Monday, April 18, 2011

Too long since last update

I can't believe that it has been so long since I last updated our lives. First of all, Piper Elisabeth joined our family five months ago, November 8, 2010. She is a true joy to have in our home. There is something about a new baby, fresh from the presence of our Heavenly Father, that seems to help put life back in perspective. A week following her birth as I was settling in for a few hours of sleep I had the worst pain I have ever experience, and it would not go away, only increased in intensity. Needless to say, despite my obstinance at needing help to get to the hospital (which is less than a mile away!) the ambulance was called. After hours of trying to determine what was wrong, it was discovered that I had some internal bleeding, most likely a result of the birth (remember that happened a WEEK prior). Anyway, I was stuck in the hospital for a week waiting for everything to stabilize. As Tad and I look back we both seem to have a greater appreciation for life, not to mention the significance of our relationship.

On a brighter note, last week we celebrated (maybe I should say acknowledged as Tad was out of town) our 21st wedding anniversary. When we met I had so many different aspirations than what I am now doing, but I wouldn't change a thing. We are looking forward to Jocelyn graduating in a month and then continuing her education in Logan, Utah. Talia just returned to BYU-I last weekend and is now halfway through her college career. I love to listen to her play the piano. She has been so blessed with this talent. I still maintain the belief that Grandma Annis has blessed her with this gift, even though there are no blood ties, but anything is possible with the Lord on your side.

So much has happened it would take forever to catch up on it all. Suffice it to say, since our recent stake conference (did I mention that since Tad is in the stake presidency we have the occasional opportunity to be taught by visiting general authorities as happened this past conference?) in addition to listening to and trying to apply the things we heard in General Conference, I have felt a greater desire to try and keep a more accurate family history. Some days I have a difficult time even finding time to put on makeup and fix my hair, but I hope that good intentions count for something. Even if I post only once a month I will be showing improvement, right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baby Update. We finally were able to make it to Salt Lake for some genetic counseling and the official ultrasound of baby #7. We have been waiting for an extra month to get this completed as schedules were a bit on the crazy side this summer. It is a great relief to know that everything appears to be fine with the baby. We were unsure as the history of Haleigh and her SB as well as I am getting up there in years to have another child, but everything looked great. And surprise, surprise, we are having another little girl. We thought we had a name picked out but last night I began playing with some new ideas and now we will just have to wait and see. The girls all seem to be excited for this new addition and we are beginning to try to collect some necessities. Unfortunately, a crib continues to be the elusive item on our list of needs. I really don't want to invest in a new one as I know that I will not be able to do this again. All in all, we are excited to see what this little one will bring to our family. As of today, there are officially 12 weeks and 3 days left to the due date and I am praying that she doesn't go past that time. I would really like to enjoy the holidays without worrying about when she will be joining us. Only time will tell.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer is finally here, we think. It has rained more than the sun has been shining but the kids have been out of school for two weeks. All this wet weather has caused some serious damage in the areas around us but fortunately we are on high ground. Tad loves his new job and is enjoying working from home. It's a little strange having him around as much as he is but I can't complain -- he missed so much with the long hours he had to put in when the older girls were little. Chloe knows him in a way differently than the first three or four girls ever did when they were her age and this newest one, well, we will just have to see.

According to due dates I only have 22 weeks left and Tad and I joke about a "birth plan." Don't you think at my age (yes I had another birthday yesterday and I am now almost into my mid-40s) I should be able to have a plan? I still think delivering by C-section (too old to push after doing it 6 times), and then while I am already open just take everything non-essential out and give me a little tummy tuck as a baby gift would be great. Then I could just sit back and enjoy the baby and the holidays together. I know it sounds a little flippant but this kid has really knocked me down. People who begin their families at my age are CRAZY! I would much rather have them all bundled together and be running around barefoot and pregnant like I did with the first four and still have energy at the end of the day than feeling a need, no I believe it has almost become mandatory, to take a daily nap that lasts for no less than 45 minutes. I feel very lazy and unproductive when I do this but I am trying to listen to my body and if the baby says nap then I nap. We believe all is well although this little one doesn't like to be heard (I have had to have an ultrasound at each appt. just to make sure that everything is going okay as the doctor cannot detect a heartbeat with the handheld Doppler). I don't like the challenges this one gives us but at least I get a sneak peek with each visit. I have two more weeks until my next appointment and then I will go to Salt Lake for my official mid-pregnancy ultrasound. The doctor is being on the cautious side and wants me to see a specialist for some genetic counseling and more a less reassurance of all we have going on (older in pregnancy and history of spina bifida). I am excited for the appointment as I have asked my mom to come with us to the appointment. This will be grandbaby #26 if I haven't missed anyone and I think it is time she gets an opportunity to experience something like this, and fortunately she has agreed. Maybe this one has been so difficult because we might get a boy? If not, remember the movie 7 Brides for 7 Brothers? I may have the brides, now all I need to do is find the brothers!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Week of Blessings

