Monday, March 29, 2010

a pat on the back

Jacob has had a runny nose and cough, and Laci woke up Sat morning with the sniffles. Since we were asked to give the opening and closing prayers, we decided that we would all go to sacrament meeting and then come home afterward. (No need to get our happy and welcoming ward members angry at us for getting their kids sick!)

Our kids' primary teachers are amazing! Before yesterday we were already impressed, but even more so when Jacob literally cried for 20 minutes because he wanted to go nursery. (Remember, this is my child who would not leave my side for 14 months!) Then, Laci's primary teacher stopped by after church to drop off a handout from their lesson AND a General Conference packet.

All I can say is, WOW! It doesn't take much to magnify your calling, and I'm so glad that our kids are in great hands!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Yesterday I woke up at 3am wide awake. I laid in bed FOREVER and still wasn't asleep. I figured, by 5am I might as well go to the gym like I always do. Jason volunteered to help clean the Conference Center in SLC, and his shift was from 9 to midnight. I never sleep well when he's gone. Again, I was awake early this morning, 4am. Went to the gym again at 5. No sense in laying in bed wide awake when there are things to get done, right?

I have two little girls coming over today while their mom gets ready for family to come into town tonight and tomorrow. Her son is getting baptized this weekend. He's also had strep earlier this week, so she hasn't had much time to get things ready. I thought I would make them dinner tonight, too. One less thing for her to worry about.

I'm crossing my fingers that:

we don't get sick
these girls can get along well with Laci
Laci doesn't get them too high-strung
or try to get away with too much while they are here
Laci will happily include Jacob in their playing, because

I'm tired!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


*** Looking for easy freezer meals! ***
As, my due date approaches, I would like to prepare a few meals and get them in my freezer before I have this baby. Feel free to leave some ideas in the comment box, or email me at
Just a couple of family fav's:
(these are not freezer meals, although you probably could freeze them if you wanted)

Oriental Chicken
6-8 chicken breasts
1 c. pineapple chunks
1/2 stick butter
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. liquid

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Add water/chicken stock to make 2 cups. Saute onions and peppers. Add remaining ingredients; stir until translucent and thick. Pour over chicken in 9x13 pan. Bake 1 hour. Serve with rice.

* Even though I love the flavors of this meal, I was having trouble with the chicken coming out dry. So, in an effort to lock in the moisture, I marinate the chicken overnight or prepare it early in the morning and let it sit in the fridge all day. I also cover the pan with foil before baking, and leave the foil on the entire time.
* If we eat all the chicken, but there's a lot of sauce left, I reuse it for another meal by cooking rice in it and serve with fish.

Ancho Chicken Tacos
1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked
4 ancho chiles
1 qt. chicken stock
1 red onion
2 tsp. smoked paprika
Pinch of cinnamon
1 stem (1 tsp.) oregano, chopped
1/4-1/2 c. sherry vinegar

Slice open ancho chiles and seed. Soak in chicken stock, boiling for 15 minutes. Pour into blender and puree completely.

Meanwhile, chop the red onion and saute in skillet. Add cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and oregano. (Don't add too much cinnamon or it will overpower EVERYTHING!) Add precooked, shredded chicken to heat through. Add sherry vinegar; work bottom of pan to get spices and onions into mixture. Add puree and simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow for flavors to blend.

* Ancho chiles can be found in the Hispanic Foods aisle where all their spices are. It comes in a little bag with 8-9 chiles, and can be stored for several months at a time in your pantry. It's a yummy and different flavor to add to your Mexican-style dishes!

Friday, March 19, 2010

looking for a new read?

May I suggest A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. A historical fiction, Hosseini immerses the reader into an intimate 30-year journey through the lives of two women living in Afghanistan. The depth of hardship, despair, brutality, and sorrow that these women face are unfathomable. I have to warn you, this book is not for the faint of heart! Three-quarters into it - sobbing to the point that I could no longer make out words on the page - I nearly decided to put the book down and never open it again. Maybe my eye-opening experience into the realities women of Afghanistan face, in our modern day, was too shocking. Perhaps the heartbreak of a mother with children my age hit too close to home. Possibly a combination of the two. My mind raced back to the scriptural account when Enoch is conversing with God face-to-face, and he witnesses our Father weeping for His children (Moses 7:28-33). And, yet, for my own emotional closure, I found myself engrossed once again in its final pages.

