A Brazilian Thanksgiving

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy late Thanksgiving! The past couple days have been a whirlwind of planning, cooking, cleaning, and great company. We had it at our house, and invited friends and family that we are SO lucky to have out here.

I mean really, isn't it just the best? Planning menus, cooking (to Frank Sinatra- I was in a special mood), having people over, sitting around the table talking, and taking time to reflect on how amaaazingly blessed we are.

It was a fantastic collaboration from everyone, all tasted phenomenal. There was so much that everyone left with baggies and tupperware full of goodness. My dad pulled through in a big way and brought all the American necessities- fresh cranberries, pumpkin puree, turkey roasting bag, turkey seasoning, etc...

The decorations were pretty simple. I don't have a table that fits more than four (fingers crossed the container comes next month as they say!), so we borrowed a plastic table and chairs from a family in our ward. It makes me laugh how ghetto the pictures look. It felt much more homey in the moment.

The menu:

Caprese salad
Chester- a similar bird to turkey they have out here. I was nervous but found it to be so much more flavorful and moist! Win win. I followed my mother-in-law's genius recipe, cooking it the day before, carving, and letting the meat marinate in the juices overnight. Put in the oven the next day for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Heaven. I could eat it everyday.
Mashed potatoes
Candied coconut sweet potatoes (basically a dessert, and I'm not arguing with that. It was a huge hit! Absolutely recommend.)
Homemade cranberry sauce- never go back to the can.
Spinach salad with strawberries and almonds
Balsamic green bean salad

Pumpkin pie
Chocolate pudding cake
PavĂȘ (Brazilian dessert)

The last guests pulled out at 12:30. Alex and I left the dirty dishes in the kitchen and waddled straight upstairs. I am a firm believer in enjoying the meal and conversation, not rushing to get up and clean everything. That can wait for tomorrow. Especially when it's late and my back is aching. We laid in bed, elevating our feet up against the wall. It was a perfect Thanksgiving. Family, friends, food. Oh and my sister-in-law's brand new baby. It really doesn't get better than that. With the blood draining away from our tired feet, we went back and forth with 10 things we are grateful for this year. I think we fell asleep around #5.

I am crazy grateful for this little human growing inside me.

I am grateful for having family and friends nearby. And nephews!

I am grateful for fans and bug zappers. Even though they are ridiculously overpriced, but that is besides the point. Grateful.

I am grateful to be married to my favorite person in the world.

I am grateful that Brazil has no shame in putting Christmas decorations up early. Everything has been decked out for at least 3 weeks now. I don't understand people complaining about starting too early- one month is much too short to enjoy it! It is weird having a hot Christmas season though, and the decorations sold right next to swimsuits.

Some updates

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am so bad at documenting, but here is a little update on baby Hill nowadays.

Took this picture last week, but I think the bump is roughly the same. I feel so much bigger though.

How far along? About 19 weeks

Total weight gain: No idea. Our scale is somewhere over the ocean with the rest of our stuff.
Maternity clothes? Not yet. 
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleeping so far is no problem. However, it is SO hard not to sleep on my back! I force myself to sleep on my side, but more often than not I wake up on my back with arms flailed above my head. Unbelievable. Seriously, how do you control this?? P.S. I am the deepest sleeper you have ever met. 
Best moment this week: Oh my goodness. The past 3 weeks I have been wanting muuuito bad to feel some movement, and every once in a while I thought I felt something but didn't know for sure. I was bordering on obsessive about it. Well, Alex is traveling again this week (that makes 3 weeks in a row) and I'm embarrassed to say that I totally cried on my way home. A pregnant mess I tell you. When I got home, I was working with the computer on my stomach (probably sniffling about something... haha kidding) and started feeling these strange movements. I think it took me a while to realize, but I finally put my hands on my stomach and he was going crazy in there! No way to describe it, except it was the coolest thing in the world. I still can't wipe the ridiculous grin off my face just thinking about it! I think having that hot and heavy computer was getting on his nerves, or the little angel decided to keep me company on a day that made everything 10000x better. 
Miss anything? Not really. 
Movement: yes, yes, yes
Food cravings: The past couple weeks I would have sold my soul for otterpops. Unfortunately, this time of year doesn't cooperate with that. So I've moved on. But thank heavens I'm not in the U.S., I'm sure I'd be indulging far too much in the name of cravings. Also, randomly cereal is my go-to. I have never been a big cereal person, but when nothing else sounds good, cereal always has my back.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Drinking water first thing in the morning, bad news. Also the past few days meat couldn't sound more unappetizing. Living off fruit, cereal, and popcorn when Alex is gone. Umm, not so proud of that.
Gender: Boy! However, we found out earlier than normal. We will know for sure next week! 
Labour signs: No.
Symptoms: Holy hormones. Get ahold of yourself!! I have never been a big crier, or really emotional.. so this is just obnoxious. Outrageous is more like it, because everything is more dramatic around here. And figured out my left lower back that loves to flare up is actually sciatic nerve pain. Makes sense. Also, occasionally I'll wake up with cramps on my left side- feels like things are growing.
Belly button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Going home in THREE WEEKS! Very, very excited. Lists upon lists of things to do, buy, and eat. Like... frozen hot chocolate, thai food, and frozen yogurt.  But more than anything I can't wait to see my family and the cutest nieces and nephews you can imagine.

