The Vanderhorst Family

The Vanderhorst Family

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Mother's Love

As I sit here on a quiet Sunday afternoon I'm able to record my thoughts and feelings from the past few days. A few days ago Grant and I were sitting in an ultrasound room, and the first thing I said to the tech was "We want to know the gender." Both Grant and I had been anxiously awaiting this day of when we could FINALLY shift from calling our baby "it" to "he" or "she."

Going into the ultrasound I thought we were going to have a girl. Not just thought--I said that I would be in total shock if it was a boy. I've always thought our first child would be a girl (even before I was pregnant). I didn't WANT a girl, I just always felt like our first one would be a girl, so you can imagine my surprise when the ultrasound popped up and it was a BOY! I got an instant smile across my face, got teary-eyed, and just looked over at Grant who was beaming! 

As we went through the ultrasound we got to see his cute feet, strong arms and legs, we got to see the 4 chambers of his heart, and we even got a shot of him waving at us while we were looking at his face. It really hit me that our child is growing healthy and strong, and in just a few short months I would be holding this piece of Heaven in my arms.

Within a period of about 5 seconds, my mind was racing about how much I loved this boy, how he would be when he was little, what it'd be like when he was in high school. I imagined him opening up his mission call, meeting a wonderful woman to be sealed to her in the temple, thought to myself how hard it would be for me to see him go through heartache and trials and so forth. And then I thought, "How in the WORLD am I going to raise a boy?! I don't know the first thing about being a mom!" 

And then, a feeling of gratitude overwhelmed me. I was so grateful that I married Grant and had him by my side to raise our children. Anyone who has seen Grant around kids knows that he will be an amazing father--I get comments from my siblings all the time as they watch Grant play with their children about how lucky I am and how wonderful he will be with children. 

I was then filled with a feeling of peace. I knew that Heavenly Father was going to be by our side in raising our family. The scripture came to my mind that said "I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88). I remembered that as long as we had Heavenly Father on our side, we could raise up a righteous posterity. And yes, the past 3 paragraphs all raced through my mind in 5 seconds. 

These past few days have been wonderful! As I've felt our baby boy move around more and more and as we've been looking at baby boy clothes in stores and online, it really hit me that we are going to have a son. I am so grateful for the chance I'll have to be the mother of a boy and have the chance to raise him up to be strong, hard-working, and diligent in the gospel--all with my husband by my side and with the Lord guiding both Grant and me.

So, to my dear baby boy--Mom and Dad love you so much and we're excited to meet you! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

20 Weeks! We're Half Way There!

Hello hello! Life around here has been wonderful and busy. Grant has decided to take a job offer with Deloitte working in Washington DC! We'll be moving there at the end of next Summer! We're sad to be moving so far away from family and friends, but it will be a fun adventure and we're very excited for this opportunity. It's a great way to start off Grant's career and I couldn't be more proud of him :)

We celebrating our anniversary and Thanksgiving last week, which was a much needed break for both of us. This semester has been hard because our schedules are so different. I work from 7-3, and Grant's classes are from 2-6, and with me grading and Grant working on homework we rarely get to spend time together. So Thanksgiving week was a wonderful surprise :) For our anniversary we drove down to Cedar City and spent the night there. We went out to eat at a small pizzeria where they cooked the pizza in a fire. It was so good! 

The next day we drove down to St. George to spend Thanksgiving with Grant's family. It was fun to be with his family and the weather in St. George was beautiful! Grant got to play in the Turkey Bowl with his older brothers and I was able to spend some time with the Vanderhorst girls. 

So here is the preggo update!

How Far Along: 20 weeks exactly. 
Size of Baby: The baby is 10.5 ounces and from head to heel is about 10 inches long! About the length of a banana :) 
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 8 pounds and counting! 
Maternity Clothes: Not quite :) I'm still able to wear the same jeans and pretty much the same shirts, but my belly bump is becoming more predominant. If I were to wear maternity clothes my bump isn't big enough to see it yet.
Gender: No clue! I'm getting pretty impatient to find out, but the day is coming! December 12th!
Movement: Totally! I love it! I can feel little kicks and sometimes it feels like my baby is doing somersaults. Sometimes my bump is bulging and other times it's not--but most times I can tell where the baby is. It's so fun!
Sleep: I have this sleeping position down to a fine art. I put a pillow on either side of me, so if I'm laying on one side I always have a pillow to put in-between my knees and a pillow behind me to help me stay on my side. It has been pretty hard to not sleep on my back since that's how I normally sleep, but I'm getting used to it :)
What I miss: My flexibility. I'm not as fast or limber as I used to be, but it's for a good cause :)
Cravings: Nothing that I can really think of. I'm trying to eat smaller, more frequent meals so I never really get too hungry. If it were up to me I'd just eat salad all the time, but I know that I need protein so I've been trying to force myself to eat more beef.
Aversions: Again, nothing really with aversions either :) I'm trying to say I have an aversion to sweets, but let's be honest--with the holidays around it's hard to resist. I'm doing pretty good though--Grant and I don't really eat sweets much anyways, so the only time I have is when we've been visiting family.
Symptoms:  My lower back has been hurting the past few days, but that's pretty typical around this time of pregnancy (according to "What to Expect When You're Expecting"). I was a little surprised since my bump isn't huge yet, but they say it's because of the ligaments stretching out. It's nothing I can't handle though :) I have my little heating pad and have been taking more baths to help me relax, so it's gotten better.
Best Moment: Feeling the baby move around has been so cool! It's been more of a reality check that there is actually a tiny human inside me! I thought it hit me when the pregnancy test came back positive, and then when I starting to get a little chunkier, but having the baby move around has been the biggest reality that we are going to have a baby! I love feeling our baby move--it's been so fun :)

