What's been going on...

Oh hey there! You probably have been wondering where I've been  you probably don't care where I've been, but I'll tell you anyways.

I survived Summer semester. I LIVED!!!!!! I know, right?! I still can't quite believe it myself. I truly didn't know if I was going to make it, especially at the end there. It was honestly the Summer from Hell. And I am not even exaggerating. Doing math all day/every day for 3 months straight is not the way to live life if you don't want to be borderline suicidal folks. Just sayin'. It was so bad. You don't even know. And there is no way I can express it in words to do it justice how awful it was. So glad it's over. So, so glad.

Fast forward to the present. I have been in Fall semester for a good 9 weeks now, and life is crazier than it's ever been before. I am taking 15 credits (my last math class, Statistics, included) and on top of those credits I am taking two internships, which are two separate nights each week. I go Tuesday and Thursdays in the morning while Dylie is at school, drive back home in time for him to get home, then I drive back down to Orem both nights to go to my internship. Then I am there most of the day Saturday for my weekend classes. Yep, I am officially and certifiably crazy. And I feel like a recluse. But somehow, as crazy as it sounds, this semester is still way better than summer was. I don't feel like I need to be in a straight-jacket so that's a good feeling. I feel super overwhelmed, and burnt-out and just want it to be over, but I'm not crying every day from wanting to kill myself. And I am also happy to report that I've been able to get back into my gym routine that I completely lost over the summer, so that's good. I go 2-3 times a week (that's all the time I have) but I am there for longer than I usually was before so its good. I lost a lot of stamina since I wasn't able to make it this summer, but it is a good stress reliever and it makes me feel healthier so that's nice. 

Dylan has been back in school which has been amazing. He loves going (he goes 4 days a week) and he is constantly telling me everything they learn about and sing about while he's there, and the littler friends he plays with. He is getting better and better with his speech and sentences. He is really starting to be better at answering questions he's asked, and using full sentences, which has been awesome to see! We are still trying to work on how clearly he talks sometimes (he likes to talk so quickly at times that you can't catch what he says) but he is improving so much and we are so grateful for that. It's awesome be be able to communicate with him almost fully! We are so proud of him. And it's so good to see him love school. I know that won't last, so I will eat it up while I can. He has been SUCH a trooper with my crazy schedule. It's amazing how patient he has been with having to drive down to Provo with me several times to meet Brett (if that's where he's working that week) or to just be good to entertain himself while I am planning lessons for my internship or doing homework or Face-timeing with study groups. He's one in a million. We just couldn't love him more or be more thankful for him.

Brett is hard at work studying for the CPA exams (1 down, 3 to go) on top of working 40+ hours a week. As hard as it is, I am SO proud of him. He is working his tail off along with being an amazing dad and husband. I don't know how he does it! He studies at least 20 hrs per week, but if it's a good week, he does 30. Can I just tell you how fun it is to not see my husband ever? It's just so great. We constantly talk about crazy our life is right now, but we need to remember it's only temporary. We are lucky some days to honestly even see each other before one of us is asleep. Some nights I don't get home until 10 or 10:30 from my internship, and the nights I'm home Brett is at the office working and studying until that late. And in the mornings I have school I have to leave at the buttcrack of dawn, Brett stays home to get Dylie off to preschool then leaves for work. I leave before they are even awake so I don't see either of them. And on the days I don't have school, Brett is up at 4:30 so he can study before he starts his workday.  It's crazy. As I type this I can't believe how psycho we are for doing this all at the same time. I'm just thankful I am crazy busy or else it would be way harder on me than it already is. And Dylie seems to take it really well too. Well, as well as you can expect. He doesn't complain, and he understands that Daddy is at work, but he doesn't love it. But, I am grateful because one of us is always here to put him to sleep. There have been 3 times this whole semester (when Brett was out of town for work) that my mom had to put him down because I was at my internship. So we are doing our best to make sure we are here to put him down and keep his nightly routines going. We call Brett throughout the day so Dylie can talk to him, and we just try to have as much family time together as possible on the weekends, even if it's only for an hour or so, or at church. 

So don't worry. This post was first titled "Halloween 2015" cause I wanted to blog about halloween, but then it turned into an update post. So I'll just leave it as is and post about Halloween in a few. I hate that I haven't been keeping up on here. I need to be better so I can remember, especially this time in our lives. It's so hard and it sucks majorly, but it will be so nice when it's all done to look back on it all and relive it and think "if we made it through that, we can make it through anything." That's how I feel right now. I don't know what I'll do with myself when this is all over. I am so used to being so jam-packed with stuff going on, that when it's all done, I don't know if I'll love it or if I'll miss it. I guess we will see next Summer :) And if you made it to this point, you are awesome! 


life moves pretty fast...

There's a movie that I enjoy way more than I should. You may have heard of it. It's called "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." For those of you who haven't seen it, do it today. Not only is it hilarious, a classic,  and not to mention one of my favorite movies of all time, but it also has some really good points and really good advice (and also some very poor advice and terrible ideas...but don't let that stop you from seeing it, cause it's basically amazing). One of the best and truest quotes from the movie is the very last line that Ferris says.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it."

I have not known the true meaning of that quote until today.

You may have noticed I haven't blogged for a while. Like 2 months while. That wasn't planned, and I am sad it's been that long. I started getting on a roll again...then life happened. School happened. Math happened (Damn you whoever invented 1010!) STRESS up to my eyeballs happened. Taking way more credits than I could handle at once in a Summer semester happened. And no, I am not out of the woods yet. I am 2 weeks away from finals. Let me just tell you how excited I am about that...like so excited I would rather buzz-my-head-than-go-through-the-next-two-weeks excited. Seriously. It's going to be Hell. As if I haven't already been in a personal one for the last 9 weeks. My gym routine has suffered. My waistline has suffered. My eating habits have suffered. My mothering has suffered. My allegiance to The Bachelorette was completely non-existent. My body has suffered. My social life has suffered. My sex life has suffered. My free slash me time has suffered. My time to make meals for my family every night has suffered.