Finding out

Friday, November 1, 2013


we are pregnant!

Can you believe it? Because I am still working on that.

Took this when baby was the size of lime (11 weeeks I think?)
To be exact, it took 7 pregnancy tests over the course of two weeks to accept that MAYBE they weren't rigged in some way. Two from Target, two from Fresh Market, two from Walmart, and even one from the dollar store. You see, this was a bit of a shocker. I just couldn't see it. Mine and Alex's life just felt too great to change up. I especially loved the last minute traveling, frequent date nights, and overall pretty carefree lifestyle. It sounds horrible, but all I could see was a baby cramping that style. Of course, we wanted to start a family some day...why rush?

But more than anything, I was quietly terrified. That I wouldn't be able to handle it, that having kids would affect our marriage in a bad way, on and on. So many thoughts, so many worries and much easier to just avoid. It really takes a huge leap of faith. Fortunately, I never even took that leap. Didn't really get the chance to actually. I am convinced Heavenly Father just decided to push me off when I wasn't looking. But I can honestly say that we couldn't be happier about it!

It started at the ranch. We did the Orderville Gultch hike like we do every year with the whole family. When we got home, I just wanted to sleep and skipped out on family volleyball. After 11 miles, I didn't think it was odd at all but my mom kept giving me those looks and sly comments. Something about having that "pretty pregnant look", which I took as a direct insult. So you're saying I look fat? Well, turns out this lady (who has birthed 9 children) must have a sixth sense for this type of thing. Anyway, I figured it was impossible and preposterous. Yes, preposterous.

Driving home, it was Alex who brought it up. It was a little (ok, a LOT) shocking. He said something to the effect of, "You know, with all these jokes going around that you are pregnant- I actually stopped and thought for a second.. What if you are pregnant? I think that would be pretty cool." Alex has always been more open to the possibility, but this was the first time he brought it up. Eventhough a small part of me was happy he said something, I just nodded and wanted the conversation to end. It was exciting, but like I said- terrifying. It was fun to talk about it before as if it was far, far in the distance. But this sounded a little too close to home.

So more as a joke than anything, I bought and took a pregnancy test without saying anything to Alex. Haaaaa, joke was on me! Positive. I didn't even bother to think of a cute way to tell him. Definitely not. I was shaking and called out from the bathroom, "Um....Al? Can you come in here for a second?" I laid out the test and directions for reading results, surely I was missing something. We agreed that it was a false positive. 6 tests later, definitely pregnant!

Crazyyyyness. But also SO exciting. Every morning and night (and... perhaps periodically during the day) I lay flat with hands on my stomach, trying to feel any hint of movement in there. I never would have thought that I'd already love this little man so, so much.

And being here in Brazil, the timing couldn't be better. With a doctor that speaks English, of course. That is a definite plus.

P.S. I need more pictures in here, even if they are completely irrelevant.

Family pictures in Snow Basin before we left

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