What a week! Mother's day was wonderful -- Tad and the girls pampered me, taking care of all the meals and even cleaning up after themselves! Knowing how much meat does not like me these days they even planned something where it was not the main feature of a meal (not to mention that it was a dinner everyone loves). All I wanted was to have time with my family and that was exactly what the day was -- nearly perfect.

Tuesday night Talia called home to let us know somebody wanted her to accompany them this semester. At the beginning of each semester she is to have an assigned vocalist and instrumentalist, but anything beyond that is cake, and therefore she is able to get paid for her services. I am still amazed at the talent this young lady has been blessed with! Who knew that these talents not only could skip generations (although her grandmothers both play the piano well), but my grandmother (her great-g'ma) was my dad's adoptive mother. She was a concert-level pianist and that seems where Talia is headed these days. I never knew blessing her with Grandma's name would have such significance in her life. I love talking with Talia and hearing her testimony and maturity grow -- 18 years is finally paying off!

Also on Tuesday Tad and I went to visit my doctor again. They were not able to detect the baby's heart beat the week before and I'll admit, I began to get a little nervous. One week later there was still nothing on the Doppler so we went in for a "quick peek." Sure enough, the little shrimp as we were calling the baby last week was still there, just playing hide-and-seek, not wanting to be found. All is well and we were able to go home knowing that everything at this point is looking good for our littlest blessing. This week it has grown to the size of a lemon, so I think it will be our little tart for this week!

The other girls are all counting down until school gets out. Jocey will be starting her senior year in the fall and Madison moves to the 4th-5th grade building (not soon enough it seems!). They are such strong young women. I am glad the Lord blessed us with six beautiful daughters. I still hold by my opinion that it was paybacks to let Tad know how fathers felt whenever he took out their daughters, as he truly loved to date and be with girls when he was a teenager, but he is a fantastic dad. He is always there to support them and isn't afraid to let them know he cares. Our lives are great, and we look forward to the summer and all the excitement that this will bring (and laking, too, Chloe says!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome Newton!

In February, I started to grow a little poppyseed in my tummy. It has gone through many different stages of development already. This week it is the size of a fig, so we're calling it Newton. The girls don't like the name (especially Nikki!) but Tad and I are a bit amused. They don't seem to understand that this name is only temporary and by next week we will have a new nickname for it.

At my age having another baby was definitely not what we were looking for, but the Lord had other plans for us as we have learned since moving to Wyoming nine years ago. As I think back to our moving here just before Christmas 2000 with five young daughters - ages 8 to 3 months - we have had more things happen than I ever imagined. Tad has grown in the gospel as he has served as a counselor in the bishopric followed by bishop and now in the stake presidency. These callings have given our family more blessings than we can count.

One significant change we made occurred a couple of years ago when the Ogden Temple president challenged us in stake conference to attend the temple once a month. Even when we lived close to a temple we were not as faithful in our attendance as we knew we should have been, but we accepted that challenge and have found planning on when to go to the temple each month has been a highlight we look forward to often. It should be noted that the closest temple is at least four hours away and during the winter the passes when open are often dangerous to drive over.

