Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Late Birthday, Wes!

Wes turned 28 on Sunday. Due to extreme inability to function, leave the house, plan a party, etc. we decided to put off celebrating his birthday until I was a little more recovered. Poor guy. Luckily, he did get to play in a very fun all-day volleyball tournament with his brother, Bryan, the day before. So it wasn't like we did nothing, right? I was going to take him indoor surfing, but now that's going to have to wait. We are both excited and he opted waiting for that activity rather than doing something else.
I just wanted to tell you a little about my sweet hubby in honor of his belated birthday:
This is Wes right after Kolton was born. From the minute it all started, Wes has loved being a dad and has been a very involved father. He gets really busy sometimes with work and our debt payoff plan, but when he gets home he jumps right in and helps without being asked. They are always soooo excited to see him when he gets home. He just enjoys our kids so much, and really enjoys fatherhood. One of his favorite things to do is give the boys a bath. It's kind of their special thing and they love it when Daddy does it, because it means they can splash as much as they want. The bathroom is always sopping wet when they're through, but he always cleans it up, and they really enjoy that time together. I love to hear the giggles each night coming from that general direction. It's so cute. All three of them!
At 6'4'', Wes is the shortest of all his brothers. Not something he loves, but I get a kick out of it! Above is a picture of him with his brother, Andrew, when he got home from his mission.
Wes LOVES volleyball. I think it would be safe to say that it's his passion. He enjoys playing a good game and really likes winning. ;) It's been fun to have this shared passion and play together as often as we can, but it's equally fun to watch him play, or to go to the BYU games (Wes's brother, Andrew, plays for the Y) together and cheer for our favorite players. He's a better player than he thinks he is, and he's getting better every day. I hope he plays forever, he enjoys it so much. Wes is easy to keep happy. He's happy when me and the kids are happy, when he's fed and rested and loved, and when he gets to play volleyball.
Wes is very athletic and enjoys lots of sports and activities. We work out together every day. He loves soccer, golf, and just generally being active. He really loves the outdoors. We got to know each other better because we also share this passion for the outdoors and spent many days rock climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, surfing.....anything and everything active. This is a picture of him on the wake surf. Not quite as fun as the real thing, but good consolation, and Wes is pretty darn good at it!
I feel so blessed to be married to Wes. He is truly my very best friend and such a great example to me. He is truly strong in areas I am weak. He's very easy to get along with and everyone enjoys his company so much. He doesn't always say a lot, he's kind of reserved, but when he decides to say something it's always worth hearing (a gift I think he inherited from his dad). He never complains or criticizes. He's very dependable. He works really hard. This guy got himself into pharmacy school just about as quick as possible, and he got into an amazing accelerated school, passed every single test (a passing grade is a 95% or above) and was a pharmacist by age 27. I think that's a pretty big accomplishment to have a doctorate degree that young. He is so thorough and dependable at work, he had 3 or 4 job offers without even ever having to apply for a job. He works at Kirkpatrick Drug, an independent compounding pharmacy, and he absolutely loves it. We went to dinner with his boss a few weeks ago, and he was talking about how much he trusts Wes, and how everyone who comes into the pharmacy loves him. He says they ask for him when he's not there. He's also told him numerous times how lucky he feels to have Wes work there, because he is careful not to make mistakes, and he is quick to notice when something's not right. Wes has got a LOT of integrity. That's one of the things I love most about him.
He's like that at home too. He just does what needs to be done without complaining or being asked. He brings a very sweet spirit into our home. I love that he's a snuggler and snuggles me and the boys all the time. I really think that the strongest men are the most affectionate also. He is such an amazing teacher of our boys. He is so good at teaching them about the gospel. I think that it's another gift he has. He's a wonderful primary teacher and loves his kids. Wes is probably happiest in the primary.
I could go on and on and on about him all day. I feel so blessed to have Wes in my life. We have really just been showered nonstop with blessings since we've been married. I think it's mostly because of him and what a good person he is. He is an amazing example to me of so many things. He's very Christlike. They say to marry above yourself, to pick someone you feel like is better than you. I know he's better than me, and I feel so surprised and happy every day that he picked and to spend forever with. (I definitely got the better end of that bargain lol.) I'm so glad I married someone who shares the same zest for life and goals and the gospel as me. We have so many happy memories together, and we have the blessing of spending lots of free time together because we like so many of the same things. I love it when he's home and wish he could be with us all the time. He's an amazing man, and eternity is truly going to be heaven with him. I love you, Babe! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chance the Dog


I never posted a picture of our newest addition: Chance the dog. He's been absolutely amazing! The only complaint I have is that he is so little I get afraid the boys will crush him. I have a new understanding as to why people like big dogs for little kids. They are not so fragile. But he puts up with it, and maybe even likes it most of the time. Kolton, Micah, and Chance have a nightly ritual of running around the house together. It tires them out just before bedtime....

We feel so blessed to have Chance in our lives. He's a great dog. We never really had to potty train him, he just came that way somehow. He has this sixth sense for what I want, and a strong desire to please me and obey. He loves to snuggle. He follows me around wherever I go and flops down and falls asleep (right on my lap is I let him). He's very shy, and we'll be working on that after the holidays, but he always LOVES kids! He's great with the chickens. I can't wait to see him grow and develop into a faithful, fun-loving, snuggly, obedient dog.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Long Novel of an Update........

