Thursday, March 3, 2011

Part Six: Our Life Together Thus Far

I feel the need to summarize all the cool things we've done in the first year and a half of our marriage.

June 2009

We arrived home from our honeymoon on the 1st and jumped right into our summer-long party!  It’s so fun to live with your best friend! Don’t get me wrong – we worked too; Devin would get up super early every morning to take the bus to his downtown Salt Lake UTA office, and I was still working in South Jordan at Turnabout (we carpooled home at night).  We also had plenty to do with settling in to married life: opening presents, making returns and exchanges, unpacking and decorating our apartment – speaking of which – here’s some pictures (which we actually took as we were moving out a year later):

Beautiful little home!

Yep, that's it! (Minus the bathroom, of course)

We moved into the basement apartment of our brother-in-law’s grandmother – but we adopted Grandma Rogers as our own, because she is the coolest! We love her and loved living in her basement – some of our favorite things were having Family Home Evening with her or just one of our chats, and we enjoyed working in her yard (and the fruits and vegetables of our/her labor, which she was so nice to share).

Pretty please with a cherry on top! Sooo good on brownies!

But back to the summer-long party – we kicked it off in June with such activities as: my brother Daniel’s graduation from high school and other family get-togethers (usually Sunday dinners), the Planetarium at BYU, a double feature of Carey Grant movies at the Y’s theater, a Bee’s baseball game in Salt Lake, rock-climbing, going out for pizza and a dollar movie, a Broadway concert in the Brigham Young historic park, our ward campout, and the Pajama Gang play. Here we are celebrating our one month anniversary – we decided not to save the wedding cake for a whole year, but to eat it while it was still good.  Especially since we only got the little tidbit we smashed into each other's mouths at the reception...

Dang, that was yummy cake!

Another highlight was attending the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House with our friends.  It is so beautiful and we were so blessed to live and work so close to so many temples. We made it a goal/habit to go to the temple every week together and it made such a difference in our lives.

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple...I admit I did not take this picture

Before we moved in with Grandma Rogers, we decided we would accompany her in going to the Pioneer 1st Ward, which is a family ward, instead of the BYU student ward.  We truly loved our experience in that ward and stake! At the end of June, I received a calling to work in the Nursery, and Devin to be Scoutmaster – we were both really excited for these callings!

July 2009

The party continued in July with backpacking to Notch Lake over the 4th of July with Ric, Serity, Jacob, Brittany, and Daniel, Singin’ in the Rain at Hale Center Theater in Orem, dinner with my cousin Katie and her husband Brent, going out to eat at Little Italia, visiting Provo City Library, playing games in the park with ward members, going to Brent’s BYU men’s soccer games, rock-climbing with Daniel, babysitting for Ric and Serity and having Family Home Evening with them, continuing our temple attendance each week, going to “the Cabin” with my family, and Devin’s UTA work party barbeque.  We had some camera issues, so I only have videos for our backpacking trip and Cabin excursion.

Notch Lake

Stratton tells us where we are

Pretty view, eh?

Not for the faint of heart to watch

Also of note in July, a week or so after Devin received his Scouting calling, he was released and called to be the 2nd counselor in the Stake Young Men’s Presidency – then a few weeks after that, released and called to be the Stake Young Men’s President!  It was a big surprise to get that responsibility, but he absolutely enjoyed every minute of it, and did a great job.

August 2009

We kept up with the fun-ness in August, beginning by taking our nephews to S&S Shortline Train Park in Farmington.  We highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys trains (especially fun for 2-6 year olds). They had a blast, but Devin enjoyed it more than anyone else, I think!

What adorable nephews we have!

We took a road trip to Salmon, Idaho to visit Grandma and Grandpa Olsen.

I enjoyed eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and Grandpa's fishing lures

On the way back, we stopped in Rexburg to walk around campus and see some old friends. We decided on a whim to go to the dollar theater with friends to the 10pm showing of Disney’s “UP” and then drove all the way to Provo through the night!

Revisiting the alma mater

One Friday, we both took off work for some serious play at Lagoon! The Utah Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (which Devin belonged to) sponsored the event and we got cheap tickets, free dinner, and door prizes! I hadn’t been to Lagoon in ages, but it was just as fun as when I was a little kid. We rode all the rides, except I would NOT ride the haunted house one (despite all of Devin's pleadings).

The Rocket is my favorite ride!

