Thursday, July 29, 2010

Early Pregnancy Revelations

Before I was even pregnant I bought just about a million books on pregnancy. Ok, I lied, it was 3... but that seemed like a lot at the time. They all tell you the same thing: When you're early on you'll be tired, your boobs will hurt, and you'll be nauseous. Only some of them tell you other things, so I decided to make my own list. My "symptoms", if you will, have been typical, and luckily I am still escaping the (cue scary music) monster that is morning sickness. Anyway, here are my pregnancy revelations:

- My boobs hurt, all of the time. Going over a bump in the road, or walking really fast, is a bad idea, and it hurts. This makes sleeping very difficult. You can't lay on your stomach, duh, and even laying on your side squishes one of the girls enough to wear it hurts too bad. I have to find that perfect position and that usually takes a while.

- I pee all of the time. As if I didn't have a small enough bladder before! Now I probably go every hour to hour and a half, depending on my liquid intake.... which by the way, you're not supposed to decrease your fluid intake, as the baby needs water, so you'll just have to deal with going to the bathroom more! Oh, and this makes sleeping even MORE difficult.

- My skin is terrible. Now, it's never been great, but now I am so oily and I am breaking out all over. Thank you hormones....

- I'm hungry all of the time. I now eat breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. No lie. If only I had had this appetite pre-pregnancy, maybe I could have gained some weight!

- Google is my best friend. Every time something is weird or I think it might be harmful, or I just wanna know if it's normal... I google. I also frequent baby/pregnancy sites such as babycenter.com and parents.com. They're my friends.

- Keeping my pregnancy a secret is just about the hardest thing ever. I have already leaked out to a bunch more people than I had originally planned... oops. It's just so hard! Especially when people ask... I mean, what am I supposed to do? Tell them no I'm not pregnant? I don't think so!

- I'm tired all of the time..... speaking of, it's almost 10pm which is my new bedtime. Yes, you heard me right, 10pm. Oh, and I also take a nap at lunch now. And, when I get off of work I feel as if I could take a nap then too!

So, that's about all that I have come to realize so far. I'm sure more things will pop up and change as I get further into my pregnancy. Oh joy! =) Darren has been amazing... seriously, amazing. Last night I got a full body massage! Ahhh... Well, time for bed now! Goodnight!

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. " ~Romans 15:13

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Best Day... and The Worst Day

Friday ~ July 16, 2010 ~ What started out as the best day of my life (besides my wedding day of course) turned into the worst day of my life before I could blink. I've been wanting to post about this, but up until today I have not been able to. My brain did not know how to process the information. I shut myself off so that I couldn't be scared, cry... all I did was pray.

Ok, so now, not to freak you out or anything... We still have peanut (as far as we know at least, still one more week until we go to the doctor). We still have Pearl. Everyone is alive. So, now, what could be that bad?!

Friday morning is when I tested positive, and Friday afternoon is when I took another reassuring test. We were elated, over the moon, so freaking happy that we were pregnant. But, we couldn't share it with anyone yet! Frustrating!

Friday night my dad said that we needed to have a family meeting. He sat me and my brothers down at my grandparents picnic table and delivered the news. He wanted to let us all know that my mom had a malignant tumor outside of her lung. See, about a year ago or so she fell off a horse and broke her hip. At the time the doctors were concerned about her breaking a bone at such a young age, so did a bone density scan and a CAT scan to see if there was anything else wrong, or if she needed to be on some sort of bone loss medicine. All of the bone density stuff came back fine, but they saw a spot on her lung. It was small and the doctors were not concerned about it at the time, but told her to keep coming back for checkups on it and what not. A little over a month ago she went back in and the tumor had grown a great amount. The doctors were worried and so did a biopsy. A month ago her results came back - it was malignant. She then contacted my Uncle, who works with hospitals, and had him help her get an appointment with the doctors at UCLA. At UCLA they were not pushy to have her surgery soon, even though they agreed that it needed to come out. So, she made an appointment with MDAnderson in Houston, the number one hospital for cancer patients. Leave it to the Texans to be better than the Californians, hehe.. Today she had her appointment. The doctors said that the tumor was surprisingly a normal thing, and that it was a single occurrence. She had a scan done and they did not find any more tumors in her body. They called her tumor a T1N0, which google tells me means that T(tumor) is size 1 (2 cm or so), and N (lymph nodes) is 0 which means they are not affected. They are going to do her surgery on Friday, and the doctor thinks he can do it with the camera-scope, whatever that's called! I'm so technical, don't ya know!

