Thursday, September 27, 2012

The time I almost went into labor because of a car, a big city, and LOTS of road signs

(Gosh, this picture stresses me out! Does it do that for you? ) 

Today was Brady's first day in his new lab. He's been trying to set up a time to go in all week (which has been a little difficult) so it was really important for him to be there today. Fifteen minutes after I kissed him goodbye I get a call. He got a little confused with the bus route and missed the bus he was supposed to take. He couldn't wait for the next one to come because it would have made him really late for work, so that meant, you guessed it, he needed a ride...

From me.   In Seattle.   All the way downtown.
Which would also mean I'd need to drive back.   In Seattle.   From all the way downtown.    Alone.

If you know me well, you know I've always hated driving. It took me seven months to get up the courage to drive on the freeway after I got my license. Luckily, I lived in Salt Lake City for so long that I got used to the roads and was able to tolerate it.

But driving around the University of Washington is a different story. Cars on top of cars, tight streets, random twists and turns, a million people, and, of course, you've got your university students who like to pop out of nowhere to cross the road. It's so bad that I can't even relax when someone else is driving.

Yes, that jumbled mess was where we were headed.

I picked him up from the bus stop and a couple of angry drivers and irritated honks later (did I mention I'm also not the best driver?) I finally dropped him off at school.

Brady had to think for a moment what the easiest way for me to get home would be. He repeated the directions not once, not twice but three times. You think even with a forgetful pregnancy brain I'd be able to remember directions repeated that many times in a row.

"Sounds easy enough," I thought and while driving away I repeated them back to myself.

"Let's see. I turn left on Mont...Mont... something. And then I turn left on 45th... or was it right on 45th? And that's supposed to split and I'm supposed to stay on the road that curves and that road is supposed to take me right to Sand... Saaaand... something."

Oh, Dang.

I figured I'd survive remembering at least part of the directions and that things would run fairly smoothly.

Here's the problem.

Apparently, you can't turn left on Monte "something" and there are two different 45th streets, one is 45th Ave and the other is 45th St. I still couldn't remember if I was supposed to turn right or left on 45th so even if I did find the right one I'd be stuck.

Sadly I didn't even know if I was heading North, South, East or West (where are mountains when you need them! [Utah reference]) and Sand "something" was still nowhere to be found.

Needless to say, I was incredibly lost. Two or three times I was tempted to stop and ask for directions but I thought the runny nose, puffy eyes and hyperventilated breathing would scare whoever I asked away.

I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father thought he needed to intervene because somehow I ended up on Sand Point, which just happened to be the Sand "something" I was supposed to be on, and I was able to find my way home from there.

Here's a math equation for you...

Driving in a big city + pregnancy brain - a GPS or compass = one lost mama :)

Also, we bought our nursery furniture today! Cutting it close? Yes, yes we are.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Countdown to Motherhood Guest post: Marie Henry (Older Sister)

(From left to right" Aubrey, Parker, Kash, Marie holding Matilda, 
Kash's nephew, Ashley and Lizzy)

I am a mother of 5 children. My four oldest are from my first marriage of 12 years and the fifth is with my husband Kash.

I have had two very different experiences with being a mother, having had two marriages.

With my first husband it wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I knew I always wanted to be a mother, so I wondered what was wrong with me and why I didn’t like it so much. I hated admitting that to myself, as it made me feel like a bad mother but the truth is, at the time, I didn’t.

Of course there were many sweet moments and memories but in the end, I would go to bed stressed and angry and wake up still stressed and angry. Partially because of the normal stresses that come with being a mom of small children but also because of a hard marriage.

Overall though, Heavenly Father really blessed my children as i prayed daily he would watch out for them and protect them from my mistakes. They are great children!!!!

Now that I am married to Kash, I have absolutely loved being a mother. 

I often wonder what it would have been like in the early years of parenting if I was married to Kash but of course I will never know.

Not being in a stressful marriage has made being a parent soooo different. I now can deal with just being a mom and Kash and I work well together. He is a great parent and is always calm so that is a big help. 

I have learned two major things with being a mom.

