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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

6 years of 'I love you's"

Today is our 6 year wedding anniversary.

6 years ago at this moment, we were in the temple getting ready to be sealed for time and all eternity.

As this blog is primarily used as our family journal, I realized that I had never recorded the story of our courtship. And I thought our anniversary would be the perfect time to do just that.

We met at BYU because we lived in the same apartment complex, and consequently were also in the same ward. I had just moved in along with Breann, and he had just moved in with his twin, Russ. He was fresh off his mission. Like a week off. And I had just moved out of the freshman dorms. Our first ward prayer of the semester, someone pointed him out to me and mentioned that he was also a social work major, so we should talk. But our very first interaction ended up being during a competitive ward game between apartments. There may or may not have been a little less than ethical play on the part of my apartment, and so his apartment retaliated with guerrilla warfare. During this exchange I threatened him- a stranger at the time- with gross bodily harm. I really didn't like him; he says that this exchange left him intrigued. He had always liked girls who were firecrackers.

Well it turned out that my roommates who had been in the apartment longer knew his roommates. We were in the same FHE family, and the two apartments got to spend a good amount of time with one another. Marshall and I spent more time together, got to talk, and discovered we had quite a bit in common. BUT, he was dating another girl. He moved quickly, only a week off his mission, remember. So I put him out of mind. Or I tried. But we were constantly around each other. And his girlfriend wasn't in the ward, so she wasn't.

One of the traditional activities our apartments did together was going to Del Taco at midnight on Sundays (no longer the, I know), and on one such Del Taco night, no one else went. So it was me and him, and we were able to really talk a lot about what we were looking for in a spouse and in life. I liked him even more, but he still had that girlfriend.

A couple weeks later a large group from the ward went to Las Vegas to see the BYU football team play UNLV. One of my roommates decided not to go at the last minute, so there were 2 in my car, and 3 in Marshall's. So I suggested we all ride together to save gas. It was crowded in my little neon, but that was all the better to snuggle with him in the back seat. We spent that whole weekend getting to know each other and holding hands, and snuggling. And I knew we would start dating. The last day in Las Vegas I asked him what we were and what we would be in Utah, and he said that there was only one girl he wanted to date and get to know better, and her name was Lauren.

Side note...I decided while in high school that I would only kiss one man. To me, kissing said 'I love you' and I didn't want to give my heart away to someone I couldn't marry. So I didn't really date in high school. And at BYU I would tell guys early into the dating process that I wouldn't be kissing until they were ready to propose (there is a LOT of kissing to be found at BYU...NCMO anyone?). So I would weed out the ones who weren't ready for marriage right away. All of the guys I actually dated were wonderful...all gentlemen. I'm sure all would have made great husbands (consequently, I don't believe in soul mates...I think any 2 good people who are willing to sacrifice for one another and are committed can make a marriage work and can fall in love). But I was this odd little serious girl who would pray about everything, and made dating and giving my heart away a matter of prayer. I prayed to know if I should kiss and give my heart away.

So we got back to Utah, and he broke it off with the other girl, and we started spending every moment together. We would get together before classes in the morning and read our scriptures and pray together, and get together to watch movies, and go on walks, and go on dates every evening. And talk- a lot of talking. That first weekend to Las Vegas was on October 24th, and by Thanksgiving he told me that he "was falling in love" with me. Well that scared me a little, because I hadn't prayed about it yet, and frankly didn't know what love felt like. So I panicked and told him I'd have to get back to him on that.

I spent the Thanksgiving break at home really praying and thinking. I knew that it was right, I got confirmation that I could marry him and it would work, but I was freaked out that it was so fast. So dang fast. I was second guessing myself because it had been-what- 5 weeks? So I got back and knew he had prayed about it too. But I was still scared and keeping a little bit of distance while I figured it out. He got a little frustrated and I got the feeling he was going to break up with me because his feelings were hurt. I mean the poor guy told me he loved me, and then I avoided him. lol. So one night we went out, and then at home in the parking lot, we were sitting in the car in silence. The night had been tense, and I knew we were going to break up if I didn't get past my fears. So I took a deep breath, leaned over, and kissed him. And he kissed me back.

About a month later, after spending Christmas break with each other's families, we were engaged. 4 months after that, we got married on April 24th. The 6 month anniversary of that first "date" to Las Vegas.

Today we celebrate our love story. Our courtship, but more importantly the 6 years since. And even more importantly the eternity to come.

Happy Anniversary Marsh! I love you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wes' 9 month appointment

Wes had his 9 month well baby check today. His stats were as follows:

Weight: 19lbs 12ozs - 32nd percentile
Height: 28.25 inches - 44th percentile
Head Circumference: 17.5 inches - 23rd percentile

So he is moving up a little on his growth curve. Still a little shrimp.
I braved this appointment on my own with both kids, so I didn't even try to bring the camera. So no pics, sorry.

