Saturday, November 9, 2013


Anyone who knows me will agree that I am a planner.  I like to know what is coming ahead so I can plan for it.  And those plans are not just general, they are as specific as I can possibly get.

Oh, I had all kinds of plans for myself this pregnancy.  I was going to have the nursery unpacked and decorated by the time I was 30 weeks along, I was going to have meals prepared and frozen so I wouldn't have to worry about them after the baby came, I was going to deep clean the house before the big day.  Plans.  Lots of them...

Well, I would guess that Heavenly Father gets a kick out of listening to my "plans".  I say this because whenever I have a plan, He has other ideas for me.

At 26 weeks, I began to have cramps and some contractions.  They were concerning enough to make me go to the hospital to get them checked out.  It's a good thing I did.  I was, indeed having contractions.  At first, the nurse wasn't too concerned, but then the doctor ordered a fetal fibronectin test (an indicator if labor is soon), and it came back positive.  Then I started to dilate a bit.  I was put on some medicine to stop the contractions, and I spent the night at the hospital.  I was put on bed rest after that.  There went my plans for the nursery and everything else.

I was planning and hoping to deliver naturally (drug free), by using a technique called Hypno-birthing.  But, after so many false alarms (seriously, I went to the hospital a half dozen times), I ended up needing to be induced at 41 weeks.  With Pitocin, I wasn't allowed off the monitor, so there went my plans for the natural labor I was hoping for.

I planned to breast feed exclusively for at least 6 months.  Well, my son ended up not being able to latch on, and I pumped and bottle fed for 6 weeks before my milk supply dried up.

There are so many plans I have had, and they haven't worked out.  But, I am learning that life isn't really meant to be planned.  It is meant to be lived.  As I have lived each day since my son was born, I have made it a point to live in the moment.  I realize all too well that this time is precious and will be gone all too soon.  This means I have let go of those control issues I usually have about cleaning the house and other things.  Has it been easy?  No.  Absolutely not.  Has it been worth it?  Yes.  Emphatically, yes.

So, what are my plans going forward?  Guess I'll have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for me.  =)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Joy and Grief

It's amazing how emotions work.  The dichotomy of those feelings has always been a mystery to me.  Why is it that when you are feeling the highest of highs that something can drag you down to the lowest low?  How is it that a simple thought can bring you back from the depths to the clouds?  Of course, I am specifically talking about grief and joy.  Unfortunately, these two have been my companions for some time now.

I have kept the intense pain and sadness that I have felt for the past few years hidden in my heart.  I realize that it was an inefficient coping mechanism, but it was the best I had.  For some reason, I haven't felt "allowed" to grieve publicly for my many losses.  Perhaps it is that I am very sensitive to what others say, or maybe I haven't been ready to deal with those losses head on.  Somehow, keeping them under my pillow makes me feel safe.  But it's that same pillow I hug at night and cry into.

Today, I would like to bring some of my losses to light.  I have found it therapeutic to name each of my children, even though I didn't get to hold them.  I have kept a list of those names in my journal.  My husband and I (and a few close family members) are the only ones to know of them.  But I think it's worth it to share them now:

Elizabeth Rose - Jan 2010
Noah Benjamin - Jan 2010
Emma Christine - Feb 2010
Joseph Bradley - May 2010
Elysia Amber - May 2010
Emily Ruth - May 2010
Elijah Jacob - July 2010
Isabella Rose - July 2010
Evalyn Anna - Aug 2010
Seth Alexander - May 2011
Kate Marie - May 2011
Spencer Morgan - Apr 2012
Eden Grace - Apr 2012
Alayna Faith - July 2012

A hole was torn in my heart with each loss.  This is a hole that will only be filled on the glorious day of the Resurrection, when all of our losses will be made up.  I know that each of these precious children is mine, and that I will have them again.  It doesn't make the waiting any easier.

Many will not understand how I can feel such loss for so many babies that were only within my body for a very short time.  It is not something easily understood with the mind.  It is something felt in the heart.

This great shadow that has been over me has had a beautiful ray of sunshine break through.  I am pregnant again.  This news fills me with joy, but also with terror.  At 20 weeks, most risk of loss is diminished.  I should be jumping for joy that I have made it this far - and I do.  But deep in the recesses of my mind, I still hold some fear that there will be a grand "just kidding" from the Lord, and I will lose yet another piece of my heart.  It is difficult to explain, but I still remain cautiously optimistic about this child making it to my arms safely.

It is this child that I am carrying now that brings tears of joy and wonder, but also tears of grief and pain.  How is it that both can coexist so acutely?  I realize that this is my own struggle, and perhaps no earthly answer will ever satisfy.  And so, I try to focus on the joy.

I think that Psalm 30 helps to express my feelings... "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." and "...thou hath turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness".

