19

A Memorable Christmas

Dec
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WP_20131225_036While last Christmas was a great time of joy as we welcomed our little Mr, it was also one that we felt a little alone.  Our amazing friends the Clines who we lived with while little Mr. grew, had left to spend Christmas with family and we were alone in their house.  As we watched our little one go through the ups and downs of NICU growth, the stress can be overwhelming and we found ourselves lonely in a city we didn’t live in and had no family.  We thought of the gathering and the parties going on back in Utah and while nothing compares to being near your child, the stress of your new situation can make you feel what I would call family sick (homesick).  Missing the support and presence of those who can help buoy you up and give a hug in a time of need.  There is nothing like family.  But we were grateful for our little miracle and I made plans to celebrate with our little one and keep a few of our traditions alive.  I didn’t however feel that My Mr. was going into it with the same vigor as me.  He kept delaying theWP_20131224_007 food buying for our traditional Christmas eve dinner, or getting traditional items to make our unconventional Christmas a little more homey.  I reluctantly thought this must just be stressful for him.  But I was wrong, he had something up his sleeve!  As the days leading up to Christmas neared I was getting irritated with his lack of urgency, and feeling more family sick.  When one night or I should say morning, I got a phone call at 4 AM, as a NICU mom I went into full panic mode as I jolted, drowsily up and looked at my phone.  I confusedly saw my Dads name.  He told me he had sent a package and that it should be there now, and to go to the door.  I was so confused, I stumbled to the front door of our friends home and looked out at a confusing sight.  A bright optical Christmas tree perched upon my parents car.  I dashed to the car falling into the arms of my Dad, tears welled up in my eyes as we WP_20131225_037embraced.  They had come to us.  My parents had left immediately after a party they hosted at their home, packed up, and drove all night with our family’s traditional food and so much more.  They literally brought all my Christmas desires to us.  My heart was full, they didn’t want us to be alone, it was an act of love that I will never forget.  As we all gathered around the little isolette that contained our sleeping baby, and my parents took turns holding their newest grandchild it became a Christmas that I will never forget.  Thank you Mom & Dad, I can never tell you what that meant to me.

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17

Tree Cutting

Dec
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WP_20141128_0032While we prefer our lovely fake tree and balsam smelling candle for our house.  This stems from a couple bad Christmas’s with needle messes and a bunt up vacuum.  And it doesn’t help that at our house we track in plenty of needles from the MANY pines that live and shed all over our house, allowing us to track them in without the addition of a tree.  But I digress.  picFrame (27)

We were lucky enough to get to Join our friends on their hunt to find and cut down their tree.  And yes I will take credit for finding the perfect one for their house.  It was a fun little outing and we braved the rainy, downpour.  Little Mr. took a nap on the ride out so we WP_20141128_0023bundled hip up and put him under dads rain coat to stay cozy until he eventually woke hearing all the excitement.  We picked it and then had the owner come and cut it down for us.  We watched and then I took Alvin and showed him how to could the rings of the tree to see how oldpicFrame (28) it was.  We carefully counted 17 rings and Alvin delighted in knowing his trees age.  We hauled it down to a machine that shook off the old pin needle and spiders from it’s branches.  That was really interesting I had never seen that before.  We paid the huge sum of $15, awesome deal right?!  Tied to the roof and home we went to find it’s final corner.  I’m sure we will have to do this someday with our Little Mr. so maybe we’ll get a cute little table top tree when we do it!  Less needles to clean up if we get a small one!  Thanks to my dearest Clines, our family, for giving us another fun memory!

