Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top Happenings of 2014

What an amazing year 2014 was. Every year I like to write a list of the top happenings of that particular year. It always give me the opportunity to look back on the year and reflect. I also love that it documents what happened like my journal would. Our top 20112012, and 2013 can be checked out by clicking on those years.  Here are some of the things that happened in 2014...

1- Hannah turned one years old: Hannah's first birthday was in March 2014. I couldn't believe that my little girl was one years old. I wrote a post about my feelings relating to her growing up here. We had a fun birthday party with our families and Hannah even tried sugar/dessert for the first time in her life :)

2- We became Settlers of Catan fans: This may have been a little bit back into 2013, but we LOVE the board game of Settlers of Catan! We have spent MANY hours playing with our families back in Rexburg before we moved. It was a regular event to be up until 1:00 am at my parent's kitchen table playing an intense round. Since being in St. Louis, we have found other Settler's fans and have had fun playing.

3- We got pregnant: This past summer we found out that we were pregnant! We wanted another baby and were so excited to find out that we were expecting. To add to the excitement, we found out at my 18-week appointment that we were having a baby BOY! I have always wanted both genders and now we will have one of each. The pregnancy has gone well overall. I love feeling this little guy move around inside of me. He is very active in there! We already love him so much.

4- Hannah GREW: Hannah grew and learned soooo much this year. I am frequently amazing this sweet girl and how much she grows and learns each day. Here are some pictures/updates of her from 2014...

This is Hannah in her crib. She randomly transitioned herself into her toddler bed by just walking over to it one night and climbing in when she was about 20 months old. She never went back to her crib after that. I sobbed that first night at how big she was getting. Even now, she does not get out of her toddler bed before we open the door in the morning. She just waits for us to come in and then gets out of bed. She is the sweetest!

Easter basket 2014

13 months old

Family hike

Hannah first became mobile at 12 months old when she began scooting on her bum to get where she wanted to go. She continued to scoot on her bum to get around until around 17 months old when she started to walk. May I say that her scoot was the cutest thing I have ever seen? She got pretty dang good at it and would even catch some air haha. 

Hannah started to walk after we moved to St.  Louis when she was 17 months old. Both Jaren and I were able to witness her first steps and I cried. My baby was growing. 
Hannah loves to read so much! There was about a month this past fall that Hannah literally didn't play with toys, she would only read. It got to the point that I had to hide her books because she would ask me to read to her all day and after reading 30 books a day to her and dealing with a tantrum if I refused, I hid them. I get them out for her about 1-2 times a day for some special reading time. I love my little reader!!
This little girl's vocabulary is so amazing and above average! I'm pretty sure that while all the other kids were walking, the thinking part of her brain was developing on high speed :) She is our smarty pants. 

5- Celebrated 5 years of marriage: Jaren and I had our 5 year wedding anniversary back in April 2014. These past five years have been so amazing. Being married to Jaren is easy and natural. We were able to fly to Las Vegas to celebrate just the two of us. It was a trip we will always remember. Thank you to our mom's for watching Hannah for the week!

6- Jaren's brother left on an LDS mission: Elder Chris Dickey left for the Microneshia Guam mission this past July. We miss him and are glad that things are going well for him out there. We got to talk to him on Christmas which was really neat! We love Chris!

7- We moved to St. Louis, Missouri: In July 2014 we moved from Rexburg, ID to St. Louis!  We had spent our first five years of marriage in Rexburg and had loved living there close to family but were excited for a new adventure. We have absolutely LOVE St. Louis. This city is such a gem and we are so grateful to experience it firsthand for four years. It is a very family-friendly and religious city that has TONS of fun stuff to do! The hardest part is being away from our families. Especially since we have Hannah, it is hard to see her grow and for family not to be able to enjoy seeing each stage like they would if we lived closer. But, we are very blessed to love St. Louis so much and to be meeting so many sweet friends and growing so much as a little family. Adventures up ahead!