One is to be consistent.

I know that is something we have all heard a million times but oh my goodness it makes a difference.

In my first marriage, being tired and emotionally stressed made it easy to just give in. That caused a lot of unnecessary heartache for my kids and me.

Kash is 100% consistent and man that has made a difference in our home. Now our kids know the rules and that they will not change. We rarely have issues and when we do there are already consequences in place.

Number two is to pick your battles.

I for one hate dirty bedrooms. I want to be able to go into my kids room at night and check on them and not break my ankle do to the hazardous terrain. So that is a battle I do fight.

One battle I am not willing to fight is what my kids pick to wear. 

There are a few rules but besides that it is up to them. They get to go out the door not matching if they like and believe me they do ALL THE TIME. I do teach them how to put things together so when they decide it’s important they know what to do.

My son is the worst; in fact, this morning he picked shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I just walked out of his room giggling. I figure my children don't get much control over their lives right now so I want to give them a few things they can control.

Parenting has so many different stages depending on the age of your kids. 
I have learned it gets better with time and frankly, I get better as I age. 

Right now things are pretty calm for us. We have an almost 13 year old, 10, 8, 4 and 8 months. The three oldest are very helpful with the two youngest and they actually love helping. 

It is so different now then from when I had three 4 and under. We will see how it is when we have three teenage girls at the same time. It will help having a level headed husband who is a quick thinker and, like I said before, calm.

I am so very grateful for all the experiences I have had and for the changes that have come into my life so I can better enjoy being a mother!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Countdown to Motherhood

Hi there!

You know, one thing I love about a move is it requires you to re-look through boxes you haven't opened in quite awhile. It's almost like a treasure hunt because you forget about most of the things you've put in there.

A couple of days ago I found a book that my sister, Jodie, had given me at the beginning of my pregnancy. It's called The Mother in Me.

It is a beautiful book on growing into motherhood, and its purpose is to "celebrate this season, to illustrate its unique challenges and delights, to reveal its deep significance."

Something my sister wrote to me inside the cover has got me thinking:

"Dearest Kate,
      I'm so happy that you are becoming a Mother. It's the greatest gift we give to the world... I hope you enjoy these stories, successes, and sorrows of other mothers. Just know that you are never alone. God and the mothers that go before you will help you. Happy Birthday. I love you. - JP"

"The mothers that go before you will help you." Although it has been such a comfort to me to read these women's thoughts, the past couple of days I've been thinking that hearing the stories, successes, and sorrows of the mothers in my own life would be even more powerful.

Motherhood is about transformation- it's something that you grow into rather than something that happens to you all at once. I'm still in the first stages of motherhood, so I can't yet comprehend the joy and nitty-grittyness of it all.

I've decided to surround myself with the stories of the mothers in my life that are farther along this delightful, arduous, exhilarating path each one of us has decided to walk on. I'm hoping that it will give me more courage than I've been feeling lately.

I'm calling it "Countdown to Motherhood" and every wednesday I plan to post the thoughts of family and friends until I finally have my baby... and maybe a few weeks after that so I have time to heal :)

Tomorrow is the first day and I hope you come back and join me in this journey.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday!

34 weeks today!

That means only six weeks left. 

In reality, we only have three weeks until she's considered full term and able to safely come at any time.

Do you realize how short that is? Because we sure do!
That's only three more date nights.
Three more weekends, just the two of us.
Three more weeks of sleeping uninterrupted through the night...not including my midnight bathroom runs 
:) You get the idea. 

If you ask this mama though, baby girl is going to take her sweet, sweet time. I imagine she's going to choose to be fashionably late to the party, at least she is if she's anything like her ma and pop. 

For now, tardiness is fine with mom and dad because this is what her nursery looks like at the moment

Hmmm... where's that urge to nest when you need it?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I love to see the temple...

We had the opportunity to go to the Seattle temple today and both Brady and I agreed that we were definitely spoiled in Salt Lake City. I guess it's pretty easy to take good things, like only having to drive 15 minutes to get to the temple, for granted when they're right in front of you. Trust me though, today we realized just how awesome we had it and how grateful we should have been.