I am telling you. This semester has really thrown me for a loop in basically every way possible, and sadly, my families too. I never knew it was possible to have THIS much homework. It's endless, and I do not use that word lightly. It's so endless that each day when Dylie and I get home from school (he is up at the daycare/preschool up there with me) and we walk in the door he says "Are you doing homework now?" You know it's bad when your kid notices and knows exactly why you are pulling your computer out of your backpack. That's how much it's overtaken my life.

Well today, for just a tiny moment, I remembered what it felt like to feel normal, free, and like myself. Not like the robot I've become. I woke up and went to the gym (haven't done that in 2 months. I've worked out at home twice this summer, but going to the gym makes me push myself way harder). Burned 700 cals running and lifting. I cannot tell you how wonderful that felt. I felt like a new woman. Came home and showered, got ready, then Dylie and I went to meet some of our bestest friends at the park for a playdate.
Karlie and her family moved to Arizona last month, and we were devastated. They were our buddies we would hang with at least once a week, usually more, for the last 3 years. Karlie and I are super close, and are basically the same person in two separate bodies. We have the same humor, and can talk for days without stopping or without not having anything to discuss. She is that type of girl, and you don't find those very often. And her kids, Bentley and Chloe, are 6 months older than Dylie. They have been friends since they can remember. We started hanging out since they were under a year old. It's been hard on Dylan not seeing his best friends each week, and since he doesn't quite get the concept of "moving," it's even harder to hear him asking to play with "Benny" almost every day. So seeing them today was the biggest TREAT ever! We were together for 4 glorious hours, and there was non-stop laughter and hugging and playing and soaking up the friendship we all have.

Then it was time to go, Dylie and I stopped and got Swig (can't not do that when I'm in Draper) and came home. Cooked Dylan dinner since Brett wasn't home yet, put Dylan to bed, then videochatted with my sister for a bit. Brett got home with dinner. A welcome home hug and kiss quickly turned into a much-needed rondezvous, then we had dinner afterwards (if you haven't had a salad from Village Baker you are missing ouuuuuut!) and watched an episode of Grey's (we are on Season 8 right now and are both addicted....so good!) and instead of doing one of my 99 sections of math that are due on Saturday (yeah you read that right, 99 sections. That's over 300 math questions. Barf), I am writing this blog, because today was too special not to document.

Now it may sound like my day was just you average day to some of you. It used to be for me, so I get it. But you see, that's what was so special about it. For the first time in 9 weeks, I didn't think about my homework or stress about it. For the first time in 9 weeks, I didn't say to Dylan "Mommy's gotta do homework now...what show do you wanna watch?" For the first time in 9 weeks I didn't think about the two miscarriages we have suffered through in the last 5 months, one being just a few weeks ago. I didn't wake up and immediately start doing math. I didn't rush home from whatever I was out doing so I could get to my homework.

I was me. I was Kate. I was a mom. I was a wife. I was patient. I wasn't stressed. I was alive. I laughed with one of my best friends, and not just laughed, but cried laughing several times. I made love. I worked out. I kissed bruises. I sang songs with my son in the car. I read a story and cuddled with him before bedtime. I read my scriptures. I enjoyed my day. I didn't put my homework above what is most precious. I became familiarized again with who I am, and how good my life was before school came into the picture and corrupted my easy-street day-to-day life. I was smiling. I was happy. I was ME.

I wish I could just fold up today and put it in a tiny box to open whenever I am feeling nervous the weight of school on my shoulders from homework, school and tests. I wish I could open it and see the person who I was today and remind myself that she is still there, deep under the stress and the emotional roller coaster of emotions she is feeling on a daily-basis, she is still there. I am still here. My carefree bubbly happy self is still here, and I hadn't even realized I had lost her until this evening.

I am grateful for today. I am grateful for the answer to so many tear-filled prayers, and I am grateful to a friend who truly helped me feel myself again. I am grateful to a husband who is my absolute rock, and does anything and everything to put me first and to support me, even when he takes a big brunt of the endless stress I feel. I am grateful for a son, who, even after having to live through a lot of mood swings that have been caused by my intense school schedule and it's affects and have had nothing to do with him whatsoever, still wantse to hold him, play with him, cuddle with him, never leave him, is the most polite and sweet boy and calls me his best friend. He shows me what unconditional love really means. And I am grateful for friends, especially ones who go out of their way to make you feel special and loved. More on that in another post, probably my next one.

Today was a gift. I needed today more than I ever could've known. Taking a day to just be me, and to feel like me put so many things back into perspective that were so out of focus. School is important, but I am more important than the homework. My son is more important than the homework. My husband and my friends and being a mother is more important, and I now realize that it's okay to choose sanity and wellbeing over deadlines and homework once in a while if it means you are going to be happy with yourself in the end.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Danke schön, Ferris. Danke schön.


just keep swimming...

So i am going to be really optimistic here. If you are a mom (or anyone for that matter) and thinking about going back to school to get your degree, don't do it. Just..don't. Stay away! Stay far far away! Save yourself the time, energy, the money (oooooh the money!) and stress and just stay home with your littles (or your tv) and live your life and love the fact that you didn't put yourself through an absolute fire full of misery,

Okay, i may be exaggerating by a tiny hair, but honestly, not really. What am I doing? Why am I doing this to myself? I truly feel like I had some sort of death wish and this was my perfect plan to bring it to life. I am on week #3 of summer semester and I am, and have been since day 1 of the semester, feeling like I am going to drown. It's taking all I have to stay above water and to be able to breathe; sometimes I lose air. I am losing air with each massive assignment that keeps coming my way and that keeps piling on. In those moments I honestly curse the world for not giving me a brain like Steve Jobs or Tony Stark or Bill Gates...just able to do anything and everything and feel and be super smart at everything I do. Oh what I would give to have a brain like that. But no, I feel like my brain is the size of a marshmallow and absorbs all the information I am learning about like a marshmallow would...hardly at all.

I have talked to several of my classmates (and new friends :) who are all in the same boat as me and all agree with the fact that this is definitely the hardest semester of our college careers. Not only is the block (there are two in the semester of Summer, block A and block B, and both are 7 1/2 weeks long) almost halfway over (that thought only makes me want to pee a little...it terrifies me) the courses that we are taking are the exact same courses as they would be in a regular semester, they are just almost 1/3 of the time. Same course, same curriculum, same assignments. What they don't tell you is that the stress level isn't the same as a regular semester...it goes up by about 100 fold. They don't take out any assignments, tests, readings or lectures. It's all there, and I am left sitting here each night wondering why I decided to torture myself in this way.

