Sunday, July 30, 2017


I'm such an awesome blogger anymore...

But let's be real.  Other than those people who actually have popular blogs and, usually, lucrative ones, not that many people seem to be doing the blogging thing much anymore.  It's all about the facebook and twitter and instagram.  Of those 3, I think I'm signed up for two.  And I only use one.  Sort of...  I've gotten out of the habit of sharing a ton on facebook lately. 

But since I've grown tired of getting anonymous comments (that are sales pitches for ridiculous products I can learn about by following their link -- no thanks) on my most recent post (though, if I counted, I'm pretty sure I'd learn that it was one of my most commented on posts...), I've decided to write a new one ;).

So what gives with my 1.5 month hiatus? 

Well, we went on vacation.  More on that below.

And I've been reading a ton.  I tend to go in phases.  Currently I'm in my "all I want to do is read" phase, and I've largely been doing just that.  I've read over 10 books since the end of May, and since some of those were 500+ pages and not the most engaging books ever, I'd say that's quite an accomplishment for me. 

And I'm totally using the pregnancy card.  Because it's true.  And exhausting.  I feel lots better than I did during weeks 6 through 10.  But I'm still really tired and take a nap almost every. single. day.  It's sort of ridiculous.  And it also means I lose out on that really productive time when the kids are down for a nap -- because now I'm napping also ;).  Growing a human is no joke.

Speaking of which, I'm a little over 17 weeks.  Starting to feel the baby move.  Going to listen to a heartbeat tomorrow.  And then the next appointment will be the ultrasound.  And I'm seriously thinking about finding out gender.  We already think we know.  But if I can get confirmation on that, we can down-size some of our baby stuff.  Because I'm pretty sure this will be our last one.  Granted, Heavenly Father may have other plans for us, and that's fine.  But this will be our last intended pregnancy (at least as of this moment...).  Because, for the record, this doesn't get any easier as you age ;).

So anyway, that's what life has been like these last several weeks. 

And now, to re-cap our vacation.

We flew out of Atlanta.  And we'll never do that again.  Too crowded and too much extra hassle.  But we survived.  Then we rented a car at SeaTac.  Something else we'll never do again.  Let's just say this trip was all about trying out new things -- and learning what we won't do again.  LOL.

The first full day at Jeremy's parents' house, the kids got lots of farm life experience.  Corbin loved the chickens.
 Then we went to one of Jeremy's brother's house and they have rabbits, goats, chickens, and ducks.  The kids loved petting the bunnies.  AND both the goats gave birth while we were there (on two separate days), so Lynnaea loved "herding" the baby goats.  She also learned that a goat does not lay an egg.  Which was her previous supposition.  I wish I'd have taken some pictures of her with the baby goats.  But, true to June and early July in Washington, my allergies acted up something fierce, so I tried to stay inside a lot. 
 I did a lot of napping.  And most days this cutie was my nap partner.  He is pretty much the cutest sleeper ever.
 We attended my friend's daughter's wedding near Bainbridge Island.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful venue.  And a very beautiful wedding. 
 So I snapped a picture of us waiting for dinner.  Much to Lynnaea's chagrin, we had to leave before the dancing, because it was getting too late, and we had over an hour drive back to my in-laws'.  But we really enjoyed being there for such a special time.
 Corbin felt quite overwhelmed at times.  He kind of made my in-laws' house his "new normal" and preferred to be there.  This was Saturday when I took the kids to Bremerton to stay with my mom.  He pretty much clung to me most of that night.
 We enjoyed seeing a lot of the family on the 4th of July.  But I didn't take any pictures.  I was pretty lame about that this trip.  And then, since getting the pictures off my phone isn't always the quickest process, I was pretty selective about the ones I chose.  So now you get to see Corbin sleeping on Jeremy on the way home in the airplane.
 Which leads me to say this about our return:  that was the most horrific beginning to a travel day ever.  We left my in-laws' at 3:10 in the morning.  Lynnaea had eaten a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast.  And then puked it all up all over the rental about 15 minutes before we reached the car rental facility.  So we had to stop to get gas and spent 15 minutes changing her and trying to clean out the car as much as possible. 