Here's the current belly-shot. Happy 20 weeks baby Vanderhorst!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Life and Pregnancy Update!

Life around here has been busy, but we're very happy! For Halloween I dressed up as a construction worker and wore a sign around my neck that said "Baby Under Construction." It was pretty cute and the students and faculty got a kick out of it. In other exciting news, Grant has gotten a couple of job offers. We're still trying to decide which one to take, but it is definitely a relief to have some options on the table. I'm 16 weeks along and finally have a little bump to show for it. I know I'll get ridiculously huge by the end of my pregnancy, but I actually love my growing belly--growing belly means growing baby! Here are the 16 week stats:

How Far Along: 16 weeks exactly. 
Size of Baby: According to my baby is 4.5 inches long and weights 3.5 ounces. It is the size of a large avocado and is going to double in size within the next few weeks!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: So far I've gained 3 pounds, but it has happened fairly quickly. I'm sure it'll only become more rapid from here.
Maternity Clothes: Not quite yet. I can still fit into most everything, but I did just order a belly-band from Target. I know that with my baby doubling in size within the next few weeks that there's no doubt I'll need maternity clothes very soon.
Gender: Most days I think it's going to be a girl, but to be honest I go back and forth about it every day. I don't have a preference--I just want a healthy baby, but we find out on December 13th!
Movement: Nothing consistent yet, but there have been a few times where I thought I felt the baby moving around a little bit. A few days ago it felt like I had butterflies in my stomach, but it wasn't in my stomach it was below. I haven't felt any butterflies since then, but hopefully within the next few weeks the movements will become more frequent and stronger.
Sleep: I won't lie, I'm still pretty tired. I think this is a combination of being a first-year high school math teacher, and also the fact that my baby is going through a growth spurt right now, but I've been pretty tired. I take a 2-3 hour nap every day. I'm going to start eating more foods with and also start taking a vitamin-B supplement. Hopefully this will boost my energy! Grant has been a wonderful sport about it though--he is always so willing to cook and clean. I really got lucky with him as a husband!
What I miss: I miss not having acne, however it has gotten better since my first trimester, so things are looking up!Thank goodness for makeup, right? :)
Cravings: Salty stuff. Any salty food, but especially fries. Now, please don't get the wrong impression. I do not eat fries on a daily or even weekly basis, but sometimes you just have to have some salty fries. I promise I really do eat healthy!
Aversions: There haven't really been any aversions, but I have noticed that I have a ridiculously awesome sense of smell. I can smell something from a mile away. It hasn't really made me gag or anything, but smells have definitely become more noticeable. 
Symptoms:  Just being tired. I guess I'm also starting to show, but I don't know if that's considered a symptom or not.
Best Moment: A couple weeks ago when Grant and I were in the temple we were sitting in the Celestial Room and it really hit me that at that time our baby was in the Celestial Room with us. Our family was together in the temple and it was the most peaceful feeling in the world. It's a pretty cool feeling to think that wherever I go, my baby also goes there. My baby has become my little buddy--he/she goes grocery shopping with me, goes to teach math with me, takes naps with me, helps me clean the apartment, beats daddy in games with me (just kidding babe!), etc. It really is a cool feeling to think that my baby is with me 24/7. I love it!

Here's a picture of the 16 week bump :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pregnancy Thoughts

This may sound kind of odd to some people, but I have realized the past few weeks that I thoroughly enjoy being pregnant! I love it! Even during the first trimester when I felt sick, or if I still feel exhausted, or even get a little cranky (which by the way does not happen that often), I still love being pregnant. I think it has really started to hit me that Grant and I are going to be parents and that we're starting out family! Hearing the heart-beat a few days ago was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had. Each baby is such a blessing and gift from Heavenly Father and I'm so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be a mom. So yes, all the difficulties of pregnancy are such a speck of dust compared to the grand opportunity of being a partner with Heavenly Father and with Grant in raising our family. Happy 14 weeks to Baby Vanderhorst!

