Tuesday, September 28, 2010

jammy day

Not quite sure how I feel about today. It was a doozie I tell ya. Have you ever had to go a night and a day without water? I don't really recommend it. I was out last night and got a text from John with some good news and bad. The good news was that he had fixed the toilet which had been out of service since Friday. Hallelujah. As for the bad?...Well, in the process, the valve which controls our main water source had broken. It was way too late to call a plumber, so we just had to make do until this morning. I guess I never really realized how much I rely on running water...until it's taken away. You can go to the bathroom, but can't flush the toilet or wash your hands. Brushing your teeth isn't very enjoyable without water. No morning showers. Couldn't wash the kids' strawberries for breakfast, or asher's grimy hands and face after he had eaten. What just about did me in, though, was when I caught him swishing his hands in the toilet...the same toilet we had all peed in, but couldn't flush. I swooped him up, lathered his hands and arms with soap, and turned on the faucet...to nothing. Oh yeah. No water.
Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and disposable disinfectant cloths can only go so far.
There's definitely something to be said for good old fashioned soap and water.
The plumber said he'd be out between 10 and noon...but we all know the story, they say between 10 and 12, what they really mean is one. Frustrating.
By the time he left, I was too exhausted to even care that we had water, and just went straight to bed. We all woke up around 4:30ish, and by that time, I just couldn't see the sense in even taking a shower. I declared the day a jammy day, and the kids and I just basically lay around as if it were 7 in the morning. What a waste.

Thinking back, I guess there were a few exciting moments disbursed in our otherwise colorless day. Asher, whom John just pegged as "the tornado" (it's a perfect name for him, I can't believe I didn't come up with it on my own) completely ran amuck while I was talking with my friend Tara on the phone. Kids are pretty smart, they'll usually wait til mom is on the phone - distracted and somewhat vulnerable - to misbehave. They scream and cry and throw all sorts of fits - knowing full well that mom will stuff their faces with treats and snacks just to keep them quiet so that she can actually think while she converses. Ruby used to do that. Who am I kidding? She still totally does that. Well Asher, he's smart too, but in a different sort of way. He takes advantage of my diversion from him, to disappear and get into things. During the duration of my 20 minute phone call, I found him standing on the kitchen counter with a sharp carving knife in his hand, in my bedroom spraying aerosol hairspray on my dresser, and in the bathtub squirting conditioner all over his clothes, all over his head, and all over the shower walls. I was also on the phone when I caught him playing in the pee-water from the toilet. I later related the story to John, and that's when he dubbed Asher a tornado - which totally made me laugh...even though I really just wanted to cry.

Ruby put a little spin on the day, too, which explains why I posted the above photo. John normally takes her to school on his way to work; but since this morning was thrown off due to our plumbing issues, I volunteered to take her myself. I was in my jammies, of course, and was heading out the door, keys in hand...when Ruby said:

Ummmm mom, I don't think you can wear those, I noticed that they had a water spot down on the leg.

Oh really? I replied. Well, it's dry now, so I guess we're ok.

So you're going to wear those to take me to school?

Yes, Ruby, but I'll be staying in the car, remember? No one will even see me.

Ummmm, mom, Miss Arlene told us that our mommies and daddies are not allowed to drop us off in their jammies.

Since when did my little baby start growing up and becoming embarrassed of her mother?
I guess gone are the days I could do no wrong in her eyes.

I'm a little sad/ashamed to have admit that the highlight of my day was putting the children to bed.
But then I can't be too hard on myself, because if I hadn't put them to bed, I'd have never seen this.

And this I tell you...

just about melted my heart.

Friday, September 24, 2010

my little lentil

Dear Baby Mine,

Right now you're only about the size of a lentil. Yep, just 1/4 inch long.
How is it then, that your mommy is getting so big already?
My body is rapidly changing... my stomach is expanding, my waist is thickening.
Not looking pregnant at all, just pudgy. Like really pudgy.

