No Shave November

For the past 6 years my hubby has lived by a strict grooming code. First at BYU (thanks to the honor code), then during his LDS mission, and then BYU again. For these 6 years he has maintained a clean-shaven appearance, shaving multiple times a week to achieve this. I think the idea behind the rule of clean-shavenness is to maintain personal hygiene, professionalism, and a neat appearance. Now I'm not saying that bearded men are automatically sloppy, dirty, and unprofessional--some men can pull off beards--but for whatever reason, the honor code has enforced this shaving standard. In fact, men can't take tests at the BYU Testing Center with even a hint of a 5 o'clock shadow.

So, Marc has never really grown his beard out. He's let it grow during hunting/fishing/camping trips, partly out of necessity and mostly because its a standing competition among his brothers to see who has the best beard.

That is all about to change.

Welcome to No Shave November! Week One:

Marc and his med school buddies claim that No Shave November is their way of supporting Prostate Cancer Awareness month....but I think we all know the truth. They just want to prove their manliness. They're even going to award the guy with the "Best Beard" at the end of the month. And just to make things fair, they're also planning on giving out a "Nice Try" Award.  

I've never seen him past this stage of scruffiness because he usually shaves each week for church. I honestly like the scruff, I think it looks nice on him, but I don't love the way it feels. Hopefully that changes as the pokey whiskers become a softer beard.  Bring on the ruggedness!      

"It's a BUCK!!!!"

I was rereading some of my past posts and realized that I never announced the gender of our little one. Most of the world already knows, but for documenting purposes I'll tell the story.

My ultrasound appointment was scheduled for the afternoon of September 17, 2013. We (im)patiently waited in the waiting room for a good 45 min-1 hour before we got in. It turned out that the ultrasound tech got backed up because of an emergency earlier in the day. Once we got into the exam room the tech asked us whether or not we wanted to find out the gender of the baby. "Yes!" was our immediate response.

Up to this point, I was having mixed feelings about what the gender would be. Somedays I would think we were having a little girl, other days I was determined it would be a boy. I never had any kind of dream or "sign" that it would for sure be one gender over the other. But, I secretly hoped it would be a boy. Marc and I always thought that having a boy first would be so much fun. So the day(s) leading up to the ultrasound appointment were making me anxious because I was a little worried that I would be disappointed if the baby was a girl. I know, that sounds terrible, but it's true.

After checking on the baby's vital organs, limbs, and brain, the tech finally said "Ready to find out the gender?" I'm pretty sure my heart was pounding at this point. She hovered over the baby's legs, which were spread wide apart I should add, and it was most definitely a boy!

Marc and I couldn't stop smiling after that (and I might have cried...just a little). We were so excited to tell our families the good news. I told my side that we broke the "Nelson curse" (a family joke since all of my cousins have had girls so far). Marc proudly announced to his family "It's a BUCK!!!"

Here's some pictures of our little cutie:

Love this one with his legs over his head!

I cannot wait to meet our little guy and hold these little hands!!

Halloween Porch and Beggar's Night

It took me awhile to get my porch ready for the holiday but I made it just in time for Beggar's Night. What's Beggar's Night you ask? It's when kids come trick-or-treating the day BEFORE Halloween....crazy I know. And I don't understand it, but that's when everyone came trick-or-treating at our house. Also, for some reason kids these days don't know that you're supposed to say "trick-or-treat." C'mon I'm not giving you candy for nothing. So Marc and I started saying "What do you say?" before handing over the sweets. And do you know what some of them said instead of "trick-or-treat"? They told us a Halloween joke. Yeah, apparently in Des Moines they make their kids really work for candy and they have to tell a joke first. Genius.

Anyways, back to the porch all day on October 29th I was busy decorating pumpkins. We couldn't find a time for Marc and I to carve jack-o-lanterns together so I decided to trade in the carving knives for paint brushes.

Can you guess which one Marc designed?

Here is our front door wreath, complete with a mini burlap "BOO!" banner and paper pumpkins.

A shot of the whole porch.

I think it all turned out pretty cute. Oh, and here's our new favorite addition to our Halloween decor, sent to us by my awesome mom-in-law.

Happy Halloween!

The Pretzel Roll Trend

Pretzel rolls have been everywhere lately, almost every fast food joint has their own variation of a burger or sandwich using the trendy rolls and of course Pinterest has its fair share of DIY recipes. Today, the pretzel roll trend made it into our house. Marc has been sending me what he likes to call "subliminal messages" (aka huge hints) all week about making our own pretzel rolls. I told him that I would only make them on a day when he could help me. I make my fair share of rolls and breads but was a little wary to try out the popular pretzel roll all by myself. Even though he's studying today, Marc stayed home so he could help out. 

Here's our finished product. (Recipe can be found at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.)

As we were shaping rolls and boiling water I said to Marc, "You're pretty spoiled, you know that, right?" He smiled and said "Yeah." I am at a disadvantage though because, honestly, who can resist his smile-mid-bite face?? 

