Mother’s Day 2014

All my mama wanted for mother’s day was a picture of her, her babies, and their babies.

Mother's generation picture

You can only get Dylan to smile for so long…

Mother's generation picture

Grandma with her grandpups.

Mother's generation picture

We made cards for Evelyn’s grandmas.

Mother's Day Craft

1507862_10154157599820215_7799638910890151362_n

Even though she literally had no idea what was going on, she seemed to have fun being the human stamp.

Mother's Day Craft

Mother's Day Craft

Being a mom is the best thing I’ve ever been.  I’m looking forward to many more years of messy paint projects, crafts, and other Mother’s Day festivities.

Easters 2014 [in our little vintage trailer]

Easter 2014 was Evelyn Faye’s first vacation.

Vacation with a baby

It never crossed my mind how difficult vacation planning with a baby would be.  I was baffled at how many diapers I would need to pack.

Vacation with a baby

Vacation with a baby

We caravanned with the Crowders in our travel trailers to Southern Utah.  Baby girl did pretty well most of the drive, from what I was told.  The Xterra had to go in the shop last minute (the morning we left!) so I was pulling our trailer with Daniel’s car, while Aaron, Josh & Evelyn followed behind me.

Vacation with a baby

It was a little on the cramped side inside of Myrtle the Trailer, but no one seemed to mind.

Vacation with a baby

Uncle Joshky stayed with us in our trailer.

Vacation with a baby

Evelyn Faye phone home.

Vacation with a baby

She was an extra happy girl spending so much time with her uncles.

Vacation with a baby

Vacation with a baby

Matching hats & glasses with Papa.

Vacation with a baby

DSC_0117

Vacation with a baby

Vacation with a baby

DSC_0092

Vacation with a baby

I have a feeling that this is only the start of many memories and adventures.

 

 

4 Months

I’m a little late on posting this.  Life.

But we sure had a beautiful 4th month with little Ev.

You are the most reverent baby at church.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (4)

The floor is your favorite place in the world.  When you are fussy, you’d rather be laid down on the floor.  You also eat on the floor.  You don’t like to be held too much.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (14)

It is fascinating to watch you grow and learn.  You can hold your bottle by yourself while you eat.  Sometimes you let go and drop it, and you need help finding your mouth.  But you’ve made the connection that it’s food and it goes in your mouth.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (2)

You are getting the hang of play time.  You reach for things and grab things.  You’ve made the mental connection that when you see something, you can reach for it and grab it and hold it.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (3)

You are SO strong.  You can hold a “baby push-up” for about 30 seconds at a time.  Your development seems ahead of the curve in most aspects, based on the generic timelines that are published.  You are usually a couple weeks early than what is expected.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (15)

Having a daughter is so fun.  We get to play dress up every day.  We’re lucky because we get so many of Molly’s hand-me-downs.  There’s never a shortage of clothes!

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (1)

You are so easy to take on outings.  Everyone loves you where we go.  You took your first trip to the motherland (IKEA).

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (6)

Me and grandma got brave and took you and Molly with us to get pedicures.  And everyone at the salon just gobbled you guys up!

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (7)

Sometimes we go and visit daddy during his lunch breaks.  And you are always SO happy to see him.  And he is even happier to see you.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (8)

You give him the best snuggles in the world.  You don’t snuggle anyone half as good as you snuggle your daddy.  It is beautiful to see how much you love him.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (5)

And even more beautiful, is how much he loves you.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (10)

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (13)

Dad was in a skeeball league, so we took you to practice.  And it was cute.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (11)

Each day Buster inches closer and closer to you.

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (9)

You have wiggling down pat.

20140409_101404-MOTION

20140415_173823-MOTION

Being your mama is the best thing I’ve experienced in my life.  My heart explodes with adoration for you Evelyn Faye!

Evelyn Faye 4 Months (12)

Dealing With Negativity

Dealing With Negativity

Dear Evelyn,

No matter how kind you try to be, no matter how much you try to please everyone, no matter how accommodating you think you’re being, it won’t be enough.  But it isn’t because you’re not enough.

There will be people who choose to be upset.  There will be people who choose not to like you.  There will be people who have the wrong idea about you.  There will be people who put you down.  There will be people who make you feel bad.

And it will suck.

It’s the hard part of life.

You’ll feel bad.  You won’t understand why.  You’ll be sad because you feel like you’ve tried so hard, and it wasn’t good enough.

These people might be friends.  They might be your siblings.  They might be coworkers.  They might be neighbors.

If you’re like me, you’ll take it personally.  You’ll want to retreat.  You’ll want to disappear because you don’t like the feeling of letting people down.  It might feel like too much to deal with.

You’ll hear people say negative things about you.  And you’ll think, “No!  They have the wrong idea!  They don’t understand the whole picture.”  And it hurts.  And it makes you sad.

But it’s part of life.  And you can’t change someone else.  You can’t change what people choose to think and believe.

There are things you have control over, and there are things you don’t.

You have control over you.  There is a lot of power that comes with that realization.

