Thursday, March 31, 2011

Silly Girls Everywhere!

Carrie loves her baby doll "Wren" like crazy! She carries her everywhere with her, pushes her in the stroller, feeds her play food and takes her to bed with her. A couple of days ago, I thought it would be cute if they matched. I grabbed a piece of pink fabric and stitched up a little skirt for Wren, and discovered that Carrie's pink ribbon ponytail holder was just the right size to fit Wren as a headband.

One day as we were getting Carrie's jammies on her, she asked where Wren's jammies were. I couldn't resist; The next day I went out and bought a pair of premie jammies :) They fit perfectly!

She's as silly as ever too! As I was putting her down for her nap earlier, she found two binkies in her bed and thought it was so funny when she put them both in her mouth at the same time!

She's been learning a lot of new words, and several are pretty lengthy ones. It's so cute to hear such a tiny girl say "delicious", "hippopotamus", or "pistachio" (daddy taught her that one).

She has a couple of words that she always says "not quite right". For example, a tortilla is a "portilla", the number eleven is "deleven", and when she counts, she says, "eighteen, nineteen, twentyteen..." There's also a very large water fountain we drive past occasionally that she calls the "water mountain". I love it!

Tonight I had a girls night with my friends. We were planning in doing the Just Dance game on the Wii. My friend Jessica called me this afternoon and asked if I would dress up with her in 80's attire, just to be funny. I was an 80's girl for halloween a few years ago so I already had all the stuff. It was fun to dress up! She even made leg warmers out of her son's t-ball socks :)
We had a blast and got quite the workout!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wonderful To Me

"I stand all amazed
at the love Jesus offers me,
confused at the grace
that so fully he proffers me.

I tremble to know that for me
he was crucified
That for me, a sinner,
he suffered, he bled and died.

Oh it is wonderful
that he should care for me
enough to die for me.
Oh it is wonderful,
wonderful to me."

"I Stand All Amazed"
LDS Hymnbook #193
text and music: Charles H Gabriel, 1856-1932

Carrie started to sing the chorus of this song today. Mostly just the "Oh it is wonderful" part, but still.... It got me thinking.

As we've been going through all this "stuff", I've been learning so much more about the Atonement. I've felt like there are a few people who know close to what I feel like, but no one knows EXACTLY how I feel. Specifically with regard to Brigham, Justin is pretty dang close, but it's different because he's the dad. I had already developed a bond with Brigham even before he was born. I felt him squirm and wiggle almost constantly.

I then thought of Christi Larson, Alana's mom. She would know close to how I feel because she's the mom and lost her baby from the same birth defect, two weeks after Brigham died. But again, there are differences. I have Carrie. Alana was Trent and Christi's first baby. There is also the difference of religion. I don't know their exact beliefs, but I do know that thanks to the blessings of the temple, our family is sealed together for all eternity.

I felt lost and alone. I would think to myself, "No one will ever know my exact experience, my exact feelings...." And then I would remember the blessing of the Atonement. Christ not only took upon himself the sins of the world, but every joy, every pain, every tiny thought and emotion that all mankind would ever experience.

The only way I can describe this is UNFATHOMABLE. I simply cannot imagine the extreme love Christ has for me. I am not alone. It truly is "wonderful to me".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fun, Busy Saturday!

Today was a very fun day! First of all, I have officially decided I'm not going back to work after all. I was supposed to go to a CPR renewal class this morning, but after a lengthy late night conversation (bad idea, everything's more dramatic at night), I was feeling overwhelmed and for lack of a better word, homesick. I had been offered a shift for next week, and was trying to get used to the idea. The next day at naptime, Carrie fell asleep with her arm around my and her forehead touching mine. I had an aching feeling that I would miss being home all the time. Even if I only did part-time, it didn't feel worth it.

Anyways, because I ditched my class, that meant we got to go to a birthday party in Gilbert! Carrie's friend Karlie turned two and had a Minnie Mouse party! Everyone played in the backyard, ate sandwiches, lemonade, and cupcakes, and got a little sunburned ;)

Carrie enjoyed pushing Daddy on the bench swing
She also tried her hand at golf!

