Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I have decided after browsing through my blog today that facebook is it what ruined my blog entries.  It's just so easy to jot something down, something funny the kids say, or what I am up to on good ole fb than open up my blog.  I don't want that to be the case though.  I need to be better.  I will be better.

I was talking to a friend the other day about the Holidays and she was mentioning how crazy this time of year can be.  I agreed.  It can be.  About three years ago though, I decided I was not going to let it make me crazy!  There is a lot going on, for sure, but I am in charge of the spirit felt in our home, what we chose to do and what we chose not to do.  The holidays can be accomplished with a heart full of hope and love and the spirit of Christmas even with many many things to do on your agenda.

This year I feel as if I have a lot going on, maybe more than normal.  I am not stressed out at all.  Granted those times may arise, but I am choosing to find joy in the journey.

This month, I gave a talk in church, I taught a lesson, I, as well as the rest of our Relief Society Presidency, is in charge of the Church Christmas party, I am putting together friends in need baskets, I am doing Get Smart With Art with Maddox's kindy class, I am doing the twins Christmas party at school.  I also have Jadeyn and Cortland's birthday and then of course Christmas! and all the fun and things that go along with that.  I find that normally when I have things to do it is the anticipation of it that is what really stresses me out, but the actual event doesn't, that is when my life changed three years ago when I figured this out.  It doesn't have to be hard.  Sometimes remembering that is hard, but I remind myself, it doesn't have to be.

I am going to take a little more time to stop, look and listen, much like we were taught from our friendly fireman in grade school, this Christmastime.  Stop and ponder the beauty of this time of year, look around at those I love so much and love me, and listen to the sweet message of the Saviors birth and all things that go along with that and always, always be mindful of our blessings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This is a hard thing to write about in my blog, but I really needed to jot down my thoughts and emotions.

I am not sure if I have talked or wrote about my grandparents much on this blog. In my journal, yes, but here I am not even sure. I am so fortunate to have four amazing grandparents still alive. They have all played a major, and when I say major I mean MAJOR, role in my life. I have grown up having them involved in my life all the time. They have never been, but a few miles away from me (other than my college years) and I feel like I have really taken advantage of that.

A few months ago around Thanksgiving my grandma got shingles. That is not a fun thing to have. Her whole life since I was born has been battling different types of sickness and trials. We actually moved here from Kentucky because she was so ill, and am I ever happy we did that. She has had a shunt put in for her brain, she has had a hip replacement twice once just a year ago or so, she has taken so many antibiotics that her mouth is so torn up from them. Needless to say, she has had a rough go. But still through all of this she was the best grandma. I am sure that sounds cliche, but seriously, she is.

Since she got the shingles she has kind of gone down hill from there. In fact a few weeks ago we heard that she had dementia. We haven't seen her since she had gotten shingles because since they were in her eye, her eye has been swollen closed and doesn't look so great. She always has to have her hair done, make up on, jewels on, coordinating outfits, the whole shebang. She did not want the kids to see her with her eye as it was, so we waited. Finally after hearing that she was going down hill, we just went down there. She was so grateful. The kids were very confused and kept saying she looked so different and she did. She was in her house robe, her hair is longer, no make up or jewels and her poor eye still looks bad. It took the kids a while to get used to her looks, but they got over it and all was well.

The good news was that day she seemed like her self, just a little tired, which can be expected. However, she is on meds for the dementia and today they stopped by while they were up this way and she did not seem as if she was doing as well, although I do know she was very tired today. Just not the same.

For the past three or so months anytime I would think about her I was quickly rushed with all the love that she has shown me and the love that I felt. All the memories she has created for me would be so clear as if I were 13 again. I would quickly develop tears. Partly because I am just so so grateful I have had this kind of grandma in my life and partly because that chapter is over. I can honestly say that I have never felt more accepted, more loved, more appreciated, more valued than I have by her. I see myself praising my kids and hearing her voice. She has passed that on through me and I am so happy for that.

