Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our E-Christmas Card

This year I decided I wanted to send out Christmas cards. That's something my family always does but Chase's family not so much, so Chase was hesitant to the whole thing. Thus we compromised and took a baby step this year by just sending out E-cards. Hopefully next year we will send out real, in your mailbox, cards. But for now enjoy the card below, just in case we missed sending you our card via email.

What a joy it was to travel around the country and parts of the world in 2010. But we are now jumping for joy for the opportunity to settle down and welcome our new bundle of joy--a baby girl expected to arrive on May 25, 2011!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Drum Roll Please

So...we know the gender of our growing baby. Drum roll's a GIRL! Yep, we're having a little baby girl. We went to an early 16 week ultrasound last Tuesday morning (Chase couldn't wait any longer) and had pretty much everyone's guesses confirmed. My mom had told me she felt like it was a girl from the beginning and even one of my former students who I am close with still had a dream that I had a girl. So pretty much it was in the cards.

We're excited to now be able to call her a "her" rather than an "it" and to be able to start picking out fabric and color schemes for the nursery. I think Chase is a bit worried as to how he will "play" with a little girl despite the fact that he grew up with all sisters (he claims he just got picked on, ha ha). And I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the accessorizing that comes with girls. But luckily I have crafty women all around me to help me in that arena. So there you have it. The latest and greatest in the Gunnell household.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Long Overdue

So, as is the case with so many, I have become MIA in the blogging world due to a big change in the Gunnell household. Yep, you guessed it...I'm pregnant. I'm currently in my 12th week and find myself counting down the days until this first trimester is over in hopes that I will feel better and have more energy. Our current due date is May 25th--right smack in between Chase's birthday (May 15) and my birthday (June 1) and just before Chase starts his yet-to-be-determined internship.
Chase has been asking everyday when I would announce to the blogging world that I'm pregnant. I've been putting it off and putting it off due to my lack of energy, but today my kind faculty member took my 4th hour in order to give me a much needed break at work after a week of stressing to get my grades in. So here I am finally posting.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm please know that I am grateful to be pregnant, especially since it did require patience and waiting on our end. Right now I'm probably more grateful for my understanding, supportive faculty who have been lightening my load constantly; friends and family who have been excited for me (since sickness has drained me of excitement)--it still makes me laugh when I think about our friend who tackled us when he found out; siblings who keep checking up on me, concerned for my well-being; but most importantly Chase who has learned to cope with me these past two months. He has taken over cooking, cleaning, doing the wash, and any errands I may have. Plus, he has adapted to me not wanting to do anything at night (nights are the hardest for me I think) and me not wanting to eat anything at night which results in him thinking of anything and everything he could make or buy for me so that I will eat in order to not get even more sick. I don't know what I would do without him.
Anyway, here are some pictures and hopefully a video (I loaded it but don't know if it will play). First a series of pictures when we found out.
The announcement was made pretty early to my faculty and students that I was pregnant since I became sick. One of my former students was pretty stoked so she decorated my car. Slightly embarrassing when an old man approached me in the law school parking lot as I was waiting to pick up Chase and proceeded to ask me if "Prego" meant "Pregnant". Apparently he was not aware of the new age slang.
Our first ultrasound and visit to the doctor. This visit has resulted in us now calling our baby "Peanut". Stay tuned for more updates on Peanut and us (probably once I'm in the second trimester).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for Chase's family. Late last month we were told that Chase's maternal grandmother's cancer had returned and unfortunately had spread throughout her body. As a result, they gave her 2-3 weeks to live. After about 4 weeks of fighting it, this morning at 6:30AM she passed from this world and into the next.