We traveled to Vernal to go to that temple for the first time, then continued on to Rock Springs, Wyoming for a friend’s wedding. We barely made it to the wedding and sat down right when they started playing the wedding march!

Our tenth temple together

Other than that we had fun playing tennis and watching movies with Katie and Brent, going to the temple, celebrating several friends’ weddings and babies, frequenting the dollar theater, going to plays, hanging out with Skylar and Alicia (our Rock Band friends from engagement days), a big family dinner for Grandma Flegal, learning how to cut Devin’s hair (still learning…), the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication, more library trips, movies in the park, and going up the canyon with family a couple times.

Watch out for that redhead with monster tongs!

September 2009

You would think that things would slow down when Devin started up school again at the Y…they didn’t!  Again, I have no pictures for this month, but the highlights were:
- Labor Day weekend at the Cabin with our family
- Auditioning for “Savior of the World” with the family, making it!, and starting up the rehearsals
- The ward party (western themed - -we were some of the EMBARRASSINGLY few who showed up in costume as requested!)
- Football season! We went to a couple home games at BYU
- Going to the “Greatest Show on Earth”, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus! (Ask Devin about “THE RING OF FIIIIRE!!”)

- A mini-reunion with my friends from the MTC – Distrito 12C!
- Devin went to the Purdue Grad Expo and my friend Sarah came to visit while he was gone

October 2009

The big to-do in October was our journey to Texas for the sealing of Devin’s brother, Kyle, and his wife, Vanessa in the San Antonio temple.

I really liked the stain-glass window

We kept pretty busy with Savior of the World rehearsals (usually twice a week), but found time for going to Little Shop of Horrors at Hale Center Theatre, enjoying the Y football games, General Conference, taking my brother Trent to Nickelmania, and the usual rounds of temple, movies, friends and family.

Dad and I had fun with our costumes for Halloween at work – he’s Paul Bunyan, and I’m a Turnabout kid (all the kids thought I was a new addition in the treatment program! Hilarious!).

I actually spent more time getting ready for this than I normally would

Devin and I celebrated Halloween in a much classier way – we drove up to Logan to add that temple to our list (surprise visited Daniel in his dorm room at Utah State before we left), went to a fancy Italian restaurant (Caffé Molise), and the ballet (“Dream” a rendition of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)!

Devin makes every holiday romantic, including Halloween!

November 2009

In November, rehearsals ramped up with Savior of the World and then we started the show (Opening Night being my birthday, the 20th) – so participating in that three times a week all month slowed down our social life outside of the play. 

Devin surprised me with a lot of blue and a lot of peanut butter chocolate the morning of my birthday.  He also took me to the Cheesecake Factory and to a Vocal Point concert. And he gave me roses and a Snuggie. It’s blue.

I know you're jealous of my Snuggie.

Thanksgiving was split between our families, as the Moore’s came up from Houston to enjoy the holiday with the extended Moore family.  We combined our families for a Turkey Bowl in the snow up at Olympus High School, and that was memorable!

December 2009

Savior of the World also filled our December, and made our Christmas season much more spiritual.  This year, Devin was the Angel to the Shepherds ("Fear not, for unto you is born...") – the rest of us (Dad, Mom, Trent, Sharlee, and me) were all angels/townspeople.  We made a lot of great friends too.

Nothing more comfortable than burlap!

Fun time with family and friends

Devin took the GRE… then he took it again and did very well. He sent in his applications for grad school in Virginia, Indiana, and Texas. We went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert, and also to the Nutcracker ballet – which was my favorite activity of the Christmas season!  Of course, there were many friend get-togethers and Christmas parties (the Jensen’s, the Searle’s, the Flegal’s and the Campbell’s, the “DB Young ‘Uns”, the Moore extended family Christmas party, and the Flegal extended family Christmas party).

Flegal family Christmas party

We also had the most fun New Year’s Eve party I’ve ever been to – we had a Murder Mystery dinner with my family – I laughed so hard all night long! Just check out these costumes, Devin was a Latin Lover and I was a Governess.

Yes, we forced Jacob to play a female character

January 2010

When Savior of the World finished, we had so much more free time we hardly knew what to do with ourselves!  We did a lot of hanging out with friends this month.  Also, we started a new tradition – we decided to not watch movies starting on the 1st of the year, until we have read a whole classic book together. This year we chose “Great Expectations” and it took us many moons!

