December 27, 2018


Christmas was a little different this year. It was our first time celebrating Christmas as a family of four. It was also our first time celebrating Christmas was just our little family, usually we celebrate Christmas with either mine or Andy's side of the family.

We don't have a lot of Christmas decorations but these are some of our favorites:

Finances have been tight with all of the recent medical bills (Andy's surgery and me giving birth to Bear) so we opted to not spend a lot on gifts. Honestly, it was really nice to not focus on gifts but to focus on Christ, each other and serving those around us.

Christmas Eve we watched a few Church produced films online about Christmas and we read the book Small One.

This is one of my favorite childhood books/movies.

The next morning we woke up and dug into our vintage stockings that my Nana made many years ago. Bubba was so thrilled with his stocking that he didn't even notice the few gifts under the tree. Then we bundled up and walked to the other end of the neighborhood to eat breakfast with our adopted family, the Porter's. Breakfast was fabulous! Bubba is in a weird phase right now and he won't eat food at anyone else's house-- he missed out on some good food.

We went home and called our families and opened our gifts. Bubba was thrilled to have a few new toys! We opted to wait to give him his biggest gift until the next day.

The next morning a row of Disney's Cars cars lead to the garage from Bubba's bedroom door. He was tickled to see all of the cars. Once he got to the garage he found a Cars table complete with a wooden track from his cars to drive on. As you can probably imagine, he spent most of the day in the garage. It has been really fun to watch him play with his new toys!

I love Christmas! I love the special spirit that accompanies this holiday. I love reflecting on the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father-- they truly do love us. I know I am far from perfect, but I sure strive to live my life in such a manner that I emulate the Savior. 

December 23, 2018

Tender Moments

Becoming parents of two has been hard on all of us to varying degrees. Amiss the struggles though, there have been some really tender moments that I don't want to forget.

The first tender moment was when Bubba came to the hospital for the first time after I gave birth to Bear. I could hear him coming down the hallway saying "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." He was so excited when he entered the room. When he saw his little brother for the first time he kept saying, "Baby" over and over again.

Bubba came back to the hospital again that evening to visit. When he entered my room, I was in the bathroom and Bear was out of the room having some infant screenings done. Bubba looked around the room and said, "Baby? Baby? Baby? Uh oh." He knew his little brother was missing and he was very concerned.

We recently had Bear circumcised and diaper changes have become something the entire family takes part in. Bear was not enjoying his diaper change one bit, Bubba went and found a binky (something Bear doesn't currently use) and put it in his little brother's mouth. It was really really sweet to see Bubba try to sooth his younger brother.

Bubba has been watching me feed his brother and often comes over and says, "Mmmm." Yesterday though, Bubba opened his own mouth, pointed at it and went in to try and latch himself on my boob- I didn't let that happen, but it was a pretty funny moment.

Last night before heading to bed Bubba hugged his little brother for the first time, it was very sweet.

Watching Bubba show love to Bear melts this Mommy's heart.

December 20, 2018

Our 9th Wedding Anniversary

It feels like it was just yesterday at Andy and I met, it is hard to believe that 9 years have already gone by. We weren't able to do much to celebrate this year, since I gave birth to Bear just six days before.We did get each other a small gift though.

I am so grateful that Andy and I met nearly ten years ago. He truly is my best friend. He is an amazing husband and father. Like everyone, we've had our good times and our times of trial and heartache-- but mostly we've had good times. I couldn't have asked to have a better man by my side. I honestly don't know what I would do without him. I feel so incredibly blessed.

December 18, 2018

Bear's Birth Story

Bear is stubborn like his older brother and he didn't want to come. His due date (December 6th) came and went, this at times was frustrating for me. I tried everything I could think of to get labor started. I had several chiropractic adjustments done to my feet, I had a pedicure and the lady really massaged my legs and feet, I tried acupuncture, I went on long walks, I ate pineapple and I even tried going on a tractor ride-- nothing helped.

The date for induction was set for December 13th. Andy and I arrived at the hospital at 7:00 am, We were met by one of Bubba's nurses Sabrina. What are the odds of having the same nurse for both babies-- I scored in the nurse department!

Feeling incredibly nervous and hoping things don't go the way this did with Bubba.

Sabrina took us up to the labor and delivery wing of the hospital and got me setup for the induction. She had a hard time getting the I.V. placed and had another nurse come and place it in my other arm. Having the I.V. placed wasn't any fun! I became really warm, nauseated and started seeing stars, both nurses reassured me that that is a common response.

By 8:00 am I was all hooked up and the pitocin had started. The goal was for me to dilate a centimeter an hour. When I arrived at the hospital I was already 3 cm.

Time passed quickly. Julie arrived at the hospital after having dropped Bubba off at one of my friend's houses.

