Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

This year, we braved the wilds of highway 89, flat tires in the middle of nearly vacant indian territories, frequent stops to feed our 8 day old infant and the freezing cold weather, snow and crazy drivers to visit balmy Arizona and Weston's family.

On Christmas Eve-Eve Weston's Aunt Jean and Uncle Bill joined the Woodruff's for dinner. My mother in law prepared a LOVELY dinner which I didn't help with...I still feel guilty, but I am so GRATEFUL that she did prepare it and plan such a wonderful evening where we got to exchange lovely gifts. This evening made some great memories!
Then came Christmas morning. Weston got new dirtbike gear and the dog was completely baffled by the whole event. We are glad Callie got to be included (Thank you, Sam!)
I already had my biggest Christmas gift but Weston and his family continued to spoil me.
Here is the whold gang and the HUGE pile. How did we ever open all of those in one day?!
And, of course, a photo from the traditional ambush of the Whatcotts. Everyone was COVERED in Silly String except for Abigail and I. We were granted exemptions just this once.
And Abby got the most gigantic teddy bear from Weston's parents. It is about four times the size she is! But she looks just so adorable in her bear's lap.
So thank you for looking at our Christmas photos. We had a wonderful time and we were really really grateful for all of the grandparents, aunts and uncles who helped with our cute little addition!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunday Morning

Today was Abby's first day attending church. I will admit I was a bit nervous taking her out in a very public (germ-infested) place, but I gathered my courage and got her dressed and ready. Her little dress looked so HUGE on her tiny 3 week old body!
We went to a ward in Mesa where Abby's grandfather and Uncle Kirk were speaking. Kirk's talk was fantastic and I was excited to hear Sam speak when Abby decided she didn't want to be in her carrier any longer. Even though I was assured that Abby's little cries were too quiet to disturb anyone, I spent most of the rest of the meeting trying to keep her calm and quiet.
Here she is with her Granny on the same Sunday. She is simply a beautiful little angel and we are so glad that Heavenly Father sent her into our family. What a wonderful Christmas gift she has been!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Could we have been given a better Christmas present? Is there a better way to remember the birth of our Lord than welcoming a new little daughter of God into our home?

I can't think of one gift I would rather have. I think maybe some other people out there like her too.
So from our house, to yours, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas To All

We are wishing everyone a VERY merry Christmas!

This year, our big gift to each other is a beautiful, healthy little girl who is just a delight. Despite giving up sleep, regular schedules, showers etc, we are so happy to have her!

My sweet husband had pink cigars for the boys!
And we got home as quick as we could so we could enjoy our adorable, tiny bundle!
Look at her hair!!!! We absolutely love playing with it and it is SO soft!
And I don't think I could have done it without my mom! She spent Abby's first week with us and we are so grateful for her help!!! Doesn't she look great with a little grandbaby!
I hope your Christmas is as blessed as ours!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

On Saturday, December 12th, I woke up in the dark of the morning to the knowledge that my baby was on her way. I felt relieved and scared and excited and nervous. I imagine all expecting moms feel like that as their body announce the beginning of a new little life. I tried very hard to lay still, to not disturb my sweet husband, and for a few hours, I was successful. But, by 7 am it was very hard not to bolt up in bed as each little spasm worked its way through my body.

Once it was light out, I got up, still trying to let Mr. Darling sleep but hoping that just being vertical would help. It didn't. 

The clouds hung thick and low. Their great, grey presence set my mood. It was hard to be excited while my body betrayed me, but I tried to just keep busy. I sewed Christmas presents, scrubbed the floors on my hands and knees, vacuumed, and once my pains were too close together and I was too tired to do much more, I laid on the couch and watched Night At The Museum 2. I have NO IDEA what that movie was about. I think we ordered pizza for dinner, but that too was a blur.

By 1 am on Sunday, my contractions were over 1 minute long and 4 or 5 minutes apart. Weston grabbed my bag and we headed to the hospital. I felt like I was watching myself from overhead. I remember trying to walk carefully. The driveway had frozed solid and snow was falling thick and wet on top. The slick surface made me nervous. Once in the car, I watched the clock waiting for the next contraction and praying it wasn't a false labor. Weston drove slow. We could barely see the road through the snow. Soon enough, we were in the hospital and the nurse announced that I was officially in labor. 

I tried the natural birth thing, but after more than 24 hours of labor, I was exhausted, and gave in to the offer of an epidural. And I am so so glad I did! Within an hour my body had relaxed enough to start pushing. With my extremely supportive husband and super experience nurse, I began the actually baby delivering process. Two brief hours after that at 9:15 am, Abigail Jean was born into our family. Weston loved her from the moment he laid eyes on her. 
My first visitor was my mom, of course. She brought balloons for me and cookies for the nursing staff. She is just wonderful that way. 
Soon after, my husbands family came to visit. First, Uncle Scott and Auntie Megan came by and loved on my beautiful little girl. Then Kimber and Casey came to see her. She calmly let everyone pass her around. My sweet husband passed out pink cigars for the boys!
And we got home as quick as we could so we could enjoy our adorable, tiny bundle!
Look at her hair!!!! We absolutely love playing with it and it is SO soft!

