Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome back

My first day back at work, I walk into my office to find this...

My students had decorated my office with a big banner, balloons, leis, candy, posters, buttons, and a furry tablecloth....all lime green!
I once told them that I really wanted to paint one of the walls in there lime green. So since they couldn't do that, they just got a bunch of lime green stuff to put all over! They also made me a silly kangaroo seat cover for my chair, complete with a pouch. And they got me some lovely flowers. I love flowers in my office...they just make me happy.

So the first day back was pretty good. At least while I was at work. Everyone was happy to see me, and it felt good to be missed. It was really busy so I didn't have much time to worry about Emily. I almost forgot to eat! The pumping thing even worked out ok. I do like my job, so it was fun to be back and see everyone.

I had a bit of a breakdown on Sunday night just thinking about how I was going to have to leave her the next day and so I didn't sleep very well. She was asleep when I left in the morning, so it wasn't AS bad to leave.

But the really awful part happened when I got home on Monday. Emily was crying and she was just exhausted. Apparently she had cried most of the day and wouldn't sleep at all the whole day. And she had a bit of trouble eating too. It just broke my heart. She just looked so unhappy. Oh, and she rolled over for the first time too and I missed it! And then when I got home and started talking to her, she just got a huge smile on her face. It was like..."Oh, you actually came back!" Anyway, she was so exhausted that she slept for almost 10 hours straight! Poor little girl. So then I had a major breakdown. I really hope she does better today or I don't know if I am going to be able to do this.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


My 10 weeks of maternity leave has come and gone and I'm headed back to work tomorrow. I can't believe how fast it went! I have very mixed feelings about tomorrow. I'm excited to have people to talk to during the day, but I'm nervous about leaving Emily. I just want her to be healthy and happy and loved. And I want to be there for her. And I don't want to miss out on anything she does.

I am happy to have such wonderful people to take care of her while I'm gone. Matt will be with her some of the mornings, my sister will be watching her 3 afternoons a week, and my neighbor will take the other 2 days. It's actually pretty cool how it all worked out and fell into place so easily. But I still want to be there for her.

I'll admit that I'm not 100% sure that me going back to work is the right thing. But quitting my job right now doesn't feel right. But one thing I have learned is that Heavenly Father will either help us to make this work or He will provide us with another option that feels right. I've also learned that sometimes He doesn't always tell you what's right, but He just tells you what is wrong. And you just do the best you can with what you know and take those steps into the darkness until He confirms it or directs us another way.

On the other hand, I'm kind of happy to have something to do during the day. I really need to get back into a routine before I go crazy! Emily sleeps most of the day and I have been getting kinda bored and SO lonely staying home by myself all day. I feel so trapped inside since I can't really leave while she is napping. I am grateful that I have a good job that I enjoy to help provide for our family while Matt finishes up school in these next few months. And I'm glad that I have the opportunity to be an influence for good in the lives of my students.

I love this article about working moms:
LDS.org - Ensign Article - Working Double-Time: The Working Mother’s Dilemma.
It has brought me a lot of comfort in making this hard decision. So, I'm sure tomorrow will be a huge adjustment for everyone, and I'm sure there will be lots of sacrifices, but I hope and pray that the Lord will continue to guide us and direct us as to what is best for our little family.

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Generations

We finally got 5 generations in the same place to take a picture! We've got Emily, me, my dad (Mark Shepherd), my dad's mom (LaWana Osborne Shepherd), and then my grandma's mom (Alta Osborne). Pretty cool.

Emily's Great-Great-Grandma Alta is 96 years old! She is pretty awesome. Even at 96, she lives by herself and when we went to go visit her yesterday, she had made us some cookies and was dishing us up some ice cream. We sure do love our Granny Alta!

Monday, September 20, 2010


This past weekend we had a little campfire reunion with our friends from the Mountain View 9th Ward (our old singles ward). It was so much fun. I only took 3 pictures...I was too busy catching up with everyone! I loved that ward so much. The 2 years I was there were really one of the best times of my life. We had so many friends and there was always something going on.

