Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ruby's Birth Story Part 1

(Bodily Fluids discussed…don't read if that sort of stuff bothers you. Recorded for my memory!) Despite going into pre-term labor at 35 weeks it wasn't looking like Ruby would be arriving before her due date. I had been having painful contractions for several weeks. At my 37 week appointment I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced, I had all the signs that labor was approaching, but no baby. For example I had been having diarrhea for two weeks straight, I had lost my appetite, and the weekend after my 37 week appointment I started leaking the GROSSEST snot like discharge, it was kind of freaking me out and I was starting to wonder if instead of a cute baby girl I was going to give birth to a giant ball of snot…Anyways it ended up being my mucus plug and from what I read labor could start as soon as a few HOURS after passing your mucus plug. Well…it didn't and at my 38 week appointment I was at a 4, but my doctor decided to strip my membranes (which hurt like a -insert bad word here-)!! Annie (my doctor) said she got a really good sweep and if it was going to help push along labor it would happen within 24-48 hours after the sweep. My doctors appointment was on a Thursday and I cramped and contracted steadily until Monday night when I was sure I was going to die because the contractions hurt so bad. I took a warm bath and it wasn't really helping…I actually couldn't get OUT of the tub I was so paralyzed by the pain that I had to call Chris on the phone to have him come home and help me get out…pretty pathetic. Chris was all for going to L&D but I had already had 3 false alarms that ended up resulting in painful shots to stop labor and a raging UTI so I really didn't want to go in just to come home empty handed again. I was determined to not go to the hospital until either my water broke or the morning my induction was scheduled on July 28th. I called my doctors office Monday because I needed to fill a prescriptions and my doctor hollered in the back ground that she wanted to see me Tuesday morning which seemed like a pain considering I'd be in just two days later for my induction. Well, I went to the appointment Tuesday morning with both boys in tow. The nurses at my office are so sweet and always keep them entertained when I'm not able to find a babysitter. Well Annie did an ultrasound and was shocked at how LOW baby's head was, she then put her hand on my belly and asked if I could feel the contractions I was having, I answered yes nonchalantly…I mean I'd been having contractions so often already I was kind of over it lol. She commented again that I'd had 3 in the past 6 minutes. I kind of wasn't phased, but then she checked me and was like, "Girl you are a 6! Let's go have a baby!" She wanted me to head straight to the hospital, but I had both boys so I first had to drop them off at my friend Lacey's and grab my things. I called Chris to tell him it was "baby time" and he kind of freaked out haha! He was like "Uh-Uh should I come home?" I was like "UMMM YES! If you want to meet your daughter!" So the race was on...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monday, Monday

We needed a do-over after a crazy Monday. That day the boys were just on one! Sunday night Chris & I went over our budget & the bills we needed to pay that week, we also made a detailed grocery list with the weeks menu of dinner's, lunches, & breakfast choices . So come Monday morning I had the brilliant idea to take the boys with me grocery shopping..(never again) I'm pretty sure I say that every time! Anyways, my list was organized by sections of the store produce, bread, canned items, condiments, etc so I thought' it was going to be a SUPER EASY in and out sort of trip. Well, they were all out of the "vroom" carts as Ben calls them & my basket got so full I had to take the boys out so I could fit the rest of our groceries in there & so everything didn't get smashed by little red. So for the rest of the time it was basically me chasing after two kids and backtracking every aisle because I kept forgetting to grab things from all the commotion. An hour and a half later &; we finally made it to the check out stand. I could not for the life of me get Benjamin to stay by me while we checked out and him & Jack kept getting into tiffs over the littlest things. They were slugging each other, which then would make each other cry & practically tripping me by running in circles by my feet. I finally had them both sit down and fold their arms next to me. Jack can tell when I mean business so he was very obedient and sat very still with his arms folded, but Benny? Ya he SCREAMED, and yelled, & started to swat at me. I couldn't focus on checking out and I was SO done by this point that I just put him in the basket. This made him even MORE mad and he just screamed the entire time I was checking out. I'm pretty sure everyone there was staring at me! Except for this nice lady behind us in line, she gave her best effort to try and cheer Ben up and kept complimenting me for not loosing my cool, she said "we've all been there your handling this marvelously" it really helped I was feeling very frazzled by the end of our "excursion" & starting to sweat from all the commotion. I never did yell or freak out though, I'm proud of myself for that. I was praying the whole time to not loose my patience and I was able to talk to both boys with a serious by soft voice. Even though they didn't listen as well as I hoped we still made it out of there alive!! I had school that night so I quickly prepared the chicken gravy needed for Hawaiian haystacks, transferred it to the crock pot to keep warm, and put rice in the rice cooker. I then dropped the boys off at Ronda's & headed to class. I had Chris pick up the boys because class was running behind, but I still managed to make it home before him. I was able to get all of the toppings cut up and table set before the boys got home & I was hoping with food in all of our bellies we'd have a better evening...well Chris came home frustrated and the boys still wound up. I guess Jack behaved very badly in the 15 minutes picking them up and driving home. I finally just ordered everyone to calm down & that no grumpy people would be aloud at the dinner table. The boys did eat well & I immediately had Chris get them ready for bed afterwards (it was 6:45 by that point) close enough to bedtime right? Buckets of tears ensued from both boys...while Chris was getting the boys ready for bed I finished the dishes & fell into a heap on the couch. I ended up reading THE saddest post from a good friend of my sister-in-law Stephanie. Her friend had lost their baby a little over halfway through her pregnancy most likely due to a car accident :( her friends husband explained in the most tender writing that they had suffered from infertility & after years of trying this baby meant everything to them. I just kept bawling & bawling for this heartbroken family. I remember receiving their Christmas card last year which was also a baby announcement, I had heard they were having trouble conceieving & Chris and I were so happy for them! I don't know them well, just through FB, Instagram, & a little chatting through messenger, but they are really good people who love each other so much. I just keep praying for their comfort at this time, I can only imagine and empathize with a small amount of what they are going through..I'm glad they have each other to hold onto at this heartbreaking time, some things are just too sad to even begin to comprehend... :(

