Friday, November 19, 2010

sew much love...

If you have ever served in the Young Women's program,
or are at all familiar with how YW is run,
you'll know all about the two big evening programs that happen every year.
First you've got New Beginnings - held at the beginning of each year,
and then there's Young Women in Excellence, at the end of the year.
Since I've been in YW, I've been involved in planning and executing eight of these special evening programs.
That's a lot.
Let's see if I can remember them all.
First we did a Movie Theme,
then A Night at the Museum,
Sailing Home to Safe Harbor,
Mission Possible,
a News Broadcast...
next there was For such a Time as This,
The Lord's Army Wants YOU!,
and most recently,
Patterning Your Life After Personal Progress...
Check all all the fun pictures below.
This one was fun.
We brought in all things "sewing"...
notions, fabrics, threads, buttons, patterns,
and even a perfect turquoise vintage sewing machine (thanks Diana).
We had several quilts on display, and an adorable mini dress garland strewn around the room.
Our Young Women's president gave the best talk, and put together an amazing slideshow of everything we've done the past year.
We gave each girl her own sewing kit - with a tag that read
We Love You "Sew" Much (Kind of dippy, I know).
Sarah made all the girls their very own patriarchal blessing holder (very special).
And the evening concluded with some of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever tasted, thanks to Shannon.

Sew perfect.

Each of these evenings necessitated hours of hard work and preparation.
They were planned with only the girls' best interest in mind.
They were carried out with love;
each evening turned out to be unique and fun in it's own special way.

I don't know what I'll do with myself the day they release me from Young Women's.
As I sat there on Wednesday night, and stared into each of their beautiful faces,
I couldn't help but feel overcome with emotion.
We have been through a lot these past four years.
Learning moments.
Teaching moments.

And, most importantly,

Sew much Love.

Monday, November 15, 2010

that freaked me out...

I don't know what the deal is, but it seems like every 3 or 4 months,
we find one of these little creeps somewhere in our house...

Today I found this one just strolling along our bathroom floor.
I made Ruby stand by him (but not too close) to make sure he didn't get away from us,
while I ran and grabbed my camera.
I had never in my life seen one this small.
I snagged a little prop for the photo shoot - a dime - just to demonstrate how miniscule he really was.
I mean, it literally would have taken 10 of these little ant-sized scorps to cover that one dime.
(Quite the contrast from the time we found a scorpion in our kitchen, so huge, it would have required roughly 10 dimes to cover just him.
Luckily, John killed that one, I would have never been brave enough to do that.)

Our poor little bathroom friend hadn't a clue of his unfortunate fate.
Immediately following his 30 seconds of fame and paparazzi,
He was mercilessly crushed beneath my shoe.

I was so freaked out while I was taking his picture, I had all these images of him leaping atop my lens and then stinging my eye. I know. Pretty funny.
But I do feel like some of my fears were justifiable, though.
First of all, those baby scorpions are known to release more venom in their sting than the full-grown ones do.
Secondly, their size enables them to hide in obscure places, thus making them harder to pinpoint.
(That six foot long scorpion, hanging out in our kitchen, was not too difficult to identify.)
Because he was so small, I keep imagining finding more, like in my or my kids' shoe, or nestled into the carpet fibers where we wrestle and play on the floor...
or in one of our beds.
Oh that would make me so mad to find one in our beds.

And, finally, something that has haunted me all day...
If we found a baby...
doesn't that mean there could be more babies?
and a momma somewhere?
Those female scorpions are known to give birth to somewhere around 100 baby scorpions.
Gross. Gross. Gross.
Ahhhhh, I am so freaked out right now.

I tried to remain calm.
I really did... for Ruby's sake
My fear must have evidenced in my behavior, though,
because all day long Ruby has repeated over and over,
Mom, that really freaked me out.
That scorpion really, really freaked me out.

It's a good thing Asher was napping through the whole ordeal,
He most likely would have picked it up with his fingers,
and popped it in his mouth.