(Picture by Angie of AM Photography)

Thank you thank you everyone for the visits, well wishes, and outpouring of love. We are simply enthralled with this new little baby and so grateful to know that she already has so many people who love her. We can't wait to get to know her!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our new bundle of Joy

Amanda and I are pround to announce the birth of Abigail Jean Woodruff. She was born at 9:15 this morning, 7 pounds 5 ounces. She is healthy, happy and VERY cute. Amanda was increadible! We feel so blessed that everything went well and there were NO problems.

More to come once we catch up on our sleep; here is Amanda and a 5min old Abby.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weighty Issues

I don't have a lot to say right now except I HATE pictures of me! I cannot believe how much weight I have gained, especially in my face and arms! I don't feel like myself and looking in the mirror is shocking.

On the upside, just a couple more weeks! The nursery is now officially ready, although I have a few optional projects to keep me busy while I wait for Abby's arrival.

I am excited to meet her!!!

Luckily, I can still:

Touch my toes
Shave my legs
Paint my toenails
Sit in perfect lotus position

However, I can not:
Walk up stairs without panting
Sleep without hiccups
Eat without heartburn
Think about tomorrow without imagining my new baby girl in it

Sunday, November 1, 2009

There Is No Arizona

Ok, maybe there is an Arizona. My sweet Mr Darling and I have been visiting his family in Arizona while his youngest brother returns from his two year mission in Oaxaca, Mexico. We are very glad to have Kirk home and while that seeing him is fun, there are many other highlights to our trip!
We caught the same flight as most of Mr Darling's siblings and were able to sit near each other on the plane.
Our first day here, we visited Tia Rosa's where I enjoyed the salmon tacos. If you have never had these, you are missing out! The trip to Arizona is a small price to pay for just one taco. We leave tomorrow and plan to eat there one more time at lunch!
Then, Kirk arrived!
We spent the next day with Kirk and putting together a bridal shower for Kimber. Then, today was a quiet sunday and Weston and I saw a famous Arizona sunset from the balcony of his parents' home!
Tomorrow we return to our sweet home, our most beautiful puppy, and before we leave, we plan to eat at least a couple more salmon tacos!

Sorry for not blogging for so long! Hopefully this final month of our Double Income, No Kids lifestyle will be fun, productive and *painless*!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shhh...don't tell Amanda!

Hey everybody, Weston here. I have hacked in my darlings little blog in attempt to post some very sneeky pictures, hopefully I don't get into too much trouble. Anyway, so yesterday after some sweet talking, a benadryl and 2 juice boxes ;-) I was able to convince her to let me take some maternity pictures; and they turned out so good I just had to share. She is about 31 weeks along and LOVING it!!!
So, here you go world...enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Like An Apple On A Tree

While taking engagement pictures for one of my dear sisters in law, I persuaded Mr Darling to pretty please take a picture or two of me for posterity and my blog...

Here we are in an apple orchard. It is fall and the trees are so heavy with apples!
And here is a picture of me standing up, so you can see Abby's little bump a bit better. I am glad Abby is healthy but she takes up so much space!
For the record, I am 6 months along and just at the end of my second trimester, which was hyped up to be the fun part. I may disagree with that, but I am still thrilled for the arrival of our little girl.

Does anyone have any recommendations for getting rid of heartburn?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Very Merry UnBirthday

It is no longer Mr. Darling's birthday, but on September 9th we celebrated his 28th anniversary of joining everyone here on this big blue and green marble!

He is my very best friend! He is always helpful, cheerful, and fun to be around! I am so glad to celebrate how wonderful he is. Thank you, Kimber for the lovely little family get together. Thank you, Sweetheart, for always being there for me. I hope you had a happy birthday and you have a wonderful 28th year!

Thanks, Casey, for the photo! I stole it from you...hope that is OK!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Keep It In Your Pantry

This week we had an exciting change in our household. While many many many people claim that I am "nesting", I like to think I am improving, organizing, and preparing our home for a new addition who will take a fair amount of our time and make future projects a bit more difficult.

With that in mind and my frustration level near the breaking point, I subtly hinted to Mr. Darling to PRETTY PLEASE ask his cabinet guy to put in a pantry organizer. Mr Darling is an EXCELLENT listener and soon had plans in the works to improve this mess that had exploded onto the floor:
Where I couldn't find anything and had very little idea of what was actually in my pantry. The stacks frequently fell over and there simply wasn't room for everything.So for Labor Day, I emptied the pantry, cleaned the walls, taped, primed the walls and painted it a color called "perfect fit" which is a nice, bright yellow. The dingy, dirty yellow-orange is gone and replaced with a nice, light clean color!
Then, Mr. Darling had the new organizer installed Tuesday while I was at work. I got to come home to this lovely sight!!! Thank you, Mr. Darling!!!
Then, I spent Wednesday putting all of the food from the pantry, under the cabinets and the garage into my beautiful, organized, new pantry!!!
There is NOTHING on the floor, which is SO nice! And I can see what I have and actually get to it without knocking anything else over!!!
We plan to add some can roller shelves to the bottom and add maybe one or two more longer shelves just so I can add a few more things! Thank you thank you thank you, Sweet Husband of Mine! This is one of my most FAVORITE presents ever!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Pursuit Of HappYness

On one of my *winter* breaks from college, I was very very sad. I had broken up with a boy nearly a year before and while I did not regret my decision, my heart had not healed. My intuitive mother knew I that something was wrong and one day brought me a very small book.