But, as miserable and as lousy and as hard as the last few weeks have been (and will continue to be), something amazing has been happening. I have been proving to myself that I really can do more than I thought was possible to take on all at once. I am somehow (by the grace of God) making it all work. I am getting A's on assignments that are ridiculously hard, I am ahead of schedule in my math class (WHAT?!), I have made friends and have been able to learn from them and grow from them already (I never used to socialize in college classes, probably because the classes were ginormous, these classes have an average of 15 people in them which is so nice),  I am attending each class (driving the 35 minute drive down and back 3x/week in terrible construction) and feeling really good about what I am learning and understanding at least some of what I am learning. I am in the 4300 level classes, and those are not easy my friends. And they definitely aren't easy in a block semester, so I am kinda rocking my own world for a hot minute. And on top of all that, I am actually reading my assigned readings. I have never before done this (and I somehow wondered why my grades weren't so great). I am not going to sugarcoat it; reading them sucks, and being quizzed on them (hence why I am reading them) sucks even more. But, it pushes me to get my booty in gear and make time to do the reading and highlight and soak in what I am reading. I have never, EVER been like this before in my life. Not in middle school, not high school and most definitely not in my first few years of college.

Something has changed in me...maybe it's that I've actually matured in the way of education, and seeing how my time and money are super important to me, I don't want to screw it up. I want this to be a good experience, and I want to do the best I can. I even cancelled a family trip we had planned over Memorial Day to the Grand Canyon because I had a buttload of homework and I felt that was more important than my fun family getaway. Like, who does that? Nerds do, that's who! And I am proud to have become one. It feels so good to stay on top (and ahead) of my classes. It was so worth canceling. It would've been amazing, but I got so much done it was well worth the wait, and to know when we go someday I won't have homework in the back of my mind the entire time stressing me out. It could wait. The homework, as sad as it is to say, couldn't. When I was in college before I never would've made that decision. I'm telling you people...Growth! Maturity! They have finally found me. Oh, did I mention that I got straight A's last semester???? Yeah, I couldn't really believe it myself so I am not surprised if you can't either. But it's true. What is happening? I'm getting A's, running in races and getting up at 5:45am 3 days a week. Something is not the same here. A switch has flipped.

Oh, and, on top of all this, I have still tried (not incredibly well, but I'm getting better) to keep playdates with friends for Dylie and I to keep us both sane, I am cooking dinner every night, I am being a mom and reading and playing with Dylan when I can (sadly Netflix has become a daily for us so I can get homework done as well, but if I get him out of the house or play with him for a while each day, I definitely consider it a win), being a wife who tries to spend at least an hour with her husband each night just cuddling (okay, I'm mainly crying my stress away on his shoulder, but that counts as cuddling right?) while he whispers how proud he is of me and how happy he is that I am working so hard (as I think: "damn right I am") and also keeping the house in a more manageable state then it was before this semester started. I am also blogging more then I have in a year. You'd think with all my homework and the million other things I need to get done, I would not even think about blogging. But no, I have more of a desire then I have had in a long time to blog and to add it to my list of things to do that is 12 years long.

Washing the dishes (because our dishes hadn't been done in a week and a half so the dishwasher was overflowing with them so much that I needed to do half of them by hand) and Dylie decided he wanted to help so he grabbed his stool, rolled his sleeves up and jumped right in.
How we stay sane..yep there have been more days then I'd like to admit that we have stayed in our jammies all day. But there's nothing better then going and getting ice cream at 3 in the afternoon in your jammies :) We also have pantless Chalk Drawing days.

Something is driving me. I am not sure what it is....Brett gave me a blessing before this semester started because I was terrified of what was to come (oh if only I had known the sheer terror and horror that lay before me, had I known I wouldn't even be in this mess) and since then, in the last few weeks, I have had a drive and a force pushing me to be better, do better and try harder, all while feeling tired, stressed and like I want to give up at times. It's such a weird and crazy feeling...feeling both happiness and stress in the same moments. I truly am so stressed out of my brain that I honestly at times swear I can feel it frying like bacon, but I am so happy at the same time. I wish I could explain it. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Maybe this is what it feels like to be pulled and stretched like they talk about in General Conference? You know that something called growing and how they say it helps us reach our full potential one small step at a time? Maybe this is what that feels like. Such a strange but amazing and hard feeling to feel all the time.

The one thing that has suffered is my consistency at the gym. Sadly something had to be bumped while I adjusted to school and the reality of how much time it takes from my life, and that has been the one thing that I have needed to incorporate back into my routine. I was going 4-5 times a week before I started this semester, and I have now been exactly 0 times since I started school. I plan on getting back into it at least 3 times a week starting next week, but it's also been a learning experience to know that I can survive and still feel okay if I don't make it to the gym all the time. But what I miss about it is how good it made me feel and how much it helped me cope with stress (and boy I could definitely use a stress-reliever right about now) and how much energy I had because of it. I have found myself getting much more tired these days, and I know it's because I have not been getting any sort of workout in. Gotta get back to it! Even if I need to wakeup earlier or stay up a little later, I know it will be better for my brain and stress levels.

I do not write this to boast or brag. Trust me, I know I could be doing this with a happier attitude most of the time and could be doing much better in both the mom and wife department. I am working on that; juggling both time for school and family. It's not easy but I am starting to think I am getting the hang of it all.
I am writing this because I want to remember this, and maybe encourage those who are either going through something they feel is impossible, or thinking of embarking on something they don't think they can do. I am sitting here in my piles of homework and laundry and telling you YOU CAN DO IT! I truly think that if I had known beforehand how hard this summers courses were going to be, I don't think I would've done it. I think I would've taken time off and taken a year longer to finish school, even though that would've stunk too. So in that regard, I am so grateful and thankful that I didn't know what I was getting myself into. And I think thats how it is with all the hard things in our lives...we don't know how hard it's going to be so we do it anyways and realize if we would've known how difficult it would be before we maybe would've thought twice first.

