July 16, 2014

Our Angel Baby

A few weeks ago, a miracle took place in our lives.  I found out I was pregnant.

We have been trying to get pregnant for a while now.  Our fertility doctor said my conceiving was highly unlikely until I underwent some treatment, and I couldn't begin that until I finished my marathon.

However, beginning the week before my marathon, I had waves of nausea, cramping, and fatigue. After about six frustrating weeks, I finally found out I was pregnant.

I cannot describe the sheer joy I felt.  I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember.  It was almost unreal to me, because I have taken so many pregnancy tests -- I almost stopped believing it was possible to get a positive.

The next couple weeks were some of the happiest I can remember.  I felt so much purpose and was amazed at the miracle that had occurred.  It was like a magical secret that only Clayton and I knew about.  I couldn't wait to tell my family, but I also was nervous, because I wasn't able to get a doctors appointment before going to Minnesota.

This photo still brings me so much joy -- even with the sadness.

When we were in Minnesota, we announced our pregnancy to my family.  We planned on telling Clayton's family when we got home and were just a little further along.  I will never forget their reactions.  Even now, it brings me so much joy to think of how excited they were, jumping up and down and crying tears of happiness.  I felt so much love, and I knew our baby would get to feel that love, too.


The pregnancy wasn't without concerns.  I knew my hormone levels were extremely low before conceiving (the reason my doctor said it was nearly impossible), and I had my own concerns about a few blood tests (although the doctors said they were fine).  I was thrilled to be pregnant, but also terrified about losing our baby.

So, on Saturday, when I started spotting, I began to cry.  My sisters assured me that the baby could still be healthy, and I latched on to that and tried to be hopeful.  However, that night I couldn't sleep all night, and without realizing it, I began to mentally prepare for the possibility that I might lose this baby.

The next afternoon, I asked my dad for a priesthood blessing.  Beforehand, I prayed that he would say what Heavenly Father needed me to hear, and not just what my dad felt like he should say.  I wanted to make sure the blessing came from my Father in Heaven.  My dad began the blessing, and it didn't take long for me to realize he was not making this up all on his own.  It was not what I thought it should have been.  Tears slid down my cheeks, because even more than before, I felt like there was a strong possibility that this baby would not continue to grow.

That evening, after driving up to my Grandma and Papa's cottage, a place holding so many wonderful childhood memories, I began to lose my baby.  The baby that meant the world to me.  The baby I prayed for so many times in the few short weeks I held it.  I prayed so many times that this baby would take everything it needed from me -- I was willing to sacrifice anything for that sweet little miracle to continue to grow.  I truly fell in love.

Although I never got to hold this baby in my arms, I did get to carry it, even for a brief period of time.  I was blessed to experience a glimpse of the unconditional love a parent has for their child.  I felt that love for this little miracle baby, part of me and part of Clayton.  For that I will be forever grateful.

I will also be forever grateful for the outpouring of love from those closest to us.  I do not have the strength to talk to everyone about it, but to hear my family crying for us, praying for us, and sharing their love with us was so special to me. 

In such a dark moment, the pure love that has surrounded me is the sliver of light that carries me through.

April 13, 2014

Riverton Half Marathon Race Recap

A few weeks ago, I ran the Riverton Half Marathon.

I didn't get any pictures, because usually I have Clayton take them, and he forgot.  Oops!

I signed up for it because it fell into my marathon training plan nicely.  After a few messed up running weeks, it turned out I needed to do a 17-miler that day, so I had to do 3 miles beforehand and 1 mile afterward, so I didn't really "race" it.

The course was nice, and it was a beautiful day.  It has been really windy lately, which is starting to drive me crazy.  Can't we just have a nice cool breeze instead of having to run straight into a wall of wind?

Here is a recap of the race, mile by mile:

3 mile "warm up"

I was honestly wondering how the heck I was going to be able to do this run.  I jogged from our house to the race start, and then just continued running around until the race began.

Miles 1-5

These miles went quickly.  The course actually looped through Clayton's parents' neighborhood, so Clayton was able to roll out of bed and onto the course pretty smoothly! That's an opportunity you don't get very often! 

I felt like I was running pretty slowly, but I felt okay.

Miles 6-9

Oh gosh.  These were awful.  I felt nauseous and seriously doubted how I was going to finish the race.  I just kept thinking, "don't worry about what's ahead.  Just run this mile.  Don't run the other miles mentally before you get to them."  There is a hill on the course that I had run numerous times before.  I knew if I could get to that, I would feel better.  And I did!

Miles 10-13.1

These miles flew by!  They were super easy.  Afterward, I seriously wondered if they measured the last part of the course correctly, because they were so fast, and I don't remember ever passing a mile marker 12.  Ha.

Cool Down Mile

I just plodded along and ran back home from the race.  It was slow and steady, and not totally comfortable (mostly because I had chugged down a half a bottle of water at the finish line, which was then sloshing around in my stomach -- oops!)

New York City 2014: Sunday

Sunday was our last day in New York.  We started the day by packing up and heading to the 9/11 Memorial.

I was very impressed with the memorial.  It really is beautiful.

One thing I was really impressed with was how much history they tied into the memorial.  They put so much together so beautifully. It wasn't just a beautiful fountain -- the memorial really preserved the stories of that day.

After leaving the 9/11 memorial, we went to Wall Street, ate some street food, and ate at Serendipity. 

Clayton was in heaven with the desserts at Serendipity.

We shared these among the six of us, don't worry!

Serendipity put a sweet ending on the trip.  We headed to our hotel, picked up our bags, and flew home.  Clayton came home the next day, because he used a free flight voucher.

All in all, our trip was a great success!  We were so glad to have friends to travel with -- it definitely made for a lot more fun!
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