In October of last year we had gone to Rexburg, Idaho, to visit Talia as well as get in a session at the temple. I have never had the spirit speak to me the way it did and I was afraid to really acknowledge the impressions I had for a couple of weeks. When I had finally accepted what had happened and shared the experience with Tad, his feelings were of shock, much like mine. After much prayer and fasting we knew we were to follow these promptings and with a leap of faith moved forward. I think the fact that I was able to get pregnant as quickly as I did is another testament to the promptings I received in the temple and we are now looking forward to our brood's continued growth.

Am I saying that everyone should have what feels like a supersized family in an average sized home? Definitely not! To add to our already feeling of coziness in our home, Tad began a new job this past week which will have him working primarily from home so one of our precious bedrooms was sacrificed to become an office. On the upside of things, Tad will be here when I have not so good days (which seem to finally be ebbing) and Talia will have a closet to call her own although she will most likely be sleeping on an air mattress in the office when she does come home.

We were a bit reluctant to tell people at first, worried about what people would think, but in reality, those things shouldn't matter. This is between me and Tad and the Lord and that's all that matters. Fortunately, there has been nothing but excitement shown to us by those near and dear to our family. I was told last week while we were in the temple and I shared my experience with the workers there that this child will be blessed by coming to a home where its parents loved the temple and attended often. I didn't know what to say about that at the time, but I know they were right and we look forward to November when this little one will bless our home with its spirit. What a great way to bring in the holiday season (I know it's a little early to celebrate but I gotten a bit of a reputation for being a planner and looking ahead).

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Year -- New Life

So I quit my job back in December. Although I still considered myself mainly a stay-at-home mom, Tad and I felt that the time I spent at the computer was keeping me from what I really wanted to do, just be a mom. This change has taken me a while to adjust to and I find that I have spent many of my days just more or less spinning my wheels. Granted, games and stories with Chloe as well as playing pretend or whatever else she dictates has been a lot of fun, but there has to be some balance. For too many years I put off projects, only getting about halfway through them, and I had big dreams for getting the projects completed.

I had a sort of epiphany last week as I read a friend's blog and she wrote about her "skinny jeans." I, too, have that seemingly unobtainable dream of being something I'm not (in the personal size department). Six kids in 16 years kind of takes it out of you, especially if the first three were born within 5-1/2 years of each other, from #1 to #4. I love my family but I have decided it's time to find me once again, come back to having an identity other than somebody's mom or the wife. There are no cheerleaders encouraging me on this journey, just my own stubborn will and a hope for being an example for my girls. I guess Chloe has heard it all enough as she asked me today, "Can I exercise too? My tummy's fat." I love how innocent a nearly 4-year-old child can be. I don't want the girls to have negative body images of themselves as I struggled with almost my entire life. They are beautiful, bright, and so creative in their own respective rights. I need to let them know how grateful I am to have been blessed with each and every one of them. Also, as I have told Tad for years, it's his just due after how much he liked the girls before he met me. Now he has an idea of what it's like to be in the father's shoes of a teenager daughter!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I love this time of year.

I love to be in my home and look out the windows at all the changes going on. I love the colors of the leaves as they change on the trees and then fall to the ground. I love the color of the nearly cloudless sky that seems to stretch on forever. I love the passed on harvest that neighbors share when they have had their fill and know that we were not able to have much of a garden (again, but hopefully next year will be better!) I love the smells of fall, especially the baking that goes on in our house. Something has really gotten into us and we have gone through over 25 pounds of flour in less than a month and the real baking days are still to come.

The snow we had has finally melted and the temperatures are warmer. I was lucky enough to get the leaves all raked and bagged on Saturday and clean up the garden. It was just in the nick of time as today (Tuesday) is overcast and gloomy.

With warm fall smells in the house and the little drizzly rain I want to just curl up on the sofa with a blanket, book and a cup of cocoa. Unfortunately, there is a list a mile long waiting for me to work on. The smells of fall and the desire to bring everyone in close around is such a comfort.

I love the relationships that are built as we all settle in for the winter. There can be many cold days when winter really sets in and I am hoping to have some family time that helps us all develop closer bonds. General Conference was such an inspiring time a couple of weeks ago. I continue to reflect on the words of our prophet and other general authorities and hope that I can begin to incoporate their counsel in our family.