Tuesday, October 30, 2012

we named her Sophie

The last entry had us waiting impatiently to ride out the last two months of my pregnancy. I had no idea then what motherhood would be like or just how much I could love my little girl. Though I anticipated change, I had no way of understanding how deeply having a child does change your life. Sure, our routine is a bit different - diapers, interrupted sleep, carseats and strollers. Though maybe change isn't the best way to describe what happened. Maybe I should say that it enhanced our life, enriched our life, deepened our life, consecrated our life. Justin and I look at her multiple times throughout the day and just stand still with awe and wonder at what we've created. What God created. 
And we named her Sophie Lelah.

Allow me to introduce you to our sweet baby girl. 

Sophie is a content and happy baby. She cries only when necessary and is quickly comforted. She loves getting her diaper changed. She's getting more control of her neck and can sit up with help. She smacks her lips and squeaks while she eats. She ALWAYS has her head looking to the left. Her legs are stronger for standing and she prefers to be facing out now. She loves to suck on ANYTHING - her hands, blankets, clothes, and binkie She blows spit bubbles and drools. She sleeps A LOT! She's constantly cooing and getting more jabbery. She adores her swing. She kicks her legs until her blankets come off. She laughed for the first time last weekend. And she's smiling so much more - that shy smile. It's the most beautiful thing.

As for me and my house -

Justin is busy with school. He's taking a few childhood/adolescent development classes and comes home with theories to implement in our growing family :) He has a neurobiology class, which has him absolutely dumbfounded at the complexity of the human brain. He's ever more in awe of the Creator's resplendent masterpiece: the cognitive man. He's busy researching various graduate schools to study psychology next school year. Who knows where we'll be settled for next September?
He's still working as a Dutch teacher at the MTC and loves it (but he misses having me there, of course). He just sent off a group to the Netherlands/Belgium and Suriname. I had the chance to learn from them at the TRC. :)

I was a stay-at-home mom until the 2nd of October. I heard from a friend about a position speaking Dutch and working from home: you are now looking at THE Dutch Associate Support for ASEA, a MLM company that sells a water-like health supplement. Riveting. But actually, it's the biggest blessing being able to work from home with flexible hours and a language I love, with Justin on the couch next to me and Sophie on my lap as I answer emails or have a break between calls. The second income is also very much appreciated.

Sophie was blessed on August 19 by her daddy, grandpas and uncles. It was a lovely evening with our dear families. It happened to be the day before our first year anniversary - what an incredible year it's been! We're more in love now than ever and have a daughter to add to that joy :)


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Here we go. The last six weeks. That's only one transfer in missionary time, by the way. We can do that, piece of cake. :)

Pregnancy has been going swimmingly the past two months. Little meisje moves ceaselessly in the womb, with a particular fondness of kicking my rib cage. It's an endearing sort of discomfort. She's shy of audiences and will stop kicking once someone puts their hand on my belly. Most of her performance is while I'm lying down in bed, nights and mornings. Justin and I love those moments.

I spend much time wondering what she will look like. I imagine she'll have brown hair, just like her parents. Her eyes may be squinty, like mine. Maybe she'll have Justin's nose? She could be pretty chubby. What if she's an ugly baby? (I made my mom promise to tell me if she is). I'm assured that I'll be hopelessly in love with her, no matter what. And I believe that.

We got a new district of missionaries on the 30th of May. Three elders. I can't praise them enough - what a diligent group they've proven to be in language and in testimony. Justin and I love teaching together again. Our sweet little girl will come before they depart for Amsterdam July 31, and then I will be a full time mother. I am sad to think of leaving my job at the MTC, but am looking forward to spending all my time with her. 

Our vacation to the Netherlands and Belgium in April was indescribable. What an amazing trip - to visit our mission together and spend time with the people we love over in the low lands. It was a blessing to see so many members and investigators enduring to the end and finding joy in living the gospel. It was awesome to be with our missionaries - those we've taught in the MTC - and see how much they've grown. We spent two days attending the temple zone conferences with them and what a special experience that was. We also tagged along for joint teaches, baptismal services, church, p-days...seeing them in their element made us feel proud of their hard work and envious of the privilege they have to be currently serving full-time. We're looking forward to another mission in, say, 50 years? :) 
The missionaries that we've taught (above and below)

 Riding "achter op" in Amsterdam
Groenplaats in Antwerpen, Belgium

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hello spring/summer

The winter semester is over and Justin and I are looking forward to a lovely summer break with lots of working and playing together. And preparing for our daughter, whom we just call "meisje." (Dutch for "little girl") Though she remains nameless, we talk of her constantly and feel her kicking getting more forceful every day. As her strength grows, it seems mine is slackening and the third trimester is bringing me back to discomfort and less of an appetite. Justin says our baby is made of cereal. :)

Week 26 and still no name for our girly. No hurry.

We're thrilled to be heading out on a 2.5 week vacation to visit our mission cities in the Netherlands and Belgium! We can't wait to see the members and investigators that so much defined our mission experiences. We'll arrive just in time for a temple zone conference with President and Zuster Brubaker, so we'll also be able to see the missionaries we've taught in the MTC. It's so awesome to share this most incredible part of our lives together. We love being able to have common friends and experiences from our missions, as well as teaching the Dutch missionaries together at the MTC. It's been a uniting factor in our marriage and I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to share so much of my life with my husband.

Holland and Vlaanderen, here we come! :D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

a record shall be kept among us

I have been admonished to be faithful in keeping a good record of my life with promises that my journals, my history, the mementos that I save will become a cherished treasure to my posterity down through the many ages of time. And yet I conclude that I am not falling into line. My journal goes for weeks untouched, deprived of so many sweet and humorous experiences that will never be remembered. I am sad when I realize this.

Thus I feel the need to write, to record our lives. We have such wonderful lives, Justin and I. And baby. It will soon be the three of us and I want to not forget this precious time. It's a time of conclusion with my impending graduation. A time of anticipation for summer months. And a time of preparation for her.

So that's it. We're blogging.


Included are some photographs that sum up favorite moments. We've had a lot.
Our little girl
Together we teach the Dutch missionaries at the MTC
Our honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico
Married 20 August in the Jordan River LDS temple
Hiking the Y the day before our engagement
Serving our missions together in Belgium/Netherlands