Wednesday, October 9, 2013

it's been awhile crocodile

it's been a very long time since I last posted, and the winds of change have been a blowin!  Here are the highlights...

1) I got a new job!  I am not an online high school teacher.  I teach in the electives department, and they already have me branching out from Spanish.  I not only teach Spanish, but also a career exploration course, and they have also allowed me to teach a middle school course based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.  That's probably my favorite class so far, and those middle school kids have some amazing things to say.  It's like this world hasn't jaded them yet, and I hope they stay that way.  As with any job there are things about it that I really like, and things about it that I don't really like.  I am making more money though, which will help us to get out of debt sooner, but it's tough because it's full time so that means less time with the booboo.  We were so sad to have to leave Jenny's, where Lae had been going for two years, but we found a full time situation that is just about as close to Jenny as you can get.  Eventually I will be able to phase out of the office and work part time from home, which will be really amazing, especially if we would like our family to grow anytime soon.

2) I got a new nephew!  Well, I guess I should say I got a nephew, since I didn't have any before.  It's so surreal that my baby sister now has a baby, but it is the truth.  He is chunky, and smiley, and perfect. I never appreciated Laela's baby cry more though.  That kid has got some lungs on him, and he is not shy about making sure everyone on the block knows he is ticked that mom isn't getting that milk to him fast enough!  Seriously though, cutest kid ever.  (after Lae of course)  :)

3)  Krista moved to Florida!  I'm insanely jealous of her new office view that looks out over my grandparents' property along the Orange River.  She moved down there to look after dear old gram, plus she was due for some change and a new adventure.  I am super duper sad she is like 6 times further away now though.

4)  JJ's grandmother, affectionately known as everyone's Nana, passed away two weeks ago.  She was essentially JJ's mother, so it's been very hard.  Booboo and I flew out there to see her while she was still living.  That meant we didn't get to attend the funeral, as we just didn't have the money, but we felt it was more important for her to see Laela, and for Laela to see her one more time.  She was an incredibly special lady to everyone that ever knew her.  The obituary written by Aunt Jean was one of the most touching tributes I have ever read.  I will add that as a post as well.

5) We moved and hate our new apartment.  Epic. Fail.  We cannot wait until our lease is up in May!!

Welp, that's all I can think of for now folks.  More soon....hopefully.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"What's Mine is Yours"

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...

Thursday, January 3, 2013


*sculpture of the unborn child by Martin Hudack of Slovakia*

When I shared this photo on my Facebook wall on December 15, I shared it because it was beautiful and touching.  I have a few friends that have experienced miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy... in fact I shared it from the wall of one of those dear friends.  I shared it to show my love and support of all those (1 in 4 mind you) that have had a loss.  I also shared it because I had just found out that I was pregnant... about 5 weeks along, and I knew what it was like to love that tiny bean growing inside your belly, even before it had a heart, or a face, or even it's "flippers."  :)  I had never lost a pregnancy, but I could only imagine the pain that would accompany losing one.  Laela was my first, she stuck, and now she's turning TWO in 8 days! (oh cruel time, please slow down)

We bought Laela this shirt to tell our family on Christmas Eve, and I told a few friends and my sisters... even though I wasn't supposed to.  I was SO early along, but I was SO excited and just couldn't hold it in.  We were so excited to be growing our little family.  We were worried about finances, but this baby wasn't *planned,* so we were convinced it was "meant to be."  

Christmas eve rolled around and we put Laela into her shirt and sent her into my parents room where they were getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner with family friends.  She waltzed right in, with the rest of us lurking in the hallway to hear the reactions.  Nothing happened for a few minutes and we started to get impatient.  Then we heard, "Wait a minute.... what does that say... look at this... is that saying what I think it's saying?" and them my mom came running out to the hallway crying with excitement.  We of course had a great laugh at her expense since she was the "last to know"... as usual.  FYI to everyone out there... if your little girl has sisters she's extremely close to, they will be the first to know everything for the rest of their lives.  Being a sister is a very special bond.

Christmas morning arrived, and not like anyone planned.  Kaycie's husband Alex had come down with the flu and was having relations with the porcelain throne just about every half hour.  We decided to postpone Christmas until the next day because Laela really didn't know what was going on anyways, so what did it matter?  We went about our day watching movies, taking naps, taking turns playing nurse to the sick one, and spending time with the fam.  Then something went horribly wrong... with me...