While Carrie was napping at my parents house, Justin and I went out to visit Brigham. After we had been there for a couple of minutes, another family pulled up. We were so excited, it was the Whites! Their family had a little girl born still in October 2009. Her name was Kyndal. Right after Brigham was buried there, her mom "noticed there was a new baby" and found our blog. It was nice to meet them in person. One of Kyndal's big brothers Camden, offered a prayer in behalf of both Kyndal and Brigham before we all left. It's nice to have friends at the cemetery. :)

Our fun-filled day wasn't over though! We had a BBQ with my family and enjoyed the awesome weather. It's sure to get crazy hot soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Worth of "Soles"

I don't remember if I mentioned that I recently got called as the Relief Society Activity Committee Leader. I was very nervous because I felt like it was a "grown up" calling. The only callings I've really ever had were piano, organ and most recently, a primary teacher. Our first activity (with me) was last night and it was AWESOME!

It was focused on visiting teaching and understanding the true meaning of Relief Society. We spent 4 hours decorating the morning of (I didn't think it would take nearly that long!) but it was worth it! It was all themed around shoes.

Each place setting had a picture of a cute pair of shoes and on the back it had a get-to-know-you game question

We decorated the stage with all these super cute high heels

The runway....

We had soup, salad and Olive Garden breadsticks for dinner and then we had a "fashion show". Each of the committee members had on a different type of shoe that represented a different style of visiting teaching. The flip-flop was casual, the Converse liked to talk (converse), the slipper made you feel warm and fuzzy etc... It was great!

A musical number by yours truly on the cello, a couple of testimonies about visiting teaching and texas sheet cake for dessert!

Oh yeah, side story about the sheet cake. I sent out reminder emails to everyone who signed up to bring a cake and the day of the activity, I got an email back from one sister who said something had come up and she couldn't come. I ended up just taking it upon myself to make her cake. Everything would have been fine had I not chosen my one cookie sheet that does a funky little warp thing in the oven. By the time I noticed, the cake had totally baked unevenly. One corner was super thin and burned, and the opposite corner was super thick and gooey in the middle.... Fail.... So I baked it All. Over. Again.... Fortunately it turned out the second time.
I'm excited for future activities! It's fun to be so involved in the Relief Society finally! I've basically only been in Relief Society for about a year. Since I got married when I was 18, we lived in a student ward. Everyone was our age, lived in our apartment complex and were college students. It wasn't a "real" ward (although a truly great and fun experience).

Once we graduated and Carrie was born, I was just a plain ol' Relief Society sister, but then a year ago when we moved into our new ward we were immediately called to Primary! I'm enjoying building new friendships with the other women in our ward! Hopefully planning all theses activities and lessons will teach me something I need to learn!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I feel like Carrie is reaching "that age". The age where:

She wants to do EVERYTHING by herself

She will request to watch the same movie every day for a week (We've recently gone through Ratatouille, The Little Mermaid, and Cars phases)

She will actually sit and watch an entire movie

(for example, Justin was sitting on the couch watching TV last night, and Carrie crawled up right next to him and did this)
She LOVES to help with whatever I'm doing, in this case, making scrambled eggs this morning. (Oh, and by the way, she totally knows how to crack an egg: a little tap on the counter and then squeeze it until it busts into pieces and the insides fall out into the bowl, very messy, but it works)
But her most prominent "that age" thing is..... TALKING!!!

Most of the time it's so incredibly cute I don't mind that she goes on and on. Occasionally though, I'm reminded why "the quiet game" was invented!

"What are you doing? Why? Mommy, look at this! Do you see it? You do, you do? I wanna play kitchen! Mommy want some dinner? It's hot, blow blow blow! Baby Wren want dinner? I wanna push baby Wren in the stroller! Going on a walk! See ya later! I'll be right back!"............. I'm feeling out of breath just typing this!

As we walked around Hobby Lobby this morning, she sang through "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", the "ABC's", and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" on her own, multiple times.

She's a busy little girl, but I love every minute with her!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is Here!

Well, in a couple of days it will officially be Spring! And a couple of days after that, it will unofficially be Summer... Gotta love Arizona! (seriously... gotta love it!)

Today we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and get some yardwork done. The crazy few days of below-freezing weather a couple of months ago completely killed two of the bushes in our front yard.

