Sunday, January 31, 2010

Christmas 2009

Every year my mom hosts a fun Family Home Evening the week before Christmas... we share talents (mostly the kids) and reenact the Nativity and enjoy the craziness with our family.

Coleman sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" while Ryan played... Olivia played her recital pieces too but I didn't grab a photo of that...

The kids love being with their cousins... Chaim (on the left) quickly became Coleman's buddy... he lives in Georgia so we don't get to see him nearly often enough. Abi and Olivia are on the right.

Olivia got to play Mary on one of the run throughs (we did two to give all the kids a chance to play the roles they wanted to) and Tayden was Joseph. This year we were lucky to have a live baby to play Jesus... and baby David (Katty and David's baby) was adorable.

Even though he was almost as big as the basket he was so smiley the whole time. He's such a cutie!

Chaim, Coleman, and Evan made great Wise Men.

On Christmas Eve we spent a quiet night at home with just our little family. I was feeling exhausted and not up to going anywhere or doing a whole lot of anything. The kids always look forward to our tradition of opening new jams on Christmas Eve.

Ryan rolls his eyes at this unwavering tradition of ours... but I know he was happy to get some new comfy pants too :).

Mine were snowflake jams, Liv got penguins, and Coleman's had the abominable snowman.

Christmas morning was fun... the kids were so excited about their gifts. Santa brought Coleman a giant Indiana Jones Lego Set (which he is still working on building). He got some fun Star Wars trading cards and a remote control car too that were easier to hold up for a photo. Honestly, after the letter Coleman wrote to Santa, there was no way Santa wasn't going to deliver just what he asked for.

Coleman wrote this letter in his kindergarten class... I love the line "I believe in you!" When questions arise about whether or not Santa is real (which are becoming more frequent as the kids get older and their friends and schoolmates share their suspicions) we always tell them that Santa doesn't come to people who don't believe in him. I love that Coleman felt it necessary to reassure Santa that he likes him AND believes in him. Anyway, obviously Santa had to bring the cute boy the thing he wanted most--a giant Lego set.

Miss Olivia learned on her 7th birthday that she would only get one American Girl doll--they are cute but ridiculously expensive--so she figured that Kit Kittridge (on the right) would be her one and only. This year she asked for some "stuff for Kit" like a new dress or some of her furniture (also ridiculously expensive) but Santa decided that a good thing to go with Kit would be Ruthie... Kit's best friend. So much for enforcing our promise of only one doll, huh? Really, this is the last one though. Santa is such a sucker for cute and obedient kids.

On Christmas afternoon we went back to my mom's for brunch (even though it was at 1:00 pm!). All of the kiddos got flashlights or headlamps and were so excited. Chaim and Coleman looked so cute with theirs on.

Coleman and Liv with my mom... they love being at Grandma's house!

Here's one of the sisters... Steph, Katty, Erin, my mom, me, and Lindsey. (Cheristy was there but wasn't in the picture.)

Finally all of the grandkids with Grandma and Grandpa... Abi and McKenna, in the front Coleman has the best expression ever, and Chaim is on the right... Mike's in the chair with Eliza, my mom, and Evan, and in the back are Tayden, Jonah, and Olivia. Asher and Brady aren't in the picture for some reason...

We spent Christmas evening with Ryan's Grandma and Grandpa in Springville. We loved spending time with our family over the holidays!

**Do you do pajamas on Christmas Eve?
**Is Santa a softy for your kids too?

Holiday Visitors

We were so excited to have some of my siblings come to visit over the Christmas holidays and in January.

Here are the pregnant sisters on Christmas day... Steph is due in July, I'm due in March, and Lindsey was due only two weeks after Christmas! She got to come home for Christmas (she lives in Arizona) and we were all hoping and praying that she didn't have her baby while she was here. Her sweet baby Jaxton didn't arrive until January 14th, so we worried needlessly. Aren't we cute though?

Here's Mike, Stephanie, Cheristy (who came to visit with her family from Georgia!), me, Lindsey, my mom, and David. There are a lot of siblings in other states, so it was a relatively small crowd this Christmas.
A few weeks later Heather got to come and visit from San Diego and Matt and his family came from Connecticut. We got to meet his cute new baby Eli and spend some time with his cute Samuel (featured at the bottom of the above picture). From left to right: Erin, Heather, me, David, and Matt.

Basically the same picture except that Heather wasn't in it yet... (it shows another belly view--some people think I should post pictures of my swollen belly, so there you have it!).

