Obligatory 2014 Hunt Recap

I am not a very good blogger, being a working mom takes up every single minute. There is one blogging tradition I remain faithful too. My year in review post is my favorite blog post to do. 
This year has been a really eventful and really great year for my family and me.

1.Debt Free: Starting January 3rd I will be virtually debt free (outside of our mortgage). This year will accomplished our goal and paid off both my car and my student loan.  It's a huge step to reduce our debt and be able to put money into more of our long term debts like Dave's student loans for his Master's degree or our house and finally start saving for Cam's college.

2. Baby Girl Hunt:  This year we started planning for baby in January 2014. It was a lot of planning to make sure we were ready in every sense for another baby. We found out she was a girl in November and we're so excited for another beautiful curly haired little girl. The early ultrasounds scared us good with some choloroid cysts, but we also learned that it was not a genetic defect and the cysts would likely go away and have zero effect on her growth an development. Also, due to the blood clot when I was pregnant with Cameron, I'm on blood thinner shots. It's a lot less painful this time around. Maybe I'm just getting used to getting shots. To say that this baby is already a lot of work is a huge understatement.

3. Promotion: Last year I predicted that 2014 was going to be the year for Dave's job and I was right. A few months into the year he was promoted to Technology Solutions Supervisor.  He also had the opportunity to act as Area Director for a few weeks this month while his boss was on vacation.  It has definitely been a good year for Dave's job. He has always worked so hard at his job and it's good for him to finally get recognized and be able to work in a higher capacity.

Carl, Dave, Paul  at Youth Conference 2000
4. The World Loses Good Men:  This year was a hard one for Dave (and me), but more so Dave.  He grew up with a group of guys in South Jordan, Utah. One of those guys, Paul, passed away this summer. Dave was really close with Paul and although I did not have that same friendship, his passing affected me too. He was a really great man; cheerful and constantly friendly. I still cry when we talk about him and Dave connects a lot of his childhood memories with him. It's hard to lose someone too early.

On a different level, my Grandpa Bockholt passed away a few months ago. He was older and recently diagnosed with lung cancer and due to his huge testimony he was ready and willing to move on to better things.  I loved him a lot,

Grandpa Bockholt with his famous smile
he had a big impact on my father's upbringing and as a product of that, he had a big impact on my growth and development. I have felt the weight of the passing of these men. The world needs more like them, not less.

5. Cam-Cam:  She's gigantic and constantly learning and growing. This year has been a fun with her for sure.  She talks non-stop and loves reading. One of her favorite places is the library.  Recently, we discovered she has a knack for tracing letters too.
The other day her Nursery class came into Sharing Time to ease them into the Primary process. I sat behind her and watched her sitting in her chair, watching the chorister with her hands folded in her lap. It blows me away how big she is getting.
This year I had set the tentative goal of potty-training, but after three failed attempts and under our pediatrician's reassurance, decided that she wasn't ready and to be honest Dave and I probably weren't ready for that gigantic elephant of a problem yet.
She has found her own interests this year including: books are a continuous theme with her, Dora the Explorer, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Frozen (just like all little girls), Play Doh, letter blocks and playing pretend with her figurines/baby doll. It's adorable to see her take her toys for walks around the house in stroller/coach them on using the potty/put them down for naps. She's becoming such a little person.

6. Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam Again:. I received my first church calling in four years as a Sunbeam teacher. There are only four kids in my class, four very rambunctious four-year-olds that feel like 15 kids.  It's been a challenging calling, but it's nice to talk about the gospel basics and interact with the innocent and happy kids. They are cheerful bright kids only about a year older than Cam. A few of my lessons have been really great for them and it's fun to see things click in their heads the seeds that will grow as they learn and grow.

7. Braces Be Gone:  Best post birthday gift ever. After two years of metal mouth, cutting sandwiches and brushing my teeth after every snack/meal; they finally came off. I've been pretty self-conscious about crooked teeth my whole life and it feels so good to finally have the smile I imagined.  I don't stop smiling and laughing anymore because I don't ever feel awkward about whether people are laughing with me or staring at my teeth.

8. Auntie M: This year was a big baby year for both Tate and Hunt families. On Dave's side, two cute little girls were born: Evelyn & Macie. On the Tate side, handsome little Curtis was born.
Being an aunt is a lot of fun, you get to do a lot of the playing and smiling, and skip out on the super whiny times, poopy diapers and screaming at night.
It's so fun to be with them and see their personalities develop as they grow and learn.

9. The Wedding Game:  This year featured two weddings on the Tate side. My beautiful niece married her long-time boyfriend Angel and moved back to Ohio to live with her family.  I wasn't able to make it, but it looks like it was a great time.
My mom married an old friend from the old neighborhood this year. I've known him almost my whole life. They used to double date when I was a kid. They reconnected over genealogy last year after his wife passed away.  I love that my mom married Jim. He's a really good man and they are so cute and happy together. At first it was a little difficult because things were so different, especially teaching Cameron to call Jim "grandpa". It felt a little awkward and wrong to me, but he is a great grandpa for Cameron and I can see his love and care for her grow.

