Pregnancy #1 vs. Pregnancy #2

Guys, this is insane. I will be 39 weeks on Sunday! That's like (counts on fingers) 3 days away!!!! Holy!!! It's scary, exciting, exhilarating, relieving, terrifying, emotional and crazy all at the same time. I know I say this in every blog post/Insta post, but the time has FLOWN in this pregnancy. Just flown.

He could be here any day now...that's an extremely sobering thought. And my opinion about that changes almost hourly. One hour I'll be all nostalgic and all like, "Oh man, just stay in there a bit longer. I just want more time to relax, I just want to have Dylan around being my only buddy, I love sleeping all through the night (besides the 12 times I wakeup from needing to shift my entire body just so I can lay on my other side), I love not having my vag feel like it's ripped to shreds, I love feeling Baby move all the time and seeing my stomach move too, I love not having to wear breast pads, I love being able to leave in a timely manner and go places and not worry about two children etc. etc."
And then the next hour I'm all like "Oh please come, I just love you and want to smooch this little Baby and hold him and be able to lay on my stomach again and not have to waddle like a duck and not have my back/ribs hurting 24/7 and not have lightning crotch and I just want you to come out already etc. etc."

Can you tell it's a pregnant woman talking? I can't make up my mind to save my life.

But he's coming, whether we are ready or not (I think we are...it's all we talk about in our house) but the question is...when? Well, for those of you who are wanting to know, or care, I went to the doc yesterday for my 38 week checkup/check of the cervix situation...and I am officially dilated to exactly 1cm and 60% effaced. If you think I write that in happiness, you are wrong. I have been "almost" a 1 for the last 3 appointments, and I have been 60% effaced the last 3 appointments as well, so...let's just say I left the appointment pretty discouraged. I shouldn't complain or be sad, because with Dylan I was never dilated or effaced even though I went a week over our due date and had to be induced. And I know I should be happy I'm even progressing at all...I just want more progression! I want to avoid being induced at all costs this time unless it's absolutely necessary for me or the baby, so I could potentially have another 3-4 weeks (doc said I could go to 42 weeks without induction as long as everything looks good) to go if this babe decides he doesn't want to leave my obviously comfortable and spacious womb. I can't say I blame him too much...I have made him quite the warm paradise in there.

Ok, but in all seriousness, this post was/is supposed to be about my two pregnancies and how they compare. Well, let's first just take a look at the photographic evidence, shall we? Because we all know that photo's say 1000 words.

Pregnancy #1, approximately 5 years ago:

I post these in utter embarrassment, but for the sake of the post, I'm still posting. Top one is 37 weeks on the dot, and bottom is where I am today...approximately 38-39 weeks.

Here's the comparison...

Pregnancy #2, Present Day:

Top is 37 weeks on the dot, and bottom is 38 weeks.

I thought about doing a billion photos showing the progression of each pregnancy, but A) I couldn't find a ton of photos from my first pregnancy except a few (and trust me, they are borderline blackmail worthy) and B) I didn't want to take up a ton of space with just photos.

If you can't see the difference in these photos...get your eyes checked. Not only do I have eyebrows in the present day photos, but my bump/entire body looks completely different. Part of this is because I started out at a much smaller pre-pregnancy weight with pregnancy #2, but also, I have been working out my entire pregnancy this time around.


I know I have stressed this in a few of my Instagram posts, but working out has (obviously) made a HUGE difference. It didn't help in pregnancy #1 that I didn't workout before I got pregnant and definitely didn't during. But it was already such a habit before I got pregnant the second time, that I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my pregnancy. And I am so glad I have! It's not only made a world of difference in how much I have gained and how my body has looked with being pregnant, but it's helped me have TONS of energy, kept my lower back from getting thrown out of place (it did with pregnancy #1) made it so I have hardly swelled at all (which mostly comes and goes at night), and made me consistently want to eat well (but yes I give into small cravings on a constant every-other-day basis). And doing it consistently has been key! I think there has only been 3 weeks total this pregnancy I didn't workout, and that was because I was either sick, or we were out of town. And honestly, most of the time I have not had this massive urge to workout...I usually sit on the couch for a half hour talking myself into it, but I know how terrible I feel if I don't do it and how great I feel when I do, so that has been the biggest motivator.
Before my workout earlier this week
A lot of friends have asked what workouts I have done throughout my pregnancy, and I honestly haven't really modified much what I normally do, except I have been doing all my workouts at home (before I was going to the gym, back when I didn't have to get Dylie off to school in the times my favorite classes begin) and I have been only working out 2-3 days per week instead of my normal 3-4 days (thanks to school). I have found a TON of workout videos on Youtube that have saved me this pregnancy, and as odd as it's been, dancing ones have been my favorite. They not only make the time fly because you are constantly doing different dances that are fun, but I burn the most calories doing them. My favorite dance videos are by Dance Fitness with Jessica. She has fun moves and incorporates TONS of squats in her dance routines. I have a playlist of about 10 of her dance routines that I put in my queue and do those, then I lift weights for 10-15 minutes. By the time I'm done with all that, it's been an hour and I've burned at least 600 cals in that time. I'm sure I look like such a moron doing it with this basketball strapped to me, but I don't care :) I'm home and nobody sees me so it's cool.
from yesterday's workout
Other differences:


Ok enough about working out. Some other differences have been that with Dylan's pregnancy, I constantly wanted Steak. That was all I ever craved...that and fruit smoothies. This time around I have been craving ice cold Crystal Light...and I normally can't stand ice cold water because my teeth are super sensitive. But this time around, I have to have a cold water bottle in the mornings...it's seriously heaven. I've also eaten an entire tub of hummus from Costco all on my own so apparently I've been craving that as well, and pizza has been on and off for a craving. Other than that I just want regular food...anything but steak! Exact opposite of my first pregnancy lol.

School & Dylan: 

I also just got done doing school this semester (and got straight A's I might add) and that has definitely made this pregnancy different, as well as being a mom. With my first I just had my job to worry about...this time I've had so much more depending on me and I think that's helped keep me on my toes as well. And it's been so fun seeing how sweet Dylan is to my bump. For the longest time he acted like he had a baby in his tummy too, and would feel it and rub it and tell me his baby's name. I think he understands now that there's not a baby in there...he hasn't done it for a few weeks. But he sure is excited to be a big brother! He is constantly touching and hugging my tummy, and loves to sing to it and talk to it. Cutest.Thing.Ever.

Random Differences: 

-I love that I can still wear my wedding ring! I couldn't wear it passed 25 weeks with Dylan.

-And I also love that I can still wear all my shoes. I swelled so badly with Dylan that by week 32 I was literally wearing slippers to work because that's all that would fit on my balloon feet.

-We are also planning on doing Hypnobirthing this pregnancy (as long as I don't induce...we will still try it then but since I know the pain of that I don't think we can avoid an epicural with that one). I am super excited to do the hypnobirthing though! It's a way of training your mind to think of birth in a completely different way, and to get yourself to relax during your birthing waves (contractions). It maybe sounds cooky, but we love the idea of it and the concepts we have learned from the classes we have taken.

-I didn't have any sort of pain with Dylan (that I can remember) except that after I had him my lower back got thrown out pretty badly. With this pregnancy, I have had some of the worst back pain I have ever felt, but in my middle-back. This baby seriously is out to dislocate one of my ribs I swear. He gets himself so squished up there that it causes my entire rib on my left side to hurt from front, side and back. It's torture at times, and the only relief is to lay down. No joke. It's made me emotional at times at how painful it is. For that reason I am very happy that my due date is fast approaching.

-I have had about 5 zits this entire pregnancy. Seriously. It's weird. With my first pregnancy I had THE worst skin ever and was constantly breaking out. And bad! This time? Complete opposite. For this reason I could stay pregnant forever. My skin is better right now than it is when I'm without child.

-I had to pee a lot in the night with Dylan...haven't really had that problem this pregnancy except for a few weeks in the middle of my pregnancy.

-I have had zero stretch marks this pregnancy (knocking on wood extra hard right about now). With pregnancy #1 I got a few stretch marks around my hips and a tiny few under my belly button but nothing that was terrible. Praying this time I get none.

