My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Sunday, September 29, 2013


A few weeks ago, before the nausea kicked in, I decided that I needed to stop wishing to get out there, take a break, have some me time, and party with the ladies, and instead, take action.

For me, this is a big deal.  I am a total scaredy cat when it comes to hosting parties.  I am always afraid that no one will show up, it will be boring and awkward, or that people will just have a bad time for one reason or another. 

I love to go to parties though, and be invited to stuff. I am just usually not one to instigate these things.

This time though, I decided to take the plunge.  I posted my idea on a group on facebook, that the ladies in my neighborhood have all joined.  It is kind of like a neighborhood group, and it is awesome.

I mentioned that I was thinking of hosting a GNO, and wondering if anyone was interested.

The response was unbelievable!!!  There were over 45 women saying that they would love to have a GNO, and get to know more people in our new and ever growing neighborhood.   I was blown away, and a little overwhelmed with the response.

So, I set the date and went from there.

Once the date was set, it shortened the numbers.  There will never be a date that 45 women can all make it to, but I did my best.

The nausea hit a week before the party, so I decided to delegate.  I asked everyone to bring a treat and a game idea, and wear comfy clothes.  I would provide the house and a drink.

Friday came, the day of the party, and it was by far my worst nausea day so far, as you may know if you read my last post.  I was suffering and miserable all day.  I had planned to clean the house, go to the store, and get ready that day, while William was at preschool and Luke had a nap. Instead, I was too sick to take William to preschool, and Luke decided not to nap. I moped around, dry heaved, spit into a cup because of the horrible metal taste in my mouth,cried a lot, and tried to take care of my children in a nauseated stupor.  It was absolutely horrible.

My prenatal vitamins have always made me sick in the past.  On that particular day, I couldn't remember if I had taken one that morning, so I took another one.  I am pretty sure I had 2 that day, and I wanted to die.

Ben came home and absolutely saved me!  He deserves a gold star and a cupcake, in the very least.  He cleaned, took the kids, did a grocery store run, and helped me set up for the party. He did all this while I tried to choke down some sort of dinner, clean what I could,  and pull myself together.  I did what I could, but ended up having to lie down over and over again, just to try to stay alive, or so it felt.  I just wanted to go to sleep and be put out of my misery.

I finished moping the floor and setting up the tables, minutes before the party was to start.  It was close.

The first ladies showed up around 7:30, and by 8:30, I had a houseful of approx. 25 ladies, 2 tables full of every yummy treat imaginable, and the house was full of laughter, chatting, and fun.  I found myself forgetting my nausea, my misery and my horrible day.

I sat in the corner, squished between two very funny and talkative ladies, and I listened to them and observed my surroundings.  The house looked so adorable with all of the fall décor, and it was sparkling clean.  My favorite apple/cinnamon candle was burning my favorite smell. Every person there was smiling, talking, making a new friend or laughing.  We were in the middle of the game, and every few minutes we would all laugh ourselves into tears.  In that moment, I decided that it was all worth it, and I was so glad that I went through with it. 

The night ended up being an absolute blast!  The games were all very fun and turned out to be a highlight.  A lot of people were brave, and came not really knowing anyone. I met about 10 ladies that I didn't know before, that I now love and know will have friendships with.  I knew everyone else, but felt like I got to know them on a whole new level.  The conversation was also so welcoming.  A lot of people shared their own nausea stories and pregnancy stories.  I didn't feel so alone in my misery after that.  It was also so nice for all of us just to be able to talk to adults and other women. 

Sugar and prenatal vitamins make me the most sick, so unfortunately, I could only look at all the yummy treats on the table, but I know that there were some killer good treats, due to the reactions of a lot of people...including my own children who somehow ended up with treats upstairs. ;) Someone brought chocolate covered strawberries dipped in gourmet chocolate.  I caved and ate on of those.  It was one of the best things I have ever had in my life.  I was very sick for the next 30 minutes, but dang, it was good!

The party ended at 1:00am.  Yup, 1:00am people.

