My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Friday, September 18, 2015

miss molly grace turns one

Our sweet baby girl turned one last week.

To be honest, it was pretty hard for me, but at the same time, so, so special for us to be able to celebrate our precious little girl that we waited for and yearned for, and can't seem to get enough of now that she is here.  I just can't seem to adjust to time going so fast when it comes to Molly.
Oh, my heart.

She started her Birthday off with balloons and decorations.  It was really fun to decorate the house with pink and white.  It looked so cute and bright, and just like Molly.

We headed off to a little photo session after breakfast. 
Unfortunately, Molly was not feeling well (I didn't know it until the next day, but she had another sinus infection), and William and Luke were having a very hard day, so the photo shoot was an absolute train wreck. 
The boys fought and cried the entire time, all of the helium balloons popped for the hot air balloon picture, Molly screamed her head off most of the time, and I was having a hard time keeping it all together.
The photographer was extremely patient and understanding, but regardless, I cried the whole way home.  It was that stressful and frustrating.

Luckily, we were able to get some cute pictures of Molly.  She did smile for some pictures, even though she was sick.  Molly is one tough little girl.

Her new face when she is happy and excited.  I am SO glad we captured this!!!

just chillin' in my ride

Molly fell asleep as soon as we got home, and I got to work making cupcakes and wrapping her presents.

Molly woke up much happier, and when Ben got home the real celebration began.

I made a giant cupcake, and a great friend of mine who is a cake decorator offered to decorate it for us.  It turned out ADORABLE and exactly what I had in mind for my cute baby girl. 
For some reason this cake just says Molly.  Maybe it is the colors, or the cuteness of it all, but something about it is just her.

The cake smash ensued and we all had fun watching Molly enjoy her very own giant cupcake.

wait for it...

testing the waters...

she realizes that it's all hers!

all done
and just like all of my food, when I am done, I will throw it on the floor.
After the cake smash, she opened her presents.  She was pretty excited to see all of the wrapping paper.  At this age, the wrapping paper was just as awesome as the gifts.
For me???
When all was said and done, she played with her new toys for a while, got lots of love and attention from her siblings, and then crashed.  I put my one year old little girl to bed that night, and thanked the Lord for her over and over again.

Even though Molly will not remember this Birthday, and probably had no idea what the fuss was all about, I hope that she felt loved and special, and recognized how much she is adored by her parents and her siblings.  Birthday's really are a celebration for a person's life, and there is nothing more precious to me than to be able to celebrate the life of my sweet Molly Grace, and the light and joy she has brought in to our lives these last 12 months she has been here with us.

Fun facts about Molly:

She is 20 pounds of squishy, lovey, chubbiness.
She walks everywhere, and she puts one hand straight up in the air to help her stay balanced.  She is still wobbly, and kind of marches around, and it is absolutely adorable.
She can wave and say bye bye, and love you.
She is a total daddy's girl, and lights up when Ben gets home from work, or when she sees him at any given time.
She gives kisses.
She loves peek a boo, books, and toys that pop up.
She loves to be chased, and to have her siblings hold her and run around with her.
She likes to sleep on top of me.
She loves to empty out my purse and put it back together over and over and over again.
She is being tested for all sorts of allergies next week, and has had chronic congestion since birth, causing ear infections, sinus infections, and tonsillitis.  We are guessing it is either the cat, or a milk allergy.
She loves Penny our cat.
She LOVES to empty the dishwasher and the cupboards.
She likes bananas, pepperoni, almond milk, waffles, apples, jellybeans, tic tacs, green peppers, and applesauce.
She can go up and down the stairs.
She absolutely loves to be outside.  She begs and begs to go outside.  She goes on walks with daddy almost every day.
Her newest nickname is "brown sugar." She is our darkest child, with light brown hair, darker skin, and deep piercing blue eyes.
She dances to music, and her favorite show is Baby Genius where they sing all sorts of nursery rhymes.
She begs for her morning nap, and giggles when I put her down for it, she fights to the bitter end at bedtime though.