While I was sitting on the couch just sobbing Ben came out to show me his pretty "teefs" after being brushed and to give me "big hugs momma!" Something about Ben is he gives THE biggest and BEST hugs! Ever since he was tiny he'd wrap his arms around your neck and squeeze! I love it. He also loves giving kisses & often gives them unsolicited accompanied with, "I yuv you momma! Most most!" That night I never wanted to let go of him and his hugs, and luckily he let me hold him as long as I wanted and kept giving me big kisses on both of my cheeks. My life was really put into perspective that night and I was even more glad I didn't loose my cool throughout the day because I really am the luckiest and beyond blessed to have the children that I do. The day may have been a "disaster" but I went to bed feeling more grateful and more in love with all three of my boys than I did when I woke up that morning. So I guess it was a win.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Winter Festivities 2016

Hi pretty sister,

This past weekend we celebrated President's Day weekend with the annual, "winter festivities" after Ashlee, Mom, and I put our heads together (because it literally took all 3 of us) we figured out that this was our TENTH year! Crazy huh?! It was cool because while we were having our winter festivities in UT, Dad and the Harrisons were having theirs in Texas! We kept sending each other pictures and we were definitely together in spirit.

I can't believe it was 10 years ago that I was a sullen teenager being forced to spend an entire weekend with my family :P! Now of course, I wouldn't trade spending time with family for anything in the world. It was such a fun, relaxed weekend together. I've been getting to know Amanda more and she really is such a sweet person, very patient and loving-very willing and desirous to help in any way. The boys really love her, Ben has been talking about "Amana" since we got home Sunday. The more people to love my boys the better right? My arm still feels like it's been cut off since you've been's bearable now though and I often feel guilty for feeling happiness again. I know that's not the way you or Heavenly Father wants it to be, but I'm working through and still trying to find my "new normal". It amazes me how much you influenced my life while you were here (you still do sis) and I'm probably smothering several members of the family with my constant texting and calling, but I talked to you everyday sis, you were always the one most excited for EVERY LITTLE THING, every little project, every little idea and I never felt dumb or obnoxious showing you all my finished projects and pictures. Thank you for being so good to me Heather. You have always been cheering me on and you are still finding ways to show me how much you love me and support me. 

Friday: Okay, Friday we met at The Old Spaghetti Factory the boys were so keyed up from sitting in the car for a good majority of the day while I ran errands and also the hour and a half drive from Brigham. Chris is super exhausted after work and it had been a particularly taxing day for him so the crazy boys were kind of upsetting him. Luckily Jack sat next to mom and Ben, well he basically hung out under the table :P. We chatted about Amanda's bizarre job interview and their trip to the Provo Temple open house and generally had a really good time. Afterwards everyone watched me while I puked up my entire dinner in the parking lot and then headed to JoAnn's for some paint supplies. Chris let me run into The Wood Connection before we met everyone at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I got Mom and Amanda a really cute craft with these three little birds and a quote that says "First Comes Love" and I got the 3 Pack of chubby bird blocks you bought to make our last "baby girl" that ended up not being a girl and being Ben haha. We then went back to Mom and Dad's and watched The Minion Shorts with the boys, they thought it was HILARIOUS. We put the boys down to bed with several bargaining attempts from Jack and the adults watched half of Spectre because you know Kyle and his "IT'S PAST 9 O'CLOCK lol! I snuggled mom in her bed and Chris crashed with Benny in one of the bunk-beds. I felt bad because he totally jacked up his back that night…