A couple of the other ones were just plain ugly, too "stick"y. So Justin dug them all up. I got started on trimming the good bushes that were still left while he was digging out the bad ones. (see all the holes?)

Which took a little while because of all the CRAZY roots! Some were over 3 feet long!

Carrie kept herself entertained by pushing her stroller around, balancing on the brick grass border, sitting in her camping chair watching and eventually, getting a puzzle from inside to play with. She's such a good girl!

Fixing a drip-system problem. What a handyman!

This picture makes me a little sad. It's the finished project, but it looks pretty wimpy and lame because the new bushes are all really small...

But at least they're alive and if I remember correctly, they will all have some sort of flower on them.

Yeah for a pretty yard! Now if only we had a pretty BACKyard too! Replacing a few bushes is easy (and cheap), starting from scratch is hard (and expensive). Someday... Hopefully soon. Especially because when we went to Ace to buy our new bushes, I saw all the vegetables and got really excited to plant a little garden!


This morning at 3am, I was startled awake by Carrie at my bedside, in her high pitched little voice saying, "Mommy?... I want wootbeer"


Really?! Fortunately I got her to settle for a drink of water and she got right back in bed. That girl is funny!! But who can blame her? With two rootbeer lovers for parents, she was destined to crave the stuff!

(And the little episode reminded me of a "so-dumb-it's-actually-funny" youtube clip from like 10 years ago. Enjoy)

Amburgers & Wootbeer

Friday, March 18, 2011

Work, Work, Work,.... Blah

It must be Friday, because I'm feeling very blah....

Just yesterday I finished all the paperwork etc. to go back to work part-time. Mostly, the goal is to plump up our savings account. We're very determined to NOT get used to living on two incomes (even if mine is only part-time).

The problem is.... Justin's job is getting OLD. Older than dirt. Fortunately for our family, he has always been committed to taking care of us, no matter how much it sucks.

Being a grown-up is hard. At least I have another grown-up to help me carry the load. I love you Justin.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March of Dimes

We're walking in the March of Dimes this year! I didn't really know this until recently, but the March of Dimes isn't only about premature babies. Its goal is to prevent prematurity, birth defects, and infant mortality. Please join us in supporting this cause so other families don't have to go through what we did.

Click here to get to my homepage with March of Dimes:

We're walking with our friends from the NICU, Trent and Christi Larson (Alana's parents). Trent's coworkers from the pharmacy at Banner Desert Hospital have put together a team. The walk will be on Saturday, April 9th in downtown Phoenix. You can either donate money in Brigham's name, or join us in the walk! Thanks for all your support! Tell everyone you know! Pass on my link!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kelsey Alexis Preston

Today we attended our third funeral in 6 weeks... All were children. I feel like my blog is becoming the obituaries...

Kelsey Alexis Preston died Tuesday, March 8th from complications of type 1 diabetes. She was 16 years old. Her family lives around the corner from my parents. I've known her for probably about 10 years, since her family moved there.

I was blessed to have been asked to play prelude music for the funeral on the cello for an hour with my mom on the piano and our friend Eva on the violin. My fingers hurt like crazy (I don't play the cello nearly often enough), but it was totally worth it. I love being able to bring the spirit with music.

As was mentioned several times throughout the funeral, Kelsey had a super cute, quirky personality. She was always smiling and laughing. I don't know the whole story behind her attire, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting; It wasn't "traditional". She was wearing a cute ruffled shirt and a nice cardigan sweater.... and Mr. Potato Head pajama pants with mismatched socks and some super comfy looking slippers. It was awesome! Totally perfect :)

Kelsey was a great journal writer and we got to hear many of her journal entries during the funeral. A quote her mom recently found on her facebook account was, "You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough"

The thing that really struck me was the amazingly HUGE testimony she had of the gospel. At 16 years old, she had an awesome insight into the plan of salvation and everything it involves. Her testimony in a nutshell: "I'm so glad Jesus died and atoned for us. If he didn't, we would not be here right now. He did this because he loved us. I know that no one else could do that but Him. When he went into the Garden of Gethsemane, he bled from every pore for us. Words just don't explain how grateful I am for Heavenly Father letting Christ come down to Earth to atone for our sins and for the other things he did." I know she is going to be a fantastic addition to the missionary efforts in heaven!

