Tuesday, April 30, 2013


We're done. D-O-N-E. 

I graduated on Friday. G-R-A-D-U-A-T-E-D. School has never come easy on me. BYU was never easy  for me. In fact, there were times when I just wanted to give up. Before my mission, I even thought about moving back home afterwards. I even looked at some schools out in PA because I didn't think BYU was right for me. 

Clearly, I came back to BYU after my mission. It just felt right to come back. I'm so glad I did. Not just because I met Darin here, but because I really began to enjoy BYU and the great education I was receiving. I was a lot more serious about my schooling and fell in love with Spanish all over again through many of the classes that I took. 

After Darin received his bachelors, we talked about moving away if he got into a PhD program. Just the idea of doing that was really hard for me because it meant that I wouldn't graduated. I was sad that he didn't get into a PhD program, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to graduate. It's been a long road. Not the easiest road to walk down, but worth it. 

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Graduations sure can make a person sleepy...
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And...I'm so proud of my husband for completing his MASTERS! He's worked EXTREMELY hard the last two years, not only with his school work, but he also worked 30 hours a week to help support us and pay for school (Yup, you heard right, 30 hours while doing all of his school work on top of that. I married a stud). Oh, and he had a baby! Okay, he didn't literally HAVE the baby, but his time became consumed not only in school and work but also in caring for a crying baby in the day/night and taking care of his emotional healing wife. He deserves a trophy. Somebody give him a trophy. Or a job. Yes, a job would be preferred at this point. 

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Peace out BYU. It's been real.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leadoff Homerun

I've been home from my mission for exactly three years today. THREE years. That seems like such a long time. That IS a long time. It just feels like a dream of the past. I miss that feeling from when I first got home, when the mission was still so present. When my dreams were filled with my friends from Argentina and I ate cucumbers and tomatoes covered in lemon. Back when I thrived for opportunities to speak with anyone in Spanish. Back when I wasn't embarrassed to speak it. Back when it felt so comfortable. Man oh man have things changed. Not everything. I may have forgotten a good chunk of my Spanish vocabulary. I may have an even more oober gringa accent than I did previously. I may have started using salad dressing on my salads again instead of lemons. I may have stopped running up to any person that looked the slightest bit Hispanic to talk to them. But some things haven't changed. Some things have only gotten better. I learned things on my mission that have affected who I am, every single day of my life. Things that have made me the wife I am and the mother that I strive to be. Things that taught me how to love, to be a friend, to work hard. Things that strengthened my understanding of life, my purpose, my family, my agency, my Savior. I love my mission. I love remembering all of the lessons that I learned. I love remembering all of the INCREDIBLE people that helped me learn those lessons. They have impacted my life eternally.

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In other news, we went to the BYU baseball game last night. Besides being slightly cold, it was fun. Gotta love that feeling that a baseball stadium emits. It's something special. Especially when the first pitch to a player from your team gets hit out of the park. Pure bliss.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birthday Sunday

Dad arrived on Saturday after a long day in four different airports. We were so excited to see him, especially Shae. He got to meet Grandpa K for the first time.

Waiting at the airport.

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We made our way back up to SLC on Sunday morning to celebrate Dad's birthday. We started the morning by going to Music & the Spoken Word. Amazing. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is always amazing but it was even more amazing to hear them in person in the Tabernacle. 
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The prophet was 10 rows in front of us (right behind the TV). It was pretty cool to be so close.
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After Music & the Spoken Word we went to church and then to Amelia's to enjoy Dad's birthday lunch and cheesecake.
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After which, we made our way back to temple square to do a tour of the Conference Center and walk around the temple and enjoy the beautiful weather.
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This room had paintings of all of the modern-day apostles that have passed away.
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The boys looking down at the waterfall from the roof of the conference center.
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"Is that my phone vibrating in my pocket?"
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"Why yes, yes it is." (It was the family calling to wish him a happy birthday. Precious).
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Once the boss got fussy we decided it was time to be on our way.
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We are so blessed to live so close to Salt Lake City, a place with so much church history. It was fun to spend the day up there and even more fun to be with my dad on his special day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Shiny Bandaids

The Mister received his first dose of immunizations today. Three shots and one taken orally. The nurse was pretty surprised when he got so excited to suck down the first vaccine. He went to town. "Wow, he didn't even spit any of it up," she said. Of course he didn't. He doesn't waste anything. It all stays inside, never comes back out. That's our boy for you. The kid gets excited about anything going in his mouth. The Tylenol we gave him afterwards was a welcome treat. He slurped it right up, clearly mouthing that he wanted more after the last drop had been swallowed. I considered it his "good boy sucker" for handling the shots like a champ. 

