Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

It has been a great year and I look forward to 2011. I have grown to love and appreciate life more fully with each year. While some events are expected and anticipated others are not. Whatever the experience, each has the opportunity to help transform you and your family in one way or another.

I look back on the year and realize that this year has been full of many of these experiences. I have improved and achieved some things and have a long way to go with many others. Some of these experiences of 2010 ....


January. Scott got a Pumpkin for his birthday which started a great journey with RC. It doesn't matter what the hobby, but is miraculous to see how it can unite a family, create memories and bonds. It is all about the time spent together.

February. Waiting for baby. Tired and apparent blood pressure issues which turned out to be a hyperthyroid.

March. Surprised with a little girl! Having a girl is something that I never knew I wanted or would ever have but that has been amazing. Girls and boys are innately different and the emotions that you feel as a parent toward a girl is different than a boy. She is such a wonderful addition to our family who we love so much!

April. Getting used to three. I felt great and so blessed that I was blessed with such an easy baby.

May. Warm weather consisted of stroller and bike rides to the park with the three kids. Enjoyed going to parks, being outdoors and feeling extremely blessed for some amazing friends for myself and my kids!

June. Went to Lake of the Pines. Great little vacation. Everyone is doing great. Enjoyed weekly Friday field trips with friends!

July. One of my first summers that I didn't work a ton and really enjoyed the summer and time I had with my family.

August. Found out I was working with a younger group at work. My work has been very good to me. Throughout the years I have realized that they have their unique ways of doing things, however, have learned to be grateful for work and grateful that I enjoy what I do.

September. Danny became a Sunbeam teacher. Danny was in Nursery in our last ward and is now with the youngest Primary kids. He is so great with them! I am so grateful for how great Danny is with kids and how much he loves our kids.

October. Scott started Pre-K and did great. He is so much like his dad. He is shy and has a couple of friends. He is kind and a pleaser and enjoys school. It was hard to realize my little guy is growing up. We are so proud of our little man!

November. Danny suddenly lost a job which made me appreciate more and reflect on the things that are really significant in life. Great life experience and very blessed that he found another job that he is excited about! Visited the McMillans for Thanksgiving. It was great to spend time with Danny's family. Tyler started to show signs of slowing down which made me realize that perhaps I need to slow down a little bit for him. Scott and Tyler went through this stage that they became a handful with each other. When they were together they were bound to be best of friends or worst of enemies. My patience was stretched and I am sure grey hairs were added to my head. This just might be life with two boys that are 1.5 years apart.

December. Tyler's echo went well. 2 more pounds until his surgery which probably means summertime. We are now focused on gaining weight which I think is actually going to work. Greatest Christmas gift was seeing how if you work on something it can actually get easier. Truly recognized the miracle of Carl, my family and the Lord in our lives.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Memories of Christmas

Top 5 things about Christmas...

Visiting Carl's Grave. We read the Christmas story in Luke 2 on our way. When we got there we got to explain to the kids that the entire reason we celebrate Christmas was because Jesus was born and he made it possible for Carl to return to live with him and for us all to return to live with him someday. The spirit was so strong. The graves were filled with flowers. It was a rainy day and I loved to see people visiting loved ones. It made me so grateful for my knowledge of Christ and his gospel. It was a great reminder to me and the kids to what Christmas is all about.

Scott's prayer. He said three things...."I am grateful for Jesus. I am grateful that today was Jesus, Carl and Pops Birthday. I am grateful for my guinea pig." So sweet, so genuine.

Santa Letter. We read Scott and Tyler a letter in the morning from Santa (the irony of it all) about the true meaning of Christmas, all the great things they did that year and a couple of things that they can work on. The major thing they needed to work on was being a little more reverent in church, sitting on the pew, etc. and opened a bag dedicated to church. They got bible coloring books with crayons, a water bottle, books, threading tools, etc. It was cute and I think Scott actually believed that Santa wrote the letter. The best part was today in church they knew they couldn't open their bag until after Sacrament, sat very patiently and quietly throughout the meeting. Reverent enough for my dear husband to take a 30 minute nap or so. I guess I need to get him a bag of toys to keep his attention. It worked today and I am stoked. Wish me luck for the future. The bag was inspired by Mardee's FHE on Church Reverence.

