Sunday, May 26, 2013


For Dan's graduation gift, Grandpa Holbrook gave us a week at his timeshare anywhere in the world we chose! Dan's parents kindly watched Milah and we went to Cancun and she had a blast! She learned how to go down the stairs backward too :)
The ruins at Coba. We went with a really neat LDS tour guide who enlarged our understanding of the scriptures and helped us see the ruins with great insight! 
Breathtaking ruins on the seashore -- Tulum. We loved this place! One of my favorite parts is that it is surrounded by a coral reef behind us. To get through the coral reef without wrecking their boats, the people would line themselves up between two lights that directed the way to the temple of Tulum. This is like us as a couple. To come to the temple, we need two of us aligned with God's will and then we will safely come into harbor on our journey of life.  

This was a really neat stone that depicted the high priest who lived in the home nearby the temple. The Mayans made this stone to tell about the priest's life, but then they ended up worshiping the priest (kind of like some people now pray to Mary). Much of the time we just saw how they distorted the truths. 
We saw a game they played that they ended up distorting and worshiping the players and sacrificing them. Below is a depiction of how they played with hitting a heavy ball with their hips or knees and trying to get into a hoop. 
We also saw ancient roads like the ones that connected all the lands in the book of mormon. They were high so they didn't go up and down like our highways, and they were covered with cement so they were white and their chariots and horses could go on the roads as is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. 
One of our other favorite things we did was see a Cenote -- an underground sinkhole. You walk down and down these stairs seemingly forever until you see the sink hole filled with water. Dan swam in it, even jumping off a high dive. There were fish in the water and it was really clear blue water. 

 Also, at Xcaret (kind of like Sea World and the Polynesian Cultural Center), we got to do some mushroom farming (picture below), and plant some orchids. We learned that orchids don't bloom until they are 7 years old! The yellow flowers are vanilla plants. Oh, and we got to go to a butterfly pavillion

Then we went snorkeling through underground cenote's and also outside through the channels. Our favorite part of the snorkeling tour was snorkeling by a manatee! There was glass separating us (of course) but we were 2 feet away from him!

The night show was really fun. They had elaborate costuming and we got to see the Mayan ballgame played out. The performance first depicted Mayan people's history and the second half was their festivals and songs they loved. We got a real feel for the Mexican culture with that because the people all sang along to their country's songs.

We enjoyed attending the all-Spanish ward in Cancun. We took two busses, asking people for directions and even from miles away, everyone knew where the Mormon church was! Great job, missionaries!

This was our favorite dinner of the trip -- an Italian buffet with an awesome chef who made-to-order our delicious pasta. 

 At dinner together. We enjoyed listening to "Somewhere Beyond the Sea" and playing many games of Backgammon (Dan won 7/7 games) on our balcony overlooking the ocean. Sound romantic? It was!

This is hard to see, but it's in the airport and it says "the best mother in the world." The flights all said happy mothers day and were so happy to congratulate me on #2! I was grateful we had chosen a place that wasn't too far as the plane rides were rough on a pregnant belly. ;0 We got to sit by Emily Ivory and the whole Ivory sales team on their way to Thailand and I was so grateful to get off that plane. I was feeling so sick, I walked up the aisle while the steward was still seat belted in. He was saying "no! no, go sit down. you can't be up yet!" as I walked up the aisle. Haha, there's no stopping a sick pregnant woman. I was getting off that plane ASAP! So yes, I never throw up in my pregnancies but it's not without 40 minutes of air blowing in my face, gum chewing, deep breathing and visualizing on each plane ride. I did NOT want to throw up on an airplane of all places. And we emerged victorious!!!


We saw Solomon's temple and the altar and the inner and outer courtyard. I thought it was neat that they painted their temples (and the high priest's homes) red symbolizing power and blue symbolizing the heavens.

We just so happened to take the entire tour with Bryan (Dad's) old roommate and his family. We enjoyed our time so much including climbing the tallest Mayan ruin together at Coba (behind us).

 Behind us is the Tulum temple on the seashore. One of the most beautiful places we saw! As we were leaving, our guide, Helaman, bought us a yummy bar of the flesh of fresh coconut. Now coconut always reminds me of our happy day of touring the ruins :)
We also saw the city walls like where Moroni put sharp sticks up in the book of mormon.
There were a ton of iguanas all over and they were huge!
Being away from Milah was hard, but we were so happy to have this one week just for Dan and me to celebrate our marriage before baby #2 comes :) Thanks to Mom and Dad Holbrook for keeping Milah happy as a clam while we were gone! 

Milah's Tricks

She learned to take off her shirt. We need to have a little talk about modesty, Milah :)

And she can stand up on her own while holding Daddy's shoes!

Womens Conference -- Brown's Come to Provo

We enjoyed the concert at Women's Conference. Especially the moms singing "Bye Bye Bye" (putting their kids to bed). Pretty funny :) 
 Dan, Savannah, Eden, and McKay were the babysitters. Milah had a ton of fun as you can see :)

We loved bowling! As you can see Dan beat us all with a score of 153 points! Nearly his all-time high :) The bowling pins are on strings -- unique.

Blickenstaff's -- always a favorite! Dan is talented enough to ride AND hold Milah. 

 Those of us who like heights (not me haha) did a ropes course. McKay and I watched and played giant Connect 4!

Then we all tried sushi rolls -- most of my family for the first time :) Jake, Dan, and I all love sushi so it was a special treat. We got to watch the master chefs make delicious rolls.

Hiking the Y

 Milah walked some of it on her own! She did a couple of switchbacks right at the top!
 How Milah made the journey
 Milah loved putting rocks and sticks in my hand and rearranging them
Made it to the top!
We got rained on at the end, but it was a pleasant rain. 

