Monday, August 29, 2011
Heads up! Longest Post Ever. I could have separated it into a few segments, but I got to writing and didn't stop for an hour later.. so here we go!!
So I have been really good at being terrible with this entire blogging adventure I started over a year ago. I have to admit it.. I'm way disappointed I didn't keep it up. How am I ever going to remember all the little "specials" that happened in our little lives? I won't.. and that's the sad story part. So instead of putting it off any longer, here I am! I'm going to try to blog again. I figure I'll just start with the neat things I can remember that I don't want to every chance forgetting.
May 2010: Timmy graduated High School on Tom's birthday! We celebrated Tom's birthday the night before because I knew that it might be a little awkward to have a cake and candles at the OHS stadium. ha. I got him an electric shaver that he had been oogling over for a few months. He was so cute - always telling me the pros about this specific shaver over another, why this specific one was such a good buy .. he even went as far as to find a good deal on amazon for me! My bonus check at work came through just in time that I was able to buy it for him a few months in advance so he wouldn't be looking for it on our monthly statements. haha.. I had it sent to work and wrapped it there and kept it in my safe for over a month! So funny. We went to dinner and then when I gave him the box, I'm pretty sure he already knew what it was, but I was so excited to give it to him I cried when he opened it! He was so excited and I think a little surprised I had actually gotten it.. and oh so happy about it. And I, being blessed with the never-shy tears of the Valk Family, I just cried. haha. It was a little weird.
June 2010: The month of our Tender Mercies! Something that I think I have always known, but am grateful to be reminded of once in a while, is that the Lord loves us. Truly just loves us because we are His. He would have no reason for existing were it not for us; His children. So here was our reminder.. Tom and I were living in an apartment complex that wasn't anything special and the rent was just at the top of our price range, so some months it was a little hard to pull that money together. It had the basic's (kitchen and appliances, and four walls to each other room.. except our bedroom only had three now that I think of it) and that was about it. (it did have a shower that had an endless supply of hot water, so that was beautiful) It was lacking in closet space and lighting and it would have been marvelous and even worth the price had it also come with a washer/dryer or at least hookups-- but it didn't. To top it off, it was in party-central across from the Bulldog Stadium so we always had party music blaring by a neighbor or two - and we even called the cops on our next door neighbors one night. Twice in one night that is. Not to mention, directly kitty-corner from frat-house row.. lovely. Needless to say, we were ready to move out. We were apartment hunting, and had it narrowed down to two different complex's.
We have some friends that suggested we go check out their apartment. The day we stopped by they were running a special on a newly remodeled apartment available to be moved into ASAP. It is a little smaller than our first apartment, but it was remodled, felt more like a home than an apartment, further from campus partiers, but close enough that Tom could still ride his bike to class. Not only that, but we are saving $180.00 in rent EVERY MONTH. Hi, that's a lot of money for our one income household. The only issue we had is, in order to get that deal we HAD to move in by June 1st. Our contract at our first place didn't end until July 31. We decided the pros outweighed the cons and we had to move to the new, cheaper apartment. We pulled all of our pennies together and put down a deposit and first month's rent for our new place. This was a huge leap of faith for us because this would mean we had no extra or buffer money for emergencies. Through our Heavenly Father's tender mercy we were able to get out of our contract at our first apartment complex (which they had previously completely refused to do because we had a contract thru July 31.) AND get our entire deposit back too - without any early termination or cancellation fees. There was a scary two week period in there where we thought we were going to have to pay June and July rents on two different complex's, one of which we didn't even have keys to anymore.. So not only do we save 180/month but we got $1200 back into our bank account from our first complex. A-MAZE-ING seriously, amazing.
