Valentine’s Day was on a Wednesday this year. John had all-day client meetings at a location nearly double the distance of his normal commute, and I had a personal finance class that night. Even though we didn’t get to spend much time together, we still managed to squeeze in a fast evening celebration after he got home and before my class. I made a heart-shaped cookie pie and for dinner we had heart-shaped pizza (from Pizza Hut), plus some sparkling cider, which we both love. John brought home some tulips, which was a fun surprise. I knew how busy his day was, and I honestly didn’t think he’d have time to pick anything up.
We previously planned to do a belated Valentine’s date to the Shenandoah Caverns on the following Friday. John worked in the morning, and that afternoon we drove about an hour to Quicksburg, Virginia, where we toured the Shenandoah Caverns. Tickets are normally $25 per person, but we were able to find them on Groupon for $11 (love a good deal!). The drive there and back was beautiful. I love driving through the Shenandoah Valley. The tour of the caverns was phenomenal. I liked this tour better than Luray Caverns, which I’ve visited a couple of times. Our tour group was small, and our tour guide was very sweet and knowledgeable.
The remainder of the weekend was low-key and calm. We had fun hanging out as a family, playing games, and relaxing. John has been busy with work, consulting, and church responsibilities, and this was the first weekend in quite some time where it felt like we had a lot of time to hang out as a family. John’s uncle David came over for dinner on Sunday. It had been about a month since he’d seen baby David. We enjoyed having him over and spending time with him. On Monday, we watched the movie “Wonder,” which I had been wanting to see. We loved it!
We also had a friend in our church congregation come over and take some pictures of David. She had offered to come and take newborn pictures, but the transition to motherhood was a bit more overwhelming than I expected and I wasn’t up for having someone over then. So four months later, we had her come by and take some pictures. Below is one of my favorite shots 🙂
Today our happy-spirited little guy hits four months. He’s certainly grown a lot and is learning new skills like grabbing at things. He’s gained control over his right hand, but still struggles to control the movements of his left hand.
Fun facts about our four-month-old:
He recently started giggling and it’s adorable. He doesn’t giggle very often, but when he does, it melts our hearts.
A little over a week ago, he began waking at night. Once he was given his pacifier, he’d fall back asleep. The last couple of nights though, he’s slept straight through the night like he used to do (hooray!). I am hopeful his good sleeping habits continue.
He eats four times a day. Each time, he eats 8 ounces. He generally cries when he’s done eating because he wants more. After we meet with the pediatrician this week, we may begin giving him a little rice cereal.
He recognizes that John and I are his parents and is now less apt to let others hold and cuddle him. However, he smiles at all people – stranger or friend.
He is still super smiley, especially in the mornings.
He consistently takes a morning nap about an hour and a half after he wakes up. He naps in the afternoon as well but we haven’t been able to get on a consistent schedule.
He LOVES his bouncer. He will sit and bounce for long periods of time and remains completely content.
He enjoys staring at his bedroom curtains (they are navy blue and white) and the curtains in our family room (they are red and cream). I think he likes the contrasting colors.
His legs are very strong. He can stand with the help of someone holding his hands for balance purposes.
A couple weeks ago, he rolled over from his stomach to his back (twice), but he hasn’t done it since.
In our faith, shortly after babies are born, they are given a blessing at church. On Sunday, January 21, David was blessed. Family and friends joined us for this event, and afterwards we hosted a luncheon at our house. We set up folding tables in our basement to accommodate the 20+ family members and friends who joined us. We even used the ping pong table as a dining table (that was John’s good idea!). We had a wonderful time celebrating this little boy, and we’re so thankful to those who came to celebrate with us.
John’s parents were able to come for the weekend. We appreciate them making the long drive from Iowa. While they were here, we went on a beautiful walk through Murphy’s Farm in Harper’s Ferry. We walked to one of the viewpoints of the Shenandoah River. The sun was beginning to set and the view was stunning. Even though it was January, the weather was amazing. It was 60 degrees outside. John took the incredible picture below. It truly captures the beauty of West Virginia.
I’ve been meaning to write my annual review of the year for a number of weeks, and I just finally finished. 2017 brought the greatest joy to our lives as we welcomed our first child into our hearts and home!
We started off 2017 with a visit from John’s family to celebrate the new year. My aunt Diana, uncle Kevin, and cousin Cory also visited my family in Virginia to celebrate the new year. So, we had fun visiting with both John’s family, as well as my family and the Glovers.
In February, John had a two-week work trip to Europe. I met up with him in Switzerland for a long weekend. We visited his aunt, uncle, and cousins, who live in Switzerland. We stayed at their cabin in the Alps and ate lots of delicious cheese.
