Saturday, May 28, 2011

6 Years Ago....

Chris and I walked out of the Las Vegas temple, sealed for Time and ALL Eternity! It was the best and most important decision Chris and I have ever and will ever make, being sealed in the temple. The buzz of the day is still fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. I remember waking up to my alarm, thinking "hey I'm getting married today." I showered, my cousin did my hair and then my parents came to pick me up and take me to the temple. We arrived at the temple and as we were walking in Chris was walking back to his car to get something he had forgotten. I remember when I saw him I was so excited to see he was there. I didn't think he would stand me up, it was just excitement to see my future husband.

We got dressed and waited in the waiting room with both sets of parents. There was one or two other couples in there but it was only our families talking and cracking jokes. My dad was trying to see how many of us could move our foot in a circle one way and pat our heads or something like that. I have always heard people express their wedding day nerves, however I didn't have any. I was just excited to start this next chapter in my life! We were sealed in front of about 100 members of our family and a few friends. I can still remember the comfort and peace that came over me when we walked into the sealing room and knelt across the alter from one another.

After our sealing we took pictures and then headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for a bar-b-que. The rest of the day was great, after the luncheon came the reception and it was a lot of fun. We talked, danced, laughed and had a good time!!!

These past six years have been full of smiles, trials, milestones and memories that will not be forgotten. In some ways it doesn't seem like its been SIX years already, but then when you write down all we have done and accomplished and been through, I can't believe it all fit into six years!!!

How thankful I am to have meet Chris, gotten to know him and become his wife and eternal companion!!! How thankful I am that we started our marriage in the temple and have the assurance that if we live righteously we will be with our children and one another FOREVER!!! I cannot think of a better way to spend eternity! Thanks babe for marrying me six years ago!!! I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sleeping Kids

There is something about a sleeping child that just makes my heart smile. Perhaps its the fact that they aren't fighting with each other, or talking back or maybe it's just that they are so peaceful. Whatever it is, I just had to document it. Ethan is funny, he always falls asleep with his hands above his heads or curled up in a ball as if he is freezing. His newest thing is to say that he is hot and ask if he can talk his shirt off... I let him do it one time and now he wants to do it all the time... Here he is the other night. (I know the sheets are Katelee's, they take turns sleeping on the top bunk...)

Katelee, she doesn't like sheets at all. She doesn't want to be covered falling asleep and then if you come in and cover her up later she will kick them off before you leave the room. She sleeps in all kinds of positions and has even fallen off the bottom bunk and by the time I got into the room she was under the bed. She just kept rolling and was so confused when I came in. The other night we came in to find Katelee like this.... I don't know how long she was like that, or would have been like that. Too cute!

Now on to Ashlee. She is a great baby. Most nights she sleeps solidly through the night. The other nights when she wakes up we just give her the binky and she is out again. I complain about her getting up, but really I have been so spoiled. When we put Ashlee down for the night she sleeps in her woombie. It has no legs or arms, but is stretchy so she can still move around. She seems to love it and it has worked so far, so she will keep sleeping in it for now. She always looks so peaceful. Every night we put her down like this and then in the morning she is perpendicular. I don't know how she gets there, but she does!!!

Talkative Ashlee

Every night after Ashlee has had her last bottle we lay her down to get her dressed. This is when Ashlee is at her best. She learned at a very young age that if she smiled and talked I would lose track of time and just talk and smile back at her. Most nights I could do this for a good 10 minutes. She is a smart one. Well she still loves to talk and smile at bedtime and I still love to smile and talk with her, but I'm getting better about putting her down on time. Tonight she was talking quite a bit and I decided to get a video of it. I just love this little lady. She is such a good baby and makes me to happy. Her little smile has captivated me since the first time I saw it. She smiled pretty early, around 4 weeks. We love to say, "I love yooooouuuuu!" and watch her smile and sometimes I swear she tries to say it back. I know, I'm crazy and just think she is too smart, but there have been a few times I have looked around to see if anyone else heard what I thought I heard! The kids love to repeat anything you say to her and love it even more when she smiles or talks to them. She really does make this WHOLE family happier people!!! Love you Ashlee, thanks for keeping us smiling!!!

