Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Family Newsletter - Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas! We hope you are doing well and that this year has been a good one for you. We officially survived our first year of parenting, moved, and Nick has a new job. What a difference a year makes. We feel very blessed this time of year for great family and friends. We hope you enjoy reading about our year (and looking at pictures of our cute baby).

Having a baby in the winter is stressful, but this last winter was the worst in Boston, ever. And that is no exaggeration. Kristi and Evan were lucky that they didn't have to leave very often except for doctor's appointments. Nick was not as lucky, having to take buses to bypass the train lines that were shut down into Boston and having to trudge through feet of snow to get to and from work. After the big storms were over, we were so happy to watch the Patriots win the Super Bowl! Evan slept through the last half of the game, but celebrated in his Brady jersey.

(Picture is outside our apartment as Kristi was walking to recover from her c-section)

In March, we were lucky to have Kristi's parents come out to visit. They hung out with Evan and got out of the house on a few adventures. We visited Plymouth and Plymouth Rock and got to learn about some of our ancestors who came across on the Mayflower - they're infamous! We were so lucky to have some of our family together for Evan's blessing as well.

We traveled out to Utah in April to show off Evan to all our family and friends. We had so much fun getting out of the city and spending time with some of our favorite people. We went to Provo and took Evan to BYU's campus for the first time (we moved away when Kristi was three months pregnant). He met his Nana and Bumpa, some aunts and uncles, and several of his cousins for the first time.

We were lucky to spend a lot of time in Maine this summer - sneaking away for the weekend and spending time on the ocean, or at Papa's camp on the lake. This was Evan's first visit to the ocean while we had dinner on the beach... he was unimpressed and slept through the whole thing.

In June, we moved out of the city as Nick quit his job as an IT consultant to become an owner/operator of a Jimmy John's franchise. Nick's store will service a large business park, will have a drive thru and will hopefully be open next year. We moved out closer to New Hampshire and Nick took off to training the same day that we moved. Kristi spent three weeks unpacking and hanging out with Evan while Nick trained in Illinois and Indiana. Nick flew home just in time to celebrate the end of his first father's day with Evan.

After a short break, Nick headed back out for another training, this one in Kentucky. Nick came home for the fourth of July weekend and the three of us flew out for the last three weeks of training in Kentucky. Living in a hotel with a baby was an adventure, but we survived. Nick was working hard training as a manager, waking up at 4 am to work, and then coming home to explore Kentucky with Kristi and Evan. We visited Metropolis, Illinois, to see the Superman statue that puts the town on the map. We survived the heat of Kentucky in the summer and Kristi and Evan explored the National Quilt Museum, and walked along the banks of the Tennessee and Ohio River daily.

In August, we celebrated the start of the BYU football season by searching for the BYU50box, a scavenger hunt for a box filled with BYU memorabilia, with one for every state. We got really close to finding the one in Maine, but someone beat us to it! We were glad that it was in such a scenic spot though, as we watched the sun set over Portland, Maine, from a lighthouse that evening.

In October, Kristi and Evan flew by themselves to Utah to visit family. They had so much fun seeing everyone but missed having Nick around. They drove down to see Nana and Bumpa and much of the Sherwood family. They spent some time at the Dinosaur Park in Ogden and Evan wasn't super fond of the Jurassic Park-style animatronics they had inside, but enjoyed walking among dinosaurs.

Hazel and Claire playing on dinosaur bones

We always enjoy the fall out here in New England. We went apple picking with Steve and Carlie and definitely enjoyed the dozen apple cider donuts that followed.

Then, to end our year and remind of us how fleeting and fast this year was, Evan turned one year old. Our amazing little guy is babbling, playing, and flirting with everyone he meets. He is the friendliest person we know and we feel so lucky to have our little family.

We are so grateful to have loving family and friends who are with us in spirit throughout every phase of our life. We always wish that we could spend more time with you and be closer to everyone we love. Keep in touch and have a Merry Christmas!