**Don't you think it's great that now that January is hours away from being over I am finally putting up some Christmas pictures?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Christmas 2009 Recital

Now that I've finally put away my Christmas cards (and stored them safely for years to come) I think I should post about Olivia's piano recital from December.

Once again Liv and Ryan worked really hard on her songs to get them just right.

She was so excited that Grandpa GeeGee and Grandma Jan could come to see her.

She was equally glad that Grandma Madeline could come to see her play "I Saw Three Ships" and "Here We Come A Caroling" (with Ryan).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Isn't it about time... take down our Christmas cards??? I just love feeling the love--but seeing as it's already the end of January, I think it might be time to retire this last bit of holiday decor.

Thanks to all for sending us holiday greetings!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No complaining here...

...because really, I am thrilled that I am pregnant. For so many years we wanted another baby and I promised myself that I wouldn't complain about my pregnancy if we ever managed to have another baby... so let's call these "observations" or some other benign term so I don't sound like a world-class whiner. Some of these things may have occurred during my other pregnancies... and it's just been so long that I've forgotten... but perhaps it really is harder this time, after all, I am at an "advanced maternal age":

  • Leg cramping occurs frequently... at very inopportune times, like during family prayer, in the middle of the night, while I'm lounging watching TV, while I'm talking to a client at work, or any number of other activities or sedentary-ness.
  • Sciatica... can I just tell you that my cheeks get so sore that I can't seem to walk upright? I don't think I waddled during my other pregnancies, but this time, it's becoming a more frequent occurrence.
  • Sleepless nights... sometimes it's the leg cramping, sometimes it's the having to go to the bathroom or the general feeling of being uncomfortable, but usually it's just waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. I am becoming less and less opposed to chemical induction of sleep (although 3 am is not the best time to take a 6-8 hour Tylenol PM or Unisom)... it presents an obvious dilemma so I usually just lay there wondering if sleep will continue to elude me for the rest of my life... then I drift off for a few precious moments of rest before the alarm goes off.
  • Frequent urination... I know, this is a given for any pregnant woman, but it seems to be several times an hour instead of every couple of hours like I remember with the other pregnancies.
  • I am thirsty ALL of the time... which doesn't help with the bathroom issue or the sloshy feeling in my tummy from nausea that's lasted way too long.
  • Zofran is a good drug... takes away nausea, but it makes me really tired... and it doesn't help to feel extra tired and not be able to sleep.
  • I recently was reminded that oxytocin is a good hormone and helps women deal with stress... I'm obviously LOW in the oxytocin department, because I've been really cranky lately... just ask anyone that lives with me. Patience is a virtue that I must develop but it seems to be in short supply lately. Last week Coleman said our morning family prayer. His words were very telling: "...and please bless mommy to not be angry at work..."
  • My belly is much larger than it was with my other pregnancies... just ask Coleman who reminds me often just how large I am. The other day he rubbed my belly and said, "Mom, your this is so much bigger than your these..." and pointed to my chest. Lovely. Another morning I was getting ready to put my dress on (so I had lots of layers of underclothing on already) and he said, "Whoa! You look so much fatter without your clothes on!" Nothing like a 6 year old's honesty to keep it real. It's come from others too... one of my co-workers said, "Wow, you look REALLY pregnant today" and a friend whom I hadn't seen for awhile said, "I can't believe how big you are already!" (just so you know it's not all in my head).
  • My face feels puffy. I don't think it looks puffy (I trust that Coleman will let me know when it does) but it feels puffy. That's worth observing.
  • With the anti-coagulant medicine I'm on they want to induce me at 39 weeks... isn't the convenience of being induced choosing the day that you have your baby? So during that week my OB/GYN is only available to induce me on March 17th... that would be St. Patrick's Day... can you blame me for feeling very grumpy about this??? I don't want my daughter's birthday to be on St. Patrick's Day. I'm considering changing doctors... for many reasons much more substantial than this one... but I must be truthful... one teeny, tiny factor just might be to get another induction date.
Despite all of these observations, when you ask me how I'm doing, I'm likely to smile and say, "things are fine" because they are. We are getting more and more excited to welcome this little girl into the world (although my to-do list is a mile long before she's allowed to come).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Querida Amiga

I found out this week (thank goodness for Facebook) that a dear friend of mine from Concepcion, Chile was killed in an auto accident. Maritza Riquelme was my companion for one short month in Valparaiso, Chile in 1998. She was an amazing person, and the world is a better place because she was here. With her I learned to be more obedient and optimistic, even though our month together was one of the hardest of my mission in terms of finding and teaching people the gospel. She had such a positive outlook on life and was determined to do what needed to be done. We grew to love each other as sisters do, and the loss that I feel is profound.