Friday, November 12, 2010

in a year

A lot can happen (or change) in a year.
Wouldn't you agree?
Last year at this time I was pretty much in the best shape of my life.
I had just decided to run a first race ever.
Just hours after signing up for the race (which is a skin cancer awareness event), I had received word from my Dr's office that my biopsy had come back...
the only two words I remember hearing from that conversation were,
malignant melanoma.
Suddenly this race I would be running, became more than just a became my race.
My cause.
In fact, as I was running along the course that day, I felt like I was the only one out there, seriously, like this race belonged only to me.
Still, to this day, I feel like the whole event was planned and organized...just for me.
In fact, several months back, I went to the website to double check the date for this year, only to discover that my picture was on the front page of the site!
My race, I tell ya.
Shortly after the race, the director gave all the participants the opportunity to submit their "race day story".
The winner would receive free registration for the following year.
Because I not only had such a wonderful experience running the race, but also had felt such an affinity to the race and it's cause, I was excited to have the opportunity to share my story.
Of course I was even more excited to learn that I had won!
To say that I have been excited about this year's race, would be an understatement.
I have been thinking about it, and dreaming about it, and anticipating it, for a whole year now.
I actually told myself awhile back that the only thing in this world that would stop me from running it...was if by some huge miracle...I became pregnant.
(Normally even that wouldn't stop me from running a race, especially this race...but because I have cervical insufficiency, I have to be extremely cautious with regard to my level of activity during pregnancy. Running a race, would not be wise.)
It was a huge surprise when we found out in September that I was actually pregnant.
I feel ashamed even admitting this, but a few days after we found out, I thought about this race; and for a brief moment, I felt a twinge of sadness knowing that it wouldn't be happening for me this year.
Thinking about what I would be trading it for (a new baby), however, made it all worthwhile,
and I was ok with that.
Here's what I'm not ok with.
It's been a whole year since my race.
I'm fat and out of shape, and I have a baby bump...but no baby.
I won't be running the race, and it's not because I'm pregnant,
but rather, recovering from a d&c- a procedure which removed my long-awaited and much- anticipated (but inviable) pregnancy.
(Can you tell I've been in bed too long and had too much time to feel sorry for myself and my situation?)

I'm happy, however, thinking about getting myself back in shape and being able to run the race next year...
unless of course, I'm pregnant- which would make me even happier.
A lot can happen (or change) in a year.

ps. Go to to see our picture...hurry before they re-design the page, and we'll be gone forever.

Monday, November 8, 2010

thank you

I go in tomorrow for my D&C.
I was actually scheduled to get it done last week, but on the drive home from my Dr's appointment, I got a sick feeling inside.
It wasn't really about the procedure at all, but had everything to do with the Dr. who would be performing it.
She was so rude to me. So completely insensitive.
She questioned and challenged me as to why I didn't take the cytotec (the pill to induce miscarriage) which they had prescribed me the day before.
I explained to her that I had already been through enough emotionally with this whole ordeal; and that I just didn't want to have to experience any more undue pain - emotional or physical. (I know there's no baby in there, but I am 13 weeks pregnant. My Uterus is enlarged, the gestational sac is big. I can only imagine the amount of blood and tissue that I would be passing, and therefore having to look at. Not to mention the severe cramping and pain that she had warned me about).
I told her that I really just wanted to go to sleep, and wake up, and know that it was done.
Just like that.
She seemed to almost mock me for my cowardice.
I felt crushed afterwards.
Crushed and sick inside.
I called John on the phone and he asked why we were even going to her.
At that point I just wanted it to be over with...even if it meant having that heartless woman take care of it.
I hung up with John, and headed for home.
It wasn't until I was stopped at a stoplight, that I finally came to my senses.
Why in the world am I giving this woman my patronage?
She clearly doesn't have my best interest at heart.
I never felt, through any of her dealings with me, that she genuinely cared about me and what I was going through;
and although I was anxious to just be done with it, I decided I would be willing to wait a few more days if it meant I could be in better hands.
I decided to call the Dr. who performed the laparoscopic surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy three years ago.
He, of course, was happy to help me out.
When I met with him on Wednesday, he was completely understanding and full of was his entire staff.
It was a complete night and day contrast.
He ordered a couple more HCG quants, as well as an ultrasound...wanting to be sure for himself that this pregnancy had no chance of surviving.
We met today to review all the results.
Of course, we all knew that this was not a viable pregnancy, but the fact that he was giving it every benefit of the doubt, made me feel like he really cared.
I, for the first time in weeks, felt validated.
I can now face tomorrow with a calm heart...knowing that I am absolutely in good hands.
(Let's just hope I make it until tomorrow, with all the cramping and spotting/bleeding we've been dealing with all weekend.)

Ok, now that was a lot of rambling.
The real purpose of this post was to thank all of you for...
for everything.
Where do I even begin?

Thank you for the encouraging words, the tears, the cards and little notes, the gifts and heartfelt letters, the meals, the lunch dates, the sweet texts and blog comments, the prayers and fasts on our behalf, the phone calls, the flowers, the cookies, the bread (x3), the emails and facebook messages,
the watching of my kids...
and for your unconditional love, support, and friendship.
You all know who you are.
I feel so richly blessed.