Now don't get me wrong my Grandma is feisty. She was the youngest of 13 kids or something crazy like that and I am sure that has something to do with it. She was demanding at times and ruthless at times, but never did I ever feel anything other than love from her.

A few months ago my mom brought me a box of things from my childhood and there was a little china doll in there that I was hoping to find. It was a little baby china doll that has been my favorite forever and she is laying in a little cradle. When I was in Jr. high or high school whenever her and my grandpa would come over she would go upstairs to my room and leave me a $2 dollar bill. I would check that cradle almost every time I would come home just to see if they stopped by. I have always cherished that memory just knowing she was thinking about me even when I was not there. All those two dollar bills are still in there and it is a true treasure to me.

Another fun memory I have is having her as my shopping buddy. I have no idea even what we went shopping for and what we got, but I can't count the numerous times we headed out on a shopping spree to get her the latest perfume she wanted, or new towels, or whatever it was she had to have. We would always go to Dillard's to their cafe and get the French Onion Soup. Still till this day I think of those days when I even see the words French Onion Soup. I can smell it, i can taste it. We would always go somewhere to get a soda too because she would say, "I am dry, let's get a drink." I could not keep up with her most days...

She was unbelievably reliable. Her and my grandpa would always be the ones that would stay with us when my parents would go out of town. My brown bag lunch was never better. She would get that ham and cheese loaf, which now makes me literally want to puke, but I loved it then, a FULL size candy bar, chips and pretty much anything else we wanted. They made it to practically every softball game, every game I cheered, every music contest or concert, every musical or play I was in. Every thing. They were there. Every birthday, every holiday, every everything. In fact because she was sick this past Christmas it was the first time in my entire 33 years that we have not spent it at their house. It was weird. For sure.

My grandma was truly a grandma. She is the epitome of grandma, what every grandma wants to be, she was. AS I am getting older I am realizing she was not only the worlds best Grandma, which is what it says on the watch I gave her years and years ago, but she is truly a friend. Not just any kind of friend either. The best kind. The kind that are hard to find and come by, the kind that always last, the kind that you can always count on. That kind.

I remember some time ago talking to a friend whose mom has Alzheimer's and honestly saying, that I would wish cancer upon my mother over Alzheimer's, which I know is a harsh statement. Not that I want my mom to have either, but if I had to chose one that is the one I would chose. I would want her leaving the world knowing my love for her and our memories right in her mind. It is hard knowing that soon all these memories I have talked about with my grandma will only be mine and not hers any more, but I know that as soon as her life is over here on earth, they will all come back to her, to her body made whole again, to brain as clear as ever and she will smile and know that I love her more than words can really even express.

I am so grateful to a Heavenly Father who saw it fit to bless me with parents who love me beyond the word love and grandparents who I cherish. I am grateful as I was growing up to have my Grandma there. I am grateful to have the knowledge that families can be forever. It does not end after this life. We can be together forever. Even as her body and mind are fading, I know it won't last forever.

Even though I know my grandma will never read this simply because she does not have a computer, but thank you. Thank you for teaching what it is like to love unconditionally, to cherish relationships and how to show it. I will forever be in debt to you. I love you grandma, very much.

Being prepared!

In our preparations for our big trip to go here...

I wanted to make sure that I could prepare for the week so our sitter had to do as little as possible! Because, lets face it my "job" would be a lot easier if all I really had to do was make sure the kids were safe and play with them! I am strongly considering doing all these things at the start of my week to make my week go more smoothly too. Not saying her job wasn't hard or exhausting, but I wanted to help out as much as I could!

A few weeks before I thought about all the things that I could do before hand. Besides the normal make sure the laundry was done and the house was spic and span. So I went into organizing mode. The mode I love most! I have things pretty organized around here, but I walked through the house as if I was in it for the first time and saw a bunch of things that would be really helpful if they were labeled. As if I needed any more labels around here! So the labeler came out and excitement was running through my blood!