-I am more myself this pregnancy than I was with pregnancy #1 (or so Brett tells me). I am much less hormonal this time around he says, and I am pretty good about managing my hormonal emotions most of the time.

-I have to sleep with my shaper pillow (it's a giant body pillow that literally encircles you except for an opening at the feet...sounds weird but man is it dreamy). I don't know how I survived my first pregnancy without that thing. It has saved me.

-I had some morning sickness with this one. It wasn't always necessarily in the morning, but I would get nauseous quite a bit in the first trimester. I never had one bit of nausea with Dylan. That's why we thought this one was a girl up until he wasn't :)

-I had an aversion to Diet Coke my first trimester...shocking I know! That stuff is like my water. It was so weird to see a can and have absolute disgust towards it. I had to force myself to go off soda for my first pregnancy and it was super hard. Yeah that hasn't happened this time around. I think the longest I've gone without a diet coke (not counting my first trimester) has been 2 weeks...and that was on purpose and somewhat painful.

-I was a lot more organized with Dylan's pregnancy. By this point I had his nursery up and set, as well as a hospital bag packed and his stroller ready and his carseat in the car. Yeah...none of that has happened this time around. Still buying stuff and we have a massive pile in our living room that is waiting to be opened and put together.

-With my first pregnancy we had Dylan's name picked out pretty much off the bat. It was always Dylan...we never had a hard time choosing his name and we both loved it. This time...this baby has been nameless up until a couple days ago. We could not for the life of us either agree on one or find one that we both felt right about. We finally nailed one down for the little munchkin. I can't believe how long it took for us...I never thought the guy would care. Oh, he cares.

Okay I think that's all...I know you wanted this post to be longer but sorry to disappoint you with only an encyclopedia's worth of info :) Lots has been different this pregnancy, and it's been so fun to see the difference between the two. And we are just so excited and scared for this new chapter to begin in our lives. It's so surreal...the waiting game. But we can't wait to meet this little boyfriend and have a baby to snuggle :)


Spring has Sprung...

Hi lovelies! Oh blogging world how I've missed you so! School this semester, while I'm taking less credits, has still taken up so much of my time on top of trying to grow a human and take care of a little human boy and be a wife to another boy too. Boys boys boys! There's boys everywhere! I love it, it's just chaos these last couple weeks of school. I'm so thrilled that the semester ends this week and finals are next week! Then I am free for the entire Summer and can fully focus on all my boys :) And have more time to blog...well, until baby gets here. And speaking of these boys, we decided to have one last family photo session with us as a family of 3. It's so weird even writing that. And since there's no hiding I'm with child these days, we made it a maternity session too. And we were so excited about the location...The Utah State Capitol this time of year is surrounded in blossoms...it's gorgeous! This post was going to be about my pregnancy thus far, and the differences between this pregnancy and when I was pregnant with Dylan, but that post will have to wait for later this week because we got our photos back this weekend and we love them, and I've had a few friends asking to see them :) Be prepared for family/maternity pic overload.

And there's your overload. Photo's were done by Aimee Crandall Photography, and I think she got so many good shots considering we only had 15 minutes for the shoot (it was a mini-session). We are pretty happy with them :)

Well I'm off to sleep...gotta get up at 6:00 to go to my last early class of the semester!! Woot woot! Can't believe it's finally ending! Hooray! Be on the lookout for post all about this baby in my tummy, and how this pregnancy differs from when I was pregnant with Dylan! They have been so different it's kinda crazy. If I didn't know any better I would think I was having a girl for sure.


Late Night Ramblings of a Sentimental Mom

I just need to think outloud for a little bit about becoming a mom again if you don't mind okay?

I once heard a quote and it honestly describes perfectly how motherhood feels for me:

"Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone

I don't know if I just got a fresh batch of pregnancy hormones, or if I am just feeling extremely sentimental just because, but I cannot help but feel a little sad. I am sad that my time with having just Dylan here to be my only cuddly baby and sidekick is slowly but surely coming to a close. I have heard that your heart just expands with each child...but it's hard for me to imagine feeling as strongly for another child as I do for Dylan, even if it's my own. He has been a dream kid since conception. A dream sleeper. Never grumpy when he wakes up, just smiley and happy. He truly is so easy-going, carefree, a wonderful balance of social and independent, and is always happy. We hit the jackpot with that one. And I am kind of nervous, because for as long as I can remember, Brett and I have always said that he has set the bar so high that we are scared none of our future children will ever be able to reach it. That sounds odd but he has been the easiest and sweetest child. He is seriously my heart. I would literally die if anything happened to him, I really feel that way. I don't think I could survive if something happened to him, like my heart would be dead forever if he were to somehow leave me or something happened.

I know how cheesy that sounds, and even dramatic maybe, but it's so true and I think that's why I love that quote I have at the beginning of this post so much. I really feel like my heart is outside of my body, and I am so vulnerable to something breaking it or taking it away from me and being left lifeless. I can't explain it. And it scares me to think that my heart will belong in two little bodies soon, not just one. I don't know if you can know that feeling unless you are a mom. I remember my mom saying that to me before I was a mom "You won't understand how much I love and care for you and worry for you until you have children of your own." It's so true. I understand it so well now that it scares me.

And please don't get me wrong, we are so excited for this new chapter in our lives to come and a new baby to arrive, but there's a mourning I am feeling that knowing our little family will never be the same as it is now. For some reason, that pulls at my heart strings a little. Is that normal? Am I weird for feeling this way? We have been a family of 3 for almost 5 years now, and it's been so much fun and quite perfect. I just don't know how it will be as a family of 4, I have no idea what to expect and that terrifies me. I keep picturing this little kid running around with Dylan, and I constantly have to remind myself that that little "kid" isn't going to be a kid for a while, it's going to come as a baby. That reminder helps me not be as intimidated. Babies are easy and cute and fun right? They aren't intimidating. It has been so long since we had a baby that I honestly don't really remember what it was like. I am hoping that once the baby comes it will all just kind of come back to me. We shall see in 10 weeks.

And I also feel like I could be feeling this way too because once the baby gets here we are going to be going through a lot of different changes, so I feel like that has a lot to do with it. Dylan will be done with preschool and be a kindergartner, I will only have one semester left of school and we will most likely be moving (not out of state or anything, just moving to a different house). Just a lot of things are going to be happening this summer, and while they are super exciting things, the kindergarten one makes me so sad. I am sad that these kiddos will be 5 years apart (if you want to get technical they will be 4 years and 11 months apart). That's a long time. And while I know there will come a time in their lives that age doesn't matter really (my brother and i are 5 years apart and we are really close and great friends now...not so much in our teen years though, it was actually the opposite then), I am scared they won't be friends while they grow up because of how spread out in age they are. I hope that worry is irrelevant and somehow that won't be the case, but it scares me. But there are a lot of positives about the age difference as well. We have had (almost) 5 amazing years with Dylan. Just Dylan. And it's been perfect. And he is old enough now to totally understand what's going on and he will be so helpful when the baby is here and he's already so excited to have a baby brother. So it's really amazing to see how much he is looking forward to it. I don't know. Again, I'm basically thinking outloud.

Well, since I have been feeling this sense of emotions about my growing little man, I have been trying to make more time to spend with him and save my homework until late at night until after he's asleep. That doesn't always happen, but it's been happening more this semester than the previous 2, so I am feeling pretty dang good. I make it a point to go out and do little activities with him, take him to movies, to museums at Thanksgiving Point, to "Old McDonald's" (as he calls it) to watch him play on the play place and interact so sweetly with the other "friends" who are there (every time we are in a public place and he sees kids, young or older, he always says "Look mom! More friends are here!") to play with him on the floor at home play space ships or star wars, taking walks with him while he rides his new scooter that he can't get enough of, going to the park, taking him to get our drinks and cookies and having him order for me (he knows my exact drink...how sad is that?) (diet coke with light ice for her and sprite zero for him), taking a longer time in our bedtime routine by singing more songs than usual and cuddling longer while he plays with my hair and tells me how much he loves me and I stare at him and we keep saying our "I love you's" and our "I'll miss you's" and almost every night a tear runs down my cheek. I just have so much love for that child! I don't have the words to fully express it! You mom's know! You get it! We have just been having so much fun lately, him and I. And for some reason I fear that it's all going to end when the new baby gets here...I get teary just thinking about it. I don't want it to change. I want us to still have our same bond, our little jokes, our routines, everything.