Wes got one more shot, which he was not happy about. But he calmed pretty quickly once he realized that we weren't going to sneak another one in on him. The doctor also ordered a blood draw to test him for a panel of allergies. Hopefully this will give us a clue as to what, for sure, is causing his never-ending rash. The doctor said he'd be surprised if it was yogurt because he doesn't seem to have a problem with his milk-based formula. So now I just don't know.

Wes' appointment was right in the middle of his nap time, so once he got the shot and calmed down a bit, he was fast asleep before we even made it back to the car. We then drove over to the lab, and he slept peacefully in his stroller through the registration and in the waiting room. I got him out of him out of the stroller and sat him up in my lab when they were ready to take his blood, and he just rested his head on my arm and kept sleeping. I didn't want him to be rudely awoken by a needle, so I jostled him a bit to bring him to.

The lab brought in a few phlebotomists to hold him down, search for veins, and start the poking. Everyone was expecting a screaming child, so we were all surprised when he just kinda sat there and watched with mild interest. They had to use two different technicians and try multiple times on each arm. He didn't cry. Just sat and watched. One of the phlebotomists asked gravely "so he's a really sick kid, huh?" and I just had to laugh because he's not normally so lifeless. I explained that he wasn't sick at all- it was just an allergy panel. That lightened the mood and they joked that all parents should bring kids in really, really sleepy.

We should get the results of his blood test back in a few days. Hopefully they are pretty clear so that we don't have to do more testing. I hate blood draws, even if Wes doesn't seem to mind. Plus, I don't want to press my luck that it would go that well a second time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Conversations with Carly

- I was changing her diaper (yes...diaper...don't get me started) at my in-laws' house in California. I spotted a spider crawling on the carpet next to her. I whisked her out of the way and smashed the spider with her diaper. She asked what I was doing, and I told her I killed a spider. She then said "Whoa, there's danger all around!"

- Carly ate a few powdered donuts, and then looked in the mirror and announced "my face is a donut!"

- We bought Carly a BYU football uniform last week, and as soon as she had it on, she decided it was a baseball uniform. She picked up and imaginary bat, and an imaginary ball, tossed the ball up in the air and hit it, and then demanded that we all "run around the bases...really fast!" A little part of Marshall died.

- Marshall made the genius move of buying Carly a Nerf sword. So one of her new favorite pastimes is to hack Marshall with the sword until he lies down and pretends to be dead. Then she relishes hacking off each of his limbs one at a time. We've trained a warrior. She now can often be heard yelling out "I will kill you!" or "I will cut you!" I wonder how that will go over once she gets to Kindergarten...

- Carly loves figuring out what color people's eyes are. Yesterday she studied my eyes until she determined that "Mommy, you have green eyes. Just like a frog!"

- In an attempt to get her to clean her room, I threatened to throw all her toys away. She thought this was a great idea, and got out a trash bag. When I came back to check on her, she was picking up toys, one by one, and saying "goodbye block...goodbye bear...goodbye puzzle" and throwing them in the trash bag. They're in the laundry room and she hasn't asked for them back yet. Threats don't scare this child.

- Whenever I vacuum, Carly gets really excited and declares "The kids are coming over!" I find it sad that I vacuum infrequently enough that she thinks I only do it before playgroup.

- The other day she was just yelling. Lots of noise. Pointless noise. Just to be noisy (Marshall's family assures me this is a trait she inherited from him). I told her to calm it down and be quiet! She said "But mom, I'm being fortissimo!" Is there such a thing as too much Little Einsteins?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

9 months

Wes is now 9 months old. And he is cuter than ever!

And he certainly will no longer lie down next to that football.

He hasn't had his 9 month appointment yet, so those stats are still to come. But he is in size 3 diapers and wearing 6-9 month old clothing and some 9-12 month. I think he may have grown a few percentiles, because it doesn't seem likely he'd still just be hovering around 30%.

- Wes still loves to crawl. And he's starting to get very fast. He follows me everywhere.

- He hates crawling on cold ground with bare legs. So he has a hard time with the kitchen floor in the mornings. But it is really cute, because his solution is to crawl on his hands and toes, with his knees as far from the offending ground as possible.

- He likewise hates grass. Well, I don't know that hate is the right word. But he would rather not touch it. So when placed on all fours on the grass, he'll look slightly distressed and keep his non-essential hand as far from that prickly grass as possible.

- Wes is now pulling up and cruising. Just like with Carly, soon as he could crawl, he had higher goals in sight. Now he'll crawl over and stand using just about anything to support him. The couch, the wall, the rocking ottoman, the tv, my legs. I have a feeling we may see walking in the next month or two.

