Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Overview

2011 has by far been the most exciting, challenging, sleepless, overwhelming, interesting, and happiest year of my life. A year ago, I would have never of guessed all that 2011 would have to bring but I wouldn't change anything for the world. We started off moving back down to California and living with my parents. We were sad to leave all our friends in Utah but we were excited to start a new chapter of our lives. Blake got a job working for a company called Hensel Phelps and was assigned to a job renovating a terminal at the LAX airport. He had to make the miserable commute into LA and it took him over 2 hours to get home. He was working a ton and often had to work the night shift.  We were so grateful that he had such a wonderful job but it was hard not getting to see him as much. I was just glad that we were living with my parents so I wasn't home by myself all the time.

During the end of January, things got a little more interesting when I found out that I was pregnant. This was quite a shock to both Blake and I but we were so excited to be parents but it also changed our plans quite a bit. I was originally looking to find a job such as a personal trainer but I doubt that many people would want to go to a pregnant trainer. Instead, I was a nanny for two little girls and I absolutely loved it! It was a perfect job to have while I was pregnant and I was able to work all the way to July. Being pregnant was definitely a challenge for me. I have always been super active and I had just finished my last season playing soccer at BYU and it was hard not being able to do all the things I wanted. I was training to run a half marathon and for the first time in my life, I had to put the things I wanted to do on hold.  Not only did I have a huge belly but I could never get comfortable and sleep was miserable.  I literally dreaded going to bed. I was super anxious to have this kid and time just seemed to crawl by. It was the longest 9 months of my life and I think I had a pretty easy pregnancy compared to most women so I don't know what I would have done if I had been sick. It only made things worse that I didn't get to see Blake very much.  Since we would soon be starting our own little family, it sort of expedited our search for a house. We knew we wanted to live close to family and we both had family out in Fontana, CA so we narrowed our search.  We found a house for a great deal and decided to pull the trigger and become homeowners. The house we found was built in 2006 and was in great shape but there were some changes that we wanted to make. We decided to completely redo the kitchen and tore out all the cabinets and the dinky little island and put in new cupboards, appliances, granite countertops, and a huge center island. I couldn't have asked for anything better. We put in wood floor downstairs and new carpet all throughout the upstairs and the house was basically brand new. The process of getting the house took a lot longer than we had anticipated and we ended up moving in the day we brought our son, Cody, home from the hospital. Getting settled in has been a slow process that was kind of put on the back-burner since we had a newborn. Our house still has several empty walls and bare rooms and I have a feeling it is going to be that way for a while.  I never would have thought that decorating a house could be so hard but I'm sure things will come with time.

September 2, 2011 was one of the best days of my life. I have never been so overwhelmed with happiness as I was the second Cody was born. I fell in love with him the moment I set eyes on him. I honestly can't imagine my life without him now. I now know how great a parents love is and I can only imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  Don't get me wrong, being a parent is hard work and it has been quite a big adjustment for Blake and I but I love it more than anything. Even with the lack of sleep and trying to figure out his needs, I have never been happier and I can only only imagine that with every child comes a new set of challenges but also even more happiness. Sometimes I look at him and I am just so amazed that he is my kid. He is just so dang cute! He definitely gets his good looks from his dad.  He is a baby version of Blake. Cody is now 4 months old and lets just say that I don't think he is taking after Blake or I when it comes to how big he is. He is one big kid! I honestly can't believe how fast he is growing. Every week he seems to be learning more and hitting new milestones. One milestone that he has yet to hit is sleeping through the night. He is always so hungry and there are nights that he wakes up every 2-3 hours. Let's just say that there are days when I am a walking zombie. I have tried to give him rice cereal but I don't think he is a big fan so this week I am going to try to mix it in with some carrots or something. Let's hope that it can satisfy his hunger.  He is starting to get more on a schedule and I feel like things are getting a little easier and I am slowly getting the hang of things. I feel like being a mom is a lifetime learning process and it has made me appreciate my own mom a whole lot more.  When you are little you don't really understand everything that your parents do for you and I feel so lucky to have such awesome parents that have raised me the way they did.