I think this is more from just eating a large meal and some bloating. My stomach fluctuates from day to day. I'm excited to start looking more and more pregnant!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

12 Weeks!

Hello everyone!

I haven't written on my blog for a few months because I have been scared about spilling the beans to early! I figured it was best to stay away from temptation all together :)
I want to tell the story of how we found out! I was having some early symptoms (like my face breaking out like I'm going through puberty again) and took a pregnancy test. It came back faintly positive! I told Grant and his response was "WHAT?! WE'RE PREGNANT!" I then told him that I wasn't sure, so I wanted to take another one. He said to take another test, or 3, or 10, however many I needed to take to be sure. I ended up taking 5 over the course of a few days :) They all came back positive. After the 5th one, it really began to sink in that we were going to be parents!
I am 12 weeks into my pregnancy right now and things are going so well! I really could not be luckier with how easy my first trimester was. One of my friends answered the following questions on her blog every month or so, and I plan on doing the same.

How Far Along: 12 weeks exactly. 
Size of Baby: According to my baby is 2 inches long and is about the size of a small lime.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: No change yet, but I'm sure it'll come very soon!
Maternity Clothes: Not quite yet. I don't really like anything tight around my waist, so I'm not wearing certain skirts or jeans, but other than that things are still normal. I know that's about to change very soon!
Gender: No clue--I really could go either way with this. I could see us having either a boy or a girl, but we don't find out till the beginning of December.
Movement: According to my baby is moving around like crazy, but it's still obviously very early for me to feel any movement.
Sleep: A lot. Lots and lots of sleep. I take a nap at least 3-4 times a week, and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I get up maybe once or twice during the night to go to the restroom, and sometimes I can't really get comfortable, but it hasn't been too bad.
What I miss: My energy. But I don't know if this is lost from the first trimester or from being a first-year high school teacher.  Or both!
Cravings: I don't really have cravings. Once in a blue moon I'll "crave" something, but I think it's more the fact that it's the only thing that sounds good.
Aversions: Honestly, it has not been all that bad. I will say there are a few times during the week where I go to eat something and it just does not sound good at all, but nothing in-particular that I can't eat anymore. It comes and goes. My first aversion was when we were at PF-Changs when I was about 7 weeks along. I ordered this amazing Orange Chicken dish, and got about half-way through this feast that I really was enjoying, and then all of a sudden it tasted disgusting to me. I remember thinking "Why did I just order this? This is disgusting!" So we took it home as left-overs and the next day it tasted great! Haha sometimes you just have to laugh :)
Symptoms:  I knew I was pregnant really early on because my face has been breaking out like I'm going through puberty again! From about weeks 6-9 my morning sickness was in full-swing. I was throwing up maybe 2-3 times a week, so nothing too bad, but I felt sick most of the time. After the 9th week it pretty much went away. I still have random days here and there where I throw up, but I have been very lucky! 
Best Moment: Honestly, the day we found out! Realizing that our dream of becoming parents was finally coming true! We really couldn't be happier. Here are picture of the month-markers.

4 Weeks (Moments after we found out!)

8 Weeks

12 Weeks (we just barely took today)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend in Colorado!

Colorado is one of my favorite places of all time! Being born and raised in the same house (thankfully my parents still live in that house) I have a lot of memories there and I love going home. This was a perfect weekend for both me and Grant. We wanted to visit there at the end of the summer as a last vacation before my new job starts and Grant's last year of school starts. Here are some of the highlights.

Thursday: We flew in Thursday night, and before we even got to the house we had to stop at Qdoba! Utah doesn't have Qdoba ANYWHERE, so I can only go there when we go back to Colorado. Utah does have Chipotle, which is an acceptable substitute, but Qdoba is way better. Their tortillas are softer, their chicken is better, they have queso, and their guacamole is the best. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Afterwards we watched the Olympics till 11 pm that night--They really are so addicting!

Friday: After a much needed morning of sleeping in, we went to the Denver temple. This is where Grant and I got married, so it brought back many memories of our special day. The Denver temple is my childhood temple, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. After watching even more Olympics, we decided to go see The Avengers again with my parents since they hadn't seen it yet. The second time was even better! Seriously if you haven't seen it yet you should. My parents even enjoyed it, so it was a win-win!

Saturday: There is a small airport about 20 minutes away from my house that is called Centennial Airport. They have small planes come in and out of the airport, and on the second level they have a restaurant where you can eat and watch planes take off. They have THE BEST breakfast food there! We went with my parents, Reed and April and their children, and my Grandpa. It was fun to catch up with everyone and see how excited Reed and April's kids would get when a plane would land or take off. Later on that day, the boys went to a Bronco's scrimmage to see how Manning was looking while the girls went shopping. We had a very successful trip in finding mom some much needed new dresses and skirts! Later that evening we played games and watched more of the Olympics.