February 2010

February 1st Devin and I had Family Home Evening with two college roommates of mine – Becca and Melissa, and their cute families.  We had a yummy dinner, great conversation, and Devin and I lost horribly in the card games we played.
February 3rd – 7th I left Devin for my friend, Sarah Herrington's birthday celebration in California.  We stayed with her friend, Jolene, and did such fun things as tour the Jelly Belly factory, see Wicked!, and visit Disney Land. We had a great time, but I really really missed Devin, and the most magical place on earth is not as magical without your true love.

I always have fun acting not my age

The main event of the month of February is, and always will be, Devin’s birthday/Valentine’s Day. Actually, this year it turned into “Valentine’s Week”.  It was Devin’s turn to plan and boy, did he turn it into a C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N!!  On the 10th we went to April Ann at Hale Center Theatre in Orem, on the 11th we saw the Young Ambassadors perform at BYU, and on the 12th we left for a surprise trip.  We went up to Twin Falls, Idaho, stayed in a cute bed and breakfast called the Fillmore Inn, went to the temple, visited Shoshone Falls (the Niagara of the West) and the old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise (which creeped me out beyond words! The solitary confinement cell nicknamed “Siberia” was horrendously romantic… according to Devin). We also attended the Boise temple.   We had great dinners both nights at Johnny Carino’s and Tucano’s!

Valentine's Week, that's right

On the 28th, we got our first niece!  Keelian was the first of Serity’s kids that I got to go see in the hospital, so that was exciting.

Pucker up, Buttercup!

We also went to the ballet Swan Lake this month, and enjoyed the winter Olympics (via the internet).

March 2010

Devin went on the BYU study abroad trip to Mexico again this year.  He had a great time and I missed him terribly; I made bread three times and went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Mom, Gramma Flegal, and Sharlee.  As you could see in the previous picture with Keelian, he started growing a mustache in preparation…we highly amused ourselves with a Mexi-stache photo shoot upon his return.

Don't worry, it's gone

At the end of March, we both went to Texas as Devin was invited to check out Texas A&M’s grad program.  We stayed with Devin’s family in Sugar Land and they came and toured the campus in College Station with us.

After a yummy dinner

We also got together with my childhood best friend, Jessica, and her husband, Nate, and their two precocious girls.  Daniel came down to Provo to eat dinner, play games, and spend the night as well.

April 2010

Easter weekend, my mission president and his wife had a small, informal mission reunion at their home.  We didn’t go to the big October mission reunion, so we decided to make the drive up to Ogden and it was well worth it to see President and Sister Burns and a few mission friends.  This was their first real chance to get to know Devin, and I’m happy to say they approve.

We celebrated Easter with just part of the family, since the rest went down to St. George with Grandma and Grandpa Stratton.  Jacob came home from BYU-Idaho, and Serity and Ric came over with their kids so we could have an excuse to dye eggs, hide them for their kids, and have an egg break afterwards.  I love our egg break tradition! 

Serity and Ric put their home up for sale and wanted to repaint, so one night we went over for a painting party – we stayed up late and had fun, then got up early and had more fun!

Devin took me downtown for another ballet – Bacheraline’s America.  We took public transit and went to Biaggi’s for our first time.  I just really like this picture of Devin and me.  We are a darn cute couple. 

Happily awaiting TRAX

HUZZAH!!! Devin graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering.  I am so proud of him.  We also decided this month what the next step in our future life together would be; Devin was accepted to Purdue and Texas A&M (with some generous offers from both), and he selected to continue at Texas A&M for a master's in Transportation Engineering.

Hail the conquering hero

Devin’s parents flew out for his graduation ceremonies, and immediately following convocation, the four of us were off to SPAIN!  When they were unable to pick him up at the end of his mission (Moore family tradition), Devin’s parents promised to take him and his wife for their year anniversary.  Devin jokes that this is the real reason I consented to marry him, which isn’t true, but LUCKY ME anyway!  Spain was amazing!  Devin served in the Malaga mission, so we mostly stayed in the southern state of Andalucia for our travels.  We stayed in a condo in Marbella (10 minute walk to the beach!) and took day trips to Malaga, Casarabonela, Gibraltar, Nerja, Granada, Cordoba, Madrid, Ronda, Sevilla…it was a whirlwind of a vacation!  Spain is SO beautiful and we really enjoyed getting to know some of the people Devin knew on his mission.  We did so many fun things and went so many neat places; the temple, caves, a museum, cathedrals, castles, a bull ring, ancient ruins, the beach, palaces!  I could spend hours talking about this trip – it was really a once in a lifetime thing for us and we had a great time. 



