Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have to start by mentioning that fall is by far my favorite season of the year, a close second is spring. There are few things more beautiful than a foggy cool morning with crisp orange and red leaves on the ground. Plus, Jason and I both have quite a love for lightweight sweaters, long sleeves, and jackets! Lastly, you cannot beat a fall treat- I cannot begin to tell you how much hot cocoa, apples, and apple cider have been consumed in this home. I also seem to get the baking bug every fall. This month we had chocolate pancakes from scratch, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and brownies.

October was slightly biploar this year, in the fact that had just as many "summer" days mixed in with "fall" days. I can't complain though, it allowed some extra time to get a few much needed thing done around the outside of the house before we begin hibernation.

We started the month out by celebrating our niece Aubrey's fourth birthday! It was so much fun to watch her pure joy as she finally had a party in her honor. She was a wonderful host and did a great job dressing the part of guest of honor! She even had earrings for all the female guests in attendance to wear :) I now know all this stems from "Fancy Nancy". We all enjoyed pizza for dinner and a delicious cake homemade by Kristen.

Our next big event was Shandi's baby shower. It was so much fun getting to host a shower for her and our nephew! We had an incredible turn out of 14 guests, which all cozied up in our living room for games, food (including a chocolate fountain), and gifts! The games included "Playdough Babies", "What is that Poo?", and "How big is Mama?". Everyone seemed to have a great time! Shandi and Rylan were blessed with many of the necessities left to still purchase. It still amazes how much stuff such a little person needs.

The same weekend as the baby shower, we also celebrated two more birthdays. Heidi, my brother wonderful girlfriend, was first. We spent an evening roaming through a cornmaze, enjoyed a hayride, then headed to Logan's for her favorite steak dinner. Monday night, we celebrated Shauna, Jason's mom and my amazing mother-in-law's, birthday! We had a delicious taco dinner at home followed by gift opening and a sampling of desserts- frosted sugar cookies, brownies, and angel food cake smothered in strawberries and whipped cream.

Lastly on the celebration list, we hosted a wonderful Halloween party! We slacked off the last two years and hadn't hosted, but were back up and running this year when we realized we will have a little princess with a bedtime next year that will make hosting a challenge :) We also enjoy the fact that we have a TON of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood! We spent the evening handing out candy, cooking hotdogs on the grill, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores over a backyard bonfire, and (for some) watching the Chiefs game. It was so much fun getting to spend time with family- watching Aubrey really enjoyed the trick-or-treating concept for the first time and seeing most everyone dressed up in costume.

We are now looking forward to another great fall month in November with Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season! We will also be making further preparations for our princess as we do our 3D ultrasound, bump up the frequency of my appointments, and start looking into all those fun parenting/birth classes.

Jason and Crystal

Here are links to look at more pictures from our October:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


September was a nice calm break from the fun filled/at times chaotic month of August. There was much sleeping in, procrastinating house projects, and dreaming of our sweet baby!

We started the month off with a great family get together at Kristen's and Steve's home in honor of Labor Day. It was great to spend the day relaxing with family, enjoying wonderful BBQ (my compliments to Chef David and Kristen), playing bocce ball/badmitten in the backyards evening shade, and spending time with David, Brittney, and Owen before they made their adventure back to Idaho for school. We also of course had to attend Santecaligon in true Independence, MO fashion :) We now know the booth set up for the most part and are able to make quick time of our visits by visiting our favorites: best kettle corn and funnel cake. We can never resist walking through the large craft tents, always thinking there is going to be something new that we can't resist. We again left with a solo bag of kettle corn :)

Other than my aforementioned procrastination and daydreaming, we filled our time with several date nights. As excited as we are to become a family of three, we are also trying to cram in all the things that will prove challenging with a baby. We ate Mongolian BBQ twice and have been going to the movies. Two which we highly recommend are Moneyball and The Help. In other "prepare to bid farewell to life as we know it" preparations, I have also resisted picking on Jason for his sleep pattern: stay up all night and sleep until noon (at least) everyday. I know these days are numbered for him :)

Jason has also spent this month playing on his first softball team! This is a Dodd family tradition that goes back to my childhood. I have such great memories of spending weekends covered in dust playing at the softball fields while my dad and uncles all played. Now, it is on to the next generation! On this team is my Dad, Brother David, Cousin Joey, and of course Jason mixed with a group of friends. They did great considering it was their first season playing together as a team. I am looking forward to spring softball and starting the tradition of bringing our little one to watch dad play :)

Finally, in the best news of the month, we had our ultrasound! We found out our wishes came true and we have been blessed with a baby GIRL! Beyond that, she is an incredibly active and healthy bundle of joy. The ultrasound tech took extra care knowing that I am a NICU nurse to show me every detail of her adorable anatomy and address all of my biggest fears. I can finally sleep peacefully :) We wasted no time in spoiling her, heading straight from our appointment to Buy Buy Baby to register and Babies R' Us to purchase her first outfits. That evening we had family over to enjoy Chinese carryout and homemade fortune cookies to reveal the exciting news!

