My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Friday, January 29, 2010

I {Heart} February

I absolutely love it when it is time to say goodbye to January.
It is one of those months where you are coming down from all of the excitement of holidays, family visits, lights, cheer and all that comes with it.

It can feel like a slump month of nothing but cold, gray boringness. BLAH!
And it consists of all 31 days. The longest month possible. I am not a fan, nope, not at all.

And then comes FEBRUARY!!!

A short, fun and happy month. A month of pink, white, love, Valentine's Day, Sam's Birthday and once again, some brightness and cheer in the air! The colors are happy, the feeling is happy, and love is in abundance. It is so great. I am feeling it already.

Oh, it is so refreshing! I LOVE it.

And just for fun...I added a bunch of my favorite love songs to the playlist, so they will be playing on the blog through most of the month. Enjoy!

Welcome February!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Tragic Ending

As with all good stories...there must be an end.
Unfortunately, this one ended all too soon. Oreo and Eddie, our star-crossed lovers, are now in a happy place together, running in the same giant wheel, eating glorious treats, telling their amazing tales, and making gerbil-mouses.

(the song playing is dedicated to them)

It is with our saddest regrets and very heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our beloved Oreo this evening. There will be no viewing, due to the nature of the death, but the burial ceremony and final words will be tomorrow morning.

Because Oreo is Oreo, she found a way to escape the confines of her cage one last time today. Much to my horror, the kids and I found her lifeless body next to the dog hours later.

It honestly and truly was a very, very sad moment in our home. Especially for Sam, which really surprised me and completely broke my heart. The poor little boy cried on the stairs and tried to pet his beloved Oreo once she was safely hidden under a towel (until dad could come home and find a place for her until the burial). It literally brought tears to my eyes, and still does. Precious little Sammy.

Oreo completely grew on us. We have grown to totally admire and appreciate her fun and adventurous personality. She has been the topic of conversation many times in our home, usually accompanied by sheer admiration and lots of smiles and laughter. She has had us all diving, sliding, sneeking, jumping, chasing and bribing her on almost a daily basis. It has become a game in our home, and we have all had the victory, at least once, of catching Oreo and putting her back in the cage until the next escape. It is a running joke in our family, and is has made for some hilarious moments.

Yesterday, for the first time, I was able to get her to walk into my hand, after one of her many escapes from the cage. I swear she smiled at me. She even let me take her picture without running away. Precious last moments.

We have totally enjoyed having her in our home, and she will be missed....very missed.

And so ends the adventures of Oreo and Eddie.
Together at last.
May they rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nesting..the not so pleasant kind

A form of unexplained craziness in a pregnant woman. A large desire to make her house a home in ways that can only be done by winning the lottery or accumulating large sums of money very quickly. It can result in overloaded shopping carts at home stores and then leaving them there in complete distress without buying anything, absolute mindless rearranging of large pieces of furniture, a desire to sell furniture in order to get it in a different color, a huge desire to flat out move...just for a change, and a strong desire to consume large amounts of empty calorie foods in order to suppress the fire burning within.

It may also result in a very preoccupied mind and doing things such as making muddy buddies in a STRAINER and therefore creating a powdered sugar cloud that envelopes the entire kitchen. Or, mad rushes to the home store only to find your son is sitting in his seat in only his underwear because the thought of putting pants on him never entered your mind. It may also include things such as forgetting to put mascara on one eye, losing your card to the gym, dropping everything you touch, forgetting your friends name, asking a guy with no daughters if you could speak with his daughter sometime, walking into the mens bathroom during one of the 50 times you go during your workout, and so on and so forth.

The other day I got a fun package in the mail from my mom. It was a bunch of the pictures of the kids that I had taken while I was in Pocatello earlier this month.

Today, while Mary was at preschool, I decided to venture out to Hobby Lobby to find some frames for these fun pictures. Maybe just one or two frames to go along with the new theme for Sam's room.

I walked into the store, made it about 20 feet in, and the little spark of nesting that has been burning in me lately (pretty early compared to previous pregnancies) completely exploded into a downright bonfire. My eyes got as big as saucers, my palms started sweating, my notebook and pen came flying out of my purse, and my cart all of the sudden was not big enough. I gave Sam my entire container (a big container) of gum and a toy car to play with, and I went absolutely nuts.

Everywhere I looked I was seeing all of the things I have been slowly envisioning for Mary and Sam's new bedroom designs. Not to mention all of the new ideas I have had for the living room and family room. Oh, if only I could paint. Actually, maybe it is a good thing I can't paint right now.

I was in a home decor wonderland that only my mind could appreciate at the moment. Everything was just jumping out at me with every step I took!
An adorable rustic wagon for the boy's room (the perfect size and rustic red/black color), the perfect black and soft pink wall hanging for Mary's room. The perfect decorative pillow for Mary's new bed set (that is still in my mind and not on her bed), and ADORABLE old fashioned airplane clock for Sam's room, the perfect metal flower for Mary's wall. A timeless soft pink basket with black ribbon for Mary's room with the perfect hint of hot pink to add some spunk, the ideal lamp with an adorable old fashion baseball mit on the bottom for the boy's room, the perfect wall hanging for the family room, and I won't even begin on the fabric I saw for the piano bench and for some pillows I plan on making.

