Saturday, December 27, 2008
Turned out totally perfect in my mind! And printing the announcement will be really cheap because it's just like printing a photo! It has been such a good day!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Oh, and check out the pics she did of the "Rodeo Queens and Cowboys" they are so cool and such a cute family.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Love this outfit . . . thanks Michelle!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Recognize the signature blue box and white ribbon? Yeah, it's from Tiffany. How does my one week old daughter already have something from Tiffany and her mother doesn't? NOT FAIR!!! If I had $5,000 to blow on a vacation to anywhere I would go to New York City, stay in a hotel suite overlooking Central Park and if I saw nothing else but the inside of Tiffany & Co. I would go home a very happy woman. I know, it's a stupid obsession, but ever since I first watched Breakfast at Tiffany's with my Grandma I have been in love with Tiffany. You know that part in Sweet Home Alabama where Patrick Dempsey proposes to Reese Witherspoon inside Tiffany after hours? The part where all the lights inside the store come on totally takes my breath away every time. This girl is spoiled beyond belief. It seriously took me two hours to actually be able to open the box. And of course my mother will have to replicate the tied ribbon on top so that the box will look unopened and sit in her room as a keepsake. Yes, I'm keeping the box. There will be an entire page in her scrapbook dedicated to this box. Even the tape that held the bubble wrap closed will be in there (I peeled very carefully). Do all mothers live vicariously through their daughters? I guess I will have to for now when it comes to the Tiffany box. But Josh and I did strike a deal . . . when he gets his motorcycle I get to pick out something from Tiffany. Sounds like a deal to me!
Here's a couple of pics of Sasha opening her precious gift.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
So here I am at 4 am, and what else is there to do but post pictures for you all to ooh and aah over. Okay, so mostly I'm just bragging about how stnkin' cute my kid is! The saddest part? My mom has most of the pictures we've taken of her on her camera so you'll just have to wait for the really good ones.
Cuddling with Grandpa Donald
With cousin Mcartny
With Grandma DeEtte
Dressed and ready for the trip home!
Our first day at home! These little mittens are so huge on her tiny hands! They looked like boxing gloves to me. "And in this corner we have Sasha 'Smoosh your face in' Lakin!!!" She's even got one eye squinted and her hands up like she's ready to fight. I love it!
We like polka dots at our house, can ya tell?
Last week Chris stayed with us from Tuesday through Saturday. It's always good to have my little brother around. He helps Josh out around the house and the yard a ton!!! They spent two days putting up Christmas lights on the outside of the house. It looks so awesome!
Josh also had to get glasses last week. Tell us what you think. . .
Okay, so you figured it out. That's not really Josh and that isn't really our house. But ours does look awesome. And Josh does morph into a slightly calmer version of Clark Griswold this time of year. I'd go out in the freezing cold night and take a picture, but it's now 4:30 am and he has the lights on a timer. Don't want to mess that up. Instead, check out the cute little gingerbread house that Chris and I made!
And finally, to end our night on an inspirational note . . . since it is Sunday morning . . . Josh is giving the lesson in Elder's today and he chose to base it off of President Monson's talk from conference titled "Finding Joy in the Journey." This really is an awesome talk and Josh and I have been discussing it quite a bit this last couple of weeks given all the changes that have gone on in our lives in the last year. It all goes by so quickly! So anyway, if you haven't read it I posted it below. Even if you aren't LDS or church-y at all it really is a good message that applies to everyone, no matter who you are, your religious or other lifestyle preferences, this message applies!
My dear brothers and sisters, I am humbled as I stand before you this morning. I ask for your faith and prayers in my behalf as I speak about those things which have been on my mind and which I have felt impressed to share with you.
I begin by mentioning one of the most inevitable aspects of our lives here upon the earth, and that is change. At one time or another we’ve all heard some form of the familiar adage: “Nothing is as constant as change.”
Throughout our lives, we must deal with change. Some changes are welcome; some are not. There are changes in our lives which are sudden, such as the unexpected passing of a loved one, an unforeseen illness, the loss of a possession we treasure. But most of the changes take place subtly and slowly.
This conference marks 45 years since I was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As the junior member of the Twelve then, I looked up to 14 exceptional men, who were senior to me in the Twelve and the First Presidency. One by one, each of these men has returned home. When President Hinckley passed away eight months ago, I realized that I had become the senior Apostle. The changes over a period of 45 years that were incremental now seem monumental.