I am so grateful for this time in my life, as hard as I am making it for myself. I am grateful I am able to do all these things, and push myself  to limits I never thought I could both mentally and emotionally. As hard as it is, I like feeling myself stretch a little bit. I like feeling like I am accomplishing more then I thought I could handle, all at the same time. I am by no means perfect at it, but just being able to keep above water is making me a little thrilled. And I know it will come to an end, and I will look back and be so happy I did it, and be a little in awe I juggled all of this and somehow managed to survive.


take me to the city...

has it really been 6 years? how? i don't understand how time can feel like it goes so slowly, but at the same time feel like I can't catch up with it? anyways, 6 years ago my man and I got hitched! Well, technically it was 6 years ago three days ago, but you get the idea. Oh how I love that boy more and more every day. Yep (saying with a long sigh), I am one lucky girl.

Anyways, I won't bore you professions of love and romance; I will instead tell you about how we chose to celebrate our love and romance this year: by going away! We were thinking St. George, maybe Vegas, or Park City even? But if you don't live under a rock and are within 200 mile of the Salt Lake Valley, you would know it's been raining, cloudy and cold the last few weeks, and there is no sign of it stopping. We thought St. George would be a safe place to get some heat, and Vegas for sure would get us out of this frumpy weather. Nope, they are getting hit by the cold rainy streak as well. And then when we looked at Park City and it said there was a chance of snow in the forecast while we were planning our trip, we definitely deleted that thought out of our brains right then. The point was to go away to get warm, not get colder. But, no such luck. So we decided to be easy and go to the capital of the beehive state: SLC. So we booked a room at the brand new Holiday Inn Express (the old Shiloh Inn for those of you who know your Salt Lake Hotels) since it had just opened a couple weeks previous, and they were having steal of a steal deals.

So we booked 2 nights (lucky for us Brett's awesome parents were in town and gladly offered to take Dylie for the weekend), got a substitute for our Sunday School class, got through a week of work and school, packed a whole lot of clothes (and a whole lot of lingerie that has been begging to be used since I am too exhausted with school to even think about touching it), and I worked my booty off to get the homework that was due over the weekend done before we left. And I'm telling you, once we got on the 1-15 freeway Northbound, we were free, and we knew it; we could feel it! Brett had just gotten back from Logan after a week of traveling (over his birthday no less:() the night before for work, so this was our first night back together after 4 nights apart, and what do you know, we were kidless! For a whole 48 hours! I was so excited I could've peed my pants. It was our night to paint the town red.

And we did alright, we painted it red. And maybe not the town, but our faces. From fighting. Couples do that sometimes ya know? They fight. And sometimes, in all their rareity, they sometimes happen n the most annoying circumstances. Like this one. Here we were on our one getaway we get a year without a child, and we were arguing. The details are not important but we had a fun little tiff that began in our car and lasted from precisely 9:30pm (just after finishing up dinner at an amazing BBQ restaurant called R&R BBQ, try it, it's a must) and didn't officially end until 12 hours later, and yes we did sleep in the middle of it. All great trips start out with a good fight...said no one ever. But, every couple does it, I am just choosing to be honest and open about it because that is how our weekend started, and it was good and fine and it was much needed. And then it was over and we came to a conclusion and we moved on from it and the rest of the weekend was pure bliss. Let me just tell you :)

Saturday morning we had a couples massage scheduled at A New Day Spa. It began with strawberries and bubbly...

Those strawberries are AMAZING. I need to call and ask where they get them from; I dream about them. Anyways, I have been there before for a massage and it was great. I even had a guy do it that time and it was fab. No weird things he did, didn't feel uncomfortable, and I was kinda hoping to get the same guy again. So our therapists come and greet us, take us to the room where the two beds are, tell us to get undressed and get under the sheets face-down...yada yada yada. One of them is a guy (not the same one I had before) and one's a girl. Brett would die before getting massaged by another dude, so I was fine taking the guy, and with him having the girl.
So they come in and the massage starts. I don't have on any undergarments whatsoever (I never normally do) but oh my gosh do I wish I would've worn some! This guy wasn't weird by any means, but the massage I had was, I can't think of another word for it but bizarre. He was lifting up and moving my torso from side to side (think of interpretive dancing, at least that's how I picture it in my head) and pulling on my toes so hard I swear they were going to come off, then not to mention he didn't tuck the sheet under when taking my legs out to be massaged, and let's just say I could feel the sheet loosely flopping around. I am sure he saw my Britney. I may be over-exagerating, but it's hard to tell when your eyes are shut. Should I have said something? Probably, but it's awkward. Had he been an all-out creep I totally would've and wouldn't have thought twice, but, I don't know. Thinking back I wish I would've. Oh well, you live and you learn. Brett said he looked over like 4 times because he heard so much movement from my table. I have never before had a massage like that, and I hope I never do again. All that happened in the last like 15 minutes of it. Before that it was great, but man the last little bit I just wanted it to be done. It was bizarre. But, on the bright side Brett said his was amazing so I am glad he had a good experience.

After that we went and got lunch at City Creek's food court, took it back to our hotel and ate it in bed while we watched some Kardashian reruns on our TV. We don't have cable at my mom's right now so having TV was fun and new lol. Then we took a nap.....and then since it was pouring out, and had been since the morning, we decided to go down to the pool and hot tub. There was a sauna as well and that was really fun. What made it so fun was we had all 3 to ourselves, and not only that but the hot tub was massive! You could've fit like 3 regular sized hot tubs in there. It was awesome. So we hung out in the heat and played in the pool for a few hours.

Then that evening came so we showered and got ready, went and had an amazing sushi dinner at Simply Sushi (all you can eat sushi?? yes please!)  and then had plans and a reservation to go hang out at a piano club, but we both felt a little lazy, and decided it would be funner to do that when we had more energy.

So instead we went to see a movie we have both been wanting to see ever since we saw the previews for it months ago...Pitch Perfect 2!

I had too. It wasn't easy since there were about 20 people watching me do this pose as Brett took my photo, but I just had too. I love these ladies, especially that blonde one to my left. Hilarious.
This movie was so funny! We both loved it. There was a funny something every 5 minutes of that show I swear. It was so good! We highly recommend it. And then by the time we got back to the room it was midnight so we went to bed.