Please tell me I am not going nuts by feeling scared about these things...I feel like I am crazy! It's so weird being so excited for a new baby and yet being so sad at the thought of how it will change things. I am hoping sure that once the new babe is here, I will wonder why I was ever worried, that I will love him as much as I love Dylan, and life will be blissful....right? Yes. I have to believe yes.

Sorry for all the rambling. I just am trying to process how my heart will expand into two children...it seems impossible but, from the mouths of friends and family, it can and does happen, and it's like you were all together in the first place. I hope that is how it will be :)

And to close...a collage from earlier today before we left on our date to the movies, which included seeing "The Good Dinosaur" and getting popcorn and candy :) We walked out the door and before we got off the porch Dylan said "Momma, let's take a picture! " Ummm can't resist that little man's requests, especially that one. I think he just wanted to show off his new haircut and style :)


Maternity Pics + PinkBlush Maternity

How did this happen? I have no idea where the time is going. I remember being pregnant with Dylan and the clock didn't seem to budge. Every second felt like an hour. But with this little guy in my tummy, it's the exact opposite. It probably has to do with the fact that I have Dylan who keeps me extremely occupied, plus school and homework on top of that.

I am 28 weeks today and it's insane, and I am now starting to get a little scared. It's starting to hit me that not only am I going to have to push a human being out of my wahoo again (insert scared and terrified emoji here), but I am also getting used to the fact that I am going to be losing lots of the sleep that I love and cherish so much. Not only was Dylan an amazing newborn and basically slept through the night from the day we brought him home, he's been amazing ever since. There have, of course, been a few nights here and there where he was either sick or scared but honestly, 99% of his life he has been wonderful at sleeping. So this is going to be a huge shift for me, and I am trying to soak up every night of going to bed and not being bothered in the night for the next 12 weeks.

But don't get me wrong, we are over the moon excited about baby boy coming to our family. Besides of the being scared part, I just cannot WAIT! I feel him all day long (and starting to feel him in the night...not loving that part so much but it's okay), and it's gotten to the point where I will be sitting or doing something and I will see my stomach all of a sudden bulge out from a kick or a punch from out of the corner of my eye, and it always startles me even though I can feel it and love it. It's so much fun. And it's so fun to see how much Dylan already loves his little brother. He talks to him constantly throughout the day, will want to kiss my tummy at least 10 times a day and give it hugs, and will even bring books and toys over to my tummy because he wants to "share with baby brother." I mean, can it get any more heart-melting than that? I die every time.

So in honor of being in my third trimester, Brett and I ventured out this passed weekend and had a little mini photoshoot of me and my growing belly. If you want to see what I looked like at 28 weeks in my first pregnancy...and I think you do because I looked like a blob (and I say that with complete confidence, I can't believe anything about that picture...the hair...the outfit...the photo editing...the weight gain!!! Ugh, you live and learn right?) you can find that post here. Feel free to laugh and be embarrassed for me back then...I am right there with you lol.

Here's to kicking off being in the third trimester!!

For this photoshoot I wore two cute maternity dresses from Pinkblush Maternity, the cutest maternity boutique and I love them both (and ps if you haven't shopped there...even if you aren't pregnant...DO IT!!!! They have such cute maternity clothes!!! Not only do I have dresses from there but I have cardigans and tops too. Such a cute place if you want to buy trendy maternity clothes :) I love the orange one because it's not a usual type of dress I would've normally chosen, but I love how I could either pair booties, wedges or heels with it. It's such a versatile piece and I love it.

And the pastel blue one...it just says Spring all over it, and we all want it to just come right?! I love the colors and how bright and Springy it is! I love both of these dresses and it was so fun get all dolled up to get my pictures taken with baby boy jumping around inside of me.

And isn't my husband an amazing photographer?? I kinda gave tips and such as we went along, and I did the editing and some poses, but he got all the settings right and posed me a little all on his own. I am a super proud wife considering he's never really done a whole lot with photography except of landscapes and usual family outings stuff. Super proud of him, I love how they all turned out :)

So since I love these dresses so much, I am teaming up with PinkBlush Maternity and giving away a $75 gift card!!! I am doing it over on my instagram, so if you don't follow me @simply___kate (there are 3 underscores there), you totally should. It's going to be going for a week. And seriously guys, you would be crazy not to enter. They have such cute maternity clothing and maternity dresses, and the price is just right on their apparel, which is awesome. So I highly recommend you enter...I am jealous of whoever wins. You will have a super hard time choosing what to buy!


Sometimes you just gotta be nerdy...

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's weekend with your loves and got to spend some time relaxing. The husband and I had a wonderful date day/night all day Saturday and it was so dreamy.

I wish I could say we are all healthy and well over here...but we are all battling a nasty case of Bronchialitis (translation: a mini version of Bronchitis). Dylan has had it for a little over a week (and has acted like a champ the entire time), and I think Brett and I caught it from him. It hit us both pretty hard yesterday, but today it was so terrible for Brett it kept him home from work. That man doesn't miss work, especially in busy season, for anything. So you know it's bad when he does...poor guy. He's snoozing away as I type, and Dylan is still in his pjs and has been loving watching shows all day and drinking fruit juice and eating treats. He's pretty much over it, but since we both don't feel that great, he gets a day to just chill. He's in his own little Paw Patrol heaven over here.

I felt okay enough to get ready today because I had a few errands I needed to run, and I wanted to tell you guys about these nerd glasses I found that I am a little obsessed with. I have a pair of glasses that are prescription, but I lost them and I can't find them anywhere. So sad, but oh well. My eyes are pretty close to being normal so it's not like I'm blind without them. I mostly wore them because I liked how they looked, but since mine have up and walked away somewhere, I decided to get a new pair that weren't prescription. I found these baby's on Amazon right here. They were a whopping $3 and that's with shipping! The kind I have are the Leopard print. They took about 5 weeks to get here but it was so worth the wait! I love how big they are (my prescription frames were more square and a little smaller) but I am loving the roundness and neediness of these. They are fun and different, and can complete a lazy day look or a fancy look (I wore them with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes today...as lazy and comfy as they come) and I added a pink lip and I felt like it all went really well together. Not something I would normally choose but it is fun to mix things up and I liked the end result. It just adds a different vibe to the overall outfit.

Oh, I just wanted to add one more thing. Can I just say THANK YOU to all of you and your sweet comments from my last post?? You have no idea the love and support I felt from so many of you! So thank you!! Also, I have gained a lot of followers in the last few weeks, and I just want to say welcome and also thank you for following my little online journal of randomness and lifestyle living. I am trying and wanting to start to posting more, and I hope you continue reading. It's so fun to have this blog to be a creative outlet and journal. 


Please don't leave me...

Disclaimer: This post is extremely raw and personal for me. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago and writing it took a couple days because I had to leave it alone when the memories became a little too much. There is raw emotion and a little bit of graphic dialogue at times (I tried to keep it as least graphic as possible). Also, I wrote this very late at night both times I added to it, so please disregard any spelling or grammar errors. Just letting you know before you start.

I have been having a huge impression to blog about this for a while, but haven't because it was such a private and personal experience. One that, for a long time, I couldn't even think about without bursting into tears. But now that it's been over a year, I feel that I can finally write about my experience and hopefully help others who have either gone through the same thing or something similar, or will in the future, because apparently, every 1 in 4 pregnancies turns into a miscarriage.

They tell you that statistic after you have had your ultrasound when there isn't a heartbeat. Like that is supposed to make you feel better or something. But the technician doesn't tell you, your doctor does, because for some reason they like to make you wait another 20 minutes after your ultrasound in your doctor's room feeling anxious, scared, terrified, crumbling and feeling extremely vulnerable.

