Sunday, January 15, 2017

Baby on the Way!

After finding out that Chris and I were expecting, I immediately downloaded several pregnancy applications on my phone. I was going to be a mom and besides babysitting, I had not one clue how this new job actually worked. I also started following several pregnant people/cool mom's on Instagram to get some further insight.

We kept our pregnancy a secret for 8 whole weeks before telling our family, which was SO hard for me.  During those 8 weeks, I wasn't feeling well at all, but we were all the way in Oklahoma, so no one had any reason to believe I was acting different. I would make up reasons of why I didn't answer my phone when people called me. I would say I was minimally functioning the first few months and besides eating, showering and playing taxi driver to my husband... i'm pretty sure I slept for three months straight.

We already had plans of heading back home to Tahoe for the 4th of July and although most people wait until month three to spill the beans, Chris and I had just received a positive 8-week ultrasound, so we both felt confident and excited to share the news. We were finally going to be parents!! I say finally because Chris has always wanted kids, he absolutely adores them. As for me, I have always dreamed of being a mom... in my eyes, it's the best job anyone could ever have. When people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to say, "I want to be a mom, just like mine." So finally, god granted our wish and we couldn't wait to share our excitement with loved ones.

To announce our pregnancy, Chris and I wrapped up cute little onesie's for each of our parents/siblings and told them we bought them back a little Oklahoma souvenir. I will never forget their priceless reactions as each one unwrapped their gift. We witnesses a lot of happy tears, excited screaming, lots of questions, and many, many hugs. I will definitely chalk it up to one of life's greatest moments.

We both could not wait to find out the sex of our baby. I honestly don't know how some people can wait until birth to find out. The anticipation was killing me! On week 10, we took the non-invasive prenatal DNA gender test that also checks for birth defects. It was a simple blood test and in one LONG week, we were given the results. I highly suggest this test to anyone that is impatient, like me. I mean, I needed to start planning...was I going to be buying pink-sparkly tutu's or camo/blue baby- man items??

My doctor placed the results of the test in a sealed envelope for Chris and I to pick up. On the morning we drove to the doctor's office, I was filled with so many different emotions. I was about to find out if I was going to have a daughter or a son! At the time, I for sure thought we were having a girl and I think I convinced Chris of it too. After hours, upon hours of researching my symptoms online, everything pointed towards a girl. We picked up the envelope and went down to Lake Hefner to open it. As we got out of the car to sit near the water's edge, there was a solid blue, bud-light bottle sitting directly in front of us. At the time, I thought nothing of it, but Chris immediately said "that blue bottle is a sign." Shortly after, we sat down and ripped open the envelope. It read, "It's a BOY!!" Chris and I both started crying with joy. We couldn't believe it. We would've been happy with either sex, but it had always been our vision to have a boy first, and then a girl. Our wish came true and Chris was on cloud 9.

We had already had a girl named picked out, but nothing for a boy. In my opinion, naming someone you've never seen or met is extremely difficult and once you've picked and agreed on one, how do you know it will suit his personality? It took us months to 100% decide on a name. We wanted something meaningful and strong. Landon Wilder Wallace will be his name and I just can't wait to see his little face. We chose Landon because Chris is an Air Traffic Controller. He is in charge of "Land-ing" airplanes and his Grandfather's name is "Don"... put it together and you get Landon! As for Wilder, I love how it's Wilder Wallace, I think it flows so nicely... and if you've ever had the chance to meet a Wallace from our family before, you know he will be a wild and crazy kid! So, both Landon and Wilder seemed like the most perfect fit!

After getting through the first-trimester, the rest has felt like a breeze. Sure, there are definitely days were I feel nauseous and sleep all day, but they are far and few between the days I feel great. Honestly, besides a growing belly and my clothes not being able to fit, I actually sometimes forget that i'm pregnant! The worst symptoms i've had are rib pain, heartburn, back pain and sciatica. These symptoms all came on at different weeks and were nothing I couldn't handle. I have been extremely holistic throughout this entire process, I am not taking any medication besides my prenatal vitamins and the occasional tums for heartburn.  I will say, the absolute BEST feeling in the world is feeling him kick, wiggle, and hiccup inside of me. I wish I could freeze some of the moments because I know I'll miss them after his delivery.

At 32 weeks, my baby was breech. The doctor told me that if he didn't flip before week 36, we would have to schedule a c-section. I am going into this birth with a very positive and open mindset. If I have to have a c-section, I am completely okay with it, but I would at least like to try to have him vaginally, if at all possible. During week 34, baby Landon decided to flip! The feeling of him rotating around was was so special and it felt amazing.