Although we wish her time on earth could have been longer, we look at these past few weeks as a tender mercy from the Lord. Elaine was able to have her family around her constantly, which I know brought her so much comfort. And it definitely allowed Chase and I time to feel closure. It also allowed me to share my musical gift with Grandma. See, Grandma Stratford has truly blessed not only her family but countless individuals with her musical talents, and so to bring comfort one day Chase and I went over so that I could sing for Grandma. I realized that in the 3 years of us knowing one another, we had never shared this love for music together. So I'm grateful for that afternoon. And I'm grateful for the generous love that she showed me since we very first met--exactly 3 years ago during General Conference. She truly will be missed. It makes my heartache to think that our future children will not be blessed by her crocheting skills--that I won't be able to wrap up a baby in one of her blankets. But I know that we will feel her love wrapped around us throughout the precious moments in our lives that we would want to share with her. I'm grateful to the Lord for the time I've had in knowing Elaine and in calling her Grandma.
Elaine is on the left in this picture.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's News

My brother is famous!! Check it out...he was featured on this website today for his sweet surfin skills down in G-town (Galveston).In other news, Chase and I couldn't be more excited for our favorite show's season premiere tonight! You better believe we'll be campin out in front of the TV tonight at 7pm before racing off to my intramural volleyball game. Good times! Enjoy the weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Family Reunited

So, at the end of July/beginning of August we were able to travel home to Texas for a Smith family gathering. We started out our trip in Dallas where we were able to spend time with family and catch up with my old friend Audra from high school.

During our visit in Dalls we met Winston, the newest addition to Jeff's family. Chase loves bulldogs, so it was love at first sight for the two of them. His lazy, fat self sure did keep us laughing.
We also went and watched "Despicable Me" in 3D. Hands down, movies are ten times funnier when you see them with little kids. There was so many of us that we took up an entire row, and then some.
We then headed down south to Surfside, TX a city near Galveston. We rented a beach house big enough for all 22 of us. We spent our days playing with the kiddos on the beach. Here's little Ollie who had grown so so much since we saw him last Thanksgiving.
One night we went "Ghost Crab Hunting". It's where the kids walk around with flashlights until they find a crab that is transparent (hence ghost crab). Then they scream and chase it until they catch it. Regardless of age, the kids were fearless and would pick the crabs up with their bare hands.
Each night a different couple was in charge of cooking. Needless to say we ate well all week. The night Chase and I were in charge we felt we should introduce the family to one of our favorite desserts--Pazzokis. We made big pans full of cookie and poured the ice cream on top and let the kids go at it. It was utter chaos!
A night of smores!
Brad and Karrie's fish's presentation was quite remarkable.
The row of beach houses lit up at night.
We were able to put Jeff's expensive hobby (photography) to good use this trip. Here are some family photos we took one evening.
Here's our beach house.
And now presenting, the infamous sailboat my dad bought shortly before our reunion (may it rest in peace now). It was quite the adventure lugging the thing from Dallas to the coast, but we made it safely and enjoyed a week of sailing with the boat only tipping once.

Much of our indoor time was playing games, including Rock Band. It's pretty crazy when your little nephews can rock out with you!
I sure can't wait for the next Smith family gathering!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Resolution Completed

So, I must backtrack quite a bit in these next few posts. Maybe I'll catch up to the present soon, but I'm not counting on it. These past few weeks have been quite busy with work, family matters, and life in general. Plus, I don't want blogging to turn into a distraction like Sis. Beck warned against at our Regional Broadcast on Sunday. Thus my updates will probably be spaced out and used as a means of keeping track of events for our "Yearbook" I make each year and as a release from the stress of life. Hopefully I will be able to update you on the past 2 goes:

One of my 2010 New Year's Resolutions was to run a 10k. When I found out that my aunt Val had rounded up most of her family to run the Deseret News Pioneer Run on Saturday I quickly jumped at the chance to run with family. It's funny how once you pay for an event like this your motivation to train increases tremendously. Once it's paid for there's no going back. I am happy to say that the training paid off. Not only did I run the whole way but I finished quicker than I expected. My time was around 1:07 (I never was able to find my offical time). I was also happy with the fact that I wasn't sore afterwards and I was able to sprint the last leg. Here are some pre-race pictures of the fam and our victory breakfast afterwards.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We're Alive