Here are the rest of the pictures of dinner and to watch my belly grow:

We are beyond excited to now be able to dream of the life we plan to make as family with our sweet baby girl! Now on to distracting ourselves until her arrival with a fun-filled fall. October will bring baby showers for Shandi, birthdays, and Halloween fun :)


Thursday, September 22, 2011


August was a wonderful month for us- full of adventure and family!
We started the month out with a wonderful evening spent on the plaza for my Dad's birthday. A visit to Brio Tuscan Grill (where we ordered at least one of every food item on the happy hour menu!) followed by delicous dessert on the patio at The Cheesecake Factory.

We then jet setted our way to Key West! We had an amazing time! We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast just blocks from downtown . We spent the first couple days touring the whole island and visiting museums via the Old Towne Trolley. Each night we mixed things up with an adventure outing. The first was a haunted ghost tour- it ended up quite theatric, but still very entertaining. Our second night was by far the most amazing- we took a private biplane tour at sunset! The views were absolutely breathtaking and the plane gorgeous on its own. The third day we set out on our rented bicycles to adventure on our own. We ended up at a lighthouse and toured a retired US Coast Guard ship before making our to Lobsterfest, where we enjoyed a great lobster tail dinner. That nights adventure was a sunset kayak eco-tour. It was so wonderful to be out on the water in the quiet of the night. Our guide was highly educated regarding the activity of the birds and marine life, making sure we didnt miss a thing. The next day we biked to the beach for some fun in the sun and toured a small fort right on the water. We spent that evening enjoying sunset cruise on a beautful replica schooner. It was so great to be out on water for the first time! We ended off our last day with a snorkel adventure, which we were told was a must see since Key West has the only living reef in the US. Well, I am here to tell you that unless this is your first snorkel trip, you will be disappointed. I could just be bitter due to the fact that I became close friends with a jellyfish, but, truly, the only marine life we saw were a nurse shark and stingrays. We ended off the night with a visit to Mallory Square for sunset celebration, which is a collection of street performers entertaining crowds with the sunset as their backdrop :)

Here is the link to look at all of the pictures:

We returned to Missouri to let the excitement continue as we jumped right into helping with the finishing touches for David and Brittney's wedding. They had a beautiful Saturday morning as the backdrop for their St. Louis Temple ceremony, followed by an adventure back to Independence for their reception that evening. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with the entire Kent family together!

Here is the rest of the pictures:

We had an amazing month: perfect babymoon vacation and a wonderful time spending the month filled with family and friends! We are now looking forward to fall and all the great adventures it will bring :)


Monday, July 18, 2011


This July started with a bang (ha!) as we enjoyed spending a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. We had a bonfire/weenie roast/fireworks show on Sunday night with my Dad and siblings, followed by spending the morning of the fourth at the waterpark. A new favorite spot of ours that has been less than two blocks from our house for years! We spent the evening of the fourth with Kent/Redd clan enjoying some wonderful BBQ, fireworks on the Square, and an assortment of fireworks of our own back at home.

Jason and I went to our second prenatal visit on the 13th. We had the most amazing experience hearing our sweet little babies heartbeat for the first time! Even our (flat affect) Doctor was genuinely surprised with how quickly she was able to locate the heartbeat and the steady strength at which it was thumping away :) While there, we scheduled our 15 week appointment and our 21 week ultrasound, during which we will be able to find out gender (and visualize anatomy-the most important thing to a NICU nurse!) We (mostly I) decided to celebrate this wonderful event with a DQ icecream cake :)

On another note, over this last week wardrobe has increasingly become an issue (nothing to do with the aforementioned cake)- my "fat" pants are now even a little snug! I have been quite surprised how quickly my true baby bump (no longer just baby bloat) has begun to take shape. Hello belly bands, you are my new best friend!

Jason and I have also spent a good part of this month re-booking and planning for our babymoon! We have chose to spend a week in Key West during early August. We are flying directly there and spending the week in a beautiful little bed and breakfast, with plenty of site seeing, boating, snorkeling, and even a sunset flight in the plans. We lucked out and will just so happen to be there during Lobster Fest! We are so excited and can't for our last vaca just the two of us :)

We are very much looking forward to an August full of vacation, family, and and a much needed break from work/school!

Jason and Crystal

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Year of 3's

This year officially marks the year of three's for Jason and I:

Three years of friendship
Three years of dating
Three years of marriage
And now...
Baby Kent will officially be making us a family of three!