Sunday we ate the buffet breakfast (and ps, they had a pancake maker that you literally push a button, and a conveyer belt starts going and you just stick your pancake at the end and two pancakes come rolling out...it was the coolest thing ever!) and the checkout time wasn't until 12, but we got it extended to 1, which was so nice. We just hung out and watched movies all morning while eating some good ol' junk food. (ps the second pic down is the view from our room)

after having a lazy morning we decided to head out on the town and shop a little, since it wasn't raining for once.

i kind of have a new obsession with Urban Outfitters. it came about the day we went in there. i am pretty sure i could hang out in there and buy everything that store possesses. mmmm so good. it was nice to be out and about, and not trying to hurry through the bad weather. it didn't last though, which was a bummer. it started raining mid-outing, so we decided that was a sign to head home. but it was a nice note to leave our getaway on...being out and free and just being together. such a fun, relaxed and easy weekend just enjoying each others company. i can't think of a better way to celebrate an anniversary.


just do it...

so i run. i'm a runner now. in the words of TayTay, i never ever ever ever (like ever) thought i would ever say that sentence in my entire life. i run and i like it. i run! i.....run. i kinda keep saying it to convince myself that it's actually true. honestly, even 3 months ago if you would've told me that i was going to start running, and actually running long distances (in my opinion) i would've lol'd. so this is kind of a big deal.

for as long as i can remember, since the good ol' days at Jordan Ridge Elementary, when it was P.E. time and we had to run the mile (which was exactly 4 times around the rectangle shaped-field adjacent to the school) i would get sweaty. and not sweaty as in anxious and excited; my palms would be wet from the fear of knowing i couldn't do it, and knowing i hated it, and wishing with all my heart i had stayed home that day. i still remember running in the hot sun and thinking i would rather die then be doing what i was doing. same thing for middle school, and same thing for high school. running the mile was the absolute worst thing ever in my life; actually, anything that had to do with physical exertion made me want to hide and do anything but.

then, almost 4 years ago, i was fat and pregnant. before i got pregnant with Dylan i was already 25lbs heavier then i was when Brett and i knelt over an alter and promised eternity. let me tell you how good it felt to add another 30lbs with pregnancy. awesome i tell ya. no, it was mind-blowingly annoying and frustrating. after i had Dylan, i was still 35lbs above where i was when we got married. and for some reason, i don't know why, but laying around all the time eating fast-food and snowcones and ice cream and candy just wasn't helping me lose weight. my mind was boggled.

so after being sick of looking in the mirror and putting on clothes everyday that were much bigger then i wanted, i decided to join Weight Watchers. that program is the bomb! honestly, i highly recommend it. i never thought i would need a company to help me get to a size that i wanted; or, at least one that i recognized and could feel good with. before i got married, i had always eaten whatever i wanted and didn't bother to do any exercise ever. well actually, i would walk up the to go to my room after school....does that count? so it was honestly a shock for some reason that after i had Dylan 80lbs didn't just instantly drop. oh how niave young Kate used to be. i was never a stick before, but i was comfortable and confident in how i looked, so i never really cared to try and change my diet to look better. so thinking i would actually have to work for it seemed overwhelming. but when you hit a certain point that you just want to make a change, you are willing to do anything to achieve it.

Weight Watchers helped me drop 25lbs. in a few months. i was ecstatic! but, i still had 10lbs to go to get to my starting weight when we were first married. i am sure i could've lost more if i had kept 100% on track with it after that, but i got to a point where everything fit again that hadn't fit in a long while, and it was good enough. and what is so good about that diet program is that it really is a lifestyle change, so i was used to eating well and knowing about how many calories i should be eating to lose or stay where i was. but i wanted something to do during the day, so i decided i was going to get a gym pass to my local rec center and start working out. to this day i still have no idea where that idea came from, let alone my desire to do so, because remember that girl i told you about 3 paragraphs up? yeah, she was still there. but i wanted to and needed too. 3 years ago i stepped into that gym, and i have been going ever since. and what do you know? i lost those 10lbs, and have stayed within a 3lb. range since. but not only did i reach my goal, i love to exercise. it helps me deal with stress and relieves my body of it. i always have such a high after going. it's not always easy, and it's definitely not something i always want to do, but i always remember the feeling when i'm done and that drives me to keep going.

so after 3 years of going to the gym and trying different workouts and things, my best friend Katie, who knows i do this, is a runner. she runs half's, races and is doing the Ragnar this summer (you go girl!!) and we have always talked on and off about me doing a race with her. i've always laughed and given her the same response every time she asks "i hate running!" i would do any and every exercise at the gym but that. you know why? because when i thought of running, my mind would immediately go back to Jordan Ridge and remembering the exhaustion and dread i always felt when i did it. but after telling me she really wanted me to try it, and assuring me that i would just love it, i gave it a good thought for a couple weeks, and then, for some reason, i said i would. and just like that we signed up for a 10k that was a month and a half away. and since i was not a runner and had 6 weeks to train for a 10k, i knew i needed to get started fast. running and doing other exercises are in two different spectrums, and i knew this.

so i started out small. i did 10 minutes on the treadmill. by the time i got the clock said 00:00 i was ready to DIE! no joke. i couldn't believe i had already bought and paid for that race! if i had tried running before i signed up, there's no way i would've, so i guess it's a huge blessing i didn't. so after running 10 minutes, i ran another time a few days later and had a goal of making it to 12 minutes. i did and again, exhausted. but i kept doing that and adding 2 minutes until i got to 20 minutes then decided i would try to get to 30. it took a couple tries but i got there. then, Katie told me about an app called Nike + that tracks your miles and tells you when you hit a mile and....and i could go on and on. just get it, because that app was a lifesaver. my first run with it i ran 2.6 miles. after one time of using it it changed the entire way i looked at running. no longer was i trying to just make it for so many minutes, i was trying to make it for so many miles. crazy!!!! so the next time i ran i wanted to see if i could get to 3 miles, no longer caring about how much time i spent running. well 3 miles came and went, and i didn't feel tired, so i got up to 4.5 and i was shocked! then the next time i ran i wanted to hit 5 miles and i hit 6.5 miles! the craziest thing ever in my life i tell you. when i told my mom i did that she laughed in my face guys, that's how much everyone around me knows i used to hate running. but after doing it so much and hitting and smashing goals i never thought i could, i absolutely LOVE it! now i get on the treadmill and it's like "i will just run a few miles and see how i feel" when before that sounded like climbing Mt. Everest: impossible. now it sounds like a breeze, and i love that. but anyways, so i wanted to run a couple more times before our race and push myself a little more, but i caught Brett's cold and decided rest was better for me then pushing too hard a few days before the big run. i did run 2 miles the day before and felt like it was a breeze so that had to be good enough.

