Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Year Late

Life gets crazy and busy and insane at times. This has been one of those years. But I've found blogging relaxing and helpful in the past so, since I woke up at 5 this morning and could not, for the life of me, go back to sleep here I am, typing away. It's been a year since I've posted almost, and what a year. So I'm just going to review some of the basics. And hopefully even put pictures. Although, 2013 was so busy I know I've missed some of things.
January I started my Practicum through school, which is basically like an internship. I consider myself VERY blessed because I was able to start working with a company that paid as well as offered awesome training and wide opportunities. I began working as a therapist, feeling lost, confused, and experiencing the joys and fears of actually trying to live my dream.
This time was very busy and not a good time for me. As I'm writing this I'm trying to decide and balance how much I should reveal or talk about. But I'm deciding to go with being authentic and real (something I am learning bit by bit is so critical to living life to it's fullest) so during this time, in retrospect, I realize how much I was struggling with depression, role-confusion, balancing, and surviving. I was balancing this practicum (a job in and of itself), my full-time job with the State, being a relatively-new Mom, and housework as well as school course work while my hubby was in school full time and trying to also work out being a stay-at-home Dad (not very well, might I add). I realized I was feeling a lot of resentment and frustration and, consequently, was having a difficult time managing everything. I isolated myself and didn't really tell Papa Hunter my frustrations or expectations. I did not want to admit, even to myself, how difficult everything was. Luckily, my practicum site offered to take me full time to where I only had to work at one place and could cut down my hectic-ness in life. This gave me a lot of opportunity to be more introspective. Again though, not much else can be remembered about January.
February marked my last month with DWS and I said farewell to what I considered my first "real-time" legit job. It was super difficult to let go of the part of me that had been building myself as a professional and reputation for knowing my stuff in this field. I also said good-bye to my awesome co-workers who had seen me through being a silly, naive and untried 20 year old, becoming a graduate student, to meeting and marrying my Mr. Right, transitioning to a home, and becoming a mother. I spent 4 years at DWS building many opportunities, dreams, successes and failures. It was difficult, bittersweet, but ultimately for the best to say good-bye and move into being a "full-time" legitimate therapist. TERRIFYING
Honestly, these months do not stand out as particularly eventful or filled with whimsy. I do know that I was busy working, trying to find the balance between these new roles and transitions while also balancing some of my own..."stuff".We did have Papa Hunter's birthday along with several other family members.
Papa Hunter opening a present. 
St. Patrick's Day Mustaches!
 Papa Hunter started a job after he was done with school for the semester and has been trying to figure out what path works best for him. Little Man continued to grow, started crawling and getting into everything. We did have a fun trip for Easter and spending time with cousins, grandparents, including going to the Zoo and Dinosaur Tracks.
With Grandma at the zoo looking at Rhinos

At the Dinosaur Tracks next to a footprint
Fun with cousins!

Our Little Man LOVED the sand
Happy Easter
Cousins in their Easter Finest
Eating the Easter Eggs
June was a great month! Mostly because my little brother came home from his mission!!! I was so excited to see him home and see the changes in him. The same day he came home was also Papa Hunter and my own 2nd Anniversary. It was so fun. We went up the night before and spent the night then met my family, who were watching Little Man, then went to the airport to pick him up. It was great and fun to see him. We spend the rest of June getting to re-know my little brother and having him get used to Little Man.

Finally Home!!!
Finally Meeting
July was filled mostly with working. I do know that I was stressed because my job was going slow. I was also worried a lot about school, meeting expectations while dreading everything. This is another moment that, in hindsight, I realize how much depression and inadequacy I was filled with. I did start as a therapist at a group home as well as the outpatient clinic that I was working at and got busier. I also began to recognize some of the signs I was showing and looking into what I needed to do to find help as well as moving myself out of isolation and reconnecting more. Including being more open about what I was going through. Little Man was beginning to stand up, was a rampage crawling everywhere and showed his more mischievous side. He also LOVED water.

August was dedicated to Little Man's 1st Birthday! We had a Monster party that was great. I know I felt so blessed to realize how much love and support we have.

Then we went to Lagoon and had lots of adventure. I hadn't been since the summer I graduated High School. It was so fun to be able to just enjoy and be filled with adventure. And it's slightly sad that that is considered adventure at times.

There was the family reunion we got to go to. My amazing cousin loves to take awesome pictures of Ammon during this time too.

We also found out that we were building our family.

