Monday, April 30, 2012

A Very Different Easter

I don’t know about you, but I feel like Easter just crept up on us this year. We didn’t get around to putting up any Easter decorations, we didn’t paint or decorate any eggs. One thing I did make sure of, however, was eating lots of Mini-Cadbury Eggs. Can’t pass up on that those things!

The week or so before Easter, my grandma received the shocking news that she had a very large tumor growing on her ovary. She had been feeling very sick for a long time and was having a hard time breathing, that was being blamed on the medication she had been taking. It finally got to the point where her breathing was so bad, they decided to check her out more closely. That’s when they found the tumor that was about the size of a volleyball! Surgery was quickly scheduled for a hospital in Salt Lake. The Idaho family came to support and be there with Grandma during this challenging time. After the surgery, we found out that they were able to remove most of the tumor, and shockingly it had not attached to any other vital organs...not even the other ovary! While that was good news, and Grandma Rich started feeling loads better (as she could finally breath without that volleyball in her stomach), they did confirm that the remains of the tumor were cancerous. She also had some blood clotting in her lungs. Not good. She is probably looking at needing to undergo Chemo in the near future, but that is yet to be determined. One step at a time, and right now is recovery time.

With the family here to support Grandma, and with Grandpa’s birthday landing on Easter Sunday, we spent Easter afternoon in South Salt Lake at the hospital. We had a nice chance to visit with Grandma and Grandpa, as well as the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Rather than a home-cooked Easter meal, we celebrated at the Marie Callender's across the street from the hospital. (Has anyone eaten there? Wish the food could have been better...)

Visiting at the hospital

The walk to and from Marie Callender's

Waiting for dinner

Uncle Doug, Grandpa Rich, Bryan, and Lynze

Gotta have some pie!

I love my family so much! It is definitely hard to see the health of both of my grandparents declining; but, no one said life was supposed to be easy. And that is the beauty of Easter... it is that hope and peace that the gospel brings. Because of our Savior's atoning sacrifice, we can all be with each other again, for all eternity, in a perfected state. What a blessing it is to know that!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

As of Late...

April has been an interesting and exciting month for us. We have made more and more progress on our apartment, getting closer to that “at home” feeling. We have also spent some time preparing our yard (or I should say patch of grass...and I should also say Jason, not we).  Lately, he has been really interested in starting a small garden, so we have spent some time preparing for that as well.  The plants we have been most interested in are those that can be used to make homemade salsa. We were spoiled last fall by his brother’s family, who supplied some delicious homemade salsa week after week from their garden, and we would love to make some of our own. If we had more room, we would love to plant corn...nothing better than fresh corn on the cob with butter and salt! But that will have to a dream that we live-out in the future. Neither of us really know a whole lot about gardening (especially myself), but we are giving it a try and it has already been a source of joy and excitement for us. There is something satisfying about working on a yard that you can call your own. We have only planted a few things so far, as we are waiting for the appropriate temperature and time of year. Hopefully something will grow and it all won’t be a major disappointment..The only living plant we have had before this was an indoor potted plant from my grandma....and needless to say, it died. So we are crossing our fingers and improving our watering skills. 

Trimming the lawn for the first time

Clearing the spot for our small garden - pre-hoeing and fertilizing

A scary little friend we found right next to our front door...we have yet to catch and we're a little nervous about that.

I will include pictures of the inside of our apartment in a later post. 

We had some fun birthday celebrations this month: my sister-in-law, April, and her son, Alex. I was able to meet up with April, Nancy, Alex, Elsa, and Mya for lunch to celebrate April’s birthday at Mimi’s Cafe. That was a fun treat! And for Alex’s birthday, the Grubers had the whole family over for a delicious Spaghetti Dinner. I can’t believe Alex is six years old!  We got him one of those cool photo puzzles from Shutterfly...basically it is his own personal puzzle, with a picture of him eating ice cream. Pretty dang cool. 

Lunch at Mimi's Cafe

Alex's Birthday

Ever since announcing my being pregnant, we have had so many friends offer help, showers, gifts, etc. It really has been humbling and appreciated. One of which was a shower/party with the old Vivint Customer Marketing gang. As I have mentioned before, we had a pretty awesome group of friends in Customer Marketing. Many of us are happy to find any excuse to get together. Well, the old team thought a Baby Shower for Baby Gruber would be the perfect opportunity. Christian McDonald planned and hosted a Co-ed Breakfast Baby Shower for Jason and I, and it was so fun! I’m not going to lie, there was a lot of Vivint venting/bashing, but also a lot of good and fun memories. We received some great gifts and it really got us excited for this little boy to finally join us. 

Christian McDonald, Victoria, Christian Hancock, me, Casey, Nick, and Carson

As of a two weeks ago or so, I was moved to part-time at Pixingo. This transition was definitely bittersweet. The workload really was not necessary for a full-time position, as the company is still in “pre-launch” phase. However, it is sad to see the amount of money I expected to earn, before leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom, be cut in half. While that aspect was hard to face, on the other side of things, it has really been nice to be able to leave a few hours early each day. It really does something to rejuvenate you and kicks you into gear to get other things done that day, rather than just get home and want to crash. I have definitely felt more productive, and it has helped combat some of the burn-out I was beginning to feel with slow eight-hour days. All in all, I think it is gradually preparing me for my final days at work. My last day will be June one more month to go!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

March 2012

I'm getting so close to being caught up...I can taste it!!!!