Playtime for Ashlee

Tonight while eating dinner Chris pointed out that Ashlee was rolling over to her side and then back again. It felt like this was the first time I had ever seen an infant almost roll over. I got so excited and tried to record it, but Ashlee wasn't having it by the time I got the camera out. Don't get me wrong, I look at my baby and think, "my goodness she is already getting so big. Where has the time gone? Stop growing already." Although I wasn't able to get her semi-rolling, I thought this video was still cute.

You can't tell at all that her brother and sister like her can you???

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kate's Hands

In a previous post I spoke about how Katelee had these horrible spots on her hands. I was able to find some pictures... Poor girl... These were taken the day after they broke out, so they look a bit better than they did the day before.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perhaps the Week Continues

So maybe that crazy week has extended into this week. So far we haven't made any visits to the Doctor's office... But I'm emotionally and physically exhausted. First off it's finals week for Chris. These weeks always add more stress into our household, at no fault of any of ours, it just lingers in the air. With that lingering in the air it always makes things a little more dramatic than they really are... But here is my story anyways...

The first instance of this week is actually pretty comical, but was quite stressful for me for some reason. I had a coupon for $3 off Huggies and it expired on Monday. So Monday after Katelee went to bed I hurried down to Target for a quick shopping trip. I pick up all the things I came for and a few other items and head to the check out line. I start going through my coupons and realize I had all my coupons, my $5 gift card and my phone and that.was.all!!! I didn't have anything to pay with. My first thought was "where can I hide my cart?" Then I ask the checker if they can just ring me up and I'll go home get my money and come back. He says no problem. He rings me up and just as he is near finishing my friend comes up behind me and tells me to hurry up cause I'm holding up the line. (which I actually was) I smile, hug her and tell her she has no idea how right she is. I tell her my story of embarrassment without skipping a beat she insists on paying for it. I try to tell her no a few times but she insists and pays for me. Oh how I was being watched over. I know it sounds so simple and silly, but for me at that moment that night, it was almost like walking on water. It goes on....For three straight nights Ashlee went down around 9-9:30pm and we had to wake her up in the morning to go where we had to go. Of course with three straight nights of this I start thinking.."alright she has this whole night time sleep down, she's cut out a whole bottle, we are good to go!" Then Tuesday night comes, she goes down a little rougher than normal and then is up many times during the night. It started around 12:30am and in 30 minute to one hour intervals, last until around 4am when I wake Chris and ask him to try feeding her or something. He makes the bottle, she eats about an ounce or two and then is out. We chalk the bad night up to maybe some gas or bubbles...

Then my work day starts. I'm on my drive in when my co-worker texts me and tells me one of the big bosses from California is here, unannounced! We go back and forth for a while with theories of why they might be here. One being to get rid of me, but I was just assigned to be the lead on a conversion team in Vegas. I get to work and have a bad feeling about the whole situation but try my hardest to work and stay focused. My boss gets to work after her fetal monitoring appointment and heads up to her office. About 30 minutes later she calls me and ask that my co-worker and I come up to her office. We head up, only to find out that the bank is letting her go. She has been my boss for a solid 4 years now. We mesh very well, she is the only woman boss I have ever had that I get along with perfectly. She has been my mentor for a while now and not only do I work with her but she is my friend. I stand there stunned, not only is she more capable of doing her job than the person sent to let her go, but she is having a baby next week... What am I suppose to do, what do I say? To say I felt hurt and stranded would be a huge understatement. Of course there is a side of me that is thankful to still have my job, but the other side of me HATES working in an atmosphere where I feel like I could be the next to go, an atmosphere where I feel like if I question or ask why something is being done a certain way I will be shut off and isolated. Because of my boss being let go I was given a new position at work. I now manage the Central Operations Manager and report to the Director of Operations in CA. All of this with no monetary compensation or ANY compensation whatsoever! Joy!!! Once again I am grateful to still have a job.... I keep reminding myself of that... I would love to say my day was ok after that, but the day dragged and I couldn't wait to get out of that place when closing time came.

