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 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. 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 perfect daughter named after my perfect 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


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 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, 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.

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