This coming week Sister Monson and I will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary. As I look back to our beginnings, I realize just how much our lives have changed since then. Our beloved parents, who stood beside us as we commenced our journey together, have passed on. Our three children, who filled our lives so completely for many years, are grown and have families of their own. Most of our grandchildren are grown, and we now have four great-grandchildren.
Day by day, minute by minute, second by second we went from where we were to where we are now. The lives of all of us, of course, go through similar alterations and changes. The difference between the changes in my life and the changes in yours is only in the details. Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes.
This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.
I am what my wife, Frances, calls a “show-a-holic.” I thoroughly enjoy many musicals, and one of my favorites was written by the American composer Meredith Willson and is entitled The Music Man. Professor Harold Hill, one of the principal characters in the show, voices a caution that I share with you. Says he, “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.”1
My brothers and sisters, there is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today.
I’ve shared with you previously an example of this philosophy. I believe it bears repeating. Many years ago, Arthur Gordon wrote in a national magazine, and I quote:
“When I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say [into the phone], ‘No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.’
“When he came back to the table, Mother smiled. ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know,’ [she said.]
“‘I know,’ said Father. ‘But childhood doesn’t.’”2
If you have children who are grown and gone, in all likelihood you have occasionally felt pangs of loss and the recognition that you didn’t appreciate that time of life as much as you should have. Of course, there is no going back, but only forward. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future.
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.
Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.”3 We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.
Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”4
In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, Church member Jay Hess, an airman, was shot down over North Vietnam. For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words. What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote—and I quote: “These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.”5
Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows.
In the book of John in the New Testament, chapter 13, verse 34, the Savior admonishes us, “As I have loved you, … love one another.”
Some of you may be familiar with Thornton Wilder’s classic drama Our Town. If you are, you will remember the town of Grover’s Corners, where the story takes place. In the play Emily Webb dies in childbirth, and we read of the lonely grief of her young husband, George, left with their four-year-old son. Emily does not wish to rest in peace; she wants to experience again the joys of her life. She is granted the privilege of returning to earth and reliving her 12th birthday. At first it is exciting to be young again, but the excitement wears off quickly. The day holds no joy now that Emily knows what is in store for the future. It is unbearably painful to realize how unaware she had been of the meaning and wonder of life while she was alive. Before returning to her resting place, Emily laments, “Do … human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”
Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.
Said one well-known author: “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”6
In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88, verse 33, we are told: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.”
The ancient Roman philosopher Horace admonished, “Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily.”
Many years ago I was touched by the story of Borghild Dahl. She was born in Minnesota in 1890 of Norwegian parents and from her early years suffered severely impaired vision. She had a tremendous desire to participate in everyday life despite her handicap and, through sheer determination, succeeded in nearly everything she undertook. Against the advice of educators, who felt her handicap was too great, she attended college, receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She later studied at Columbia University and the University of Oslo. She eventually became the principal of eight schools in western Minnesota and North Dakota.
She wrote the following in one of the 17 books she authored: “I had only one eye, and it was so covered with dense scars that I had to do all my seeing through one small opening in the left of the eye. I could see a book only by holding it up close to my face and by straining my one eye as hard as I could to the left.”7
Miraculously, in 1943—when she was over 50 years old—a revolutionary procedure was developed which finally restored to her much of the sight she had been without for so long. A new and exciting world opened up before her. She took great pleasure in the small things most of us take for granted, such as watching a bird in flight, noticing the light reflected in the bubbles of her dishwater, or observing the phases of the moon each night. She closed one of her books with these words: “Dear … Father in heaven, I thank Thee. I thank Thee.”8
Borghild Dahl, both before and after her sight was restored, was filled with gratitude for her blessings.
In 1982, two years before she died, at the age of 92 her last book was published. Its title: Happy All My Life. Her attitude of thankfulness enabled her to appreciate her blessings and to live a full and rich life despite her challenges.
In 1 Thessalonians in the New Testament, chapter 5, verse 18, we are told by the Apostle Paul, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God.”
Recall with me the account of the 10 lepers:
“And as [Jesus] entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”9
Said the Lord in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.”10 May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.
In closing, I pray that all of us will reflect gratitude for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His glorious gospel provides answers to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where does my spirit go when I die?