But let me tell you, the drive was worth it. It was SO worth it.

Whether you're a Latter Day Saint or not, I think there's something we can all find to appreciate about a temple.

Like the beauty of the building's structure...

...or the flowers on its grounds.

Today we NEEDED the temple. 

Remember here where I talked about change and how hard it can be? One of my desires for this blog is for it to feel real. I don't want it to just seem like there are rainbows all the time or that our life is perfect.

So, lets be real for a moment. 

This is hard. This is stressful. And we're scared. 

But today, despite all of the unfamiliarity we're facing and uncertainty we're feeling, we knew exactly what to expect when we went through those doors and we knew exactly how being there would make us feel. That was certain and it was familiar. 

It can be so comforting to know that no matter where you go, what happens in the temple will ALWAYS be the same. 

Also, have I mentioned how excited I am to be a mother? 

Because I am :)

Have a happy weekend!

Date Night: A trip to Puget Sound

Brady and I have never been very creative when it comes to date nights; it's just so hard to think of something new and fun and spontaneous to do sometimes.

Typically it turns into a movie night on our couch, which is great since he comes home exhausted from work and since I'm always exhausted'm not sure. Growing a little person in my belly, maybe? That has to be it, since I really don't move much these days.

Luckily, one of the perks of moving to a new state is there are plenty of things to visit, explore, and do. No creative juices needed. Yes!

Well, at least for now.

Yesterday we had our very first, official date night in Seattle. Can you guess where we went? Those of you who know us, and know us well probably could. We went to...

...the beach! Not just any beach. A beach along the Puget Sound.

I bet I can guess what you're thinking.

You're thinking, "Where did you find that picture? It looks amazing."
All I can say is, "I know, right!?"
 Picture courtesy of Brady C. Houston (my handsome husband, who just so happens to also be a handsome photographer with mad skills).

In my book, yesterday was a superlative beach day. I'm finding that Seattle is more perfect for me than I thought. Foggy sky, nippy, jacket wearing weather, dark water, and a perfect breeze. My little Utopia.

After having zero luck searching through the tide pools for star fish or crabs (at least, having zero luck finding ones that hadn't already been hollowed out by seagulls), we pulled out our camera and began documenting the awesome splendor that was around us.

Have you ever been right next to a train as it goes zooming by? Brady has.

Yesterday was his first time standing just a few feet from a moving train. I lived right next to a train yard for 12 years in Montana, so it was nothing new to me. I will say this though, 12 years or not, it still amazes me how big, how fast and how LOUD trains are. You never would have guessed it as you watched it slowly winding its way around the mountain towards us.

Again, if it wasn't for Brady religiously taking pictures of all the things we do and see, you would just have to take my word for it that the train was big and fast and loud. Not the best, most detailed description. 

So, thank you Brady. Thank you.   

For the most part, I love it when we pull out the camera unless i'm in a hurry to move on, then the frequent stops and long waits are NO BUENO. But usually, it's the best because that means I get to play boss and tell Brady what pictures to take and how I want them taken. I figure, since I'm not the one "taking" the shots, I can be the one "calling" the shots :) 

So fun for me, but maybe not so fun for my photographer. 

We love taking pictures.

Brady loves taking pictures of Kate.

And Kate LOVES taking pictures of Brady. 

Gosh, he's good looking.

I think I'm going to make both our dads come up sometime so we can do this together... 

...there's something so appealing about fly fishing. Maybe, for me, it's the fact that I can set the fish free after I catch them. I still haven't recovered from my first fishing excursion, where my dad smacked the head of the rainbow trout I had just caught against a metal bench. I don't think I spoke to him the whole drive home :) 

As this particular fisherman was passing by we asked him if he was having any luck. Discouraged he said, "They don't seem to be around today. Which is unusual because this is supposed to be a great fishing spot." As he was talking, I watched a fish jump out of the water behind him. I didn't really have the heart to tell him they were just mocking him behind his back. 

We thought we'd try our hand at taking couple pictures with the tri-pod. We may have had a little too much fun

Who needs a professional photographer when you have a tri-pod and a husband who can run really fast? 

