Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whole New Year

There have been a few things keeping us busy since the new year started, and I'm finding it difficult to get to the computer often enough to post regular blogs. It's one of my new year's resolutions, so hopefully I can keep up on it all. :)

My maternity leave ended in the beginning of January, and I was going to return to work on the 18th. The week of the 11th I went to an elementary school to observe the speech pathologists there. I took Canon to a couple of the babysitters that we had lined up for when I returned to work. However, one of them realized that it was much more difficult than she expected it to be. She informed me that she wouldn't really be able to handle watching Canon like she anticipated. That actually meant that I was down to only 2 babysitters that could each watch him only once per week. I couldn't honestly expect that Mark would be able to watch Canon 3 whole days each week as a full-time law student, no matter how optimistic Mark was about his workload. So I resigned from my position at HIG Capital. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I find that I don't get the same Internet time as I did when I sat at a computer all day at work. We will miss the income and the insurance benefits, but I think it will be worth it to stay at home with my son. I'm currently applying for government aid to help with what Mark's loans won't cover.

Mark has returned to school, and he only has classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. So far he seems to be on top of all his schoolwork, and he's still trying to figure out where to apply for jobs for after graduation. He has been offered an in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They called and conducted a phone interview before Christmas, but now they are paying to fly him to D.C. Working for the DHS would be really good for us, but it's only for a 2-year fellowship program, so there's no guarantee that he'll actually get a job with them. However, it sounds like the majority of the fellowships get offered full-time positions. As of right now, we're just hoping that he will be able to find something that will be a paid position, like this one...so keep those fingers crossed.

He's also applying for the Navy, Army, and maybe even the Air Force JAG Corps. Any one of those would be good, but the idea of certain deployment is not so appealing. Hopefully something will turn up soon. All we know is that he's planning on taking the Utah Bar Exam this summer, and it looks like it will be pretty difficult for him to attend the Bar Prep Classes that begin a week before graduation IN UTAH!!

I just finished applying for the University of Utah's Speech-Language Pathology Master's Program. Now that we're thinking we could end up in DC, I'm half wishing that I applied to schools there too. Oh well! We can't afford schools in the DC area right now. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out.

As of right now, we both have high hopes for 2010, and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us... we have no idea what that really is right now, but this is bound to be one interesting year!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Vacation

Mark and I flew to Utah to visit with family for Christmas and New Year's this year. This was our first time traveling with a child, and I was nervous about the infant on the airplane. Honestly, he was surprisingly great on both flights. The flight to Utah, Canon had a bit of a break-down because he was hungry, but he wouldn't nurse. Once we put a bottle of formula in his mouth, he calmed right down and did wonderfully the rest of the flight. On the return plane, he slept the entire time except for a bit to eat and then at the very end...you know, when your ears start to hurt. He cried for a few minutes, but there was really nothing that I could do for him, so I just hoped that it didn't bother the other passengers on the plane. He did really well though, and I was so grateful for that.

Even though it was a trip where we stayed with family and didn't really do much other than just hang out with family, I felt like it was a true vacation. There were so many people who were willing to help out with Canon that Mark and I actually got to eat together... at the same time!! It was so nice. Several relatives were so excited to meet Canon that I was able to have fun on the trip without worrying about the baby too much. There were many pairs of hands who wanted to help out. Now that Mark and I have come back to Boston, I'm reminded of how much I really need to do on my own, or give Mark to do, in order to take care of our newborn. At least I appreciated the help that I was able to get... it was so great!!

Our trip to Utah held many fun events for us. We arrived late on December 23rd and planned to not leave until January 3rd. We spent several hours at Grandma and Grandpa Dahl's house, playing games and eating great food with the family. We opened presents at Mark's parents' house with siblings and their families, then later more presents with cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Dahl's house. We attended a birthday party in Provo for my brother's son Joseph. We blessed our baby boy, but I'll speak more of that a little later because it is a story in and of itself! We visited with some of our best friends, Mikey and Breanne. We also went with Mark's family to have family pictures taken. (When we actually get the cd of pictures, I'll be able to post some of those shots...but I still need to wait a couple more weeks.) I went shopping with my mother-in-law and new sister-in-law with money given us for Christmas. We also had the chance to visit with my brother's family and meet for lunch as a surprise for my father's birthday. All in all, it was a very fun trip, and I almost dreaded going back home to Boston. This was the first time in my life that I remember truly feeling homesick. Mark and I would really like to move back to Utah after he graduates.

Now, about Canon's blessing, we planned to bless Canon at Church on Sunday the 27th, but my parents (who were driving out from Illinois) got stuck in a snow storm in Omaha, NE. So, we postponed the blessing to Monday night. We had invited several friends and my two brothers who live in Utah to attend Church with us for the event, but we had to call everyone to inform them of the change. My parents had to stay overnight in Nebraska, not nearly as far as they hoped to get that day, because the road was closed. Once it finally opened again, they continued on their way, but they were still not able to make it by Sunday night (easily). So, instead of tentatively planning for Sunday night in case they made it, we just changed our plans to Monday night. Since Monday is supposed to be reserved for family night, the church building is generally not to be made available for events. However, considering the circumstances, my father-in-law (who is also the ward clerk and already has a key to the building) was able to convince the bishop to authorize us to use the building. What better family night can you think of than the ordinance of blessing a new baby? The bishop was hesitant because he didn't want to get in trouble by the Stake President, but we did it anyway. As we had finished the short "ceremony" and were starting into our family pot-luck, a member of the Stake Presidency approached us and asked who authorized it, and then proceeded to tell us to never do it again. Apparently if the general authority who lives in our stake noticed a light on, the Stake President could get a call from the First Presidency. Yeah, it sounded like they could get in trouble, but I stand by the thought that it was a worthy cause to be there and I don't feel guilty about it at all.

As for the actual blessing, I think Mark gave a very beautiful blessing. If I hadn't been writing frantically, trying to keep up with him, I would've been crying. Canon was so good through the whole thing too, no crying at all. I think he squawked a couple times, but he was well behaved. We took several pictures of those who participated and some of the family who attended. It was so great to have so much family support, and we didn't even invite all the aunts and uncles and cousins that live in the area. If we had done that, we couldn't have been able to fit into the Relief Society Room... the chapel would've been the only room big enough to hold that many people, and the circle was already 12 people big. I love having so many priesthood holders in my family. That is such a wonderful blessing that we receive through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here are a few pictures from the trip. Enjoy!