10. Updates: This year we had a full house. The three of us lived upstairs and Dave's sister Heather and her family lived in the basement (Josh & baby Macie).  They moved out at the beginning of December just in time for the power downstairs to freak out.  We already knew that the previous home owners were diy type of people, but they did a pretty awful job with an ancient panel and the basement drawing the majority of it's power from the A.C. unit.  A few weeks ago we called up Home Advisor for a well-reviewed electrician and he's been working on the electrical this week.  It will be so nice to have a really good basement for spare bedrooms for family, play room and a really good entertainment room I have fondly nick-named the "Nerd Lair" (more on that in next year's post).

11. Family Vacation: This is a first for our little family. Sure, we make the yearly camping and extended family gatherings with my mom/company and Dave's mom/company, but this year we decided it was time to share some experiences together without the extras.  As a bonus, Dave's brother's family lives in San Diego and Cameron is absolutely in love with seeing "fishies" at the aquarium in Utah.  Cami loved the flight and giggled hysterically through take-off. While in San Diego we played at Sea World, San Diego Zoo and during a rainy day we visited the gigantic Nicklecaid world of Dave & Buster's. Sea World was by far the best experience I have ever had on a vacation. The park was empty (thanks to a cooler day and a Thursday in December) and Cam absolutely LOVED it. As a parent, when your kid is that excited and thrilled by something, you can't help but feel that same exhilaration. I can't get over how great it was. Due to baby number two, it's doubtful we will go on another big vacation like that for a few years and it's so awesome that it turned out so well with no accidents, irritations or failures. Successful Hunt Family Vacation!

12. Leer:  Last year I predicted to be once again running constantly, but I rediscovered an old hobby in reading.  This year I read 39 books and it's quite the random collection including multiple genres and ages from juvenile fiction, young adult and adult fiction.  I had a lot of favorites, but if I had to pick my favorite book that I read this year it would be "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. No joke, this book is huge, bigger than the film and bigger than I realized. I felt like it was a discussion on life and choices and how to break free of the various imprisonments one can face.

As you can see this year was pretty eventful for me and my family. We have grown even closer together and have really bonded as a family. This year felt incredibly fast.  I can't believe that it's already the end of 2014. It's been a great year, nay, a FANTASTIC year. I'm sad to see it end, but I expect next year to be just as fantastic as long as I have my family, friends and neighbors.  Here's to 2015, may it bring everyone joy and love and butterflies.



A few nights ago I had this horrible dream that stressed me out beyond belief.
Dave and I are cuddling on the couch watching some stupid movie and I feel something moving between my legs.
When I look down, it is a tiny baby hand moving around so I sit up and open my legs to see our new baby daughter laying calmly between us.
Because I am only 23 weeks along, I start freaking out. Our baby was obviously not very developed and looked kind of alien-like with an enormous forehead and eyes spaced far apart. Dave leaves the house because our phones aren't working and he wants to call for help.  I am running around asking everyone for a cell-phone but no one will help me.
I find my mom eventually, who helps me hold the baby, carefully walking beside me because the umbilical cord is still connected. We are walking through a parking lot when my water finally breaks and it's not just water, it's yellowish thick substance that looks and smells weird. My mom mentions that she thinks I have an infection and our need to hurry just be increased.
Finally we find someone with a cell phone who calls for an ambulance. The ambulance takes us to the hospital and in the NICU the doctors say that there are babies more sick than my baby and that it looks like we're both doing fine. They still set us up on a bed and I'm sick with exhaustion and stress.
My mom holds the baby up for me because she says the baby is happy.  In the hours between birth and the hospital she has grown by several months and has a small tuft of brown curly hair on top and she gives me a big gummy smile.
The meaning of this dream is ridiculously obvious. I have felt very anxious about this pregnancy and this baby from the very beginning. All I know is complications during pregnancy and a difficult baby. Like all women, I want someone to relate and someone to really be there for me and as a by-product: this baby.
Dave and I had a really good discussion about it and although that's the way I felt. Really, we did not choose to have a baby for attention or friendship. I didn't get pregnant to get praised and questioned constantly. We chose to have another baby because WE wanted to and because we wanted to complete our family. WE chose this, it was not an accident and I am genuinely excited to see the future for this baby and our family



