Our wedding day

Our wedding day

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!

Hunting Season

Steven's favorite time of the year!
Being a city girl from Arizona and having only shot a gun at girls camp- the whole hunting thing is new for me. Steven and his Dad, brothers and brother-in-laws put their names in this drawing to get to hunt a deer every year. This year they all were drawn out and headed up to Ashley Forest behind Strawberry to bring home dinner. Steven reminded me a several times that he needed to "provide meat for his family"...
In preparation for the trip, Steven made a hammock out of a tarp and some rope (idea was from his brother-in-law Thane). He tried sleeping in it one night but froze from all the air coming up. 
Because of his really flexible schedule, Steven went from Monday morning (4am) and got home Thursday afternoon. The good news was that they shot a buck! As seen in the last picture of Tyler- with the buck. Don't worry- once you shoot something then you get to spend the next 6+ hours skinning it and taking it apart. They cut off its legs and brought it home and hung it upside down on Dad's tractor and got to work. Pulled off the hyde and cut apart all the parts. Cleaned them. And finally wrapped them in paper. 
Whew! What a day! 
Deer Hunting (Jeremy, Steven, Tyler)
 The next thing Steven went hunting for was Pheasant. He loves Pheasant hunting with his Dad, Uncle Randy and brothers (and in-laws). They got up early on Saturday, November 5th, the first day of the pheasant hunt and didn't find anything but duck! Steven brought home 4 ducks that he shot at Lanney's pond. (They are now frozen (the meat) in our freezer).
The next week, we drove by the train tracks returning Dad's truck to him when Steven saw a pheasant fly up. Excitedly, he ran into his parents house, grabbed a gun and we headed back to the tracks. I was trailing behind him doubting that the pheasant would be anywhere near there. Steven went along the high weeds and BAH! Out flew the pheasant- not a second later BAM! went Steven's gun. He shot that guy right in the head and blew his head to pieces. He took it home and skinned it and we had it for supper that night.
Pheasant hunting (new kill and dinner)

Duck Hunt- cleaning his duck
Steven also went hunting with his best buddy Spencer Ward (his trainer from his mission) and Spencer's brother and his friend Tye. They went to Farmington Bay at 4am. They rode mountain bikes hauling a bike trailer loaded with waders, decoys and guns 6 miles to a pond. They waded threw the muddy water up to their waist  to set up the decoys and get ready to blast some ducks. They hunted until 12:00 with the grand total of SEVEN DUCKS! The weather was calm so it wasn't the best duck hunting day but he had a ton of fun. Later at Cabella's Steven found some waders for just $27 and got his own pair (he borrowed Josh Rittmanic's before). On the way back the very old "hunting dog" couldn't make the run back to the car so Steven hauled the gear AND the DOG most of the way back to the car. 

Ecofirst 300 Club

My husband is amazing! Steven worked so hard during the summer selling pest control. Whenever it was rough and the work days were long, he'd say- hey, I get 8 months off of work! Which is true. Steven is taking online classes that he does at home and we get to spend so much time together. I love it. 
This is an Ecofirst Banquet where he was recognized in the "300 Club" for selling over 300 accounts. 
If you're interested in living off a substantial income after working (hard- very hard) for just 4 months of the year, please let us know! We'd love to share this same blessing with you!

Happy 1 year Anniversary!

I came home from seeing some friends on the afternoon of Saturday, the 19th of November and found a card with a rose on the couch. The card said this: 

"Dearest Cherise,
Your escort will arrive promptly at 6:00 to disk you away on a romantic night on the town. Enjoy an evening of fun and wonderful dinning at Lajolla where we will dine among the lemon groves. Come dressed in your best gown and be ready for the night of your dreams. 
Man of your Dreams"

