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I’ve been baby hungry basically since our first summer of being married (aka right away). Babies always freaked me out, but Ruben’s sister, Brooktynn, had a baby that first summer we were married and living out in Omaha. And I fell head over heels for that little baby. That baby love grew when I started babysitting for some friends about a year later… People needed to stop handing me their cute babies!

We knew we didn’t want to wait three or five years or have any set time that we really wanted to wait to start trying to grow our little family. We knew we wanted some time with just the two of us, but we also knew we didn’t want to wait too long because I want kind of a big family (6 kids) and we both want to be young parents. We decided in 2017 that at the New Year we would start trying to have kids. A few months before we started trying, I started regularly tracking my period because I wanted to make sure we were doing what we had to during my ovulation days (lol, sorry if this is TMI, but also not sorry). We were trying as much as we could. There were a few months we took off for various reasons (I had a wedding booked 9 months from that day, too many April babies, etc.). I know you can’t really plan when the baby is going to arrive, but we were sure going to try our hardest.

There were a few times where I had thought, “This is it! I’m pregnant! I am one week late!” …. only to start the very next day… Honestly, it was a rough little while. It seemed like everyone I knew was getting pregnant. Friends who weren’t married, friends who were, friends who weren’t trying… I was honestly so happy and equally (and maybe a little more) devastated every single time someone I knew posted they were having a baby. Not that their “yes” meant my “no", I was just honestly really struggling.

I think that the biggest thing I was struggling with was my faith. I had prayed so much that Ruben and I would become parents. I would pray that this would be the month! I would pray that by some miracle, we would be the next ones to announce that we were pregnant. But I felt so alone. I kept having dreams about babies and I was sure that meant that I was pregnant. Only to have the sure sign that I was not. I felt really alone at the time. I felt like God wasn’t hearing my prayers and that surely after 7 months of trying, it had to have happened by now. I was scared that maybe there was something wrong with me. But to be completely honest, we were too poor for me to have health insurance, so I couldn’t even afford to go get checked that everything was working and that getting pregnant was even a possibility for me. I remember the day that I broke down completely in front of Ruben. It was the first time that I had really truly told him how alone and estranged from God I was feeling about this. He, of course, reminded me that God’s silence is not Him saying no and that just because it hadn’t happened yet, didn’t mean it was never going to happen. He reminded me that we had been promised children on this earth. And he reminded me that I had just been hired at a job that would give me health insurance, so that soon enough, we would be able to afford to get me checked out and make sure everything was okay. (He is so good to me. Literally the perfect husband).

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It was about a month and a half after Ruben and I had talked and I had my mental breakdown. I had been feeling like I was pregnant for about two weeks, but had not even started my period. I was sure that it was all in my head. That there was absolutely no way that I was actually pregnant. Yes, I was having the same symptoms my mother had before she found out she was pregnant, but I truly thought it was in my head. Well…. That’s not true. I thought it was real. I just was so scared to get my hopes up, only to start my period the next day. Or only to see that blasted Negative sign on the pregnancy test again.

I had told Ruben about a week before I was supposed to start that I was 99% sure I was pregnant. Which would mean the baby would be due in June (literally right after he gets home from tour in Brazil with Living Legends). We decided to wait not just until I was a week pregnant to take the test, but to wait a week and a half (minimum). I had been a week late before only to start on day 8 of “missed period”. So we were going to wait until it was pretty darn evident that I was not going to start. I was so anxious to take that test! Deep down, I knew it was going to be positive, but like I said, I reallyyyyy did not want to get my hopes up. I really did not want to feel that gut wrenching “What’s wrong with me?” feeling again.

It was the best night ever. We had just gotten back from dinner at Ruben’s sister Meredith’s house and I was so anxious to take that test! I was on day 12 of being late and was dying to pee on that stupid stick already! We got home, and I ran to the bathroom, ripped open that pregnancy test, quickly read the instructions and then went to take the test! It says it could take up to three minutes to show the answer and I swear I tried to wait that long to look, but after I peed and put it on the counter, I looked down and within 15 seconds, there it was. That big, fat, beautiful PLUS SIGN!