Sunday: We went to my home ward (Ken Caryl Ward) and then had a family dinner with Reed and April and their kids and Grandpa. I love Sunday family dinners--they were a big part of my growing up years. I mention going to the KC Ward because that's the ward I grew up in and I really feel connected to all the people in that ward. They have all had an impact on me in small and different ways. Being raised in that ward was such a blessing to me and I love those people, so it was wonderful to catch up with so many!

I know it didn't sound like we did anything out of the ordinary this weekend, but that was exactly how I wanted it. It's fun to do things that I would normally do if I were still living there. I will admit, I did get a little choked up when we were pulling out of the driveway to go to the airport. I have lived in that house my whole life, so going home always brings back a flood of memories. Thank goodness my parents still live there, and I don't think they are planning on moving any time soon, but I dread the day that they do move. I love this song by Miranda Lambert because I feel the same way. That house built me and made me the person I am today.

I love going home! I can't wait until Christmas!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Warning: Sappy!

Grant and I have been married for 1 year, 7 months, and 5 days, aka 583 days. And every day I tell myself how lucky I am! I just barely got called to work with the young women in our ward and I have been thinking a lot about how I was at that age, especially as a laurel (16-18 years old). I was dating around a lot, preparing myself for college and trying to live life on my own. I've been thinking a lot about the importance of dating and how it helped prepare me for when Grant and I met. I've dated and have been good friends with a few different guys, and there seemed to be always another quality that I found in the guys I got to know that I wanted in my future husband. From one guy, I learned the importance of having a spiritual connection. Another guy taught me that I needed to be completely myself around them (yes, dork and all). Another person taught me to value my education and look on the bright side of things. Another person taught me that I really want someone who can make me laugh non-stop. I also knew (from making all those lists in young women's about my future husband) I wanted someone who was dedicated not only to me, but also to the gospel and living gospel standards. I was explaining this a few years ago to one of my guy-friends, who bluntly told me that my "standards for guys I want to date and eventually marry are unrealistic and if I don't lighten up I'll never marry." Basically all the qualities listed above cannot exist in just one man. Unfortunately, I haven't talked to this kid in a few years, but I wish I could introduce him to Grant and just say "Hey, he does exist, I found him, and now we're together forever." My parents just came to visit this past weekend and my mom gave me all of my journals from my teenage years. I found a few "future husband lists" and I'm proud to say that not only has Grant lived up to each of those qualifications I listed as a 14-year old, but he also exceeds them. I've also often wondered why marriage is truly necessary. Why can't I just do it on my own? I'm independent enough and open enough to change. Why do I need a husband to make me a better person? Well, the truth is, Grant does make me a better person through his example and his encouragement. I know I couldn't make it back to the Celestial kingdom without him because he makes up for what I lack. He is my best friend and knows how to gently guide me in the right direction, and I know I do the same for him as well. That's what being married is all about. So, I guess the moral of the story is, when a person says that your ideal husband doesn't exist, you'll be able to prove them wrong on your wedding day, and if you have to wait a little longer for him it's totally worth the wait. I'd rather wait a few years for the right, ideal person, than be stuck with the wrong person for eternity. PS, I know Grant isn't perfect (meaning without flaw), but he's perfect for me. Heaven only knows I'm not perfect, but I know I'm perfect for Grant. I'm so grateful for the blessing of marriage, and grateful to have this boy by my side!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just a few thoughts

The other day I was talking to a friend who has a couple of kids, and I told her how busy Grant and I were this past month between graduation, moving, Grant working at his internship and starting his own business, me trying to prepare for my classroom, etc. And her response was "Just wait till you have to do all of that on top of raising a family." As I thought about her response something crossed my mind. Who's to say who is more busy? I feel like that's like me telling a high school student who says that they're busy to "just wait till you get to college." Are college classes harder? Absolutely. But am I doing the 3 extra-curricular activities I was doing during high school? Probably not. I believe that the stresses of life change very often. You go from being a high school kid trying to get into college, to being a college student trying to work and go to school, once graduating, trying to find a job, etc. And in the midst of all of this, you sometimes get married and begin raising a family. Even if this happens after college, who's to say who is more busy? You can't compare apples and oranges. So, in response to those who say "just wait till you have kids" I would say that yes, in the eternal scheme of things, raising a family can be very daunting and quite a challenging task, but that does not diminish the stress of beginning a new job, moving, etc. Grant and I were talking the other night and I told him that I don't know if I could've had kids while we were both going to school. I tip my hat off to those people who have a kid or two but are still both in school. Trying to juggle both schedules around raising a baby would be so hard, and I admire people who can do that. Would having kids make keeping a clean apartment, going to school, having a church calling, etc. be hard? Absolutely! But that doesn't diminish how hard that is without kids either. I know that as the demands on us increase, so does our ability to handle those demands. I know I will have to do all of these things with kids eventually, but with added responsibility comes added ability. I know we're all tempted to one-up others because we also need to feel validated in our responsibilities, but next time the temptation to one-up someone comes, try saying something like "Ya, I remember what that was like." Try sympathy/empathy, and they will sympathize back with you in your situation.
One other thought: I remember talking to a woman who had a few kids and she was telling me how much of a financial burden children are and how taxing it can be to a family's finances. I believe it! I do not discount that at all. But then she pointed out another woman and said "I wish I could be her. She has no idea the types of trials that I'm going through because she doesn't have kids and her and her husband have full-time jobs and have a lot of money." While she might not understand the financial stresses of raising a family, she has trials of her own. That other woman didn't have any kids because she struggled with infertility. Next time temptation to judge someone else's situation arises, maybe pause to think about the blessings you have and how others may not have those blessings.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Thoughts on Mother's Day

