One November morning, after three years of negative pregnancy tests, we saw a double line.
Two weeks later, as excited as we were, we were late to our first doctor’s appointment!  That early on, the doctor told us, it’s common to not see a heartbeat yet.  But when he started the ultrasound he showed us a black circle on the screen.  On one side of the circle was a little white dot.  He said, “See that ring?” and then he pointed to the dot… "There’s your diamond!”  He zoomed in and the “diamond” was sparkling with a little fluttering heartbeat.  He was so excited and said that the heart had probably started beating that very morning!  If we’d been on time, we may have missed it.
At ten weeks the morning sickness hit and I just told myself the sicker I was, the cuter the baby was getting.  But at twelve weeks, I was in the ER in Nephi on New Year’s Eve with dehydration and hypermesis gravidarium (just a scary way of saying extreme morning sickness).  We had an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay—and we saw that our little baby just didn’t want to miss the party!  It wasn’t a dot anymore!  It was a baby!  It waved at us and danced around and I was amazed at how beautiful it was.  The doctor gave me some medication and although the nausea still hasn’t completely disappeared, as long as I don’t skip those pills I feel much better.
A couple of weeks later, at almost 15 weeks, I felt the first flutter of movement!  Miraculous doesn’t even begin to describe that moment.
A few days ago, at 20 weeks, we went in for our “big” ultrasound.  “It’s a girl,” the technician said. 
But we already knew that.  Greg and I smiled at each other and I cried.  In separate spiritual experiences, very early in the pregnancy, we’d both received inspiration that our baby was a girl.  To me it was simply a tender mercy showing me that our Heavenly Father’s timing has a purpose and He loves us.  It’s like the Lord knew He had to wait three years to give us this gift, but when He gave it to us He was so excited about it that He told us what it was before we could open it! J
Just a few other fun snippets from this amazing adventure…

*A couple of nights after we found out we were expecting, we went to Build-a-Bear to make the baby’s first teddy bear.  We put a little sound box with our voices on it in the bear’s paw, got a little American flag for it to hold since the baby’s coming in July, and tied a white bow around its neck.  I decided that was the beginning of a fun tradition.

*My mom has been calling her “Daisy” since the time she was the size of a grape and after we found out it was a girl my dad brought her home a bouquet of daisies.  How cute is that?!

*This little lady has a sense of humor when it comes to cravings.  One Sunday night, all she wanted was lobster.  She knew what it was since we’d had it on Greg’s birthday at a fancy restaurant a couple of weeks earlier and I had to explain to her that first of all, I have no idea how to make lobster even if we did just happen to have one chilling at home, and second of all it was Sunday so we weren’t about to go get one, and third of all, to please not be so high maintenance.  On a Sunday morning in January, she decided that all she wanted was watermelon.  “January.  Sunday.”  I told her.  She makes me laugh.

*The baby and I have not been friends with meat at all since the end of December, but she loves sushi!  I always get the California Roll (cooked imitation crab) and I’ve made friends with the Japanese guys at the sushi counter at Smith’s who say “You need brown rice for your baby.”

*About a week before our “big” ultrasound, Greg was asked to give a lesson at church based on Elder Hales’ talk, “Waiting Upon the Lord.”  Greg has had a lot of experience with this topic—getting married later than most and then with our infertility.  The night before we found out our baby is a girl, the Elders Quorum President changed the lesson to Sister Dalton’s talk, “Love Her Mother,” which is about fathers raising daughters.

*We ordered doughnuts for our co-workers on Ultrasound Day and decorated them with pink frosting...okay, Greg decorated them.

*The night before our anatomy ultrasound we went to the shoe store and bought a little girl pair and a little boy pair of shoes so the technician could take a picture of us with the appropriate shoes the next day.  They look a little big, but if she takes after her dad's size 14 and her mom's size 11, I think they'll fit in no time!


What Seems to Be the Problem Officer?

I have my fair share of funny pull-over stories--  like the time my friend and I got stopped leaving a high school football game just so the officer could find out the score.  Or the time a cop was ready to take me down to the station since he was convinced I was a runaway from Texas-- until he looked up a picture of the girl and realized she was African-American.

But this one is one of my favorites...

Last Saturday night we were driving to the store half an hour before midnight (because we’ve been so busy lately that that’s the only way we could get our grocery shopping done) and Greg says, “Hey! I think that was a rabbit! Not a wild rabbit…but one like you'd see at the county fair!” 

"A bunny?!" I said. 

He stopped, backed up, and shined the headlights to the side of the road where crouched near a rock wall there was indeed a floppy-eared, black and white "domesticated rabbit."

