Sunday, March 30, 2014


Harold Abraham Hanson
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
12:04 pm
6 lbs., 1 oz.
19 inches

Born via a non-emergency c-section after momma's water broke earlier that morning.
We are all doing well, and Kyle and I are so in love with this cute little man.

Birth story (and more pictures!) to come!

37 Weeks

37 weeks!
(On 3/25)

"Full-term" or "early-term" depending on  if you are going with the new definitions or not. 
Either way, not a lot of time left! 

We received our dresser in the mail, and Kyle put it together on Monday. We also hung up a few of the pictures we wanted to. And on Tuesday the little totes I had ordered to hold socks, diapers, etc. came so I have been organizing them as well! I've washed all the baby clothes and sorted them by age, putting the bigger sizes in a plastic tote, and the smaller sizes in the dresser. The nursery is starting to come together and that is exciting!

(This is the post I had in my drafts on Tuesday - I was waiting until my appointment on Thursday to update it with any info I got there... But obviously that didn't happen!)

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Got a New Job!

Since we moved to Coeur d'Alene last August I've been doing clinical case management. Basically, I write a lot of assessments and go to court to say what type of services a kid might need (the court does whatever they want anyways so I don't know why they bother to ask us). I also deal with a lot of parents who think their child is the spawn of Satan and demand that the state pays for residential care for their child. It gets old.

Last month our Parenting with Love and Limits therapist transferred to another region in Idaho and I along with all of my coworkers applied for the job. I am the lucky one who ended up getting the job! Parenting with Love and Limits is an evidenced based practice where families participate in 6 sessions of group therapy for 2 hours each week and also participate in 6-12 individual family coaching sessions. Basically we create a behavioral contract and try to restore the parents as the head of the house. The goal is to keep kids out of residential placement by helping their family system to be a little healthier.

I'm really excited because working with families is what I am good at and why I went to graduate school. I'll have to work several nights a week, but that is a small sacrifice to do something I love. Plus, 40 hours is still just 40 hours and it's not like I can't be with my wife and baby in the mornings :)  I might even do 4, 10 hour days. We will see.

This past week I attended a week long training in Massachusetts. It was interesting to learn all the ins and outs of PLL and I'm excited to get started. I feel so blessed to just have a job with decent pay and benefits but this job description is pretty close to my dream job. I love facilitating groups and I love family therapy. Not to mention that I have seen the PLL program work with the families I have referred to it! If you want to change a kid you work with his family, you don't send him to some residential placement for 6 months and hope he or she behaves differently when they come home.

So here are some pictures of my trip. I spent a little bit of time walking around Boston when I first got there on Sunday afternoon. There were obnoxious drunk people in green all over from the St. Patty's day parade earlier in the day, so it wasn't the ideal time to be seeing the historical sites in Boston. Plus it was pretty chilly and the visitors centers were all closed.

Boston Common and the state house 

Old state house and street where Boston massacre occurred

Paul Revere and the Old North Church. 

I love US history so it was fun to see some of the sites. I'd love to go back in the summer someday and visit when the visitor centers and museums are open. When my training ended on Friday afternoon, I drove over to Plymouth and saw some of the things there.
Recreation of the Mayflower

It's so tiny. I have no idea how 100 people could fit on this thing!

Me and Plymoth rock. Thank you pilgrims!
I was a little nervous being so far away with a baby coming soon, but it turned out fine. Now we are ready for a baby to come!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

36 Weeks

An instagram phone selfie since I didn't take an actual 36 week picture.
Less than 4 weeks to go!

I had a doctor's appointment today, and it was a little more exciting than usual. Dr. McCrummen did a quick ultrasound to determine baby's position - and he's head down, thank goodness! She mentioned that my fluid looked good, and he was looking good, too. I also got swabbed for Group B Strep, so that was fun. Since I haven't had any contractions or any other signs of labor she didn't check my cervix, which is fine. No use going through that if I don't have to :) 

She said baby could really come any time. If I go into labor they won't stop me, but of course they won't do anything to induce labor yet either. 

I've been feeling fine. Just the regular back and hip pain, and my pelvic area is getting pretty sore as well - I assume since baby is making his way down and putting more pressure down there. I walk a mean waddle these days! 

I've recently hit the point where I am so ready to be done with being pregnant. Kyle's been gone this weekend for a work training so I think that being by myself kind of exacerbated that, haha. My belly is constantly getting in the way, and, let's be honest, it's just plain uncomfortable carrying all this weight around. 
But of course I am so grateful I'm pregnant, and that baby is healthy, and I know it's best that he stays cooking for a few more weeks!

