Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Official

So I am finally far enough along to share our good news...I am pregnant! I haven't been feeling hot (lots of "night" sickness) but I heard the sicker you are, the less chance of miscarriage, so, I'm enduring. It's definitely getting better though. I am just over 13 weeks and the due date is June 29th. After working at Primary's with sick little kids and many birth defects, I am so scared and paranoid. I know I can't change the outcome but I truely wonder how any child is born healthy. But I have seen many healthy babies and kids so I know it's possible. I just worry. It's all about faith though, right? This is a DREAM COME TRUE for me! For those of you who know me best, I have waited my whole life to have a newborn, to be a mom. Gary and I are nervous to be parents but we are so excited!!!! Hopefully everything goes well. We should find out in January what we are having.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our first Christmas together

After much talk, Gary and I had finally conceded that we weren't going to do a Christmas tree this year. He was/is going to be gone 2 weeks out of December and I take after my mom....whatever you put up, just has to come down in a few weeks. It's so much work and Gary and I had close to nothing to decorate with, seeing this is our first married Christmas together. Well, it was actually my own mother who said, "I can't believe you aren't going to have a Christmas tree for your first married year together!" She got us thinking and after finding out she had extra lights and a tree stand, we decided to get a tree. It took us exactly 5 minutes to pick one out. Gary isn't picky and after memories of going to tree lot after tree lot and trying to find the "perfect" tree (this was all in my youth. It was painful sometimes but we always did have the best tree out there, huh mom?!?), we vowed to pick one out quickly. I think we did pretty well.

We brought the tree home, got it right up and it was awesome! I love the smell of pine trees. It took us a few days to find a tree skirt and stockings but after some lights, candy canes and the few Hallmark ornaments my mom gives us year after year for our birthdays and Christmas, our tree is as complete as it's going to be. We won't have a star or angel this year but you can't have it all your first year, eh?

Our "perfect" tree

The stockings we found. Gary really wants me to sew his name on his. He said you can't have a stocking without your name on it. Uh, mom? Janna? Help!!!

My favorite sister in the whole entire world decided to spend a day cooking with me. I figured that now I am married and have responsibilities, I need to learn to make some of the holiday treats my mom did so I had a few neighbor gifts to give away. We made white chocolate Oreo crunch, chocolate peanut butter fudge, Russian tea cookies (or as I call them, Mexican wedding cookies), and toffee. Toffee is by far the hardest one to make and then the one that falls apart the fastest. I now know why my mom hates making it, although it's one of my favorites!!! Thanks Shani for all of your help. And to those of you who think my sister is really ADD, she is a great cook and spent about two and a half hours with me cooking. Love you Shan!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Australia was the prettiest place I have EVER been! I had the opportunity to head over there to meet Gary who had been working there for 2 weeks. The trip over was brutal. It consisted of a 2 hour flight to LA, a 5 hour layover, and 14 hours and 16 minutes to Australia. It was horrible but I made it. I arrived around 8:30am Australia time. Talk about throwing my body off. Australia is 18 hours ahead of Utah. Ya, figure that one out. But I walked out of the airport to find Gary waiting for me. We took a train to our hotel (our first stop was downtown Sydney. He gets Holiday Inn points from his work so all of our hotels were free) and the weather was hot and very humid. I couldn't wait to get out of my sweat pants, long sleeve shirt and coat that I had traveled in. After changing, we got on a ferry and headed out to Manly Beach. GORGEOUS!!! After spending a few hours there, we came back, changed and went to take a tour of the Sydney Opera House. That place is so cool. Funny thing ever, out on the steps of the Opera House, they were practicing for the finale of Australian Idol which would happen that Sunday. Little did we know that Michael Bubble was going to preform at the finale or I might have insisted on getting tickets!!

Saturday we went and walked through a few rain forest. My sister would be pleased to see how beautiful and preserved the rain forest were. Later that day we had tickets to do a cave tour in 300 million year old caves. After being able to repel down into the cave, we spent about an hour and a half in the caves, squeezing through the smallest holes. I didn't take my camera down because I didn't want to lose of scratch it but Gary took his. We will post all of our many pictures on facebook if anyone wants to see more. It was awesome though.

Sunday we went to a church in a small branch in an office building. Sacrament meeting was great, the Spirit was so strong. I love going to church outside of Utah. There were a lot of investigators and missionaries in the branch. The talks were so good and we really enjoyed it. After church we went to the most famous beach in Australia, Bondi beach. I didn't like it at all. Way too crowded!!! The water was cold in Sydney so I would only get in once to get wet, then I would lay out to enjoy the sun that we had for 8 days!!!

Monday we got on a plane and left for Cairns. That was my most favorite place on our whole trip. The hills were green with lush trees and rain forests. I thought it looked a lot like the movie Jurassic Park. Gorgeous!!! We rented a car (an Audi convertible no less) and drove to Josephine Falls and Boulders. I would get goose bumps just looking at the scenery. It was peaceful and calm. I can't rant and rave enough about it.

