My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Friday, July 31, 2009

Until Next Time

It is FINALLY here. We are off to Idaho for some MUCH needed vacation time. See ya when we get back.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mono Results

Well, I got the phone call.
I have waited a very long and anxious week.
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
Feeling like you have been hit by a truck every day must not be normal, regardless of what I have begun to think.
The results were positive.
I have mono.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Bear with me as I try to find a blog background that I like for more than a week.
Something is also wrong with my fonts/colors page, so nothing matches right now. Hopefully I will find the problem soon. Until the posts, ignore the colors. ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Something is Missing

Naturally, after you lose something, especially a precious part of your family, you feel a sense of loss. I am well aware of the empty feeling in my belly and the ache in my heart when I meet up with a "trigger," or when my thoughts go back to the beginning of June. I don't burst into tears anymore during these moments, but I do almost feel a physical pain. These feelings have been a constant companion this last month and 1/2 and I am growing to learn to handle them and learn from them. It doesn't make them any easier though.
There is one feeling however, that seems to catch me by surprise every time it occurs. It is quite new. It is the feeling that someone is missing. It happens at the most random times, but when it does, it hits really hard and leaves me feeling empty handed.
The other day, our family was walking outside, and I felt so strongly that someone was missing. I even counted our family members and made sure everyone was there. Even though we were all there, I still felt and knew that in reality, we weren't ALL there.
It also hit me in church today. We were sitting there in the bench, listening to the speaker, and I looked at my family. I looked at Mary and then at Sam, my thoughts wondering about how special they are, and then I began looking for our 3rd child. It just felt so natural that another should be there. Again, even though we were all there, I knew in my aching heart, that we weren't ALL there.
This seems to happen a lot at the park and even in the car. It even happened once during Mary's gymnastics class. It catches me off-guard every time.
I know with all of my aching heart that someone indeed is missing, but I also know that this certain someone, is a vital part of our family, and has not left us for good.
My baby is near, and in it's own precious way, is letting me know. One day, I will fill this void, and what a wondrous day it will be. And although it hurts and aches, the quiet whisperings in my heart tell me time and time again that our family will be whole once more. Angels never leave us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ode To A Toad

It is with our sadest regrets that we inform you that our beloved Mr. Toad died.

He was a really cool tadpole.
He blessed us with new knowledge of just how crazy it is to mutate from tadpole to frog.
He taught us what it was like to face our fears and feed him endless amounts of live crickets.
He provided us with a smelly, moldy tank and lots of excitement as we watched him sit there.
He made my day the one and only time he croaked.
He proved how tough he was each and every time he was dropped behind the dresser, or survived without food for days on end.
He put up with us and added some entertainment to our home.
We will miss him, but I doubt he will miss us.
Goodbye Mr. Toad. It has been a pleasure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Crap Happens

I woke up this morning with a horrific sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, body aches and low fever. I felt kind of crummy yesterday, but nothing like today. I figured it was strep. Yeah, that stinks, but I just figured I would go to the doctor, get some meds, and be on my way in a few days.


I have progressivly gotten worse all day, and by the time of the appointment, I just wanted to stay in bed and never get out.

I just got back from the doctor.

At least the doc. is 99% sure it is mono. We will find out for sure in 7 days. The blood test takes a while. I am praying the doctor is wrong. We leave for Idaho in 7 days!

I just can't believe it and I really don't want to. I was just starting to get back on my feet!!!!!

It makes perfect sense...traumatic experience within the last two months + low immune system + low blood count + sore throat + swollen lymph nodes + swollen liver and spleen
= mono.

I will be sick anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.
I want to punch a hole through the wall, but I don't have the energy to, so I guess I will go back to bed.
I will deal with it later.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Camping Trip #3 (and more to come)

We went camping again this past weekend, and it was great! We went with Mike, Mel and Tyler ("the good neighbors"). It was so nice to relax, eat a bunch of great food, talk with friends, and enjoy the fresh mountain air. We found a great spot complete with a cool bridge and a stream. We were tucked back into our own little corner of the mountain. It was just us, our friends, and nature. aaaggghhh

We loved it so much that we stayed an extra night. We just drove into Woodland Park, bought some more food for dinner and breakfast, got ice cream at the cute train ice cream shop, and made our way back into the mountains. Ben also got in a great mountain bike ride complete with the cuts and scrapes to prove it. No..he didn't fall, the tree branches just stick out a little to far sometimes.

Our kids are quickly gaining a big love of camping and nature. They cried when it was time to leave and are begging to go back. It should annoy us I guess, but Ben and I just grin when they beg to go again and say "you bet." There is nothing like having your kids fall in love with something that you love to do as well. I have a feeling that many camping trips will be in store for our family.
As usual, camping trips bring about lots of pictures. After all..the mountains can bring out all sorts of stuff in people....we don't want to miss any of these moments.

