Thursday, December 27, 2007


The arrival of baby Easton! He joined our family on December 17, 2007 at 10:02 p.m. Like his big brother Camden, he weighed 7 lbs 5 oz, but was an inch longer at 20 inches long. We induced early in the morning and I made great progress for several hours, but labor stalled out in the late afternoon. After several scary heart decelerations and no labor progress, Easton was born via c-section late that night. It was a different birth than Camden, but I am recovering well. We are so glad Easton is here! Here is one quick picture of him right after birth.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Officially overdue

And still waiting. Cam was one whole day early, so I have to admit, I was hoping. We have an induction scheduled for Monday if baby doesn't appear before then.

And my spacebar isn't working very well. Justapointofinterest.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stick a fork in me

I'm done! I'm very ready for little guy to make his appearance, but so far, nothing much happening in that area. I'm getting grumpier and grumpier as I wake up each day still pregnant and not in labor. Everything is ready for little guy. His room is ready. Clothes are washed and put away, waiting for him to wear them. The house has been deep cleaned from top to bottom, including the carpets. My lesson plans are done and ready to go. Our house is decorated for Christmas and all our shopping is done. I'm really hoping for something soon! I have a tentative induction date scheduled for the 11th if I want it, but I'm not sure if I do. I went into labor with Camden on my own and would really like to go into labor with this one on my own too, but I also don't want a birthday too close to Christmas. So I debate and debate what is best and hope my body makes the decision for me before then. Short update, but there you go. Hopefully I will be posting soon to announce the birth of my little guy!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

After an almost 3 month absence

I return with a post of sorts. I read blogs regularly, but just have lost a lot of desire to blog. I don't promise to update lots, but I will post now and again and try to comment on your blogs more.

So what's been happening in our house the past several months? Nothing real exciting. This whole working full time, being a mom, and growing a baby has been kicking my butt for the past two months. I've finally got my feet under me at work and found some balance in all these areas.

Baby boy has about 8.5 weeks till his due date and I have about 8.5 million things to get done before then. I'm nesting big time and trying to get my house clean, as well as his room prepared and lesson plans done at school. I think we have a name for him. I say think because dh has decided, but I'm not 100 percent sure yet. Nothing has quite grabbed me the way Cam's name did.

Camden is an amazing genius boy, at least to me and his father. He's 2.5 now and so much fun! He counts to 20, knows all his ABC's, shapes, and colors, and also tries to read certain books. He LOVES to make letters out of noodles, twigs, or whatever else he can get his hands on. He's opinionated and stubborn, but so delightful. He also is into so much toddler mischief, like dumping a full cup of milk over the dog at dinner the other night. He has a fascination with small objects and can often be found carrying around pieces from a game or a small ball of some sort. We went through a month of sleep hell with him which luckily ended right before school started. He's turning into a big boy in so many ways. He refuses to sit in a high chair or booster chair anymore, he must drink from a big cup at dinner, and has gone to a big boy bed. He's so proud of himself when he learns something new and shouts "I did it!" I can't wait to see him as a big brother.

So there you go. Not much of an update, but something.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's a boy!

Yes, we're having another boy. Unlike his older brother, this baby was more than willing to show the goods right away. We're excited to have another boy, but have no names picked out. I'm open for suggestions. Boy names are the hardest for me because of teaching school - many names get ruined forever. Plus I have specific naming rules. They are as follows:

1. No made up names. It must be a real name with a normal spelling.
2. No gender neutral names.
3. No redneck names like Wyatt.
4. It cannot be one of the following (if you have a child with these names, please don't be offended) - Seth, Ethan, Andrew, Daniel, or Nathan.

I like names that end in N (although I am open to many others) and they must have a nickname possibility.

So, share with me any boy names you just love that fit in my rules! I have a very short list right now and am looking for all suggestions. Bring on the boy names!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time to guess the gender!

I really suck at blogging in the summer. It seems like so many other things come first. Right now I am taking two classes online, so much of my computer time is spent there. Plus my stepson is here right now and he sleeps in the room with the computer. Being a teenager, he hides in his room most of the day, so my computer time is limited. He leaves later this week, so I should have more blogging time then. I read your blogs still, but don't have much time to comment. I promise to say hi to each of you soon!