Celebrating my Dad. He is the best, most patient and available dad and grandpa. We are so lucky to have him in our lives!!

Playing with the kids during dinner. While Everyone was eating I had the five kids to myself and LOVED it!! Paisley and Kira played, Roman kept saying HI through the glass (which I think referred to Heidi) and I just enjoyed their cuteness and sweetness. I had the kids all to myself, focused just on them and loved it!!

As I reflect on Christmas I recognize how grateful I am for my knowledge of Christ. I have been blessed with experiences throughout my life that have allowed me to get to know my Savior in a very intimate and real way. He lifts my burdens and helps me strive to be a little bit better each day. He is always there for me and my family and gives me hope of eternal life.

I am grateful that we have an amazing family full of love and support. We got to spend it with them and talk to Danny's family throughout the day that we are a little farther from. We got to talk to and email friends that are significant in our lives and think of meaningful relationships we are grateful for.

Every year I want Christmas to be more focused on him and less focused on the world. Danny and I look forward to starting our own Christmas traditions, some of which we did this year and others which we hope to do in the future. I recognize that my kids willn't remember 99% of the toys that they receive, however, will remember the acts of service given, peoples lives blessed and acts of giving instead of receiving. We have such a long way to go.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas in the Vineyard

I will never forget the two Christmases of my mission....it truly was as close as you can get to understanding the true meaning of Christmas. The first in Barcelona, the second in Benidorm. The miracle of both was that as a missionary you are totally immersed in the Lord's work. The day was spent with others, sharing the Christmas message and spirit. Lifting hands and bringing others to Christ. Spain was full of different nationalities and cultures. I soon realized that some of the most faithful, giving people were also the most humble. Here is a video that I love that reminded me of my mission a little.
It is about a humanitarian vineyard of the church. The end is about a Spanish Branch full of people who deserve a break more than most, yet understand the true meaning of the season. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tis The Season

Christmas of 2008 was perhaps one of the most spiritual days that Danny and I have shared. Our son, Carl, was born at 1AM Christmas morning. While the world was anticipating waking up to presents under the tree, we were able to feel the greatest gift of all. The gift our Savior gave of peace and hope. While Carl's body was simply an empty vessel his spirit filled the room. We knew he was in a better place. He continues to teach us the miracle of Christmas.

It was a simple Christmas focused on the true meaning of why we celebrate.

I want Christmas to be more than just presents for my kids. I want them to feel and understand the joy and happiness of giving rather than receiving. That Christmas, Danny and I were able to give our son the gift of a body and we in return received so much more. He has and continues to be a cherished and important part of our family.

As this Christmas season approaches, I have had the blessing of attending some amazing events that have helped me focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Our Relief Society dinner was about the spirit of giving. Laura sang the 12 days of service and did an amazing job. She talked about while not all of her days were filled with the service that she hoped to give, the Lord made up for the rest.

On Tuesday I was able to attend a charity fundraiser for a precious little girl who I have never met yet have grown to love. Her mom is one amazing mom and raising money for a full-time researcher at UCSF. We love and admire her family so much! The event was filled with the true meaning of Christmas.

On Wednesday I was blessed to attend a benefit concert for UCSF children's hospital. I almost didn't go and am so grateful I did. I got to sit with some amazing friends. We laughed, had a great night and enjoyed great music and food.

Most importantly, we got to learn from incredible men and woman who are making the world a better place. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com donated $125 million and working hard to get it matched. Colin Powell, one his mentors, and Marc gave amazing speeches followed by a great concert by Neil Young. All of the artists and speakers including Will I Am, Ray Charles, Bill Clinton and others donated their time and talents to a cause that I am so grateful for. Because of people like this, our children have the opportunity to receive amazing medical care. How blessed we are! How grateful I am for these Christ-like people.




Marc said that in the beginning of his career he was told that it doesn't matter how much money you have but what you do with that money. I think that this is one of the hardest things that our nation, including me, faces. Are we seeking the will of the Lord in all that we do and all that we have? I know I can seek opportunities to serve more fully in my life. As we do I know we will be blessed.

