Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Arista's first trip to Idaho!

Arista was able to meet so many fun people the past few weeks. We had our first trip traveling to Idaho together. We were able to have a long layover in Minneapolis to visit our friends the Hogges. We had a blast for the short amount of time together, and we are planning on visiting them longer for spring break!

After a long day of flying, everyone was anxious to meet their new little niece...

Auntie Kelsey
Auntie Kipley

Auntie Mikelle

Uncle Merrick

We were also able to see my cousin Melissa and meet her little daughter Georgia. Georgia was adorable with Arista, and constantly said "baby" while pointing to her. We could not get enough of little Georgia, she is such a doll. Arista was also able to meet her great Aunt Deb and Uncle Richie the week before.

Melyssa and Georgia

The greatest babysitters

I had a blast going out shopping with my Auntie Karen and Melyssa, while we had 2 awesome babysitters. Mikelle and her boyfriend Kyle were generous to take on Arista and Georgia, two nights in a row. I got some much needed shopping, girl time, and yummy food in. Unfortunately the last night Melissa was here I got horrible food poisoning. :(

Arista also turned 2 months while we were here. She is becoming more and more active everyday. She has found her hands, and her hands have found her mouth. She loves to chew and suck on them. She smiles and coos all the time, and loves to lay on her back and look around at everything that is going on. She has also spent a lot of time with her Auntie Mikelle being bounced on the yoga ball. It calms her down immediately, especially when she is overly tired. Her nights and days are still mixed up, but we are ready to start a schedule when we return home. We just love her!

Arista spent much time with her great grandparents Fern and Wayne Bateman. She is their 49th great grandchild. Every time Arista would cry Grandma would say "It's okay to let her cry, it will make her have a great singing voice".

Arista has had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, and even went to Relief Society on Sunday to hear Grandma speak. She slept in the back with Grandpa, and was sporting a new dress.

Arista seems to have a calming effect on people...and animals.

Arista sure has had a blast on her first trip out to Idaho, and we are going to miss everyone when we leave on Thursday. Her Aunts and Uncle have spoiled her rotten! She is anxious and excited to see Daddy soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Theme and Word

I have been thinking the past couple of weeks what a theme for our family this year could be. I really felt like our theme for the year 2009 was "Come what may and love it" - Elder Wirthlin. In no means did we love the pain and grief we went through, but we love how strong we came out on the other end. Through the suffering of Preslie's death our relationship slowly grew stronger and stronger. Not only did Chris and I cleave unto each other, we cleaved unto Christ and the Lord. Together through our strength and faith, we were able to endure the pain this past year and bring a beautiful daughter into the world.

I thought that when Arista arrived all my pain would magically disappear. Boy was I wrong. I think more about Preslie now, then I did while I was pregnant with Arista. I am always thinking about what she would be doing now, and how she would be such a great older sister to Arista. I find my heart and arms still aching to hold her close to me, and to see her smiling face everyday. Arista has helped us tremendously bring back joy and peace back into our lives. I have come to realize that the hole in my heart will always be there, and that Preslie will always be missed and loved. I feel such a void in our lives without Preslie, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity to look into my daughter Arista's eyes and see a piece of her older sister. Preslie is close, I know she is. On the days where I miss her the most, I know that she is missing me too. The love I have for Preslie reaches further than death, it's eternal.

After much pondering I decided our family theme this year will be: "Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight." This is a quote from our former Prophet Gordon B Hinkley. I chose this theme for a few reasons. Negativity, is something I have struggled with my entire life. The glass is always half empty, and the "I can't do anything right" motto rings into my head frequently. I can find a thorn on every rose, a hair in any food, and something wrong with each situation. After the death of Preslie and seeing that bad things do happen, my negativity escalated. I have been strengthened through Preslie's death, and have seen many positive outcomes. However, my day to day negativity is taking a toll on myself.

I have found that I am petrified of something bad happening to Arista, and I feel like I have to do all I can to keep her safe and alive. The fear of losing another child, and going through the pain is terrifying. I know that I cannot think this way, and that through Christ, the Lord, the scriptures, Chris, and faith I will be able to enjoy each day I have with her.

I recently watched the movie Pollyanna, and despite her circumstances of her parents dying and being paralyzed she found something to be glad about everyday. In every situation good or bad, she played the glad game. What a great thing to try and do! I am going to make it an effort to play the game and find something good or "glad" out of every situation. I know that changing the way you think is a slow process, but all I have is time.