We rushed through our shopping, drove home, and when we got close to the area where the bunny had been, Greg slowed down and shined his headlights to the opposite side of the road so we could look for it. Suddenly, red and blue lights were flashing in the rearview mirror.

Greg pulls over, and the officer comes up to the window.  "How are you doing, officer?"  Greg said.

“The reason I pulled you over tonight is because I noticed that you drifted to the side of your lane a couple of times. We keep our eye out for impaired drivers," the policeman said. 

“I don’t drink, Officer,” Greg—decked out in his BYU hat and shirt—replies.“The reason I may have drifted was because we saw what looked like someone's pet rabbit on the side of the road earlier and we don’t want it to freeze. We were looking for it so we could take it in for the night.”

I am still dying to know what went through the officer’s mind at that moment.

“Ok. Have a good night,” he said.

We found the bunny right where Greg had seen it and quietly got out of the car.That chubby bunny was a lot faster than he looked! He hopped up the driveway of a nearby house and into the carport...and we decided it was probably best not to add trespassing to our story.


Barn Swallow Birdlets!

Our little birdy buddies had babies!


Oops! A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words...

 I forgot to include the punchline to the post below...


First I Panicked. Then I Laughed.

Greg: Caitlin, I wrote you a nice long text, but it accidentally got erased when I answered a call. I wrote you an important e-mail earlier today.  Please read it as soon as you can.  Everything is okay, but it looks like we won't be living by ourselves at the house for the rest of the summer.  The e-mail has the details.  We'll be fine since it's just for the summer.  Love you!

My Head:  Wait...Anyone is always welcome in our home anytime, but he wouldn't commit to that without talking to me even if I am 400 miles away...would he?...It's got to be some kind of code...Oh and that wasn't a long text?

My Text: Are we getting a dog?

Greg:  No. I explained it all in the e-mail.  Are you where you can get to a computer?

My Head:  Dog dreams crushed...wait... it's not a dog?! *Slight panic.*

My Text: I'm an hour away from any sort of civilization and driving so Alicia is being my scribe. Please call me.

Greg: I need to let my phone charge, so I can't call.  The details are in the e-mail.  It's a couple that's new in town and chose to live at our house and there was some confusion about us giving them permission to stay here apparently because we were both gone.  They decided they wanted to stay at our house, so I think we'll have to let them to avoid any legal ramifications.  It's all good though.  I love you so much!  Way more than our new houseguests, for sure!  It's all in the e-mail.  Love you!

My Head:  Obviously your phone is charged enough to send me ridiculously long texts.  Oh and you could totally charge it while you talked to me. And what the heck happened to the Third Amendment?

My Text: You are pulling my leg.

Greg: My battery is almost gone.  I don't know if our address was on some foreign exchange list or what, but the couple chose our house and seem pretty adamant that they want to stay at our house.  I only saw them real quick this morning, and they didn't have any paperwork and they don't speak English.  I didn't let them inside the house, so they just stayed on the porch and in the yard mostly.  Please read the e-mail, and by then my phone should be charged so we can talk about it.  I'll take a photo of them also so I can send it to you and you can see them.  Love you!

My Head: This is getting more and more suspicious.

My Text: Can't wait to see a pic!

The E-Mail: I thought I'd share some interesting/exciting news.  There is a new couple that just moved to our house and will be staying with us for the summer!  I know that this is definitely unexpected, but I figure it won't be that different from when we've had extended houseguests.  The couple is from down South, where they lived last winter, but they decided to fly up to the Salt Lake area, and find a nice place to settle down for the summer.  (Apparently it was too hot where they came from.)  They weren't really all that diplomatic about choosing our house--they just moved in without asking.  It was a little awkward at first, since they're kind of protective of their space, and I don't feel like they're good communicators, but they're good-looking and good singers and seem nice enough.  As a sidenote, I'm suspicious that they're probably expecting a little one or ones later this summer, but my experience is that you should never ask a female if she's expecting unless you already know.  (So they don't infer that you think she's fat...)  By the looks of things, I wouldn't be surprised if they had twins or even triplets. They've kind of taken up residence in their own out-of-the-way space at our house, and so far seem pretty clean, but I'm afraid they're going to make our place messier over time.  Oh well, it's not really like we can kick them out, right?  I guess we'll just make the best of it!  I'll text you a photo of them when I get home tonight.  Sorry I didn't get a chance to discuss it with you before they crashed at our pad.  I guess on the bright side, since they do seem pretty protective, we won't need an alarm system!

Isn't Greg the greatest?  Hope you laughed as much as I did!


