept coming down with a Fever/headaches/sore throat-etc. Took a few days off of work, but just kept plugging along with the packing. Gave a teary-eyed announcement to the kids at work that it was my last day, only 10 minutes before they went home for the weekend. I didn't get to say good-bye individually to all that I wanted to, which kinda bummed me. They are fantastic kids though. Whoever gets them next...well, let's just say I'm jealous!! Thought I was doing pretty good till I took my Dad out for his Birthday Dinner on Friday night: I was sitting at dinner with my Dad and couldn't even get interested in my big bowl of spaghetti. I hadn't really eaten much in 3 days, and still....just wasn't interested in food. I was also FREEZING cold (in 115 Phoenix heat), so I told him I was going to head out to the car to get my jacket, and insisted he not get up, just enjoy his dinner, I'd be right back. Well, as soon as I was headed out to the car, my feet felt like lead, and all I wanted to do was climb into that car and sleep. I had to convince myself it would be rude to leave my dad in the restaurant by himself! So I came back and went into the bathroom. I sat down in a stall....and completely fell asleep. 15 minutes later I woke up, shook myself awake a bit, and came back out to a pretty worried father and apologized. I could barely keep my head up at dinner, wouldn't touch my food...and we eventually decided to forgo the rest of the evenings plans so that I could go home and go to bed. I put on sweats, and still with the chills, was asleep by 8:15, burning up with the hottest fever of my life, completely exhausted and feeling bad that I couldn't treat my Dad to more of a birthday evening, AND that I was missing Rob's birthday party as well.

Saturday I had the whole day to myself for packing, and did so. But...again, by 6:30, I just began to feel nautious and wiped out. I was forcing myself to eat throughout the day, but still not really even hungry. My 6:30 "nap" turned into a 13 hour nap.

Sunday, I got up early and went and picked up my Budget rental moving truck. Rob got back from Mexico and we got to visit both our Phoenix single's wards and say bye to people & introduce each other to friends and leaders. It was pretty fun, and there were some great talks! It was also officially Rob's birthday, so we celebrated with a frozen pizza, a cheesecake bday cake, and some presents.

Isn't he cute? I just love that picture :) I'm happy I got to celebrate his birthday with him, he is a fantastic guy that has enriched my life so much. It was a quick celebration, but fun :)

After that, we got to packing and some friends came over to help. As soon as I got up and started moving around again to pack....I just started feeling sick again. I was thinking, "sheesh Beth, you only get sick when you start to pack? C'mon!", so kept going and trying to get this stuff together. I had started to notice that day as well that both my skin and eyes were telling yellow, and that I kept getting bloody noses. I would also start feeling nautious when I smelled greasy foods (particularly fried chicked at the grocery store had about done me in the day before!) Part way through the packing, I walked into the kitchen, took one look at our leftover birthday pizza, spun around in disgust and for the first time in my life, began vomiting into the kitchen trashcan. I just stood there shocked! What on earth??? I took off for the bathroom, and felt it rising again, and to my horror, saw this stuff go flying through the air before I could even reach the toliet. Next thing I knew, there was Rob, patting my back, and lightly joking as I sat there crying and puking into the toliet. Definitely an embarressing experience, and one I will never forget. Rob became a superhero to me in the minute though, and I am grateful for his help and support in getting me through the rest of the evening.

Long story short, I ended up in the ER that night, hooked up to an IV and getting bloodwork done. Turns out I have a severe case of Mono that has begun to affect my Liver (the yellow skin, eyes, lack of appetite, inability to digest protein & grease, and bloody noses are all signs of liver problems...who knew!). I've been ordered on bed rest for this whole week, with a possible 3 more weeks of recovery. They were horrified to find out we had a moving van packed and were about to head across the country, and when I told them I was starting a new job that week, they said, "Mmm....bad timing. Too bad, you are not to enter schools."

As much as I was not planning for this, I am extremely grateful it was not my gal-bladder (which would require surgery), and am glad I don't have some weird Hepitits A thingy (the other yellow eyeball disease). I'm grateful my "treatment" is to sit around and read books and blog!! I really wish this had not fallen on the week I started a new job or the week I was moving. However, have been completely taken by surprise at the friends who have stepped in and taken care of everything I could not this weekend, without complaint or request of any return favor. A big thank you to my parents who have been a source of comfort, support, and information from afar. To Angela Cronnin for listening to some TMI abt me and offering her medical advice, to the Wolfgraham boys for moving my furniture like it was a bunch of toothpicks, and to Mandy Nielsen for giving of her time to move boxes, to Lynn for taking care of tying up loose strings with the apartment, and of course to Rob, who is quite possibly the most patient man on earth!

We spent 15+ hours driving up to Utah in the Budget truck (with the car attached, we couldn't go more than 55mph, and only about 35 mph up the hills!). Rob wouldn't let me drive, which was kind of him, and I'm impressed he took on such a big project. We had some good quality time together and enjoyed the adventure for what it was worth :) He finished all the packing, and has been taking care of things up here in Utah as well. Seroiusly, the man has superman genes in him, I'm amazed he's pulling this off! :)

This weekend was definitely an adventure I will never forget. Thank you to everyone!! Our driving pictures from yesterday: