Saturday, July 27


I'm not particularly in the mood to write a long, interesting post, but I need to distract myself from wanting to meet (so badly) this sweet little girl inside me. So I thought I would share what I want for the future of the little Gunnell family:

First off, I want more kids. Our first isn't quite here but already I feel more excited to become a mom than anything. I have wanted to be a mother all my life and I am so thankful that I will be able to start this exciting and fun journey with Dalin really soon (I hope!!). I bet many of you are thinking, isn't it a little premature to be thinking about baby #2 already? I don't feel like it is. Anyone who grew up with me knows I have always wanted a larger family (six or seven children to be more specific), and if I am to achieve that goal I need to get a move on! ;) But seriously, I am extremely grateful for how easy I have had it so far. My pregnancy has been long but wonderful. Particularly when I hear about the experiences of other women, I realize I have nothing to complain about. I am so looking forward to giving birth. In Spanish, the phrase for "giving birth" is dar a luz. I love that because directly translated it means, "to give a light." Children of Heavenly Father are lights when they come to this earth and I cannot wait to meet our sweet little daughter of God. 

Second, I want our daughter (and our other children, too) to learn Spanish. I am not sure why this is so important to me, but it always has been. I really want my children to be bilingual so that they might have many options available to them in the future. I'm not too concerned about her learning English. I am sure I will speak to her in English more often than I would like and everyone around her will be speaking English, too. The thing is, I love Spanish, and my latin friends tell me I'm pretty good at speaking it... But I certainly am not fluent. Dalin knows Spanish from his mission in San Diego and I've been informed by several of his mission friends that he is amazing at it. So together we should be able to be successful, right? It obviously isn't my first language and it will be a challenge to tell myself to speak to her in Spanish, but it is important to me that my children learn as much as they can.

Third, I want to organize our home--on several levels. I want our home to be a place of peace and welcoming. I want others to feel the Spirit when they enter our home. I want it to be clean and organized, and I want to de-clutter our lives and learn to focus on establishing gospel principles in our home. Hopefully we can take President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's words to heart: "It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials." As Elder Dallin H. Oaks once taught, "We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families." The gospel is our priority. Returning to our Father in Heaven is our ultimate goal. I want to be with my family forever.

Fourth, I want to save for our future home. I am not positive where our family will end up, (though I have some ideas) but I know that I want a humble home that I feel I can maintain and work on and beautify. I want to have a modest-sized home (despite our supposedly large family) because I want to be able to afford to do things. I want to travel with Dalin and our children. I want to be able to visit family whenever we want. I want to be able to bring our kids to places and teach them to value experiences and lessons over possessions. I would much rather go places as a family than have lots of things. I love Elder Dallin H. Oaks' quote: "In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best." Quality family time is much more important than having a lot of new things. "The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives." (Elder Oaks). 

Fifth, I want to finish school and work toward developing a part-time career that I can do in our home with my children. I think it is important that I contribute to our income in whatever way possible, though my first priority is raising our children in the gospel. Whether I contribute by selling my artwork, teaching art classes, writing a fantastic blog (ha ha), or editing or even writing books (like I ultimately would like to), I want to feel as though I am helping our family in that small way. I enjoy doing projects and creating things and I hope I will be able to cultivate those talents and interests in my children's own lives. 

Sixth, I want to raise our children with a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will have their agency and they may choose to take a route that strays from our faith, but I hope by establishing a good base, they will ultimately choose for themselves the way of the gospel. I know it brings the truest happiness and is the only means by which we can live with our families forever.

What are your family or personal goals? 

Friday, July 26

More Than Ready

Well, we're just ten days short of our due date and I am dead ready to go. 

We finally packed our hospital bag, though we could have done a better job. We just keep thinking once we need to go, we'll still have a little time to add last-minute things and we don't want to go to the hospital for a false alarm so we're going to wait things out as long as we can. I would go over what I put in our hospital bag, but right now I am extremely uncomfortable with the baby positioned as low as she is (she must have dropped more) and so I need to watch a movie or something to distract myself. I am growing increasingly frustrated because I haven't yet had any regular contractions (just occasional powerful waves) and my patience is waning. I know that the baby will come when she is supposed to but I can't take much more. 

Dalin, too, is growing impatient. He is so excited to be a dad. We talk about our daughter constantly and that is really the only thing we can think about. We've been taking our doctor's suggestions to heart, but the internet basically has informed us that there is no proof that anything really induces labor. She'll come when she's supposed to. I just hope for all our sakes that it's in the next week...

