Our wedding day

Our wedding day

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We're in Kansas!

Steven is selling Pest Control again! Whew-hoo! Which brings our little family to Kansas City. It is green and beautiful here! So far the weather has been awesome and we've seen some incredible rain storms!

Before we left- Steven graduated with his Bachelors degree in Construction Management from UVU. I'm so proud of him- and happy he is done!

It's amazing how coming to Kansas has felt like such a beautiful new start for me. I've been exercising everyday. Meriden and I go on bike rides with my bike trailer, we go on walks and I go jogging- the trailer converts into a jogging stroller too- and we do P90X- I'm sooo sore! I'm also exploring healthier meal options and trying them out. We've been eating a lot of beans and love them! I've been better about reading my scriptures and reading in general. I feel closer to the spirit with my fulfilling these important goals.
Sunday was a really special experience watching the temple dedication. President Monson dedicated the cornerstone and lay the mortar around the stone. He wanted help from the audience and so he called up some children- one of which being Isaac Boswell and later he said, can we have the young lady with the gray hair- and Grandma Fern Anderson went up. She's living with the Boswells for the summer. I felt almost like I really knew PResident Monson from standing so close to him and hearing him interact so joyfully with the children and people around him. I wonder if he ever gets tired of having people flock to wherever he goes. Knowing what I know about him, he probably just feels special. He seems so positive and kind. I know that he really is God's prophet on the earth. I could feel as he spoke at the dedication that he truly knows Heavenly Father. I really am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that he would give us a prophet. When I think about President Monson and the important things he teaches us- especially by example, it is, to be kinder, to love, forgive, serve and be happy. I love his stories and the calmness of his voice. We went INSIDE the temple for third session of the dedication- thanks to Margie Boswell who made friends with the security guard. Grandma, Hyrum and Margie and I went in while Josh and the other children watched our little Meriden.
3 minutes into the video, you can see Steven, Meriden and I
http://ldsmag.com/photography/category/96- watch for Grandma and the prophet!

Today I went shopping with Kiersten Carver. I'm glad to have a friend to talk to and be with. Our husbands work so much that it is nice to have someone else to talk to- especially someone I already knew. We went shopping at thrift stores- Goodwill and Rocket Consignment. I bought Steven some new church pants since he left his at home (he also left a checked out library book!). And I bought myself 2 pairs of capris.

My husband works so hard. He works close to 80 hours a week. He's making a lot of good money- but boy, does it take a toll on his time. When he comes home he is so tired. I'm so grateful to have him. He provides so well for our little family and wants so badly for me not to worry about money. He wants to always stay out of debt and that helps me feel so calm and at peace. He recruited a team of 12 people and they are doing well too and he is a great leader. He trains and helps them all. I feel that he is preparing for future times when he will lead again. I miss him because he's gone so much.
Meriden turned 5 months on Saturday. She is rolling from her back to her tummy and is becoming more and more aware of the world- and ME! She loves me and her Daddy so much and we love her. We sometimes just hold her real close and giggle with happiness because she brings so much joy to our lives. We're so grateful to have her!

Here is a more specific update on her from what I wrote in her journal this week.
You are 5 months old! It's crazy to think all that has happened in your little short life.
You have:
1. Visited Arizona twice, California, Nevada, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri- 9 states!
2. Flown on an airplane from SLC to Atlanta and back.
3. Moved from Santaquin Utah to Overland Park Kansas.
4. Saw the prophet- President Monson, at the Kansas City Missouri temple dedication.
5. Been sick once- terrible cough and an ear infection and had an antibiotic.
6. Been through a honda Civic and Accord, sold the Civic and now have a Honda Odyssey.
7. Been swimming twice- In Arizona outside and the Orem Rec Center inside.
8. Hiked in Zion National Park- to the top of "Look Out Point".
9. Hiked through Goblin Valley National Park.
10. Been camping in the forest past SLC.
11. Been boating twice- once Mom and Dad water skied and the other time to try out Dad's new fishing boat.
12. Been fishing 2 times. Utah lake and the other one past SLC when we were camping.
13. Watched Mom and Dad snow sled.
14. Met all kinds of new farm animals- chicks, piglets, calves, and seen goats, horses, all thanks to Grandpa Cooper and of course, bunnies -thanks to your Dad.
15. Been to 2 movies- The Avengers 11:30pm showing and The Hunger Games. You were very good in both.