The percentage Marc has given hasn't changed with time, just the amount he is worth. Jon Huntsman, a philanthropist, has echoed the idea that he gave even when he was poor. The idea of "when I have more, I will give more" is something that seldom occurs. Charity is an action of the heart. These men decided that giving was a part of who they were and what they stood for. What examples of Christlike love and charity which is far more significant than worldly wealth.

Men and woman all over the world are making similar impacts, big and small. Some of the greatest examples of true charity in my life have been some of the poorest people I know.

Charity has been something I have been thinking a lot about lately. It is something that I really want to be better at. For as long as I can remember my mom and dad were generous with there time, energy and resources. They have opened their house for months and years at a time to help someone, volunteered for countless things and never hesitate to help. My sister follows right in their footsteps and they are all such HUGE examples in my life or charity and love!!

It has always been easier for me to give of my time and energy and harder to give of my things. I have this idea that I will need my things at a later time or for a greater purpose. Instead I should be thinking about how I can help others with the talents, time or possessions that the Lord has so fully blessed me with.

Over Thanksgiving I spent a lot of time with my sister-in-law Lisa and her husband who are such huge examples of this. She mentioned the idea of someone who has a "perceived poor mentality". Someone who is unable to give because of their perceived circumstance vs someone who might have little yet always be able to give.

Over the past couple of months I have been working on overcoming a little of this mentality. I still have a long way to go. Probably a lifetime but it is amazing how as you work on something and ask the Lord's help, you are blessed with opportunities to serve, grow and change. I have recognized that as I have sought opportunities to serve and give, I am happier, more blessed and able to serve him more fully. I can hear his voice and the recognize the needs of others. I am so grateful for the opportunities of this life to grow.

In the midst of trying to do better at this, I was released from young woman and called into compassionate service. I have had this calling in the past and love it. You get to help woman, old and young with varying needs. I love helping woman. I have recognized that as I make time to serve others, the Lord magnifies my time and blesses my family in some incredible ways. Truly miraculous.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My dream

Last night, Barack Obama and his family were in my dream. We were to interview them at my parents' home in Utah. They were all seated on the couch in the living room and I said, "Barack, you look tired."

He said, "I know."

I said, "You can take a nap if you want." He shoulda taken the nap because he was out of it and the interview wasn't really happening. A weird dream.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

8 Months

I simply CAN"T BELIEVE we have an 8 Month Old!! I just can't believe it. This is about the time that I get baby hungry. I was pregnant when Scott was 10 months and Tyler was 9 but that won't be happening this time around. I never thought I really liked babies but I guess I do, because I am kind of sad that I don't have a baby anymore. Kira is big. Not in size, but in doing big girl things. Not just sitting and being a baby and that is kind of sad. It just goes too fast and I want to hold onto the time that they let you hold them whenever you want and need you for every need they have. It is such a short window that goes too fast. Here is Kira at eight months in a nut shell....
  • Eats more formula than breastmilk. I usually nurse until 9 months partially out of laziness and mostly out of a love that my babies don't feed every 1.5 hours when they are drinking my watery milk. I really do miss the convenience of nursing when I am done. Kira is the first child that I feel actually likes nursing.
  • Everything goes into her mouth! With two boys in the house she always has something in her mouth. Glad that she hasn't really choked yet. She does a great job at coughing it out.
  • Sucks her index finger most of the time. Thumb some of the time and both occasionally. So nice that she can self soothe. Extra nice at night.
  • Independent. She roams around the house finding things to play with. Will be entertained with paper. Really doesn't need or have an interest in toys.
  • Loves her dad and her dad loves her.
  • Smiles with her eyes which I LOVE!
  • Never let people feed her with a spoon hence passing up baby food.
  • Eats anything on her plate. She will eat food that our boys think is too spicy. We are experimenting to see if we can train her to eat spicy food young. So nice that she will eat anything we eat. Luxury!
  • Loves her brothers. They can make her laugh like nobody else except maybe the dogs whiskers.
  • Loves the bath and shower. She will sit in the shower with me and be totally content crawling around under the rain.
  • Pulls herself up. Not so sure about cruising. It usually ends in a fall.
  • Quiet. Doesn't talk or babble much. Must be a McMillan.
  • Inquisitive. Things to think and watch things intently.
  • Routine?? Sometimes I think she would be in more of a routine if I catered to her needs. It is hard. Today I had joy school so put her down for a morning nap at my convenience just to wake her up to get Scott at school. If it was up to her she would probably wake up around 3-5 to eat and go back to bed until 8'ish. She would stay up for about 2 hours and go back to bed for a quick nap (less than an hour) and another quick nap in the early evening before going to bed around 8-9. I wish I was better at routines. Oh well.
  • Calm and chill.....lets hope it stays that way.
  • Rubs her eyes when she is tired and gets fussy when she is tired.
  • Doesn't like being alone. She doesn't need 100% of your attention but does need to have someone in the room with her. She is fine if Scott stays with her and he is such a great babysitter. He takes his role very seriously. If I take a shower and ask him to babysit, he informs me that she didn't cry and what they did together. Very cute!
  • Weight: 15.1 oz (7%)
  • Height: 2'3" (54%)
  • Head: 16.5" (10%)