Nerja Caves and the Eagle Aqueduct

The Alhambra in Granada

Menga Cave

La Mesquita in Córdoba





May 2010

The best day in May was Mother’s Day!  We began to suspect on our trip to Spain that I was pregnant, but we waited until Mother’s Day to take the test.  We were so excited when it came out positive!  I couldn’t even wait a whole day before I started spreading the good news.

I planned our 1st anniversary adventures, which included Devin getting his shave and a haircut (a year late, but better than never!), a sealing session in the Salt Lake temple at the same time we were sealed, lunch at Café Rio (where we ate on our first date), a trip to Heber to ride the Heber Valley Railroad, and returning to Hines Mansion Bed and Breakfast (honeymoon).  We were going to hike Mount Olympus (site of proposal), but there was a snowstorm in the mountains, so we slept in, relaxed and read together, and went to an aquarium. I am so grateful to be married to Devin; he is so good to me and makes my life happier each day.  We are so blessed to be sealed together for all eternity and to have had a wonderful first year together, ending it with finding out a little Moore was coming our way!

Ah, nostalgia (except for the frog)

Also of note this month, we were asked to teach a Temple Preparation class to a couple in our ward.  Teaching together was a really neat experience, especially since it was about the temple, which we love so much.  I also began a third calling of playing the organ in Sacrament Meeting.

June 2010

So after living in Provo for a year we decided that we ought to hike to the “Y” before we moved away. This was a difficult feat for the newly pregnant mother to be, but we made it and watched the beautiful sunset together.

I love the mountains!

To complete our goal of attending every temple in Utah while we lived in Provo, we took a two-day trip to southern Utah to attend the Monticello temple. This was a very quick trip, we actually camped out Friday night at a local camp ground and attended the temple early in the morning and drove straight back to Provo - we stopped to enjoy a few arches on the way back.

Yep, we sure did go to the temple after camping!

The Devin Drought began with his three day trip to San Francisco for an Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) conference. While there Devin was awarded the “Best Undergraduate Transportation Student” award for the Western District of ITE! He also received a hefty scholarship from ITE International, so it was good for him to be there and get into some professional circles. I missed him while he was away, but luckily we were able to speak to each other every day.

My studly engineer looks smashing in safety gear

July 2010

A few days after Devin returned from California he headed off on an eight day 50 mile trek with Ric and Ric's dad. This was a celebration of Ric’s 30th, trying to prove he wasn’t getting that old! I wish I could have gone with them, but being pregnant, and with the other females ditching...I opted out. I missed Devin a ton while he was gone because we had no contact with each other as he was out in the wilderness of the Uintahs. The good news was that they didn’t get lost, they had a great time, and they proved themselves as men.

He MacGyvered his broken pack with a stick and duct tape

Beautiful vistas, plentiful fish, and Settlers of Catan

You’re not going to believe this but Devin came back for a few more days and then left AGAIN - this time on a seven day scout camp with the Young Men in our stake.  At least this time I knew he was fulfilling his calling and doing what the Lord needed him to do. Again I had very little contact with Devin, but they enjoyed motor boating, cliff jumping, shotgun, rifle, and handgun shooting, the Vernal temple, hiking, reading the entire Book of Mormon (collectively) and sharing testimonies. I was glad when Devin was home and I knew that he wasn’t going to leave me again for a while!

That's our quilt hanging up in their "Tabernacle" for scripture reading

On the 24th of July, we went to Gramma Flegal’s so Devin could experience wading in the creek.  We actually only stayed in the water for a few minutes, it was so freezing cold!  But I wanted to re-live my childhood memories with him.  Afterwards, we took Sharlee bowling at Olympus Hills.  We gave each other silly names and had fun yelling encouragement to each other. That night we headed back down to Provo and went on a super date with our friends Jeremy and Tiffany.  They came over for Devin’s famous enchiladas before we returned to our adolescence at the Nickelcade (where I’m proud to report that I FINALLY beat Devin in a video game!).  We spent our meager winnings on the cheap candy at Nickelcade, which we snuck into the dollar theater, to see Robin Hood.  After that, Devin STILL hadn’t had enough, so we returned to our house for a rousing game of Ticket to Ride.  By the end of the day, I was all funned out.

