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hi-yah! or, kickin’ it

My baby is a stinker.

 

Already. In the womb.

 

Here’s why. On the day before Thanksgiving (which, incidentally, was our 7-month anniversary…monthiversary?), when we went to have an ultrasound, our little bundle of joy kept his legs crossed for HALF AN HOUR before we found out he was a boy. We either caught him unawares or wore him down like good parents. Either way, we’re glad we kept trying, because the technician thought he was a girl up to that point (serves him right). Little rebel. And don’t try and tell me he was just being modest. I know his father. In fact, when the technician tried for the millionth time to get a glimpse and the baby’s legs were still crossed, I turned to Troy and said, “yup, this is definitely your kid.”

Then, three days later, Troy felt our son move for the first time. In an epic kick to the face. See, I had felt him moving around in there, so Troy pressed his face against my tummy to try and feel/hear something. And all of a sudden, BAM! the strongest kick I had thus far felt, aimed right at daddy’s cheek. Heh heh, mommy’s little angel. Troy reared back and cried, “that little skunk!” He was more pleased and amused than offended.

But I can’t help thinking, if my little stinker already has a sense of humor while he’s still in there, I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief he’ll get up to when he finally comes out. Maybe he’ll burn the house down.

Bring it on.

the art on our walls

You can tell a lot about someone by what they have on their walls. I finally finished hanging some pictures the other day, pictures that I had had propped against the wall for months. Someday, of course, I’ll hang more. This is only a beginning:

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One of my favorite engagement pictures

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Another favorite engagement picture

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Can’t remember the painter’s name, but I love this image!

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The Road to Emmaus. My grandparents had this in their kitchen when I was a child, and my mother has one too.

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My favorite Carl Bloch painting. Also, the best valentine I’ve ever gotten.

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Let the Children Come. This small print followed me around on my mission.

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Oquirrh Mountain Temple. No Mormon home is complete without a picture of the temple where the husband and wife were sealed!

Am I a little obsessed with paintings of Jesus? Perhaps, but he is the most important man in our life, after all. Our home is small and I wanted to start with my absolute favorites and the things I thought were most important. I of course hope to collect more art prints, things that aren’t as directly religious but still beautiful and bring a nice feeling into our home. Hopefully there will be one or two wedding pictures as well, and of course, as time passes, pictures of children! Troy doesn’t like having pictures of himself on the wall, because he thinks it looks kind of egotistical, but I like looking at him. 🙂

New Adventures

So…here we are again. Once again it has been a couple of years since my last post. Since I’ve been out with a cold the past couple of days, I have felt inspired to try my hand at blogging YET AGAIN. No promises.

But since I hate meta-blogging (that’s blogging about blogging, right? BORING), and my journals are already bursting with entries that begin with “sorry I haven’t written in a while” and “I suck at this journaling thing,” let’s move on.

So, my goals at last entry were to graduate in English with minors in Scandinavian Studies and Editing, and to go to grad school in Comparative Literature. I think I wanted to teach college classes eventually and become a writer. Let’s see what I’ve accomplished since then…

-I dropped the Editing Minor. I liked it, but there simply wasn’t time.

-I took about twice the amount of required Scandinavian Studies classes, because I wanted to. Points for true education!

-I dated people.

-I learned all sorts of things, both inside and outside of class.

-I had awesome roommates, like Megan, Kessia, Carin, and Erin. I learned from each of them.

-I studied Finnish!

-I studied Old Norse!

-I went back to Sweden to visit, and got to go to Finland too.

-I taught Swedish at the Missionary Training Center for a year.

-I ran a half-marathon!

-I took the GRE.

-I made some very difficult decisions.

-I left the MTC and taught first-year Swedish at BYU for two semesters.

-I made awesome friends at work, like Dane, Jackie, Phil, and Laurel.

-I started dating Troy.

-I ran another half-marathon, the Provo Halloween Half. I dressed like a teenage mutant ninja turtle. Because of a new job and a new boyfriend, I didn’t train as much. I ended up with two sprained ankles. It was still awesome.

-I did lots of knitting.

-Troy and I got engaged.

-My dad moved to Abu Dhabi for a three-year work contract.

-I applied to BYU’s Comparative Studies Masters program.

-I got accepted to BYU’s Comparative Studies Masters program.

-I decided not to go to graduate school.

-I graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s in English and a minor in Scandinavian Studies.

-I married Troy in the Oquirrh Mountain, Utah Temple.

-I baked lots of bread and other things.

-Troy and I lived in Seattle for two months so he could do some active duty for the Coast Guard.

-We returned to Provo.

-We found out I was pregnant.

-Troy started fall semester.

-I threw up a lot.

-Troy published a paper on research he’d been doing with a professor and another student.

-We got ultrasound pictures! Like this one:

November 21, 2012

Baby #1! November 21, 2012

-I made a mini-Thanksgiving dinner with Cornish game hens.

-I decorated for Christmas!

And those are some of my more memorable adventures from the last two years. Thrilling, right? Hopefully there will be more where that came from.

huff and puff

I rode my bike to the library for the first time in about two years. One of  my absolute favorite warm-weather activities. 🙂 Problem was, it shows that I haven’t ridden a bike in a veeeeeery long time. You may snort and wonder why I never touched a bike on my mission? Well, I had a car for six months in one area, and in other areas it was either too cold or we just didn’t have bikes. It’s okay—I love walking, and public transportation in Sweden kicks the trash out of anything we have here.