No one’s opinion of you matters.  If you are trying to be the best person you can be, then what else is there to do?

It’s so difficult to not take other people’s actions personally.  But the best thing to remember is to simply be kind.  Everyone is fighting a battle.  And most times when someone’s actions are negative toward you, it’s most likely because they are dealing with their own battle, and they are hurt.  The best thing you can do is to love.

If you let someone else’s negativity affect you, you are allowing your spirit to be poisoned.

So always remember, the best way to deal with negativity is to be kind and not take it personally.  Never give up on yourself.  You are enough.

Everything is always okay in the end.
So if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

I love you, and nothing you can do will ever make me stop loving you.

Love, Mum.

 

Happy Anniversary

The cutest love-babies I’ve ever seen…Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Married in the temple

It’s been a heckofa year.  365 more days in love.

To remember the year we ate way more chicken nuggets than we should have (thanks a lot, pregnancy):

chicken nugs

I’m glad I got to have your baby.  I’d do it a million more times.  Maybe.

I want to have your babies

i love you gif

 

Thanks for the beautiful love Aaron Crowder.

Finding Forgiveness

I had the TV on this afternoon, while I was feeding Evelyn.  Just background noise.  This program came on and captivated me.  And I know it was not by coincidence.

It pierced my heart.
It was an answer to my prayers.

For the past 5 years, I have been harboring a deep grudge.  It hasn’t held my life back.  I have been able to move forward.  I have a happy life, a wonderful husband, and a miracle baby.  However, there are moments when I look back to 2008-2010 and a hatred poisons me.  I have had very ill feelings when I think of the experiences I went through because of the actions of another.  I have felt wronged and jaded.  I never thought it was fair that this person “got off the hook.”  I wanted justice served.  I have always tried to hold tight to my testimony of The Law Of Compensation, that eventually, through the justice and mercy of The Savior, that all things will be made right (in this life or the next).  But it still has always bothered me.  The fact I never received an apology.  The fact that this person isn’t the slightest bit remorseful.  The fact that I suffered intense emotional damage.  I clung to the atonement for healing.  I’ve prayed so long to be able to let go and not be bothered by this person’s “happy life with no consequence.”

This real life story was exactly what I needed to see and hear.  My heart was touched, and I was in tears.

I know I will never receive an apology.  I know that.  But I know that I can find peace and happiness for the rest of my life.  I don’t need to hate.  I don’t need to feel wronged.  I can forgive.  I can love.

If these people can become a family after such a tragic accident, and find forgiveness in the death of their mother, I know that I can find forgiveness in something trivial in comparison.

Take the time to watch this video.  You might be able to find the strength to forgive.

You’ll never know the miracles that come from giving love.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

PCOS Lifestyle

PCOS is a peculiar thing.

It is the most common, under-diagnosed disease among women.  1 in 10 have it.  Many don’t know they have it.  The problem is the vast array of symptoms.  Because not all symptoms affect every woman with PCOS, the treatment for each woman is different.

There is no cure.

As a teenager to treat PCOS, I took birth control.  It didn’t help much.  In my mid-20’s as it got worse, I took a more drastic approach to treating it.  Under the direction of my doctor, I began to eat gluten free, sugar-free (no added sugar, or less than 5 grams per serving), and take Metformin.

Months after being gluten free/sugar free/ on Metformin, I was able to get pregnant.  I continued gluten free & sugar free into my pregnancy, until my 2nd trimester.  When I still hadn’t gained any weight, and I was so ill, my doctor wanted me to eat anything I could keep down.  For 6 months I ate anything.

I knew that when I had Evelyn I would need to go back to gluten free and sugar free.  And I knew it would be hard.  (Like it was the first time.)

But as hard as it is, it is worth it.  My whole body feels better.  I have more energy.  I sleep better.  I have less PCOS pain.  I have less anxiety.  I’m happier.

I try to retrain my brain’s way of thinking about food.  My attitude is that I’m not missing out on anything.  I get to try new things and eat more delicious and healthy things.

My favorite breakfast is a hearty omelet.

PCOS friendly recipes

I also enjoy my take on “banana pancakes.”  (In the blender I mix 2 eggs, 1 banana, some honey, some peanut butter, a shake of baking cocoa and fry like a pancake.)

PCOS friendly recipes

And a lettuce wrapped sandwich for lunch.

PCOS friendly recipes

 

I try to exercise 5 days a week.  Sometimes it’s only 3.  But I make sure to be as active as life permits.

Even though these things are hard, they have drastically improved my life and my health.  I hope that other women with PCOS know they aren’t alone in their struggles.  The biggest thing I’ve learned in the past 10 years about PCOS is that if something doesn’t work, try something else.  Giving up simply is not an option.

When I look at her face, I want to be as healthy as I can be.  I want to have the energy and strength I need to keep up with her.  I want to set an example to her of health and positive body image.
Evelyn Faye

My two Loves

I don’t write poetry very often anymore. I actually used to write a lot more than I do now. Things sorta flipped with Kenz and I when we started to get busier with our house, my advancing career, and having a baby.

