June 30, 2010


I decided it would be cool to just spill a lot of totally random things into this post and call it good. It's my blog, I can do what I want, right? :) (cue "it's my party and I can cry if I want to" music)

So, yesterday I had another doctors appointment. I didn't mention it on here because I didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily. Why would you worry, you ask? Because two weeks ago, I started bleeding. Not a ton of blood, just enough to get me a little (read: a lot) freaked out. This happened on a Saturday and my 20 week appointment was on Monday. I held off calling the doctor (a: because there wasn't that much bleeding and b: because I had my appointment Monday. No sense calling, I thought.) So I went into my appointment, they found all was well and I mentioned my bleeding. I didn't over dramatize or under dramatize (is there such a thing??) anything, I just let him know my concerns. He said my cervix was a little on the thinner side of normal, so he wanted me back in two weeks for another ultrasound to see whether or not it was continuing to thin out, to which I agreed. Meanwhile, he told me to live life as normal, as he didn't see anything that looked too suspicious. And so I did. When I went in yesterday, my cervix was measuring at about 3.2 cm. Two weeks previous, it had been at 3.5 cm. The doctor says he's still not terribly worried about that (and, for the record, neither am I) and to continue life as normal. The only restriction he put on me is no heavy lifting, no standing on my feet continuously for more than 8 hours at a time, and no overly strenuous exercise. Pretty much, he told me, use common sense. So, I am taking it a little easier than normal, but still living life and, quite honestly, not worrying about my silly cervix. For all we know, that's my normal size, but being this is my first pregnancy and I have had a sister (Tara) who had to go on bed rest for two of her kids because her cervix thinned out too quickly and she started contracting at like 26 or 28 weeks, we're still being a little cautious. So there you have it! Pregnancy update for the week. :) Oh and baby is moving like crazy lately. Especially right before I go to bed. I watched him/her roll across my stomach the other night, it was amazing. I love this whole movement thing, it's just a miracle to me.

Now, in other news, I have been getting crafty lately. I have an apron that is all cut out and just needs to be sewn, a sweet little recipe board that is super easy to make (and totally cute to boot!) and some metal cups just waiting to be painted and planted with herbs so I can have my own little herb garden! I love craftiness. :)

The spray paint I am going to use on future herb garden cups

My recipe board. It's got that metal sheet and then cute little magnets so when I have a recipe I need to refer to, I can just pin it up on the board and have it at my fingertips. Necessary? Nah. Cute? Yeah.

Along with the craftiness, I have also been taking pictures of my mom and dads yard lately because it is so pretty right now! Here are some of the pictures.

A marigold growing in one of the pots of flowers my mom has on the deck.

Another flower in one of the pots (I don't know the name of this one.)

This is one of the two catalpa trees in my mom and dads backyard. They're the best trees. They get huge leaves and gorgeous blossoms every spring and summer and when the wind blows, it looks like its snowing. :)

The other night, I took dinner out to Dallin, Bradley and Derek at a field they were working on. While I was there, there was the most gorgeous sunset. I kind of caught the tail end of it, but here it is. I love sunsets.

And there you have it. My totally random and jumbled post. Gotta keep things fresh and exciting around here, right?! :)

June 26, 2010

I Stink at This Game. . .

So, I haven't really updated or posted many pictures of the goings on of our lives for the past little while and I realized, I really stink at this whole updating game. All I talk about is pregnancy lately, or so it seems, and I am sure you're all getting tired of it. :) So, without further ado, here are some pictures and updates from the Calaway family.

This is from Blaine and Hillary's trip to see us back in March. Yes, March. I know, I know, I told you I stunk at this picture/update game! Dallin kept teasing Colton and he just looked too cute to not put this up.

As we were unpacking our stuff in Salem in April, I turned around and found my husband like this. He never ceases to make me laugh. He's kind of a goofball, wouldn't you say? :)

I took this when we came home for a visit sometime in April. I thought it was so cute of all the girls with their cute happy faces.

Another visit home in April or May. Dallin was wrestling with Tara's boys and they were in heaven. Lots of giggling and yelling going on. :)

Same visit, Emi playing with Thomas the Tank Engine.

Do you not love the look on Harrison's face in this picture? He is totally too cool for school. And I love his popped collar. Staci says he wears it like that all the time. Too funny. This was taken at Nate and Staci's on the day of Savannah's blessing.

How cute are these three? I told Emiline to smile and this is what she gave me. More of a grimace. . . oh well, we tried! :) Also taken on Savannah's blessing day.

All the kids being silly for the camera on Savannah's blessing day.

