Monthly Archives: June 2010

FOUR Years Old!!!

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Sweet Megan turned four years old today. And what a wonderful day it was!!!

We started the day off by heading to the movies. Sometime a couple of months ago, Megan saw a preview for the movie “Toy Story 3” and learned that it would released on June 19th. Now you should know that our little girl is obsessed with dates and months, so she announced then that since the movie came out a week before her birthday, we would be going to see it for her birthday. I thought it was a great idea, so we were sure to include that in her birthday activities. It turned out to be such a good movie. We went with my sister and her family and EVERYBODY loved it: adults and children alike. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Megan with her cousins outside the theater

After lunch, we headed swimming. Megan loves to swim. It was the perfect day for it too, which was a relief for me because last night I dreamt that it snowed today so we couldn’t go swimming!! Yes, I tossed and turned all night worried that today would not be perfect for Megan. Everything turned out great though. After we finished swimming, an already exhausted Megan said to me, “let’s go home now and write in my journal and go to bed.” I reminded her that there were cake and presents that needed her attention, and she was able to forget how tired she was!

The final part of the day’s activities was the actual birthday party. We had pizza, watched a video about Megan’s fourth year of life, opened presents, and ate cake. Megan LOVED opening the presents. She has been looking forward to that part of her birthday for MONTHS. I don’t think it would have mattered WHAT she was opening, she just loved tearing away the paper to reveal a surprise. Later, however, she rediscovered her new treasures and was in HEAVEN!!

After gifts, we enjoyed birthday cake. Now, as a disclaimer, I didn’t put much effort into decorating the cake. I know, I know, I can do better. But for the last little while, I have been suffering from really bad neck and back pain. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put a lot of effort into the cake decorating. Even the minimal amount I did put me in a world of hurt. Anyway, so Megan is obsessed with M&Ms. Not so much eating them, but just M&Ms in general. She loves watching M&M commercials on youtube, and carries an M&M calender with her wherever she goes. Also, she refers to herself as “The Green M&M”, and she calls me “Red M&M” and Adam “Blue M&M”. For example, in the morning she will come in my room and find Adam already gone for work. She will ask, “Red M&M, where is Blue M&M?” SO…for her cake, I just decorated it with green M&Ms. I also made little cupcakes and decorated them with different color M&Ms. Not super impressive, but a big hit nonetheless.

Today was absolutely wonderful, and a lot of people made that happen. Thanks to all for the phone calls, cards, messages, and gifts. And a big thank you to my sister and her family who opened their home to us today! I know that Megan had a pretty good idea of just how special she really is…


Although…
I am not sure she will ever quite understand just how much she is loved. A love like that is impossible to describe. We sure love our little four year old, and are so grateful she is in our life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN!!

We love you to the moon!

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The Fathers in My Life

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I wasn’t planning on writing a Father’s Day post today. I didn’t write one for Mother’s Day, and mostly it’s because I am so worn out come Sunday evening that I can barely function yet alone think clearly enough to write a blog post. We have afternoon church, and my church calling keeps me on my feet for two hours which I pay for come evening. However, I had a few thoughts today about the Fathers in my life so I wanted to jot them down.

My own father passed away when I was fifteen. It’s unfortunate (to say the least) that I lost my dad at such a young and critical age. People often speak of my dad and tell such wonderful things and have such happy memories. He really was an incredible man. Everyone who knew him loved him and wanted to be loved by him. He was funny and kind and strong and compassionate.

There is a song by Kenneth Cope that reminds me of my dad when I hear it. It’s called “Man in the Son”:

Papa loved granting favors
Digging deep for friends and strangers
He’d give his last dime
But never run short on love

He’d shine on more than one encounters
And now beyond his final hours
Remembering the man
Has the power to urge me on

He’d light up the day
He’d warm up the night
Whatever the day needed done
He’d carried the flame till he’d run out of fire
Climb in his plane and fly to the man in the sun

I married a man who is very unlike my dad. Whereas he was loud, boisterous, cheerful, outgoing, and jubilant, Adam is calm, careful, sensitive, and quiet. But like my dad, Adam is wonderful and loving, gentle and kind. He serves others willingly – almost nonstop, and he has a strong and unwavering testimony. Though very different, Adam and my dad would have gotten along very well. My dad certainly would have approved of my choice of husband.

The song “Push” by Sarah McLaughlin very, very, VERY accurately represents my husband Adam:

Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You’ve seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do ’cause you’re to good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you’ll go
You wont stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me
There are times I cant decide when I cant tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I’d drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I’m okay
Sometimes that’s just what we need to get us through the day

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

I don’t have a song in mind that depicts my father-in-law…but I could make a long list of all his wonderful qualities. The one thing that stands out strongest to me is his generosity. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to help and serve his wife and children. He works hard, but having money is not important to him. I think what is important to him is how he can put that money to good use in the service of others. I remember shortly after Jack died, we were very tight on cash (emphasis on the VERY). Two of Adam’s siblings were getting married, and we didn’t think we would be able to attend and travel the long distances because we just couldn’t afford it. Without hesitation Adam’s dad said he would help us with the costs. He wanted us there and he wanted to help us. He has been generous to us in a like manner many other times as well. My mother-in-law is the same way. Like Adam and I, and like my mother and father, they are very well matched. What great examples we have both had to prepare us for our own married life.

