Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Are we there yet?

It has to get better now. . . We repeated that phrase MANY times on our what turned into our 24 hour travel down to Texas.  Seeing our awesome family, visiting Magnolia Market, eating Tex-Mex and real bbq, we had been looking forward to this trip for weeks! That was what we had to keep reminding ourselves as we went through this hellish journey.

We left at 2 PM, which gave us plenty of time to make our 12:45 AM flight.  Driving 5 hours down to the Las Vegas with a 4 month old baby, no problem, we just did that for Thanksgiving and Baby L had been perfect so we weren't worried.  Well Mother Nature had a different plan for us.  Keiton, who is from Star Vally, where it snows like 300 of the 365 days of the year said this was the worst storm that he has ever driven in :/

We barley got out of Utah County, when traffic came to a complete stop on the freeway.  We sat there for OVER AN HOUR and we didn't have any service so we had no idea what in the heck was going on. Let me tell you, that was the most annoying hour and when my road rage started raising.  We finally started crawling and pasted the culprits, a semi that had spun off the road and about 5 cars that got stuck.

The snow was hitting SO HARD, there were times when we finally got up to 40 miles per hour and let me tell you, we felt like we were flying. The roads were so bad, we counted over 75 cars that spun off the road.  Some crashed into rails, some fell into ditches and I was so sure we were going to be next. In fact, there was time when we started spinning. I was SO scared but luckily there were no cars around us and Keiton was calm in a crisis and corrected the car.  We were fine and Baby L was sleeping like a log in the backseat but, I cried for the next 30 minutes.  It was so hard, the roads were so bad we couldn't stop or else our car would get stuck, so we had to keep going at snail pace, passing so many cars/semi-trucks that spun off and were stuck.

Around Cedar City, right as the roads were the worst, Google Maps informed us that we would be arriving at 12:40 AM. Shoot. There was no way we were going to make it. We were beyond frustrated but we couldn't stop so we crawled on. Finally we dropped out of the mountains and the rain turned into ice.  The hatred I have for snow increased exponentially and we vowed we were NEVER going to drive in the snow EVER again.

Luckily Keiton speeds like crazy so we were able to shave off the time we would be arriving to 12:05.  There was hope.  We could do this if we ran like crazy.  We had it all planned out and we were ready to make this flight!  We pulled up, Keiton took care of the valet, I took Baby L and ran to security.  We rushed through, Keiton took Baby L and I ran down a flight of stairs, to the train that took us the terminal C, up a flight of stairs and all the way down the hall, to the very last gate.  Stupid Gate 26.  Out of breath, we reached the counter and there was no worker in sight.  What the heck, it was 12:30 in the dot, we had 5 minutes until they shut the doors. We made it, the plane was there, but did they load early?

We had to hunt down a worker but we found out our flight was delayed.  No notice anywhere, would have been good to know.  We sit down and every couple of hours there was an announcement "your pilot is stuck in a snow storm in Colorado but will be here in 2 hours."  2 hours would come and they would announce the pilot never left and would be delayed another 2 hours.  The annoying thing was they knew our flight was going to be delayed even longer because the stupid pilot wasn't even in the same state, but they NEVER told us until after we were supposed to leave.  Finally on the screen it said our flight was cancelled, they never came on the intercom to make an announcement. STUPID FRONTIER thought they could nonchalantly hide the fact we weren't getting on a plane.  Well we noticed, we all noticed.

I have NEVER seen so many angry people. We were all FROZEN (the LV air port doesn't believe in heating) sleeping on the nasty floor, we were tired and upset.  Frontier wouldn't do anything to compensate their cancelled flight.  Not a thing. They were not transparent the whole night and not accommodating. FRONTIER is literally the worst EVER. We ended up booking a panicked last second flight, that was so dang expensive.  But hey we were going to make it to Texas, even if it was the last thing we did.  

Our new flight took off at 8:30 AM.  After a long night, freezing cold and so unbelievably tired we got on the plane and we were on our way!! "It has to get better now." Right when we finished that sentence we hit some pretty bad turbulence.  Just our luck...


