Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley

President Hinckley passed away yesterday. I will miss him so much as a wonderful, inspired and beloved prophet. I am sure everyone in the Church feels that he completed his work and it was his time to go. I don't think anyone can doubt that he worked as hard as he could until his last days on earth. What a wonderful and amazing man. He truly loved everyone and was such a joy to listen to. He always had such a strong sense of humor and love for the Lord and for mankind. Just as all the past prophets, I know the Lord truly sent him when He did because of what he accomplished. Some of the wonderful things the world has known him for, and that I will remember:

>He built temples. He believed in temples and in temple work. He wanted everyone to have those blessings and through the help of God put the total of temples around the globe from the 50s to over 130- still more continuing to be built today. Including rebuilding the Nauvoo temple which was destroyed after the saints- my ancestors included- were kicked out of Illinois. He also built the Winter Quarters temple where many saints camped in the dead of winter, unable to travel to Utah. My ancestor, died there, as did many others and his name is on the plaque there at winter quarters.

>He was wonderful with the media. Willing to talk to anyone and get to know them. He wanted others to understand our beliefs and to come together through common ground. He went on Larry Kind Live and met with Presidents and leaders all over the world.

>He encouraged and brought about many humanitarian efforts to all the corners of the world. From the mud slides in Honduras to the Tsunamis to the civil wars in Africa and Hurricane Katrina. He taught always what Christ taught, that we love and help our fellow man no matter what our beliefs are because we are all children of our Father in Heaven. We love and support one another.

>He started the Perpetual Education Fund to help break the cycle of poverty in 3rd world countries. It is a way for members to get job training and skills to help their families. Members donate their time and money to help those who need these special programs.

>He had such a reputation of love for his family and his dear wife Marjorie. I am so glad that they are able to be with each other now, though I know his family will miss him.

>He built the Conference Center to meet together for General Conference and other gatherings. It is an incredible building and even the pulpit was made from the walnut tree that President Hinckley himself grew.

>I remember hearing a story of President Hinckley when he went to visit the saints in Honduras. He spoke to a missionary there who told of the experience. He asked the prophet if he had any words of wisdom for him. President Hinckley looked at him in all seriousness and said "When you take a shower,... always put the curtain on the inside."

There are so many more funny stories and amazing things that he did in his lifetime. These are some and definitely not all, of the wonderful things that I will remember him for. I know that he was a Prophet, called of God and that he could do none of things without the help of the Lord. He was inspired and received direction and revelation from God. He was such a good man and I know that millions of people will miss him. I thank the Lord that I was alive during this time to know him.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lindsey Brooke is a Year Old!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSEY!! Emily and I made a sign for her and we played with her on her special day. I got her a few toys and some clothes and made her an apple cake with pink lemon frosting. I am terrible sometimes. I will forget to take video, but will take a ton of pictures and other times I remember the video, but forget the pictures. My computer is a piece of trash- which we hope to replace sometimes this year- and so I can't show any video at this point. Hopefully someday I will be able to. Anyway, so the fact that I forgot to take pictures of her EATING the cake, I got it when it was half eaten. I got pictures of her before her celebrations, but not during. Oh, well. She had a lot of fun. She was confused about the cake thing and didn't seem to like it that much. Course maybe if it had been chocolate it would have been another story. I really thought about making chocolate, but got stuck on the idea of pink girly frosting.

And now for some looking back and remembering the past two years.

In 2006 I got sick for about a year and we were worried we wouldn't be blessed with the joy of having one more child. We prayed, we went to the temple, I even tentatively looked at adoption. I was really wondering if Emily would be my only child and if I would ever be well again. Deep down though, both Robert and I expressed to each other the feeling that someday we would have another baby. I also had three very strong dreams where I had another little girl. The first one was very interesting as I had a natural labor and I woke up feeling very much like that is what I wanted to do. The other one was that I saw my baby who wasn't Emily and Emily was walking around being the big sister. The last dream was very touching. I looked at my 9 year old girl, 6 year old girl and a 2 year old boy in the stroller and felt the most amazing joy and thought to myself "I now have everything I have always wanted."

