Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Utah Adventures

Eli and I left Garrett in the cold and blustery land of Wisconsin to visit my family in the equally cold and blustery land of Utah for a week. It was a fun visit and a great chance to see my family, but I missed Garrett a lot, and he missed us. I guess that's why we're an eternal family — because we can't stand to be away from each other.

While gone we survived Eli's first cold:

While also surviving the cold:

We played with Brooke's kitty:

and gave Grandma and Poppa our love:

But most of all, Eli was just super cute:

And Garrett missed me so much he let me take a couple selfie! I love that man:

Friday, September 20, 2013

We're officially cheese heads

Wow. The last time I blogged our little alien was a marshmallow. I really need to get better about this whole thing. Oh well.

Well, we've officially moved to Wisconsin. I LOVE it here. Seriously. I kind of want to live here the rest of my life. (Don't worry Mom and Dad, Winter hasn't happened yet. I'll probably be singing a different tune in a month.)

I could try and catch you up on everything that has happened, but I won't because then this blog post will never be finished. So, Cliff Notes version: Garrett's parents took us to Nauvoo and Chicago when we moved out here. It was a blast and super cool to see. Here's some pictures.

We've made some awesome friends and done some amazing things while we've been here.

My mom came out to visit.

 Garrett received his White Coat and started medical school.

And our little alien just keeps getting cuter and cuter.


Monday, May 27, 2013


Eli had his first boat ride on Memorial Day.

I dare you to try not to laugh.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reaching New Heights

For those of you who don't know, I've had chronic pain in my left leg since I was about 16. Well, many miracles later, I have the opportunity to get a Spinal Cord Stimulator to fix my pain.

Part of this procedure is getting a trial stimulator, which I had implanted exactly three weeks after I had Eli. This trial went so well that I was able to do something I haven't been able to easily do in six years.

I hiked the Y.

Garrett didn't even have to carry me back down this time.

Want to see pictures?

I get the actual implant on June 14th. It's been hard going back to being in pain, but the end result will be incredible. Here's to waiting.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Birth Story: Meeting Eli

This is the third, and final, part of the birth story. If you want the first two go here and here.

So, we left off at the part where I'd made it to a 10 at around 11:00 a.m., remember? Now it was time for pushing.

Six pounds even.
My nurse taught me how to push while we waited for the doctor. Can I just say that pushing with an epidural is the weirdest experience. It's not like you're contracting your muscles — you're sitting there going, "Brain, I want you to push the baby out. Hope you know what you're doing."

Somehow, the brain does know what to do.

The doctor arrived at about 11:15 a.m. and things really got down to business. As we started to watch the monitors, we noticed Eli's heart rate dropping rapidly each time I pushed.

"Don't worry," the doctor said. "The cord is probably just wrapped around his neck. It'll be okay."

I'm actually quite proud of myself with how I reacted. You see, there were two options with how drugged I was. One, I could panic and think my child was going to die. Two, I could remember that this actually happens quite a bit and my child would be fine.

Surprisingly, I chose the latter.

Anyway, by about 11:30 there was some crowning going on. I was able to catch a glimpse and both Garrett and I are in agreement: the top of a babies head looks like a brain. The skin is so squished and purple that you really have no idea it's a head.

E.T.'s antenna. We told you he was an alien :D
With crowning happening at 11:30, you can probably guess what happened next. At 11:52 a.m. little Eli Thomas was born. The doctor unwrapped the cord and this little, purple, alien-like creature captured my heart.

(Also, for all those that did the math, I only pushed for 35 minutes. Don't hate me. I have so much respect for those that have to push longer. I was exhausted!)

The rest of the hospital stay was kind of a blur. I had a fever after they broke my water, so both Eli and I were put on a series of antibiotics. Because of this, I didn't see Eli for hours and hours after we moved to the Mother and Baby Ward. Luckily, he had his awesome dad to keep him company while they poked him 6 times in an attempt to put in his IV — finally ending up with an IV in his head. We affectionately referred to it as his antenna.

We couldn't be happier to have such an amazing little boy in our lives. He's already taught us a lot and we can't wait to watch him grow and mature. We are so blessed to be parents.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Birth Story: At the Hospital

I'm doing this whole story in parts, so if you want to read about how I got to the hospital, go here.

Getting back to the hospital was pretty uneventful. I was pretty apprehensive — I must admit. You see, it's not like the movies at all. Garrett wasn't speeding dangerously while I yelled out angry and threatening words in the back seat. We didn't get rushed into Labor and Delivery with me getting pushed in a wheelchair. I wasn't sweating profusely and screaming obscenities.
This hat was so small. We had to take a pic.

In fact, I felt pretty good. And that made me pretty nervous. I did not want to get sent home.