Our family word for 2009 was "HOPE". Hope for the future, hope for Arista, hope for my Mom to be cancer free, and hope for many other things in our lives. We have come to have a strong testimony of hope, and the blessings that hope brings. I love that we are able to witness how hope impacts our lives. Faith and hope go hand in hand, so our faith was strengthened as well.

Our family word for 2010 is: FOCUS. Our family has a lot to focus on this next year. Chris finishes up his last semester of law school, and then it's on to the "real world". It's our goal to focus on...

1. Getting healthy

2. Arista

3. Church and school studies

4. Being more optimistic

5. Stregthening relationships

6. Stregthening our marriage

7. Finding a job

8. Becoming more Christ-like

The Martin family has some hefty goals for this year, but with keeping ourselves focused we can attain each and every one of them.

Vote for Chris and Chewy!!

I entered Chris and Chewy into a local "look-a-like" contest. We need your help! It only takes a few short minutes.

Just click on the link below, then click the "register to play" tab. Once you register you will be sent a confirmation email, and then you can log in and vote for Chris and Chewy. It's that easy! We know it's a drag to register, but it only takes a minute!

The prize is 4 tickets to the Broadway play 101 Dalmatians, as well as a gift card to a local jewelers. Seeing the play would be a great date night for this couple new to parenthood.

The contest closes January 22nd!! Please vote!!!

Thank you for helping us out!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some Firsts

Arista has had some firsts the past couple of weeks that I wanted to share...

(12/31/10) Arista smiled at me! No it wasn't gas, it was a real smile. She has been smiling more and more everyday.

(1/2/10) Arista had her first bath with Daddy. She was so calm the entire time, and loved every minute of it. Chewy loved watching!

(1/3/10) Arista attended her first Sacrament Meeting. She did really well, despite the cold draft coming from the vent next to us. She slept the entire time, and was held by a great friend Lisa.

(1/7/10) Arista has her first diaper rash, and we feel so sad that it hurts her!

Arista is growing like a weed, she has already outgrown a few pajamas and outfits. She is constantly reminding us of the joys of having her here. She will not be laid down, and has slept on us for many many nights. Her happiest time is in the morning right after she wakes up and eats. She will play on her jungle mat for a good 25 minutes. Chewy enjoys playing on it with her as well.

Arista loves to admire all her pretty bows while having her diaper changed, and she has even tried to pull them down a few times. She is not fond of wearing them, but we are working on that. ;)

Arista will have her very first plane ride a week from today. We are flying to Idaho to visit all her Aunts, Uncle, Great Aunts and Uncles, Great Grandparents, and Grandma and Grandpa of course. We can hardly wait!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Visitors

We cannot believe how quickly this past month has gone. It seems like it was just Thanksgiving! We were so blessed to be able to have Chris' brother Curt and his family out to spend Christmas with us. Julie and I were able to get out one night and get some much needed pedicures and to get our fingers done. We had such a great time talking and getting to know each other better. Arista had a great time competing in a cry competition with her favorite cousin Claire. It seemed like when one would start, the other one would join in.

For Christmas Eve we got food poisoning! We were all in separate rooms making our runs to the bathroom. That didn't stop me from having everyone wear matching Jammie's, and Santa coming! I had all these great visions of Arista's first Christmas, and it went the complete opposite. For Christmas Eve dinner we had Chicken Noodle Soup and Burger King! Mmmm! On Christmas Day we all spent the day in our PJ's enjoying the rest, and feeling a little bit better.We all ended up recovering within a few days, and we spent the remainder of our days shopping at after Christmas sales, watching movies, and playing games.

Chris' parents arrived the day before Curt, Julie and Claire left. Grandma and Grandpa Martin had a great time with the grand babies, and showered them with many many awesome gifts. When Curt, Julie and Claire left we were sad. We had such a great time with them, despite the illness.

Chad and Sue spent their every waking moment taking turns holding Arista. Arista was in heaven. She was never out of her grandma or grandpa's arms. Chris and I actually began to miss holding her. Sue had a great time giving Chewy cat nip, and trying to wrangle him out of the Christmas tree. Sue made us 2 batches of the greatest fudge, and kept our house spic and span the entire time. Chad helped us take all our Christmas stuff down, and weatherproof our bedroom. Grandma and Grandpa babysat Arista so Chris and I could go out for the first time on New Years Eve! We had a great time trying to find a restaurant that didn't have an hour wait, and then went and saw the movie "It's Complicated". We really liked it! Chad and Sue were a great help especially in the wee hours of the morning. Chris and I got some great sleep! Arista had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Martin, and can't wait to see them again soon.