Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009







Picture 1- some ornaments I made for an ornament exchange party we went to.
Picture 2- Santa once again left his "magic snow" this year. (It's magic b/c it doesn't melt because it is from the North Pole)
Picture 3 and 4- one of our Christmas Eve traditions....Cory reading the Polar Express while we listen in our pajamas and drink our hot chocolate.



We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. Although we did not have any family with us (sob, sob), we had so much fun just being our own little family and doing our own traditions. It couldn't have been more magical and perfect. This year we really tried to have all of our fun traditions on Christmas Eve and then we saved our special traditions for Christmas day. So many times I feel like we do it all on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day is just spent playing with all of the new toys. So we spent the morning playing and then that afternoon we had Christmas dinner with the missionaries and then read the Mann family traditional book, "That Thine Alms May Be in Secret" (which is SO GOOD and such a tear-jerker....it even chokes Cory up). Then we sang Christmas carols together and focused on what Christmas means to us as a family. I think we'll be doing Christmas like this every year. It was perfect.

Cory went back to work today and so now I am totally going through withdrawals! I love having him home, although I am SO GRATEFUL that he has a job! I guess now that he is back to work that means that I must go back to work as well...laundry, dusting, mopping...you know all the fun stuff. I think the "nesting" feelings are starting to surface because I have got all sorts of projects that I want to start in January. I am getting SO EXCITED to have a little baby in our home!!!!!! Six (or less) weeks to go!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas lists and my doctor appointment (they don't really go together, do they?)

Christmas shopping.....went with Cory last night as a date (we had so MUCH FUN, and we got it all done in 2 1/2 hours

Wrapping....almost done, it's okay to let the girls watch movies all day while I wrap presents, right???

Christmas cards....what Christmas cards? (I've decided to send out baby announcements in Feb. instead)

family picture....why do it now when we could do it with a little baby in our arms?

Christmas baking....why not do it tomorrow as a family?

Don't you just love all of my justification for not doing all of the "things" that should be done at this time of year? As a family, we decided to simplify Christmas this year. I made all of the Christmas presents for all of my siblings and Cory's siblings (although, they won't get them until after Christmas) and for Cory's home teaching families, Katelund's school teacher, a close friend, and for all of the young women, but other than that....I'm not going completely out this year because I just want to enjoy the holidays. I want to enjoy being pregnant (even with all of the aches, pains, and tiredness that come along with the third trimester), I want to enjoy being with my children, and I don't want to be a complete emotional disaster when Cory comes home every evening. I just want to enjoy the feeling of love and excitement during the Christmas season. So...the Christmas goodies and cards will just have to wait for next year.

Okay, so on to the details of my doctor's appointment...but first I need to preface a little. In trying to save Clairisa (when my placenta abrupted at 28 weeks), my doctor did a classical C-section in order to get to her as quickly as possible. If you don't know what that is...it is a vertical cut that starts below my belly button and goes down about 4 inches (although it has gotten a lot longer as my stomach has expanded). This type of incision is not normally used anymore because it is more dangerous (b/c of blood loss to mother) and it heals a lot slower. Because I have this type of incision, there is no chance of me ever having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian) because there is a greater chance of my uterus rupturing during labor. My doctor in Asheville told me that any pregnancies I would have after Clairisa would have to not only be cesarian, but I would have to deliver a couple of weeks early to prevent my uterus from rupturing. So...my doctor here has been telling me that he will deliver me 2-3 weeks early. But, then this week he told me that he feels like we should try to hold out until week 39 so that Hailey does not have any problems with premature lungs. But, in order for me to make it to week 39, I cannot go into pre-term labor and I cannot have more than 3 contractions/hour.

I understand where my doctor is coming from and trust me I don't want Hailey to have to be on a ventilator or anything, BUT....I also want a baby that is alive. Maybe I am just speaking out of fear, but I would much rather have a premature baby than no baby at all! If my uterus were to rupture, then I could lose the baby (in fact, I could die as well). Maybe I am just being overly paranoid or overly anxious to have my baby in my arms, but I just feel afraid again. Afraid that I am going to lose another baby. When I was just beginning this pregnancy, I mercifully received that feeling of peace in knowing that all will be well, but right now I am just letting fear get the best of me. I will just continue to pray for that peace to return because I know that everything is in the Lord's hands, I just need to have more faith. More faith in my doctor (whom I searched, researched, and prayed for the right one for many weeks) and more faith in the Lord who can make miracles happen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hailey in the womb....


Yesterday was my 32 week appointment and I am going to post all about it but I'm about to go Christmas shopping, so here is a sneak peak of our little Hailey Jane. Isn't 4D amazing????

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

The First Step: Admitting there is a problem...

Lately I have been wondering what is wrong with me. I am just not myself. I have been getting irritated with people so easily lately and I just have not had a whole lot of patience. As I was totally ranting to my mother-in-law this morning, she so sweetly told me that she knew what was wrong with me....it is my totally crazy pregnant hormones. Seriously, they have taken over and it is not a good thing. I feel so bad for everyone around me. Every time I go outside and hear my neighbor's dogs barking, I get completely annoyed (four Doberman Pinschers who I am about to take down in a fist fight). When my children start fighting, I want to scream. When I get handed one more task to complete or assignment to fulfill, I want to burst out in tears. Whenever I even think about all of the things that I need to get done before Christmas, I just want to crawl into my bed and never come out. And, every time I hear someone tell me how big my stomach is getting I want to rip their heads off. I bet you are really glad that you don't live near me, huh? :) And if you do, I'm so sorry. Please just know that my hormones have completely taken over my body and I really don't mean what I say. I really do love dogs (okay, maybe that is going a little far), I like to think that I am a pretty patient person (most of the time), and I truly am very happy and grateful that my baby is growing and healthy, please just don't remind me about how big I am getting....trust me....I already know. Anyways, I am hoping that by admitting that I have a problem and praying for help, that I will be able to control this crazy lady that has somehow taken over.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Christmas Miracle

Today as I was talking to one of my neighbors, she asked me what we were doing for Christmas. I told her that we were staying home and that unfortunately we weren't going to have any family visiting this year. I then explained to her how last year we went to Minnesota for my brother-in-law's wedding. As I was walking home from the bus stop, my mind flooded with memories of last Christmas. It was not a normal Christmas. In fact, Becca and Logan were originally planning on getting married in August (before their 3 new nieces were born). But, for whatever reason (definitely divine intervention), they chose to push their wedding date back to December. I had chosen not to go. Cory was going to be there to represent our family and that was going to have to be enough because there was no way that I could go and see Amber and Brittney with their new baby girls and not have my own. I was still grieving and luckily everyone understood this and was just fine with whatever decision I came to. About a week before, I decided that I needed to go. To this day, I am not sure why. Maybe it is because I have always looked to Logan as the little brother figure in my life. My brother Kelly, who died when he was 4 months old, would've been the same age as Logan. Or maybe it is because I knew that it would be hard for Cory and so I felt like I needed to be there for him. I'm not sure. But I do know that I felt strongly about it because boarding that plane was one of the hardest things ever.

