May 18, 2017

Introducing Sweden Penelope Snarr

May 10, 2017; her due date. However, since Finn came 2 weeks early and Fox came 1 week early, we were ready for her to arrive early as well. When she wasn't here by then, I was beginning to feel like many other moms at that point... annoyed. Not because she wasn't here, after-all I am blessed with comfortable and healthy pregnancies and had no complaints. Annoyed with the questions and comments from all my good intentioned friends and strangers, "when is she coming?", "you look like you are going to pop!", "are you carrying twins!?", "looks like a 9 pounder in there!" That last comment I rolled my eyes at and I'm sure they noticed.

May 15, 2017. I woke at midnight with contractions that were too uncomfortable to sleep through. However, once I stood up and walked around the contractions weren't so bad and they weren't consistent. Since I couldn't sleep, I showered, got ready for the day, packed the boys backpacks for school, and tidied up. By 4am I had consistent contractions about 8 minutes apart. I'd close my eyes and get some sleep, only to wake every 8 minutes, hit the timer on my phone and breathe through another painful contraction. I was exhausted and wondering when the contractions would progress and become closer together. I decided that we'd drop the boys off at school at 9am and then Ben and I would to go to the birth center; I told my mid-wives I wanted them to check me to see how I was progressing. The drive to the birth center was the best in-labor drive I've ever taken. I only had a couple contractions and I didn't have to brace myself over every bump and turn.  When I arrived at the birth center my mid-wife, Alisa told me I was at a 5! She said my cervix was very thin and that I'd be having a baby that day. It was such a relief to hear that. Alisa sent Ben and I to a staircase and I went up and down those a number of times in order to get baby girl into position. After walking the stairs I was at a 7 1/2 and they started the bath for me. I asked Alisa how long she thought it would take to have the baby if she broke my water. She answered, 1 hour or so. However, 1 hour sounded way too long to me, especially since contractions are more painful and intense once your water is broken.

Just a couple days before I was cleaning my house listening to talks by Elder Holland (my favorite Apostle to listen to). He spoke about miracles and about the father who brings his sick son to the Savior and asks Him to heal him.
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9: 23-24)
I thought, if Heavenly Father can answer that fathers prayer and heal that little boy, through my faith, I can ask Him to bless my labor and send me my baby girl in 30 minutes. Yep, 30 minutes was what I wanted. I laugh at it now but when you are in labor you'd ask for a miracle to speed things up as well. So, I had Alisa break my water. My favorite childhood primary song popped into my head as I breathed through another contraction, "Heavenly Father, are you really there, and do you hear and answer every child's prayer?" Just as I finished singing that line in my mind, Alisa leaned in and said quietly, "Heavenly Father is with you." I smiled so big when she said that and exclaimed, "He is!" Alisa was moved by the spirit to say those words. Those words gave me full confidence to know that Heavenly Father did hear my prayer and would answer it. I knew then it would not be long before I met my baby girl.  Alisa had me reach down and feel where my baby's head was inside of me. She was so close, I knew it would be just a couple of pushes before I'd meet her. As I pushed, Alisa said that my baby girl "has so much joy to come to you!" Later she told me that she could feel the spirit, and that the joy that my baby had could be felt in the room.

Sweden Penelope Snarr arrived in my arms at 11:50am. Just 28 minutes after my water broke. An answer to prayer and a sweet miracle to me.  She was 7lbs 9oz, 20 inches, and perfect in every way. I thank Heavenly Father, Benjamin, and my mid-wives, Alisa, Cindy and Naomi for being with me through the labor and delivery, for strength, comfort, and sharing a joyous and miraculous experience with me.

When Sweden was born she had a lot of white vernix on her body, making us think she may have actually arrived early, rather than late. My ultrasound tech had changed the due date to May 24th but we kept it on May 10th, thinking my calculations were correct. No matter, Sweden arrived just on time.

