Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Showered with LOVE.

Last Saturday, my ward hosted a baby shower for me and the babes. 
B came along as well and took the photos to document all the LOVE. 

Some Highlights:
-Lori J and my momma & Whit joined us
-Lori and Carl framed a picture of B's Grandpa Johnson (Gramps) to put in the nursery
-framed one of his silk maps from WWII to hang in nursery as well. Wow! SO excited! 
(nursery theme is vintage airplanes.)
-Ward members blessed us with SO much! Diapers, adorable clothes, blankets, and a fun swing...
-Good food. Orange rolls were DELECTABLE. 
-Surrounded by women I love and look up to. 

Oh! We can't forget the cougar outfits (literally Cosmo pajamas) for the boys to wear to show their TRUE BLUE. 
When we got home from my piano recital on Thursday, this is what we found:

Steve and Cori Shaw doing yard work. Our yard work.
My heart exploded, I was SO excited!
The lawn was mowed and edged,
the bushes were trimmed and cleaned out (spider webs were gone!),
bark was laid over the flower beds.
Everything just smelled clean and fresh.
B and I are so grateful.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Final Performance

Spring Recital 2012

About 9 months ago, I decided to teach piano. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy that experience and the love I would develop for each of my students. I have been playing the piano since age 5 and when my parents FINALLY let me stop taking lessons, I never figured it would be such a major part of my life. 9 months ago, I was looking for another job, researching graduate programs, etc. but nothing seemed right. I was frustrated and confused. I felt so peaceful and confident in my decision to quit working for the State, but doubt crept in when things weren't going the way I had imagined. Then, the thought of teaching piano popped into my head. I intended it to be something "on the side", but when we found out I was pregnant in December, we decided to make it more permanent for the next few months. When we found out I was having TWINS, I was grateful the Lord provided me with a way to serve and use my skills to help others AND survive the pregnancy uglies, which have plagued my body...sometimes ruthlessly.

On Thursday, I had my last piano recital before the "big break", aka: birthing and bringing home 2 baby boys. It might be a few months before I pick it up again, so I wanted to make sure my students understood how proud I was of them. They all did very well and made me so happy! I'm so glad the Lord understands the "big picture". For us, this was the right choice for our family at this time. Feeling grateful as I look back on my life and see how His hand has guided and directed to get me and B to where we are today. :)

P.S. Not an award-winning picture of me. Yes, I am huge and my face looks dorky. But, my babies are healthy and my husband loves me. Life is good.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The MAINE Event: Our visit to New England

We took a trip to the East Coast for some fun and to attend the wedding of my cousin. It also meant Megan could meet some of my extended family that couldn't make it out for our wedding. We were very excited to go on this trip!

Three photos of Shane at the Denver Airport: a photo of him posing for the camera, and two photos of him pretending to throw up.
A bumpy ride from SLC to Denver

Megan was a little worried about the flights. Flying while seven months pregnant with twins isn't comfortable or very fun. Checking in at the airport was interesting. The guy at the check-in counter was having trouble getting the correct baggage tags printed out. Before leaving on our trip, I read some horror stories about luggage trouble when flying on different airlines, which we would be doing. The airline representative eventually got it all straightened out, so that eased my concerns a little.

The first leg of our journey went well, until we started our descent into the Denver airport. Things started getting bumpy, kids started screaming and crying, and people started getting queasy. The landing didn't help, as we skidded sideways a bit after touching down. All of this proved a bit too much for Shane, so he got to enjoy his complimentary beverage a second time.

Four photos from the Denver Airport. Clockwise from the top left: Dad, Mom, and Shane sitting together--Mom and Shane smiling and Dad sticking his tongue out; Shane and B playing a matching game on a video board in the terminal; a video screen with information about our flight to Boston; and Megan's beautiful, smiling face.
Layover in Denver Airport

We had a long layover in Denver, but the first thing we needed was food. We decided to try out a place called Woody Creek Bakery & Cafe. When we walked up to the shop and looked at their menu, we realized, it was exactly the same as the Paradise Bakery & Cafe that we know and love from home.

After that delicious lunch, we found a spot near our terminal to camp out until our next flight. We checked email using the free WiFi, chatted, and got ice cream from the Ben & Jerry's shop (yum!). Shane and I investigated a screen across the terminal that turned out to be a matching game. We tried to beat the "best time" displayed on the screen, but we couldn't get within ten seconds of it.

The flight to Boston was calmer. We arrived late at night to a mostly empty terminal, and I was glad that all of our bags showed up. We hopped on a shuttle to the car rental building and our adventure on the road began.

I brought a GPS device with me that I had received as a gift a couple years ago. I had already programmed the address of my Aunt and Uncle's house--which is where we'd be staying--into it. I told it to avoid toll roads, but I found that sometimes paying tolls is worth it.

We hadn't even left the airport area before we ran into a street that had been closed off that the GPS wanted us to drive down. So we followed the signs to get out of the airport, and started following the new route the GPS calculated. That took us over a bridge and into an industrial area, where there was a road closed for construction and another confused individual following a GPS route. We took a wrong turn at a roundabout before finally getting on an Interstate. It was at this point I enabled toll routes on the GPS.