Tuesday was our big excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. We got on this huge boat and took a almost 2 hour boat ride to the reef. Gary opted to scuba dive with a certified diver and I just snorkled. It was so pretty, and yes, I did see a shark...2 of them! I was freaked out but we had been assured over and over that they wouldn't attack humans. Right. Didn't stop me from hyperventilating. I saw so many Nemo's and the coral was so pretty. We made three different stops. It was an all day excursion and they fed us a not so good lunch on the boat. Which brings me to my least favorite thing about Australia. The FOOD! It is disgusting. Not joking. Unless you are a seafood lover, which I don't touch, the food is horrendous. Gary thinks I exaggerate. I admit, I'm a picky eater but come on. You can't get a good steak for the life of you! Every fillet we tried tasted like old meat. Just not appetizing. Here is what I ate. Subway (their mayonnaise tastes like Miracle Whip, maybe worse), Hungary Jacks (aka, Burger King...good thing the fries tasted okay although the ketchup tasted sweet), Outback Steak House (this was the closest to American food we had), Lone Star (not a thing like America), Hard Rock Cafe, and McDonalds. Yes, it's sad, but true. I found some mashed potatoes I liked at one restaurant. I craved ranch dressing (if you could even find ranch, it was sour and strong and NOT ranch!) and milk. How hard is it to make milk? Our cows must be very different. The after taste was so nasty, plus the milk was thick. Okay, I'm done complaining about the food. We obviously didn't starve but it was the most disappointing part of the trip. Good thing for Baskin Robbins ice cream which we had twice. Not quite the same, but close.

Wednesday we got on another plane to go to Brisbane. It was the only day it rained for a bit but only for about 30 minutes. It smelled so fresh. We rented a car and drove to the Brisbane temple which was on the corner of a busy intersection. In fact, we almost passed it. It was closed when we got there so we couldn't go inside but just walking around the temple grounds had a spirit about it. We drove a little over an hour up the coast to Gold Coast. Fun Gold Coast. Too bad it was so dang crowded with "Schoolies." What are Schoolies you ask? Schoolies are high school graduates who come from all over Australia and stay for a week or two in Gold Coast. It happens every year...and it's CRAZY! These young kids drink and smoke and every other word is the "f" word. I started wondering if it's even considered a bad word there. The whole atmosphere kind of made me uncomfortable and each night on the news, it showed how many "Schoolies" had gotten arrested for being drunk and causing a scene. There were policemen every where. So I hated down town Gold Coast but Thursday we drove up the coast to an awesome Light House. The beach Surfer's Paradise was just that. It was a 7 mile beach and when we stopped at some of the non-crowded area's, it was great! The water is a lot warmer in Gold's Coast and with a slight breeze, it was heaven. Gary and I loved laying in the warm sand, listening to the waves crash and reading. Loved it!

Friday (Thanksgiving here in Utah) we went to a water park called Wet N' Wild. Once again I never got my camera out because it was low on battery. It was a pretty neat water park with some rides we had never seen or been on before. After a perfect day of sun and water, we went to a wild life park that night. We were starving and we had signed up 6 months in advance for a buffet then a night tour of the animals. We showed up at 7pm seeing that's what the confirmation paper in Gary's hand said. Well, come to find out, the buffet had started at 5pm. So we did not get any food but the animals we saw were cool. I had wanted to see a wild Kangaroo the whole trip and never got to see one. But don't worry, we got to feed hundreds of them at the park. It was a top highlight of mine. We sure missed Thanksgiving though and being with our families. It was hard to be away from home for this holiday but we loved our whole trip. The airplane ride home was even worse than the one out there but we are home safe and sound and I don't want to go on a plane for a long, long time. We have such great memories of Australia and I sure hope that one day I will have the chance to go back some day.

The Sydney Harbor bridge.

The Sydney Opera House. View from our ferry to Manly beach

I had to have my picture taken next to this sign. This is right after I got off the plane. We changed into our swim suits to head to the beach

Another picture of the Opera House

This is their Burger King. The food in Australia is SO EXPENSIVE!!!

Manly beach

Another view of Manly Beach

Houses are built right on the coast line

Getting ready for the Australian idol finale that Sunday. After eating dinner with two of Gary's friends, we headed over and stood outside the gate and heard the winner announced. There were fireworks over the harbor. It was pretty cool

Didn't have 31 flavors but still had my Peanut butter and Chocolate ice cream

One of the many waterfalls we saw

Those 3 mounds are called the 3 Sisters. There is a legend about the 3 Sisters. Notice all the green

Walking in the rain forest

Closer look at the 3 Sisters

Bondi Beach

Jospehine Falls. Gary is sliding down a slick rock into the water

Cairns (said like "Canes")

One of my favorite pictures. Looks like Jurassic Park

Our silver Audi convertible. Did I mention they drive on the opposite side of the road? Ya, I didn't even attempt a try at driving. I was closing my eyes most of the time.

It was raining in the distance

More rain forest

Brisbane temple

Gold Coast at night from our hotel balcony.

Light House

Surfer's Paradise coast line.

Eastern most part of Australia

Cute Koala bears. They were holding baby joey's in there arms. They sleep about 20 hours a day.

Me feeding the Kangaroos. Loved it! Their little tongues tickled my hands. The wild life park had little food pellets we used to feed the Kangaroos.

See the baby joey sticking out of the pouch? I was able to feed a baby joey while it was in it's mother's pouch. I had to be quick because the big Kangaroos wanted the food.

Tazmanian devils. Yes, these are real animals. Their eyes glowed at night. Pretty cool