Our Love Story: Part 4: “I Think I Like You”

Love Story Part 1

Love Story Part 2

Love Story Part 3

Garren and I talked on the phone a lot when he got home from his mission. One night I was nursing a broken heart when Garren called me. We talked for a long time and he managed to get me smiling. A few weeks later I was going down to Cedar for my nephews birthday and Garren asked if we could hang out. He picked me up Sunday morning and made me breakfast and we watched conference together. I could tell something was on his mind but I didn’t want to force him to talk to me.

I kept waiting for him to say something between conference sessions but he didn’t. Finally right after the second session started, he said, ” Larissa, what if, I think I like you?” All I said back was, ” You think you like me?” Really what kind of statement is I think I like you? So he took it back and said he liked me and that he wanted to date me.

I was speechless. We had been friends for so long I just didn’t think this was really happening. He asked me what I thought about it and I gave the excuse that my favorite apostle was speaking so he had to wait until the talk was over. Really I was freaking out inside wondering if this was going to ruin our friendship or if our lives were about to change for the better. I was too nervous to speak so I wrote down everything I was feeling and gave it to him to read. He still has that embarrassing piece of paper somewhere.

A part of me was really nervous that things would get weird between us but the transition from best friends to falling in love was the easiest thing I have ever done in my life. Being with him just felt right. Life has thrown us some curve balls and there have been some very hard trials but being with him has never been hard. Our love story is my very favorite :)

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Our Love Story: Part 3: Grand Adventures and Personal Growth

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

After our first year of college Garren was called to serve a 2 year mission for our church. He was called to the London, England South mission. I asked him to write something about his experience: Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was a turning point in my life. Not only was I able to go to a new country and have the blessing of serving so many different people, I grew up and had gained a greater understand of what was important to me. As a missionary I learned that family and relationships are the single greatest thing we have in this life, and the gospel of Jesus Christ enhances those relationships to make them more complete. This was an amazing time in my life.

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While Garren was on his mission I had quite a few adventures of my own. I spent the majority of 2009 in Westchester, New York. I was a nanny to three year old twins. I fell hard for these kids, the state of New York, and the amazing friends I was able to make. We traveled to places like Boston, and Washington DC and explored Manhattan. The kids taught me how to be patient and love freely despite learning and behavior disabilities. Then in May 2010 my two best friends and I traveled to Ghana to teach English, volunteer in a special education school, and live in an orphanage for a little over a month. That month was one of the longest but fastest (and hottest!) months of my life. I learned so much about the world outside my comfort zone and fell in love with these children and their culture. I day dream about going back all of the time.

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Garren came home from his mission in August of 2010. There was a brief moment right before he came home that I let myself wonder what it would be like to date him but I quickly pushed it out of my mind since I knew how much he liked my best friend. The moment I saw him our friendship continued where it had left off. (We did write each other 4 or 5 times while he was on his mission.)


Our Love Story: Part 2: High School Best Friends

If you missed Part 1 you can read it here.

The beginning of Junior year I had two different friends with crushes on this guy named Garren (Including my best friend). I had never met him before but it turned out I had Math 1010 and Chemistry 1010 with him. We started hanging out with him and his best friend Trevor around this time. We had a lot of common classes so we all ended up having “study”sessions together. I don’t recall a lot of studying going on and I usually ended up studying alone once the session was over, but we always had a good time.


We look like babies. This was senior year. I can’t believe it’s been 7.5 years!

Over time Garren developed a crush on Kendra and Garren and I developed a friendship. I had my first heart break that year from another guy in our class and both Garren and Trevor were there to tell me it was his loss. It was from then on that our groups of friends became one group. They were who we hung out with on weekends. I started to crush on Trevor so it all worked out.

The summer between junior and senior year was so fun. I hung out with the guys a lot because my girlfriends were out of town frequently. I loved getting to know Garren. He was the kind of guy I could just sit and talk to for hours. Around this time my dad said something about me dating Garren and marrying him some day. I rolled my eyes and told him, “Garren is like my brother. I could never date him.” (Oh if ever I could take back a sentence.) My friend ended up breaking his heart that summer. We were such good friends that I was afraid this would come between us so I did the only logical thing! I set him up with one of my other really good friends.


