Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Photos

 Hannah's amazing ball of underwear (she wore all these together) 

 Paige was so tired one night she grabbed a dishcloth and tried to go to sleep in the kitchen. Hannah had to join her. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Week in the Life {4/22-4/28}

Well a few things of note happened this week. First and foremost, Adam suffered from kidney stones on Friday night. I wrote all the details in my last post. It was pretty traumatic for him, but he is doing well. The medication makes him very tired and he's having trouble sleeping but again, we are extremely blessed to be able to take care of it.

Another thing was the Bubble Run. I love fun 5K runs. Chelsea, Katie, Amy, and I were a team, and we pretty much killed it. Katie and I ran it in about 30 minutes, while Chelsea and Amy destroyed us in about 29 minutes. It was a blast, and I love that I have fun friends.

The girls had a great week. Hannah is working on writing her letters. She already knows all of the letters and letter sounds, and has for a long time. We are just taking the next step. She is not very motivated sometimes but we practice every day and her confidence is growing.

Paige is as adorable as ever. She is such a ray of sunshine in our lives, and brings joy in our home.

Finally, I accomplished a very ambitious goal this week. This goal has been fairly secret from everyone except extremely close friends and family  for a long time. It's one of those unrealistic dreams that feels extremely unattainable and therefore semi humiliating but I have completed my goal and so now I can share it. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be an author. I remember attending a story telling club in elementary school to get better. When we "published" stories in second grade it became a project i'd never forget. I never thought I'd be able to actually do it.  In October 2007 I decided that I was going to pursue writing after I graduated from the university. Specifically, I wanted to write novels. I hold story telling as the highest form of art, and I just wanted to create. Well, October 2007 was a long way from April 2013. I've written short stories, I have about ten unfinished manuscripts on my computer. I told myself I HAD do it before I was thirty, or it would never happen. Well, that's two years away, people. One day in January I decided it was now or never. I either had to give it up and ignore the nagging feeling or just do it.

I wrote a YA novel. It's a realistic fiction, 55k words, 260 pages. I'm still about two months out to completion, but the first draft is down. I started editing it, and I'm hoping that by July I'll have it polished enough to start sending it to agents. In the meanwhile, I also started working on a chick lit series of companion novellas which I hope to publish through Amazon Kindle in September. My YA book is a little on the sad side, and the chick lit is just a bunch of fluff for my fun and amusement. I've done a lot of research in the past seven years on novel writing, taken classes, studied the publishing process, and the craft in general. The odds of me actually getting published are slim to none (unless I go the self publishing route which is super easy, hassle free, and just more fun in general) but I have found that the accomplishment of the goal has been fulfilling enough. I have a great writing partner, fantastic editing software, and I've enjoyed taking online writing courses, specifically to story telling. I've picked out about five people to read my manuscript who I KNOW will be brutally honest, pick apart the book and put me through the refiners fire so that I can create the best possible story with crisp prose and an airtight plot. If anything, I've created something that didn't exist before, and I am proud of my efforts.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Sunday! Here is the lesson I am teaching in Relief Society today. It's a good one! Oh, and don't forget to tune in to becominglovely.blogspot.com this week! We are having a fantastic give away!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Adam's Kidney Stones

Yesterday evening I left the house at 5:15 to pick up a friend for the Stake Relief Society Social. I was very excited (who doesn't love a fantastic dinner provided by the priesthood) and looking forward to my evening. I left my family happy and eating dinner. My girls always love an evening with their daddy.

At 5:38 I got a text message from Adam. All it said was "You need to come home immediately." My first thought was my daughters. I panicked. You have to know Adam NEVER asks me to come home. He is a very capable dad, and so I knew it wasn't just him being overwhelmed. I knew there was an emergency. Not two minutes before, the relief society president had just said "We want you to know that we are praying for your loved ones, your children, your husbands, your babysitters, that all will be well at home so you won't have to worry while you are away." This statement brought lots of comfort as I was racing home.

I ran out of the room and called Adam. He was incoherent. I could hear him practically crying on the other end of the phone but I didn't know what was going on. I ran to the parking lot and started speeding home. I said a quick prayer for peace so that I could drive safely and immediately I got the impression "It's alright, it's just kidney stones." It was a tender mercy that brought instant peace, because I knew that my daughters were alright and that Adam would be alright too, even though he was in a lot of pain.

