Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pssst. Do you wanna know a secret?

So, Lovetta likes to show off all of her amazing artwork (and who could blame her?). But you probably want to see all of the secret artworks that she and I create in our super, secret lab. BEHOLD!

This one was our first creation. It was good, but the best is yet to come! BWAH HA HA!

This was our second creation. He was inspired from a few previous ideas we had. Maybe we'll post them up some day. Isn't it wonderful, though?

This was one of Lovetta's self portraits (with a little of my help). You can tell she is having a good day.

We made this one for a friend of ours who was having a bad day.

Thank you for coming to our secret drawing laboratory. Until next time. *maniacal laughter*

Thanksgiving and Art

Thanksgiving means a lot of different things to me. This year it meant being thankful for banana cream pie!

We made that pie with real vanilla bean. Mmmmmm.

Also my mom and my sisters and I did a lot of art. Here's a little tree that I painted. (this one I did before Thanksgiving, but I think it goes well on this post.)

Here's a painting I did of Tom and me. I might add some more to it, but it's really wet right now. I'm letting it dry some. Or maybe I'm done.

My mom has some nice markers. I used them on some life drawings. Here's Tom (back when he had more hair).

And Angela.

We took turns modeling for each other. These poses were fun because we were laying and sitting on my kitchen counter so we could all see. We did some six-minute poses and some ten-minute poses. Time goes by so fast. Here's Angela again in charcoal this time.

Here's Melody.

And here's my mom.

I am getting better, but I need a lot of practice. Melody and Angela and my mom did a lot of good pictures of me. (Probably because I'm so good at posing :) ) Happy Thanksgiving! I'm glad we can listen to Christmas music without dispute now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Photo Follow Up

As promised, here are the photos from our new place (pardon the mess) and Halloween.

Here is the bedroom. There's a nice balcony leading off to the side.

This is the second bedroom. We call it "The Butterfly Room".
Can you tell why?

This is the 3/4 Bathroom. The Full Bathroom has been omitted, but it should be noted that it has a jetted tub. We have yet to take this for a test drive. Update forthcoming.

This is the study. As you can tell, it's more important for me to have my computer up and running than it is to unpack the gajillion boxes we've put in here.

This is the living room. If you look past the box of Saltines over to the TV, you'll notice one of the games that has devoured our lives over the last year. It's called Rotohex.

Here's me as Steve Jobs introducing my shiny 4th Generation iPod touch.

Here's me shortly after deciding that I couldn't look like an old man anymore.

Zombies. That is all.
PS-Rob wanted to have him and I dress up like Plants to counteract the invasion.

Rob's kickin' birthday cake. Once again designed by the masterminds behind such things as
The Grill Cake
The Barbie Cake

Hope you've enjoyed this little photo montage!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

So, the wait is finally over! We closed on our condo a little over a week ago and have spent most of our time moving in the interim between now and then. First, I have to say that more than anything I hate moving. I've moved a lot in the last 10 years of my life. I know a lot about living out of your suitcase from my mission and never spent much more than a year at any given apartment during my 5 years of college. I'm at a point in life where I can't really pack everything I own into a small car and cross town to simply plop it down in whatever habitation I've been assigned. I have furniture and clothing and books (10+ boxes of them) and dishes and games and computers and who knows what other stuff laying around to try to travel from A to B with. It's quite comforting to know that now I don't have to move again for a long, long time. Now, we just have to unpack.

The nice thing about all of this, though, is that we're simply not renting anymore. The place we bought costs us just as much as we used to pay rent, but now that money isn't sucked up into the ether. It's (somewhat) staying in our pocket. Our interest rate isn't half bad, either! We bought the place at what seems to be the best possible time, especially if the economy turns around as expected. It's ours! That's the best part. It's our home, sweet home.

In other news, I'm bald. Well, less so now than a few days ago. Now it's more like being fuzzy than bald. I just hope that my hair looks alright by the time my brother gets married next month. Otherwise, I might just have to cut it all off again in an attempt to not look like I'm halfway between shaving my head and growing it back to full length (which is exactly what will be happening).

Why did I shave my head, you ask? Well, sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to have a legitimately cool Halloween costume. Mine this year was Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. He's got some crazy bald spots goin' on, so I had Lovetta shave my head down to look like I was balding. Well, naturally after Halloween was over, I didn't want to look like a 40 year-old man (even if he is a bajillionaire). So, I shaved it all off. Completely. It's starting to grow back. But, I apparently shock people with the lack of hair on my head. One of my co-workers keeps making "cancer patient" comments every time he sees me. Maybe in a few days, he'll be able to look me in the eyes again. We'll see.