Mike, Mel and Tyler. They are such awesome friends. We couldn't ask for better neighbors.

Ben the mountain man.

The kids made friends with some boys that were camping in the campsite next to ours. Sam and his little buddy made sure that the bugs in our camp were identified and later squished.

Tyler, Mary and Sam. Great friends!

Our was actually pretty cool.

Pumping up the air mattress. This time we had a pump, instead of our own mouths. I must say this method is much easier and prevents some crazy headaches.

Chamonix abviously enjoyed himself. Kind of stinks when you try to dig a hole with your nose.

Our brave mountain warriors.

Fun Family Picts.

We had some fun one night experimenting with fire and the camera. Zorro stopped by and made a "Z" for us.

Good lookin' bunch!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Poop Chronicles

The story begins like this.

For the past few months, every single time I look out our kitchen window in the morning, Chamonix (our dog) is going to the bathroom in "his bush." Lucky for us, he poops in the same spot..away from where the kids play ,but unlucky for me, I happen to see him in action every morning! No wonder, I am never hungry for breakfast.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was driving down the road and I looked out at a house that was pretty far away. I noticed a huge dog in the backyard. In the few seconds I took to look at the dog, it squatted and began to go to the bathroom in the yard.

Then, a few nights ago, Ben and I were driving down the road and we passed by a person walking their dog. Whadda ya know, the dog stops right there and beings to poop!

THEN, I was in Petco this week getting crickets for our frog (yummy!) and a lady was there with her dog. She was shopping, and as soon as I stepped into the isle she was in...her dog pooped on the floor! The lady was shocked, and the workers weren't too keen on cleaning the mess up. For some weird reason, I felt like it was my fault. What on earth!

AND THEN, Chamonix decided to poop in the garage one night. This is very abnormal. Of course, I get to be the one who discovers it and later steps in it. Rock on.

If this isn't weird enough, I had a dream last night that I had to train our frog to run, for a school class. (yeah I know, go ahead and laugh) My frog ended up pooping all over the floor, but it was the size of dog poop! I got an F in the class. I woke up devastated.

I always call my brother Devin, Devie-poo to tease him. In the past few years, it has just been cut down to Poo. I don't call him that to be gross, it is just a name. Like Whinnie the Poo, ya know? He just got home from his mission "Poo" is back. Yet another coincidence? However, he isn't a dog, and most of these have to do with dogs, so maybe not.

Is it a sign? Am I supposed to be learning something from this? Do I need to eat more fiber? Is it time to potty train Sam? What is the deal!

Oh yeah, one more thing. During my pregnancy (just a few months ago) the horrible taste I had in my mouth (for 14 weeks) due to hormones, tasted exactly like dog poop smells! If you don't believe me, go back to the blog post where I mention that my mouth tastes like I ate quarters and dog poop for dinner.

So there you have it folks, any explanations?

Stay tuned for Poop Chronicles #2 (no pun intended)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome Home Elder Belnap

Djaevlen means "Devil" hahaha

Despite of all that has happened and is happening right now, and the events that are turing our world upside-down...there is a bright light shining today.

My brother, Devin, will arrive home today from his 2 year mission in Denmark. He flies into the Pocatello, Idaho airport at 6:00pm.

I am so excited to talk to him, I can hardly stand it. He is one of those people that makes friends with anyone in about 2 seconds. He is so outgoing and so incredibly friendly. His friends have been calling my mom non-stop all month to see when he will be home. And he has A TON of friends. I seriously think 1/2 the town is going to be there at the airport to welcome him home. Devin's positive outlook on life and his never-ending energy are so contagious. We have missed him so much the past two years. He is just so fun to be around. You always walk away from Devin feeling refreshed and uplifted. He knows how to make you feel good. He is just so nice. He served a faithful mission and worked as hard as he could. He touched a lot of lives. I know he will miss it there and he will be missed as well. I can't wait to see him in two weeks, it seems like forever.

I am so homesick today. I don't even know if homesick can describe it. My mind is in Idaho at the moment, and will probably be there the rest of the day. I wish I could be there holding up some dorky sign and bawling my eyes out as he steps off the plane. But we will be there soon enough. Until then....