This year was our first year being married and living in California and we have loved getting to spend time with family.  We have had fun getting together for Sunday dinners, playing games, celebrating birthdays, and spending holiday's with our loved ones.  In July we were able to go to Newport with my family and it is so much fun to spend a week down at the beach together relaxing and hanging out. While we were there, Blake and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. It has been the best 3 years of my life and I am so grateful to have my best friend by my side.  He is everything that I have ever wanted in a husband and I feel so lucky to be with him. We weren't able to go to Lake Powell this year since I was very pregnant and Blake couldn't get very many days off of work. This year we got 2 new nieces, Liddy Kate Jackson and Elle Grace Christensen and one new nephew Christopher Blake Dow. I am so excited that Cody will have cousins that are close to his age that he can play with. I am so grateful for our family and for all that they have done for Blake and I.  They have helped us out so much with moving in and helping us get a little more settled. I have loved being so close to both our families.

The month of September was a crazy one for us. Not only was Cody born and we moved into our first home, but Blake also changed jobs. Two weeks after Cody was born he started working for Walton which is located in San Dimas which changed his commute from 3 hours to 30 minutes. It was the best thing ever and I feel so blessed that things worked out the way they did.  Blake loves his new job and I love having him home by 6 instead of 8 :)

As for me, I am getting into my new routine being a stay at home mom and I am starting to figure things out. I am slowly getting back into shape and I am starting to get ready for a half marathon in June.  I am amazed at how fast the body can bounce back after having a baby. I remember looking at my belly and thinking that there was no way that it was going to go back to it's normal size. I still have room for improvement but I am getting there and I feel like my body is back to my normal self. I still miss playing soccer but I guess I will just have to be patient and hope that the time will come when I can find the time to play.

One of the reasons we wanted to move out to Fontana was to be in the same ward as my brother Bryan and his family and Blake's brother Ryan and his family. We love our new ward and feel right at home (even though my brother is our bishop) :) Blake and I are teaching the 4-5 year olds in primary and we absolutely love it. Blake was able to play on a softball team with a bunch of guys from the ward and he loves going and playing basketball at the church on Tuesday nights.  Blake couldn't be happier :)

So as you can see, 2011 has been a great year for us. We have made so many great memories and have grown both as individuals and as a couple. I feel so lucky to be married to such an amazing man and I am so grateful for all that he does for me and for our family.  I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us. No matter what, we will continue to find joy in our journey...

Friday, October 7, 2011

September 2011= a month to remember

So basically the past month has been full of huge changes for our family. It has by far been the most exciting, challenging, happiest month of my life but I'm anxious for things to start settling down and to get into some sort of routine because I am starting to go a little crazy. I am the type of person that  LOVES a schedule. I like my day planned out so I can feel like I am being productive when I get stuff done. Well this past month has been everything but planned and organized.

1. To start the month off, I had Cody.  This little man has stolen my heart and he has already got me wrapped around his cute little fingers.  I think it is safe to say that he is going to be a mommas boy. However, I would be lying if i said that being a mom is easy. It is a lot of work and I have a new respect for mothers.  He LOVES to be held and is good at letting me know if I am not giving him enough attention.

2.I think what has made this whole transition a little harder is the fact that the night we brought Cody home was the first time we stayed in our new house. So not only have I been trying to learn how to be a mom but I have also been trying to unpack and get organized.  I dont know how successful I have been at either one but I sure am trying.  The house is slowly coming together even if it is at a snails pace. Eventually everything will get done and I just figure Cody will only be this little once so I better enjoy it while it lasts.

3. The third big change that we have had is Blake changing jobs. He was working for a company that was doing a terminal remodel at LAX and the commute was an absolute nightmare. It would take him about 3 hours to get home every night and then he would go to bed and do it all again the next day. He was planning on staying with this company or a few years but his uncle approached him saying that they wanted him to join the family company since they had received a lot of new jobs and were going to be busy for the next few years. Blake was really excited and he has been working there for the past 2 weeks and I cant even tell you what a difference it has been. Instead of waking up at 4, he wakes up at 6:00. Instead of getting home at 8 he gets home at 6.  And instead of a 3 hour drive it is 30 minutes. The shorter commute also means he is in a better mood when he gets home :)  It has been so nice having him home more and we feel so blessed that things have worked out the way they did so Blake can be home with Cody more.

So yes this past month has been full of some pretty big changes.  All of them have been wonderful in their own way and I am so grateful for everyone that has helped us and has given us support through this crazy time.