Things are going well. I am 18 weeks pregnant today. We rented a doppler with this baby, so every Sunday we listen to the heartbeat to reassure me the baby is still doing well in there. I love being pg and am so grateful for this blessing! Our big ultrasound is the 16th. Hopefully we'll find out what this baby is then. Camden was a shy stubborn baby (much like real life) and it took four ultrasounds to find out what he was. We tried twice at the dr office, once at the big ultrasound, and finally went to Fetal Fotos to find out. The tech had to sit there with the wand on his butt for ten minutes before he decided to spread his legs and show the goods. We're hoping this baby will be more cooperative. So now is the time to put in your guess. Leave a comment with your guess. I have an impression, but I was wrong with Camden, so won't share that impression in case I am wrong again. I will update sometime in the afternoon on the 16th with our news!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Coming out of the closet

Not that closet, but the pregnancy closet in which I have been hiding for the past few months. Yes internet world, I am pregnant again. After what happened the last time, I sat on this announcement until I felt safer. I didn't want to share and then go through another loss, so I have been waiting. But I've had two appointments now that show a beautiful growing baby with a strong heartbeat, and I made it to the 12 week mark. After yesterday's 12 week appointment, I feel comfortable sharing my secret now. I know things can still go wrong. The experiences of my friend K and M and so many others show me that. But I am trusting in the Lord that we will have a baby this time around. So far we are headed in the right direction. Baby #2 will be joining our family around December 11th!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reflections on Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a hard day for me for many years. I belong to a religion in which family plays a central role. Because of that, services on Mother's Day really emphasize mothers and motherhood. During the years of infertility, this day was the most painful of any in the year. It was one more reminder that I was not a mother and may never be a mother. At the end of sacrament meeting each Mother's Day, all women over the age of 18 were invited to stand a receive a gift. Although meant for all women, it was another stab in the heart and I resented it. The day became so painful for me that it was easier not to attend church on that day. I would stay home and wallow in my sadness over missing the joys of motherhood. Even the promises of motherhood in the next life did nothing to soothe my pain.

Although I am a mother now and I enjoy the home aspects of Mother's day (a special breakfast, extra cuddles with Cam, etc), the church issue is still hard for me to deal with. I know there are women in that audience hurting over not being a mother or their feelings of failure as a mother. Each year, in spite of motherhood, I still have dread over attending church on this day. I go to church on this day now, but I am very aware of how things are worded and the pain they may be causing others. I want to hug each one of those hurting women and tell them I am so sorry for their pain and heartache. Even with the title of mother now, I cringe at some of the comments made yearly in a church setting.

This year at church, the comments at church annoyed me as usual. I knew the pain they would cause to women out there struggling with infertility and the heartbreak. But for me, there was a small moment of healing meant for my heart alone.

After Sunday School, I went to the bathroom while Mark went and picked up Camden from nursery. As I came into the chapel to meet my family, I heard Camden calling for "Mama." As soon as he saw me, he ran up to me, calling my name, and handed me a blue piece of card stock. On it was a little poem about hand prints and there was his little hand print. The nursery workers had the kids make these for their mother's. Brave women that they are, they dipped each child's hand in black paint and placed it on the paper. And even more amazingly, there was no trace of black paint on Camden's skin or church clothing. It thoroughly touched me the effort put in by these women to make these small tokens for the mother's of the children 3 and under. And even more touching was Cam's excitement in presenting me this paper. He was so proud of himself! I cried as its simple beauty touched my soul. In that moment, a bit of healing came over me and the pain of Mother's Day at church lessened to a degree for me alone.

I know that day was hard for many women. I understand and I empathize. I am so, so sorry for anybody struggling through infertility and its pain. I am grateful, however, that for a brief moment I could see the beauty of such a day in a day that has been painful for so many years. I am grateful for that small moment of healing. I hope I never forget how Mother's Day can be a painful reminder for many women. But I also hope I never forget the moment my heart received a small moment of healing on this day. My hope for you, if you are struggling through this, is that you can find healing on that particular day as well.

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Post!

I've been a bad blogger lately. I just haven't had the time to blog much here. And I don't have much to say either. But here are some pictures of some of our adventures recently.

This is the little cutie during an Easter egg hunt at Grandma's house. He had a blast!

A picture with Mom actually in it! Since I rarely make an appearance in pictures. If you are wondering why we're dressed alike, we had family pictures just about an hour before this lil Easter egg hunt, so most of the family is wearing black and khaki.