March had several exciting events and activities. First of which was Richard and Kamilla's wedding. Jason and I have been so excited for the day that Rich would get married, and he finally found the perfect companion! Rich and Kamilla are a match made in heaven. They are both adventure-seeking, "out-doorsy" kind of people. The whole reason they were set up in the first place was because they both like to wear Chacos! That has to tell you something! Rich and Jason have been best friends ever since they were really young, so it was a very special day for us to be able to participate in.

Nate, Parker, Rich, Trevor, and Jason

Another fun activity that weekend was having a movie night with my family. They invited us over for a delicious BBQ Rib dinner, and an evening of watching the ever-long movie, Gettysburg (I believe it is close to 4 hours long). I realize that is probably a strange movie for a family to make an event out of, but to give you a little background here, my older brother, Tyson, was very interested in Civil War stories while growing up. He knew all the facts and all of the battles. He would even organize marches and battles with the neighborhood kids. On top of that, his room was decorated with Civil War things (and still is). I grew up watching bits and pieces of Gettysburg over and over again. I totally enjoyed watching it all together, now that I am a bit older and understand more of what is going on. Another purpose in watching it as a family is they are hoping to take a trip back East this year, and include a stop at Gettysburg.

Yummy dinner before the show

Next on the March agenda was Duke Spencer's Baby Blessing. The Spencer Family travels to Utah every winter for a week of skiing. With a lot of Spencer Family and Gruber Family being in Utah at one time, it was a perfect chance to bless Duke. Rather than blessing him during Sacrament on Sunday, he was blessed at the Gruber home on a Friday evening. 

Spencers arrive for the week...enjoying a welcoming dinner at the Grubers

Cute Duke!

Cooking hot dogs over the fireplace

Capri, Duke, Alex, Elsa, and Mya

Blessing Day:

Max, Duke, April, and Elsa

Max, Elsa, Alli, and Duke

Mya and Capri

As expected, Kimberly was asked to Prom again this year. It was especially exciting this year because it was with a boy she has been "unofficially" dating for several months. She was very excited to go to the dance with him. She asked me to help her with her hair and make-up...and I was very excited to help out.

Hair, make-up, dress...everything turned out beautiful!

Another exciting event was the release of the Hunger Games movie! My family invited us to go with them, and the movie did not disappoint! Jason and I had been looking forward to this movie, as we had both read all of the books. Several members of my family had also read the books, so it was quite the anticipated event. Even though the showing did not get out until midnight, my parents surprised us by inviting us to grab a bite to eat at IHOP afterward. I was shocked and thrilled! It is very unusual for us to go to the movies as a family (other than on Christmas Eve), and even more unusual for us to go to dinner at such an hour! It was a blast! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for such a memorable evening!

The end of March also brought the always-loved General Conference weekend! We spent Saturday at home, with a little lunch break with Grubers at Trellis Cafe (Nancy's favorite). I met up with Mandy and Sammie at Brick Oven during the Priesthood session. Sunday morning session was spent with Arbons, and the afternoon session was spent with the Grubers. Jason and I were listening especially intently, as we had just received callings as Ward Missionaries, and I was also called to the Relief Society Compassionate Service Committee...and even more importantly, our soon adventure as parents! We definitely had lots to soak up and ponder as we prepared to take on these roles.

Lunch at Trellis Cafe with George, Nancy, and Karl

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here are two random pictures from the month of March. The first is my "belly bump" progress, and the second is of my younger brother, Bryan, in his security/police get-up. All the Arbon kids pitched in to get him a SWAT vest for his latest birthday, and he definitely put it to good use. Here he is, all ready to perform the security detail at my Mom's Stake Relief Society Event:

Bryan, you kill me!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

February 2012

February was pretty low key for us here in the Gruber household. A large part of the month was spent organizing and decorating our new apartment...which is a project that still is yet to be completed. But when we were not working on our new place, this is what we were up to:

Izac and Joslyn got married!

We all headed up to Idaho to celebrate my cousin's wedding.

Our attempt to play Ticket to Ride during the reception...didn't work out as hoped.

After the wedding stuff was done and put away, the cousins got together in Grandma and Grandpa's basement and stayed up playing games into the wee hours of the morning...just like old times! Such a blast!

My favorite times: cousin time and food time!

Jason's fishing date with Parker:

Jason caught a fish that had another smaller fish already in its mouth!

Valentine's Day!

After work, Jason surprised me by taking me out to dinner to Last Samurai. So delicious! Neither of us had ever been there. It was like a Japanese Steakhouse. 

After dinner, we went to a movie. Jason chose Chronicle. Definitely not a romantic Valentine's Day type movie. It was interesting enough, but towards the end of the movie it starting feeling really evil and dark. Yeah, we won't be seeing that movie again. 

We don't have any pictures from Valentine's Day, but the Grubers put on a Sunday Valentines meal for us that week that I do have pictures of:

Thanks, Nancy!

Date Night with Desi and Tony:

Photo courtesy of Desi's blog :)
We had a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse, saw an unsuspecting friend from high school (random!!!), and enjoyed frozen yogurt. Complete satisfaction!

February's Belly Bump Update:

This is around the time when I really started seeing a lot of growth from Baby Gruber. My belly became undeniable and I really started feeling back to my normal self. I'm all about the second trimester!!