Saturday: I woke up at 6 to vomit like I do every morning…I couldn't get back to sleep so I made myself some toast and showered and got ready for the day. The rest of the crew woke up between 8:30 and 9am and we all ate breakfast and got dressed so we could go see Kung Fu Panda 3. The movie was really funny and the boys were pretty much angels throughout the entire movie. After the movie we decided to go the The Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. It was seriously a REALLY cool place. The boys would have EASILY stayed there the entire day. We played for almost 3 hours and then headed back to Mom and Dad's to make dinner. Chris stopped at Firehouse sub and got me half a sub because he loves me and because it sounded so good! When we got to the house the boys were FAST asleep, Ben had actually fallen asleep eating potato chips and I happened to catch it on film. I've watched it seriously everyday since it's way too adorable. Mom had already started dinner and Kyle and Amanda were sitting on the couch ready to watch the second half of Spectre so we laid the boys down (which didn't last more than 5 minutes for Jack) and started the movie. I crashed pretty quickly into the 2nd half of the movie until dinner was ready. Momma is so sweet and made one of my favorite meals Chicken Curry…YUMMMM it was delicious (and wasn't too bad coming back up..) After dinner I laid down for a bit because I couldn't calm down my stomach and just kept throwing up over and over again. (This baby girl is SOOOO worth it though!) After about 30 minutes had passed Mom, Amanda, and I started our craft project. It was so fun I painted the three little birds Pink, Gold, & Purple for Ruby's room, they turned out SO cute! We are naming baby girl Ruby Heather Kenner. I am in LOVE with it! Chris and I have been talking about baby names for probably the past 3 years because we REALLY thought Ben was a girl bahaha. NOPE just a naughty little red head, wouldn't change a thing. We've generally always picked out our kids names before they were born (which is odd to a lot of people-oh well), but they just felt right and we've also had spiritual experiences that led us to finalizing each one of their names. Ruby is no exception and we are SO incredibly excited to add her to our family! A little over a year ago Chris was on Hill Air fForce Base getting something (I can't remember what) at the PX. He called me explaining his amazing experience where out of the blue he got this strong feeling there was a little girl waiting to join our family. He was so giddy and ever since he points out practically EVERY little girl or baby girl we see. He's adorable and I am so happy he gets to have the "Daddy's Girl" he's always wanted. I'm also excited for me :) Heather it should be illegal to be this happy, I am SO excited and happy and emotional and grateful and in love with little Ruby and I can't believe I get to have my very own daughter. The boys are also just giddy over the whole thing, hearing ben say "bee-bee wooby-heada" is about the cutest thing I've ever heard. Jack just gushes over every little girl thing we receive, from headbands, to clothes, to shoes, he thinks,"We are going to have THE CUTEST BABY GIRL EVER MOMMA! I'm gonna kiss her and hold her so so much and I'm just really going to love her the most." Jack did pray nearly every night for his "baby sister" before we even knew it was a girl. He obviously knew something I didn't ;)…….

After we finished the first coat of our crafts we headed to Leatherby's for some ice cream (we know how to pack in the fun! And the FOOD!) After ice cream I ran to JoAnn's AGAIN because I really wanted to use my 10 coupons before they expired on the fabric for Ruby's bedding. We got there at 8:30 and I was feeling too much pressure and decided to put everything back because come on-this is probably my ONLY baby girl and most likely our last baby and I didn't want to rush just picking something. Chris then chauffeured be around once more to Target so I could get a refill of face make-up. And I may or may not have bought THE cutest swimsuit for Ruby to wear next year! (Squeal!!) Once we were back at the house Chris offered to stay up with me while I finished a talk I was going to give…the next day. I could tell he was beyond exhausted though so I sent him to bed (Kyle was already asleep). Mom, Amanda, and I ended up doing facials together before they went to bed. Mom is seriously adorable and really went all out and planned so many fun activities for our weekend together. After facials we decided to finish our crafts because we were worried we wouldn't be able to the next day. After that everyone went to bed, besides me. I was once again vomiting…once it stopped I was able to really focus on my talk. It was such a spiritual experience preparing this talk sis. You must've known I'd be giving this talk because you were so prepared to help me with it, every step of the way. I love you "Ree-Ree" I am so proud of you and I am so HAPPY for you that you are in Heaven taking care of my little ones there and that you are free of your illness, free of the pain, and doing the work God planned for you. You are amazing and inspire me everyday to be just a little better, just a little nicer. I've been really ill this pregnancy, I have Hypermesis Gravidarum; it's diagnosed if you are throwing up more than 3 times a day after your 14th week of pregnancy and not able to keep most meals down, even liquids. Because of you I've reallllly tried to push through and just be positive and not wallow. Some days I can hardly get off the couch though, but I do try and I am not letting dampen my excitement for sweet Ruby or my love for our boys. Jack and Ben really love you sis, and I know they miss you. Jack has so many questions about death and heaven and how we get there and when we get to go there. He said just today, "I really miss my Ree-Ree and Papa Cake, when can we go see them in heaven." The other day Chris and I listened/watched the video Phil made for your funeral on the way to Salt Lake. We were both just bawling! When the song "I did it all" came on Ben got so excited and said, "it's Ree-Ree's song" and him and Jack took turns watching the entire video. Hearing Ben say, "Awwww it's my Ree-Ree I love her!" just melted my heart. He wasn't even two when you passed away, but he still has your love stamped on his heart forever. When it was Jack's turn he watched the video over and over again, I think 3 times total and he just stared at every picture with so much love and made such sweet comments in a very gentle sad voice like, "Ree-Ree really loved me mom." My heart still breaks for that boy, you and him were so close and he has taken your death very hard. He carries Humphy (that's what he named your camel stuffed animal) everywhere and he treats him and talks to him as if he's alive and I wonder if it's his way of keeping you alive in a magical world only you and him can be. 