Then they decided they needed to try a pyramid. :)

Proud Grandma with her newest grandbaby. Number 13!

All the kids minus Savannah.

Emiline, just chillin as the kids are selling Cherries the other day. Loving her squints look.

All the cherry selling kids!

We told Emiline she couldn't get in the pool without a life jacket. She took the news well.

Just chattin poolside at Rachel and Chad's the other night.

Anyhow, that has been the gist of the goings on of our lives right now. I'm always behind the camera and Dallin is usually working. Poor kid, he's been going 90 miles an hour lately! And I appreciate him doing it so much. Life is so good right now and we feel incredibly blessed to be where we are with so much family around.

June 24, 2010

22 Weeks With a Cherry On Top

22 weeks folks. Can you believe it? I can't. It doesn't seem real. Even with the increasing size of my abdominal area and the near constant kicking, it all feels like a dream. I think I forget that other people can see my belly too, because today, I went into a place to pick up a gift and the girl that helped me said, "how far along are you?" It took me by surprise that a complete stranger asked me about my pregnancy until I realized, "oh yeah, my belly is sticking out, huh?" I notice as I walk down the mall or help people at my dad's office or walk the aisles at Wal-Mart that I keep getting stares too. And, of course, the first thought is, "why are people staring at me? Do I have something on my face or clothes?" No, it would just be the protruding belly. It's new and exciting and funny and weird all at the same time.

I was talking to my mom the other day about it all and I said, "Mom, my friends and I are all getting to the parenting stage. It is so weird. My friends or my friends wives are all pregnant or have had babies! Pretty soon we'll be the soccer and ballet moms, the violin and PTO parents, worrying about the talk you have to help "Jimmy" prepare for primary and scouts and achievement days! This is too weird!!" She just laughed and assured me that she was in the same boat not that long ago. It just feels weird that suddenly I am in that boat now too. I feel overwhelmingly unprepared and yet I want to dive in, head first, as soon as I can. No one told me pregnancy was so confusing. :)

So, here are some pictures for you. I forgot to post this one from 20 weeks

and now, here I am at 22 weeks.
Not that big of a difference, I think, but whatever works. :) Oh and I took this picture with my timer and it was like the 20th picture I had taken, so excuse the head being cut off a little. I was ready to be done taking pictures and called it good. :)

On a totally unrelated topic, there are some exceptionally cute young ladies selling cherries at the residence where I currently reside (my parents house), so if you want some delicious cherries and some cute service to boot, come on over! They will be selling tomorrow (I believe) for $2.00 per pound and a half (Or one ziploc bag full :)). Trust me when I say these cherries are to die for. Super duper yummy and picked fresh by yours truly everyday. Hopefully we can keep the birds at bay so there will actually be some for you to all enjoy. If you're not sure where my parents home is located, it is 10217 Maple Dr. Pretty easy to find, I promise. And you won't be disappointed!

June 22, 2010

Rise Up and Call You Blessed

I got my patriarchal blessing when I was 14 years old. (Not familiar with my faith or what a patriarchal blessing is? Click here.) I was young. My parents thought maybe I was too young. But, my bishop interviewed me and thought I was ready. So, I called the local Patriarch and set up my appointment. I look back on that day with fondness and total clarity. I remember small, seemingly insignificant details. But I also remember the wonderful spirit of confirmation I received that I was, in fact, in the right place at the right time.

I have re-read my blessing a few times as of late and there is one line that has been sticking out to me even more than it has in the past. I remember the first time I heard it, I felt so wonderful. Referring to my children, it says, "rear them in love and righteousness and one day they will rise up and call you blessed." My mom has the exact same line in hers. We had different patriarchs. Kinda neat.

As I've been taking stock of my life lately, I have found myself wanting in several areas and that just won't do. I want to be like my mother. I want to be a mother who knows. And I want my children to know that I know. I remember as I was growing up, there were multiple occasions on which I walked to my parents door right before bed, peeked in through the crack in the door and saw them both kneeling in prayer. And almost every night, no matter our attempts of sabotage, we gathered as a family to read scriptures and say family prayer. My parents scriptures were always lying somewhere around the house as well, opened up to where they had last been reading. It made an impression on me. Maybe not as big then as it has now, but nevertheless, an impression. Even now, as I type this post, my mother is sitting on the couch across the room from me, reading her scriptures. She is truly a blessed woman. And I will forever be grateful to her for her continued example.

So here I am, 22 years old, pregnant with my first child and recommitting to the basics. Here's me attempting to become the "blessed" mother I was promised I could be. The mother who knows.