There is even a little more humor in the fact that we officially found out we would be entering the journey of parenthood on June 3rd!

As many of you now know, we have been plotting, planning, and making preparations for several months now. The final giveaway being the purchase of a sedan :)

Jason and I made an impromptu visit to the hospital at 6 weeks, and were able to see the first images of our sweet little baby. It was to early to hear the heartbeat or even get an accurate count of the heart rate, but we were able to see the tiny little heart beating away :) It was so great to watch Jason's reaction as he saw the baby for the first time, making things so much more real for him before he shared his Father's Day news.

Yes, that little blur there is a 6 week old baby. Our official due date is February 7, 2012.

So far, things have been going pretty smoothly with exception of our little bump in the road. I have been feeling pretty well, with the first signs of nausea making there grand appearance at 6 weeks and really hitting at 8-9 weeks. I have been able to keep it at bay for the most part with Preggie Pop Drops (an amazing sour hard candy with herbs and ginger), Mommy's Bliss (a ginger supplement), plenty of ginger ale, and eating alllll day long. I had one bad morning when I changed from my peanut butter toast routine, and needless to say, I wont be doing that again!

Jason and I have much enjoyed (ha!) going through my wardrobe to find me "fat" pants, which are only two pair of jeans and one pair of capris to accomodate my daily varying baby bloat! I had nooo idea how bad it would be- there are days where I already look 4 months along! I am assuming (and hoping) most of this has to do with my extra progesterone boost I am currently getting and will end at 12 weeks when I get to bid it farewell.

We go to our next appointment July 13th and are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to hear our little ones heartbeat and make sure everything is progressing as planned. I am praying for all good news to post next week :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


This has been a big year for us so far! Which is still no excuse for blog neglect.... and I am not going to try and make one :) But here is at least a brief overview:

Jason has officially returned to school full-time! The plan for now is mechanical engineering, although he can help but be tempted by something in the medical field after watching stuff on TV, seeing my pretty great work schedule, and listening to my conversations with co-workers at social gatherings. He is loving school so far and doing great! Even with incredibly poor study habits ( at least in my eyes ;) ) he managed to pull of a 3.75 GPA his first semester back! Not to brag, but I am pretty darn proud and impressed with that after a five year break from school. Now he is busy working his way through summer school with his first online school experience.

Next up is vacation!

We went on our third cruise in October with stops in Samana, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Kitts. We enjoyed several excursions- kayaking in Samana,a full beach day at Jost Van Dyke in Tortola, snorkel/swimming with GIANT stingrays in Antigua, a private tour with a local that another couple and us hired after all of our excursions were canceled due to rain in Dominica (which is now by far my favorite place in the world!), sadly walked around through he destruction left in Barbados after a hurricaine hit the day before we arrived, and ended off the amazing 10 day cruise with ziplining in St. Kitts. We had an amazing time, made great new friends, and can't wait for our next cruise! Here are those photos:

We also had our first experience traveling outside of the "kids in school" time of year in March over springbreak. It actually wasn't quite as awful as we thought it was going to be! We drove to Florida- our longest road trip yet- which went great until a semi-truck decided to side swipe us and keep on driving. We arrived at our hotel soon after, checked in, and spent the next week enjoying to "tourist" side of Orlando. We spent a day at Seaworld, then another day at Seaworld's sister park Discovery Cove where we did some amazing snorkeling and swimming, then we did a two day park hopper pass to Universal Studios for which we also invested in fastpass (aka get dirty looks as cut the entire line! I must say, it was enjoyed :) ), and we ended off the week spending way to much at the outlet malls- and, yes, I did NEED two new Coach purses! Here are the pics from that trip:

Otherwise, we have spent this year revamping our "live on a budget" aspect of life. Planning for the future and being a one income family has brought the importance of this to the top of our priority list. Just this last month Jason dedicated time to get quotes for home owners and car insurance and ended up saving us a whopping $900 per year! He has even bargained with the trash company and got our three month bill dropped by $25 bucks. Most importantly, he has found a much higher interest savings account for us to make our money go even a little further. Kudos to him for having the patience and dedication it takes to make the most of our income! Next on his list is to tackle my retirement savings/401K.

As far as the rest of this summer goes....

We will be spending the next two months with Jason in full time summer school and me working full time/overtime at work. August is really what we are excited about! Jason and I are taking an escape before fall semester starts and spending a week at an all inclusive resort in Mexico- this will be our first time together with a prolonged beach stay in one place. We can't wait! Soon after we return we get to spend time with the entire Kent/Rosen/Redd clan for David and Brittney's wedding! We are so happy for them and can't wait to have the whole family together :)

I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Crystal and Jason