The last 2 hours were spent with about 7 of us just talking, bonding, laughing our guts out, and just basking in the moment, not wanting it to end.

The GNO was a huge success, and I will definitely be hosting another one.  Probably not any more during this pregnancy, but at least 1 or 2 a year. 

A lot of the ladies want to have one every month and rotate homes.  I really hope this was the start of something like that.  I would go every month I could, for sure!

It is amazing how a night out with the ladies, and a house full of friends, can refresh a persons heart and mind.  And for at least one nice evening, help you forget the horrible, terrible, nausea that plagues your body.

Sometimes it pays to step out of the bubble.

Friday, September 27, 2013

death by nausea..or so it seems

I am right in the thick of nausea.  I think it has peaked, and will now maintain for, probably, another month or so.  It has lasted longer, and been worse,  with each pregnancy for me, but we won't go there right now.

I am not one that enjoys being pregnant.  I am EXREMELY grateful, especially after 3 miscarriages.  I don't take it for granted, and I love the end result, my precious babies.  But I don't like pregnancy, never have.   The main reason...horrible, terrible, never ending, bad tasting, gut wrenching, head spinning, mind depressing, nausea.

 I keep telling myself this is the last time.  Last pregnancy. It helps to know that each day done, is one less day I ever have to feel like this again.

I also keep picturing my baby growing in there, and it helps.

But honestly, no matter what mental games I play, no matter how many times I check the calendar and think, "by this date I won't be sick", or "by Ben's Birthday it should be ending soon" or "by Thanksgiving this should be all over", and so on, it doesn't really help for more than a minute.

No matter what I do, the nausea is still here, and completely and totally miserable.  I hate it like the plague and would only wish this on rapists and sick, bad, people.

When I get to heaven, you better believe I will be asking, "why nausea?"

I will take the weight gain, the heartburn, the huge belly, the sleepless nights, the peeing every 10 minutes, the labor pains, the ugly stretch marks, the fat face, the blotchy face, and the swollen feet, the absolutely crazy cravings (um yes, I ate 4 cheeseburgers this week!), and even the post baby delivery pains.  It sucks, but I will accept that.

But nausea...come on!  Really!  Some women don't even have it, and their babies are just fine.  If it isn't necessary, why does it exist at all!  What did I do to deserve this?

I hate it!  I hate it!  I hate it!

OK...the end.

Monday, September 23, 2013

because you're only a kid once

The boys room has always been one of my favorite rooms I have decorated.  I loved it so much when I designed it in Herriman, that I made the exact duplicate...paint and everything, in our new home.

I love the different colors, the adorable old fashion pictures of boys playing baseball, dreaming in a field by their dog, flexing while looking at their shadow, ect.

I love the rustic traffic signs on the walls, and the old airplanes hanging from the ceiling.  I love the old tractors and the cute old gas pump on the dresser.

I just love the room.

But Sam does not.

After I did Mary's "under the sea" room, (which was also hard for me to swallow, but is really cool)Sam has been begging me to change his room.  I keep telling myself that he is too young to care, and that he will forget about it.

He didn't forget, and I found myself feeling badly.  Especially when he started sleeping in Mary's bed with her, because her room was so much cooler than his "boring room."

I thought about my childhood, and how much my room was a part of me.  I was always decorating it, designing it, re arranging my toys, and so on.  Then I thought of Sam.  He will only be a kid once, and this is his only chance at his own "kid room."

So, I looked online, got some ideas of my own, ordered some things, and then a few weeks ago, Sam came home from school to this.

Oh yeah, dinosaur room explosion!  His jaw literally hung and he gave me a huge hug.  I knew it was worth it then.

He shares the room with William, and William's reaction was similar, but with a lot more yelling and screaming and jumping up and down.

I still can't believe I actually wallpapered dinosaurs to a wall in our house, or that I bought bedspreads with actual animals on them (pet peeve of mine), but Sam and William absolutely love it, and that makes it all worth it to me.

You're only a kid once, and your room is your space.

