A Giveaway

Hey, I'm a sucker for a giveaway. If you'd like the chance to win a slow cooker, check out this incredible recipe blog. http://karaskitchencreations.blogspot.com/2010/03/giveaway-stay-or-go-6qt-slow-cooker.html I love every recipe I've tried from here. Good luck!


Relay for Life

I have just joined a team to participate in The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I'm very excited. It's more than just an event to me. It is my personal opportunity to help save lives from cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society.

In the last year, I have had several friends in my neighborhood and ward diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is everywhere, and I want to do my part. The team that I am participating with is headed by my good friend and neighbor Stephanie. Her husband has been fighting cancer for over 8 months now. They have three kids aged 5-11. I pray daily that their daddy will get better soon. The Relay is just one more way of working towards that.

I am also doing this for my own family. I can't imagine how it would change our lives to find out one of us had cancer. I want them all to know how much I love them.

If you would like to support my efforts by making a donation, you can click the link below, view the link to Relay on my Facebook wall, or I can email you a link (I'm still figuring that one out). Together, we have the power to help create a world where cancer can no longer claim another year of anyone’s life.

To print an offline donation form, click here.


Emma Turns 5

I'm rather behind, but Emma's birthday was last month. I can hardly believe it's been five years since we brought her home from the hospital, but here she is.

Emma is such a fun kid to be around. I love her to pieces. She is the most lovable, cuddly, talkative five-year-old. She's as smart as a whip and keeps us laughing. She's recently discovered jokes, especially knock-knock jokes. In fact, if you have new ones, please send them our way. We're looking for some fresh material. :) She loves preschool and is looking forward to kindergarten already. She loves playing on the computer especially on NickJr, Webkinz, and PBSKids. Her favorite toys are her Disney princess dolls (the polly-pocket type). Emma is taking swimming lessons where she is trying to get brave enough to jump in the water (silly girl) and loves her tumbling class.

Mostly it's fun just watching her grow up. I love my Emma girl. We're looking forward to taking her skiing again on Saturday and look forward to playing lots in the warmer weather. We're all looking forward to summer.

Birthday girl with "Hearty" the Webkinz monkey from her cousin Cassidy. The tulips are from Grandma Charles.

Every little girl needs rings. She likes to say "This is my preschool ring. This is my going-to-friends' houses ring," etc.
Birthday party with friends EmmaLynn and Maycee. They loved decorating cupcakes.

Friends Morgan, Ashlyn (she's the best little sister friend), and Abby.



One of my best friends reminded me that sharing our trials lightens our load and often helps others, so I guess I'll share. It's been a rough couple of months around here. Thankfully life is returning to normal, whatever that may be.

A few days before the girls' surgery I started wondering if I was pregnant. A few days after, there was no question. While helping the girls recover was taxing, it was especially hard because I was obviously EXHAUSTED, but also very stressed out. Deciding when and whether or not to have a third child has been a difficult decision, and being pregnant was terrifying.

However, it didn't take long for me to realize that things didn't feel right. For those of you who don't know, before we were blessed with Emma, I miscarried twice (at 6 and 9 weeks). With both of those pregnancies, I was tired, but felt fine. With the girls, I quickly developed nausea and was grateful for it. It meant everything was fine. I kept telling Nick I was sure it was just a matter of days until I miscarried, but everything appeared to be all right. Around 7 weeks I spotted a bit. Although I was sure the pregnancy was over, the bleeding stopped for a few days. Then a little more. Then nothing for a few days. I know that's normal for many pregnancies, so I toughed it out. Besides, if I was miscarrying, there's really nothing they could do anyway.

Nick had to leave for work for the week, and since nothing more had happened and I had a doctor's appointment at the end of the week, I sent him off. Tuesday, just after my doctor's office closed, I had some pretty heavy bleeding that of course stopped. The next morning I called the office and went in for some blood work. Thursday they called with the results to tell me my hormone levels were normal for how far along I was, so they had me come in for an ultrasound. My wonderful mother came to go with me. I was sure there wouldn't be a baby. That had been the case with my second miscarriage. Well, there was. But I've seen enough ultrasounds by now that I recognized right away that there wasn't a heartbeat. I was nearly 8 1/2 weeks along. The baby lived to be 7 weeks, 6 days.

By the next week, I was rather a wreck. It was good to get Nick home to help with the girls, but I didn't know what to do. Should I cancel my classes, should I send the girls somewhere, or should I pretend that everything was normal (I did the third). I hadn't fully miscarried on my own yet, so we finally set up a D&C for Wednesday. While that wasn't fun, I am grateful that it was over. It could have lasted for a couple more weeks, and emotionally, I was spent.

This is what I've learned.
  1. I've been through this three times, but it doesn't really get easier. Although I never let myself get emotionally attached this time, I still hoped and dreamed. I have two sisters expecting this summer. It would have been miserably fun to be pregnant together and to have small babies together and to watch them grow together. Don't get me wrong. I couldn't be happier for them and look forward to seeing my nephew(s?). It just would have been fun. And my girls love babies. They would have loved that baby. Lastly, I miss having a baby around. My Ashlyn is getting so big and fun and well, big. There's just something about a baby.
  2. I am blessed with incredible friends and family. The Lord may give us trials, but he does not expect us to go through them alone.
  3. Hormones are crappy. I have had good days and some horrible nights. Being tired is not good for me. I've cried more in the last few weeks than in the last few years. I'm glad Nick tries to understand and loves me through my craziness. Luckily I'm becoming more stable.
  4. I'm terrified. I'm pretty sure I still want another child, but I don't want to go through this again. There's never a guarantee that things will be fine, but three? I don't want there to be a fourth.
  5. I trust in my Savior. His view is far broader than mine. I just look forward to understanding more clearly why I felt so strongly that now was the time. There are countless possibilities and several theories. All I know is that I trust him and he loves me. Things will be okay.
If you've read all this, thank you. I really am doing better. It's sad and hard, but I can think of many worse trials. This happens to be mine. Now it's time to look ahead. We have some fun trips coming up. We're heading to Disneyland with friends in a few weeks, and then Nick and I are going to Mexico for a few days in May. I'm longing for the sunshine. Here's to the happy days ahead.