Kira has been the easiest transition into our family and thank goodness because her brothers have been bundles of energy lately. I know that I am going to look back at this time and say, "I remember when you were the easy one Kira." For now I will cherish and treasure it.








Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in Utah

Had a great trip to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with my folks. We drove the 2005 Toyota Highlander 4wd and I had to drive most of the way since Heidi didn't like driving in the snow. Here is a picture of me and Scott riding Utah's Traxx light rail system in SLC.

Layton's indoor pool, Surf 'n Swim
On the platform for the diesel-electric Frontrunner

At temple square, 15 second exposure at f/22
Adam and Lisa. Lisa claims that I bought her that hat from Ecuador, but I don't remember. It's a nice hat, anyway.

At the Heber Creeper's Polar Express train ride
Linzer and my dad
At the Gateway in SLC
Kira with my phillips screwdriver

Chelle and Jared
Mrs. Clause with the parentals and grandkids Kira, Jade, and Lily
On the Polar Express
Twas a fun trip even though we got detained on I-80 in both directions for a total of 3.5 hours. Thank goodness for 4wd and my savvy driving (I used to practice doughnuts on Bessie and the blue car so I knew how the car would perform in slick conditions).


Thursday, November 18, 2010

3 Cars, 3 Boys

The three cars: Bandit, E-Maxx and Rustler. The 3 drivers: Scott, Danny and Tyler. 1 problem: Tyler no longer wants his once fast car, the Rustler, because a newer and faster car came along, the E-Maxx. I now know why my parents always got two of everything during our younger years. We shall see how this dilemma will be resolved. Of course Danny being the Daddy that he is usually ends up carless or with the slow car again. What a guy. I told him to get 2 E-Maxx's, one for him and one for Tyler and get rid of the Rustler, but then we have a towing problem as you can see with the size of the thing. Best of luck!

Rub a Dub Dub

My kids love bath time. They throw a ton of toys in the bath and can play forever. Tyler and Scott like to line up cars, squirt each other, make bubbles and watch their sister. Kira loves to hit the water and watch and feel is splash. It never gets old for her. She plays with toys and lets her brothers pour water all over her face. Something they would definitely not let her do to them. So fun seeing her old enough to interact and play with her brothers. So cute. Scott is much more of a father figure, protective, baby sitting type brother to her. He makes sure that she is safe, has a clean diaper, will hold her for me and makes sure she knows the rules. Tyler is all about having fun, being mischievous and having someone to play with. It will be interesting to see their roles and relationships play out in the months and years to come. Love sibling relationships. It is so fun to see.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

32

Danny's birthday was November 10th. We had a great day and I think Danny did too which is AWESOME and makes me really happy!

Everyone woke up early to open presents. The kids wrapped the E-Maxx in a huge box and of course loved helping him open it. Everyone was excited. Danny asked for a RC helicopter for Scott to drive. We now have three nice, fast, fun cars and helicopters so that everyone is having fun. Lately Danny has been left carless since the boys take the fast ones after about one minute.
Danny was excited for his new toys.


He also got a voice over book and some money to take a class. That needs a whole post explanation in itself.

He had a good morning in the office and we met him for lunch. We have the same routine everytime we meet Danny. Wendy's lunch at the park. We had a brownie cake and sparkling cider to celebrate. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and the boys played with their toys. So much fun and so lucky to have a two hour lunch. The staff blocked out an extra hour for something else and it was so nice.