When I got there the band aid that I had put over my bleeding heart was immediately ripped off as soon as I saw Callie and Kylin for the first time. Watching them dress, nurse, rock, and cuddle their babies was almost more than I could take. But, I knew that I needed to be there....no matter how badly it hurt. On the day of the wedding, it was blizzarding. There was snow everywhere and the temperatures were unbearably freezing. As soon as we walked through the doors of the temple, the warmth flowed within my entire body. Not just the warmth from the heaters, the warmth of the Spirit. The warmth of knowing that there in the temple all the coldness and uncontrollable emotions within me that were constantly on the brink of rupturing were tempered. I knew that there in the walls of the Lord's house I would be given the strength that I needed to make it through the next two days. The sealing was beautiful. I have never seen Becca or Logan look so angelic. It was amazing. But then as I left the security of the temple, the blizzard and emotions blasted upon me once again. The reception was hard, especially during the picture session when Becca and Logan had all of their nieces and nephews around them. Becca was holding Kylin and Callie and the only thing that I could do was repeat in my mind, "why?". Why was I the one that had to lose my baby? Why did I come here? Why did she have to die?

The next day was Sunday. Amber had chosen to bless Callie in the hotel room so that all of the family could be part of it and all of her brothers could be there to place their hands on Callie's sweet little head and give her a name and a blessing. Amber had asked me months before if they could name their new little baby Callie Clairisa. Once again, I had debated about not being in that room. I knew that it would be hard, but I just kept thinking of Sister Dalton's words from conference, "I can do hard things, in fact, with Christ I can do all things.". The blessing began and the tears started flowing, not just my own tears though. The tears of everyone in that room. I will not share every detail of that day or the previous night because they are some of the most sacred experiences I have had. But, I will say that when I boarded the plane later that day, I felt as if my heart had been healed. I know that a miracle took place within my heart and within the hearts of others.

Last Christmas was one that I will never forget. It was my Christmas miracle. The kind of miracle that will be forever imprinted upon my soul and the kind that will always remind me of what Christmas is really all about. It is about the Christ child. The child that was born in the lowliest of circumstances and yet was the greatest of us all. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords who came to overcome the world, to overcome all of the heartache, suffering, sin, and death that would come upon each one of us. Even hundreds of years later, the Lord's coming can still bring joy to the world. Joy to a grieving mother and joy to all those who let Him into their life.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Just an update





On Saturday, we woke up to snow!! The girls had a lot of fun playing in (and apparently eating) the snow. (Sorry, the pictures are out of order...scroll down to see the snow pics.)

While Cory's family was here over Thanksgiving, we took them to our favorite park (that has a 3 mile biking/walking/running trail). Cory, me, Mom, and the girls all went on a bike ride while Dad, Logan, and Becca walked with Roxy. We had a great time, although it is getting a little difficult to lean over this baby in my tummy in order to ride a bike. I should've had someone take a picture so you all could laugh at how dorky I must have looked. I guess I need to post some pregnancy pictures because I only have 8 weeks left!!! After the bike ride, we watched Cory get some one-on-one coaching from his little brother, or as the SVU students know him, "Coach Mann", the new SVU head baseball coach.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday. Everything looks good. Hailey is 2 lbs. 4 oz (or 14, I can't remember) right now. Passing the 28 week mark was huge for me because that is when Clairisa was born. I was really nervous to go to my appointment on Monday because I was so afraid that something was going to be wrong. But, all is well. I feel great, although I have been chewing on ice like crazy and getting really sleepy during the day but the nurse just called me yesterday to tell me that my test results show that I am anemic, so that explains a lot.

The other night when I was tucking Katelund and Cloey into bed, Cloey asked me, "Mommy, is Hailey going to leave us to go to heaven like "Clairlissa" (that is how the girls say her name) did?" I told her that we never know when we will be sent back to heaven, but I have a feeling that Hailey will stay here with us.

And one more random thing that I just HAVE to share with every mother out there. The other night, Cory and I were doing a google search trying to find a remedy for night coughing (Cloey has had a horrible cough ever since her swine flu vaccine, go figure). We found this crazy idea that is kindof odd, but works AMAZINGLY! You put Vicks Vapo Rub all over the bottom of their feet and then cover them with socks. It seriously works!!! Has anyone else ever heard of this?





Thursday, December 03, 2009

Last Day of 28

Yep, tomorrow I will be 28 no longer. I am just so glad that I'll be 29 and not 30. I still have so much that I want to accomplish before I'm 30. I guess I could make a list of everything, but if I were to do that then I'd have to really do them, right? :) I definitely have to run a race in my 29th year. Since I've done quite a few 5ks and one half-marathon (I definitely couldn't do that without my coach, Austyn), I'd like to do a 10k. You probably thought I was going to say a full marathon, didn't you? Nope. Training for a half-marathon took a lot of time. I don't think there is any way I could train for the full thing with a new baby (okay, maybe there is a way but I'm thinking that it is not the way I want to do it). I'm going to be soaking up every moment of finally having a little baby in my arms.

While we had family here over Thanksgiving, I received an early birthday gift. It was such a sweet idea and so I just have to pass it along for others to use or just so you'll know how blessed I was to be married into such an incredibly thoughtful family. They took me into our library and had me sit down in a chair while Cory's Dad rubbed one foot, Logan (Cory's brother) rubbed the other foot, Sherrie massaged one hand, Becca (Logan's beautiful wife) massaged the other hand, and Cory gave me a facial and neck/shoulder massage. While they were doing all of this they each took a turn saying something they loved about me and their fondest memory with me. How sweet is that? Definitely at the top of my list for favorite birthday gifts. The funny thing about it was that they did it all during the half-time of the BYU game.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So Disappointed

Since we moved here about 8 months ago, Cory hooked up our tv to the digital tv box that you can buy at the store. Since doing that, we have had 4 channels. As much as I loved the year that we went without any channels on tv, it has been nice to be able to watch the news (well, I actually don't think I was missing anything there, if anything it is just a harsh reality of what is really going on outside of the bubble world that I live in). I don't watch tons of television, but I do have my favorite shows. One of them being Extreme Home Makeover (we watch it as a family on Sunday night and it makes me cry every time). I also love White Collar, although it is on a channel that we don't have so Cory and I watch it on Hulu. But, the show that I just can't miss is So You Think You Can Dance....at least it used to be, because today I am officially declaring my disgust and rejection of one of my all-time favorite shows.