I screamed “BABE!!!!” and met Ruben in the hallway and I handed him the test and said “we’re having a baby!” I was shaking and crying and so overwhelmed with happiness! It was finally happening. We were really going to have a baby! We hugged and kissed and I cried and we freaked out that holy crap we were going to be parents and holy crap this is actually happening! And then, I remembered I was going to be going to Disneyland in two weeks and cried because I wouldn’t be able to ride the Incredicoaster (it opened after my last trip to Disneyland and I was so excited to ride it finally) because I was pregnant! It was a short wah wah moment, but then it was back to celebrating and freaking out!

The baby is be expected (our rough estimation) to arrive on June 4. Ruben gets back from Brazil and tour May 20 (just barely 2 weeks before), so we’re already praying that baby stays inside until he gets back! But honestly, I still cry thinking about my baby. I cry thinking about how much he is loved already. How much we have waited and cried for and prayed for him. How much he is going to be loved here on this earth and how loved he is before he has even gotten here. We are so happy! And it’s taken everything in us to not tell everyone we know!

Anniversary in Berlin

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I was kinda bummer that we were going to be on tour with Legends on our anniversary. I’m not going to lie. The thing is, normally on tour, you don’t have a lot of freedom. You have to be at a certain place at a specific time and you have to wear what everyone else is wearing… It’s kinda hard. Especially when you’ve been at it for 3 weeks. But I wanted to make sure we made the best of our anniversary and we got 1. lucky that it was a free a day and 2. that it was seriously the best anniversary ever!

I had no idea what we were going to do. I’m not from Berlin, I have NO idea what was a good restaurant or where we should go/what we should do. But I decided that we could spend the whole day with our friends, but at the least, we would get a nice dinner to ourselves. So I started doing some research on where to eat and one of the most touristy things we could have done is eat at the top of the Berlin TV Tower. I didn’t even care that it was super touristy, it was a huge sight with 360 views of the city and it was a one of a kind experience that I wanted to have! I booked our dinner there like two months in advance and I was so excited!

We spent day with our friends all day long and it was the best day. We started with everyone at the Berlin Wall. It was so cool seeing all the art that they had put up on the walls. And it was wild to think that at one point, that wall truly did divide Germany and both sides were struggling in their own way. It was surreal to be totally honest. One of the good things that our tour director did was get us a hop on/hop off bus pass and it saved our lives! We were able to see and do so much because of those.

After we walked along the wall for a bit, we decided to hop on the bus and head towards the Brandenburg Gate. Coolest part of that was recognizing it from the Spider Man movie (lame, I know, but it was awesome because we even saw the same pretzel man as they filmed in the movie). We then walked a short ways towards the Holocaust Museum/Memorial. It was wild and beautiful to walk through those pillars and feel like a giant and some points and totally lost and insignificant at others. We really wanted to see the museum, so we stood in line and we walked through it.

We actually went to a lot of museum’s in remembrance of the genocide and the terrors that happened in Germany. And it was crazy because even being at those same places, walking where Hitler walked, standing where he once stood and spoke to thousands, and reading stories and seeing items that belonged to victims… Even being there, it still didn’t even feel real. My mind still could not grasp the chaos and the horror of it all. It was beautiful and sad and just sombering all around.

After we went to lunch, we decided we were going to try and meet some friends to head to the famous Burgermeister (a local burger joint that is built underneath a train that still runs today and is built in what used to be the old bathrooms… sounds gross, but it’s really not). We had heard that Burgermeister was “cash only” and we needed to go find an ATM. We were trying to coordinate through crappy cell service with some other friends to meet up, but we were seriously struggling. Ruben and I decided that it was okay because we would at least get there and hopefully meet up with them eventually. We started by hunting for an ATM. We found one not too far from one of the many bus stops and so we hopped off and started walking around trying to find one and we did! After we finally found one, I was just standing and waiting for Ruben to finish withdrawing the money and then I saw something I didn’t think I’d see!