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go on a cruise with our friends, Rick and Marnae. We ported out of LA, where Grant's grandma lives (aka Oma). We went to Oma's ward that Sunday, and in Relief Society we were talking about raising children and how we can do that righteously. Maybe I misinterpreted what those women in the lesson were trying to say, but from what Marnae and I gathered, the general consensus seemed to be focus on "We aren't exposing our children to enough when their at home, and because of that they go crazy when they leave the house and finally are exposed." Marnae made the very perceptive comment that there is a difference between exposing our children and preparing our children. I strongly feel that as parents, we do not need to expose our children to a little bit of poison for them to know that it will kill them. Likewise, we do not need to expose our children to a little bit of temptation for them to know it will kill them spiritually. The world will expose our children to enough already. They don't need to move out to know the trashiness that is out in the world. Our job is not to expose them, our job is to prepare them spiritually. It is a sacrifice and a struggle, and requires consistent effort and lots of guidance from prayer, but I know that as we pray with our families, read our scriptures together as a family, and show our children that our marriages are important to us, then they will learn how to rely on the spirit, and not their parents. Obviously our children and loved ones still have their free agency, but it is possible to make our homes a safety from the world.
President Hinckley stated "I charge you to stand tall and be strong in defense of those great virtues which have been the backbone of our social progress. When you (meaning women of the church) are united, your power is limitless. You can accomplish anything you wish to accomplish. And oh, how very, very great is the need for you in a world of crumbling values where the adversary seems so very much to be in control." I feel like so often, many of us get discouraged living in such an increasingly wicked world. Sometimes we feel that it is almost impossible to raise a righteous family without our children falling under the influences of the world. However, if we read in 1 Nephi 3:7, we know that the Lord will not command us to do anything save He provides a way for us to accomplish the thing that he has commanded of us. Raising righteous children is possible.
What about those of us who don't have children yet? What if we're never able to have children during this life-time? I submit to you the example of my Aunt Kathy. She never had any children, but she blessed the lives of all those around her. She was an accomplished gospel scholar and wonderful medical doctor, and shared her knowledge and wealth with all those around her. She loved seeing people do good things with their lives, and supported those causes. I know she helped pay for my brothers' missions, she was a wonderful missionary (even when she got home from her mission to Italy), and she blessed the lives of all her family members. Just like her, we can still have an influence for good in the world and still be a mother to our loved ones. I leave you with these 2 quotes about motherhood. I'm grateful for my mom, for my mother-in-law for raising a righteous son of God for me to marry, and to my sister-in-laws, aunts, and grandmas for their examples.

“In the soft and gentle arms of a mother’s love, children can come to know the voice of the Lord.”--Dawn J. Young (Ensign, November 1983)

“No nobler work in this world can be performed by any mother than to rear and love the children with whom God has blessed her.” --David O. McKay

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cruise aka sssshhhhhowtime!

We booked a 4-day cruise to Catilina Island, CA and Ensenada, Mexico with our friends Rick and Marnae about 9 months ago. It didn't seem like this day would EVER come, but if finally did! I'll just give you a day by day re-cap since it all basically felt like one day :)

Saturday: We drove down to LA and later that night went to Gondola's pizza (Grant's family grew up on that restaurant--seriously the best pizza I've ever had!) and also to Marshall's (kind of like Ross, but way better. Grant doesn't clothes shop very much. When he does, most times it's when we visit his grandma (Oma) and we go to Marshall's). 

Sunday: We went to church with Oma, which, I will say was quite the experience. We'll just leave it at that :) We then went down to the beach and walked around for a bit.

