Friday, September 5, 2014

Books, Babies, and Blessings

Lots of updates! Where to begin? Since baby Gracie is cooler then us, we'll start with her. She is already 2.5 months old- she smiles all the time (especially when we say the words "Minnie" and "Pizza"), still incredibly peaceful all the time, never fussy, still sleeps through the night. This past week she went for all of her shots and we found out she weighs 11 lbs and 2 oz, yay! She in an awkward in-between stage for cloths, 0-3 month are GIANT on her, but newborns are really snug, Gracie is just really petite but really long. She went swimming for the first time out in Park City and loved it, probably because bath time is her favorite time. She loves using her legs, she is always trying to push off things and when we hold her she can push herself up to stand on her own. (watch, here) OH! I almost forgot, over a month ago she was blessed in church! It was super awesome! Ben's first baby blessing/fathers blessing <3

The three of us were filmed in a Mormon Message last month and should be coming out sometime in September. Ben had some lines to say so we're excited to see it.

I was filmed and interviewed by KSL that same week about using the internet for good, and that should air on TV the same Saturday as General Conference, right after it is over, in October. Baby girl Gracie had an appearance in that as well.

We went to the Ogden Temple open house and it was breathtaking!

We had our one year anniversary already, how wild is that! But at the same time we're more surprised it's only been a year because of everything we've done together and everything that's happened already. We went to Park City in the same hotel we went our wedding night. Gracie loved it and got to swim. I made this video for Ben, and if you haven't seen it yet, watch it! I compiled clips of old videos of us together, and a whole bunch of snippits from the videos we sent each other while he was still serving his mission, before we met each other. It's cute :)

Ben and I decided to write a book together, we have been working on it a ton and we only have 1 chapter left! We have a really great lead as to who is publishing it, but we don't want to count our eggs before they hatch, so we'll just keep it on the down-low until things are official. We tend to brainstorm and work better when we are in a car, so we decided to take a day trip to the Vernal, UT Temple last week to do a session and just crank out some more chapters that way. We're pretty excited to see what comes of this.

I wrote a new blog called The Secret To Have Your Best Life, and you can read it Here. Maternity leave ended and I had to go back to work this week, and naturally I didn't want to go back. Just as Gracie starts doing things, like babbling and lifting her head up and all these fun things, I have to leave, booo. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, it's good to be back for sure, and it's good that Ben will be home all day with her since he started Arizona State online a few weeks ago and so far he really loves it.

We don't love where we live but we are really trying to. Life is great! We're staying busy and productive with high ambitions and loving being parents, and we're pumped to see our life continue to unfold and blossom. Woo!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oh Baby, Baby!

Well, Gracie Lena is here and almost a month old! And what a crazy journey it has been to make that happen.

We found out on a Friday that we were scheduled to be induced due to health complications on my part, (not Gracie's), that Monday July 16th , and you will never know how relieved we were to hear that. That whole weekend we kept thinking, ‘this is the last Saturday not as parents, this is the last time we do (fill in the blank) not being parents, last day not having a car seat in our back seat…’

Luckily Monday went by quickly because we weren’t schedule to go in until 5pm.  We ran some last minute errands, and of course thinking, ‘this is the last time I am going to be slowly, slowly hobbling around everywhere.’ We went to an early dinner where we had our first date and where we go to celebrate any big occasion we have in our life, Texas Roadhouse, for what we called my “last supper,” because once I was in the hospital I wouldn’t be able to eat. We were both really calm all day, I don’t think either of us were nervous or anxious all day…until the drive there. As soon as we finished leaving my hands got all clammy and our hearts were beating out of our chests. Something about knowing when you’re having a baby and expecting it makes things incredibly intense. No hectic drive to the hospital, no bad pains or screaming, all the visuals you have from movies and other people’s stories you hear. But a “calm,” casual drive just left with your nerves. 
We get checked in, got my hospital gown on, and it was go time! We were going to be parents by morning! And by morning, we actually mean 43 hours later.  It was an incredibly frustrating and long waiting game, baby girl just didn't want to come! We made it to see one of the nurses third shift, haha. Grateful we didn't have to do a C-Section like they brought up several times. Active labor was actually the best part though, those 2 hours flew by, we were listening and singing to Justin Timberlake and in the best spirits and actually having fun! (No, it wasn't just the epidural doing that, haha). 
So two days later, June 18th at 12:58 in the afternoon Gracie Lena was born perfectly healthy, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz, and 21" long and it was absolutely beautiful. Watching Ben react when he first saw her brought the spirit probably one of the strongest times I had ever felt it.  Ben blogged about his experience and it is absolutely beautifully written, so if you haven't read it yet, click HERE, to read how his views on God has changed and what he was feeling when Gracie was born.  "When I saw my beautiful girl come out at 12:58 pm on June 18th, 2014, I wept. I didn't just cry or shed a tear, I put my head on my wife's shoulder and I seriously wept my eyes out. It was seriously the most beautiful and coolest thing I have ever seen or experienced. Labor is insane and out of this world, but I saw God work that day." 

So here we are just a few days before she turns a month old and we couldn't have gotten any more blessed with her. She is just the most peaceful baby there is.  All she does is sleep and she can sleep through any noise and in every position. I've gotten more sleep now then I did my whole pregnancy. She's probably awake just a handful of hours throughout the day and she'll just look around and smile and is pretty dang close to getting her head/neck figured out. 

Great news also is that as soon as she was born all of the health complications I was having completely disappeared! The dogs absolutely lover her. It took a couple weeks for Philly to even leave her side. Ben is having the most fun ever getting Gracie dressed every day and singing to her. His parents are loving being first-time grandparents, and unfortunately will have to just be ok Skyping with my family for now.  I'm home on maternity leave and so far have accomplished finishing the Book of Mormon again, with the help of Gracie this time, and have watched all 7 seasons of Boy Meets World and Ben and I were genuinely disappointed when it ended. We now live in South Jordan just a mile away from Oquirrh Mtn. Temple, where we got sealed, and have already got back into a weekly date trips there.

For more pictures, click HERE. 
To watch Gracie "sing" Fresh Prince theme song, click HERE. 
To rewatch our gender reveal video, click HERE.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Babies, Birthdays and a lot of couch time!

Ben turned 23 yesterday! His first birthday as a husband and last birthday not as a dad! He had been hoping more than anything that baby Gracie would be born on this day, simply because he genuinely just wanted to share it with her to make his birthday more meaningful. And I was in high hopes, too, that this would happen because I've been ready to not be pregnant for a long while now.  We spent it at his parents house eating tacos, Mmmm.

Ben got accepted in to ASU Online and will be starting this fall, wooo!

My best friend & sister got married to the greatest man that could ever be found on the earth for her. Beyond bummed that we couldn't fly there to be there.

At the end of the month we are leaving Midvale and moving to South Jordan.

I received the Donald C. Sloan Community Speaker Award from the Dean of BYU.

He blogged: "Being Married to the Tattooed Mormon." Read it HERE.

I blogged: "I Have a Confession..." Read it HERE.  

Baby Gracie Updates:

I am currently 36.5 weeks! As some of you have heard through a few non-informational Instagram & Facebook posts, pregnancy the past month-ish has been a frustrating and difficult one. Out of nowhere my blood pressure spiked like crazy and I have had countless complications since then that have brought us to both OB Emergency and our doctors 3 times within just one week, being watched for preeclampsia, countless tests throughout the whole month, having to wear a heart monitor all the time for either 30 days or until the baby comes, having to check my blood pressure daily & report them to my doctor, feeling faintish and shaky, heart racing, hard time breathing, most days spent on the couch, battling migraines, an unnaturally-more then just the average pregnant- swollen body, and so on....

But good news! Baby Gracie is 1,000% healthy and unaffected by any of this.. We were able to have an ultrasound when I was 35 weeks and see how big she's gotten! She's huge! She already weighed 7 lbs then. And just got word a few days ago that if things don't get better by our next apt. we will schedule a day to be induced. I'm definitely counting down the days.

And more good news! Ben is #1. Having to spend day after day home with me and not ever has it bothered him. Willing to even blow dry and brush my hair on my worst days without even me asking. Still thinking I'm attractive when we have to keep urine jugs in our fridge to bring to our doctors, (TMI??? haha). Every day I am impressed by him. I could go on...but I'll spare you all from a sappy ramble.

We've gotten hooked on yet more games, Connect 4 & Mancala. Ben got me hooked on Mango-A-Go-Go at Jamba Juice. Took some randon trips to small town hotels just to get away together and watch movies & go swimming and not feel pregnant for a little bit. Still making it to the temple weekly, with the exception of the times I was in the hospital, grateful for Initiatories that are short and don't make me feel like I am on fire from being so hot all the time, haha. Justin Timberlake and Micheal Jackson's new song is still our favorite. And our pups are still alive and well and in love.

All in all, life is great, even with some health hiccups. A lot of blessings from God. Still in love. Still smiling. Pumped for this upcoming week when Gracie will hopefully come and join us and we'll have more updates for you. So until then, laugh often and love more. —The Carraways

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baby Name Reveal

2 months since our last post! I'll start with pregnancy updates first. I just hit third trimester and my belly is getting bigger every time I look in the mirror. I've always had back problems so now, already, am not too comfortable. I know, I know, you are probably thinking, "just wait," haha.  She is super active and is constantly moving around….except when Ben wants to feel, haha. When we found out we were having a girl, we were at a loss for names, so we bought a book! Every night before bed we would both eat a bowl of cereal and read out of the book together. We came up with several that we liked, wrote them on a piece of paper and taped them on our wall to look at, see if any stood out more than another. We had the idea to pick a name to call her for a week and go through all of them that way to see how we felt about them.  But ultimately, all we had to do was pray and the name came to us.

So there you have it! Baby Gracie! Lena is after Ben's grandma. One of the last things I want to do right about now, (and the next few months) is get my picture taken, haha. BUT, if you keep scrolling down to the pics, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine, Bre'an, took some super pretty pics of Ben & I. And I have to give her a shout out because I just love what she does,  she's super creative and inspiring, and a fellow New Yorker! You'd regret not clicking here to see her blog and her Facebook page.

Other updates:

Ben & I are NOT moving to New York for those of you who are still confused, it was his April Fools joke. Utah, you're still stuck with us.
Ben's last week of the semester is this week, applied to Arizona State University online and we are waiting to hear back from them. He also, finally, came out with a new blog post, and it's for sure worth a read! "To often people miss opportunities that come, because we get so focused on one sole plan that we miss things, myself included. I think that one of the definitions of success is the ability to make choices and to act on the unknown." Read the rest, here. 

We are actively trying to move out of our house before the baby comes, anywhere close to Salt Lake for work. (If you have any leads: Renting.  Nothing higher then a grand a month. Must allow 2 big dogs. 2 or 3 bedrooms. ;)  Haha).  We got a new niece, Elsie Bryn, and was born in February. She's adorable. We are planning a trip back to New York in May for one of my sisters wedding, and we are excited to meet her when the Fox side of the family reunites.
We also had to stop working in the Jordan River Temple because the 9 hour shift  was too much for my growing body, but we are still going every week for our weekly temple date night. We both finished the Book of Mormon again this past week. I eat a carton of strawberries a day. Ben got a hair cut. Our dogs are still alive and in love with each other. Ben finally updated his 2007 cell phone and got a smart phone (see his Facebook page for his new phone number), AND got an Instagram, I'm pumped for that, go follow him @mrcarraway23.

And I think that's all we have for updates. Still in love, growing even stronger.  Pray always. Smile often.  God loves you the mostest.  —The Carraways.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Surprise Gender Reveal Vid

Well, if you haven't seen our video yet revealing baby Carraway's gender, watch it first!

Ben took me to Ensign Peak when we were still newly dating to see the Salt Lake view, including the view of where we had our first date, and he brought up marriage for the first time. I got so scared I didn't talk to him for the rest of the night. The next time we were there, he proposed!

It was pretty hard for Ben to do it this way because he really wanted to see the gender at the ultrasound. BUT for the record, I gave him his agency and told him he could know there as long as he didn't tell me. AND, P.P.S. after we did it this way he said, and I quote, "I'm so glad we did it this way, this was a ton of fun."Haha. Way to stick it out, babe! :)

We just always assumed it was a boy, and never gave it thought that there is still a possibility of getting a girl. No reason behind it, maybe because we just liked the name Crew so much, haha. The morning of the ultrasound, however, we both felt really strong that we would have a girl first, and alas, we are! Everyone on my side of the family guessed boy. I think the only ones who guess right, other than Facebook guesses, were Ben's dad and President Eyring. (Yes, I know last post President Eyring referred to the baby as a 'he', but a week later gave his official guess of a girl.)