Anyway, pictures will come later, either in this post or in another one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Tom had a birthday! He is not getting old. He is just the right age for his age. :) I made a cake that looked like a grill in honor of our love of grilling. He is amazing. I love my husband! (He's not really turning 8; we added the rest of the candles later.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Let Me Sum Up

I started school. Awww 1st grade. . . It's school all right. I have some really wonderful helpers: a paraprofessional, and a parent volunteer. They have done so much of the things I never get to. That's nice because I don't feel quite as on my game as I would like to. I'm sure I'll get better as the year goes on. Part of me wants to be home taking care of a baby and not teaching, but I'm doing my best.
We have good friends visiting us, and that has been fun.
I've been eating a lot of tomatoes from our garden. Yum! The tomato plants have produced more than I expected. Tom and I tried making salsa for the first time. It was a success. We are so good. No wonder we were the iron chefs of Park City. Speaking of Iron Chef, our cable is gone. I miss the Food Network. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pay just a small fee and get just the few channels that you want? TV is too expensive.
Tom and I are looking into buying a house/condo. It's weird to think that just a few months ago we were both looking at unemployment and moving back in with my parents. Our life sure changed fast. Now we're both working and looking at changing our rent to a mortgage payment. In many ways we have been blessed.
One of my good friends came back from her mission, and we got together and did art. It was so therapeutic for me. I am determined to do it more often. Over the summer (before Max was born) I started doing The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with my mom and my sister. I think I will start that again soon. I think sometimes I drop important things when they are really the most important. I get busy and neglect my hobbies when they would help me to relax. I get busy and I stop exercising regularly when exercise would help me stay healthy and happy. I should get better at that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Best Steak I Ever Ate
Brian Regan - Kennedys
Roast of David HasselhoffIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmons Presents Stand-Up Comedy

Half-way through this clip is the pertinent part to our conversation here.

So, I've come to an interesting conclusion. I've decided that the best steak that I've ever had actually comes from The Olive Garden. Really, it's more like steak medallions, but they're probably the most super-delicious beef I've ever had. They're grilled perfectly on the outside and nice and pink on the inside. Whatever the heck they marinade that stuff with is simply heavenly.

Now, you might start to question how it is that the restaurant chain could possibly have the best steak I've ever tasted in my life. It was kind of a shocker to me as well. I mean, for goodness sake, I've eaten a $40 steak before (fun/funny story). Trust me, it wasn't that good in comparison. There's just something about the way they prepare anything with those little steak medallions that makes my mouth automatically open to shove another piece in, even if my stomach tells me I'm going to regret it shortly thereafter. I don't care if I explode, so long as I have a piece of that meat in my mouth.

Just thought I'd let everyone know. Go. Eat. Be amazed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Real Life

So, I guess Lovetta and I are entering a point that a lot people tend to think of as "real life." And I'm not just talking about what we've gone through with Max (though that surely makes the impact of life on this planet quite real). I'm more talking about the fact that we've both graduated from college and are working at jobs we thoroughly enjoy.

We have two incomes and we're young adults. What should we do with all of this money? Now, that statement should be taken with a grain of salt; Lovetta is a teacher, and I make less than a teacher does. Our incomes are not spectacular, but they now exceed what we pay out every month in our bills. There's a whole world of possibilities before us.

Naturally, the first thing I want to do with this money is buy an iPhone. I've been wanting one ever since they were first released, but honestly, the data plans are killer on a college budget if you don't have someone subsidizing the plan you've purchased. That's not as much of an issue now, though I must admit that after some number crunching, my inner poor college student still cringes at the bill.
They always said that an Apple was the forbidden fruit...

Lovetta, ever the saver that she is, then brings up the good point that now would be as good a time as any to start saving for a down payment on a house. I happen to agree with her; the better the down payment you get, the better the monthly payment you get after. We're certainly in a good position to do some saving. Speaking of saving, another thing we've been wanting to do since the day we got married was start doing some long-term investing. Again, now's as good a time as any to start contributing to some sort of retirement mutual fund or some such.

Still, there are a few toys, gadgets, furniture items, etc. that I feel like we've deprived ourselves of because we simply couldn't fit them into our budget. It's also important to save while you have the wherewithal to save. How do you balance the two? How do you know exactly what to aim for in your long-term savings goals without going over for rainy day funds or entertainment type things?