Sunday: I DID finish my talk, mom was a great help, we both cried while I wrote it. I was so nervous to give it though because of how tender the subject was. Kyle and Amanda were very sweet and wanted to come hear my talk so they drove all the way to Brigham in the snow to meet us at our ward building. I sat next to a super funny brother in our ward Brother Owen's who kept me laughing and helped loosen me up before I gave my talk. I was first and that made me even more nervous. I prayed and prayed that through me Heavenly Father's message would be heard, that it would enlighten the hearts and be a source of help to those who heard me speak, I also prayed that I wouldn't throw up…It's funny the wave of nausea disappeared right as I stood up to give my talk, I was on FIRE with the spirit as I stood there pouring my heart out, and basically bawling through every other word. I felt warm all over and my head was so clear, I don't think I've ever felt so sure of what I was saying ever in my life. I definitely felt you there with me helping me spread the message the people in the chapel needed to hear.  I would be a hypocrite if I wasn't writing this blog entry, recording my life for my children and grandchildren after promising to in front of so many people. I am so grateful for that opportunity to speak and learn about a subject that was so important to you and that you dedicated so much of your time to here on earth. I am forever grateful for your example and the ways you show love for me through the acts of others. I'm grateful for the amazing weekend with people I love so much and that love me so much. I am grateful for the relationship Kyle and I have built, I am grateful for my pretty mommy and all the love she gives my family and I, I am grateful I have one more sister to love in Amanda and I am grateful families are forever and that sisters are forever. I love you Heather Marie. 

P.S Kyle has started calling baby girl Ruby-Ree and it makes me tear up every time.

I can't recreate the exact word for word talk I gave because much of what I embellished on and my testimony was lead by the spirit, but this is the outline of my talk, so I have it recored forever.
*Introduce yourself*
I was pretty nervous when Brother Reeder asked me to give a talk last week. I felt the subject of “family history” was something I knew little to nothing about. I mean when I think of family history I think of indexing names, family trees, and using websites like “family search” to record your lineage. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the subject of family history while I prepared for this talk because I learned that “family history” is SO MUCH more than recording your ancestors in sequential order. We make “history” with our families every single day. We date and fall in love with our future spouses, we get married, start a family, and maybe we even buy our first house. We see one of our children take their first steps, learn to ride a bike, go on THEIR first date. As time passes we go through life’s ups and downs. We endure through hard trials, maybe the loss of a loved one, being laid off, maybe divorce or bankruptcy. Through all these joyful and sorrow filled times we are making memories with our families and essentially making our own families history. But while we are making these memories it’s only history if we record it.
My sister Heather was the prime example of “getting the job done” when it came to family history. Not only did she record dozens of our family’s lineage, but she kept a detailed record of her own life. She felt a strong urgency to do the family history work for our deceased relatives due to her patriarchal blessing and volumes of printed history that spanned over 20 years of her short 30 years of life on this earth. Her blogs and journals, the pictures she posted bring such comfort to our family. I never realized how easy it is to forget the little details of big moments, like what I cooked for my son Jack’s baby blessing or what Ben weighed when he was born. I know most moms know the weights and times of birth of all their children (basically engraved in their mind) but my brain must be overloaded or due for an “update” because I just can’t remember those types of details. I am SO happy I can look up those things on my blog and see the pictures I’ve taken and remember what JOY I felt in those times. I even like reading about past trials, it gives me confidence to know I CAN do hard things.  How would you feel to have a love letter from your spouse after they passed? How do you think your children would feel to see on paper how much their parents love them and the specific traits they are proud of? But where do we start? Do we backlog and try to remember what we did or felt last month of even last week? No, we start today by doing the small things like writing down what we love about each member of our family, taking pictures, and highlighting special occasions. You can write it down in a spiral notebook, start a family blog, and use a tape recorder if you feel like it. Many of my sister’s HUNDREDS of blog entries didn’t get read until after she had passed away, but she wasn’t writing them for admiration she was writing them to be recorded. Once past is past it’s really hard to recreate unless you record the emotions when you are still feeling them and they are fresh in your mind. That’s what resonates with the people that might read your journal or blog entry’s they feel your spirit and they feel the truth in your words. A couple years ago my older sister and her husband Kyle wrote each other Love letter’s with intimate details to help each other in their grief in the event of one of them passing before the other. They sealed them and locked them away for safe keeping without any knowledge of the content of each other’s letters and without knowing that in a few short years after they were written that Heather would pass away. This letter brings great comfort to my brother and I know he’s read it hundreds of times wishing it was thousands of pages long, I’m sure he even has it memorized. There are so many things I can learn from my sister’s passing. She was a great example in so many ways and I’ve learned and keep learning new things about her to this day. Most importantly I learned from her example that I want my family to know how important they are to me and record our life on paper. I’ve started by writing down all the funny things my boys say and do and I am working on having weekly blog posts to keep a record of my family’s day to day life. All things are spiritual to our father in heaven, keeping a record of our family’s lives for the sole purpose of remembering the feelings and emotions, the promptings of the spirit, will help our children in their lives and when they are old enough to understand it will help them to get to know us better and grow closer to us. About a year ago I was griping to Heather over the phone about my woes in life and she grew very quiet and just gently encouraged me to write 1 thing I was grateful every single day. I shrugged off her advice and got busy with life and SO wish I could look in my journal today and see 365 things that I was grateful for over the past year. Heather had 999 things that were difficult about her life and none of them were in her history. She must have known I’d be writing this talk and that I needed a little push because she still had dozens of ideas of ways to connect through family history saved on her iPad. One of those ideas included a list of ways to do this.
1.     Keep a record of your life
2.     Find your ancestors graves
3.     Visit places that are important to your family-Candy shop
4.     Learn more about your ancestors celebrations-“green dinner”
5.     Preserve Photos-“chat books”
6.     Hold and indexing party
7.     Act out a family history story-This could be a FHE activity
8.     Record about yourself and what you wish you knew about your great-grandparents-think of questions you’d like to ask them and then answer those same questions on a recorder so YOUR great-grandchildren know what your answers would have been
9.     Research your name-Find out where your last name came from
10.  Find and share journal entries
11.  Film a documentary about your ancestors
12.  Create a family tree-online or on paper
13.  Use your talents-Dance, write, craft, play an instrument; it’s very likely you share the same talents as many of your ancestors
14.  Find advice-talk with living relatives i.e. Grandparents
15.  Track your ancestors
16.  Record the stories behind heirlooms
17.  Practice a new language
18.  Talk to living family members-ask your grandmother questions while recording with a video camera
19.  Celebrate an ancestor’s birthday
20.  Preserve your social media posts-blog books
21.  Search immigration and military documents-find out where your ancestors came from and who was in the armed forces
22.  Make a recipe book
23.  Dive into history
24.  Prepare for missionary service
25.  Help others-volunteer