Well, after trying for some time we were finally blessed to be pregnant with Lindsey. And a miracle also was that the pregnancy took care of a lot of my other problems. I was also so grateful to have such a wonderful pregnancy. If all of my pregnancies are like hers I would be such a happy mommy. Of course there was morning sickness, but once that was over it was really good. I wasn't terribly uncomfortable and I am sure part of it also was being so grateful to be able to be healthy again and have this baby.

We had a scare though at one point because I started feeling Lindsey and had felt her for weeks and suddenly for 5 days I felt nothing. I panicked and we headed to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. Once we were reassured that she was fine, Robert was the most scared I have ever seen him at first and the most grateful.

When we went for the ultra-sound and saw that it was a little girl, I just knew. There she was, beautiful and perfect. We had zero names for her. We don't tend to like the same girl names- or let me say, I come up with a list of about 10 and Robert comes with a list of zip, so I guess that could be why we don't agree. I want him to like the name too so we compromise.

Her birth was an amazing experience! I love Emily SO much and loved her from the moment she was here, but I can't say that so much about her birth experience. Something about natural childbirth just made me feel so much more connected to birth. I didn't feel that with Emily. It seems with Emily's birth, everything was forced, pushed, rushed, cold, numb, sterile, etc. I didn't feel like I did anything special. I know I did, but it just wasn't the same. When I was pregnant with Emily I was of the mindset that you take meds for labor. I mean, who wouldn't? Why would anyone want to choose that pain? But I talked to friends and family who felt differently, I talked to my cousin who has her children at home, I talked to my sister-in-law Lori who tried it, I read amazing books like Birthing From Within that spoke of birth in a way that I knew I didn't feel with my first birth. It couldn't be all that bad if so many other women chose to do it this way. The more I read and studied, the more I felt I just had to experience it. The way it was described as a "right of passage". I just can't even describe all of the things that lead me to want to try it. I am just glad that I did.

At 2:00 a.m. on January the 23 my water broke while I was lying in bed dealing with mild contractions. I felt a slight pop and thought "Is that the pop they describe when your water breaks or did my hip pop?" I went to get up and get a glass of water and felt just what they say its like when your water breaks. I told Robert who was dead asleep. He slightly wakes up and says "So what do we do??" Ummm... head to the hospital sweety, get dressed. I call my midwife who says that I can labor for awhile at home and come in when its bad- but suddenly I am kneeling on the floor and its bad because I can't talk to her anymore. So she says, "Maybe you should come in now." My brother came to stay with Emily until Robert's mom could come. I took my sweet time getting ready between contractions, until I just couldn't take it. My brother is trying to shove us out the door, afraid I will have the baby on the floor if I don't go. It was SO cold outside and I stopped in between contractions to "dance" with Robert. In the car, I try to do the relaxation Bradley method, but I hate it and decide it is much more helpful to be vocal. Boy am I glad I decided that early on!

As we get to the hospital- one we have never birthed in and did not take a tour of- we realize we have no idea where to park. Its an old and confusing hospital. Robert pulls to the side of the road, runs in and asks where to put his car. I am in the car not wanting to be left alone, but what do you do? So past the smoker outside the door- thanks, that is really great when you are transition. Into the double doors where I stop and can't move. Now into the ER waiting room where they say "She can have a wheelchair." No one gets it for me, I am leaning against the wall staring at the wheelchair by me, thinking it is meant for someone else. Oh, someone sits me in it. Its for me.

