Bike Ride

We took Kennedy on her maiden voyage in the trailer yesterday. She cried when I first put her in there but as soon as we started moving she was fine. She even fell asleep for a little bit. She's still a little small though so we've got to work out a trick to secure her properly. I can't wait to take her out again!


8 Months and Happenings Around Our House

8 months ago at this time I was asleep. I didn't know that in two short hours I'd be meeting my little girl. Well, I knew she was coming. I was in labor. But I didn't know how fast she would get here.

She's the most special little squirt. Here are some of her recent habits and such:

* Gives kisses. They're extremely slobbery and a little gross, but at the same time so cute. She grabs our faces with both hands and kisses us. It's my favorite. She's done it to others as well.

* Waves bye-bye.

* Clapping - but not in context. She never does it when I do it with her but it's always when she's playing with toys or sitting in her car seat that she'll randomly start clapping.

* Holds her own bottle. We still hold her though. We want that part to last as long as possible.

*She's not crawling yet but it's coming very soon. She is mobile, however. She rolls and scoots all around. She can get into crawling position from sitting but from there she just rocks back and forth. Give it time and she'll be tearing my house apart.

*Says "mom" and "dada". It's still babble but soon enough she'll associate it with us.

*She LOVES to stand up. Anywhere and everywhere she tries to stand.

*When holding our hands, she walks on her own.

*Copies our facial expressions.

She also currently loves: Baby Einstein, The Gilmore Girls theme song, my parents cat (she shakes and screams when she sees it), other kids and babies, and being tickled.

I was sure she was teething by the middle of last week  and given the gargantuan amounts of drool coming from her mouth I'm pretty sure she is, but it may not be as miserable as I'd thought. She had a fever, diarrhea, rashes, irritability, and a runny nose. But the runny nose got worse and worse and we've been sucking an amazing amount of snot from her nose. And it's green. So her crankiness may have been due to a cold. She seems to be getting happier and little better every day. Thank heavens! It's so hard to tell what's wrong when they can't tell you. I won't miss that about this stage.

As per tradition for her monthly updates, here are some adorable pictures. I'll have more updates down below.
Trying to get the blinds.
 Baby bum :)
 We make stink faces at each other. She thinks it's a riot.
 She's started sleeping on her side more. I think it's so cute!

 She absolutely loves the bath. We need to take her swimming.
 We bought her an Elmo and obviously she loves it.
 Testing out the new bike trailer.
 Poor thing was so tired she fell asleep while eating.
 She was supposed to be sleeping in sacrament meeting. We both thought she was and we lifted the blanket over her car seat to look and saw this face.
 And she kept playing peek-a-boo. She had us laughing inappropriately hard.

We love her!

Ok, so....
Non-child related information....

We're doing really well. We're heading to Moab (again) in April so of course that's all Cory has talked about the last month and that's all I'll hear about until we go. It also means Jeep work. Boo!! Hopefully it will be fun. We'll probably stay in a hotel because we're not quite ready to make Kennedy camp in the cold yet. With the weather being somewhat warm, I'm getting really excited to go! It's been a mild winter but I'm still ready for warmer weather.

We bought ourselves mountain bikes over the weekend and a little bike trailer for Kennedy. I haven't owned a bike in probably 17 years so I'm VERY excited. All I want to do is ride it! It's sitting in the garage, taunting me. Cory has plans for us to do hard mountain biking trails right away. That's not happening...

Cory finished his Craftsman level C courses a couple weeks ago and only has 6 (I think?) more tests to do for the B level. But then he has to a bunch of training courses which are only offered on certain days so that might take longer. I'm proud of him for plucking away. I can't wait until he doesn't have to work so much.

Other than that, life is good. We're making more friends here and loving it more and more. We love our neighbors so much! Life is good!


Gorgeous Day

Having a teething baby is worse than having a newborn. No one really prepared me for how awful this could be. Aside from the hours of crying and the clinginess and such, Kennedy has also been refusing to take naps. Wonderful!!!

We just got home from a 3 hour car ride - my final attempt to get her to sleep. It worked eventually. Today was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out and about. Here's what I discovered:

Rockwood hiking trail in Centerville. I have no idea what it is but now we'll have to check it out.

Henry Walker Homes are outrageously priced.

Our dream home in Farmington.

Lots of damage from the wind storm that still hasn't been fixed.

Found out how to get to the control tower at the airport.

Watched Southwest Airlines planes land and take off for a moment.