JJ and I went to the ER about 6 pm, and we were there until about midnight.  Around 10:30 pm we got the devastating news that there was no longer a heartbeat... no longer a pregnancy.  I started praying... not very nicely I might add... asking why this had happened.  I know I was *only seven weeks along* but I was already extremely attached to that little bean.  Laela would pat my belly and say "hi baby!" just about every day.  How was I going to tell her there was "no more baby," and would she even understand?  At that moment I heard a voice in my head tell me that this was "for my good and to take a huge burden off of my shoulders at this time."  I protested, saying back, "but this is my baby... this is Laela's sibling!"  The voice then very quietly and reassuringly said, "There will be more."

As I grieved the loss of this baby in the arms of my husband, I knew that this precious spirit was back in the arms of their Heavenly Father to wait just a little longer for a better time to come to our family.  I marveled at the miracle of our body... that it can create life in the first place, but it can also take care of and protect itself if something just isn't right with the pregnancy.  My body was not ready physically to be pregnant again... there are some things I need to do first.  I also thought about a dear friend that had just given birth to her *rainbow baby* that very Christmas day.  Babies born after a loss are referred to as rainbow babies because they are the rainbow after the storm.  

The next day we celebrated *Christmas* by opening presents.  My husband, who was going to buy me a food dehydrator, still wanted to have something under the tree for me.  He went out in search of something on Christmas Eve, and this is what he found...

Who knew the significance that this would really have?

A few days later I was given a poem by one of JJ's cousins who knew all too well what I was going through.  It's called "Just Those Few Weeks" by Susan Erling

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

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

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

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

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

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

With all my talk about "meaning" and "reason" and "miracles," some may say that I have great perspective and seem to be *healing* well.  I am trying.  However, there are days that I don't want to get out of bed.  There are days that I want to cry all day long.  But, all I need to do is think about her....

...this precious girl that is right here in front of me.  She is my everything.

God lives.  He loves me.  He has a plan for me, and he will bless me with another sweet baby in His time.  Until then I will wait, I will watch, and I will wonder, but most of all... I will love.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

sleeping beauty

Our girl loves to sleep... most of the time.  :)  However, many nights i will go in and find her in positions that do NOT look comfortable.  i have learned, the hard way, never to touch her though because she's a pretty light sleeper and will be up in an instant!

i HATE it when she sticks her feet through the bars because sometimes her legs get stuck and that's no fun trying to pull wooden bars apart to rescue her... we almost broke out the butter one time.

here she is one afternoon when i went to wake her from a nap...

and finally here she is about two weeks ago.  seriously?!  how can that be even remotely comfortable?! 
p.s. do NOT judge me for the christmas pj's.  we had a little cold snap and it got down to like 40 overnight, and those are her only really warm jammies.  :)

these pictures are a wonderful visual as to why JJ and i get NO sleep when she ends up in our bed, which isn't very often (unless her mouth hurts a lot from those pesky teeth), but it's just a horrible night of sleep for everyone.  i literally woke up last night (or really about 3 am) and i was half way off the bed!  love this girl!  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Change is in the Air

I have started a new blog.

Go on over and have a peek! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tag! You're It!

I've been tagged!

Yep, kayc-face got me, so here we go...

Here are the rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo.
3. Post 11 random things about yourself/answer the questions
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter/facebook and tell them you've tagged them.

(this is a picture of me the day before i got married. we were at kaycie's mermaid show)

Question time:

1. What is your favorite childhood memory?

hmm, let's see. i actually have the WORST memory of my sisters, so this is actually a really hard question for me. i am not sure if what i have are actually memories or rather reconstructions of things my family members have told me. i also had a really GREAT childhood, so it's going to be hard to choose one, but i will do my best. the one that i keep coming back to would be when i was about 5 or 6 years old. i wanted to play T-ball... on an all boys team. my parents signed me up and my mom was taking me to my first practice. she forced me to wear a white shirt with ruffles, pink shorts with flowers on them, and white tennis shoes with those white lacy socks... you know the ones that are like a dress sock material with ridges with a bow a lace around the top. if you know me at all, you would know that is NOT the type of thing that my tomboyish self would have put on if given a choice. but... i digress. anyways, we showed up to the first practice and i got out of the car (mortified of course) and all these little boys and the all male coaches were staring at me and laughing. well, that is until it was my turn to bat. I HIT A HOME RUN... and not just any home run. i hit the ball out of the field and it actually landed in a lagoon. i ran around the bases and it was funny to see all their faces. ah, sweet revenge. :)

