Thursday, October 8, 2015

To my daughter

I love your bright eyed smiles at 5:30 in the morning. No really I do. I love your fluffy brown hair after bathtime. I love that you have brown hair when we thought for sure you would be blonde. I love when you look up at me while we're nursing. I love your chunky rolls on your arms and legs. I love our quiet moments together and I even love you when you're screaming. I love reading stories to you in the rocking chair in your room. I love when we play airplane. I love talking and singing to you and seeing you light up and give me a gummy grin. I love when you make noises and squeaks and growls. You can't wait to talk to me. I love when we get you dressed but I also love your squishy, naked belly. I love it when you need me to rock you to sleep at night and when we cuddle in the morning. I love that you look like my baby pictures but that I can see your daddy in expressions that you make. 
Everyday I love you more and more and I am so grateful to be your mama. 
I want to remember every single moment and soak them all in. Don't let me forget. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Eleanor Grace: A Birth Story

It was 10:25 in the morning on July 9, 2015 when my water broke. My mom was sleeping on our couch, in town for the week, waiting anxiously for me to go into labor. David had been at work already since 8 am. The moment my water broke I started having contractions. They were fairly strong and close together but I wasn't sure if I was in actual labor yet. About twenty minutes passed before I felt like it was time to tell my mom to start calling people and to tell David to come home from work. By then my contractions were two minutes apart and lasting thirty seconds each. David came home quickly and seemed calm to me. I had been planning on laboring at home for as long as possible, so he wanted to make sure to keep me relaxed and focused on the Hypnobabies techniques I had been practicing. At 11:15am I had another gush of water. David gave me a blessing for peace and comfort. While he was giving me the blessing, I felt this sort of wave of calm rush through my body. It was nice for us to have this moment together. 

At 11:57am the Doula arrived. We tried different positions around the house to keep me comfortable. They worked for a few contractions and then I wanted to change positions. My contractions felt like really severe period cramps. I never felt them high on my belly like everyone told me I would. They were always very low. They weren't super painful, just felt like a lot of pressure. The thing I wasn't prepared for was not having a rest time at all once labor started. I thought my contractions would start out slow and easy and I would have time to relax in between them.

We left for the hospital at 12:22pm. My contractions were so powerful I thought, I must be at like 7 cm, we need to go or I'll have this baby at home. David called our midwife and told her we were on our way. The car ride to the hospital was hard because at this point the only position I felt comfortable in was standing up bending over something and rocking my hips.

At 1:03pm the midwife checked me. I was at 5cm and 90% effaced and baby was at -1 station. I remember being upset about this because I was sure I was farther along. At 1:42pm I got into the tub and stayed in there for an hour and a half. There were five of us in the little tub room, all eyes on me. I remember worrying if I was taking too long and if I was boring them. I got out of the tub and had three contractions on the way back to my room. 

I layed in the bed in various positions while David and my Doula said positive affirmations and rubbed my back and force fed me snacks and water. I did not want to eat but they could tell I was running low on energy. The midwife told me to drink the water or they would have to give me a IV. At 3:10pm she checked me again, 6 cm and 100% effaced. I walked around the room and bounced on the birthing ball to speed things up. 4:52pm another check, 8cm 100% effaced. This time the midwife told me that the baby might be posterior. She asked me to get into the shower and do lunges to get her to turn. I didn't want to. I remember thinking, I don't think I can do this anymore. I'm too tired. Maybe if I take a nap I will feel better.

David told me I would feel better if I got into the shower. I think I remember cursing at him. I had one leg up on the bench in the shower and David ran the shower sprayer across my lower back and on my belly. He kept telling me how amazing I was doing and how he was so proud of me. And you know what? That shower was the most magical, blissful, gift-straight-from-heaven shower ever. My body became calm and rejuvenated. And suddenly I felt the urge to push.Not just the urge but I was actually pushing in the shower. I yelled out to the midwife, "I can't help it, I'm just pushing, I don't know why!"

I got out and into the bed and wanted to be on my hands and knees. She told me I would definitely tear if I pushed like that, so I moved into a side-lying position. She checked me and my water broke the rest of the way and I felt like I lost ten pounds of warm, gushing water. She said I was complete and that baby was at 0 station. Ready to push. Suddenly I had all the energy in the world. I was so excited to meet my little baby girl! 

Pushing was amazing. I felt her moving down. I felt my body opening up. I had the nurses set up a mirror so I could see what I was doing. It helped me push harder. I could hear David say, "there she is! Can you see her hair?!" I couldn't. My eyes were closed while I pushed and when I stopped pushing she would go back in. I pushed for 23 minutes until she crowned and I touched her head. I pushed one more time and she was out to her shoulders. 

The midwife told me to reach down and pull my baby the rest of the way out. She was born at 5:49pm 8 lbs and 13 oz, 20 1/2 inches long. She was tiny and warm and slippery and cone-headed and ours. I couldn't believe she was finally here! I held her on my chest completely unaware of anything else in the world. David cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and kissed me and told me how much he loved me.

In my mind, the whole thing went by so quickly. I had no idea that it took seven and a half hours. If you told me it was three hours from my water breaking to holding her in my arms, I would have believed you. Carrying and giving birth to Eleanor was the most incredible experience of my life and I loved every minute of it.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bringing 2014 to a Close

This December was very eventful for the Morrises. Aside from the normal stress of the end of the semester and finals I was also preparing for GRADUATION! It feels so good to be done with school. A little weird because now I have to officially be a grown -up, but still good. 
My mom came up to see me graduate and we had fun spending time with her all week. David's parents came up as well and we drove with them to Minnesota for Christmas. 

