My mom has always been the Queen of Care Packages... but she most definitely out-did herself this week with fabulous Mommy/Baby items.

The ultimate item in the package was these stunning leopard-print pumps! These are the most adorable new trend in crib shoes. Our baby is bound to be a Fashion Icon within her first 6 months of fabulosity! (and yes, that is a word.)

Also included,an adorable handmade receiving blanket with matching burp cloths, featuring essential items- lipstick, nail polish, compact, mirror and comb. So cute!

I know you're probably all thinking... what if it's a boy?! Of course, we will be thrilled! If not used for this baby, they will be tucked away for a beautiful lil girl someday.

And of course, Mom stocked me up on morning sickness aids.

Preggie Pops and Queasy Drops.
Isn't modern-day-medicine something to be thankful for?

Last but not least... my first super cute maternity ensemble.

Mom's get a bad rap for The Frumpy Look... which is totally unnecessary.

Motherhood is hot!


The Cat in the Hat

Andrew was more than enthused!

My permanent face all night long!

Two thumbs up!!!

Getting into character.

Thing 1 & Thing 2
The family medicine department at UVRMC had a Halloween party for hospital staff and families of patients in our clinic. Andrew and I decorated a room with fabulous decor from the Dollar Tree, put on our best-dressed... Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes and had a blast. The kids were so adorable and we simply cannot wait until next year, when we can add Thing 3 to the photos!
"And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked."
-- Dr. Seuss


"Honey, does my butt look big?"

We use dry-erase markers to write each other cheesy little notes on our bathroom mirror.
I found this artistic expression from my dear husband on the mirror a couple of days ago.

Apparently, this is what I will look like in about 8 1/2 months.

Coming Soon to a Uterus Near You: Baby Armitage

6 months after we first met and 3 months after gettin' hitched... we're havin' a baby!

That's right Ladies and Gents, I am in my 5th week of pregnancy!!!

Can you believe it?! I have craved motherhood my whole life and it's finally here! Andrew is so supportive and super excited! On our 3 month anniversary, we discovered the faint, but most definite pink line!!! I was so excited, it was like Christmas morning. I ran into the bedroom, shook Andrew to wake the poor guy up... and blurted out, "Honey! I think there's a line!" Since he is oh-so-familiar with my pregnancy-hypochondria... he was very rational and told me to get a test done at work. So I did! And, boy did I have news for him!

With all the stress and excitement, Andrew has really been a gem. I had to work all day Saturday and he knew I was anxious about leaving with the house such a mess. I came home to laundry folded, floor vacuumed, bed made, dishes done, our important documents were all organized in their identified folders (a project we were both dreading), the bathroom cleaned, light bulbs changed... AND he was finished with all of his homework, and ready to offer me some undeserved attention. Now, while I am professing a gag-worthy brag-a-thon... I also think it's so important to recognize and be proud of husbands. What would we do without them.

He isnt Mr. Perfect... but he's perfect to me!


Hand-Me-Down Recipes!

Today I was in the mood to test my kitchen skills by following some recipes given to me by fabulous women in my life! This first one is my favorite soup at Olive Garden- which is Zuppa Toscana! So DE-LISH and really simple to make!
I received the recipe from my sis-in-law Stephanie. Thanks Steph!


1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp real bacon bits
2 tsp minced garlic or 2 cloves
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon or 2 cans of chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. sliced russet potatoes - 1/4" thick or about 3 large potatoes
2 cups chopped kale or swiss chard

Begin by sauteing the Italian sausage and the crushed red pepper in a pot. Then drain the excess fat and refrigerate while you prepare other indgredients.
In the same pan, saute bacon, onions, and garlic for approx. 10 min. or until the onions are soft.
Mix the chicken bouillon and water together.
Then, add it to the onions, bacon, and garlic.
Cook until boiling.
Add potatoes and cook about half an hour or until soft.
Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
Stir in the sausage. Add kale just before serving.

Goes great with a garden salad and some fresh bread. Thoroughly ENJOY!!!


The next is from my sis-in-law Bec :) She makes the best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and at this time of year, it's a must! These are so tasty and will be devoured quickly! Thanks sis!


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. It’ll look really funky at this point but have faith.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (17 minutes works about perfectly for me), or until the cookies are browned around the edges.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for two minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool on wire racks.