I think that "growing up" or "entering real life" really is just code for "more confused than you were before" or "have more questions than you have answers."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Little Max

Maximo Thomas was born on July 3, 2010. He lived for about 2 hours surrounded by loving friends and family. Please enjoy this slideshow created by a wonderful photographer from an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

EDIT: The video wasn't working properly after uploading to YouTube, so now you will have to click on this link in order to see it. Sorry!

He is so beautiful, isn't he? Look at his thick, black, curly hair. And his perfect big lips. And his chubby cheeks and double chin. Look at those little baby feet. Little baby toes. Little baby fingers. Little baby fingernails. While he was alive, he coughed a few times, grabbed, kicked, and opened one eye.

He was a little less chubby at the viewing. I tucked in the blanket and closed the coffin lid for my little boy. I think that is the saddest thing I've ever had to do.

I think you can sometimes tell a lot about what is going on in a person's life by studying their kitchen table. I think mine says a lot right now.

People have been very kind and sympathetic. We have a stack of cards. The flowers make my house smell nice. The box of tissues is very important. That manila envelope has the death records that we haven't put away yet. If you look closely, you may notice the scriptures behind the small vase of orange flowers. The gospel does provide some comfort. Speaking of comfort, those chocolate covered almonds are pretty comforting as well!

In other news, I finished that pastel piece. Here is the finished product.

And we have a beautiful bell pepper growing!

Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bad News First; Good News Last

So, it's been a while since we last updated you all on what's happening with the baby, our lives, etc. Here's what's been happening.

On the baby. We've been going to the doctor's office pretty regularly for the last month. We're scheduled to do something pretty much every week from now until the baby comes, so we're making a lot of trips to Salt Lake. Since our last post, things have worsened. The baby has developed something called hydrops fetalis, which essentially means that he is collecting fluids in and around vital organs in his body (in his case: lungs, heart, brain, skin, kidneys). This fluid doesn't allow for the proper development of those organs, thus making them function poorly. Since his organs aren't functioning properly, Lovetta has developed something called polyhydramnios (big fancy word for too much amniotic fluid). Essentially, she's gotten so big that she looks like she's ready to have twins (noting that we still technically have about 2 months to go for just one baby).

Between the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the hydrops, the baby is not expected to live very long. The doctors have told us that because Lovetta is getting so big, the odds for premature labor are extremely high. So, now we can throw "premature" on top of everything else. It doesn't look good :( Because of this we've decided to opt out of some of the interventions (none of which seem like they would be any kind of permanent solution) and instead are planning just to spend as much time with him that we can without tubes and wires all over him.

When we found out that he was likely to die shortly after birth, Primary Children's set us up to meet with a group of people in palliative care called the Rainbow Kids. It was a collection of people at the hospital focused on helping people in our situation make the best out of the time that we have with our children. They helped us with things like our Birth Plan and really helped us to try and refocus our mindset on the situation. It's helped a lot, but there are days (like today for me) where it still is especially difficult.

In somewhat related news, we decided to name our baby Max :D Maximo Thomas, in fact. Maximo is after my grandfather and Thomas is, well, after me. We both really like the name a lot.

On the garden front, we have a few of our first fruits!! We have 3 pea pods and 1 little tomato :D Some of our plants aren't doing as well as we would like due to some surprise weather. But others seem to be doing just fine and we're hopeful for a good harvest later in the season.

This is what your garden looks like in June when you plant in Utah. *shakes fist*

As far as jobs go, I'm happy to say that both Lovetta and I will be employed for next year! Lovetta was offered a position back at her school through a fortunate set of circumstances after we had discovered that it wouldn't be likely for us to have a baby come the new school year. It was a very kind offer and we're glad to have it! For me, I'm back working at BYU in a more supervising role than what I had before. It's part-time for now, but if you keep your fingers crossed, I might be able to get some full-time work there in the future. It's a great job working with a lot of people I really enjoy, so I couldn't ask for better. We've been truly blessed lately as far as work is concerned.