You have no idea how much I loved this show when it first came out. You see, I have a dream of being a dancer. I LOVED to watch the dances and I was totally in love with every dance that Mia Michael choreographed. I would never miss a show and I would get all giddy when the show started. I don't know if it happened because of my vacation from tv (I may just be more sensitive to it now), or if it just all of the sudden went a different direction, but I swear that the name should now be changed to "So You Think You Can Dance Pornographic?" From the costumes they are wearing to the dances they are performing, I am totally disgusted and put off. Maybe I am being a little too harsh, but I just cannot support a show that portrays dancing in such a seductive and loose way. I really hope that it changes, but I have a feeling that it won't. Has anyone else noticed this? Or is it just me?



Friday, November 27, 2009

T.H.A.N.K.F.U.L






T....test and trials that have, and continue to, mold and refine me
H....having an incredible husband who can be mine for not only time, but eternity
A....always remembering the lessons and values that I was taught by my parents
N....never forgetting that tomorrow is always a new day and for the miracle of forgiveness
K...kind acts that will never be forgotten by all of the angels in my life (ones that I knew for a moment, a couple of months or years, or for my entire life)
F....for the temporal blessings of a job that provides us with food, shelter, and clothing
U....understanding who I am and who I can become
L....life experiences that increase empathy, widen perspective, and enlarge my gratitude

This Thanksgiving holiday was absolutely wonderful, and the best part is that it's not over. We have been so blessed to have Cory's parents, brother, and sister-in-law (and of course their baby, I mean dog, Roxy) with us. Our home has been filled with delicious food, plenty of laughter, and lots of love. More pictures will follow, but here are some of the ones that I took from our shopping trip the day before Thanksgiving and from Thanksgiving morning (I forgot to take some at the Turkey bowl...but Becca, mom, and I had a lot of fun watching the boys play football). It has definitely been a Thanksgiving that I will always remember.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Living without a husband....

is so not fun. For the last three weeks, Cory has been traveling like crazy for business. As grateful as I am that he has a job, I definitely do not like being without him. Not that we don't talk like crazy, text, and skype at night, but still....life just isn't the same without him. The only good thing about it is that when I do get to see him (for a couple of days if I'm lucky) they are well spent in each other's arms. The other day my friend asked me if when Cory gets home after being gone for 4-5 days, if he thinks that my stomach has grown. First of all, thank goodness he would never tell me that, even if it had!! But, it did make me wonder what he was thinking. But, my question was answered the other day when he was doing im on facebook with one of his cousins. She asked him how I was doing and how the pregnancy was going. Then he wrote (he didn't know that I was reading over his shoulder) "She's doing great. I think she looks so cute pregnant." How sweet is that? It totally made my day/week/year. :) I am not only looking forward to Thanksgiving because of all of the family that is coming to visit, but also because I get to spend a whole week with my best friend and the love of my life (cheesy, I know...but it's true).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Glass Half Full...if only it was full of m&ms

Tonight is the big night....Young Women in Excellence. We have been planning for along time and I have been spending the last three days stressing about every little detail. I have so much fun planning for things like this, but it always means that everything else in my life gets placed on the back burner. My house is a disaster, I need to go grocery shopping, and to top it all off a have a horrible cold which is keeping me up at nights and miserable during the day.

BUT....

on the other hand, I usually always snack like crazy and crave m&ms when I am in high creative/planning mode but this time I am sick and can't taste anything anyways, so why intake the calories on a delicious dark chocolate m&m when I can't even enjoy it? I'm not going to. Wahoo!! Maybe I'll actually look at the reading on the scale when I go into the doctor next time.....or.....

maybe I'll just save my m&ms for next week when I am preparing to host Thanksgiving for 15 people (this will be my first time to host and I am SO EXCITED!!).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pregnancy Agreements

You know how when you were a teenager you always had to take a friend to go to the bathroom with you? As girls, it is just what we do. I don't know why, it's not like it is scary to go the bathroom by yourself, it is just that need and desire for companionship. Someone to do what you are doing and to make the "bathroom trip" that much more enjoyable and less lonely. As a grown girl, I no longer need a friend to accompany me to the bathroom. In fact, I'd prefer to go alone because it is one of the only times in my day when I can be completely alone.

But, I don't think I have completely outgrown that need to have companionship...either that or maybe it has something to do with misery loving company. I absolutely LOVE to be pregnant at the same time as other people. It just makes it so much more fun and when I see how adorable my pregnant friends look, it makes me think that maybe I look that cute too (even though I'm sure I don't). There is a girl in my ward who is also 6 3/4 months pregnant (yes, the 3/4 is important, Andrea!!!). I love it (except for the fact that it is her first baby so I was showing WAY before she even had any sort of bump).

My sister-in-law Amber, who was one of my teenage best friends who accompanied me to the bathroom more times than I can count, has been pregnant with me for the last 3 pregnancies. I think that in some unexplainable way the bathroom contract that exists between best friends must carry over to adulthood. :) In fact, with Clairisa we were just days apart. Cloey and Brooklynn were 6 months and now we are 4 months apart in our pregnancies. Brittney, another sister-in-law, was also part of our contract for the last two pregnancies, but apparently she has decided to break her agreement (unless there is something I don't know). But, it is okay because I have another sister who has decided to sign-up for the fun. My little sister, Katie, is now officially announcing that she is pregnant with her first. I am SO EXCITED for her and Jason. Not only because she is going to join the contract, but also because her and Jason are going to be wonderful parents and they couldn't be more excited!

I would also like to acknowledge my other contractual friends....MommyJ (blog name), Destinee, Leslie, Rebecca, and Melissa S.

I'll send your contracts in the mail. :) I think the agreement will include the following items...

1.no matter what, you must tell your friend that they look amazing
2.when they are wearing maternity clothes, you must begin to wear them as well
3.you are not allowed to gain less than 25 pounds
4. even if you feel great, you must pretend that you are as sick as I am in the first trimester
5.you are not allowed to run throughout your entire pregnancy (AMBER!!!!)
6.your rear end must get bigger (if it doesn't please stuff a pillow in it when you're around me)

Can you think of any others that I should add?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perspective

My husband has been out of town for basically 8 days (for business). In the last 6 days I have had both vehicles die on me. The one started back up yesterday (which I was so grateful for b/c I didn't know how to get Katelund to school). But, this morning it wouldn't start once again. So now I have two vehicles in my garage that are absolutely useless. I won't bore you with all of the details of my attempts to get to the places I've needed to go and my many attempts to jump, trickle charge, and clean off battery corrosion. I won't even go into the details of the many times I have laughed, cried, and wondered what the chances are of both cars having problems (the van has never had a problem before...except for some aesthetic issues from my collision with a cat/dog/fox/bear...not sure which one it was) when Cory is out of town. Instead, I will just say how grateful I am that I have legs to walk, good friends who are willing to drop everything and help, a husband who does everything he can do from 100's of miles away, a Father in heaven who hears and answers prayers, and for two beautiful, sweet, healthy children.

This week I also learned that one of my friends from Texas has a little 7 year old boy in the hospital with what started as the swine flu and has now turned into meningitis. I also found out that one of my friends from Asheville has a 2 year old daughter who has officially been diagnosed with cancer and her chemotherapy will begin within the next couple of weeks. All of the sudden my lack of transportation is no longer a problem....maybe an inconvenience, but that's it. It's amazing what a little perspective does.

Both of these children come from wonderful families who have a lot of support. But, still I know that miracles can happen when people come together in prayer and faith. I know that the collective prayers of many friends and family brought so much comfort and strength to our family. Although it may seem like a miracle did not occur, I know differently. I was able to see the Lord's tender mercies in some of the most miraculous ways. I also was given strength beyond my own at times when I felt that I could not go on.

Please pray with me for Warren and Audrey.

{ETA.....Both vehicles are up and running now. They both needed a new battery. Seriously...what are the chances of both batteries dying within days of each other.
New batteries.....$200. Cory home....priceless!!!}

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fighting Terrorism

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=8468267

A couple of weeks ago at BYU, a man named Greg Mortensen talked to the students. His speech is available to listen to at KSL's website (just click on the above link). This speech is SO GOOD and really informative!!!!! I am so glad I listened to it. It's only like 20 minutes long so listen to it while doing your dishes, cleaning, folding laundry, whatever. I promise you will LOVE it! It really makes me want to take action! Here is an excerpt about him from the KSL website....

PROVO -- A Montana man who has devoted much of his life to fighting terrorism through education spoke at BYU Tuesday.

Greg Mortensen first stumbled into a remote Pakistani village back in 1993 after a mishap on K2. He soon learned few children in the village ever attended school, especially if they were girls.

"We can drop bombs, we can build roads, we can put in electricity, we can put in computers; but unless girls are educated, a society will never change," Mortenson told students.

He said girls aren't allowed to get an education in many Muslim communities. A big reason for that is men need permission from their mothers to go on a jihad for groups like the Taliban.

"They're primarily targeting illiterate, impoverished society; because many educated women refuse to allow their son to join the Taiban or an extremist group," Mortenson explained.

Hoping to stop the spread of terrorist ideals, Mortenson has spent his life building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also wrote the book "Three Cups of Tea."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I heart fall




There is just something so enchanting to me about the fall. I drive around in awe at the beautiful leaves and the rolling hills covered in all shades of red, yellow, and orange. I seriously drive with my camera turned on because I don't want to miss an opportunity to capture a breathtaking moment. Seeing a tree with bright yellow or orange leaves seriously takes my breath away. There is just nothing like the fall in the Appalachian Mountains. I loved it when I lived in Asheville and I love it here. There is a unique beauty that is simply irresistible.

As we were driving in the car the other day to go visiting teaching, I listened as my girls ooed and awed in the backseat as they admired all of the colorful trees. As I listened to their excitement, I couldn't help but feel so much gratitude in my heart for the beautiful world in which we live. To me it is a simple yet extraordinary reminder of our loving Heavenly Father who created all things. I felt the need to have Katelund offer a prayer of gratitude. Afterwards, I realized how much more I should be offering those kinds of prayers. Prayers where I ask for nothing, only give thanks for the many many things that I am blessed with. My mom gave a lesson in church last Sunday about gratitude. As she shared her lesson with me, I felt a greater need to show and express gratitude in my life. In the scriptures, Alma taught the Zoramites to live with thanksgiving daily. It seems so simple, and yet so often I find myself looking at all of the things that are not going the way that I want them to be. This month is a perfect month to focus on gratitude, but it is something that I know should be the focus, even the center of my life, each day of the year.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween 2009




Journaling is coming soon....




Monday, October 26, 2009

Making one last phone call before bed...

on her pretend phone, with her new robe and my slippers on, and with her diaper bag in hand (which of course has some lip glass in the front pocket).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trip to Fayetteville

The girls and I spent the last week in Fayetteville. It was Katelund's fall break and I just needed a get-away. We had such a great time. It was totally worth the drive! The girls (and I) were totally spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa. Since I was having so much fun, I totally forgot to take any pictures. So, instead I'll make a list of some of my favorite memories while we were there.

1. the drive there and back (although it was really long...16 hours total....it was BEAUTIFUL with all of the fall foliage)
2. talking and watching movies into the late hours of the night with two of my favorite people
3. laughing so hard with Sherrie (my mother-in-law) that I thought my cheeks were going to fall off
4. going out to lunch with some good friends who I have missed terribly!
5. meeting a new friend, Elizabeth
6. watching and learning from Sherrie (she is such an AMAZING woman and friend)
7. reading letters from Mormon with Amber :) (love ya, Mom)
8. watching my girls play restaurant with Grandpa (I haven't seen them laugh that hard in a long time)
9. eating some of my favorite foods
10. sleeping in every morning

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October is...


*Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
*the month that Clairisa was supposed to be born

My friend, Rebecca, just wrote a beautiful post about her little boy, Hollis, who died from SIDS. I would create a link but it is a private blog. I remember going to Hollis' funeral. It was so heartbreaking. I remember sitting there looking at Rebecca and wondering how she was doing it. How she could go through such a difficult trial and how my own mother went through the same one. I marveled at their strength and I remember saying to Cory, "I could never do this."

When my brother died at 4 months old, I remember my mom crying for days and days. I remember crying too. I remember blaming myself. How did I not wake up? He was sleeping in my room? During the night his crib had collapsed and he had suffocated between the headboard and the mattress. I remember my family standing in a circle while my dad held his only son and we all said our goodbyes before the ambulance took him away. On the day of his funeral, my mom said that I stood at the casket and held his hand. I was only 5 years old, but I still have some memories that are still so vivid that it seems like just yesterday.

Growing up, Kelly was always a part of my life. I talked about him, I drew pictures of him in our family, and when people commented about me only having two sisters I would immediately correct them and tell them that I had a perfect brother. On my wedding day, I know that his spirit was in that sealing room. On my bedside table, I have a frame that has a picture of me holding him. It was one of the only pictures I have with him. Throughout the years, as I have looked to that picture, it has given me perspective, joy, and peace, and hope. I know that I will see him again and I know that his short life changed mine and my family's forever.