We named her Sweden because I am named after my Great x3 Grandmother, Johanna, who is from Sweden. She joined the church there and was sent to jail because of it. She eventually moved to Utah, where she kept the faith and passed it on through the generations. I look forward to the day I can visit Sweden and meet relatives who still live there. When we decided on Sweden for our little girl name we thought it would be cute because we can call her "Swedie" or "Sweet P" since her middle name would be Penelope (a favorite name of mine).

We are in love with our little Sweet P and feel blessed beyond measure to have her in our family. I believe it when Alisa said that she has so much joy to come to our family, because she will be loved and nutured in our home.

Her welcome crew, Grandma and Grandpa Capson, Finn & Fox and the next door neighbors.

May 02, 2017

Seeesters visit

Somehow I convinced all 4 of my sisters to come visit me in San Antonio for some girl time. It helped that I was 38 weeks pregnant and couldn't travel when everyone had the time to get together. I think I showed them a pretty good time in a place i've come to love and call home.

My sister Shara was the last one to arrive so we decided we'd make sure she felt welcome and a little embarrassed. :) We put my wigs and heels on and made a sign, "Welcome back from Space
Camp!" I'm not sure how we concluded that'd be the best way to welcome her but it was super funny to us at the time. I was bummed that we arrived at the airport too late to park so I couldn't go inside with everyone else to welcome her.

We "Remembered the Alamo," took a boat tour at the Riverwalk and played at the Hemisfair park playground afterwards.


We tubed the River, ate lunch at the Gristmill and went to the shops in Gruene, Texas.

We spent the day in Waco. First stop: Gordough's donuts in Austin for maple bacon, chicken honey butter, cake batter cream donuts. Then to Magnolia market for shopping, napping on the green, food trucks and delicious cupcakes. We ended with a trip to Harp Design Co and drove by some of the houses from Fixer Upper. Good times with these fun girls!

We signed the Magnolia book... Fab 5 sisters! So happy these girls came to see me. It's not often that the fab 5 sisters get together but when we do, we do it right!

April 13, 2017

Trip with my girlies!

I took off to New Port Beach California for a trip with the Snarr girlies (minus Abby and Dawn, who we missed)!  Sydney planned a fun getaway for us... it was exactly what we all wanted/needed!

33 weeks preggers.
Other than the fact that I feel/look huge, I feel great and baby girl is dancing around in there.

Riding the ferris wheel at the "fun zone." 

We peddaled around the neighborhoods admiring adorable and amazing beach houses.

Ali brought sweet Gavin! Such a good baby.

Eating frozen, chocolate covered bananas

Syd treated us to Thai massages. My prego body is ever so grateful! :) 

We saw Beauty and the Beast and loved it.


After some more site-seeing, relaxing by the pool and eating delicious food, we ended the trip with a visit to the beautiful New Port Beach Temple.

March 20, 2017

Paris to Morocco

FOUR years. Yes, it had been four years since Ben and I took a vacation for just the two of us. We always brought our kids along on our adventures. And although we love having them around, we definitely were due for a romantic/fun/free/adventurous getaway, just Ben and I.  We flew Nana to San Antonio, where she took care of our boys for 10 days! I'm sure she was exhausted by the end but the boys had fun with her and Finn says he "misses Nana!"  I must admit, I felt quite a bit of anxiety leaving my boys for that length of time. Especially Fox because he is very much attached to me and I knew he wouldn't understand where I had gone or that I would be coming back. As a mama, it's heartbreaking to think that your child misses you. However, I'm sure I missed my boys and thought of them more often than they missed or thought of me. Face-time helped ease my anxiety. And being busy, having the time of my life with my sweet hubby definitely helped ;). 

We felt like newlyweds again as we ran around Paris, flew to Morocco, rode camels across the Sahara dessert, shopped, dined, stayed out late and didn't have to put kids to bed. It was a dream vacay that I would do all over again in a heartbeat.

Ben and I were so lucky to fly business class from the US to Paris. We ate a 3 course meal, watched movies and laid down to sleep during our 8 hour flight. The perks of business class are especially nice for a 33 week pregnant lady like me!