See, while I was researching things to do and see in all of the places that we were visiting (trying to get a good mix of touristy and less touristy things) I had read about these old school photobooths that were on the streets! When I read about them tho, no one had put a location. And I honestly completely forgot about them! Until, as I was waiting for Ruben at that ATM I saw one RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET! I freaked out and of course told Ruben that we HAD to get some pictures taken. But this isn’t like the photobooths at your standard arcade. This was a film photobooth, so there was no choosing your template or countdown or anything. We put our money in and waited. And waited. And then the light turned on! And then we waited and waited for a beeping or something to indicate that the picture was going to be taken and then BAM! It flashed and we were not ready. And so we got our shiz together and made sure that for the rest of the pictures, we would be ready! And those are seriously some of my favorite pictures from the whole trip (even the one where we had no idea when the picture was gonna be taken. It’s a classic!)

We then decided we should probably head back to the bus stop and wait to take it back to Burgermeister. We hadn’t heard from our friends in probably 40 minutes, so we figured either they beat us there, or we were just going to meet there (or not!) And as we stood at the bus stop, we heard someone yell! And we both looked at each other because it sounded like one of the friends we were meeting, but we didn’t think there was any way BUT IT WAS! It was our friends! I have no idea how we did it, but we met up even with our crappy service and lack of communication! Actual divine intervention! lol

We boarded the bus and headed to Burgermeister. The line was a long one because it’s supposedly the best burger in all of Berlin, but we thought it would be worth and it seriously was! It was probably the best meal that we had that entire trip! The burger was so juicy and delicious and the fries were good. And it really wasn’t that expensive! It was the best! So if you ever go to Berlin, GO TO BURGERMEISTER! And then thank me later.

After we went to Burgermeister, we had the biggest struggle hour of my life. Seriously so frustrating. Ruben and Naakaii had to go to the bathroom, so they went on the look for one while we waited at one bus stop. But then, it had been like 20, almost 30 minutes since we had heard anything! Ruben texted and said they were down the street like 15-20 minutes and that there was a bus stop right next to them there. So we started walking. And mind you, we had made our rounds back to the Berlin wall at this point (because Burgermeister was right across the river from it). So we walked along the Berlin wall and while we were walking, we saw these people playing a game! We stopped to just watch and then all of a sudden they were yelling at us to join and it was all so fast and chaotic! Anyways, one of the people made Jared pull out his wallet and as soon as he saw a 50 in there REACHED IN HIS WALLET and handed it to the guy playing the game! Jared was a good sport about it, but Marypaz flipped out! And then! They cheated us and we “lost” the game and then they kept asking for more money! And when Marypaz saw them cheat us, she flipped out and got ALL UP IN THE GUYS FACE and started yelling at him that he was a cheat and she saw what they did! It got crazy and heated so quick, so Jared just grabbed her and literally pulled her away before any fists were thrown or things got too out of hand! She was tizzy. Anyways, as we were walking away, trying to cool down, I saw the bus coming, so we started BOOKING IT to the next stop. I was trying to text Ruben to meet us and hurry up (it had been about 40 minutes at this point that he had been gone) and we barely missed the bus! I was pissed because we had to wait another 20-30… It was seriously just off timing, but it was an adventurous and struggle filled hour…

After that, we decided to head back to the main part of town. We really wanted to hit up this suggestion that one of the local YSA’s had given us about this edible cookie dough place! So we headed straight towards the nearest bus stop and then started walking. Marypaz and them showed us this abandoned building that was now a huge graffiti spot and that was awesome! And then we finally found the cookie dough place. The cookie dough was so delicious and the soda was even better! We hadn’t had good soda the entire time we were in Germany, so to try a local soda and LOVE it was amazing! The best part about the cookie dough place was it was definitely a local spot. It wasn’t too far from the craziness of downtown Berlin, but it was so quiet and quaint. I loved it. That was one of the highlights of the whole day for us!

After we had cookie dough, Ruben and I split off from our friends. It was time for us to head to our dinner reservation and time for them to grab dinner and head back to the hotel (we got special permission to stay out a little later than everyone else because it was our anniversary and we made reservations and we did it according to the itinerary which had the time to return to hotel much later than the actual time we needed to get there). We headed to the TV Tower and got in line to head up to the restaurant. It was insane taking that elevator ride up. I could feel my ears popping and just seeing the number on the elevation screen get higher and higher was wild! Before we knew it, we were at the top! We sat down right away and ordered quickly (we didn’t want to push our time too late as far as staying out). We had such a delicious dinner and talked about tour and our favorite parts with the most beautiful 360 view of the city! The thing about this restaurant at the top of the TV Tower is it’s rotating, so we saw everything! We tried to find all the spots that had visited that day and it was so cool being that high up.