It was so awesome to have so many friends in one place and to get to see them all multiple times every week. I miss that. It seems it's just been a lot harder to make friends in the regular wards we have been in since then. I also loved my callings that I had while I was in that ward (activities co-chair and RS teacher). This probably sounds lame, but I just felt like an important part of the ward and that the talents I had were being used to help others. I felt like I was able to make friends and contribute so easily there. And I love feeling needed and like I can contribute.

And there were so many fabulous people there who were such an inspiration to me about what good people should be like. They helped me to be a better person. They still do! Plus, our bishopric was just awesome. Bishop AJ was the one who knocked some sense into me about sticking with Matt. :)

Anyway, I just love everyone from the MV9! And we missed everyone who couldn't make it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2 Months

Our little Em is 2 months old today. I can't believe how fast it's gone. I only have one more week of maternity leave and then it's back to work. Crazy. I'm hoping everything will work out when that happens. At 2 months old, Emily...

-is 24 inches tall (90th percentile)
-weighs 10 lbs, 14 oz. (50th percentile)
-has a small head: 34 cm. (30th percentile)
-loves her zoo animal mobile (It is so stinkin' cute. We'll lay her down underneath it and she just smiles and laughs at the animals.)
-is smiling up a storm
-still likes stroller rides
-likes her carseat now
-has been on her first road trip
-spits up a lot
-loves to stand up on people's laps or sit on their knee
-sleeps 6-8 hours straight at night, and 2-4 hours straight during her daytime naps
-has 2 chins and is getting that baby chub
-can both bottle feed or nurse easily
-likes her tummy time
-does not like her bouncy seat
-loves to wiggle

And is the sweetest little baby. We love her! Happy 2-Month Birthday Em!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Confessions of a New Mom

So you might think I'm a terrible person for even saying this, but sometimes I struggle with being a mom. That first month after she was born was really rough. I like to call it the 4th trimester, which was much worse than any of the 3 trimesters of pregnancy. But after that first month, it started to get much better. Although most of the time I like being a mom now, there are a few things I am still struggling with. Maybe you other moms can help me out with some ideas....

How on earth do you possibly get a workout in? And what do you do for exercise? (I'm getting sick of stroller walking.)

How do you prioritize? And not feel bad about the stuff you don't get to? And feel productive?

How do you not feel trapped inside your house all day? And not feel lonely.

What hobbies do you have that you can do at home by yourself? (Most of the things I like to do are not the most "stay-at-home friendly".)

How do you not go crazy when you're up in the middle of the night? My mind seems to fret about things irrationally at 3 a.m.

How do you not feel guilty when you feel like your baby is making other people's lives harder or putting them out?

Anyway, even though I struggle with a few things, I'm so glad to have little Em around, and for the opportunity to be her mom. The precious little moments do make up for the struggles.

Monday, September 13, 2010

206 miles, 3 states, 1 day = LOTOJA

This past weekend Matt, Nathan, and Caron participated in the LOTOJA bike race. It is a bike ride from Logan to Jackson for a total of 206 miles. They were in a relay team with one other guy, Wes, who is my dad's friend. My dad was supposed to be the 5th man on the team, but had to drop out because of his bike accident. So the 4 of them were left to conquer the 206 miles.

We headed up to Logan on Friday night, checked in, the racers carbo-loaded, and then we stayed at this guy in my parent's ward sister's house. Another team was also staying there. Here is everybody the night before the big race. (I was downstairs in the closet feeding Em.)
In order to ride in the race, everyone had to get this lovely tattoo on their leg. Matt also decided it was necessary to shave his legs.

We got up early Saturday morning and headed to the start line. Wes took the first leg, which was from Logan to Preston, ID (34 miles). Here they are taking off!

The cars drove on a separate route for the first half of the race and then on the same road as the riders for awhile and then on a different route again for the last 15 miles or so. We would get to the transition areas about 20-30 minutes before the riders.

Here is Matt getting ready for his leg, which was from Preston to Montpelier, ID (46 miles).

Here is Wes coming into the transition area in Preston.

And Matt is off! His leg went over a mountain and was about 60% uphill.

Here is Nathan getting ready for Leg 3, which was from Montpelier to Afton, WY (45 miles).