Nick, Kristi, and Evan

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Downtown Boston & Salem

My parents came out to visit this last month and we were able to see some sights with them. I walked the Freedom Trail with them one day and the next we went to Salem, Massachusetts. It was so awesome to have them here, show them some of our favorite things downtown and walk around a new place with them. Here are some pictures from their trip!

In front of Paul Revere's statue by the Old North Church.

Sunken headstones at the cemetery

We placed pennies on top of Paul Revere's grave - supposedly it will bring you fortune!

At the Holocaust Memorial near Faneuil Hall and Haymarket Square.

The Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

In front of the Bunker Hill Monument at the end of the Freedom Trail.

Nick was able to join us on Saturday when we visited Salem. Turns out there's more to Salem than the dark history that is always written about it.

On the Friendship of Salem - a working sailboat docked in the harbor that is manned by National Park rangers.

Ahoy! It was also our 2nd anniversary and my dad treated us to a really nice lunch on the bay. We had crab sandwiches and fish & chips.

Beautiful day on the ocean!

Sometimes I think I'm really funny... there's a lot of kitschy witch stuff in Salem. Even pregnant witches!

Come back soon!

Life in Boston... in pictures

Because we've lived here for more than three months now (can you believe it!? time flies!) I haven't documented much, but do have some pictures of some of what we've been up to lately.

We went to several Red Sox games:

(The first game we saw we lost to the Blue Jays... booo...)

The second game we got to see a bench-clearing fight against the Rays. We also got poured on. $1 CVS ponchos for the win!

(And our seats were pretty dang good.)

I went on a business trip to Kentucky to train for my new work-from-home position and met one of my trainer's friends who took me for a spin on his bike:

Nick went on a (long) business trip to Chicago to train for his new position. While he was on the airplane I was checking myself into the hospital - long, boring story - it turned out that I was completely fine and I was only there for a few hours.

I went to the beach with my best friend - who I miss and needs to come back to Boston because I didn't spend nearly enough time with her.

We went to another Red Sox game against the White Sox, where I betrayed my home town by wearing my Boston hat. Sorry Chicago! I was also sad because right before that game the Red Sox released AJ Pierzynski, previously the catcher for the White Sox who helped them win the World Series in 2005. With him I lost my hope of rooting for both teams at once and called it quits on the Chicago Sox for now. This game was awesome because we came back to win and it broke a seriously long losing streak for the Red Sox.

Also, after this game marked a moment when I realized I actually looked pregnant - a girl about my age offered me her seat on the train.

We spent several weekends up in Maine on the beach, the lake, and hanging out with family.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? And this whole time we've both been working and going to church and taking care of the little rugrat in my belly. We've been pretty busy but we're enjoying life together!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baby G

We were so excited to tell our immediate family at graduation that we were expecting a baby. When we found out, it was almost impossible to keep it a secret. Nick would give me a goofy grin anytime something was mentioned about babies and I was worried people would find out very early on. We both did pretty well with keeping it a secret. I was the first person to flub to someone - when my best friend asked me at work if I was pregnant. I didn't know what to do, so I told her to meet me outside and I would answer her. We walked outside of the building and she screamed when I told her. I was excited that she would know, but I basically threatened her and swore her to secrecy. We also told Josh before he went into the MTC so he could hear it from us, since he would miss the announcement just a few days later.

We told our family after graduation. I had made candy leis for each of them, and I told Jake to record me giving gifts to everyone, and Nick had asked Molly to record on his phone. After giving everyone their leis, I handed Nick a t-shirt that read, "Graduating to Dad". I was about 10 weeks when we told them. Our families were so excited and that moment made it worth keeping it a secret. I even kept it from my mom, and I may have lied to a few people when they asked. Sorry! I was also able to tell my brothers the morning after graduation, which was bittersweet since we were moving so soon.

We waited to tell our extended family and friends until we knew things were a little more stable. Because we were moving all the way across the country, my insurance provider said that I should just wait to go in for my first appointments and tests until we had moved to Boston. Since I had no complications or awful symptoms, we waited until we had moved in to see a doctor. I was even more frustrated when after we moved in I had to wait another two weeks until my appointment. I felt like I'd waited long enough - I still didn't know anything about the baby and it didn't feel real yet. I was also super worried that something may be wrong, and I wouldn't know about it. Also, hormones don't help with the worrying and anxiety of not knowing what is happening and the stress of moving across the country.