In addition to this, Papa Hunter decided to stay working rather than going to school while he figured out what he was doing. I went through my first experience of all out failing something with school. And then had to rebuild myself from that. It was an amazing experience. I know, no one really cares about this. But it was a huge thing for me, super hard to admit, especially to myself, to rebuild and recognize that I am okay even though I failed. And the opportunity to try again and do better. It was difficult, terrifying, frustrating, disappointing, and wonderful. Because I had to rebuild. And I had to learn to be okay with it. And I grew amazingly from this experience. That was really, most of my August. Learning, rebuilding, and fixing. Also, Little Man began walking, which swiftly turned into running and keeping us busy.
These 3 months were mostly spent dealing with pregnancy sickness, realizing that it is normal to be EXHAUSTED when you are pregnant with another child running around everywhere. My cousin took our family pictures. That was great and amazing. Even though it was hectic.

Including this Little Man with his handsome uncles.

Papa Hunter's sister got married. I didn't get the opportunity to take pictures of that. But it was a great wedding. In addition to this we just kept busy with work, school, including retaking the class I failed and having to redo the huge project in front of EVERYONE. And passing!! And coming to the conclusion that I did not need to pass to be a person of worth and value. Which is pretty amazing. We did celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving but nothing big or extravagant. I mostly just felt blegh with pregnancy.
This month I reached the conclusion that I had been balancing and dreading and pondering for 5 months. I talked with Papa Hunter and then gave my official notice to my work that I was going to step down to part time and take less and less work the closer I get to having my baby. This has been a very difficult decision for me because it means that I am depending a lot more on Papa Hunter to provide and take care of us. Also I've been working really hard the last 3 years with school and I will graduate right before I have this baby. I also am having a hard time balancing between the desire to be known as a professional and a "therapist". With this I am also have been having a hard time battling the desire to want to be home and be a Mom. After much prayer and discussion, we realized that it was important to me to work more on being a Mom. This also means that I will need to learn to budget better since we will be more tight with money. It will be an adventure and terrifying. I'm certain that I will continue to have moments where I am wondering what I was thinking. And other times when I feel conflicted and guilty. Because I already do. However, I also feel this is the right decision, however difficult, for our family. The nice thing is I will still continue to work, I will just take on a few clients and reserve most of that to 2 evenings a week. This is especially helpful for me the close we get to Baby #2.
We did find out that Little Man is having a brother!! We are so excited to have another little boy and to be able to watch our boys grow and learn together. Two of Papa Hunter's sisters are also expecting, one is having TWIN girls and another boy, so now there will be a lot of cousins to play with. That was our Christmas gift. Then Christmas was spent watching Little Man experience the joy of Christmas.

2014, for me, has been dedicated on being more authentic and real as I experience and learn and go through this last painstaking semester of school to graduate. I am learning to balance and be a better mother, therapist, wife, and person. Which also means admitting I'm flawed, learning to say no, and letting go of most of the expectations I have that are not helpful. I get to spend more time with Little Man but am still learning, slowly, to balance work with this as well. So far our year has mostly been dedicated to adjustments. And being real. We will have Baby #2 in May 2014 and I am expected to graduate April 2014. Papa Hunter is expecting to start school in Fall. And I will hopefully learn even more about balancing, learning, and being more real as I get this through. I am not making any promises on updating this, however, I am hoping to update this blog more. It's relaxing for me and a way to use more creativity. We'll see. But for now. Here's a year.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2012 In Review

Hallelujah! 2013 is here! 2012 was a great year, a blessed year. But I am most certainly excited to bring in the New Year. But even still here is 2012 is review.


We brought in the new year in style, by spending the evening in Bryce Canyon at Ruby's Inn. They have a great party there that is "fun for all ages. We rocked and rolled and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. After it was over you also get to enjoy the awesome in and the beauty of Bryce Canyon.

January brought the announcement of our upcoming pregnancy. It was also filled with morning sickness, school starting, and many evenings with me hiding in our bedroom while Weston cooked dinner because I couldn't handle smells. We also were blessed to first hear our babies heartbeat.  We were also starting to adjust to the idea of being parents. Slowly. Very Slowly.

I think February was very similar to January: School, Work, Hiding from nauseousness. I am pretty sure we celebrated Valentine's with Weston eating and me hiding out.

March is Birthday month in our family. Wes turned 23 and his brother turned 10 as well as our 2 nieces having birthdays.

For Easter we got together with family and enjoyed ourselves. Also school was finally finishing up. I decided to take another semester off due to the whole pregnancy thing. I figured this would give me the time I needed to focus on becoming a mommy...and fat, hot, and swollen. April also consisted of a wonderful Girls Weekend with the Hunt side. We had a blast just 5 of us. Enjoyed warm weather and thoughts of spring.