It was definitely a surprise, but we are so pumped! I think every dad deserves a daddy's girl. To celebrate, we went to Motherhood to get a book Ben immediately picks up to read every time we walk in that store, "Fathers to Daughters." (Of course, before he'd pick up both of them ("Father to Son"), and read them until we left- he was counting down the days until he could finally get one.) It's super cute, just has 1 simple and cute piece of advice on each page. We cuddled on the couch before we went to bed reading out of it together. My favorite ones that I can remember off the top of me head is, be sure to keep her secrets, comb her hair after bath time, and tell her often that she can do anything.

So, here's to Baby Girl Carraway! Here's to Ben becoming the cutest and already the most loving dad-to-be. Here's to my 5th month being pregnant, and an increase of embarrassing stories that come with it, like peeing my pants from sneezing!

The name still isn't final; to be continued.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Baby, Pres. Eyring, New York:

We haven't updated this in a while and we're sorry. Not because it hasn't been on our minds, but because we don't have internet at our house anymore and we haven't done anything about it because in our free time. Instead of being online at home, we are feeding our addiction of playing board games together. Two words: Life. Yahtzee.  Enough said.

Lots of updates though! We'll start with the biggest one yet, and if this is a surprise to you, you also must not be online ever either and be playing board games, too. We're having a baby! It was hard to keep it a secret for so long! We're due July 1st. Still unsure of the gender and it is killing us! If it is a boy, (and if we got to pick, this would be our pick, and yeah we know, we'll be happy either way, haha) we'll name him Crew Carraway. If it's a girl, we're thinking Aspen. So, now you know. I think Ben is more excited about going and buying maternity clothes than I am. And that's saying a lot, because I love buying them! They're so comfy I could wear them for the rest of my life.  He's just excited about it in every aspect. He'll even pick up the book 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' for an occasional read. I don't know what made my heart melt more. Seeing our baby on the ultrasound and hearing it's heartbeat, or seeing Ben's face watching it. I'm almost leaning towards Ben's face, though. He's #1. He still thinks I'm cool even after 3 straight months of falling asleep at 7 pm, that's love.

We had an incredible opportunity to meet President Eyring. Yes, THE President Eyring. And when we say meet, we don't mean see him on the street and shake his hand. We mean, we sat in his office and casually spoke with him for 2 hours.My assistant at work, although more than just an assistant because I think the world of her and love her dearly, is his granddaughter. We sat down, asked us our life story. Laughed. Heard awesome stories about his family, and some about his hobbies. He even referred to our baby as Crew! (We're jokingly hoping it was revelation that we're having a boy, haha) He is easily the most genuine, loving person we have ever met. Of course, I didn't expect any different.

We have a new addition to our family! It's not two feet, not yet...that's July. But we added 4 paws! We were hoping to be a foster home for dogs that are at the Human Society, but after going there and learning more, we fell in love with a stray dog that we tried to talk ourselves out of since we're having a baby, but couldn't. We love her! Ben went back to get her as a surprise early Christmas gift for me! She was pretty sick when we brought her home and were super worried we'd have to give her back, but with some TLC from us, a ton of food, and a lot of make-out sessions with our other dog Lucas, she's perfectly healthy and surprisingly potty trained! Ben wanted to name our baby Philly if it was a girl because of his mission. Instead, I brought up the idea of naming our new dog Philly. He loved it! And I loved it, because now our baby wont be named it ;)  Win-win.
ALSO! See, I told you lots of updates. We went to NY! We drove there.  ...I know. But it wasn't bad at all, I promise! At least the way there wasn't bad. We drove straight there, got there in 29 hours. Drove, slept on the side of the road for a few hours, then drove some more! It was awesome! I haven't seen my family and been home in almost 3 years! It was the first time my family (with the exception of 1 of my sisters) has ever met Ben! We stayed for a whole week. Was there for Thanksgiving. Feel in love with the game Quelf. Got all of my east coast food cravings taken care of. Met my increible niece Eva for the first time. Went to Palmyra and did all the church sites.  Had our NY Wedding Reception for my side of the family. (Thank goodness my dress still fit.) And yes, don't worry, we did a flash mob during it. What's an east coast wedding without ridiculous dancing? And Ben even left back to Utah sportin' a Buffalo Bills shirt. He actually had a harder time leaving than I did. I'd say the trip was a success.

