Thursday, August 30, 2012

the size of my oven

This week Stephen has been attending orientation with the rest of the UW medical students. All 220 something of them. The students are then divided up into six separate "colleges" for more personal and one on one time with a mentor. The night before last there was a potluck dinner for Stephen's college group and we got to meet a whole lot of students not from Alaska. Telling new people that I'm pregnant is always fun, everyone loves babies so you get a lot of smiles and 'congratulations' and looks. Right at my belly. It's like the first thing people do when they hear the word 'pregnant', make a super awkward glance at my belly and then back at my face with that 'oh my gosh, you just saw me take a peak at your belly' look on their face. Awkward. Especially because I don't really look pregnant yet. Then they keep taking peaks throughout the conversation like they're trying to tell if we're telling the truth! Awkward! So! Last night at the student picnic I tired my hardest to look pregnant. Yes, I have a small bump, but in a tshirt and jeans you'd just think I added a couple pounds or ate too much. So I put on a more form fitting dress and showed off the baby with a belt. Surely no one would think I was displaying weight gain like that... It has to be a baby. And much to my happiness, I got fewer awkward looks! I officially look pregnant!

Another plus of the night was getting to see all the Alaskan students I haven't seen since May! Stephen's been getting to catch up with them over the last few days at orientation, but I had yet to see the people he'd spent so much time with last year. Jenny has since gotten married and another student is flying back to Alaska to get married this weekend! Congratulations to you both! :) I wish I could still play class mom and bring them cookies and muffins after tests, but with 200 more students in the mix...?! My oven's not that big!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I've decided to do a post once a week of my slowly growing baby bump and the things that have been going on in our life in that week. Mostly this is just for my benefit; I want to be able to remember all the things we did and changes I went through, but feel free to follow along :)
And since it is my first week doing this, pardon the awful picture. Eventually I will actually hang the chalkboard sign and take the picture during the day with natural light, not in the night with the window closed and our overhead light that makes our yellow bedroom look green.

-In the past week we've arrived to Seattle (yay!) and moved into our home (yay!). Slowly but surely the decorations are making their way to the wall and the furniture is being assembled.
-Today is Stephen's first day of orientation and next Tuesday marks the first day of classes. We're both getting a little nervous about what this year will hold and how busy he'll be, but I am so proud of him making it this far and being so determined to see his dream through to the end. I know he'll do great :)
-We've been able to spend a lot of time with our good friends in the program this past week! They both have a little girl, Kate who is just two months old! It's been good to catch up with them and swap stories. It's awesome, too, that I have such a great support system just blocks away! Amanda and Whitney are both such good moms, they have a lot to teach me!
-The baby is stretching my pants to their limit (already!), mostly when I'm sitting down. I cried the other day when I couldn't button a pair of pants I hadn't worn all summer! It's sad and weird, but once I got past the initial sock, it's exciting! Tight pants means the baby is growing and that I am thankful for!
-I'm slowly starting to introduce ice cream back into my diet. (Because, yes, ice cream should be an entire food group). All through the summer it's made me sick! I thought pregnant women were supposed to crave ice cream?! A little bit at a time, I think the baby's starting to like it!
-Though my stomach is easier to please these days, I'm still exhausted. I could sleep in 'til nine in the mornings, take a two hour nap in the afternoon, and still be in bed by ten. I know I could because I have. I feel awfully lazy and I know slugging around the house isn't on the top of Stephen's to-do list, but growing a baby is hard work! Hopefully in the next few weeks my stamina picks back up in time to start working!
-Stephen's been a champ this whole summer, and especially moving in and getting settled this past week. Lifting all the heavy boxes and moving things here and there for me... He's constantly doing the dishes and the laundry, letting me take naps and relax instead... Walking to Safeway for a maple bar I decided I had to have... I know the roles will switch once he starts school and has to study 24/7, but in the meantime I am truly appreciative :)

we're here!