Family Baby Shower

When we decided to move to Iowa instead of Arizona we had a few more weeks to spend with family before we had to move. We decided to spend one of those weeks back in Washington to see my family since we probably won't see them for the holidays. While we were there, my family threw us a surprise baby shower!

Aren't those the cutest decorations?? I love the hanging, clothes-pinned sleepers. And of course we had to have food--I think the fruit pizzas got devoured before we opened any presents :)

At this point we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, but my sister knew we would love this bib regardless of the gender. It says "Can't wait to hunt with daddy." Marc LOVED it! (Sorry for the fuzzy and badly-lit photos.)

Some teething rings.

 I can't remember what's in the box but whatever it was I thought it was pretty cute. 

A cozy ducky sleeper. 

 And everyone needs white onesies. 

My mom has made these cloth burp rags for as long as I can remember. She buys the burp rags in packs, then embellishes them with cute ribbon. And that's my cute new diaper bag!

My younger sister was in charge of taking pictures of us during the shower. We gave her Marc's iPad and she went a little crazy. I think she took a picture every minute or so....that means that she captured a lot of interesting expressions. I honestly didn't know I made these faces in real life! 

This is a tame gets betters. 

Not sure what I'm after here..but I sure look tired!

Must have been the most surprising news of the year!

This is my favorite! I'm not trying to be a monster...that's just me yawning.

I'll end with a decent photo :)
 This was taken after all the presents were unwrapped...I think it was finally dawning on us that we were really going to bring a little person into the world. Glad our faces are happy here and not apprehensive. 

And Baby Makes Three

Our summer was pretty jam packed. After the two grad trips we had lots of trips to my in-laws cabin, a high school graduation to attend, a couple weddings to attend, a birthday, and lots of family to visit with. Then Heavenly Father decided to make things just a bit more interesting for us. Over Memorial Day weekend, we were at the cabin and it was supposed to be my time of the month...but nothing ever happened, which is very strange because since I started having the monthly hormonal ritual I have never missed my period...ever. So the day after we got back I took a home pregnancy test.

And guess what??

I'm pregnant! This is old news for most of you, but I wanted to document it anyways. We told my in-laws right away since we were staying with them and knew they'd start asking questions when I kept running to the bathroom and eating all their food. They were both very excited. My dad-in-law claimed that he already knew though...right.

The challenge was going to be that all of Marc's siblings were coming into town for a wedding and we didn't want to tell everyone the news until I was further along. By the time they left to go back home, most of them had already guessed though.

We were going to see my parents about a week after we found out so we decided to wait and tell them in person (MUCH better reaction that way!!). I decided the perfect way to tell them was to give my dad an early Father's Day gift:

I've seen pregnancy announcements using this quote on pinterest so I just created my own version, framed it, and wrapped it up. When my dad opened it the first thing he did was laugh, and then he asked if he could show my mom and younger sister, who happened to be there too. They didn't catch on right away because my dad is already a grandpa. Dad had to explain that it had a deeper meaning coming from me. And then the screaming and jumping up and down started. I told you...much better reaction!

Once we were ready to tell the whole world that we were expecting (we told the rest of our family first of course), we asked my mom-in-law to take some photos.

Isn't she awesome?! I think she should start up a business. 

We are both so excited to be parents! Marc likes to tell the baby to "hurry up and grow!" He is so anxious to meet our little love bug. I tell him all the time that he is going to make the best dad. 

This post is getting a bit long so I'll give you the other baby updates later. And to keep you on the edge of your seat we find out whether our little bug is a girl or boy in 5 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!

Post Graduation Trip #2

After the fishing trip, we stayed in Idaho for a weekend before our next adventure happened: visiting my parents in Spokane, Washington. They recently moved there so we were excited to see their new place and a new city.

We visited the Manito Gardens the first full day we were there. Not everything was in bloom yet which was a bummer, but it was still very beautiful. My favorite part was the Japanese Garden. 

Unfortunately I got sick right in the middle of our trip, so after the gardens we spent a couple of days taking it easy at home. When I finally was feeling better we took a couple more day trips. First, we headed to downtown Spokane and hit the mall and Riverfront Park. Riverfront Park is awesome! I kept thinking it would be such a fun place to take kids. Luckily, we're all kids at heart.

This carousel is right in the middle of the park so naturally we had to take a ride. 

You can't tell in this picture but this slide is the "handle" of a gigantic red Radio Flyer wagon.

I think I was trying to be a superhero or something...

It was a blast! But also very hot, so we ended the day by eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the mall.

The next day we headed across the Washington/Idaho border to visit Couer d'Alene. I love it there! It is so beautiful and we had a ton of fun just walking around the lake.

And taking cutesy pictures by the lake.

Some friends of ours recommended a great place to get ice cream sundaes, appropriately called Gooeys.

The only thing I'm confused about is whether Gooey is supposed to describe the sundae or the way you feel after you eat the whole thing. We had such a great time (minus the being sick part) and were very sad to leave.