Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Driving To Texas

We decided to head to Texas for Thanksgiving this year, but we are driving it this time. Cody and I drove the trip a few times together before we had kids, but add kids to the trip, and it's a whole 'nother monster. The kids did great on the drive down, all things considered.

We left bright and early at 8:00 Saturday morning and after many couped up hours in the car, and a few stops, we made Albuquerque that night. We stopped at Chili's for some take out and the checked into our room. It was a quaint little place with an indoor pool. So we left Dad in the room to relax and watch the re-cap of the Utah/BYU game and the kids and I swam. By the way, great job UTES!!!

Sunday morning found us on the road again and let me just say, we're not big fans of New Mexico. It is a very dirty state with litter all over the highways! When we crossed into Texas I wanted to jump out and kiss the ground, but we kept on driving. We filled up on gas and got lunch in Amarillo and we saw the cheapest gas there!! I am amazed at the sudden drop in the price of oil. Otherwise, this trip wouldn't have been possible.

Finally, after over twenty-one hours in the car, we pulled into Mom and Dad's driveway at 10:30 that night. The good news is we get to turn around and do it all again this weekend! Groan...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Am A Child Of God

Last night while Cody was still out of town, I was feeling kind of lonely and anxious so I packed the kids up and headed to Temple Sqaure. I always love walking around there and the peace I feel, even if it is just from looking at the temple and the sites. We spent a lot of time at the Church History Museum and Ethan gpt a big kick out of the "retired" Angel Moroni statue on display.

Then we headed upstairs to the "I Am A Child Of God" exhibit and the kids loved it and didn't want to leave, even when I said we could go eat at McDonalds. There was a lot of fun and interactive stuff to do. As I ran around and played with the kids and helped them with the different activities, I felt truly peaceful and happy. I know what we've been through is only a trial and the Lord will make things right. And before long, we'll be back at Temple Square and our fourth child will be with us. I look forward to that day!





Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Beautiful Friend

Brandi is one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out. She has been one of my dearest friends for years. She is pregnant with her third boy and is due any day. I consider her more of a sister than just a friend, and I wanted to take some maternity shots of her. She and her boys came over on Friday and kept us company all day. We had some major damage control to do on the house after they left, but their being here did wonders for my soul. And you would think it would have been hard for me taking pictures of her pregnant belly, but it was the opposite. It gave me hope that it will happen for me again and it made me smile. I can't wait for her sweet baby to get her so I can have some cuddle time with him. She has some seriously cuddly babies! Brandi is such a goof and I love how her personality shines through in some of these.













Heavenly Father, Are You Really There?

It was one week ago tonight that I realized I was losing the baby. It was only seven days ago, but so much has happened during that time and it seems like seven years ago. I've never had to process and deal with so much emotion is such a small period of time.

Today was the Primary program at church, and since I am the pianist I had a very large part in it. For days I've been dreading it, and Jules and I even talked about the alternatives to me playing (she is the chorister). We rehearsed yesterday at the church with all the kids and I seemed to do okay, but I felt like death and I wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there.

Last night my sweet friend Katie came over and we sat on my couch and talked until 1:30 this morning. She has suffered with severe infertility and has tried for years to have a baby, to no avail. So I cried for her pain, and she cried for mine. I then wasn't able to fall asleep until about 4:00 this morning and I had my mind made up that someone else would have to play the piano. I was staying home so I could wallow in my misery.

But it was Ethan's first time in the program and I couldn't miss it, so I got up and showered. While I was in the shower I talked to the Lord and asked for help so I could get through the day. Then suddenly I saw what seemed like a glimpse of the baby and it gave me strength. I won't say it wasn't hard getting through the program. I completely lost it and cried uncontrollably as we did "A Child's Prayer".

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer every child's' prayer?
Some say that Heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now, something that Jesus told disciples long ago.
Suffer the children to come to me.
Father in prayer I'm coming now to Thee.
Pray, He is there. Speak, He is listening.
You are His child. His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayers. He loves the children.
Of such is the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.

The tears poured freely from my eyes as I played and took in the words to the song. I was shaking like a leaf, but somehow I didn't miss a beat. Patti and Maria, two of the sweetest ladies I know, sat behind me and cried with me. I've heard that song and played it a thousand times, but somehow today, I felt the Lord sitting right beside me on that piano bench and His arms really were surrounding me in love. I like to think that He cried right along with me as I was hurting.