It's also hard to believe that something so small could be the cause of so much worry and anxiety.
I worry about you. A lot. Maybe more than I should.
I lie awake for hours at night because of my over-anxiety for you.
It's just that we've waited so long for you, and now that you're here, well, I couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to you.
I think about you all the time, I pray for you every chance I get.
I hope you don't think I'm complaining.
I'd gladly do anything for you.
In fact, if getting you, dear baby, meant that I'd never sleep another ounce, and ended up gaining 200 pounds...well, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
For you. I would.
Speaking of heartbeats...I get to hear yours soon.
Make it strong for your daddy and me.

I love you so.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I thought it was pretty cute when John took it upon himself to curl Ruby's hair while I was away. What I didn't think was cute, however, was when he took it upon himself to shave Asher's head; and this time I was not out of town, but right there in the same room getting ready for church. The funny thing, is that John didn't even say a word, he just sat Asher up on our bathroom counter, and started buzzing him. By the time I realized what what going on, it was a split second too late. John had already shaved a strip going right down the middle of Asher's head. I was appalled. I screamed. But it was too late...and at that point, there was nothing I could do but let him finish what he had started, and hold back the tears as I watched clumps of Asher's hair fall to the ground below. I have no idea what possessed John to do that, especially without my accordance and consent. Now, I still think Asher is the most adorable thing on the planet, it just took me a few days to get used to the change. I think John learned a very valuable lesson from all of this, which is - curling irons make me happy...clippers? not so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

cutest thing

Last weekend, as John was sending me off to Utah, he assured me that everything would be taken care of while I was away. Since the trip was a last minute surprise, I didn't have time to think of much else other than making sure I had my own bag packed, and that I was at least able to get a shower in for the day.
Despite his guarantees, I couldn't help but wonder how he would fare Sunday morning, having to get both kids ready for church on his own. When he told me that evening that he had actually curled Ruby's hair, I was in shock. Now throwing a headband in her recently washed, wet hair, or using a clip or two to pull her bangs back and out of her eyes, is one thing; but to hear that he actually picked up a curling iron (for the first time in his life), and in fact, put it to use, far surpassed my expectations. I was disappointed that he didn't at least take a picture of it.
Well, lucky for me, he repeated the whole process the next morning; and before taking the kids to our friend's house to be watched for the day, he took a few pictures. When I opened the files on my phone, I couldn't help but smile, smile and laugh, and feel grateful all over again again
for my loving husband who lives to make me happy,
who exceeds my expectations... a lot,
and who never ceases to amaze me.

How would I ever fare without him?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


During this most recent trip back home, I spent some time rummaging through old photo albums. Photo albums which mostly contained pictures of my mom from her childhood. She was such a beautiful child. I about died when I found these silhouettes. The artist had signed and dated them '60, which means she would have been 4 years old - Ruby's exact age. I was surprised at how much they actually resemble my Ruby. The copies and scans aren't nearly as beautiful as the originals, but ones I will treasure, nonetheless.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


for those who don't have facebook...

After 3 years of trying...countless prayers, countless tears, and almost just as many 'negative' pregnancy tests...we're happy to announce that our dream of growing our family is finally becoming a reality! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Baby E #3 will be born in may...and of course, we couldn't be more thrilled!

Dear Baby Mine,

I found out a couple of days ago that you've already started growing inside me. I can't even describe the emotions that overcame me the moment that plus sign appeared on the pregnancy test. I've probably taken 50 pregnancy tests in the last three years and none of them had ever looked like that one. Like I said, the feelings were pretty powerful. Immediately I started shaking. I mean like shaking so hard that the only other thing I could do, or even wanted to do (besides cry, of course...but that's a given) was to fall to my knees. I dropped down, right then and there, and poured out my whole heart and soul in gratitude to my Heavenly Father.