Just as we were about to close the elevator doors to head up to L&D another couple came waddling in. Garrett held the elevator for probably forever so that they could make the trip with us. We subsequently let them go ahead of us to check in.

This probably added another 5 minutes to our trek. (As I said before, remember these things.)

I was certain at this point that no one would believe I was actually in labor. Let's be honest, I looked like I'd come to the hospital for one of their Oreo and blackberry shakes, not to have a baby. Even worse, I was pretty sure I hadn't felt a contraction since we left home

To make matters worse again, when they checked me I was only one centimeter dilated. I'd been one centimeter for the past three weeks. This was not going over well.

Our check began at 11:30 p.m. In other words, I had until 12:30 a.m. to progress or else I had to go home. Let me tell you — this was not a fun hour. My contractions hurt quite a bit. I guess I'm kind of a pansy.

About 40 minutes into this whole ordeal I was certain my water had broken. We called the nurse and had her check. It hadn't.

After this I took a moment to go to the bathroom. Without my knowledge, Garrett asked the nurse if I had progressed at all.

"Well, I didn't really check, but no," she said bluntly.

Even though I didn't know this little fact, I spent the next five minutes in tears because I was sure they were going to send us home and I was in enough pain that I didn't know what I was going to do.

Remember all those extra minutes we added to our trip that I told you to remember? We're officially on borrowed time right now.

15 minutes later the nurse came in to see if I had progressed at all.

Success! I was a two.

Now, let's do that math. Priesthood blessing + letting other couple go ahead of us = 15 minutes.

Without those precious 15 minutes, I would have been sent home.

This is when it gets exciting. Okay, not really. It actually gets gloriously boring. You see, they gave me an epidural. With all due respect to those who choose to go without meds, I'd like to tell you that epidurals are the best invention ever. I felt nothing. Nothing. Garrett and I would watch the contractions on the monitor and be like, "Woah, that's the biggest one you've had yet!" and I would be blissfully happy.

With that in mind, I slept as I progressed from a 1 to a 7. How awesome is that?

I had been progressing about one centimeter an hour since 12:30 that morning, but when I hit 7 at around 10:00 on the morning of the 25th it's like something connected. In another hour I'd made it to a 10.

... to be continued...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Birth Story: Getting to the hospital

This is kind of a long story, so I'm going to break it up into pieces. Here we are with part one: Getting to the hospital. Just an FYI, at this point, Wednesday, I was 38 weeks, 5 days.

The last picture we have of me preggo.
I'm 37 weeks, 3 days.
We'd already had two false alarms where the contractions stopped right before we were heading to the hospital. Because of this, I knew the contractions I was feeling at Grandma and Grandpa McCoy's on Wednesday night weren't anything to be excited about.

I also knew they hurt. A lot.

It was about 10:00 p.m. when Garrett noticed I was probably in more pain than I was letting on. However, he also knew it was nothing to get excited about. They would stop.

On the way home from Springville, with just Garrett and I in the car I was finally able to let my pain show. It was at that point that I made a decision I thought I was saving for the hospital.

"If this isn't labor I'm definitely getting an epidural. There is no way it can be worse than this."

I continued to have hard contractions that wrapped deep into my back and around my front all the way home. They weren't very regular though, so I thought I was just in for a long night.

By the time we made it home I was convinced we needed to go to the hospital.

"45 more minutes of this and we'll go in," I told Garrett. We may have started to get a little excited and I started to become a bit bi-polar.

During contractions I was convinced we needed to go to the hospital immediately. I was sure the baby was going to pop out any second. However, in between contractions I'd decide it wasn't really that bad — I was just being a hypochondriac and needed to toughen up.

Well, we finally decided to head to the hospital at around 11:00 p.m. I felt a little bit ridiculous, because I was sure they were just going to send us home after charging us an arm and a leg for the visit, but away we went.

We live maybe two minutes from Utah Valley Regional Medical Center if we hit all the lights wrong. About a minute and a half into our drive (yes, we could see the hospital) Garrett remembered a request I had made earlier for a Priesthood blessing before going to the hospital. Because I have an awesome husband, we turned around to go back home and have Garrett and his cousin's husband give me a blessing.

This added about 10 minutes to our trek. (This is an important point. Remember it.)

... to be continued...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

E.T.: Phone Home

Today we welcomed our little alien into the world. The story is soon to come.

Eli Thomas McCoy
Eli Thomas McCoy came into this world on April 25, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. He weighed 6 pounds 0 ounces and was 18 inches long. He's already stolen our hearts.

Friday, March 29, 2013


35 weeks along.
35 days left.