However, Hosseini closes the novel, filling the reader with hope and inspiration. I am filled with gratitude for the freedoms I enjoy - and often take foregranted - because of the country in which I was born. My desperate yearning for my children to know how much I love them leaves me clinging on just a little longer with each hug and caress. Strength and security in knowing that my husband not only loves, but honors and cherishes me, has deepened. One cannot read this book without gaining truer perspective of blessings and the richness of life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm really missing my camera (that broke after my little photographer - aka: Laci - "borrowed" it). So, I'm having to make due with old pictures...

playing at the park

yes, that's Jacob dressed in pink and wearing a headband!
(Laci thought it would be funny to dress him in her clothes.)

A visit to temple square...


discovering the computer
(I love the look on his face! It's like he can hardly believe his luck...)

my little crafter

playing house

posing for the camera

Monday, March 15, 2010

recent cuteness

Every Sunday Jason drops Laci off to primary, and I take Jason to nursery. (What will we do when we're outnumbered? ...I guess, by then, Jacob will be in primary, too! ...not sure I want to be thinking that far ahead!)And, every Sunday when I go to pick Jacob up from nursery he asks where Laci and Daddy are. I have to tell him, Daddy is with Laci and we need to go find them. They're always in the same foyer next to the same set of doors. This Sunday was no exception to this little ritual.

However, when Jacob saw Laci, he ran - and I mean, he booked it - into her arms, calling out, Laci! Of course, Laci was so excited to see Jacob, and she scooped him up in her arms with a huge grin. They stood that way, holding each other in a tight hug for almost 30 seconds.

I love it!


Spencer and Hilary brought their 6-week-old baby girl over this afternoon. Laci and Jacob were sooo excited to see their new baby cousin! (Actually, I think that is an understatement.) They literally fought over who got to hold her first. And, for the entirety of the visit, took turns holding her.

Jacob kept stroking little Blayke's cheeks and head. Laci made sure that Blayke had her spit-up rag and pacifier. Quite the great helpers, and just in time!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

tender mercies

My cousin, Holly, sent me this link from You Tube. Elder Bednar says exactly what I was trying to convey in my last post - - only far more eloquently and beautifully than I ever could...

Thanks, Holly!

(For future reference: I'd rather get the video on my blog, instead of just providing the link... anyone know how to do that?)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

is 3 the magic number?

So, we've moved. Yes, again! I thought that moving 4x in our 5 years of marriage was a lot. But, in the last 18 months we have moved 3x, are living in our 3rd house, are in our 4th ward (ward split in our second house), and are quite frankly SICK of moving! Not the best situation to settle down and get to know your neighbors and ward members...

It's been about a month now since our move. I've been slow to post about it. I'm not sure why, and think it's partly because I posted a rather whiny blog about how miserable I was, and how I was longing to move again, to the area we've been eyeing for over a year now - then literally a week and 1/2 later, we moved. Obviously, when I wrote that post I wasn't expecting another move so soon. And, what good was all my whining and self-pity for when the resolution was right around the corner? (Don't we all want to feel justified in our negative emotions sometimes?) Another HUGE reason is that I'm sick of telling people we've moved. It's just so pathetic!

I don't blame anyone for not wanting to read my blog. I have been pretty negative and whiny.

And, terribly lonely. I can only remember one other time in my life when I have felt so alone!

I knew that life wasn't suddenly going to be easy and wonderful once we moved to UT. Sure, we have a job now after 6 months of unemployment in AZ - a chapter of my life I NEVER want to relive! Ironically, I feel like some of our greatest trials have come to us after our move to UT.

So, I've kept all my emotions bottled up - trying to be strong - until I felt like I was going to explode or crumble into a ball on the floor - not the best things for my kids to see. So, my release was to blog about what I was feeling. I'm sorry that I've been a downer, but I honestly had no one else I could turn to!

(Does any of this make sense? I feel like my thoughts are very incoherent...)

However, I have to say, that all my whininess and suffering have not been in vain. These past several months, I have been reminded of past lessons, and have learned new ones:

- (Neal A. Maxwell) There are 3 types of suffering - 1) comes through sin, whether brought on by our own sins or that of a loved one; 2) the Lord allows the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust; 3) another type of suffering is our own Abrahamic test. If we do not understand it, and exercise sufficient faith in the Lord, we will not learn what he is trying to teach us. Ultimately leads to/determines our candidacy for exaltation.

