Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vote for your favorite #highjumpRob moment!

By popular Instagram demand...I've decided to compile some of my husband's top high-jump moments! Yes, yes...this is a thing.
Over the course of our travels, this pose has become a little bit of a tradition. Not sure how we started it, but it's mainly just a random talent my husband has and makes for funny pictures. For those of you who have never seen Robert in real life, let me paint you a picture. He's an ex-footballer, reaches about 6'5" in height and is right around 230lbs. The dude has a lot of mass but somehow/someway can get so much height while doing an impressive jump kick. Which is another random quality he possesses--flexibility. Despite his large size, he is remarkably flexible--like 10x more flexible then I am. It's weird, and I love it.

Okay, so now I'm dying to know...which one is your favorite?! 1-10...

1. Paris, France

Travel Guide HERE
2. Barcelona, Spain
Travel Guide HERE

3. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

4. Pisa, Italy
Travel guide HERE

4. Austin, TX
5. Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Travel Guide HERE

6. The White Cliffs of Dover, England, UK

7. San Antonio, TX

8. Dallas, TX

9. Oslo, Norway
10. St. George, Utah
Okay, there you go! Which is your favorite?!
Those are the top ten #highjumpRob moments. There are a few more that you can see on instagram under that hashtag and if you follow my husband's account @robc123.
Sadly there are a few places we never got a high-jump picture. I am still bummed we never got one on our trip to the Greek Isles (one of my favorite places on earth), Scotland (another one of my favorite places on earth) or in Istanbul, Turkey (I really don't know how we were there for so long and never got one--but we didn't!)
I am definitely missing some of these beautiful places in the world, especially as I waddle around in my current 35 week pregnant state! I can never emphasize enough the importance of taking lots of pictures...nothing better then being able to look back at our journeys and remember how magical the world is and how much I love traveling with my BFF/husband/sweetheart :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

34 week pregnancy update.

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and you better believe--I am feeling it!
Last week we had an ultrasound and baby girl was extremely squished in there, but still has enough room to kick and nudge me constantly. She is a lively one! She's up in the 75 percentile (mainly for the size of her head and belly) and is already over 5lbs. Yikes.
Despite the massive belly, I've been trying to stay active, but to be perfectly honest with you--the extent of my cardio these days is really just a slow waddle around the park while feeling the urge to pee every two minutes (no joke)
 However, it feels good to get out and any activity is better than no activity.
I'm definitely feeling hungrier these days but still don't have any strong cravings. Fruit has been a constant for me during the pregnancy. I basically always feel like pineapple, strawberries, bananas, and watermelon. Yum yum.
I'm looking forward to getting in shape again, but even more than that, I am dying to meet this little doll. I already feel such a strong bond with her. I have noticed that when her daddy talks to her, she always seems to calm down--I think she finds his deep voice comforting. I just know she's going to be so much like him, which makes me so incredibly happy.
We like to play her Beach Boys, America, and Beatles songs (she's going to know some of their hits by heart before she even leaves the womb) We love talking about what we think she is going to look like and joke about how weird she is going to be (based off the weirdness of both her parents--but weird in a good way obviously)
I pray daily that I will be a good parent. I'm not all the scared for the hospital/labor part of the whole deal. What frightens me is what will come after--taking the baby home and having a lifetime ahead of us. It frightens me and thrills me. It makes me want to run and hide but also makes me want to cry tears of peace and joy.
What a true blessing; what a true gift.
I feel so blessed that my Father in Heaven trusts Rob and I with one of His very own.
 (This is the ultrasound from last week--you can see baby girl with her face smashed up against the placenta ha ha--and grossly enough, we actually could see her lips moving as she tried to suck on it. The nurse was laughing really hard--I think she has a special love for our baby because almost every ultrasound she's done for us, baby has been doing something funny or odd--she's a sassy weird one for sure)
We love that squishy little face and oversized belly of hers.
I can't wait to meet you baby girl.
We love you with all our hearts.
Hope you make your debut into the world soon! (but not too soon)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

a special mothers day.