He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to serve. He taught us how to live. His life is a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved.
The time came when He stood alone. Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him. The Roman soldiers pierced His side. The angry mob took His life. There yet rings from Golgotha’s hill His compassionate words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”11
Earlier, perhaps perceiving the culmination of His earthly mission, He spoke the lament, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”12 “No room in the inn”13 was not a singular expression of rejection—just the first. Yet He invites you and me to receive Him. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”14
Who was this Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Who is the King of glory, this Lord of hosts? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.”15 He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise.”16 He pleads, “Keep my commandments.”17
Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.
Brothers and sisters, my sincere prayer is that we may adapt to the changes in our lives, that we may realize what is most important, that we may express our gratitude always and thus find joy in the journey. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
1. Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man (1957).
2. Arthur Gordon, A Touch of Wonder (1974), 77–78.
3. William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, act 1, scene 2, line 31.
4. Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Gorton Carruth and Eugene Erlich, comps., The Harper Book of American Quotations (1988), 173.
5. Personal correspondence.
6. Sarah Ban Breathnach, in John Cook, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. (2007), 342.
7. Borghild Dahl, I Wanted to See (1944), 1.
8. I Wanted to See, 210.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Yup, the Bili count was up to 16 when the doctor checked her today so our little one is now under the lights. :( This is so not fun!!! My new hobby is cuddling with her and sitting here watching her in this little bed is kind of hard. But at least her eye shields are cool! (Funny pictures to follow soon.)
Okay, so here is the whole glorious story . . . sorry if you've already heard it but I keep getting asked. :)
Overall, it was not bad. For anyone that had a bad labor, I'm sorry. Mine was not that bad. We got to the hospital at 7:30 am. By the time they got me all hooked up it was about 8:00 when they started the petocin. The doc came and broke my water about 1:00 or so. Can I just say what a completely uncomfortable feeling that is? Sitting in a bed and basically peeing your pants for five minutes straight and you can do nothing about it. Not fun. By 2:45 I was ready for the epidural. Those of you who go natural by choice, good for you . . . but why? Never mind, I've sparked enough debate on my blog for one week. But let's just say I was GLAD to have those drugs. I know I could have survived without them, millions of women have, but since I had a choice I chose drugs. Josh had to sit out for the epidural though. He has a thing about needles, plus since administering the epidural itself is such a touchy thing he didn't want to risk getting weak in the knees and making me move while the doctor was putting the needle in my back. I was totally ok with this. And actually getting the shot wasn't too bad either. It hurt at first, but then it was fine. Once that kicked in things were good. At about 5:30 I was dilated to a 9 and ready to roll. The doctor got there about 6:15 and I started pushing. I just took it one push at a time and it didn't seem like it took two hours, at least not to me. I kept asking the nurse if she was moving along at all. She very sweetly lied to me. Every time I would ask "Is she getting closer? Has she moved at all?" Josh and the nurse would exchange glances while I wasn't looking and silently say to each other "This baby is not coming out without help." Finally the doctor decided that the vacuum had to come out. He did an episiotomy, unfortunately it wasn't long enough and I tore a little more. Ouch. Then he attached the vacuum, it took about three tries and finally her head came out! From there it was all very easy. He lifted her up so I could see her and I was expecting him to lay her on top of me like they do in the birthing class video, but he immediately handed her off to the nurses. At this point he discovered that I tore an artery and he had to start working on me right away. I was completely weak and totally out of it by this point. Of course Sasha was fine and doing everything that newborn babies are supposed to. I on the other hand couldn't stop shaking. I was anemic to begin with and by the time the delivery and stitch up was over I had lost too much blood. Not that it was an extreme amount by normal delivery standards, but since my blood was already low it was too much for me. The hematocrit (sp?) number was down to 25 so my doctor strongly recommended that I get some blood pumped in to me, which I happily accepted. Otherwise it could have been a long, slow recovery. I got two units overnight and felt much better the next day.
Our hospital stay was great. If you get the choice, I recommend delivering at Lakeview. The nurses are super nice and fabulous, they spoil you rotten and happily get you anything you want. The lactation specialist there is very nice and very helpful with all things newborn. The food is actually good as is the cafeteria for hubby and they don't gouge you on the prices. Sweet! They served us a 'Special Meal' with steak, potatoes, salad, rice, veggies and dessert, which was kind of cool. Not that it was the greatest steak I have ever had (hello, NO ONE can top my dad's steaks!) but it was good and unexpected from a hospital. Plus they gave us a cute little shirt and hat for her, put a new and cute little bow in her hair every time they brought her back to us, and Sasha got a new blanket for Christmas. So if you have the choice, I say do it at Lakeview.