The result: I was no more than halfway to the library and my muscles were already screaming in pain. No good.  I felt really pathetic, especially with all of the duktig (Swedish for talented) cyclists streaming past me from time to time with their perfectly calibrated road bikes and spandex suits, no doubt turning up their noses at my BYU basketball shorts, “it’s just a flesh wound” t-shirt, and ordinary bicycle. Not to mention how slowly I was going with a pained expression on my face. Ouch.

Well, I’ll get back in shape. And it was definitely worth it when I got to the library. I had two books on hold, How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (for next month’s book club in my singles ward). I checked them out immediately and went to the library courtyard to read in the sun. It felt so good. It felt like I belonged there. Like I had every right to be sitting on that bench reading in my library. As a missionary I spent a lot of time in libraries, because they’re good, safe, warm public places to teach people. But I never felt like I really belonged there, since I wasn’t supposed to read the thousands of books at my fingertips, and because of all of the obvious staring and glaring at our nametags. We felt like intruders most of the time. I even heard stories of one particular library employee who deliberately sought out the sister missionaries in the middle of teaching investigators and kicked them out for proselyting in a government institution or something (they tried to explain that they already knew the people they were teaching and hadn’t been approaching random strangers, but to no avail). But in this library, here, I felt welcome and normal. People didn’t look at me like I was a freak or a criminal. I had every right to be here. Of course, as a missionary, I had every right to be there too. But the looks on peoples’ faces make that harder and harder to believe over time.

Anyway, it was just another nice reminder that I’m really home.

(In retrospect, that’s a rather negative thought about my mission. I’ll have to write more about my mission in the future to erase any shred of doubt that I had an absolute blast as a missionary in Sweden.)

processing…

Well I’ve been home for almost a month now. Okay, three and a half weeks. But it’s crazy. I’m still in the process of figuring out what to do with the next few years of my life. The current plan is this: about two more years at BYU, graduate with a bachelor’s in English and minors in Scandinavian Studies and Editing. I think after that, I want to get a Master’s in Comparative Literature. We’ll see.

And what has happened since I’ve been home? I’ve decided I don’t have time to get a job before I head back to BYU at the end of June, so I’m very available for service projects and odd jobs and things like that. I went to the bishop’s storehouse once (and had a blast!). I’ve been going to institute and YSA activities and to the temple. I’ve also been on my first couple of dates–quite an accomplishment for an awkward returned missionary, if I do say so myself.

And, of course, I’ve been reading up a storm. 🙂 I’ve read some Shojo Manga (Ouran High School Host Club and Lizard Prince), a guilty pleasure, as well as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows  and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. One of my favorite things to do is just walk through the library and browse the shelves and wait for a book to jump out and grab me. That’s how I found Guernsey. It was on the bestseller shelves and the title intrigued me. It’s about a writer in London who receives a letter from a pig farmer out on Guernsey in the English Channel, who has an old book that used to belong to her and wants to know if she knows anything else by the same author. She starts corresponding with him and other residents of the island, people who also belong to this “literary society,” a group formed during World War II. She becomes enchanted with them and their stories, ultimately goes to visit them, and falls in love with the island itself.  It’s a wonderful story, and one fun thing about it is that it consists entirely of letters between the different characters in the story.  I loved it. Howl’s was also fun, but I think I read it too fast, and there’s a lot of information, especially at the end. I got a little confused. I liked it, though, so I don’t mind reading it again.  I tried reading Twilight for the first time ever but I couldn’t get through it, nor could I finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Twilight was interesting and sucked me in, but I found it really disturbing at the same time. Zombies was funny at first, but I got bored with it.

What else? I went up to Arcata with my dad last week, because he had a meeting at Humboldt State University. After his meeting we went up to Redwoods National Forest and went for a hike. That was really nice. I had missed redwood trees so much in Sweden! There is just a feel and a smell to the redwood forests here in California that you can’t get anywhere else. It felt so good to be home.

It really does feel good to be home. I miss many things about Sweden, namely food and people and public transportation :p , but America is my home. We had the elders over for dinner on Sunday, and they asked what I missed about my mission. I said those things–that I missed the people and the food and things like that–and one of the elders asked me if I miss missionary work. I couldn’t really give him a clear answer. I loved my mission; I loved being a missionary and teaching people these truths that are so precious to me, but at the same time, I don’t miss being a missionary. I’m still me. I’m still the same person. I think the things I loved most about being a missionary have come home with me. I just have a new mission now. I will always serve Heavenly Father, but in different ways, and I was happy and excited to move on to new adventures. I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone else. Thoughts?

People keep asking me how my adjustment back to “normal” life is going. I tell them I’m still “processing.” Like, I’m going through these experiences and memories in my mind and putting them in their proper place, as I continue to live my life and create new experiences and memories. I feel like a lot of these changes have come to me rather naturally since I’ve returned home, but somewhere in the back of my mind there’s a little Haley doing filing work to get all of those papers and things organized. I’m not too worried. Little Haley will catch up. 🙂

hello again!

Wow. It has been a really long time, hasn’t it? And yet, it feels like it was yesterday I was sitting here blogging about my silly scarves.

Sweden was amazing. Sorry it didn’t really work out with the missionary blog. My brother was in charge of that, haha. But hey, he got like all A’s this last quarter, so at least he’s doing something useful with his time!

More later…

And one last post

Here it is. I’m getting set apart as a missionary tomorrow night. Which most likely means no more internet (and even if it is allowed, I won’t have time!).

So this blog is on a temporary hiatus, until I return from Sweden in a year and a half. However, in about December I will be able to start e-mailing my family every week, and my brother will post some of my e-mails on my special mission blog, Haley’s Mission to Sweden (http://systerhegstrom.wordpress.com).

Check it out. And if you want to write me, my mission address is on the “about” page of both of my blogs.

Vi ses!