After a few slow spots on the Interstate due to some late-night construction work, we made it to the house in New Hampshire where we'd be staying. We unloaded our bags and promptly feel asleep after an exhausting day of travel.

Six photos in and around the house in New Hampshire. Shane and B at the base of the deck in the back. Mom watering flowers in the flower boxes. The fireplace. Shane looking out the window. A close-up of a flower box. Framed artwork resting on a table.
New Hampshire House

We slept in the next morning, and explored a bit around the house. After lunch, we drove back to Boston to see some of the historic sites. This drive was a little better, but we were still driving roads we didn't know, so it was a little rough.

Once we parked in the parking garage that only accepted cash, we walked over to the Paul Revere house. I loved the cobblestone square outside the house and getting a glimpse of how this family lived in the 18th century.

Four pictures of the North End of Boston. Looking south towards the rest of Boston from the square outside Paul Revere's home. Mom and Dad with a portion of the Boston skyline behind them. A seal marking Boston's Freedom Trail outside the Paul Revere house. Pigeons under a tree growing in the square outside the Paul Revere house.

We followed the Freedom Trail from the Paul Revere house to Old North Church. Along the way, we spotted Mike's Pastry and Giacomo's Restaurant. I enjoyed walking through the Paul Revere Mall where the trees offered some shade and we could see the Old North Church's steeple framed by the trees behind the statue of Paul Revere.

Three photos of Paul Revere-related places. The statue of Paul Revere riding a horse. M and B and the base of the statue with "Paul Revere" engraved in the stone. M and B standing in front of the Paul Revere house.
Paul Revere

Old North Church was cool. Actually, by that time, it was warm. We sat in one of the boxes and listened to one of the guides talk about the church goers of long ago paying for their boxes, with the wealthiest getting boxes close to the front. The seats were in boxes to help keep the people warm during the cold winters.

Six pictures in and around Old North Church. The steeple framed by green leafy trees. B sitting on a bench in one of the boxes. Looking up at the steeple from the base. The organ in Old North Church. A placard stating, "Theodore Roosevelt sat in this pew December 29, 1912." Some of the boxes in Old North Church.
Old North Church

Four pictures on Giacomo's Restaurant. The sign outside the restaurant. The food that we ordered, ate, and enjoyed. A blackboard with the menu artfully written in chalk. The whole gang enjoying their time at Giacomo's.
Dinner at Giacomo's

We had to stop by Mike's Pastry and get some world-famous cannoli. We got ours to go in a little white box with blue lettering, wrapped in twine. Since Mom had eaten at Giacomo's Restaurant before and really liked it, we decided to eat there. It was wise to get there when we did, as they still had open tables. That didn't last long; as we were waiting for our food to come out, people started lining up outside to wait for a table in this small restaurant. When we tasted our hot, fresh food, we knew why they were willing to wait to get in. The food was amazingly good! Seriously, if you're going to Boston, eat there. A word of warning: Giacomo's and Mike's are cash-only establishments, so hit up an ATM before you go.

Five cannoli-related photos. Dad with some cannoli on his face after finishing his cannoli. A Mike's Pastry box containing a cannoli. The sign outside Mike's Pastry. A Florentine Cannoli on a plate. B taking the first bite of his Florentine cannoli.
Mike's Pastry

As we were heading back to the car, we decided to look for a restroom to use before driving back to New Hampshire. We found one in Quincy Market, next to Faneuil Hall. When we walked past the front of the building on our way out, we stopped to watch a street performer's show. Towards the end of the show, he asked Shane and another tall, young person to help him onto his really tall unicycle. Shane said he weighed more than he thought.

Five photos of various stages of Shane helping the street performer get on his tall unicycle.
Shane and Boston Street Performer

The next day we packed up and headed up to Portland, Maine. We had a wedding dinner in downtown Portland, where Megan finally met my Aunt Diane, Uncle Scott, my cousin Casey, and Nana. It was fun spending time with family members we don't get to see very often, and we enjoyed some good food, too.

Four pictures at the wedding dinner. Megan and Nana. Dad and Nana with Scott in the background. Megan, B, and Nana. Nana, Dad, Mom, and Shane sitting at the table, ready for food.
Pre-Wedding Dinner and Evelyn Johnson

The next day we got up early to do some shopping in Freeport, Maine. We checked out the big LLBean store, a North Face store, and a JCrew store. The North Face store had a demo sale going on, so we picked up some jackets for a good price for the twins. I was all shopped out by that time, plus it started raining during our shopping. It would still be raining two days later. Yep, the last few days of our trip, including the wedding, were soggy.

Two photos taken in front of the giant boot outside the LLBean store in Freeport, Maine. One photo has Megan and B standing in front of the boot; the other has Dad, Mom, and Shane standing in front of the boot.
Shopping in Freeport, Maine

The wedding for Dan and Danielle was held in a club house. I think they were supposed to have it outside, but, because of the rain, it was moved inside. The ceremony was short and simple. The bride and bridesmaids looked lovely, and the groom and groomsmen looked sharp. We snacked on hors d'oeuvres while the wedding party had photos taken. We ate some tasty food and declined the champagne and coffee offered after the meal.