As hard as it was to lose a sibling, I had no idea the kind of grief and agony that my mother felt, until I lost my very own baby. Although the situations were different, my mother's example of enduring strength was and has been paramount for me. She stayed by my side for about a month after I lost Clairisa. She helped me get through emotions that I didn't know how to deal with. She helped me to understand what I was feeling and assured me that everything would be okay. She warned me ahead of time that people would say some really dumb things but to not take offense because they just didn't know what else to say (which happened a lot, by the way) She and my Dad helped me in a way that nobody else could have. On our moving day, I stopped by Clairisa's grave to say goodbye. It was so incredibly hard and as I drove away with the tears flowing down my cheeks, I knew that I needed to call my mom. She had done the same thing when we moved to Texas and she would understand.

I know that there are so many people out there who have lost an infant and/or child. Each experience is different but they are each a loss. A loss that continues to bring heartache and emptiness, even years and years later. How grateful I am for mothers who continue to share their stories because in doing so, it brings comfort and hope to others. It helps us all to remember that this life is short and is nothing in comparison to the eternities to follow. It reminds us that families truly can be together forever and that death is not the end.

I hate it when people refer to this baby in my stomach as my third. She is not my third, she is my fourth. My third little girl will always be part of my heart and my family. It is important to remember. Not only to remember my own perfect daughter but also to remember others. To remember Rebecca's perfect son Hollis, my mother's perfect son Kelly, and so many many others. May their perfect lives always be a reminder of what ours may become, and may we never forget that it is only because of a perfect Son who overcame death and provided a way, the only way, for us all to return to our heavenly home where my brother and daughter are waiting.

Friday, October 16, 2009

6 months

I have heard it said before that it usually takes about 6 months before you can call a place home. Moving from Asheville to here was really hard for me. I had to leave behind so many incredible friends that did so much for me during some of my most difficult days and that I love and cherish deeply. I still think of them all often...very often, but I knew that moving was the right thing. It was a move that we knew was coming eventually and I know that the Spirit had prepared me long before the actual job offer came. But....it was still not easy. It is never easy to leave behind a place that you love and people that have become like family. We have done it many, many times. Leaving Rexburg was very hard. I had to say goodbye to one of the closest friends I've ever had, Annie. Leaving Texas was hard because I knew that there was a chance that I may never live close to my parents and sister again. Moving from Fayetteville was also difficult because of so many people who made that ward one of the best ones we have ever lived in, and not to mention leaving behind Cory's parents. They were all hard moves but it was also pretty easy for me to adjust after about 6 months in a new place.

Tennessee has been the hardest place for me to adjust to. I'm not really sure why, but it has been. It has now been 6 months (actually 6 1/2) since we moved here, but I am not completely at home yet. It is not that the people aren't wonderful because they are. It is not that the city isn't great because it is (well, except for the insane amount of bugs and the fact that no place we will ever live will compare to the beauty and climate of Asheville). It must just be me. We are 8+ hours away from any family and we live in a ward where there are a lot of families that are related to one another. Also, all of my neighbors work all of the time. I need a good neighbor friend, life just isn't the same without one. I guess I just feel more alone here.

But, this week I have felt such a great amount of love and selfless services from some of my friends here. It has meant so much to me and made me realize that I need to get out and serve others more often. It is always in serving others, that our own loneliness and/or disappointments seem to disappear or become very unimportant. I am so extremely grateful for Cory's job and for the opportunity we had to come here. It has been a good experience for our little family because we have really grown closer together. I will still never forget all of the incredible friends from everywhere we've lived who have and will continue to touch my life, but I also know that it is now time for me to start feeling like I'm at home here. Maybe I just need to give it another 6 months. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I can't think of a title.

I love Thursday afternoons. I don't have to think of anymore activities for preschool this week, I don't have to worry about planning and carrying out a YWs activity, I don't have to think about cleaning my house because I do that on Monday and Friday (well I guess I clean everyday, but you know what I mean), I don't have to come up with an agenda for a presidency meeting (meeting was on Wednesday), I don't have to worry about grocery shopping. I can do whatever I want, and all I really want to do is take a nap...but there are so many clothes to fold.

Thanks to everyone for all of the name votes. I'm still undecided but it still really helps to hear other people's opinions and thoughts.

Oh, and just for all of my Texas friends....yesterday when Cloey and I were waiting for Katelund at her bus stop, Cloey randomly said, "Mommy, is heaven close to Texas?" I almost instinctively said, "yes honey it is pretty close." You can take the girl out of Texas but I don't think you can ever take the Texan out of the girl.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Choosing a Name

Choosing a name for this baby has been top priority for me lately. I really need to have a name for her. It is just one of those things that I need to do in order to get me more excited and involved in this pregnancy. I know that sounds really weird because of course I am excited to have a baby, but a couple of months ago I realized that I had been putting up a wall around my heart. I had not been thinking a whole lot about the baby or even day dreaming about her (like I normally always do when I'm pregnant) because I think subconsciously I was protecting myself from getting hurt. I didn't want to give my entire heart to this baby without knowing that I was going to get to hold her longer than a day. After I realized what was going on, I talked to some of my closest friends about it, Cory, my mom, mother-in-law, and sisters. They have really been wonderful in helping me feel more of a connection and bond. Cory set up the crib a couple of weeks ago, my mom has talked through it with me a lot and helped me deal with my emotions, my mother-in-law has bought a cute little dress for her, etc. All of these little things really help. I know it sounds kindof odd, but I guess it is just part of this whole healing process.

Anyways, now I am trying to decide between two names. With each of my children (except Katelund) I have given them a middle name after somebody significant in my life. Cloey's middle name is Noel after her aunt Stefani Noel and Clairisa Kelly is named after my perfect brother who died at 4 months old, Kelly William. With Katelund, I just chose a middle name that sounded good. I would've continued that pattern but when I was pregnant with Cloey I just knew that I was supposed to name her after Stefani. I actually received that prompting while reading my scriptures. It was a pretty cool experience and in retrospect I can see the significance of that decision. With Clairisa, it was definitely another prompting. Obviously in retrospect, it is very clear why...my perfect daughter named after my perfect brother....it was the perfect name to choose.

For this next little girl, we (Cory and I) have really debated back and forth about whether we should stick with the whole c or k name or if we should choose something completely different. Right now our top choice is Hailey (I actually wanted to name Cloey Hailey but I gave in, and I'm so glad I did because I can't think of Cloey having any other name). Anyways, the dilemma for me is choosing the perfect middle name. I am debating between two of my pioneer ancestors, both of them have INCREDIBLE stories and legacies. So really it just kindof comes down to which one sounds right. I'd love to hear your opinions. Here are the choices....