Genealogy is only one small part to recording family history if we don’t know anything besides the names of our ancestors on a chart we haven’t really recorded our family history.

Make GOOD memories, live every day for your family. Serve your family selflessly. Love like crazy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oct 27th

Dear Heather,

Last night I tried to get to bed a little' earlier than usual which transpired to actually getting to bed later i.e. 11pm...oh my gosh! Why does that always happen?!? Anyways, when my alarm went off at 3:45am I kinda just wanted to punch my phone in the face. You know that Pink song thats makes us laugh where she says, "Sometimes I want to punch you in your whole face"-thats pretty much how I felt. Luckily my hair has been doing glorious things lately, it's basically my super power right now and I am able to go 3-4 days without washing it before it gets greasy! So I was able to hit SNOOZE and get ready with plenty of time to get to work. (I am showering though, so I promise I don't smell.) Today I was put on a different area of the floor and I was in charge of stacking and organizing all of the books Costco wants to sell during the holidays. It was a refreshing change after working in "hard lines" or as I call it "the man section" with all of the tools and heavy stuff. It was pretty funny though, I had to sit in the middle of the book table sometimes in order to stack the books that needed to go in the middle. We had like 6 pallets-10 layers high worth or books to stack so by the time the store opened we were still working ( they asked me to stay past my shift) and the customers were giving me pretty strange looks as they passed by the book table I was sitting in the middle of. It made me laugh! On my way home from work I was feeling chatty and just wanted to call and talk to someone. It wasn't quite noon so mom wasn't on break yet, Ashlee was still visiting with dad so I didn't want to bother her or I literally thought "hey! I'll call Heather!" Of course as soon as I thought it I was rudely reminded, "sister you can't call me duh!" I can almost hear you saying it…That's always a big blow, it happens more often than you think, and every time it hurts just as much. Heather I wish Heaven had visiting hours…
I ended up calling Alfac to see why one of my claims was taking so long lol so I did get to talk to someone at least! I did something to my foot and back though, I've been hobbling around since I got home, that can't be good! I once again crashed as soon as I saw Jack off to school and Ben was put down for a nap. I don't know how to balance my life out again yet. Even though Chris is home when I get home, we rarely get to spend time together and its frustrating. We are going to try and do date nights on Saturdays from now on so I am looking forward to that VERY MUCH. I miss my husband, I kinda' like that guy. After I woke up Chris had already left for work. He must have JUST left because he had brought Jack in from the bus and had them occupied. I feel like a loser mom when I wake up to my boys happily watching a movie on the couch together while I've been sleeping…Chris had rice in the rice cooker and meatballs ready to put in the oven for dinner, he even had green beans and pears WITH the can opener next to them. Oh! And he also had the table set! How did I get so lucky?! He knows I am stressed, I REALLY appreciate all he does for me to lighten my load. After dinner I brushed the boys teeth, Benny has finally stopped screaming and crying like I am trying to kill him so thats good news. I'm still singing the ABC song while I brush their teeth and I love hearing Jack try to sing it with his mouth full of tooth paste and a tooth brush. Gosh that kid is amazing! He seriously is so wonderful sis! We read books and said prayers, but I felt like I hadn't gotten enough time with them yet so Jack and I started chatting about all sorts of things, that boy has the BIGGEST imagination! He wanted to show me the toys he wanted to ask Santa for in the Toys R' Us and Target catalogs we had just received (he circled the things he liked with a crayon, so adorable). We chatted about how Santa doesn't always bring us EVERYTHING we want but picking 2 or 3 things we like would give Santa enough ideas to think about. I mentioned making "wish lists" and Jack was ALL over that! We cut out the pictures and glued them onto computer paper. Jack wrote him and Ben's names on their separate lists and he drew pictures of "Santa Man". Jack has pretty impressive writing and I love his letters! He actually writes Ben's name better than his own which makes me giggle.. Benny was just as enthusiastic about making the lists and started circling every other toy in the catalogs. Silly boy, he REALLY wanted to cut the pictures out himself and kept saying, "and ME!" and pointing to himself. I helped him cut one of the pictures out but he was getting really close to poking his eye out and we really didn't want to pull an "uncle stewart". After we were done Jack was ready to "take them to the North Pole." I convinced him it would be quicker if we just mailed them in the morning. I think I am going to send them to mom, just so I can scrap book them one day. Here's some pictures from our "wish list" making adventure. I would have loved if you came over to play with us tonight. Jack talks about you multiple times during the day still, I hope that never changes. He tells strangers on the street about you, and his primary teacher tells me he talks to her about you often as well. You two have a special bond that can never be broken. He even wrote you a song sis, I got him to sing it to me & teach me the words. What a heartbreaker that one! He worries me though, I'm wondering if we should take him to see a grieving counselor or something. I just want to make sure his big heart and giant spirit haven't been crushed. He's seen so much sadness in his short 4 years it worries me. Boy I wish I could squeeze and kiss him 24 hours a day. His preschool makes that hard though, but he LOVES going to school 4 days a week and LOVES riding the bus even more. He's getting so big Heather! Since you've been gone you've missed so much sister... I say this, but I do know your really not missing anything at all. Your here always it's just all of us left behind that are missing you. My good friend Karissa sent me this poem today, talk about tear jerker! I wish you were able to meet her. She lives RIGHT next door and I just love her to death. Such a sweetheart and totally down to earth, she's so giving too and completely hilarious. I know you would have liked her. Love you sis, miss you EVERYDAY. Good thing sisters are forever. Love, Bubba

Go HERE to watch the video of Jack singing the song her wrote about "Ree-Ree"