At some point in the afternoon I decided to sit in the jacuzzi tube. As I was sitting in the tub I started having sciatic nerve pain and I knew it wasn't good. I asked Julie to let the doctor and nurse know that I wanted an epidural.

As soon as I got out of the tub the pain intensified. They told me someone would be there within 30 minutes to place the epidural. Thirty minutes came and went. With each passing minute the pain worsened.

I was informed that all of the anesthesiologists in the hospital were in O.R. and they would have someone to help me as soon as they could.

The pain continued to increase. Each time I had a contraction I felt immense pain in my sciatic nerve, I couldn't even feel the contractions. Sabrina tried to get me to breath through the contractions but it didn't help.

My doctor came into the room and was waiting for the anesthesiologist with me. I cried out and asked her to cut my leg off-- the pain I felt was indescribable. I have a really high pain tolerance and this was probably the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life.

Nearly an hour later an anesthesiologist finally made it to my room. By this time I was 7 cm dilated. My doctor had the anesthesiologist send something down the epidural line first to deaden my nerve pain and then came the epidural.

They did a much better job placing the catheter this time. When I had Bubba I could feel catheter each time I had a contraction-- that didn't happen this time.

Next thing I knew it was time to push. My doctor had me get into position. Andy and Julie were both by my side. Julie counted and coached me through my contractions.

After about forty minutes of pushing my doctor asked if she could cut me. She said that I had some tissue down there that was tight and it was her belief that if she cut me the baby would come right now. I gave her the go ahead and two pushes later Bear made his entrance into the world.

Andy cut the umbilical cord and Bear was placed on my chest for skin to skin. He promptly peed all over me.

One tired Mama.

He came in weighing 8 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. He was over a pound heavier than his brother.

I couldn't help but notice how chunky he was. I just love the hair on his ears and his little man boobs-- so cute!

We attempted to get a photo of his hairy ears- they are much hairier than this.

We are so glad that Bear arrived safely and that he is part of our little family!

A proud Daddy!

Bubba meeting Bear for the first time. He was so excited!

Don't mind the towel or the nasty plate of food. Just admire the little boy with the cup of water-- pure joy!

December 17, 2018

Names We Considered For Bear

I have always struggled with naming things. As a child my dolls were known as Boy Baby and Girl Baby. My stuffed pink rabbit became known as Pink Bunny. And my pet hedgehog was named Hedggie. The struggle is real I tell you. 

When you don't know the gender of you child before they are born, it is wise to come up with some name ideas for both genders. Andy and I had a handful of girl names that we both really liked, but boy names were a real struggle for us. I like names that aren't super common or generic and there are not a lot of names that meet that criteria.

We had both written out a list of names. After Bear was born we pulled out our list and started trying to figure out what his name was supposed to be. For some reason none of the names on our lists were standing out to either of us. As I sat in my hospital bed for two days looking down at this little one I was drawn to a particular name. I shared that name with Andy, he mulled it over and eventually we both came to the conclusion that that was to be Bear's first name. Bear's middle name was just as much of a struggle, Andy and Julie chose it. I love Bear's name and I feel like it fits him perfectly.

Bear shares that same name as one of my second cousins. I have never known anyone else with the same name. On that note, Bear's pediatrician said in his 18 years of practice he has never had a patient with that Bear's name either. I will take that as a win for not having a common name.

Here are the names we considered for Bear and didn't use.

Maxwell a.k.a. Max

December 16, 2018


For personal reasons I don't like posting my children's names on the internet, each child has an alias. Baby #1 goes by Bubba-- it was the first nickname we ever gave him. Baby #2 from now on will be known as Bear-- this boy loves to cuddle and has some very hairy ears.

December 11, 2018

Impromptu Date Night

My stepmom, Julie, flew into town the night before my due date. It has been a huge blessing to have her here with us! I totally understand now why people like living close to their family. Julie was kind enough to watch Bubba so Andy and I could go on what will likely be our last date for awhile. We went to the movies, nothing too exciting but it was sure nice to spend some time alone together.

December 9, 2018

Gamut Of Emotion

I feel a bunch of different emotions at the moment, most of them not positive emotions and I'm not sure how to handle them. Baby's due date has come and gone and my body doesn't seem to be showing any signs that I am going to go into labor naturally. If you have read about how long and unpleasant labor was with Bubba, then you understand why I don't want to be induced and want this baby to come on its own. A date for induction has been set and I'm really hoping this baby decides to come before then.

I have tried a lot of things this time around to go in to labor but so far nothing has done the trick. I have had several chiropractic adjustments done to my feet, I had a pedicure where they really massaged my legs and feet, I even went in for acupuncture-- that was incredibly painful and something I will never do again! And I went on a tractor ride. Next on the agenda is having my membranes stripped, pending my body is in a position to do that. I think for now though, the best thing to do is trust that this baby will come when the Lord feels like its time.