Oh, and don't worry.  I boxed up all of their old décor and have it saved for when we finish the basement in a few years.  It will be darling in a guest room.

reading nook

When we were in the designing stages of building our house, I was pretty much happy with the plans the builders were showing to us.  We didn't really "tweak" many things.

There was one thing, however, that I knew I wanted.  I wanted a reading nook.

I love to read.  One of my favorite things to do, after getting the kids to bed, is to get a bunch of pillows, snuggle up with blanket, and open up a good book.  There isn't much else that is more relaxing soothing to me.

The thought of a fun little nook, built right into our wall, was a little piece of heaven to me.

Ben and I talked to the guys making the house plans, and they were willing to make a space for a reading nook, but in order for them to actually put in the shelves and everything, would cost about 10 times more that it actually should cost.

We decided to have them make a space for it, and we would figure out the rest on our own.

This weekend my parents and sister came up for a visit.  My dad brought all of his tools, his "go juice" and his knowledge and know how.

We headed to Home Depot, picked out the wood, bought it (I saved $85.00) Oh yeah, and then headed back to our house.

We spend the next day and 1/2 making the giant space in the wall upstairs, into a reading nook.  I drew up the plans, and my dad measured, tweaked, brainstormed, wrote a few things, and went to work.

My mom also helped.  She was great with knowing what would look good, what to add to make it more cozy, and even helped find a way to use extra wood to make a desk next to the nook!  She also did a third trip to home depot, just to get more trim, to make it look more cute.  Things that girls really appreciate.  I was so grateful to her for that.

While my dad was busy drilling, hammering, measuring, cutting, and so on.  My brother and his wife and son came up as well.


They did a second trip to home depot to get more wood, and my brother Devin, helped my dad.  He was also our nook model.  ha!

We found  a way to get the BYU/Utah game from our computer, on our TV upstairs (so we can watch conference on the tv too), ordered pizza, at Cold Stone Ice cream cake, and tried to make a "work party" out of it.

My dad basically did all the work.  It meant so much to me.  It makes the nook more than just a reading nook.  It is a piece of my dad in my home.  A part of him that sacrificed to do something that he knew would make me happy and would be an enjoyable part of our home.  It is a very special place for me.

And now it is complete!!!  Not only do we have an adorable, cozy, fun reading nook.  We also have a desk right next to it!  The kids have utilized the reading nook a lot since yesterday morning (when it was completed).  Last night, I went upstairs and found all 4 kids snuggled in the nook, with Mary reading books to them.  By the time I got the camera, Luke and William had moved.  It was so precious though! William and I have read about 12 books in it this morning. 
Still not done adding books and décor, but he's an idea of it.  I'm looking for some big, poofy pillows for the bench.

Hooray for reading nooks...and amazing dads who sacrifice for their little/big girls.  Thanks so much dad.  Love you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

so wrong

It isn't normal, when getting your blood drawn, to feel like the needle is going through your nerve... is it?

Some people should not be allowed do draw blood, ever!

Grand Finale!

We are excited to announce that around May 7th, 2014, we will be adding our last and final picture to this wall.

Friday, September 13, 2013

wills turn

William has had a rough time with Sam and Mary going to school.  Every morning, for the first week, he would put on his backpack, ask me to pack him a lunch, and then head out the door with Sam and Mary.  He would get so sad when I had to bring him back home.

It broke my heart every time.

I have been telling William he will get his turn soon.  Preschool was coming up.  He would get so excited and talk about it for a long time. 

FINALLY..the big day came.  William was literally bursting with excitement.  He wore his backpack all morning long, and just paced the floors.  Mary and Sam were really good to make a big deal out of it too.  They even joined in the pictures.

He wore his favorite Robot shirt (the cute collar shirt I got him lasted about 2 seconds, before he ripped it off), his favorite cotton shorts (he hates zippers or buttons), his baseball hat, his adorable cheesy grin, his Mario Cart backpack, and of course, no shoes.  (I finally talked him in to shoes at the last minute).
He walked around outside, all ready to go.  I think he was pretending to be Mary and Sam catching the bus.

After what seemed like forever, it was time to go.

