Only 2 weeks into the year and I already missed a "regular" Monday post. Oops. Sorry Grandma and Timmy! (Tim's my brother serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He can check emails and read my blog on Mondays). 

I meant to post yesterday but it turned into a CRAZY day. I took a work project that I'm struggling to meet the deadline for, and Jack had the worst day ever. Basically he threw nonstop tantrums all day long and nothing I did could get him to chill. I'm hoping it was just teething pain and not a new phase, because I will lose my mind if this keeps up for long. Poor guy has two little toothbuds on bottom that haven't popped through yet so I'm thinking teething may have been it. I gave him some infant Tylenol just in case.

Ok so actually I have an editing project due in an hour so I have to make this a quick post. Here are 3 little recent updates.

1. Jared finished a long string of demanding rotations that went on for 4 months yesterday. I was so excited for him to start his 2-week radiology rotation because I figured he could see his son a little more often. It's only been one day so far. Pros: He really enjoys the work and will often be able to come home for lunch. Cons: He still didn't get home in the evening until after Jack went to bed. Thank goodness intern year is half over. The worst is when Jared has to work late nights all week, and then on top of that he has to spend his entire weekend working a 30-hr shift and then sleeping it off. It's hard not to see him, and it's really hard to never catch a break in the parenting department.

2. Jack is getting really close  to walking! Occasionally I'll catch him standing up and not holding onto anything for support. It only lasts for a second or two, but I think within a few weeks he'll be taking some steps. Right now it's a race to see if he's going to start walking before he gets any teeth. It's going to be close.

3. I'm working on a large-scale weaving right now that I'm really excited about. I welded a copper frame loom for it by myself. Warping it up was really difficult because the string kept slipping on the metal, but now that it's starting to take shape it's looking great. I've dreamed of starting an online shop for my woven wall hangings for years now. Pregnancy and having a baby put a big fat pause on that, but hopefully this will be the year I'm able to make it happen. I'll post some pictures when I'm done with the piece I'm working on now.

The pictures in this post are outtakes from when we were trying to get a shot for our Christmas card. I love how me and Jack are looking at each other in the first one. We tried to take pictures in the prairie (see picture below), but the wind NEVER takes a break here in the winter, and it was just too cold to get a good one of everyone smiling. I'll try again in the summer. 

Recently

Happy New Year! My Christmas gift to my grandma Roper was a promise to blog every week this year, aiming for a Monday morning post. I'm happy to start doing this, as I've been bad about posting for the past two years and really miss having those memories to look back on.

I know this is a weird place to start the new year, but I wanted to post about our Thanksgiving break. Other bloggers be like, "I'm so bad, posting Christmas 2 weeks late." And I'm just over here like, "Sweet, getting Thanksgiving posted earlier than usual."
Jared got a full week off for Thanksgiving, which is pretty much unheard of during residency. We split our time and spent a couple days in Orem with my family, and then the rest of the week in Bear Lake for Thanksgiving with Jared's family.
Jack was uncharacteristically content our entire time in Orem. Normally he's pretty fussy and high maintenance, so it was fun (*cough* suspicious) to see him playing happily for so long with various toys and relatives. He loved the swing my parents installed under their deck.
It's no secret that Jared loves Utah Valley. In fact, it's almost annoying how much he talks about his love for Utah Valley, and I'm FROM there. And I love it too! Yes that inversion's pretty gross, and yes it is getting a little crowded for our taste, but those particular mountains and trails are really special. Not to mention all the family we have in Utah, and Jared is oddly obsessed with Utah Lake. Also the food scene. Thumbs up. Apologies to Jared's family for Jared aggressively trying to sell everyone on moving to Utah with us someday. I do think the obsession is pretty funny considering that back in his college days Jared said he would N E V E R marry a Utah girl.
^^Check out those fabulous postpartum bangs. My mom and grandma will be happy to hear that I will be getting a new haircut very soon. I just have to scope out a good hairdresser in Casper first. Or maybe I'll wait until we visit Utah in March so I can go to my girl Sheree. Oh and also this is the spot where Jared and I got engaged!
Unfortunately our time in Utah wasn't all magical, inversiony hikes. I got insanely sick the night we arrived. Like, puking every half an hour all night long. I started sobbing because I was terrified I might be pregnant again (the pregnancy PTSD is very real for me). I was so relieved when the explosive diarrhea started up because I knew I must be sick with something that would be gone within a week instead of 9 months. Luckily I was only sick for a day, but then everyone else in my family caught my bug right before Thanksgiving and couldn't eat their Thanksgiving dinner. Oops!
Our Thanksgiving in Bear Lake was very picturesque. Well, up until everyone there started throwing up too and we ran for it back to Casper a day early. We succeeded in getting Jack home before he caught any bugs, but we hit some bad weather and had to stay a night in Rock Springs because the freeway closed.
Jared's family's cabin in Bear Lake is seriously gorgeous. It is a thing of art. I loved the Haines cabin I went to growing up in little Mammoth Creek UT, but the floorplan of that little log cabin paled in comparison to this giant log lodge. It's perfect for large, extended family gatherings. Jack loved being up high in the loft area and looking down at everyone beneath. That kid loves heights.
Jack Jack's favorite holiday must be Thanksgiving, because homeboy can EAT. He was all about dem taters. And stuffing. And beans. And everything else on the table. We couldn't get it in him fast enough.
^^Jared and Jack Jack enjoying the incredible view of Bear Lake out the cabin's front windows.
Jared's mom brought several Christmas presents for us to take home. Jack had just figured out how to walk around while pushing large objects, so we couldn't resist opening this really cool baby walker/bike and putting it together for him to play with. I'll put some better pics in my next post. He loves it.
This has to be one of my top 5 favorite pictures of Jack ever, in one of my top 5 favorite outfits of Jack's ever. Jared's mom got him this adorable Rudolph jumpsuit. It's completely fleece-lined and looks so classic and cozy. He wears it multiple times a week, even now that Christmas is over.