So now it's the last day of 2013! And it's been incredibly eventful for the both of us, to say the least. Ben coming home from his mission.Starting school. Me speaking and everything else that's happened. Buying a car. New jobs. Moving. Getting engaged, married, pregnant. Excited for the new year. Excited for new adventures & blessings God has for us. To embrace. To learn. Experience. Love. And couldn't imagine it any other way then listening to the spirit, and do so holding hands, together, with the best companion there could be. Cheers to 2014.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cars- Planes- Hospital- and the Good Life

First off-We are both alive and well and still have all of our limbs. Phew! We just celebrated our 2 month anniversary, and what better way to celebrate then to spend 6 hours test driving cars! Which- we bought a car! But- we'll stay in order.

We spent several hours in the ER two-ish weeks ago. Super random. It was something small & silly. Painful- but silly.

Ben got an A on his accounting test- woohoo! BUT- wants to make it clear- he does not want to be an accountant, haha. He was also feelin' wild one day and decided to give away some of his beloved Nikes. So there's that.

Friday I flew out to Orange County, CA to speak at a Mid-Singles Conference with John Bytheway. It's a lot harder to leave when you're married, thats for sure. But, Ben and I both survived. John & I flew in together and sat next to eachother. We were playing games together on his iPad. When we got there we took a private propeller plane over the mountains to Temecula, CA. When they first told us about that, my very first thought was, "Oh great...perfect timing to read & finish Stephanie Neilson's book....... (a prop. plane crash survivor)" But like we said, alive, well, and all our limbs!  It was neat, John let me ride up front, and then we swopped on the way back the next day. Bright and early in the morning, I spoke first, then John. Did  you know Carl's Jr. has a food truck? Me either. But they do-and thats what was for lunch for us! I was a first-timer. It's ok. It was in the 90's out there - flew back together right after we spoke- got off the plane and it seemed ARCTIC outside here. But it was a fun, exhausting trip, met of a lot of incredible people and I came back feeling really blessed and spoiled.

I wrote a new post on my blog page, if you haven;t read it yet, read it HERE.

We're really committed to go to a pumpkin patch! We've been actively talking about it and somehow it just hasn't happened yet. Our $1 small pumpkin we got from Smith's grocery will just have to do until then.

We're both speaking in church on Sunday! They didn't give us topics, which makes things harder...for me at least. Ben picked forgiveness and I already know it's going to be absolutely incredible and powerful. I'm really excited to hear him! Me...I'm still thinking... we'll see!

We got our NY wedding reception invites designed and mailed. I am so glad we have that checked off our list of things to do. When Ben mailed them he even did little doodles to my family on the envelopes like: "Skinny Batman," the Koolaid man, and a Dinosaur....puking. He cracks me up, haha!

AND...........we bought a car!! Wahoo! And we couldn't have dreamed of a better deal. Seriously. A long series of events and a lot of hours at different dealerships, we got one! It's a 2014 VW Tigaun. (Pronounced Tih-Gwon. It makes us think of the word Iguana, so we've already nicknamed the car, The Lizard) And who knew that buying a car could lead to overwhelming feelings of our Savior's love for  us. No joke! There were so many miracles I don't think we could keep track or even begin to list them. There was even a part in this process where I almost cried because I knew, and physically could feel that this is coming directly from Heavenly Father. It was Heaven's help. There's no other way.  Us buying this car has really made me just blown away by prayer. I can't imagine living without it, I really can't. If you're praying and actually talking to Him, you'll be directed to incredible things. Sometimes, those things don't seem like the "logical" way- which makes decisions sometimes confusing and more difficult to do- but when you remember who's hands you're in and trust you are brought to things even greater than you ever knew was an option! Opportunities and miracles that would literally be impossible without God. Also, they threw in a free roof rack, Ben is still just  b e a m i n g  with excitement because of that, haha. Our salesman nickname is MagicMike also, if you were wondering.

So, there's that. And to end, here are the updates of the Ben dressing up Lucas since last post: