Wednesday, July 30, 2014


One week in Texas already – wow.  Right now baby Cal is snuggled up and asleep on my bed while I am half-dressed with wet hair and too much to do, but I wanted to take this precious quiet time to write at least a little bit.  My brain is so full of thoughts and experiences from the past few months that I don’t know what to write about first!

Mostly, I think about being a mom.  Being a smart mom, an athletic mom, a positive mom, a calm mom, a kind mom, a fun mom, a creative mom…and then I get overwhelmed.  I want to be so many things for this baby and for my family, and find myself falling short daily. It’s a good day for me if I take a shower and clean a couple things in the house, maybe cook a light dinner and eat a somewhat put together meal for lunch instead of a handful of this or that. 

I also am so confused about any kind of schedule.  How do people do it?  I feel like Cal finally gets in a rhythm (wakes up and eats at 8, plays then sleeps for an hour, eats again, sleeps for 2 hours…) then the next day it is just blown to bits.  Like today…

(post interrupted by a sad baby – finished today, a few days later….)

But, although it is hard most days, the littlest of things make it worth it.  When I’m wrapping him up in a blanket to go to bed, and I look down and see he’s been smiling up at me, trying to catch my eye.  Or when I pass him off to Ryan to finish up dinner, and look over to see him watching my every move.  And when he falls asleep in my arms after a little cuddle and a lullaby – those moments make the hard times worth pushing through.

Switching gears :)

Texas is so hot.  Oh my goodness.  But, I think my body is getting used to it.  I no longer wilt as soon as I step outside, and find myself sweating just a little less every day!  I am getting to know a few girls in the ward and love that 90% of them have little babies too.  I have been picking their brains.  “How was the first year of med school for you?” “What do you do for fun?” “How do you handle the heat of summer with a brand new baby?” And they have been so sweet to answer every single one, and are really helpful.  Ryan and I are one of 8 couples whose husbands are either in med school or dental school, and we are looking forward to getting to know everyone. 

Something funny, Ryan came down a little early to move things in, and the Bishop asked if he or I played the Organ.  Well…that turned into me playing the organ on my first Sunday in Texas, which was pretty intimidating!  But, it came back quickly thank goodness.  I won’t say I was very happy with Ryan about spilling the beans but as they say, “don’t hide your light under a bushel”, right?

Ryan is doing so great too.  His white coat ceremony was really exciting - it really hit us that this is it!  The next 8-12 years are really starting!  He is halfway through his first week of school, and is trying to get into a groove and feel more comfortable in a new place, with a new group of people.  But I am so impressed with him.  He is handling a large load so well, and still manages to help me with Cal in the evening before bedtime, and makes me feel like the luckiest lady around. 

This post is so long and random, but there are so many thoughts bouncing around since it’s been weeks since I’ve posted.  I guess to sum things up, we are happy here.  It’s new and exciting, sometimes scary and overwhelming, but I just feel it in my gut that we are going to make some wonderful memories here.          

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

God's Country

Sometimes we joke that southern Oregon is God's country. It's not a joke to me.

When Lauren and I first got married, we were determined to end up in southern Oregon one day and raise our family. Then, after a couple years of living in Provo, UT and traveling a little, we wavered on our enthusiasm to make it back to the Rogue Valley. We thought, "Living away from home will give us a chance to branch out, force us to make friends that become family, and provide more opportunities to share the gospel." Our once concrete resolution to return became soft and sandy.

Two weeks ago I landed in Medford, Oregon at 10:30pm and was grateful to be home. For the next few weeks Lauren and I would be spending the most quality, relaxed, and carefree time with family since being married and it will probably be the last student-like summer ever. The next morning I woke up to a beautiful Medford sunrise.

I went outside to better experience the morning calm and was met by cool, crisp, fresh Oregon air. The colors of the valley and trees felt warm and tranquil. The first thought that came to my mind surprised me. One week previous to this experience I woke up at 7:00am in San Antonio, Texas. The air was thick, warm and sticky. I knew what the day had in store: sweat, sweat, and more sweat. So with a fresh memory of Texas mornings, and more importantly the Texas weather, in mind, that first Medford sunrise got me thinking, "Man, we've got to end up in southern Oregon."

Then Lauren's friends from Utah came and blessed us with a wonderful three-day visit. You know when you're visiting with someone and you say, "Hey so and so, you should come out to _______ sometime and spend a few days with us. We know you'd love it" and the other people say, "Yeah we'd love that! Sure thing!"? That conversation has happened a few times between Lauren and I and some of our friends. I expected our conversation with the Romers to follow suit. But a few days after we invited them out they made plans to make the 24hr round trip trek to visit. Wow! That's what I call putting your money where your mouth is. Anyway, they came out, we had a great time, and one of the days they were here we visited Crater Lake National Park.

As we drove to and from the park, the same thought came to my mind, "Man, we've got to end up in southern Oregon." That experience at Crater Lake made me realize that both Lauren and I have rich histories in southern Oregon. The childhood memories, family ties, small-town feel, countless outdoor activities, and wonderful people are just a few reasons we'd love to come back. Raising our kids around their cousins, going to the rogue valley cup (soccer) and championships (wrestling), watching games at Spiegelberg Stadium, hiking Table Rock and Roxy Ann, bass fishing in the local ponds, golfing at Stone Rides, Centennial, and Eagle Point, swimming and playing at Mimi and Grandma Thompson's, working at Rogue Valley Medical Center and attending the little Medford Oregon temple; this is what's in store if we make it back.

My sandy resolution to make it back to God's country is feeling more concrete.

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