I probably ought to post something. I've been so groggy and helpless with all the painkillers I haven't felt much like writing, or doing anything else for that matter. But, for journaling purposes, I figured I ought to share my experience of the past week. It all began on Sunday......
I had to stay home from church because the boys were sick. I wasn't feeling too hot either. I made a big effort to just let everyone be that day. We were all tired, sick, and a little burned out. It was a nice, relaxing Sunday. The boys took 4 hour naps. (I know, I couldn't believe it either!) We had just put in a movie so everyone would be entertained while I threw some dinner together. All of a sudden, I felt this fever come out of nowhere. I was literally shaking, teeth-chattering, freezing high fever in a matter of a few seconds. I decided to lay down for a minute, hoping it would pass. I was thinking how horrible it would be if we all got the terrible stomach bug that's been going around. Then out of nowhere, I got this incredible, shooting pain in my right side. It literally felt like labor, the last stage of labor, on my right side, along with the fever and shakes and fear, because suddenly I knew something was not right. I told Wes to get the laptop and looked up ovarian cyst. It sounded like that could be it, but it didn't sound quite exactly what I was experiencing. Then, at the bottom of the page, I saw appendicitis. It sounded more like that, although still not exactly. I was really freaking out inside by then. I was scared we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, but also scared of worrying my family for no reason. I have experienced many panic attacks throughout my life, not really sure why, and I wasn't quite sure if I was having one. I think I asked Wes for a blessing. Then I remembered that I thought my mom had had an ovarian cyst before, so I decided to call her. She thought I had a kidney infection, or a bad case of the flu. But she encouraged me to go ahead and go in if I felt I needed to. Suddenly the pain got a lot worse and I really got scared. I could really concentrate on what I was doing. I thought about packing a bag, and then I felt silly about it, and also worried we wouldn't get there in time. I grabbed my glasses and contact stuff, and we took off. We dropped the boys off at my parents house. They called me on the way there and tried to tell me different things they were looking up that they thought it might be. I was hoping they were right. But deep down, I knew they were wrong.
Ever since Wes and I got married I have struggled a little with my health. I always figured it was stress because we got married and 10 days later moved out of state and 4 days after that he started pharmacy school, and I started working 2 jobs before that. I thought that stress was the contributing factor to my illnesses, aches and pains, which was probably right. But I had off and on had some weird pains in my right side, which we checked out once (in fabulous Nevada, which has the worst health care in the nation) and found nothing. We didn't have health insurance at the time, and when it costed so much to try and find out what it was we decided to let it go. I had lots of extra pains during my pregnancies, especially my first, as well as back labors and posterior births. There were many other things in-between and since then. But I had decided that I would have faith in Heavenly Father that he knew of my struggles and that he would guide me through in the best way. Fast forward to the hospital....
Getting there was a blur. All I could remember is feeling like we were behind the slowest drivers on the road, and we were stuck on the one-way street in Lehi. I was trying so hard to get Wes to drive by on the shoulder and pass this one car, and he wouldn't do it. He thought I was overreacting, I think.
When we got to the ER, I felt so relieved we'd made it. It was pretty slow when we got in, but it felt like they took their sweet time. I was trying so hard to be patient when a boy who'd stuck a piece of corn up his ear got to go in before me. But I don't think they saw me well enough to see that I was in a lot of pain. When they checked my vitals my blood pressure was through the roof and my fever was over 103. They took me right back and hooked me up in Triage. Suddenly, the pain subsided a little and I got worried that I did have some kind of panic attack. The doctor and nurse were there, getting blood tests and such, and they were trying to talk me into morphine. If you know me well, you know I hate, hate, hate medicine of any kind. (isn't it ironic my hubby's a pharmacist?) I finally relented, and I couldn't believe the difference it made. Suddenly I was mobile. I felt the pain, but it was bearable. I decided I wanted to go home. Yeah, like that was going to happen. We waited in the room for the labs to come back. They all came back normal. Then they decided to do a CT scan and thought they saw something. Man, those things are scary! In a hospital, by yourself, totally helpless and alone with your thoughts. Then when they doc says he thinks he sees something and can we do it again with the dye....that was both horrible and scary. It took forever. Then they took me back to the room without telling me anything until the ultrasound technician came to get me. I bugged him until he finally relented and told me he thought they'd found something on my ovary. Maybe a cyst of some kind. They wanted to see it better. Two ultrasounds and another hour or two later, the nurse came in and said that the OB on call would be coming to the hospital to talk with me. I did not think that was a good sign if a doctor was leaving home at 2 AM on Monday morning to talk to me about my pain.
Dr. Allen came in while later and explained to me that I had ovarian teratoma. It was a 7 centimeter benign tumor on my right ovary. The pain had come from the size of the tumor being so large that it was twisting my ovary to the side. They had checked its blood supply during all the tests, and it had appeared normal. That's why he recommended emergency surgery first thing in the morning. He was worried that if I left it alone that the blood supply would potentially get cut off from the twisting and then they'd have to remove my whole ovary. He also said that due to the size of the tumor, they'd have to operate a little differently by making a larger incision on my abdomen. We decided that we'd just go with whatever he said, although I felt a little uneasy since I trust my OB so much, and I didn't know this guy. But we went along with it, and he arranged for the OR team to come in a little early the next morning. I called my parents and told them what was going on. My dad came up at 5:30 AM to give me a blessing with Wes, and on I went to surgery.
Boy was that experience surreal. I was so nervous, I fought the anesthesia for a couple minutes. But once I relented I was out, and I don't remember waking up, all I remember is waking up at 11:30 and having so much pain and not really being able to control my body. But I looked up, and Wes and my sweet nurse, Marci, were right there and I knew it would all be okay. I could not wait to drink some water! Wes had called my good friends, Michelle and Celest, and they had taken care of so much for me. They both came up and visited me, and so did sweet Charlotte and Stacey. My dad had stayed with me while I was in recovery, and that meant a lot even though he probable doesn't think so.
When I got home that night, Michelle had cleaned all my carpets, along with my whole house, and Denise brought by a hot dinner shortly after. I have received a home-cooked meal every night since then.
I was really bummed about the timing of all this. I can't life more that 5 pounds or drive for 2 weeks. For another 4 I can't lift more than 15 pounds. I've had to take more painkillers than I ever thought I would, and they really knocked me out. But I have felt many, many blessings come from this experience.
Wes's mom, Johanna, died of stomach cancer when Wes was only 6 years old. She left behind her husband and 4 little boys. I thought a lot about her and others who might have undergone something similar only to receive bad news that they are sick/dying and then have to face the recovery I have. How frustrating and heartbreaking it would be to feel like you can do so little when what time you have matters so much. I feel truly blessed to have a healthy body, all questions answered, and good friends and family to rely on.
The other thing that has touched me is going though this during Thanksgiving week. I've had to rely on others for practically everything, without being able to offer more than a thank you in return and the goal of paying it forward someday. I feel so blessed to have the gospel in my life, and a husband and father that are worthy Priesthood holders. I have received many blessing this week, and always, and I continue to feel so blessed for their power. I am so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends who have loved and supported and helped me though all this. Three of my friends that brought dinner brought it the day they left town for Thanksgiving, and I was truly touched by their willingness to serve and give during such a busy time. In my patriarchal blessing, it talks about me being very close with me Heavenly Father in my pre earth life, and it tells me that I will feel wrapped in his arms of love many times throughout my life. This has been one of those times, and that experience has been nothing short of a miracle.
This post is already too long, and I am tired and miserable. But tomorrow I will feel a little better than today, and one day I will feel normal again. Until then I will try to focus on getting through the holidays by doing as little as possible, enjoying the blessings I have, and the beautiful experience that has been given to me, and all that it's taught me. Thanks for all your prayers, love and support. We've truly felt them and appreciate them so much.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CrossYour Fingers For Me.....

I am so excited! I have always wanted to get into songwriting, but it has always seemed too intimidating and difficult for me to do. When I took my guitar class in high school, we had a songwriting unit, which I passed, but I didn't have to write a song with lyrics, and I really don't even remember what I wrote. After I graduated high school, I started to write one song, but didn't really like it, so I gave up before it was done and lost interest. But due to my sudden sparked up interest in music, I decided to try it once again. Then last night, when I got back from Twilight, it came to me. Part of a song, the chorus, I think. I will tell you more later, it's a secret now. But it was really awesome. I was getting ready for bed and suddenly there was this tune in my head and I knew I hadn't hear it before. I grabbed my list of different phrases and such that I was hoping would come together and headed down to my keyboard. I was only able to pick out the melody and write it down. I was too tired at 3:30AM to care about anything else. After that, I went to bed. I'm still too tired today to really do much about the rest, but I will let it simmer in the back of my mind and hope more comes. I am excited that I got inspired like that, it was really fun! I'll have to rip out my guitar when I feel up tovit. I can't wait to see how it unfolds. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Great Idea

Michelle and I have started swapping babysitting every week. One day, she drops hers girls off for three hours, then I drop mine to hers for three hours on another day. Right in the morning. It's been sooooo nice to have that time. I come back after cleaning my house, running errands, or having lunch with a buddy. I come home, squeeze my boys, play with them for a few, and they are ready for a nap. Then it gives me time to put away groceries, make dinner, work with the dog, etc. It's been wonderful. My boys look forward to playing with Brooklyn and Kenzie, and they always like leaving the house for a change of scene. It's been great doing holiday stuff too. Then when I get back, I've really missed my kids, and I can enjoy them more because I'm caught up a little. I won't elaborate. I thought I would just throw out this suggestion for anyone who may need this as much as I did. I also thought this would be great for a temple night or other date night. If anyone is interested, let me know. I've gotta get going, my turn is this morning. Ahhhh, swapping. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Music in My Heart

Many of you may not know this about me. But music, up until I got married, was a HUGE part of my life, and who I was. I grew up in a home where it was important and meaningful. My mom writes music, mostly church music, and one of my fondest childhood memories is falling asleep to her singing or playing the piano. I remember her recording her music. I remember going to her best friend, Wendy's, house and they'd practice together. My mom's brother, Jim, plays the guitar like a dream, and I remember him playing and singing also. I remember how joyful and peaceful and safe I felt inside when my heart was full of good music. My dad's side of the family was very musical also. When we cousins got older, we sang together as a family often, and we even formed a Croxford Family Orchestra for awhile. We all loved it. My aunt, Fay, is in the Tablernacle Choir. She's always made music a special part of family get togethers. I really feel that music brought our family closer together.
When I was younger, I took a few piano lessons. I taught myself after that. I signed up for the school band in 7th grade and played the flute. Then I tried the oboe for awhile. It was a lot harder, but I loved it. I wanted to try many instruments. My friend had a piccolo and we'd take turns playing the piccolo part. I took guitar in high school. That was the hardest instrument for me to learn but also the most rewarding. My cousin, Tim, and I took voice lessons for about a minute and it was fun. I remember how stunned my voice teacher was at my range of notes, the strength in my voice, and the flexibility and control I'd had on my own without lessons. He had high hopes for me and my singing abilities. I loved to sing, so that was very special to me.
Since the time I was 4 I was always in a play of performing group of some kind. I was the youngest cast member of our stake play, "Fiddler on the Roof." I was a part of Singing Connection for years, and I really enjoyed it. As I got older, I got involved in ballet for a bit, which eventually evolved into figure skating (which remains one of my all-time favorite passions). That brought me so much solace. I loved skating to the music, expressing myself and really feeling the music. I didn't really enjoy the performing or competitiveness of it as much as the challenge and self-expression. The rink and some music was where I went to figure things out. Dancing and skating still does that for me.
When I was a junior, I quit the volleyball team to be a part of an amazing performing group (singing and dancing) called Clayton Productions. (If anyone has kids interested in this kind of thing he is hands down the very best and comes highly recommended!) We travelled all over performing and learning about the power of music.
Looking back, there are many, many more experiences and things I did throughout my life that had to do with music. I can't believe how big a part of my life it was. Then I got married and Pouf! it wasn't anymore. Partly because I didn't have time, partly because I didn't really have the connections or ability to keep it up, and partly because it didn't mean as much to me anymore. I don't regret it. Music is a very personal thing to everyone, and at that point in my life there was no room in my schedule or my heart for it. But lately it's been on my mind, and slowly creeping into my heart. I've had several experiences in the past few weeks that have brought it front and center in my thoughts. I got the opportunity to teach some of the young women in our ward a song and dance that they performed at Evening of Excellence. It was so easy for me, and so fun. It was a fun, special way to connect with those girls and give them some good, wholesome fun. Then, I saw my cousin, Tim, and we got talking about singing for a split second. Have you ever had a tiny moment like that awaken something inside of you? It was amazing. I've thought about it ever since then. They my mom called and expressed her interest in getting back into music soon. That got me really excited. Then, this past week, I got an amazing opportunity to drive some of the youth in our ward to a New Year's Celebration that was being taped at the Conference Center. It was one of the most amazing, unique things I have ever seen the church put together. The spirit there was so strong and amazing. The youth performing were absolutely unbelievable. I am still in awe of it.
Then, late on night it hit me: music is one of my callings in this life. I have been praying to find a purpose. I know we're all here to get married, raise good children, share the gospel, etc. But I have always felt and known that everyone here on earth is unique and different, and has their special gifts and talents to share. I wanted to know what mine was. I've always known that one has something to do with animals, but I've never felt like that would be something I get too involved in until my children are older. But music never crossed my mind. I feel so overwhelmed at the intensity of my feelings toward my new purpose in life. I am excited and overwhelmed at where to start. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing, only that it has to do with music. So it's time to dust off the instruments, start singing, and see where it leads me. I am so excited to have music back in my heart! I missed it. What a special, amazing way to feel of the spirit. Music touches my heart almost like nothing else.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Halloween Fun