Found an adorable house for rent for whoever is interested.

Saw horses galloping in the fields.

People catching fish at Bountiful Pond.

Discovered Foxboro North's pool isn't the only pool in Foxboro besides the ghetto apartments.

People riding their bikes enjoying the beautiful day.

A bad accident on 5th South.

And road kill. Lots of road kill.

Seemingly boring, I agree. But I actually kind of enjoyed myself. Aside from hating driving, I had a great time enjoying the weather and letting my insanely grumpy baby have a good nap. Now, we're off to take a walk. We don't often get days like this in February.

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Motherly Challenges

This is going to be one of those "mommy" blogs so if those annoy you, don't bother reading.

This past week or so has been full of emotions. Kennedy hasn't been feeling well. At first I thought she was teething, and she still might be, but she also has a cold now. There have been a few nights of crappy sleep and a few days of one super cranky baby mixed in with her being almost herself and sleeping through the night like she always does. I'm grateful for that. I don't think I could handle the bad stuff non-stop. But, it's been hard and exhausting. And on top of it all, I was also sick and had to try and fight it off with everything going on.

If you don't have kids, you don't understand how hard being a mother can be until you get there. Even Cory doesn't get it sometimes because he gets to leave and go to work. This job NEVER stops. Never. When she cries at night, I have to help her. When she's sick and crying in the middle of my lunch, I have to stop eating to comfort her and help her feel better. It's not like babysitting. I don't get a break. I'm used to it, but some days are harder than others. This week has been particularly challenging. I'm trying to enjoy it though because it's only going to get worse when we have more kids and such.

Although being a mother is hard and exhausting, it's the most amazing thing. Sometimes I really feel like I might explode from the love in my heart. Nothing makes me happier than the smile on her little face. Nothing fills me with warmth faster than hearing her laugh. She's the greatest blessing I could ask for. There have been some good moments this past week. A couple nights, after Cory left for work, I let her sleep in my bed with me. Cuddling together like that are moments I will always cherish. She's such a sweetheart. One of her kisses makes me feel like I could fly. She's so special and amazing.

I've felt overwhelmed lately because she's at the age now where she's learning from the things I do. She gives kisses, waves, pulls faces... etc. There's still so many things she needs to learn. I have to teach her EVERYTHING. That's incredibly terrifying and overwhelming. And I feel like I don't have enough time in the day to do all the things I'm supposed to do to help her and still have time for me. I have to read to her, help her learn how to feed herself, crawl, walk around, teach her words, how to pet the kitty softly, etc. I know she won't learn it all in one day and if I miss something once or twice she's not going to be stupid. It's just such an undertaking. And it's a little more challenging for me since she doesn't have older siblings to learn from. It's just me. Well, and Cory when he's home. I know it's possible. The Lord would not have entrusted me with this sweet spirit if He didn't think I could handle it. It's just scary.

I love Kennedy more than anything. She's a part of me. Sometimes I grumble that I need some "me" time or need a break but when I get one, I miss her like crazy and can't wait to see her again. I feel complete with her. She's taught me so much. Having her has given me a whole new perspective on life. She's the greatest blessing I've ever had. Even when things get hard. I sure love her.


Go Figure

I've had just about enough of hearing about weight loss. I've seen tons of people doing "cleanses" on Facebook, depriving themselves of nutrients and essential calories, I've heard story after story about how the woman needs to lose weight and look perfect but the man can gain as much weight as he wants, and it's almost always a topic on the news EVERY morning.

I could go into a tangent about how messed up the world is and how people are obsessed and whatnot. But I'll just say this: it's a sickness. And it's only getting worse.

I'm no better than anyone else. I frequently look at pre-pregnancy photos and long to look like that again. I also get disgusted with myself that I used to think I was fat. I must I've been taking crazy pills.

The thing that's really sad (and I know the majority of women, if not all of us do this) is when I look in the mirror, I think I look just fine. I'm not super fit and I certainly don't have a perfect body, but I'm far from fat. What I get all upset and self-conscious about it what others will think. I don't measure up to the impossible standards of the world. Will they notice my love handles? What If my thighs were just a few inches smaller? I'll need to suck in when I sit down so my mommy-pooch doesn't poke out. And most of us make fat-jokes about ourselves to hide the insecurity or to fish for compliments to make ourselves feel better - to make others think we're ok.

