Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I love having a blog. I love the freedom it allows me to just be me. This is my own little space, my own little platform, to talk about whatever I want. I can complain if I want to (although most the time I choose not to...not here at least), I can express my fears and my sorrows, or the things that bring me the most joy and happiness. I love to express my feelings about my faith and my Savior because those things make up a big chunk of who I am. Here I can dote on my daughter as much as I want to, and I can brag about all the fun we have together, too. Really, if it's on my mind (and appropriate to share)...you'll probably find it here, on my blog.
Today I think I'll use my blog to do some plugging for John. One of the things that I admire most about John is his work ethic. When I first met his mom, she began telling me how John, ever since he was a small child, has always put 110% into everything he does. It didn't take very long for me to find that out for myself. Whether it's his calling at church, or his role as a husband and father, or even if he's just playing on a softball league...John puts his all into everything he does. I've been so proud of him since we made this move to Arizona. I know it's not easy to start over in a completely foreign industry; but we felt good about this particular career change, even if it meant having to move away from everything that we knew and loved in Utah. It's been almost two years since John began working with his dad and brother in the insurance business; and honestly, I couldn't be more proud of the things that he has learned, and the way in which he has contributed to building up the business, and providing for our family.
Recently, John was responsible for implementing a new product that is awesome for anyone thinking about getting pregnant. Basically, it's supplemental coverage that helps you pay for what your primary (and secondary) health plans don't cover. This supplemental insurance will give you the cash needed to pay for your deductible and co-payments, and in most instances, after you have paid off all of your bills from your delivery and hospital stay, you will have excess cash (we're talking thousands) to use however you wish! The only catch is, you have to have this coverage in place at least 10 months before you deliver your baby. So just to be safe, you should wait to get pregnant at least a couple of months after signing up. We actually applied for this coverage a few years ago, but then had to cancel, because, unbeknownst to us, I was already pregnant with Isaac! So sad. At the same time, we had told some of our friends about it, so they singed up, got pregnant shortly after...and nine months later (after the birth of their son), they got a check for like 7 grand! It really is a no brainer! Everyone should be doing this! If you're interested, let me know (leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can make sure John gets you all the information you need. Plus he will do a much better job of explaining exactly how it works, and discussing which plan would be best for your individual needs and situation. He works in all 50 states, too, so it doesn't really matter where you live.
This really is the best thing since sliced bread...I mean really, what woman doesn't deserve a few extra grand...especially after delivering a baby? :)
Posted by nicole at 3:02 PM
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Ruby is so funny. Tonight she dressed us each in a pair of her little tiny dolly shoes (they would only fit on our big toes), and then wanted us all to go bye bye. John and I thought it was hilarious, but to her it wasn't the least bit funny. To her, it made complete sense. One day she'll understand that shoes are not to be worn on one's toes, just as John's work shirts are not "daddy's dresses", his briefcase is not "daddy's purse", and his wedding band is not "daddy's earring".
For now, we just play along; and love that she is always keeping us on our toes...literally.
Posted by nicole at 9:42 PM
Sunday, July 6, 2008
One of the hardest things about making the move to Arizona, was the thought of being so far away from the resting place of our firstborn. We know that he's not really there, but it feels good to be able to have a place to go and visit, and reminisce, and celebrate, and dream, and hope, and also to just empty our tears...
To lessen the pain of being so far away, we decided that every year on Isaac's birthday, we'd come back to that special place, and have a little memorial/birthday party in his honor. Sadly, for a number of reasons, we weren't able to make it up this year. Our hearts were broken because we wouldn't be there to commemorate his 3rd birthday. However, we did the best we could, being 700 miles away, to honor and remember him that day. John made a birthday cake, and the three of us sang Happy Birthday to him. Then, after putting Ruby down for the night, we pulled his special box down from one of the shelves in the garage and rummaged through all the painful memories and broken dreams. The little outfits that we had excitedly purchased when we found out we were having a boy. The baseball decorations that would adorn his nursery. The pajamas with matching cap and blanket from grandma Judy. The teeny tiny shoes that grammy and grandpa Pitts had given us as a congratulatory gesture. The giraffe blanket that we paid way too much money for...
And then the scraps from the satin white blanket that we buried him in, and photos of us holding him in our arms, and the guestbook from his funeral, and copies of his obituary, and the tonka truck and baseball that were left on his headstone for his (would be) first birthday...and all the other painful reminders...reminders that he's not here. In that box we also found a cassette tape of his graveside service. It had been 3 years since we had listened to it so we went out and played it in the car (the only tape deck that we have), and cried, and cried, and cried as we remembered all too clearly the day we placed his body into the cold hard ground. I remember during that time feeling like I would never be able to smile again. I literally felt like my world had come crashing down, and that it would never be the same again. Well, although I have gone on to enjoy life, and to smile, and laugh; I was right about one thing...my world isn't the same as it was before. That very event changed the course of my life forever...but it changed for the better. I know that I am the person I am today because of the trials that I have experienced. They have made me better, and stronger, and more able to empathize with others who are hurting from a loss in their lives. Plus, the thought of being able to raise our Isaac someday, makes me want to try harder, love deeper, live fuller, and be better in every way.