Hailey Jane

or

Sara Hailey (she'd go by Hailey)

But, if you are like me you may want to know the stories behind the names. I actually wrote about both of them a while back on my pioneer week posts, but instead of making you read all of it, I'll just give you a quick summary.

Jane lost her parents as a little girl but ended up being adopted by her dad's best friend, William, whose son had said she was the prettiest baby he had ever seen and wanted to marry her when she grew up. The son was serving in the military when she moved in with his mom and dad. Jane continued her father's job as a preacher and then after William's wife died, she took care of him. A couple of years later William (the son) came home and fell in love with her and they got married. They heard William Clayton preaching about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and they eventually were baptized. They left for Nauvoo and then moved west with the saints. In Jane's own words at 82 she wrote, "I heard Joseph Smith preach and I know that he was prophet of God."

Sarah heard about the gospel while living in England. She knew it was true and was baptized against the wishes of her family. She wanted to go to Zion with the rest of the saints but her parents said that if she went then they would have nothing to do with her ever again. She chose to go. She cut all of her hair off in order to buy passage on the ship and then she hid in a big black kettle on board so that her older brothers wouldn't find her and try to stop her. She made it to Utah with the rest of the saints but she never heard from her family again. She gave up everything in order to go to Zion.

So....which one do you think it should be? Cory won't go for Sara Jane, I already tried. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes

Today I have been consumed with clothes. I have spent the day sorting through clothes, washing clothes, packing up summer clothes, and putting the fall/winter clothes in drawers. Now that I've done this I'm sure that the weather is going to warm up and my girls are going to be wondering where all of the shorts went. I really hope the cool weather is here to stay.

The other issue that I'm having with clothes is my clothes. I am having a serious dilemma. I can't wear any of my maternity pants. All of my maternity pants are the kind with the small waistband, not the full one. Well, I have been wearing them when I go places but as soon as I get home I run to my closet, pull out my black yoga/stretch/I want to be as comfortable as possible pants that I have had for like 4 years now. They are starting to fade and are looking pretty pathetic.

The small waistband on my maternity pants are SO uncomfortable. I was thinking about this the other day, wondering why they are so horrible to wear this pregnancy. I have figured it out. It is hurting my incision from Clairisa. The doctors were in such a hurry to get her out that they had to do a serious emergent C-section, which means that my scar starts a little bit below my belly button and runs about 6 inches down, it was a vertical cut. I don't know why it is irritating it so badly, but it is. Which means that every morning I look in my closet and wonder what I am going to wear. I could just wear my black stretch pants, but I just feel so yucky when I wear them out. I feel like one of those moms that have totally given up on how they look. That sounds really mean I know, but you know what I mean ? (If you are one of those people that wear them out a lot, I'm so sorry, I'm sure they look fabulous on you.) I guess I could just go and buy new stretch pants or full waistband maternity, but it is so much easier and cheaper to just complain to Cory everyday. :) J/K, well kindof.

A GREAT talk

I have been studying up and trying to get ideas for YW in Excellence. The theme is going to be "For such a time as this". As I was looking up talks, I ran across this one from Elder Holland and his wife from the 2007 BYU Women's Conference. Here is the link. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Pictures from the Week




Last night we went and cheered Cory on at his softball game. The girls had a great time pushing a little girl around in her stroller. Just know that Katelund picked out her own outfit and I let her wear it, pants tucked into boots and all, because remember I am encouraging confidence. :)

The picture with the September calendar is Katelund's behavior chart. When I looked at the calendar (it is sent home at the end of the month), I was laughing hysterically. Click on the picture and read what she did on September 2nd. The last picture is just a fun one of Cloey. It just shows her personality so much.

Tact....or Tactless

Katelund has the day off of school today. So, I decided to take the girls to Subway for lunch (it is like the only place I go out for lunch, on the rare occasions that I do go out) because I can spend $5 and get a foot long cut up into three sections, water, and free cookies (I love how they give me free cookies because they think my girls are so cute...or maybe they give away free cookies to all kids...I think I'll stick with my first theory). Anyways, we are sitting at a table eating our delicious sandwiches ( I LOVE subway sandwiches) and there are quite a few other people within close proximity of us who are all eating alone and I'm sure listening (not by choice) to every word that comes out of my children's mouths because for some reason they are talking at super loud levels (maybe I need to take them out more). Then the following conversation took place.....

Cloey: "Look Mommy, did you see how I used good manners and coughed into my elbow."
Me: "Good job Cloey, I'm so glad you were listening when I taught you to do that in preschool."
Katelund: "Well I already learned how to do that a long time ago."
Me: "I'm so glad that you remember."
Katelund: "Well actually I wasn't taught that, it is like the only thing that I remember from heaven."
Me: "Really?"
Cloey: "Well I remember something from heaven too."
Me: "What is that?" (I lower my voice to try and get the conversation down to a whisper because I have no idea what is about to come out of her mouth).
Cloey: "I remember learning that President Monson, the prophet, is the most special person in our world."
Me:"You are right, he is very special."
Katelund: "Well, now I remember something else from heaven too. I remember that my spirit and my brain are really important."
Katelund: (looking at the window and getting distracted) "Mommy, that man is smoking and that is so bad for him. The prophet told us not to smoke."
Me: "Yes, you are right but....(I went on and had a teaching moment...to everyone in Subway...but then was interrupted by Cloey who was watching the lady who just walked through the door)
Cloey: "Mommy, that lady is not dressed modestly!"

I was mortified! I don't know if she heard, but I know that everyone else around us did.

Apparently I need to teach more about tact and love.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Building Confidence

Totally loved conference. It was AMAZING!!! Top 5 talks....1. Elder Holland (the best part was about half way through as I am bawling my eyes out, I look over and Cory has his glasses off and is wiping away his own tears...man, I love that boy). 2. Elder Bednar (need I say more?) 3. Kent D. Watson (I so need to be more temperate) 4. H. David Burton (loved the content but also loved his word play at the end with the -ity virtues) 5. Michael T. Ringwood (loved his teaching of having an easiness to believe). I also loved hearing the prophet, of course. I felt like the theme of conference was to love God and love others. What a perfect theme for the times we live in.

We had such a great weekend. It all started off with a party for Cory's 12 and 13 year sunday school class on Friday night. There were about 12 youth over and we had a blast with them. Towards the end of the party, Cory took them all over to the Bishop's and they rolled his house. The funny thing was that the bishop's daughter is in his class, so she rolled her own house.