May started to get more interesting. I started showing a bit. At least I thought I was huge at the time. Now I truly do know different. In May we found out that we were having a BOY! We also went to Lake Powell with the Hunt family and I caught my first, and second and third, fish. We got new carpet as well *Woot Woot*

Wes & I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I still cannot believe we have been married for 18 months now and 1 year then. And I even more could not believe that we were pregnant! But such is life, and it is enjoyable through it all. We went to the Aquarium and then got lost trying to find our hotel. It was adventurous at least. We reminisced and enjoyed ourselves. On our way home we stopped at Temple Square. In June one of Wes' Aunt's passed away from cancer and my Dad had knee surgery, then blood clot's in his leg. It was a scary time for my family but we were very blessed.

The only real thing I remember about July is that it was stinking hot! I was fat. And emotional. I craved Winger's Cookie Zookies. I had an Uncle that passed away unexpectedly. That was a shock for the family. Wes stabbed himself. And I turned 23. And went on lots of trips up the mountain and 4Wheeling since I was a blimp.

This was the best month of the year. August started in a very upsetting manner: I was STILL pregnant. And my little guy held out 5 days past his due date. I hated people asking me "Are you still here?" !@$% BUT on August 14 my water broke. And at 7:30 am on August 15  they did an emergency C-Section. And I had my little miracle. I LOVE BEING A MOM!!! The rest of August, September, and October mostly revolved around him with some additional drama from other things. 

Being a Mom. And a trip to the emergency room. Oh and I started classes again.

The first of October was when they finally verified that I had blood clots. And I will honestly say I think it was one of the scariest things that has happened in my marriage. A day or so after I had my baby I had this pain in my back. We figured it had more to do with the epidural. Then a couple of weeks later I was up at night and got this terrible wrenching pain in the center of my back. It was really weird and very painful. But it went away after about an hour so Wes and I kinda shrugged it off. It happened another time a few weeks later. And again about a week later. This time we were at my parents and it lasted a lot longer. Since it wasn't going away quickly this time my Mom insisted that we go the the ER (hence Sept). They took an x-ray and did blood work but nothing really showed up that couldn't be explained by my recent c-section. So they gave me more pain medication and told me that hopefully it would go away. 
Well it didn't. Because I have a high family history of blood clots I asked my family physician about the possibility of blood clots but he told me that it was likely not to be because blood clots don't hurt in the back. And I should be out of breath and not able to be active. I was walking 2-3 miles everyday with a friend and was feeling fine unless I had the pain. The next time it happened my Mom talked to an Aunt about it. Thank goodness. My Aunt actually had a similar thing happen to her with all 3 times she had blood clots. That morning my Aunt called me and insisted on my getting another Dr. appt. and insisted on coming with me. Then told the Dr., in a very matter-of-fact manner, that it was blood clots. He didn't really believe her but conceded to a blood test that would not prove blood clots but would rule them out. It didn't. So my Dr. instead decided that it would be good to get a CT Scan. That showed that I had multiple blood clots on both sides of my lungs. They immediately insisted that I spend some time in the hospital and started me on blood thinners promptly. So we enjoyed another fun-filled stay at the hospital. 
That's actually where Ammon first smiled voluntarily at me. He did really good at the hospital, even with the new diet change. They had to put me on a shot on top of the other blood-thinner until they for sure got the levels they wanted, this meant that I had to stop nursing for a week and formula feed Ammon. He was a pretty good sport about it all-in-all. 
I don't know if it's the medication or the blood clots but after that I really did feel like I had clots in my lungs and it's taken longer than I anticipated to get back to semi-normal.
The rest of October really was good. I had class often and Weston was always able to come up with me. We also got to go see Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. It was great! Then Halloween came! It was my favorite. We dressed Ammon as a dragon and Wes was a knight with me the princess. 

Ammon was blessed the first weekend in November. We had so many amazing supportive people. It was wonderful. I'm so grateful for them. I went back to work as well. It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. Luckily Weston was able to stay home with him because his job had slowed down. So he played Mr. Mom while I went to work. Even still, it was very hard for me to figure out. It's funny how things change. When I was in high school I could not imagine being a stay-at-home Mom. I was determined to work. In college that changed to where I did NOT want to work. When I got married I figured we'd just see where we were at. I didn't mind thinking I'd have to return to work. But it was a lot more difficult than I imagined for that. 
That being said I'm not making a statement saying whether or not women should stay at home. Quite frankly I don't think anybody has the ability to say whether or not that is right or wrong for another person because there are so very many reasons and situations to consider. I have a hard time hearing people say "You should do this. You should do that" etc. And I'm not sad that I went back to work. It was really difficult  though.

December was fun. Christmas was great, although we learned that we will not travel for Christmas again. We didn't even have to hide Ammon's presents and it was difficult. Weston surprised me with a band for my wedding ring. It' s so pretty. Ammon LOVED ripping the paper. And he's really enjoying his toys. December was otherwise pretty basic. Both Wes & I started preparing for school again and I began applying for Practicum sites. Otherwise though things were fairly basic of work, home, repeat. 

Here are some pictures depicting  2012. (Not in order)