I'll write more later, but for now, please please please just pray our daughter comes soon or I'm going to go completely crazy. 

In the meanwhile, to keep me distracted, take a second to answer either of these:

When do you predict I'll go into labor? 
What was your experience as a first-time mom?

Friday, July 19

Attention Moms, Future Moms, & Soon-to-be Moms: Awesome Deals

I did not know this, and I thought it was too awesome not to share.

Apparently, when you make an account at the register of Motherhood Maternity, they give you a little gift bag that includes some samples, plus a bunch of papers with coupons and information about cord blood banking, etc. I was about to throw it all away when I realized that some of the discounts are actually really good including a few that give you items 100% free!

I just got a carseat cover, nursing cover, nursing pillow, and sling for FREE besides shipping! (It's like $12 shipping for each item, but so worth it because the items all together would have cost more than $165, plus I needed all of these things!)
They have cute patterns for each item and after you make your first purchase, they provide a code that you can use for the other sites and get more stuff for 100% free. I figured they would make me buy something else in order to get the deal, but all I had to do was pay for shipping. I should receive the items next week so I will let you know how they turn out but I've heard from a few people that they loved everything they got. I am so excited!!!!! I also received a $20 giftcard to Shutterfly (which allows you to make some kind of online album, etc. so I will be saving that for when our tiny sweetheart is born!)
Here are the sites:
I loved this one... 
Grey and white damask print with lavender minky material
....but ultimately decided on this one (because it was more gender neutral and I have to have sons someday...we're the only ones carrying on the Gunnell name! Eek!).
Black and white pattern with grey minky material
This is the one I chose:
This one is called Taylor and I love how bright and happy it is!
I had the hardest time picking a sling pattern!
I chose the lavender Koi pattern even though I loved the Sonic, Black, and Cyrus ones, too.
I am so glad I was able to find one of these for a great price! I know I'll be needing it. 
This is Starry Night, but I liked Serenity a lot, too!
Anyway, the stuff is pretty cute and I was able to get a great deal, so I hope this helps someone else! Three of the codes they gave me that I didn't need to use (because I already had some from Motherhood Maternity) were: UCOVERS, CARSEAT, and SEVEN, so try them out (each one should work for all four sites unless they've been taken by someone else).
Did you know about this? If so, what other great deals are out there for baby stuff that I should know about??

Tuesday, July 16

Kindness Weighs More Than Fat

I just read this article on Yahoo called "My Girlfriend Weighs More Than Me. So What?" and I have to say I thought it was fantastic. I think my favorite part was Ali's description of why he and Gloria connect so well: 

The fact is Gloria and I have so much in common. We feel the same way about our families - they are the most important people in our lives. Our parents taught us the value of hard work and good morals, and how we should conduct ourselves and treat other people. We also share an idiosyncratic sense of humor —we find things funny that other people don't.

I honestly loved this article and I am completely disgusted with some of the comments that people made to be cruel. I'll be honest, I have a lot of overweight family members, but that didn't even cross my mind as I read this. All I thought was that this sweet girl is a human being and she is probably nicer than most skinny people. I don't know that for sure, but I can tell by Ali's description of her that she is a gem. 

I truthfully do not care about the size of someone or their body. I love big people. More often than not, they seem to have a better nature and sense of humor than most thin people. Obviously it is preferable to be healthy but there are plenty of larger men and women who simply come from large stock and are still very healthy despite their stature. I know that Heavenly Father does not judge us based on our physical characteristics but on the intent of our heart so I ask: what gives us the right to judge others on their physical appearance? There are things I don't like about my own body and appearance but I hope more than anything that most people see past those things to the person I am inside. I hate when I hear someone make a comment about how a person looks or dresses because I know that that person is a child of God and that they are probably doing the best they can with the life they have. 

I think we (as humans) need to consider these quotes a little more seriously: 

"When I grow frustrated with someone I think, 'Watch yourself, that's a child of God.'" 
~Maya Angelou

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
~Author Unknown

"There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent." 
~Dave Barry

Surely I am not the only one who feels this way--I like a person so much the better when I find they have a kind, positive personality. I have met dozens of people who I initially thought were incredibly beautiful or attractive, but as soon as they began to speak they started to look less so because it became clear they had a very shallow and insincere persona. It works the other way, too. There are those who seem plain or ordinary upon first meeting them, but when I truly get to know them, their attractiveness increases dramatically. This happens more often than I would like to admit. Does that mean that my first impressions of people are often wrong? Or maybe it means that in my heart, I do slightly judge or stereotype others based on their appearance until I get to know them as a person. I think it is impossible to look at someone's outward appearance and not form an initial impression of them. The difference is looking at them thereafter with an open heart, and willing yourself to see the good in them if they have it. Every kind person I have met has an indefinable quality about them that makes them more attractive in my eyes because of who they are. I try to see the good in others because that is how I want people to see me. I personally do not want people to only notice my physical imperfections and decide on the type of person that I am based on those alone. 