Because we weren't able to make it up to the grave this year, our families made a point to go in our stead. My dad and step mom went up on his birthday, along with three of my sisters, my brother-in-law, and nephew. John's mom, two brothers, sister-in-law, and two nephews, went up the following day to pay their respects. I can't even express how grateful I am to have such loving and supportive families. My dad was literally a rock and pillar to us all during the days and weeks before and after our loss. John's brother, Paul, did so much, too. My mother-in-law put over two thousand miles on her car during the two weeks that I was hospitalized, driving to and from Provo and Salt Lake. Our siblings came and visited, brought gifts, offered prayers, provided words of encouragement and hope, smiled for us, cried with us. I couldn't have made it though those couple of weeks without the love and support of our families. And still, three years later, I am so grateful for everything they did, and continue to do for us.
My dad and sister, Kim, have been learning to play the bagpipes for the past two years now, so last week when they visited the grave, they played together in Isaac's honor. They filmed the whole thing for us, and sent a copy of the DVD. I was in tears as I watched their beautiful offering to us and to our son. I hope that as you watch it, you will be touched as well. I added some pictures from some of our previous graveside celebrations and put them to a beautiful song written by John's cousin, Lauri. The song is entitled Thinking of You from her album, A Mother's Heart, and was dedicated to the memory of our little Isaac Joshua.
I also want to thank so many of our dear friends for sharing in our pain and sorrow, and for being there to ease our burdens. Bryce and Diana made us a CD of the graveside service so we never again will have to go out to our car to listen to it. Thanks you guys. We love you.
Also, we have a wonderful friend from the ward we were in at the time, who wrote this poem for us just after our loss. I read it often as it brings me so much comfort and peace.
I had never thought about this before...that for as many times as we have prayed for our sweet Isaac, he is most likely praying for us too.
God bless, our sweet little Isaac...oh how we love and miss you.
Posted by nicole at 4:33 PM
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Not only do I love this particular holiday for the aforementioned reasons, but I also love the secular traditions that surround this day. I love how our activities, and even our food are so reminiscent of feel-good americana.
Here's just an outline of our day. If you ask me, it really doesn't get much more all-american than this.
10:00-12:30 swimming...it was wonderful, we had the pool completely to ourselves :)
12:30-2:00 lunch at Johnny Rockets...cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, cokes, and strawberry milk shakes
2:00-4:00 home for naps
5:00-8:00 BBQ with family...all the usual bbq stuff...hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, chips, pasta salad, 7 layer dip, strawberry lemonade, and homemade ice cream
8:30-10:00 fireworks at the community college
I just realized, and had to laugh, at how much of this holiday (and all holidays) really is centered around food. And this year was no exception...as we literally ate half the day away!
In retrospect, I guess the only thing that would have culminated our all-american experience, would have been hitting up a diamondback's ball game. Oh well, you just can't do it all. As it was, at the end of the day, we were completely wiped out...as one can tell from this photo...
Ruby and momma relaxin' during the fireworks
Posted by nicole at 7:31 PM
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Ruby showing John the moon
I love spending time with my little Ruby. She is at an age where she is really starting to discover the world around her. She is constantly pointing out her surroundings. It's especially fun now that she's talking so much, because she points to something and then in the most excited little tone, she tells us what it is. I'm surprised by how much she knows, without having taught her myself. I especially love taking her outside. She is so observant and so fascinated with nature and wildlife. She notices the trees and the flowers, the birds and the sun. She even loves and appreciates being caught in the rain. The other day we were out and about, when it just completely started pouring down on us. I'll have to admit, I was a little put out by it, but not Ruby. She raised her hands high above her head and declared "water! momma! water!", with one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Being with her makes me realize how truly grateful I am for our surroundings, and to live in such a beautiful world. Too often I go about my business without even giving a thought to all the wonderments around me. Too often I take them for granted and forget to stop for a moment to enjoy, and to be thankful. I'm grateful to my little Ruby for teaching me to slow down, to notice, to appreciate, to relish...
Because when I do, I am overwhelmed with the love of my Savior, and with gratitude for Him for creating something so beautiful...for me. How anyone could behold so many breathtaking colors dispersed across the sky with the rising and falling of the sun, or observe as the powerful ocean waves crash upon the shoreline, or study the moon and the stars and how they light up the night's sky, or examine the vein-like patterns and spirals and details contained in one single petal of one single flower, or regard a bird building a nest, or a spider it's web, or lie in the grass under a giant shade tree... and not feel gratitude in their hearts is beyond me. And how anyone could behold these things, and not believe in God, baffles my mind. For I have always loved the words of Alma to the antichrist, Korihor, who - when Korihor asked him to send him a sign of God's existence - responded "...all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and it's motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
I'm glad that I have a two year old who is just now discovering the world; because it gives me a chance to discover it all over again...through her eyes.
Posted by nicole at 1:58 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
American Idols Live! 2008 tour debuted last night...here in Arizona!
John gave me tickets for my birthday back in May, so we had to wait awhile, but it was well worth the wait. It was amazing! Each performer (starting with the bottom) sang three songs, and then the top two finalists (the David's) each sang four or five. Throughout the whole show, only two group numbers were performed, which was okay by me...that way each person's unique talent and sound were really showcased. I was amazed at how well everyone did. Seriously, they all sounded AWESOME!
The best part about the night, was that I got to spend it with John. I love spending time like this with him, and I love that he's always planning things for us to do and enjoy together....things that keep our marriage fun and alive.
I regret that I didn't get any good pictures during the sets (we were just too far away), but I did find this on youtube...
That little David...he's just amazing.
I also managed to have a little fun spelling our names in the lights with my camera...
Not too bad, eh?
Posted by nicole at 7:16 PM