November 2010: Fall time is my very favorite time of year. I love the smells, the weather, the holidays, the everything. Oh, ps, and it's my birthday month. I was fortunate enough to pick the week of Thanksgiving for my PTO at work. Awesome!! BUT! What made it even more spectacular was that Jenn and Sipa were able to be sealed for time and all eternity to each other and their three beautiful children. It was such a special moment and I am so thankful that I was able to be apart of it. What a long road they had to travel to get to that point. The love and the spirit in the sealing room was so poignant. How blessed we are that we can have that reassurance that Families can indeed be together forever. This is a truth for the world; that everyone can be blessed with, and yet so few know or believe that it's possible. What is sealed on earth is sealed in heaven. This is our Heavenly Father's plan for us. I'm so so grateful for my chance I have, if I live worthy of this blessing, to be with Tom and our families for eternity.
February 2011: Tom has been the Student Athletic Trainer for the Fresno State Swimming and Diving team since August.. (when school started) and as part of that assignment he had the opportunity to travel with the team, sometimes taking him away for a few nights at a time. In February one of my dearest friends Jaimie (who has been a nanny in Connecticut for three years now I think?) called and asked me if I would come visit her for 4-5 days!! I thought it was a far our dream because I'd need to get time off of work and money and I really just didn't see how it would work out. BUT it did!! And I didn't even have to feel bad about leaving Tom behind because he had a week long WAC championship meet in San Antonio, Texas. So on a plane I went! Shannon also joined us for our friendly get away to the East and it was so much fun. Really, I love these girls so much.
We flew into the JFK Airport, and (stupid) silly me, NYC in February? Nah, I won't need a coat.. It's 80 degrees in Fresno.. Um hello East Coast COLD! Jaimie let me borrow a coat to keep the chill off. Dummy Dummy I am!! For some really dumb reason I was so convinced that we were going to be attacked in the night by a murderer in the Connecticut hills.. and I could not sleep for two nights that we were there for. I mean seriously?? The house she is a nanny at was built in 1736. It's part of the Historical Society. It was really neat.. but not kidding you.. creepy when it's night time and the girls your in a bed with are sleeping soundly.. and I hear every creak and shudder that this old house sings. bah! It seriously was the worst two nights of my life. So the first morning we went and stood out in the Regis and Kelly line for two hours .. I think we got there at 5? And we didn't even get in. What jerks! We got to go inside and thaw our our bones in the Manhattan Temple. We walked across all of downtown New York I think. We walked to the WW2 Memorials, (also were you can see the Statue of Liberty from) Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, to a delish and totally legit New York Pizza eatery. I then hailed a taxi all by myself!! It was kind of amazing! They really deserve awards for how they drive. It isn't something that they taught in the driving school I went to! We walked through a riot, which I agreed with what little I heard... we walked around and around. It was really fun. We ate the most delicious bagels I have ever had in Grand Central Station.. and I know I'm forgetting so many things, but the trip was amazing. So fun. and amazing.
April 2011: So Kevin came home from his mission in April. It was a fabulous and oh so sweet reunion. To say that our hearts were full of joy and happiness is quite the understatement. I'm pretty sure the month building up to that plane flying into the Modesto Airport, my family talked about it's arrival. Everyday. No joke, every single day. It's hard to describe the anticipation you feel as you wait; knowing that the two years is over and it's now down to a matter of hours. I know I personally wanted to just yell every time I thought about it. Then as his plane circled above, landed and we watched the door open and waited.. then there he was! He had lost quite a bit of weight because of the health problems he struggled with, so that was shocking to see first hand, but it was still just so beautiful! He hugged everyone, cried a bit, and what a warm welcome it was. It was just so.much.fun. He got to meet Jacen and Tom; the brothers in laws he never knew before hand. (so weird!) What a blessing his service was to our family. Thank you Kevin for your willingness and eagerness to serve.