Lately Katelund has been coming home from school embarrassed or upset because she had a hole in her bread at lunch and a boy laughed, or she doesn't have a rolling backpack like the other kids, or she doesn't want to eat a whole apple at lunch because no one else does, or one of her friends said they didn't want to play with her today, etc..... Seriously, it is driving me crazy!! So this morning on the way to school we had a talk. I told her that there are two kinds of people in this world. The leaders, who are confident in who they are and are not afraid to be different, and the followers, who are never happy with themselves because they always want to do and be like everyone else. I then told her how she needs to be a leader and remember how special and important she is. She needs to show the other kids that it is okay to be different and that it is important to just be yourself and not to worry so much about what other kids think. I don't know if my talk will make a difference at all but it really got me thinking about what I need to do at home to help my children become leaders and have confidence in who they are. Is it something you can teach or is it something that just comes with their personality. Katelund does have quite an independent personality and she is always willing to express her opinion or point of view, even when it is different, but maybe that is because she feels safe at home. I just don't know. I build her up, I express and show love to her, I specifically compliment her on things she does well, I focus on her gifts and talents, I give her responsibilities and expectations, but I must still be missing something. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 02, 2009

27 1/2 more hours

I am getting SO EXCITED for General Conference!!!!! I am so ready to be inspired, enlightened, encouraged, and edified by the Lord's servants. I have so many fond memories of conference. As a little girl, I remember sitting around our living room as a family and just dreading the upcoming 2 hours. I didn't understand the importance or significance of the words being spoken. As a teenager, I started to appreciate it a little more, especially when they would speak directly to the youth or when the prophet would speak. As a young married wife, I realized that I had totally missed out on the best sessions of conference growing up....Saturday (my mom always played it in the house but unlike Sunday sessions, it was optional for us kids). For the first time, I began to look forward to conference every 6 months. As the years have past, I swear that conference just keeps getting better and better. In reality, I think that I have just become more prepared and desirous to hear the messages. I feel my spirit yearning for conference and for the spiritual high that always follows.

Of course I have my favorite speakers, those who just seem to pierce my heart and speak directly to my soul. Elder Bednar is of course at the top of my list, and not just because he is the one that signed my diploma, but because he is someone that I could listen to and learn SO much from. I love how he goes so deep into the doctrine and I love the way that he speaks with boldness, clarity, and opens my mind and heart in a way that no one else does. Another one of my favorites is Elder Holland. I LOVE Elder Holland. I feel like I am being taught from my grandpa. He just radiates the love of the Savior with every word he utters. Sister Dalton has also become one of my very favorites. She makes me want to be better. I couldn't think of anybody better to lead the YW around the world. Of course, I also love Sister Beck, President Monson, President Uchtdorf, President Eyring, Elder Nelson, Elder Oaks (have I ever written about my experience with him?), and Sister Thompson and of course all of the incredible musical numbers. I could go on and on.... Who is your favorite speaker or what is your favorite thing about conference?

27 hours and 30 minutes...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What we've been up to....






On Tuesday, we celebrated Cory's 31st birthday. Man, he is getting old!! :) We did exactly what he wanted to do for his birthday. He came home from work early to meet Katelund at the bus stop, went and got pizza for dinner to eat at the ballpark, cheered for Cory while he practiced softball with his league team, and then came home and ate cake (yes, those are pink sprinkles on his cake...they are watermelon flavored and he LOVES them) and finally, we watched Monsters vs. Aliens together as a family. It doesn't sound too exciting but it was a lot of fun and exactly what he wanted.

I have also been meaning to post some "projects" I've been doing lately. First one was a prize for a Standards Night game I did for the youth. I gave all of the participants a twix with a little paper that said, "Don't ever let the world come betwix' you and the Lord's standards." I also made my very first crocheted baby hat. We did it for a personal progress activity in YWs. We are going to donate them to a hospital (thanks for the idea Andrea). Did you notice how I did mine in blue and then also added the cute scalloped edge? Yea, that was not supposed to go on the boy hat, but I just HAD to do it b/c it was so cute. What can I say? Oh, by the way I'm officially having another girl. That's right....4 girls!!!! I know it is Cory's fault. I keep telling him that b/c he is such a cute daddy with little girls and does things that most dads wouldn't ever do, all the little girls are lining up in heaven waiting to be his daughter. Anyways, my last project was part of our leadership training in YWs. At the end of it, I told the girls that when you work together as a presidency it is like a synchronized dance. So.....of course I had to teach them the Hoedown Throw Down from Hannah Montana. Speaking of, I so love the name Miley. Would that be totally tacky or lame to name the baby Miley??? Katelund loves the idea!

Okay, before I end this super long post, I just have to post some of the cute things that Cloey has said lately. The other morning (at 6:30 am) Cory, Cloey, and I got in our hot tub and as Cloey looked up at the stars she said, "Wow, look at all those shines." At the doctor's office I was explaining to Cloey how the doctor was going to look at the baby and see if it is a boy or girl. She thought for a second and then said, "so if the baby is a girl it will be wearing a skirt and if it's a boy he'll be in pants?" The other day at dinner Cloey looked down at the meatloaf on her plate and said, "this is a disaster Mommy." Then at dinner last night she looked down at her Hawaiian haystack and said, "Mommy, this is lovely." She has also been singing the following line over and over and over and OVER again..."I wear high heels you wear t-shirts." (It's from a Taylor Swift song that we love). She cracks me up!

Okay, I'm done.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

my issue of blood

I am officially halfway through. This pregnancy has been very characteristic of the other three. I have had heartburn, nausea, puking, fatigue, charlie horses in my calf, and the ever-expanding waist line...but it has also been very different. I have a blotchy complexion, teenage acne, nausea that will not go away, and some major gagging issues. I have also felt greater levels of fear, peace, strength beyond my own, nervousness, anxiety, overwhelming joy, excitement, and relief. This was the week in my last pregnancy when the bleeding began. There has not been a trace of blood this pregnancy and for that I feel incredibly grateful.

I have a picture that I keep in the back of my YWs binder. I actually cut it out from a calendar that I had last year. It is a picture of the woman who had an issue of blood reaching out to touch the robe of the Savior. When I first saw this picture I fell in love with it because I found myself in her place. I had lost Clairisa and I was still bleeding. I had been bleeding for about 12 weeks but even more than that, I felt as if my heart had been wounded so deeply that it was just gushing out blood and life. At that moment, I felt as if it was me in the picture. It was me who was desperately crying out for help. Reaching out to the One who not only knew exactly what I was going through but who also knew how to heal my bleeding heart. It was in that moment that I fell to my knees and fervently prayed for strength beyond my own. Just like that woman, I too felt and continue to feel of His healing power in my life.