Speaking of work, Lovetta has started working on a new art project. It's a pastel piece of our neighbor's absolutely adorable little baby girl. Have a looksee:

Isn't that awesome?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Silver Lining

There are a lot of not-so-good things happening right now, but for this post I am ignoring all of them and giving you only good things. Here is my top 10.
  1. Tom and I have been married for 3 wonderful years (as of Sunday.) We celebrated by going to Tucanos and eating lots of delicious meat and grilled pineapple. Mmmmm... my favorite is the garlic sirloin and beef brisket.
  2. I have been given a lot of flowers recently: one from a friend, one from relatives, and one for helping with a play at school.
  3. My mom bought me 2 new shirts, and a friend gave me a new shirt. Before, I only had 2 maternity shirts. Now I have a total of 5 shirts that actually fit my belly.
  4. Tom and I have a delicious chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe that we made again.
  5. I can wear contacts again. The infection in my eyeballs is gone.
  6. I can still exercise. I am not on bed rest.
  7. I can still go to work, and I like my job. Overall, it makes me feel fulfilled and successful.
  8. School ends this week.
  9. The weather started to warm up, and Tom has been walking me to school in the morning. We went on a walk yesterday and saw the most beautiful rainbows. We could see two of them, and one stretched all the way across the sky.
  10. I successfully cut my toenails the other day. (You would not believe how difficult that can be.)
I was pushing it a little with number 10, but there it is.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quit playin' games with my heart...

EDIT: I killed the video that was here cause it apparently plays random ads whether you want it to or not. No real big loss, I should think.

So, there's been a purposefully distinct lack of posts on our blog lately. It mostly has to do with the fact that the all consuming issue in our lives has been one that's not too fun to talk about. So, let me just get right down to it. After our first ultrasound, the doctor found a collection of fluid on the back of our son's neck called a cystic hygroma. This, we've mentioned before. This caused our OB to refer us to a perinatologist (fancy word for a guy with a better ultrasound machine and a little bit more of a specific knowledge on fetal developmental problems). Shortly after our last blog post, we had our visit with the specialist to which he determined that in addition to the cystic hygroma, our baby seemed to have some heart issues, what looked to be a smaller heart chamber than normal. He posited that the two symptoms were caused by something called Noonan's Syndrome. This caused the perinatologist to refer us to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where we would have to receive a fetal echocardiogram (fancy words for an ultrasound that specifically focuses on the baby's heart). About two weeks later, we're up in Salt Lake where we receive the news of why our baby's heart chamber was smaller than normal. It's something called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Essentialy, the tissue of the heart is growing more rapidly than normal, causing the walls of the heart to be thicker than usual. Thus, the chambers of the heart are smaller than normal. Worst case scenario: The tissue continues to grow at a more than regular rate, thereby closing off one (or more) of the chambers of his heart. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, we were told, is consistent with Noonan's Syndrome, though at this time it is only the best guess the doctors have. This is the latest report.

So. How are we doing? We are doing well, so long as we don't have to talk about what's going on for any extended period of time. Otherwise, it has been extremely hard on us for a number of reasons (not all of which I care to mention here). We're trying very, VERY hard to put our trust in God at this point. There's really nothing we can do but hope and pray for the best, so that is what we do. We're scheduled to head back up to Salt Lake for genetic counseling to see if either of us are carriers of Noonan's, as well as another appointment for a fetal echocardiogram. Additionally, our delivery location has been moved up to the University of Utah/Primary Children's in case our son needs to go to the ICU shortly after birth (quite likely). I'll reiterate: We're trying very, VERY hard to put our trust in God at this point.

My employment situation has been up and down a lot lately. I could seriously write another blog post solely dedicated to what's happened in the last month on this front, but I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, due to the medical issues that our baby faces, we've decided that it would be much better for us to stay in Utah despite its lack of educationally-related job opportunities lately. It just seemed like a better decision to stay close to our family and close to doctors that already understand our current situation. So, keep your fingers crossed that something shows up in the area.

On the matter of our garden, our cucumbers died. :( Not all of them, but the ones we transplanted outside took a beating when Utah decided to snow on us one more time. We have a few more indoors, but they're quickly outgrowing their starter homes. The rest of our plants we're hoping to more successfully transplant this Mother's Day weekend. We'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's A BOY!

I didn't realize how much I really thought it was a girl until I found out that it was a boy. I'm liking the idea more and more as I get used to it, though. He was moving around all over the place when we were having the ultrasound.

Here he is waving to us.

And here is his cute little foot.

There is a problem with him retaining fluid on the back of his neck. This could be a lot of things. It might not be a big deal and go away on it's own, it might require some surgery when he's born, or it might be an indicator that he has a chromosomal disorder like Down Syndrome. We're going to the paranatologist (doctor with more specialized training and equipment) at the hospital on Wednesday. We pray that everything will be well. I hope for a healthy baby, and I'm scared, but at the same time I know that whatever happens will be the will of God.