WELCOME HOME ELDER BELNAP, WE LOVE YOU!!!!! (and we can't wait to have some serious tube wars, poke your food, and blow some things up when we get there)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Summer of Lessons

This summer is proving to be a summer of learning for our family. We have been forced to learn some of the harsh lessons life has to offer. Lessons, that I had hoped would never have to come to Ben and I, or our little family. But they are here, and we will make it through once again.
As we continue to go through this journey of life, we are learning to more appreciate the good times to hold tight through the rough times.
I pray that the peace and comfort of the Lord will continue to be with us and those who we will watch struggle so much at this time.
Sometimes when it rains it pours, but we are learning to dance in the rain, even though we will have to get our feet wet.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Bit of This, and A Little Bit of That

Growing up, my parents had a great idea. We are a very active family, and we love sports. But, it can get really expensive when you have 5 kids doing every sport known to mankind. So, my parents decided to put us in a bunch of sports when we were little (and the sports are cheaper) and see which sport we really took to. We had great childhoods full of swimming, baseball, softball, T-Ball, basketball, soccer, football, track, clogging, dance, snow sking, water sking, ect. My parents were very busy.

Then, once we found a sport we loved, they let us follow that one sport as long as we wanted to. Of course, watersking and boating was just considered a necessity and a love we all shared. We never thought of it as a sport, just a really great time! Same went for musical instruments. We all played the piano at some point in our lives. Some of us did it longer than others. We even found, that out of a family of non-singers (even just singing Happy Birthday ended up with roars of laughter of how horrrible we all sounded), we ended up with a brother that had an incredible voice and did great in musicals. Who would've thought!

So, as far as sports went; I really took to parents discovered this while watching me do cartwheels during a T-Ball game I was in, and watching me pick flowers and do cartwheels when I was supposed to be playing soccer. Therefore, I did gymnastics for the next 8 years. Once I got sick of that, I used my gymnastics ability and put it toward cheerleading. We were a competitive squad, so it was a ton of fun and it was a great way to stay active and involved in Jr. High and High School. I was also lucky enough to do some intramural stuff with gymnastics in College as well. My passion for running came out during this time as well, and still burns strong inside me.
One of my brothers really took to football and track. The other two really liked soccer. My little sister happens to be great at everything, so she is still doing it all, as the only child left at home.

Ben was very active growing up as well. He did soccer, baseball, biking, pole vaulting and of course, any chance he got, he was in the mountains on his skiis, tearing up the powder. He also backpacked and and hiked a lot. There was even a small chunk of time there where he played the trumpet. His passion for skiing, hiking and mountain biking are still going strong.

With our little family, we are doing the same thing as my parents. Ben and I both love to be active, so why not pass it on to the kids. Therefore, Mary's summer has been full of gymnastics, swimming and T-Ball. As soon as I am up to it, hiking will be in the schedule as well. Her winters are full of snow sking with Ben and gymnastics. We are waiting to do soccer until next year. So far, gymnastics seems to be where her natural ability and true love has come to play. But, she has had fun learning new things as well, and we will continue letting her try new things.

Swimming started out rough. She has been terrified of water ever since our little "incident" at the pool a year ago. So naturally, her first day of swimming lessons was spent with her sobbing on my lap. The second day, she would walk out to her class, stand there, and then walk back to me. Crying the whole time. I would have said "forget it," but water is such a big part of our lives, and our kids need to learn how to swim. I also knew it would be good for Mary to stretch herself a little and face a fear.
By the third day, she was in the water and smiling! Hooray! Mary did great and overcame a big fear of hers. I am really proud of her. The kids in her class were really really nice and became great friends to her. We are now trying to squeeze her into the next session so we can keep up the pace she has started.

T-Ball was also something totally new to her. She was one of two girls on the team. Nothing new to Mary, she is surrounded by boys here. They had a great time! Mary learned all sorts of new things about running bases, catching, team work, and hitting the ball. Her favorite part however, was the end of the games, where the parents made a tunnel and the kids ran through it. T-Ball was a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again next year. Her first few games had me laughing so hard I thought I would choke. I was stuck on the couch and couldn't go to her first few games, but I watched them on video, and they had me cracking up. It was adorable watching these little kids run all over the place and tackle eachother for the ball. By the end of the season, they had leaned how to stay put, but it was still great.

So far, we are having a blast watching Mary do all of these fun sports and watching her make new friends and try new things. It has been nice to have a game here, a gymnastics class there and some swimming to go along with it. It has given us some reasons to keep smiling and to keep going through some rough times this summer. It has also provided Mary with some fun ways to get her energy out and to make new friends.
I really can't wait for next year when Sam can do a few things too. He has been a great kid and has put up with a lot of "watching Mary." Good thing he likes to snuggle and he likes to watch Mary. It will be so much fun when he can be involved too!

I have always looked forward to the day when I could watch my kids do sports and participate in the things they love. It has begun for our family, and so far, it has been a blast.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun with Fireworks...and a side note.