But somehow Baby L was PERFECT, the WHOLE time.  Singing and sleeping that whole time!  Even though it was the worst, scariest, and most frustrating experience of my entire life we saw so many little miracles.  The fact that Baby L didn't scream in the awful weather, or plane ride in itself was huge.  But when we went over to the Southwest counter to buy our tickets they needed Baby L's birth certificate.  Of course I don't travel with that.  So with no proof of birthday we couldn't get a ticket for her and we had to turn around and go back home.  BUT somehow I happened to grab her insurance card, which has her birthday printed right on it! I don't know how that happened but that was a HUGE miracle! Also the biggest miracle of them all, we made it safe and sound!  It made our arrival and seeing family that much sweeter! 

Moral of the story, Frontier is the WORST most unaccommodating airline ever and miracles happen! We are currently in the process of making memories in Texas, so stay tuned for the adventures to come!






Monday, December 12, 2016

The Year Without a Christmas Tree

Tis the season to be Jolly!

Ok so the last few weeks leading to finals are filled with projects, research papers and big assignments.  Lets be real, this time is crazy busy and sucks.  Well so does the sleep regression of our almost four month old which has conveniently popped up at the same time.  Joy to the world. . . Oh and if that wasn't enough Keiton has been SUPER sick this week.

This has been the toughest semester we have ever had and we are just hoping to pass our classes so we don't have to relive this heavy semester again!  Because of that, we haven't had time to go get a tree :/ I know pretty sad news.  When we told our Primary class they couldn't even comprehend it and this is basically the face they pulled haha
 

At first when another weekend came and went and the realization hit me that we won't have a tree for our cute baby's first Christmas I was sad.  But driving baby back and forth to my mom's house before and after class has given me a lot of time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and what the first Christmas was really like and I have decided there are worse things then not having a Christmas tree. (I mean look at that huge smile in her Christmas jammies)


If anything I think this Christmas has taught me that I get too wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  I start shopping the awesome deals on Thanksgiving and I worry more about having the perfect decorations, the perfect presents and somehow along the way I have squeezed out Christ as the main focus of Christmas.

President Monson taught "Because He came to Earth we can have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year! Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence." We have had the blessing to participate in the 'Light The World' initiative the Church has encouraged their members to be a part of.  That has been the sweetest blessing for our little family, each night we have had the opportunity to reflect on the life of Christ.  That has honestly made our Christmas season a lot more cheery and bright, despite having awful finals looming around us.

Even though we will for sure be getting a Christmas tree next year, when we look back at this first Christmas with our beautiful baby girl, I want her to know it was focused on Christ.  That we spent every possible moment we could with her even if that meant missing out on a few things.  I want her to know she is loved and that most importantly because of the love of the Savior we can be a family forever! I am grateful for the Savior's birth, life, sacrifice and love!


                                               Merry Christmas friends and family <3 <3   


 Love the Dockstader's 



 And our beautifully sassy edition!

















Friday, December 9, 2016

Thanksgiving

Ok. Ok. I am super late to write about L's first Thanksgiving. . . BUT between L's sleep regression and the last few days of school we have been walking around like stressed out zombies!  After another night of battling baby girl to get to sleep, then proceeding to wake up every 3ish hours, I really needed to reflect on our week in paradise for the motivation to make it through this busy day!  

This is what the PERFECT week consisted of. . . 

Tahiti Village! Honestly this is the coolest place ever! A little slice of paradise on Las Vegas BLVD down just a bit from the strip. 


I'll take floating the lazy river and drinking pina coladas by the pool over the snow any day!  


                   

The perfect study partner <3 And by study partner I mean napping buddy.


               
"Toes in the water. . . (feet) in the sand, not a care in the world"  

Date night on the Strip! Keiton and I LOVED walking New York NewYork, Excalibur and Caesars Palace.  


 AMAZING desserts from Carlos Bakery and Shake Shack!!


Food is essential to the perfect week!


Shopping! The outlet malls were right across the street from our condo so we might have walked over there a few times ;) 
*Disclaimer- this all of the Monroe's stuff, Keiton and I didn't go that crazy in Vegas 


AAAANNNNDDDD THIS GUY! He's really all I need for the perfect week but it was nice to get him all to myself and not have to share him with work and school!