I had served with Hermana Hinojosa (also from Chile, on the left) for one month and we had a great thing going... we went to our change meeting on a Sunday night and were relieved that there wouldn't be any changes. The next day was our preparation day, and we ventured into Vina del Mar to eat pizza with our zone... we ran into a couple of other Hermanas, one of whom was Hermana Riquelme (on the right) and she asked us what we were going to do about tomorrow... we had no idea what she was talking about... but she had been informed that she would be coming to our sector to work with us as a trio. (For some reason our APs and Zone Leader neglected to let us in on this little tidbit...) I have to admit that I was very wary of working in a trio and not at all excited. It didn't take me long at all to see that we would not only get along with her, but would enjoy every minute of being together. I wrote in my mission journal that I sort of felt like I was in Relief Society all the time... there was always someone to talk to.

We had several nicknames... from other missionaries, ward members and people we met: The Spice Girls, Testigos de Jehoveh (only because missionaries from Jehoveh's witness usually proselyted in groups of three or more in Chile), Las Maquinas (The Machines... we were that good :)), and the Three Musketeers. I survived an attack from several carnivorous dogs (photos were too graphic to show...) while I served with these women (my fear of dogs still lingers a little bit).

Of course the Elders loved us--we worked hard alongside them doing service.

You can see how the hills of Valparaiso had homes stacked on top of each other. You can also see how I looked like a giant my whole mission, particularly when I had Latin companions!

Hermana Riqueleme and Hermana Hinojosa were with me when Marisol was baptized, which was the highlight of our time together. Marisol is another person who changed my life for the better...
There were many, many stairs in our area...

...and a lot of need for service.

We taught Johanna and many others who did not accept our message, but loved us still the same.We visited a multitude of families in our ward boundaries and had a whole lot of fun with them.

We lived in a family's home--this photo shows our papito and mamita with their daughter Nicole.

We laughed and laughed together... for this meeting we found a whole bunch of ugly ties to give to the Elders in our zone... I can't remember how we got them all, but the Elders thought it was as hilarious as we did.

After our missions Hermana Riquelme stayed in touch with me... she knew Ryan from when they served in another Zone together and was thrilled when she found out we were going to get married. She always strived for excellence in her life and served faithfully in many capacities.

Te extranare querida amiga! Gracias por ser persona tan buena y por bendecirme en tantas maneras. Te quiero tanto.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Now that 2009 has come to an end... I've been reminiscing a bit on the last decade... we have done a lot in the last 10 years... We...

  • Bought our house
  • Had a baby (Yay for Olivia!)
  • Left the work force (Lisa)
  • Started working at BYU (Ryan)
  • Helped start Learning Bridge and worked there for 9 years (Ryan)
  • Graduated from BYU (Ryan)
  • Had another baby (Yay for Coleman!)
  • Traveled to Hawaii, Chile (Ryan only), Florida, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Connecticut, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Egypt (Ryan only), California, Paris...
  • Said goodbye to four dear grandparents and one sweet nephew
  • Sent Olivia and Coleman to school
  • Watched Olivia choose to get baptized
  • Served in every YM position possible and had a brief stint as EQ President and Sunday School President (Ryan)
  • Served in two RS presidencies, was called to teach RS three times, spent a few months as an Activity Days leader, a few months as a nursery coordinator, 3 years in the Primary presidency, a quick year doing Personal Progress in YW, and currently serve as the ward Activities co-chair and ward newsletter editor (Lisa)
  • Re-entered the work force (Lisa)
  • Learned to play the piano (Olivia)
  • Moved on to Heritage Makers, with some sadness at leaving Learning Bridge and some excitement at doing some thing new (Ryan)
  • Survived stitches (twice) and staples in the head (Coleman)
  • Survived multiple rounds of kidney stones, lithotripsy, and one pulmonary embolism (Lisa)
  • Made new friends and kept the old
  • Have been blessed in so many ways!
Looking ahead to the next decade... we expect (hope) to:
  • Add another baby to the family... only 11 weeks to go!
  • Again leave the workforce (Lisa only... Ryan is stuck!)
  • Watch Olivia and Coleman start driving and dating (unless I get my way and they wait until they are 25)
  • Pursue more education
  • Buy a new house (please, let it have a mud room!)
  • Travel to new and exciting places along with familiar and well-loved places
  • Make new friends, and keep the old
  • Continue to feel grateful for all of our blessings, and hopefully be able to bless some others in return...
**What did you do this last decade?
**Any grand plans for the decade to come?