So, after the surgery the doctors do not think she will need chemo. Only if something comes back fun with the biopsy of the tumor that they'll remove. She has a checkup on Tuesday so will be in Houston until then, and then she'll come back in a month for another checkup.

After our conversation with my dad I didn't know what to think. We have had too many friends/family members die from cancer. I could only think the worst. Thank goodness the good Lord has answered our prayers!!!! We are so happy that she is going to be ok, and well, although there is still that slight chance, the doctors are really positive that this will be she has to battle.

I know that I probably should have worded things different on this post, seeing as I probably freaked you all out, so I apologize. However, it was a total brain flow and I should probably be working, haha.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!

I sent my mom this bible quote this morning:

"Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -Isaiah 41:10


Monday, July 26, 2010

6 Week Survey

The 6 Week Survey

How far along?: 5 weeks and 1 day, just entering my 6th week!

Total weight gain: 2 pounds... but that's from eating more, lol.. and boobage, if that's a word. ;-)

How big is baby?: 0.13in, hehe, and less than 0.4oz, about the size of a sweat pea or apple seed according to which iPhone app you read!

Maternity clothes?: Negative, although we may need stretchier pants if I keep eating like this... oh and new bras. ;-)

Stretch marks?: Nope!

Sleep: I go to bed earlier, but that is because it takes a lot to sleep. My boobs hurt too bad to lay in certain positions, making it difficult to sleep! Plus I'm tired all of the time!

Best moment this week: Telling our siblings! We're slowly but surely letting out the news! Seeing my belly after a huge meal... I seriously looked about 12 weeks pregnant! Darren loved it and kept rubbing my belly, hehe...

Movement: No again!

Food cravings: Tomatoes... seriously, I eat one a day, which if you know me is a MAJOR improvement.

Gender: Happy and healthy is all I care about, although a girl would be nice!

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Still a nice innie!

What I miss:
Not having sore boobs, drinking as much DP as I'd like...

What I am looking forward to: Our Dr. appointment next week!!!!!!!

Weekly Wisdom:
Telling your family and friends in different ways is lots of fun!

Milestones: Our baby's heart will start to beat this week, or maybe it already is! I wish we could hear it, but next week we should be able to see it!


6 Weeks and still feeling skinny... before meals that is!

Fun(?) Facts:
I'll update most of these often, but some (like clothing size and what not I'll only update with a change)

- Hips: 33"
- Waist at belly button: 29"
- Breasts: 35" (that's a whole inch gain since I measured myself for Leslie's wedding!)
- Bra Size: 34C, with no padding. Padding makes the girls say hello!
- Pant size: 3
- Shirt size: Small
- Weight at start of pregnancy: 113.6
- Current weight: 116!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

5 Week Survey

The 5 Week Survey

How far along?: 4 weeks and 5 days, but Carylon calls this my 5th week because really it's the 5th full week! First week was June 20 - June 27, Second week June 27 - July 4, Third week July 4 - July 11, Fourth week July 11 - July 18, Fifth week July 18 - July 25!

Maternity clothes?: Bah, not yet! However I might need a new bra if the girls keep up at their current pace of growth! ;-)

Stretch marks?: Well duh..... not unless you count the ones on my butt that are already there, lol!

Sleep: I'm tired all the time so I have been definitely sleeping, but then I have to pee so I get up in the middle of the night - totally annoying.

Best moment this week: Telling our family!!!! We've known for a whole week now, can you believe it? It was so hard not to burst at the seams when we found out and tell the whole world!

Movement: I'm pretty sure "peanut" or "chip" is not big enough for that yet! I had some cramping, but luckily nothing severe, and not accompanied by bleeding or spotting - hooray!

Food cravings: More like food aversion. I'm not nauseous but I just don't feel like certain things. I have been eating more tomatoes though - woo hoo!

Gender: Darren wants a girl, and secretly so do I, but more that likely it will be another Hillger man!

Labor Signs: That would be the worst thing right now because it would be miscarriage! Yikes.