I have containers on the shelf above my washer and dryer with cleaning rags, cleaning supplies, washing supplies, and dog supplies. They were already labeled, and it was nice for her to know right where to go to get what she needed. I also have a kitchen closet where I keep most everything. On the top shelf I have little containers with batteries, household items, bows, hair product, and adhesives. The second shelf I have diapers and wet wipes, kids craft items, and kids art supplies. That is helpful to, to know right where to go to get what you need!

I even went as far as labeling things in our armoire where we keep sheets, towels, kids sheets and pillowcases. I went through our toys in the crazy toy room and put most all the toys away in a closet and just kept out about 10 things. SO much easier to clean up even if they drag all the toys off the shelfs!

Here are the things I did for her that I want to start doing for myself!

The twins take a snack to school everyday, so I placed 8 bags with fresh veggies or fruits with a juice and their names on the bags, in the fridge. I made Bennett's lunch just for the next day, but prepped most everything so he could just grab a sandwich, a fruit, a veggie, something crunchy and grab his juice box out of the freezer, which helps keep everything else cold till he eats lunch!

I got out 8 outfits for each child and placed them on the dining room table. I dad 1 -7 for each day with them ordered in birth order. I had their Sunday shoes out on the table too. I actually did one extra day just incase they needed them.

I left an envelope with case, their ss cards and an insurance card along with our Sam's card that has credit on it for anything they may need and or gasoline. I also found someone to run the kids to preschool each day and pick them up along with bringing them home. I had arranged with my mom to take B to scouts too as well as making a grocery run at the end of the week to get some fruit, bread and milk.

Another fun thing we did was make a little prize bag, one for each day we were gone. As I was thinking of all the things we could do, I thought about how fun it would be if I did one for the sweet girl staying with our sweet kids. It was almost more fun for me too! For the kids we did just one thing a day the new kids bop cd so they could do a dance party, bubbles and a new book, McDonald's gift cards, crafty things to do, big bop em balloons, A ream of paper to make us a welcome home banner and some treats that we normally do not have around the house. Apparently they really loved them. Cortland was more than gracious when we called home to tell us how much he really appreciated. So super sweet. For Nicki I just did little things, like a bag of those circus peanuts and mentioned something about good luck hanging out with our circus, a pedicure, sticky note that were shaped like a star, because after all, to us, she is a rock star now, a midnight Milky Way hoping she wasn't up that late every night, a candle, and some other things, but you get the idea. I think they thought it was fun. It is just little things like that, that when we are not here, our children know we are still thinking about them, that really seem to make a difference!

I really hope this all made things slightly more easy. My kids are pretty good, they are sweet sweet kids, but lets face it, I've got the numbers. Four little ones five and under can be and get crazy! I got very good reports when we got home from the wonderful and amazing Nicki! Even my mom said she was just so great at it, took everything in stride and honestly looked like she was enjoying herself. I even got a text from her saying we should plan a trip again so she could watch them and how much she missed them. A big plus as well is we came home with no laundry and a very spotless house, which we told her not to do any laundry and don't worry about the house! She is a keeper. I wish I could hire her!!! or adopt her! We are so grateful to her for everything. If it weren't for her we could not have gone, and who wants to miss out on a free trip to Mexico?

Maddox's birthday

Our sweet little guy turned four in January! It was a much awaited party! He had to wait a whole three weeks after the twins birthday. That is hard to do when you think you are the same age and wonder why you can't celebrate with your brother and sister!

He wanted a green party again with a green chocolate cake. Easy enough. We partied it up with a couple of parties and I think he enjoyed his birthday celebration!

No words...

*I found a few drafts!  I am so happy I did this and forgot to publish it long ago!

I know exactly why it has taken me so long to write this post on the arrival of our new little sweetheart, Emersyn. When something major happens in our lives like a vacation, or a new little one to love, it is hard for me to put into words the joy it has brought and the way we really feel about it all, so I put it off. Thinking somehow it will come to me, but the fact is I could never put into words what we felt like on that day, April 29th, 2011. It was for lack of a better word, Magical or Amazing or well, like I said. No words.