Up to the maternity ward. 6 cm dilated and 100% effaced. No I don't want an epidural. Into the bathtub. Thank you a ton to my midwife who ignored the "rule" of not going in the bath tub with your water broken. The water is SO nice! Finally though my midwife is sure it is time to get out- dang I REALLY love the water, can't I push her out here? No, sorry. Looks like I will be finding a birth center for the next one. ;) Once out they tell me I am an 8. I have one contraction that pushes me to 10 and one small push and then one GIANT push she came out like a cannon ball. I screamed SO hard. Didn't expect that to be THAT painful. Contractions hurt, but the pain can be managed. I didn't know that a giant cannon ball would feel like my insides were being ripped out and burned. But yet, WOW, what an awesome experience! There she was, no crying, just sweetness. So we got to the hospital at 2:30 a.m. and had her at 4:04 a.m. Yes, that was intense and quick.

She was such a cutey! When it came time to name her, the only one that came to mind was Lindsey, which is a family name. And Brooke after my little sister. This year of having her in our home has been so sweet, blessed and I am so happy to have this little baby. Its amazing that when they have a birthday they immediately prove that they are becoming smarter by the minute. I handed her a comb today and though she has held it before, she has never taken the comb and tried to comb her own baby hair. How did she know to do that? Or to say "Na-na" for banana when I put it on her tray? Or say Emmy for her sister? I am so grateful to have Lindsey as my sweet daughter. I love her so much, its hard to really express it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Random Stuff

>Emily is reading SO well, I am shocked. She watches me read on the computer or type and tries to read all of the words. She can read quite a few sentences or she will just point out words to me. "This says 'took' Mommy." Why, yes it does. "Mommy, this says s-u-mm-er- SUMMER!" Look of shock! YES, it does! My little smarty pants over here. I shouldn't be so surprised since for the past three months she has been asking, "Mommy, what does 'hat' start with?" And Robert or I say the letter to her. So far our homeschooling is really coming along. She also likes to make her own math problems. "Mommy, if I have 5 and eat 2, there are 3 left." We are really pleased so far.

>Emily loves her ballet class. She comes home and shows me the splits and does 'step hop'. She has a performance coming up and I am quite irritated because the teacher wants to charge my guests for coming to watch her dance. It would be one thing if the dance hall cost money, but it is free! Grrr...

>I am the smartest person in the world. I was playing with Emily's silly putty and making impressions with the things I found around me. Ah, the TV remote, that should make a fabulous impression. Oh, CRAP! The putty is stuck to the buttons and I can't get it off. I am sure a pink putty remote will go so nicely with my hog-pog decor. I did manage to get a lot of it off, but if you look close enough, you can see the pink.

>I forgot that when Emily was young and the breastfeeding stopped that you no longer burn the calories and you don't need to eat as much. I gained weight with her, so why am I shocked that I am gaining now? I am nice and chubby and I don't quite like it. Humm,... exercise! Okay, great I will exercise before bed instead of making those double fudge brownies I want. Did all my little strength training with 8 lb weights. Now I need to punch some air- in the bathroom, in front of the mirror so I can see how fat I really am and it can motivate me. Fine- OUCH! I whacked my elbow on the door knob. Enough of that, now I can't move my arm.

>"Oh, you need to see my driver's license? It's expired!" Oh, dang! No, it was not a cop who asked me that. Good thing too since someone stole our registration sticker off the back license plate. The plates are NOT expired, but of course someone has to be a jerk. Luckily, registration is due next month, though we have been driving like this for 4 months now. So on to get my license renewed. And the visit goes on like this: I FORGOT my book! I have to just sit here now and play with my purse? Oh, I am number 28, what number are they up to now- 2?? That guy over there smells. How long have I been here. Only 20 minutes? I am going to die and mold in here! What did he say, he is number 11 and has been here for over an hour. Oh, sob! They all have forms in their hands, I think I need one of those. 'Don't sign here.' Crap! I already did. I will just scribble it out. Man, I wish I could offer this guy some gum, he stinks. I am starving, it is way past lunch. I wish I could run and find some food... An hour and a half... Finally, 26, 27- 28! Don't I feel like the luckiest person in here, they called my number. I think I am going to cry! I am so hungry. Hideous picture, oh, well don't care, want to get out of here. I am FREE!!