We all love her fiercely, and she is an absolute light in our home.  She has a very specific role to play in our family and here on Earth.  We have known that for a long time now, and we can feel that any time we are with her or around her.  What a precious angel God has given us.

We love you Molly Grace.

Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

stewart falls

This weekend was Labor Day weekend. 

Labor Day weekend is also Swiss Days here in Midway.  Mary was in the Swiss Days Parade, so Saturday morning I drove Mary over to Midway, watched the parade, and then we had a blast checking out all of the booths, tents, and shops.  I have high hopes of attending it again next year, maybe with some family or friends. 

We had a normal Sunday, and then Monday we decided to do a big hike with a family that we know.  We decided to hike up to Stewart falls...about a 2 or 3 mile hike down, and the same distance back.

The mountain was EXTREMELY crowded with people hiking, camping, fishing, boating, ziplining, and everything else.  The parking lot was full, and we were told to drive up further and hike in Cascade Springs, but somehow both our family and our friends were able to find a parking spot.

The hike was pretty big for the kids, but they did really well!  They were definitely tired when we got to the waterfall, but they perked up with some snacks, and with dipping their toes...or their entire body, in the waterfall.

Ben and Mary ran under the falls.  It was FREEZING, but those two are always up for an adventure.
Mary building up the nerve

conquered it
We found a different trail to get back to Sundance, that was a little easier for the kids.  Molly didn't make a sound the entire hike.  She loves to be outside and to be close to Ben.  She had the best of both worlds.
Luke traded off walking, and having me hold him.  He did a great job for how hard the hike was.
 Yes, Luke has no shoes on.  He and William really don't like wearing shoes, so at any given time during our hike, one or both of them, were barefoot.  I honestly don't know how they do it!  They must have an inch of callous on the bottom of their feet.

We took a few small breaks to give the kids rest.

This was the biggest hike William had ever done, and it was very hard for him.  We really had to keep giving him pep talks and working things through with him.  I  was so proud of him for not giving up, and for walking the entire way.

Sam and Mary had no problems at all.  In fact, Sam would run ahead for a while, and then run back to us.  Then run ahead again, and walk back.  He and Mary had a great time.

Our friends, the Snyders, have two little girls that seriously pounded the hike out!  They did great!  They also have a chubby boy named Henry, who is Molly's age.  It was really fun to hike with them and to get to know them better.

We were all relieved to finish the hike, and the kids immediately had their shoes ripped off and laid down in the nice cool grass at Sundance while Ben and our friend hitchhiked back down to our cars.

On the drive home, the traffic through the canyon was at a stand still, and they were closing the road.  As we came up to Deer Creek Reservoir, we saw that there was a huge fire up on the mountain.  It had started in Cascade Springs...where we were going to have to hike if we didn't find parking.  It was so sad to see these beautiful mountains burning!  It put a pit in our stomachs.

We stopped at Dairy Keen to get milkshakes to celebrate a hike well done, and then came home to hang out the rest of the night.

Unfortunately, the fire is still burning today, and is bigger.  Heber is full of smoke, and the mountains are not visible.  We are hoping and praying that the firefighters can get the fire out soon, and preserve these beautiful mountains that surround us.

pumpkin in the petunias!

At the end of the school year in a few months ago in June, Mary brought home a bunch of "flowers" that she had been growing for various school projects.  I had already planted our flowers in the front of the house, but I told Mary to ahead and plant some of hers from school there too, and we would see if they could survive.

A couple months passed, and a few weeks ago we noticed a huge green plant growing in the petunias.  It didn't look like anything we had seen before.  It kind of looked like a weed, but Mary refused to let me pull it...just in case.

Well, it's a good thing we didn't pull it!  We discovered this weekend that pumpkins are growing from this giant green plant!