The frame I found last week goes perfectly with Mary's room idea and yes, that is where the last of the allowance was spent. Soft, light pink (to keep it calm), hot pink here and there(to add spunk) and black accents to add a touch of elegance. It is soooo cool looking (in my head).

And then of course there was the Valentine's Day section. I am a huge sucker for holidays as it is, but that did not help. I was almost hyperventaliting at this point.

My mind was going a hundered miles an hour. And of course, the reason I love that store, most of it was 50% off until Friday. AAAGGGHHH!!! It was as if the store knew my name and the thoughts in my mind. Way too perfect.

I went through so many reasons to justify buying a whole cart full of stuff. The awesome sale, my monthly allowance (that is already spent on home decor stuff...but hey, it is so close to next month), because I deserve it for being pregnant, having a bad gallbladder and for making dinner every night ;), because our tax return will be coming soon and I could spend a portion of that a little early, because home decor is my hobby, so I should be able to indulge..right, because I am very very frugal and I deserve at least one shopping spree for my good behavior, and on and on and on.

Needless to say, I had some serious self restraint, and I walked out of the store with a single $6.00 picture frame. Yes, it is cute. Yes, it is perfect and will go with the boys room perfectly (deep red, deep green, and some black accents, along with a lot of wood, all with a rustic flare).

Yes, I was proud of myself for my frugality and for overcoming a serious urge, but I was also next to exploding with the nesting instinct and the urge to do something very rearrange the whole house, or cook 100 freezer meals or rearrange the bathroom drawers (shudder), or eat an entire bag of oreos with milk. I even called Ben to begin the begging and pleading process, but instead I told him that Sam and I were out looking for a frame and that I was getting some great ideas. Little did he know that I had that crazed look in my eye that only a pregnant mad-woman can achieve and I was so close to tears it was pathetic. Oh, the pain!

So, for now, I will go put up the new picture frame, probably rearrange something that doesn't need rearranging, and cut off a few inches of the dang Elefun nose so that Sam won't ask me every 5 seconds to fix it, and continue to find a way to convince my ever patient husband that my wants are quickly turning into absolute and very pressing needs.

(after I hurry and sign up for Hobby Lobby's email notices for their weekly sales)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well "babies"

Sam and Mary had their physicals today, or as the Dr. called them..their "well baby" appointments. I thought I was the only one who still considered them my babies, but I guess not. ;)

We have been pumping Mary up for quite a while, because it is the big one for her. Yup, Kindergarten shots.

We talked about how it wouldn't be that bad, how we would get ice cream after, how getting her ears pierced hurt way worse then shots and she didn't cry for that one, ect.

Somehow, we actually got her excited for them.

After gymnastics, we headed off to the pediatrician.

Sam giggled through his entire checkup. He thought the whole thing was just grand, and he loves the doctor. He is in the 10th % for height and 20th for weight. We love our little shorty. He seems nice and healthy and full of energy and life.

Mary was in the 50th for height and the 30th for weight. Just right.
She wasn't all giggles, but she didn't mind the check up either. She loved the coordination tests they gave her..probably because the doctor ranted and raved about her strength and her rainbow leotard.
She was so happy to have a girl doctor. She thought that was pretty cool. She is also healthy and full of life.

After all the questions and poking and prodding, the big moment came. The nurse came in with four shots that were WAY bigger than I even anticipated. I made sure to distract Mary so she didn't see them. Mary hopped right up on the table and laid down as if she was lying in the sun and not on a Dr. table. The nurse told me to hold her down, but I just shook my head a smiled. Holding her down would only make it worse.I held her hands instead.
Shot one came...Mary bit her lip and whispered "that really hurts mom!"
Shot two...tears and some small whimpers
Shot three...crying but holding very still
shot four...crying pretty hard but smiling because she did it.

I felt so bad for my little girl, but she did awesome! They showered her with stickers, toys, pencils and prizes. And both kids got extra stickers a flavored popsicle sticks. The tears were long gone before we left the office.

Mary is very proud of her band aids and her blue lizard that sticks to her skin and walls. Check out her stash of prizes!

As promised, the kids got ice cream afterwards.

It has been a while since I have had any "well baby" checks for the kids, and it was a reminder to me of how fast they grow. I feel so blessed to have these two healthy and active kids in my life. Sitting there watching their little grins and giggles reminded me of just how lucky I am. They are so precious to me.

Next time we are there for check ups...we will have our new little guy with us!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Second Opinion

I tend to fret a lot over weird things. Like getting a second opinion for example.
I care way too much about hurting feelings or creating awkward scenarios sometimes. I honestly think the other doctor could care less that I went to someone else, but either way, I fretted and worried and fretted and worried and asked Ben a million times if he thought I was doing the right thing. After 3 attacks in 24 hours and many tears...I stopped fretting, I was past caring anymore.

In the end, I made the call and set up the appointment. Few!

This dude was so incredibly awkward and weird it was amazing.

He would ask a question and then write on his paper FOREVER without saying anything. No expression, no eye contact, no emotion. nadda. He did this for like 5 minutes while Ben and I sat there exchanging looks back and forth of "uummm, o.k., hope this guy says something soon." I almost burst out laughing for no reason, just because it was so awkward in there.