While she began to write more and more and more, I fizzled out. I’d like to say it’s because I didn’t have the time to write, but that wouldn’t be true. The fact is that I just didn’t make the time.

Kenz has been encouraging me to make the time and pick it up again. So tonight I sat down at my desk and wrote a poem. I was nervous to inflict it upon the world, but Kenz has assured me that it’s not the worst form of torture know to mankind. So without further adieu, here it is.

My two Loves

The love I feel for you sweet dear,
is rivaled by but one.
Though none could ever pass you by,
she is almost next-to-none.

You are the one who makes me fly,
you give me my own wings.
Because of you I float above,
my biggest shortcomings.

Her precious smile is big and wide,
her giggle loud and clear.
She makes me want to do my best,
to wipe away her tears.

I love you both so very much,
I give you both my life.
She is the one I call Daughter,
but you my dear are Wife.

Bloom Where You Are Planted (Activity Days Recognition Night)

The theme for our recognition night was “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”  We wanted to focus on them finding and developing their talents, using their talents to serve others, and not being jealous of someone else’s talents.

Bloom Where You Are Planted Activity Days

At the previous activity, I taught the girls how to make tissue paper flowers using this tutorial.  They had so much fun making them.  We took pictures at the activities to display using twine and clothes pins.

Bloom Where You Are Planted Activity Days

We also had the girls make these spoons for the dessert.  They hot glued the flower decals to the spoons.

Bloom Where You Are Planted Activity Days

I made the easy cup of dirt for dessert.  There are brownie crumbles in the bottom, pudding, crushed Oreos and a gummy worm.

The cup of dirt garden 🙂

Bloom Where You Are Planted Activity Days

I love working with these girls and sharing my talents with them.

 

3 Months

Everything they say about 3 months old is true.  She is officially an infant, and no longer a newborn in the slightest.  Evelyn is so aware of everything around her.  You can just see it in her eyes as she registers things in her mind.  I would give anything to peek inside her head to see the world as she does.

Evelyn Faye actually interacts now.  When you look at her and smile, she smiles back.

20140319_091837-MOTION

This month has been a busy one for all of us.  We’ve had Evelyn’s cousin Molly with us during the days.  Molly is almost 11 months.  I have SO much respect for people with 2 babies.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Kami and I took Molly, Evelyn, and her niece Emery to the zoo.  It is frightening being outnumbered by children.  But I think we did well.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn’s snappy eye for fashion.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

We’ve finally felt brave enough to take lil miss to church.  And she does great.  She’s a perfect reverent angel…  for now.  haha

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

 

This month we had to make the switch from breastmilk to formula.  It was really hard on me.  Physically and emotionally.  The process of stopping making milk was extremely painful for me.  But there was a medication I needed to take for PCOS that couldn’t be taken while nursing.  Evelyn completely rejected formula.  She wouldn’t eat.  She would spit it out.  She was starving and screaming, but wouldn’t eat.  She went a whole day without anything to eat.  We tried to sneak formula into the breastmilk, but she knew.  It was a very very rough transition.  It took about a week for her to finally start eating.  She still isn’t great at eating, but she will eat enough to not starve.  She was only eating 2 oz at a time.  Starting YESTERDAY she finally started eating 4 oz per feeding.  It has been a tough 4 weeks, but seeing her formula-eating improve makes me very happy!

We got this formula mixer to help the transition be easier for US.  haha.  And I have to say, I LOVE it.  It’s so nice to push a button, and have a bottle instantly ready.  We call it “The Baby Keurig.”

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn is very picky in the way she eats.  She does not like to be held.  She prefers to be laid down on her back to be fed.  #missindependent

Evelyn Faye Three Months

She’s getting more and more independent by the day.  She only likes to snuggle on her terms.  Being in the wrap isn’t her favorite.  She tolerates it though if she can wiggle her arms out.

Mama likes to do squats while wearing baby.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

The dogs now follow her around.  Indy brings her toys.  Buster watches over her.  They still don’t touch or cuddle her, but that’s okay.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

 

I feel incredibly blessed that I get to be a stay at home mama to Evelyn.  I take every opportunity to hold her while she sleeps and count my blessings.  I never want these moments to become “normal.”  They are special.  They are moments I dreamed of my whole life.  I memorize everything about these moments,  because I know there will be a day where I don’t get to rock her to sleep.  If I don’t soak it all in, I know that I will regret it.  My heart bursts with gratitude.  It’s humbling to know I’m trusted with such a precious Being.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

When Evelyn is awake, she pushes the envelope of what she can do.  Her neck and back are so so strong.  She enjoys sitting in her Bumbo.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

We took Evelyn to her first home show.  She was awake the whole time.  I think all the people, sounds, and lights were stimulating to her.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

In the evenings when Daddy is home from work, he loves to play and cuddle, until we all fall asleep.

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Evelyn Faye Three Months

Life is good, my friends.

This post brought to you by Wiggly Jo.

20140318_191906_1-MOTION

 And a puppy in a baby swing.

20140320_202635_1-MOTION