Pregnancy is by far the most unbelievable 10 month process, it's absolutely beautiful what our bodies are capable of.

I am now at week 37 and on pins and needles, patiently waiting baby Landon's arrival. His due date is February 10th and I cannot wait to begin the journey of motherhood.

Always. Shine. Bright.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Oklahoma or Bust!

For almost 4 years, my Husband (boyfriend at the time) waited for an Air Traffic Control bid. A bid sends you to Oklahoma City for X amount of months to complete the Academy program. The academy program is the final stage before beginning your career as an Air Traffic Controller. I think people thought it was a dream of his that would never come true, simply fizzle out. Thankfully, after completing the CTI school (a 2 year program in which he commuted almost daily from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento), he was able to work for his father's business, Sierra Tahoe Ready Mix, while we waited. The wait was due to an ATC hiring hold that literally took place directly after he graduated. Luckily, my husband is very strong willed and never stopped believing in his dream of finally becoming an Air Traffic Controller.

When he finally got the bid for Oklahoma, I think I had every emotion running though my mind. Life would no longer be as we've known it... We would have to move far away from our small, beautiful hometown and most importantly, our family.
(our entire immediate family)   

We had to be in Oklahoma City by June 9th, for the start of the ATC academy, June 10th 2016. Since I don't do that well on car trips (I get a little antsy), we decided to make a fun road trip out of it. 

Finally the day we had been patiently been waiting for had arrived. We put what seemed like our entire life in storage, packed the essentials in our truck (clothing, mountain bikes, lots of yummy snacks) and left Tahoe early on June 3rd.

Our first stop was Zion National Park, Utah. Driving in and seeing the huge rock formations was so surreal. It was even more gorgeous that i'd ever imagined - it was breathtaking. We arrived right as the sun was setting and immediately hoped on our bikes to start exploring. It felt so good to ride after being cooped up the car for 9ish hours. 
The next morning, we woke early, ready to adventure. We got some food, packed our backpacks and headed to hike up Angels Landing... a 1,488-foot tall rock formation. Angels Landing was an absolute thrill, especially the top, where chains were needed for gripping. I loved ever minute of it. After the hike, we explored some more by bike, and then headed to our next destination: Lake Powell, Arizona.

When we arrived, we couldn't get in the water quick enough, it was SO hot out! We swam and relaxed and soaked up the scenery. We decided to camp here, so after dinner and setting up camp, we decided to play some cards. The game of speed to be exact... and the rule was, loser takes a shot of Vodka. I was feeling a little off, so I decided not to drink, but it was a fun memorable night of camping!
We left early the next day for Pagosa Springs, Colorado, which was a gem of a town. It was definitely established, but kind of underdeveloped... like we were back in time. After getting settled, I was still feeling a bit off, so we decided to take a pregnancy test (both Chris and I have been wanting children for quite a while, but the timing never seemed right) and I think we were both scared as HELL while I was peeing on that stick.

And then we waited...

The pregnancy test revealed a + sign and at that moment (June 5th), our lives changed forever... we were going to be parents!!!! We nervously laughed, cried and hugged each other tight. We decided to go get some dinner overlooking the San Juan River and *cheers* to the good news (a much needed drink for the new dad-to-be and some water for me)! While at dinner we immediately started thinking of baby names and discussing the journey of parenthood. 

After dinner, we hit up the Pagosa Springs ice cream parlor for a little celebratory dessert we could both indulge in... and for the first time in my life, I felt so fulfilled. I was finally going to be a mom and that little baby we made was currently existing in my belly!
After an interesting bike ride that next morning, we headed up to Colorado Springs, Colorado. At this stop we enjoyed one of my favorite mountain bike rides i've ever experienced and drove the windy road up Pike's Peak (14,110 ft. elevation). We were both itching to get to Oklahoma, so we then continued on... but first we had to stop and see Cadillac Ranch in Texas! 
Cadillac Ranch was not what I expected. It's literally directly off hwy 40 and consists of 10 decaying Cadillacs in the ground, covered in spray paint. I'd never seen anything like it. 
And there we were, only a few hours from Oklahoma! As we got closer, I kept imagining what Oklahoma would actually be like and boy was I wrong. 

Now having been here for 3 months, I can say that we definitely should not have brought our mountain bikes because this place is as flat as a pancake! If you were to combine Sacramento, California and Gardnerville, Nevada you would get Oklahoma...however, the downtown area is very cute.
The road trip provided Chris and I memories to fill a lifetime. It was so fun exploring new places and finding out we are going to be parents! With only one month left of the academy here in Oklahoma, I think we will one day look back to the time spent here and be grateful it was only 4 months!! 