- Was has 2 teeth now. And no more on the immediate horizon.

- Wes still loves to growl. To express anything and everything. He and Marshall will get in these yelling/growling contests. It is so cute, and very loud. He just thinks he is so fearsome!

- Wes is now eating a lot of different table foods. Mostly the same foods as the purees I made, but now just steamed and cut up small. I am also giving him little bites of whatever we are having.

- He is also eating anything and everything he can find on the ground. That pincer grasp and really developed! And I find I am a much more laid back mom than I was with Carly at this age. He eats a stick or a leaf, I just shrug and know it will come out in a diaper tomorrow. Really my only worries are things he could choke on.

- We have discovered that Wes is sensitive to yogurt. Maybe all dairy? But yogurt for sure. In 3 test trials, he got a horrible red rash all 3 times. Including with the yogurt melts. I am a little worried about introducing milk in 3 months.

- Wes clearly says mama and dada. And he knows who each title belongs to. He still thinks it is a very funny game to only say "dada" when I ask him to say "mama" in front of an audience. This one has a funny little sense of humor. It is obviously deliberate and he smiles and is all pleased with himself at the laughter he gets in response.

- He has still got the cute blue eyes and the blond hair. I actually had someone comment the other day about how much hair he has, a new experience for me since my last baby was bald forever.

- After our trip out to California, Wes picked up some of cousin Kalen's expressive faces. He now LOVES to scrunch up his eyes and nose and sniff loudly at you.

- He has a 6th sense for finding cords. If there is one unhooked somewhere, he will find it and try to shock himself by sticking the unoccupied end in his mouth. Phone, computer, printer. I'm hoping he outgrows this quickly.

He is just about the cutest, most delightful baby ever! I could just eat him up!

Get your tissues

This is a video that was shared with me by one of my adoptive mothers. I think it pretty well sums up the feelings associated with infertility, and with waiting in adoption. And I'm not usually a fan of country music, so that's saying a lot!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

C. A. A. D. D.

"Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

This is how it manifests:

I decide to do the laundry. As I start toward the basement, I notice that there are cheerios all over the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl. I decide to pick up the cheerios before I do the laundry. I lay my car keys down on the counter, put the cheerios in the trash can under the counter, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to take out the trash. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay the bills first. I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left, my extra checks are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I go to my desk where I find a sippy cup full of juice. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I decide I should put the sippy cup in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the sippy cup a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the counter, and I discover baby wipes that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the wipes back down, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote, one of the kids left it on the kitchen table. I realize that after school when they go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote as they fight over who lost it, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down, get some paper towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the laundry isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm cup of juice sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find the wipes, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. When I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail." (or in my case...go read some blogs!)
-Stolen from a message board post I frequent.

So true of me! And I'm glad to know there is now a diagnosis!

Bountiful Baskets

A few months ago, a friend of mine posted about Bountiful Baskets in Washington state. I was totally jealous, and wished for a second I lived in Washington. But then I did my homework and discovered that Bountiful Baskets are available in a few states, including Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada!

Bountiful Baskets are a co-op group of volunteers who get wholesale prices on grocery store quality food. The premise is that you will volunteer once in a while to help with distribution, and in exchange people can get a TON of great produce for very cheap.

I tried it for the first time the Easter Saturday, and I was very impressed!

This was what was in my basket: 9 ears of corn, a clam shell of strawberries, a clam shell of blackberries, 3 yellow squash, 5 or 6 sweet potatos, 2 onions, a head of romaine, a pineapple, 6 tomatos, a head of broccoli, a bunch of bananas, 6 oranges, and 8 apples.

We have had wonderful fresh produce all week! Well, for 2 weeks, because this was enough to last us quite a while.

And how much did this all cost? 15 dollars.

I am hooked. I ordered my next basket today. What is in the basket is always a mystery. But there is a facebook group with recipes, and hopefully if I get something unusual I can just learn to cook something new.

Now the baskets are available at pre-determined locations for like a half hour on Saturday mornings only. If you don't show up to get your food on time, they'll donate it to a local fire station. There are also only a certain number of baskets at each location, so once all 30 or 40 baskets have been purchased, that location is no longer available as a pick-up site. You order and pay for your baskets on Monday and Tuesday. So if you are interested, go order yours today! There are currently 13 spots still available in Orem, for instance.

A tip- bring a large laundry basket or a bunch of bags to carry your produce in. Last week I brought 3 plastic grocery bags, and I just barely fit it all. This week, I think I'll take a large basket or 2 Ikea bags.

Happy cooking!


Marshall called me at work the other day to let me know that Gene Simmons had moved into our home.