I know that all pain is temporary.  I know that all challenges can be overcome.  It is the enduring part that will always be difficult for us mere mortals to deal with.  But I do have hope and faith in a glorious and joyful reunion with those loved ones I have lost.  That is what keeps me going.  What will tomorrow bring?  I don't know.  But I will face each day with the hope of brighter tomorrow.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

I want to take a few minutes to honor my Dad for Father's Day.

My Dad is the greatest.  He and I get along so well - I think it might have to do with our delightful sense of humor, which we share.  Just thinking about my Dad makes me think of his laugh.  It always puts a smile on my face.  =)

When I was young, my Dad taught me many things: how to catch and throw a softball, how to play board and card games (and I'm sure he let me win most of the time), all about being a good citizen of this great nation, work ethic, the joy of storytelling and reading good books, and so many other things.  We took many trips together as a family, and I could count on my Dad helping to build a sandcastle or just walking by the river with me.  I cherish that time I had with him.

As I got a bit older, I learned more about the world, and we talked about more in depth topics like politics and church doctrine.  He had such wisdom to impart - and still does.  I learned the principles of leadership and service from him as well.

My Dad has always been a faithful member of our Church, serving wherever he has been asked, and hardly ever missing a meeting.  He was so dedicated that even on the day I was born, he was contemplating going to his meetings - which my Mom talked him out of.  ;)  He still fills assignments dependably, and is a strength and example to all who know him.

Dad has worked in many fields, but particularly sales.  This has allowed him to meet people all over the Las Vegas valley.  It seemed that in my travels around town, I could count on finding at least one person who knew my Dad - all of whom told me how good of a man he is.  It made me proud to be associated with such goodness.

On this Father's Day, I want to let me Dad know that I love him, and that I will always and forever be grateful for the love and wonderful example he has shown me.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day

I have been reflecting a lot on this topic lately, as you might guess.  The thing that my mind keeps returning to is the fact that I have been profoundly blessed to have the mother that I do.  She is amazing, and has taught me many great lessons in life.  There is a song that sums up my thoughts about my mother and my feelings about motherhood for myself. 

You can see the sheet music here.
You can listen to the song here.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes I think about my life, unsure of what to be.
My friends and family give advice, they want what's best for me.
Of all the things they see in me, what should I become?
I need Thee Lord to help me choose, that Thy will may be done.

Will I be prepared to fill woman's role?  Accept the Lord's will with all of my soul?
To raise children up, to love them to lead?  Will I take the time to bring them to Thee?

My mother loves unselfishly, helps others in their need.
She loves the teachings of the Lord and teaches them to me.
Of all the things that she could choose, she chose the will of God.
To love and lead us back to Him, as hand in hand we walk.

My mother prepares and fills woman's role.  Accepts the Lord's will with all of her soul.
She's taking the time to love and to lead, and she's taking time to bring us to Thee.

As I prepare for motherhood and children I may raise
Be near me Lord that I may teach, inspire in loving ways.
Help me to walk the path that brings my children back to Thee.
That we'll find joy throughout our lives, together on our way.

And I will prepare to fill woman's role, accept the Lord's will with all of my soul.
I'll raise children up, I'll love them, I'll lead.  And I'll take the time to bring them to Thee.  
And as I prepare for children to raise, be near me that I may bring them to Thee.

My mother made many hard sacrifices when it came to raising her children.  My Mom has many talents that would have served her very well out in the working world.  She is dependable, works quickly and very efficiently, figures things out fast, and has a multitude of typing, secretarial and other skills that employers would be very eager to have at their disposal.  Yet, in response to the call of a living prophet, she knew that her place was at home with her children.  And so it was. 

Growing up, we lived on a very modest budget, without many of the luxuries of the world, and certainly a lot more financial stress than 2 income families faced.  Despite these challenges, my mother remained faithful to her duty as a mother in Zion. 

By the time I was three years old, I could recite the first 2 articles of faith.  Throughout my childhood, I learned to sing the Primary songs as she played the piano.  I learned how to pray, read the scriptures, and put the Lord first in my life.  I loved sharing what I learned in Seminary with her as we drove home - often stopping for a treat at Sonic. 

Additionally, I learned to love reading by watching my Mom's excitement and hearing her inflection as she read aloud bed time stories.  I learned the basic skills of homemaking from my wonderful mother.  And during the times in my life when I just needed someone to listen and understand, my Mom was there - no matter the hour, and it was often quite late at night.  There are so many things I owe to my mother for who I have become today, I cannot name them all.  But suffice it to say that I have the most wonderful mother in the world!

As I stare into the future, and the children that I will raise, I pray that I can be the kind of mother I have been so blessed to have.
Mom and I, my first day home from the hospital

Newborn me and my Mommy

Fun times with Mom
My blessing day

Sketching the horse together

Saturday, April 30, 2011


These past few weeks, I haven't felt much like blogging.  In fact, I haven't felt like doing anything at all.  Almost a month ago, we had a "false alarm" where I thought my water had broken - fyi, it didn't, I'm sure.  I was having contractions, feeling like things were happening, and well as you can guess nothing has happened.  So I wait.