I am so proud of Chris and his determination to succeed. He's going to be the best dad in the world and I can't wait to watch.

Always. Shine. Bright.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hana to Honeymoon

By book, a honeymoon symbolizes a time in which newlywed couples take a break from their everyday busy lives and share private and intimate moments together.

After our magical Maui wedding, Chris and I took a short plane trip to the island of Kauai. Here, we enjoyed a whole uninterrupted week of relaxation, adventure and the creation of our beautiful bond together, as Mr. & Mrs. Wallace. Kauai is absolutely breathtaking. It's small, romantic, tropical and has many gorgeous places to explore. Chris and I had both never visited the island before and it turned out to be the BEST place for us to spend our first days together, as husband and wife. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Poipu and their amazing staff made us feel like royalty the entire time. Not only did we enjoy a helicopter ride (which felt more like a disneyland ride) of the entire island, we hiked, chased waves, explored several famous sights featured in movies, surfed, relaxed, and of course had our fair share of champagne and Mai Tai's! Our good friends from Tahoe were vacationing on the island as well, so we caught up with them for a couple days in Princeville and celebrated even more!Although Maui will always have my heart, I am so happy with our Kauai Honeymoon and the memories we created on the island. Chris loved it so much, he would like us to retire there!

If you are looking for the perfect honeymoon package, look no further than COSTCO. I seriously can't recommend it enough. Costco had the best, semi-all inclusive packages for a very affordable price. Our package included 7 nights at the at the Grand Hyatt (an ocean view room), our flights, a rental vehicle, daily (YUMMY) brunch, and tons of champagne/fun activities for us to do. The Hyatt was an absolute treat, we could have never left the property our entire stay, and it still would have been an incredible trip. Also, when honeymooning, be sure to tell every single person that you are on your honeymoon... that alone will get you lots of free stuff/upgrades!

I honestly wish I could rewind and do our wedding and honeymoon over again and I would do it exactly the same way! Since that is not an option, I will just have to play the memories over and over in my head. I can't wait to visit the islands again. 

Happy Honeymooning!

Always. Shine. Bright.


Friday, June 24, 2016

My Fairytale Wedding

Every little girl dreams of having the most perfect wedding day and well, I was no different.  A dress as breathtaking as Cinderella’s, gorgeous hair and makeup, vibrantly fresh flower arrangements, family and friends, and most importantly: prince charming.  After finding and falling head over heals in love with my prince charming, it was finally time for me to plan what would soon be one of the best days of my life.

As an engagement gift, one of my girlfriends gave me a wedding planning book. As I started to flip through the hundreds of pages, I became insanely overwhelmed and frantically shoved it under my bed. Who knew the wedding checklist for planning the perfect wedding would be over 1000+ items long. It was way over my head!

To be honest, I don’t really care about the linens, menu, or the tedious seating chart. I simply just wanted to marry my best friend and have a damn good time while doing it. Well, I made a wish… and it came true.

After going back and forth between having a big wedding or a small one (and wanting both) we came up with the perfect solution. We decided to elope. BUT, we wanted, well, we needed our immediately family with us, (obviously)…and then post honeymoon, we would throw a huge wedding reception party to celebrate… well actually, two HUGE parties to celebrate. 

Since Tahoe doesn’t have much of a shopping selection, let alone any sort of bridal boutique, my mom, sisters and my soon to be mother-in-law, took a trip to Sacramento to find my Cinderella dress. After 2 different trips and almost a dozen stores later, I found the perfect one. It was more than I ever dreamed, it was absolutely striking, every single detail of it. 

Almost our entire immediately family was planning on vacationing in Hawaii in April, so we got the others onboard and picked the location: Hana, Maui Hi. Hana is Serene and Mystical and is completely isolated from the rest of the island, especially the particular venue, a private black sand beach with a backdrop to die for. 

Although we eloped, we had everything you would have at a traditional big wedding. A girls day with bar method, a pamper party and champagne. And a boy’s day with hiking, exploring, swimming, and of course, tequila! 

As the time got closer to the hour we were to wed, nerves of happiness and joy were exploding throughout my body. And then, the time came. Walking down the beach with my dad, hand in hand, to marry my handsome husband. My eyes were full of tears, and as the Hawaiian ukulele played faintly in the background, I glanced around. We were completely surrounded by our family, and at that moment, I was the happiest girl in the world. 