This is what happens when we try to take a picture looking deep into each other's eyes

And finally, remember this picture from our honeymoon? 

Trying to recreate that was harder than we thought.

Not too bad, eh?

I loved this beach. There were no bright blue skies or turquoise water against white sand but who would have thought a palette of grays could be so beautiful!

A pearly gray sky illuminating a dark bluish-gray profile of trees in the distance, both sky and trees seeming to pop even more in contrast with the silver, gray of the water.

All in all, it was a wonderful, perfect, picturesque afternoon at the beach.

I think this would classify as a sublime first date.
Don't you?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So, how's Seattle?

This morning was my first time "on my own" since I arrived in Seattle. So, I took some time to answer the question above, in case any of you were wondering.

The week leading up to our big move was a CRAZY time for us. Brady had to drive to Seattle for orientation and try and find us an apartment (yes, we still hadn't found a place yet). He got back on the 13th, we packed the moving truck the 14th, and on the 15th we had our all day birthing class (more on that later), Maggie's fundraising carnival, Ron's birthday and the BYU/U of U football game.

Needless to say, we were pretty pooped come Sunday.

 Brady and Ron left at about six in the morning on the 16th and tackled the 13+ hour drive to Seattle (men are so wonderful!). I, luckily, only had to fly a "grueling" hour and a half the following day because my doctor didn't want me driving for so long (Hooray, for pregnancy!).

I'm pretty sure if the flight had been much longer I wouldn't have made it. The man sitting next to me, closest to the aisle slept the whole trip! Pregnancy plus zero bathroom breaks does NOT mix! Lets just say I waddled off that plane as fast as my legs would carry me.

Rather than go into extreme detail (you can call me for that :)  ), here are just a few highlights from the past couple of days:

Monday 17
We landed at about 3 in the afternoon, Seattle time. Brady was so excited to pick me up from the airport and show me around our new stomping grounds. Such a surreal feeling...this place is my new home for the next five to six years!

If you ever come to Seattle you MUST eat at Pike Street Fish Fry. It is amazing. Trust me.

Here we are waiting for our meal. Little did I know, I was about to have an "I just think I died and went to heaven" experience. Once you have fresh fish you never go back.

Brady wanted to show Ron, Liesl and I around a bit, so we took a trip out to Lake Washington.

The main attraction? Blackberries. They're everywhere and Brady just can't get enough of them. Here's a batch he picked right across the street from our house this morning.

During our little blackberry fest, Kate here had a pretty nasty fall. Lose your footing on one rock and that's it, there's no catching your balance when you're pregnant... because you have no balance in the first place!

It just so happens that I fell on the only big rock around... right on the side of my stomach. Great. Isn't that just how it goes sometimes? Luckily, we went to the doctors on Wednesday and baby girl seems to be fine.

Almost 34 weeks pregnant and about seven more weeks to go. Can you believe it! Here is the long awaited pregnancy picture.

Tuesday 18
Tuesday at 4 in the AM we put Brady's parents on a plane back to Salt Lake. On the way home we realized this was it, we were officially on our own.

Tuesday night we went on a date to Ikea. I thought corn mazes were easy to get lost in! Have you been to that place?! We were able to find exactly what we were looking for though. I'd like you to meet the newest members of our family... lamp and house plant.

Hopefully we're able to keep this plant alive longer than the last one... Luckily, house plant doesn't know our track record.

Wednesday 19
Wednesday after the doctors we went on a date to the Locks. Boy, you would have thought it was Christmas morning. Brady loves big ships. When you visit us in Seattle, which I hope you will, we'll take you all to the Locks because even though I'm not a huge boat person, it's pretty dang nifty.

Pretty neat, eh?

Brady took the picture below, by the way! How awesome is that? It's a good thing one of us actually remembers to document our lives (and has some natural talent for photography), otherwise this blog would sorely be lacking.

Oh seattle...
with your sock-less, ginger ale drinking hipsters and your soup making, rain boot wearing weather...
I think I might love you.
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