well, the day of the 10k arrived. oh, i should probably tell you that all my running before this race was a on a treadmill. A Treadmill people! thanks to my dumb cold i never got a chance to run on pavement even though i had planned on it knowing it was completely different then the road. and on top of that, the day of the race was 40 degrees and pouring rain. not just a sprinkle. like you need an umbrella type rain. so not only was i not used to running on pavement, but i definitely wasn't used to running in the cold with water spilling on my face the entire time. so i knew it was going to be a very interesting treat. but, being the changed woman i am with all this running loving, was excited and pumped for it. i was ready!

sidenote: i look less then happy in a lot of these pics. remember it was raining and freezing :) i was definitely happy to be here.

so Katie and i and her sister and her sister's friend who were doing it with us all got to the starting line, and the feeling of them counting down to the start was crazy! it was so thrilling, it's hard to explain. i got my music playlist i had made just for that race ready, said a prayer then the announcer said "GO!" and our whole race was off to run, in the rain in which we were all drenched already. Katie and i stayed together for the first mile and a half, then we hit a massive hill that i was not expecting and, since i hadn't ran on pavement, was not used too. so i told her to go ahead and i speed walked up it. we didn't run together the rest of the time, i was by myself for the next 5 miles. i ran the majority of it, but i did stop and speed walk a few times for a couple minutes or so, but then someone would pass me and it's crazy the motivation that gives you to start up again. and what was really great (enter sarcasm) was that it was raining so hard, that water obviously got into my ears and my headphones got soaked and stopped working halfway through. i NEVER run without music. so you can imagine how happy i was about that.

but i kept on keeping on, and one hour and ten minutes later i was crossing that finish line (which Brett and Dylan met me at by the way, how sweet are they to hang out in the cold and the rain? talk about heart-melting. so lucky to have their amazing support) and i have never been so happy to do something in my entire life. Katie and her sister and her friend were all there at the finish line waiting for me too. it was so fun to see them and hear them cheering me on as i got there. we hugged and had a little pow-wow about how amazing it was and how good we all felt we did. I was stoked that i got 1:10, because Katie, the avid runner she is, got 1:01. i was shocked to hear that i was only 9 minutes behind her, and only 4 minutes behind her sister and friend. wow, such a rush! **ps the first pic below you can see Brett behind me holding the orange umbrella.

then once we were done we went inside where they had tables of food to eat (i wasn't hungry or thirsty, i never am when i run. yeah i'm weird) but the girls were. they also gave us our times and our medal necklaces and they had banners you could take pics in front of. we took lot of photos and huddled under emergency blankets since it was freezing and we were 100% soaked. then the shivers came because the adrenaline left and we were frozen so we said our goodbyes and went home. a hot shower never felt so good.

gearing up for this race and doing it has changed my outlook on so many things. i can do hard things. i can run 6.5 miles, and like it! i can run without music and still make a good time. i can run outside and in the rain, and chilled to the bone. i can change my attitude towards something if i give it a chance (in most but probably not all things, but considering i never thought i would change my mind on this i would say i could probably on most anything i set my mind too). i am a runner, and i love it. i did it! i did my first 10k and didn't die! it was amazing. so incredibly challenging, but amazing. maybe the half in September? i'm debating it.

just do it. whatever it is you are thinking (that's a good thing), just do it. Nike says it best. especially if it's a hard thing, because the things that we do that are hard are the most rewarding and satisfying.


let me update you...

so... hello. my name is Kate and i am a real stinker when it comes to blogging. ugh. i really need and want to do this more regularly. i think about it almost every day but do i rarely sit down to post. that's what school does to you. i promise i am going to get better. i need too. i will so regret it later in life. 

but on with the post. lots and lots has been going on around Hancock manor. here's a small update on us all:

Brett is in busy season. guys, i don't know how the H i am going to do this every spring for 4 months. it is the absolute worst having Brett working 50-60 hour weeks. i know that doesn't sound like a lot, but when you are the one at home waiting for him, it wares on you. it's a dang good thing that boy is obsessed with his job. it makes me happy that he is happy about it and doesn't mind going to work. with his last job he really dreaded it. it's so nice to see him be happy with his career. when he's not being the breadwinner he is being an awesome hubby and daddy. it's been so hard having him gone so much, but it does make the time when he is home so much sweeter. it's very true when they say that absence make the heart grow fonder. we started the Breaking Bad series a couple weeks ago, and that darn show has consumed every free minute we have after Dylan goes to bed. but it makes for some good cuddling and makes us even more grateful for the life we have.

I am in another semester of full-time university study. most of my classes are online again like last semester (such a blessing), but i have one class on Saturday mornings for 3 hours and it's been so weird being back in a classroom. it's been really good actually, and a nice ease into actually having to go to school, since i will have to go for every class after this semester ends. i can't believe how fast time is going. the semester is over in 5 weeks. eeeeeeeeek! then its on with summer semester. 20 credits this girl is taking! 20!!!!! ah, i think i am in over my head but it should be good. right? the faster i am done with school the better. oh, and a few weeks ago i got rid of my Facebook account and took Instagram off my phone. i had been thinking about it for a while and finally i did it. i have LOVED not having them, especially Facebook. i honestly don't see me ever reactivating it. i spent so much time on there wasting away hours and hours of reading news stories that didn't matter and before i knew it, i was ignoring Dylan and homework and housework to read and be updated about things that don't matter. i haven't been tempted once to reactivate it, and i am so happy. Instagram on the other hand, i may put that back on. but, it's been nice to be out of the social media world for a while. i have needed a cleanse from being so involved in other peoples lives and just being focused on ours. other things have been going on, and i will blog about that soon. for now i just wanted to do a quick update. oh, one more thing. i bought a hat (photographic evidence below). i've wanted to for a while but thought i would never wear it, but one day i found one for a steal and couldn't resist. i'm kinda in love with it, and am not sure why i didn't buy one a long time before now. if you don't own one, go make the purchase. take the plunge. you won't look back.