Camden at the zoo with cousins. He was so sad when he had to leave his cousins.

Camden and the penguin. The penguin kept trying to figure how to get out to visit Cam personally and Cam wanted it to come.

Camden playing on the rocks at the park. Again, he had a blast and didn't want to leave!

Camden recently turned two! I can't believe I now have a two year old. So I'll be back soon with pictures from his birthday.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My Life Monday - dreams

Would you look at that? A MLM on a Monday! Please, hold the applause. Today I am so excited to read about your crazy dreams. And of course you get to read some of my doozies.

As a child, I always had the same dream when I was sick. I don't know why, but I would dream I was chasing knots on a snowy TV screen. Each time I got close to a knot in this gigantic rope, it would fade away again and I would run the other direction after another knot. In the background was always a buzzing sound, like many bees on the loose. I've often wondered what that dream could have meant, but each time I got sick, it came again.

For the past year, I've been having recurring dreams with friends from high school in it. It's always the same two friends. I keep in touch with these friends, but I am not sure why they appear in dreams on a regular basis. It doesn't matter what kind of dream; often these two friends will show up. Nothing weird happens in the dreams - we just talk and interact with each other - but I wonder why it is these two friends I only see on an occasional basis.

I often get asked if I get dreams about going to school naked as a teacher. I never do, but before the start of each school year, without fail, I have a dream in which my first class will be starting in a matter of minutes and I'm not ready. There are no bulletin boards up, I haven't made copies of my first day of school papers, I'm running around like crazy, and frustrated I am behind. This dream makes perfect sense to me since I have to have my room completely set up and all materials ready before the first student walks in my classroom door. This dream just relives the thoughts I have during the day.

Most of the time I don't remember dreams for long, but I do have doozies on a regular basis. I'll tell them to Mark and he'll just marvel. Lately I've had a few that have scared the crap out of me. I'm going to Idaho for Easter break and my dream takes place around my parent's house. In both dreams, somehow Camden gets away from me near their house and I don't notice. So I'm searching for him at twilight and am completely panicked because he is nowhere to be found. In one dream, several people are out searching and we can't find him. In the other, a stream runs behinds some house and I lose him near that. In both there is a great sense of foreboding and loss. I wake up scared and have vowed to not let Camden out of my sight at my parent's house when we visit this week.

Usually my dreams are more crazy and make no sense. Like I'm on American Idol but I can't sing and yet people keep voting for me (Sanjaya anyone?). Or I'm a secret spy and saving the world. I'm always thin in my dreams, and irresistible too. I've had some crazy ones lately, but as I want to share, of course I can't remember them. So if I do, I'll come back and share.

Remember to leave your link below if you participate. Since I will be gone for awhile, there is no topic for next week. I'll update sometime next week with the next topic.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Life Monday - My personal Philosophy

I have been mired in the world of teenage novels and textbook adoption as we prepare to get new books for next year. I'm in charge of textbook adoption, so it's been fun ordering books and reading books and reviewing them. But I am taking a break from it (and the massive stacks of papers I have to grade) to finally post this, late once again.

So today, I share my personal philosophy on child rearing. Realize I am only a mother of one so I may not really know what I am talking about. LOL!

As a teacher, I see children who are beaten down, who have little to no self esteem, who have seen more in their 14 short years than some adults see in a lifetime. It breaks my heart to see so many walking wounded, maybe not physically wounded, but psychologically. I see so many children who have no clue how to function in the real world, who are saved from the consequences of their actions by their parents. I see so many children who are left to parent themselves and try to determine what is right or wrong. Because of that, I have very defined views on how I want to raise my son (and hopefully future children as well).

I strongly believe in choices and letting children have them. Let them understand the natural consequences, positive or negative, of their choices. Sometimes I want to rescue Camden from his choices or force my will on him, but he won't learn that way, so I have to remind myself to step back and let him learn. I think that is one of the hardest thing about being a parent, not saving your child from their mistakes. It is my job to teach him right from wrong and then let him choose from there.