I am amazed that I got through the program and only missed on a couple of notes. Then we had so much fun in primary as we let loose and celebrated the wonderful program we had been working so hard on. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful women in life who are there for me. They are such great people and I am lucky to call them my friends. I am truly grateful to have them in my life. And with them helping me, I know I will be okay.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Those Few Weeks

For those few weeks I had you to myself. And that seems too short a time to be changed so profoundly.

In those few weeks I came to know you and know your spirit. I loved you. You came to trust me with your life. Oh what a life I had planned for you!

Just those few weeks- when I lost you. I lost a lifetime of hopes, plans, dreams, and aspirations...and a slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just those few weeks- it wasn't enough to convince others how special and important you were. How odd, a truely unique person has recently died and no one is mourning the passing.

Just a mere few weeks- and no "normal" person would cry all night over a tiny and barely begun baby. Or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day. No one would, so why am I?

You were those few weeks my little one. You darted in and out of my life too quickly. But it seems that's all the time you needed to make my life so much richer and give me a small glimse of eternity.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Exclusive Club

I shouldn't have gone tonight. I knew in my gut that I shouldn't go, but through a little persuasion, Jen got me there. I love you Jen, so no hard feelings! You mean well and you're a great friend.

Card swap was tonight and I hadn't planned on going. Today was a terrible day and I spent it in and out of tears. There is something around every corner reminding me of what has happened. I can't escape the gut wrenching pain and today was very hard. I hadn't planned on going, but I did anyway.

A hard part of this is the inevitable discomfort that is brought on when I walk into the room. No one knows what to say to me. And I don't blame them because before I had experienced it, I never knew what to say either. It's like an exclusive club that you never want to be a part of, but once you're in it, you totally understand. But without membership, it's impossible to fully get "it".

So I went. And it went better than I thought and I was thinking it had been a good idea that I'd gone. I want to feel normal. In fact, I'm desperate for normalcy again. During the evening I felt distracted and I was even able to laugh a couple of times. Now, I don't think I am the center of the universe because this happened to us. I know life still goes on and people still live their own lives apart from me and my world of grief.

But tonight there were some incredibly insensitive remarks made (by people who were completely unaware...I'm sure no hurt was intended) and suddenly the room became small and I couldn't breathe. Jen is such a wonderful friend for many reasons, but she proved her friendship tonight when she told me it was time to go. She knew I was hurting so much and I needed to get out of there.

As soon as we left I felt like I would throw up. We walked home and I cried hysterically as the pain welled up within me and I ached for my loss all over again. We got back to my house and Jen stood there and cried with me. She doesn't have membership in this unfortunate club, and I pray that she never does. But she showed so much empathy and cried with me.

After talking to Cody in between heaves and kissing the kids goodnight, I felt like I had to go on another walk or I would have a heart attack. The pain I felt at that moment is indescribable. So I left the house, no shoes, no coat. I just felt the icey ground beneath my feet and I walked. I didn't know where I was going so I walked around the block, sobbing into the night. I looked down the street and saw a light on in Jules' house. Something attracted me to it like a moth to a flame and I found myself on her doorstep.

Jules', sadly IS a member of the club, twice over. One loss early on like mine, and one loss at 24 weeks. To make a long story short she welcomed me into her home with open arms and we sat there and cried together. I told her my story, she told me hers. I think I have been craving that kind of conversation, with someone who REALLY gets is. Her losses were fairly recent and her wound is still raw like mine. I know it was the spirit that led me to her tonight.

She gave me a book to read about loss and grieving called "Gone Too Soon" and I've already started reading it. It has accounts of women who've lost babies at 3 weeks and at 40 weeks and everywhere in between. I am understanding now that my feelings are very real, very natural, and very okay. I've been feeling like I was crazy for being this devastated over losing a baby so early on. But this is what it feels like, to every mother in my shoes. Or at least it should. I am normal. I am not crazy, and it's okay to feel this way. I'm a member of the exclusive club, but it's a club that no mother should have membership into.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank You

I wanted to thank all of my wonderful friends and family for the love and support they have shown us during this trying time. I can't count the number of emails and phone calls we have received from people who are hurting with us. I don't know how people can get through this life with out good people to lean on. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You dont know what your kind words have done for us.

I think the worst (physical)part is behind us. Last night, after a day of intense pain and bleeding, our sweet little baby is no more and I have officially miscarried. Now the emotional pain...if that would only let up as quickly.