I really tried to think of something clever to put as the title, but I just don't have it in me today.
Results came back almost two weeks ago for my baby girl's choroid plexus cysts. The results were NEGATIVE, which means no genetic defect and the cysts will either go away on their own or will not affect her growth/development.
With these results and Christmas right around the corner, I looked around me and my life a few nights ago.
For the first time in my entire life I feel truly happy and content.
It's a new feeling to me, I've spent so much of my life pushing and ready for the next step (i.e. degree, marriage, family, church stuff, debt free, etc.). To say it's nice to settle into life is the biggest understatement ever! It's like my heart wants to jump out of my body and give everyone a big hug.
My life isn't perfect and a lot of times each day has it's own challenges. Some days are harder than others, but along with that, some days are really great.
Really, I am in a good place: I have a wonderful family, married to my best friend (still my best friend) and a silly three-year-old.  I have a nice house that's perfect for our family in every way.   Dave and I both have fully functioning cars and good jobs to provide for our family's needs.
Right now I would not change a thing.
I don't want a new house. I'll take our weird house with it's weird electrical and never-ending projects.
I  am happy with our cars, despite their "well-loved" exterior (that's probably just my car) and high mileage, because they keep us safe without a car payment and without too much maintenance (outside of the debacle a couple of months ago).
I'll take Dave and Cam any day and everyday over anyone and everything else.  They both love me through everything; past, present and future and nothing can change that. Even when I feel absolutely crazy with frustration or sadness, they both still love me and won't leave me. It's true family security, what I've been waiting for my whole life.
Who needs any new stuff this year, my inner-self/chi/etc. gives me the gift of joy and peace this year.




Yesterday was the official 20 week ultrasound. Thanks to my "dramatic" history, I will have two separate ultrasounds done at the hospital to check the babies growth, fluid levels, etc.
We went last week to Fetal Foto at the mall to get gender because Dave had to work yesterday. So I went to the hospital by myself. Nothing too crazy. During my last trimester with Cameron I had to get stress-tests done there every week. I knew the routine and nothing weird can come of this right? I admit I felt a little nervous, because baby girl does not move very much.
The ultrasound tech was oddly impersonal, but I knew something was up when a good chunk of the time was spent measuring parts of the baby's brain.
Finally, the supervising physician comes in and drops the sentence like he's noticed a new freckle or that you dyed your hair, "I don't know if Mary talked to you about the cysts in your baby's brain but.."
He literally trailed off like that.  My heart sinks and my brain starts running a thousand miles an hour, but my ears are desperately trying to listen because this is important and there's no one here with me to listen.
Baby girl has two fairly large looking cysts in her brain, one on each hemisphere.  In the ultrasound it looks like her brain is made up of two donuts (choroid plexus cysts).

The angle of this is a little weird, but you can see parts of the cysts.

These cysts have three possible attributes/outcomes:
1. They could mean absolutely nothing. Doctor said 5% of normal babies born each year have these cysts and are completely fine and fully-functioning babies.
2. Many times they just go away in like a month.  The baby's body sorts out the cyst and distributes it, or something. I'm not a doctor....
3. These cysts are relatively common in babies with a genetic disorder linked to Trisonomy 18 or Trisonomy 21. These two genetic disorders and commonly known as Evan's Syndrome and Down Syndrome. 
After the doctor lists these options, he goes on to do his own ultrasound and I'm doing everything I can not to break into hysterical cries. He checks for other signs of genetic disorder: cleft palate (she has a fully connected lip and nose) and opening hands (she does it just slightly and wiggles her fingers on one hand for the ultrasound).
Following the ultrasound, I opt to do the stupid blood test to find out how many of these chromosomes my baby carries.
It takes 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS, otherwise known as the longest days of my life.

I'm not a super big fan of blasting business all over Facebook and I didn't really want to tell many people because I'm trying not to freak out about this. I don't meet any of the other criteria points that would indicate these genetic disorders and frankly, Dave isn't really worried.
I can't help it. I'm carrying her inside me. She's a big piece of me and it's terrifying to think abou the future. Even more so than when we first started planning for second baby 11 months ago.  I hoped that this baby would be different than Cami...I meant easier...
So it's been eight days since the test and thanks to the holiday, it's been only four business days. 


Jesus Wants Me

Amy came over last night, hugging a white 3-ring binder to her chest.
Here comes my first church calling in four years. 
My last calling was as a "indexing committee member" before Cami was born, in my single's ward. Then there was a time of working weekends. When I changed jobs, somehow I snuck underneath the calling radar (thanks to a giant ward of more than 700 people). and my passivity--then they split the ward.
Bishop called me in as a primary teacher and that was the white binder Amy was carrying so tightly. That binder held the specifics of my class.
Sunbeam-Primary 1
4-5 year olds. Someone has a sens of humor. My first calling in four years  is teaching kids brand new to Primary and Sharing Time. Kids don't generally like me. Giddy-up.

I had my first lesson experience on Sunday. 
I literally spend three days and multiple hours planning and making things for them, including some pretty sweet-looking beards.
None of the kids like singing and only one of them wore a beard. My lesson took exactly 10 minutes and after coloring for 15 minutes and a matching game my partner had.  I felt like I spent three hours with a room of Cami's. Dave's church clothes were dirty, so it was me and Cam by ourselves for the last hour.  She has been in this really rebellious toddler stage lately. We went to time-out twice in the middle of church. There's a reason we sit in the back.  It was awful. I cried a lot after church. 
It's so overwhelming, on top of every day stress of work, taking care of Cami and new baby coming. I work really hard for this calling already and it seems to be so ridiculous, like teaching cows how to fly.