That night Danny had an interview with a great dentist. He really liked the office and dentist. The interview went great but Danny is unsure if the dentist wants something more long term. We shall see what happens. We both are at peace that things will work out. So grateful for prayer and faith. We feel good and excited about the future.

Maria Maria for dinner. We always share a steak fajita plate. It is always good and we always enjoy time with each other. So blessed. The dinner actually came out with a hair in it which was kind of gross. They returned it, gave us a complimentary meal, a second fajita dish which we of course brought home and the meal cost $4 with a really big tip. I would rather the money go to the waiter instead of the restaurant.

So grateful for Danny and the person that he is. In so many ways he is a little kid at heart. With the things that he likes to do as well as the person that he is. He has a pure heart and always want to just do what is right. I wish that I could sum up in words how much he has grown and progressed from year to year. I have known him for 6 years and each year he transforms into this even more amazing man, husband and father. It is so incredible and makes me so humbled how great life is. We have this experience to grow in faith, love, friendship and skill which Danny does on a daily and yearly basis. He is so full of confidence in who he is and what he stands for which I love to see. Each year that confidence grows and allows him to excel and stand for what he knows is right.

What a great year! I hope that the following year is as good for Danny as his 31st year. 31 hobbies of the past year...No specific Order.

1. Superb Dad to three kids
2. Night time Feeding Master
3. Researcher with Ove Peters
4. Hot date for our Saturday Night outings
5. Pianist
6. RC Driver of the Bandit, Rustler, Pumpkin and E-Maxx
7. Associate Dentist for Wu, Herrera & Cademartori
8. Sinus Sufferer
9. Landlord and handyman
10. Loyal Friend
11. Loaner of the Riv
12. Rider of the VFR
13. IPHONE user
14. Sunbeams Teacher
15. Instructor in the Sim Lab and Clinic
16. UCSF Advisory Board Member
17. Repairman for cars and motorcycles
18. Bike Rider
19. Craigslist purchaser
20. Vacationer to Utah and Lake of the Pines
21. Chef
22. Blogger about tinkering, inventions and repairs
23. Race car driver with Miles
24. Music Coordinator
25. Spanish speaker to the kids
26. Patient for a neuromectomy
27. Loving Husband
28. Kira Whisperer
29. "Pics from the Didge" Photographer
30. Applicant for endo school
31. Newspaper Editor


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stacey Pentland Photography



Three years ago I took on 1 more swim lesson in my already full schedule. The person on the other line seemed cool and quite frankly I used to have a really hard time saying no. A last minute decision that I am soo grateful I made. Stacey and her family became great friends!

At the time Stacey really liked photography. It soon became a dedicated hobby and eventually a passion. I have watched Stacey transform from a really good photographer into literally the best photographer that I know. She is INCREDIBLE!! She uses fun, bright colors, catches the little moments and has such a fun style.

I am sooo proud of her and want to tell the world. She is so busy and probably doesn't need anymore work, but if you are looking for an amazing photographer for lifestyle, babies or weddings, you should definitely check out her site. So impressed!! Here are a few photos.

Casey's Wedding...AMAZING!! We were on Aquabears together.

I thought this shot was cool...Have no idea whose dress it was from one of the weddings she shot.
Andrea's wedding. We graduated high school together.

My adorable little niece.
Kids I don't know but who are really cute.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My latest Reads

Before My Heart Stops : A Memoir By Paul Cardall
http://beforemyheartstops.blogspot.com

Paul was born with a similar condition to Tyler and is one of the oldest survivors today. He wrote a book about his journey with a single ventricle. It was so great to hear and read a book from someone who is walking in similar shoes to Tyler. Before Tyler was born he came to me in the temple. He came as a man on the other side. He told me that he had a special heart; a heart to teach, a heart to love and a heart to learn. I have seen how Tyler's heart has given him and our family unique opportunities that would not be possible with a normal heart. I came away from reading the book with an added appreciation for being a heart mom. With added appreciation for how Heavenly Father creates each of us. And an added appreciation for my testimony and faith in my Savior and membership in my Church. Anyone who is dealing with illness, either themselves, their family or an associate should read this book.


Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Loved it! I love psychology, sociology, statistics so why wouldn't I love this book? I thought that parts could have been a little faster paced, but gained some great perspective about life and success. You realize that some of success has to do with seizing the opportunities you are blessed with. Would recommend it to all.

Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable by Mark Dunn

This was part of a book club. I read it while I waiting to have surgery. Although I don't attend the book club, I enjoy occasionally reading books from it because it broadens what I would usually read. Each chapter lost the ability to use a letter and I was impressed by the literary talents of the author. It was interesting and good. I have a hard time giving a book a proper review, because I really enjoy reading a certain type of book. If I am going to spend time reading I want to spend time reading about something with greater relevance to my life. A non-fiction biography, religious book, self-help, topic of interest, etc. is what I enjoy right now in life. I want to read a book on uncluttering my home.

Journey as an Associate

Danny had been an associate for four years. It has been quite an experience. In dental school there are a couple of routes people can take.

You can associate, specialize or be in the military after school.

Danny envisioned himself as a general dentist. He loves working with people, loves doing a variety of things and feels he is good at what he does.

The first year out Danny was blessed to work with two amazing mentors who were great dentists, teachers, role models and so much more.

After a year, Danny left one of the practices, realizing he didn't envision himself buying the practice, and had a couple of jobs that were interesting to say the least.

His first job was at a failing practice with no work and a boss who was in school to specialize. Danny realized that he actually did LOVE working on teeth. He was so bored not doing much dentistry and eventually left.

His second was with a dentist who asked Danny to do things he didn't feel comfortable with. Danny realized his ethics were more important than a job and left.

The third was at an HMO practice, which was a whole new world for Danny. It was fast-paced and perfect for what he needed at the time. Danny's boss owned another practice, so Danny quickly saw a business grow, had to gain speed and confidence as the only dentist. It was here that he really learned how to do dentistry.

While the first two jobs weren't the ideal situations, Danny learned invaluable lessons at each experience that helped mold him into the person and dentist he is today. At the time we perhaps didn't see the blessing, but looking back are so grateful for those experiences. His journey is perhaps more colorful than others, however, has helped him gain experience and really appreciate things that he might have taken for granted.

In the past year or so Danny has grown to love doing root canals. About 5 months ago an opportunity arose for him to do more root canals. A dentist was leaving for a month and Danny planned on being the temporary dentist leading to an associate position when he returned. Things were great. Danny was doing well, the staff got along, he felt really blessed for this opportunity. When the dentist returned, things slowed down a bit and there really wasn't enough work for two dentists. Danny went into work on Monday excited about two root canals on the schedule, having completed one in 30 minutes on Friday, only to be sat down and told that he was being let go.

This was the first time in four years that Danny had been flat out let go. It was quite a shock and so humbling. One minute you have a job that you love and the next it is gone. I went to a bible study the following day and something stuck out in my mind from the lecture.

We were talking about the Assyrians destruction. People obey God, prosper, forget God and are humbled. The Assyrians thought they were so powerful they didn't need God. He soon showed them that he was more powerful than all and took away their riches in hopes that they would return to him. I am fully aware that not all things happen out of unbelief. We have endured some of the hardest things in our life during the times when I was very close to the Lord, however, I think that trials can always be faith promoting in one way or another. The question asked was,

"Do you find purpose in your suffering?"

How simple, yet profound!! We all suffer in different ways. We can suffer because of health, depression, hating a job, not having a job, marital problems, loosing a loved one, not being able to have children, not being married, having a hard time in school, not receiving an award or raise, and so much more. The list is endless and everyone has a very unique and tailored list. The question is, do we go through these times in misery and pain or do we try to find purpose along the way?

I just read a book this morning while Tyler and Scott were at school. Before My Heart Stops: A Memoir by Paul Cardall. Paul has a similar heart condition to Tyler. He has a single ventricle and is one of the oldest patients, in his 30's, that is still alive with this condition. It was interesting to re-read much of his story from his marriage, family, growing up years and recently his journey waiting for a heart and receiving a heart.

Through it all, he and his family had various trials and setbacks. Some health related and others not. One thing was certain throughout the book. Paul found purpose in his suffering. His heart allowed him to cherish and see life in a new light. He not only went through his journey with faith, but found ways to embrace his journey and see the blessings and opportunities that came from it.