As the ceremony began, my breath was completely taken away, not only because of the huge event that was currently taking place, but because the man who was officiating us was wearing a thong and cape. As he chanted, yelling for our ancestor’s blessings, the sun found it way perfectly over us. My whole body had goose bumps because I knew that not just our immediately family was present, but all our loved ones above.

Since our wedding was in absolute paradise, we decided to have a luau for our reception. We had an amazing Hawaiian band, hula dancers and tiki torches galore! We ate good food, danced the night away, threw back tequila shots, heard some hilarious speeches and cut the cake. (My dad even busted out the worm!) It was truly a night I will never forget, a night I replay it in my head over and over again, wishing I could do it all over again. 

Everyone always says your wedding day is the best day of your life, and they couldn’t be more right.  As Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or touched –they must be felt with the heart.” Although there was a lot to see and a lot to touch, that feeling I felt in my heart will never fade away. I am now a wife. I am now Mrs. Wallace. And I will forever be grateful for our magical wedding. Chris and I are now one!


Always. Shine. Bright. 

Photo Credit: Eric Rasmussen, professional extreme sport pohotgrapher

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love at First?

From the moment Ashley met Chris, she knew she would be with him forever.
How does the saying go? "Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?" For Ashley, the day she laid eyes on Chris Wallace and his enormously, striking blue eyes, she believed in love at first sight. She was 14 years old. BUT, she had to walk by again… okay, maybe several times.
Ashley finally got the courage to talk to Chris when she was desperate to find a ride home from the first party she ever attended, as a freshman. From that day forward, they were friends. They shared many unforgettable memories together and dated for a short period.
The stars finally aligned in the fall of 2009 when they ironically sparked conversation again. On February 4th of 2010, Chris asked Ashley through a text message if she would be his girlfriend (how romantic… thanks technology!). Ashley's heart was finally full. A couple weeks later (February 28th), Chris said to Ashley the three most meaningful words that ever girl dreams of hearing, "I love you" (of course through a text message). Let me restate that, Chris typed the three most meaningful words that every girl dreams of reading... Did Ashley mention Chris is shy?
Ashley knew at this point that if they did indeed wed, Chris would most likely propose via text message.
Still finishing up her undergrad at San Francisco State University, Chris and Ashley held a long distance relationship for a year and a half. After Ashley graduated, she moved back to Tahoe to work at the local TV station and Chris, without talk, moved in with Ashley's parents. At this point, Chris was commuting to Sacramento for Air Traffic Control School, which he did daily for almost 2 years.
Let's fast forward! On October 10th of 2015, Chris, Ashley, Heather and David Topol hiked Half Dome. This hike was a top bucket list item for Ashley and ironically Chris's first time to Yosemite. This was a HUGE hike for Chris because just 8 short months prior he shattered his ankle, breaking his tibia and fibula in 21 different places. With headlamps on their foreheads, and enough food/water for a week, they left the tent cabin in Curry Village around 3:45 am. It was completely pitch black out. They did the whole hike in the dark, arriving at the cables just as the sun was rising.
When they finally arrived at the tiptop of Half Dome, they were in absolute awe. They got out their snacks, sat and enjoyed the breathtaking view. David and Heather asked Ashley if she would take some pictures of them sitting out on the "diving board", a famous Yosemite ledge, and without hesitation she was up doing a photo shoot. Chris, who would usually go without taking a photo, asked David, "Topol, can you take one of us now?" So, Chris and Ashley switched spots with them, when all of a sudden Chris yelled to David, "Well, why don't you video the walk out to the rock?" Thinking that was a little weird, David videoed the walk, and replied, "Okay Bud, I got the walk!" And Chris replied, "Keep rolling," at which point he squeezed Ashley, gave her a kiss and dropped down on one knee. "Will you marry me?"
Looking out from the rock ledge, fellow hikers were cheering, applauding, and congratulating them. It was a very magical moment.
Still having to hike all the way back down Half Dome (16 miles in total), they couldn't wait to get back to Curry Village and officially celebrate…with well deserved champagne. At this point Chris was limping pretty badly and in a lot of pain; however, he was very relieved Ashley said YES!
They didn't get cell reception in Yosemite National Park, but when they did, Ashley received a text message from Chris that said, "Will you marry me?"
Chris and Ashley will be moving to Oklahoma City on June 10th as Chris has (finally) received an offer letter for Air Traffic Control. They couldn't be happier to not only be growing closer in finally becoming Husband and Wife, but to be taking the next step with Chris' Career, in which he has spent so much time and commitment to becoming.
Chris and Ashley feel extremely blessed for all the love and support they have been given, and they are beyond excited to share their special day with you.


Always. Shine. Bright.