Other than literally every person in both of our families getting sick, we had some great times for Jack's first Thanksgiving. My only regret (besides all the sickness) was not making a film festival video to enter into the annual Welker Family Thanksgiving Film Fest. I had some really stellar ideas, too. Time just has a way from slipping away from me now that we have a baby. Here's to hoping we can spend Thanksgiving with family again next year!
The Great Thanksgiving Barf Fest of 2018

For procrastinating until the last second to get Jack's costume put together, he sure had a lot of Halloween costumes this year (also let's pretend I'm not two months late getting this post up).
The costume he was meant to wear was this Toad costume. He's always running around in his walker like a Mario Kart racer, so I figured I'd attach some balloons to the back and I made him this toadstool hat. 
Unfortunately, he wouldn't keep his hat on for longer than .5 seconds. That's the last time I spend all day making a homemade costume for the lil' toad. Also the costume was basically just Jack in a diaper with a vest on, so it wasn't really cold-weather appropriate...
...so we threw him in his "Snuggle this Muggle" onesie and he went as a muggle to the soup potluck party in a ward family's garage. That's what we did for Halloween dinner. Then we rushed back home to pass out the bags and bags of candy we bought for the trick-or-treaters. We were so excited for our first Halloween in a home and neighborhood where we'd actually have trick-or-treaters over. 
Bar Nunn is swarming with kids in costumes on Halloween, but we live on the far edge of our neighborhood, and really only the kids who live on our street stopped over. Next year we'll stick with just one bag of candy. It was still fun to spend Halloween in our first home. This current stage of life is hectic and exhausting, but we love feeling more settled.
^^I wanted to do coordinating outfits, but I'm not that on top of things at this point in my motherhood journey. Instead these were all thrown together 10 minutes before the party we went to. Jack's a muggle, I'm Wednesday Addams, and Jared came straight from work so he went as a doctor (like on Parks and Rec when all the doctors and nurses dress up as doctors and nurses for Ann's party). Oh, and we'll say that Savvy went as a baby since she's wearing a diaper.
After Halloween I dressed Jack up as his Uncle Tim who's on a mission, since he said we should dress Jack up like him. He's wearing one of Tim's iconic sloth shirts and a straw hat, and he's holding a packet of ramen noodles. Classic Timmy. So stoked for them to meet each other next year.
And finally, I had to include some pictures of Jack in the cutest little Halloween/Jack-o-Lantern outfit ever. Jared's mom sent it for him and he wore it all through October (and into November a bit too, shh). The little ghosties were even glow in the dark! Love my little Jack-o-Lambert so much!
The 4 Jacks of Halloween

This past weekend Jared's residency program paid for Jared and the other 7 family medicine interns and their families to get away on a little 2-day retreat. When Jared told me this was going to happen, I started to laugh. We both thought it was some sort of initiation prank where they tell you they're giving you a free vacation and then when the weekend comes, they actually make you work back-to-back 24-hour shifts. Clearly we have some trust issues when it comes to medical life haha. Jared's residency schedule is INSANE and stressful, but holy cow it feels so good to be done with the stressors of medical school and to have a little job security and peace of mind about our future. It feels even better to be on the receiving ends of perks like this once in a while instead of just trying to claw our way through the competitive world of medical training. 