Monday: We slept in a little bit, and got ready to board our ship, which left port at 5:30 that night. We boarded the ship about 1 pm, leaving us time to eat lunch (the food was amazing!), unpack, and also meet some of the seagulls that would be mooching off of the passengers this cruise. The seagulls at least waited until the passengers were gone, leaving remainder food on the table, then they went after it! We decided to try and lure the seagulls in by placing food a little far away from us so they knew it was ok it eat. And boy they were not afraid of humans at all!

Tuesday: This was our stop at Catilina Island, CA or Avalon, CA. It was so pretty there! The island is 22 miles long and 8 miles wide, so nothing too big. We loved looking at all of the buildings--the houses are really colorful and it actually reminded me of a couple towns in England (just the layout of the whole thing--the houses are very close together). Since everything there was so expensive we just took a hike around part of the island and then rented some paddle boats. The water was too cold to get in, but it was still a fun adventure.

I love this picture (above) because you can see the main building on the island, and our cruise ship in the background. Really pretty!

Grant getting in touch with his manhood :)

On Wednesday we were in Ensenada, Mexico! We were going to go snorkeling, but alas, the water was too cold again! Oh well! We decided to go on a tour that involved horseback riding along the coast of the beach (very romantic haha) and then go down to something called the blow-hole (a bunch of water comes shooting out of a narrow part of some rock--nothing man-made). Afterwards we looked around at the shops and had fun bartering with some of the shop owners. Grant got a cool backpack and I got some earrings and a dress. Fun day!

This pony was insane! It kept biting my horse in the butt, so finally my horse kicked it haha! That was an adventure, especially when I'm riding the horse!
Grant and I at the blow-hole. So pretty!
Oh ya, down at the blowhole some random guy serenaded us. He had a terrible voice and used the same melody over and over, but at least he has a cool looking guitar!

Those are the shops behind us--it's insane to walk through there! Everyone is trying to get you to buy their stuff and will NOT leave you alone haha.
This flag weights 509 pounds! It's huge! The tour guide said it takes 23 military guys to take it down.
You don't realize how big the cruise ship is until you get off and look at it. HUGE!

Thursday: We were at sea all day--nothing too exciting. It was fun to just relax and play games with Rick and Marnae.

Friday: We were back in LA and de-boarded the ship. 

I totally recommend cruises! Some of my favorite things about the cruise was the food and the entertainment! They had some pretty fun game shows to play, and also some very good family friendly comedians. The food was great! Pretty sure I gained 7-8 one week. But don't worry, I'll get it off ASAP! The next big thing on our checklist is the move! Pictures of the new apartment to come!


It finally came! After 4 years of college it finally finally came! I just want to recap my college experience.

Freshman Year: I came to BYU June 2008. I came declared as a Math Education major and I'm proud to say I never changed my major. For Summer term and lived in Heleman Halls, Hinckley Hall to be specific. Summer term was probably my favorite term EVER! I met a lot of different people, classes were a breeze, and every night consisted of either ultimate frisbee or ultimate spoons. Fall and Winter semester I lived in Taylor Hall. Those were some hard semesters as I tried to get GE's out of the way (not as easy as it sounds) and also beginning the classes for my major (hello Emily and Cebre!). Some of my favorite memories from Freshman year come from hanging out with my brother, Stephen, and his roommates. After 10 months of living in dorms, I was ready to be done! The summer after Freshman Year I went back home to Colorado to work and be with family. That summer was just my parents and I. They became my best friends and I loved spending so much time with them.

Sophomore Year: I met a few of my very closest friends my Sophomore year (namely Julie and Nikki) because they were my roommates. I lived in The Riviera with my good friend, Andrea, and I continued to take hard math classes while also enjoying my education classes. The second semester of Sophomore year, a ravishingly handsome, intelligent, smart, kind, spiritual boy named Grant Rowe Vanderhorst moved into my ward. We became really close friends, began dating, and the summer after Sophomore year he proposed to me <3 I will love him forever and I'm so lucky to be his wife. He is amazing in every way.

Junior Year: The first semester of Junior year I got married to my best friend, and the second semester we both continued going to school and adjusting to being married, living on our own, attending a non-singles ward, etc. The summer after Junior Year I worked in Provo while Grant worked and went to school.

Senior Year: First semester was my last semester on campus taking classes, and second semester was my student teaching at Lone Peak High School, where I will be working next year. I'm so excited for that opportunity!

A lot of things can change in 4 years, but my life has changed for the better and I'm so grateful for the new opportunities in front of me. I'm grateful for my education at BYU and the doors of opportunities it gives me. Here's to the future! Thank you to my wonderful parents who have encouraged me throughout my education and always been supportive. Thank you to my wonderful peers for letting me learn from you. Thanks to my friends who were always so encouraging, and especially thank you to my wonderful husband, Grant, who has supported me in every way and he helps me reach my full potential. Most importantly, I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father who is always by my side and pushing in the right direction. He truly has a plan for each of us, and how I'm so grateful for it because His vision for me is much greater than my vision for myself.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Big 22!