- Some trials are taken away - literally overnight. Only in and through the tender mercies of a loving Heavenly Father, a way is provided for that trial to be over. But, it doesn't mean life is suddenly bliss and wonderful and easy. The Lord requires that we endure to the end - and it may be in the form of another trial after he's released us from the previous one. It may be that He has more for us to learn.

- We're often required to suffer to the "11th hour." Our darkest moments are usually right before the trial is lifted.

- Trust in the Lord's time table.

- Reaching out to others relieves our suffering. Doesn't have to be big or elaborate. Smile, hug, encourage, love - even if it's not reciprocated.

- Sometimes, we're asked to "wander in the wilderness" before the Lord reveals His will for us.

I'm sure if I sat and pondered some more, I could think of additional lessons.

Mostly, I just want to say thank you! Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support. I realize I've sounded really whiny and negative most of the time, but I needed you. Thank you for loving me in my whiny and sad state. Thank you for releaving me from my loneliness. Thank you for your encouragement.

So, we're in our 3rd house, and things are looking up. We live literally 5 minutes from a temple! Our ward members have been very welcoming. For the first time in 2 years, we feel like our wandering has come to an end. This is where the Lord wants us at this time. (Obviously, this doesn't mean an end to trials, but I don't think we're ready for the alternative.) We're suddenly feeling refreshed, refilled, and rejuvinated.

Maybe 3 really is a magic number...

Friday, March 5, 2010


So, Jason awoke one morning, to hear the kids chattering away in the playroom - (not sure where I was, still sleeping? That is a rare occasion!) Anyway, he snuck out to the playroom to get a peak, and found Laci and Jacob masterfully piled into Jacob's big Tonka dumptruck. And, here is how their conversation went:

L: Jacob, am I your best friend?

J: (rubs her back) Yes.

L: Even when I go to school, and you don't get to see me all day?

J: (rubs her back) Yes.

L: Forever and ever?

J: (rubs her back) Yes.

L: I love you, Jacob. You're my best friend!

J: (wraps his arms around her neck) I love you, Laci.

Wish I had a picture of that precious moment. But, I just love this one! I think the expression on Laci's face says it all...

I just LOVE these two!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


So, I realize with all my stressing over insurance and delivery woes, that the real reason for my countdown was overshadowed. I have to say, I am SO excited! The end can't come soon enough! Not because I'm in a hurry to start a new semester - which was the cause of my urgency to have Laci. Or because I'm miserably pregnant - as was the case with Jacob. I'm just excited. Excited to get to know the newest member of our family. Excited to have a baby in our house again! Just excited! Sometimes the excitement hits me so hard, I wonder if my little guy is communicating to me spirit-to-spirit that he can't wait to physically be a part of our family and to start his mission.

Some of you might remember my trepidation at getting pregnant again. After my pregnancy with Jacob, I certainly have a new-found respect and admiration for women who literally cling to life by a thread during each pregnancy. And, mine wasn't even THAT bad. It was horrible in that I literally did not start a week of being well before catching something new by the end of the week. I'm not exaggerating! If it was contagious, I caught it! I was miserable. But even in the midst of my misery, I was extremely grateful that I wasn't living on an IV or in a hospital bed. I wasn't consigned to bedrest for an extended period of time. It was hard; I hated it; I wanted it to end. And of course, my endurance was tested when Jacob decided to come 6 days late. But, it doesn't even compare to what those women face! I've learned just how precious my health is to me!

Still, I was worried about this pregnancy. Would I get really sick again? How would I handle two children being that sick? Jacob was JUST starting to express his independence from me, and Laci has always been demanding because of her hyperactivity and need for constant stimulation. Would it be fair for me to add a third one to the mix? The list went on and on!

As for insurance, maybe that is purely a test of Jason's and my faith as we have children. The possibility that we won't have any children covered through insurance has crossed my mind. It's not a thought I want to entertain, but maybe it's one that shouldn't be ignored. Am I going to let that temporal factor limit the eternal nature of my family?