Cody is now a 5 weeks old and he is getting so big! Last week at his 1 month visit he weight 11 pound 15 ounces and was 23 inches long. That is the size of an average 2 month old baby! He is so much fun to be with and I love watching him grow. There are days that I will look at him and think "man he looks different even since yesterday". These past 5 weeks have gone by so fast and I am loving being a mom no matter how challenging it can be at times.

In addition to taking care of this cute little guy, I have been working on a few projects around the house. Thanks to my new obsession with pinterest, I have gotten so many new ideas for crafts and things I want to make. Here are some of the things I have been up to:

I made this wreath out of coffee filters. It was super easy and really didn't take me that long. Now I am just trying to decide where I want to put it..

 I made this key hook to put in our laundry room cause I was sick of our keys sitting on our island in our kitchen. Kind of random but it was fun :)

So I had this board that was in storage and I didn't really know what to do with it so I figured I would change it so that it matched Cody's room.

It turned out cute and it matches his colors so I just need to hang it up.

Here is another project for Cody's room . My sister in law Britany helped me make these frames to hang on the wall. Super easy.

Every 6 months, our church has a thing called General Conference where we listen to our Prophet and other leaders of the church on TV. It is by far one of my favorite Sunday's of the year. I absolutely LOVE General Conference. It has been a tradition in my family ever since I can remember that General Conference Sunday was nicknamed "cinnamon roll Sunday". We would all go over to my grandmas Honey's house and she would make the BEST cinnamon rolls and we would watch conference together. It was so much fun and was something that I loved doing growing up. I decided that I want to keep this tradition going and so I made cinnamon rolls for the first time all by myself and they turned out AMAZING! Honestly to die for

Even my food critic husband loved them :)

Anyways.. this month has been crazy, but so memorable and exciting. I love my little family more than anything and I feel so blessed for all that I have been given.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

3 weeks old

These past 3 weeks have FLOWN BY so fast and I have been loving every second of them.  Cody and I have been keeping busy and have loved all the visitors that have come by to check out the handsome boy I made. On Tuesday, when Cody was 2 1/2 weeks,  we went to the Pediatrician and Cody was weighed and measured.  He is definitely growing at a fast rate! He is now 10 pounds 6 oz and is 22 1/8 inches long which is the average size for a 6 week old baby! The numbers prove that he is eating good :) He is such a good baby and I LOVE getting to hang out with this kid all day. I could honestly just stare at him for hours and never get sick of it. If only I didn't have to do stuff around the house...then again that is my excuse for why it has taken me so long to unpack things and get organized. I have a really cute kid that wants my undivided attention and I am going to give it to him.

These past few weeks we have done a lot of fun things that unfortunately I don't have pictures for (I really do need to get better at that). On Monday, the Jackson girls had a girls day where we all hung out, made whole wheat bread, grinded oats, made a freezer meal, and enjoyed good company. It was so much fun! We are planning on doing it once a month and I am definitely looking forward to the next one. On Tuesday, after Cody's appointment, we went over to my Grandma Booth's house for lunch and to hang out. I love hanging out with my Grandma and it was fun to look at pictures of my dad and hear some stories about him when he was a kid...the best part is that he was a little terror haha If you know my dad you might find that hard to believe but I think it is hilarious! On Wednesday, it was my best friend Whitney Torgerson's 24th birthday so Ashley Sourapas and I took her to lunch at Casa Moreno in downtown Claremont.  Let me tell you..this place is AMAZING! Seriously some of the best mexican food I have had. Whitney is having a baby boy in the beginning of December so she had a baby shower in Utah on Monday so we got to see all the fun things she got. I am so excited for her to have her baby so our little boys can be best friends just like us! We had so much fun just  hanging out together and Cody was so good the entire time. He just slept like an angel and woke up every few hours to eat and then passed out again. That night Cody and I went to Blake's softball game and once again Cody was out the entire time. I honestly LOVE being a mom!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cody David Jackson

I have been so out of the blogging loop because we just moved into our house and we just got our internet set up so I am a little behind on giving updates on our newest addition....CODY! I guess I might as well start with how he made his first appearance.