When Stephen and I got to Seattle we set up camp in a hotel with plans to search for an apartment. We had an apartment ready and waiting, but it was a little further away from campus than we wanted and a little more expensive than we wanted. So the search started. The first few places we went to look at were nice, well really they were just 'ok', but they didn't feel like home. After living out of a suitcase and being homeless since May, I was looking forward to walking into a place and just knowing that that's where we were going to live and bring our baby home to. I didn't want to have to fix it up or try to make it look nice, I just wanted it to be nice. Apparently, I was asking a lot. The closer you get to the University, the more expensive the apartment, also the smaller, and the not so nice. Our back up plan was looking more and more appealing as the first two days in Seattle came to a close.
On Tuesday Stephen received an email from student housing saying that we'd been accepted into a building called Stephen's Court (how appropriate, right?). We applied for student housing in January and knew the building was just blocks away from the hospital and had super cheap rent, but we also knew it was married housing...with no kids. Since I had called them in June when I found out I was pregnant to let them know, I was surprised they gave us this offer. Did they expect us to move in and then move out three months from now? We gave them a call to see if there was anything they could do to move us into married housing with kids, which just happens to be where both our good friends are living. Really long story short, they could! It was a difficult process and took many phone calls and emails and a lot of persistence on our end, but just one day later we were handed a key to our new home! And that's exactly what it felt like when we walked through the door, HOME! (Pictures will come later; we're still waiting on a truck load of furniture my parents are driving up this weekend!) It just couldn't be more perfect. And neither could Seattle! Since we've been here we haven't seen one drop of rain! (I know it's coming!) Everything is green and blooming, the University is stunning and just minutes away from our house, we live right next to our friends and the shopping village ;)
We've been trying to squeeze in as much fun as we can before Stephen starts school and I start work. Blackberry picking on campus, walking everywhere! (I missed living so close to everything in Anchorage!), going to the market, dinner parties with friends, exploring campus and downtown, going to the beach, watching a UW soccer game, getting our home set up... Our summer vacation was a blast, and one we will never forget, but we are both so happy to be home. I know Stephen is anxious for school to start (and I'm not looking forward to missing him so dang much!), but we're truly excited for this next chapter in our lives and all that it holds!

Bring it on, Seattle!

a baby bump

When we were in Idaho, Stephen and I convinced my mom to do a photo shoot with us (which wasn't a very difficult task) so we could have at least one good picture to announce my pregnancy with. Well, we got more than just one good picture... Thank you for helping us, mom and Ashley, and letting us steal your time! We loved the time we spent taking them with you and we love the pictures themselves!

I was actually only eleven weeks when we took these pictures! I was waiting to publicly announce it 'til I was thirteen weeks, because I knew I would have been able to tell the rest of our friends and family in person during our Oregon trip! That was an awesome thing about this summer... We got to see all our family and friends and tell them about the baby in person as I got further and further along. Everyone's reaction was different, but so fun to watch :) We're truly blessed to have such amazing people in our lives; everyone is so eager and willing to support us and help. In order to look thirteen weeks pregnant, though, I was stickin' it out a little, arching my back maybe more than normal ;) Looks about right, though! At fourteen weeks now I'm at that, "did she eat too much or could she be pregnant" stage. Half the time I really did eat too much, but the other half is all baby! It's weird, when you go to suck in your stomach and not everything goes in...! I don't mind one bit, though, that I can't keep all my pants buttoned when I'm sitting down (Ok, I minded a little at first. There might have been a tear or two shed). Knowing that at the end of all my headaches and stomach aches and dizzy spells and cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom is a baby...our baby... It all becomes worth it.


Driving into Bend, Oregon where the scenery changes from dead and brown to lush and green and beautiful, I began to remember why I went to college in Oregon, and why I always say I'd like to go back. It's just another home to me, and I think it always will be. The slight hint of moisture in the air, the cool breeze, the greenery everywhere, and the most amazing people... But before we went to Oregon...

We spent our last few days in Idaho with my family, lounging around, eating lots of yummy food, playing mini golf (in which Byron kicked our butts), and giving Harper lots of attention. On Saturday we all headed towards Boise, the two of us in my old car with no air conditioning in the 100 degree weather. We traveled to Uncle Mark's house for lunch with my grandparents and then went to a Boise Hawks baseball game for my Grandma's birthday (though I think the boys might have enjoyed it more).

The following day Stephen and I headed for the state border while the rest of my family got to celebrate Grandma's birthday with cake and ice cream. Jealous. Driving across eastern Oregon with no air conditioning is nothing to be jealous of. But I've done it once before and we made the best of it :) Windows down, music blaring... We might have terrible hearing now but at least we stayed somewhat cool. We made a pit stop in Bend for four hours (it was a long pit stop) to meet up with Stephen's good friend from high school and his wife and their cute, cute little girl. It was fun to meet them and hear stories about Stephen growing up :) We got to beat the heat of the day eating a yummy lunch and frozen yogurt before finishing our trip to Roseburg to see Grandma and Grandpa Brown!