My biggest parenting philosophy is parenting with love. I don't want to be the one to wound my son's confidence, integrity, and sense of self. It's a hard world out there. People are cruel to each other over tiny differences. I see it every day at school, students leaving battered and bruised emotionally from peers, family, and other supposed loved ones. Camden will receive enough wounds outside the home; I don't want them inflicted in our home. I want our home to be his safe haven, where he always feels love and acceptance. I want it to be the place where he can recover from the darts given by the world. He deserves to know that there are two people who think the world of him, who think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

There are consequences for actions and at times we may be disappointed in his choices, but I want him to know that though we may be disappointed in a choice, we are never disappointed in him. I want him to know unconditional love. I don't want my children to live in fear of the moods of one of their parents, never knowing when that parent will blow up and abuse them either mentally or physically. When I discipline, I try to do it with love. And I try to encourage his interests, boost his self esteem, and help him develop his own strong sense of self. I want him to be strong, confident, and secure in our love and in himself. If I can accomplish those goals, then I will feel like I am a good parent.

Please leave your link below if you already posted, and if you haven't, it's not too late.

Next week's topic - An unforgettable dream. Let's share our crazy dreams with each other.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Life Monday - An embarrassing moment

Really, one of these weeks I will be on time with this. I just can't seem to get myself in gear. But that's ok! If you haven't posted yours yet, you are still more than welcome to.

I embarrass myself on almost a daily basis, so it's hard to know where to begin. I put my foot in my mouth or do stupid things so often that I have many embarrassing moments swirling through my brain. But I'll choose one from junior high.

In junior high, I did track. I didn't like it, but I did it because it seemed like the thing to do. Never mind that I hate running in any form (I also have a strong dislike for sweating) and couldn't do long distances. So I did shot-put normally. A my 8th grade year of track started, I had the brilliant idea of doing hurdles. I signed up to do them and really looked forward to it. But there was only one problem - I was scared of actually jumping over the hurdle. Every day I'd say today was the day I was going over the hurdle. Every day I walked out to the track, stretched, ran a few laps, and prepared to jump over the those hurdles. And every day, running towards them, I would stop right before it came time to jump because I was scared of them. Pathetic huh? So you think that since I couldn't jump over them in practice, I'd not even bother with the upcoming meet right? Wrong! I knew somehow I would do it during the meet and blow everybody out of the water with the prowess that I'd been hiding. I kept my name on the list of hurdlers and went to the first meet.

At the meet, they called for the hurdlers and I went over with the rest to run the race. I signed in, I got into position on the running blocks, and I waited for the whistle. When the whistle went off, I gave it my best shot. I ran and I jumped. I finally jumped! But guess what happened? Yeah, I sucked and ended up tripping over almost all of them. I fell several times, scraping and bruising myself. Everybody finished the race long before I did. When it was over, I walked off the track in extreme embarrassment and humiliation. The coach came over to talk to me afterwards. He hadn't even realized I hadn't been practicing. He wasn't a very good coach and added to my humiliation. I can't remember what he said, but I do know I never liked him again. And the next day at school, some jerky boy imitated my hurdle race in math class. He found this to be his entertainment for the next week or so.

Needless to say, I never did track again. I look back now and wonder what the heck I was thinking, but in that youthful arrogance, I was sure I was going to rock those hurdles, even without practice. That moment is truly a moment I wish the ground had opened up and swallowed me, or at the very least, somebody had slapped me silly before the race even started and told me I had no business in trying to hurdle. It is one that still embarrasses me to this day.

Next week's topic - My personal philosophy. Share with us your philosophy on anything - life, raising children, marriage, you name it! What is your philosophy?! Please leave your link below if you participated this week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Life Monday - The Me not many people know

Although I assigned this topic and had time to do it yesterday, it's been a hard topic to complete. I feel I show all sides to myself on here for the most part, so I wonder, what part can I share with you that may be different and unique. I'm actually hoping in the process of typing, I'll come up with something new!

I often feel there are two parts of me. There is the confident, sure of herself, intelligent, and fun teacher/mom/wife combination. In those capacities of teacher, wife, and mother, I'm pretty sure of myself. I'm confident, vibrant, talkative, and have tons of fun with my students, husband, and son. I think this is who I really am and it's who I want to portray most to other people. This is the way I am at home and at work, as well as on the Internet for the most part.