2. If you could have a secret identity, what would it be?

i would moonlight as a hip hop dancer. i've always wanted to get in shape and take an adult hip hop class so i could be as cool as kaycie, but alas... i don't know if that will ever happen. haha

3. If you could go back to any time period, which one would it be and why?

hmm, i don't know. every era that has been awesome has also had some bad stuff to go along with it. for example, the 20s were awesome with the clothes and hairstyles, but socially there were a lot of things socially that were tough, and it was followed up by the great depression... so that's a downer. however, i have chosen the BEST time period ever. i would go back to the time of Emma. If you have ever seen the movie based on the novel by Jane Austen, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, you will know why. oh man.... the clothes, and the parties, and the hair, and the propriety... *sigh* i would love that.

4. What is your absolute favorite song of all time? Why?

"In your eyes" by Peter Gabriel. Um, have you heard it?!? nuff said.

5. If you knew you were going to die in one week, what would you do for the remainder of your life?

i would travel like crazy to see all my family and friends, and also and i would try to get a few things on my bucket list done. i would bring Laela and JJ with me of course and i would kiss them every hour. i would rock Laela to sleep for every nap and every night, and i would sleep with her. i would make lots of love, write a lot of letters, and take a ton of pictures for Laela to remember me. gosh, just thinking about leaving my husband and baby behind got me all teary eyed... thanks for that one kayc...

6. If you could relive one moment in your life thus far, what would it be and why?

Well, it's not really one moment, but one experience. I have been trying to get into grad school for a couple years now, however my GPA is holding me back. when i dropped out of BYU and went on my mission i had a 2.4... and my GPA for the last semester before i dropped out was a 0.86! not a great GPA for someone with a 4.0 coming out of high school and an academic scholarship (that was promptly lost). being on my own was tough and i partied a little too hard and didn't go to class. in my defense, that last semester before i dropped out was when i was formally diagnosed with depression and anxiety. my professors were not very forgiving and i received F's. when i came back from my mission i had to meet with an academic counselor and make certain goals for graduation. my goal was that i wanted to graduate with a 3.0 and get as many A's as possible. I succeeded! I graduated with a 3.01, my GPA never dipped below a 3.4 my last five semesters, and my major GPA was a 3.8. I did all of this while working full time as a manager at a restaurant. I worked my butt off. However, this has not been enough to get me into grad school. It's a little disappointing that they don't really look at the whole person to be quite honest. I don't have ANY extracurriculars because I was working full time to pay my bills. The GPA that the admissions council sees is a 2.9 because they have to factor that 0.86 in to get me a 6 semester average. While I would rather have them look at me as a person rather than a number, I understand why they have to look at that number. I also understand that it is my own irresponsibility and immaturity that it why I have to be associated with that number. That number doesn't show my potential at all. I am one smart cookie, so if i had a do-over I would go back and get good grades. my life may have turned out differently though, so that's the only thing i would change... just my effort in earning higher grades.

7. If you could meet anybody that has already passed on, who would it be?

I have a couple. I have always admired Abraham Lincoln. He is obviously my favorite president because we share the same birthday, but i also love that he was the president during the civil war and who wrote the emancipation proclamation. he is very inspiring to me. another would be Gandhi. he just blows me away with his conviction and selflessness. i wish i could be more like that.

8. What animal best describes you and why?

I was having a hard time with this one so I asked some friends. The consensus is that if I were an animal it would be a bear. I am sweet, cute, and cuddly until someone messes with someone I love, and then the fierceness comes out. I like that. :)

9. If a genie popped up and granted you 3 wishes, what would they be?

1.10 million dollars - i would pay my tithing of course, get completely out of debt, get the rest of my family out of debt, buy an awesome house, two new cars, a new motorcycle for JJ, go on an awesome vacation, and then invest the rest and live modestly so that we never had to work again except for fun.

2.a super fit and trim body. i've realized recently that i really need to get into shape. Laela is getting more active and wants to do more things. I am by no means obese or anything, but i definitely have some extra lbs that i need to get rid of. i know that i can do it, it's just going to take some hard work and dedication, but it definitely would be nice if someone could wave a magic wand and i could just get to the maintaining phase instead of having to work to get there too.