June 21, 2010

To The Men In My Life

First, to Dallin. He's the one who makes me laugh the hardest, inspires me to be better, loves me unconditionally, thinks I'm beautiful even with my pregnant belly :), and I have no doubt, will be the best father ever. He's one of the hardest workers I know and he loves the Lord with all his heart. I don't think I could have ever asked for a better husband and feel extremely blessed that he has come into my life. These last two years have been the best yet. And I have no doubt there will be even better years to come. I love you, hon!

Just a little eye candy for all of you out there. Mine all mine. :)

To my father-in-law Jeff. He loves me like I am one of his own, gives me the best counsel and advice, is another one of the hardest workers I know and constantly makes me smile. He's a softy at heart, but he'd never let you know that. :) He loves his family, and loves his wife even more. I'm so grateful for the wonderful example he has been to Dallin. I couldn't have hoped for a better father-in-law and a better grandfather to my children. I love you, Jeff!

At our wedding, December 20, 2008

And last, but certainly not least, to my own excellent father. My dad always makes me laugh with his corny jokes and never ceases to amaze me with his positive attitude. Example: a week and a half ago, my mom and I were out at my dads office working and it was just after closing. We were in the front of the office making copies and my dad was in the back starting to number some job with the numbering machine. This machine has an eye on it that senses when paper is coming through and stamps the number on it. Well, there was some stray ink that kept getting on the pages he was numbering and he went to wipe it off, triggered the eye, and his left ring and middle fingers got crushed underneath the stamp. (Side note: think of how thin paper is. That's what this stamp is used to stamping on. So, not too forgiving on a finger) He yelled to the front to try to get our attention but we didn't hear him because the copiers were too loud, but our other worker, James, did hear him and then informed us of what had happened. When we went into the break room and saw my dad, he was hyperventilating and going into shock. Luckily, I still had my wits about me and didn't let myself panic (in fact, I am quite proud of my mom and I. We were really calm! :)) We got him out of his shock and hyperventilating mode and took him to the Kadlec ER. So, here I get to the point of this story. 5 minutes down the road, on the way to Kadlec, Rachel called to talk to my mom and I relayed the story of what was going on. My dad turned to me and said, "Ash, tell her that my days are 'numbered'!" I started laughing so hard I could hardly tell Rachel. As the fat and tendons and flesh are all hanging out of the tip of his broken ring finger, he is telling me corny puns to relay to my sister. By the time we were out of the ER, he was smiling, laughing, joking around. That is my father. He always has the best attitude about everything and loves life. He is so strong in the gospel and can kick my behind any day of the week in any athletic endeavor (at age 63, mind you.) He's been my coach, my friend, my example, and the best father. I owe so much to him. I love him so much and hope he knows just how much he means to me.

The blessed finger. The blue things are stitches.

My dad (middle) with his two brothers in November of 2007 at my Grandma Henry's funeral. I have more recent pictures of him, but this is one of my favorites of him.

So, to the three main men in my life, I love you all, I'm grateful for all you have done and continue to do for me, and I want you all to know that I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you in my life.

June 16, 2010

I Haven't Done This in a While. . .

But, I thought the occasion called for it. Have you ever read Mormon Mommy Blogs? I started following them about a year ago and I love their posts. Well, right now, they are doing a SPECTACULAR giveaway, and they are also letting you know how you can get a free book from Blurb. Sweet, huh? Go here to check it out and enjoy the goodness! Good luck!

June 14, 2010

20 Weeks!

Friday marked my entering the 20th week. This baby has been kicking and punching and moving all over the place lately. I am loving it. I keep trying to get Dallin's hand down there fast enough so he can feel it, but it seems this little one can sense Dad's hand and decides it doesn't want to kick or punch for him. I don't know if this means it really likes me or doesn't like me, so it punches. :) We had our 20 week appointment and ultrasound today, and much to all your dismay, I'm sure, we stuck to our guns and didn't find out what we are having. :) But, this is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I just want to kiss it and love it. All in good time! Anyhow, here are pictures from the ultrasound. Dallin thinks baby has my lips. I think I might agree. And it might have my nose as well. . . I'm including a picture of me at 4 days old for you all to compare. :)

Seriously, cutest little profile ever. I'm not biased or anything either. :)

Ooohh, don't you just want to kiss that little face??

Profile view of the baby.