And he was a champ. It was slightly entertaining to watch his face as she poked him (I know, I'm a terrible mom). He was totally calm, she poked him and then he got this confused look on his face and after finally processing what had just happened a few seconds before, he let it out. Poor kid. But he didn't cry as long as I expected him to and was totally calm a few seconds later. 

Seriously, he was a champ.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Baby Story

I've been thinking about writing up a little birth story for oh...about two months now. Every few days I think to myself, "I should probably do that today." Today is that day.

I'll try not to make this TOO long, but I'm not making any promises. And consider this your warning  if pictures with blood or words like cervix and vagina make you squirmish  you might just want to hit the big red X up in the right hand-side of the page. You've been warned.
Shae was due to come on February 6th. By the due date I hadn't felt one contraction and was only dilated to a 2 and 80% effaced. The doctor had already told me that I would most likely be induced a week later and although I wanted to believe with all my heart that that wouldn't be the case, it was. Stubborn body. 

The evening of Monday the 11th of February we went in to the hospital at 6pm. I wasn't screaming and stopping every couple of seconds like I imagined doing the day we went to the hospital. Instead of picking up the phone outside of Labor & Delivery and shouting, "I'M HAVING A BABY! LET ME IN!", I picked up the phone and said, "hello, I am here to be cervically ripened. Can we come in?"

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By 7pm I was in bed, hooked up, and had my first dose of ripening meds shoved up me. It was a long night without much sleep to say the least. Not because I was in pain, it was just hard to sleep with so many monitors on me that kept moving around. The nurse kept coming in to fix the monitors and give me more medicine to help my cervix soften and prepare for labor (and I swear I had to pee every 45 minutes).

6am came and the Pitocin was started. Nothing happened. (I had assumed that the Pitocin would be started and that I would start feeling wicked contractions instantly. I was wrong).

10:30am my water was broken. I was still only dilated to a 3 at this point, but after they broke my water I did start feeling stronger contractions and they continued to get stronger. I knew I was going to get an epidural at some point, so by 1pm the contractions were strong to the point that I didn't care to feel anymore so I asked for the epidural.

This is when my bestie Kaitlyn showed up to start taking pictures (THANK YOU KAITLYN!).

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It was pretty boring at this point. Just waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

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There were a couple moments where the epidural wore off slightly.
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The doctor was SO great. At 4pm I was only dilated to a 5 and started getting scared that they were going to want to do a C-section because of how slow everything was progressing. The doctor was very comforting and told me that things were going slowly, but that I was making progress. Slow progress, but progress none the less and that we would just keep waiting and not to worry.
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Two hours later at 6pm the nurse checked me and told me to get ready to start pushing. I couldn't believe that I had progressed so much in two hours! It was such a relief to hear her say that, and at the same time that meant I had to start pushing. I was a bit scared for this part.

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7:05pm. Push. This was my least favorite part of all. It was miserable. I felt weak, dehydrated and hot during the whole thing. I really hated not being able to eat/drink all day. (Definite perk for people who manage to give birth with no meds).

Feeling so weak really made it hard on me. Thankfully I had my mom there to feed me ice chips in between contractions and my husband there to root me on.

I really wish that I had asked for a mirror. I think it would have help motivate me a lot if I could have seen what was going on, rather than just feeling like nothing was happening (besides my head being on the verge of explosion). The moment that got me through it all was when I heard Darin say something to the effect of "Oh my gosh Brillante! I can see his head!" That's when I decided that I really could do this. Right after that, I remember telling myself that he was coming out on that next push. Sure enough, he did.

7:51pm. Baby Shae entered the world. I didn't realize at the time how much of a cone head he had...haha...