 When can we do this again??



















Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratitude



For one of my classes I had to do a social experiment on gratitude.  The days leading up to Thanksgiving I had to write down one thing I was grateful for that day and then after Thanksgiving I had to document if it had any impact on my life.  For 24 days I took the time to reflect on blessings I experienced that day.  I will admit, some days were a lot harder to find something that made me smile but overall I was amazed at how many blessings I saw every single day.  It was amazing how little blessings really added up and made a huge impact on my overall happiness.  There were quite a few blessings that I would have usually overlooked but since I took the time to look for them I realized my life is overflowing with blessings and happiness.  There is a hymn that we sing in my church that says "count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."  So friends and family reading this, I challenge you to do the same! Set aside time in your day to look for your blessings and see if it makes a difference in your life!

Here's a few of my favorite gratitude quotes I found

"We can choose to be grateful no matter what." ~ President Uchtdorf 


"Gratitude attracts more reasons to be grateful" ~Dating Diva's


"Gratitude turns what we have into enough" ~Dating Diva's


"The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do" Dating Diva's


"When you love what you have, you have everything you need." ~Dating Diva's


I believe it is important to remember to live with gratitude within our home so we can more fully appreciate our families and realized how blessed we are to have loved ones in our lives! I believe this is one way to strengthen our homes and families and to increase love and happiness.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

THREE MONTHS

Baby Girl turned 3 months old and I can't even believe it! Holy cow it's been the fastest three months but at the same time it feel like she has always been a part of our little family.  I'm not sure if it is the lack of sleep or what but I can't remember what life was like with out our little chatterbox.  She is awake a lot more which is SO MUCH FUN! She loves to coo back and forth with her mommy and daddy.  She even sings along to music and it's hilarious.  She has learned that she HATES her carseat but she is starting to enjoy tummy time so little victories.  She has even flipped from her tummy to her back a few times which has been so exciting.  She eats all the time, at least that is what it seems like, and it shows because she is really starting to fill out.  She is definitely a wiggle worm and loves to lick anything and everything she can get her little mouth on. She has so much personality in her little body and it's so much fun to watch her figure out the world around her.  We are tired, stressed, busy, and it has been a roller coaster but she has brought so much joy, love, and light into our lives.  We wouldn't trade these crazy days for anything! <3 









Monday, November 14, 2016

Proud Wife Post

**proud wife post**  Our super big news. . . . Keiton got an internship with Honeywell!  I love BYU and I love the Marriott school, I think it is amazing that Keiton gets to study at one of the top Finance programs in the nation. It is awesome how the big prestigious companies come to BYU to recruit.  That being said there are quite a few things that drive me crazy about the Marriott school and one of them is summer internships.  There is SO much pressure to get an internship and we have been looking all semester for a good fit for our little family.  Well, this week Keiton accepted his offer and we are so excited the recruiting season is over for us! Hallelujah! Maybe we will get to see Keiton a little more (fingers crossed) ;) So we actually don't know where we will be going yet, but Keiton got to rank a few different cities.  Hopefully in a few weeks we will know where we have to pack up and move.  It could be anywhere from Charolette, New Jersey, Chicago, or randomly somewhere in Minnesota (we are hoping for an exciting adventure this summer so we are hoping for a big city!)  We are so excited and I am so proud of Keiton and the extreme hard work he has put in this semester even though it has been insane hard especially with a little one! 