But I will get to this. Let me start from the beginning, because, like all posts on my blog, I write to remember things and so I can come back and read about it later. Most things are joyful and happy, but some are hard and terrible. And I want to remember it all, even though it was one of the most painful and traumatic experiences of my life.

A year ago in early February, I had just started my second semester back at UVU. I had 4 more to go after that one. I was happy, Brett was in busy season and we were adjusting to it as we always have to every time it comes around, and Dylie was happy and peppy and loving school just as he does now. I remember the distinct night that, out of nowhere, I had a pretty strong feeling I was pregnant. I didn't really have any symptoms (anyone who knows me knows my periods occur about 3 times a year). I just had a feeling. Brett and I had gone out on a date (a rareity for us in busy season) and we went to see American Sniper. After the movie, we were driving to dinner to meet up with Brett's sister and her husband, and I told Brett that before the night was over, I wanted to pick up a pregnancy test. He was shocked to hear me say that, since we obviously weren't even on the verge of trying because I had so much school left I wanted to finish before we had another baby. I was shocked too, but I wanted to put my mind at ease and prove to myself that I wasn't and stop the tricks my mind was playing on me. So after dinner, we stopped and got a pregnancy test along with some treats because we were going to have a slumber party and eat gummies and chocolate and drink soda and cuddle while we watched a movie in bed (those are our slumber parties). I forgot all about the test we had just bought.

The next morning we had 9am church, so I got up and was about to go to the bathroom before I got ready and I saw them sitting there on the bathroom counter. Brett was still asleep and the house was quiet. It was pretty early but I had gotten up early on purpose so we weren't late (I'm usually the reason we are). I remember thinking that I should just take it to put my mind at ease so I could move these crazy thoughts out of my mind to make room for school and life. I took it and honestly, I was so chill about it that I forgot I had taken it because I started getting ready, as it just sat on the counter next to me. 20 minutes later I dropped a bobby pin on the counter and I went to grab it and I saw it. And I saw the result. I had only seen those two lines once before, and I knew exactly what they meant. I remember grabbing it and just staring at it, then back at my opened-mouth face in the mirror, then back at the test for what seemed like an hour. I was completely stunned...no, shocked is a better word...and not in the best way. I went from pure calm to terrified in about a millisecond. My whole mind shifted in that instant. One minute before I really didn't have a care in the world, and peeing on a stick had literally changed my entire plan for life. What was I going to to about school? What about finishing? How would I make that work with a newborn? What about our plan? We had this plan. I wanted more than anything to just stick with the plan. That was the easiest route. Why now? What now?

I remember that I came out of the bathroom and I felt like I was floating. It had thrown me for such a loop. I thought about telling Brett in a cutesy way and started thinking about how I would do it, but right when I saw him when I came into our bedroom, I woke him up to tell him. I needed his soothing and comforting words. There was no way I could be alone in this. I scared him because I woke him up crying. He, of course, thought something had happened or something was wrong. I showed him the test. He couldn't see because he didn't have his glasses, so he felt around on the nightstand, put them on, and stared at the stick. Then looked at me with complete joy and tears in his eyes. His reaction was the exact opposite of mine. He grabbed me and held me and listened to my worries as he kept saying how happy and excited he was. Brett is the calm to my storm. He always knows how to react in times when I'm in distress. He helped me see that, while it wasn't planned, it wasn't terrible either. School would work out. Life would work out. Our family was growing, and that was all that mattered. He changed my rainy storm cloud into a ball of sunshine. By church we were both smiling and giving each other our secret "sign" to say how happy we were (a peace sign, because this child was #2 and we were having ANOTHER BABY!!).

We kept doing that sign to each other for weeks. We would do it in private, public, over text, anywhere. We just couldn't handle the excitement of a new addition. And we even told Dylan, and Dylan kept feeling my tummy and kept talking about a baby. We were in heaven for a month after I took that test.

Then we went to the doctor.

And everything changed.

There was no heartbeat. Just a yolk sack. But we didn't know exactly how far along I was because I couldn't remember when my period had been, so the doctor said not to worry, and to come back the next week for another ultrasound, that we probably had the dates wrong for my period and that by the next week there would be a heartbeat. We left the ultrasound with a few pictures of a tiny ball and a new-mom bag they give you with samples of formula and coupons and things new mom's can use. The drive home was full of reassurances and worries.

We prayed and worried for a solid week. That was all I thought about, dreamt about and slept about for 7 days straight. We held out hope, but deep down I think I knew. Looking back, I think I did. I kept telling Brett I wasn't sure, but he would reassure me and I would be okay again. This was a cycle for seven long days.

Then back to the doctor we went. The ultrasound went exactly like that part in Marley and Me where Jennifer Aniston's character goes in for her ultrasound. I tried so hard not to cry that my bottom lip shook uncontrollably. Tears streamed down my face but the lip shook. I wouldn't give into the sobbing until I knew and heard it from the doctor.

And then came the news, and the start of a heartbreak that I never truly understood until I experienced it myself. Confusion fogged my mind. Anger tore at my heart, and sadness misted in my eyes and down my cheeks as the doctor talked about different procedures and ways of taking out what was once meant to be our future. Something that we had just barely known, that we never got to know, was leaving us. And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

We left empty-handed. No pictures. No next appointment card. No heartbeat.

We went and picked up Dylan from my best friends house (she was watching him for us) and I had texted her in the car ride over that there wasn't a heartbeat. I didn't say anything else, except that I didn't want to talk about it. We got him, and the car ride home was silent. Tears streamed down my cheeks as we both sat in silence while listening to Dylan chatter away about the sun and the cars and the clouds.

The next few days were okay. I decided to let my body run it's course and do what it needed to do on its' own because we didn't want to pay for the procedure to have it removed from me (for some reason with our insurance it's more expensive than the actual labor part). The doctor had told us that it would be in the next week or so. And in that week I was sad, but I was okay. Okay because I still carried our little dream around with me everywhere I went. Even though it wasn't viable, it was still with me, and for that time, it was enough to keep me okay.

Then the day came. I was out grocery shopping with Dylan and we were having so much fun (back when he would still sit in the cart and when it was fun because I didn't have to chase him everywhere like I do now) and I hadn't really thought about it that day like I had the days before. As we were leaving the store I started getting extremely lightheaded. I didn't really know why, I just thought I needed to eat. As we were driving I got a phone call from my father-in-law asking if Dylan and I wanted to go to lunch. I told them I wasn't feeling well, but they were more than welcome to take Dylan. They were happy to have him so I took him over there before I came home.

That phone call was divine intervention. As I took Dylan to the door it occurred to me what was happening. They answered the door and they said I looked pale, and I told them what was going on, and they gave me hugs and I got in my car and had no idea what was going on. From what the doctor had told me, it was a pretty painful process and one that would put me in bed for a few hours. I had planned on doing some homework that afternoon, but instead I stopped at Panda Express because Chow Mien sounded comforting and delicious, then went home. I started having some cramps but nothing I couldn't handle. I got in comfy clothes, took some Tylenol got in bed and put on Pitch Perfect and ate my chow mien. I was good and okay for an hour or so. Cramps were uncomfortable but not awful.

Then the awful came. I had contractions that I only remember having when I was having Dylan. And they were hard and extremely painful. I remember needing to go to the bathroom but didn't want to get up for fear of what would be underneath me. I called Brett and told him what was going on, and told him to stay at work because he couldn't do much anyways and that Dylan was with his family so he was okay. I can't even express how grateful I am for that divine intervention. I remember sobbing loudly through the pain that my body was putting me through, emotionally and physically. Knowing I was getting rid of something that I didn't want to get rid of was physically heartbreaking. I remember thinking over and over again "please, please don't leave me."

I eventually got up because I couldn't not go to the bathroom any longer. My body was pushing and I couldn't fight it anymore. What looked like a thick pool of red paint filled the entire spot where I had laid. I ran to the bathroom in fear of getting it everywhere. I can't even express in words the excruciating pain of what happened next. I sat down on the toilet and started to undress because I was covered in my own blood. What I heard and felt come out of me will never be able to leave my memory. Hearing and feeling what was supposed to be #2, our peace sign and the reason we had both been so giddy over the last few weeks leaving me was the most traumatizing experience I have ever experienced. I screamed as it happened. Loud, raw, tear-filled screams that I didn't even know my own voice could make. I cried uncontrollably and shook and just let myself feel the emotions for what felt like forever afterwards.