At the graveside, Kelsey's mom Kim, was saying a few words, and mentioned how much Kelsey loved babysitting. I immediately thought, "Maybe Brigham needed a babysitter in Heaven so Kelsey went to help out." It's kind of silly, but I thought it was cute and it made me smile.

To Kelsey's family, we are praying for your comfort and peace. A recent quote from her mom's facebook says it all. "Everything in life is temporary, because everything changes. That's why it takes great courage to love, knowing it might end anytime but having the faith it will last forever


Monday, March 7, 2011

You Never Know Until....

Over the past few years, I've learned that you are rarely alone in your trials. For example:

I never realized how many people have a hard time getting pregnant until I had a hard time getting pregnant with Carrie.

I never realized how many people have miscarriages until I was pregnant and made it through the first trimester and out of the "risky" time.

I never realized how many people have had a baby die until Brigham died.

Talking about my trials, sharing them with my family, my friends, my blog followers, has opened up the conversation and I've learned a lot about others in my same situation(s).

I'm continually being reminded that Heavenly Father is mindful of my trials and needs. It seems that every single talk in Sacrament meeting, every lesson in Sunday School or Relief Society is exactly what I need in that moment. In Sunday School yesterday the lesson was based on the scripture in Matthew 11:28-30, "Take my yoke upon you". By sharing my burdens, my load has been made lighter and easier to bear.

Another recent lesson was "Developing Trust in God", during which I commented that we've been told over and over, Heavenly Father will not give us any trial that we cannot handle. We are capable (or he will make us capable) of going through everything we are given in this life. If we doubt ourselves, we are doubting the Lord. He KNOWS we can do it, we have to trust in His judgment and come to KNOW for ourselves that we can do it.

If you're going through a tough time, the chances are someone else is going through the same. And it's probably someone you know. Open up to Heavenly Father and ask to have the strength and courage to open up to others. Who knows?... Your experience and empathy might be exactly what they need.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Phoenix Children's Museum

Last night we had family date night. We got a little bonus too, just plain mom & dad date night mixed in!

Our friends, the Paynes invited us to go with them for the family night out. I asked if they would be willing to take Carrie with them in the afternoon to drive into town and go to dinner while Justin and I went out to eat by ourselves, then we would all meet up at the museum. They agreed!

We'd never been to the Children's Museum before, but had heard it was totally awesome. The first Friday night of every month is free admission, so there's a long line waiting to get in.

Jake and Carrie waiting anxiously outside the museum

Tah-dah! The HUGE museum! It's basically a three story wonderland play place for kids. Anything and everything to play with!

Daddy helping Carrie go through the "carwash"

The "fort room". Boxes, crates, sheets, clothespins etc, everything you need to build a great fort

Kid sized plinko!

Running around in the "under 3" area

Playing under the slide with glowy pictures

The kitchen was so cute, it was like a real house with no roof so the parents could see inside

Measuring the dried peas in the "grocery store". There were carts, checkouts, produce stands....

Next we moved on to the restaurant. It had a big kitchen area with a pizza oven, play food, hot pads, a wall full of aprons, and cute little tables where some of the parents were sitting while the kids played waiter. Carrie just wanted to sweep :)

Totally focused on the toy

"Oooh, mom look at this!" The kids would turn the crank and the little stuffed animals that were stuck on with velcro would fly off when they got to the top. (I learned later that there's a fan at the top that blows hard enough to fling them off) The kids thought it was hilarious!

The gigantic three story tall jungle gym playplace. HUGE!

Looking down from the top

Relaxing in the book nooks

We were getting tired by this point, it was crazy in there!

Larger than life artwork. This humongous display of CDs is three stories tall!

Getting help with a puzzle from a big kid

The book nooks are way too fun to climb in, who would actually want to sit still and read in them?!

Checking out the hot rod

Vroom, vroom! Riding on a motorcycle!

The extremely miniature version of the HUGE pinewood derby-style race track. The track ran all around the room connected to the walls. You had to climb up the stairs 8 feet in the air to start your car racing.

The noodle forest. It's 30 feet square of swimming noodles hanging from the ceiling. Awesome!

The light up sand art table

We were there for 2 hours and had TONS of fun! We'll definitely be going back!