April 13th was the big day! For those of you who don't know, I was born on Friday, April 13, 1990. Not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was also Good Friday, so, they kind of cancel each other out :) I was a little nervous for my birthday this year as it was on a Friday. The last time my birthday was on a Friday my brother got in a car accident that day, so I was a little suspicious. But nothing but good things happened this year! Grant had to work and study a bit, but when he was done we went and ate at Red Robin (bottemless fries=WIN!). Grant also surprised me by inviting some friends over for icecream and brownies, and we just played games and talked. It was perfect! I got to relax during the day and spend time with family and friends at night. Grant came home with beautiful deep pink roses, and he also got me

"The Three Muskateers" (classic family movie--love it!)

And the most amazing blow-dryer known to man!
Just a little marketing for this amazing blow-dryer. With my old blow-dryer, it would take me 12-15 minutes to blow dry my hair. Grant and I went down to St. George a couple weeks ago and stayed with his parents. I borrowed my mother-in-law's blow dryer, and my hair was dry in 3.5 minutes! I asked her where she got it and she couldn't remember, but Grant is awesome and found one for me! This will save me so much time getting ready--I've loved it! Also, it makes my hair more straight when I'm drying it, so I don't have to use my straightener as much, thus reducing damage to hair. Amazing! 
Needless to say, it was a wonderful celebration of my birth :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Every Kiss Begins With Kay"...FALSE! Every nightmare begins with Kay!

DISCLAIMER: I love the ring Grant got for me and I fully intend on keeping it--even though the company it comes from is a bunch of scums!

When Grant first purchased my ring from Kay Jewelers in 2010 I had to get it re-sized. When I got it back, one of the side-diamonds had fallen out, so they had to send it out AGAIN. They should have caught that the first time when they were re-sizing it. I have the life-time guarantee warranty as long as I get the ring looked at every 6 months. When I had it looked at in December 2011, one of the main diamonds had a slight crack in it, so they had to ship it out to home office to get it repaired (which unbeknownst to me is located over-seas). They then told me that the estimated time to get the ring back would be Feb 21, 2012. I called on that day, and the very nice saleswoman at Kay told me that she called and emailed the home office, but that the estimated date was now the week of March 10th. I called again today, and the ring STILL isn't done, so now they're telling me March 25th. IT'S BEEN 3 MONTHS! The woman at Kay said that they had to ship my ring over-seas to get it reparied, so that's why it is taking so long. I don't care about the estimated date, I just want my ring back when they say it will be back. I asked the woman if they do any sort of a mail in re-bate as compensation, and she said they never do anything like that. It's not like they can give me a discount on my next purchase since Grant and I already have our rings. I'm starting to think that they have probably lost it, and just won't admit it. I looked on their website to see if they still sell this ring and they don't have it on their website, so that makes me nervous if they did lose it that I wouldn't be able to get it replaced.

The lady told me today "Well, they're telling me March 25th, so at least we have an estimated date..." I'VE HAD 3 OF THOSE AND IT'S BEEN GETTING PUSHED BACK! I actually kept my cool. I worked at customer support for about 8 months last year and I know how it feels to get yelled at, so I did not yell at the woman, but let her know I was very frustrated. 

Needless to say, if you're engaged or planning on proposing to someone, avoid Kay at all costs.

Sorry about the negative post, but I just had to vent. I didn't feel like my complaint was being taken seriously, so I figure the least I could do is not recommend my friends to their business.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Story of Bamboo

This might seem like a weird title, but mine and Grant's life recently has been like bamboo that grows. This is something that Grant's mission president used to tell him all the time. Grant was in an area name Horizon (right outside El Paso) for about 9 months of his mission. For 7.5 of those 9 months, there was not a single baptism. Grant and all of his companions would work so hard, but feel like their work was to no avail. When he would talk to his mission president for guidance and counsel, his president would always say "Have I ever told you about how bamboo is grown?" Bamboo takes a few years to grow, and you can't see anything growing for a long time. During those first few years, the bamboo roots grow deep and strong underground. It is building a strong foundation, but to the human eye you can't see it. Then, literally within a couple of days, it grows into an enormous plant. Grant's mission president always told him that that's how it would be. During the last month and a half of Grant's mission, the area took off. Grant saw many successes and miracles in Horizon, and it became his favorite area on his mission.
With all that background, these past few months have been like bamboo for Grant and I. We've been a little lost about the future and where we should live, if Grant would find an internship, what I would do for a job, what post graduation plans are, etc. These past few days have been incredible. Grant found a wonderful internship up in Salt Lake City that starts this semester and goes through the summer. He's also figured out the rest of his schooling and will graduate next April. I'm graduating this April and have a few prospects for teaching positions next school year. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much--more than we expected or deserve. I am so grateful for the simpleness of the gospel and for the blessings Heavenly Father has given us. As Nephi explained "I have trusted in Thee and I will trust in Thee forever." 
Sometimes we feel like we're growing bamboo--we can't always see the pathway before us and we have to really exercise our faith in the Lord. But he will never lead us astray and I know he is always guiding our lives. I'm so grateful for the peace and serenity that following the gospel brings into my life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Good Day!