For those of you who are extremely attractive and have a good heart, I think you are just extra blessed. Perhaps you are particularly beautiful because your genuine inner beauty radiates outward. For those of you who are extremely attractive, but cruel and judgmental inside, just ask yourself this: "What's the point of being pretty on the outside [if] you're so ugly on the inside?" (Jess C. Scott). (Also, I might add that I think pretty people look ugly the more I look at them and come to know their true character.)

I think the whole human race needs to resolve to be a little kinder to those around them. I personally will do so as well. Be kind, and remember that God looks at our hearts. 
This is the couple from the article. How cute are they?
What are your thoughts on this subject? Does outward appearance matter?
How did you like the article I referenced?

Monday, July 15

Easiest Chicken Sandwich Ever

I am all about fast and easy meals--especially when I'm home alone. Something about Dalin being gone from the apartment just sucks the motivation to try right out of me. I try sometimes, but usually not for myself. So this chicken sandwich is perfect because it is freaking delicious and takes about two minutes to make. 

What you need:

sandwich bread (preferably Dunford's--best bread ever--which they sell at Macey's if you live out west!)
1 tomato
spinach or lettuce
cheese (I like pepper-jack or provolone)
salt and pepper/ lemon pepper
1 can chicken breast
a few spoonfuls of mayo (to mash into the chicken with a fork)

I bet you can see where this is going. If not, here are some pictures to help you. 

It makes a crazy (easy) delicious sandwich and is perfect for those of you who are as lazy as I am when it comes to making dinner for yourself. I made two sandwiches because I had enough so I guess Dalin can have a late-night snack when he gets home from work at 11pm! (Or, at least I'll have a decent lunch at work tomorrow).

Have you already discovered the easiness (and awesomeness) of this sandwich? 
(I highly doubt I invented it.)

Saturday, July 13

Things I've Taken For Granted

Dropped an entire bag of goldfish the other day. Saddest thing ever. Good thing I took a pic of this, right?
Since being pregnant, there are a lot of things I never realized I had taken for granted. Here are a few that come to mind. I'm sure the list is endless though.

1. The ability to slip into jeans (or pretty much anything) without it being a tremendous hassle
2. Being able to do simple things around the bend over and pick up Dalin's socks
3. Being able to sleep without interruption. I have almost forgotten what that's like. I probably won't know again for a long time
4. Feeling in control of my emotions. Crying is so annoying
5. Being able to buckle my seatbelt easily
6. Feeling somewhat more of that for a while
7. Being able to squeeze through small spaces without hitting my belly on something
8. Having no real physical ailments. Now I know what back pain is. And acid reflux
9. Being able to sit or stand for as long as I want without my body going haywire
10. My ankles and feet--when they didn't feel fat
11. Having energy
12. Not having to think about what foods or medicine go in my body
13. Having control over my bladder (aka being able to hold it)
14. Kneeling. And crawling. And sitting cross-legged. And getting up off the ground
15. Not feeling SO darn slow. Why can't I walk faster!?
16. Feeling cute. I don't anymore. Just annoyed when I see how big I am getting
17. Not feeling the need to take a nap...all the time

This is all I can think of for now. I need to go take a nap (ha ha) so I can have the energy to do something productive. I want to pick up and get rid of some clutter, I really want to clean the bathtub (stupid bare feet), and I want to make some kind of delicious dessert for Dalin because I've put him through a lot the last few days. Not on purpose. But he is my only support around here and the only one I can cry to (which I hate doing, but he loves me so it's okay).

I will be SO much happier when this baby is out. Everyone keeps telling me about all the sleep I won't get and how I'll have no energy, etc...well as long as the pains go away, I honestly don't care about anything else. 

What did you take for granted or miss while pregnant? 

Wednesday, July 10

Fourth of July Weekend & 36 Weeks!

As you may have been able to tell from my latest album on Facebook, Dalin and I spent the Fourth of July with his family here in Provo. They stayed in our apartment which is infinitely cooler since they hooked up the A/C unit the Ritchie's (previous tenants in our apartment) left us. I was anxious because the A/C unit looks old and was quite dusty from sitting on the porch for the last year. But THANK HEAVENS it works perfectly. We would be dying without it. 