Dear sweet baby, prayer works. I want you to know that our Heavenly Father hears our prayers. If you ever have problems - I should say, when you have problems...because you will, mortality is just full of them - or when you have questions or doubts, or when you just want something so bad, it hurts - Pray to your Father in Heaven. Plead with Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Cry unto Him. Make sure that those prayers reach the Heavens, and I can promise you that He will hear them. Not only will He hear them, but He will answer them...maybe not in the way you had expected or hoped, but what He has in store for us, baby, is better than anything we could ever dream up for ourselves. The key is aligning our own will, with His. That's probably one of the most important things you can learn about this mortal experience...if you make yourself one with God, you will never go wrong in life; and even more importantly you will make it back to Him one day. It's taken me so long - my whole lifetime really - to figure that out, and I'm not even close to where I need to be. It's not as easy as it sounds.

I think one of the hardest life lessons that we must learn, is patience. Especially in this day and age, where everything is quick and convenient. It's a fast paced world, sweet baby, one full of instant gratification, and the need for immediate results. We know what we want, and we want it now. Practicing patience is difficult in this society that we belong. It can be nearly impossible to simply slow down, take a deep breath, and just enjoy. Enjoy family. Enjoy blessings. And enjoy life...just the way it is; because it changes. It always does.
I think the Lord had some of these important lessons for me to learn, because I wanted you three years ago. If I'd have gotten my way, you'd be 2 years and 4 months old by now. But then we wouldn't have adopted your big brother, Asher. You just wait, baby, once you meet your big brother, Asher, your life will never be the same. He is amazing. I cannot imagine our life and our family without him in it. And I believe with all my heart, that that's the reason we've had to wait for you.
But you know what they say about good things coming to those who wait? I feel deep down that this is the case with you, little one. You are just so, so good.

Last week was hard for me. I was starting to doubt a bit (which I hate admitting, but it was a weak moment for me), doubt and wonder if we'd ever be blessed to meet you. I longed for you, and cried a lot in the process. Your sweet and intuitive daddy asked me if I'd like a blessing. I gladly accepted his offer, knowing that there was nothing in this world that could calm my troubled heart and despairing soul quite like the Power of God. The blessing pierced deep inside me. Through your dad, Heavenly Father spoke right to me. He told me that He was so aware and mindful of our family, of our situation, and of my hurt and sadness. He told me that He had great things in store for our family. That our family was not yet complete, and that He was preparing us, and our home, for a very special spirit. A spirit, He said, that would bless our lives forever. Did you catch that? That spirit is you! And little did I know that you were already forming inside of me at that very moment. I felt such a sense of peace and calm as daddy blessed me.
So that's another thing, my sweet, never ever doubt your self worth. You are one of Heavenly Father's precious spirits, a spirit so special that you will bless the lives of your family members forever. That sounds pretty special to me...forever's an awfully long time.
You have been reserved to come down at a very important time - the timing, in fact, has been very meticulously planned and thought out by our Father in Heaven; because remember if it had been up to me, you would already be here. For some reason - a very important reason, I have no doubt - your time is now. It's a good thing we're in Father's hands. He knows so much more about us and our lives then we ever will.

Well sweet baby, I must say that I have a hard time expressing exactly how I feel. My feelings are so real and so deep, but I struggle a lot...getting them out. I hope I've at least been able to convey this much...that I love you. My love for you (even though I haven't even met you, and have yet to feel you move and grow inside of me) is absolute, it's tangible, and it's oh so perfect.

Just. Like. You.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

re energized

I don't quite know how to explain the way I've been feeling lately. I guess if I had to describe it in one word, the word would be...down. I can't think of a specific event or series of events that have triggered these gloomy feelings; but for a while now I've felt them, and they make it hard for me to function the way that I should as a wife, a mom, a friend...a member of the church. John - the sweet and understanding person he is - always picks up the slack, and never utters a word of complaint. I always wonder what I did to deserve him. He is a saint. My dad has a couple of nicknames for John - Saint John, actually, being one of them - John the Beloved, the other. I'll be the first to attest, he truly does live up to both titles.