I forgot my camera on Halloween. What kind of mother am I? We sure had a lot of fun. Wes had the day off. We played with the boys most of the day. We carved pumpkins. I tried a new soup recipe and we had soup in pumpkin bread bowls. The boys love that. We headed to Wes' parents' house for dinner. His mom had the cutest Halloween dinner ever! We had a meatloaf shaped like a bat, mashed potatoes and gravy that were ghosts sitting all over the gravy, and yummy Brussels sprouts. (You've gotta know how to cook those or their gross.) I couldn't get the boys to eat much because they were too excited to trick-or-treat. We decided to hang around for a bit and trick-or-treat with Wes' family. His sisters are 8 and 9, so they are at that age...... His brothers, Andrew and Joseph came also. And of course, my future sister-in-law, Ashley. We had a lot of fun. We couldn't believe how warm it was. What a nice change from the norm. Rain instead of snow. Wonderful. It was a beautiful night, and the boys had tons of fun. Kolton was a diehard. He got the concept really fast. Micah wanted to walk in everyone's houses. After trick-or-treating and breaking our stroller, we decided to head back home and let all the little ones enjoy some time together. They loved "scaring" the ghost at my mom's. she has this little electric ghost that makes sounds and moves up and down a line hanging across the driveway. They loved that. They were wild. All on a sugar high. It was a blast. All in all, it was a great holiday. I'm so bummed I forgot my camera! Next time I will remember. But luckily for me, the boys want to put on their dinosaur costumes every day. That made sewing them totally worth it. They are really enjoying them. (I think it's time to throw together a dress up bin.) So here are some pictures I took last night.Here is a picture of them running around the house in their costumes. I have seen this every single day since Halloween. I love it! (By the way, thanks Mariann for helping me with those nasty pattern directions. I would've sewn the hoods shut if you weren't there to help me! I owe you one. ;) Micah's hood looks funny because for some odd reason, he loves to pull it crooked. Right when it goes on, every time. I'm just happy he wore it all all. This kid hates hats.
I love my big scary dinosaurs. They are so very precious. Holidays with kids are so special and fun and memorable!

Pumpkin Pickin'


We took the boys to the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. They had a ball. I always look forward to the pumpkin patch. There's nothing like seeing hundreds and hundreds of big orange pumpkins everywhere you look. It's classic. The boys went nuts. They ran around everywhere. They picked up the pumpkins, rode in the wheelbarrow, sampled fresh produce, and just had a ball.
Okay, I tried uploading different picture sizes and locations. Obviously it didn't work. Someone needs to show me how. I loved Kolton's face in this one. It's all scrunched up because he's trying to pick up the pumpkin all by himself. He's Mr. Independent lately. It's so cute.
The highlight of the night for Micah of course! He loved the pumpkin patch too, but it was love at first sight when he saw the tractor. He was such a little doll. He waited so patiently for Kolton to have a turn. Then he went crazy making noises and driving. He just loves anything with wheels!
All of my attempts for a family picture were in vain. But I love my little Micah's face in this one. He's usually pulling a weird face at the camera. I think he was still trying to figure out is he liked the straw.
I've been attempting to take more pics of the two of us. I noticed the other day that the only pics we have of the two of us are our wedding and engagement photos. Sad! (I don't think we have a family picture either. It's about time I think.) We had fun. This is one of our little traditions every fall. One we will continue for a long time to come. Gotta love the pumpkin patch.

Friday, November 7, 2008

America the Beautiful

I took this excerpt from my cousin Jaci's website. Well said Jace, I agree 100%.

"Life in democracy lately seems so divided...when as Americans we really should be united. No, I did not vote for Obama in this election. But, I just want to declare that I will support him as president. America is America and we should be standing together. Unfortunately, it seems there is always one side that isn't happy. I just hope we can all continue feeling patriotic and support Obama, and all of the many people that work with him in keeping our country free and striving to be united. I was grateful for the closing speech given by McCain, and disappointed at all the people who were 'booing' every time he mentioned Obama's name. The election is over. America has spoken, and even if it didn't go your way, we still live in a free country and should be grateful for that. That's my two cents. Take it or leave it."

I would like to add that we have a constitution. And it will prevail. Every president we've had has brought both good and bad things to our country. Every president is human. Every president we've had is just doing his best to give us a better America, and to unite us as citizens. I don't love Obama's ideas, or even agree with most of them. I don't love the people he chooses to associate with, or even bring into office with him. But America has spoken, and it's time to stand together and be good citizens, and people. I also think we should be happy about Proposition 8, end every document like it that didn't pass this week. America is still a Christian country, and we have all chosen together to preserve our Christian values. For that I am so extremely grateful. We are so blessed to live in such an amazing country. America is hope, freedom, ambition, religion, love, kindness, inspiration, joy, and more. Change has come to America, and it's time to get excited.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Election Day - Go Vote!

I love being an American! I love our country and all it stands for. Today is election day, and I am lucky enough to be able to vote. Not everyone has the privilege we do as American citizens. We have a god-given government that allows us, the people, to use our voices and select our leaders. We are so very blessed for that.
This election is very important to me (as they all are) because it will directly affect me in many ways. Weston works for an AMAZING pharmacy. They are very skilled and knowledgeable, kind and caring. They do many things that other pharmacies around here can't do like compounding and deliveries. Jeff Kirkpatrick, the owner, is a good man who is doing good business. They truly are wonderful people and I have been so happy Wes is blessed with his amazing job. I'm not sure what will happen with it come next year. This election is critical to small businesses, among many other things. I know many people in the military, along with myself enjoying the safety and freedoms we have because of our amazing military. I am affected by high gas prices, food, etc. and I have a strong opinion on moral issues such as abortion, marriage, border control, etc. I have done extensive research ad have loved every minute of it. I have participated in many political debates and discussions. It's always fun and interesting to see other people's political views. It can be a little frustrating when people don't seem to understand the issues. But I always remember the fact that we all want the same thing: a better America. We all want to be happy, safe, free, abundant, etc. We just all have different opinions of how to do that. That's what makes America great. So many people trying to make our country a better and better place to live, and using our voices to accomplish that. What a great blessing it is!
I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, or even who I am voting for. I am only hoping that you've done your research on both sides of the issues, and that you make the best choice you can after careful thought and prayer. Exercise your right to vote today. You won't regret it. Go do the right thing! Yay for Democracy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The End of our Trip

I won't bore you with too many more pictures. It was harder than I thought it would be to weed them out, but I think I pulled it off. Here's the last little bit I could justify putting up here:
I had to snap a goodbye picture as we left the park that last day. Vacation endings are always bittersweet for me. It's always nice to have a vacation from chores, responsibilities, and let go and have fun together. It's nice to have time together as a family, as a couple, and as a person to enjoy one another, set goals, and think. I am always sad to see it come to an end, but I am always refreshed (although exhausted) and excited to come home to "real life."
The boys konked out the minute they got in the car that last night. Luckily, we were clever enough to remember to pack their jammies and they were nice and cozy during the trip to Vegas. They slept most of the way. We slept there, woke up, and headed for home. Thanks Lori and Dave for letting us crash at your house! It was really nice to be able to break up all that driving with so many little ones. The boys had so much fun during their first Disney experience. I'm glad we did it and I cannot wait to do it again already! Family vacations are a blast!
Our only picture together. We need to work on that one. We were so happy to be heading home after a fun and memorable trip. Thanks Mom and Dad and fam for sharing such a fun and memorable vacation with us. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful family!