While these men all share similar qualities, they are also very different. It is interesting how three men can be so different, but can also be equally wonderful.

I hope that all my brothers and brothers-in-law had a great father’s day. They are all amazing men and terrific fathers.

Sam, I hope you had an okay day, too. 🙂

A Wonderful Kind of Exhaustion

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So I have been pretty sick for the past 8 weeks. The morning sickness came on strong and early at about 5 weeks. You won’t hear a word of complaint from me about it though; I am just happy to be pregnant and that things are working the way they are supossed to work. Megan, on the other hand, has every right to complain! I haven’t been a very fun or active mom. I do manage to get us out of the house a couple times a week, and I work hard to keep her entertained, but the days are not as fun for her as they could be.

This past week, Adam worked very few hours. On Monday we decided to take a trip up to my sister’s house. We didn’t tell Megan that we were going to her Auntie Ann’s until we were already on the way, and she was so excited!!! She literally shouted for joy. Megan loves spending time with her cousins. We were all excited for the much needed fun filled day.

After hanging out at the house for a while, we headed over to my sister’s in-law’s house for some swimming. Though I am not technically related to Ann’s mother and father-in-law, I still consider them family. It is always fun to spend time with them. Megan had a great time swimming in the kiddie pool with her cousin, Marshall.

We then grabbed an early dinner and got ready to head to the high school for my nieces’ dance recital. Sarah and Katherine’s dance program put on a rendition of Wizard of Oz that Megan just LOVED. She paid attention the entire time, and grew more and more interested with each scene. Today, almost a week later, she still talks about going to the dance recital.

Megan really had such a great day with her cousins. That night we tucked in one happy and exhausted girl. Each night we check in on Megan shortly after we put her to bed. That night, we found her asleep like this:

Every time I see this picture, I am reminded of the great day she had. I hope to put the morning sickness stage behind me soon so we can enjoy many more exhausting Summer days.

today was my due date.

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Yes, Adam and I have both imagined what it might have been like to be welcoming a new baby into our family at this time. It would have been unbelievably wonderful. The fact that I am currently pregnant has done much to ease the pain of what “might have been”. I can’t imagine how difficult this day would have been if I weren’t expecting again.

I have never been a person to question whether or not Heavenly Father has a plan for me and for my family. I often wonder why I have to be continually reminded of this fact when I know with such certainty that it is true. From the very second Jack was born, I knew that what would be: would be. I never negated my role as an agent of my own life, I just knew that things would go the way God wanted them to go, and I needed to make choices that would prove myself worthy of His every blessing.

If I am truly honest with myself, and others, I will admit that having a baby come into our home at this time, while wonderful, would not have been the best thing for our family. I have mentioned before the wise counsel that my stake president offered Adam and I before we were married. He told us that bringing children in the world was not something to be taken lightly. He told us that a child has the right to be brought into a family that has a firm foundation. He told us that many things make up that foundation, things like finances, spirituality, emotional health, marital strength, and physical health (among other things). He also reminded us that it is our responsibility to bear children and that we needed to work hard to get that foundation in place. I remember knowing in my heart that what he said was true and that it was counsel that I would be wise to hearken. I now know that our foundation was not firm enough nine months ago when we discovered we were pregnant (after all, we were homeless and unemployed and still very much hurting emotionally from losing Jack).

I don’t pretend to know for sure that this is the reason why I miscarried. I know for a fact that there are people who have that firm foundation in place who lose babies or cannot have them and others who are far from solid ground who bring children into their family with no problem. For me, it’s just about Heavenly Father knowing what is best for ME, and I know, without a doubt, that it is best for me to welcome a new baby into our family in December instead of in June. And if, unfortunately, something is to happen to this baby, like it happened to Jack, then I know that too will be part of the plan. It will be awful and it will be devastating, but in the words of author Emily Watts:

“I am content that God be God. I will not try to instruct Him on His duties or on His obligations toward me or toward any of His children. I know He lives and loves us, that He is God. He’s not unmindful of us. We do not suffer out of His view. He does not inflict pain upon us, but He sustains us in our pain. I am His daughter; my [children are] also His [children]; we belong to Him, and we are safe with Him. I used to think that we were safe from grief and pain here because of our faith. I know now that is not true, but we are safe in His love. We are protected in the most ultimate sense of all – we have a safe home forever.”

I’m not suggesting that our foundation is as firm as it could be or as it will ever be, but each day Adam and I work to make things a little better and a little stronger. We might have forgotten the necessity of such strength nine months ago, but we are well aware of it now and are working hard to place our faith and will in God’s hands and doing our best to make choices that will earn us blessings not only in this life, but in the life to come.