So my due date had came and gone and still no baby so I was pretty frustrated and bummed because like I said I had my heart set on him getting here a little early. I went to the doctor and was shocked when he told me that I had two options..I could get induced the next day or I could wait. For me, it wasn't even a question. I wanted this kid to get here as soon as possible so I told him I wanted to be induced. I'm sure some of you have your opinions on letting mother nature take it's course and that he will come when he is ready but I am all for giving him a little push to get him going :) I went in to the hospital at 4:00 pm Thursday afternoon and around 5 or so they put in the cervidil which is supposed to soften the cervix. This had to be left in for 12 hours which was kind of a bust but I survived. Once they took out the cervidil, they gave me the pitocin and an epidural and I was good to go. To be honest, I never really experienced any pain. The contractions were getting more intense but they really only felt like a lot of pressure and tightening. I took deep breathes and I was fine. I have always imagined childbirth being some dramatic thing where the woman is screaming in pain the entire time.  Maybe that is how it is for some women but for me it wasn't as bad as I imagined. Sure, it wasn't a walk in the park but I would do it over again in a second.  Maybe I have just forgotten how bad it actually is..?? hmm..I guess this is why women keep having children cause once the kid is here she forgets how miserable she was for 9 months and all the work the delivery is and how sore she was during the recovery.... Oh well, at least I have some time before I have to worry about another one :) When I was getting the epidural, Blake got a little light headed and almost passed out..haha and he didn't even watch them put it in..that was just when the doctor was getting out his tools! Needless to say it wasn't painful and I was pretty exhausted by the time I got the epidural but I still had several hours to go. I guess it took me a lot longer to dilate cause my epidural wore off and I was left with nothing when I started pushing. I pushed for 20 minutes and I felt like I was doing sprints without enough time to recover between each set. The nurse told me she could see he had a ton of black hair and I was pretty shocked..I thought there was no way his hair could be black.  Sure enough, when he popped out there was a head full of gorgeous black hair. lol When he came it was the most overwhelming feeling of happiness that I have ever felt and I was so glad that he was finally here.  It was by far the second best day of my life (the first being the day I married Blake).  He was born at 2:13 pm on September 2 and weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 inches long. Can you imagine if I would have waited longer and he just kept growing? I think he was ready and just needed a little extra push to get him to come out.

I ended up leaving the hospital the next day and we were able to take him to our new house! It was not only his first time staying there but it was our first time too! It has been pretty crazy trying to get things organized especially with a new baby around but we are all adjusting and getting things figured out. As far as our house goes, I am in love with it and things are slowly coming together. It was nice because Blake was able to take a week off of work when Cody was born so he had time to get things set up and somewhat organized. I will post some before and after pictures soon.

This past week and a half with Cody has been so much fun. I honestly LOVE being a mom more than anything. I have to admit the first couple of days were a bit rough with recovering and trying to figure this kid out but once Cody and I got the hang of things it has been amazing! I love this kid more than I could even imagine. I think he is the cutest thing in the world and I love hanging out with him all day. We are definitely best buds already. It is nice to have someone to hang out with while Blake is at work and he makes life so much more enjoyable. I am so grateful that he arrived here safely and that he is a healthy little boy.

Literally maybe 10 minutes after he was born.

Cody loved getting his hair washed :)

Yea..I think he is a pretty cute kid.

Daddy and Cody. I love Cody's cone head haha

Getting ready to leave the hospital!

I can't help but smile when I see this picture.

Just hanging out.

Hanging out with mom and thinking about his Dad...or maybe mom's milk. This kid loves to eat!

Hanging out with Mom around the house. He loves the sling!

Watching BYU football with Dad. He already gets mad when they don't win.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Test

Well apparently this kid has me all figured out and knew that I was testing him and instead of being obedient, he decided to give me a test....a test of patience. For the record, I am failing miserably. Baby: 1 Mom: 0 This little waiting game is driving me insane and I don't even know what to do with myself. I have basically given up hope that my body is capable of going in to labor on its own so now I will have to wait until tomorrow when I have my doctors appointment (that my doctor said I most likely wouldn't make it to) to see when I can get this little guy to come. People keep saying "it's your first one, you are going to be late...blah blah blah." I am 9 months pregnant and I want this kid out! It didn't help that my doctor was pretty confident that I was going to have this baby before my due date. I know he can't predict the future but this guy has delivered thousands of babies so I figured he knows what he is talking about and wouldn't give me false hope unless he was pretty confident.  I think it just makes it worse that I am bored to death all day just waiting around twiddling my thumbs hoping that every little movement will be a contraction and will start this whole labor ordeal. (sorry for the ranting/rambling. I am over being pregnant and want my baby to come hang out with me).