Guest Post by Greg: "Pun Intended"

Caitlin and I were driving to Salt Lake City on I-15 a few weeks ago.  Just before we got to our exit, I noticed a Nissan Frontier pickup truck that looked like it had been rear-ended.  The whole tailgate and back side of the truck were dented in.  I turned to Caitlin and said, “It looks like someone decided to press forward against the wild frontier,” as I pointed to the Nissan Frontier.  She looked at it and laughed, not knowing she was about to be the victim of an onslaught of vehicular dry puns.
I decided to go with a western theme to our conversation based on the red Ford sports car that I saw approaching in my rearview mirror.  I said something to the effect of “Ah, the western frontier…Do you know how you can tell you’re in the west?  There’s lots of fresh air and an occasional wild mustang will run past you.”  There was a brief silence while I waited for the red Ford Mustang to pass us.  When Caitlin saw it, she gave me a “that was cheesy” look and laughed.
As we were getting off the exit, I said “You can also tell you’re in the West when you see the sun’s luminous rays shining down on the vast expanses of open land.  It’s a fusion of sky, water, and land that stretches as far as the eye can see.”  Caitlin didn’t catch that we’d just passed a Chevrolet Lumina (luminous rays) and a Ford Fusion (fusion of sky, water and land).  I pointed to the two cars that were stopped at a red light to the side of us.  Caitlin broke up laughing and said that she didn’t know where I came up with the crazy word puns (I call it “wordsmithing”) that I do.
I just said, “You never know what direction I’m going or what my mind is thinking.  It’s almost like you need forensic evidence to decipher what I’m going to say.”  There was a long silence while we waited for the light to turn green.  I made a slight pointing motion out the front windshield.  Caitlin again started to giggle heartily as she realized that stopped at the red light in front of us, was a Suzuki Forenza.

Oh the Feats of Cleats!

Well I'm sure that you just haven't been able to quit thinking about my previous post and have asked yourself for the past two days, What is the difference between softball and baseball cleats?!  And this is what the expert--my darling hubby--said:

"Softball shoes can't have metal cleats.  Baseball shoes can have metal cleats, but they're usually the interior cleats.  Soccer shoes can't have a cleat in the middle at the front.  Football cleats are usually detachable round cleats, and baseball cleats are usually more square or rectangle.  Do you want to know about my other cleats?  I have golf shoes that have rubber spikes because metal ones are no longer allowed on golf courses. I also have some track spikes, which are removable and you can use either pyramids or needles based on whether you're doing a running or jumping event.  I actually have practice and game football cleats, but you don't need to type that."


74 Pairs of Shoes

I found out the other day that there is a difference between softball cleats and baseball cleats.  Where did I discover this useful bit of trivia?  From the man who has both.  And every other pair of shoes you could imagine.

Greg wears a pretty large size and loves a good deal.  Conveniently for him, his size 14 is often on clearance.

He’ll regularly buy four or five pairs for what most people pay for one.  In fact, he’s become so accustomed to finding cheap shoes, that he won’t even consider pairs that aren’t at least half off.  

Recently, he discovered that the largest E-Bay shoe supplier in the country is located nearby, so he made friends with the owner and now gets an even deeper discount on his favorite—Doc Martens.  The latest additions to his collection include a rainbow of colors…maroon, navy blue, forest green and even patent leather gray.

Yes… patent leather gray. 

Just a useful bit of trivia about Greg that I thought you’d like to know.

Bountiful Baskets

We tried something new—Bountiful Baskets.  After picking up our first one, I’ve gotta say I’m a fan!  Not so much a fan of the abundant swiss chard which was included, but of getting two small laundry baskets full of healthy fruits and veggies for only $15… yes. 

I was a little nervous about all the potential surprises included, but it actually had lots of things I would buy at the store in a typical shopping trip—apples, berries, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, corn, and mushrooms.  Some of the surprises we got were green chiles, the chard, and a bunch of mangoes.  After attempting to peel a banana with a steak knife, we realized that they were a surprise, too!  Plantains!  

And so because we tried something new, we’re trying more new things—like new recipes!   The chile rellenos Sunday night were a huge success—and actually not as tricky as I anticipated!  Greg wanted to try some more new things—like starting a compost pile for those surprises like chard.  But I tried something else new and completely made up a daring new recipe last night… Because in my mind, I couldn’t make chard taste any worse.   And what do you know?  It was delicious!  Here it is…just in case you’re ever lucky enough to inherit a large bunch of chard:

Chard Alfredo Wraps
Turkey Sausage
Green Onion
Salt & Pepper
Cooked Rice
Alfredo Sauce
Romano or Parmesan Cheese

Start browning the turkey sausage. Add chopped green onion, salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue to sautee.  Meanwhile, heat up a large pot of water.  When the water starts to boil, place the chard leaves in the water for about 2-3 minutes.  Take the leaves out of the water and set them on a cookie sheet to cool. Add the rice and alfredo sauce to the sausage.   Lay a chard leaf out flat and place a few spoonfuls of sausage mixture in the middle.  Roll it up like a burrito and place it on the cookie sheet.  Continue until you run out of chard leaves or sausage mixture.  Then sprinkle the tops of the wraps with cheese and broil for a few minutes.