He then did the wonderful poking and prodding, which is oh, so much fun. Nothing like getting your already painful organ pushed around. It took a good 1/2 hour to stop throbbing after that.

Then out came the chart of the gallbladder. He explained a few things that he thought could be wrong, but just like before, they couldn't be seen without a H-scan.

This dude said that the scan can be done on pregnant women, and that the risk to the baby is minimal. He is going to call my ob and see if he can do the test.
Even if the test shows something not good, he is still very hesitant about doing surgery on a pregnant woman, but he will at least look into it, depending on what they find. Again, the risks from gallbladder surgery are minimal, but they are still there.

He also gave me a prescription for vicodin and said that if it didn't work, he would write a prescription for morphine, which apparently can be taken in pill form. Loopy lady coming your way!

Basically, he is going to try to help me ride this out until the baby is born, but he isn't totally closed to the idea of surgery either.

I feel so much better knowing that someone listened to me, understood the pain, and is willing to do what they can. Even if all he can do is try to make me as comfortable as possible for the next 4 least he is trying!

Best of attacks today (so far)! I feel like a free woman. Maybe I can get lucky and make it two days in a row. Cross your fingers.

A good friend of ours emailed Ben the other day and said something profound. He said that when you have so much stuff like this going on, it makes just the normal every day life seem like bliss. And he is very right. When we just have a normal week or even a normal day, it feels wonderful! I am learning to bask in the normality of life. I am trying not to get bored so quickly, and just enjoy the fact that all is well.

And all will be well, I can feel it! Carpe Diem!

Monday, January 18, 2010

things that make you go hhhhmmmmm

My visit with the general surgeon today...hhhhmmmmm

Bringing my two yr. old with me to the appointment.... double hhhhmmmmm

The surgeon (after asking a million questions and poking an prodding until he literally brought tears to my eyes) is 99.9% sure I have gallbladder disease...hhhmmmm

Gallbladder disease is excruciating and can be more painful than stones..hhhhmmm

Gallbladder disease can only be officially diagnosed through a test that CANNOT be done on a pregnant women without harming the baby....hhhmmmm

Galldlbadder disease is where the gallbladder cannot get the bile out fast enough and sometimes can't get it out at all. Therefore it contracts into itself for hours on end, and I feel all of it the whole time. There is no cure aside from gallbladder removal...hhhmmmm

The surgeon would gladly remove the gallbladder next week if I was not pregnant, or if he could prove it was life threatening or that my gallbladder was not functioning (which would be done by doing the test he can't do) ...hhhmmmm

I get to wait until I have the baby (probably just a few days after having the baby) before the test and surgery can be done...hhhmmm

Nothing aside from morphine can help the pain, and it will only get worse as time goes on....hhhmmmm

I get to spend the next 1/2 of my pregnancy experiencing excruciating pain at least once a day with no meds. to help me, or I can go into a form of pain that leaves me not able to function for at least 2 days, brings on a severe fever, a trip to the ER and an emergency gallbladder removal. Whichever comes first....
Tripple hhhhhmmmmm

I am quickly making a list of all of my blessings, things to occupy me on short notice, upcoming events that I am looking forward to, and things for the kids to do when I am sick and Ben is at work. I just had a nice long cry of complete discouragement and of course pain, but now I will move forward and do what I can with what I have.

The Lord will take care of me. He always does.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Take That!

As of this very moment, all three gerbils are back in the cage!

How to keep three gerbils in the cage......

First, you catch all of them in various places in the house, during various days of the week, in various times of the day/night.

You place all of the gerbils back in the cage.

Then you grab the kitchen mat and place it on the cage as quickly as possible.

Once the mat is in place, you get all of the Reader's Digests that you own, and place them on all four corners of the mat.

Once completed, you laugh the evil laugh, do the victory dance, and bask on the goodness that all is in the proper place.


You go the more productive and better looking route and go to Petsmart and buy a screen to put on top of the cage.

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


There are things in life we can control and things we can't.
So simply put, so hard to learn.

I admit, I can be one of those people that is all stressed out, and I have brought it all on myself. It can come from being too picky, analyzing too much, saying yes to too many things, worrying, ect.

I have realized though, that the majority of the things that have stressed me out lately, have been completely and totally out of my control. They have been out of anyone's control. And believe it or not, even though the events are stressful, it does feel good to know it happened TO me and not BECAUSE OF me.

What am I talking about you say???? I bet you can all guess. Go ahead.

Yup...I am talking about our wonderful luck with health.

Honestly, I believe it all comes down to one thing. My immune system was totally and completely slammed when I lost so much blood this summer. I also got mono (true blue mono...blood tested and everything) soon after, which blasted away whatever was left of my immune system for the next few months.
As a result, for the past 6 or so months, I have been a walking target wherever I go. A germ magnet really. If someone within 5 miles of me is sick with something, you better believe, it will come running to me.

For example...I didn't see the swine flu issue as something to run and hide from. I did all of the necessary precautions, but I figured I would get it, I did, it was just as bad as they all said it would be, and I dealt with it. And that is how it has been.

My friend posted the other day that she had mastitis, and I seriously figured for a while there that I would end up with it in the next few days. hhmmmm

I could become a species of my own with this interesting body of mine lately.