On a more positive note, we were finally able to get things moved into our house this weekend! Thanks to the help of my mom and dad, Keith and Brittany, and Bryan we were able to get everything loaded up, unpacked, somewhat organized, and they even fixed up the yard a little so it didn't look like a drug house. We honestly couldn't have done it without them and I am so grateful to have family close to help us out. For those of you who have been experiencing this August heat know that it has been terribly hot these past few days and my dad, Keith , and Blake were outside dripping sweat for hours pulling weeds, taking out plants, moving rocks, and spraying down the house.  What awesome men I have in my life!  While the boys worked outside, my mom, Brittany and I worked on unpacking boxes and getting things organized.  It is finally starting to feel more like a home and I can't wait till everything is done and we are officially moved in. Blake and I are so excited to start our little family! I guess all I can do for now is try to learn some patience and wait till our little guy is ready to make his grand debut.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Test of Obedience

Little does this baby know that I am already giving him his first test...a test on how obedient he is. I went to the doctor today and he said everything looks great, I am 39 weeks and dialated 2 cm. and this baby is ready to go. He doesn't think I will make it to my next appointment so lets hope he is right. I have been waiting for 9 months and I am ready for this kid to come out and make his grand debut!   I feel like me and this baby have a pretty good relationship so far and I think I know him fairly well and he knows me. I know that he is pretty crammed in there so why would he want to stay in any longer and me, well I just want to be able to roll over in bed without it being a huge ordeal. I'm sure any woman who has been pregnant can agree that it gets old after a while and you just want to be I am getting bored and I want a cute little baby to hang out that so much to ask for? It would be nice to have him here tomorrow but Blake and I are hoping to get some things moved into our house on Saturday and that would be great if I could at least get his room somewhat set up so I am not trying to get everything done when he is here. We also want to be able to go to our new ward out in Fontana before I am out of commision for a few ideally he would come Sunday night/Monday morning. We will see when he decides he is ready. This next week should be pretty interesting so I will be sure to keep you all updated on how things go!

I also discovered that I had some pictures on my phone from Kira's birthday and from when we had a girls night at Candlelight and saw Cinderella to celebrate all the girls birthday's in July (Natalee, Brittany, and Brooke).

All the Dow girls :)

A little piece of Heaven.

The unreal step sisters in the play.

Natalee and Kira

Kira opening her bracelet that my mom got her.
singing Happy Birthday to the cute girl.
Ben and Devon doing some weird song for us. It was pretty entertaining.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

37 weeks

I am officially 37 weeks along and feeling pretty good but I am ready for this little guy to come out. I really cant complain cause I have had a pretty easy pregnancy but I am ready to be back to normal (body, hormones, everything) and to have a baby to cuddle up to. I went to the doctor yesterday and he said that everything is looking great! His head has continued to drop lower and I have already started dialating (as of last week) so things are looking good. He predicts that I will either be having this baby early or on time so that was good news to hear. But with my luck, I am going to get my hopes up and then have him 5 days late so I am trying to keep an open mind (although that isn't working too well).  To be honest I am a little torn because as much as I am over being pregnant and want that little boy to hold, our house is still in the works so we haven't been able to move anything in yet..which is slightly depressing for me. I was hoping to get all settled before this baby comes but it is looking like we are going to be cutting it pretty close. I know things will work out but just not the way I imagined.

This last weekend I had my baby shower and can I just say that it was the most amazing thing ever! My best friends Whitney Torgerson and Ashley Sourpus put it on for me and it was probably the baby shower of the century :) The theme was Dr. Seuss and they did so many cute decorations and with the help of my mom, mother-in-law, and my sister-in-laws who all brought the food/drinks/treats it was honestly adorable. I wish I had pictures but I was too busy socializing and opening gifts that I forgot to take any so hopefully I will be able to put some up that friends and family took.  I was totally overwhelmed with how generous and thoughtful people are and I got some amazing gifts...from a video baby monitor to adorable outfits, to swings and bouncers and even a jogging strolller! I was so grateful to everyone who came. It honestly meant a lot to me and I feel so lucky to have such awesome friends and family!