I finally leave for the day and head to Ethan's T-ball game. In the car I'm close to tears, exhausted from the days events when traffic slows down on Rainbow. I notice that there are emergency vehicles on the other side and traffic is being diverted. I then look over and see a black tarp in the street. My positive side things, "oh it's just debris in the road." And then I see a shoe and I loose it! There within throwing distance, my sons throwing distance, is a dead body. A physical body of someone whose spirit has now left this mortal earth. I have only seen something like this not even a handful of times in person, but each time it tears my insides up and makes this mother, wife, daughter, sister and friends heart ache with an ache so deep and fierce that it literally brings me to tears. My day has of course added to the tears, but at the same time this vision really helps put my life at that very moment into perspective. So my work life sucks right now, but I'm still here, My kids are still here, my parents are still here, my husband is still here with me and my friends are still here!!! As traffic picks back up a song I have loved since the very first time I heard it comes on the radio, "I Wont Let Go"-by Rascal Flatts. Small tender mercies of my Heavenly Father always seem to appear when I need them most and in the most unexpected ways.

It’s like a storm
That cuts a path
It breaks your will
It feels like that
You think you're lost
But you're not lost
On your own
You're not alone

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
And you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go

It hurts my heart
To see you cry
I know it’s dark
This part of life
Oh, it finds us all
And we’re too small
To stop the rain
Oh, but when it rains

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
And you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let you fall

Don’t be afraid to fall
I’m right here to catch you
I won't let you down
It won't get you down
You're gonna make it
Yeah, I know you can make it

Cause I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
And you can’t cope
And I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go

Oh I’m gonna hold you
And I won't let go
Won't let you go
No, I won't

Although my tears start off as tears of pain and anguish, this song turns them into tears of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving that someone is watching over me at all times. That no matter what I'm facing in my life there is always going to be someone there to dry my eyes and hold me tight. I was driving my car on the highway and could feel spiritual arms hug my heart. I was no longer holding this pain in my heart alone... Once again through a bad week I'm reminded how special I am to my Heavenly Father, how he is ever mindful of me and my life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter 2011

Since Chris' Spring Break did not fall during my maternity leave we decided to take a long weekend up to Utah. We wanted to introduce sweet little Ashlee to her Great Grandparents and her Great Aunts and Uncles that live in Utah. We headed out Thursday afternoon in hopes of getting there in time for bedtime. We met my Aunt and Uncle at the Cracker Barrel in Springville and had a nice dinner. The kids were able to get out and stretch which was much needed since the last stop we had made was in Mesquite for a potty break. After dinner we got back on the road and pulled into Aunt Lisa's driveway about the time we expected. Ethan took a small nap on the way up but not Katelee. She was wide awake the whole time until we got back on the highway from dinner.
She feel fast asleep and stayed that way until the next morning. When we got to Lisa's I expected Katelee to wake up when I got her out of the car, but she didn't. I laid her on the bed and she stayed asleep, Chris went and changed her into her PJs and she stayed asleep. Silly girl must have been really tired from all that sitting she did. The whole point of us going to Utah was to spend a lot of time with my Grandparents. Although we did other activities such as, Going to Park City to shop, visiting Chris' aunt and much more, the majority of the time we spent at my Grandparent's.

The kids with Great-Grandpa
The kids love their great grandparents. At times I think they are a little 'rough' with them and try to treat them like their grandparents. But all in all they do pretty well.