Last week was especially tough for me. Thursday night I received a blessing from my loving husband, and then went straight to bed. I woke up Friday morning feeling a bit better, went to lunch with a dear friend (which was a lot of fun and much needed); but then walking through the door into a messy house, blighted any motivation I may have had; and by nightfall, I was feeling as low as ever. Ruby and I had attempted to decorate the house for Halloween, but nothing was looking right; and by the time we had all four bins unpacked - with their contents strewn across the entire house - I was already checked-out, and wanted nothing more than to climb into bed. So that's exactly what we did...just left it all abandoned on the family room floor, and called it a night. John had an all day scout training that he had to attend on Saturday, which I was not at all looking forward to. We had planned to have some friends over that night for a BBQ, and with John being gone all day, I knew I'd have to singlehandedly get everything in order for our company. Now on a normal day, that would not be a problem at all...the task is definitely something I could handle on my own. But in a downcast and listless state, everything seems hard...even easy things sometimes feel impossible. John got up early Saturday, readied himself, and was out the door for his training - but not without showering me with multiple goodbye kisses and hugs, a flash of his million dollar smile, and the verbal assurance that "today will be a great day". What does he know? I thought. I'm left alone on a Saturday to take care of the kids, finish the decorating, clean up the bomb that we were calling our house, and then not only buy, but also prepare, all the food for our gathering that night. It felt like an impossible and overwhelming task. I was definitely wallowing in self pity...when...something happened. Something wonderful happened. It was the Spirit. It had to have been the Spirit because I was too completely wrapped up in my problems to have been capable of a switch like that on my own. Suddenly a surge of excitement gushed through my veins, and I almost couldn't wait to get a jump-start on the day. I started making plans, and actually getting excited about the day's prospects and possibilities. It was 6:15 in the morning, and if I got right on it, I'd be able to get a couple hours of work done before the kids woke up. John was right, it was going to be great...I could just feel it. I hopped up out of bed and straight to the bathroom I went. It wasn't until I began putting my contacts in, that I noticed the envelope taped to the vanity mirror. Knee-Cool it read (John called me ni-cool while we were dating)...written in red marker - obviously John's handwriting. I tore it open and immediately began crying as I read his thoughtful letter and realized what he had done. Attached to the letter was a boarding pass for a flight to Utah later that afternoon. In the letter, he reminded me of the promise we had made to each other a couple of years ago on our way home from Paul's movie premier in Vegas. It was a promise that we would do everything in our power to support our family members in their important undertakings, and to be present for their special events. My dad had recently been called as the Branch President over a newly organized singles' branch in our stake. He was to be sustained and set apart on Sunday, and would also be speaking in this new branch. I knew it wouldn't be possible with John's all day scout training on Saturday, and his important work seminars on Monday and Tuesday, to try and make the trip to Utah to support my dad. One can only imagine my surprise, then, to receive that letter and plane ticket. I could not contain my excitement, and it was manifested through my tears...lots and lots of tears. John also indicated in his letter that he wanted this to be a trip to "re energize my sweet Nicole". I cried even harder when I read that last line. I truly have been blessed with one of the kindest-hearted individuals this world has ever known. He is so sensitive to my feelings, my needs, my desires, my fears, my disappointments. I knew there was no way of repaying him for this special gift, but I did my best to make sure things were nice and in order for the little party (that he'd be hosting without me) that night. He was my motivation and my inspiration. And suddenly what I had previously labeled as an overwhelming and daunting chore, became...well, not a chore at all...but something I thoroughly enjoyed. It was fun putting the finishing touches on our Halloween display. It was fun cleaning up the house and putting everything in it's proper place. The kids and I even enjoyed shopping for and preparing all the food. It's fun doing things for other people...it helps you forget about your own problems for a while. I'm glad that the Spirit helped me to realize that before I had opened John's special letter and received his selfless gift. I would have felt pretty ridiculous had I carried on with that woe is me attitude.
Thanks to John, I was able to enjoy a wonderful weekend with my family. I love hearing my dad speak. He is probably the most spiritual person I know. He has so much wisdom and knowledge to share, and is always so in tune with the Spirit. He gave me some advice on how to pull out of my gloom, and some ideas on how I can get a better handle on my own life. And thanks to him, Things are already looking up. I also became closer with my sisters, as we engaged in many heartfelt conversations. We talked about boys, and dating, and of course, our sweet mom. We all miss her...a lot. It was hard to be away from my John, and the children...but this little trip was really just what I needed to reclaim myself...or re energize, as John would say.