Our original temple goal once we were married was to attend every temple within a six-hour travel radius of Provo, which at this point we had accomplished except the Idaho Falls and Rexburg temples. We took a trip this month to Idaho where we drove to Idaho Falls, attended the temple, ate lunch, then drove up to Rexburg and attended the temple there as well. After a short reminiscent tour of BYU-Idaho we drove to Salmon to visit Grandma and Grandpa Olsen one last time before we moved to Texas for graduate school. It was a long trip but well worth it. We loved visiting with Grandma and Grandpa Olsen, hearing the fish stories, and picking berries!

We almost chose the Rexburg temple to be sealed in

August 2010

One of the items on our “things to do before we leave Provo” list was to float the Provo River. I was excited to do so even though I was a little worried about the whole pregnancy issue. We went on a day that was supposed to be warm… it wasn’t. A small storm rolled in and cold rain attended our frigid drift down the river. The water in the river was all snow melt (it always is) and the ambient temperature was only in the 60’s when the sun was shining. It wasn’t as miserable as it sounds - we actually had a really fun time and the course of the river is absolutely gorgeous! We’ll have to try it again on a really hot summer day.

We had Family Home Evening for the last time before we moved with Grandma Rogers and our good friends next door, Justin and Sunny.  We really miss our deep conversations and fun games and good food with them.

Mom and Dad took us on a date to Ruby Tuesday’s and Pirates of Penzance at Hale Center Theatre.  Devin had “Modern Major General” in his head for a month, and I had “Poor Wandering One” in mine!

On August 12th, we saw our little baby for the first time!  We had decided previously to not find out the gender of our child, which greatly irked friends, family, and even complete strangers.  Heh heh heh.  Seeing our baby  moving around, healthy and BIG, was such a special feeling to experience together. 

We had planned to go to the Cabin with the whole family before Devin and I moved, thinking that it might be the last time we would all manage a big family vacation with everyone present.  However, Mother Nature did NOT cooperate and decided to majorly flood the roads up to the Cabin.  I was devastated, but we did end up with an awesome Plan B – river rafting near Jackson Hole.   I had never been white water rafting before, and found it quite thrilling, although we took it easy enough for “the pregnant lady” (me) and our two nephews, ages 4 and 2.  Not easy enough though, for Sharlee, who cried the whole time, or for Grandpa Stratton (Dad) and Devin, who somehow both fell overboard.  It was a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable trip  - fun to be with the family in a beautiful place.

Sadly, I don't have actual rafting pictures...we were too busy having fun!

One of Devin’s greatest creations was “Man Night”. This event was held in my parents’ basement with my brothers and dad; they moved the big screen TV down there, had the Wii, Rock Band and Guitar Hero, $40 worth of novelty sodas (even a keg of root beer!), $15 of candy and snacks, Pinochle, and some manly action movies. They tried to stay up all night having fun and drinking as much soda as they could! We women, upstairs, watched a few hours of Pride and Prejudice (the long version) and went to bed at a decent hour, with only one bathroom trip!

Looks questionable to me!!

Before we moved, the Nursery threw me a baby shower, inviting all the nursery kids (and their mothers, of course).  It was really cute to play fun games with them (even though we did that together every Sunday), AND…I got a diaper cake. Oh yeah.

We tried to take a picture with all the nursery kids.  Foolish.

Since Devin planned the move to College Station, the trip was littered with fun activities and stopping places. First we traveled to St. George to visit Grandma and Grandpa Stratton. We feel that we’ve gained so much in the little time we've been able to spend with them. We played Pinochle together and Grandpa and I let Devin and Grandma win! After the weekend in St. George, we headed south across the Grand Canyon and down to Snowflake, Arizona. In Snowflake we stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast called the Heritage Inn and attended the temple the next morning. From there we traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There we attended the temple and stayed in a hotel. The next day took us to Lubbock, Texas where we also attended the temple (did we ever mention we love going to the temple?!). After these temple stops, we were in for the long haul and drove the rest of the way to College Station. We arrived at 3:00 am, were very tired, had enough energy to unlock the front door, drag in our mattress, throw it on the ground, and fall into bed! We slept very well in our new house and were glad to be at our final destination.

It's so good to have some consistency when you move far away from what you're used to

The first thing we did once in Texas was to travel down to Sugar Land for family pictures and to attend Devin's little brother, Ryan’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor.  Devin's family lives about two hours from us, which is one of the reasons we chose Texas A&M.