Last night I was in and out of dreams and found it hard to sleep. I had the most vivid and real dreams about a baby boy. He was so real that I could have touched his skin and smelled his sweet baby head. I could see him all swaddled in his blanket, wearing his tiny hospital hat, and I could count the wrinkles on his squished up face. When I woke up I thought I was in the hospital. I expected to roll over and see him snuggling with me, but then my heart broke all over again when I realized it was a dream.

I can't get over how incredibly attached we became to that little life in such a small period of time. The silver linging of this is that #1- I miscarried earlier than later, and #2-it was a short ordeal. Probably the longest two days of my life, but now it's over and we can move on.

This life will always live in our hearts and we'll never forget the fragile and short time we had together. And I know that we will again have the chance for this baby to join our family. Now is not the time. But I wish it was and I long for the day when I can hold him in my arms and never have to let go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

I talked to my dad for a while this afternoon. Somehow the conversation turned to the show "Annie", which is a show we both love. The words to the song came to mind as I've thought about the last 48 hours and what has taken place.

Yesterday as I drove home from the hospital sheets of icey rain poured from the sky. It was cold and gloomy which is exactly how I felt inside. Yesterday was the hardest day of our lives so far. When I woke up this morning I first thought it had been a bad dream. And then reality hit me and I again felt the cramping and I knew it had happened. I laid there for a long time and I cried and hurt.

I had cuddled with the kids in bed all night long and it was comforting to feel their sweet and warm bodies against mine. When Ethan woke up this morning he rolled over says to me in a groggy voice "Mom, Jesus took our baby back to live with Him, but it's okay. He is going to give us another baby soon." I hugged him so tightly and it's amazing how a his words filled me with comfort. It's strange, because we hadn't even talked about the loss with him. All Cody had said is that our baby would probably be born later than we had thought, and he left it at that.

But somehow, this morning Ethan knew the right thing to say to me to soothe my aching heart. My sweet and inspired little guy made the world a little brighter. Cody had to go back to work today, but the kids and I snuggled on the couch most of the morning before we took Ethan to school.

We experienced a devestating loss, but we still have so much to be thankful for. And with Thanksgiving only two weeks away, this has given me a newfound appreciation for all of the wonderful things in my life. It is still very hard and I don't know if I'll ever get over it. It's amazing how attached you can become to a 5 1/2 week old life. That baby will forever live in our hearts and we will always cherish that tiny but sweet time that we had. But like the song says, the sun will come out tomorrow. And it did.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We Lost The Baby

It's been a terrible 24 hours. And before you think it, just stop. I know a lot of you think it was silly to tell about a pregnancy so early, but we didn't think it was silly and we never have. It's something so wonderful and something to be celebrated, not hidden. So we told. And now it is gone and we don't regret telling.

The last two weeks have been such happy ones for us and we had big hopes and dreams. Now those dreams have been put on hold because apparently, the Lord had other plans. I guess the Lord changed His mind about sending out little one to us right now. To recount the last day would be hard and long so I'll save it for when I've processed what has happened.

I'm sad. I'm sad like I never thought I could be. It's a sadness I've never felt before. Or maybe devesated is a better way to describe what I feel, what Cody feels, what we all feel. It's one of many trials in life that we've been given and I know there is something wonderful waiting around the corner. This is just a set back, but oh how it hurts. I hear of this thing happening, but it's something I never saw happening to us. Please keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Thankful Tree

I love Thanksgiving time. And if it weren't for the days becoming extremely short, I would REALLY love November. There is something magical about the kick-off to the holidays. When I was a kid I loved the Thanksgiving crafts and the "feast" that our class would always have right before school let out for the holiday. I loved making pilgrim hats out of construction paper. I love the hand shaped turkeys. I love it all.

This week for Family Home Evening we talked about the holiday to the kids. Earlier that day I packed the kids up and we went to the Library to get some books. I about cleaned them out of Thanksgiving picture books and we have been reading them each night of the month so far. The kids favorite right now is "Arthur's Thanksgiving".

To start of family night, we read a book all about the first Thanksgiving and why and how we celebrate it today. Then we made our thankful tree. Ethan and Hailey helped me sketch and color a big trucnk with branches, and then we wrote down a few things we are thankful for and stuck them on the tree. We hung the tree on the back of the door and each day we've been adding to it with more leaves. By the time Thanksgiving gets here we hope to have it covered in pretty leaves symbolizing things we are thankful for. I love holiday traditions and this is one of our favorites!