Even though our day was shared with friends and all of our touring group, it was the best day we could have asked for! Sure, we honestly didn’t see THAT MANY sights of Berlin, but the day was perfect for both of us. And it was the best second anniversary I could have asked for!

Halloween 2017

Best Halloween ever! It was our second halloween married, but our best yet! We had too much fun! We decided to be punny with our costumes as much as we could! And we had lots of Halloween-ing to do.

Last year we did so good at our Halloweening! We carved pumpkins, decorated the apartment, we watched a Halloween movie almost every single night and we went to three halloween parties (and had different costumes at each) and it was the greatest!

First things first, we had the best 31 Night’s of Halloween movie thing going last year. I don’t know why we dropped the ball this year, but we just were so good about it last year! Here are our favorite halloween movies that are on our list every single year!

  • Twitches

  • Harry Potter (Prisoner of Azkaban, because it’s my favorite movie)

  • Bewitched

  • E.T.

  • Beetlejuice

  • Monster House

  • Hotel Transylvania

  • Halloweentown

  • Frankenweenie

  • Walla and Grommit Curse of the Ware-Rabbit

  • Hocus Pocus (duh)

  • Casper

  • Nightmare Before Christmas

  • Coraline

  • Scooby Doo

  • Haunted Mansion

  • Corpse Bride

  • Edward Scissorhands

We love our halloween movies! We also went to three Halloween parties: Living Legends, our Ward party, and our friends party! At the Living Legends Halloween Party, we dressed up as Batman and “Ruben” (see what we did there). That was one of the funnest costumes to put together! We were so stoked on how well they turned out (considering 95% of it came from DI and was bought the day of or like a day before) and on our creativity (mostly with the pun, lol).

Our next party was our Ward Halloween Party! We entered the chili competition (AND WON!) and once again, we dressed up. I was so gung-ho about not repeating costumes last year tho, so we decided to do our second punny costume of the season — Winnie the Pooh and Christopher “Rubin”. It was one of the funnest nights ever dressing up with our friends, winning the chili competition, and walking in the costume parade!

^^ My “trophy” for the best chili of the night! Yay!

Our last celebration for Halloween was with all of our friends on Halloween. We started with eating our weight at Tucanos (always a good idea) and then we went to Jaimette’s house for their Halloween Party! We played games, at snacks! It was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it all again this year!

BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!

Our Wedding Day

Our wedding day.... Wow. I can't believe I'm writing about our wedding day! It was absolutely perfect! I would not change it for the world. I obviously had to get up hours and hours early for my sister to do my hair and makeup and eat some food. I was so nervous for that day. Mostly because of the weather! When I went upstairs to eat breakfast, it was cloudy and windy and rainy.... When your reception is outdoors and you do not want to move it inside of a church building, you get real worried real quick! I had french toast and a lot of bacon and ate breakfast with my parents. My dad that morning said (first thing too), “I have this feeling you’re going to have twins!” HELLO DAD! I haven’t even gotten to do the thing you need to do to make babies…. So one step at a time! lol

Of course getting ready for the day took so much longer than I thought it would. Ruben was upstairs waiting for me for a good 10 minutes before I finally finished getting ready. And wow. Seeing him. Eeeek! I still feel the butterfly's and all the pure joy that I felt when I saw him. It was literally the most surreal and “what the heck is going on” feeling knowing that we would be getting married that day! We went to the temple and I could not believe it all day long that it was OUR wedding day! We had talked about it with just about everyone and the anticipation was so high and it really didn’t even feel real that it was actually here!

The temple ceremony was absolutely beautiful. And I remember before Ruben and I were sealed, he said to me, "We're exactly where we should be." Man, I cried so much during our sealing. I tried so hard to not actually let any tears be shed because my makeup would get ruined and Aubrey wasn't there to fix it right away. My lip would not stop quivering as I tried so very hard to not burst into a ball of tears because I was so happy and so ready for us to be married! And seeing all of our friends and family in the sealing room.... You guys, I'm crying reminiscing on the feelings I felt while we were sealed. It was the closest I have ever felt to heaven and I think that's exactly how I should have felt in that moment. 