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15

A Year, doesn’t it go by in a blink

Dec
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It’s been a year: one year since the birth of our amazing miracle baby.  His birth, weighing in at a huge 3lb 13oz, was miraculous and I use that word with real thought and depth of feeling.  It wasn’tWP_20131220_005 happenstance that he came to us, and the people who were part of that amazing process were surely guided by the hand of a loving thoughtful Heavenly Father.  As I look back and remember the steps along the road to his adoption, and the steps since, I know that they testify of the divinity of our loving God who watches over all.  Even in our times of loss or pain, of which there were many, even those testify of His grace.  He molded us into the people we are now to help us to truly appreciate the miracle of our Little Mr.  The past year has taught me about love: the kind that looks beyond this life and into the next.  Without this little angel that I am so lucky to call mine, I would not have had the blessing of feeling that, of experiencing that.  So while yesterday marked a year of his life, that day also signifies so much more, as it continues to remind me and stand as yet another example of my Savior’s love.  What a wonderful reminder I will have for the rest of my life. Happy Birthday, My Little Mr, you have given us such immeasurable joy.

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03

Christmas Card time

Dec
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Its that time of year and the cards are in!  I love creating our card each year.  I’m weird and start thinking about the design and info in July, yes I know CRAZY!  If I don’t start that early, at least thinking about it, it won’t happen!  I know that an actual card can be a little old fashioned with all this email high tech’ery.  But isn’t there something nice about getting something other than adverts and bills in the mail?  Something fun and from a friend/family?  Though each card is the same each address is reviewed and thought about and each person on the list is someone our family cares for and it may be silly but it’s thoughtful in a way.  To know that someone is thinking of you want wants to share their tid-bit of life with you.  Christmas is in the air and our greeting will be on its way soon!

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01

Pies a Plenty

Dec
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So with my fear of pie making behind me I set out to make a few pies for Thanksgiving.  2 double layered chocolate Oreo pies.  A key lime because who doesn’t like a little tang.  Then came the last 2 a chocolate pecan, which is based off this recipe, but instead I left out the pretzels entirely, they remind me too much of the pretzel raspberrypicFrame (26) desert, which is really yummy but the pecans add enough crunch I think.  I also melted the chocolate and added it to the filling before I added the pecans at the end, making the filling more chocolaty gooey.  And then a peanut butter pie with chocolate graham cracker crust.  I referenced a few different pie recipes and pulled all the ingredients that sounded good to me and made a peanut concoction of delicious goodness.  Brushed the top with leftover chocolate and it turned out not only pretty but creamy, smooth, and yummy.  They will be perfect for our Thanksgiving breakfast, yes that’s right we want to make sure we have plenty of room for pie so we eat those first thing Thanksgiving morning!  A fun tradition that was shared with us and we decided to add it to our family.  Everything turned out wonderfully, Thanksgiving pies we’re a success

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30

December 1st 2014

Nov
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It’s that time of year where we cuddle down, grab a blanket and a cup of Cocoa and watch White Christmas!  I love that show!  Bing Crosby was my favorite Christmas artist as a child and still to this day.  His voice brings back memories and smells to my mind of the season.   The deep and un-auto tuned sound of his voice is really lovely and I could listen to his version of White Christmas, with the whistle section forever, that song is Christmas to me.  Happy December lovelies, I hope your all excited for the season!  We were challenged by our home teacher to reflect on and take time to study the life and Atonement of our Savior during this season.   I really appreciated that challenge as much as we may try to have a Christ centered holiday it is often difficult with all that goes a long with the season.  So while I will enjoy my Bing, I will also make time to focus on something infinitely more important, my personal relationship with my Savior.  And this is the Season for that!

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24

Clam-cation

Nov
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So My Mr. is kinda a Clamming King!  He is so patient and persistent, rain or shine My Mr. will find the those little beasts and harvest them.  The clamming season is really sporadic here in Washington, opening and closing at random times.  With a little luck though he picked a weekend perfectly and he headed out with the scouts recently on a rainy weekend to Long Beach Washington.  Using his trusty clam gun he dug and dug and hit his limit of 15 lovely clams to bring home.  He boiling and shelled them, made a lovely batter to incrust them in and yes, fried them!  This has to be done outside as I really don’t like my house smelling of oil.  But his recipe was perfection and we enjoyed them for the next few days. 