While we were there we decided it was time to tell everyone our exciting news. Our baby will be due in early July and we are so thrilled! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Parenting Class Project

I don't have a baby or I would use a picture of myself.
This one is from

My Parenting Manual
For my parenting class this semester I was asked to read two parenting books by Alfie Kohn and Laurence Steinberg. There is a lot of good information in these books that I would like to refer back to when I am a parent. Here I will be sharing the 7 most important principles that I have learned and how they apply to gospel principles.

1. Keep Your Eye on Your Long Term Goals (Kohn, p. 122)
What do you want for you child's future? Do you want them to to be kind, thoughtful, moral, and happy adults that make wise decisions? Or do you want them to do things because they are afraid of punishments or they are seeking rewards or praise? The way we parent has everything to do with the way our children turn out. If we use love withdrawal (time-outs or physical punishment) when they misbehave, we are teaching them to only act well when we are present.

"Generally speaking, no one is better able to help children recognize their spiritual feelings than parents, and no time is better for doing this than childhood. The Lord endows parents with a deep love for their little ones, a special capacity for discerning their needs and feelings, and the right to receive spiritual guidance in their behalf. Because children feel and respond with great sensitivity to their parents’ love, they are open to parental influence and eager to be taught." (Helping Children Hear the Still, Small Voice-By C. Terry and Susan L. Warner)

D&C 42:14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

2. RESPECT (Kohn, p. 124)
If we treated children like we treat adults, we would be a heck of a lot more respectful. All people deserve respect. Children are more likely to respect you if you show them respect. 

Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

3. Be Authentic (Kohn, p. 125)
We need to show our children that we are real people too. Show them that we sometimes make mistakes and have bad days. It's okay to be human. It's okay to be honest. We need to apologize when it is appropriate. Our children learn from our example. "The more real we are with them, the more likely it is that they'll feel real respect for us."

D&C 97:8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me. 

4. Attribute to Children the Best Possible Motive Consistent with the Facts (Kohn, p. 130)
Children are inherently good. There are no sinister desires to cause trouble. Get all of the facts before you discipline your child. Maybe you're wrong or frustrated or not seeing the big picture. Maybe what they did was an accident. "Mischief ofter can be explained by a simple lack of skills or guidance, an innocent desire to explore, an inability to foresee what happens when you take that thing and do this to it." Consider the fact that the child might just be curious instead of naughty.

Moroni 8:9-10  And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.
Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

5.Keep Their Ages in Mind (Kohn, p. 129)
This one goes hand in hand with number four. If we keep in mind the ages of children we will not expect more of them than they can offer. do not hold your children to unrealistically high expectations. Find out what is developmentally "appropriate" for your child and do not try to push them further than they can handle. Remember that it is normal for small children to fidget, be loud and forgetful.

"You’ll understand people better if you assume that people’s behavior is rational, at least from their point of view. Try to see what they see.” (Choose to Be Good-By Henry B. Eyring)

6.You Cannot be Too Loving (Steinberg, p. 27-46)
It is impossible to spoil a child with love. Tell your child every single day that you love them. Show affection. Give hugs and kisses. Children do not need toughening up, especially from their parents. They will get enough of that from the world. Children need to know that there are at least two people in the world that will always love them no matter what.

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. … Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” (The Family a Proclamation to the World-The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

"[We must] make our homes a safe place where each family member feels love and a sense of belonging. Realize that each child has varying gifts and abilities; each is an individual requiring special love and care." (Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty- By Robert D. Hales)

7. Don't Be in a Hurry (Kohn, p. 138)
This one is pretty literal. Do not rush children. Plan extra time in your schedule. Children are slow moving. They take their sweet time. The more frantic we are, the slower they are likely to be. Plan accordingly and everyone will be much happier.

"My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.” (Of Things That Matter Most- By Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First week of school

             top: old navy. jeans: forever 21. shoes: saltwater sandals.

The first week of school stressed me out. This semester is my last so I'm trying to cram as many credits in as possible and it is rough. I just have to keep telling myself that this is the end and I'll never have to do it again. 

To keep from going crazy with school I sometimes have to distract myself from it. Tonight David and I have big plans! Yesterday we bought two giant boxes of Utah peaches and today we are going to can them together. He is seriously a kid in a candy store about it. It's pretty funny.

I'll be sure to post about the whole thing. Especially the part where we have to break into our friends house to get supplies.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Huckleberry Friends

Since the seven-week break started David and I have seen each other maybe once or twice a week for no  longer than four hours at a time. With him working two jobs all day and night and with me working two jobs during the day we haven't really been able to have many date nights. Last night, the stars aligned and we were able to throw together a last minute camping trip as soon as David got home from work. We packed up the big, blue truck, loaded up our bikes and headed up to Kelly Canyon.
We mountain biked and cooked dinner over campfire. We were laughing and eating as an older couple came up to our camp and asked if we could help them jump start their car. We happily obliged and they gave us a basket full of huckleberries as a thank you. Hash tag good karma.
Then we came home to have a shower and breakfast before church.
P.S. Tomorrow we'll be having huckleberry milkshakes until we're sick.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Decorate a Cultural Hall: Part 2

The next most common question I have gotten about our wedding reception is where we got the big pictures of us that are on the walls. They are our engagement pictures printed on canvas and then thumbtacked to the wall. They were done by one of my best friend's parents. They have a comapny called Professional Image in Dallas, Texas. They did something similar for their daughter Josie's wedding and also some of our other Texas friends. It was pretty much a spur of the moment decision to have them done and Josie's parents had to stay up all night to do them!
I couldn't have been more in love with the results. It looked amazing. This look has since been replicated by some of my friends that decided to go the cultural hall route, and that's a-okay with me.

(P.S. the only thing they didn't tell me was what to do with the pictures post-wedding. We still have them sitting in our guest room. They are too big and creepy to be used for anything else...)