So this picture is an inside joke, but Garren and I went to a dance together and in the group photo he has his arm around me but isn’t touching me at all. I will have to scan it in. THis is me making fun of him.

Let it be known that Garren dated AND kissed all three of my best friends (two were even my bridesmaids later on). While I did date his best friend off and on we never kissed.

My heart was broken by yet another guy senior year and Garren was so patient letting me cry to him and telling me one day I would be with someone who would know just how special I was. (Yes he honestly said things like this to me)


155865_1521579277296_5988577_nThe night before I went up to BYU we sat on his driveway talking about the way things would change but how our friendship wouldn’t suffer the distance. We visited each other a few times that first year of college, and I, of course, traveled down to Cedar to go to his farewell before he left on his mission. I was seriously dating someone at the time, someone I thought I would marry. He would often ask questions about Garren and I always thought his jealousy was so funny and misplaced! I love how little I knew about my future.


The majority of our time spent together was us laughing. Still is :)


I just love this picture because I have loved these kids for so long! Now they are my nieces and nephew!



Our Love Story: Part 1: Two Big Moves

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. (Late night nursing sessions leave a lot of time to read!) Many blogs will have the authors love story within their posts. I went back to my blog and read the “our story” page. Since it is so condensed, I thought I’d better do a few posts to do our story justice. So welcome to part one ;)

In 2003 Garren’s Dad was offered a job in Cedar City, Utah. I don’t know the exact details of the move but Garren’s mom did tell me that he is the reason they ultimately decided to move. At first they didn’t want to move him when he was just about to start high school. He had a very good thing going with his wrestling team and they weren’t sure he wanted to move. That all changed when they asked him and he said YES, they should in fact move. He didn’t have any LDS friends and he could tell high school would be miserable without good friends.


Garren transitioned smoothly

Meanwhile, a slightly less mature me was throwing the temper tantrum of my life when my parents declared we were moving AGAIN. This would be the third cross country move to a place filled with mormons. Now don’t get me wrong. I WAS a mormon at the time. However we were not active at the time (and there were very few times in my life that we actively went to church) and none of my friends were LDS. I was popular and loved all of my friends. I was just about to start high school (I was in 9th grade at the time but in PA 9th grade was in the JR high) and the thought of moving had me convinced I would die. Plus they were moving me to, what I called, a truck stop in Utah.


I had a harder time

Garren and I moved to the same little city in Utah with in 8 months of each other and started school at the same high school. We wouldn’t officially meet for another year and a half but it’s the start of our story.

I have never believed in coincidences, but if I did, this would be my favorite one.



Baby Red: 21-24 Weeks


Weeks 21 and 22

Week 23

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

24 Weeks

Update: I managed to pull myself together and take a week 24 picture today. Only a couple days late :)

Thoughts: I still have 16 weeks to go but I can’t help but imagine what this sweet girl looks like and dreaming of holding her in my arms! I am so excited to have this little girl in our home and family. With the holidays coming up I  just get so excited to imagine having our little girl to celebrate these holidays next year! Kids always make the holidays more fun.

Dr. Appointments: Usually I enjoy going to the doctor, because I love hearing her heartbeat but that was the first day I REALLY felt sick so it was a lot of work getting there. We listened to baby girl’s heartbeat. She kept moving away from the doppler so the doctor had to check her heart beat quite a few times. Had me and her daddy laughing. We scheduled my next appointment for November 15th. I will have an ultrasound at this appointment to check and see if my placenta previa has corrected itself. If not we will be scheduling my c-section for the beginning of January when I am 35 weeks along. We are praying this isn’t the case! I actually feel really confident that it’s going to be fine, and this is just a wonderful excuse to get to see our little girl again. The following week I have to do the dreaded glucose test. I am not looking forward to this. I have heard some horror stories.