Now for your own little accomplishments:
1. You have a death grip. If it gets a hold of something, there is no letting go. I have already lost some hair and am feeling that dangly earrings are no longer a good idea.
2. You roll! If you want something you can manage to shift your weight and arms enough to get on your tummy. Then once on your tummy you play with the thing until you back and neck get tired and then you cry because you're stuck. You haven't figured out how to roll back on to your back yet.
3. You love puppets. When I put the parrot puppet on my hand you look at it with amazement and try and grab it. You love to put it in your mouth and hold it tight in your arms and I think you're a little disappointed that once you get it- it stops moving.
4. You are not as happy as you used to be to take your naps. I used to just put you down and you'd contently look around the room until you dozed off. Now you cry and cry. Unfortunately, I have rescued you a few times which makes me think you'll only learn to go to sleep with help.
5. When I kiss your cheek and blow on it you hold still like you never want it to end. Then you open your mouth in an O and put it against my cheek and make little squeaky noises trying to copy me. It's soooo cute!
6. When Dad comes home you get so excited and just stare and smile at him like he's your favorite person (except for Mom of course).

I love my sweet baby. LIfe would be so lone-ly in this new Kansas home with no friends or responsibilities if it weren't for you in my life You keep me busy, entertained and so loved. You mean so much to me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Welcome to our family Meriden Ashley Cooper!

 Dear Meriden,
Mommy and Daddy were getting very anxious to meet you since you were supposed to arrive on November 30th but still weren't here December 5th! When they went to the doctor Monday morning, they were so excited when the doctor announced that Mommy was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced and she wanted you to come out! Doctor Julie Grover sent Mommy and Daddy over to the hospital. They grabbed some soup before they checked in because they heard there was no eating allowed once they were checked in to have you.
Daddy called Grandma Cooper and she came over to the hospital at 1:00. We had a very nice nurse named Alyson that helped us. She stuck a needle in Mommy's wrist (twice!) and started putting in this magical thing called pitocin at 2:00. It was the magical pitocin that helped you come into the world. They started at a 4 but Mommy was too happy so they went to an 8 (at 3:00) and Mommy was STILL too happy so finally they put it to a 12 (at 4:00). At a 12 Mommy was not so happy. She did lots of relaxing tricks that Grandma Cooper and Aunt Krystal taught her trying to get her body to calm down but she hurt soooo bad. Daddy was right there with Mommy holding her and rubbing her legs and trying to help. That made Mommy feel a little better but her tummy was really hurting her! Mommy had a goal to be at a 5 before she got the most magical gift of "an epidural". At 5:00 Mommy asked the nurse to please get the doctor fast because she wanted her water to break and to please get the magical anesthesiologist even faster because she wanted the most magical gift "epidural". Everything happened really fast after that. Lots of people came in and the most important one of all the magician anesthesiologist. He was from India. He put his special pointy medicine in Mommy's back and then she was feeling happy again! After he left Doctor Grover came in and broke Mommy's water. She was happy to hear she was at a 5! Just like she hoped she would make it to! 
Mommy was visiting with Daddy and Grandma and being happy when the nurse Alyson came back at 6:00- 1 hour later to check Mommy. She said to Mommy: "Guess what you're at?" (with a smile on her face) and Mommy, not wanting to guess too much said, "a 6?" Alyson said: "No... a 9!" Yay! That means you were almost here! Alyson came again at 7:00 and said Mommy was at a 10. But you were still hiding deep in Mommy's body at a 0 so when the nurse called Doctor Grover, she said let's wait until 8:30 for baby to come down so Mommy won't have to push so much. Well, so we waited. Mommy never pushed the button for more special medicine in her back so after awhile she felt this great big feeling that said "push!" Finally 8:30 came and the nurse said Mommy could push. She was so happy after just a few pushes when everyone said that you were starting to show! After just 5 minutes of pushing, the nurse said, "Uh-oh, too fast! The Doctor wants to meet baby first! We'll have to wait for her." So, the nurse called the doctor and we waited... and waited until 9:05! Almost 30 minutes. Just about 5 minutes after the doctor got there, the greatest moment happened of all! YOU arrived! Oh, you were so big and beautiful! Mommy couldn't believe it! She cried happy tears of joy and Daddy's smile covered his whole face! He thought you were so chubby and cute! The doctor put you on Mommy right away so she could hold you. After a few minutes they went to fix you up. Daddy stayed right by your side as they cleaned your little nose and mouth and weighed and measured you. Before you came Grandma, Mommy and Daddy all guessed how big you were. Daddy got the closest with your weight. He guessed 9 pounds and you were 9 pounds 2 ounces! Mommy and Grandma tied closest for your length. Mommy guessed 20.5 inches and Grandma guessed 19.5 inches and you were 20 inches. 
Mommy fed you right away and later Daddy went with you for your very first bath. 
We are so happy you came into our family. 
You're crying right now so Mommy has to end the story...until next time!
Meriden Ashely Cooper