The Pixar Parade

Here's all the kiddies waiting for the parade to begin. They do the cutest parade with the Pixar characters in California Adventure. They loved it. They all know the characters better, so it was really fun. They were so excited!
Oh boy! Lightning McQueen is a favorite in our house. All the kids couldn't believe they saw him in real life! They were starstruck!
Kolton's face when he saw Lightning McQueen. Classic.
Micah watching the parade with his cute little thumb in his mouth (do we know him any other way? I tried not to worry too much about all the germs he came in contact with because of the thumb. Luckily we were able to keep his hand clean enough that he stayed pretty healthy!). He watched the parade a little further back with Wes. He did NOT like the squirting water. None of the kids did, but Micah the least. He had a lot more fun further back. What a doll!
I loved the parade too. The costumes were great! The neat little extras were amazing! They had these guys on special stunt stilts, and they were jumping 10 feet or so in the air! (Wes is crusading for them for his birthday. He's such a kid at heart. I love it.) I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this guy when he turned and posed for me.

More Disneyland Fun

I had to throw in one picture of the candy corn gardens at California Adventure! I loved them, and I might have to steal their idea for our fall decorating next year. Disneyland in the fall was beautiful too. There were all different colors and varieties of mums and marigolds. Fall colors everywhere. There were also pumpkins of all the Disney characters, and a giant pumpkin of Mickey Mouse. He was darling! This Disney characters also were running around in their Halloween costumes. It was a really fun time of year to go!
This is one of the only pics with me in it. I'm usually taking the pictures and can get out of it. But Wes took this one, and I think he did a good job! Kolton loved the fire truck. We stopped by it just about every day while everyone took turns in the potty. (Yes, potty training all 3 older boys continues with much success while we were there. Yeah boys!)
Gotta have a picture by the entrance. I wanted to get one with just our little family, but it was well over 90 degrees this day and we melted waiting for this one. Micah wouldn't even look because the sun was so bright. I bet it's fun to see everyone grow and change each time you go back and get another one of these pictures.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip. Favorite moment too! Kolton and Micah shared and ice cream cone on the really hot day. Kolton shared it all by himself without being asked. I loved it! They seem like they are really growing to love and enjoy each other so much these past few weeks. The close gap is finally beginning to pay off. Aren't they sweet?


Monday, October 27, 2008

Day Two of Our Vacation - Doheney Beach

We decided to spend a day at the beach while we were there. It was torturous for me to watch the surfers and not join in. I love surfing! But this beach was not the best place to take a bunch of little kids, and I had my hands full just chasing them around. But it was fun nonetheless. There's nothing like the beach.

Here are Joshie and Kolton buried to their waists. I didn't dare go any higher. They loved it and kept climbing back in the hole after I dug them out. Cute boys!It's always a thrill for me to see the wildlife wherever we go. Being the animal lover I am, it's always fun to see all the different animals. There were TONS of pelicans, and seagulls too. We fed them goldfish and raisins. The kids loved it and really enjoyed chasing them away when the whole flock was on the ground. It was quite a sight.Cute Melinda and Jesse goofing off in the sand. They both have such cute smiles!I was chasing this little bug most of the time. He LOVES the sand. He likes to eat it, throw it, dig in it, and especially run in it! He really loved the sand on the volleyball court since it's always so soft. Volleyball anyone? Watch out! This kid's got a mean jump serve! ;)

More of Day One

One really nice surprise was that the boys fell asleep in their stroller every single day we were there. We'd use that time to eat a good meal, ride some "adult rides" or just walk around and enjoy the peace and quiet. I just love how they look when they sleep; like little angels.

Wes and Bryan really liked the teacups. I loved that because I grew up thinking all men hated them. My dad gets sick riding them, and I remember watching all the dads watching the moms and kids ride them. I was really surprised when they hopped on and had a jolly ol' time!

Micah love, love, LOVED the teaups. It was definitely one of his favorites. He like to spin really fast. That surprised me because I wouldn't think a kids so little would think that's fun. But he sure did!
Kolton liked them a lot too. This was probably one of his faves too. It was fun to have a ride where we could all sit together. (It was a tight squeeze with the 2 tall guys, but we did manage to all fit in one teacup. Impressed?)

This was another ride we all got to do together. It's in the kiddie land in California Adventure. They boys both loved it. Micah did a lot of squirming and crying before the ride started (on lots of rides) but he's always settle down and have fun when it would start moving.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day One at Disneyland

The next morning we were off to the Magic Kingdom! Everyone was sooo excited! As an added bonus to all the fun, Wes's brother, Bryan, met us there and spent our first day at Disneyland with us. Kolton thought he'd died and gone to heaven. Both those boys just love their uncles, and Bryan is a really good uncle. :) Here is Kolton and Bryan heading into the park. Kolton just couldn't wait for everyone to be ready and loaded into strollers, so he and Bryan went ahead. We caught up quickly, of course. He was so cute! He didn't know what to think. He just knew he was on a mission to find Disneyland!Micah really enjoyed the extra space in the stroller without Kolton there. He was tired, but he definitely sensed something was up, and he wasn't about to miss it by falling asleep! He was pretty cheerful considering everything. (I love the way he puts his hand behind his head when he's tired! Kolton does it too. I think it will be one of those cute little things I will always remember.) One of Kolton's all-time favorite rides whenever we go anywhere is the merry-go-round. Especially the horses. (My boy is an animal lover like me already!) Here is a picture of our first ride on one. I think we rode this one 3 or 4 times total, plus the dolphin one in California Adventure. He was sure delighted to have Uncle Bryan next to him. It gave me a little more picture time on the first day. (Thanks Bryan!)
Micah doesn't love the merry-go-round like Kolton. But he does enjoy it once he gets used to it. It takes a few times around. He's always smiling by the end. But his face was classic in this picture. (Micah is the king of funny faces in our family.)
This was another highlight of the trip for Kolton. Just about every single ride, every single line, almost the entire wait, for the entire day, Bryan held Kolton while he walked up and down the railings. He didn't rush him, he held him tight, and Kolton ate up every second of it. He still talks about is all the time, and is now obsessed with walking on railings, curbs, lines, whatever. How sweet of Uncle Bryan to slow down life enough to create such a fun moment for him. I think he will treasure it forever. (I should've snapped more pictures of this, but I didn't. Bryan seemed to enjoy is as much as Kolton. I think he's concentrating on holding Kolton in this picture, hence the serious expression.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Disney Vacation

We finally took a real vacation. It was long overdue. And it was a total blast. We went with my family down to California, and did the beach and Disneyland. Yes, all the little ones came. And we are all still alive.

First we drove to Vegas to sleep there. We figured 10 hours of driving in one day would be way too much with all those little people. Especially because 3 of them are potty training right now. So, we set off on Thursday as soon as Jesse got home from school. We all arrived in Vegas late that night, crashed, woke up, and took off. My parents rented a house in Huntington Beach instead of a hotel. I really liked it, I thought everyone got a lot more privacy that way. Plus, there were bikes in the garage, a hot tub in the backyard, and a park right down the street. Who needs Disneyland when the beach is just down the road? (Just kidding, Mom ;) Anyway, here is the house we stayed in. It was a cute house in a darling neighborhood. I loved all the trees, of course.
After we arrived, we decided to take everyone to the park down the street. I had my hands completely full playing with kids and climbing trees, so I didn't get any pictures. But I did get a cute picture of baby Abby on the way over. She's growing so fast!


What a little doll she is! She was really good for the whole trip. She's such a delightful, easygoing baby. We all love her so much already.
Anyway, that first day we unwound from drving for 2 days. It was fun and relaxing. We did a little grocery shopping and went to bed early so we'd be prepared for the next few days.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mmmmmm....Fall Baking

Today felt like fall to me today. It was a little cooler, the leaves are beginning to peak everywhere, and I went to the fabric store to buy the makings for 2 dinosaur costumes. Needless to say, when I got home, since I've been eating good all week, I felt like I deserved a little treat. Nothing says fall to me more than pumpkin, bread, and soup. I had soup for dinner, and I made a pumpkin pie cake for dessert. This really is a yummy, easy, more-pie-than-cakey fall treat. I thought I'd share the pumpkiny goodness with all of you. Here's the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl:
1 large can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix).
l can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs
Pour into a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Combine one cube softened margarine and 1 spice cake mix.
Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over the top of pumpkin mixture.
Bake 1 hour, 350 degrees. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream. I also like to sprinkle mini semi sweet chocolate chips on top. They melt a little when it's warm. Mmmmmm......enjoy. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cute Tag

I saw this tag the other day on another blog. I thought it might be fun since many of you don't know much about Wes.