So with that good news we have been floating on cloud 9, which is good because it has been a crazy week! Looking back at what has happened this week I am so overwhelmed at how blessed we are to have this cutie and I am convinced she is as perfect as babies come! I don't want to get political (even though I have a lot to say about that) because this blog is all about baby girl so friends and family can watch her grow. But wow lots has happened this week! Tuesday night, Keiton and I stayed up and watched the election.  It went on so long we switched over and watched a movie and turned back when things were getting more exciting. This was a big deal because lets be real, when baby goes to bed we go to bed.  We don't stay up past 11 like ever, so staying up until 1 in the morning was awful, I was BEYOND dead!  As I went to bed I was dreading having to wake up soon but to my great surprise baby not only slept through the night but she slept in!
That was awesome which made my experience at the Social Security Office such an awful contrast.  For some reason we never got baby's card after she was born and we had to submit it to her insurance this week, so I was super stressed and already dreading going to get it.  To make it worse, I walked in and it was PACKED! Seriously, I had to wait in a 20 minute line just to get a number! Overall such a stressful experience, there was a little boy there who would not leave baby alone.  This boy smelt as though he hadn't bathed in days and I had NO idea where his hands had been.  So I was trying to keep him out of her stroller.  She started crying and the whole room turned and were giving me dirty looks.  There were 4-5 people coughing their lungs out so I didn't want to get her out of her carseat.  But by a HUGE miracle I was able to calm her down and she fell asleep and stayed asleep while I waited and waited.  Those 5 minutes were so stressful but I am so grateful she is such a good baby and that she calmed down because those people were not understand and if looks could kill then we would have been in trouble!  It took over 2 and half hours and my mom ended up coming to get baby girl because I could not keep that little boy away but everything got sorted out.  yay for efficient government offices. . . 

Baby girl is rocking tummy time! This is a huge deal because before she would get so frustrated and scream because she wanted to move but couldn't.  She also loves to "roar" back and forth with her daddy.  Watching the two of them plays melts my heart.  Maybe that's why she is such a happy baby, because she has so much fun with her daddy! 




video



Here's a little reminder for your week, don't forget to smile and be happy :)
                           













Monday, November 7, 2016

Dockstader Halloween 2016





My cousin Tia told me once that holidays are so much more fun when you have a little one. Well I totally agree!! Even though Baby Girl is still really little it was so much fun to carve a pumpkin for her, dress her up in cute costumes and eat candy for her.  We dressed baby up as Minnie Mouse and Keiton and I wore Disney shirts, I had mouse ears and carried a Disney autograph book and a Mickey balloon shaped popcorn container we got last time we were at Disneyland.  We were going for the tourist look because we are this little Minnie's number one fans!!  Unfortunately this Minnie never let us get a picture with all of that, so this is the best Dockstader Family Halloween 2016 picture we got. She definitely won the battle this time!

In other exciting news Baby girl and I got to escape the huge amounts of homework and laundry that consume my life and go to the Pinner's Conference up in Salt Lake.  I love Pinterest, one of my favorite hobbies is trying to create the pins that I find.  This conference was like my Pinterest board came to life, it was a dream come true! There were booths everywhere with crafty things and cute clothes and I loved the demonstrations I was able to watch! I could have spent a lot more time there but life with a baby. . . need I say more??

We tried to hurry back but got stuck in some major traffic, finally we made it home and we got to spend the weekend with Kim, my mother-in-law.  It was a super quick visit but it is always fun to have her here.  We always have a good time and go out to eat at really yummy restaurants.






Look at baby's new trick!! She has gotten pro at holding her own head! 


 

How can I freeze time?? I want her to always stay this little and cuddly!










Monday, October 31, 2016

It gets worse

This week Keiton ran into a girl from his home town of Star Valley.  She is a freshmen here at BYU and she was telling him how overwhelmed she was during midterms.  Without even thinking about it Keiton replied "Don't worry, it gets worse." He said that he crushed this poor freshmen's hope.  We were talking about it and we were wondering when we got so cynical.  We blame it on the Junior Core Finance Program Keiton is currently trying to get through while working and raising a baby.  Life has been INSANE.  Slowly this semester of no sleep and bombing tests has all around been rough but this week was especially rough.

Early this week I got a fever and felt awful! I barely had the strength to lift baby girl and I had chills and an aching body.  Keiton took such good care of me and we are insanely blessed that baby never got sick! I don't even know how to explain it other than it has to be a blessing from God that baby has not gotten sick yet (knock on wood)!  In the 9 weeks that baby has been here I have had a cold, stomach bug and a fever. Seriously that is more sickness then the past 3 years combined and by a HUGE miracle baby has been smiling through it all!  One day I spent the day at my mom's house while she took care of me and baby girl, there is something about mom's they know exactly what to do to make you feel better, am I right?!  The next day, baby girl spent a lot of the day playing in her little jungle gym.  I laid next to her so grateful that she is such a "low maintenance" baby. I just don't know how we lucked out with such a beautiful happy baby!  I guess God sent us the best because honestly I don't know how we could juggle one more thing!!