We finally got into the doctor and I felt a lot better knowing that I was very healthy and had been taking good care of myself. We were able to hear a strong, consistent heartbeat at the doctor's and an ultrasound was scheduled for my 18th week. Knowing that everything seemed to be alright, we decided to announce to everyone that I was pregnant! We managed to keep it a secret until my second trimester. Luckily, I haven't had any morning sickness at all, and mostly I'm just exhausted all the time.

We're grateful for everyone's love and support and we hope that you'll love our munchkin as much as we do already. It's amazing thinking about what is about to happen in our lives and I'm so excited to be starting a family with my best friend!


Moving cross-country was quite an adventure. To prepare to move we sold all our furniture since it wasn't worth the money to get it to Boston, I had been packing since I had finished working, and we sold the last month of our apartment contract. Nick put a hitch on our car because it was cheaper than renting a truck and hauling our car.

When the day came to pick up the trailer, we had a bit of a surprise. We had reserved the smallest enclosed trailer that U-Haul carries, and reserved it at a store that said they had them the day before we were moving. The afternoon we showed up to get the trailer, it was larger than what we had ordered. They had upgraded us for free because they didn't have the smallest size. While this may seem like a great gesture, for us, it was not. Nick had already figured out how much our stuff weighed and with the smallest trailer's weight we were pushing the limit on what our car could tow already. With the heavier trailer, we were pretty sure our transmission would be shot. We did appreciate not having to try and cram everything into the trailer, we had more room, and we got to keep several small things we were probably going to end up throwing away.

We stayed up most of the night before we left cleaning our apartment (thank you to Steve and Carlie for helping). We ended up sleeping on the floor that night and woke up, packed the rest of the trailer, and checked out of our apartment. Our landlady was nice enough to take a picture of us right before we hopped in the car.

To start the drive we decided to go straight through the mountains first, so if we broke down, at least we'd still be in Provo Canyon close to family and not stranded. It was very slow-going, but we soon realized the car would be able to handle the weight, as much as we could tell. We did have some issues through the middle of the country with 30-40 mph winds battling us with the large trailer catching the air. Our gas mileage was awful, but the drive took us 4 days and we stopped each night and stayed in a hotel.

Highlights of the trip:
-Nick was super nice and let his pregnant wife sleep during most of her driving turns the last two days
-Visiting my hometown and eating a Chicago hot dog at my favorite restaurant
-Nick getting caught in a dust storm while pumping gas in the middle of nowhere
-Our car and the transmission still works
-Every thing in the trailer made it in one piece!

We made it safe and sound to Maine and hung out with family for over a week before we could move into our apartment. We loaded up the trailer again and drove to Boston and moved into our new fancy apartment. Coming from a 50's cement block 1-bedroom apartment, our brand new 2-bedroom apartment makes us feel like real adults.

May 2014

May was an exciting month for us. We went to Las Vegas, sent Josh on his mission, and Nick graduated! Graduation was even more fun because Sam, Steve, and Carlie were also graduating.

Before we left the West, I wanted Nick to show me around Las Vegas since I had never been. We stayed in the Excalibur, walked around the strip, saw the Bellagio fountains, and checked out all the major hotels. We may have gotten lost in the MGM Grand - not sure how people navigate that place when they're drunk.

Our favorite hotel was New York, New York. It is just an impressive structure with all of the different buildings, the roller coaster, and then having New York restaurants and facades inside the building. Very cool.

We got to pick up Josh from the airport before he went into the MTC. He slept at our house and we could tell he was filled with nervous excitement, he couldn't stop talking the whole time he was with us. We were really glad to be able to spend some time with him before he left. He'll do a great job in Colorado!

Graduation was a blast! We were glad a lot of family was able to attend with everyone graduating at once.