Belly Button in or out?
: These are definitely made for women who are further along than myself, lol... it's an innie!

What I miss:
Nothing yet! =D Just happy as a clam!

What I am looking forward to: Telling the rest of our friends and family, going to the doctor for the first time...

Weekly Wisdom:
Don't waste your money on multiple pregnancy tests. haha... If you get two positives, then you're probably good to go! I took a total of 5! Oops...

Milestones: Finding out! haha... Telling our parents... Making our first doctors' appointment!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The News

Last week Darren and I traveled to New York to visit my grandparents and aunt. Along with us came by dad, his fiancé, and my two brothers. After a long day of traveling on Thursday we finally arrived at my Aunts house. I checked in way earlier than the rest, although it was 2:30 when I went to sleep! Friday morning I got up, knowing that I was going to take a pregnancy test. After all, I would now be at 26 days in my cycle, and I just couldn't wait any longer. I got up before everyone else, not intentionally, but it was nice. I went to the bathroom to take my shower and put my contacts in, and while there did my thing with the test, hehe. Less than a minute later the results came on screen......... "PREGNANT". I nearly fell over! I immediately ran into the bedroom where Darren was sleeping to show him. He had gone to bed only 4 1/2 hours earlier, so was a little out of it when I woke him up. I remember saying "Hunny... wake up! Look!!!!". He opened his eyes, I shoved the test in his face, and then it was like a light bulb went off! We hugged, kissed, I cried.. you know. Then I remembered that I hadn't even flushed the toilet and I had left the bathroom door wide open, haha. So I ran back in, took my shower then came back to the bedroom. We couldn't believe it. I don't think I could believe it if I tried.


I called my mom and told her and she was equally as excited! The whole morning Darren said I looked happier than I had in a long time. Well, duh! ;-) We decided to not tell anyone else at the time because it was still way early and I had only taken one test, and well, tests can be wrong! Cristina texted me after lunch and asked if I had tested, so I had to answer! I couldn't hold in the good news! She suggested that I take another test right then because then it would really prove to be positive as your hcg is highest in the morning. I went to my grandparent's bathroom, did my deal again, and a minute later.... 2 pink lines!!!! I was ecstatic! This had to mean it was true, we really were pregnant!


We kept our good news a secret as long as we could - which was not long at all! As soon as we got back to Texas we bought picture frames for our parents. They say "A grandchild is a gift from above, one to cherish and to love." We then took the fake picture out and turned it around and wrote "Picture to arrive somewhere around March 27, 2011!! Love, Kristen, Darren, and Baby Hillger". We wrapped them up and left one for my dad for when he returned from New York. The other we wrapped up and had Andrea & Scotty come over to open. We told them that we had a present for them from New York, hehe... So they came over, and we gave them the frame. They opened it and Andrea immediately says "oh my gosh!" and then starts crying! They were both very excited! They've been waiting to be grandparents for a while now (oops!), and they knew what trouble we were having, so it was even more exciting to them!


When my dad got home he opened his frame. He called me and said "Hey, it's gramps!". hehe.. Him, Maggie, and my brother Adam were all super excited! I was so thrilled that everyone was so happy for us! We then planned out who we were going to tell next. We knew we had to tell Darren's brother and his wife Leslie, because they too knew about our journey. We called them and Darren told Trey that he was going to be an uncle! Trey said some cuss words, hehe, and Leslie started bawling and then talked to me for like 30 minutes. Needless to say they were equally as excited as everyone else!


We are looking forward to our first doctors appointment. Right now it still doesn't feel real. My only symptoms are that my boobs hurt and are huge, lol. I had cramping for a few days but that subsided. I never had any spotting, thank goodness! I'm tired, but that was to be expected! I still can't believe it..... I keep having to tell myself that this is really happening. God knew all along when we were going to be parents, and unfortunately I was not patient enough to wait on him. It's funny how everything falls in to place... Speaking of! We're moving! Right before we left for New York we got a call from the owner of that big country house that we wanted to rent (I think I talked about it in an earlier post) that we were first in line if we wanted it! The price was DEFINITELY right.... I'm talking cheap for a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 2 living area, 4 car garage, on about 300 acres. We said yes of course, and little did we know that we would be needing more room!!!!! Ah, I still can't believe it! We are waiting until after our first doctors appointment to tell other friends, and then probably we'll tell facebook too, hehe. It's so hard to keep it a secret! We want to shout from the rooftops! We'll definitely keep this blog updated from now on with new developments and other wonderful things! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

Soon....