What's his name? Weston Jeremy
How long have you been married? 4 amazing years!
How long did you date? 2 1/2 months and then we broke up for about 4 weeks, then we got back together and dated for another 2 1/2 before we were engaged. Everyone was so surprised when we got engaged. I didn't think it was that fast, but now I realize it was. I knew I was going to marry him a month before we actually started dating. We were starting to like each other and we drove together up to our friend's cabin in Heber. On the way home, I had a very strong spiritual impression that he was the man I was supposed to marry. It was the strongest spiritual feeling I've ever had in my life so far. I am grateful for that, because it helped me stick it out a little more than I was used to. (Wes is really shy and reserved. He also didn't know a few basic things like calling and asking someone out instead of just showing up. He thought we'd been on three dates when I thought we'd been on zero lol. But he's more than made up for that now ;) We were good friends before we dated. We rock climbed and played volleyball several times a week together with a big group of friends. My best friend married his home teaching companion.
How old is he? 27 (28 next month)
How old are you? 24
Who eats more sweets? Definitely me! Although Wes definitely has a sweet tooth. But we both try to eat clean most of the time. We cheat a couple of times a week and always feel like crap after. But we sure enjoy the cheating while we're doing it ;)
Who said "I love you" first? Wes did less than a week after we got back together. I think he tried to do it several times before he actually did. I of course said it right back. He always tells me he fell in love with me when we broke up, or else he realized he loved me. I think I realized right around the same time that I loved him.
Who is taller? Wes. He is 6'4''
Who can sing better? Me. I used to perform a lot. But Wes is a pretty good singer. He just doesn't like anyone to listen. Shy boy. ;)
Who is smarter? I feel like we are both very smart. I think it's a tossup, although we are smarter at different things.
Who does the laundry? I do.
Who does the dishes? We both do. We just load as we go. After dinner, one of us cleans the kitchen and the other gets the kids in the bath.
His guilty pleasure? volleyball!! He also loves Buffalo Wild Wings (yum! They are in Nevada, but I buy the sauce whenever we go down and we make them at home. They have like 20 or so different wing sauces.) Rock climbing, golf, or anything outside would also be on there. He loves my Tollhouse pie, and my strawberry shortcake. He also loves pork chops, spare ribs, and spaghetti. (my husband makes me feel like a good cook by truly raving about just about everything I make. Thanks love! :)
Who mows the lawn? Wes
Besides you, who is his best friend? probably Kenny
Who cooks dinner? I do, but he likes to cook and will jump in and do it here and there.
Who drives? Wes
Who is more stubborn? Me
Who kissed who first? Wes kissed me.
Who asked who out first? That's a tricky question given the fact that I though we hadn't been on a date and he thought we'd been on three! It drove me nuts to think I'd let him kiss me when we hadn't had an official date, so my best friend and Wes' home teaching companion, Todd arranged one. The plan was to go out somewhere planned, and he'd ask me of course. But the plan backfired when he never asked me out and just showed up at my door! After we got back together, he asked me out right away since he knew that I didn't feel like we were dating right.
Who proposed? Wes! It was so romantic. I totally didn't expect it. The night before, I ran a 1/2 marathon and when we got back, he was there (he'd had an interview in Nevada earlier that day, so I was totally shocked to see him!). He blurted out that he'd come over to ask my dad for permission, because he thought it was obvious. I thought he just came to meet me after my big day since he couldn't be there earlier. After he talked to my parents, he left. He called a little while later and kept asking me to come over. When I did, I was sure he was going to propose. He didn't. The next day we went to a friend's farewell. Everyone knew but me what would be waiting for me when we got home, and they were dropping hints all over the place. I totally didn't pick up on them, and when we left our friends a little earlier than I wanted to so I "wouldn't be late for my meeting" I thought he was seriously obsessed with being early to everything. Then he took me to my house, and I was really confused. But when I opened the front door there were rose petals leading to my room. In my room there were rose petals, glitter, and candles everywhere! He dropped on one knee and asked me, and pulled my ring out of a rose. It was so romantic, and I of course said yes!
Who has more siblings? I do (6) but Wes had more when we got married (5)
Who wears the pants? For smaller decisions, I do. But for big ones, we squish into the pants together.
What's you favorite thing about him? How could I choose? I love how mush he loves me. He is so hardworking, so dedicated to everything he does. I call him the silent leader. He is a great leader, but very humble, and I don't think he thinks of himself that way at all. He truly is very humble. Everyone who knows him very well totally hangs on every word he says. He doesn't say a lot, but when he does say something it's always worth hearing. He would do anything to make me or the boys happy. He is so fun to be around. He is very supportive and caring and sensitive. He's also very patient and softspoken (I love that!). He's the best dad and husband in the whole world! I am very lucky to have him in my life forever. And did I mention his smile, eyes, the way he moves and the way he holds me? He is soooo very attractive! ;) I love you, Sweetheart!

This tag was fun. It's fun to talk about my hubby and how we got together. Now I tag all of you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Changes....

Sometimes I find that I get a desperate need to slow down, only to clear the way for new things in my life. This time has been on exception. I now have to opportunity to serve in the Young Women's program. I've served before, but our total YW count was 6, on a good day. It never seemed like we had enough to do. Now it seems like there's not enough time to do it all, and I am left thinking, "Ah-ha! This is what I have been unknowingly preparing myself for!" So far, it has been crazy busy, far busier than I anticipated. But already far more rewarding as well. I am so excited to get involved with the youth, to teach them and learn from them. I am hoping it will give me some inspiration in my own life, about how to teach my children about the gospel. Soemtimes it's hard to figure out what a 1 and 2-year-old can grasp. At this point, I just hope that as we do things they feel the spirit, and learn to crave that feeling, and learn about love. Hopefully my example will be one worth following. That's definitely motivation to get up every day and try a little harder...

We also moved to the bootcamp phase of our workout last week. It's definitely as difficult as I anticipated, possibly more. But also very rewarding. Today, we set the timer for 30 minutes and did as many sets of pushups, bodyweight rows, and squats as we could. We both had to stop shortly after 20 minutes. I guess 30 is something we'll have to work up to... I'm hoping this will help in breaking my plateau. I know running will, and I've also decided to stop eating after 6 for awhile, see it it helps. I am feeling really great, but definitely craving more. Please post a comment here if you are interested in running with me. That is something I want to get started by next week, maybe sooner. I still think it would be fun to get a big group of gals and train for a 1/2 marathon together, or the Wasatch Back. How fun would it be to work out and lose weight together, and then go on a fun girls' weekend to accomplish a big goal and celebrate together?! I think it would be great. Hopefully others do too.

Chance is still doing wonderfully. I am so grateful. He is such a blessing in our lives. One accident and counting.....but that's amazing in my opinion! I really need to find him a good puppy class out here. His only downfall is that he's very shy, and I think getting him out in a new situation, with new people, and new dogs, will be just what he needs to come out of his shell a bit more. I have been having trouble finding one though. I am so NOT a fan of Petsmart or Petco for lots of things, one of them being training. But I am yet to find any other group class. I will continute searching this week.

Our tree out in front of our house is the most beautiful shade of red right now. I can't wait until it grows bigger. I love the fall. I love all the seasons. Lately, I have found myself eating soup almost daily, baking all kinds of breads, and yesterday we picked up the most delicious pears at a produce stand near the pumpkin patch we go to every year. Seeing the pumpkins got me really excited for Halloween. Is it too early to put out decorations? I might anyway. We'll see. I am so excited that Wes will be home in time to trick-or-treat with us this year. It will be so fun! My mom bought Kolton a Halloween book a couple days ago - Froggy's Halloween. He loves it. He wants to read it all the time, and he even sleeps with it at night. I love that he loves books so much, and I hope he continues to for the rest of his life.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how blessed we are. We have been so lucky to be blessed with so many things during our lives together. I always feel so strongly about serving and giving back in any way we can because of that. I feel like there is a reason things have been going well. We all ahve our struggles of course, but I have always been able to draw on the strength I receive from Heavenly Father and the knowledge that he lvoes me and is there for me when I need him. I feel like there is always something more I can be doing because of our blessings, and to show my gratitude. I can't even begin to count the thank yous I owe to everything and everyone: my amzing husband and sons, and our extended family and friends, our neighbors, our home, Wes's job, my ability to stay home with our kids, our health, our dog, our cozy bed, our garden, the ability to read and write, think and hear and speak. I am sooo grateful for flushing toilets and running water! I am grateful that I can take a hot bath when I need a break, or snuggle up to my boys and read them

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finally A Break!

Last night I talked to Wes and we decided that since things have been so busy the last month or so, the boys deserved to have some days just for them. So today is one of those days. I am so excited! I made the boys breakfast, and then Kolton asked to watch his current favorite movie, "The Fox and the Hound." Micah is still eating, but he usually takes a quick morning snooze, which I am going to let him do with me in my bed today. We'll have to see how the day unfolds, but the current plan is ot meet uncle Andrew at Color Me Mine later on. Kolton is way excited for that! And of course, we've gotta play with Chance the puppy! Kolton sat on the couch for over and hour holding him yesterday, and he had a fit when I had to tear him away at dinnertime. I am soooo glad he loves him so much! Chance is such a little jewel. Two full nights sleep, and no accidents! What more could a puppy owner ask for?
I also have got to get the potty thing done.....Disneyland is in 3 weeks! I would be so tickled if I didn't have to worry about it there! I really think Kolton is ready. Yesterday, he actually tried really hard to go poop in the potty. We gave him an incentive: poop in the potty, go to Jungle Jim's. It's going to work, I just know it. I'm so proud of my little guy! Micah is starting to take his diaper off, so I hope it doesn't mean I'll be starting over with him. I'm getting there on the schedule, I'll have to see how he does when we're 100% in that area. It should make it easier either way.
Also, Wes is almost done with the fence! He was out there until 10:30 or so last night, and he came in 30 screws short of finished! Bummer! But I am so proud of him, and so happy that we are finally proud owners of a fully fenced yard! We've already enjoyed the yard so much more. Next year, the backyard will be my project. I'm going to plant trees, flowers, toys, and everything else I can think of! We finally broke in the fire pit with Joseph and his girlfriend, Maddy on Sunday and it was great. Kolton hated it, and stayed inside crying, but I think he'll come around. I was really fun. I need to get more seating, and a few more marshmallow sticks, and some tinfoil dinner recipes.
I can believe fall is already here! My maple tree is peaking right now, and my gardening group says they are in the mountains too. I guess it's time to go for a drive. Horseback riding sound even better right now, in the fall leaves. I just love nature, and I love the changing seasons!
Well, Kolton just came in and I think he wants to play with the puppy. Wish us luck on our day of fun!

Is This For Real?!

Chance so far is unbelievable. He has yet to have even one accident. I left today at 3, intending to be back around 5:30, but didn't get back until right before my 7:00 volleyball game. I didn't have time to let him out before I left, and Wes had to rush off to his volleyball game when he got home, so they poor little guy didn't go out until almost 8! Wes let him run around, but not outside, and he held it until Melinda came over to babysit and she let him out. Then he peed 3 times! I just can't believe it! He's getting more and more comfortable every day also. He's been fetching some today already, and he just curls up right next to someone when he's tired. I still have yet to hear him whine or bark. Do dogs like this even exist? We are totally loving him. It's amazing what a difference the right dog makes, as opposed to justs any dog. I'm so glad we found him!
Today continued to be lots of fun! Uncle Andrew and Ashley did meet us at Color Me Mine, and both the boys loved it. (it was sooooo nice to have the extra hands too! Thanks guys!) Kolton ate up all the attention from Andrew, and they painted a dinosaur together. Kolton was so proud of himself. Ashley and I got to visit a bit and talk about Stephenie Meyer books while Micah went to town. Good thing I wore stained clothes, because he thought the paint was great. He didn't like the paintbrush, he used his hands. He also ate it, and got it eveywhere, but he had a total ball! I am so glad he had fun, because I was worried he wouldn't like it. But he was very proud of himself, and I was proud of him too. I feel so lucky to be able to be a mommy, and get to have fun days like today. I love my boys! All three of them. I've decided that the fun is going to continue. Wes has the weekend off, and we are going to play a lot! We never do that. It will be really good for us. I am excited, and looking forward to sleeping in! Yeah!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Am Tired

I am not usually one to complain about being tired. Given the craziness and chaos of the last month, and even the last week, I will make an exception. I want to go to bed at 10:30 again. I can't even remember the last time I went to bed that early. Last night, Wes forgot to close Kolton's door before we went to bed. 2 AM rolls around and I hear, "Mommy, where are you?" out in the hall. Of course I had to answer, and within 10 seconds he was on top of me in my bed. He literally likes to sleep on top of me when he sleeps with me, which is why is doesn't happen as often as we'd both like. He's a tummy sleeper, and he likes to sleep on his tummy, on top of me, snuggled up. Although it's very sweet, and a nice snuggle that will end all too soon, it's hard to breathe, hot, and uncomfortable. Needless to say, I laid there awake until around 3:30. The I tried to "sneak" him in his bed. Yeah right. He wouldn't have that. So I told him he could sleep in our room if he slept in the portacrib, which I had to get from the basement and set up next to my bed. Next thing I know, he's climbing all over it, kicking, squirming, drinking my water (he is known to steal my water and use it to get himself all wet) and just not sleeping. Finally, at 5 AM, he fell asleep. He slept until my dear, sweet husband's alarm went off at 7, which he snoozed 3 times. (his alarm is so very irritating to me - nails on a chalkboard irritating! I swear I need to buy us a nice alarm clock, so I don't have to listen to that icky alarm anymore!) Needless to say, not only was he awake by then, but so were both the boys. You'd think that a night that dragged by like that one would mean I'd feel a little more rested. Nope. I get nauseated and achy when I'm too tired, so I don't feel to hot right now. The worst part is, our favorite band, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, is doing a concert at Thanksgiving Point tonight, and I still haven't found a babysitter. Our house is a mess, I need to go grocery shopping, I need to finish planting my fall crops, and I desperately need to go clothes shopping, as I am wearing a lot of my clothes out. I have so much work to do, it's not even funny. It wouldn't be that big of a deal to me, except that I am so tired I don't even want to think about it. I will definitely have to find time to take a snooze today, which will be near impossible since the boys take turns being awake all day. I really need to work on that, because I miss having a break to get things done during the day, and so does my house! But, on the flip side, the laundry is caught up, and the neighbor boys are coming to clean out our window wells today. I will be sooooo happy when that's done. All of this chaos of napping at weird times and not staying in bed is a testament to me that I really, really need to create a schedule for myself and the boys, which I really don't want to do. But I think if I create a schedule and stick to it for a week or two, after that everyone will have adapted and I won't have to be so rigid. I really want some time alone with my hubby too. It's been a year since we've gone overnight somewhere, and I'm itching for a little getaway. I will have to see what I can work out, and maybe make that my goal for sticking to my new schedule. That would definitely be something I would make myself work for. I really do so much better with goals and incentives for myself. This one really might help me got into fall mode. We'll see....until then, this is a very sleepy mom calling on her supermom powers to keep her awake, patient, productive, and happy. I hope she's awake and ready to help me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

8 Things Tag

Okay, I was tagged by Stacey, so here goes.

8 Things I am Passionate About:

1. Wes - my sweet, sexy, loving, giving, hardworking, fun hubby and best friend!
2. Kolton & Micah - my two beautiful, healthy, happy boys
3. All our family and friends
4. My beliefs - the gospel, political, and personal
5. Music & Art
6. Life & Learning - living life to the fullest and trying new things
7. Animals - if you didn't know this one, you don't know me very well ;)
8. Physical Activity - in and outdoors - especially rock climbing, volleyball, ice skating, and snowshoeing

8 Words or Phrases I Say Often:

1. I love you!
2. I forgot all about it.
3. I need to go to bed earlier, I'm tired.
4. Do you need to go on the potty?
5. No no.
6. Wanna go bye-bye?
7. Are you serious?
8. You are so special.

8 Things I want to do before I Die:

1. Have more kids. Have more of my own and also adopt internationally.
2. Watch all my kids grow up making good choices and being happy. I want to see them all get married, go through the temple, and have kids of their own.
3. Travel with Wes.
4. Participate in dog sports.
5. Write a book.
6. Sing church music with my mom and sister.
7. Buy a house big enough for my backyard farm.
8. Go on a mission.

8 Things I Have Learned From my Past:

1. You are as happy as you choose to be.
2. If there's someone you don't care for, or someone that's not very nice to you, "kill them with kindness."
3. Prayers are always answered. The gospel is true, and I will always be happiest when I live it.
4. Everyone you meet has something to teach you. Everyone. And it's your job to seek it out.
5. People you love don't always make good choices. Love them anyway. Don't try to change people, love them the way they are, and always try to be there.
6. If you do what you know is right, even when it's not easy, or what you want, you will be blessed in the end. You will also feel peace immediately, and it will give you the strength to follow through.
7. Forget yourself and go to work. Serve others and do good in the world. Always look for opportunities to serve, and you will always fine them. The more you give, the more you get back, as far as love and happiness. I find that most of the most precious moments to me in my life involve some kinds of service.
8. If you try something new, oftentimes you will find one more thing to love about life, more people to meet, and more good to do in the world, and more fulfillment in your heart. Setting goals and reaching them could really go along these lines too. The harder you try to succeed in everything you do in life, the more success you will have.
9. I know I'm only supposed to put 8, but I just have to agree with everyone that's said: Family is the most important thing in the world.