We ordered our dresser last week, so hopefully that will get here soon, so we can actually put clothes away and organize the nursery a little bit. And then I will post pictures. 

We're almost there!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


4 years, 6 months, and 6 days ago a really handsome man who was 23 years old knelt down outside the grounds of the Provo Temple and asked a barely 20 year old girl to be his wife.
She said yes.

Today they've been married for 3 years, 10 months, and 13 days, and are expecting their first child in less than 4 weeks.

I sure am grateful for Kyle in my life. 
I knew I loved him and would marry him before we started dating.
He is the best man I have ever met and I feel lucky every day that he is mine for forever.

I love you, Kyle.

Freshly engaged, September 13, 2009.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Things You May (Not) Know About Me

Awhile ago on the facebook world people were doing posts of little known facts about them. I did one, and then created a longer list. I hadn't posted it on my blog yet, so I thought I would post it today, just for fun. (That's not egocentric at all or anything....) So, here are some things that you may or may not know about me. If you don't care to read I won't be offended :)

Taken June 2011.

1) I am terrified of tornadoes and water. And by water, I mostly mean drowning. Seriously, TERRIFIED of both of them.

2) I'm an avid reader, I love to read! It's not only a hobby, it's a habit. But sometimes I don't feel very well-read when talking to others because my favorite genre is fiction, and not always "thought-provoking" fiction either. I also really enjoy reading "dark and twisty" books, that have questionable content. I don't often recommend those books to people.

3) My degree was in Family Life and Human Development. It wasn't just fluff'n'stuff. I learned about how the brain develops, I learned how language develops, I learned parenting techniques, I learned marriage tips, I learned developmental milestones and theories, and I learned how teenagers think, along with lots of other things. And it was hard, and I LOVED it.

4) I've held supervisory/management positions in all jobs but one (and that was working in a cafeteria so....). I've also gotten a job offer from every job interview I've had except one, and even then I got a second interview.

5) I love making lists. Lists, lists, lists. It helps my mind organize and my life is much more productive. I also just love the action of writing. It soothes me.

6) I didn't think I was a picky eater until I got married. I am. And by the way, I HATE onions. And bananas. And tomatoes (but not tomato sauce...). And..... Lots of other things. I am a plain, plain eater.

7) I wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school. I changed my mind my sophomore year of college and had a bit of an identity crisis. Although teaching was not for me, I admire all my teaching friends so much! It's hard work.

8) I was going to go to Romania for a semester, doing an internship working in an orphanage and hospital. I decided to stay home and get married instead, but I still hold a special place in my heart for Romania.

9) My favorite band has been Dashboard Confessional since I was in 9th grade. That said, I love music. All kinds. Rock, pop, emo, country, pretty much just a little bit of everything.

10) I was named after the island/kingdom of Great Britain. And my name is spelled like this, B-R-I-T-T-A-N-N-Y. Two N's, people. And two T's. But I won't be offended if you spell it wrong. But I will be extremely pleased if you spell it right.

11) I haven't had Dr. Pepper since March 2013. (A YEAR!!) This is a big deal. I've also been off caffeinated/carbonated beverages since then, although I still enjoy a rootbeer every once in a while. And I've had a few sips of Mountain Dew (rebel!). I had to quit all soda cold turkey though, to insure I could kick the habit.

12) I used to highlight and lowlight my hair, but the last time I did was right after we got married. I love my natural hair color and feel no need to switch up my hair. I have donated my hair to Locks of Loves a couple of times though. I often will grow out my hair, chop it off, grow it out.... Etc.

13) I didn't get my driver's license until I was married, and 21.

14) It took us a year to get pregnant.

15) I love buying makeup, but hardly ever use it... But brand new make up is just so pretty!

16) I've kissed 4 boys, and thought I was going to marry each one. (Yes, even my first boyfriend at age 15 - I'm a romantic, you could say.)

17) I absolutely love clothes shopping. That's probably not a secret though.

18) I've never broken a bone. And the first (and only) time I got stitches was 4 days before my wedding.

19) I consider my graduation from BYU the biggest achievement of my life. Seriously, I'm so proud of that degree.

20) I spend an absurd amount of time worrying that I'm accident prone, but really I'm not.