We returned the car, had to haul 2 car seats, 2 backpacks, 2 pieces of luggage, and 2 kids (one of whom smelled like puke) to the shuttle for the airport from the car rental facility.  We got to the Southwest line (which was loooong) and mid-line, Lynnaea said she had to throw up again.  Which she did -- in my hand.  So we frantically ran around trying to find a bathroom while Jeremy stayed in line with all our bags to check in, because hey -- we got there about 45 minutes before our flight was to leave and hadn't gotten anything checked in yet as far as bags go.  So I changed Lynnaea again and tried to wipe her down as much as possible.  Get back to the ticket counter and Jeremy is up at the front.  30 minutes to flight departure and we still haven't gotten through security.  I really didn't think we'd make the flight.  All our stuff was late-checked. 

Tender mercy of the trip:  the sniffer dogs were out at the security lines which seems to mean it's a lot easier to go through security.  Jeremy's bag was flagged (a bunch of electronics mixed with the squeezie pouches apparently looks suspicious), but even with that small bump, we arrived at our gate just after family boarding had ended (we were A boarding group, but we'd missed that too).  But the kind lady at the beginning of B let us go first (bless her). 

Once on the first flight, Lynnaea puked in the puke bag one more time.  And then she slept.  And so did Corbin.  Sadly, our first flight was the short flight -- to Oakland, CA.  Corbin was still in his pajamas, so we changed him in Oakland.  And pretty much it was time to board there.  On the second flight, Lynnaea had more tummy troubles (but on the other end), and we visited the potty twice during the "fasten seat belts sign" is on phase :/...  But I think they understand with kids.  Lynnaea pushed the flight attendant button in the bathroom as I was washing my hands, so I had to hurry and open the door to assure them we were fine.  And then, after that, I made Jeremy take her the last time.  And then, thankfully, the rest of the flight was pretty uneventful.  Just long. 

We made it to Atlanta, and the other tender mercy of the day:  so did all our late-checked bags.  We finally got to our car and started the 3 hour drive home.  But we stopped at Cracker Barrel to eat, so we didn't get home until 10.  By that time, Corbin had cried himself to sleep. We still had to throw Lynnaea into the shower so we could get all the vomit smell off of her.  AND, we had to strip down her car seat and wash all that PLUS all the vomit clothes. 

For now, I've pretty sworn off flying.  My current plan is to drive out next summer and see how I like that.

Life back home has been fun.  Several pool days out back.  Enjoying popsicles, S'mores, and hot dogs.  Trying to "cook" in a home-made solar oven.  Looking forward to cousins arriving soon and having snow cones. 
So now I'm somewhat caught up.  And it's getting close to my bed-time ;).  Oh!  We signed Lynnaea up for dance.  She's super excited.  I have to learn how to make a tight bun.  Hair is not my forte.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Growing Hands

I have really been slacking on this blog.  Over two months since my last post.  It's crazy to think I used to blog almost daily

Of course, I've been slacking on lots of things lately. 

Because I've been busy growing hands.  Hahaha.  (I got that phrase from a gal who said she told her husband that after he'd asked what she'd done all day while she was pregnant with their first kiddo.)

Tomorrow I'll be 11 weeks pregnant.  We heard a great heartbeat at 8.5 weeks.  My next appointment is in a week. 

I am beyond exhausted this go around (which probably shouldn't be surprising, since I am having a geriatric pregnancy).  That's really only kind of funny.  Ha. Ha.  That is really what the medical world calls a pregnancy for anyone over 35.  But I think it sounds like an oxymoron.  And, thankfully, my doctor prefers to use the phrase maternally mature pregnancy.  I think I prefer it too. 