In honor of this adorable coincidence, and because I haven't written too many things about pregnancy, I'm going to share 35 facts about how things are going.
The proud dad!
  1. Little baby McCoy is a boy. 
  2. His name will be Eli Thomas McCoy. 
  3. His due date is May 3rd, but we're hoping he comes one week early so both his grandparents can meet him. (I know, wishful thinking :P)
  4. At the beginning of my pregnancy I craved salads. 
  5. ... and apples.
  6. ... and ketchup. 
  7. I didn't really have morning sickness. 
  8. I try not to share that fact with people that did.
  9. We found out I was pregnant on August 31, 2012. Garrett saw the stick first. 
  10. We had a very minor miscarriage scare, but it convinced me to keep it quite. We didn't tell family until after our 11 week appointment. 
  11. Garrett's family is large enough that once they knew there wasn't really a point in keeping it a secret. 
  12. I didn't have any "Mother's Intuition" about what the gender would be. I did have a feeling we were having twins. 
  13. I was very wrong. 
  14. We've been very blessed to have seen the baby (via Ultrasound) 4 times this pregnancy. I've had signs that something might be wrong but nothing has been. 
  15. The doctors have only been worried about two things: at first they thought my placenta was in front of the cervix (it isn't) and then they worried that I was measuring super small (I measure small with the tape measure and big during the ultrasound). 
  16. We bought all our nursery furniture back in April before we even started trying. I found a really good deal on KSL: $160 for the crib, mattress, changing table, changing table pad and dresser. 
    The alien at 19 weeks.
  17. I didn't recognize Eli's kicking until about 24 weeks, but I think I felt it before. 
  18. Garrett has great plans for Eli... He thinks BYU needs a new kicker. :P (I've just been informed he won't be a kicker... just a star football player)
  19. Garrett's favorite pregnancy "symptom" has been my Taco Bell cravings. 
  20. His least favorite pregnancy symptom has probably been my crying. :D
  21. I now have an outie belly button. Sometimes it sticks out through my clothes. 
  22. I don't plan on having an epidural, but I don't plan on not having one. In other words, I'm going to have an epidural. 
  23. One of the hardest things about this pregnancy, mentally, has been my growing belly. I had a lot of deeply buried issues resurface early on. Were it not for my incredible and supportive husband, I'm not sure I could have made it through this pregnancy with my self esteem intact. Though I still dread stepping on the scale at my doctor's appointments, I can honestly say that, thanks to my husband, I have been able to enjoy my new shape. 
    I thought I was showing. Ha!
  24. I think that pregnancy is the coolest miracle ever. I've grown a human, ya'll!!
  25. According to the website I use to give me updates on Eli's size, he's been a squash about 4 times. It's getting ridiculous.
  26. He's a coconut right now. When I told Garrett he asked if that meant our baby was growing brown fur all over his body.
  27. Garrett started Insanity right when I started gaining my biggest bump. He's getting buffer and I'm getting rounder. :P
  28. Less than 2 months after I have the baby, Garrett and I are moving to Wisconsin where he will start Medical School. 
  29. About three weeks after having Eli, doctors will implant a Spinal Cord Stimulator in my back. This is so my leg will get better — I might even be able to run again!
  30. Baby is already upside down and ready to go. 
  31. All the McCoy Boys (and by that I mean Garrett's brothers) have had sons first. Only Justin has had more kids, so we're not sure if that means it's all girls from here on out or not.
  32. The Raiders have already been incorporated into the baby things. I'm sure they will be incorporated more.
  33. We haven't really set up the nursery yet — I won't do it until we move.
  34. I can't get over how tiny newborn babies are.
  35. Our lives are about to change forever, and we can't wait ... and when I say "can't wait" I mean it literally — I'm ready to not be preggers anymore! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Awarding Journalism

So, I just found out I won an award — Kind of.

An unsigned House Editorial I wrote for BYU's Universe just won second place for Best Editorial for the House from the Utah Press Association, as reported by The Daily Universe.

I'm actually more excited than I probably should be, but I wanted to get this down somewhere so I wouldn't forget. Here's the link to the story, it's called "In the Midst of Adversity." This is one of my more serious articles, written after the Colorado shooting. The words, often, are not all my own as I pray earnestly whenever I need to write such a serious piece. I'm glad to know I was able to give some comfort to those who suffered so much.

*     *     *

In the midst of adversity: 
Finding strength when trials weigh us down

The memory of last week’s theater shooting in Colorado will linger, though there has been some time since the tragic events of late last week.

It’s hard to forget the thought of a man with no motive sneaking into a sold-out movie theater and murdering, in cold blood, 12 innocent moviegoers and injuring over 70 more. For the survivors, this memory will never fade away.

At this time, we choose not to give a detailed play-by-play of the events that day. Enough time has been spent in recreating the horrible moment with unnerving detail.

Instead, we choose to focus on the road ahead, as it will be a rocky one.