It was gone. It had left me. Even though I had begged Heavenly Father in every prayer for a couple weeks before this that it wouldn't leave me. That something would change, a miracle would occur and this nightmare would be forgotten. It was gone. Like it hadn't even been there in the first place. It was gone, and so was a piece of my heart.

I don't remember getting back to my bedroom, the rest of that day was kind of a blur. I remember telling Brett and he left work early to get Dylan, and he brought me a cookie from our favorite place, Village Baker. I was dressed and was in bed with the bloody sheet on the floor and towels under me and a pad. The doctor had told me that I would need to wear them for about a week afterwards. I didn't speak, I held Dylan and Brett held me and I didn't do anything but cry until I fell asleep.

The next day I woke up and as I got up, I looked at my phone and I had texts from some friends and notifications from social media. I don't know why, but for some reason I didn't want to talk to anyone or see anything on social media. I immediately deleted Instagram and deactivated my Facebook and didn't respond to the texts. I didn't want to talk to anyone or do anything.

Those next couple weeks are a blur to me. I didn't talk to anyone but Brett, Dylan and my mom. I didn't really leave the house unless I absolutely had to (groceries or whatnot). I went numb and turned into a zombie. I remember just being extremely sad, feeling alone and being a little angry at God. I had never in my life felt that way towards Him. I have had family members taken from me and been through some tragedies that a lot of people don't go through at such  young age, but never have I felt angry at God. It was a new experience for me. I was angry. I was pissed. How could He do this to me? I had had my "plan" in place, been so terrified that that plan was changing because of another baby, then wrapped my mind around how great it would be and was so happy about it and wanted it more than anything, and He took it from me. What was the point of that? I didn't understand.

They say time heals wounds. Speaking from experience, it does, at least for me. Maybe not entirely, but it does help. After those couple weeks I started feeling like myself again. Slowly but surely, I started seeing the sun again in my life. I left the house to go take Dylan to do something fun finally, I started texting friends who, by the power of the spirit I am sure, knew something was wrong. A few separate friends had texted me and asked why they were having a feeling they needed to contact me. I started telling close friends about what had happened, and I started praying again. As I did these things, I started healing. Talking about it was so hard, and each time I did I broke down. I still do sometimes. The support I had and the love I felt was so touching and freeing for me. I got back on social media and started doing normal day-to-day things like do playdates and workout and homework. Throwing myself back into life was how I best felt I could heal from it. That may not be the same for everyone, but it was for me. It took time for me to be able to do that, but once I did I started to see the sunshine in my life again.

We had another miscarriage 3 months after the first one. I won't go into all the details of it again because this post would be so long, but the second time around was like the first where we went to the doctor and there actually was a heartbeat, but it was faint so they wanted us to come back the next week and we did and the heartbeat was gone. It was another trial that we had to face, and one that I hope to never have to experience again. I was excited about that pregnancy then went through the motions of being sad and extremely angry at God. Why would he let this happen to me twice in such a short period of time? Did He not see how hard that first time was for me? Why would He give me another chance only to take it away so suddenly again? I remember feeling like He was torturing me. I really can't explain it other than that. I remember sobbing to my mom and saying those exact words and saying how mean He was for doing this to me again. Like He was playing a sick game and the result was complete anguish and despair on my part. And I was terrified of going through such a traumatic experience like I did the first one. I wouldn't wish that experience on anybody.

But the way that my body got rid of the second one was a testament to me of what a loving Heavenly Father I have. It was in the middle of the night and I felt no pain; I was extremely calm and I was able to go right back to sleep while a few tears streamed down my face. I felt angels with me that night, and I believe it happened when it did for a reason. I woke up the next day sad, but okay. And my anger at God had gone away (for the time being, it came back in waves for a little while but I feel that is a normal part of grief for some). But I was able to still live my life normally and talk about it freely. I didn't hide and I didn't want to just sleep away my sadness. I feel I knew how to better handle it because I had done it just a few months prior. It was a big test of faith for me, and while those experiences are ones that are still so painful to think back on, I am grateful for the growth I have had because of them.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about what could've been. It's weird to think that if that first pregnancy had gone through, we would have a 5-month old right now, or if the second had we would be due any day. And even though we have one on the way now, the pain from those two miscarriages is still very real and painful. I can think and talk about them and not get emotional, but if I'm alone and think about them, the tears still come. We will never know them until we are in heaven, and that breaks my heart a little bit.

I wanted to write about this to remember this experience, but to also maybe help those who have been through the same thing or are going through it that you aren't alone. And you will get through it. And it's okay to be angry, pissed, sad, confused and not know how you are going to keep going. It's amazing to me that two little pink lines can automatcially have so much power over your heart and your mind. You lost what could've been, and that is such a heartbreaking thing to think about and wrap your mind around. And this may sound odd, but I have felt that I need to add it to this post. If anyone needs to talk about what they have experienced with someone who has been through it, I am more than happy to talk about it with you. Because sometimes it's hard to talk to someone who doesn't know exactly how it feels, and sometimes it makes it easier when you can talk to someone who does know.

We will never forget our two babies we lost. They are forever in our hearts and we look forward to when we get to see them again.


Welcome to New York...

So before I dive into our trip, I just need to point out that I stole the title of this post from one of TayTay's songs on her best album to date. She opened her concert with this song so it's only fitting that I open my blog with the same title right?

Okay, let the trip and the pictures and videos begin. And a sidetone of forewarning: it's a long post with lots of pics. Feel free to take a break in the middle and come back later, or if you are really up for it, grab a cup of cocoa and stay a while. Either way works :)

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to jet along with Brett on a "business trip" to Manhattan. Let me just fill you in on why I put "" marks around business trip. He had to go there to work at a firm to do an end-of-year inventory for 5 hours. 5 hours people! And his work was paying for his flight and hotel for this half-day work venture. And since we knew he would only have to work half of a day, we decided to take advantage of family being in town for the holidays who could watch Dylie, buy red-eye plane tickets because they were hundreds of dollars cheaper than regular flights, book an amazing hotel right smack dab in the middle of the city (and by the middle, I mean 2 blocks away from Times Square and one block away from Rockefeller Center), and make a trip out of it. I was planning on doing this with him next month when he has to go there for a solid week for work (now that's a business trip) but I didn't want to explore the city alone. I'll explore St. George alone...NYC on the other hand is a little scarier to me. And plus, this trip proved to me that my sense of direction in that place is worse than a toddlers. Brett and I were constantly bickering about which way to go to get to where, and he was ALWAYS right. Always. So after about the second day of this happening I decided to keep my mouth shut and listen because the boy knew exactly what he was talking about.

Anyways, so we found out Brett had to go on this trip in late November, and he had to be there on the 28th of December. So in order to make it work, we decided to leave Christmas night. Kinda sad for Dylan, but kinda not. We put him to bed at my in-laws before we left and explained we were leaving, and I almost wish we hadn't done that. There is nothing that will pull at a mom's heartstrings more than hearing your sweet 4-year old say "can i come wif you mama? I want to come wif you!" Heart wrenching, but also felt good knowing we would be missed. And after lots of cuddles, hugs and kisses we left him to drift off to sleep as we crept into the night to get to the airport for our 11pm flight.

Before we boarded our flight                                                                After we landed  

Day 1: 

Now, let me give you some advice. If you can sleep like a rock, anywhere you are, red-eye flights are made for you. Or, if you don't need sleep at all, take the red-eye! You will be so happy you did and happy with the money you saved. But, if you are like me and have to sleep in a place that's deathly quiet, with ear plugs and a head mask and you actually need to sleep laying down, this plan NOT for you. Well, let me clarify. If you have a nice hotel bed waiting for you at your destination, take the dang red-eye. If you don't and you have to wait until 3pm to check in, DO NOT TAKE THE RED-EYE. I repeat, do not. It's the worst idea ever. Sure, you get there at 3am your time and 5am NYC time and that means you have a few hours of a city that never sleeps to yourselves, but that gives you 10 flipping hours to kill before you can sleep and not look like a drunken rat who has lost its way. If we ever take a red-eye again, there will be a bed waiting for me when we get to our place of travel. Mark my words. We didn't book an extra night at our hotel to save money. Trust me, we were wishing like mad that we had bit the bullet and booked another night. It would've been worth so much more than any penny we saved. And just our luck, the hotel was completely booked so buying a room once we got there wasn't an option.

