Happy New Year!

When I was younger I would complain that I was so busy and that I couldn't wait until I was a grown up and was out of school so I could "relax." I couldn't understand why adults would chuckle and pat me on the back. Now I understand. Life gets busier and busier the older you get. I don't understand how it works, but that's just the way it is. I thought that once I was out of college and not working I would have plenty of time to blog. I laugh at my naivety.

Today I decided it would be a good time to catch everyone up on our year as a family. Here are the biggest things that have happened this year:

3 | Welcome to the "Real World"
Aaron graduated from BYU in April and accepted a job with The Hartford in Hartford, CT. We are currently renting but are thinking about buying a house. We started the process of looking for a house and were astounded at the amount of property tax you pay in Connecticut ($500/year for your car?WHAT?). We've had to factor in that property taxes will cost about 1/3 of our monthly mortgage payment. We're trying to decide if we'd like to make that investment or wait to buy a house when we move to a more permanent situation.

2 |  We've been bitten by the travel bug
If there is one thing we've done a lot of this year, it's traveling. Sawyer has been on 6 plane rides in his short life, and has traveled by car thousands of miles. It started with a road trip across the country, where we stopped at many cool towns along the way. Within a week of arriving in Connecticut, we packed up again and drove to Washington D.C. where we took a tour of the U.S. Capitol and went to one of the Smithsonian museums. Then we drove to Williamsburg, VA where we explored beaches and historical sites. On our way home we went to Chinctoteague Island and enjoyed the nature hikes and beautiful beaches. During the summer we also went to Vermont (one of our favorite states!), Utah/Idaho for my brother's wedding, and then to NYC. During the fall we stayed with our friends in New Hampshire and our latest trip was to McCall, ID for Christmas with Aaron's family. 
Needless to say we are taking a break from our vacations :)

1 |  Job 1:21
"...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
A week after moving to Connecticut Aaron and I found out we were expecting our second child! It was planned and we were so excited for Sawyer to have a sibling so close in age. However, at an ultrasound at 9 weeks the Dr. found no heartbeat and declared it a missed miscarriage. I had a D&C a week later and we tried to move on with the empty space in our hearts. It took some time before I was ready to try again, but that time came and I am now 10 weeks pregnant! At an ultrasound 3 weeks ago they found a very strong, steady heartbeat which is a good sign that this pregnancy will be healthy.

We are due in July, so Sawyer and the baby will be 2 years apart. It is still hard to think that if I hadn't had a miscarriage I would be due in less than 3 weeks! It's especially hard to think about right now when I'm feeling sick and exhausted and it seems that the first trimester will never be over.

It has been an exciting year for us, full of bittersweet moments. We are constantly recognizing the importance of family relationships, especially our marital relationship. Being so far away from family has made us closer in ways we wouldn't have experienced living in Utah.


New England Autumn (And Other Wonderful Things)

This is our backyard (I actually had to TONE DOWN the saturation
because it was ridiculously bright)
We've been so busy enjoying our autumn here in Connecticut I just haven't found the time to update the blog. There are so many things to do here that I just can't justify staying indoors for a few hours to sit at the computer (forgive me!). Our family took a trip to Saratoga Springs, NY and then another weekend trip to New Hampshire. The views were breathtaking, I wish I had pictures to post but every time I took one I had to delete it because it just didn't do the leaves justice. Sorry guys, I guess you'll just have to come visit us next fall :)

In the latest news, Aaron passed his fourth actuary exam!!! Seriously, this was HUGE for him. One more test to pass and Aaron will have his ASA (lower certification for actuaries). He worked so hard and I'm not surprised he passed. 

I've been working on learning the technique of levain (sourdough), so far it's been pretty good. In case you aren't familiar with levain, it's wild yeast. Before there were labs and factories to mass produce homogeneous strains of yeast, people used wild yeast they grew in their own kitchens. I find it absolutely fascinating that you can catch and "feed" your very own yeast, and utilize your little friends to leaven your breads. In the process of learning the best way to feed and care for my yeasty friends I got them a little sick, so they are recovering in my kitchen right now. I'm taking a step back from wild yeast while they get back to health. For now I dug out my commercial yeast that was tucked away in the back of the fridge. Once I get the hang of it I'll post a little bit about my adventures on the blog.

The other thing I've been working at is figuring out the best way to meal plan for our family. I've tried a couple different methods that haven't quite worked for our family, but I think I've finally figured out the best and most effective way to plan out meals. I'm doing a trial run this month, I'm crossing my fingers that it will work out well. 

Sawyer has changed so much since the last time I posted on the blog. He's running around (probably the cutest little run I've ever seen) and talking up a storm.

He said a three-word phrase the other day that blew me away. Okay, so the content wasn't mind blowing, but the fact that three words came out at once were exciting. He loves to ask "whas dat?" (translation: what's that?) all the time, but this time he saw me holding a book and asked "What's that book?" It actually came out like this "whas da buh?" but I knew exactly what he meant.

Aaron and I have tried keeping track of all the words he uses on a regular bases and it's about 25. He can say a lot more, but most he doesn't use more than once or twice.

Physically he is a tiny guy, seriously. Two separate people asked if he is 8 months old. AND THEY WERE PARENTS! I concluded that they have gigantic babies :)
Sawyer is tall (he wears 12-18 month size clothing for height) but really thin (he could wear 6 month clothing for his waist). Since he eats a good amount of food, is very active, and sleeps well his doctor said there is nothing to worry about. (But I still sneak in some coconut oil in his smoothies)

Sawyer's eyes have a little bit of both Aaron and I; they are my shape, but he got the color and long lashes from Aaron.

I wish I could say I posed him this way, but he's actually admiring an airplane :)

For Halloween he was the mouse from "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" since it is one of his favorite non-truck books.

I can't get over the cuteness of this little guy, especially in the mornings when he wakes up all bright-eyed and bubbly. I wish I could bottle up some of that sweetness and save it forever. It's bittersweet to see him growing up so fast. I love to see him reaching new stages and milestones, but I mourn for the previous stages that were so endearing. I guess we'll just have to have another one ;)