Friday, November 7, 2008

5 Weeks

Well Friday is my "day". It marks the end of my gestation week, so I've decided that each Friday I will post about my pregnancy progress and journal how I'm feeling, what I'm craving, etc. I never did that with the other three and I want to now. I'll also post a picture every four weeks, or whenever I feel up to it.

5 weeks- Your baby is about
the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. The big development this week: Your baby's brain is beginning to grow! It develops from the neural tube, a structure that will also spawn your baby's spinal cord, nerves, and backbone. Since folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida, you can see why it's so important to take it while trying to conceive and early in pregnancy. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

It's amazing what a baby the size of a sesame seed is doing to me. I am already sooooo very tired during the day, and the last few days I've had to crash on the couch while the kids watch a movie and terrorize the place. And the morning sickness has hit. Not too bad yet, but I feel very barfy each morning while I'm making breakfast (okay, raw eggs are not my friends right now). Then in the evening sickness hits again. As I write this, I have that "heavy and tight" feeling in my throat like something needs to come up.

And heart burn has set in. Not because I've got a big baby pushing on my stomach, but because of that blasted hormone that relaxes everything in the body, even the sphincter in the esophagus that keeps things down. This has always happened to me right away.

The other day I thought I could be miscarrying. All day I was feeling very achy in my lower abdomen. Not crampy, but more like I'd pulled a muscle. We were at the grocery store and it suddenly got really bad and I ran to the bathroom to see if I was spotting. Nothing. The feeling gradually went away, but when I looked in the mirror that night I saw a belly. Seriously it happened in a day. I guess that achy feeling was my belly stretching out! The uterus is like a balloon and the more it is inflated, the easier and quicker it inflates each time. So my belly is a tired old balloon.

With Lauren I was in maternity pants by eight weeks. I don't think I will make it three more weeks in my normal pants this time just because it's so tight around the belly and hips (those spread right away on me too). BTW, I haven't had any more of that achy feeling since Wednesday, so I'm confident that things are fine and stuff was only moving around down there.

I'm praying that I don't gain another 70 pounds this time. I still have that extra 30hanging on me, despite my BEST efforts this year to get it off. So I'm hoping that my body will compensate and only gain 40. I'm going to do everything I can to keep it under that number! This pic was taken the day that I "popped out". You can't tell from the picture, but I can sure tell and I can really feel it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lauren's Got Somethin' to Say!

We weren't going to share this for a few more weeks, but my heart is so sick right now about the election and rather than dwell on it, here is some great and happy news!
Our little firecracker will be here in early July and we're excited. It's true what they say...a new baby is God's way of saying the world should go on.

My Thoughts On What Happened Last Night

Kim, I hope you don't mind me posting this! But you summed it up so well and I say "ditto" to everything you said here. (This is straight from my friend Kim's blog...) I want others to see this!

"I am sick to my stomach! Never in my life have I felt this type of despair. If others read this that don't share my opinion, that is your right, just as it is my right to feel the way I do. I feel like a horrible storm cloud settled over my head last night and I am not sure that we will be able to weather the storm very well in the next 4 years. For the first time in my life I am ashamed of my country. I was taught at my dad's knee to stand when the flag went by, with my hand over my heart. When we would drive back into the United States when we lived in Canada, my dad would get out and kiss the ground. It was a fun family joke, but my dad is a proud American... give him his guns, his freedom, his religion and he is a happy man. And he taught his children the same.

I cannot listen to our National Anthem and not have tears. I love books about the history of our nation. I am honored when I think of those that fought for this great country... they fought to worship God the way they chose! They fought to live free of a king! They fought in the worst of circumstances and they won! I love our military men and women of today... that they sacrifice so much so that not just our country, but others around the world might have the same rights! I was raised on love of country!

And I have always honored the president, even when his morals were in the garbage! But for the first time in my life, I don't feel that way. Obama is not my president! I am so sick of hearing people talk about if you don't vote for him it's because of his color.... as a friend put it, it's not about the color of his skin, it's about the color of his heart!!! How is it right that a black person can vote for him simply because he is black (though when I was growing up, a person that had one white parent and one black parent got harassed on the play ground). A woman my girls work with said that she was voting for him simply because he is a brother. It doesn't matter what he represents... just that he is a brother! Is this not the worst kind of racism???