So today, as I am reminded of what I have lost, I am also strongly reminded of what I have and I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that God loves me and is mindful of me. I am truly blessed and have much reason to be joyful.

Our Rainbow

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The beauty of a rainbow
does not
negate the ravages of the storm.

When a rainbow appears,
it does not mean
the storm never happened:

or that one must
not
continue to deal with the aftermath.

What it means is that something
beautiful
and
full of light
has appeared
in the midst of the darkness and clouds.

Storm clouds may still hover

but the rainbow provides a counterbalance
of
light, hope and peace.

A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillborn, or infant death. Shortly after Jack passed away, I was hopeful that I might one day have my own rainbow baby. I was so happy to discover that I was pregnant in October of last year, and so anxiously and eagerly anticipated the arrival of our new baby who was due to arrive this very week. Unfortunately, I miscarried, and instead of a rainbow, storm clouds continued to hover.

I was reminded of the times that I have seen a double rainbow in the sky amidst or after a storm. How magnificent it was to see not one, but two beautiful bands of color stretching across once troubled skies. I again hoped that I would one day welcome a new baby into my family; a baby who followed double heartache and devastation.

And I am happy to announce that our third child – our rainbow baby – is on the way.

A double rainbow may not match the light, hope, and peace that our baby’s arrival will bring to our family…but it will always be a symbol to us of the beauty that can arise from a season of storms.

I Have A Dream…Well, Actually, I Have A Lot of Dreams

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So this post will probably be a little different from my usual posts…which are usually about Megan and Jack and our family happenings. But this is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. And I would love any feedback from anybody who is interested in this topic, or has any similar experiences, or who knows anything about anything (especially anything regarding the subject). So, without further ado…

I am a dreamer. Meaning, I dream a lot. Every night I am guaranteed several dreams. Some are fairly pleasant. Most are not. Many are pretty frightening. The first dream I ever can remember having was a very frightful nightmare that I have never been able to remove from my mind. It involved two of my family members (two brothers, actually) and was pretty violent and disturbing. I don’t think it is the worst dream I have had, but it’s probably the one that has stuck with me most throughout the years.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. I wanted to share some reoccurring elements of my dreams and see if anyone has any insight or has had similar experience. These are things that happen again and again and again in my dreams and I am curious (nothing more than mere curiosity, I assure you. Not concerned, just interested.)

Inability to run. So I know this one is VERY common. Most people can’t run in their dreams (especially if it’s running away from something). I have A LOT of dreams where I am trying to run away from someone, and I can never run. But here’s the thing, in EVERY google search I have done, people describe their inability to run as if their legs are stuck or too heavy or as if they are trying to run on the moon. For me, when I try to run in my dreams, I fall down – over and over and over again. I stumble and fall and try to get up just to keep falling. Many times I find myself trying to crawl because I just can’t keep myself upright. What’s your experience with trying to run in dreams??

Inability to scream. I am fairly certain that this is common, too. I find myself trying to yell and scream only to have no voice or a voice barely above a whisper.

I never have flying dreams. Never, not even once have I had a dream where I could fly. Adam says he has flying dreams all the time and that I am missing out. Am I the only one who doesn’t dream I can fly?

Often I know when I am dreaming. This usually comes in very handy. If I am in the middle of a frightening dream or am about to fall or get hurt, I can tell myself that it is just a dream and I can open my eyes and wake up. I can’t tell you how many times I have almost fallen to my death only to wake myself up just before impact.
Sometimes, however, this ability can be disappointing. I have had lots of dreams where I am granted a great shopping spree or find some great deals only to remind myself that I am dreaming and I don’t get to keep the stuff. Those are some of my least favorite dreams.
Sadly, however, I have many sad or disturbing dreams that I don’t know are dreams until I wake up. Does anyone else find themselves aware that they are dreaming whilst in the middle of their good old REM cycle??

I can read words but struggle with numbers. Sometimes the words are misspelled, but I can always read what it is supposedly saying and I “know” that things are misspelled. My biggest frustration comes when I am trying to call someone on the telephone in my dreams. I struggle over and over and OVER again with dialing. I always know what number I want to call, but my fingers don’t seem to want to listen and I misdial and have to start over again. What is your experience with letters and numbers in your dreams?

Even though I have more than my fair share of unpleasant dreams (which usually revolve around harm coming to myself or daughter), I have a lot of pleasant dreams, too. Most of those have to do with my dad or my son. One of my favorite dreams is one where I was walking with my dad and I asked him what Heaven was like and he told me it was “wonderful”. Another favorite is a dream I had where I was holding baby Jack. He was very sick and I knew he was going to die, but at least I got hold him before it happened. Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that I am grateful that I am a dreamer. I am glad I am not one of those people who never dream.

So anyway, this may not be of much interest to anyone, but as an avid dreamer, it’s something that I have great interest in. I would love to read a good book about dreams or about interpreting dreams…any suggestions??

Alright, good night.