It's disgusting. And we're all a part of it; some more than others. Some WAY more than others. But it plagues every woman out there. There is NO way we'll all look like the super models of the world. It's not going to happen. Logically we know that, and yet we still try. We spend hours at the gym, cut back on foods we're meant to enjoy, or worst of all, cut out food altogether. And what for? What do we gain from all this?

The obvious answer is a healthy lifestyle, a healthy body, self-confidence, etc. Those are all true and valid points and especially for the obese people of the world, it's essential they change their habits in order to not kill themselves with food. But I'm not talking about the obese people. I'm not even talking about the overweight people. I'm talking about those of us who look just fine but we feel insecure because we're not wearing a size two and have Madonna arms, which are disgusting by the way.

I'm super annoyed with the girls who are already healthy/skinny but won't accept it for themselves; the ones like me who are too concerned with what others think.

So back to my original question: what do we have to gain from starving ourselves and running our bodies into the ground? Are we really that much more self-confident when we are stick thin? For some, the sick ones, they gain imaginary self-confidence because they're now skinnier than others. But that won't last. You can never base your self-worth off being better than others. There will always be someone skinnier and then the cycle starts all over again.

I feel proud of myself when I've accomplished a tough workout or when I see the scale drop. It does help improve self-confidence, that's a given. But then we walk outside and see someone in ridiculous shape and we're right back to where we started. We let our insecurities get the best of us and no matter what we've accomplished, there's always room for improvement. It's infuriating. And so, so wrong.

So then the obvious answer is to train yourself, myself, to feel confident no matter what the world says or thinks. I need to walk around comfortably and not worry about whether people are judging me or not. People will ALWAYS be judging me. That's the way the world works. There are people who because of major insecurities of their own, will always be picking me apart and finding every fault they can with me and others around them. It's how they compensate for their own worries. If they tear others down, it'll help them "feel better". The reason doesn't make it ok, but it's why it happens. And it's the root of all the weight loss obsession: insecurity. And I think I'm safe throwing in jealousy as a reason as well. Anyway, I need to get off my soapbox and get back to HOW we deal with this in a healthy way.

I'm still working on a solid answer but there are a few things I know.

First: I need to forget about everyone else. This is almost nearly impossible but it can be done. It doesn't matter what they say or think, all that matters is how I feel. Someday I will master this and I won't undermine my accomplishments just because someone else did something better.

Second: it's essential to keep a close relationship with the Lord. There's no other way to be happy or have the love I need in my life.

Third: be healthy the healthy way. I've mentioned frequently before on past blogs that I enjoy exercising. I always have. I'm a very active person. And I keep within a calorie budget daily to ensure I don't eat too much. Thats all I need to do. I'll keep watching how much I eat and I'll continue being active. I won't starve myself or work out 3 hours a day. Whatever happens with my body, happens.

That's all I've got so far. But I think it's a pretty good list. Other people cannot run my life. I however, can. And will. I can't hide in fear anymore.

I wish the whole world could calm down and take a moment to see reality but that's not possible. But I can. So people, cleanse on! Judge away! Keep driving yourselves crazy over reaching perfection that will never be reached. Instead of working on the worlds view of perfection, I'm going to work on loving myself perfectly.

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Yesterday was the 3 year anniversary since Adrianne was killed. I don't typically like to remember that day. It was horrible. But I always feel guilty if I don't do something to remember her.

For any new followers to my blog, my wonderful friend and roommate was killed instantly in a car accident in Orem. She was 23.

Anyway, I wanted to take some time and remember her. I went to Chili's for lunch since that was a favorite restaurant of hers. Then Cory and I headed out to visit her grave.

I had some time to reflect on her on the drive over. Friends like her don't come around very often. I've never met a more caring person for the well being of others. Sometimes she had a funny way of showing it, but I know deep down she wanted nothing more than her family and friends to be happy. It seems as life goes on, more and more people get caught up in their own problems and life events and care less and less about those around them. Adrianne wasn't like that. Even though she had her own trials to deal with, she took time out from them to care about others. I'm very lucky to have had a friend like her.

I've always felt a little guilty that we became roommates and friends during a strange time in my life. I wish I could have dedicated more time to her. We talked often, I just wish we could have done more stuff together. Obviously when we were roommates we saw each other all the time, but then I moved out of Logan and hanging out became harder.

I miss her frequently and I thank my Heavenly Father that He laid out a plan for us all to be together again.


Hard Working Husband

Life at the Hunter house has been going well.