We spent about 24 hours in Paris before flying to Marrakech, Morocco. Since we had been to Paris before it was fun to go again for a quick trip, knowing our favorite spots and how to work the metro system. We were able to see and do so much in so little time. First stop, a little cafe by the Eiffel, where we people watched through the window and shared a crepe. Next stop, the grounds of the Eiffel tower, where we strolled around, shared another crepe (but who's counting) and sipped hot chocolate with chantilly creme. We then went to Champs Elysees where we took pictures by the Arc de Triomphe, went shopping, ate fresh baguette, caprese, and macaroons from the famous, La Duree. After dark we took a ferris wheel ride in the drizzling rain, enjoying a lit up view of Paris. We made it back to the Eiffel Tower to sit and enjoy watching it light up with flickering lights. Then, it was back to our hotel, just down the street from the Eiffel,  Le Derby Alma, for macaroons, ginger ale and a bubble bath. 







Can we talk about how perfect French croissants are!? I definitely ate my way through Paris and this boulangerie's croissants, tarts and beignets were amazing!

We hopped on a plane to Morocco, a beautiful country on the coast of Africa, known for it's amazing artisan goods and Sahara dessert.  We stayed in Marrakech, right in the middle of Jemaa El-fnaa, a large shopping bazaar that is buzzing all day and late into the night. There, artisans are selling handmade lanterns, shoes, pottery, rugs etc! There are snake charmers, monkeys, food and so much more. We purchased shoes and slippers, plates, leather poufs, toys, olives and traditional clothing. 






 At the beautiful, Bahia Palace

The food in Morocco was very much the same everywhere we went... couscous with meat and vegetables and various spices, olives, salads, and flatbread with salsa or jam. 

 I got henna, something I've always wanted to try

 Ben found the "best barber" he has ever been to before and saw him twice before leaving Morocco.

In Marrakech we stayed in one of the many Riads, a small bed and breakfast that was once a Moroccan traditional home. Each Riad has water features, amazing tile work, intricate carvings and decor. We stayed at couple different riads, but our favorite was, Riad Princessa. 

We took a 3 day trip to the Sahara dessert. On our way, we stopped at Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, ancient city and where movies like, Babel, Prince of Persia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator were filmed.




Once we were settled into our hotel we took a walk along the street we were staying and found this little abandoned building built into the rocks. We got a little adventurous and climbed it's steep skinny steps, ducking our head in it's little rooms, peering through the tiny windows, finding a garden at the top.

The next morning we stopped at a beautiful gorge (the last body of water before the Sahara) and a village where we watched the people garden, make rugs and wash clothes in the spring. Our tour guide, Rashid was so informative and called us "friends" every other word he said.

When arriving in the dessert we chose a camel and rode through the Sahara to our campsite. There we climbed the dunes and watched the sunset. We enjoyed a communal dinner with the other 14 people who were camping with us. We sat in the candlelight, at a table of six, each with a fork and ate from the same large dishes. Our table consisted of couples from Portugal, Italy and Brazil and our conversation was mainly about American politics...Ha! They had so many questions for us Americans. 






Ben and I chose to sleep under the stars instead of in the tent that night. (The tent was a cloth tarp covered structure with mats lined up for the 14 of us to sleep on). The weather was warm during the day but cool and crisp at night. We looked up at a full moon and a sky full of stars and couldn't believe we were where we were, doing what we were doing. It was surreal, breathtaking and thrilling. During this time of year the weather is perfect in the dunes and the scorpions, snakes and bugs don't come out until summer. We woke up early in the morning to ride our camels back during the sunrise. It was a calm and pretty ride, other than when the camel behind mine was biting at the butt of my camel, making mine jump... that freaked. me. out. We ate a breakfast prepared for us consisting of flatbread and fresh jams.  

On our way home from Morocco we stopped in Paris again, where we visited the Sacre Couer.  

This trip was one of our favorites to date. It was adventurous, sporadic, beautiful and amazing- just how we like it. Looking forward to returning to Morocco one day with my kids, because sometimes traveling with your kids is the best time ever and sometimes traveling without them is the best time ever as well ;).