21) I have terrible vision. My vision is like -9.5 in one eye and -10 in the other. Or somewhere close to that. I've had glasses since kindergarten, and contacts since 3rd grade. And I wear hard contacts, not soft. One day I'll get Lasik.... I also hate wearing my glasses.

22) I has a few poems published when I was in junior high and high school. I wish I would have begged my mom to buy the volumes they were published in.

23) I try to pretend I'm crafty... But really I'm pretty mediocre when it comes to that stuff.

24) I love desserts. All of them. Except lemon bars and things with raisins. Mostly I love chocolate stuffs.

25) I don't love breakfast foods. I do love french toast and crepes, but that's about it. Not to say I don't eat it or enjoy it (I chose to go to IHOP for my birthday one year...) but it's not something I crave.

26) I have a late August birthday, and was generally the youngest in my class. So I graduated high school and started college at 17. And graduated college at 21.

27) I took French for approximately 9 years. I also took a couple classes of ASL. I love those two languages and wish that I could continue studying them.

28) I love musicals. It's kind of a closet love of mine, I'm not sure if people know this about me. But I know lots and lots of lyrics to musicals.

29) I'm not an animal lover. They can be cute enough, but I never want to have one.

30) I hate wearing socks. I would rather my feet freeze than wear socks on my feet.

31) I love to dance. And I miss it.

32) I'm terrified of those dough canisters that pop open. Like I become paralyzed with fear if I have to open one. I also hate all loud noises (fireworks, balloons popping, etc). If I am around those things I will probably be hiding in a corner with my ears covered until all the balloons are popped, the fireworks have gone off, etc.

33) I love to sing. I'm not particularly great at it, but I can carry a tune. I've sung in multiple choirs and musical numbers and hope to continue to develop my tiny talent :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Peanut Butter Bars

The beginning of my pregnancy I basically swore off anything sweet. I couldn't handle anything remotely delicious. I would occasionally crave chocolate shakes, but even then could hardly handle more than a couple of swallows. And if you know me, that's bizarre. I love LOVE sweets - especially baked goods. Around the middle of the second trimester I finally was able to handle them again (more than a little nibble of something) and by the time the third trimester started I was back to my sweet loving self.

That being said, the last few weeks I have been nesting. 
And apparently nesting to me means baking ALL THE TIME. 

And so I wanted to share with you one of my very favorite recipes, shared by my friend Mandy Anderson a couple of years ago on her blog. (Mandy and her husband Adam were in mine and Kyle's married student ward in Provo).

And that recipe? Peanut butters bars, just like you remember from elementary school (probably better). I've made these twice in the last few weeks and Kyle and I gobble them up rather quickly. They make a lot, and we always plan to give some away... But it's hard giving away something so divine. It does take a few steps to make, but still is a relatively simple recipe, and so worth it!
So here you go:

Peanut Butter Bars


Peanut butter cookie crust: 
1 1/2 c. Flour
1¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Baking Soda
¾ c. Butter
¾ c. Sugar 
¾ c. Brown Sugar 
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
3/4 c. Creamy Peanut Butter 
2 Eggs
1 ½ C Quick Oats

Peanut butter spread: 
3/4 c. Peanut Butter 

½ c. Butter (1 stick)
5-ish c. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Cocoa
¼ c. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer) whip together sugars and butter until light and creamy. Add vanilla, peanut butter and eggs, then mix until fully incorporated. Slowly add dry ingredients until little white is left. Add oats and mix gently.

Grease an 11x15 cookie sheet (I have no idea what size cookie sheet I use - it's just the biggest one I have - similar to one you would use to make a Texas sheet cake) and spread dough across pan. You might even use your fingers. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes - until lightly browned. 
You don't want to over bake it, for sure.
 Let the cookie cool 10 minutes. While it's cooling whip 3/4 cup peanut butter until it's light in color and looks fluffy. Spread it over the surface of the cookie.

In a sauce pan melt together butter, milk and cocoa powder until it just starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a mixing bowl and gradually add powdered sugar until it's to the consistency you desire. 

Spread on bars and then enjoy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

35 Weeks

Nothing new to report, really.
Just getting bigger and bigger and more uncomfortable. And by more uncomfortable I mean I'm uncomfortable every minute of every day :) Baby has started to "drop" (or maybe just grow, ha) since I can now feel him down by my cervix and pelvic bone which is also a really comfortable feeling ;) 
At my doctor's appointment last week everything looked good! Still measuring right on track, and I gained 2 pounds, putting me at 160, and a weight gain of about 15 lbs so far. 