When we got there, he jumped out of the car, ran to the door laughing, and burst in to the preschool.

And then he stopped in his tracks, hid behind me and cried.

Yup, that's my kids.  New things are hard.  Wonder who they get that from?  ;)
I figured this would happen, but hoped it wouldn't.

I ended up staying for a LONG time with a squirming Luke in my arms, and I finally left William bawling.  I felt horrible leaving him, but the teacher assured me she would help him.

I prayed the whole way home that William would be OK.

When I picked him up, I let out a huge sigh of relief when I saw William through the window.  He was laughing at something the teacher was doing, and he was bouncing around. 

He was thrilled to see me, and I gave him a huge hug and then buckled him up in the car.  He immediately tore his shoes off, sighed, and said, "That's better mom!"

He said he liked preschool and that his teacher is nice.  Then, he asked for a doughnut.

Oh William.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

play hard, crash hard

My grandpa grew up in the beautiful farming community of Tetonia, Idaho.  He and his family ranched, herded sheep, farmed, and worked hard.  The stories go on forever, and the legacy will never end.

The house my grandpa grew up in is still there, and is now partly owned by 12 family members.  We use it as a cabin and as a serene, quiet, beautiful vacation get-away from it all spot.

I have numerous memories of going there and playing with my cousins, endless games of pool in the basement, telling ghost stories in the creaky old bedrooms, building forts in the trees, wading in the creek, hiking Tablerock, skiing Targhee, and on and on and on.

I was pretty excited when an opportunity came up for me to take my own little flock to the "Tetonia house" for Labor Day.

My mom got us tickets to the Playmill, in West Yellowstone, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to show the kids the "quiet life" and also visit West Yellowstone.

The Playmill did not disappoint.  We were a little unsure about the whole thing, but it was awesome! The play was awesome, and the actors were very personal and really had fun with the audience.  Mary and Sam didn't budge the entire show.  The loved it.  William and Luke did the best they could, but of course, Ben and I had to take turns chasing them out in the foyer.  In between scenes, the actors would come out there though, and play with Luke and talk to us.  It made it fun.

Before the show, we looked through some adorable antique shops where I wanted to buy pretty much everything!

The playmill, and the drive to West Yellowstone, took up most of Saturday, and I forgot to bring toys for the kids, so we had to get a little creative on Sunday.
Sam and William spent most of the "quiet, serene, laid back" trip doing this.
All kidding aside, I honestly think they wrestled 70% of the time we were there.  So much for peace and quiet.  It was a zoo!  I brought the zoo to Tetonia.  They wrestle at home, but not nearly this much.  I don't know what got into them, but I was pretty embarrassed.  Boys will be boys I guess.
Mary and Sam learned the "old way" of doing the dishes without a dishwasher, and somehow they enjoyed it.  Thanks to grandma.
Of course, the amazing view of the Teton's out the window makes it all a little easier.
Naturally, grandma fed us like kings.
We had fun going through some old boxes.
We also made some crazy yummy homemade rootbeer.
The kids explored the barn, and found the swing in it. 
I have pictures somewhere, just not here yet.
All was fine and dandy, aside from my insane testosterone filled boys who thought that wrestling was the only form of entertainment available...
and then Sunday night happened.
Mary and both my parents, at the exact same time (3:00am) ran to the bathroom and puked their guts out.  They were all back an hour later, doing it again.  This went on all night, and in to the next day.
We were thinking food poisoning.
The next morning, Luke began throwing up as well.  Of course, I happened to be holding him, and just added his "spray" on to what was already stuck to me from a night helping Mary empty her stomach.  Awesome.
We decided it would be a good time to get home.  We brought my dad with us in our car.  He was still horribly sick, and due to throwing up so hard, threw out his back.
leaving Tetonia, barf bag in hand, and wearing an awesome assortment of
"sick man" clothes.