I keep that picture in my binder because I never want to forget. I never want to forget the miracles that took place and the faith that was forged during that time in my life. There have been other times in my life where I have felt as if my heart was being ripped right out of my chest, and I know that there will be many more. After all, that is part of the mortal experience, right? But, I know, just as I knew in that moment, that if I am constantly seeking and reaching out for the Healer, that he will not only heal my heart, but he will also give me the strength to continue onward with unwavering faith and renewed hope.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

life is good

I'm feeling the baby move all of the time...

today is the start of fall...

Standards Night (this last Sunday) was a success...

I've got some good ideas for YW in Excellence...

Katelund's attitude has greatly improved lately...

the leak in our basement is fixed...

I think I see a little bit of the sun today...

Cory gave me an awesome pedicure last night...

preschool went well today...

...did I mention that I am feeling the baby move all of the time? All of the other things are good, but the baby moving is making life wonderful.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

sick of the rain

Seriously, what is the deal with all of the rain???? I know that I shouldn't complain too much because there may be someone out there who has been praying for the rain, but too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing, right? I usually love Saturdays. We spend the day together as a family doing yard work, bike riding, playing at the park, anything and everything that involves being outdoors and being together. Today we are just stuck at home.

I did have a very successful trip to Goodwill this morning and got a cute maternity shirt (which was actually pretty amazing since apparently only three people donate maternity clothes to the Goodwill here) and I also got 16 books for $4!!! Sweet! I love getting children's books. When Cory's mom and I used to thrift store shop together in Fayetteville, we would literally walk in the doors of the store and race each other to the bookshelves to see who could find the best children's books. And just so you know, I don't settle for just any book. It has to be a really cute book in really good condition in order for me to buy it because I already have so many at home.

On to other news, last night I swear I heard a man say "ow" really loud in the middle of the night. This is what was running through my head; "oh no, there is a man in our house coming after the girls and he just tripped on something." I immediately woke Cory up. He grabbed his gun and started searching the house (I think this is like the 4th or 5th time since living here that I have frantically woke him up in the night to search the house b/c I saw or heard someone). I think I must be going crazy. Or maybe he is the one that is crazy b/c he was the one walking around the house with a gun (don't worry, it was unloaded). When he was out of town earlier this week, I swear a saw a little child standing beside my bed. When I sat up to look closer, he or she was gone. Wierd huh? Yep, I definitely think I'm going crazy (and now so do you).

And last but not least, there are officially 4 more days until fall begins! YEAH!!! I love the fall. It is definitely my favorite season ever!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mommy Preschool



For the last 5 weeks, Cloey has been going to preschool, or as the kids like to call it "Mommy Preschool". She seriously LOVES it!! I think the only thing she doesn't like about it is the fact that it isn't everyday. My friend, Celeste, started a joy school with me and 5 other moms who also have 4 year olds. We rotate teaching every 5 weeks and we have it every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-12:30. I started my teaching rotation today. It was so much fun!!! I could hardly sleep last night because I just couldn't stop thinking about how I was going to do everything. Although there were a couple of little things that I will do differently on Tuesday, it turned out great. Today and next week, I am teaching about the five senses. Today I gave them a taste testing with some random foods. I put them all in cups and then put tin foil over the top so they wouldn't know what it was I was feeding them. Then they would glue the color of square that matched the food on their chart to graph which foods they loved, liked, or did not like. It was hilarious to see some of their reactions to cottage cheese. Anyways, I could go on and on about it. I am so excited to teach again on Tuesday. It just makes me realize how much I miss teaching children. I love the youth, but there is just something about the look in a child's eyes when they discover something new or get excited about something you do. It's the best.

On another note, I want to wish my mom (in-law) a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love her SO MUCH!!!! She truly is one of my best friends!!! Her and my mom are the greatest examples and influences on my life. I couldn't imagine my life without either one of them. Happy 32nd (she is actually 52 but nobody believes it) birthday!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rewind Please!

It is 9:30 pm and I am totally having a pity party all by myself. It has just been one of those days where things were just so crazy. I just felt like I was running with my head cut off from one thing to the next. Wake up at 5 am because Cloey peed in her bed (something she rarely ever does) and then wake up again at 6:30 because I feel something wet in my bed (apparently she didn't get it all out in her bed). Take all the sheets off the beds, scrub our mattress, and start the laundry. Drag Katelund out of bed, get her to school on time (she goes really slow in the mornings), come home write up my agenda for presidency meeting, take Cloey to school, stay and watch for a little bit since I will be taking over on Thursday (Cloey is doing a Joy school this year. There are 7 kids and each of the moms are teaching for 5 weeks at a time...Cloey LOVES it!!!), run to presidency meeting (okay not run, but I did drive way too fast), run (again, I mean drive quickly) to pick up Cloey, go home and make lunch. Clean up the house, tell Cloey to go play by herself so I can work on some YW stuff, pick up Katelund at bus stop, go to store to pick up ingredients for dinner, get totally annoyed at my children because they want me to buy everything they see at the store and they kept getting in and out of the cart, make dinner as fast as I can to take to the missionaries by 5:00 (made broccoli soup and it turned out not so good) . On the way to the missionaries, stop at the end of the street because there in the middle of the road is Cloey's missing shoe (don't even ask). Drive home quickly because Katelund is dying of starvation, do dishes while Katelund works on homework (which takes at least an hour every night) and then get frustrated with her because she is not focusing, put sheets on all the beds, go through bedtime routine, sing a million songs to try and get Katelund to go to sleep, and then call Cory (he is out of town for business). Then after I thought things were settled down so I could finish a book I'm reading for book club next week, Katelund peeks into my room. What followed just topped off my bad mom moments for the day. I got upset at her for still being up at 9 pm and told her to get in her bed and go to sleep. She then begins crying and telling me how I'm always getting upset with her and she feels like she is always in trouble when she's home. I apoligized, held her in my bed until she fell asleep, and then just cried. I hate it when at the end of the day I realize what a horrible mother I have been. I hate it when I get so caught up in the things that I need to do that I forgot the tender feelings of my little girls and I forget that my main responsiblity is to nurture and love them. If only I could push rewind.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Roxy Withdrawl






Over Labor Day weekend, we were asked to puppy sit for Logan and Becca while they drove down to Texas for the BYU vs OU game (YEAH COUGARS!!!). I was very hesitant to agree because....well just look at the pictures, they say it all. I knew that my girls would be totally smitten and begging for their own puppy once she left. Well I was right, except for one thing. Not only were they totally smitten....so were Cory and I. I think she was treated more like a baby than a dog. Between Katelund, Cloey, and I she was held almost 24/7. If only they had puppy diapers, that would have made the visit perfect. :) We had so much fun playing with her. It was really hard for the girls to say goodbye, in fact, I think I even wiped a tear away.
Good thing she'll be coming back to visit at Thanksgiving. We can hardly wait...oh and we're excited to have Becca and Logan come too. :)

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