A couple of weeks ago we had our tour of the birthing center at the hospital where I'll be delivering. It was pretty cool to see where it will happen and to become a little acquainted with the layout, what's available, etc. I decided against taking a breastfeeding class, because I have done some research on it already, and I feel like that is about all I can do until I have a baby to "practice" with, if that makes sense. The hospital has several lactation specialists who visit you as soon as you have your baby, so I feel like I will get all the help I need those few days in the hospital. 

I have a doctor's appointment next week, and then I start to go every week! I can't believe it. At my next appointment I get to be tested for Group B Strep, and my OB will do a quick ultrasound to see what position baby is in (hopefully head down!). I think I will have one more round of labs to do, too. (This pregnancy, while not having cured me of my hate/fear of needles, has sure made it easier to bear, haha.)

A Few More Random Pregnancy Related Things: 
I'm really not nervous for labor and delivery at all. It's going to happen and I'll just roll with the punches. Some people have an elaborate birthplan, but I only have a few things I'm really worried about, and even then, if things don't go that way, that's ok.

Our nursery is cleared out, but it's just full of baby things, and not organized at all. I guess I should get on that :) We've been looking for a dresser since I got pregnant (trying to save money by going the thrift store/craigslist route) but so far haven't been able to get anything. We have found a couple of ones we like online (Walmart) and will probably order one this week.
I'm glad the weather is warming up so I can clean out my car, and Kyle can repaint the rocking chair, too.

I'm assuming that I'm going to go overdue, or at least the full 40 weeks, but who knows? I've had the dates of April 10 and 11th in my head most of this pregnancy, though, so maybe my "mother intuition" will be right. But it was way off when it came to the gender, so this is probably off, too.

Mainly we are just excited for this little guy to get here!
I am excited to have him in my arms and not be paranoid that I don't know how he's doing in my belly!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A-Z Book Survey

I was going to do a little book review of some of the books I've read recently, but then this survey popped up on the internets and I thought, let's do this instead! I hope you'll enjoy it - and maybe even be inspired to go pick up some of my favorite books at the library!  (Sarah - I want you to fill this out!)

A: Author you've read the most books by: Mary Higgins Clark - this women has written a bajillion books (Ok, I looked it up, actually 43). And I've probably read most of them - (I have 14 of them on my bookshelf and have read many more than that). 

B: Best Sequel Ever: Harry Potter series (JK Rowling), The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographic series (James A. Owen), The Hunger Games series (Suzanne Collins), the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (Ann Brashares), the Work and the Glory series (Gerald Lund).

C: Currently Reading: The Ninth Wife (Amy Stolls), Reviving Ophelia (Mary Pipher - non-fiction).

D: Drink of Choice While Reading: Usually just water - but I do love a good mug of hot chocolate.

E: E-Reader or Physical Book? Physical book, most definitely. (However, I do love taking my Kindle on planes... Shhhhh!)

F: Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School: I honestly have no idea. I've read a lot of YA lit, so I'm sure someone from one of those books, somewhere....  Maybe Sumner, from That Summer (Sarah Dessen), 

G: Glad You Gave This Book a Chance: Here, There Be Dragons (the first book in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series) - so not my usual style of books, but I loved it, and all the rest of them, too.

H: Hidden Gem Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein) - it's about race-car drivers and told in the voice/perspective of a dog, but it's so good! 

I: Important Moment in Your Reading Life: First time reading each HP book - especially #1. Also, reading Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) for a class in college. Such an incredible and life changing book. 

J: Just Finished: The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) - it took me a loooong time to finally finish this book (like 2 years), but I ended up really liking it!

K: Kinds of Books You Wont Read: I'm not a huge fan of fantasy/sci-fi (of course there are a few exceptions, though). I also don't read too many non-fiction books unless they have to do with what I studied in college. 

L: Longest Book You've Ever Read: Les Miserables (Victor Hugo), unabridged. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (both Ayn Rand) are up there, too.

M: Major Book Hangover Because Of: I binge-read the first two books of the Hunger Games series, so I was a complete tired,emotional mess by the end of Catching Fire. Plus, as you know, the end to that is a super cliff-hanger, so I was like out of control crazy. 

N: Number of Book Cases You Own: Only two, currently. But they are filled pretty much to capacity and then some.