Haha!  We have a small pumpkin patch, and didn't even know it.  We are hoping they will be ready in time for Halloween.

Gotta love pumpkins in the petunias!
one of these things is not like the other...

Sunday, September 6, 2015


These past few weeks since school has started have been a huge jumble.  It has been VERY busy, and to be honest, VERY stressful as the babies have adjusted to being home without their siblings, and I have had to adjust as well.  I have had some fun moments that I wanted to record though, so here are some random fun jumbles from the past few weeks.
Just because she is adorable.

Mary and her friends did a concert for us one night.  They sang "Fight Song" without any music.  They sounded really, really good.  These girls are brave!

Molly has been screaming and crying and demanding to be held for the past few days, especially at night.  She has been yanking her ears or rubbing them, like in this picture.  Yesterday, I finally discovered the reason.  She has molars!!!  Poor little girl.

Luke, oh Luke.  The poor kid is bored to tears without his buddies home all day, so he is getting creative with his new games.  The newest one is to bury himself in Molly's crib, and then scare me when I walk in the room.  It works, he laughs, and the day is brighter.

I heard all of these really weird noises coming from the hallway the other day.  As I walked over to see what was going on, Sam and his friends were doing everything they possibly could to get Molly to laugh.  It was adorable! And it was working.

Did I mention that Luke is a little bored?
The end.

surgery and carrot cake

Ever since I had Molly, my body has had a hard time getting back in to a groove.  Without going in to much detail, I will just say that for about 10 days out of every month, I am in a lot of pain.  For about 4 of those days, I am in severe pain.  It has only been getting worse as time has gone on.

So, lucky me, I got to go see my good friend Dr. Clark, my obgyn.
 (yes, that was sarcastic, although, I really do like Dr. Clark)

He talked to me for a long time, looked up my history and ordered an ultrasound.

He diagnosed me with endometriosis.  Basically, I have some tissue that is extremely painful and flares up once a month.  It effects my entire core, my back and even shoots down my legs to the point where I can't even handle standing up for very long. The effect of this takes days to calm down and mellow out agin.

He told me that it will only get worse from here.

Bottom line, I can either try a ton of different birth controls, which I have done already and did nothing but make me lose my mind, or he can take out my uterus and fallopian tubes.

I talked to him for quite a while, and I talked to Ben for several days before making a decision.  Once I decided what I was going to do, I took my decision to the Lord for confirmation.  He let me know that I was making a good choice.

I am going to get a partial hysterectomy on November 2nd.

Thankfully, Dr. Clark wants to leave my ovaries in, so we don't have to mess with hormones, and throw my body into a menopausal state.  That would really make things crazy!  He is going to take out the fallopian tubes though, so I will never have to worry about ovarian cancer.

I chose to get the surgery, because I don't think I can handle the pain much longer, and it is only going to get worse.  I figure that I can go through a good month or two of some tough recovery, in order to spare myself pain for the next 20+ years of my life.

I know it is the right choice, and it will be a very good thing, but I am really, really struggling with the idea of being down for so long.

I have waited for this time in my life for 10 years now.  I am healthy, I am running at full capacity and training for a half marathon, I am very active, I feel good, I feel alive, I am busy and active with my 5 children, running them to their sports, helping with homework, playing outside with them, and being a very active mother, and I am absolutely loving it!!  

I had high hopes of never having to be knocked down like this again, now that my childbearing years are done.  I get to just maintain from here on out, instead of going back to ground zero over and over again.

I have worked for a year to get to this point, and it is killing me to think that I will be down for at least 6 weeks.   That is enough time to lose a lot of what I have built up as far as fitness and stamina.

I am really struggling with this.  One thing that is helping me is that I will be running my 1/2 marathon just 3 days before the surgery.  At least I will be at peak fitness before I am laid up in bed for a while.  Hopefully that will help with the recovery, and with bouncing back faster.