I feel so sick today. The evil that is about to take place makes me want to vomit! A man that will allow babies to be killed...or die AFTER a botched abortion. A man that at first said he was against same sex marriage, but then says that he is for same sex marriage, a man that changes his morals as the wind blows! The Lord won't stay his hand when a nation will kill babies at the drop of a hat, will allow babies to die. It would seem that the world doesn't really believe in Sodom and Gomorrah!

Today I am mourning for the country that I love, the country that I have had pride in my entire life. My only prayer is that we are not so firmly entrenched in evil in 4 years that we can't take the country back then! I am ashamed that people would chose a man that won't be straight with them, that his opinions and beliefs change with the wind, that he stands on sand, shifting with the tide. A man that would surround himself with evil, believe in evil, and then expect to run the greatest country on the earth! A man that wants to fundamentally change this great country!!!

And while I am sharing, I am grateful for the fact that George W. Bush has kept this country safe since 9/11. I see him as a man of faith, a man of God who led this country in the worst of times. A man that leans on the arm of the Lord is more of a man than one that leans on his own understanding! A man on his knees trying to receive inspiration is a bigger man than one that is fighting for his own cause!

God bless America... we are going to need it! I will be praying every minute of the next 4 years!"


Thanks for saying this, Kim. I couldn't have put it better myself!!!

Squanto

Most of us have heard the story of the first Thanksgiving—at least of the Pilgrims. But not many have heard of all the events leading up to that first Thanksgiving. Historians believe that around 1608—more than a decade before the Pilgrims landed in the New World—a group of English traders, led by Captain Hunt, sailed to what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out to trade, Hunt took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them into slavery.

But God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians—a boy named Squanto. A well-meaning Spaniard, who treated him well and taught him the Christian faith, bought Squanto. Squanto eventually made his way to England and worked in the stable of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn’t until 1619—ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped—that a ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto was on his way home. But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An epidemic had wiped out Squanto’s entire village.

We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto’s mind. Why had God allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones dead? A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and settled on the very land once occupied by Squanto’s people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the startled Pilgrims in English.

According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good... He showed [us] how to plant corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities... and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.”

Only God could have orchestrated these events to preserve the Pilgrims when they landed in the New World. God in His sovereignty answered the Pilgrims’ prayers years before they arrived in Plymouth.

God is doing the same things in our lives as well. Even when we think all is lost, God knows the ending. He is preparing us for something greater just down the road of life. We don’t have to understand what He’s doing; we simply must trust Him. Even when you face trials or setbacks, you can be thankful. Be thankful God is watching over you! Rather than focusing on this earth’s problems today, think of Heaven’s glory and thank God for preparing a place for you to spend eternity with Him.

I think this is good for us all to remember, especially with the great uncerntainty our nation and WORLD are now facing as a result of this election.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trick-Or-Treating

By the time Friday night got here, the kids were Halloweened out. So were Mom and Dad. Lauren stayed home with Dad while Mom took Ethan and Hailey out. They only made it around the block before they were "too tired to go on".

Vader and Yoda making nice.


Lauren wanted in on the fun and tried to follow the big kids. But it didn't take long for her to dive into Hailey's candy as soon as she got home!








Daddy's Work

On Halloween day we headed to Daddy's office for trick-or-treating. It's the one day of the year that they open the doors to families. As you can see, this year was Star Wars. Lauren was Leia, but the stinker kept pulling her head piece off, so I did her hair in pig tails and told people she was Baby Leia. One of the departments decorated with Star Wars so the kids were pretty excited. Then it was off for juice and popcorn in the lounge.






Ethan's School Party 10-30-08

I had the fun privilege of working in Ethan's classroom last Thursday. It was their Halloween party and we had a blast! The kids were so adorable in the costumes. Hailey got to tag along and she was thrilled. She will be in Ms. Kari's class next year and she already thinks Kari hung the moon.
The class read a cute book about a witch who delivers pizzas to make enough money to feed her 40 cats. Then after the book was finished one of the moms surprised the kids by dressing like a witch and bringing them pizza. There were a lot of squeals from the class.

Luke dressed like Anakin Skywalker, so here we have Anakin before and Anakin after.

Hailey had a good time participating like a big kid. She will be all set for next year!






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