O: One book you have read multiple times: Besides the obvious HP series...  I have to pick Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) and Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). My copies of them are both falling apart since I've read them multiple times. 

P: Preferred place to read: Curled up next to the arm of a couch/loveseat. But really I read anywhere. 

Q: Quote That Inspires You/Gives You Feels From a Book You've Read: "After all this time? Always." HP. (And a lot more from HP.... but I won't list them all here.)
"Real or not real? Real." THG.
"It is only from the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the human eye." The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

"Love wins, love always wins." Tuesdays with Morrie. (But let's be honest, basically that whole book is my favorite quote.) 

R: Reading Regret: Ehhhh, all the Twilight books. They were an utter waste of time.

S: Series You Started But Still Need to Finish (All Books Are Out): The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica - the last one came out in November and I haven't picked it up yet. 

T: Three of your Favorite Books: Only 3??? Outside of others I have already mentioned in this blog post....  Let's go with The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield), The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold), Nineteen Minutes (Jodi Picoult).

U: Unapologetic Fan-girl For: JK Rowling and HP, forever!

V: Very Excited for This Release More Than Others: I don't have one I'm looking forward to, actually.

W: Worst Bookish Habits: When I start a new book I generally won't do anything until I finish it. So I am pretty much on my couch and nothing gets done. And I sometimes ignore my husband. Soooo that's a bad habit.

X: X Marks the Spot, Start at the Top of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky) - I love this book, such a good read! (and the movie adaptation was so well done, too!)

Y: Your Latest Book Purchase: Hmmmm, Kyle and I bought The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (Bruce D. Perry - nonfiction) for Christmas. Oh, and we just bought And Baby Makes Three (John and Julie Gottman - nonfiction). 

Z: Zzzz-Snatcher Book-(The last book that kept you up way too late): The last book that kept me up was Sisterhood Everlasting (Ann Brashares) - this is the last book in the Traveling Pants series, and I stayed up all night reading it until I finished. 

You should check out my recommended books HERE - since I wasn't able to mention all of them in this survey, as much as I tried :) 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Home

Well, we have lived here 7 months, and I have yet to take you on a little tour of our home. I have finally taken pictures of all the inside, and so today is your lucky day :)

We moved into a duplex/townhome type of place. I never know what to call it. It looks like a townhome, but there are only two attached, hence the duplex. So you can call it whatever you like.

Here's the instagram I took the day we moved in. I don't want to walk outside and take another one :)

SOOOOO here it goes......

When you walk in the front door, it looks like this. To the right (just out of the picture) are the stairs.To the left and around that little corner is the door to our garage. On the right across from the kitchen is a coat closet and a half bathroom.

The lovely half bath.

Here's our kitchen. (So much more space than our basement! Plus a dishwasher!)

Our dining area, and our back door. The back door leads to a nice cement strip and a tiny garden, and then a small slab of grass before coming in contact with a fence that separates us from the RV campground. 

Our living room. Two large windows and a fireplace! 

Here's the view looking back towards the front door from the living/dining room. You can see the door to the garage on the right, and the half bath and door to the coat closet on the left.

Now, let's go upstairs.

Our two "spare" rooms are at the back of the house. 

Here is our guest room and office. It's the "spare" room that's on the right of the house.That little black sliver you see on the left is in fact a bookcase. And to the right behind the open door is a nice sized closet, that doubles as my craft/scrapbooking storage, our linen closet, and holds other stuff, too.

The "spare" room that is on the left will be baby's room, and is still currently undergoing some organization/final unpacking, so once it's actually set up as a nursery, I'll post pictures then. It's basically a mirror image of the room above.

 In our little hallway, we have our lovely guest bathroom. One day maybe we'll actually get a real shower curtain.

We have our little laundry nook in the hallway just outside our bedroom. I love having it upstairs by the bedrooms so I don't have to lug laundry up and down a flight of stairs. 
(FINALLY a washer and dryer after more than 3 years of marriage. These things are wonderful.)

And our master bedroom. It's at the from of the house. It's a really big space with two separate closets.

Looking in from the doorway.
Looking from the corner by the bookshelf and window. You can just make out the bathroom on the right.
Kyle's closet.
My beautiful walk in closet.

And looking into our little en suite bathroom.

So there you go! There's our house! It had everything I wanted in a place and I wouldn't mind living here for a while. We love our ward, too. And we're near the freeway, which is great for Kyle to commute to work.
We're really enjoying living in Post Falls :)