When it rains, it pours!

The past 4 months have been a blur with a bunch of crazy trials and many other obstacles. One of the main reasons we havent announced we were pregnant is because we literally didn’t have time to with everything going on. Here is a little bit of what has been happening, just to give everyone an update, and to document all the craziness;)

We bought a house:

Yes! We bought a house in Cedar City and we love it. Derek and I will most likely be moving again in the next year or so, but we have been talking to a ton of investors and the majority of them told us to start young, so we bought an “investment” property here in Cedar City. It is less than a block away from the SUU campus. We officially feel like real adults! We moved in July 19, 2016. We have incredible neighbors & friends that all jumped in and helped us unload of trailer in no time!

Found out I was pregnant: 

We found out I was pregnant in June. What a shock! We have been talking about trying for a while and well it all worked out! I wrote a draft the day after finding out and I wanted to share it.


“June 28, 2016

EXCITING NEWS! Derek and I are pregnant! Yesterday I could tell something was going on…. I told Derek that we need a pregnancy test. We took two and they both were positive! We also confirmed it with the doctor this morning and it looks official. We cannot believe it, but are excited beyond measure.

We plan on telling our parents this week over the 4th of July weekend, and the other siblings that are expecting–Lane (Girl-Oct) & Krista (Boy-Dec), and Melyn (Boy-July) & Emily (Thea-adopted and 6months old).

This is one of the many reasons we wanted to start trying to have children is all our siblings were having there last child and we wanted our child to have some close cousins!

Last night Megan and Tevan Valtinson came over to play games and we told them that we were expecting! They were so excited and came and jump on us. We couldn’t hold it in any longer (4 hrs) and had to tell someone our exciting news!

This baby is going to be welcomed to a wonderful family:) March 7th is the due date. I have my first official appointment August 8th. I hope I can wait that long to tell everyone! I have the best news in the world and I want to scream it from the roof tops!!”

Got accepted into grad school:

The day after we found out I was pregnant, we found out I had been accepted into Colorado States Masters of Social Work program!  I start January 2017, and it is an online program which works great. However, I have to travel out to Denver, CO twice a semester for my clinical hours. So things are going to be crazy, especially with a little baby now, but my amazing mother has already agreed to help me out. My Aunt Marilyn lives out in Denver, and my mom came up with the idea that she would meet me and the baby out there and we could stay with my Aunt and my mom would take care of the baby while I go to school for the weekend! How amazing is she?! Honestly, without this plan this would feel so unmanageable. Some people think I am a little crazy to head back to school with a little one in my arms, but Derek and I feel very strong about it and it seems right. There are a couple lines in my patriarchal blessing the help me feel comforted in my decision. My mother-in-law is a therapist and she told me “You can either go to school now or in 20 years. I know you think things are crazy, but they will only get crazier. You can do it!” So we are doing it. Jumping with both feet, and trusting God.

Our 1 year anniversary:

 I will give more details in a later blog, but Derek and I had an awesome anniversary.  It was my year to plan it and we ended up going on a northwest road trip for one full week. We ended up cutting it a couple days short due to the accident; however, we had an incredible time other than that. My sister in law Krista gave me come Unisom to help with Nausea for the trip, it was amazing but I literally slept about 80% of the drive! Haha Derek listened to his books and I slept. My dad let us take his Prius which was great on gas! More details to come…


My Dad got in a bad horse accident:

The second day into our anniversary trip I got a call from my mom letting me know that my dad was being life flighted to the University of Utah hospital. I just started balling. I was tempted to come back right away, but my mom told me to enjoy the trip and if something changes I could fly home right away. At this point we were in SunValley, ID. My dad was on his new mule with my Uncle Mark and a couple of his friends and a some sheep dogs came down the canyon, the mule got spooked and took off down the trail. My dad ended up off the mule. He punctured his lung and fractured 9 of his ribs. They had to life flight him from the West Fork of the Duchesne (Kamas, UT) to SLC. He had to had breathing tubes, feeding tubes, you name it he had it. The accident happened on July 30th and Derek and I ended up getting there August 4th, meanwhile he never left the ICU. We wanted to stay a couple days with him until we had to go back to Cedar. Derek and I switched days to spend the night with him because we didn’t want him to be alone. We could tell my mom was exhausted and wanted to help in anyway we could. I really felt like I couldn’t leave his side, and that he needed me more than I knew. I asked him if he wanted me to take this upcoming week off and be with him. My dad has never asked me to stay with him ever, he has always said things like “Oh, I will be fine. We will figure it out.” But this time was different. All he said was, “would you please?” and started to cry. I knew that I had to stay with him and help him through this difficult time. I am glad I did too. That Sunday, 12 weeks pregnant, I said goodbye to Derek to start school and I stayed with my dad. During my time in the ICU with my dad I puked multiple times, and every time the Nurses would come in so angry thinking I brought the flu into the ICU. I had to explain to them that it was just my pregnancy. haha My dad and I never got any sleep in the ICU and we still talk about how the hospital is not for rest, its for anything but rest! We thought things were getting better; however, two days later things turned worse, and I knew I stayed for a reason. They found that his intestines had twisted on themselves when he fell, and they had to do an emergency surgery. It was terrifying. The doctors told us it was very bad because he his bowels have not worked in over a week and there could be some dead tissue in his intestines and things could go badly (septic). He made my mom and I go over his will before going into surgery. We all could not stop crying. It was one of the hardest moments of my life thinking that my dad might not come out, and that I might have to say goodbye for good. Even now, thinking about that experience tares me up inside. So many people have experienced something like this in their life and it truly is life changing. I hope no one ever has to go through this, but unfortunately they do. I offer a new prayer to these individuals of comfort and peace. However, my dad did make it out and everything went extremely well, even the doctors even commented that everything was in perfect shape. They were expecting to have to deal with some major problems with deaden tissue, but everything was healthy. They were able to remove his cecum (part of his colon) successfully, and get everything in its proper order. My dad said after this whole experience especially his last surgery, there were two things that kept him going. He knew that he was blessed and that the blessings that were given to him by priesthood holders were real and he felt the influence of heaven, but he also felt a very special spirit around him. He knew that it was my baby. He kept having that thought “Rachel’s baby is here with me. I need to make it through this to hold this baby in my arms. It gave me strength.” When he told me this, what did I do? Sob. This whole experience taught me that heaven is a lot closure then we realize, and makes me even more anxious to meet my baby!

My dad was able to leave the hospital 20 days after he accident and as you can imagine more excited than ever. He is still working on his recovery, but he has made leaps and bounds in his healing than what the doctors had expected. Just with the touch of the masters hand.

Thanks to everyone who  prayed, fasted, put names in the temple for our behalf, blessings, and many, many offers to help. You have no idea how much that helped and for the lovely support. God is real.

My Dad August 2nd
The picture that helped me get through.
This is “Waddles”. My Nephew Rockwell, gave this to me to help comfort me and have something to cuddle with since Derek was gone! 😥

Started school, Pregnancy, and getting back to life:

In the mist of all this, I came home and Derek was getting ready to start school and I was  trying to make up for missing 2 weeks of  work, while still trying to get our house unpacked. Before our trip both of our parents came down to help with the house, but honestly there was still a lot to do.  Derek is currently taking 24 credits. Life is still hectic, but we are managing. We go up north often to help my dad and help my mom out with whatever they need. My pregnancy is still difficult (sick), but it is getting better. Two weeks into the semester I had to go to the ER for being dehydrated. I also had an infection in my stomach, due to all the stress (per ER Doc). Hmmm… no wonder! 🙂 We are hoping we are on the tail end of all this madness.

To be honest, these last couple months have been some of hardest months of my life, but I can tell you this. God is very mindful of us. We are so blessed to have a Lord and Savior that is here for us continually. The future is bright. His love is real. God is good.

“Our house is just a little house, but God knows where we live.”


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