I recognize that Danny loosing his job can have purpose.

On Monday we were both pretty sad and depressed. Danny loves going to work, working on teeth and I have a routine of being home. I felt so bad for Danny. It wasn't a good day for anyone. We were both uncertain what the future had in store and therefore stressed about it. I seem to take my stress out of Danny which is the last thing that he needs.

That night we decided to fast and it made things much better and allowed us to see some purpose in this suffering. We were able to feel a glimpse of what so many people and so many friends are going through with loosing a job or being uncertain about the future.

Perspective. Putting things in perspective helps. While financial stress is a hard, there are far greater stresses. I have a strong marriage, wonderful family, amazing friends and support system, wonderful medical care for my son. In the eternal realm, this isn't that big of deal. I do need to work on treating it as such. Much easier said than done.

Opportunity. We sent out ten resumes and Danny has been offered working interviews at a couple places. What a blessing. We have hope that he will be led and find something that is right and fulfilling for him.

Empathy. Have you recently talked to someone who is out of work and felt bad and sad for them, but not fully understand the stress. While Danny still has part-time work and we can't fully comprehend the stresses of total unemployment or unemployment in a field that has been hit really hard by the economy, we understand a little bit more and thus can hopefully be better at helping and lifting others.

Time. Making the most of time. Someone last year was in my bible study because she was laid off. While she was still pursuing work, she filled her time with good things. Another friend that was laid off does a lot of volunteer work. Danny is working on some research papers that he will be able to dedicate more time to, has young kids who love the influence and example of their dad in their lives and is interested in voice-over which he can find out more about.

So I am going to be a little more grateful, working on finding the purpose in the suffering and lifting my husband more than I have been. What a process this whole "life" experience is.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kira 7 Months




Where do the months go?? It feels like Kira has been a part of our family forever. I can't recall what it was like without her. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Kira so much!!

At 7 months you...

Love being outside. If we are playing outside you will sit and watch happily for hours.

Puts everything in your mouth. Today I fished out two big leaves. Paper is your favorite and often comes out the other side.

You LOVE your thumb. My first child that wouldn't take a pacifier. Just like your mom.

Love your brothers. Love watching them, love when they hold you and sing to you. Scott sings "Rockabye" when you cry and Tyler tells me to feed you when you cry.

You really only cry when you are hungry, tired or need to be changed.

You smile like Tyler. You look like your dad. You are beautiful. You are radiant!!

Petite. You don't like a bottle much. You don't eat much. You have the smallest features and are just so petite. I don't think you will ever be big, but it would be nice to have a little roll for me to squeeze.

Crawling. So cute. You are rather slow and curious at anything that you come in contact with, however, will concentrate on getting to a spot fast if there is something you want. Today, you crawled to your dad pretty quick.

You love dogs and cats. They make you laugh. You love there whiskers.

You love doing flips and somersaults with your dad. It makes you laugh.

You are starting to try to pull yourself up onto little objects like boxes which always end in a thump and roll. Not quite there, thank goodness.

You are independent, however, need people in the room with you. You don't need to be held all the time but aren't happy when you are left alone.

You are not that great at eating. Mom needs to do better at making time to feed you some solids. You eat bread or other table food. Today you liked the french fry I gave you. I think we might skip the whole baby food stage all together if I can't get my act together.

We love you Kira!! Happy 7 months!!

Northgate Football

I went to Northgate High School growing up. The football team was awesome our Freshman year and went downhill after that. This year they have won all of their games. Danny and Scott decided to go to Homecoming to cheer Luke on. It was fun and they enjoyed it. Sadly, Northgate was losing 35-0 at the half.

Meanwhile, back at home, I slipped on the stairs while holding Kira and almost killed myself and my child.

All I can remember was holding onto Kira, crashing and watching Kira in slow motion roll down a stair or two. I can't remember much of the event. I did manage to hold Kira through the initial fall, but let go once I was down. I very rarely freak out about medical issues, but I seriously thought I had damaged Kira's head and that my leg would need surgery. Panicked, I called Danny to tell him to come home. I then went into shock sobbing on the couch while holding Kira. Danny arrived and said, "Her eyes aren't dilated, she's tracking well, and she seems okay. The question is, are you?" Well, turns out everyone is fine.