So there's the story . . . don't think I left anything out. I was so worried about something going wrong with her that I never thought that I would be the one to need extra attention. But all in all, it wasn't scary, horrible, extremely painful or long. The day actually kind of flew by and it felt like a total out of body experience to me. It was strange to me right after that I had just performed (with a lot of help) the most amazing miracle ever. Josh was totally amazing, and continues to be the best husband and dad ever. He changed all the diapers in the hospital, ran around for me and did everything with a sleep-deprived and exhausted smile on his face. I love him so much and could not have asked for a better partner through all of this than him. My mom has also been super wonderful. She has been here with me the last two days since Josh had some work to get taken care of. She spoils me rotten and I know she just loves to get paid in 'Sasha time.' She has been the absolute best. And thank you to everyone that has called, emailed, texted, commented or even thought about us in the last week. We have felt all of your love and support and we very much appreciate it.
And now she's back to sleep under her Bili lights for the weekend and we'll know on Monday if she has to stay longer. This is going to be a long weekend. Time for another ice pack.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. I love the smell and I would rather vaccuum up pine needles for a month thanhave to shape a fake tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually by the 15th of December
4. When do you take the tree down? First part of January . . . though one year it was up past Valentine's Day!
5. Do you like eggnog? Ugh
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My porcelain dolls
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad- if he wants it he just goes and gets it. And Josh . . . not that I don't know what he would want, but I have to edit, otherwise I could spend our entire gift budget on him!
8. Easiest person to buy for? Nieces and Nephews under age 12
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I love gettibg something besides bills and junk in the mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I have never thought of a gift that way.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I have 2 "The Elf" "Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation"
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I always say that I'm going to start early and I never do . . . mostly because I love going shopping at Christmas time- everything is just so festive! However this year I finished early so I could spend less time shopping and more time with Sasha.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope...I am grateful for the gifts
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Every goodie that lands on my doorstep!
16. Lights on the tree? Of course! Who doesn't put lights on the tree?
17. Favorite Christmas song? Taylor Swift singing Silent Night and Carrie Underwood singing Do You Hear What I Hear?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel as in going around to see my family
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yep Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...then of course RUDOLPH.....
20. Angel on the tree-top or a star? Usually a star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve and rest for Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The fact that people are willing to trample another person and take a life just to save $400 on a stinkin' TV! That is NOT what Christmas is about.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? It changes every year
24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Turkey and mashed potatoes
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I already got her . . . she was delivered on Monday!
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? everyone of course!
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? I only respond to the language of increase.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
8 lb 6 oz
21 inches long
Born at 8:21 pm, had to push for about two hours.
We just got home and everyone is doing great. Josh is glad to be able to sleep in his own bed, not that he'll get much sleep, but that's okay. Elvis and Priscilla seem to like her ok. I was a little nervous at how they would react but so far so good.
Thanks to everyone who came to see us at the hospital, it was great to have visitors. I never thought I could survive two days in the same room, but I did and I think it was the visitors that made the difference. But so glad to be back home now!
We have to go in on Friday to the doc for a jaundice check. She didn't get quite enough food in the first 24 hours so we think that is the problem. I think I was so stressed out about being able to breastfeed that we didn't do so well on making sure she was getting enough of anything. The milk still isn't in yet. I'm not worried, but seriously considering just doing the bottle, even if my milk does come in. It will be much easier on Josh when I go out of town, I think. In the hospital I was all for the boob and focusing on that, but I think I lost sight of what was most important. I'm probably going to spark a huge debate about which is better or if it really matters, but when it comes down to it- I'm a good mom. Period. If my kid gets breastmilk from a bottle, she'll be fine. If she gets formula from a bottle, she'll be fine. As long as she is eating and healthy I don't care where it comes from. I'm not going to stress myself out cause it doesn't do anyone any good. So that's that for my little rant.
Thanks for all the well-wishes! More pics coming soon!!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Right before they started me on the petocin. . . last belly shot.
More to come, don't you worry!!!