I was very worried.

Who knew Gene Simmons got his inspiration by finding his mother's tube of mascara on the counter!

Thank goodness he had it all cleaned up by the time I got home!

Monday, April 12, 2010

California 3/10

The week before Easter, we took a trip out to visit Marshall's family in northern California. We had finally made the transition this last winter to only visiting one family a Christmas holiday, so that our trips aren't such hurried whirlwinds of driving, packing, driving and packing. So this last Christmas, we only visited my family. It was time for another trip to Marsh's home town.

We arrived in time for a few family events, including a funeral and a baby shower. Unfortunately we missed the biggest event of all- Kalen's first birthday. But we had a nice time anyway.

We got to visit Kiernan's new Rocklin apartment. Love it! It has a fantastic backyard. I am now super jealous and even more committed to moving somewhere with a fenced, private yard.

Carly, Marshall, cousin Rachel holding Wes, 2nd cousins Brianna and Bladen.

This trip was also Wes' debut meeting just about all of Marshall's family. He got to meet just about all of Marsh's aunts and uncles, and many of his cousins. He was a big hit. How can he not be? Have you seen how cute this kid is?

He really doesn't like grass.

With Kalen.

With Great-Grammie.

We took the kids to an Easter egg hunt at Marsh's home ward. Carly, ever the shark, was pretty dominant and focused in getting those eggs. One egg had a ticket to pick out a big "prize" at the prize table. We went over and looked at the sunglasses, and large chocolate rabbits and other toys. But Carly would not be convinced to pick anything other than a little marshmallow rabbit. The smallest, lamest prize there. Really? A peep? Up against a chocolate rabbit??!! You're not my daughter.

Look at that stash.

Kalen was not a fan of E. Bunny.

We also took the kids to magic mountain. I didn't think there would be a lot for kids to do at magic mountain, but boy, was I wrong! It was like a zoo, only with rides! We saw the killer whale show, the tiger show, the dolphin show, the exotic bird show. After the killer whales, nothing else was very impressive to Carly. We were watching the exotic birds, and I asked her "aren't those cool?" and she said "No. I wanna go see the big fishy again." Tough audience.

Halfway through magic mountain, I was feeling pretty poorly. So I had to go home and try to not throw up. I was bummed to miss out on the rest of the day's activities. But it ended up being good, I think, because this provided Wes with his first opportunity to have the Andrews Grandparents' undivided attention. Carly got a lot of one on one time as a baby. And Kalen gets her grandparents all the time. But Wes had never been around Grandpa and Grandma without the girls around. So it was good that while I slept off whatever I had caught, Grandma and Grandpa A got a chance to learn all of Wes' little cues.

While I was home sick, Marshall and Kiernan took the girls to Seder Dinner at their cousins' home. I was really looking forward to Seder. I actually invited myself. lol. So I was seriously bummed I had to miss it. But Marshall and Kier had a great time and took lots of pictures. The coolest part was the square hard-boiled eggs. Such a mystery! Also, this picture of Marshall with the bitter herb up his nose. Not really. lol. I hope we can go out and take part in passover some other time.

Marshall, Uncle Michael (and the bitter herb).

Kiernan, the girls, cousin Joel.

Square eggs!

The plagues, in very cute plush form. Check out the boil.

It was a great few days, and reminded me how lucky I am to have such a great family in-law.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Redneck Convention

A few Saturdays ago, we decided to attend the International Sportsmen's Exposition for our Super Tuesday family activity.

Why you ask?

Well, because since we have been married I have repeatedly asked Marshall to take me fishing. Numerous times every summer I ask him to take me. I suggest we camp and fish. I WANT TO GO FISHING!

And it has never happened.

Well, I was watching the news and they were talking about this expo, and all I noticed was that there was a large pool full of fish and people could FISH right there in the expo. I didn't care what the admission price was, we were going.

The next day we jumped on the internet to learn a bit more about it before heading over, and noticed that this expo had a whole lot to do with hunting. We needed to fit in.

Wes wore his camo shorts. He's the only one in our family with camouflage. Marshall and Carly wore bandannas. We felt like we fit the part. Carly even had a complimentary black eye from when she fell off the couch the week before.

We couldn't believe how much camo there was! And these people weren't joking. I mean, head to toe camo along with the orange vest thingy to keep other hunters from shooting you. I wanted to say "hey, buddy, no one is going to really be shooting in here."

But it was So. Much. Fun.

And I got to fish. Didn't catch a thing, and they only gave us 1 pole and 10 minutes. But it was awesome!

Afterwards we headed to Russ and Star's to watch BYU lose in the second round, and while we were there, we tortured the cat.

And Carly, once she fell asleep.

It was a fun Super-Tuesday Saturday.

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