The event echos much of the fear and suffering caused by a previous Colorado shooting, the one at Columbine High School. In a letter written just after that tragic event, a teacher described what the current victims and their families must be feeling: ”We have a long and uncharted road ahead emotionally. Each day is literally taken now one at a time. The worst part of the day, dear family and friends, is the wake-up moment. From some sleep and peace comes this horrible rush as everything returns again — the emotions, the fears, the restlessness.”

All of us, those close to the event and those far removed, will experience — to some degree — this “horrible rush as everything returns again.” If not now, there will be a time when an event like this touches you. Such is the world in which we live.

One morning, while traveling down this “uncharted road,” you may wake up to this rush of memories and cry out in burst of carefully bottled pain, “Lord, why me?”

There is nothing wrong with coming to this moment. There is nothing wrong with feeling this pain. But it times of absolute grief, in times of desperate anguish, we urge you — as the popular phrase states — to drop to your knees when it becomes too hard to stand.

Just after Columbine, John Bytheway visited those who at witnessed the shootings. He said he struggled to find something to say to those who had seen so much pain in such a small time, but he shared with them his testimony: “If our testimonies are strong on this point and if we feel the absolute assurance that God loves us, we will change our questons. We won’t ask, ‘Why did this happen?’ or ‘Why doesn’t God care about me?’ Instead, our questions will become, ‘What can I learn from this experience?’ or ‘How does the Lord want me to handle this?”

It is hard to imagine good coming from such an event as this, but just as persecution grew the faith and testimonies of the early saints, tragedy — when handled well — can grow our own faith and testimony.

This moment will not come quickly, however. The pioneers, one of our examples of faith in the face of much adversity, learned this lesson countless times. Though falling on one’s knees for strength can fix you in a moment, it is a repeated series of prayer, study and faithful activity that leads to being healed.

Directing faith toward the Lord will lend a peaceful state of mind. Putting trust in Him, through a repetition of that series of prayer, study and faithful activity, will begin a healing process.

While in Jackson County, Missouri, Joseph Smith was given a revelation meant to strengthen the saints during that challenging time. Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4 states: “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings.”

We urge you in times of uncertainty and pain, as we are currently experiencing, to momentarily casting off your “natural eyes.” We ask that you look to the world around you with a mind aimed toward the will of our Heavenly Father. He knows your pains and your struggles, and though it hurts him to see you struggle, he knows your potential and knows the glory you will receive if you make it through your tribulation well.

Our prayers and our hearts go out to all those affected by the Colorado shooting. We ask all students, staff and faculty to remember the victims in their own prayers and to reach out to any who need their help. Most of all, we urge all who are struggling during this time, whether because of the events in Colorado or for some other reason, to petition to their Father in Heaven and ask him to help bear your burden.

May God be with us all.

*     *     *

After I wrote that editorial, I received a very kind note from Rich Wager of BYU Auxiliary Services. Since kind words in response to opinion columns come few and far between, I hope he won't mind me sharing what he said in response, so I will never forget.

Dear Allie,

I want to thank you for the editorial you wrote after the shootings in Aurora, CO. I was very impressed with the direction you took in the editorial. With the call to faith you invoked for all of us. Even though we were not in the theater when the shooting commenced, it does affect each one of us. You brought that out very effectively in your editorial.

The peace and faith we seek so earnestly, comes and goes as experiences happen to each of us. Through faith, we may be able to keep peace around longer. In the end it appears that peace and faith depend more upon our inner souls than on what is happening in the world. Trust in the Lord seems to help that happen.

Thank you for the editorial. It personally helped me to be a better person. I appreciate your insights and thoughts.

May the good Lord bless you and your family.

Thank you.

Rich Wager
BYU-Student Auxiliary Services

*     *     *

I can honestly say that a day does not go by where I don't miss working for that paper. I learned so much and grew so much as a person. There are a million things I would do differently if I could go back, most pertaining to my maturity and ability to deal with people, but there are billions of experiences I wouldn't give up for the world.

DU Staff, April 2012

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Showered with blessings

This past Saturday my sisters and my mother threw a beautiful baby shower for little Eli... well, kind of for little Eli. The decorations were all blue, but the touches were definitely for me. The balloons were tied with Tulle, yellow and white flowers dotted the table tops and we even had a little tea party. All in all, it was the perfect event and I am so grateful to all those who came and supported me. It was great to see friends and family that I don't get to see all the time.

I didn't get a picture of everyone in attendance, but I thought I'd share some photos of the beautiful day.

A peak at some of the beautiful
decorations. My mother made the
cake balls and the floral arrangements.
Also, isn't the punch to die for —
I will never be able to resist a
mother duck and her kids!



And while the girls partied, the boys played. Can I just mention right now how jealous I am that the boys got to go to the Air Force Museum. Maybe if I ask him super nice my dad will take me sometime soon! (Hint! Hint!)