It was a cold dusty stage. My pink satin ballet slippers were snug tightly on my little toes. In front of me, an empty floor with a table and two or three chairs.

Faces that were unfamiliar to me. Eyes that were there to watch me. People who were only there to tell me whether I could or couldn't. Whether or not I was good enough.

I wasn't naturally an extrovert. My inherent choice of movement at a time like this was to run away to a place of comfort. Even at that young age, I could feel the sting of judgment and the threat of rejection. If I didn't go through with it, I would never know and never have to feel that pain.

I was by far the youngest and by far the least experienced. Why was I standing there?

Panic began to take over. I immediately thought--retreat.

But as I turned around, there she was. She told me she loved me and that she should would be proud of me no matter what...

...and then with that comforting smile that only she could give, she hugged me and said, "Just smile, do your best and show them who you are."

It was a semi-filled room in a Holiday Inn convention room downtown. The carpet was brightly colored and it smelled like chlorine from the pool down the hall.

A single, very lonely microphone stand stood up at the front. Very few items of décor. Just some metal folding chairs and a table covered with ribbons and awards.

There I was again facing my fears. A room of random folks that I didn't know. There to listen and judge my written words.

I was no Jane Austen or William Shakespeare. Of course not. I knew that. Why was I there? The others should win. They were better, more refined...more experienced.

Standing up to the microphone, I felt that same familiar panic--wanting to retreat and head for the hills.

But to my relief, I looked up into the audience and was greeted by that same comforting smile.

That one that only she could give.

I could hear her words. Telling me to remember how talented I was and that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of me, only what I think of myself. Her sweet words saying that I could do anything I wanted to do--pushing me to be the best I could be.

To overcome my fears.

It was a humid Hawaiian morning. It was my first long period of time away from home. My first semester of college. My first experience being truly on my own.

As beautiful as the scenery was, I found myself struggling with the distance. I felt weak and alone.

I walked from my dorm to the eatery only to be haunted by an old friend...

Panic. Retreat.

I looked around, wishing that somehow...magically...her smiling face would appear and tell me that everything was going to be alright.

Before going inside, I picked up my cell phone and dialed her number. Her voice answered with a cheerful and excited hello.

It was like she knew exactly what I needed. I didn't even have to say much. She started telling me some stories about her week. We laughed at some comical moments, and then at the end of the conversation she made sure to remind me...

"Keen," she said (oh nickname is keen for those of you that don't know) "you're doing great. Don't worry or give up. You'll make friends and I just know you'll love your time out there. Just smile and be yourself."

I smiled, told her I loved her, and went into the eatery.

(This picture was from when she came to visit me after I moved to San Francisco. Such good memories!)
Maybe it's the fact that in about 7 1/2 weeks I will be a first time mommy to a little girl...or maybe it's just the overall pregnancy hormones...or perhaps it's that I have been feeling so grateful for the support and love of family over the past few months...
...whatever it is, this Mother's Day has meant so much to me.
I think about the never-ending support my mother has shown me my whole whole 25 years of existence. Never once has she ever made me feel like I couldn't do something. To this day, I'm pretty sure she has more faith in me than I have in myself.
Through my highs and my lows, she has been there. Through the tears and the laughs, she has stood by my side.
She is the best lunch & shopping date, a hilarious BYU women's conference buddy, and most-of-all, she is one of my very best friends.
No matter what I do, she believes in me. From ballet auditions, to creative writing contests--she always encourages me to try my hardest. 
From running half marathons, to up-and-moving myself to San Francisco....
She has been there for me. 110%.
Waiting for congratulate me in moments of victory and pick-me-up in times of trial and panic.
Always with that sweet, loving smile. The one that only she can give.
I love her with all my heart, and I can only hope I am at least a fraction of the mom she was for me and my siblings.

Love you shell-bell.