My only other concern is that my grandmother died after having this surgery.  She was much older than I am, and she was unhealthy. She died from a blood clot, but it still is a very real and very scary thing for me.

After my appointment with Dr. Clark, when we had discussed all of this, I got in the elevator to head back down to the parking lot.  When I got out of the elevator, I saw the cafeteria to my right.

After I had Molly in this same building, I had the best carrot cake of my entire life.  I blogged all about it. When I saw the cafeteria, I decided to see if they had any carrot cake.  I have tried numerous times to get it, since I have had Molly, but they have not had it there since.

I walked in to the cafeteria and went over to the fridge, and there it was!!!  One last piece of carrot cake just for me!  I was thrilled! God works in mysterious ways to let me know he cares, even about the little things. 

I bought it, grabbed a fork, and ate the entire thing right there in the lobby.  I savored every bite.

I then decided that if I'm going to get this surgery, and if I'm going to be laid up in this hospital for a day or two, at least I will have more carrot cake!  And all will be right in the world.

he folds!

With 5 kids, three of them in sports, one of them being a baby, one of them potty training, all of them extremely active and outside a ton, a husband who works, and downhill bikes, and me with running and working out daily, we have A LOT of laundry every day.

I used to be so awesome at folding and putting the laundry away right when it was done drying.  I didn't judge, but I could never figure out why people would have piles of laundry in their bedrooms, waiting to be folded and put away.

I now completely understand.

Aside from the rare occasion where I don't have any loads of laundry to do for one day, there is a mountain of clean laundry in my room, waiting for me to have the time to fold it, and for the kids to put it away.  That window of time seems to be going further and further down on the priority list, and the mountain seems to be getting bigger and bigger.

Last week, I decided to go in my room, and not come out until the mountain was conquered.  I was folding away, when William walked in looking for his "special shorts" for the time being.

William is my clothing boy.  He genuinely obsesses over his clothes.  They truly do effect him mentally.  He gets very attached to a certain pair of shorts or a shirt, and he will wear them, and only those clothes, for months.  When I wash them, he stresses like crazy and follows me around asking me when they will be clean.  He gets moody and insecure the longer it takes to get his clothes back. He is my only baby that never took a pacifier, but geeze, maybe his shirt was all he needed!

He does like clean clothes though.  If he gets anything on them at all, even a drop of water, he will take them off and put them in the laundry.  At lagoon, we got soaked on a ride, and the poor boy bawled and bawled and bawled until his clothes were dry.

So, back to the story.

I was folding laundry and William walked in and asked how to fold a shirt.  I told him that I don't fold the shirts, because we hang them up, but that he could fold some pajama shirts if he wanted to.  I then showed him how to fold a shirt, and he took very attentive mental notes.

He then grabbed a shirt and folded it perfectly!!!  It took him a while, because it had to be just right in his mind, but he did it.  I told him what a great job he did, and thanked him for the help. He giggled out of joy, and I figured he would then get bored an move on.

Instead, he went on to fold every single shirt in our huge pile of laundry.  He folded Ben's huge shirts, he folded Molly's tiny shirts, he folded garment shirts, he folded sweatshirts, and so on.  It was awesome, and so adorable!

Once he finished the shirts, he sat by me as I was doing the socks, and asked me to teach him how to do those.  I taught him how to fold socks, and he then matched and folded all of the socks.

He absolutely loved folding the laundry.  It completed something in him, and helped him to feel needed and helpful.  He loved the perfection part of it, and making the clothes look nice and neat. 

It was the perfect job for William.

He is hired!

peek a boo

The other day, Molly was playing around in the kitchen.  This is not out of the ordinary, so I didn't think much of it. 

Aside from unloading the dishwasher, her favorite thing to do is to go through the cupboard that has all of my Scentsy smelly things in it.  Can you blame the girl!  Those things smell great!  She usually just unloads them, and then moves on.