TODAY WAS WONDERFUL AT SCHOOL! We made new seating charts for the kids, and enforced them, and today the students were so on task! Probably also due to the fact that parent/teacher conferences were last night, but I don't care. My classes did beautifully today! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another Successful Valentine's Day!

Hello Hello!

Happy Valentines day to all of you! I've been thinking a lot about mine and Grant's Valentine's history together if you will and it's been different every year.
This was about 2 weeks after we went on our first date so we were just barely dating, but I was also going on dates with a few different people. The weekend of Valentine's Day I was actually on a date with another person. Good guy, but I couldn't help but think of Grant the whole time. When I came home from my date (with a different guy, mind you--and Grant knew I was on a date) I walked into my bedroom to find a vase of red roses from Grant with a very sweet note. Grant was very patient with me and let me date around, but was never hesitant to let me know he was thinking of me :) I knew at that time that I met a very special person and would be lucky to have the chance to date him.
This was about 3 months after we were married. I remember Grant and I had both had a long day of classes and were pretty worn out (or at least I was). He was home before me, and I came home to find the apartment all cleaned, dinner in the oven, and a vase of red roses for me on the kitchen table. The thing about Grant is that it's not just on Valentine's Day that he does romantic things for me. He'll randomly bring me flowers and is always willing to help around the apartment and especially help cook dinner.
This Year
This year was yet again another successful Valentine's Day! Grant and I are coming up on our 15 month anniversary next week (it sounds better saying 15 months than a little over a year haha) and I can't believe how much has changed. I thought I loved Grant when we were dating, then when we were engaged, then when we got married. I thought I loved him last year. We've been through so much and even though we're still very young and new at being married, our love has grown deeper each day and we're so grateful for each other! Enough about the romance though--Grant got me a rose-gold watch and the beautifully restored edition of Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth)! I just about flipped when I opened the movie--I've been wanting that for a while. I got Grant a few gifts that went along with 10 reasons why I loved him (some of those include bacon, snickers, Rich Dad Poor Dad (the boy's a nerd), and some other pretty funny gifts). As wonderful as all of these gifts are, the greatest gift of my life has been having a wonderful husband by my side. I'm excited to spend the rest of forever with my best friend.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Festivities!

Grant and I had a wonderful Christmas this year! We were down in St. George with his family for about a week and it was a lot of fun! We went to the temple together, we played walleyball, lots of settlers, rummikub, and back-alley bridge. It was fun to be with all the Vanderhorst kiddos! It was also a great time for us to remember the Savior and remember that no matter what gifts we received, the best gift we could receive is the gift of the atonement and the opportunity we now have to return to our Father in Heaven because of the Savior. I love this time of year and how much closer I feel to my family and to the Savior.
Now, what I am about to say may shock some of you, but we ACTUALLY BROUGHT OUR CAMERA THIS TIME! Not only that, BUT WE ACTUALLY TOOK PICTURES! Unbelievable, right?! So, enjoy the pictures!

We went to temple square with Stephen and Emily before we left for St. George. Such pretty lights!

We were helping the kids make their own gingerbread Santa sleighs. Costco=genius!

The kiddos were really excited to open the gifts from grammy and gramps!

Carly's new scriptures for her mission to Cape Verde

Paula wanted to make sure Carly didn't have an excuse to not write home ;)

My new boots that I picked out and bought on Black Friday. I was excited to finally get to wear them!

Grant got a new shirt, tie, and dress pants

We didn't realize how much Mom and Dad love Tetris! So we got it for them :)
 Cartigan=DownEast Basics. And yes, I picked this out as well :)
 Grant was super excited about the tools he got for our grill!
 This boy knows me WAY too well! I love this movie!
 A WhirleyPop popper from Stephen and Emily! Thank you both so much! We've already used it a ton.
 Grant was sick of me always borrowing his IPOD to workout, so he bought me my own little IPOD shuffle! Very nice to not have to lug around a huge ipod. Sucker holds 500 songs! Perfect for working out.

Overall, it was a great Christmas. I will say, it was very hard to be away from my own family. I did shed a few tears on Christmas--I didn't realize how much I would miss my family. But, I was happy to spend time with Grant's family and get to know them even better. I have such great in-laws and really feel like I'm a part of their family now. 

Happy New Year! May 2012 bring lots of joy and happiness!