In May I was in a wedding for a dear friend of mine. It was a lot of fun, except I have a curse of white legs that I hate. Whatever. But the morning of the wedding I had a really neat/scary experience. I was soundly sleeping (with the aide of an Advil PM, which I never take because I hate taking pills.. but my back was killing me, and I knew the wedding day was going to be long and eventful so I really wanted some sleep) and I woke up with a start. Like someone called my name out loud. I lay there in bed wondering what in the world woke me up when I hear/feel it again. "Get up." I heard the command as real as if someone had actually said it to me, but I more felt it.. it's hard to explain. I rolled over settling into my covers again when it came again. "Get up now." So I didn't think much more about it, I just got up. I turned on the light and opened the door to the "Tinkerbell Room" that I was sleeping in and saw Drew (my sister's almost one year old at the time) sitting on the landing with his back towards the stairs. My heart was already beating fast from the way I woke up, but when I saw him there.. almost as if he was still sleeping my heart stopped and I walked to go pick him up and he was like jello in my arms. I seriously think he sleep-crawled from the room he was in to go to my sisters room and just stopped where he was. I opened the door to Jenn and Sipa's room and gave Drew to them and went back to my room and just laid there while my heart calmed down. I was very humbled by the fact that I had been warned (why me and not anyone else? I don't know) and I responded to the Spirit. I told Jenn what happened the next morning and she couldn't believe it either. Strange.
Tom graduated from the Fresno State Athletic Training Program! It was a bittersweet moment for him. He has spent countless hours working with the athletes of Fresno State side by side with the other students in his program. It was good to say goodbye to the time demand that it required, but it was hard to say goodbye to the friends and colleges he has made during his time there.
Also in May, Tom and I went to Pismo Beach to celebrate his Birthday! It was a lot of fun. We walked on the beach at night and went to their pier in the morning. It was a beautiful cold morning. It was such a long drive for the one night we were there though. To do it again, I would be there longer. We stayed in the stupid timeshare resort I bought in college. That's all I have to say about that. (haha)
Saturday June 4, 2011: The day we found out the plot to our already really good book was thickening. So Friday when I got home from work I wasn't feeling too good, tried to eat a salad, got really really sick afterwards, showered and went to bed. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was sleepy and my tummy felt like I was on a boat. Terrible. The next morning, which was Saturday, Tom suggested that I take a pregnancy test - just to cross it off the list of why I wasn't feeling good. We both thought that it wasn't possible, and that it was probably just my hormones evening out after going off of birth control last month. (I was planning on getting into shape and working on 'me' projects and then we were going to start trying in November/December) But holy.smokes. I took the test, (and I had even taken one the week before, again, just to cross it off the list) and it had two little pink lines on it. (aka, time to go to the doctor, girlfriend!) I just stared at it and put my hand to my mouth- totally unable to speak. Tom just stood there and all he said was "not-uh." and I just nodded my head and started laughing as he looked at the little two pink lines and said "what does that mean!!" We both got a little emotional and I personally had a really hard time breathing for a few minutes, but there it was! The reason why I had been feeling so sick lately. Again, so humbled as I thought of the fact that there was a little tiny "us" working so hard on growing and becoming something. Talk about eye-opening. It was a beautiful morning. I went to work and had a hard time trying to act normal. I didn't want to bend over or lift even a bottle of water to risk squishing our new little babe. (haha, I was so paranoid in the beginning) Tom went to the store and bought prenatal vitamins and they became my worst nightmare for the first few months.
Kevin and Kayleen got married August 3rd. It was such a fun day for all of us! They are so in love and so sweet with each other. I don't have any pictures of their wedding day yet so I'll have to come back through and add some later on. We all love Kayleen so much. She has been so much apart of our family for a few years now, even while Kevin was in Montana. I'll add more to this when I have a picture or two.
I have heard of morning sickness, but for all of June, July and half of August I was so sick to my stomach. I got to the point where I would grade my days on the times I threw up. Nasty. Won't go into this. But it was not pleasant. Nope, not uh.
We are due February 4th, 2011. We are so excited. Still a little bit nervous to see how it will all play out. We find out if we are Blue or Pink on September 8th.