3.gas prices back down around $2 a gallon. it's killin me right now!

10. If you could have done one thing differently in your life so far, what would it be? Or do you not have any regrets and why is that?

well i already answered this question above with wanting to go back and get better grades in college. however, i do not have any regrets. President James E Faust of the First Presidency (LDS church) once said we should never have regrets, and i agree. while i wish i hadn't made some of the mistakes i did, and while i wish i didn't have this rebellious personality that always chooses the hard road to learn lessons, i am a better, stronger person because of those mistakes and lessons learned. my life is amazing and i wouldn't have it any other way.

11. If you could be the star in a movie that has already been made, which one would it be and why?

either Emma (staring Gwyneth Paltrow) or Pride and Prejudice (staring Kiera Knightly). I just love those books, and that time period, and the dresses... I just think it would be fun. :)

Here is who I tag:

Kendra Wright

Deveney Jensen

Desiree Syme

Kaela Wheeler

Maille Yarwood

Nicole Raber

Jenny Nelson

Julie Allen

Joshua Ross Blade

Here are your questions:

1) How has your life turned out differently than you imagined it when you were younger, and how do you feel about the differences? Are you happy with them?

2) What is your favorite sound and why?

3) If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?

4) If you could witness any event: past, present, or future, what would it be and why?

5) If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

6) What would you name your autobiography? What's the story behind the title?

7) Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad in the moment, but turned out to be for the best?

8) What do you miss most about being a kid?

9) What story does your family always tell about you?

10) How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

11) If you could offer a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be and why?

can't wait to read your answers!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

it's been awhile...

goodness gracious it's been a long time since i blogged... since November 11, 2011 to be exact. i didn't even finish my 30 days of gratitude for November. when i realize just how long it's been since i posted pictures of Laela, or printed pictures of Laela to send to the grandparents, or updated the blog, it makes me really hate being a working mom. i am so lucky to only have to work 6 hours a day and still qualify for full benefits, but i ALWAYS bring work home with me... such is the life of a teacher. i always have lessons to plans, notes or homework to create, quizzes to grade, and emails to write. i do love the perks of being a teacher though. i love that i am only gone during school hours... and really only 7:30-2 pm since i'm 3/4 time. i love that i have weekends, holidays, and summers off. i love that JJ has the flexibility to stay with her three days a week, and that one of my best friends watches her (watches her = outside time, snack time, parachute time, books, music and dancing, learning new signs every day, and lots and lots of love) the other two days.

all that being said, if i had a choice, of course i would be home. i'm just always so tired. between my needy baby and my needy students and parents i'm always exhausted and cranky. i also feel badly because Laela usually gets the brunt of that frustration and exhaustion. when i should be taking pictures, teaching her colors, going to the park, writing letters or catching up on my blog, i'm usually in a fog of exhaustion and all i want to do is park my butt on the couch and watch tv or just take a darn nap! i know it's all about prioritization and hopefully i will be able to do better with that and make sure that Lae is getting the best of me and not the worst.

anyways, let's see what's been going on lately.... oh yeah, my girl turned 1!! i'll do a special post just for that a little later on. she had her 12 month appointment (a few weeks late cause mommy spaced it) and the doctor was just amazed... as usual. :) she was 24 lbs, 30.5 inches long, and i forget her head... let's just say it's still big. :) he couldn't believe how advanced she was in both her fine and gross motor skills, and he was blown away by how much she signs. she doesn't say much, which worried me for a little bit (and still worries me if i'm being totally honest) but Dr. Steve told me not to. He said that by 15 months they like to see 5 words... including mama and dada. he even said that the other words can be as simple as hi, bye, uh oh, or no. she already says dada, mama, and night-night. she also says Jenny (my friend who watches her), and "tah" (Jenny's sister), but that's about it. She babbles all the time though so even though i wish she would say more, i'm not super worried. i think she's going to just be one of those kids that just walks up to me one day and says a complete sentence. :)

JJ is doing well. He is still figure skating director at the ice rink here. He has a couple skaters that show a lot of promise and we just love their families.

even though i complain about my job, it really is great. i love the kids, and i love the people i work with. they really make it worthwhile to go to work every day. it's a great job and i feel very blessed to have it and the opportunities that come along with it.

so that's what's happening in our neck of the woods... i will definitely try to do better about keeping up with things. until next time, here is a little nugget for your viewing pleasure. :)