On the very last day of February, we found out we were expecting. Most of the remainder of the year for me was focused on preparing for our baby and welcoming him into our lives.
During the month of March, we kept things pretty low key. Pregnancy brought some severe headaches during my first trimester and some mild nausea at night. We did make it into DC for the B1G Ten basketball tournament. Sadly, Iowa didn’t make it through the first round.
In April, I traveled to Indianapolis for the American Academy of Audiology’s annual convention. I had fun exploring downtown, getting to know my Professional Development Committee volunteers better, and bonding with my Academy coworkers.
In May, we bought a car. This was exciting because this was the first ever car that John picked out for himself. All his previous cars were hand-me-downs from other family members. We’d been a one car family since we got married (John’s last car died about a month before we got married). I am so bummed we didn’t take a picture of John and the car at the dealership. It was kind of a crazy day because John flew in from Tampa that evening. He was supposed to fly in earlier in the day, but due to bad weather, his flight was delayed. We were kind of in a frenzy when we went to pick up the car haha.
In early June, we learned the gender of our baby. Prior to learning the gender, I had no inkling as to whether it was a girl or boy, and I was excited for either. We learned we were having a BOY!
The summer brought both my and John’s 30th birthdays. We officially entered a new decade. My birthday was on a Sunday. John and I went out to dinner the night before at a restaurant I’d been wanting to try. On my actual birthday, we headed over to my parents’ house for a cookout. For John’s birthday, we celebrated by heading into DC the evening prior to his birthday. We stayed at our favorite DC hotel (The Mayflower) and then spent the next day playing tourists. My brother Trevor gave us a tour of the U.S. Capitol. We were supposed to go to a Nationals game that night, but due to a significant amount of rain, the game was cancelled.
We celebrated the 4th of July in Iowa. The quad cities puts on quite an amazing fireworks show right on the Mississippi River. I love fireworks and was very impressed. John’s mom and sister threw me a baby shower while we were there, and we also visited Chicago since I had never been there.
August and September were focused on baby preparation for me. I had three additional baby showers and spent time putting together the nursery. In August, we had a little bit of a scare with the pregnancy, but it turned out to be nothing. We had an ultrasound done at this time, and we’re able to get a glimpse of our baby’s face. This made our baby seem more real than he had before.
October was the month we waited for all year! Sweet baby David was born. The rest of the year was spent learning how to be parents (something we’ll be learning for the rest of our lives). The week after David was born was one of the happiest weeks of my life (yet still stressful as I functioned on limited sleep, dealt with hormones, and struggled with nursing…and John had the flu). My mom stayed with us that first week, which was a great blessing.
Six days after David was born, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We snuck away to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt to celebrate while my mom watched the baby. It’s amazing how much has changed in my life over the last two years. I am grateful for these changes and grateful for John.
I love the last quarter of the year because it brings cooler weather and three fun holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. John’s parents were here for Halloween. Grandma Lori picked up a cute tiger cub Halloween costume for little David.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia. My brother Blake came back from BYU for the week, and John’s uncle David also joined us. That weekend we began decorating our house for Christmas. The weather was very temperate, so we also went on a fun hike with my family in Harper’s Ferry.
Christmas took us to Iowa this year. We had a white Christmas! Something I haven’t experienced in many years. Snow seems to make Christmas feel more magical. We got back from Iowa on December 30 and spent the last day of 2017 at church (it was a Sunday) and then visiting with my family. We spent the last moments of 2017 laying in our bed watching on my iPad the ball drop in New York City.
Each year I pick a scripture that I want to focus on and seek to emulate. My 2017 scripture was Doctrine and Covenants 19:23, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”
I wanted to focus this year on studying the life of Jesus Christ. While I spent time in the scriptures every day, I’m still working on truly studying them. I need to be better at that. This may sound strange, but the way I came to learn of the Savior the most this year was through being pregnant. I remember one night in particular when I had a really bad headache during my first trimester. I prayed to God and expressed that sometimes the physical pain of pregnancy was hard on me and that I didn’t like being pregnant (although I was so grateful to become a mom). In that moment, I felt a great sense of appreciation for the Savior because I realized that like the physical pain I was experiencing that would bring physical life for my son (something he could not do on his own), it was through the pain Christ endured (which is an infinite number of times worse than pregnancy), we can have eternal life (something we cannot provide for ourselves). I was grateful for that realization and it made the pains of pregnancy feel more like a blessing than a burden as it provided an even greater appreciation for the Savior Jesus Christ.
I look forward to 2018 and the experiences this year will bring.