Delivery is another big worry. Having multiple cesarians can ultimately determine how many children I will be able to have, which is why I would like to try for a VBAC this time around. I don't have a "magic number" on how many kids I want to have, but the thought of being limited or being unable to is really hard to wrap my mind around. That control can be taken away from me, and it's very unsettling. On the other hand, I know Father will provide a way for all our children to come to our family, whatever the number...whether it's through strengthening my body to withstand numerous cesareans, magnifying my ability to deliver VBAC, or adoption. We'll all get here somehow, some way.

And yet, it took a great deal of faith for me to heed the prompting to have another child. I knew that more children were waiting to come to our home. I just didn't want to get pregnant again so soon. I thought I would wait until Laci had been in school a while; allow her to adjust to that big change in her life; address ADD issues; let Jacob grow in his independence; maybe wait till he turned 3 to start trying again. Then I got pregnant last March. Boy, was that a surprise - it had to have been immaculate conception! Despite all my prior fears and worries, I felt at peace; getting pregnant was right; the timing was right. And then, I miscarried a few weeks later at 10 weeks. Surprisingly, I wasn't devastated; through it all, I felt at peace. I've often wondered since then if something as drastic as a suprise pregnancy and miscarraige were the only way I would entertain the thought of having another child so soon. (Kind of sad when you think about the principles of being compelled to be humble versus humbling oneself to receive the word of God.)

Amazingly, after that experience all the emotional weight I was feeling over another pregnancy was lifted off my mind and heart. All of a sudden, I was excited to get pregnant again! The excitement keeps getting stronger with each passing week! I really can't wait. Sure, I'm nervous for this delivery because I don't know the outcome, and there are so many factors that can trigger a bad outcome. But, fear and faith cannot coexist. Maybe I just need to hold onto all my excitement.

The Lord will take care of the rest.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Is it bad that I'm counting down for this baby's birth already? I mean, it's still 10 weeks away - assuming I go to term. I keep telling myself not to start the countdown now because it's going to make this trimester go by far too slowly. I really wish I had a better idea of when he will be deciding to come - as I'm sure every mother feels while their due date approaches. Laci was 10 days early, and Jacob was 6 days late - leaving me with very little idea of what to expect. Needless to say, I would much rather he decide to come early than late! I suppose I should take comfort in that my doctor has agreed to induce me on May 8 because he will be out of town the week of the 13th. But, that brings a whole new onslaught of challenges and concerns!

For example, the hormone petosin (spelling anyone?) is what they use to induce labor; however, it can cause the incision from a previous cesarean to burst because it creates stronger contractions. If the incision bursts, this can be fatal or cause brain damage to baby and is extremely dangerous to mom. That little piece of information is not particularly comforting when you're a mom-to-be planning on delivering VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesarean)! Granted, this only occurs in 1-2% of VBAC, induced labor, patients. However, my track record is not too good: I was induced during labor with Laci because my contractions came to a complete halt; and ended up delivering Jacob via emergency cesarean after 24 hours of labor. (Thank heaven for epidurals!) Oh, and did I mention that both children were not covered by our insurance plans? - another story for another time.

So, imagine our excitement when we get pregnant with this baby knowing that maternity and delivery will be covered. Talk about a sigh of relief! And, here we are 10 weeks from my due date, and the company's insurance policy that Jason works for has expired as of 2 days ago. They don't want to pay the higher premiums, so they change our insurance. To make a long story short about the new policy - which would bring everyone to a roaring snore and my blood to a rolling boil - we have no coverage for this baby! (Yet, again.) The real kicker is that 5 employees' wives all had babies last year, and all their deliveries were covered by insurance. And to think that had I not had my miscarriage last June, our baby would have been covered, too.


Regardless, I am still so excited to meet this little guy! In the eternal scheme of things, he will always be mine - whatever happens. And that is worth any temporal price that I have to pay, financially and physically.

So, my countdown has begun...

Monday, March 1, 2010

the small things

curling up by the fire on a cold winter's day

holding my baby for the first time

serenity after a fresh snowfall

hearing "I love you" from my children

hot chocolate (well, any kind of chocolate for that matter!)

child's laughter - especially when that child is mine

the smell of freshly cut grass

knowing what Jason is thinking with one glance

tree blossoms in the spring

when my child smiles at me for the first time

the sound of ocean waves

seeing the look of discovery on a child's face

vibrant colors of fall leaves

hearing my baby's first cry

the taste of freshly baked bread

snuggling with my kids


knowing that we'll be a family forever

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