We left the temple and got to greet all our family, friends, and guests! It was so wild the whole thing! We were officially Mr. and Mrs. Zendejas!! It was the best feeling knowing that it was all real. But also, it didn’t feel real at all! We kept looking at each other and being like “That was it? We’re married now?!!” We took pictures for what felt like hours (but also what felt like nothing! The whole day just flew by). I could not stop smiling! I was officially married and sealed for eternity to my best friend... the love of my life! Best. Ever.

Funny story: So after all of our family pictures, we released all the family to go rest, change, get ready for the reception/luncheon while we walked around the temple and took pictures of just the two of us. My mom stayed with us to carry our bags and make sure that if we needed anything, she was there to take care of it. Anyways, so we finished taking pictures and Ruben and I are ready to have a few minutes alone while we drive to the luncheon and then…. My mom loses her car keys. She lost them! We retraced our steps, she went back in to the changing room, and we could not find them! It was more than her just losing her keys tho. We had allllll the decorations for the reception in her trunk! It was an ordeal… But a few hours later, we got a call from the temple that they had found her keys! Just in time for the reception!

Okay back to the timeline: We had a luncheon at the church right next to our reception with just our families. We had some good ol’ Cubby’s with our family and the best part of the whole luncheon (other than eating because that was the last thing I ate the entire day) was watching all the youngin’s run around the gym and play tag. I loved seeing my niece and nephew blending in and hanging out with Ruben’s. I still remember watching them run around!

Next was our reception. What a blast that was! It was so much fun and so nice to have friends and family come and help us set everything up (since it had rained the night before and morning of, we couldn't set anything up and it all had to be done day of). We got everything set up on time though and the night began! After we set up, we took a few more pictures because it was so green and lush in the backyard and we had to take advantage of it! The most hilarious things were with the kids tho:

  1. There was this hugeeee grassy hill that we took pictures at the top of. And without fail, one by one, each youngin’ ran down that hill! But the thing is that it didn’t really smoothly flatten out, but it was kind of abrupt. And we watched one by one each kid bolt down that hill and then subsequently face plant because they were going too fast to control! It’s still hilarious to picture to this day!

  2. Meredith is the baby whisperer. There were like 12 little ones and they were all over the place. And rallying them all together and keeping them all sane was a task! But literally nothing is too big a task for Meredith. She came fully equipped with candies to bribe the kids into sitting still and being quiet and it was literally hilarious looking over at her handing out candies and all the kids sitting perfectly still in hopes for some sugar!

We said hi and thanked so many people for coming. And I know for a fact that we didn't even get to everyone (so if you came and we didn't say hello, I'm sorry, but here's a belated thank you for coming)! So many people came it was hard to keep track of! We had tons of food, cake, and even had Waffle Love cater (thank you mama!). After we greeted a lot of people, it was time for the party to start! We started it all by cutting the cake. I had told Ruben that I did NOT want the cake smashed in my face... So what did he do? Shoved it down my throat! I knew he was up to no good because he had a total shenaniganizer look all over his face!! What a punk! Then it was time for the dances. Our first dance was full of love and butterflies. I literally was so unbelievably elated to be married to my love! Then the father daughter dance. I had surprised my dad with a mariachi number for our first dance. His dad, my grandpa, always loved mariachi music and was in a mariachi band. So I asked some friends of mine to sing our song. I loved it! Then the mother son dance. Ruben was full of so many surprises! Half-way through his song, the music stopped and turned into a polka song! His entire family joined in with their rat-pack hats and all! It was so much fun. Then the party really started! My mom is so fun and bought these light up Styrofoam sticks that the kids loved and really added to the party!! It felt like no time before I was tossing the bouquet and we were running off to our honeymoon.

I'm still undecided how I feel about calling our Wedding Day the "Best Day Ever!" because we have had many, many days since filled with love and joy that I never wanted to end. But our wedding day truly was the best start to our eternity that I could have asked for. I have never felt more loved, supported, and excited by my husband, family, and our friends. I wouldn't change a single thing about that day. It will #alwayzendforever be my favorite!