Ok, so I may be over-exagerrating a little. And once we got in our Uber and out on the town after we dropped our bags off it wasn't terrible. It was actually nice to drop our bags then walk the two blocks, passing Saks 5th Avenue and all their fashion windows to see Rockefeller Center and THE tree that I have always wanted and dreamed of seeing in person. We were walking there and I was so busy looking at the windows and keeping an eye out to make sure we weren't going to get mugged because the streets were dead except for a few creeper looking people, that I completely didn't look across the street. Then Brett pointed and told me to look and it was seriously the most beautiful sight! 

The pictures honestly don't do it justice. And the longer we were in NYC, the more we came to really appreciate being out there that early and having nobody around so we could have a peaceful Rockefeller experience, because there was not one other time that we went passed that place or cut through it to get to somewhere else that it wasn't jam-packed with thousands of people. It is nuts how many people can fit in such a small radius there!

After staring and being in-awe of this tree and the ice skating rink and looking around and seeing the 30 Rock building, we saw that the Today show was filming (they film there and we had no idea) and we saw a crowd starting to gather, you know, like they do when it's on and there's people with signs and stuff outside the windows? So we decided that since we had hours and hours to kill, we may as well go over. We had to be security-checked, then we were led to where the barricades are, and since it was the morning after Christmas, and a Saturday, it wasn't too crowded. The regular weekday anchors weren't there, but it was still such a fun experience! We got on TV twice just waving as the camera went by (I cannot for the life of me find a video of it, I tried that same day and couldn't...bummer :() But it was so fun and a time-waster. 

We got a selfie with this anchor, no idea what her name is but she was on for the entire time they were filming so I am assuming she is on her way to take Matt Lauer's place when he retires :) She was very nice and she was wearing the shortest dress and I am not sure how she didn't freeze to death in it. 

After this we decided we wanted to eat so we went to a little bakery that my sister had recommended (her and her husband had gone to NYC just a month before) and got some banana pudding that was divine, then headed to a McDonald's because the bakery (and almost every other place we would learn on our trip) had zero seating. Zip. The McDonald's had a 24-hour security guy there just guarding the seating area, making sure you had purchased food to sit. If you didn't buy food, you didn't eat. So we bought just so we could sit. We had been standing the previous 4 hours straight. The tiredness started to creep in here a little bit. We both kept passing out while we sat in our booth eating, and we must've stayed there for an hour just trying to wake up and get the energy to stand up again and walk for who know's how long. I am surprised the security guy didn't kick us out, we totally looked like bums, and we basically were that entire morning. We had nowhere to go, it sucked. He must've noticed this and took pity on us. 

The rest of the time was spent killing time by going to The 30 Rock building where they film Jimmy Fallon (sadly he wasn't filming for 3 weeks and part of that time is when we were there) and they had a cool gift shop full of stuff from his show, The Today Show, Friends, and other popular ones throughout the years that have been on NBC. They had tours you could take of the studios, and I wish SO bad that I had thought about that before our trip. They were all sold out the entire time we were on our vacation. So sad, that would've been so fun. 
Then we went to a massive H&M that was just down the street and shopped for a bit where we found matching hats, and we both got gloves and scarves since we didn't bring any and figured we would need them. And luckily we found a massive ottoman that wasn't occupied that we could sit on and rest again. I am telling you, when I say there is no seating anywhere, there truly is no seating. It's pretty sad that this ottoman was the best seat we could find. 

After resting a bit we walked around to a bunch of stores they have around Rockefeller like The Lego Store, The Nintendo Store, we went inside Saks 5th Avenue just to see what it was like, and I am happy to report that there is no way, even if I was a millionaire, that I would shop at those places. I think the cheapest thing that was in there was a Chanel Lipstick which was $69, and all the stores ranged from Chanel to Jimmy Choo to Kate Sommerville etc. It was nuts, and we felt extra awesome because we looked extra awesome :) We were getting stared down left and right in that place. It was neat to go inside though. 


 Then we found one of the most gorgeous cathedrals I've ever seen. St. Patrick's Cathedral. It's just right by Saks and it is beautiful and huge! You could walk around inside for free and it was beautiful! A bunch of people were lighting candles for loved ones and worshipping, but there were tons of visitors like us just walking around looking at the architecture, the gorgeous stained-glass windows and the massive nativity they had in there. For some reason we didn't take advantage of sitting down in there, not sure why. We left after an hour of admiring and kept window-shopping, then I started to get extremely sick and tired (pregnancy will do that to you, as will lack of sitting and sleeping) so we decided we needed to sit and rest. We went to Rockefeller and inside where the shopping was and down to the second level where they have tons of fancy schmancy restaurants with a big open area full of tables you could sit at. Not one place to sit in there. Not even the floor. It was crawling with people. People everywhere! I wanted to die and so did my back! So we thought and the only place we could think of was the Cathedral. So we made our way back to it and just went inside and found our own little bench and rested. I fell asleep while Brett kept an eye out for a good while. That Cathedral was the worst part of the trip. I had a massive headache and stomach ache and just wanted to lay down and sleep. I don't think I have felt that tired since I gave birth to Dylan. Then after a while we decided we should probably eat because we hadn't eaten since 8am and it was now 2. One hour to go before check-in and sleep time. The only place that was around that was close was a TGIF's. We gave in and went. Most ghetto and disgusting TGIF's ever. We shared a meal and it still cost $40 and, as Brett puts it, it tasted like thrown-up Spaghettio's with burn chicken in it. Not good, but it satisfied my stomach enough and killed time. 

Then the time came! The moment we had been waiting for! 3pm!!!!!! We booked it extremely quickly to our hotel, checked in, and immediately crashed for 4 hours. We were exhausted! Then after we both got in a good snooze, we decided to go the opposite direction a couple blocks of our hotel and hit up Times Square.

I am not sure if I mentioned this but, as it so happened, the East Coast was going through a huge warm-front that is not normal at all for this time of year. It was warmer there than Utah was (NYC: 45 degrees, Utah: 15 degrees), so that was really nice. A couple of the nights it got super chilly, but this night wasn't one of them. We were really lucky to be there when we were. I don't think I would've wanted to leave my hotel had it been as cold as home was. 

And of course, Times Square was just as crowded as everywhere else. It was really neat to see though. They were busy setting up for New Year's Eve so there were a bunch of stages being put up and there were barriers everywhere already. It was cool to see it all being put together. And we went shopping at the American Eagle there at 11pm since I accidentally only brought the pair of pants with me I had been wearing all day. Gross. I needed another. We walked up and down it and saw a bunch of things, but we knew we would be going back and we were starving so we made our way to an Irish Pub we saw on our walk to Times Square, and it was sooooo good! And way cheaper than TGIF's. We really liked it a lot. Then we went back to the hotel and crashed for the night. We did so much in one day that it was awesome, but being that tired is no fun at all. 

Day 2: 

We woke up super early to go see the 9/11 Fountains and the Memorial Museum. That was the #1 thing I wanted to do while we were there, so we didn't waste any time. We woke up, got ready, grabbed breakfast at the Dunkin' Donuts that was right next to our hotel (the #5 on the menu was what I got every single morning...so yummy) then walked the few blocks to get our subway passes at Grand Central Station to head to lower Manhattan.

Grand Central Station is super gorgeous! It's amazing how many people were there, and especially how many armed soldiers there were all around that place. From when we walked in to when we got on the subway (which was only an hour since we got lost in that place 4 times before we actually found the right way to go, it's deceivingly small but it's HUGE!) we saw at least 30 of them standing around, with huge guns, and most with dogs too. It made me comforted and super nervous at the same time. Not sure if that's how it is all the time there or if it was just so close to NYE that they were taking extra precautions? The entire city was like that but with policemen. There were literally cop cars and armed cops on every corner. But anyways, I loved how historic this building was and how beautiful it was to look at, especially the ceiling! We kept talking about how much Dylan would've loved it because it had a ton of different star constellations on it. 