We got waited on hand and foot by Grandma which was wonderful :) She makes for an excellent host! It was so fun to get to spend some time with them; we hadn't seen them since the wedding! They took us out to town and showed us around their church (Grandma is a pastor!), took us to Sizzler (my favorite restaurant as a kid and Stephen had never been!), played lots of card games, watched home videos of the Wall boys, played at the Umpqua river... We did lots of talking and catching up and we were sad to leave after just a couple days, but we had two more cities to get to before our road trip and summer adventure came to an end!

Next stop?! Corvallis! I got the same feeling driving into Corvallis as I did driving into Bend, except even more so. I lived there for three years, got married there, lived with Stephen for the first time there, met my best friends there, became a Christian there... It just feels like home. (I spent a good portion of our time there trying to convince Stephen that when school is all send and done, we should end up there. I think it might have worked.) We stayed with the Winder family in their new home and loved every second of catching up with them! They have been such an inspiration and a huge part of our lives, both as individuals and for us as a couple. We're so grateful they let us crash their place in the middle of their kitchen remodel (which John did an incredible job on!). We got to play, play, play with the boys (water fights, card games, superheroes, you name it!), cook with Steff, help John in the kitchen, tour campus again, catch up with some old friends, enjoy a tasty Qdoba lunch... It was a fun, busy three days in Corvallis!

As a pit stop on our way to Portland, Stephen and I stopped by the coast. I couldn't be that close to the Oregon coast and not go...! It was a quick stop, just enough time to walk on the beach, play in the water, explore the rocks, and get some yummy clam chowder, but it was perfect! Just as cold and gray and rainy as I remembered and I loved it! :)

Our last and final stop brought us to Portland and two of my best friends! (The third who has just moved herself down to Arizona to start nursing school! I am so proud of you, Ali! Happy first day!) We stayed at Erica's house (thank you Momma Debbie!) and got to surprise her and Melissa with the baby news! The last and final people to tell before I could make it public! ...That was a fun night :) We finally got to meet Ryan, the man that's been in Erica's life for some time now (we approve!), and spend some time with Will who was in town visiting Melissa! I hadn't stayed up that late all summer! Chit chatting away like little girls... We did some shopping the next day, went out to a good 'ol fashioned breakfast, lounged around watching Madagascar, which inspired our double date to the zoo and brewery...
It's always weird, and totally awesome, how friends can be at such different spots in their lives and go so long without seeing each other, but when you do finally get back together, nothing's changed... When I look back at my time at Oregon State I think of how I spent it with Erica, Melissa, and Stephen. And to have all three to myself for one weekend?! I was one happy girl :)

And off to Seattle we went! 

Monday, August 20, 2012


June 13, 2012

Driving home from the store, I was second guessing having bought a pregnancy test. It was the first day of my missed period, it was probably too early to tell. Talking out loud to myself, alone in the car, "I shouldn't have bought that test, I'm not pregnant. The test is going to be negative. Why couldn't I just wait a few more days 'til I start my period? And I know we weren't trying, but how awesome would it be.... The test is going to be negative. I'm not pregnant." I had almost convinced myself to not even take the test by the time I got home. But, I had to go to the bathroom so I thought, "What the hell?!" The test immediately started to fill in the negative line. "I knew it." I threw the test on the sink and took my time getting back to it. When I looked again, just to confirm my disappointment, I saw a very faint vertical line. "No... It can't be." I frantically started to look through the instructions, that little vertical line getting darker the whole time. And in the instructions I read that it doesn't matter how faint either of the lines are. If there is even the slightest positive sign, it's positive. It's positive.... It's positive?! IT'S POSITIVE! With the test in had, I fell to my knees, laughing and crying and shaking, in total disbelief, shock, and excitement! I composed myself enough to look at the test again, starting to laugh and cry all over!

The next two and a half hours were torture. I had dropped Stephen off at work before I'd gone to the store and bought the test. So now I had to wait until I picked him up at five o'clock to tell him the news! And in the meantime, I talked to my mom and sister and couldn't say a word! I wanted Stephen to be the first to know... I passed the time taking an incredibly long shower, watching Friends, and doing the dishes. All the while sneaking peeks at the clearly positive pregnancy test on the counter. Finally, five o'clock! 