Anyway, the point is, I'm a lot more tired this time around, and have had several days of just feeling yuck.  And chasing a 2 year old and a 4 year old around is a whole load of work in and of itself, so growing these hands (and feet and ears, etc) is definitely adding to the whole exhaustion thing. 

But it's all good.  If all goes well, we'll welcome Baby around January 5. 

And now I can wait another two months to blog again ;).

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pineapple and Mangoes

With a post title like that, I could be talking about my awesome THRIVE Life fruits!  Haha.  But I'm not. 

Reading hasn't been as much of a priority lately.  I want it to be.  But it just isn't.  There are so many other things on my plate.  However, I am managing to get a little reading in here and there, and currently I am reading a book by Sheri Dew called No One Can Take Your Place.  And I'm loving it.  I particularly enjoyed the chapter I was reading today, because it was about one of my favorite couples:  Gordon and Marjorie Hinckley.  And, though I had already recognized the special woman Marjorie Pay Hinckley was (is), I came to see it even more after reading a quote of hers from this book. 

You see...  I'm a bit of a past-dweller.  I am always looking back and grieving the loss of what was.  It's a terrible thing, really, because it robs me of the opportunity to enjoy what is.  And what is yet to come

I'm working on it.  Because my life is a gift.  Yes, there are things I wish were the way they were instead of the way they are.  But I really can't do anything about that, so I need to just let it go and move forward.  Enjoy the blessings of today, because they are plenty and amazing.  Life is an adventure, each and every day.

So the quote from the book that got me...  It was Marjorie Hinckley's response to her daughter, who had recently moved to Hawaii and was missing the cherries in her parents' backyard.  Marjorie told her daughter, "Don't grieve over the cherries.  Enjoy the pineapple and mangoes."

Such a wonderful life lesson summed up in a statement that, superficially, is about fruit. 

Because, yes, the cherries -- I'm sure -- were wonderful.  But they aren't the only wonderful fruit.  And I may have cherries again in the future, but there will come a day when the mangoes and pineapple aren't at my fingertips.  So I need to enjoy them while I can.

And so I shall try...

Here's one thing that's been keeping me super-busy (or should I say TWO, since I'm working on two at the same time...  It seems I never just make one I-Spy Quilt ;)).
And here are my pineapple and mango ;)...  Actually, when I really step back and see how much my babies have grown, I know.  I know intellectually that the time is short.  When I feel Corbin's little toddler arms around my neck as he gives me one of his sweetest hugs (after going to the store without him and then returning home ;)), I realize that there will come a time when I will forget what those little toddler arms feel like around my neck hugging me so tight.  In fact, I've already forgotten what Lynnaea's felt like back then. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beaching It

Well, this is already 3 or so weeks old.  But in the interest of putting something on this blog, I figured I'd briefly say that our little family went to the beach at the end of February for a wedding.  Weather here has been wonky this year, and that weekend in February, it was downright Spring-like.  So the beaches were populated like it was Spring Break-ish time. 

So anyway, this was the first trip to a Florida beach for everyone in my family but me. White sands, blue water, and sunshine.  It really was a beautiful day.  And we got to see a beautiful bride get married (even if it doesn't seem right that that 3 year old little girl I used to spin around in the air was there saying I Do to the love of her life...).

Corbin loved the sand.  Lynnaea hated the way the wave knocked her over.  And we all enjoyed the experience overall :).  And I took a picture with my bestie.  It doesn't seem so long ago that we were the brides...  But that day, she was the mother of the bride.  Again:  how did that happen!?!  But it did.  Time marches on.  Thank goodness for the memories :).

 I especially love how my kids are making almost the exact same face in that picture above.  Cracks me up every time I see it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chasing Dreams

November 2008.
I should be in bed. But isn't that how every great story begins?

Not when your kids will wake you up before 7 in the morning ;)...