As soon as I walked in the door I went to Adam and asked "Do you think it's kidney stones?" He said he had no idea and I packed up the girls in the car to go to the hospital. Meanwhile most all of my friends are at the relief society social. One of them was having her birthday celebration so I didn't even call her. I called about 6 people, nobody answered. So I just put on Facebook that we were going to the hospital and I needed someone to respond if they could, and get my daughters. I was overwhelmed by the response I got. Suddenly my phone lit up like crazy and people were offering to help. We ended up getting Adam all checked in and a friend from his old school came to get the girls and took them to another friends house. We even had yet another friend stop by the hospital to see if she could pick up the girls since she was super close and hadn't heard back from me. We are so blessed.

Meanwhile, Adam is in an extreme amount of pain. He is shaking uncontrollably, whimpering, and cannot be comforted. I felt so helpless as to know what to do. I wanted to hurry the process and get him some pain medication ASAP, but it took about an hour and a half at the hospital to finally give him some relief. I've never been in the presence of so much physical pain. He said the pain was unbearable. A '10' on the pain scale. I believe it too. When he finally got the medicine he was instantly relieved. His body was exhausted from shaking and tensing up so much. We were both finally able to relax.

Scott came over to our house at 8:30 to put our kids to bed. Our house was all locked up, so I met him here, told the girls that everything was okay and that I just needed to go get Daddy. Hannah was very brave after watching her father writhing in pain. At one point Adam said "I think I'm going to die." Of course Hannah responded "Please don't die!" She also told him, "When you get resurrected, you won't hurt anymore." Pretty much her solution to everything. Hannah was really apprehensive to leave Adam when Eydie came to the hospital to take the kids to the Packards. Hannah insisted her Daddy needed her. She was very good and obedient. Poor Paige didn't even have pants on when I put her in the car to take her to the hospital.

All's well that ends well. Right now, Adam is sleeping on the floor. He is extremely exhausted (the medicine is making him drowsy, plus his body went through a lot last night. Hopefully the stone will pass soon and we can get this whole thing behind us. We were very blessed last night.

1) I had my phone on silent in my purse. I took it out and put it on the table "just in case" a minute before he texted me.

2) I was able to be calm and peaceful, knowing hours before they told us that it was kidney stones.

3) Our friends jumped into action and were so helpful and willing to take care of our daughters.

4) We have awesome insurance, we had money to pay for the copay, we didn't have to pay for any medicine.

5) We were able to find a 24 hour CVS (the only pharmacy we can go to under our insurance) so that Adam didn't have to experience more pain.

6) Our girls weren't afraid or stressed the whole time.

7) Adam's pain subsided and never returned.

8) We were very close to a good hospital.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Week in the Life {4/15-4/21}

So I almost forgot to do this yesterday. I guess  I did forget yesterday and I'm trying to make it up. I have a lot of projects going on right now, and my Monday's arent a great day to catch up.

I did want to share a funny story.

Last week, we were at the store and Hannah was acting up. She's been a little naughtier than usual as of late, and I think it's because she's going through a growths spurt (she is always "starving") and will not take naps. Anyway, we were shopping and she started acting up so I got down to her level and whispered "Hannah, I'm done, you know better than this. I am done with your attitude, I'm done with your disobediance, I'm done." She looked at me, unfazed and said "You can't be done. You're my mom." It really put things into perspective. I laughed (when she wasn't looking of course) and mustered up a little more patience because of course she is right, I can never be done with my duties of being a mom and part of that is steering her in different directions when she may be naughty.

I finished Life of Pi (the book) and Adam and I watched Life of Pi (the movie) the next day (while eating pie). Adam and I also went out to see Beauty and the Beast at the Smith Center. I loved it but Adam wasn't impressed. I should have taken Hannah because I think she would have loved it too. I saw it a few years ago  at Spring Mountain Ranch and I have been looking forward to seeing it again.