I promise that I will update tonight. We've been gone, and after the travel day from hell, had to spend yesterday recuperating... Post to come!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hormone Information

If you're like me, all of this hormone talk is CONFUSING to say the least! I found this site while "googling"... my favorite activity. Really, google should pay me to use their site because of how often I use it!

http://www.fertilityplus.org/faq/hormonelevels.html

24 Years Young

This summer is flying by! Yesterday was my birthday - woo hoo! We celebrated with Darren's family on Sunday afternoon, and then last night Darren and I cooked a good meal and enjoyed each others company! I got some snazzy new boots from my hunny and a pretty necklace! I got a lot of really great stuff, and was overwhelmed by all of my facebook messages, text messages and phone calls! I even got a call from Jesyca in Israel! Talk about awesome! I don't feel any older, but I don't feel any younger, haha. One more year and car insurance will drop! Also, one more year and I'll be halfway to thirty - depressing!

Carylon has still not heard back from the lab about my progesterone from cd20. We're both anxiously awaiting the news! From what I've gathered, if it is low then my body's preparing for my period, and if it's high then my body's preparing for pregnancy. Either way will not give me any definitive answer, but it'd be nice to know still! ****Update: Carylon just found out! My progesterone level was 26.6 which is good she said. I asked if it meant anything and she said "not really, just that you should have enough progesterone to build endometrium and hold a pregnancy." So, that's good, right?! Sure! I'll take it!**** I'm still waiting on taking a pregnancy test, mostly because I am so nervous, and also because it's still a tad early. They always advertise that you can get a result "5 days before your missed period!".... then you read the fine print: Only accurate 15% of the time, or whatever. haha. Since I think I ovulated on Sunday the 4th, then I wouldn't implant, on a 7 day average travel time, until this past Sunday. Then your body needs time for the HCG hormone to double before you'll get a positive result. I told Darren that I will test before we go to New York because I just really want to know before then! So, stay tuned!

When I googled "bible verses about worrying" I found this neat article:


I've spent an awful lot of time in my life worrying. I've worried about grades in school, job interviews, approaching deadlines and shrinking budgets. I've worried about bills and expenses, rising gas prices, insurance costs and endless taxes. I've even worried about having my home in perfect condition for "company," and within seconds of their arrival, the house is turned upside down and no one even notices.

I've worried about first impressions, political correctness, identity theft and contagious infections. In spite of all the worrying, I'm still alive and well, and all my bills are paid. Over the span of my lifetime, worrying accounts for hours and hours of invaluable time that I'll never get back. So, I have decided that I'd like to spend my time more wisely and more enjoyably. If you're not convinced yet to give up your worrying, here are four biblical reasons not to worry.

Worrying Accomplishes Absolutely Nothing.

I don't know about you, but I don't have any time to waste these days. And worrying is a waste of very precious time. Worrying won't help you solve a problem or bring about a solution, so why waste your time and energy on it?

Matthew 6:27-29

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

Worrying is Not Good for You.

Worrying is destructive to us in many ways. It becomes a mental burden that can even cause us to grow physically sick.

Proverbs 12:25

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.


Worrying is the Opposite of Trusting God.


The energy that we spend worrying can be put to much better use in prayer. Here's a little formula to remember: Worry replaced by Prayer equals Trust.

Matthew 6:30

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?


Philippians 4:6-7

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


Worrying Puts Your Focus in the Wrong Direction.


When we keep our eyes focused on God, we remember his love for us and we realize we truly have nothing to worry about. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and part of that plan includes taking care of us. Even in the difficult times, when it seems like God doesn't care, we can put our trust in the Lord and focus on his kingdom. God will take care of our every need.

Matthew 6:25

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?


Matthew 6:31-33

So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


1 Peter 5:7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

50

Happy 50th Post, blog! No, I don't count - blogger does for me! It saddens me that there have now been 50 posts, none of which have been about us actually being pregnant with Baby Hillger. Oh well, such is life. (Do you like my attitude today?!)