I'm a pretty private person in general, so I don't share the specifics of my doc visits and medical life history with most people outside a few select friends and family members.  I'm sure that most people don't understand why I am that way, but suffice it to say I have my reasons. 

Prayer has been a very big part of my life, and especially this pregnancy.  After so many losses in the past year, I realize I can't do it alone.  So Heavenly Father and I have had and continue to have MANY conversations on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.  He is trying to teach me patience.  I am not a very good student.  Apparently.  I am doing my best for the time being, but I hope to have mastered it to some degree soon.

As for the babies... I don't like medical interventions.  I've had enough in my life to know that my body doesn't react well to most of them, so I have been very clear that I don't want to be induced (unless it's absolutely necessary), and I don't want a C-section if I can at all avoid it.  So, we are waiting until the babies are ready to come on their own.  It's hard to wait, for sure.  But I know that nature does a lot better than science when it comes to having babies.  So far, they are healthy and growing, albeit slowly, and I have been on bed rest for most of the pregnancy, especially the past several weeks.  Because I've been taking it easy, I haven't run into any complications so far, which I am SO grateful for.  I'll admit I've been going stir crazy lately, but I am happy to have the internet as my "window to the outside world". 

Now, a request to my family and friends out there:  please pray for me.  Pray that I will develop the attributes I need to so that I can be the best mother I am able to be.  Please offer encouragement, not questions about when the babies are coming; Love, not doubt; Kindness, not critical judgment; acceptance, not disagreement with the way I choose to handle things.  To all of you who already do these things, I thank you!  I love you all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This Easter, I wanted to post something that is near and dear to my heart - my testimony.

I am so very grateful for my Savior.  His entire life was spent in the service of others.  He did nothing for Himself.  From his birth to His death and subsequent resurrection, He did nothing except what the Father told Him to do.  Here are the things that I know...

I know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as prophesied in ancient scripture.  The very name of the place means "house of bread", and the bread of life He is.  Although it was in a lonely stable that He came that night, angels and stars and miracles attended Him, and shepherds came to honor the babe lying in a manger.

I don't know much of His childhood, except that while yet a baby, He was brought to the temple to be blessed.  It was to that same temple He returned as a 12-year old boy.  His parents were frantic, and after 3 days, they found Him there - teaching the doctors and spiritual leaders.  What a sight it must have been, and what a marvelous blessing and joy it was for Mary and Joseph to find Him again after a 3 day separation.
At age 30, He began his formal ministry.  This began with His baptism by John the baptist in the river Jordan.  This was followed by a solitary journey into the wilderness to commune with Heavenly Father.  While in that wilderness, He fasted and prayed for 40 days.  This was followed by Satan's temptations, which Jesus refused to succumb to.
Next, Christ began to make Himself known among the people of his town.  He stood up to read in the synagogue, declaring that He was the one prophesied of to be the Messiah.  He was rejected.  He went on to teach and perform many miracles - even raising from the dead and healing the sick, lame and blind.

 After just 3 years, His ministry came to its earthly conclusion.  He entered the gates of Jerusalem, and His disciples laid palms at His feet as He passed on His donkey.
He celebrated the Passover with His apostles, taught them and prayed with them.  He instituted the Sacrament of the Last Supper, and washed their feet.

He went to the Garden of Gethsemane with a couple of His apostles, left them at the gate and went on, alone, to pray.  So great was His suffering and agony as He took upon Himself the sins, pains, afflictions and infirmities of all mankind, that He bled from every pore.
When He emerged from the Garden, He was betrayed, arrested and brought before Pilate.

He was beaten, abused, stripped and made to carry His own cross down the streets of the city.
They nailed Him to the cross, mocked Him and crucified Him.  While He hung there, He prayed for forgiveness for those that had placed Him there, made arrangements for John to care for His mother, and cried in anguish as the Father withdrew from Him.  Just before sundown, which marked the Jewish Sabbath, He declared "It is finished."  And He gave up the ghost.  Moments later, storms raged, and the soldiers marveled.  Truly, He was the Son of God.
He was buried in a borrowed tomb hastily, as the Jewish Sabbath had arrived.  Because of His popularity and following, guards were placed to watch over the tomb to be sure that no one stole the body to claim He had risen as He promised.

Three days passed, and Mary Magdelene went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body, which hadn't been done due to the haste of His burial.  There, she found the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty.  She wept, for she thought that the body had been stolen.  A man approached and asked what the matter was.  She explained, and He replied, "Mary."  She turned to find that it was her beloved Savior!  She could not touch Him, but wept tears of joy at His return.
It had been 3 days, and He had been lost.  But, as in His childhood, He had been "about His Father's business".  The most important and powerful words ever spoken in the history of mankind are "He is not here, for He is risen."
This is my testimony - that He lives!  I know this with every fiber of my being, and I look forward to the day that He takes me by the hand and declares to me "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".  I share this in His Holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.