My trashed immune system is really the only explanation to all of the illness that has come my way. And at times, I end up spreading whatever fun bug I catch to the family. That would explain why they have had so many things as well. (aside from Ben's kidney surgery and his knee injury...but that is for another day)

I have a good feeling that this will not last much longer. I can feel the cloud lifting. I have more energy and I just feel stronger. I have also felt the quiet whisperings of the spirit letting me know that my time with this is about over.

This week ended up with 5 doctor visits and two more for next week. I am sooooo grateful that we have awesome insurance.

This week....
3 cases of pink eye/sinus infections/nasty coughs (me, Mary, Sam)
one possible hernia from surgery (Ben)
one gallbladder ultrasound (yours truly)
one gallbladder appointment (me again)
one strep test (uh yeah, that would be me)

next week...
another gallbladder appointment with a general surgeon (guess who)
physicals and immunizations for both kids

But you know what, believe it or not, I am fine. Truly. I can't control those things, and they haven't gotten me down. I didn't ask for any of this to happen. We didn't ask for any of this to happen. Do we like But, there isn't much we can do about it except for choose how we will handle it.

I have decided to focus on what I can control, and I have actually had a lot of fun doing it. All in all, we had a really fun week together as a family. We have learned to deal, and we have learned to deal with our chins up. It has been a rough lesson learned, but a good lesson learned. Priceless really.

Things I can control....and that I did this week.

Went over all of my home decor ideas for the kids rooms (o.k. for the whole house, but I focused more on the kids rooms), and came up with an ADORABLE plan for both rooms. The boys room is going to be so cool and it will be very classic and very boy.

Mary's room is going to be just like her. Timeless and beautiful..with some personality and spunk mixed in. I purchased the first few things to get started today. This topic gets me so excited I can hardly stand it!

Ben and I both had day dates with our kids.
Ben took Mary skiing and I stayed here with Sam.
We made it a special day for both kids and we all had a lot of fun.

I went back to the gym.
I have been out of the gym due to our trip, and so much pain from my gallbladder, but I decided to just do what I can.
The endorphins have had a wonderful effect, and I ended up going three times this week. It is addicting and it feels great. I hope to continue going up until I deliver the baby. I think it will help in all areas.

I read both of the Hunger Games books, and am currently hunting down other series. I love to read, and it was so fun to get into another world for a while. Thanks Adri.

Took the kids to the park. It is almost impossible not to be happy with the weather we have been experiencing here. It was refreshing for all of us to walk to the park in the sunshine and to run around and play outside. Everyone had grins plastered to our faces. The 56 degree weather has been a gift of spring in January. Love it!

I have made a list of things I like to do, things that I want to work on, projects I want to learn how to do, and future goals. I made another list of things to do with the kids and with Ben.

Whenever I get sick, or get down, I go to my list and pick something.
It feels good to do something I can control and to forget about what I can't. It makes me feel like I have control and that I am above the pain and the frustration.

It has made for happier days and lighter spirits.
It made for a good week.
I feel very blessed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Great Escape

Welcome back to the tale of the gerbils.
No worries, our mouse problem is OVER!!!!
Eddie is still out there, but that is the good thing...he is literally "out" there. Hopefully playing a nice game of hide and seek with our neighborhood fox that sleeps in the neighbors yard.
But the story of Oreo-the incredible, is one that will never end.

Our three gerbils are now in a 20 gallon tank. The walls are all glass, so they can't climb out. The walls are also very high, so no chance of jumping either. We took out everything that gave them leverage to escape, and we figured that since Eddie is gone, Oreo would be just fine in her nice little home. Maybe a little depressed, but still.

We were so wrong.

Oreo has learned to jump. Not just jump, but I swear she can fly. She can jump so high it has got to be a record. All it takes, is less than an inch of something for her to stand on, and she can jump right out of the cage. It is amazing! We sat and watched her one night as she got on her wheel, which was on its side, and jumped over and over and over trying to get out. It was all fun and games until she jumped super high, caught the edge of the cage with her two front feet, pulled herself up, and was out! We sat there like bumps on a log with our mouths hanging open. We could make millions with this gerbil.

The other issue at hand is Sam. He loves to hold the gerbils, but not for long. He thinks it is great to get them and put them in weird places. Too bad they don't stay in these places.

Hence....the Great Escape.

A few days ago, Sam did the unthinkable, and let Oreo out. Not the slow, fat, mellow white gerbil, or the mental black gerbil, but Oreo. The one that can jump, hide, run, fly, and think. Not good.

She was out for two days playing a nice game of hide and seek with us, so last night I decided it was do or die. I was determined to get her. She was behind the fridge, so I got a broom and scared her out. It took me 2 HOURS of chasing before I gave up, and I was exhausted. I had run across the floor at full speed with my hands out numerous times, hidden behind the wall and pounced on her several times, left a trail of food out for bait, made myself a human barricade,which she jumped over, stuffed every corner and crack with towels, and literally tried to call her to me. It was so pathetic. In the end, I didn't even catch her...Mary did. In about 5 minutes.

This morning, Sam let her out again. He was supposedly giving her a ride in the tonka truck.

We ended up trapping her in Mary's room, which has looked like a toy monster threw up in it ever since Christmas. I really need to do some toy organizing sometime soon. Or at least move some toys into different areas of the house. Her room is exploding with toys.