Baby: This week baby girl has reached viability! This means that if she were to be born now (please no.) she would have a 40% chance of surviving. With each week her chances of surviving get greater. It’s a tiny sigh of relief that we are getting to a point that baby girl is safer. Don’t worry I have told her that she needs to remain in her current rental for at LEAST 13 more weeks. Over the last 4 weeks her digestive system has begun to develop as well as her taste buds and her lungs. She is just over a foot long and weighs about a pound! Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is an actual baby in there. Garren got me a pocket fetal doppler as a surprise! Ah hearing our baby girls heart beat is the best sound in the whole world.

Weight: I have gained 3lbs as of this week, however I feel a lot bigger than that!

Symptoms: Sciatica is by far my least favorite symptom at the moment. It happens instantly and leaves me limping from the pain shooting down my leg. I guess I should be grateful that it switches sides when it does happen. So far I have found absolutely nothing that helps. I have tried warm baths, a heating pad, an ice pack, and many different suggested stretches. So if any one else has a different suggestion I am all ears! My headaches are back to their normal weekly occurrence which is much better than daily!  I threw up my favorite dark chocolate and raspberry Cold Stone ice cream. Devastation. So I have sworn off chocolate….. EXCEPT I can eat pumpkin chocolate chip cookies without hurling. So at least baby girl’s giving her mamma that one. Lately my chest has felt really tight and its been hard to take in a full, deep breath especially when lying down. I have also had some random heart flutters but those aren’t knew. I have always had them.

Movement: Eek! On October 4th, when I was approximately 21 weeks and 3 days pregnant, Garren felt our little girl move for the first time. The joy on his face was worth a million words. I will never find those words to describe to all of you what that moment meant to me. She is definitely a mover. Her favorite time to flip and kick around happens to be 2 am. It always wakes me up and makes it hard to sleep. It’s mostly hard to sleep because I am still so in awe of this little being. He has felt her move since then. I love being able to finally share this part of pregnancy with my sweet husband. As of last week I can now stare at my belly and watch her move around. It’s so crazy to see. I have a video of it, but my new stretch mark near my belly button is not being posted on the internet….

Cravings/Aversions/Eating: I really don’t have anything to add to this. I love pickles (hello pregnancy stereotype) on hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, tuna-salad sandwiches….. plain…  You get the drift. I have also been wanting these chicken puff things I make so that’s become a weekly meal. Oh I do have something new to add! I have had like 8 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this week. I cannot get enough. So yummy. I also had to buy white bread for them because for some weird reason wheat wasn’t cutting it.

Sleep: With this new sciatic symptom and constant kick schedule sleep is a thing of the past. I miss sleeping on my stomach but the body pillow is a blessing from the angels. My daily activities leave plenty of time for me to sleep in so my lack of sleep is not from lack of effort ;) I still get up to pee a lot but I basically get to the bathroom and back on auto pilot. (Which I learned the hard way since Garren closed our door one night and I ran right into it.)

Workout: Yoga is my favorite “active” thing to do right now, but the gorgeous fall weather make leisurely strolls a very close second. It just gets a little mundane walking the same course every day. I think I am going to bust out my yoga ball soon to use that. I am still religiously doing my squats and lunges! Please bless it helps labor and delivery (assuming my placenta previa cooperates and moves up!)

Random:  I have been working on a lot of different things for baby girls nursery! I am making a tree out of cut up toilet paper rolls. I would say I am about 3/4ths of the way done but I needed a break after going so hardcore during General Conference. I have way to many hot glue gun burns and blisters. We bought a piece of wood at home depot and I used mod podge to put giraffe paper and then Baby Red’s latest ultrasound picture on it. We will be doing a gallery wall in her nursery so this is one of my many projects for it! I have also made about nine burp cloths with random extra fabric I had lying around. I want to make her a bed skirt and some other gallery wall projects :)


Random burp cloths


They aren’t my best sewing creations… but she is going to be spitting up on them so I figured they don’t need to be great!


I love how this turned out!


The infamous tree!

