Can you believe that a decade has come and gone?! I sure can’t. It has flown by when I think about it. So much has happened that has stretched me, like taffy being made, but I’m a stronger and better me because of all that stretching.
To give you a quick glance in my rear-view, here is what the last decade looked like for me.
2010 – A Break from School to Serve the Lord
As a student at BYU-Idaho, I was enjoying my time studying, playing soccer and working at The Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe. Once I finished winter semester I moved home to await my mission call and prepare for service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On July 7th, I entered the Provo Missionary Training Center where I began learning and preparing to be a missionary at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. In August, I traveled from Provo, Utah to Salt Lake City to begin my time on Temple Square. I loved it there and still love it to this day. It was a magical place where I was blessed to meet people traveling from all over the world, serve with people from all over the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Walking every day in the same place where pioneers walked was like walking through Disneyland, knowing that characters and so many others from all around the world had walked.
2011 – An Year of Learning and Growing
I continued my mission on Temple Square — loving the people I served, the things I learned, and the personal growth I saw in myself. I was blessed to spend a few months of my mission in Billings, Montana from through the summer. I then returned to Temple Square to finish my mission on December 20th, which is my favorite month of the year to see Temple Square because of the beautiful lights all over and the sweet spirit as we all would come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. On the morning of December 20th, I took the elevator down from our apartment to the building lobby to see my family waiting for me, after being apart for 18 months. It was one of the happiest reunions I will ever experience in my life. We spent a wonderful Christmas and New Years together before I would leave in January to start winter semester at BYU-Idaho, to finish my degree in Elementary Education.
2012 – A Year back in Rexburg
I started winter semester, loved my Elementary Education classes and loved working at the Cocoa Bean – where I became known as “The Cupcake Girl” by many people that I would pass-by on campus. I loved the time I was able to play on soccer teams throughout the year. I made many new friends with roommates and still cherish their friendships to this day! I ended up getting onto the fast-track course at school and went to school through the whole year, skipping summer break. I was ready to be a teacher and be done with the student life.
2013 – A Lot of New Beginnings
I graduated from BYU-Idaho in April, at the same time as my sister Adrianna. We had so much fun celebrating with our family and were anxious to move on to the next stage of our lives. I moved to Alpine, UT to live with some family friends while I completed my student teaching in Daybreak, UT. During my student teaching I was hired to begin teaching 1st grade at Daybreak Elementary. I loved my colleagues, the students and learned so much about my abilities as a teacher and how to be the best teacher for my students. During my time student teaching, I met Scott…the man of my dreams! He was everything I wanted and more in my eternal companion. After dating for 4 months, we got engaged in one of the most beautiful places at the base of the mountains in Alpine, behind Scott’s parents home. That December, we had the most beautiful wedding we could ever dream of and were sealed for time and all eternity in the Sacramento Temple.
2014 – Our First Year Together
Scott and I moved into our first place together, a small one bedroom apartment in Provo, Utah. While Scott continued going to BYU and playing rugby, I successfully completed my first year of teaching. After teaching 1st grade for one year, I moved on with my students and started teaching 2nd grade. It wasn’t something I was expecting, but I learned a lot and was grateful to continue building friendships with my students and other colleagues. Scott and I made memories together having family and friends over for game nights and Sunday dinners. We loved the simplicity of life in that small apartment and all the friendships that came from living so close to our neighbors. Scott had been working hard and completed all his classes to graduate from BYU with a degree in International Relations. During his final semester he did an internship with a family friend, who was lawyer. Scott quickly learned that he wasn’t quite ready to go to law school and decided to work for his brother-in-law in title insurance.