My sweet parents helped us drive all of the 23 hours to St. Louis and helped us get settled here for a week. It was such a special time with them. 
8- Jaren and Sarah finished their employment in Idaho: Because we moved away from Rexburg, both Jaren and I ended our jobs there. I was a mental health therapist and did about 7-8 therapy sessions a week. I learned so much from that job. I really enjoy working as a therapist. It is neat to see the changes that people can experience in their lives. Jaren finished his job as the general manager of a dish network center. Although his job was a blessing,  he was pretty dang happy to be done there.

9- Jaren started medical school: Jaren started his first year of medical school in August 2014. He is doing the MD program at St. Louis University. He has really enjoyed it and has done very well. We LOVE his SLU medical school and have been really impressed by what they have going on here. Jaren studies so hard and still finds a balance to spend time with his little family. He is such a beast. 

10- Sarah became a freelance writer: I have been able to work from home about 13-15 hours a week doing freelance writing for online newspapers. Some good family friends of ours helped me get the job and it has been such a HUGE blessing for us. I'm so grateful that I can stay at home with Hannah but still help financially by working during nap-times and after her bedtime.

11- First NFL 49rs Game: One of Jaren's life-long wants became a reality haha. We went to a Monday night football game to see his favorite team play... the San Francisco 49rs! Jaren and I loved the alone time and having the 49rs win made it even better! 

12- Mom surprised us and came to St. Louis: In November 2014, my mom literally showed up on my front door step at 11:30 pm! She flew out from Idaho to surprise me and I was totally shocked! I had no idea that she was coming. We spent the week preparing for baby boy, relaxing, and having fun. Hannah loved having her "Nana" here. Jaren, Hannah, and I had so much fun with her visiting!

Painting frames for my kid's room that my mom helped me decorate

We watched an old season of Survivor... like a whole season... while she was here haha

13- Trip to Idaho: For Christmas break we were able to fly to Idaho to see our families. Hannah and I were there for 3 weeks and Jaren was there for 2 weeks. It was such a special trip. Seeing Hannah constantly surrounded by people who think she is the most amazing thing to ever walk the planet, did my soul well. We love our families so much.

Hannah loves her grandma Dickey

Great Grammy

Great grandpa Winn

Great grandma Winn

Great grandma Anderson

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some Thoughts...

Five years ago tonight, was the night before I got married. I remember that night well. I turned off my bedroom light and sat alone on my bed. It was the bed that I had slept in for many years, and it was my last night there. The next night, I would be sharing a bed with the man I loved. I felt so much peace. I remember feeling grateful that I had saved myself for my wedding night.

I respect all different beliefs and ways of life, but for me, giving myself to my husband after we were wed was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Something was so liberating about committing to God and each other before we shared our bodies with one another. I loved that it was planned. I loved that it was in a beautiful hotel suite. I loved everything about it. That night, I experienced respect and love to a level deeper than I had ever experienced it before.

I will forever be grateful for the choices that Jaren and I made. For us, it was perfect. Those traditional and "old fashioned" values were amazing. I feel like it was a perfect platform from which we dove into our marriage head first. So tonight as I lay in bed with my husband, five years later, I am going hold his hand extra tight and whisper "Thank you".

Dating (summer 2008)

Engagement picture 2009

Engagement picture 2009

Engagement picture 2009

Engagement picture 2009

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Dear Hannah, 

Happy Birthday sweet Hannah! What an amazing year it has been. I have teared up multiple times this month (including a few shoulder shaking sobs) thinking of the fact that you were going to turn one so soon. One year ago, tonight, you changed my world forever. After being in labor for 18 hours, I was so excited when you officially made your debut! I remember being so surprised that you had a bunch of brown hair- or any hair at all. Since that life changing night, your dad and I have learned and grown so much. Thank you for making that possible. You have made me a better person, Hannah. You have helped me to learn about selflessness at a deeper level than I have ever experienced. 

Being your mother has been the most amazing experience. My very best days are the ones that I get to spend the whole day with you. Sometimes I just stare at you in amazement. You are such a smart, kind, and beautiful person. 

Your dad and I feel your strong spirit. You make us want to be better. You make us want to follow God that much more. We know that you and your future siblings are rooting for us! We are a "team" just like your dad always says. Thank you for being our "third teammate". We truly feel honored to be called your parents. 

I try to be more like you every day. I love you. I always will.