>I remember in Driver's Ed class that you are supposed to stop behind and in front of a School Bus when it is stopped and the lights are flashing. So why did I just drive on by the other day?? Oh, I don't know. Then Robert informs me that they can write down the license and send me a ticket. Dang. Lucky for me, I rounded the corner, so I think I got off! Terrible, sometimes I just don't think straight.

>Lindsey is crawling and is so cute. She has been rather clingy and not wanting to crawl as much lately. She cries and crawls to me so I will pick her up and hold her. She is a mommy's baby and has always been sensitive. Why does she whine and cry and not just crawl like all the other 1 year olds! What's this? Are you getting molars already?? You already have 8 teeth, now molars! Oh, THAT'S why you have been crabby. I just thought you were needy. Sorry. (blush)

>Emily picked out some princess books at the library. I usually look through the books just so I know what is basically in them. More because I hate taking something home that will be a waste and I will want to take back as soon as possible. We come home, I start reading. Basically the gist is that these are for older girls, but the story is about young girls trying to get into the Tiara Club. Humm... interesting isn't it? One Princess isn't nice, another one gets a pretty dress and is worried because all of her friends won't look the same, they get docked 'tiara points' when they do something un-princessy, like get dirty. For me, way too superficial. For Emily, boring and not what she was expecting. Better luck next time. I guess I will just have to give A Farewell to Arms a try- a, for me not Emily.

>Why is it that the salt that saves your life when the ice is going to kill you in the parking lot, is the same awful stuff that is all over my floor that my baby wants to eat? I have to vacuum 2-3 times a day!

>My laundry- I admit this now- often sits for DAYS in baskets in my bedroom. I have no where to put the baskets and it is the room I least go in during the day and I generally like forgetting it is there, until night time when I wish I had just remembered or decided to put them all away now that they are all a wrinkled messy ball! Sometimes I dump the baskets on my bed to give me an excuse to put them away. But night time comes, I want to play, I am tired and before bed it goes right back in the basket. Pathetic I KNOW! The first step towards recovery is to admit you have a PROBLEM! I HATE laundry! Sometimes there are baskets of unfolded clothes when I do laundry again for the next week. And, guess what, I don't iron either! I do before I wear it if it is wrinkled. Maybe it is also the lack of space. I feel like I just can't. Oh, to have an awesome laundry room someday to make my hated chore easier.

>I stay up WAY too late. I go in and out of the habit of getting to bed earlier. When I am in the habit of getting to bed, I can't imagine that I ever went to bed at unreasonable hours like 2:00 a.m. But when I am in the habit of staying up, I want to play. The kids are in bed and for some reason, 8-10 or 11 or even midnight doesn't seem to be enough Robert or me time. Its bad too because then I am tired and cranky in the morning. Well, no more, I swear! After tonight that is.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This Is the Place Village

I love that place! When we were kids we volunteered as pioneer docents at the village for about 4 summers. It was so wonderful. We learned how to churn butter, card wool, make herb sashays, spool knit, play hoops and graces, squished clay between our toes at the brick kiln, danced in the social hall, took our shoes off and stuck our feet in the pond, etc. We had our bonnets and accurate to the time period dresses. 2-3 petticoats and pantaloons for my little sisters and braids. In fact in 100 degree weather we soon found you wanted more petticoats than one because of the lovely draft that went up your skirt. When we were younger they used to have the best system. They had paid staff in each site and volunteers were there to help and support the paid staff. This gave the volunteers a chance to know all the different parts of the village and it was the best experience. When my Emily was little I decided to volunteer again for a summer. I was sorely disappointed!

They changed to having only two paid staff out of the whole village! Which meant that several of the buildings were shut and locked and this frustrated the visitors that paid good money to visit because there were sites they couldn't see. Many of the volunteers they had, they made do crafts with kids so then all we ended up doing was the crafts and no one wanted to learn anything about the sites. They burned bridges with our Civil War association who used to come and have battles in the streets and mock executions and even a hospital on the lawns of the houses. My brother was a rein-actor and was executed and we played the distressed Southern Belle sisters since my brother was a Johnny Reb. Now they want nothing to do with the antics and politics of our sweet village. Our pictures were even in the paper.