My last doctor appointment before having miss Emmy, was surreal. I could not believe that the day had come. Like most of my pregnancies, I am not one to wish the time away. The longer I am pregnant, the younger my baby is...does that make sense? As I was walking out of my Ob's office, the nurse said, I bet you are ready for next week! I was, but I was savoring every moment of this pregnancy, I was not wishing it away.

That week a whole new realm of nesting set in. I was a mad woman. Then contractions went from not too painful, to pretty painful, to very painful. So by Wednesday I was on strict bed rest. There were so many times I told or called Andy and said, I should probably go to the hospital, but I do NOT want an emergency C-Section. I laid low. I did nothing. I was BORED! REAL bored, and it was worse because I would lay there thinking of all the things I would have loved to be doing, but nope, the couch it was. I could hardly make it to the bathroom without being in pain. I could not count the contractions I would have from the couch to the bathroom. Whew, it was fun.

The night before our big day was full. We had Maddox and Jadeyn heading off to Aunt Michelle's house, and they were SO very excited about that. Cortland and Paxton stayed here and my dear friend Annette came over to watch them early that next morning. Bennett went to school. Andy took Maddox and Jadeyn to Michelle's and they were thrilled, but for whatever reason Maddox called around 9 crying saying he wanted to come home and he wanted me. I held it together, thankfully, but every time I have a baby I get really emotional for my children. Life really changes for them. I pray and pray that they will love the new addition and can feel our love multiply instead of divide. Maddox finally quieted down which helped my heart, but I laid on the couch with tears in my eyes sad for my little guy. I was so happy that my five kiddos had two loving people I adored being with them that next day.

After getting the house in the state I wanted and having every thing out for Nicki who would be staying with them while we were staying in the hospital we headed to bed. Nicki is not like family, she is family. We all love her. I feel more happy for my kids while she is here than while I am here! She is awesome! I was so hoping I would get some great sleep that night. It wasn't too bad, but I kept waking up fearful I would over sleep. At 4:00 am I was wide awake. I did my hair, my make up, my nails and that took a half hour. I had much more time to fill. Oddly enough this being the BEST by a landslide pregnancy I have ever had with never throwing up even once, I threw up this morning. Which was weird because I had to be fasting since the night before, but I guess I could not get by without even getting sick once! So then I headed downstairs and watched the Royal Wedding. I had No plans of doing this, but in my pregnant state, I was overcome with emotion. I was in love with them being in love. The looked it. It felt genuine and pure. I love a good love story. I feel I have such a beautiful one and wish everyone could have the same thing. I felt it for them. Let's hope, right?

Finally the time came to wake up Andy. I rushed up the stairs not worrying about contractions anymore. I woke up Andy by saying, "Hey babe, lets go have a baby!" Isn't that so fun. It gives me chills just thinking about saying it! He woke up got ready and then we waited for my sweet friend Annette to come. She is one of those friends who offers to do anything and everything for you and one of those friends I actually call upon to do something for me. That says a lot. She got here with her protein shake in hand, we double checked to make sure we had all we needed, and out the door we went.

As we drove to St. Elisabeth's, we talked about how strange it is we are heading to the hospital with five children and we will leave the hospital with six! We will have a whole other child to love and adore and to take care of. It is so exciting to think about. We talked about what she will look like, her temperament, how much she would weigh, what color her hair would be. We were soon to know all these things. We were soon to know Love times 6. We were soon to hold in our arms something so new, so fresh and straight from Heaven.

I just love the hospital. I know people do not like it at all. I know I am the exception, but I love being there with my new born baby. I love every minute of it. I was like a giddy little girl walking in the doors. We headed straight up to labor and delivery. I was checked into a room to get into my gown while Andy did the last steps of registering. I waited there for him with so much excitement and cheer. He came back and I just could not stop talking about how excited I was. The nurses came in and asked their questions. Started the IV and all those things. I just could not believe with each thing they did we were one step closer to seeing our little girl. Each time they would ask what we were having I would always say girl and then question it in my mind. I was fully prepared for a boy too. I guess since I found out so late in the pregnancy, I wasn't completely convinced that I was actually carrying a girl. They had me take this nasty NASTY tasting thing for acid reflux or something before I went in and I honestly have never tasted anything more nasty in my entire life. It was so gross. I would much MUCH rather have had acid reflux! Andy got dressed in his adorable little jumpsuit, which was about the funniest thing I had seen and we were ready!