After waiting for another hour and a half outside the clinic (Stephen was busy doing his first procedure!) I brought Stephen home and sat him on the couch. I told him I had gotten him something at the store... I came out the bedroom with the test behind my back, smile on my face... I handed Stephen the test and said, "I'm pregnant!" Stephen's eyes went from my face to the test and back to my face. Shock and excitement written all over his expression! He immediately jumped up in the air, yelled and picked me up, wrapping his arms around me! We spent the next twenty minutes, screaming and crying, laughing and hugging, shaking and jumping... 

Stephen and I have talked a lot about having kids since we got married (and before!). Family is everything to us and we've always looked forward to being parents and starting our own family! But in our plans, children always came a few years down the road. We wanted to wait 'til Stephen was further into his schooling, 'til we had more money, 'til I had a different job, 'til we lived here and not there... I told him once, "I want to get pregnant on accident, when we're not trying or expecting it so we know that it's the right time. Not our time. His time." I've never been very good at waiting for God's timing; I'm an incredibly impatient person. But God didn't make me wait this time...

This was not planned, nor expected, but Stephen and I could not be more happy! We knew this could be a possibility, and now that it's a reality...?! We are thrilled! And oh, so in love with our little baby Wall!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pocatello happenings

I warned you in the last post that I've been terrible at taking pictures this trip. But I promise you we've done more things than this blog post would suggest. Like going on walks with the pup, visiting the humane society, playing mini golf with an old friend from high school and her hubby, cooking and baking up a storm in mom's new kitchen, jeep rides around town... Though don't get me wrong, more than anything we've hung around in our pjs watching Friends and eating cereal. Truly, and maybe a little sadly, my favorite way to spend a day. In the mix we took a family trip to the Pocatello zoo. Why? Good question. My dad and Stephen had never been, and though it's a very sad and poor excuse for a zoo, it's just something you have to do at least once. So we went! And saw the bears and big cats, and birds, and goats, and elk, and buffalo... Yes, Pocatello thinks buffalo are zoo worthy. It was a fun day with my parents, though! A date that included Bagelry, of course :)  

We also built a fort! Per Stephen's request :) We pulled the mattress inside and included the tv, making it pretty awesome for a movie night! Harper even came over for a visit! Though she wasn't as big of a fan as Stephen... 

Of course, spending lots and lots of time with this happy little girl! I keep convincing Ashley to have date nights with her hubby just so I can get some alone time with her :) She's starting to reach for things and roll over, always blabbing and singing... Cute as can be! 

Stephen and I went on a bike ride through the cemetery (after another Bagelry picnic, of course). It's an odd place to spend your time, but it's one of my favorite places in Pocatello! It's covered with trees and perfect bike trails, with so many old, intricate, and interesting headstones. It was hot, but lots of fun! 

My mom took our pictures one night at sunset (I'm always asking her for photoshoots when we come to town). This is just a sneak peak but I love the pictures and am so happy we had her take them! One year into our marriage and it still looks like we love each other! ;) 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Getting off the airplane past midnight in the Boise airport, tired and exhausted, seeing my momma just behind those tall glass doors... Running into her arms made my list of top five happiest moments of my summer. Am I a momma's girl or what?! Because we got in so late, and Pocatello is a three hours drive away from Boise, we got a hotel for the night. And after laying on the same bed talking 'til two am, we finally hit the hay. In the morning, before we started the drive home, we got to see some friends that we haven't seen since the wedding! Waayy too long! An hour of chit chat with the Favillo girls looked a little something like this...

Literally, friends since birth! Laughing and giggling the whole time, it was so fun to see them and catch up! With Kristin in nursing school and Brooke in California, we get to do it very little. Though hopefully with us in Seattle, a little closer to the rest of the 48 states!, we'll be able to see each other more. After our rendezvous in the hotel lobby, mom and Stephen and I headed to lunch with my aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandparents. Yummy food, lots of talking, and a few games of air hockey and we were on the road to Pocatello! And to this little girl...

On Friday, Stephen and I headed to Jackson Hole with my parents to spend the weekend in the kayaks! We ate and shopped around town, kayaked our way down the Snake River and into Oxbow Bend, and got chased off String Lake by rain, thunder, and lightning! It was a beautiful and fun relaxing weekend! Didn't know how much I missed using those little blue boats!

Over the last week we've spent more and more time with sweet baby Harper, having dinner with Ashley and Byron at my parent's house almost every night. We've been enjoying our relaxing mornings and errand filled days, trying to get everything ready for our road trip through Oregon to Seattle! Though I haven't been the world's best photographer this trip, nor am I ever, more Idaho photos will come on the next blog. But for now, my husband and a fort in the basement (yes, we made a fort) are calling my name...