Today was cd20, so I had to go back to Carylon's office to have my blood drawn to check my progesterone. While waiting for the, we'll call her blood lady because I don't know her title and that's all she's done for me, there were 3 girls in the waiting room that I was eavesdropping on. All looked to be about 17 or so at the most. One of the girls was filling out her paperwork and the other two were just friends along for the ride I guess. Apparently the young girl had just found out she was pregnant and was coming for her first appointment. While filling out her papers she turned to her friend and asked "what's a pap smear?!". OMG. I nearly lost it. Now I know I may have been more advanced than others when I was a teenager because my mom, but come on... You're pregnant and you don't know what a pap smear is? You're not even old enough to start going to get one? And I'm not pregnant?!?!?! So, I had a mini pity-party and then told myself to get over it because I was wasting my thoughts being frustrated by that girl. Oye.

Everyone's asking me when we'll find out if this round was successful or not. It's just as hard for others to wait as it is for us! Last night while shopping, Andrea and I walked through the kids section and ooo-ed and awww-ed over all of the cute little kid clothes. Mainly girls clothing. For some reason little girl's clothes are just so much cuter! hehe.. It's sad to me that they are so ready to be grandparents and we're not delivering - no pun intended. Oh, I crack myself up. ;-)

In other news, it's still raining like crazy, Jessica's baby shower is tomorrow, and yes I am going.... and that's about it! We have less than a week until New York and I can hardly contain my excitement! I forget if I've blogged about this yet or not, but while there I hired a photographer to come to my grandparents house to take family portraits for us. I am pumped. We have never, I repeat, never... not even at my wedding... taken a Farrington family portrait. It is very important to me since we don't know how much longer we'll have my grandparents with us as their health is fading. They are in their mid 80's after all. So, this will be awesome. She's a great photographer, from what I've seen on her website, so I am really looking forward to it! Lastly, I started (again) getting everything together for my application to A&M for my master's... eek! I'm ready to get it all in probably in the next few weeks! Whoop!

Next week maybe we'll know more. Judging from my progesterone level we should also have some sort of inclination whether Aunt Flow is on her way or my body is preparing for baby!

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. ~Psalms 62: 1-2

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Official

Today I received my packet from The Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery in Lubbock. Aka Dr. Phy's office that Evan recommended. Although I have been anxiously awaiting this packet since I made the appointment last week, it was not as great to receive it as I had thought. It hit home. We're officially going through fertility problems. Now, I've been keeping my head up and hoping that this month is it, and that we'll cancel the appointment with Dr. Phy, but there is still that little worry in the back of my mind. The paperwork is extensive. I'm sure I'll blog about what all we had to do. There is a patient packet where you fill out your history, etc etc... Then there is a packet for me and a packet for Darren. On here we have to write about if fertility issues have changed our relationship, how we feel about ART (assisted reproductive technology), adoption, or other things. I like how extensive it is. However, it intimidates me. We haven't really gone through this yet in our minds - what we'd do if doing it ourselves, lol, doesn't work. Now we're going to have to make decisions about that. Once we fill out the paperwork and send it back in we will be put on the waiting list for a sooner appointment. And Evan thinks maybe he can pull a few strings, lol. But again, we're gonna cancel the appointment.. right?

It's going to take a lot of prayer.... I'm talking a LOT. Wouldn't it be nice if all of this worrying was for naught?

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. ~Psalms 61: 1-4

Monday, July 5, 2010

2 Week Wait

If you've ever read a blog from someone struggling with infertility, you've read about the dreaded "2 week wait". This would be the two weeks between ovulation and testing, lol. We are now in that two week wait and it is killing me! Darren keeps asking "Is it time to test yet?". haha. Unfortunately we still have a whole week! Ugh.... In the mean time I keep hoping and praying, wishing on falling stars or 11:11, etc etc.

I still have yet to get my appointment with Dr. Phy. I even tried going to her office today while we were in Lubbock, but of course it was closed. Dang Independence Day! Carylon suggested we go ahead and make an appointment in the mean time with the Dr. she suggested in Lubbock, so I guess we may go in that direction, just to have a Plan B.