Our first family picture

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some random fun!

Playing basketball with Steve's family Saturday morning. Steve thought a basketball in his shirt would be about the same size as my belly. As you can tell, he was wrong. I'm way bigger!We've enjoyed going on some hikes over the last few weeks. I'm in love with the fall leaves everywhere. I love how you can drive 5-20 minutes and you have hundreds of hikes and canyons at your finger tips to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL nature that we live in! Steven usually ends up pulling me up most of these hikes and we're resorting to flatter areas as I'm getting bigger. My favorite hike we went on was where Steven proposed to me- West Mountain up Long Canyon. It was a rough hike with no trail that we went on October 11th (our engagement anniversary) and when we got to the place where he proposed, we realized we had left the camera battery and Steven's phone at home... so no photo documentation. Just know it was awesome.

Snowshoeing for our Christmas Tree

A couple of weeks ago Steven and I got up before sunrise and drove to Soliders Hollow where we waited in line for a Christmas Tree permit. We were always hoping our baby would wait to come until we could go and cut down our tree. Well, she did and we went last Wednesday. I've been wanting snowshoes for a long time and we got them not too long ago at Costco and tried them out for a first time hunting for our Christmas tree. 
Yes, I'm 39 weeks pregnant and snowshoeing through the woods...
 We found the tree way to fast! The first one we liked. Of course, we went looking for more both for fun and to know that we were getting the best in the forest. After awhile, we came back to our original first love. We named the tree "Doug". Steven chopped it down.
 How do you get a 15 foot Christmas tree home when all you have is a little Civic? Watch and behold!            (above picture)
The tree had to be cut quite a bit before it fit in our little apartment. Me modeling it on it's stand. We're decorating it for Family Home Evening tonight. 
Our house smells like Evergreen trees and I love it!

False Labor

Last Monday- November 21st I started feeling contractions in the morning. They got worse as the afternoon approached. I was timing them about 7 minutes apart and excitedly thought that maybe this was the real thing. Luckily, I had my weekly Monday doctor's appointment. My doctor- Julie Grover was out of town so I saw her associate Doctor Heather Dabbling. She was great. She checked me and said I was measuring at a 3 and her head was down. She scrapped my membranes to further things along (which hurt so bad!) and said that she thought i would end up having her "tonight" and she'd probably be delivering me that night. She suggested going home and taking a warm bath. Steven I headed back and the contractions were so bad at this point that I could hardly talk or walk or anything. We finished packing our bags and loaded the car, buckling in the baby car seat and all. We went to Mom and Dad Cooepr's house so I could take a warm bath there since they have more hot water than us. After soaking in the tub for a few hours the labor pains went away and I was no longer feeling contractions. Never have I been so disappointed to have pain go away. We went on a mile+ walk hoping they would start up again, but nothing. 
Since then I've felt a lot of cramping- maybe contractions, maybe braxton hicks- I don't know. We see the doctor again in an hour and we'll see what she says. Our baby's official due date is on Wednesday, November 30th... so maybe she'll want to wait.
I'm uncomfortable but not too uncomfortable- which probably means she needs some more time. I guess we'll see.
Measuring 38 1/2 cm
Also, my sweet friends Kali and Kaitlin threw me a little baby shower where we met at Mimi's Cafe and had lunch and caught up. It was so fun to see them, Heather and Lani. 