Thank you...
from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the best christmas ever

I took the kids to Chick-fil-A last night.
I noticed that were advertising for their Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.
Have you ever tried it?
It's amazing.
Last year I wasn't able to order one because John and I were doing the no sugar as soon as I saw that they were offering it already for the season, I knew I had to have one.
The first sip was like magic.
With it came all the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds...of Christmas.
It was like I just got this know, the Christmas bug.
Then I got an idea! An awful idea! YES I GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
Remember this post from three years ago?
Well today I threw it all out the window.
I discounted everything I have ever believed in and preached about with regard to the holidays...
and we decorated for Christmas.
It's the first time in my life that I have ever taken down Halloween, and put up Christmas, on the same day.
While we worked, we broke out the Christmas music, burned a yummy pine candle, and even read Christmas stories before putting the kids to bed.
I have been in desperate need of some cheer the past couple of weeks, and (who knew?) this was just what I needed.
For the longest time, well since we lost mom a week before Christmas, I haven't had the best feelings about the holidays, particularly Christmas.
It's taken several years (and a couple of kids), to once again see Christmas for what it is...
Beautiful, Magical, and Exciting.
In fact, I think it's safe to say that this is the first year since before her passing, that decorating for Christmas hasn't felt burdensome and wearing.
It was actually something I anticipated and relished in.

I think this will be the best Christmas ever...

I can just feel it in my bones.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

broken heart

I had a Dr.'s appointment on Monday.
They did another ultrasound.
Still no baby.
No heartbeat.
I pretty much expected that result; but for some reason, when reality actually set in, it still rocked my world pretty good.
Even though I tried to prepare myself for the worst, I was still hoping for a positive outcome.
I had read about, and heard of so many women who's babies, for one reason or another, didn't show up on the ultrasound until just before their scheduled d&c...
some well into their 2nd trimester.
One woman I read about didn't see her baby until 18 weeks! She was told at about 10 weeks - because there was no baby to be found - that she was going to miscarry. She decided to let it happen naturally. She then ended up waiting about 8 weeks before she finally called her Dr. for some help. He had her come in for another ultrasound to see what was going on in there, and that's when they found her baby...measuring 18 weeks gestation!
Obviously stranger things have happened.
And one can't discount the fact that God is a God of miracles.
He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipotent.
Surely there is no limit to His capabilities and aptitude.
I guess I was just hoping for a marvel like that in my situation.
My sweet friend, Syd, said it perfectly in a letter she wrote me.
"The Lord has the Power to calm the storm. But, at times, He lets the storm rage, and calms His child."
I loved this, as it has brought me so much comfort the past few weeks.
It's true, He's the master of all. At any moment, He can calm our life's storms, our trials, our sorrows.
He simply speaks, and it is done.
However, for reasons we often don't understand (but He does, and that's all that matters), He'll allow the storms to rage, to toss us to and fro...
but hasn't He promised that He will not leave us comfortless?
I believe what He says, and know from personal experience, that This promise is true. I look back to some of the heaviest storms I have faced (primarily losing mom, and then my baby boy, Isaac), and because I fastened to my anchor, who is Christ, I was able to weather these storms.
And not just weather the storms, but actually come out on top...
Become a better person.
A little bit more faithful...more believing, more compassionate, and stronger.
The Lord has His purposes...I will never doubt His dealings with me.
I know that He only has my best interest in mind.
I actually feel like great things are in store for my family.
I had hoped that it was this.
This pregnancy.
This baby.
But my faith is not the least bit shaken because things didn't turn out exactly how I had hoped they would.
If anything, I have learned that I need to work a lot harder at aligning my will with the Lord's.
Something that has proven to be more difficult, for me at least, because of how badly I wanted this.

The Dr. told me on Monday that my body was holding on to this pregnancy, and now needed something to help it along.
Looks like two things were aligned - my body and my heart...neither wanting to let go.

When we got home, and Ruby saw me crying, she asked "did they not find our baby again mom?"
"No, they didn't, Ruby."
"But that's been three times, mom. Why can't they find our baby after three times?"
I hated having to tell her the truth. "Well sweetheart, It looks like our baby wasn't quite ready to come. Heavenly Father took our baby home, and when the time is right for our family, He'll send us the sweet spirit we've been waiting for." (Did I do ok? I mean, how do you explain something like that to a four year old? A four year old who has been beyond excited for another sibling. A four year old who never utters a prayer without first and foremost thanking Heavenly Father for our baby. A four year old who announces to every stranger on the street that her mommy has a baby in her tummy. I hope I did ok.)
"Oh" is all she said. Then she asked, "mom can we pretend that you're at the dr's office, and that I'm your dr?".
"Sure sweetie. That sounds fun."
"Ok, first I need to listen to your heart" She held a stethoscope to my chest and then said something that absolutely blew me away. " sounds like your heart is broken".
My eyes filled with tears. "Wow're spot on".
She then said something that made me chuckle. "Yes, and what you need to do to for your broken heart is stop eating sugar. You eat way too much sugar. You need to start eating more vegetables, pears, and cantaloupe".

If only the cure for a broken heart was really that easy.