Diane was excited when the bride and groom cut the cake, as that meant we would shortly be enjoying some of the cake. She wasn't the only one looking forward to the cake, but she was especially excited. Who can blame her, though? It's cake!

After the happy couple danced, the bride danced with her dad and the groom with his mother, then everyone danced. Well, almost everyone. Megan and I did, even though I probably looked like a dork. I didn't care. I was dancing with my beautiful wife.

Twelve photos from the wedding depicting the venue, Nana, Megan and B, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the bride and groom, Mom, Shane with a paper mustache, and B and Megan dancing.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood
Dan and Danielle get married!

One thing Megan had to eat before leaving Maine was lobster (or "labstah"), so on our way out of Maine, we stopped at a seafood restaurant for lunch. Megan got a lobster roll, and even though it was just okay, now she can say she's had Maine lobster. We even got a picture with a giant lobster.

Other East Coast food we enjoyed on the trip: Whoopie pies, Friendly's, Dunkin' Donuts, and Grande Mexico, a surprisingly good Mexican restaurant.

Four photos of East Coast food. B and Megs next to a lobster mascot. Megan eating her lobster roll. A maple whoopie pie cut into fourths. B eating a slice of a chocolate whoopie pie.
Eastern Eats: Whoopie Pies and Lobster Rolls

Three photos of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. One of the amphitheater and two looking out to sea with beach in the foreground, rough seas, and gray skies in the background.
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

We wanted to go to the beach the day before we left, but the rain put a damper on that. We still drove out to Hampton Beach to at least see the ocean. The sea was angry, the wind was howling, and the rain was sideways. It was not a good day for a swim. We did enjoy a drive along the coast, admiring the stunning beach houses along the way. On the way back, we stopped for some ice cream, just because.

Four photos of the Denver airport. Shane resting at the gate. A small jet, like the one we flew in, parked at a gate. A vintage WWI aircraft suspended from the ceiling of the Denver Airport. A cup of frozen yogurt in front of the window overlooking our airport gate.
Headed home...Goodbye New England!

The day we flew home, we woke up at 3:00 a.m. Eastern so we could shower, pack up, get on the road before rush hour, return the rental car, take the shuttle to the airport terminal, check in, go through security, and get some breakfast in the airport, all before our flight left at 7:45. Flying into and out of Denver wasn't too bad this time. Also, we decided to head all the way to the end of the B terminal in the Denver airport to try Heidi's Brooklyn Deli. Megan and I got the Cajun turkey with avocado. We didn't know it would be so spicy. When we were done with our sandwiches, our mouths were on fire, so we had to get some frozen yogurt to cool them down.

The flight from Denver to Salt Lake was in a smaller plane, but it had the biggest seats and most leg room of all the planes we flew in on this trip. Since it was smaller, though, it was easier to blow around, and the winds were crazy in Utah. Our descent into the Salt Lake airport was a roller coaster ride, but this time everyone kept their lunch down.

We had a fun trip to New England, and we hope to go back some time!

Megan provided the photo editing, and B-man wrote the text for this entry.

Pregnancy...and all that jazz.

B is currently working on a post about our recent trip to New England...so get excited. 

About 4 hours after stepping off the plane we were walking into our first birthing class. I was SOOO swollen and B was SOOOO tired. His eyes were red and droopy and I felt a tad guilty. Then the instructor put in a little birth video for our "enjoyment". Ahem....a bit traumatizing for some of us. I turned to B and his eyes were slightly bigger and the look on his face was "Uh...I don't even know how to respond to what I just saw."

Side Note: Giving birth to a baby is an amazing miracle. I know this, even without ever giving birth myself. I am grateful for this opportunity, but still a bit weary if I "have what it takes". From listening to the other new moms in the class, I get the idea this is a normal feeling. Having a little anxiety and then watching a video of multiple moms going through unmedicated births and reviewing charts and pictures of what your body has to morph into...you feel a bit overwhelmed. I had a little chat with my doctor on Thursday. It went something like this:

M: So, we had our first birthing class this week. It kind of freaked me out. Like...how am I going to do this?

Dr: Yeah, and you get to do it twice.

M: *sigh *huff 

M: Dr, what if I turn into a monster? What if I'm one of "those" patients that you remember forever and ever? You know, the one that is good for conversation over dinner or a golf game. The classic "Well, I had this one patient...and let me tell you, she was NUTS." 

As any decent doctor would do, he reassured me and made some recommendations. B and I have talked and talked about our birth plan and feel confident and at peace with the decisions we have made for bringing our baby boys into the world. We also got a good night's sleep and, let me tell you, that can make anyone feel better...even after encounters with an "informative" birth video.

All around, we're doing pretty good:
We've got about 2 months to go.
Babies are a little over 2 lbs each.
We're buying cribs tomorrow.
Setting them up on Monday.
And painting the nursery.

We also have this little "diddy" for your enjoyment: