Monday, August 29, 2011


I was IMing a friend on Facebook tonight who recently confided in me that she was struggling with infertility. As we were chatting about her recent visit to a RESOLVE peer-led support group, some funny and tough memories of the past came rushing back.

Like of how the summer after my first ectopic pregnancy I would come home from work, grab a bite to eat, shut off all the lights in my house and hide out in my walk-in closet watching episodes of Friends. I was avoiding people from church (who all had children of their own) who kept trying to visit me as I was heartbroken and didn't want to see anyone or hear their words of encouragement. Phoebe and Ross made me laugh and I could identify with the struggle Chandler and Monica were going through. That was probably the lowest point in my life. Ever.

I laugh at it now, though.

Then, after my second ectopic pregnancy, I was surrounded by young moms at church who talked about breastfeeding, epidurals, preschools, and about how they planned their pregnancies and I was literally about to break out my Friends DVDs again. (This time I only had a regular-sized closet so I considered using my tub.)

Not wanting to return to that dark, broken part of my life, I was inspired during a sobbed-filled prayer that I needed to find people who knew what it was like to want children desperately and not be able to have them. I googled "infertility support groups" and came across the RESOLVE site.

I joined a therapist-led support group and proceeded to meet a group of women who knew EXACTLY how I felt. We shared stories of heartbreak, horror stories of invasive doctor visits and treatments and our loathing of baby showers. We cried and laughed together. We supported each other and cheered each other on. No one understood the aching of our empty arms like we did. These women, and the many resources RESOLVE offers (peer support groups, adoption conferences, educational meetings, online resources), helped heal my broken heart.

I have nothing but the deepest gratitude to each of my RESOLVE friends. One has had a baby of her own. Four have adopted. Three others are finding peace in their lives - whether they live childfree or adopt is to be seen. Never again will I watch Friends in my closet. I will call them instead.

A few of my RESOLVE friends: Julie, Natasha & Michelle.
Not the most flattering picture of me, I might add. Taken December 2008.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


These pictures were taken in May for Elisabeth's 3rd birthday and Carsten's 7 month photos. I wanted to put them on my blog for all to enjoy because I can't help from looking at them all the time. My permanent motto in life now that I am a mom - Better late than never!

What beautiful faces! What personality! Am always amazed that I had a part in creating these gorgeous children. And it so fun to dress them! My poor baby boy is going to probably some day be embarrassed that I dressed him in such girly, vintage outfits. But they are VINTAGE and oh-so-sweet. And in my opinion, not in the least bit feminine. That is the truth and I am sticking to it.

(Special thanks to our talented photographer Beatta B. of BmB Photography. All of these images are copyrighted. Please do not use them without permission.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grown-up Profession

Lance and I were having a long discussion about in which dance school to enroll Elisabeth this fall. Lance is much more laid back about the decision than me. The following exchange ensued between Elisabeth and I as she sat listening intently to what we were saying:

Me (to Lance): What if she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up?

EB (with the look of confusion and surprise on her face): So I am not going to be an animal doctor anymore when I grow up?

Me (after a good chuckle): Elisabeth, you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.

EB: Good. Because I think I want to be an animal doctor.

Elisabeth riding a pony at the Zion Mountain Ranch
Zions National Park, UT

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ten at Ten

Here are the ten interesting facts about our ten (almost 11) month old.

1. Still the Happiest Baby on the Block. Three of my SILs who have children of their own commented on how he was the happiest baby they have ever seeb. He giggles and smiles all day long. A handful of people have asked me in all seriousness if he ever cries. Yes he does. Mostly when we put him to bed and he doesn't want to go to sleep. Other than that, it is rare.

2. Beach bum. Carsten went to the beach for the first time this month for my friend Tai's Beach Blanket Bingo Bonfire. He thoroughly enjoyed himself but the highlights for him would have had to have been the charred wood he attempted to eat, putting his toes in the ocean and managing to get sand into every wrinkle and crevice of his body.

3. Standing ovation. Carsten has mastered pulling himself to standing and he spends the majority of the day pulling himself up on the furniture and cheering for himself with a cute little screech, a giggle, and a huge grin. He is sure proud of this talent!

4. Danger Will Robins. I am dreading the trips to the ER in the future.This boy loves danger. I caught him falling head first into the toilet one day. Elisabeth never even acknowledged the toilet existed until we potty trained her. Carsten thinks it is part of the playground.

5. Snuggle puppy. This boy thinks he is a dog. He pants when he is excited, bites anyone's toes that are on the floor, chews on dog bones he finds, and tries to drink out of the dog dish.

6. Center of attention. He is easily distracted these days. Gone were the days where nursing was a snuggle fest between mama and baby. He has to sit up and assess the situation if he hears a noise while eating. He has to be in the same room as we are, afraid he might miss something. He also cries if he hears us after we put him down for the night. He can't stand the thought of us doing something without him!

7. Mischievous. Oh, it begins. Carsten discovered the toilet paper one day while his dad was watching him, emptied the entire roll and cheered while throwing the paper up into the air after he was done.

8. Little Man. Our favorite nickname for this boy.

9. Bath time. His favorite time of the day. He literally climbs into the tub, giggling uncontrollably as soon as I turn on the water.

10. Weekend Away. His dad and I went to Seattle, leaving Carsten and Elisabeth at home with sitters for three days and two nights. He not only survived us, but thrived at my friends' Rachel and Ted's home. He even took formula. When I saw him the day we returned he looked at my nonchalantly and continued his play. Almost like he was saying "Hey Mom. Glad to see your back. Let's chat later. I have some shoes to chew on." Is it wrong that I am a little sad he faired so well without me?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My last post was not directed at anyone in particular. Those things bother me whether or not you are a complete stranger or my best friend. For some reason I was particularly fixated on these random things the day I wrote the post and I didn't mean to "call" anyone to repentance.

With that said. . .
Three things that I do that may frustrate you:
1. I am horrible at writing thank you notes. The worst.

2. I can be flaky. Ask my BFF. I overschedule my life, thus requiring me to cancel on others a lot.

3. I am blunt and often stick my foot into my mouth.
Ex. "oh really? Your husband wasn't helpful while you were in labor? Because mine was stellar and so supportive in every way imaginable!"

There. Make anyone feel better? Hope so because I can be frustrating too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Random threes

Three things that I want to accomplish by the end of the year
1. Become a lifetime member at Weight Watchers. Just have to lose 1 lb a week between now and Christmas.

2. Smock matching outfits for the kids for Christmas.

3. Master budgeting.

Three things that frustrate me beyond words.
1. When people do not respond to emails, text messages or voice mails. I know people are busy but really - how long does it take to shoot off a quick "Got your message." Or "Thanks." Or "Sounds good." or "Not able to but thanks for asking."

2. Whining. I have a low tolerance threshold for this one, causing me to pray constantly for patience as a mother of a toddler.

3. Arriving late and not calling. It's that courtesy thing again. I understand people are late sometimes. Life happens. But I also understand about 99% of people I know have a cell phone. It takes 30 seconds to call and say you are going to be late.

Three things my kids did today that made being a mom worthwhile.
1. Giggled uncontrollably together as they were splashing in the bathtub leaving my floor soaked.

2. Carsten reached out his chubby little arms to hug his sister, four times.

3. Elisabeth dressed herself for bed, came out with her Cinderella nightgown and fuzzy slippers on and said "The princess is ready for bed Mama!"

I hope they get a long this well when Elisabeth is a teenager and Carsten is an annoying 11 year old brother.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pioneer of my own right

I heard some great news from a close friend that she was expecting today soon after a miscarriage. At first my heart rejoiced. Then the sadness crept up a little into my soul and mulled in my mind all evening. Despite knowing without a doubt that God in in charge of my life and having a peace that all will be well, I can't seem to diminish the lump in my throat.

Babies, in all their innocent, sweet-smelling skin and chubby goodness, always tend to remind me of the things missing in my life. fertility. my own mother. family near by. Whenever someone has a baby or I hold I newborn, I become a little melancholy and forlorn.

But they also make me feel grateful for the traits these missing things have cultured within me: Patience, faith, friendship, perseverance, empathy, peace, and wisdom.

Our church has a rich heritage of pioneers who went through every physical, mental and spiritual trial a person could ever wish to see in their lifetime and came out courageous and inspiring. I have heard people say all the time "I could have never been a pioneer."

I honestly feel I could have. Prideful or not, I feel like I was blessed with a strong soul to endure pain and suffering, and come out hopeful. I am a pioneer in my own right. And I know I am destined to truly make the world a better place and comfort those in need of comfort. These joys missing in my life have molded me into who I am. The Savior is a masterful sculptor.

I am imperfect. As a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a woman. But I am growing and honestly really like who I am becoming. Now to work on meekness and humility. . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sisters' Weekend

We decided to start a new tradition in Lance's family. Since we have been averaging a family reunion every three years, Lance came up with the idea of having a three year rotation:

Year 1: A family reunion with everyone
Year 2: Sisters' Weekend where just the ladies (no kids or husbands) get together to bond and spend time together doing girly things.
Year 3: A Brothers' Weekend where the boys get together to do manly things like eat pizza, have crazy adventures and play strategy games.

As we all having growing families and live all over the U.S. and Canada, this would give us opportunities to spend more time with each other without having to go bankrupt trying to travel every year with our bazillion kids.

This past weekend was our first attempt at Sisters' Weekend. Though two of the sisters did not attend, I think everyone can agree it was absolutely wonderful. I hosted it this year in Dana Point, CA. The last four days have consisted of:

Sunset dinners on the beach.

A little froyo at Yogurtland.

Lots of talking, giggling, confiding, and edifying late into the night.

Is Kara not absolutely beautiful in this picture?

Sea Kayaking in the Ocean . . .
(No one drowned, got eaten by a shark and the only casualty was the sunburned legs and one victim of sea sickness. As you can tell in this picture, we all absolutely loved every minute of it.)

Britnee, me, Kara, Wendy and Lisa.
Want to be inspired to lose more weight? Hang out with these skinny, beautiful women all weekend!

Dinner at a quaint French restaurant in Laguna Beach with live music.

Spa Treatments
(Thanks to an AWESOME Groupon Deal!)

Jewelry making, pool swimming, game playing, breakfast making, clothes shopping and much, much more.

I feel much closer to my sisters-in-law and loved having a chance to just enjoy each other's company. Can't wait to do this again in three years!

The sunset at Strand Beach, right next to where we were staying.
One word to sum up the weekend? Beautiful.