Other than that things are business as usual! We had a great weekend with our family for the 4th. Friday night was an awesome benefit for the Texas Hooter Honey's, a group that participates in the Susan G Komen 3 day walk for breast cancer. We danced the night away into early morning! I love our annual 4th of July celebration at Britni & Marcus' grandparents house, and then we did a big party at Scotty & Andrea's house. Thank goodness we didn't have work today so that we could recuperate, but I spent the whole day driving to and from Lubbock with Britni and Andrea. I was their chauffeur while they got their eyeliner tattooed... crazy girls!

Let's hope we can make it through the next week without going crazy! ;-)

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." ~Romans 12:12

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Story Of Us


I thought that I would take a moment away from "Baby Hillger" and focus on us for a bit. I've always wanted to have a written record of what I like to call our story, so that one day when we're old and forgetful, we'll remember how we got to where we are today! This may be long, and I'm going to try to include relevant pictures, so here we go!

First off, I've already talked about God's plan, and how Darren was put on this earth specifically for me. I truly believe that. So, God knew all along where I would go to college and why.... I met Darren before my freshman year of A&M even started. I moved in to the dorms a week before classes began in August. My best friend from second grade was already living in College Station, so called to see if I wanted to hang out with her. Of course I did! I was all alone in my dorm room and didn't know anyone, duh... haha. So, she picked me up and we went over to where her boyfriend was at, which just so happened to be Darren's house. We walked in and went to Darren's bedroom where all of the guys were. They were watching remote controlled airplane videos, which I thought was a little dorky, but ok! I don't even remember if they introduced us at that point or not, but either way, we went and played tennis. The main thing I remember is thinking Darren was pretty dang cute! After that night we began talking here and there, mostly when I would hang out with Mo and Keith. Then one night we went to a concert together by Phil Pritchett at Hurricane Harry's. We went back to Melissa's townhouse and played drinking games. When it came time to go to sleep they stuck Darren and I together on the pull out couch. All innocent keep in mind! We ended up talking for a while, and each of us kept inching our hand closer to the other until Darren finally grabbed my hand. One thing led to another and we ended up kissing and snuggling the rest of the night. The next day I was so scared that he had just done all of that because we were drinking. I really liked him and was hoping that he liked me just as much! Turns out he did! He asked Melissa for my phone number and called me to ask me on a date! We went to lunch at Fitzwilly's, our favorite burger place on Northgate. We went on lunch dates several more times after that. September rolled around and we went together to Brownwood for a music festival and to spend time with Jenae's family. We held hands at the festival and that night he came into the girls room and gave me a kiss goodnight. It was our first legitimate kiss, haha. I remember the butterflies that I felt. It was the most amazing feeling in the entire world! After the Brownwood weekend Darren finally asked me out on a dinner date to Johnny Carino's. This night was amazing and I remember not wanting it to end. Our conversation never ended, and flowed so naturally. It was like we had been dating for years. Finally, after several dates and what not, Darren came over to my dorm and officially asked me to be his girlfriend on September 26th. I remember thinking when he asked me, "well, duh I'll be your girlfriend.. what did you expect?!", haha, but I didn't say that outloud!

Our first picture - before a night at The Hall

Time in our early years of dating was awesome. We hardly ever fought, we always wanted to be around each other, and we just were so comfortable together. It was hard to resist the urge to say "I love you" too soon... well what we thought was too soon. We would be together and say "I love... being with you." or something similar. We kept up this charade for a few months before I finally gave in. Yes, I said "I love you" first! We were about to leave for Christmas break, and although we had only been dating for less than 3 months I had known in my heart for a long time that I loved him. So, I gathered up my courage and told him. Darren was silent for a few minutes, which made me totally nervous. He then said "I love you too", and then explained that he was just so happy and glad that I loved him too, and that's why he hadn't said anything yet. Talk about making a girl scared, haha. I was just so happy that he felt the same way I had. He later told me that he had wanted to tell me those three magical words for quite a while too, but was afraid of scaring me off - yeah right!

One of our first nights hanging out, and I already knew I was falling for him!

We experienced so many awesome things together. We went to Arizona together our first summer to visit my mom and meet my baby horse KD, went to Aggie football games, attended Aggie Awakening (an amazing experience that I wish all college kids could attend), joined San Antonio Hometown Club and participated in their many events, visited family in Garden City... I could go on and on. I always wanted to be around him, and was so sad when we had to spend summers apart or Christmas break. Dating was a lot of fun, but I was anxious for more!