It was so fun to get dressed up and do my hair for my man. He first took me to the temple and we did sealings to remind us of the wonderful covenant we made one year ago. It was a little uncomfortable for me since I was due in 10 days from then. 
We also wanted to do sealings since we had missed my little sister Hannah and her now husband Joseph's sealing that morning. They were married in the Mesa Temple and I couldn't travel so close to my due date. 
Steven then took me to the Riverwoods mall that is so cute with twinkle lights every where and  a romantic fire in the courtyard and someone singing in the gazebo. The restaurant itself was amazing with cute lemon trees surrounding us. I had the shrimp pasta and Steven had the salmon. It was delicious. Seriously some of the best food I've ever eaten. While there he gave me a card he had written previously and it was so sweet. So sweet that it made me cry. I'll treasure it forever. 
Afterwards we went to "Cocoa Bean" and got 2 cupcakes and cups of hot chocolate and took it home to eat.
The next day, Sunday, on our real Anniversary- November 20th- Steven went to his early morning church meeting at 7am. I usually stay in bed until he gets home about 8am and then get ready. However, I got up! I made him an omelet, bacon and biscuits with his favorite juice- passion peach mango. The best part was that I put it on his plate like a smiley face. (I wish I had taken a picture). The biscuits being the eyes, the omelet being the mouth and the bacon being a curvy mustache. It was cute. I set the table with a red tablecloth and put out candles. At the doorway I made a trail with his favorite candy bar- Almond Joy to his plate and then I left a card I wrote for him.
It was a perfect anniversary.  I love Steven Cooper. He is the most wonderful supportive, loving husband and I cherish every day I get with him for all of eternity. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A few days before Halloween the adults in the family went to "Halloween in the Mansion" put on by UVU- we learned about Edgar Allan Poe and heard some clips from his writing. We had fun dressing up!

We spent Halloween year with the Meldrums. It was loads of fun! We had dinner and bobbed for apples. We watched "Black Beard's Ghost"- an old Disney flick that was hilarious.
Sporting our costumes. I made mine- a skeleton with our little inside. I got a lot of laughs wearing this around town on Halloween. Steven is my x-ray technician.
The Meldrums (bottom left picture) were around the theme of Star Wars. Jeremy (the Dad), Hyrum and Daniel were Jedi knights; Krystal (the mom) was Princess Leia, Ashley was Princess Amidala; Bryton was Chubaka; Ben was a Storm Trooper; and Baby Jonathan was Yoda. So fun!
Jeremy- our brother, was the King of Spades
Chelsea was a Sorceress and her husband Thane was a cowboy. Melody was Melody:)
Josh and Megan were a hunter and a deer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Star Valley and Jackson Wyoming

Our good friends Josh and Megan Rittmanic invited us on an trip to Star Valley where Meg's parents own a fun cabin. We went October 13-16, 2011. We went up this beautiful canyon with the most gorgeous fall leaves and saw this amazing water fall. The water fall was amazing because, similar to guisers, it shuts off every 15-18 minutes and the water stops flowing through and then it starts up again. You can see from the pictures here it just starting to start up and then really flowing.
Steven helped me up this hike. We've been hiking a lot lately and he does a lot of pulling as I hang on to him when we go up. He is such a good husband:)

Steven, Josh and Thane shot some clay pigeons for fun and practice for the upcoming hunt they'd be going on the next week. They did great and we barely made it with the sun going down. Meg and I watched...

One day we went to Jackson and took the standard deer-antler-picture. We enjoyed shopping around the stores and some good meat at Bubbas for lunch.

That night we played some minute=to-win-it games. It was a lot of fun doing the "cookie unicorn" as we balanced cookies on each others foreheads (Steven wouldn't stop laughing so we lost that one!) and tried to keep 3 balloons up by ourselves (I think the record was Thane with 10 seconds). And we wrapped ourselves in toilet paper "dizzy mummy" I am the proud winner of that one. And sucking skittles our of a cup with a straw- Chels and Thane won that one and they won overall! Good job Chelsea and Thane.
It was a fun, relaxing weekend and we had a lot of fun!

Camping and Fishing at Maple Lake

We took Steven's little brothers Joseph (12) and Jacob (10) to Maple Lake to go camping September 30-October 1. This was only about 20 minutes away and look at the beauty we were in! It was breath taking! I love the fall leaves.
This will probably be my last camping trip-- I'm just too uncomfortable 32 weeks pregnant.
We fished right when we got there and only caught one. We ate our tin foil dinners and the lone fish.

The next morning we got up at the crack of dawn to fish some more and caught a total of 9 fish. We didn't stay too long since we had to get back for conference. What a fun weekend!