I feel incredibly exhausted, the longer this pregnancy goes on the more tired I feel. Sleep has been an elusive thing for the past several weeks. I have to sleep sitting up because of the nausea and heartburn and I just don't feel rested.

I have learned from experience that when I don't get good sleep, I feel depressed so there is some of that going on right now too. Earlier today I just wanted to curl up and cry for no reason at all.

And then enter the feelings of inadequacy and fear. Am I going to be able to give birth to this baby naturally? Am I really cut out to be a mom of two? How will my son react to having to share "his Mommy?" And what about those family members who just a few weeks ago decided that not respecting our boundaries is more important than having a relationship with us, will their hearts be softened? Will they decide at some point that they want to be a part of this new little babe's life? Time will tell I guess.

December 8, 2018

Northern Lights Tree Farm

On a whim we decided to check out Northern Lights Tree Farm. I think we would all agree that it was worth our while. I personally liked looking at the Harry Potter themed building. Andy enjoyed his Harry Potter Chocolate Frog and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Jelly Beans. As for Bubba, he was all about the tractors. We went on lots of tractor rides, he was like a kid in a candy store. We will definitely have to take him back next year so he can ride some more tractors.

Car Problems

You know the saying, "When it rains, it pours"? I feel like that statement sums up well when trials come into our lives. I was driving the other day and I noticed that the car was making a funny noise. It didn't sounds like anything too serious, but I made sure I mentioned it to Andy.

Andy was swamped with some major projects at work, you know the kind that require you to go into the office at 3:00 am on Sunday. So Julie and I took the car to a shop and asked them if they could tell us what was wrong with the car. The lady mechanic said we needed to change the oil. That didn't seem right to Julie or I so we drove down the road a few more miles to the dealer. The mechanic at the dealer took a quick look at the car and instantly said we needed a new water pump. They could switch the pump out in an hour, but it was going to cost a pretty penny. We called around and found a new pump (located across town) for a fraction of the cost. We debated about what to do and decided to take the risk of driving across town for the pump. If our current pump went completely out on us, the engine would be shot.

Julie and Andy spent several hours outside in the dark and freezing cold fixing the car. Thankfully they were able to get the part switched out.

A few days later the car started smoking. Andy was able to determine that the radiator had a leak. Thankfully the auto parts store had one in stock and a friend in the ward came to help Andy switch out the park in the cold, dark, rain. The car seems a good as new now.

December 7, 2018

Ward Christmas Party

We weren't planning on going to our ward Christmas party this year because it happened to fall on my due date and we were anticipating being in the hospital. This baby had other plans for us though and we ended up going to the party. We loved the food, the company and watching Bubba attempt to get his picture taken with Santa (a.k.a. our bishop).

As you can tell, Bubba was not a fan. We'll have to try again next year I guess.

December 6, 2018

Things I Want To Remember About Bubba At Age 2

My little boy is growing up and changing so fast! I wish time could slow down just a little bit. He recently started saying a bunch of new words. I want to remember the way he says, "Thank you" in his cute little voice. I want to remember the phase where Andy was "Mama" and I was "Mommy." I want to remember the way his feet sound on the wooden floors as he runs up and down the hallway. I want to remember that cars, trucks and tractors are called "gugus". I want to remember the way he nuzzles up against my ever growing baby bump. I want to remember the way he says "Eww yucky" each time he sees a garbage can and the way he presses his face to the window to watch the garbage man pick up the trash each week.

I want to remember his "sneaky feet." And they way he looks at you and waves "bye" when he wants you to leave so he can do something mischievous. I love the name he has given himself, "Dududu" since his own name is too hard to pronounce. I love listening to him point out each stocking hanging on the wall and saying who it belongs to. It makes me smile each time he points to the baby's stocking and says "Baby."

These stockings used to hang over my Nana's fireplace. She made each of them.

I love seeing the excitement on his face each time he looks at our nativity and points out the donkey, it's his favorite! I sure love this little boy and am glad is a part of my life.

He loves to point out the donkey in this book.

December 3, 2018

Creche & Christmas Devotional

This past weekend was a good one. We spent time getting somethings done that we needed to. The two highlights for the weekend though were attending the Creche Exhibit and watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional.

I love going to the Creche Exhibit each year. Listening to live Christmas music and looking at over 1000 different nativity displays really sets the tone for the season.

Dressing up as the nativity scene is always fun too! This year we dressed Bubba up as a cow, he didn't like it at first and started to cry. He eventually warmed up to his cow outfit and didn't want to get out of the manger. They took a few really cute photos of him in the manger by himself, but we weren't able to get a copy of my favorite one.

Love my binky sucking cow!

The First Presidency's Christmas Devotional was amazing as always. As soon as the choir started to sing, Bubba was laser focused on the tv-- that boy sure loves music! In addition to the music I loved listening to the stories that were shared. I always feel uplifted when I hear the leaders of the Church speak.