Visiting the Hoover Dam! Summer 2005

Kissing under the Century Tree!

We didn't really start talking about getting engaged until a good couple of years after we began dating. Of course we knew that we would get married and had discussed our future together, but we knew that it wasn't time yet to start looking at rings or planning the big day quite yet!

Having fun in Purgatory, Colorado

We had been dating for about two years when Darren graduated and moved to Lubbock. That was a hard year! We hardly saw each other between my work/school schedule and his work schedule. He came to visit a few times, and I flew to Lubbock once and drove a few times. 7 hours was a long way to drive for just a weekend, especially when I would work most weekends to try to make as much money as I could! The weekend that Darren came down to College Station to propose to me marked three weeks since the last time we had seen each other. I thought we were going to celebrate finally getting to see each other, and a dating anniversary... however Darren had other plans!

Reenacting our engagement

January 26th, what was the best night of my life up until my wedding! Darren took me to eat at a wonderful restaurant in downtown Bryan called Madden's. We had amazing food and wine, and enjoyed each others company. After dinner Darren suggested that we go on a walk through downtown. For those of you who don't know, downtown Bryan is awesome. Very old and full of neat little shops and restaurants. It was one of my favorite places to go on a special occasion during college. I didn't really feel like going for a walk, but Darren insisted. Hmm... ;-) We began walking around and all of a sudden he stopped me in front of the Carnegie library. He then told me, "I just wanted to let you know how much I love you. So much that I want to spend the rest of my life with you." He then got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. I couldn't believe what was happening, I was so excited! I started crying and of course said yes! It was so special to just be the two of us, sharing an awesome moment together. Not long after Darren's brother Trey called and they were right around the corner! They came to Bryan to congratulate us and take pictures!

I still couldn't believe what happened!

After taking some pictures and calling my parents and closest friends we headed back to my townhouse. There waiting for us was a trail of roses leading to a "celebration table" with more roses, pictures of us and our favorite bottle of wine chilling. Almost all of our best friends were able to be there to help us celebrate! I was beyond happy. It was an amazing night!

One of our engagement pictures

The first part of our engagement was spent living apart. In May when I finished school I moved to Garden City to start working and planning the wedding. I lived with Darren's parents, which was so much fun because I was able to get a lot closer to them! Darren's mom and I planned almost all of the wedding details ourselves, which was a lot of work! I knew that I wanted a fall wedding so we set the date for November 3, 2007.

One of my favorites - our "hunny hug"

It seemed like years before the wedding date finally arrived, but man when it got close time flew by... naturally. We were married in St. Lawrence Catholic Church - the same church that both Darren and I were baptized, confirmed and took our first Eucharist in. It was also the same church that Darren's parents were married in, and numerous family members. It was so special to me to be married there. The night before the wedding we said goodbye and I went to stay the night at Darren's grandmother's house with my bridesmaids. I cried when I left him. More so happy tears, knowing that the next time I saw him would be when I was walking down the aisle towards him on the arm of my father. (Man, I'm going to make myself cry right now!) Our wedding ceremony was at 3:30 in the afternoon. Father Francis gave us a great ceremony, and we made things special by including our friends and family as our musicians, readers, and Eucharistic ministers.

Our first kiss as Husband and Wife

Our reception was held next door to the church in the Parish Hall. We decorated everything with fall colors of cranberry red, brown, ivory, and some oranges. I may be biased, but it was beautiful. I also decorated everything with an antique feel. We had antique oil lamps (working!) on the reserved tables, an antique secretary that belonged to Darren's great grandparents as our sign in table, and other details throughout the hall.

Wedding Decor at the entrance

We worked for 3 1/2 days straight before the wedding getting everything decorated. Friends and family came to help with flowers, hanging lights, you name it! We had around 400 people at our reception, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! Out in St. Lawrence you invite the whole community, and the community helps out! We had a bbq brisket meal that was cooked by our parish members and friends. It was delicious!