Monday, October 26, 2015

I haven’t blogged in 2 years people! Crazy…I’ve kept everyone in the loop via pictures on instagram and facebook, but I really need to get into the habit of blogging daily. Heather used her blog as her journal, she would share the most precious moments of her life and I loved reading her feelings and thoughts. She was always making me laugh with the stories she told & I loved how she wrote in the way that she was journaling for her self to remember while still entertaining us all. She wrote about what was important to her and that’s what I love so much about her blog. I still go back and read her blog posts often. I can still hear her voice in my head as I read over the stories she tells, I miss her voice and her laugh so much it hurts. There’s a lot of things I haven’t addressed since she’s passed, it been too hard and I don’t know how to fully express myself. But I’ve begun to talk to her throughout the day, I used to sort of pray to her after I said my nightly prayers, but now I find myself talking out loud to her on my way to work and asking her to watch over my boys when I can’t be with them.
Of course I become an emotional wreck every time we start “chatting” even though I don’t get a response I’ve on more than one occasion suddenly seen a butterfly pass by or another beauty from nature that I know she would just love. She was basically a Disney Princess in that regard, gentle, beautiful, and so in love and in tune with all the beauty around her. I feel her near me often and her presence has been transferred to everything beautiful I see. I feel her near with every sun set, the sight of the changing fall leaves, and I even feel her in my little boys’ smiles. She loves them so much.
We went camping with the Holman family a few weeks ago and Sagey was telling me how ever since her Grandpa Holman passed away she finds dimes everywhere she goes. Almost as if he’s saying “hi, Sage I’m always here for you” when she really needs it. Ever since we talked I have found over half a dozen dimes lying in the most peculiar of places (I’ve even started to save them in a jar)! It might sound silly to you, but it makes me smile every time. I think of her and miss her everyday, but I’ve loved having those sweet reminders. My miscarriage has been really hard. I really needed that baby and it was beginning to be the perfect distraction from all the pain. I thought it was going to be the way for me to heal my broken heart-in a way & have something to look forward to. I felt Heather was sending me this perfect gift to love and care for and it ripped my heart out to have that taken from me. It didn’t make me question the Gospel or God’s plan, but the pain in my heart and in my body has been so overwhelming. I’ve realized after this miscarriage a few things about myself…I’ve been complemented on several occasions on how strong I must be after this sorrowful year, but the thing is-I don’t FEEL strong. I feel small and sometimes I feel like I have no feelings at all. I’ve noticed that when a burden is just TOO heavy for me I cast it completely on the Lord. I KNOW I can’t do it, I can’t get through it and so I rely 100% on the Lord to carry me through to the next destination of my life. And this is the honest truth. With Heather’s passing and losing our baby I’ve beat myself up for not feeling anything sometimes. But I looked back on all the many trials I’ve been through and that is exactly how the Lord has helped me get through past and present trials. He’s helped me to not feel the things I can’t handle…My heart is so tender and so bruised I know he knows what I can and can’t handle. And even though he’s not going to take away these trials or reverse them he WILL carry me through them and he won’t make me suffer alone. My father in law gave me THE most beautiful blessing I’ve ever received. I felt Heather hold me up during part of the blessing and I felt the immense love God has for me. I was promised so many personal and good things and my sorrows were addressed individually. That blessing ignited a flame in my heart again. Without out it I don’t know how I’d by able to stand. My miscarriage has lasted several weeks and came to completion this past weekend with me miscarrying the actual baby. I didn’t know what to expect because I had a D&C with our last miscarriage (my body wouldn’t miscarry on it’s own). But this time it was horrible. I started my job the same week my miscarriage had peaked and it was all I could do to get through my 5 hour shift