Nathan and Caron developed a secret team cheer at this point that they had to do when they passed off the timing chip, which acted as the baton. So they made sure to do the cheer when Matt came riding in to the transition area in Montpelier.

And they're passing off to Nathan.

And he's off for Leg 3. His leg was also a lot of climbing through canyons.

Matt was sick after his leg. His poor stomach was about ready to puke. :(

At each of the transition areas, we would get Emily out and feed her and change her and play with her. Then she would sleep for most of the time between transitions when we were in the car. She did pretty well and really only had a few small breakdowns.

About halfway through Leg 3 was where the cars went on the same road as the riders. We were really impressed when we caught up to Nathan...he was much farther along that we had anticipated. This part was more fun because we would pass him and then pull off to the side of the road a little ways up and get out and cheer for him.

We misplaced the camera at the next transition so we didn't get any pictures of Nathan finishing and passing the baton on to Caron. Caron did Leg 4, which was from Afton to Alpine, WY (34 miles). Again, when we caught up to her we were very impressed with how far along she was. She got to ride through lovely Star Valley.

My dad was supposed to do Leg 5, but since he was out, one of the other team members had to take it on. Matt was planning on doing it, but since he was so sick after his leg, Nathan was the freshest so he jumped in and did Leg 5, which was from Alpine into Jackson (47 miles). Here is Caron passing to Nathan for the final leg.

When we passed Nathan, he was cruising! He had passed several groups and he said, "I can't find a group I like!"

At Hoback Jct., which was about 20 miles from the finish, Wes joined up with Nathan to help him out and ride to the end with him.

The finish line parking lot was so crowded, we were afraid we weren't going to make it in time to watch them cross! But we did and here we are waiting for them at the finish line.

They did great! They finished the whole thing in just under 12 hours. Each team member really did an awesome job and did great on their legs. The rule was that they had to finish by 8:15 or they would get kicked off the course. They finished with about 45 minutes to spare. Way to go!

Here is Nathan after finishing. Since he did 2 legs, he ended up riding a total of 92 miles. Well done!

And here is the whole team at the finish line.

It was so fun! I would really like to participate in the future. It was just fun being in the support car and cheering everyone on. I almost didn't go because I was worried Emily wouldn't do well, but I'm so glad I went. She did pretty well and we all had a great time.

We stayed in Jackson that night with Caron's aunt, who cooked us an amazing dinner. We were all so dead tired though that we pretty much just crashed. And on the way home on Sunday, we stopped at a gas station in Montpelier, ID and saw this...

It was a bunch of old guys in flannel shirts and cowboy hats sitting around shooting the breeze in the gas station. It was hilarious!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Emily's Blessing

We were able to bless our little Emily this past Sunday in our church. She was given her name, Emily Meg Lively, and also a beautiful blessing from her father. She was able to wear the same dress that I (and my sisters) wore for our baby blessings. I think it's neat that she will be able to have this dress to pass down to her daughter one day.

She looked so beautiful and it was a wonderful experience to witness Matt bless our sweet little baby. I'm so grateful for my little family and the joy that Emily has brought into our home.

This little bracelet was given to Emily by one of the families in the bishopric.

And this special blanket was made for Emily by her great-aunt Gaile.

Of course she spit up all over Matt's suit right as he picked her up to take her up front to the blessing circle.

We were so thankful to be able to share this special day with so many of our family members. And so thankful that little Emily is ours.

P.S. Our cute little 4-year old nephew, Kyle, said as he was leaving our house on Sunday, "I just love that baby." Awww...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ready for football

Our baby is all ready for football season!

Matt seems to think the following pictures are a telltale sign of who she will be rooting for...

We'll have to wait and she what she chooses. My only rule is that she be allowed to choose for herself and be given a fair chance to make a choice. I personally think she'll end up being an Aggie just to not take sides. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I took Emily this week to get her pictures taken. I really wanted some nice newborn photos of her. Anyway, they turned out SO cute. It was so hard to pick which ones I wanted. But here are some of my favorites. We even got her to smile for one of them!

She is getting to be such a sweet baby. She smiles almost every day and it is so fun. She is a really good baby also. She sleeps well and is mostly happy. It's getting fun to have her around.