Summer Saturdays

We restarted our Summer Saturday Breakfast Tradition this weekend!  We love stopping by Great Harvest on a Saturday morning to grab a couple of slices of fresh bread—which always come with a couple of free ones.  Love that!  And nothing goes better with that delicious bread than fruity smoothies, so of course we grab a couple of those too!  I’m really hoping summer weather starts to make its appearance for more than a few minutes here and there because we’ve been thinking of ideas for our 5th annual “Summer of Funness List” and we’re ready to start checking them off!


New Place

Here are a few of my favorite things about the new place we're renting for the next while...
  • The kitchen counters are pink. I love pink.
  • It has the biggest deck I’ve ever seen.
  • It's not too far from our old place.
  • I don’t have to keep it “show-ready” all the time. Speaking of that, there is less to clean!
  • I don’t need to go to the gym—I can use the five flights of stairs throughout the house and the running trail that practically goes through our backyard.

Kind of Not a Big Deal

We like to do fun things. So, last weekend, we thought it would be fun to go to the 2011 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, which were conveniently in Salt Lake. Apparently, we were a couple of the only people in the country who thought this would be fun (as evidenced by the not so enthusiastic crowd.) It's rumored that actually the real party is at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, not the Adult Figure Skating Championships...

Playing With Our Food

Life without tradition would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof. Every year since I can remember, we always had spaghetti for dinner on April 1st.
Like this:

Luckily, we were in town to share this splendid tradition.  And I still secretly hoped I would get the silliest utensils just like always. 

He's Home!

I was surprised that we all didn’t start running up the down escalator at the airport as soon as we saw the word “Landed” flash across the sign indicating Aaron was now in the same state as we were! Instead, we not-so-patiently twirled our mini Danish flags and searched the faces of every person in the crowd until he finally stepped onto that escalator with a big smile. But I think our smiles were bigger!

After our cheeks hurt and we were all out of happy tears, we headed off to Hire’s for a late dinner.

Then we all spent the next few days together swapping stories from the past two years and giggling at Aaron’s Danish accent.

A Bittersweet Parade

I love parades. When I was little, I loved them because of the candy. Ok, let’s be honest…I still love them because of the candy.

Happy summertime memories of traveling with my family to dozens of parades throughout the state danced through my mind on a cold March day a few weeks ago.

Fourteen guys in six loaded up pickup trucks paraded across town to our new house.

Upon seeing us arrive, one of our new neighbors joked that they must have been celebrating getting rid of us.

Maybe…but I prefer to think they were just celebrating us.  We love the people in our old ward and really appreciate their help!


Spic 'n' Span

"Wait...you don't cram all your dirty dishes into a laundry basket?  Oh, and you don't leave that basket in the backseat of your car?  I see...well, you know, some people tie a string around their finger, some people leave notes for themselves.  Us?  We just take them everywhere we go so we don't forget that they need to be washed."
That was the conversation Greg had with our imaginary passenger as we drove home today. 
With our house on the market (we're downsizing), we're discovering lots of quick cleanup tricks like hiding the dirty dishes in the car...thus having these silly conversations all too frequently.

And no... those were not the dishes from my cooking fiasco the other day.  They didn't fit.

Julia Child Would Have Been Proud

In an ironic attempt to simplify my life, I experienced--I mean survived--my first endeavor with once-a-month-cooking on Friday.  And now I know why it is so called...
Twenty-six recipes and nine chaotic kitchen hours later, I don't really want to step foot into my kitchen again for another month!
I checked out a few websites and sorted the recipes I picked into categories so they had similar ingredients and I could make them simultaneously.  Then I whipped it all up and froze it in freezer ziplocs and disposable casserole dishes.  That sounded way too easy.  I'm not going to lie...it was hard!
In all honesty it wasn't so bad, but I did probably bite off more than I could chew.  
(Don't you just love Greg's puns?)
I think twice-a-month-cooking is more my style.