8 Places I Would Love to Go or See:

1. Panama with Wes.
2. I would love to go on a church history trip or two. I also think I'd love to take my family to be in the Hill Cumorah pageant.
3. Italy
4. France
5. China - to bring a child home.
6. Thailand
7. Africa
8. Hawaii

8 Things I Currently Need or Want:

1. More sleep.
2. To be debt-free. (we are getting closer)
3. To finish the basement, and all the other little projects all over.
4. A climbing gym nearby.
5. More time with my sweet husband. I miss him!
6. More workout buddies.
7. Perfect eyesight. Without contacts.
8. Kolton to poop on the potty!

8 People I Tag:

1. Amanda
2. Michelle
3. Jaci
4. Melinda
5. Mom
6. Kristina
7. Liza
8. MacKenzie

Have Fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Being Behind.....

I think it sucks how whenever you have something important some up in your life, you get to be behind in everything else, and be behind for awhile after it's over. Life just keeps moving on, whether you do or not, and if you don't keep moving it just moves along without you. I'm not complaining, just observing. I've always found that to be very interesting. Life moves on.

Anyway, we have still been crazy busy here. I have had to work on the potty training....again, since Kolton's routine was once again interrupted. I have around 5 weeks until we go to Disneyland, and I'm really hoping that it's done by then. Cross your fingers for me. It's still the poop thing that's hard. He just doesn't do it. I'm not worried, but I am sick of buying pull-ups. He's a very bright little boy, so I'm sure it'll come fast once it comes.

We began putting up our fence this weekend. Yes we. Due to time, Wes wasn't able to get adequate help in the beginning, so I ended up outside with him all day Friday, digging holes and moving rocks. My hands still aren't working right. But it was a good workout. And thank goodness for Tori Peterson! She came over with this heavy pole thing, and it really got the rocks out great! She also stayed and helped us. It was great to have an extra hand so I could sneak and check on our kids throughout the day. (Luckily, they took a HUGE nap - like 4 hours! Thanks heavens!) It took 5 1/2 hours to do the first 3 holes, and a little over 3 to do the last 5. We celebrated by going to one of our favorite places for dinner - Bajio in Draper (the one out here sucks). It was so delicious, especially after all that work! Yesterday, my dad, Wes's dad, and Wes's buddy, Sheldon, came over to help cement the poles in. It went pretty quickly, and the help was very much appreciated. Now the cement has to set for 3 days. Wes is hoping to finish, or start finishing, on Wednesday, since he gets off work around 5 that day. I'm crossing my fingers that all will go well. It will be soooooo nice to have some PRIVACY. And place to play with the kids and the dog without worrying about them wandering into the neighbors' yard. I am so glad I hung in there with the homeowner of that house! It took me over a year, but I finally got him to pitch in financially with it. I guess the moral of that story is never give up. It was worth it, because due to Josh's recent accident of falling in the window well and getting a staple in his head, I have decided we need some window well covers pronto. Then our yard will hopefully be pretty baby proofed. That will be soooo nice.

Our house is a disaster. I don't think I can even remember a time in our entire marriage that it's been this bad. It's not horribly cluttered (although it still is), but the DIRT! It's everywhere. Gross! Tori saved the day once again yesterday. She was looking for a job and we put her to work washing our filthy windows. It was so nice to wake up this morning and see outside! That's really how dirty they were. I am excited to finish the rest of the house. I want to get the carpets cleaned and do some touch ups and painting, along with the rest of my spring cleaning I never got around to. I was very overwhelmed a few days ago, but getting the windows done really helped me feel like I can do the rest, and very eager to do it. I have been sick all week, post stress I'm sure, but I am beginning to feel better and now I want our home to feel like its usual cozy, clean, organized self.

The sad part for me is that 3 of my adult rabbits will be gone this week. My does. I have loved so much having them around, earning a bit of extra money, and having little buddies to snuggle and play with. Kolton has sure loved it too. But with everything that's happened this summer, I have had to come to grips with the fact that everything has a season, and this is not the season for my Holland Lop breeding/showing. Every spare minute I've had has been spent cleaning the rabbits, and they've sat in their cages quite a bit more than normal lately. I know they're rabbits, an it's not that big of a deal, because they're getting taken care of, but I just can't worry about it anymore. The stress, time, and guilt that has begun to accumulate because of it has become too much. I am not calling it the end for me though. For one thing, my favorite rabbit, McKinley, the big daddy of all the litters I've had, hasn't sold yet. I paid top dollar for him and I'm not going to take less than that. I got it for my does, and he's the best rabbit I have. He's also my favorite as a pet, so I am tempted to keep him, although wasting his awesome genes on being a pet might not be the best idea. I'm going to feel it out and see what happens. I can't think about any of it too much right now because it makes me too sad. But when I get too sad I think about all the things that have gone on since I got them, and I just know I'm doing the right thing finding them a new home. They are going to another breeder, who is really into it, and really excited to luck out with such great rabbits (they really are). She has promised me some picks of the litters when I jump back in later on. Once my kids are old enough to do 4-H, we'll be back. Kolton really loves animals, possibly as much as I do, and I think that 4-H could be something really fun and fulfilling and bonding for us when he gets older. Micah too, of course. Anyway, I really am glad, even though it's bittersweet, because things really just have fallen into place. I've always noticed that when I listen to my heart, or the spirit, and follow it, things always seem to work themselves out, fairly quickly. Things just fall into place and I feel very peaceful about my decisions. That's always been a huge comfort to me in my life.
Wes is happy, he didn't want to put the rabbits in the yard, although he would've let me if it came to that. I think it will be good to wait until our yard is bigger...a lot bigger....and I will have my backyard farm at that point. I really don't think it's too far away. This time in my life with little kids is just blowing by, and I want to soak up every bit of it I can. I know I'll miss it.
One a lighter note, Wes is getting an extra paycheck this month, and we hare hoping to do some more to our basement with it. We need to paint everything, and then we'll have all the doors and trim put in, and finish off the electrical work. Then we'll treat the cement while we're saving for carpet, and hang some blinds in the windows. I am excited! It's going to be fun, and so nice to have the extra space. I'm also going to work on the kitchen, which needs tons of help, and Micah's room. We are also thinking about getting Kolton a bigger bed, so we can move Micah to a toddler bed in a few more months. 2 big boys! I just can't believe how fast they are growing! Anyway, we'll be busy here for awhile, but a good busy. We can do what we can when we can, and that will be good. I think it will help us fall into our autumn routine, just in time for Disneyland. That will be nice.
Speaking of Disneyland, I have decided that I want to be pretty close to my goal weight, if not already there, by then. It's the only deadline I can really think of, and it will be fun to pack skinny clothes, and not be too embarrassed to have pictures. I don't think we have one family picture because I have been so disgusted with my weight. It will be nice to finally have one. So, I will continue my workouts with Wes, and I will be adding in running. I've been running with MacKenzie a Kristi a bit, and I'd like to make that more consistent. Anyone's invited who wants to come. We go around 8:30 at night. I think I'll also try to sneak a few other things in there, for speedy weight loss sake, not permanently, but to get me to my goal faster. I'm really pumped! Sage will love it too - I've been taking her running and walking with me most of the time. Eating healthy has been such a breeze this time. I think something clicked somewhere, but I don't really stress eat much anymore. I think knitting helps. But it's been great. I do feel great when I exercise, but it doesn't even compare to how good I feel when I eat right. The hard part is that I don't have too many recipes that are healthy. I have many tasty ones, but most are like once-a-week kind of fattening. So if you have any great tasting, healthy recipes, please share them with me! I would appreciate it so much!
The garden also helps for healthy eating. It's so much fun to eat what I harvest. I just planted peas, spinach, lettuce, and carrots for the fall. I am considering a few other crops, and my chard is still producing like crazy. I think fall crops will be my favorite. The same a spring, but longer lasting. There's really nothing better than fresh-grown lettuce and spinach. Nothing even comes close! Seriously, if you've never planted a fall crop before, plant one! I will help you. You won't regret it. You'll never skip the fall again. I also read about a very simple solution for my squash bug problem that I will try next year - marigolds! I was reading about that the other day, and then I realized that my marigolds died the same time the neighbor's yard was put in. (the yard guy accidentally hacked them off). Double-whammy. Now that I know, I don't think they'll have a chance next year! I can't wait to see if it works! Also, I am excited because the Square Foot Gardening Foundation is coming out with a teacher certification DVD next month. I am going to be fisrt in line to get it. Then I'll really boost my gardening knowledge, and I can teach classes and earn a little extra money for our debt payoff plan. I am very excited!
Well, I can tell this post is already too long, so I will save the rest for another day. Thanks for reading, and happy Sunday to all. I am so grateful I have such wonderful family and friends that read what I write. I love to read all your blogs, too. Blogging is such a blessing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nathan is home!!!!!