Pregnancy + Bike Riding

And the bike strikes again! I did the same thing as when I was pregnant with Milah. I saw a school bus who was turning where I was turning and through my head goes..."pregnancy + getting hit by a bus = bad news." So I stupidly braked while signaling to the bus, letting one hand off the handle bars and front flipping off my bike. Luckily I broke the fall pretty well hitting my shoulder, elbow, hands, knee, and somehow even my shin all while protecting my stomach from the handlebar just waiting to gouge me! Yay for front flips :)
Dan now reminds me "both hands while biking" :) But really, he is so sweet and says that when Milah or I get hurt it makes him sick and just gives him that horrible feeling. I love my protector-husband :)
See? Minimal damage.

Learning to Feed Herself

Mmmm that yummy butternut squash is even better when you can feed it to yourself! 

She grabs her hair like this all the time and says "haaaaair" like she is in this picture :)

Being silly.

Milah...Are You Drinking Slime? And Other Ramblings About Our Lives Lately....

She loves our morning juices :)

Yesterday we had a yard sale after cleaning out our garage for like 5 days straight! It was pretty rid of a mini fridge (from our town home), lots of clothes, our old blender etc. 

We've been trying to teach Milah not to pull over our kitchen trash can and she gets her feelings hurt really easily. Telling her not to use the toilet to stand up is pretty much impossible -- she stands up on everything. She's also figured out how to explore our cabinets and open and shut them so she does that while I cook and clean. We still put bread and other food in little pieces all over the house and make her treasure hunt for her breakfast. She's been learning to feed herself though -- more about that later. She has learned to say a few words including "Mama, Dada, hair, eye, Milah (she tries), no, yes, yeah, baba, nana (for bananas), num num (food) etc,). She sleeps with her bum up in the air and legs curled under her and her face down -- its a pretty funny position. Oh, and she's back to blowing out like no one's business! She's had so many baths! She loves to read the Big Red Barn with me and she just recently learned to make the "mooo" noise. I see her open up "Moo, Baa, Lalala" and start mooing at the cow. Any animal deserves a bunny rabbit sniff. Oh, and she pulled out Marjory Pay Hinckley's Small and Simple Things book and I read it with her which meant smelling all the flowers. Haha. She loves standing and pulling up and crouching down almost to sitting (basically doing a squat) over and over and over. She's still on her eating spree so she's got a big belly :)

We've been living a more "relaxed life" which still involves Dan studying at the library just after gymming until dinner. It's been good to be on a schedule. One of the results of this is that I get to read while Milah sleeps and now she'll sleep for 2-3 hours a day if I'm silent! I read Goose Girl, Forest Born, and River Secrets by Shannon Hale and loved them! My favorite was probably Goose Girl or Forest Born -- one of the things I like is that Shannon Hale writes in a very vivid "close third person narrative" so she describes the wind lifting and twirling Ani's hair -- beautiful imagery; but then she avoids writing super vivid descriptions of the bad stuff so I haven't had bad dreams from it.  

Last night Danny and I watched an entire movie! That didn't even happen in Mexico! It was an old Tom Hanks movie. It was kinda fun to get through a whole one. 

 Lately we've been watching broke, which is a documentary about how 78% of NFL players go broke after 2 years. It was crazy to learn all the things they spend money on. One of the things that struck us most was that they could do all these things simultaneously (e.g. buy their mom a house (some players have 6 mortgages), pay for their entourage of sometimes 40 people to go to bars, buy 6 Ferraris and other fancy cars, have horrible financial advisors who are crooks, invest in stuff like car washes that are really scams and don't exist). The thing that seemed to make them the most easily broke was getting a divorce. 

We have been loving working out still though I've taken up running and still lift heavy, but I just have to acknowledge that I'm just maintaining not building muscle. 

I've been cooking meat lately -- broccoli beef, brazed tips, janice's banquet chicken, spaghetti sauce with meat (2x). I think I'm lacking iron or something because it just sounds good :) 

Also, I haven't been too sick lately from pregnancy. Instead of thinking I'm sick for 3 months I should just remember with both pregnancies so far, I've only been really sick for 4 weeks and then it's over if I keep myself fed. That doesn't sound so bad now does it? I'm already showing -- much earlier with Milah. This morning Dan said "you're nice to your body when you're pregnant and its nice to you" meaning that I don't get too huge. We'll see if that's true with baby #2. I really hope so! 

Tomorrow we go to Moab with Dan's fam and he's going sky diving! Then on to visit my family for a week or so. Then back to Provo for only 2 weeks until we move and then go to Hebegen then stay in Uncle Rick's house then finally move in in CA and Dan starts his job!!! What an adventure :) 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Please Read -- the Importance of Motherhood

Daniel Holbrook and I are soooo excited to say WE ARE EXPECTING BABY #2     !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh how this blog makes my heart sing! Please, pregnant women (including me) -- say love about your baby bumps and your morning sickness. Don't worry about gaining or losing weight and don't think your husbands will love you less because of your stretch marks. Pregnancy brings a sacred, holy bond between you and your spouse.

 Please! I beg you to start your families early. Girls' night out, travel, spa days and even finishing school are so unimportant in your lives compared to your children. You do not lose your life when you have a baby -- you gain eternal lives! Your children will be your crowning jewels throughout eternity and will honor you forever.

I bear witness that God has designed families as the place to perfect and sanctify us. In completely giving ourselves to others we are polished and smoothed until we are acceptable to Heavenly Father. Take a leap of faith and start your family now. If you do not know for yourself, lean on my testimony. Motherhood is worth every sacrifice.

When you feel inadequate remember these words:

"When the world says, you are too young. Remember Mary was young.

When the world says, you are too old. Remember Sarah was old.

When the world says, you don’t know what you are doing. Remember Eve – who had no role models at all…she just walked with the King."