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I'm not gonna lie, holding him for the very first time wasn't exactly what I imagined it to be. Don't get me wrong, I was excited (Especially because I was incredibly ridiculously super happy to be done pushing). But I was just so weak and felt so out of it at this point that it was hard to even think about what was happening. I also didn't really feel an instant connection with my baby like I thought I would. It was like holding a little stranger that all of a sudden fell under my complete responsibility and care.

With that said, it was a miracle. Having a baby really is a miracle. The human body is a miracle. I love looking at these pictures because they remind me of so many of the blessings of our Heavenly Father. Family. Life. The human body and all that it is capable of doing.

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My life changed that day, and although those changes can be hard at times, I am so grateful to have this sweet baby in my life. I might not have felt that electrifying connection that first time I held him, but I sure did love him. It wasn't a love that I'd ever really felt before. Not a love of someone that I've known for a long time. Not a love of someone who treats you well and wishes you happiness. It was more of a love for someone who I knew would teach me more about what true love really is.

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Looking back, it really was the start of a new journey. Each day I feel more connected to my precious baby. Each day I feel like I know him better. Each day I feel my love for him grow. Having a baby is hard, but beautiful.

I might just have to do it again some day.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

2 Months

Is it just me or do we have the cutest two month old son in the world? It's probably just me. But look at this little piece of baby!

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Two month stats:
Weight: 12 lbs. 1 oz.
Height: 22 inches
Home Runs: 12
RBIs: 35
Stolen Bases: 547

~Just this week he's started making some new sounds.

~He has gotten himself into a nice sleeping schedule. We can pretty much count on him sleeping from about 9pm to 3am each night. (He's still struggling to realize that we want him to go back to sleep after that 3am feeding. He'll figure it out). 

~He started getting his very first boogers this month. (Exciting!)

~He sees us! And I think even recognizes us as his parents. What what. 

~I'd love to say that he is the sweetest happiest baby in the world like I see other mothers saying, alas, "thou shalt not bear false witness"... he's a pretty fussy baby at times. We have to go through "the list" quite often to figure out what he wants.

~He loves sitting facing forward.

~He hates red lights.

~His daily cycle goes like this: Eat, play, sleep (Repeated many times).

~He met his cousins and Aunt Linzy and Uncle Derek for the first time.

~He still loves bath time.
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His face cracks me up

Perhaps the biggest news, he smiles! Having a smiling child is SO much more fun than having a not smiling child.
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And because we all know how much I love taking matching comparison pictures (brown dress and big belly ring a bell anyone?)...

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And, just because I think this one is cute and why wouldn't you want to see one more cute picture of my son?...

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Happy 2 months Shaester! We love you to pieces!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Best Weekend of the Year

Well, one of the best. There are really two weekends that are pretty freaking amazing. The first weekend of April and the first weekend of October. They're so great because we get to listen to General Conference! Two full days of inspirational messages from the prophet, the twelve apostles and other church leaders. I especially loved this talk about marriage. 

The weekend was extra great because we were able to run away from home for a few days. (We were only about 40 minutes away, up in Heber, but it still felt like a vacation to me). We went up on Friday for my mission reunion (after about an hour of wandering the mountains of Midway, we finally found it). After the reunion we hopped one little town over to Heber where our dearest sweetest loveliest friends the Nystuls live. We only meant to spend the night on Friday, but Friday turned into Saturday and we just weren't ready to leave yet, so we stayed. They spoiled us with good food, great conversation, X-box games (for Darin. Clearly) and even watched the boy for us so we could try and sneak in a little nap. Like I said: vacation. It was glorious, and well needed. We've been cooped up in our house so much lately with a new baby, it was nice to get out and visit with good friends.

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Watching conference with daddy.
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Playing games with daddy.
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I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet that has been called to lead Christ's church. He is not the prophet for Mormons only, rather the entire world. I know that he receives guidance and direction from the Lord in order to help us find more purpose and understanding for our lives. We all have goals and desires, we all have things that we cherish, we all have questions. Following the prophet helps me with each one of these things, as well as, and perhaps most importantly, feeling peace and contentment with my life and the direction I am going.