Then once we finally had our tickets and finally found the right subway, we hopped on and rode the 15-minute ride to our stop. It was a small walk from there to the 9/11 site. It was so crazy being there and seeing all of it completed. The first time I went to NYC I went with my mom and my sister, and that was in 2004, so not too long after the attacks. Where the fountains are now there was just one massive hole in the ground, it was fenced off, most of the buildings surrounding the hole were under construction from 2001 still, and there were still signs family and friends had made to find missing loved ones from attacks. It was devastating being there the first time. I remember bawling as I read all the papers and seeing all the pictures. 

But this time around, it was beautiful and had the most sacred feeling. I will never forget it. We felt it as soon as we walked onto the grounds.

It was so surreal being there. It makes it so much more real when you see all the names that are engraved on the sides of the fountains. Seeing them made my heart ache, and seeing some that had "and her unborn child" next to them made me tear up. And seeing that someone had put a rose inside one of the names...these were all someone's sibling, friend, son or daughter, spouse and co-worker. So heart-wrenching. 

Once we were done looking at the fountains we headed over to get in line to get our tickets for the museum. We finally got our tickets after an hour, and we had 2 hours to kill before our call time. So we went and got hot dogs at one of the bazillion stands that are in Manhattan, then walked down to Trinity Church and Wall Street. 

Trinity Church is known not only because it's extremely old and beautiful, but because it wasn't really affected when the attacks happened. It didn't need to have any cosmetic work done to it after the attacks like most of the buildings surrounding it, and it's just beautiful. It was cool to walk the grounds there. Wall Street was pretty neat too. I am not sure if you can even find "The Bull" in that last pic above, that thing was constantly surrounded by tourists taking pics with it's head and it's behind. this is the best shot I could get of it. We walked passed it a couple days later a few times and it was still just as nuts. 

Then we headed back to the museum and got in line. That place is seriously stunning. And of course, it's extremely eerie and amazing all at the same time. 

We spent a full 8 hours in there, and it wasn't enough time (and my back was killing me by hour six, so much so that I literally laid down on the floor at one point and did some lower-back stretches a couple of different times. I looked like an idiot, but I honestly didn't care by the time I actually did it). We had to rush through the last few rooms because they were going to close soon, so if you ever decide to go (which you NEED TOO!) I suggest going in the morning so you can have all the time you want. It's just incredible. 

I will be forever haunted by some of the stories, voicemails and manuscripts I heard and read while we were in there. It was just tragic what those people went through. Words could never describe it. I loved how they put it together though. You could either go with a group that had a guide with it, or you could download an app that the museum had and follow along that way. We chose to do our own thing and just walk together. The way they have it set up is so perfect. I can't believe how many things they had from the attacks there. We weren't expecting to see and hear so many tangible things, much less expected to listen to voicemails from loved ones who were on the planes and in the towers. I just kind of thought you would see some things then mostly just hear narrations of everything from a third party. No no. they make it so real and so sobering that you can somewhat imagine being there and being in some of their shoes just for a small second. It's amazing and extremely heartbreaking. 

After we were done it was 9pm, and it was pouring. And we had no umbrella's. And I was starving! A side of me came out that evening that has never made itself known before. I didn't realize I could be such a monster when I am tired, wet, hungry, pregnant and have an extremely achy back that needs relief. I apologized profusely to Brett later that night. Poor guy. I became extremely onry extremely fast. I blame my pregnancy hormones for my impatience and behavior of being grouchy. It didn't really happen until after we got off the Subway at Grand Central Station.

We got on the subway and got to our stop, then couldn't decide where to eat. There was a pizza place that looked good, but after standing inside of it for 20 minutes and being completely ignored by the hostess, we decided to leave and I was just pissed. We found a small cupcake shop and bought some bite-sized cupcakes (literally, you will see below) then decided to just get McDonalds because we just wanted something fast before I ate a person off the street. BIG mistake. We ended up waiting a flipping hour in line at the dang McDonalds, AN HOUR! And we were soaked and exhausted and I was ready to murder someone. But we finally got our food then headed back in the pouring rain to our hotel. It wasn't a good couple hours, but at least we didn't starve to death and my back was grateful to finally get some relief. And once we were laying in bed watching Friends and eating all our food, I was okay again but SO tired (as seen in my face below). Sorry again babe.

Day 3:

So we planned on waking up early to go to the Statue of Liberty this day. Didn't happen. That day of walking for 8 hours in the museum really did us in. We ended up sleeping in till' 10am (8am our time, we never fully adjusted to EST) then just took our time getting ready. My feet KILLED! I was extremely glad I only packed my white tennis shoes. They aren't the most stylish but I would've died in anything else. 

So after getting ready and grabbing our usual breakfast, we headed back down to the Wall Street stop to go get tickets to get to the Statue of Liberty. Before we did that we stopped at a little Asian cuisine restaurant right on Wall Street and it was super yummy. And we were super lucky to find a seat in there since there were only 4 tables and there were at least 50 people inside eating...

Once we were finished eating and we got to where you buy the tickets, we waited in line at one of the places we looked up online, and they wanted $40 per ticket. It didn't say that price online (it said $27) and we tried telling them that but they didn't care since there was an entire line behind us willing to pay the $40. We didn't want to pay that, especially since we had both done it before on previous family trips. So we ended up bagging that idea and went to the Brooklyn Bridge. I have always wanted to walk it and see it, and it was so fun to walk hand-in-hand with my sweetheart and see the city from a far. 

This day was super chilly, probably the most chilly day of all the days we were there. But, it was still so fun. But, be warned if you ever walk on this bridge though. There is a lane for bikes, and a lane for people on foot. There were multiple people we saw get run into by bikers because they were in the bike lane, no joke. It was hilarious but super sad at the same time. So I was paranoid and made sure we stayed inside our lane. Another thing you may notice if you go to the Brooklyn Bridge, or any part of New York City for that matter is that everyone and their dog owns a selfie-stick. Everyone but us that is. I actually wanted to get one the first day we were there because I thought it would be helpful, but Brett refused. I am glad we didn't now because they got super annoying to be around and that everyone had them, but it was pretty amusing. We ended up only walking halfway on the bridge because it's massive and I didn't want to go the whole way, and I wanted to warm up, so we headed back to go to our next destination.

China town. That place is one of a kind. I don't really understand why there's an entire "town" that is full of the same 5 shops that just keep repeating themselves? There were purse and bag shops, perfume shops, jewelry/belt shops and little trinket shops. That's it. Pretty funny and EXTREMELY ghetto. Brett says that's the place he felt most unsafe, which is odd because I didn't. I mean it was pretty darn ghetto, but there were so many people that I was okay. We got a Starbucks hot chocolate then set out to do some shopping. I can't tell you how many times I got hounded to buy a purse as we walked down the street there. At first I was totally cool saying "no thanks," but after the 22nd time being asked to buy brand-name purses, I got a little curious. So I finally told the lady that asked that I wanted to see them. She pulled out a huge pamphlet and inside were Calvin Klein and Michael Kors purses. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Michael Kors. And the bag I have been wanting for 3 years was in that pamphlet. She said she wanted $60 for it, and I am surprised at how well I bartered with her. She wouldn't budge below $50, so I said I didn't want one and we walked away. An hour later we were getting ready to head back to the subway and the same lady came and I said she would do $40. Sold! So I said I wanted to actually see the purse in person before I bought it. You would think I told her I wanted to buy drugs...because the next thing we knew was she was taking us to a small corner that was somewhat secluded and she called a number and we waited for 10 minutes. Then all of a sudden some dude in all black came with a bag in hand, handed it to the woman as he walked passed her and slid into the night. It honestly looked like a drug deal. It was bizarre. Then she pulled the purse out of the bag and sure enough, it was legit, or at least it felt and looked exactly the same as the one I have been coveting. The name was spelled correctly, the coloring of everything was the same as the ones I had seen in the store, it was heavy-duty. It was gorgeous. And it had to be mine. It's now siting in my room and it's my favorite. I don't care if it's not legit, it looks like it and I just love it.