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21

Hitting the Bottle

Nov
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WP_20141024_011With the business of the summer flowing into the autumn days we have been really reluctant this year to bottle.  But with bountiful baskets offering pears I jumped at the opportunity.  In general I’m not really a bottled fruit fan, I guess I prefer it fresh and having grown up on bottled fruit maybe I got a little sick of it.  Whatever the case I have little motivation to bottle it.  With the exception of Pears.  I love them!  My parents have a beautiful pear tree in their back yard, my father really looks after it and prunes it to ensure a lovely, well kept shape and optimal pear production.   So it produces quite a few pears along with being a beautiful tree.  So I think that’s where my pear love comes from.  Speaking of which I’m going to stop writing this post for a moment and got open a bottle to eat while I write! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ok, back to or pears, they came individually wrapped in green wax paper (fancy), which made me feel like I was opening presents!  I love the red color of these pears, screams fall don’t you think?  I felt bad removing the skin but scarifies must be made.  So we pealed and cored and filled and sealed and it was done.  Now we have a nice little stash of pears to enjoy for the rest of the year, if we can ration them that long.picFrame (20)

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20

A Pie for My Guy

Nov
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So after my knee surgery I was so grateful for a loving Mr. who took the time to take care of me after and support me in the week following the surgery.  I wanted to do something to say thank you, but no gift really seemed right, nor would he want me to spend money on him.  SO my options were limited.  Then it came to me, a pie!  My Mr. is an avid pie lover, it was kinda his families thing.  It was not my families thing, unless you count a traditional pumpkin and jello chocolate pudding as “our thing.”  I guess we just weren’t really pie people, but My Mr REALLY IS.  He commented one day how it was pie season and how he was craving one.  Now to me the word pie means “time consuming” and with little Mr. around  “time consuming” can be reallypicFrame (19) difficult with a teething baby.  But the stars aligned and one miraculous Friday I was able to make a beautiful Pecan Pie for My Mr.  It’s kinda his favorite pie so I researched a recipe, asked a pie crust genius (thanks Meri) for a novice crust recipe and WahLaaaaaA!  My beautiful pie came our of the oven looking and smelling incredible! 

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19

Oh Knee

Nov
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With my evil knee swelling, yet again, I sought yet another second or maybe 3rd opinion.  The new Dr drained the knee and told me to come back in if it swelled again.  With in 12 hours we were back where we started and prepping to schedule a scope (arthroscopy).  They bumped up theV__6962 surgery to ensure that there was still swelling on the knee to help track down the issue.  I for one hate being put under, I inevitably get so nauseated from the pain killers or the remnants of anesthesia.  But we knew it was the best option in solving this ongoing problem, this was the next step.  So we arrived and went through the general check in and prep process.  My Mr. was cool as a cucumber not even worried, I was anxious due to the aforementioned results and the uncertainty of my knee’s state when I would get out.  But he tried with all his might to keep me positive and distracted.  The Dr. would go in and take a look, clean out the fluid V__363Fand anything else that may come along and biopsy the tissue an another fail safe to figuring out my condition.  Eventually the nurse came, like the grim reaper, she was very nice actually, but her presence meant that I would make the walk down the hall to my fate under my own will power, and consent.  And  I thought, “your crazy, why are you doing this.”  They were prepping the room for my little nap as I walked in.  Laid me down and I believe the last words I said were, “oh it’s getting a little fuzzy.”  Next thing I know I’m in recovery.  I did pretty well while at the clinic then as I left and My Mr drove me home the nausea commenced, and increased as I made the short walk to our bedroom.  The next hours were not the most pleasant so I will spare you the play by play.   The weeks that have followed have been hard, and nothing I was at all prepared for.  The pain and lack or mobility, having to crawl my toes across the floor as I slid to the restroom, the pain surged up my thigh and down to my ankle.  My sweet nurse of a husband took great care of me and the boy.  PaxtonWP_20141024_005 cuddled by my side, as I elevated and iced.  And sweet ward member brought food or stopped by with treats to help my spirits, my love and appreciation goes out to them.  The recovery has been slow, the bruising has been really colorful and spotted from upper thigh to my ankle, don’t worry I won’t post photos of those, even I think they’re disturbing!  Each day I spend at least 30 minutes on a bike trainer trying to get my knee strength back, and each day when I get WP_20141112_002up I hope that the swelling will be gone, not quite the case . . . . yet, but I’m trying to remain positive I’m making great strides and the mobility and bend is much better.  So I’m on my way, however slowly, my patience is surly being tested and I’m persevering.  I’m optimistic that I’m on the mend!

