After our big trip to the Dominican Republic, Casey and I were happy to keep busy throughout the year.
We did our annual trip to Lake Mead/Las Vegas for the Fourth of July.
After we came home, we got the opportunity to have a whole week with my nephew Greadon. Garrett was in training for the Air Force and Julie had an adults only family trip to go on. It was nice to get some full time mommy-practice. When i went to work, I would take Greadon to my mom's house. I learned a whole new respect for working moms. I was pooped! We had so much fun though. We took him to the LA Zoo, out to dinner at Outback and even Lady got in on the fun!
In August we went to the Ventura Fair with my dad and Madison to celebrate his birthday. Highlight? I rode a mechanical bull, of course! I did pretty well too!
Casey and I also did a big day date in LA and explored the California ScienCenter and I got to feel some Trojan Pride.
Madison lived with us for about a month during the summer which was fun. We helped her buy (and fix) her car before she set off to go back to school, reminding me that Casey seriously is the bestest!
Casey and I made the decision to plan a trip to Utah for the October General Conference and to celebrate his birthday. Once we made that decision, planning for that trip became consuming and very exciting. Another thing to cross off my bucket list. We took breaks from planning our trip to spend time with friends (Especially little Miss Noelle Pettit born 3.14.13) and go on cutsie dates as much as possible. Between the craziness of work (I was making a huge dent at work and working hard and typically overtime) and trying to get the most out of 2013, I was starting to get drained and very tired. October could not come fast enough!
Before we went to Utah, I decided to surprise Casey for a special birthday night to see our favorite comedian, Brian Regan, in Temecula at Pechanga. He really didn't know where we were going until we were about halfway there. It was a nice surprise and our seats were actually really good! Casey and I really enjoyed ourselves so much that I actually got a smile out of him!
Finally we got to head out to Utah. I was so excited. Utah is so refreshing for me and I was very excited to go to the Salt Lake temple for the first time and attend General Conference. We landed late Thursday night. Friday was Casey's birthday and we woke up early to go to the temple. Now for those that may not know this, the temple is a very sacred place and the Salt Lake temple is very rich in history.
Casey and I had been trying to get pregnant for a very long time and I just knew it was so important that we go to the temple. I went in very solemn and somewhat heart broken. I went in to pray for comfort through the process of trying to expand our family and, if my Heavenly Father would see fit, to bless us with a baby. At the end of the session, there is a prayer said and in part of the prayer the man praying said something along these lines, "...and hothouse who came here in search of answers, know the Lord hears them..." or something. Once these words were spoken, I heard, clear as day, the Lord tell me that my prayers - our prayers - would be answered. And in the "would be answered" the tone was not like "eventually" or "hang in there" it was "now. Your prayer is answered". The emotion, spirit, everything was so powerful. I could not stop crying, I was so overwhelmed. I knew it, I felt it, I was pregnant! I told Casey about the intense spirituality of that moment but I did not tell him about the fact that I knew I was pregnant. I wanted to save that for later. The coolest part was that after I shared my experience with him, he told me that he also had a strong feeling that in that moment of the prayer, the Lord was speaking to me and that those words were for me. WOW!
We left the temple feeling happy (to say the least) and very hungry. We had discussed earlier that we would drive from Salt Lake to Provo where our favorite burrito place is located. We were already crunched for time to make it back to Salt Lake for our dinner reservation. We basically ate our (delicious Mountain West Burritos... GO NOW, TRY IT!) ran by the cemetery to visit my Grandpa Boyd's headstone (another very spiritual moment for me after the temple) and sped back to SLC to get ready for dinner.
We met up with Casey's childhood friend, Justin, and his wife Andrea for dinner at The Garden. This restaurant...another Must See! The view of the temple just kept reminding me of our morning. For birthday celebrations, the restaurant does this special thing where they open the glass celieng (you heard me) and let the birthday boy/girl release a balloon into the sky as the whole place yells HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Casey, true to form, would not have anything to do with it so Andrea and I each grabbed a balloon and released them as Casey's proxy. Very fun!
After dinner, we were not done celebrating my amazing husband so we grabbed a horse and buggy for rent and took a ride around the city! The tour guide was funny and made the cold experience very fun. We then said our goodnights and went back to our hotel room where I had every intention of grabbing one of my special tests I had started to bring with me on all our trips to tell Casey the special news on his birthday. Unfortunately, after a very long couple of days, we both fell asleep almost immediately upon coming back to the hotel.
|Trying to stay warm on our carriage ride through SLC|
The next morning, Saturday, was the day we were set to go to General Conference. We had tickets for the morning session so we woke up and had to very quickly get ready and out the door to get to the Conference Center on time. Again, no time for my special birthday gift for Casey.
Being in the conference center was amazing! The speakers were amazing and the whole experience had me full of the Spirit and my eyes very teary!
After conference was over, we said "goodbye" to Justin and Andrea and made plans to see them later for a late lunch/early dinner before we left Utah. As much as we love hanging out with them, I was very glad to go our own way because I had a very important date with a P-Test!
We got back to the hotel and I very secretly grabbed the test from the suitcase (cleverly hidden in a pocket casey never ever uses) and snuck into the bathroom. The word "PREGNANT" popped up within seconds and my heart skipped a beat. I took a deep breath to calm myself and stepped out of the hotel bathroom. Casey was laying on his stomach on the bed scrolling aimlessly through his phone. I casually said "Casey...". Without looking up he said, "Yeah?". Again, with my heart beat pounding and my voice starting to show signs of nerves I said, "CASEY!" And he looked over at me and I just stood there holding the stick with a (I'm assuming) goofy, teary eyed smile on my face. He jumped onto his feet and stood up and said, "REALLY!" and I nodded and began crying. We had a big hug and I cried the happiest tears. I then shared with him my full experience from the temple and shock set in.
Again, in true Casey form, he was not ready to believe it; It was too good to be true. So we scoured Salt Lake to find a CVS, Wallgreens, Anything. I bought two packs of pregnancy tests and we rushed back to the hotel.
He finally believed me. The moodiness, exhaustion and lack of appetite was starting to make sense. All my symptoms multiplied on the flight home and I was never more grateful for Ginger Ale. We left Utah and returned home, ready to figure out what this new chapter would have in store for us. We spent 2013 busy and making lots of memories and the whole flight home, none of those memories were as precious to me as the moment I knew my life would never be the same.