Kira got a little bump on her head, which is now gone. I went to bed realizing what an old person feels like when they fall down. I was sore everywhere. My leg has a hard lump about the size of my hand that is muscle related because it feels better with heat and my arm, knee and ankle and now are on the mend.

I will no longer wear slippery socks and attempt the stairs while holding children. This is not the first time I have slipped down those steps. It is the first time I slipped with a child in my arms. I felt soo horrible. Nothing is worse than thinking you hurt your child. So grateful Kira is alright. I am sure that there was divine intervention on this one!!! Grateful, grateful, grateful that it wasn't worse.




Friday Co-Op

Tyler goes to a little Mom's Morning out type deal from 9:30-12:30 every Friday. There are twelve kids and thus I work with another mom every six weeks to watch the kids. It is low key and a great little program at a local church. You are either in charge of snack or craft on your day, the kids have lunch and get to play. The first time I did it was total chaos. All the kids were there including two kids that had MAJOR separation anxiety. It of course made two others that are normally fine kind of sad. It was really sad, I remember being there with Scott about 2 years ago, but I recognize the kids will survive and this is so good for them to transition away from their mom. The second time I did it went WAY better and it was so fun.

I was unsure if I wanted to commit to another activity, since it seems we are starting to loose our freedom, however, Tyler seems to enjoy it and it has been so nice to have some time with Scott. I really enjoy the days that I get to teach to get to know the other moms and their kids. I really do enjoy the stage that my kids are in and being a mom. Yes, it does give me some added gray hairs, but it is sooo worth it and I love how these little kids are sponges and just so sweet and full of personality. So glad that I did it.

After spending $50 to fill up my car on the way and getting stuck at a light that didn't work due to construction, I decided Scott and I could ride bikes to pick up Tyler. It takes about 10 minutes in a car and took us about 15 minutes on bike. Plus, we got to go to a park on the way back and everyone enjoyed the exercise and being outdoors. Scott found a lizard that he named jumpers since he liked to jump out of his hand. It is now lost somewhere in his room. The bike ride was WAY better than a car ride and will thus become a weekly outing. Scott, Tyler and Kira loved it. Here are some pics.





Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spiderman Party!!


I got the party supplies two months ago during Tylers actual birthday and am proud to announce I FINALLY had Tylers party. It was so fun!!

Highlights in pictures...#1 Table...Kids photographed are either obedient or just plain hungry.

#2 POP's Spiderman Masterpiece.

#3 Tyler and Max eating cake. Tyler claims his favorite part of the party was eating Spidermans' eyes (a HUGE piece I might add).

#4 Cousin Roman attempting to out-eat Tyler in the cake eating contest.

#5-7 Friends. This sums up the party. These boys figured out how to get six kids on this car all by themselves. All 15 or so kids played so nicely the entire time. It was the BEST part for the kids and the parents.

#8 My adorable niece Paisley drunk with milk.

#9 My adorable nephew Roman on the trampoline. I think at one time all the kids were on the trampoline.

#10 The presents. Best part of the party to watch. I put all the presents on the table and they were all open in about 1 minute. It was awesome! All the kids helped and Tyler was so happy. His presents were all so unique and he has talked about them all day. He loves his new spiderman toothbrush, went to bed with a handmade spiderman doll, played way too late with his shooting gun and said he LOVED his special day!!

I have felt really, really, really blessed for such a great family and friends. I LOVE my kids and Tyler so much. He is my little rascal at times always adding excitement and fun into our lives. We love him so much and couldn't imagine life without him. It was so great to celebrate Tyler today. Nothing compares to seeing your kids feel special and happy!

Pop did so much to help me get ready for the party including cleaning, getting pizza and watching kids. Best dad and Pop ever!! My friends who are really my support and army in helping me raise my kids. I love my family and friends and am so grateful for each and everyone of them and their examples. Sooo lucky!

Saddest part of the party...I asked my friends where one of my friends was and it turns out she wasn't on the evite. Sooo sad! What a bad friend I am. I tried really hard to include everyone and I think two or three people were missing from the email list.
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