September 2010

Besides being busy with Devin starting his graduate studies and work at the Texas Transportation Institute, we tried to have a little fun as well (all the while trying our hardest to be good “starving students”). Devin’s family invited us to go to Tallahassee, Florida with them to a BYU football game. We were convinced when they mentioned that we’d be stopping at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana temple on the way! We jumped at the chance and had a fun trip. We went to the beach in Mississippi one day as well. The temple was great! The football game… well, BYU got wasted. The car ride… very long and uncomfortable for being almost 6 months pregnant.

My husband is attractive, physically AND spiritually

Devin and I signed up for a class together at the Institute – Early Church History with President McMullin as our teacher.  Although we felt a little awkward as the only married couple in attendance, we like learning and we like the gospel! 

October 2010

This month we found the opportunity to visit Carl (Devin's mission companion) and Tracey Leder who were living at that time in Dallas. One of the purposes of the trip was to attend the Dallas temple, but also to see our good friends. We had a great visit with them and enjoyed spending a little time with Carl and Tracey. We hope to one day live close to them and be able to hang out with them more frequently. This trip also helped confirm to us that we could do cloth diapers (that’s what they used for Ezra, their baby boy).

Yay for being prego!

Let’s include another picture of my belly, just for fun.  Here I am almost seven months along. I've got a bun in the oven!

This picture was not staged - I was actually cooking

On October 21st, my grandpa, Willard Oliver Stratton, passed away after a long roller coaster battle with multiple myeloma.  I was able to fly out to Utah to attend his funeral and was honored to be asked to play one of his favorites, “Clair de Lune” at his funeral service.   My grandpa is one of my heroes – he is a great man.  I admire his sense of humor, his work ethic, his artistic talents (we’re privileged to have two of his paintings decorating our walls), his knowledge and practical wisdom, his amiable personality and genuine caring that drew everyone to want to be his friend, his unassuming and humble testimony, and his love for his family and nature. 

The medallions say "Loving Father", "Beloved Husband"

A big part of our weekends this fall were abducted by the BYU football team.  I didn’t realize until this season how much Devin likes Cougar football; last year, we were participating in Savior of the World and thus football was not so much of an option usually.  I’m pretty sure we watched every game this year – if we weren’t driving to Florida to see it in person, or down to Houston to watch it at Devin’s parents’, we were inviting ourselves over to ward members’ homes who had a tv (since we don’t).  GO COUGS!

I tried to go a little deeper with more healthy eating habits, but sometimes Devin did not quite appreciate this effort.  My favorite quote from October was this: me  – “I’m gonna go fix some oatmeal; is that okay?” Devin –“If you’re feeding ORPHANS!  That’s when I knew I had gone too far, and had pushed my normally garbage-disposal of a husband over the edge.  We haven't had oatmeal in a long time...

For Dad Moore’s birthday, we had to think really hard to come up with a gift for the man who has everything.  We decided to combine my talents with Devin’s brawn for an epic birthday present – we cleaned out their garage! I really wish I had before and after pictures, but I’ll leave it to your imagination.

The only special thing that happened on Halloween did not include costumes or candy - Devin and I were set apart for our new callings in the College Station 2nd ward; Devin is a Sunday School teacher for the Adult Gospel Doctrine class, and I am the Ward Music Committee Chair. 

November 2010

In preparation for a surprise that I didn’t know was coming, the first week of November was dubbed “Harry Potter Marathon Week”.  Although I’m no Harry Potter fanatic, I enjoy good ol’ HP and have read all his books and seen the movies.  Devin, shockingly, was anti-Harry, so I was pleased that he finally broke down to watch ALL 6 movies! The surprise came the day before my birthday when we celebrated and went and saw Harry Potter 7 in the theater on opening day! We showed up an hour early and were in line with all the other 9 year olds with their moms. After the film, which we enjoyed, Devin surprised me again by taking me out to dinner at Cenare Italian Restaurant here in town. It is rumored to be the best Italian restaurant in College Station, and I’d have to agree, it was great - very romantic atmosphere.

I found out that there is great prejudice against hiring pregnant women (as well as a shortage of jobs in this college town). During one interview I heard the most creative and unusual way of determining if a woman was pregnant: “So… do you have any… uh… stomach problems?” After searching for jobs, interviewing, and searching some more, I finally just signed up to be a substitute teacher for the College Station ISD. At first I was very intimidated about the possibility of disobedient hoodlums with drug paraphernalia; but really it wasn’t so bad. I was able to teach elementary, middle, and high school classes without any threats on my life! First and second grade were my favorites because they were so eager to learn and just darn cute: one class gave me 20 suggestions for my baby’s name.