For the next 1/2 hour Mary, Sam and I ran circles around Mary's room on our hands and knees chasing Oreo. We were under the bed, in the closet, throwing toys all over, knocking over lamps, and shaking out sheets in the process. In the end, I was the proud winner. I literally sat on her tail when she tried to run under my legs. Go me.

A few hours ago, I was talking to Mary when Chamonix went running full speed and caught something in his mouth. It was Oreo. I dove after the dog, landed on top of him, and made him spit it out. It was a very wet and very scared Oreo, who of course, took off running into our closet. Nice. I didn't chase her, because I was getting my pregnant body off the ground and saying sorry to baby Maynard who had quite the ride in the belly.

According to Sam, Oreo wanted to try out his new race track, but she didn't like it.

While I sat on my bed staring at the closet, ready to pounce at the first sign of Oreo, Sam came running into the room. He said that the gerbil was stuck. I asked him which gerbil, and he said..."not Oreo...the white one." And this is where the white gerbil was supposedly playing with Sam while I was trying to catch Oreo.

Yup, that's right. Needle in a haystack.

Now she is in this hole right under my feet. The hole is for computer wires to go into, not gerbils. We have been playing a nice little game the past little while now. She will do this

I will try to get her, and she will do this.

So now Oreo is somewhere in the closet, the white gerbil is in a small hole, and I can hear Sam trying to get the black one out of the cage. Rock on!

I think the gerbils will go up a few feet higher, once we catch them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lesson Before the Lesson

While we were in Boise over the holidays, I got a phone call.
I was just finishing up Build A Bear with Mary, when Bro. Mills called Ben asking for me.
While standing in the middle of the Boise Town Square Mall, he extended me a calling to teach the CTR 6 class in the primary. I happily accepted the call. Ben got to be my first substitute since I didn't get home for another week.

I have been on the enrichment and activities committees ever since I have been in the ward. They have been great callings, and I have enjoyed the experiences, but I am ready for a change. This will be so fun!
I am not sure if I was released from the activities committee, but they did release me from Enrichment A.K.A. Relief Society Meeting.

I will miss seeing my friends, especially because I can't make it to playgroup, and now I won't see them in Relief Society either, but hey, there are other ways. All is not lost. There is always a need for a baby shower, a girls night out, a moving in or moving out party, a holiday get together, ect.

There is just something special about being a part of the primary. The simple faith of the children, the cute songs, the things they say that are so profound, and the feeling in the room. It is so precious. I was very happy being in there today.
I am also excited about my class. They all listened and participated. They are all great kids, and there were no problems. I got very lucky.

While we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting today, I was looking through my Primary Binder and making sure my lesson was ready. Mary noticed that there were a bunch of pictures in it and asked if she could look. I gave her the binder and she opened right to the page of the crucifixion of the Savior.

The questions started coming. Pretty soon, we had looked at about 5 pictures and I was telling Mary all about Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, and parts of his life. We took the sacrament while I was talking to her, and I was able to explain to her exactly what we were doing and what it represented. She understood this time...I could see it.

We have told her these stories before, but I could see the light in her eyes and the new understanding she was gaining. The pictures were making it all very real for her. She was so interested and she kept asking for more.

It was a very special time for me to teach my little girl and to watch her understanding broaden.

During primary, a teacher held up a picture and asked the kids what it was. It was one of the pictures Mary and I just talked about earlier. I couldn't help but grin as Mary's hand shot up in the air.

I am so grateful for the chance to teach some very important lessons before the lesson itself. I am grateful that I had that binder on my lap today.
This calling has blessed us already.

O.K. I guess I will make this post longer. Sorry. I wasn't going to post this, but I view our blog as a family scrapbook/journal, so here it goes. Read if you want.

Speaking of lessons. Our angel baby was able to teach us another one this week. I won't elaborate due to the very sacred nature of some of the revelation we have been given with this child, but I will say what I feel I should.

This last week, I began to have some questions that were filling my heart and troubling my soul a little.

Ben and I were able to go to the temple yesterday where my questions were answered simply, completely, and softly. My understanding of the working of the Lord was broadened and my heart was lifted. I am so grateful for all of the lessons our loss this summer has taught me. I am not saying it wasn't a terrible time for us and that our hearts weren't torn, but the blessings that have come to us from that one event have been baffling.
My faith has grown and my understanding of certain aspects of the gospel have been able to expand to lengths I didn't think were possible.
I feel whole and happy regarding our family and the plan for each of us. I have so much hope. It is a wondrous thing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Tie-breaker!

Today was the day. The day every pregnant woman looks forward to almost as much as Christmas...almost. The Ultrasound. (insert twilight zone music here)

It is always nice to be able to see the baby, get information on the status of the baby, learn of any issues, and of course, for some of us, find out the gender.

With Mary, we somehow just figured she would be a girl. Same thing with Sam. We had hunches, and they were right. Kind of cool and kind of fun.

Even though we have one boy and one girl, and we knew we would be perfectly happy with either gender, we were still excited to know which gender it would be.
The tie-breaker...pretty intense.

This time around we were very shocked (for various reasons), but also very, very excited!!!!