The Neverending New-Hire Training

I know that we have all endured the tedious orienting of a new job position... but really, does it have to be so bad? As fortunate as I am to have such a wonderful employer right now, I am just about done in with all the training. Yesterday and today I went up to SLC to certify in the main program that Intermountain Healthcare uses. I was fully prepared to attack the lengthy classes but yesterday they let the class out early, so I was hoping they might do the same today. But OH NO it went from 9am-4pm and it felt like much longer! Sitting in the same chair, in front of the same computer screen, learning the same things that I have been doing for the past three weeks on my own... was not my cup of tea. Now, as much as it sounds like I am complaining... you're right. I am doing just that. Most all of the people that were in my class have not started working in their clinic or department yet, so everything was new for them and repetitive to me. Phew! Thanks for letting me get all that out in the open. Feel free to disregard this whiney post as most of you will understand those occasional moments of just simply needing to vent.


Oregon Visit!

Andrew and I were off on a flight to Oregon at 6:50pm last Thursday! We had tons of fun and both felt that the trip was far too short. Unfortunately, amidst all the fun- I forgot to snap photos. Sorry!
After a short flight, we were welcomed by my parents with delicious hamburger stew and cornbread muffins. Mmmm!!! And of course, my mom being the fabulous hostess that she is, their were yellow roses for me and a box of chocolates for Andrew waiting on the nightstand of our bedroom. Can you guess where I get my "overdoing" from?
Friday morning we slept in, which was oh so needed and went up to the Milne Farm. We got to see the chickens and meet the goats! They are so adorable and it was fun to watch Kyler and Emma play with the animals. Then, we were off to my absolute favorite teriyaki joint, Bon Teriyaki. Man, I wish we had one of those here in Provo! It is the BEST Japanese teriyaki in this universe! Thoroughly stuffed, we went home to prepare for the evenings events. I was off to Time Out for Women with Mom, Emma, Grandma, Bec and Jenelle. Andrew was gearing up for the family sleepover at G-ma & G-pa Milne's house. This included the Christensen girls, Milne girls, Kyler, Kevin, Todd, Dad, and of course the dogs- Jack and Maggie. I was worried Andrew would not want to have kids after this event! But of course, he was a trooper and enjoyed the gathering! While the girls were gone, Andrew and Dad made a potato gun and took it up to the farm for practice. Those two are trouble together!
I had a blast at Time Out for Women. The speakers really were uplifting and it was nice to listen to other women that go through similar experiences and feelings from day to day. It was especially wonderful to be with the women in my family. I felt like it was somewhat of an initiation to be there with them. They have all gone before a couple times, and I was not able to go- considering I was in Utah. We stayed in a hotel and got to chat, laugh... eat and chat some more! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
When we returned home, Andrew and Dad had transformed into chefs and prepared a yummy birthday dinner for Megan and I. They made salmon, scalloped potatoes, salad, grilled asparagus (Andrew's creation), Broccoli, rolls and shrimp with cocktail sauce. I wouldn't have traded that meal for a restaurant in a million years! So good! And of course, the traditional ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. It was the best birthday finale ever!


Birthday Eve

In my family, birthdays are always a big ta-do... especially growing up!
The day is all about you and YOU some more!
Your favorite meal prepared for dinner or even going out to the restaurant of choice.
I have always wanted to carry those traditions on with my own family and now I can!
ANYWAY... on the eve of my birthday today, since I won't be in the office tomorrow... I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I arrived and my desk was decorated with streamers and confetti, candy kisses, a small bucket of thoughtful notes from each member of the staff and an adorable photo album for special memories! AND- a huge banner at the front desk decorated with "Happy Birthday!" It is so wonderful to know that even as a new employee, I am appreciated and noticed by the staff! They also had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and brownies made for everyone to share in the celebration. With every patient that I worked with today, each of them made sure to wish me a happy birthday. Even strangers were acknowledging my birth! It was truly a fabulous birthday at work!


The Brent Brown Saga Continues...

I'm sure that you have all experienced similar frustrations as we have with the car dealership where we adopted Sashimi. We are all familiar with the ever so courteous customer service reps that are dealt with on a regular basis regarding insurance coverage, cell phone plans, misc. unnecessary and overcharged bills... etc. These are all joys of modern day pleasures that tend to, as my dear mother would say, "torment our souls."
Having spoken with multiple "managers" who in my opinion, weren't managing ANYTHING... I found myself repeating our story and many "yes ma'am's," and "I understand, ma'am's," with NO result so I decided to give it a rest for a night with the assurance that I would be contacted the following day with a solution. Of course this wasn't the case. I sat at work, festering over my frustrations and was NOT contacted... let alone, with any solution. So, with Brent Brown on my speed dial by now- I called the Parts Manager to find out the status of our predicament. Luckily for him, he did have a solution and was able to console me with a pleasing report. The Brent Brown Chevrolet, whom we purchased the car from was not the original dealership that received the trade-in from the beginning. This was overlooked on their part when selling the car to us. Brent Brown Dodge originally received the car from a previous owner and ran the emissions test while finding the need to conduct several repairs on the vehicle. A lack of communication was found between the dealerships and we were caught in the middle. Considering the specialty part is $870-some odd dollars, we were pleased to find out that we will not be charged for the part needed or labor to place the part, in order to pass the state emissions test.
This is a relief to us as we can barely afford the gas to run the dang thing! I mean... our dear Chrysler Concorde, Sashimi. This was a happily ever after for us and especially for Brent Brown Chevrolet as the wrath of Kacie is not a pretty sight!