with body crippling cramps and using the restroom constantly, to then go home and crash for 6 hours. I didn’t want to complain or tell anyone, I mean I didn’t know ANY of these people and it was my FIRST week…so I suffered in silence. The hard labor did move things along quicker though so that was a blessing. I think all the movement and up and down motions helped my body let go of our precious little one. When I miscarried the baby I was alone and it scared me, I didn’t know what to do & my heart hurt so much knowing I really DID have a baby inside me and that I won’t get to know or raise that little one here on earth. I had nightmare that night too and it’s made me so scared to get pregnant again. I went to bed a crumpled mess and cried myself to sleep. I had to work the next morning and it was really hard to get out of bed…I went through my day as usual though, kept to myself and just tried to hammer out my work. When I was unloading the pallets on my last aisle something caught my eye, it was a dime just sitting on the floor next to my foot smiling at me and shining away and I felt Heather say, “I love you baby sister.” It was such a relief to have some sunshine in my life at that dark moment, I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the passed few months. I’m still writing them all down, but I’ve had numerous spiritual experiences with Heather that I wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the sorrow of the miscarriage. I guess there is bitter-sweetness in all things…I have had my own guardian angel that watched over me for 25 years on earth and she is still finding time in her busy schedule in Heaven to check in on me daily. I know Heather can see when I’m hurting and she finds ways to show me she is close by loving me through it all. I also know she has her arms full with my babies in her arms. Heather was promised that she would mother children and who knows, maybe some of those children are mine. And there is nobody on earth or in heaven that I know would do a better job than my little-big sister. The remainder of my blog entries will be letters to my sweet sister, to help me feel close to her always.

Love, B 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's true, "love is multiplied-not divided."

Jack & I have always had a special bond. Chris left for basic training when Jack was barely one years old. We relied on each other for 5 months without daddy around & instead of crying all the time I focused on being the best mom I could be to Jack. I think this is where our bond really solidified & though it wasn't ideal I'm grateful for that time alone we had. I never thought I could love someone as much as Jack or even close to equally...until Ben was born. Crazy how quickly you can love someone, especially when they are your child. Ben has my heart every bit as much as Jack does. I can't explain how completely in love I am with these boys who rule my life, but I wouldn't change these crazy, at times stressful, messy, exhausting, & utterly fulfilling life of raising my little guys for anything in the world!

Benjamin 6 Months

Our little Ben is 6 months old today! I know everybody says this but I seriously can't believe it! The past 6 months have FLOWN by! "Baby Ben" as Jack calls his brother is chuck-full of personality! From day 1 he hasn't been afraid to make demands! Ben has the sweetest little face and can easily persuade me into doing anything he wants (which is usually hold him whenever he's awake, sometimes even while he's sleeping) by putting on quite the show with his alligator tears and lip quiver. He's a sensitive soul and as my mom has said, "prefers to be held" and not just help by anyone, but held by me (momma).  Ben is a foodie and I swear from the time he was 2 or 3 months old he noticed food. He would watch every bite you took, his eyes following your fork from plate to mouth. What's even funnier is his mouth opens expectantly every time you go to take a bite. It crack's Chris and I up! He started solid foods Monday, and is a lover of sweet potatoes now! He eats baby oatmeal for breakfast every morning & wakes up expecting it to be ready right that minute! Ben is such a wonderful nurser. I know I only have Jack for comparison but he would probably nurse until he's 5 if I let him. He's a quick nurser too which I appreciate. What's funny is he growls and makes the funniest noises when it's time to eat! He also basically tries to eat me through my clothes if I'm not quick enough, he likes his food!