Sometime in the beginning of June, we will be welcoming "Mr." Baby Maynard into our home! That's right, we got a good solid look at all the right parts. He was not in the least bit shy. He is for sure a He, and we love him so much already! The pictures are plastered all over the fridge, and the name game has begun.

I was so nervous to tell Mary. She has been praying for a girl for a while now.
When I told her, she sat and thought for a minute and then burst into a big grin. She is just happy to have a baby in the house, and to be the "big helper." She didn't seem to mind too much. FEW!
However, she did inform me later on that she is still holding on to the hope that a sister is still waiting in heaven for her turn to come to us. hhhhmmmmmm

Because I am only 18 1/2 weeks along, they were not able to get a good picture of the face or the heart. They were too small for a good in depth look. Both are pretty vital in knowing the health of the baby. So, we get another ultrasound in four weeks. All of the other organs and stuff seemed fine as far as they could tell. I don't mind having another ultrasound next month. I feel pretty lucky to be able to see my baby again!

I will also be having an ultrasound next week for my gallbladder. Dr. Weary confirmed that the pain is most likely from that small, but painful organ. They are going to have me try everything I can (like a very bland diet) to make it until after the baby is born before having surgery, if that is necessary, but they may just need to get it out of there. It is so incredibly painful.

The ultrasound will tell a lot regarding what could be going wrong. I will be curious to see what is causing all of this pain. Stones, infection, nothing, heartburn, ect.

So, lots of ultrasounds for us, but they are all for a good cause. I am so grateful for technology.

We don't have a scanner, or else I would post all of the adorable pictures of our little guy. He was moving like crazy, but we got some awesome pictures of his little fat body, and his cute little feet. He was lying in a position that Sam always sleeps in. On the tummy with legs curled up under the belly. That was pretty precious to me. My heart melts every time I look at them. I can't wait to see him again in a month!

Monday, January 4, 2010

6 Years!

No...I didn't write all of these posts today. I wrote them throughout the trip, but I had to wait until today to get the pictures on them. So, here is my record 3 posts in one day! How about that. I hope you are enjoying your Maynard marathon. This last post sums it up. It is the last post about the trip.
Funny though, no pictures for this post. Sorry. It is short though.

On Dec. 26th, the day after Christmas, Ben and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary, in Pocatello.
All of the guys, plus some, went shooting during the day (Ben won the fact, he blew them all away..that's my man!), and the girls stayed home and talked and worked on a very big and very crazy puzzle.

I had another attack (third one of the trip up to that point) while the guys were gone, so it was nice to be able to drug up and try to rest with less people in the house. It was one of the more painful ones (or should I say excruciating), so I was really grateful for the help.

Back to our Anniversary. I took some serious drugs, barfed a time or two, and by the time Ben was home, I was ready for a night out with my love.
We did dinner and a movie. We even held hands! (giggle giggle, blush)
It was so nice to just relax and be with Ben. The kids were in excellent hands, and we were on vacation. Doesn't get much better than that.
We laughed about the 4 feet of snow that came on our wedding day. We remembered our fast paced and non stop playing and fun dating life, the mission writing, the engagement, the planning, the wedding, and we looked a back at these past six years with satisfaction and happiness. We have been blessed.

I love Ben so much and I am one lucky girl to have a man like him. Not only is he dead sexy, but he is the perfect man for me. He has the traits that I love and the personality that I adore. He is my everything. I can't wait to see what the next six years will bring to us. The best part of all is that we will walk them hand in hand.

Christmas....A Time of Traditions

I LOVE Christmas! Anyone who knows me even a little bit, will know how much of a holiday person I am. I just love them. I attribute my love of holidays to my growing up years. My family is FULL of traditions on almost every holiday, and they are all very, very fun traditions. I have held on to almost all of them as we have a family of our own now. They are so much fun, and they always bring us closer as a family.

We arrived in Pocatello on Wednesday night. On Thursday...Christmas Eve, we did the tradition Christmas Eve breakfast. We used to go to a place with an amazing buffet, but they are no longer there, so we now go to Butter Burr's. Grandpa came this year. He is 91 and announced that he bowled a 189 last week! He is amazing. Breakfast was so yummy, even if Sam did put a booger in my food. ;) We were all so full after breakfast that it held us over until the party at 6:00 that evening!

The rest of the day was spent wrapping like crazy. My parents bedroom looked like Santa's workshop itself. It was hilarious! We blasted the Christmas music and laughed and talked as we kicked people out of the room to wrap their presents and then later were kicked out ourselves as ours were wrapped. My mom had a cute little "no peeking" sign on her door that made a siren sound if you tried to go in the room. It was great.

The wrapping station. There was never a lack of paper, bags or bows.

The room was LOADED with wrapped gifts, 1/2 wrapped gifts, and gifts that needed to be wraped. It was truly Santa's workshop.

After wrapping, we cleaned and baked. All of the traditional Danish foods were made as well as the colored bread swirl sandwiches. At 6:00 everyone started piling in for the annual Christmas Eve dinner a.k.a. treat and appetizer sampler meal. It is my most favorite meal on earth.

Making the kleigner (spelling?) It is a Danish Christmas dessert, and they are YUMMY!

ONE of the food tables. I didn't even get the dessert table, or the drink table, or the meatball section.