The girls had a good week. We went to a new park, the library (I took Paige by herself and she was so good at story time. I also think she liked being with Mommy by herself while Hannah was at preschool), we had friends over for lunch a couple days and we babysat our friend Landon, who the girls basically fought over the whole time. He is a couple days shy of Hannah's birthday, but he will be three this year.

Also, I was invited to collaborate on the Becoming Lovely blog that I wrote a few guest posts for. This post is about me and my best friend, Megan Winegar Long in our more awkward days. Check it out, and follow the blog!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Week in the Life {04/8-04/14}

First I have to post because I'm so excited that I lost two pounds! People might roll their eyes, because technically I don't "need" to lose weight, but I gained a total of 8 lbs once I stopped nursing last August. Because of this, I am much different from where I was at a year ago and none of my summer pants fit me. I could just buy new ones, but I'd rather just lose the weight and fit comfortably in my clothes again. Plus, I'd really like to get in better shape before I get pregnant and get in worse shape. I am using My Fitness Pal to track calories and running/doing Jillian Michaels. I hope to lose 6 more pounds.

Hannah's preschool was cancelled this week because of sick triplets so we decided to have some little side adventures. On Tuesday, when we got the message about preschool, Han was pretty upset so I packed up the kids and took them to the Discovery Kids museum. It was awesome! There was nobody there, only a few families and no field trips. Paige and Hannah loved the Eco City that day. 

Since preschool was cancelled we were able to go to library story time for the first time in months. The girls had a great time, especially Paige, who didn't remember going. We got a loooooot of books this week and we are working towards our 1,000 book goal.

We also went to a birthday party, the park several times, took pictures of the girls (well, our go to photographer Chelsea who is both an excellent photographer and friend took the pictures) 

Adam is finally able to announce his new position at his school. He will be teaching humanities, which will focus on utilizing technology across the curriculum.  He will be working with another teacher to pilot an iPad lab program at his school.  He will not be a classroom teacher, classes will come to him throughout the day just as they do for art, music, PE, and library. So cool and right up his alley since his second Master's degree is in Educational Technology. Adam is excited because it will allow him to become familiar with every grade level (K-5) and he will get to see some of his favorite students from this school year.  Also, he will no longer have the stress of a regular classroom teacher because he won't have to deal with report cards, parent complaints, the mountain of weekly assessments, lesson plans for 5-6 different subjects, setting up a classroom, and other mundane requirements.  He's wanted to do something with technology for a while. His salary won't necessarily change, but since his school is going to a 12-month schedule next year (year-round) he will have the opportunity to work extra days during the summer, which will translate into a larger paycheck during the year.  This is fantastic as we prepare to add another child to the family, purchase a van (Adam has been dying for one), and save up for a new home within the next couple years. We are both thrilled for this exciting opportunity and hope it will provide Adam with the experience he needs to catapult himself into administration.

Adam and I are reading a book together called Quiet: The Power of Introverts. We each took a quiz to determine if we were introverts or extroverts. I was an extrovert (66%) while Adam was either an introvert or extrovert, depending on the quiz you consult. He's basically either 56% or 54% either way so he's pretty middle ground. It's fun to read a book together and have a mini marital book club.

Hannah gave her first talk in Primary this week. She did a great job. She talked about Joseph Smith's first vision and was so excited to talk in the microphone. Adam and I were very proud.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Week in the Life {4/1-4/7}

Is anyone else having a hard time believing it is April? I had high aspirations for April fools day that didn't happen, although my sister Megan tricked me into thinking JK Rowling was writing another Harry Potter book. My kids thought I was a lunatic because I was jumping up and down screaming for joy, but alas, I remembered what day it was and I was sorely disappointed. I even stooped so low as to post a picture of a tarantula on her FB page because I was seriously angry (she has tarantula issues). 