Being Sick: Last Wednesday I woke up with a horrible sore throat. I couldn’t sleep it was so bad. The next day my nose was congested… and well it went down hill very fast. My sweet husband is amazing. He has take such good care of me. I am on the up swing now and am getting better. The cough is the worst, as I feel like I could cough my baby out at any moment. Thankfully I have been able to sleep a lot, drink lots of fluids, and have a husband who makes sure I eat. Poor Garren is now sick and has two big tests this week, say a little prayer for him!



You know that sang, “Home is where the heart is”? I just learned first hand how true this is.

Garren and Jerry left Monday afternoon, hauling all our “stuff” to Manchester. They are making amazing time and will be there in about 3 hours.

Sybil pulling the trailer like a champ, and two (still enthusiastic) drivers ;)

Sybil pulling the trailer like a champ, and two (still enthusiastic) drivers ;)

Last night, as I was having another bout of pregnancy induced insomnia, I had the thought, “I want to go home.” I realized instantly that I was referring to New Hampshire. A place I have never been. Why? Well that is where my husband is. I literally associate my home with him. Garren is all I need to feel at home no matter where our life may take us. I feel so comforted and at peace with my life for this very reason. Our marriage isn’t perfect, we both make mistakes daily, but the foundation we base our life on is. Serving one another, other people around us, and most importantly God, has helped us see the bigger picture in life.  It’s opened my eyes to to the true meaning behind “home”.

As a child I moved. A. Lot. Four different states and far to many houses to count by the time I was 15 years old. I use to be so jealous of friends who had literally lived in the same house their whole life. I craved that stability and sense of who I am and where I come from. Now I know, no matter where I live, my home will be the same for the  decades of years to come. My home will forever be next to Garren. I realize this is getting sappy, and I am crying just thinking about this. (Pregnancy has made my already horrible crying “reflex” even worse)

In other less emotional news, the second trimester is already BY FAR better than the first. I am still lacking some energy but my nausea is much better. I still feel sick, especially if I go long without food. I am rarely throwing up any more though. This has been greatly appreciated. I will probably do another pregnancy post in a few weeks.

Garren starts Physical Therapy school on August 26th. I love seeing how excited he is. We are both so blessed to have the opportunity to follow our dreams. (I am ecstatic about being a stay at home mom) He is such a hard worker and I know he will excel at this new challenge in his life! While it’s easy to think about life after grad school; after school loans and late nights studying, I am excited for this new chapter in our lives and plan to make the most out of each and every day.


Three days until I go HOME. :)


2nd Anniversary!

On May 6th we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. We went camping the weekend before to celebrate, but not celebrating the day of would just be madness :)

We kept it pretty low key and just went to dinner at Wingers and had the cutest little bottles of Martinellis sparkling cider ever.

The second year of marriage was much harder than the first. We went through some pretty “Adult” trials and had to make “Adult” decisions. That may seem really weird. I mean we are married and have been “Adults” for a while but we would some times laugh at how we felt like kids trying to make it through the grown-up world. The day we lost our baby made us grow up pretty fast. Life took a new perspective and our goals were re-focused. I always knew I was blessed to have Garren as a husband but through the last year I realized we are an incredibly strong unit. We don’t get to pick the trials we have but we did get to chose each other to face them together. I am so excited to start this new adventure. Garren has been working so hard to get to physical therapy school and it is so comforting to know that he will always do his best to take care of me and our family.

Best Parts of our 2 year of marriage:

A very rainy but perfect camping trip

Going to Montana to see Kyle, Heather, and the Kids

Garren getting in to Franklin Pierce University’s DPT Program

Finding out we were going to be parents


So since the 2nd anniversary is the “Cotton” anniversary we tie dyed shirts for each other! Here are pictures of that and the whole anniversary day :)


This isn’t from our actual anniversary… but it makes me happy that we still hold hands in the car :)


He got me my favorite flowers for our anniversary! Gorgeous.


He was a little hungry


I guess after months of eating recipes from Skinnytaste.com he wanted a little bit of fat…. :P


Gross picture, cute bottles!




Ready to Celebrate :)


Notice the 2’s


He did a good job


I like to think I did too!

Bring on year number 3!