Our weekend included Fourth of July attire, a visit to the mall, movies, golf (for the men), fireworks, hilarious games, dining out, a day trip to Lagoon Park and Lagoon A Beach, Church, and Sunday dinner. Walking down University Parkway toward the Stadium of Fire to watch the fireworks and spending more than eight hours walking at Lagoon might be too much for some pregnant ladies...but not for me, though my feet truly ached at the end of every night. I almost wished we had saved those trips until 38 or 39 weeks so it might have helped my labor along because I guarantee the baby would have dropped at least a little. Plus, playing games like Bea Arthur and Group Pictionary would have been enough to get my labor going probably--we laughed so hard during both games that my abs were aching by the end of the night. It was such a fun time! We seriously had a blast and were not looking forward to our family's return to Boise. 
In other news, I had my 36 week appointment (which involved the strep B test--which was nothing at all) on Monday, during which my doctor checked my progress for me (he was already doing other things so I thought, why not?). He said I didn't seem to be dilated yet (which is good I guess, since it would have been a full month early) but I was 50% effaced (which means my cervix is thinning) and that is good. It must be from all the walking. Seriously. Overall, things went well and Dr. Pace told me he fully expects me to have a good experience without complications. I sure hope he is right! 

Pregnancy updates at 36 weeks: 
Weighing in at a ripe 133 lbs
My stomach measures at 34cm
I'm 50% effaced (but no dilation and only slight dropping)
A few stretch marks appearing (Dalin claims they aren't noticeable, but they are to me)
Experiencing occasional tightening or most likely, Braxton Hicks (not painful, just noticeable)
The right side of my lower back is sore (I think from how I've been sleeping on it)
Peeing frequently (but not very annoying!)
Baby girl is as active as ever: kicking, stretching, hiccuping
Baby prefers the right side of my belly--she's almost always over there
My feet are at least a size larger (hopefully temporarily)--I couldn't even get them in my sister's Toms!

Now there is nothing I can do but be patient and pray that (for my sake) she comes a little early or on time. Dr. Pace is vacationing next week, so as long as she comes after 37 weeks, I'll be happy!!!!!!

Do you think baby girl will be early, late, or on time? 
Were you early, late, or on time? (I was like 9 days late...)

Tuesday, July 2

Maybe I Do Have What It Takes

It's July!!!!! FINALLY! I can't believe it's finally here! The last month before our little daughter joins our lives! 

Our apartment at Wymount is hotter than heck right now (seriously, it has to be at least 80 degrees in here because I am sweating everywhere) but I am in a surprisingly good mood because I've been spraying myself with this little water spritzer thing (I got that idea right here -- yes I googled that, haha) and drinking lots. Plus, I don't really have to wear a lot of clothes in my own apartment so that helps. 

This morning, our little girl was bouncing around and kicking like mad. I didn't know what time it was (I'm blind without my contacts) but I got up to pee, get a drink, and try to calm her down a little. I heard that you can get an idea of what your baby's routine will be like based on his or her activity in the womb. I sincerely hope that isn't the case or I can say good morning at 6am every day (which, it turns out, is when she woke me up with her movement this morning). Although that is admittedly better than 2 or 3am...The good thing about this morning was, after getting back into bed, I realized I apparently do have the ability to get up (even against my will) in the early hours of the morning to take care of our baby. I am sure the crying will be enough to motivate me as well, but it was a comfort to know that I subconsciously am getting into the "Mom zone" and mentally preparing for taking care of our sweet baby. 

For those of you who don't know, I was worried about getting up in the middle of the night because I am the type of sleeper where, if my sleep gets interrupted, I have a hard time going back to bed after. Once I'm awake, I'm usually awake for good. Maybe the exhaustion (or heat exhaustion...) took its toll on me. Either way, I am more excited than ever for this month to go by. We have lots of plans for this month (most involving family visiting and fun work activities) and I am hoping they will be enough to keep me distracted and make the month fly by...

That's all I have for now, but I am wondering if anyone has any creative suggestions for keeping cool. I work from 10-5:30pm, so during those hours, it isn't much of an issue, but the evenings and weekends aren't too fun. I've already closed all our blinds and kept our windows closed during the day and open at night. Why can't it be raining here like it has been for weeks in New Hampshire?? I would gladly trade at this point. Plus I love rain. 

Anyway, please tell me how to keep cool!!!