The Young Women also threw me a baby shower. It was so much fun to celebrate with them. We played diaper -melt a candy bar inside and guess what kind it is game and had  fun little baby treats and visited and they gave me sweet gifts. Exactly what I needed- diapers and wipes! It was lots of fun and I'm so blessed to have such sweet friends in my life!


A couple of months ago Steven's sister Jessica went to a class called "Outlook". She loved it and said that it changed her life making it more positive and changing her perspective on everything. She invited us to go. Months and months later we finally did. It was in November on a Thursday (4-10pm), Friday (4-10pm) and Saturday (9am-7pm) and we really, really enjoyed it. 
Here are just a few of the things we learned about:
1. The Choice Process: We learned that each of us has instilled in ourselves some false beliefs in ourselves. Those false beliefs keep us from being who we really are or want to be. For example, in reflection of my life I felt like I've had a hard time making new friends in my Santaquin ward. Through the choice process I realize that in realty I am a great friend and people want to be my friend. My new belief is that 
"I am a magnet of friendship".
 I know, a little cheesy but it works. I say this to myself all the time when I'm normally in uncomfortable situations when I want to go talk to people in my ward but I'm too nervous. I feel like since that time I'm confident in talking to anyone and everyone. 
2. Passion: We talked about the passions we have in our lives or passions that we want to develop. I made a list of my passions and realized that most all of them (rock climbing, water skiing, etc) do not go so well with pregnancy. However, one did! Swimming! I decided that I'm going to swim a mile because I love it and I can. It makes life more exciting to live our passions. It took me a long time but at the Orem Rec Center, I did it! 38 weeks pregnant I swam a mile! 
Steven has re-found his passion in rabbits and we are now the proud of owners of 5 cute bunnies in our backyard. He says he's going to breed them or raise them for meat. 

3. Risk: There are so many things we don't do in our lives because we're afraid of failure. I made a list of all sorts of things I've always wanted to do but never have taken the time or effort to do. I'm now trying to take some of those risks. 
There was a lot more but that's just a few things. If you'd like to take the class we'd love to set you up with some great tickets. The next one is December 8, 9 and 10. After you go once, you can attend over and over for the rest of your life as reminders of the goals you're trying to fulfill. 

We also enjoyed it so much that Steven is doing the next class Power 90 where he is setting a huge goal that he'll accomplish in 90 days. Though I'm not taking the class, he's sharing with me what he learns and I'm setting a goal to complete my Mom's documentary in 90 days. It's something I've been wanting to do for years but never have taken the time to do it. 

Here's their website if you want more information: http://www.afreshnewoutlook.com/
This is our group we were with all weekend

Steven and I after the class.

Mill Creek with Tanner and Autumn Carver

Steven and I slept at Autumn and Tanner's house in Salt Lake City so that he could go duck hunting at the crack of dawn a few weeks ago. While he was out hunting I got to visit with Autumn and Tanner until they went to see a friend of their's baby be sealed to them. I babysat their cute kids. 
My request for the day was to go on a hike. A "hike" when you're Cherise and 9 months pregnant basically means, be surrounded by nature and go on a flat, easy walk. We went together up to Mill Creek and it was beautiful! We skipped rocks, walked around and Steven and Autumn took their shoes off and walked across the river being the brave souls they are. We love the Carvers so much and enjoy being with them!