And that was our fun experience of the day.

After China Town we hopped on the subway to another place my sister recommended called Eataly for dinner. It's an Italian shop/restaurant that's massive and it was AMAZING! It's right by The Flat Iron Building and had an awesome view of The Empire State Building. After walking around inside of it for a while we decided we were starving, so we sat down and ordered what the waiter recommended, which was a meat and cheese platter with unlimited bread. It was cheaper than any of the other meals we had ordered (besides the pub) on our trip and it was BY FAR the best thing we had eaten yet. Fresh, yummy, filling and divine.

The waiter kept asking if we wanted wine, and he thought we were super weird because we kept saying we were okay with just water. It was so good though. Mmmmmm. Then after that we were pretty pooped so we headed back to the hotel to chill and FaceTime Dylan until bedtime, especially cause Brett had to go work his 5 hours the next morning.

Day 4:

This was my favorite morning. The morning I got to sleep in and just watch reruns of the Kardashians and Housewives while Brett went to fulfill his work duties. I didn't love wasting time in the hotel, but my back and feet were in dire need of a break at this point. We were wishing we had saved the museum until one of the last days of our trip so our feet had time to get used to all the walking...I think by doing it our second day our feet were never the same. So it was nice to just chill in my jammies, watch some of my favorite shows and eat Peanut Butter M&M's that we had brought from our Christmas stockings. I did end up going down to grab lunch at a little cafe that was a little down the street from our hotel. All alone. I felt like such a New Yorker doing it all by myself :) And the cafe was Delish!!! It was like Zupas but about 10x as fancy but the price was the same. I was pleasantly surprised by the food. I took it back with me to my hotel to enjoy while I finished up an episode of RHOBH before I got ready for the day. And by the time I was ready, Brett had come back. It was just the perfect morning/early afternoon. 

Then from there we left to walk down passed Times Square to go Ice Skating in a place called Bryant Park. Oh! This night was one of my favorites! Ice Skating in New York City has always been a fantasy of mine, and it was so fun to live it out with my sweetheart. We decided to skate here because A) it was close to us and we could walk there B) because it was only $20/person to skate and C) Bryant Park is amazing and the rink was surrounded by the most quaint little shops and a carousel. It was amazing!!! 

And we didn't know this until after we filmed the videos below, but it was super off-limits to do that while skating. We saw 2 separate people get kicked off the rink for filming videos while they skated...not sure why? It was extremely crowded but I don't think it called for getting kicked out. Luckily we were sneaky and we didn't even know it. And ps sorry there are a billion videos, I just wanted to add them because I am journaling this trip for us to look back on :)

It was honestly the funnest 2 hours! We weren't cold and we just had so much fun! Afterwards we walked through some of the shops then decided to get sushi for dinner. There was a pretty famous sushi restaurant across the street called Koi, and we decided that since Brett had perdiam that day that we would splurge. The place was super fancy and the sushi was divine! 

Afterwards I was still hungry, and there was a super yummy waffle pop-up shop that was blended in with all the Bryant Park shops that I had spotted before dinner, and I wanted to try it. It was exactly like Waffle Luv and extremely good! I got the Apple-Pie waffle. Yum!

And these are our matching hats. Nerdy? Yes. Warm? Oh yeah. It was pretty darn cold but we didn't even notice until after skating, so we put on our matchy matchy hats and we were instantly warm. 

After dinner and the waffle we went back to Times Square to wander and shop. We wanted to find Dylan something but we never did, well at least not something that could fit in our suitcase. But walking around was fun and we loved it.

Countdown to the Rockin New Year's Even party
And what was really cool about it is that there was an entire massive section that was full of the LDS church saying "A Savior is Born" and had the links people could go to to find out more about us. It was so cool! I wonder how much the church spent to have it there. It wasn't part of the electric signs, it stayed the way it looks below 24/7. Most of the signs there are either for the Broadway shows or they are electric billboards that shuffle through a bunch of different ads and videos. Not these, they were there to stay. It was awesome!

After walking and shopping at the Disney store and Toys R' Us (which had a massive ferris wheel in it by the way) we headed back to our hotel to pack and plan our next and last day adventures.

Day 5:

This day was SO fun! I mean it was all fun but this one sticks out to both of us. We woke up, checked out of the hotel (they held our luggage for us for the day) then we headed on the subway down to the Staten Island Ferry. I read the night before that if you wanted to see The Statue of Liberty but didn't want to pay, to take the Staten Island Ferry. It's completely free and you sail right passed the ol' broad. So that's what we did. It was so fun and a quick ride there and back, about 20 minutes each way.

Then after our little ferry boat ride, we booked it up to The Freedom Tower because we had a call time on our tickets for 11am. If you don't know what it is, it's a tower that was built on the 9/11 grounds and you go in and you can go to the very top and see the entire city from the top. It's the tallest building now in NYC. And it's gorgeous!

It kind of stunk because it was pretty darn cloudy that day, and they kept warning us that it was and that we could exchange our tickets for a less-cloudy day, but since we were flying out that night, we didn't have a choice. And we could still see, but not nearly as far as you normally can (which is 30 miles out by the way). 

After this we went and ate at one of the places I've always wanted to eat: Shake Shack. I see it on movies all the time but have obviously never been because it's not in Utah. It was worth the 40 minute wait in line. It was SO good!!!!!

After this we went and jumped on the subway to do our last and final rendezvous but one of the funnest things on our trip: A petticab around Central Park. This, my friends, was worth every penny. It was so fun, extremely informative (our guide was awesome) and we saw SO much of the park we wouldn't normally see because that place is HUGE! It was so fun to be able to sit and ride around while we learned about so many monuments and saw so many historic and famous sites and places. And our guide/driver was awesome and made us jump out and wanted to make sure we got pictures of us at all the sites he thought were the most famous and beautiful. It was so great! Sorry for all the pics in advance, it was just so beautiful and we loved it!

We only paid for an hour, but it was perfect, and our guide was nice and took us for 80 minutes and didn't charge us more (so we tipped him extremely well to make up for it but it was worth it). And if you didn't recognize that last pic, that is The Plaza, the hotel from Home Alone 2. It looks the exact same, at least on the outside and where the guests go in and out. They have security guarding the entry and only those staying at the hotel are allowed inside. But it was so fun to see it! And, if you couldn't tell from the pics, the park is just insanely gorgeous. It was nuts how many people were running there and just how many people are there in general on such a chilly day. I guess it wasn't cold for NYC though so that's probably why. It was so fun and one of the highlights of our trip.

After this we had to go back to our hotel and get to our Uber to get the JFK in time for our flight. It was so fun to make the most of our last day and not have to worry about traveling until later, although by the time we got back to the hotel and picked up our luggage and were driving to the airport I was more any than ever just to be home and see Dylan. We left on the 30th, and the streets were completely packed with people gearing up for New Year's Eve. We were so happy to be getting out of there by that point. It took us 40 minutes to walk to our hotel from Rockefeller Center (where we got off the subway) when two days prior it took us 10 minutes to get there. The streets were NUTSO! 

Then our flight took forever because we were both just to crazy sick to see Dylan. It was good it just felt extremely long. But it was nice to have the little tv's on the back of the seat so we could keep ourselves somewhat occupied (thank you JetBlue!). And that night at 1am we finally were able to cuddle a sleeping Dylan and be able to see our baby boy, and we spent the next 4 days together before our same old routines of school and job kicked in again. 

This trip was one that both of us will never forget and one we are so grateful we had. Not only was it fun to do so much in so little time and see so much and experience so many things, but it was fun to have a little baby moon before our second little one comes. Although we missed Dylan like crazy, it was such a blessing knowing he was in good hands and having fun, and that we were able to have so much fun with just each other for a few days. 

And if you are still reading, you are a champ! This post took me forever to put together from editing all the pics to just writing down all we did, it was over the course of a week (just little bits each day) so thanks for sticking to the end if you did!