Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Year at a Glance 2014-2015

I've been reading back on our blog posts from years ago and reminiscing about all our fun memories lately. I guess the nostalgia makes me realize that I should be doing a better job of documenting our lives. So this post is an attempt to get caught up on the big events of 2014-15 so I can start again from the present. Here goes nothing...

*June 2014: I graduated with my MA in Conflict & Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon! James and I moved to Hawaii for work. We lived in the same apartment we were in when we first got married. We both worked for BYU-Hawaii for one year. James was the manager of both the campus Service Center and Game Center. I had my dream job - no joke - as a visiting faculty member in the Intercultural Peacebuilding program. We loved our year in Hawaii. I can't talk about it much more or else I'll start crying. Moving on...

We were incredibly blessed to live so close to our Portland family during these years. Their support and love (and food...and fun adventures) got me through the stress of grad school.

Perhaps my favorite pic of Grandma...ever.

Back to Hawaii

*August 2014: My side of the family came to visit. We partied it up all over the island. 

Uh huh. 

*September(ish) 2014: Started fertility treatment for IVF. Ugh. Never want to relive that experience. We were so fortunate to have treatment work out for us on the first cycle, but it was still a very tough experience that I'd like to avoid in the future. Feel free to reach out if you want details or have questions about our IVF journey.

James is playing mad scientist and mixing my drugs for our nighttime ritual of hormone injections. Yuck.

Egg retrieval day

This was our prize for graduating from our fertility clinic - a sperm and egg pen. 
*December 21-26, 2014: We found out we were pregnant after a roller coaster of emotions when it didn't seem like our beta numbers were rising fast enough. Oh, and Christmas happened somewhere in there. And a gecko fell in our bacon while it was frying. And James took a research trip to Fiji.

Baby A (Noah) 
Baby B (Lucy)

*January 2015: Little Sydney was born! We were so happy to be there to hold and cuddle her just hours after she was born. Devin and Lyna are such wonderful parents. We were so lucky to be able to spend a year with them in Hawaii. And Garrett too (who, for the record, got the most fitting mission call ever - France Leon Mandarin-speaking. So very proud of him).

*March 12, 2015: Kelley and Jakelle were married! James flew out to Utah for the wedding and sent me lots of pictures that made me incredibly sad that I wasn't there. We are so happy for and proud of this cute couple.

*April 11, 2015: My beautiful sis-in-law Sarah passed away. I won't even attempt to describe the sorrow that we are living as a family. We do know that family does not end with death, which is the only thing that keeps us going some days. 

*April 30, 2015: Andy finally decided that he liked us enough to stick around. He and Jess were married following a violent epidemic of the stomach flu. And yet again, I missed the wedding. And the flu. But we got Andy and Jess for a year in Hawaii, which was absolutely heaven on earth. 

*June 15, 2015: We left our beautiful island and moved to Utah....30 weeks pregnant. On Bobsie's birthday. Poor woman. 

*June 2015, cont.: Kelley and Jakelle announced that they were pregnant! Baby boy coming in February!

Would you believe that there are 7 people sitting on this couch?! P.S. Way to ruin the picture by looking good, Jakelle :P 
*July 2015: Construction started on the basement - our apartment for the year. 

*July 2015, cont.: Cousins Caleb and Nancy were married. And we got almost the whole family here for a few days.

This picture was taken at Trafalga. Unbeknownst to us, it was mere days before the place shut down forever!
*August 31, 2015: Our due date came and went. And James started school at BYU. He is doing a Masters degree in Public Administration. Go James!
Of course we had to take first day of school pictures.

The 4th of July balloon fest. And a giant belly.

*August 2015, cont.: We had a labor-induction party with Lisa and Greg. Eggplant parmesean and labor-inducing chocolate cake. Nothing really happened except that I had one of the best meals of my life. Way better than a castor oil labor induction party...

*September 2, 2015: We celebrated my having twins! Noah Walker and Lucy Belle were born in the evening, 35 minutes apart. They weighed 7'6 and 6'7, respectively. Noah spent 10 days in the NICU, but both babes are very healthy and happy now. Noah is named after his Auntie Sarah (her maiden/middle name is Walker). We feel so happy to be connected to her and to her sweet family in that way. 

*September 2015, cont.: The babies met their Nana for the first time. So tender. 

One of my favorite pics. A baby for each grandma and all four of them in my house at once.

*October 2015: After a self-imposed three-week maternity leave, I started back at work creating an online course to teach for BYU-Hawaii. I feel incredibly lucky to have this job. I've never found so much satisfaction in my work as I have over the past year. Ah, I'm going to start crying again. Blame the hormones. 

*October 2015, cont.: We learned how to tandem breastfeed!  In public! And freaked out some nice pregnant lady across the way who had to do a double take at this ridiculously long infant with tiny feet. It is actually Noah's head sticking out one end of the blanket and Lucy's feet sticking out the other.

More (frequent) posts to come in the next year...