They also took the small quaintness of the village and next to the small cabins that were the actual houses of true pioneers, and instead built obnoxious monstrosity buildings next to them. They also put a "train" in the village with advertisements on the side. Why is all this "progress" upsetting to us? Well, back when we used to volunteer, on days where very few visitors came or it was raining, the volunteers hung out in the homes, making crafts and visiting one another. We all used to say that at times like those you felt like you had transported back in time. And the moment someone said it or even whispered it, you felt disappointed because you felt it too and it brought you back to the present. It was an amazing experience!

Being homeschooled we were also given the opportunity to volunteer before school let out. It is sad to me that because of the new modern touches, it doesn't feel like the quite peaceful village it once did. I still love that place, but my heart is kind of broken for what has been done to it. I wish I could rewind and visit it then. I guess in a way it also reminds me of a quaint and simpleness that my family enjoyed back then. Now just like the village, it is broken and "modern". C'est Lavie.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fun Week!

Nicole, my younger sister, spent a week at my house. We had so much fun and we felt like we became adult children for that week. There is so much that we did it is more like trying to see what we DIDN'T do. Humm... hardly any housework, poor Emily missed having her mommy all to herself. We had a 3 day read-a-thon reading The Last of the Mohicans. We found Nicole a copy at DI for 50 cents and she caught up to where I was reading. It was the stupidest classic EVER! The "hero" was so irritating and laughable. We wasted a lot of time listening to music and watching YouTube videos. We painted and Nicole went to the Pioneer Village and took some beautiful pictures we both plan to paint. We also saw Enchanted, Nicole's first time and my second time seeing it. That is one of the BEST movies ever, SO cute and I will be buying it when it comes out. Every girl's dream who likes Disney princesses.

Nicole also turned 21. She had a gift card that she bought a few things for herself and I bought her a book and made her a yummy chocolate cake. Mmmm... we had a really fun time. Thanks Nicole for the great week.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year to all! We didn't do a whole lot for the holiday. We rented movies and spent the night in. Emily went to bed just like normal and Robert and I stayed up and even missed the countdown until we heard the commotion outside. It was good though, we stole a late kiss anyway. We really liked just hanging out. We had had a lot of craziness for awhile and I think we are okay to rest a bit. And poor Robert's job is in its busy season so last night he came home at 11:30. VERY late!

It's my birthday and I am going to revel in my feelings for a moment about the whole thing. I am 25. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? When did I get that old. I felt a lot younger until now. My whole life has been building for marriage and family and I have what I have always dreamed, now it seems like I need to live each day until what- I get old and DIE. No seriously. I still feel young, just mid twenties young-ish. Half way to 30, weird. Anyway, January 3rd is a very weird birthday to have. The holidays are over, half of everyone I know is sick- course more often than not I am one of them- and everyone is busy and depressed. Not a lot of people remember those of us who get stuck with the unfortunate birthdays. And if I am not sick, it is usually a blizzard during my birthday. Ugh.

On the other hand though, I like to celebrate my birthday because I am very happy that I was born. It just seems another reason to have a party- even though I never really do GET to party. I still like to care that I have a birthday. I just wish I had a summer birthday. I was always so envious of those who did have one. Course my poor baby is going to be like her mommy, but not quite as bad. January 23 isn't the greatest day either. If I could have chosen a better birthday for her, I would have. Oh, well. I always liked sharing my birthday with my sister Nicole, who's birthday is 5 days after mine. We had a lot of fun with it. I get pretty used to having to find an available day whenever my birthday roles around. A day where everyone is well, no one has crazy work schedules and it isn't snowing. Course sometimes I have to ignore the snow part or I will never do anything. So we will do most of our fun on Saturday and regardless of the fact that a giant snow storm is coming, we will try and get out because if we wait another week I will most likely be sick.

Happy Birthday to me anyway!