You Raise Me Up

Dear Greggie,
Remember on Sunday night when I was making dinner
and you asked me if I was okay? 
I told you I was just feeling a little down. 
You wrapped your arms around my knees
and lifted me high above your head! 
Then you playfully asked, “Are you feeling down now?” 
I couldn’t help but laugh and shout, “No!  I’m feeling up!”  Thank you for making me laugh every day
...always and forever...

The Zoo

We went to the zoo on Saturday and it was a zoo! (Intentional pun courtesy of Greg.)   The beautiful sunshine must have put the same idea in everyone else’s head, so it was pretty crowded!  Growing up, my family had a tradition of skipping school on Halloween and going to the zoo, so we always had it pretty much to ourselves.
I was surprised to see that little Zuri the elephant, who hit the thousand pound mark last week, is still an adorable baby!  We sat and watched her for about fifteen minutes and then came back for another thirty!

Blog Whisperer

You’ll never guess what Greg surprised me with for my birthday!  Our old blog…which I thought was accidentally deleted into complete oblivion!  I still don’t completely understand by what miracle he managed this, but somehow he recovered our two and a half years of memories from the cache and translated it from HTML into a word document!  Hooray!  So eventually, hopefully I’ll repost all of the old stuff onto this fancy schmancy new one!

Halloween Decorating

So there’s this Far Side comic... 
Pretty sure we were on the other side of that joke when we walked out our front door the other night.  We came face to face with an enormous web.  And I really did not want to come face to face with whatever made it.  I guess the spiders must have realized I’ve been a little slow at getting the Halloween decorations up so they decided to take matters into their own hands!

I kid you not, it was all the way from the top of the right pillar to the front flowerpot!


Music and the Spoken Word

Sunday morning we went to Music and the Spoken Word with Greg's parents.  It was so beautiful!  There's something about that music that makes you remember who you truly are and who you want to be.  We sat on the sixth row and afterwards the governor (who looks much younger in person, by the way) presented President Monson and the choir with a declaration that it was Mormon Tabernacle Choir Day!

Football is So Much Better in Person

My boss gave me tickets to the the BYU homecoming game and so I surprised Greg with them.  Then they surprised us by winning!

Builder Bob & Bobette

On my Friday off, I went to be Greg's assistant for a remodeling project that he's been working on for the past three weeks.   He does such quality work with so much attention to detail that we joked that he was doing too good of a job for a rental. Haha...Anyway, along with repainting the bedrooms, this is just a peek at some of what he's done:

He painted this bookshelf white and built lids for the top.  His dad said that people used to put flowers in the top rectangular openings and that's why there weren't any lids!

All of the kitchen cabinets used to be dark oak and to paint them white, he practically had to disassemble the entire kitchen and put it back together again.

We had so much fun!  I can totally see our next place being a fixer-upper...except that Greg is not a fan of old electrical and plumbing systems, so maybe not.  But I really do love old houses with tons of character. My dream house would be a victorian mansion.  And I really love those cute old fashioned houses out in Daybreak


Good for a Laugh

I’m driving to work yesterday and about five blocks from my house my car starts making this crazy noise. So crazy that I’m worried it could blow up any second. At first I thought it was my phone vibrating, but I realize that it is much louder than that. I make a u-turn, dash inside the house, and bring my hubby to check out the situation.

“That’s weird, Honey,” I say. “You can only hear it when you’re inside the car.”

He slides into the driver’s seat to take a listen.

We are both completely perplexed.

Then we realize that it’s coming from the back of the car…not the engine.

I pop the trunk with a sigh, relieved that we’re probably not looking at another major car repair, yet still slightly worried because I really have no idea what in the world could be in my trunk making that noise.

Ta Da… It was only this:
Our super duper Senco Power Plus 6-1 Jumpstart System!

Somehow I’d managed to turn the corner in just the right way to flip the “on” switch and the crazy vibrating noise was just the air compressor that inflates your tires-- not a bomb.  We laughed.  I always knew it would be good for something.


10 Random Things About Us

1. We got engaged on Leap Year.
2. I am10 years younger.
3. I have 5 brothers and he has 4.  No sisters.
4. Every summer we write a long list of fun things to do
and then check them off.
5. Our wedding colors were pink and green.
6. We make an almost expert canoeing team.
7. We went on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera for our honeymoon.
8. He was raised a Cougar; I was raised a Ute.     
Now we're both Cougars.
9. The first summer after we were married we had a side job as wedding decorators.
10. We love to shop the Nordstrom Rack Large Size Shoe Event.


We're Back!

Usually when it's been a while between posts,
I'll start by assuring you that we did not in fact
fall off the face of the earth.
And we didn't.
But our blog did.
So here's the new one!