I thought I would update our readers by letting them know, Chase and I are still alive (currently I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread after waking up at 4:50 am the past two days in a row for school), we just are MIA right now due to both of us starting school this week. Once I recover from this week you will be pleased to read posts covering the past month. Some events we have to share are:

*Me running my 10k
*Our Smith family reunion in Texas
*A night camping under the stars
*My kickin classroom that I've spent way too much time decorating for this year

So stay tuned...and pray that we both recover quickly from our first week of school :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Priesthood

As a Latter-day Saint, I believe the power of God was restored to the earth in this dispensation on May 15, 1829 as John the Baptist conferred the priesthood upon the prophet Joseph Smith as well as Oliver Cowdery. As a result, I am blessed today to have Chase hold the power of the priesthood, a power that has blessed my life countless times.

Today I feel so grateful for a worthy priesthood holder in my home who is worthy to use his priesthood when needed. August 17, 2010 is a day that will not be forgotten in our home, and my knowledge of the power of God on the earth has been strengthend. May any priesthood holder that reads this (I know male readers of this blog are few) seek to live their lives worthy of the priesthood which you hold. And may any woman who reads this remember to turn to the priesthood for strength.

Friday, July 23, 2010

North Carolina

Earlier this month Chase and I were flown to Raleigh, NC in order for me to speak at a 5-Stake Youth Conference held on East Carolina University's campus. It was such a treat, especially since neither one of us had ever been to the Carolinas. I loved the Southern hospitality that was extended to us throughout our stay. We extended our trip by a day before and after the Conference so that we could see a bit of Carolina. It involved a bit of driving but here are some snapshots of our adventures.

Fort Macon, a Confederate fort built on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Siege of Fort Macon by the Union during the Civil War took place from March 23 to April 26, 1862.
Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers altered life as we know it. Really, as we learned more about the first recorded flight in history we realized that this was quite the life altering discovery.
There's a monument seated on the hill where their plane took off from.

This is the track and markers of the how far they reached on the first four flights.
It just so happened that we visited Kitty Hawk during the 32nd annual Kite Festival. I even got to fly my own little kite along side some wicked huge kites! Chase and I both loved the picturesque campuses of both ECU and Duke. We had fun taking "artsy" shots around the campuses.Chase and I are fans of the show "Man Vs. Food" so we had to venture to one of Adam's picks in Raleigh before we flew home. Our trusty Jeep Liberty and GPS unit that we affectionately call "Vicky" (short for "Victoria" since we used the female British voice to navigate us). We drove over 800 miles on this trip so we were grateful for a trusty car and navigation system.
The trip was a nice vacation for us both and a great opportunity to once again rub shoulders with the youth. I loved the opportunity to have Chase on the trip with me, not only because he line danced at both of the dances that were held, but because he helped me meet so many more people than I would have on my own. I hope we have more opportunities like this to travel and speak.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just thought I'd share...

So as stated in a prior post, this summer is full of baby showers. I attended my cousin Jane's shower on June 12 at the Grand America Hotel and I thought I'd share the theme and decor from the shower because I loved it! And shoot, I know I'm not the only one having to host baby showers here in Provo and wanting new ideas.

The color scheme was so classy. Shades of green (predominately the mint shade) and pink.
The theme for the shower was children's books, specifically the book entitled Someday by Alison Mcghee and Peter H. Reynolds. I love this book actually because my mom gave it to me at one of my bridal showers. It's a tear jerker :) On the tables though were various children's classics like Beatrix Potter books as well as pictures of Jane, her sisters, and mother.
And the flowers were to die for. So there ya go...some fresh, classy ideas for a little baby girl shower. I'm anxiously awaiting little baby Miller to arrive any day now!