 She also found her voice this week and she is a little chatterbox! She LOVES telling me stories.
video


She really does bring so much joy into our life! But like I said this week was rough.  I bombed a test this week, for the first time ever.  I have always done pretty good in school but the advance research, inquiry and critical thinking class is kicking my butt.  Yeah don't worry, it's a required class which is the only reason I am taking it! I was in shock after I walked out of the testing center (on the same day that I had 5 cavities filled :( rough day) and I came across this quote by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin
"It is easy to feel overwhelmed. . . The power of God can infuse our spirits and bodies with energy and vigor.  I urge you to seek this blessing from the Lord. . He has promised that 'they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.'" I don't know how to explain how this quote changed my week.  I was overcome with a peace that honestly didn't make sense, I was tired, overwhelmed, knew I wasn't doing good in that class or any of my other classes if we are being honest, and yet I was filled with this knowledge that everything was going to workout.  This feeling strengthened my desire to put God as a higher priority in my life and that made all the difference this week!  It is crazy how my outlook on everything has changed.  I have a new wave of energy and complete joy.  Keiton and I started to make a little time to read the Book of Mormon together every day and that has completely changed the entire vibe in our house! We came across 1 Nephi 18:16 which reads "Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions." That has become our motto.  We are both still hating school right now, but we are trying not to complain about it and it really has made a huge impact in our lives!  It has been easier to notice the blessings that Heavenly Father has a been pouring on us!


We finally got around to carving pumpkins, we made a "Lucy-lantern" and it was insane hard to hold down our wiggle worm to try and trace her little hands and feet but we got there in the end!





Our Halloween pics will come next week! I'm currently stuck in class right now (sigh :/). . .




Monday, October 24, 2016

TWO MONTHS





Time is a crazy thing. The 9 months I was pregnant time went by SO SLOW,  something about the throwing up all the time and swollen ankles made the clock seem to be moving at snail pace.  And waiting those 3 days after her due date made time seem like it was frozen! But somehow the universe has made up for that time by moving at double speed the past two months.  Seriously, when did this cutie get so big?! She is officially 2 months old and life with a baby is getting easier.  I don't feel like I am in a haze as much and we have our routine down.  She wakes up usually once during the night and as long as she is fed, she is a happy camper!  She smiles all the time and loves to hear her mommy and daddy's voices. And she is even holding her head up quite a bit!  




 

We took her to the doctor for her 2 month check up.  It is a good thing she had no idea what was about to happen because I was a nervous wreck! I was so sad that she was about to get shots and it didn't help that we had to wait over an hour to see the doctor, that just gave me way too much time to sit in anticipation.  When the time came she screamed for all of 10 seconds.  It definitely was not as bad as I had imagined.  Honestly she cried longer when I had to put her clothes back on and strap her in her car seat. Oh and when we took off the bandaids, she was not too happy with us then :( Baby is gaining weight really and now weights 12.5 pounds and is 23.5 inches and she is in the 99 percentile for head circumference.  We love that giant head of hers!



    We had some more firsts this week- the first time she made it through all 3 hours of church! Sacrament meeting was a little rough, she vomited all over me and her but that is nothing new so a few handy wipes later and we were good to go!  The kids in our primary class were all over her, which kind of gave me a heart attack so at signs of the first sneeze Keiton took her out and I finished teaching the class.  And Keiton and I finally went to the temple! I had been nervous about leaving her so long without any way to check up on her, but we got over that we finally got to the temple.  After a few failed attempts, leaving temple recommends and nearly missing the session, we left the hectic stress of the world behind for a couple of hours and got to focus on the Savior.  We entered seeking answers and left completely full of peace.  The perfect way to end our week.     


 
And if you couldn't tell, we are SO excited for baby's first Halloween!!