Anyway, the deal was that the program would pay up to $100 per resident per night for lodging, and we'd plan and pay for everything else. Wyoming has a lot of beautiful stuff going on, but Casper is about 4 hours away from all of it. It's a bit of a pain to have to spend 8-10 hours of a regular 2-day weekend driving, but that's pretty much the only option for "getting away" here, so as a group we decided we wanted to go see Jackson Hole. 
The interns that Jared works with are an awesome bunch. (Side note: Jared's residency is 3 years, but in the first year you are called an "intern." So he's a resident, but he's also an intern.) We all get along really well and it's fun to hang out with a group of people who are in the same life situation as you and have been through a lot of the same challenges and jumped through the same hoops. One of the interns, James, took it on himself to find lodging for everyone. He's a true hero. He found 2 townhouses next to each other for everyone to stay in. The families stayed in one house and the unmarried interns were in the other. Everyone had their own room and bathroom, and there were big shared kitchens and a hot tub. Since we all make the same itty bitty salary, we decided to each be in charge of making a meal instead of eating out in town.

Normally Jackson Hole is crazy expensive and impossible to book, but since we went in the off season we were able to book some nice stuff for pretty cheap in Teton Village. It's about 10 minutes outside Jackson Hole and right in the middle of a huge ski resort. We could walk to several lifts from our townhome. Teton Village is buzzing in the winter, but it was nice and quiet and still had a bit of color on the trees in late October. If we were to go back again I think we'd shoot for early October to catch even more fall foliage.
As a group we all went for a little walk in the mountains/neighborhood we were staying in. Jared and I were obsessed with this modern little cabin pictured above. On the bottom left there's a glass door through which you can see the most gorgeous, light-filled dining hall that overlooks the valley.
We stayed in the Wind River townhomes. Our place was filled with gorgeous handwoven rugs that Jack crawled all over. We have ourselves a crawler now! Homeboy is all over the place. Also it is a NIGHTMARE to "getaway" with this baby in a space where there are lots of families sleeping in close quarters. Jack fusses a ton during the night. We've done sleep training with him so normally he only really fully wakes up to eat once a night, but he still kind of cries and pouts a little every couple hours. When we're at home he just cries himself back to sleep in 3-4 minutes, but we couldn't really just let him cry and risk waking everyone up, so I had to attend to his every cry on this trip and it was horrible. Brought me back to the days of getting up with him every hour or two all night long. Howwww did we do that for months on end??? At least he's been taking really good naps since we got home. I think he's catching up from the weekend of rough sleep.
 ^^The mountains around Teton Village. Ok so confession time. Jared and I were STOKED to be visiting these gorgeous mountains. We love mountains so much, and Casper mountain's nice but doesn't quite have the "grandeur" that a full-on mountain range does. That said, the Tetons are, like, world-famous. People fly in from all over to hike and ski in these. And yet, when we walked outside and took them in, Jared and I independently had the same 2 thoughts immediately on seeing them: (1) Wow, they are so pretty! (2) Hey, Utah valley's mountains look just like this, and with Mt. Timp Utah Valley might be even more pretty?! We are probably partial but we just love Utah's mountains so much. I will say that the "Grand Teton" peaks were insanely gorgeous, but also you have to pay $35 per car just to go visit them. Boooooo. We did pay the fee, but still. I love the accessibility and freeness of my UV trails.
 ^^The group! L-R (not including kids): Taylor, Damian, Patty, Andrew, James, Tim, Jared, Katrina, Camille, Matthew, Laura. We got a stranger to snap this picture with my nice camera. After he took a few he was like, "Hey are you sure you've got the shutter speed right? It sounds like it's a little slow." So we all thought he was a professional photographer or something and I upped the ISO/shutter speed for the next few shots. Then when I was looking through the pictures later the framing was awful. Like, he didn't even get the full arch in and half the picture was the sidewalk in front of us. I had to tilt and crop it to get it looking this good. Also, in upping the shutter speed the lighting got all messed up. Pretty sure he was NOT a professional photographer haha.
^^In Jackson hole with our Jack. These antler arches were cool. Jackson Hole has a national elk refuge, and when the elk shed their antlers each year they leave tons of these behind.  We did see one elk with enormous antlers on the side of the road when we were driving through the mountains on our way to Jackson, but mostly that was just scary because we thought he was going to run out in front of us. Jackson Hole has some super cool looking shops and restaurants. We didn't explore much because there were lots of little kids with us and we were short on time, but if me and Jared ever go back I want to check out the Kilim rug shop and the cute lil' bakery.
^^Jenny Lake! This is one of Jared's Mom's very most favorite places in the world, and she has been alllll over the world. Unfortunately temps dropped and the wind picked up a ton right before we got here, so the water was choppy and we were all freezing. Also a cloud was covering the top of Grand Teton peak. But the water was still clear and beautiful. I want to come back in the summer and do a canoe ride or something. We did get some excitement when we stumbled upon a group of skinny-dipping teenage girls trying to get Instagram pictures of their bare backs with the Tetons in the background. Ohhh the grams. Hope they didn't get hypothermia.
When I go to family functions I get a lot of "why is your hair so long and when are you going to cut it?" type questions. So I'm going to take this moment to say, "Daaaaaang, my long hair be lookin' fine in the Tetons." I'm sure I'll cut my hair short in the coming year, but I'm like 100% positive that I'll never have it this long again so I'm just trying to appreciate it while it's here! It took me alllll of medical school to grow these luscious locks, and now that we're finally living somewhere that's not crazy humid, I can finally curl it and expect the curls to look good for several days.
Another group shot! This time we went with the self-timer method. I was barely able to sprint my way into the frame before this shot was taken. I do have a "just-made-it" look to my face, but I'm pretty proud of myself for making it work.