Hannah is such a wonderful girl. She isn't perfect, what person is, but she is mine and I am so blessed. In lieu of naps or quiet time lately she wants to spend that time alone with me. I think it's so sweet. She made up a game this week called "snow" which apparently consists of pelting Paige with sand. Paige loves it. Paige adores everything that Hannah does and I've had to make Hannah aware of that, that her choices have serious consequences as she teaches her sister to do certain things.  I started to exercise to Jillian Michael's 30 day shred while Hannah was eating breakfast. She started HECKLING ME! I am doing hip circles and she starts singing "Watch out for my body rolls watch out for my body rolls..." then I start jumping jacks and she says "higher, higher mommy! You're not doing it correctly! To the side to the side, kick!" I love that my children have such a funny sense of humor. Earlier this week she decided to put on every pair of panties that she owns and walk around with this giant bulging bum under her shorts. When she had to go potty, she started to panic because she couldn't get them off. Mommy to the rescue! Glad I didn't have to wash every pair of underwear she ever owned...

Speaking of sense of humor, Paige is hilarious. This week I asked her if she wanted to brush her teeth (one of her favorite things) and she said "No....just teasing!" Then cracked up at her own joke. I'm so grateful for that girl. Paige got a bunch of new clothes from Target and Old Navy. She looks like such a big grown up girl in her new clothes. Especially since they are 2T size. She's my fast growing girl, while Hannah still fits in all her 3T clothing. 

I feel like I said this recently, but I love how different my girls are. Hannah is so socially courageous. She can talk to anyone about anything for hours. She can make friends so easily. In fact, everyone is her friend. Sometimes she will run up and hug a random kid just because they are about her size and say, "Hello friend, I'm Hannah, what's your name." She always says "Oh, that's a really nice name!" However, if she is in a situation that requires bravery such as riding on a bike with Daddy, going down a slide, crossing a bridge, crossing the street, anything with the tiniest hint of danger, she freaks out. She hates bugs and snakes, and even saw a dog today and said, "That dog is really scary Mommy!" It was a beagle that was sitting down on a leash. Paige on the other hand is the complete opposite. She lights up any room we are in but shuts down if a stranger, or anyone that she isn't intimately familiar with walks in. Today my friend Chelsea was taking pictures of the girls and Paige would barely crack a smile. The crazy thing is, she is familiar with Chelsea, and sees her often, but felt uncomfortable with the attention. However, when it comes to danger, she gets excited. She loves feeling scared. She loves when people come up behind her and pretend to push her off the table or whatever. She loves being thrown up in the air while Hannah can barely stomach being held because she is so high. Somehow when they are together they have a little more courage to be the person their sister is. I love it. I would not change one iota about either of them for all the money in the world. 

I have started Indexing with the ward as we have a ward goal. I never knew how easy it was, and I'm grateful I can assist in temple work from home, since my kids are so small and it's very difficult to get to a temple, even though we have one that is forty five minutes away. I'm also listening to Truman G Madsen's lectures on Joseph Smith. I've always had a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet but until I listened to these lectures, he was never so beloved to me. I am filled with so much gratitude to that man, and I am amazed in what he was able to accomplish. He truly was a prophet of God. 

Adam has been busy at school. Ever since January he's been tutoring after school, but only has two more weeks of that. We are all very happy that's almost over. He applied for summer school this week and we'll see if he can get it. He has been riding bikes with the girls every day after school this week. Hannah goes on her tricycle and Paige goes in his baby seat on his bike. It's so sweet to watch. 

We went to Shark Reef today and also to Old Navy. It's so great to have a 1::1 ratio when we go out. Adam is a great husband and he is so helpful with the kids. I feel like we make a great team. We also went to eat at a place called Chicken Bonz and it was delicious. I want to lose a few lbs because my summer pants are fitting tightly, but at the same time I don't really care to lose weight since I'll just be getting pregnant within a year and I'll get fat so I go back and forth with dieting. I'll just try to be a little better I guess. 

Adam and I really enjoyed general conference. Since Addison decided to leave the church, it has been a real testimony building experience. The words spoken at conference were a real strength to us, especially Elder Eyring as he talked about never giving up hope that the ones we love may make it back. It seems really bleak right now, but I won't ever give up on Addison. He has his agency, and nobody can do anything to help him except love him and pray for him and Amanda. Adam and I have become stronger, and we have resolved to be better, and to do everything we can so that our children will know that the two of us have a testimony, so that when it comes time for them to decide if they have a testimony, at least they will know that their parents do, and at least we will know we tried our best and leave it up to them and the Lord.