There were over 40 people in the house. We played games, did the nativity, read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, ate, and reconnected with family members we haven't seen in a while. This is one of my absolute favorite traditions. It is so heart warming to be surrounded by so many family members that I am close to. The kids are so excited at this point, and everyone just seems happy and content. There is always a fun and happy mood in the air.

The Nativity....Belnap/Hanks style.

After everyone left, it was time for everyone to open one gift. Another tradition. The gift is always new p.j.'s. I love going to bed on Christmas Eve in something new. It keeps the excitement alive. Then it is on to the traditional stocking picture. We all line up oldest to youngest and hold up our stockings. This year we had to rearrange a little to fit in the kiddos. That is followed by setting out a plate for Santa and the reindeer. Mary had it all planned out. She set the plate and cup of milk so carefully on the fireplace and placed it in just the right spot. I am sure the reindeer appreciated the carrots.

They were so excited to leave yummy treats for Santa and the reindeer. You can see the plate behind them. They were bursting with excitement at this point in the night. It was really fun.

New p.j.'s

Stocking picture. We were all nice and cozy for Christmas Eve.
I had no idea Sam put his stocking on his head. Silly boy.
Ben only got pajama bottoms, so that is what he put on for the picture.
So manly.

Then we all march up the stairs for our other tradition of sleeping in the same room on Christmas Eve. The room is set up with a T.V., board games, video games, treats, books, ect. It is one big party. Yup, we range from 28 yrs old to 2 yrs old, and yes, we still slept in the same room. It is the best all-night party you could ask for. Even if some of us fell asleep before midnight this year. It was great.

Santa did his thing while Mary and Sam were still awake and wrestling with Uncle Devin and Aunt Kelsey. They were laughing so hard and the pillows were flying so fast, they never heard Santa bringing gifts down the stairs, and occasionally slipping on the hard wood stairs and shrieking a time or two, followed by fits of laughter.

We all got up at 7:00 (after having been awake since 5:00), and just like a bunch of 5 yr olds, we were giddy with excitement. My 25 yr. old brother was literally rubbing his hands together and pacing back and forth while his wife put her arms in the air and yelled Merry Christmas with so much excitement you couldn't help but feel it yourself. It was ridiculous honestly, but soooo much fun. I felt like a kid all over again. We marched down the stairs, youngest to oldest (to the Nutcracker music, as always) and Ben and I watched as Mary and Sam's eyes burst with excitement as they soaked in what Santa had left.

The rest of the morning was spent opening gifts, giving hugs of gratitude, laughing our heads off at Jessica's Yoda backpack, watching Tyler freak out over is Pistol that he had no idea he was getting, sending Devin on a treasure hunt to find his gift, and watching Mary and Sam get so excited over their new toys and gifts. I am proud to say that I totally surprised Ben this year with a GPS system that my best friend almost killed herself getting on Black Friday for me. He loves it, and I am so glad he will be able to use it for work.

Mary got a little tea party set, and she made invitations for everyone to have a tea party at different times throughout the day. Uncle Devin was a good sport.
She LOVES her leapster, as you can tell in the picture.

Sam with his favorite toy...the shake n' go extreme track! The big boys liked this one as well. ;)
From the looks of things, Ben must have been very tired by this point. hehehe

Another tradition is to get our favorite (and always sugar loaded) cereal next to the stockings, so I am sure you can guess what was for breakfast. We hung out the rest of the day, watched a movie that night, and had a nice, eventful yet somehow relaxing, Christmas together as a family. It was a day well spent.

I love Christmas, and I love the traditions. I love being home for Christmas.

Mary's 5th Birthday and Boise Fun!

I am not really sure how to describe how wonderful and rejuvenating our trip was for me, and for all of us. I have such a renewed sense of hope, direction and peace that now fills my soul. When we left for the trip, I was hanging by a very very thin thread, and had been for a while. 2009 was enough to almost kill my body and my spirit. I am walking into 2010 feeling alive and new. I am so grateful for the trip we had, for the memories made, and for the healing of my spirit that took place in the midst of family, friends, peace and love. We had an absolute blast!

It took us 16 hours to get to Boise, but we split it into two days. 10 hours on Friday and 6 on Saturday. We stayed the night in American Fork, UT with our friends Ben and Megan (the friends who stayed with us for Thanksgiving) It was a lot of fun seeing them again. They were so nice to let us crash in their home. They even put an electric blanket on the bed for my back. How thoughtful is that! And if you guys are reading this...sorry again about Noah or Moses or whoever that was, in the butter. hehehe

We were worried with my back being so bad (which we now know is most likely my gallbladder..which is REALLY bad), and with Ben's surgery recovery, that the drive would be torture, but the traveling was great! Truly. We did not have one breakdown with the kids. They were happy and content for the whole trip. The dog was very well behaved. The roads were great and the weather could not have been better. All of the Birthday and Christmas presents made it in one piece as well. Few!

When we got to Boise, we were treated to an awesome dinner at the Maynards where we reunited with some of Ben's brothers and their families. The house began rocking that very moment, and didn't stop after that. The next day, we were able to see even more family and it was non stop playing and fun. There were 10 cousins running around, and Mary and Sam laughed and played and laughed and played and laughed all day. Mary and Sam had an absolute blast. We hardly saw them during the day, and they fell asleep every night before their heads even hit the pillows.
Ben and I thou roughly enjoyed ourselves as well. Jolene is an amazing host whenever we go to their house and she always makes sure we are comfortable, happy, and VERY well fed. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we relaxed, we played and we just soaked it all in.