One of my favorite wedding portraits

We had the traditional wedding march to start off our dancing, followed by our first dance as Mr. and Mrs.! We danced to "Existentialism on Prom Night" by Straylight Run, a song that we had found while dating and fell in love with. We wanted something different from what everyone else in the world does, and I think we found it! Our friends Diwen and Patrick played the piano and violin along to the recording which made it even more special. That dance was one of the best in my whole life! My dad then gave a great speech to us both. I danced to "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon with my daddy, and Darren danced to "Never Alone" by Lady Antebellum with him mom. We then kicked off the dance with some country music! My grandparents won the "longest marriage" dance, and gave us some great words of wisdom. We danced and partied the night away! When it came time to leave we were showered with fall leaves, and we left in Darren's grandfather's 1929 Model A. It was probably the best get away car ever! Again, I might be biased!

Leaving as husband and wife!

Our awesome getaway car!

Before leaving for the evening Darren sang and played me an awesome song, in front of all of our guests no less! He did his own rendition of "Who I am" by Wade Bowen. I'm pretty sure there was not a dry eye in the house. People still come up to me and tell me how that was one of the sweetest and coolest things they had ever seen done at a wedding reception. That's right, my husband is awesome!

Getting a kiss after playing me a song

After leaving our wedding we traveled to Midland to spend the night before leaving for our Honeymoon. When we arrived at the Hilton we were so excited because we were upgraded to the Governors Suite.. for free! Too bad we weren't there long to enjoy it! We had an early morning wake up call to get to the airport for our flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Unfortunately this is where things turn.... we missed our flight! Turns out that the night we were married was the night Daylight Savings Ended.... so our hotel clock was incorrect and we arrived at the airport an hour past when we were supposed to. Oops! We just had to catch the next flight out, and ended up not getting to Puerto Vallarta until late in the evening instead of early afternoon. It didn't phase us too much though.. we were married and that was all that mattered!

Shortly after arriving in PV

Our Honeymoon was so much better than we could have ever dreamed of. We stayed at the Villa Premiere in Puerto Vallarta, a small adult only hotel. Of course we had the Honeymoon Suite, complete with a jacuzzi tub on the balcony! The food was amazing, the scenery gorgeous (we saw humpback whales just while laying on the beach that were migrating south for the winter!). We specifically wanted to go somewhere and do absolutely nothing but enjoy each others company. Our Honeymoon package did include a couples massage and a candlelight private dinner on the beach which was AMAZING.

Taking a nice photo-op at sunset on our balcony

Everyone who worked at the hotel was so nice and helpful. Our maid came in every night to do a turn down service for us where she would fill the jacuzzi, light candles, spread out rose petals.. you name it. It was awesome! We didn't even want to leave the hotel because it was so nice, but one day we did venture in to downtown PV for some shopping.

Dinner at one of the three hotel restaurants

We were sad to leave Mexico, but ready to get back to Texas and start our lives together in Lubbock. While living in Lubbock Darren continued to work at the Eco-Drip in Levelland, and I started back up at Texas Tech. Darren was the best, and fully supported me through college. He paid for tuition and never once suggested I get a job, instead letting me focus on my studies. It was with this great help that I was able to graduate Summa Cum Laude. I was also able to participate in the Texas Tech Equestrian Team because he wanted me to ride and have fun.

After my graduation

During our early married years we experienced many great things together. We enjoyed our first Christmas and Thanksgiving as a married couple shortly after getting married, we traveled to Jamaica for Darren's cousin's wedding, went to countless Garden City football games, and just enjoyed growing closer together as a couple.

After the beautiful beach wedding in Jamaica

After graduation we moved to the little town of Garden City, Darren's hometown, so that I could begin work at Eco-Drip and so that we could settle and move towards our future! We were so happy to leave Lubbock, but still miss all of our friends and family there.

Proud citizens of Garden City, Tx!

We settled in to an old 1940's house that belonged to one of the best school teachers Garden City ever had. She taught Darren's parents and even his grandpa! We then decided to expand our family by getting a puppy! Pearl has been so much fun and we love her incredibly way too much! She's a little spoiled, but such a good girl, and super sweet.

Our little family

Now we anxiously await the day when we can expand our family further. Hopefully God decides soon that it's time for us to be parents! Our love for each other continues to grow every day... I am amazed that it is even possible to love him more and more, but it definitely happens! We are truly blessed, and I know we are each others best friends and soul mates.

Celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary

Having fun at Gruene Hall

Well I hope that this story wasn't too long or boring, but to me it is nothing short of wonderful. I love my husband very much and am so glad to be a part of his life.