In the mean time, I have Spring Break so we're going to do some nesting.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So this week was a pretty good camera week. We took a lot of pictures for a lot of different ocassions, but these were some of the better ones.

Above, you'll see our good friend Julie got herself a pretty fine man of a husband this weekend. We were able to attend her sealing, which was wonderful. The man who performed their sealing gave a few simple words of advice. Return to the temple often. Follow the brethren. Pretty sound advice in my book. We wish them the best in their new marriage!

Our indoor seeds have started sprouting! As of this writing, we have five cucumbers and five cherry tomatoes coming out of their little dirt homes. In addition, a few of our onions have broken dirt outside in our boxes. We're so excited to have a garden. We feel that, in conjunction with our baby, everything seems to be growing around us! We're still waiting on our various peppers to pop up. You'll probably get more pictures as we get more and more excited about our growing vegetables.

Lovetta's dad had his birthday this last Sunday. Her mom is a pro when it comes to cake decorating and this shot was probably the cutest we had of the birthday cake. They're doing a lot of gardening as well, so the cake had a fun garden theme to it. Above you'll see a closeup of a little rabbit nibbling on something sweet.

And this is the obligatory belly shot for this week. These are my babies. I love them both! :D

Monday, March 15, 2010


Tom and I have one more reason to be excited for warm weather: gardens. I've been sick of the cold since just after Christmas, but now that we've started our own garden I'm more anxious than ever for the danger of frost to pass. This is our first time gardening on our own. Tom built two 4 ft by 4ft boxes that we're planning to fill with dirt and start planting in tomorrow. We want to grow salsa, so we want tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and basil. And we're also growing sugar snap peas, green beans, cucumbers and carrots. That's the plan anyway. Like I said, it's our first time, so if anything grows we'll be ecstatic, and if something doesn't grow we'll learn from our mistakes.

In other news, I totally have a baby belly. Some days I like it, and other days I have to remind myself over and over that I'm supposed to be gaining weight. I knew that would be a little hard, and it is; especially when people around me are trying to loose weight. The doctor told me that my growth is normal. That makes me feel good. Other people keep telling me that my body will never be the same again. It's for a good cause. Tom is sweet and likes my baby belly all the time. That makes it all a lot easier.
Now that you've seen a picture, what do you think "it" is? Boy or girl?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


So this post has been a long time coming. We kind of hinted at it way back when we weren't 100% sure that we were pregnant. But now we've been to doctors and heard a heartbeat and whatnot so we figured it was time to let the cat out of the bag (if you didn't already know anyway). So, yeah. BABIES! YAY! Well, baby, as far as we know. Just one. Don't know the gender yet; that will be a post for another day.

As far as life for us in the last month that I've been slacking? (Yes, the delay is my fault.) Not too shabby. Still looking for a more permanent work solution. The BYU Teacher Fair is coming up in less than 2 weeks, so I've started to do some research of the schools that will be participating so I can figure out who I want to go talk to. As far as Lovetta's concerned that means anyone that will hire me. I'm quite hopeful I'll be able to find something this year. Things are looking up much more than they were last year, so keep your fingers crossed with me.

Lovetta survived Parent-Teacher Conferences not too long ago. Everything seemed to go quite well as far as she was able to tell. That's always a plus. No one likes to be confronted with an angry parent :( Especially if you thought everything was going well with the student! No drama there, though.

Not much else from the last month that I can remember as being too terribly important. You can expect lots more updates here in the near future as Baby takes over our blog (and, subsequently, our lives). Stay tuned, and I promise I'll be better about posting more frequently. Lovetta's already got me pinned into the commitment pattern.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year's Day

My mom told me that looking at family pictures does more to put you in a good mood than chocolate or alcohol. New Year's Day was my birthday, the perfect day to try to be in a good mood. It makes perfect sense, therefore, that my family and I decided to go take pictures. We went to Discovery Park and a few other places. Look closely and you'll spot my favorite gloves. Tom makes fun of me for them all the time, but I know they secretly make him love me.

It was a cold but relaxing day. I love my family.
Here is a picture of some grapes outside our house. I think it's cool how they froze in the snow.

I also should mention that Tom is an excellent gift-giver. He knew what I wanted even when I didn't. It was nice to have a birthday present separate from Christmas. For Christmas he got me a popcorn-maker (also known as a microwave), and for my birthday he got me a new sports bra, which I had been needing for quite a while. I'm sure that wasn't very easy for him to shop for. :)