On Tuesday, we took Mary to Build a Bear for one of her Birthday presents. She LOVED IT! It was an adorable store, and Mary went nuts picking out her little dog, stuffing it, giving it a special little heart (with kisses on it from her), fluffing it, picking out clothes and shoes and printing off the birth certificate. She has not put the dog (Brownie) down. It is soooo cute! She was so happy, and that made me happy. It was really cute to see her in there holding her dog with so much love.

naming the dog

dressing the dog

brushing the dog

giving the dog a special little heart

Mary's 5th Birthday was Wednesday. She had a party with 9 other cousins. The house was loaded with kid energy! We played games and smashed the princess crown piniata. She had her heart shaped rainbow cake with blue sparkles and shocked us all when she blew out the candles and let us sing to her....all with a smile on her face! (she hates that part and normally won't let us sing to her. It embarrasses her. Wonder where she got that from). She got a little shy when opening her presents, so the adults went in another room (at her request) and Mary and the cousins opened the presents without us. She cracks me up!

pin the tail on the donkey

Mary had a great Birthday and she grinned non stop all day. She informed me right when she woke up that she had grown about 4 inches. I have loved the phase Mary has grown into, and I am excited to see what this next year will bring with her. She is a little princess in our home and we love her sweet heart and her spunky fun personality.

While we were in Boise, we were also able to see our wonderful and long time friends, the Darringtons. They have been a non-stop support to our family through all that has gone on, and they are just true and amazing friends to us. We cherish our friendship with them. We only see them when we get to Boise now, but we wouldn't miss it for the world. We had a great visit with them and had fun meeting their little Jane, who is adorable!

We were also able to see Ben's best friend since childhood and his wife. Doug and Naome. We totally forgot to get a picture with them. Dang! She is due with their baby boy just a few weeks before I am due. Pretty cool.

We had a wonderful trip and a great time in Boise with the Maynards. It was great to see so much family and some great friends. And it is always a fun time when Ben and his brothers all get together. There is never a dull moment or a lack of some joke flying around.

We said our goodbyes and left for Pocatello on Wednesday evening. That is where this post ends and a new one will begin. ;) For now, I am signing off. Toodles!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Eve

These posts are a little out of order, but I got pictures on this one, so I will get this one done while I can. Christmas and other things are still in the making. Stay tuned....

New Year's Eve was awesome. My parents reserved 3 bowling lanes for 19 of us that would be coming. Along with the bowling, they had games, prizes, and food for us. We were with a really fun and lively group of people and it was hilarious!
We were there from 9:00-11:0pm and Mary and Sam were happy the whole time. They LOVED bowling. They had little kid shoes that fit both kids, and they gave them a kid ball. Sam would sit by the place where the balls come out and hand everyone their ball. When it was his turn he would sprint up there, bowl and sprint back while cheering for himself. It was so cute. He went full speed ahead the entire two hours.
Mary got a strike and put both arms in the air and squealed. The first thing she wanted to do was call Ben and tell him. She was so excited.

Yoda joined us in the bowling.

What is wrong with this picture?
You can count this as my 18 week picture I guess.

Sam loved watching the balls come out.

My brother Tyler and his awesome and hilarious wife, Jessica.

My brother Devin and his girlfriend/soon to be missionary Nichole.

Mary and my dad "Bop"

After bowling, we got home with 10 minutes to go until midnight. Mary zonked on the couch, but Sam was still going strong. The boys hurried outside to get the tree and the crates ready for the burning. Then we all headed out and we each took our places with our Roman Candles. Sam was wide eyed the whole time. We did the countdown and shot the Roman Candles at the tree, that was covered in gas, time and time again. As the tree erupted into flames and the fireworks blasted into the air over the neighbors house, we shouted Happy New Year and did a little happy dance. It was great! Oh, it was so great.
I took pictures, but none of them turned out. The flame was just too big I guess. Darn. The night ended around 2:00am. Good times.

Being here surrounded by family, friends, warmth and peace, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the past year and to look ahead to the new year. I have spent a lot of time forming my two simple resolutions.

2009 was pretty rough on our family, but we also had so many incredible experiences. We made a lot of great memories and had a lot of times of laughter and cheer in our home. The good times were mixed in with the bad, but the lessons we are walking out of 2009 with are priceless. I wouldn't trade much of anything from the past year. We were very very blessed with wonderful friends (who made being away from family in times of illness and heartache much more bearable and who made the good times even better), a good job, a great ward, a wonderful town, and the arms of our Saviour wrapping around us time and time again. My faith and patience were pushed to the limit, but I am stronger now. We all are. We are walking out on top.

I am looking forward to this next year, and I am excited for it. I can't wait to finally get my precious baby into my arms where it belongs. I am excited for Ben to graduate with his MBA and to see what may lie ahead for him. I am excited for Mary to begin Kindergarten. I am excited to watch Sam grow and mature even more and begin preschool. I am excited for more memories to be made, more laughter to fill our home, more friends to share in the goodness, and more experiences to make us who we are and who God wants us to become.

Welcome 2010!