The nurse came in and said, we were ready to go. The wheeled me into the operating room while Andy stayed outside. It always makes me sad that he is not there for the Spinal. I would love to have him there. It is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but I have to say this time was the best. It was not even painful at all! AND they had to reenter because of some scar tissue from a previous spinal. It is such a weird sensation with a bit of pain, but this time there was no pain at all. I was so blessed. Dr. Tissier, the worlds best Ob, held my hand and was so funny and sweet while it was going on. He is just so great. I love LOVE him.

The operating table is SO SO small. I would say it is like 24 inches wide. That is what is seems like anyway. So tiny. I always feel like I am going to fall off. I felt uncomfortable, but once my feet started to feel numb and they laid me back, I was in no pain at all and feeling great. They put the shield up and started. I reminded them to send in my hubby! I did not want him to miss this! He came in and he stood back by the anesthesiologist talking with the two ladies like he was one as well. He loves all the operating aspects of it all. He loves watching what is going on and giving me the play by play. Sometimes a little too much detail. This was the quickest c section I had ever had. It had been mere minutes and I heard the anesthesiologist say she is here and is beautiful! I instantly cried. Tears and tears, lots of tears. The joy in that room was beyond words. The feeling was incredible. Such a heavenly moment. I felt so humbled that another sweet baby was placed in my arms to be taken care of and to be loved. I was being trusted to love this sweetheart with all I had. Dr. T, held her up and I knew exactly what she would look like. I could not contain my joy. Then Andy brought her over to me. That was a moment in time I will never ever forget.

They took her to to clean her off and weigh her right there in the room and she started screaming! It was a sound I loved and was so grateful to hear. The pediatrician came in and said she looked great. I was a little worried about that after my last experience with Paxton, I was so grateful to hear she was doing well! Andy and our sweet little girl left to head down to the nursery while I waited to be "finished" up. This is the part that normally takes the bulk of the time, but again this time was the best. It went fast and was surprisingly great. The anesthesiologist was telling me about her 5 children. It was fun to talk with someone with a larger family. My blood pressure was dropping and dropping which normally happens, but once it his like 47/89 they decided to give me some sort of meds to raise it a bit. All of a sudden Dr. T said, you are good to go and we went a head and implanted that fertilized egg for you. So funny, he said that last time too! I was stapled up and ready to go. The hospital was full so I recovered in the operating room. I talked with my nurse and was pretty chatty. She was so nice and didn't seem to mind, but I kept asking where my husband and baby were. I was fighting back the feeling that she was having a hard time breathing, I just wanted to know! I was there for about an hour and no baby and no husband to be seen anywhere! She kept me busy talking so that was a great distraction! Dr. T came in and said, she is beautiful and doing great, so that was very reassuring.

Finally they had a room for me so they wheeled me down there and still no husband in sight. Apparently he did not know I was still in the operating room and him along with my parents were waiting in the first room we were in for like 40 minutes. Finally my nurse called down to the nursery and told them I was more than ready for my baby! A few minutes later Andy and my parents found me and right after that my sweet baby was brought to me. I was taken back by her beauty. I already adored her. I knew her. I recognized her. I quickly scooped her up. I held her close and tight and hoped that moment would never ever end. I then started to feel really hot and felt a little nauseous. Andy took the baby and I threw up! It was weird because that had never happened. It was only once and not a big deal, but still weird. I did not ever have the shakes though right after birth which normally happens every single time nor was I super cold and shivering either. It is weird that I did the same exact thing that had been done four times before and it could be so different this time and I felt like all the other times went super well, but this time was a dream. It was perfect. Just like her, perfection.