Nathan's home and doing well. Earlier today, the doctor said if he took a good nap and didn't need oxygen, then they would send him home. My mom called after they left the hospital, so I guess it all worked out. It was so cute to see all the little ones reunited! They all missed Nate, and he got busy right away playing with the trains, giggling, and running around. Kids have amazing resilience don't they?
I just wanted to thank aunt Lori for coming out to help me today. She practically saved me from a nervous breakdown lol. The kids were great, but it sure was nice to have enough time to put the laundry away, get everyone down for naps, brush my teeth....simple pleasures. :) Lori even got Joshie to take a nap on the couch! Thanks Lori for all your much-needed help today. We sure enjoyed seeing you and appreciated all your help! And thanks to Stacey, for being a great listening ear, and my link to the outside world! Your love and support meant a lot to me.
I am so glad that everyone gets to be together today. We all ate dinner together tonight, and everyone was extra happy to have one another there. I feel so blessed to have such a loving, supportive family, and so blessed that Nathan is doing so well. We love our little guy, we love all our little guys and girls.
Thanks for all your love and support, and your prayers. They were definitely felt and appreciated.

An Update on Nate...

Just thought I'd shoot a quick update while everyone is occupied. Melinda and I took Kolton, Josh, and Hallie to see Nate yesterday. (thanks Monica, Kathy, and Tara for watching the little ones!) They all had fun, and he seemed to be doing well. He looked weary, he was breathing harder than normal, but it didn't seem to bother him. It just wore him out pretty quickly. We took everyone to the playroom where they played music, painted pictures, and played with they toys. They had a grand old time. Nate wanted to come home with us, but he was too tired to put up a fight about it. We said our goodbyes, lots of hugs and kisses, and went on our merry way.
I also wanted to thank everyone for their offers to help, phone calls, etc. Thanks especially to Kathy, she has been a real lifesaver. So was Monica - thanks for letting us borrow your car seat, and for watching Micah all afternoon. And whoever it was that brought us dinner last night (Melinda arranged it), thanks - it was yummy! And thanks to Stacey, you are such a jewel. I couldn't ask for better visiting teachers than you and Denise. :)
I called my mom this morning, and Nate was doing okay. He did need some oxygen last night, and he was wheezing, so they took another chest x-ray. He did have more white instead of opaque. I'm not sure why, but that means it's worse. The nurses said that it's not uncommon for this to happen, although it doesn't happen every time. Nate did pull out the oxygen tube early this morning, and was able to maintain good levels. Everyone is just waiting for the verdict from the doctor. Come home or stay another day? Keep praying for him, we miss him and want him home.
We feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives that we can count on when things get rough. Abby crying, and it's a little too quite everywhere else. I'd better go see what they're up to.......
I will post another update soon. Thanks again for all your love and support and keep Nathan in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hug Your Little Ones a Little Tighter Today

Things can happen so fast. When they do, I am always bewildered at how little control I really do have of my children's lives. I have to put my faith in my Heavenly Father, and trust him to pick up the slack where I leave off. I have to trust that he knows how hard I am trying to give them a full, happy, safe life, and that he will help me. Sometimes I have to prepare myself for the worst, and listen to my instincts, and know that I am prepared as I can be should something happen. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.....
For those of you that don't know, my mom has 4 kids under 3 (twin 2 1/2 year olds, a 2-year old, and a newborn). Life keeps you busy with that many kids. We do a lot of hanging out together to help each other out. The kids love each other and really enjoy each other. Anyway, yesterday I was walking the dog with the kids, and I got a voicemail from my mom inviting us to swim. We weren't really prepared for that, but we decided to go say hi. (My mom lives really close by.) Of course when we got there, Kolton wanted to swim so bad! Cute Jesse jumped on his scooter and grabbed my swimming bag at my house. I am always nervous to swim with so many little ones, but I figure most people have to, and there were 3 big people there in a gradual entry pool.
We had a blast. We didn't take baby Abby in the pool, of course. Micah didn't decide he wanted to get in until the last 20 minutes or so. About the same time, Nathan decided he wanted to get out because he was cold. He looked so cute sitting there on a chair, wrapped in a fuzzy warm towel. The other kiddies continued playing and we decided we should be getting out soon. Right about that time, Nate decided he wanted back in. Up until that point he'd been wearing a little suit with an inner tube in it. Nate and Josh were all over the place once they figured out they were floating. They especially liked jumping off the side and floating back up (I know, weird that a 2-year-old is that fearless of the water!). By now, Kolton had one of the tubes on, and Nate didn't want it back on. We let him in without it because we were in 2 feet of water and we were all right there huddled together.
Suddenly, Jesse yelled, "Nathan's under the water!" He was across the pool and started swimming over. My mom grabbed him and she and I jumped out while Jesse pulled the rest of the kids out. He was still alive and conscious, but he couldn't breathe. He was arching his back, trying hard to suck in a breath, but there was too much water. We were patting him hard on his back, leaning him over, hoping and praying that he would start coughing or something. I called 911. Right after I told the dispatcher what was going on, he started coughing up a lot of water, and crying. Almost right after, the sheriff arrived, and he helped us with him until the paramedics arrived. They got there and got right to work, taking his vitals and everything. It seemed like for awhile he would be fine one minute, and really scary not fine the next. Shortly after the paramedics arrived, Nate got really lethargic and it was a struggle for my mom to keep him awake. Jesse and I worked on getting the other babies strapped in their stroller, and I called my dad, Wes, and Melinda. My poor mom was trying so hard to keep him awake. They were giving him oxygen, but I don't think his levels were at what they wanted them. Combine that with him struggling so hard to stay awake, the crowds of people gathering around, and the paramedics decided to call Life Flight and get him to Primary's. So I called my dad back and told him to turn around and head that way. The cute neighbors were all over the place helping out. One of them, Karen White, heard we were trying to get Nate a blessing before he left (they said they wouldn't wait after the helicopter arrived) ran and grabbed her husband and another neighbor and they gave him a blessing with oil. Wes got there right after, and so did the helicopter. They had to wait a few minutes to stabilize him before they could move him. Then they were off. I drove my mom home so she could quickly throw some clothes on (we were in swimsuits) and get her car. She told me that she felt that everything would be all right. That was really comforting to me, because I have never, ever met anyone more spiritually in tune than my mom. She always listens, always obeys, and is always right.
The paramedics and police were amazing also. I want to thank them for helping save my brother, and for their knowledge and sensitivity, and expertise. They are rockstars!
Also, I thought I would point out that Jesse probably saved his life. He saw Nate and alerted everyone to the situation. I don't think he understands the magnitude of what he did for him.
Anyway, my mom took off, and Wes, Jesse, and Karen helped me get all the babies to our house. Melinda arrived shortly after and we got to work feeding them, changing them, and getting them ready for bed. Melinda took them home and put them down. What a champ! She took baby Abby last night, and was up with her every 3 hours last night.
My mom called and gave everyone a good update. He was in the PICU. At 1AM I got a text from my dad saying they moved him into pediatrics. Yeah! This morning he's one 1/2 unit of oxygen - he was on 10 units yesterday. I won't go into all the medical details, but he's doing well considering, and we all feel very blessed. Our prayers are being answered.
It's amazing to me that when something like this happens, how everyone rallies together. My phone keeps ringing with people offering to help babysit, bring meals, and do whatever else they can do to help. I think it's incredible how you can actually feel people's prayers. It is amazing.
Anyway, I checked on my boys a few extra times last night when I got home. (They look like little angels when they are asleep.) I silently thanked the Lord for blessing us so much. Our boys are safe, our whole family is safe, Nathan is doing well, and we have countless people praying and helping in every way imaginable. My heart is just so full of relief and gratitude, and I am just so overwhelmed with the fact that it happened so fast, while we were right there, and that it could have been so much worse. I want to thank my Heavenly Father for watching over Nate, and watching over the rest of us, and guiding us with the spirit. I am so grateful for his grace and presence in my life every single day.
I will post updates as soon as I can, but I will be heading over to my parents' soon and they have no internet connection yet. At this point it's looking like he'll at least be there a good part of today, and probably into tomorrow. We will see.
So give your kids a squeeze and give thanks for them today. Say a prayer in your heart for Nathan, because they are working a miracle right now.

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