Cory has been working lots and I'd like to clear up any misconceptions about him working overtime. He doesn't work extra days because we're obsessed with money or because he needs to supply money to my "demands" or because we're hurting for money. He's working overtime because it's necessary.

When employees start at Kennecott they usually start at a "craftsman C" level of pay. They are required to take online classes and take tests that usually take years to complete in order to move up to the next level. Cory has been going in extra days to complete these courses now. He's almost done with the "C" level of courses and will soon be starting the "B" level and get a pay raise. The highest is "A". It will be a long time before he finishes these but we agreed it's best for him to complete these now while we only have one kid and things are still normal. So now you know why he's been gone so much. It sucks and we both hate having him gone an extra day or two a week but the end result will be worth it. There's no other way to complete these without going in on unscheduled days. Thank goodness they pay him for doing the tests.

On his days off he tries his best to be a good father and husband. I think he's doing a fabulous job! Kennedy loves him to pieces and so do I. I'm so very grateful he's willing to work so hard for us and that he agrees it's best for me to be in the home, raising Kennedy. I sure love him. Even when he's annoying :)


My Old Man

We spend a very shameful amount of time teasing my dad and giving him a hard time. Although it's how we cope when things get tough, it's really not justified when you consider what a great man he is. And he hardly ever complains or takes offense. He has been through some intense trials and is still the best man I know.

My dad is legally blind. He has less than 8% of his vision left. He and his sister have suffered from a genetic disorder called RP. You can google it for the official name. I can say it but I can't spell it and I'm too lazy to look it up. Anyway, it's a disorder that deteriorates the site and hearing. So yeah, he can't hear well either. Considering how hard it's got to be to not be able to see or hear, he's done incredibly well with his life. I know he hates it and I can remember a few occasions where I've seen his frustration break through. But generally he handles it better than expected.

On top of that, he was hit by a car on a freeway overpass and shattered his knee and spent weeks in the hospital, he lost his own father at a young age in a construction accident, his mom passed away 20+ years ago, and he lost his brother who was struck by lightening and was killed in 1997. He's always worked hard to support his family, which has been difficult for a blind man.

My dad has seen his fair amount of trials and pain but he's been strong through them all. I know he has a great reward in store for him in heaven. I'm grateful for the example he is for us and how hard he's worked for us. We know he loves his kids and grand kids with all his heart. I'm very proud to have a dad like him.

I love my dad.

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We've been practicing for lots of swimming in the summer time. We're going to have so much fun!! I think she's got the lazy-summer-days concept down. I love my little squish.


I'm Only a Month Late...

Well, here we are. It's February of 2012. How the heck did that happen??

I can't believe how fast the last year has flown by. Cory and I were floored to realize the other day that it's been a year already since we offered on our house. It seems like it was just last month.

Somehow Kennedy is 7 months old already. What the crap?!

We went to Walmart the other day and saw valentines decorations and were shocked to realize it's 2 weeks away.

Anyway, clearly the year is screaming by. So what would I like to do with my 2012 year? Well...
In 2008 I got married. Pretty rad.
In 2009 I did nothing.
In 2010 I ran my first half marathon. That was awesome. I still can't believe when I drive on Legacy Parkway that I used to run to Farmington and back. I know billions of people run well over 13 miles but for me that was huge.
In 2011 I had a baby. There's really no topping that.
What do I do with 2012? Anything in comparison with the previous years is going to seem pretty weak. But whatever, I need to set some kind of goal.

I started going over in my head all the stuff I like to do and what I still want to accomplish from my "bucket list". I've decided this year will be the year for trying new things.

I want to go to a spa. I want a massage and to sit in a quiet room and be pampered.

I want to conquer an overhang rock climbing.

I want to do the splits.

I don't want to hide the fact that I have musical talent anymore.

I want to help others more.

I want to eat a whole pizza. No wait, that's been done.

I don't have many specifics right now, but my resolution, a month late, is to go out on a limb, be adventurous, try new things, get my hands dirty, and enjoy my life.

I want to be more confident. I want to try things and put myself out there without caring what others might think or say. It doesn't matter because the people who are shallow enough to make fun of me clearly are not good enough people for me to care about their opinion anyway.

I'm pretty excited. When I was pregnant I yearned to be adventurous and daring. I thought it was just because I couldn't do anything but sit on the couch and get fatter, but the feeling is still there. Yippie! I hope Cory is prepared for this. Life is going to get ca-raaaaazy!!!

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