That night mainly consisted of feeding her, holding her, smelling her and admiring her. All of my nurses were so amazing and sweet. That night the nurse took her down to the nursery and said of all the moms you need a break the most, but I didn't want a break. I wanted her! I did not sleep until they brought her back to me to feed her. I held her, fed her and had Andy place her back in her bed and held on to it to make sure no one came back to take her from me! About 6 hours after the c section they had me walk to the bathroom. It was so easy this time. The worst was with my first one for sure, and the others were okay, but this time I felt little pain. It is always weird using the muscles the first time after they have been cut, but I did pretty good. Sitting down is also hard. You never realize how much you use those stomach muscles. I realize every time I want to sit down and since it hurts a bit you go slowly which only makes it hurt more because you are using them more!

So they came in and did all the vital things through out the night, but I don't mind that at all. I like when they come in. I like knowing they are doing that because I just had a baby! How great is that!

I look back on that day with such gratitude in my heart. It is just a feeling that you cannot describe, there are literally no words. I tear up just thinking about seeing her sweet little face for the first time or looking at Andy as he was watching her being born. I have watched the video several times. They had a hard time getting her out because she was breech and they did not know that and were not prepared for that. It took two doctors and a nurse to pull her out finally! That day was the absolute best day of our lives. April 29th 2011. The best day ever. Our wedding day and our other children's births were amazing as well, but it is always our last child's birth that makes it the greatest because we feel complete. We feel so much love and happiness. I am so grateful for a birth with no complications. I am so grateful for a healthy beautiful baby girl that we decided to name Emersyn Kathlene, after both of our mothers. I am so grateful for helping hands and a loving family. I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and gifts we have received. I kept her gifts on our dining room table for weeks just to see all the love every single day. That day our family changed for ever, for the better, I am thankful that she can be a part of our crazy lives. She is loved and adored by so many. I whisper that in her ear every single day. I cherish her. I am humbled to be her mom and amazed she picked me!

Thanks Emmy for joining our family! You are in for a crazy ride, but I tell you, there are very few things I do well even and no where near perfection, but there is one and only thing I am perfect at and that is loving my children. I love you with every thing I have! You complete us. You without a doubt are the most incredible thing I know.

Some other things that happened while we were in the hospital!

*she had a hard time gaining weight. They almost kept her there because of it!
*The food there was amazing. No lie. It was like getting breakfast, lunch and dinner at an awesome restaurant every single day and they even fed the dads!
*grandma Kathy spent a good amount of time there with us because she could not tear herself away for miss Em.
*When the kids came to visit it was so amazing. They were all so excited to hold her.
*We had some great visitors. Aunt Nan and Vitoria, Grandma Kathy, Grandpa Phil, Grandma and Grandpa W., Uncle Kyle and Aunt Sarah, Grandma Joy and Grandpa Don, Cami, Tiera, Annette and Shawn, Nicki.
*We heard on the news while in the hospital that they had caught Osama bin Laden.
*Emmy added her little foot to the wall of fame.
*I am pretty sure this was my most favorite hospital to deliver, being the fourth one.
*They give the moms snack bags that literally had over 50 snacks. My kids were in heaven. They were fun things that mom never ever buys!
*My staples all fell out and they were not supposed to.
*I got the pertusis immunization that hurt worse than the c section.
*All the nurses kept saying, well you already know this you are a pro and I would always say, no not at all, it is like this is my very first baby and that is how it is every single time!
*We got some sad news from Utah about one of Andy's cousins that really made the birth of our baby even more amazing. Much more on that later.
*I stayed to the absolute last minute they would let me stay!

Is this thing on?

It is a good thing that I primarily blog for our family and not to keep readers, because I am certain I have lost them all.  It has been over a year since I have posted!  Where has the time gone?  I feel sad about this and hope to be better.  I think a major part of the problem is that I got so far behind and felt like I needed to catch up.  I have now decided to record a few things, but move on and start from here.  So here goes...