This is way off subject, but I want to share some of my thoughts really quick.
Today has been kind of a rough day for me. I have just felt down and a little discouraged. I haven't thought about anything in too much detail for a little while, but for some reason today, I can't seem to get my mind off of everything. I can't believe it has already been a month since everything happened, it is just so weird to me. At times, it feels like yesterday, and the emotions are painful.
I came home from Mary's swimming lessons today(which are going WAY better) to find a yummy treat left on our door from a sweet friend who left a note on top saying she was thinking of me and was here if I needed anything. A few minutes later, as I was wondering what to do with the kids today, and feeling extra tired, another friend knocked on the door and invited Mary to come play with her daughter. Great timing! And then, I got on my email and had a sweet note from a friend I haven't seen in a while. She was just letting me know that she was thinking of me and hoping we were all doing o.k. I also got some letters in the mail from some relatives with their sympathies and kind words in them. Also, a few late Birthday cards. My heart is full and I am so humbled with the outpouring of love I have felt today. It was really needed and it really boosted my spirits to feel that I am not alone, even though time has gone by. Today, I was lifted from the strength and actions of others.
I am learning more and more about the power of love and friendship. Even though it has been a month, and we are doing better, it is so comforting to know that our dear friends and family are still rallying around us. The longer a trial goes on, the harder it becomes to keep holding strong. We are holding on though and we are getting stronger. It is times like this though, when the love and care of others really goes a long way. It can also be a time though, where the love and support dwindles, because of the time that has gone by. This has not been the case with any of our friends and family. I am so grateful for the wonderful people in my life who have helped keep us going and who have carried our burden with us. I have been so humbled by the love and support that continues to come our way. We have not been forgotten. I have learned a valuable lesson about truly carrying one another's burdens, and I will be better from now on when it comes to helping others. I have seen the impact it can have and I have been so humbled. God truly does work through others to spread his love. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who work as His angels and who are ready and willing to love and care.

On another note...the real reason for this post. I forgot to add these to our last post. Even though we didn't get our hands on the "big stuff" this year, we still had fun with some fireworks. There is just something about fire, accompanied with loud noise, that makes me smile. If you look closely, you can make out the "B" that Ben made while he was writing his name with the firework.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Campers

I am proud to report, that we had a wonderful, rain-free, fire-filled, sugar-loaded, dirt covered, care-free and successful camping trip this weekend. It was so wonderful to get out into the mountains and leave the stresses behind. Fresh air does wonders for the soul. It was very relaxing and very healing. We had a great time and all went well. It even seemed to me like the getting ready, setting up, taking down, and unpacking wasn't bad at all. We have a good system down, and everything went very quickly and smoothly.
Mike and Tyler ("the good neighbors") came with us and added to the fun. We were so sad that Mel didn't make it this time, but I guess that means we will just have to go again. ;)
We got home in time to unpack, relax and go out to dinner, before heading out to watch the fireworks at the Air Force Base. Instead of going right up to the base, as as planned, we found a great parking spot and watched from the car as we listened to the patriotic songs that went with the fireworks on the radio.
We had a great 4th of July weekend and it was so nice to have some fun and let the weight on our shoulders be lifted even more. Of course, it was in the back of my mind, that it was also the one month mark since everything happened, but I didn't let it get me down. Instead I focused on how far we have come. I think we all feel a little more rejuvinated and ready to hit up another week and a new month.
Here are some pictures from the trip. There are a lot of them, but hey, I don't think I have posted any pictures in over a month, so I guess I have a lot to make up for.

roasting hot dogs

This is about as clean as Sam was during the trip.

Best buddies, Mary and Tyler

Ben and Mike...and a little someone who snuck into the picture at the last second.

Mary and I. Mary is ALWAYS bringing my flowers and I love it. There is a pile of flowers in my hand that Mary gave me during our little walk.

Ben with his new mountain bike. He did some tricks for us.

Ben and Sam. Sam looked like a little white dough ball on Ben's shoulders, it was pretty cute.

Me and Sam walking around looking for rocks to Sam to climb on.

Ben wraped a hot rock from the fire,in a shirt, and gave it to me to put in my sleeping bag. I was SSSOOOOO warm and cozy with it. It was awesome! I have never been that warm while sleeping in a tent before. I love my rock...and my husband.

Banana Boats...yummy.

Sam climbed up this rock all by himself....I LOVE this picture.

Family picture...(with Tyler) Yes, Sam is picking his nose. That is new hobby lately. At least he doesn't eat them, he gives them to us.

Mary and Tyler headed out on a "bear hunt."

Sam's chair. We didn't even mean to make this little chair, but it worked perfectly and was just his size.

Ben getting the fire started while the crowd anxiously awaits.

Ben doing some bike tricks....he is pretty good!

Here is some proof of how many times Tyler decided to go swimming, or just slipped and fell in the water. He is total water bug!

Mike making a little water canal for the kiddos. We loved our little stream.