Monthly Archives: October 2009

Halloween 2009

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Elmo

Megan was only slightly more enthusiastic about Halloween this year than in years past. She understood the whole “say ‘trick or treat’ and get candy” concept, but she still didn’t care enough about the candy to be too excited about it. She liked her Elmo costume…but even its novelty wore off before long. I think her favorite part of the Holiday was just the time spent outside. She got plenty of attention in her Elmo costume and she looked so adorable!

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“Nevada Day” is also on the 31st of October and most people get the day off: which makes Halloween even more special around here. All in all, we had a great Halloween weekend.

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Tipping the Scales

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I just love being a mom.

There is nothing in the world I would trade for motherhood. Sometimes I wonder what it might have been like to go on after college and get my master’s…and then maybe a Ph.D.. But if I could go back, I would still choose to be a mother. I would most definitely choose Megan. The happiness she has brought to my life is like nothing that I have ever experienced. It is inexplicable. It is wonderful. It is pure joy.

IMG_4126In May we learned that Megan has an expressive speech delay. We weren’t incredibly surprised when we learned about this delay, since we had faced a fair share of frustration with her: as far as spoken language is concerned. In some ways, it was disheartening to accept that Megan really did have some special needs that would require specific and unwaivering attention.

On the other hand, it was refreshing to have an answer to some of the stress and sadness we had been facing. I remember many times people would tell me how impressed they were with her reading ability. I would always beam proudly, but inside I would be thinking “yes, she can read. But I sure wish she could talk to me.” I watched other children Megan’s age (and younger) carry on full conversations with moms, dads, siblings, and friends; while my Megan would scream and cry at me because she couldn’t tell me what she needed or wanted.

IMG_8184 We were told that children with Megan’s speech delay usually make great progress between the ages four and five. Well…guess what? Since May, we have already seen HUGE progress. Four months ago, you might have found an inconsolable Megan, sprawled across the kitchen floor: with me by her side; pleading with her to tell me what she wanted, listing off every possibility: only to make her more upset with each wrong suggestion…up to the point where she’d forget what she originally wanted…and I would have silent tears rolling down my cheeks as I held her close and offered her anything and everything she could possibly want.

Fast forward to today. My jaw still hits the floor when Megan approaches me and says “I want to play outside” or “I want some apple juice.” It is so simple and so wonderful. But for a girl who COULD NOT express a single want just five months ago: it’s HUGE. Today I told her it was time for bed and she said “I want to play with Bradley and Jamison.” Of course I explained to her that she could play with them tomorrow, and that she needed to go to bed. In May, I would have told her it was time for bed and she would have cried and screamed and instead of going to bed pleasantly with hopes of seeing her cousins in the morning, she (and mom) would have gone to bed frustrated and stressed. What a difference it has made.

043-1She still has a long way to go. She can’t really carry on a conversation, and she still faces her moments of frustration, but they are few and far between. I can’t wait to see what progress we will have made a month from now.

I started this long post by expressing my great happiness in motherhood. I have read several blogs written by my peers where they express frustration with the difficulties of being a mom. Some have even doubted their decision to have children when they did, or even at all. Megan’s speech delay has NOT been easy. It has been frustrating and difficult and heart wrenching. I have cried tears in her behalf and have poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father for His aide, and for the strength to give Megan the attention and direction she needs. And while I want immediate answers to my pleas, it has been a slow and long process. This – along with all the “normal” things that mothers of young children have to deal with – can be tiresome. It can be daunting and overwhelming and burdensome. But you will never hear a negative word regarding motherhood escape these lips (or slip through these fingers). I will never wonder “why” I did it, or “if” I shouldn’t have. I will NEVER speak ill of my children or of being a mother. Loving Megan is the easiest thing I have ever had to do. Nothing will ever change my mind about the rightness of the decision I made to be her mother:

the scales are tipped way too far in her favor.
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It Has Arrived

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Today is the last of the monthly countdowns until Jack’s birthday. One month from now he will have been one year old.

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I don’t know what next month will bring. I imagine that I will wake up on November 18th and will be able to recollect every moment of the day he was born. I also forsee reliving each of the following 40 days of his life up until his death at the end of December.

I have both positive and negative feelings about the timing of Jack’s birthday. When we found out our due date was Novemeber 27th, we knew that we would possibly celebrate birthdates on Thanksgiving. Instead, the one and only Thanksgiving we had with our son was in a hospital. Christmas was the same thing. In fact, it was on Christmas Eve that we were told that he would soon die. New years? His memorial service. To have had the chance to celebrate these holidays with our boy was a wonderful gift, but the incorportated sorrow has also changed the way we feel about these dates.

His birthdate on November 18th marks the beginning of the holiday season, and his death: the end. One year ago I was so eagerly anticipating the arrivial of the holidays, with all the food, family, gifts, and fun: not to forget the very special meanings of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I am not sure yet how I feel about the upcoming months. I forsee myself going through the motions of holiday cheer, and I especially see bold attempts at making the season magical for Megan, but I think that my heart will be with Jack this year.

Jack passed away on December 29th. After that date, all monthly anniversaries of his birth and death will probably become annual. Obviously, there will not be one minute of one day when I do not think about Jack and monthly I will have heart pangs on both the 18th and the 29th. And while I don’t know what to expect of the upcoming holiday season, I do know that I am looking forward to the New Year. I am expecting new strength and new hope and a new beginning: all the while carrying Jack in the largest chamber of my heart.

I guess it’s time to start thinking of ways to celebrate Jack’s birthday. I’m not entirely sure about how to go about doing it, but I do have some ideas. While there will probably be no “happy birthday” banners, there will be much celebration. The day that he was born was not “happy”, but one day: I will be with him again, and that is worth celebrating.

RISE AND SHOUT!

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If you don’t know Adam well enough to know that he is one of the biggest BYU football fans there is; than you don’t know Adam at all. Last weekend Adam was able to go the the BYU/Utah State game in Provo, and this past weekend, we both went to the BYU/UNLV game here in Vegas (along with Adam’s brother and his wife, my mom, my sister and her son, and two of my brothers). The game was so awesome, despite the fact that we were sitting in the UNLV student section.
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We had awesome seats (thanks to Sarah and my mom), and I cheered and yelled so much (surpassed only by my brother Loren). We were able to befriend the UNLV fans around us (well…for the most part…) so we all had a great time.
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The night before the game, the BYU football team held a fireside at a local chapel. There, many of the players bore their testimony of Christ through music and the spoken word. It was pretty cool to see those big football guys sing hymns, give talks, and say prayers.

Coach Mendenhall

Coach Mendenhall

I got to meet head coach Bronco Mendenhall as well as the quarterback coach, Brandon Doman. Doman was the quarterback when I was a student at BYU, and his team was the team that made a Cougar football fan out of me.

Coach Doman

Coach Doman

We are only several games into the official season, and our Cougars are doing great. We would cheer for the Cougars: win or lose, but it doesn’t hurt that the Cougars are always awesome. Megan is also quite the little fan. She loves when BYU football is on the TV and she loves to wear her BYU shirts. Go Cougars!
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