Things started to get a little quiet, which in my house, means anything but good, so I glanced over at the cupboard to see what Molly was up to.

This is what I found.

Check out the little teasing grin on her face. 

She had somehow squished her chubby little body up on to the top shelf, and she was getting the scentsy bricks way in the back. 

She was extremely proud of herself!

We opened and closed the cupboard for a while and played peek a boo, and then I got her out.

It always blows my mind with the spaces the children can get themselves in to, but not out of.

Oh, I love my cute Molly baby.

fuzzy love

Mary's best friend Lydia has a little brother who is best friends with William.  His name is Tyson.  He is the only 5 year old I know whose cheeks are bigger than William's.  He and William are adorable and extremely hilarious!

Tyson loves Mary.  Like, really loves her.  He has a little 5 year old crush on her, and makes no effort to hide it when Mary is at his house hanging out with Lydia.  He is always asking Mary to live in his house. 

He told Mary the other day that his sisters can just leave, and Mary can take their place.  He begs her every evening to eat dinner with them and to sleep over.  He is quite persistent.  I think he has a good future in courting the ladies!

Mary came home the other day with this slap bracelet with fuzzies glued all over it.
She had just come from Lydia's house, and said that Tyson had made it for her, and had given it to her as a love token.

For some reason, this hit the right spot, and I could not quit laughing. It was adorable, hilarious, ridiculous and random, all at the same time.

From now on, when Mary goes to hang out with Lydia, she wears her fuzzy love bracelet, and I am sure Tyson just beams. hahaha!

little lukie goes to preschool

With all of the hype of his older siblings going to school each year, Luke was finally able to join in this year.

He is going to preschool at Heber Valley Elementary twice a week, and...he gets to ride the BUS!!!

At this age, that is what it's all about, and Luke is no exception.

We went to his preschool testing, where he whipped out all of the colors and shapes like he has been doing it for years.  He then ran over to the toy tools, and I literally had to drag him out of there.  I had no worries that he would struggle going to preschool.  After all, they had toy tools, with batteries. 

Luke started preschool the same day William started kindergarten.  He got the same treatment as the others.  A warm breakfast, pictures, new clothes, and he even got a school blessing from Ben during FHE that Monday, along with the others.

Luke was content to walk to the bus stop with Ben and I.  He was just thrilled to have a backpack and to be finally riding the bus, instead of waving to his siblings every day as then drove away in it.  Sam and his friends decided to take complete care of Luke, and they took over.  They talked to him, walked with him, and got him all pumped up.  It melted my heart.  We have good kids in this neighborhood.
Sam and Blake pumping up William and Luke for their first day of school.

Luke happily chattered and ran/walked to the bus stop.

Once we got to the bus stop, William got right in line, and Luke followed.  Check out how many kids are at the bus stop!
Finally, the big moment came!  The nice bus drive let the preschool kids get on the bus first, and she asked Sam to help Luke.  Sam was so sweet and good to Luke.

Luke was so excited, he couldn't stop grinning and giggling.

 Poor Luke tried to get up that first step, but just couldn't quite reach.  Sam came to the rescue, and this is now one of my favorite pictures.
Sam helping Luke on the bus.
Once Luke got up the steps, he turned and gave us a big wave.

Sam helped him get all buckled right next to his buddy who is also named Luke.
And then they were off!  Ben and I waved as long as we could, and that was that.  It was pretty crazy actually!

About an hour later, after fretting like crazy over Luke peeing his pants (potty training is still very new, and I was sure Luke would not tell his teacher he had to go), I ended up driving to the school and taking Luke to the bathroom.

Before I went in the room, I stood at the window and watched.  The teacher was reading a book to the class, and Luke was just sitting there, completely into the book.  He looked so tiny, and so cute.  Thankfully, he went to the bathroom, and went back to class just fine.

He came off the big bus after preschool grinning! 

I think Luke is pretty into this whole preschool thing.