and Dylan is just loving being in school three times a week. he is learning and growing so much because of it, and it makes us so happy to see his progress. we are still working on full sentences (using connective words. example, instead of just saying "have some snacks" we are helping him to say "can i have some snacks"). he is still so fun and so sweet, and loves playing with his little friends. i am so lucky to be his mom and to have him as my sidekick all day each day. the only thing that drives me a little up the wall is that he says "mom" almost every 10 seconds all day long. i don't mind when he has something to ask or tell me, but half the time he just says it out of nowhere for no reason. thats when it drives me a little mad, but it's really helping me to exercise my patience.  i'll miss it when i am in school 3 days a week this summer and he is at daycare. it's going to be weird, but good for him i think. he loves being around other kids and he learns so much from them. hopefully i don't go through too much separation anxiety. 

and all of us together, we had a fabulous weekend. Brett didn't have to work Saturday (a rarity around these parts in the season of business) and class was canceled for me, so it was amazing to wake up and just cuddle and be lazy all morning. then, with the warm weather, we grabbed some lunch and headed to West Jordan park and spent all afternoon there. Dylan was red and sweaty after hours of playing, and he wanted to keep going and going. it was so fun to be with all 3 of us outside in the fresh air, and to have a family day. it's been a while since we have had that, and it was much needed. and Sunday was spent at church being fulfilled and energized spiritually and emotionally for yet another week of homework and work, then having hours and hours of cuddle time in our bed while watching movies and having tickle fights and singing songs and telling stories. ugh, i wish i could go back and relive it. it was one of those weekends. too bad it is now cold again and raining. 

that's all for now. just wanted to do a quick update. there's more to write about and tell about, but for now just wanted to make sure i got this weekend put down in writing.


this little boy...

yep. you could probably tell from the title, but this is going to be a mushy-mom-post. if you are a mom, you totally get it. your kids are your entire world, your everything. for those of you who aren't mom's (or parents), you probably get sick of us mom's writing and saying stuff like this. but we just can't help it! these little munchkins take up so much of our time, energy, sleep, thought processes and dreams that we just can't help but gush over them sometimes.

posts like this help me when I'm having hard mom-days. you know those days where everything is going wrong, you feel like a complete failure as a parent and you look up at God and whisper for the millionth time in that same day "i am a terrible mom." those days, thankfully for me, are getting rarer and rarer the older Dylan gets, because the older he gets, the more independent he gets, and that, in turn, gives me less opportunities to screw up throughout the day. but, those days happen. they happen to all of us. and when the good days come, i feel like i appreciate them so much more because of all the screw-ups, mess-ups and blow-ups my little guy has had to endure one time or another. i cannot express the guilt i feel on a constant basis and thinking "how did i get such an amazing kid? i don't deserve this little ball of unconditional love with a set of lips that spouts never-ending kisses and a mouth that constantly states "HI MOMMA!" and "I LOVE YOU MOMMA!" and has hands that constantly reach for mine whether we are in the car or on the couch." 

i have been thinking about writing this post for a couple of weeks now, and it always occurs to me to write it after we put Dylan down for bed and we have done our sweet bedtime routine of brushing "teefies," reading a story and Dylan saying our family prayers (we say them and he repeats what we say. cutest.thing.ever) then hugs and kisses and some tickles, then putting him to sleep and as we walk out we say "goodnight" "love you" "see ya later" over and over as we walk out slowly and turn the lights out. he says each phrase back to us as we walk out. we have done this as long as i can remember (well, as long as he could say the words) and i fall in love with him all over again every night as i hear him say those phrases back to us. my heart literally melts. maybe it has to do with the fact of knowing we have 3-4 hours of free-time to do whatever we want before bed. or maybe it has to do with knowing he doesn't fight bedtime so it makes it much easier. whatever it is, each night as we walk back downstairs to continue our night while he lays in bed and drifts off to sleep, we, without fail, talk about what an amazing kid we have, and how we can't get enough of him and how we can't imagine life without him. every. single. night. that conversation happens. it's a renewal of love for our little man, who knows how to both drive us absolutely bonkers and make us melt in puddles of oooey-gooooey love for him. 

so as i said, this is a mushy post (captain obvious) and i just wanted to say some sweet things about him that we love right now, and that we are proud of, and that we absolutely go crazy for about this kid. this is my favorite time right now. i honestly wish there was a way to freeze time, even if it was just for a moment, because if i could, i would do it right now. he is so fun, so sweet, so talkative but not to a point where he knows how to talk back, so hilarious and so darn cute. want to hear how crazy i am?  i have literally thought about setting up cameras all around in each room and video for all hours of the day just so i can watch them in the future and remember how darling he is right now. yep, I'm a crazy mom. but i know this time is so short and it goes by so fast. i don't want it to stop. i don't want him to keep growing. i don't want him to change. wishful thinking. so instead of being a crazy psyho mom, i will just post a few favorite and fun things about him.

this little boy...

-loves school. mondays and wednesdays cannot come fast enough for this kid. the bus is his favorite thing in the world and on the days it doesn't come, he asks for it constantly. so grateful he loves learning and isn't afraid to be without me and is learning skills i can't teach him here at home. he constantly talks about his school "fwends" (friends) and how he loves to play with them.

-has the capacity to watch the same show over and over for weeks on end. nothing but the same.dang.show. no idea how he does it, but i would go bat-crazy. whatever floats his boat.

-has been potty-trained for over a month now. he basically learned all on his own and did it in one day. no joke. one day. in one month's time he has had 2 accidents. he is day and night trained. so grateful it wasn't a painful process and that he was finally ready, and once he figured out he was, it was a cinch. so freaking proud of him i could (and have, multiple times i might add) squeeze him until he grunts for air! 

-loves babies. is obsessed with babies. acts like a baby just to make me laugh. can't get enough of every baby he sees. he.loves.babies.