Life is...  life.  Things happen.  And they change you.  For better or for worse, they change you.  And I guess you (or, rather, I) determine whether it is for better or for worse.

I have decided to start chasing my dreams a little more fervently.

I am writing again.

And though it may not ever be what I dream it could be...  I'm writing.  I'm smiling at the memories my fingers are putting into words on a screen.  And I am preserving something for the future.  And that's what matters. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Be Still

1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

There have been times in my life when Heavenly Father has let me know He is "there" and aware of me in very special ways.  Back in 2010, I documented one such instance.  It remains one of my most precious memories, because I knew He was communicating with me in a special way that day.  Today I will document another so I never forget.

Today, our church bulletin indicated that we would be singing "Have I Done Any Good?" as our closing song for Sacrament Meeting. But what we actually sang for closing is posted above. I don't know why it got changed, who changed it, or when.  But I know what that song is for me.

I don't believe in coincidence.  But I do believe in a loving Father and a Savior who love me.  And They love you, too.

Be still, my soul: ...
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Humble and Kind

I've had four weeks to contemplate what I wanted to say.  And this song kept popping into my mind.  Because when I thought over my 35 years with my younger brother Brad, those are words that stood out to me to describe who he is.  Humble and kind.  Without guile.  Chooses joy.  Hopes.  Keeps trying.  Forgiving.  Non-judgemental.  Funny.

The reality is that, though I was the older sibling (by a mere 13 months), he has always been my example.  And I will spend the rest of my life learning from his 35 years.  I cannot claim to understand why this happened; why it was God's will.  I just have to trust that I will understand in time or in eternity. 

Brad was my first best friend.  And he remains one of my best friends.  Forever.  And my heart breaks to know that -- for the rest of my mortal life -- I can't pick up a phone to text him something silly like "coy!" or "Sucky Judge Reinhold".  I don't quite know what to do with that.  He understood my humor, and I understood his.  After all, we grew up together and we did everything together for so many years. 

I'm so grateful he is my brother.  So grateful, beyond words, that I am one of the few who can claim him as such.  He wasn't perfect, but he was (and is) amazing.  Losing him now leaves me with sorrow and regret over things I could have done better. 

Like the time, when I was in Tuscaloosa, he and I got in a fight over the phone because I (in all my at-the-time-childless-wisdom) criticized some of his parenting.  In anger, I hung up on him and went to Institute class.  Where I proceeded to feel incredibly guilty for how I'd behaved and for the things I'd said.  I planned to go home and call him after class to apologize.  But he called me first to apologize.  Even though, really, he hadn't been in the wrong.  He was like that.  He was always the first to say sorry. 

He lived in the present and hoped for the future.  It is why he fought so hard against the cancer that finally took his life last night.  He didn't spend a lot of time looking back at what was, but instead, with faith and hope, looked to the future to what would be.  Oh how I can learn from that.  For that is one of my greatest weaknesses.

Brad was selfless.  Brad never had much of material things, but he would give anything he could.  In one way or another, he was always giving.  Usually it was his time or just opening his home.  Which may not sound like much.  But when I first moved to Washington and had no job and no friends, Brad told me to come over to his house any time I wanted.  And he meant it.  How grateful I am for the time we spent together. 

I could say so much more about my beloved brother.  Though my heart is breaking and the pain is raw, I still know that he continues to live, and I will see him again one day.  And when I do, I will throw my arms around him and hug him tight.  I know he is now whole and far from the reaches of cancer and the pain that it caused.  And I know, because of what our Savior did for us, Brad will be resurrected one day and he will be perfect.  Until then, there will be a void in my life.  I know this.  I will miss him.  I already do.  But I know Brad is not that far away.  And I know my Savior will help me carry the burden of grief and loss.  For surely He has "borne [my] grief and carried [my] sorrows" already. 

God be with you 'til we meet again, Brad.  I love you more than words can say.