Thank you, Thank you...my Sweetheart. It was so needed, and more appreciated than you'll ever know. I love you so.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

farewell summer

Last night as I was leaving mutual and getting into my car - about a quarter to nine - I noticed that if felt a little cool. It was the first time in months that I had actually noticed a drop in temperature. And then this morning as John and I were leaving the house and heading to the temple - about half past six - we noticed the same thing...the air was noticeably cooler than it has been. Although it felt nice, at the same time, it made me a little sad. I am just an Arizona girl through and through. I really should have been born here. I love the sunshine. I love the heat...yes even the 118 degree heat. I love walking outside on a really hot day, and getting goosebumps from the sudden rise in temperature. I love taking my kids to the pool...and how warm the water gets from just the heat of the sun. I love popsicles and cold drinks and the healthy glow of sun-kissed skin. Everything about summer, really - I love. And this summer was no exception. Actually this summer may have been even better than some from the past. This summer we got Big Surf season passes. I heard about Big Surf for the very first time when I was a little girl. Mom was showing me the photo album from her and dad's honeymoon, and several of the pictures were taken at Big Surf. Back in those days it was pretty much just a giant wave pool, surrounded by sand. Dad told me that the day they were there, it was 110 degrees, in the shade, and that they burned their feet on the sun scorched sand. Quite a lot has changed, actually since the 70's. They've added additional slides, kiddie areas, and replaced all the sand with grass and concrete. The wavepool is the same in that it is just one giant wave that goes off ever 3 minutes, rather than sporadic and random waves all over the pool, which is not at all what the ocean is actually like. It's probably the oldest and smallest water park in Arizona, but for our family, it was a little paradise that we were able to enjoy together almost every single weekend.

Some of our favorite things were:
  • Chanting "Big Surf, Big Surf, Big Surf!" every time we pulled into the parking lot
  • Our orange wristbands (That was asher's favorite thing. He would proudly hold up his left hand while they secured the band on his wrist, and then he would admire it for several minutes.)
  • Racing everybody to get a shaded tikki hut
  • Friday night...staying up past bed time, swimming in the dark, and dancing to the loud music
  • Hours in the wave pool
  • Catching a wave and riding it all the way in
  • Double tube slides
  • Nachos
  • Naps in the shade
  • Labor day with the Costello's
  • Staying from open to close
  • Mcdonald's ice cream on the way home
Some of the things we'd just as soon forget:
  • Asher's blowouts
  • Asher's temper tantrums
  • Asher getting stung by a bee
Other than that, it was a pretty fun and unforgettable summer for all of us.

I made the mistake of letting Asher take a few pictures all by himself (see below). He did an ok job on the first one. And the others?...Well, maybe he was going for more of an artsy look.
It ended up being a mistake because of what how he reacted when I took the camera away from him...
He looks about how I feel, seeing it all come to an end.

Farewell summer.
Farewell Big Surf.
...until next year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the problem with blue eyes

Mom, I just love your beautiful green eyes.

Thank you Ruby, but I just love
your beautiful blue eyes.

Thanks mom, but the problem I've found with blue eyes, is that you can't see in the dark with blue eyes. I've tried it before, and it just doesn't work.