This aptly titled tome, "The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People", has made such a difference in my life. I reread it recently and thought maybe someone out there could use a little pick me up, too.

Each "secret" begins with a title, then a short explanation. Then, each secret has an anecdote and is then followed by the research that proves the anecdote correct. I love it. None of the topics takes up more than a page front and back so if you are busy busy busy, you can still fit in a little glance on your way to wherever it is you are going.

The book addresses keeping your values, living with morals, building relationships, simplifying your life and pretty much everything else regarding day to day lifestyles.

Some of my favorites that you might not think of:

#10: Limit Yourself To Thinking About One Subject As You Fall Asleep (25% greater happiness!!!)

#26: Root For The Home Team (Increases Happiness 4%..I KNOW this one works!)

#28: Every Relationship is Different (there is no difference in happiness levels between those whose support network is primarily friends and those whose support network is primarily family)

#40: Satisfaction is Relative

#44: Eat some fruit every day (11% higher likelihood of being happy)

#68: Do Things You Are Good At

#83: Enjoy The Ordinary

Anyway, If you are interested, this book is available from for ONLY 16 cents! Seriously! If you would like to borrow mine, I will happily lend it out as well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Summertime is here and with it comes the wonderful time of harvest and generosity.

Yesterday I went out to the garden and pulled the carrots and onions. I also picked another zucchini. Then I was off to the berry patch to pick berries. If you have never been to the McBride Briar Patch in Mapleton, you are seriously missing out. Great berries and friendly people make it fun. Watching small children carefully sorting through the brambles trying to find the "red ones" is even more fun!

So, yesterday this is what I had on hand. Thank you McBrides for the berries and green beans!
Tomorrow, I am hoping to get these green beans and the carrots processed and into the freezer to add to soups through the frosty winter!
These beautiful berries became jam today(pictures and recipes later). The blackberries are amazingly sweet so I ended up cutting the sugar in half and I am REALLY happy with the results! Seriously, if you have time you should get some of these! I had to fight off Mr Darling and darling Pup to get these through the food mill!
And here was tonight's dinner! All the stir fry veggies came from my own garden and the chicken was cooked in a delicious Asian Spicy Plum Sauce I canned last year! I feel so domestic today!
I love this time of year and while I am sad I didn't get more planted due to my exhaustion level this summer, I am grateful that what I planted grew and that there is so much variety and bounty here in this gorgeous valley that I am still able to find good, fresh, healthy food to feed my growing little family.

Also, if you can find them, peaches are ripe and SO good...We have nearly polished off half of a box in just 2 days!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Best Is Yet To Come

I am remiss.

This last Monday marked a major milestone in Darling history.

Mr and Mrs Darling celebrated five remarkable and joyful years together.

And we are just getting started!
In honor of our anniversary, I would like to write a little note to Mr Darling and let him know how much I adore and appreciate him!

Dear, Sweet Husband,

You are truly the light in my life.
I love how happy you are.
I love how sweet, how thoughtful, and how kind you are.
I love that you teach me mercy, patience, and charity.
You made me laugh right when I met you.
I haven't stopped laughing since.
You are going to be an amazing father and I am so delighted to be the mother of your children.
You make me want to be better, learn more, and grow both my knowledge and testimony.
Thank you for choosing me and for the five wonderful years we have been able to share.
I love you.
Your (Darling) Wife

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Saw The Sign

Whenever I see a sign like this....
All I want to do is turn left....

Photo Credit: Right Lane Must Turn Right by Manish Bansal

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Here are our second set of baby pictures of Baby Woodruff! We are very excited to introduce everyone to Abigail Jean Woodruff! You can tell she is going to be super adorable! I mean, look at that bone structure!
And here are her little feet together! At the ultrasound you could actually see each and every one of her little metatarsels!
Rather than have the ultrasound technician announce it to us at the appointment, we had her write it down and gave the sealed envelope to my adorable BFF (who has been integral these last few months!). Ashley then baked us a cake, enclosing the gender in pink or blue form within a delicious confection meant to be shared.
Later that night at Brick Oven, we sliced open the cake and....tada! IT'S A GIRL!!!!
Thank you to everyone who attended my slightly over the top gathering and I hope everyone else had fun, too! Thank you to my sister in law who chose two very cute outfits I am sure will come in handy.

And I am just so excited and overwhelmed at the idea of being the mother to a little girl! I am already shopping for cute little girl outfits!!! Thanks to a very convenient coupon to baby gap, here are a couple of the things I have found so far to keep Abby warm this winter!