Define: Customer Service

CUSTOMER SERVICE : "Customer service is an organization's ability to supply their customers' wants and needs" - CustomerServiceManager.com
When Andrew and I got married we were concerned about our daily whereabouts and transportation. We had our Honda CR-V (AKA Origami) and as wonderful as she is, we couldn't exactly split her into two cars... as we needed her in two places at once. So- it was time to invest in a second vehicle. We purchased our Chrysler Concorde and named her Sashimi. Long story short, the check engine light came on- exactly a week after we bought it! We thought it might just be an error... but the dealership has not been very helpful in compensating for this problem. Today I spent an hour giving the "Customer Service Rep" a piece of my mind. As most of you know, I am more than willing to say whatever, whenever I feel the need. This is a fabulous trait at times and gets in the way at others. And as most of you also know, Andrew is the exact opposite. So Brent Brown got stuck with me today! We are crossing our fingers that this will all work itself out or else we are dealing with a large bill that I am not paying. I'm sure you've all faced similar situations. Don't you just love how Customer Service can be just the opposite? Sometimes I think it should be called Customer Dis-Service.
Sorry for the venting and slightly negative post. But I needed to get it all out!


No-Carb Update

It's been exactly 1 week and I have lost 4 lbs. It doesn't feel like 4 lbs. but I guess that's better than nothing, right?! On the other hand, I have cheated unintentionally! And... intentionally. It's been really hard to figure out what has carbs and what doesn't. Did you know carrots and corn have carbs?! I can't even eat certain HEALTHY foods! What kind of diet is this?!

Well, it's a 4 lbs. in 1-week diet! That's what it is.

So I'm going to stick with it and do my BEST
not to cheat.

Favorite Diet-Friendly Foods: (this week)

- Pepperoni
- Grilled Chicken Strips
- Celery
- Green Cabbage
-Sugar-Free Jell-O
- DIET COKE (Always a favorite)


Andrew is home :) The weekend flew by as I had hoped! The poor guy was out all day and night on Friday doing "Marine" stuff... (that's the best way to describe it) Then woke up @ 5am on Saturday and hiked a bazillion miles in the pooring rain... and then this morning they woke up @ 5am, ate powdered eggs, sausage, and french toast (all cold), did physical training and other "Marine" stuff haha then made it home by 12:30pm He was and still is pooped...
napping on the sofa, as I am typing.
Friday night I was able to visit with some of the other Marine wives. I was a little nervous, but then so surprised at how much we had in common. Their stories made me feel like counting my blessings ten times over. Two of these women found out they were expecting, the week after our men were called to Iraq. They carried their babies and had them 5 and 6 months before the boys came home. Their sources of survival were webcams, pictures and phone calls when they could. I think my Father in Heaven really had a hand in the outcome of this weekend. He knew that I needed a little humbling and these strong and optimistic women were just the ones to do it. When I asked them about how difficult this must have been for them and their husbands, they were so nonchalant about it. Their view on it was that at least they had the other wives to get them through and when their husbands came home, it was the most amazing reunion to meet the additions to their families. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father loves me and is in my life to teach me these lessons and open my eyes.



Andrew is off to do drills this weekend, Friday-Sunday. As supportive as I can be, it's still difficult when he leaves. Last month, I was able to fly home and spend the weekend with my fam in Oregon. Way fun! But I was ready to get back to my husband and small basement apartment home. This time, I'll be home by myself for the weekend. I'm not too worried about keeping busy, since I have plenty to do. I work all day Friday, work Saturday, clean the apartment and Sunday I'm babysitting my cute niece Karina and nephew Marcelo for the afternoon session of General Conference. Also, Andrew has the wife of one of the men in his unit in his History class and she invited me to a "Wives Club" this weekend. All the wives get together and hang out when their husbands are off at drills. I hope I fit in!


I started my new job at the hospital this week and have been really enjoying it so far! I am moving quickly through the training and cannot wait to be settled into the swing of things. I now know why it took me so long to find the right job. It wasn't available just yet! And now I have such a wonderful position, fabulous co-workers and management AND most of all I'm happy. Andrew is so supportive and doesn't get disappointed when my meals at night aren't as adventurous after a long day for the both of us. Isn't he dreamy... ? Gotta love him!