I don't have Ben's most recent stats, but last time he was weighed (which was a week ago) he was 17.5 pounds! He's more than doubled his birth weight =) I love his little round face! Ben can roll from front to back and back to front and gets around the room no problem! He's even started trying to get up on his knees and scoot a little (slow down buddy!) Ben has always loved tummy time, but I guess you can't really call it that now because he rolls back and forth from his belly to his back. We have a play mat that Chris calls his "Disneyland" because of the sensory overload it provides. He will lay and play on his play mat for quite a while until he realizes I'm not holding him and then the alligator tears start a' flowing. He LOVES his jumperoo! That is the one toy that he will seriously stay happy and excited in for at least and hour a day (which means I get in at least an hour of cleaning a day.) Ben loves toys and is very grabby he is fast and will snatch just about anything within his reach and shove it in his mouth! So far there has been a variety of things he's tasted because of this: crayons, lipstick, makeup-brushes, paper, french fries, egg noodles, my hair…

Ever since we figured out that Ben has a sensitivity to dairy my life has been so much easier, and he has been a completely different baby! He used to cry all day and have really bad gas and constipation. He would't sleep longer than 45 minutes (even at night) because he was SO uncomfortable! Now that I'm off dairy he is so smiley and happy and I feel like we finally have a eating and sleeping routine. Ben goes to bed at around 8pm every night (it's crazy how babies have an internal clock). I'll nurse him, swaddle him, and then just lay him down awake and he will go straight to bed and sleep 4-5 hours his first stretch of sleep, wake-up to nurse, go straight back to bed, sleep another 4-5 hours and nurse again.  So, Ben still wakes up twice a night which I don't mind because it's so much better than 10 times a night like he used to! He's then usually up around 7am and I wake up to him just jabbering happily in his bed. I then feed him his baby oatmeal and he plays for a little while on the floor and then he takes his morning nap at 9am. He only takes one good nap a day and it's his morning nap, he will sleep up to 3 hours and then the rest of his naps during the day are cat naps around 45 min each. I'm so incredibly happy my baby boy isn't constantly in pain with reflux & gas. I was so worn out and exhausted by the time we found out what was causing all of his issues and I'm incredibly blessed it didn't go on longer than it did.

Ben is such a "momma's boy" he will try and lunge out of anybody arms to try and get to me, and he will keep his eyes on me from clear across the room! He is SO cuddly he will nestle his head right under my chin and he gives THE BEST slobbery kisses. He's very busy, he is constantly grabbing things, and bouncing while you hold him & he's really found his voice! He will jabber happily in the car and to his daddy and I. He thinks his brother and daddy are the coolest-funniest people in the world. I love watching him watch Jack and Chris wrestle all the while bouncing like he wants to get in on the action! He studies Jack all day. Watching him play, eat, run, jump, shout, yell, cry. I'll find him just smiling at his brother even when Jack's not looking at him. Jack told me just yesterday, "Ben's my brother, he's my friend, I love him." Ya, I pretty much teared up a little. I love the bond they already have and how nice and helpful Jack is towards ben. The ONLY abrupt words I've heard Jack say to ben where this week. Ben was tugging on Jack and grabbed Jack's shirt and trying to shovel it into his mouth, Jack pulled away and said, "No Ben! No pulling Jack's shirt, we don't pull shirts baby Ben!" This made me laugh because we've been having a little trouble with a kid bullying Jack in nursery. He's constantly tugging on Jack's clothes and pushing him down. I specifically remember trying to intervene and saying something to the likes of, "Let's keep our hands to ourselves, no pulling on Jack's shirt okay?" It's funny how Jack remembered and applied it to a similar (but less threatening) situation. Of coarse Ben just smiled at Jack and they went back to playing next to each other. 

Ben also LOVES his daddy! As soon as Chris get's home from work Ben flashes him the BIGGEST grin and grabs Chris face and gives him a nice open mouthed kiss! He loves when Chris bounces him and throws him around (not literally) and I can see 3 wrestling buddies in our near future! 

Ben is so loved, and we can't get enough of his dimpled smile, bright blue eyes, lily white skin, and red hair! He's a feisty little guy and he makes us laugh everyday! We are so happy he's part of our family and we love watching him grow! I hope you love the pictures of him as much a we do! Ben was really nervous and wasn't showing of his gummy grin like he usually does. I still love his signature look where he's sucking on his bottom lip though! Priceless!