-is starting to love to cuddle. yeah, i can hardly handle my excitement myself. he loved to cuddle when he was a baby, but for the last couple years he wanted nothing to do with cuddling. now he is on my lap all of sacrament meeting (and i don't have to force him, he actually wants to be there) and on the couch he just climbs on my lap. it's probably the best feeling ever.

-is talking more and more every day. i think it coincides with the being potty-trained thing. in the same week as the potty-training happened and was a success, he started saying SO much more. full sentences. and they just keep coming and coming. we are so happy and excited about this. it's so fun to talk to him all the time.

-still has strawberries and yogurt every single morning for breakfast. this has been his staple breakfast since the boy could eat solids. he loves it, and i love it because it's healthy. sometimes i feel bad that's all he ever wants for breakfast so i make him pancakes and he likes them, but given a choice, he always chooses the yogurt and strawberries. 

-really really really really loves superheroes. it's all he talks about, thinks about and wants to be when he grows up. i guess its fitting since he pretty much is one in his own right.

-is a sucker for candy. will do anything and everything for it.

-loves to think and say everything is beautiful. "those trees are beautiful!" he says. "those lights are just beautiful!" he exclaims. oh you should've heard him every time we drove at night around christmas time. for hours that's all he would say in the car while we drove passed houses and businesses. "those christmas lights are so beautiful!" i had soup for a heart every night when we'd get home.

-has a fetish for waiting until i least expect it, then backs up as far as he can and then darts as fast as he can, making a b-line for my legs and giving me the most ginormous hug around my thighs while almost knocking me over in the process. one of my most favorite things he has started doing.

-says the funniest phrases (like point above) and i have no idea where he hears them. maybe i say them and don't realize it and he says them a few days later? maybe he gets them from movies he watches or from school and the other kids? no idea. but we love it.

-still goes to bed early (6:30 or 7) and wakes up around 7:45 each morning. we love him for this. we know that's not the norm for most kids his age, and we constantly thank him by not changing the routine in hopes it doesn't change anytime soon.

-likes to put himself in time-out. no idea why. but when he's done something he knows he shouldn't have done, he will go put himself on the stairs and serve his full 3 minutes in silence until we come get him. 

-wants me to hold him all of the time. this i don't mind at all. i soak up every time he asks, and sometimes even beg him to let me do it because i know, since he is already half my height, the time is  limited i will be able to do this. i am sure we look so silly, me holding what looks like a 5-year-old while we walk through the store or a museum, but i love it way too much to care. he's my baby, and i love holding him. i'll hold him for as long as he will possibly let me.

-loves to sing songs. his favorites are "let it go" (no idea when he will actually let that one go), Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, twinkle twinkle and the eensy weensy spider.

-has a sixth sense for when i'm sad. he can be anywhere in the house doing anything and when i cry, that kid has a radar and comes running to save the day and wipe my tears and to give me a get-better cuddle and hug. this has happened multiple times. and it's not like i'm wailing or anything. he senses feelings. i love that about him.

-was a jedi in another life. every time he gets out of the bath he has to have his "jedi-cloak" or as the rest of us call it, his towel. he has to have it on his head and wrapped around him while we (he and I) hum the Star Wars theme. then he has to stand on the toilet so he can have a full-body view for himself with his jedi-cloak on and he sings the song again while he smiles and looks at himself. most entertaining part of my morning.

-and finally, this little boy is patient. he's a teacher. he's a lover, not a fighter. he's a friend. he's brave. he's so well-mannered. he's a momma's boy. he's Brett's doppleganger. he has my eyes, and he has Brett's heart. we are so blessed and constantly amazed at how much we love him and how much he makes us laugh and we are always in awe of how we really don't deserve him. we have no idea where he came from. we have a piece of heaven in our home with us, and we know it. i always say to Brett "he has set the bar SO high, almost too high, for the rest of our kids. i don't see how they will ever measure up in cuteness or personality." i know i say that only because he's all we've known, but that's how i feel. i don't see how another kid could be as cute or as good or as sweet as him (basically how every parent feels about their own kid). hopefully i am pleasantly surprised when the rest of them come along :)

we love you Dylie. we are so stinkin proud of you and all you have accomplished in all your 3 1/2 years. you have changed us and made us so much happier than we ever thought we could be. 

so on those bad days, you know those ones we all go through where we feel like the worst moms in the world? i will look back on this and hopefully it will remind me that, although he may have given me H that day, deep down under all of those tantrums, fits, crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth, there is a sweet little boy who means more to me then i could ever express in words. he's there, and i need to remember that. and i need to remember that he is so patient with me, and he deserves the same. because we all have bad days, what matters is how we handle them and how we get through them. 


5th Anniversary Photoshoot

you guys. i know it's been a while. let me just tell you, the holidays kicked my butt! i got sick over both Thanksgiving (barfing and a tummy ache the whole weekend) and Christmas Eve through after New Years (Bronchitis is the worst!!! don't get it). and on top of all that, i was finishing up my first semester back at school. i am happy to say it was a success :) so i am sorry i have been MIA. i have been so busy i haven't even been able to make sure my legs are staying shaved haha (sorry Brett ;) 

but, i just had to blog about this AMAZING session that Brett and i had with Lisa Miller Photography. i had been thinking about maybe getting photos taken for our 5th anniversary (which was back in May) but we were so busy this summer moving and getting ready for school to start for two out of the three of us, that i kind of just forgot to do anything about it. but then, my good friend and incredible photographer friend had a giveaway back in October for a free portrait session, and i entered, and i won! i was so excited, especially since i never win anything ever! it was the perfect opportunity to not only do the photoshoot i wanted to do, but to do something completely out of the box and something i have never done before. i wanted a more timeless and old-hollywood type feel for our shoot, and to say we succeeded is an understatement. Lisa was amazing at helping me pick out the perfect outfit and helping me bring my vision to life. we just got our photos back a few days ago and we love love love them!! 

a special thanks to Tori Plant for doing my makeup, and to Bottles and Blooms for my amazing flower crown. i was obsessed with that thing and wore it the rest of the day. so sad real flowers can't last forever. and the biggest thank you and shout out to Lisa Miller Photography!! i have loved her stuff for so long, and she just gets better and better with every shoot she does. i was so thrilled to have her shoot us. we couldn't love these any more. thanks again girl! you are the best! we will treasure these forever!