Me at 4 days old. (Tryin' to smile already! :))

The Doctor said we had a perfect ultrasound, that it was like the textbook ultrasound and he hadn't seen one so good in months. We were obviously thrilled. You know how it is, you just start to worry about all the things that could go wrong and you're so happy that none of them have happened. We got to see the 4 chambers of the heart so clearly and we were in awe and amazement the whole time. It was incredible. The size of the head is about the size of you putting the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb (roughly speaking) and the heart is about 1 inch by 1 inch. Baby is in the 74th percentile right now and everything looks wonderful. My doctor said my cervix is a little on the low side of normal (3.5 cm) but he's not worried about it. All in all, it was a fabulous appointment and we are so glad we got to see our baby again! We hope the next 4 months fly by!

June 10, 2010

One Lucky Girl

When you were little, did you ever think about in-laws and how they would impact your life in the future? Yeah, me neither. Let's be real. Chad and Rachel got married when I was 6 1/2 years old, and since I have a few select memories from before I was 6 1/2, Chad just seems like he's been a part of the family forever.

Lately though, well, in the last few days, I have really been thinking about in-laws and their impact on my life. Two of my in-laws in particular.

My sister-in-law Staci

and my sister-in-law Hillary.

These two have had an immense impact in my life in the past week.

On Sunday, Staci taught the lesson in Relief Society. (Not familiar with my beliefs? Click here to find out more.) If any of you know Staci at all, you know she is 100% amazing. She's an excellent cook, a great mother, a great wife and she's fun and enthusiastic and hardworking. Not only is she all of those things, but she is so in tune with the Lord. Like I said, 100% amazing. Her lesson was based on a new family motto they had made for Family Home Evening a few weeks back. The motto she came up with was this, "We Can Do Hard Things". As she proceeded through her lesson, I was struck by how many times I complain when the going gets tough. I realized that I was blessed with the ability to do hard things and that I would always have my Heavenly Father on my side, no matter what. One particular scripture that she shared with us really hit home for me. It's Alma 26:12, and it reads, "but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things." Right then, I had a sudden moment of clarity that helped me to see that even though I knew hard things would come into my life, I would be totally capable of handling them, as long as I relied on the Lord. I think when we were in the pre-existence, we were told everything pretty clearly. I doubt Heavenly Father sugar coated what life would be like while we were here. But, after He told us of all the harsh realities we would face while in this mortal existence, I can't help but think He followed up with something like this- "Even though it's going to be difficult down there, don't worry. Whenever you need me, you can talk to me. I'll always be available to listen to you, no matter what time of day or night. And, your oldest brother will be here to listen to you as well. If you ever feel lonely or sad or afraid, just remember, He'll know exactly what you're going through. He's going to go through everything you're going to go through too. But His trial will be harder. He's going to have to do it by Himself, so that you won't have to." He wasn't going to send us down here and say, "well, good luck. I guess I might see you later, if you can make it through everything down there." He loved/loves us so much more than that. We're His children, and He made darn sure that we would be taken care of down here. All this insight out of one lesson. Can you see why I said she's 100% amazing now? She gets ya thinkin.

Now, onto Hillary. For those of you who know Hillary, you know she is so much fun and so talented in many aspects. Her piano playing skills amaze me (and I am totally jealous) and her love and concern for those around her is so apparent. She is always thinking of others and serving whenever and wherever she can. She also has a very hard work ethic and is a wonderful wife and mother. She is 100% amazing as well. Hillary is my living example of the things I learned from Staci's lesson on Sunday. She's going through a very hard thing right now, but she's doing it with grace. I can only imagine our Heavenly Father is looking down on her and congratulating her for being so faithful. If it were me in her shoes, I would probably be curled up in a ball in the corner of a dark room, watching the world go by. I am grateful for her strength and her faith. She has shown me what enduring looks like. But not just enduring. Enduring well.

When I was 6 1/2, I didn't think about the impact my future in-laws would have on my life. But now, 16 years later, I am starting to more fully realize the blessing they all have been. I believe in-laws are God's way of making a good family, great. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

June 7, 2010

A Miracle

I would like to ask all my readers out there to please pray for my sister-in-law, Hillary. She is about to deliver her baby and she is only 28 weeks along. If you want to read about her journey thus far, click here. I'm praying for yet another miracle in this already miracle filled story.

June 2, 2010

What Did I Just Get Myself Into?

Calling all experienced Girls Camp Leaders. . .

I just volunteered to be a 3rd year leader at the Girls Camp here in the Salem Stake. I'm a little nervous as my experience at camp has only been that of a camper. I'm feeling slightly inadequate and VERY inexperienced. Any advice, tips or tricks you have used in the past, please feel free to share. I need help people. Lots of it! I am super excited and even more nervous.

What did I just get myself into?!