The kids with Great Grandma.
The kids with my Aunt Janette or Jamima as we like to call her!
(These are the kids' Easter outfits, not the best picture especially since Ethan's tie and vest are off.. But I'm not the best mom and forgot to take good pictures!)

On Easter Sunday we went to church over by Aunt Lisa's house with my Aunt Janette and then headed over to my Grandparent's so I could make them Easter dinner. We decided to do Swiss Steak, Funeral potatoes and some veggies. Aunt Lisa came over after her ward and ate with us. Dinner was good but the company was much better. After dinner we went to the school over by my grandparents to 'roll' our Easter Eggs. This has been a family tradition of ours ever since I can remember. I still have many memories of meeting up with quite a few of my cousins and aunts and uncles and rolling eggs. I want my kids to have those same memories as well. My Uncle Gene, Aunt Lisa and us all went. It was pretty cold, but that of course did not stop the kids from having loads of fun.

Us rolling the eggs at first...

We rolled the eggs about three times and then it turned into what it normally does...

The kids running around....
Throwing the eggs as far as we can. Being in Utah we had a unique opportunity this year. We were able to throw the eggs at the Seagulls that came swarming in on us....

The Ethan started chasing after them and so did Katelee, a little.

Here is a shot of me and the kids and a few of the birds.

When we went to leave there were quite a few seagulls and we decided it was best to just let them have the eggs and get out of their way. We didn't want to get anything extra from them. We stayed with my Grandparents that night and that was fun. We got to stay up pretty late playing cards. Chris even played with us which made it even more fun!!! Once we were finished playing cards I stayed up with my Grandma till 12:45am playing a game on their IPad. It was so much fun to just hang out with her, I wish we lived closer so we could do that more often!

I am so grateful for Easter, for the reminder of my Saviors wonderful sacrifice for us. I know that my Savior lives and that he loves me more than I will ever know. How great it is to continue on our Easter traditions with my family and also help them learn and grow in the Savior. I am also thankful for the opportunity I have been given of introducing each of my children to my Grandma and Grandpa Blackburn. They are so good to me and my family... I love being able to see my kids play with them, bug them and hug them like I use to!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a Week

Do you ever have one of those weeks, where you look back and say, "WOW, I'm so glad that week is over!"? Well we had one just last week. It went a little like this:

Friday: Ethan went to the Dr. He had a fever earlier that week and then started complaining of a sore throat. Chris took a look at his throat Friday morning and saw that it was quite red. The Dr. did a Strep test which came back negative, however Ethan did have sores on his throat so they gave us medicine to treat those. Chris took Ethan later to the Pharmacy to get his Rx filled. I got a call on my way home from picking up the girls from Grandma's house from Chris. He asked me to come pick him up because his car would not shift into gear at Albertsons. Not a problem, I'm sure we can get it fixed some how.. Although in the back of my mind I was thinking worst case, car needs a new transmission. So we ended up trying to fill the transmission fluid up and see if that fixed it... No luck. So we left it at Albertsons for the night.
Saturday: We wake up early and stop by the car on the way to Ethan's T-Ball game. I was fearing that it would be towed over night, luckily it wasn't. I left a note on the window saying we were going to tow it later. Then we headed over to the game. Chris was going to drop me, Ethan and Ashlee off and go get gas and a soda. We parked behind a few parked cars and started unloading. We were on the driver's side of the van when it moved quite a bit. We were confused for a few seconds until we put it together that someone had backed into out van. Long story short everyone was ok, we traded info and Chris is dealing with it! :) Chris and Chris Hansen worked on our car after Ethan's game until about 4 and got it running well again.
Sunday: Kate had a fever a few days before and woke up with weird spots all over her hands. I wish I had taken a photo because it was unbelievable how horrible her hands looked. It looked as if she had put her hands down an ants hole and had hundreds of bites all over them. She acted alright, but I felt horrible for her.
Monday: When Katelee woke up I looked at her hands and decided we needed a diagnosis on her hands. They didn't look worse but they didn't look any better. She had some spots in her month and on her throat as well so we took her to the Dr. He was a little stumped and wasn't exactly sure what the spots were. She was also tested for Strep, which came back negative as well. He decided that her hands was probably a secondary infection to the eczema that is normally on her hands. Being that her hands are ALWAYS in her mouth, the nasties from her sores in her mouth got into her eczema and made a nasty flare up. She was given an Rx as well. That night while picking up her Rx the Pharmacy Tech, Steven, was checking us out. We were almost done when he asked if my husband was close to finishing Physical Therapy school yet. I smiled and said one more year and then said my good byes and headed out. Then it occurred to me, WOW we are at that Pharmacy A LOT if even the tech knows about my husband and his schooling. Funny times... Oh the life of a mother of three!
Tuesday: Pretty normal
Wednesday: Ashlee has been getting harder and harder to feed. She moves around constantly when we feed her, sometimes she just refuses to eat at that moment. We have to give her a while and try it again. Well Wednesday she flat out refused to eat... She completely skipped her 5:30pm bottle and hardly ate her 8:30pm bottle. This worried me, it has been progressively getting worse and worse to feed her. Katelee was always hard to feed, but Ashlee use to be easy to feed and now she isn't.
Thursday: I called the Dr and got Ashlee in to see him about not eating. She ate ok for my mom at 9:30am, but didn't eat well the rest of her feedings. Along with not eating, she was drooling like crazy and sucking on her hands a whole bunch. So when we got to the Dr. she had missed almost two full bottles and refused still to eat. The Dr. said that she could be teething, although he thought she was a little young for that or she could have Reflux. He gave her some baby antacid and we were once again off to the Pharmacy. Three times in one week, I'd love to say it's a record, but unfortunately its not!!
So when Friday came and Ashlee was eating better, Katelee's hands looked much better and Ethan was back to his normal self I decided that perhaps our crazy week might finally be over.

How grateful I am for weeks like this every once in a while. They really help you realize things that we take for granted like:

-The fact that we have WONDERFUL friends. Chris Hansen dropped everything he had planned for his day to help us out, the day before Mother's day. He drove Chris around to the part store, the dealership and back home again. He did all this with no thought of something in return. We have other friends who are always willing to drop anything to help us out! How I am so thankful for our friends!
-We are lucky to have two cars. Many people don't even have one car that can breakdown or get hit and here we have TWO. How lucky are we? Tons of people would give anything to have two working cars.
-We have great Doctor's. We have been blessed to have the same Pediatrician since Ethan was born. He might seem odd to others, but we click quite well with him. I know that if we call early enough in the day we can get a same day apt, even within an hour of calling his office. He really does care about kids and works with them so well. This was one of my biggest fears before having kids, was fearing that we would never find a good doctor for our kids. We are blessed to have such an amazing doctor.
-Our families rock. No matter what we are going through they are always there to support us. Offering to let us use their cars if we need them. Watching the kids while we take other kids to the doctor. Being there to talk to when that's all this mother needs to do to feel better. We have been so blessed to have been born into such great families!
-Our kids... Where do I start? Although they are often times the cause behind so much stress and worry I am so grateful for them. So thankful to have three healthy kids who fight with each other, who argue, who cry, who get sick and who make my life full of learning opportunities. So many would give anything to take a child to the doctor because that would mean they have a child. Children have given me an express ticket in the learning department. How did I ever learn my lessons before they came along? I love to cuddle my kids, even if they are kicking and fighting it the whole time! I love when one of them will randomly come up and tell me they love me the "mostest!" I love how they run up to me when I get home and I love their little hands even if their prints are all over the place.

Weeks like this really give you us the opportunity to remember and see the things we have truly been blessed with. Although I'm so glad that week is over, the lesson I have learned and relearned will keep living on... Until the next week that seems unending and then a WHOLE new set of gratitude moments will kick in!