On the drive home, William threw up in the car all over himself, me (just add it to Mary's and Lukes), the door, the car, and everything else around him.  Oh yeah. 
We finally made it to Pocatello to drop my dad off. He collapsed on the couch and looked like death. I was standing in their living room feeling bad for my parents and my kids, and then it hit me.
During the 3 hour drive to Utah, I threw up profusely into garbage bags 5 separate times.  I thought I was going to die.  I ended up throwing up 18 times in the next 9 hours. It got to the point where I literally couldn't get back to the couch from the bathroom, I was that weak.  I just laid on the floor and waited for Ben to carry me back to the couch, where I threw up in a bowl from then on.
And so the plague went on.  It infected 99% of those of us who were at Tetonia.  Some of us worse than others.  The only lucky person...Kelsey's boyfriend.  Yup, lucky sucker.  That's what he gets for coming late and staying a short time.
I am on day 4, and still no end in site.  No food, or water will stay in my body. My family is still sick as well, but at least feeling like they are among the living.
I have never been so sick in my entire life, truly.  And I have had some horrible things.  Swine flu, mono, and so on.
I am currently waiting a call back from the Dr. to see when I need to go in and get an IV.  Yup, they suggested it 2 days ago, I should have listened then.  It's just kind of hard to find time to sit in a room hooked up to an IV when I have a family to take care of.  Go me.
Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

sacred ground

While we lived in Colorado, Ben worked with a guy named Gil.  They became good friends, and the week we moved from Colorado Springs, we actually had a 4th of July party at his house. 

Life has an amazing way of things falling in to place.  In the three years we have been gone, Gil and his family moved into the ward boundary that housed our ward family there.  And even better, Gil decided to be baptized into our church.  He asked Ben to baptize he, and his daughter.

So, we packed our bags, drove 9 hours to Colorado Springs, and stepped on to sacred ground.  At least, that is what I have decided to call it.  Colorado Springs was more than home to us.  It is more than just a place we used to live.  It is more than just a home away from home.  It is sacred ground. 

The memories we made there, the friendships we gained, the experiences we had, and the lessons we learned there will forever be etched into our hearts.  Every time we go there, it all comes flooding back, and I don't think I will ever feel like a visitor there.  It is home, in it's own special way.  And when I am there, it feels as if we never left.

The trip was very fast, and very full.

We, of course, drove straight to Mike and Mel's in Denver, where we talked, laughed, reminisced, and basked in being together twice in one year!!  Oh yeah.  The trip was a little nuts, so I didn't take many pictures.  I don't have any of the Fortin's this time.  Rats.

We got up the next morning, and drove to Colorado Springs.  The beauty of that drive will never cease to amaze me. 

We went to Gil's house to see all of the amazing work they have done to it, and to visit with Gil and his family for a while.

Next, we met up with Ben's other friend and old co-worker, Art.  We ate at Jason's Deli, which is kind of a classic place for our family.

We raced from Jason's Deli, and barely made it to the baptism in time.  Words can't really describe what it was like to sit in a room full of our old friends and ward members, and be there for such a special occasion.  It was surreal.  Because I had all 4 kids to worry about, dress, keep quiet, and chase down, I spent most of the baptism out in the hall.  The few moments I did get to spend in that room though, were very sacred and so special.

After the baptism, we talked, reconnected and lingered with our friends and old ward for as long as possible.

Then, we changed in the church bathroom and zoomed over to another classic place for our family, Garden of the Gods.  It's majesty did not disappoint!


We then drove to our good friends house, the Murdocks.  Where they put together a Bar-be-que with all of our closest friends.  Those few hours spent basking in the goodness of my closest friends, talking like time had never passed, watching the kids play, and staring out at the beautiful mountains of Colorado Springs, made my heart feel like all was right in the world.  It was wonderful.

We slept at the Murdock's, in their gorgeous home, and then headed back to Denver the next day.  We spent the rest of that day with Mike and Mel, Tyler and Trevor.  Did I mention how awesome it was to see them twice this year!

Then it was up early, packing, and driving 10 hours back home.

The trip was fast, full, stressful, wonderful, fun, hard, spiritual, and so many other things.  I am so grateful that we had a time in Colorado Springs, and that there are just some things that time and distance can never erase.