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17

Thanksgiving Reflection

Nov
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In this season of Thanksgiving I share my feelings of gratitude as I reflect back on this time last year. 

This week marks the one year anniversary of the greatest news we have ever received.  Our wonderful birth mother called us and told us that she had chosen us to adopt her baby.  I remember next to nothing about this day except that incredible call.  The gratitude and love I have for this amazing woman and her wonderful husband are beyond words.  They are like family to us, she has in the year since Little Mr.s birth become the little sister that My Mr and I never had.  We share a love so deep that the feelings and words of this world cannot describe it.  We are bound by something so much deeper then blood and greater than love.  It is indescribable to me.  As I have had time recently to reflect on the place I was in last year I am even more grateful and can see how my Heavenly Father was gently preparing me.  I was involved in the practice of regular personal and family prayer, my scripture study was meaningful, I was in a job where I was able to share the Gospel and dispel rumors which was gratifying to me.  At this same time a beautiful young woman was doing the same, preparing herself spiritually and making one of the biggest decisions of her life.  We were all in the right place, we are all doing the right things.   After all the talks, lessons and scriptures that over the years have been repeatedly testified to me of these principles I can now testify for myself of it’s truthfulness of these teachings.  We have seen how doing those small and simple things in our lives prepare us to receive, recognize and appreciate the gifts our Heavenly Father gives.  They have blessed our life in immeasurable ways. 

Now we look forward to the future, so incredibly grateful for all that we have been given; our son, his birth parents and their amazing supportive families, and the creation of our Forever Family.  The blessings of this world are real and I am grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have that makes them all that much sweeter.  I love you Kayla & Zach.

 

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17

A Halloween to Remember

Nov
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IMG_6742I have forever been planning the first Halloween with our child.  So this year I was so excited I had our costumes completed before September was over, yes I’m a nut and over preparer.  Regardless I knew that we had to be something STAR WARS, obviously.  But the issue is well . . . . . Leia.  So the metal bikini was out right off the bat.picFrame (18)  And the white dress and ear buns is well so over done I really didn’t want to have to resort to that.  And then it came to me, the strong, blaster wielding, forest racing,  “I Love you, I know” Leia from “RETURN OF THE JEDI!”  It was perfect and of course it made perfect sense that my little V__229BMr. would go as Wickett the always adorable ewok who steals Leia’s heart!  My Mr. would round out our costumes with his dashing Han Solo costume, blaster in tow.  I prepped our costumes by painting my poncho out of drop cloth canvas (while little Mr. took his naps).  Little Mr’s bear costume came in simply the wrong color brown so I got some dye, boiled it in a pot, making it the lovely brown it is, my Mom contributed to our Halloween cause and found some amazing fabric to make his head covering, and we dyed it orange and frayed the edges for the perfect effect.  My Mr’s black vest was refurbished from a black long sleeve shirt with the sleeves cut off and stripspicFrame (17) added to make it look more utility.  On the day of the Halloween party I spent forever learning how to Dutch braid my hair to get the perfect Leia look, I will never braid like this again it was insanely hard to do on myself.  And regardless of my lovely knee brace the costume still worked out pretty well.  It all turned out great and was the perfect first Halloween costumes for our family.

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