2015 – Unexpected Circumstances
It was the beginning summer when we decided it was time to move on to something more than our small one bedroom apartment. Another part of us moving was so that I didn’t have such a long drive to work. Scott kept working in the title insurance business and through that summer, Scott’s two younger brothers came and lived with us until they headed back to school in the fall. We had traditions of going to the gym together and listening to our favorite summer songs playlist together. Anytime I hear a song from that summer playlist, I think back on the summer we would all drive to the gym together and get a good workout in after a day of work and before a night in (for me and Scott) and usually a night out (for the brothers). In August, I had my first surgery in a long time. After taking Clomid for about a month, I suffered an ovarian torsion. Due to that torsion, my left ovary needed to be removed, making things a little more complicated for us to start a family. It was a terrible experience, but through it Scott’s and my relationship was strengthened and our desire to have children soon began to quickly grow. Through the fall, Scott and I enjoyed going to the state fair, attending football games and doing service with the rugby team. It’s time together that means the most to me and I’m grateful for all the time we have together, whether its at home or out and about.
2016 – Greatness Comes Through Trials
Sadly, I had another trip to the ER in the early spring. This time, I had an ectopic pregnancy that implanted in my right Fallopian tube. Going into surgery we weren’t sure what was going to happen, but we were blessed to learn that with the help of a fertility specialist, we would still be able to have our own children. That summer, I finished teaching at Daybreak Elementary and then started teaching 4th grade at North Point Elementary. It was a wonderful change that was closer to home and at a school that I would come to love. I loved my colleagues and all of the students I had the opportunity to teach. Scott and I started meeting with a fertility specialist and began our first round of IVF, which sadly ended as a failed transfer. We had two more embryos and decided to transfer again, but with a few tweaks to improve our chances thanks to the help of our fertility specialist.
2017 – Love, Loss and Hope
Continued teaching 4th grade at North Point Elementary. Began second round of IVF and got pregnant! We did some early tests and surprised our parents to let them know that it was a girl! On June 2nd we welcomed Emma at 21 weeks and soon after laid her to rest in the Alpine cemetery, next to her cousins Avery and Brooke. We didn’t let that get us down, even though we had to start from scratch with the IVF process to have more children. So, we started again and it was hard, really hard, but in the end it was worth it. We found out we had 4 successful and strong embryos! We did a transfer just before Christmas, and a few days after Christmas we found out we were expecting a baby girl! I had always found ways to help me keep busy and keep my spirits bright with all the stress and difficulties of IVF, so I would cook and bake to pass the time. I have always loved trying new things as I bake and cook, and the joy that it brings me is one of the greatest joys in my life. There is such a special feeling when you complete a project, like making and decorating a cake from scratch. Each time I cut into that cake and take a bite, it’s like a child learning to walk for the first time and being so excited to try it again and again.
2018 – New Beginnings & Our Greatest Blessing
I finished teaching 4th grade at North Point Elementary and “retired” to be a stay at home mom. Scott continued to work for the title company, where they continued to grow and progress in their business. On August 29, we welcomed Annabelle into our family and the joys of parenthood began. Although things were difficult in the beginning with her nursing and my health, we endured it and all was well by October. The holidays that year were extra special as we had a little one to celebrate everything with for the first time. Not only did we love it, but our families did as well, and spoiled that little one rotten.
2019 – A Learning and Growing Little One
Annabelle would go through physical therapy and get a beautiful helmet to fix her torticollis and “flat” head she was getting because of favoring one side over the other. We would enjoy a summer at the pool and basking in the sunshine. At the end of summer we moved out of our townhouse in Lehi and move in with Scott’s Aunt and Uncle in Sandy. It was a hard choice to move out of our own place, but we made the choice to help pay off debt and allow ourselves to get in better financial situation after getting several loans to go through IVF. We could be in a home of our own if we didn’t go through IVF, but growing our family is of the greatest importance and when the time is right, we will find a home that is just right for us too.
This decade has taught me more than I thought I could learn in a lifetime. From a college student, to a wife, to a mother that can’t hold her child anymore, to then having a child that means the world to me – I am proud of who I have become and where I am in my life. Do I wish some things were different? Absolutely! Would I change any of my learning experiences for what I have now? Not at all.
I am who I am and that is who God has made me to be. I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us and will lead us and to where we are supposed to be. Life is a wonderful thing and there shouldn’t be anything we take for granted. Make the most of each and every day in your life and Enjoy the Journey.