 ^^Another long-luscious-locks-blowing-in-the-wind appreciation shot.
 ^^Only-family-selfie fail. We r kool.

After a day of exploring with the group, we all had a delicious lasagna dinner and played some games at the townhomes. Jared loves board games a lot. He was in his element.
It was a clear morning as we started our drive back to Casper, so we pulled off for a couple iconic Grand Teton pictures. It's fun to think that next time we're here Jack will probably be walking around a bit and we can maybe do a couple hikes. Wyoming, you're a babe.
Jackson Hole

One of the things I love most about our new town is that it's literally called "Bar Nunn." How awesome is that? If I get the right angle I can capture the entire "city" in one picture. We don't even have a grocery store. The neighborhood we live in is small, pretty new, and quiet. We're close enough to Casper that the furthest we'd have to drive to get anywhere in town is 15 minutes, but "far" enough away that I get to say things like, "I'm going into town today, need me to pick anything up?" Also we just really love how underrated and quiet it is out here on our edge of the prairie. Jared's coworkers always make fun of Bar Nunn, but we're just like, "Sweet, the more people make fun of Bar Nunn, the less people will come crowd it up." I would make a seriously awesome hermit/crotchety old person. (For real though.)

There's not really a point to this post. Just a random post to put some random pictures. Some are of walks through our prairie, and some are fun moments in our home.

 ^^4th of July church outfits. Jack was 4 months old and somehow this outfit of his passed as both pjs and church clothes. Basically the maxi dress of babywear.
 ^^Jared's first day of work as a doctor! I love that his scrubs have a fishing fly as the logo. The North Platte is the river that runs through Casper, and it's got great fly fishing. In case you haven't guessed, our child is full of personality.
 ^^Cowboy Jack!
 ^^Our neighborhood park. It's a perfect 5-minute walk from us and they're putting in a splash pad next summer!
 ^^Impromptu family pictures! We don't really have any formal family pictures yet. Jared's schedule until the end of the year is pretttttty rough (like leaving before Jack wakes up and getting home after he's down for the night rough), so when he got home 20 minutes before the sun disappeared and Jack was still awake one evening, we booked it to the prairie and did a couple self-timer pictures.
^^And last but not least, Jack in his Harry Potter outfit. He hates having the glasses on his face and knocks them off immediately, so that last picture is the hilarious only shot I could snag with them on.
Bar Nunn

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