We had the privilege to be able to travel to Salt Lake for Thanksgiving this year! Devin was able to take a few days off of work and we headed up to a fun filled vacation in the cold weather - I loved the snow! It was a relaxing trip even though it seemed like there was a lot to do. It was great to be with my family. Devin went scuba diving with my brothers and Serity (they wouldn’t let me because I was pregnant). I went and saw Savior of the World with Dad, Sharlee, and Grandma Flegal while the others were under water. During the trip we also spent some time with Grandma Moore. Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic as usual. The Stratton side of the family threw me a really cute baby shower where I was generously doted upon.

They just can't keep their hands off my belly

Devin cheated this year and surprised me doubly with another birthday celebration on the 30th of November. He took me to Caffé Capri (the rumored best Italian restaurant in Bryan (neighboring town)!) and then to “Ronan Tynan: An Irish Christmas” - a concert performed by one of the Irish Tenors. One of my favorite parts of the performance was all the stories of losing his prosthetic legs while performing on stage throughout his life. It was an equally romantic evening as my birthday and fun to celebrate it twice!

December 2010

This month I had two baby showers, one held in Sugar Land, thrown by Mom Moore and Vanessa (my sister-in-law) and the other here in College Station thrown by the ward. Everyone was so munificent in their gift giving and after all was said and done, we had almost everything that we needed for our little Moore to be added to the family. I’m so happy to be blessed with such great friends and family.

For months, since I received the assignment as ward committee chair, I had been preparing a multi-ward, multi-church Christmas musical program. Adding that to being hugely pregnant was pretty stressful. Through weeks of working and hours of worrying, the program was prepared and went off even better than expected. Devin sang with a barbershop quartet, and there were many other great performances...and lots of yummy cookies afterwards.

December was filled with Christmas festivities including a visit to Austin to see the play for which Kyle built the set. The play was called “A Kodachrome Christmas” and although the play wasn’t our favorite, it was really neat to see some of Kyle’s handiwork. During the play Alaire and Ryan were both chosen to “stand-in” for a missing bell choir, and they did a great job! We also had a great dinner at the “Most Romantic First Date Restaurant in Austin” – “Romeo’s”.

I look like a really ripe grape

On the evening of the 23rd, Devin and I went to campus to listen to Rick Larsen present “The Star of Bethlehem”, which was a really neat documentary.  We went home and slept under the Christmas tree on our new air mattress.  In the morning, we found that Santa had visited us a day early! We observed our early Christmas together, then drove to Devin’s parents’ to festivate a little more.  We put together an extremely difficult Christmas tree puzzle while watching “Miracle on 34th Street” and “White Christmas” a few times on back to back re-runs.  Christmas morning, the Moore family (minus Brett) all gathered for a family devotional and then we opened presents and enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing together.

Devin wrapped my iPod shuffle in a very heavy, big box

My due date was the 29th of December, but pretty much from the 6th month of pregnancy onward, the doctor and everyone else was SURE that I would be delivering early because the baby was so big.  We were really hoping that the baby wouldn’t come on Christmas, but before we left for Houston we took a bunch of creative pregnant pictures just in case.

I got bigger, believe it or not

My family (Dad, Mom, Jacob, Trent, and Sharlee) decided to all drive down and stay with Devin and me the week that the baby was due – they were here six days total and we had quite the party, but no baby!  We played almost every game we own, did two monstrously hard puzzles, ate a lot, watched movies, the boys played Frisbee golf a couple times, Mom and I made freezer meals and went on A LOT of walks (trying to start the contractions).  A good time was had by all and we really appreciated them making the arduous trek, but were pretty sad when they left our home without being able to see the baby.


Our life is the best!  We are very blessed.  This year and a half in review is also twelve whopping pages long in Microsoft Word (not including the pictures!).  But I’m not going to apologize, because the main purpose of our blog is for family history, not to amuse our readers (so sorry).  Anyway, I doubt anyone will actually read this whole thing besides us.  If you are reading this now, and honestly read the whole post – you call me and I’ll give you a sweet prize.  But there will be a quiz first! Ha ha…
I wonder if Blogger will even let me post something so grotesquely large…