But with others, especially those I don't know well, I turn insecure and shy. I have a hard time talking and feel socially awkward and unsure of how I come across. For this reason, I feel I don't have many in real life friends and have a hard time making them because I'm sure I come across as an idiot. I have a hard time talking to those I perceive as better than me in some way - prettier, smarter, craftier, more fertile, etc. etc. etc, which is quite a few people. Hence, I find myself feeling shy and alone in groups where I should be comfortable, like church and my neighborhood. Most of my real friends (outside of work friends) are online friends. Is that pathetic of me?

So I guess the side of me that not many people know is the second for the Internet world. I can talk easily on here because hey, I've not met most of you and you don't intimidate me (as much)! But to the real life people, the first side is the one not many people know because the second side dominates. I really want to let the first side show through more, so I am working on that. I don't want to be the socially awkward, insecure person forever. Any tips on how to get over that?

Next week's topic - An Embarrassing experience. Make us laugh! Share some of the embarrassing things that have happened to you!

Also, please share any ideas you have for future topics. I have a few some of you have given me, but I'd love more.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A sense of failure

I started my second round of Clomid since the miscarriage. Sigh. Why does it make me feel like such a failure? Every time I go to pick up my prescription, a feeling of humiliation comes over me. Every time I start taking the pills, the same thing happens. I felt humiliated when I lost my baby too and could hardly talk about it to others because of the huge feeling of failure. I guess it's the reality that my body doesn't work the way it should and that getting pregnant may never be an easy thing. Others do it all the time on their own, but I have to depend on medications to even have a chance to try to get pregnant. I've ovulated twice on my own in the almost seven years I've been married. The rest are all chemical induced ovulations. While I am very grateful there are medications and I don't have to take the super expensive ones, it's a sense of failure each time. It's a feeling of being betrayed by my body.

People tell me if I lose weight, I'll get pregnant easily. After all it happened to them or to somebody they know. I am working on losing weight. I've lost 14 pounds in the past two months and I weigh less now that I did when I got pregnant with Camden. But even then, weight loss doesn't always work. Both times I have ovulated on my own have been right as I start eating well and exercising. But it doesn't continue into the next cycle. It seems to be a one shot deal. I know weight loss will help with fertility, as well as so much psychological crap, but it doesn't mean it will be the cure all. I could lose 40 pounds and still have to take medications, so I hate such generalizations that because I am heavy, that's the reason I can't get pregnant.

I've realized my biggest struggle this time around. I don't doubt this time that I will get pregnant. That was my issue before, but I've now been pregnant twice (even though only one resulted in a baby). My issue is timing. I have an idea in my head how far apart I want my children. Camden is almost 2 and I really wanted my children about two years apart. But I'm realizing that my time frame is not the Lord's time frame. I know I will have more children. That is not a doubt in my mind at all. I'm just frustrated that it is not happening when I want it to. I also realize that as long as I am doing everything I possibly can to try to get pregnant, the rest is in the Lord's hands. He knows the longing of my heart. He knows how much I want this for me, for our family, for Camden. And just like He sent Camden at just the right time, He'll send the next one at just the right time. If I am doing all I can, I have to leave the rest up to him. I know by taking the medications, continuing to lose weight, and timing sex the best we can, that I am doing all I possibly can and trust the Lord will take care of the rest when the time comes. My problem is I am not a patient person. I want things when I want them and I want it now! LOL! I've got to learn to accept a time frame that is not my own.

Before Camden, I looked at those who had one child and complained because they didn't have a second one and I mocked them in my head thinking at least they have one! I always thought if I had one, I would never complain again and I would be completely satisfied. And now I find myself on the other side of wanting a second child so desperately and aching because it isn't happening. I now regret my previous judgments. I'm so grateful I have Camden. He is truly a blessing and light in my life. Every day I delight and take joy in him. He amazes me with everything he does and learns. I look at him in awe, wondering how we created a little person so beautiful, so smart, so funny, and so amazing in so many ways. He is truly a blessing and a miracle. Because he is so incredible to us, we want another. And so we wait, and pray, and trust, and take the medications again, in spite of the sense of failure that comes by having to do so, and hope that this time around, the Lord's timing will match our desire.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My Life Monday - foods

Yeah, I realize I'm a little over a week late. No good excuses, just plain not wanting to blog. :) But here I am today! The topic was - foods you like and dislike.

Foods I love

-Tomatoes! I love tomatoes and Mark thinks I am crazy because of it. Yum! I'll eat them in almost any form. Cam loves them too!

-Broccoli - Again, I love broccoli. It's one of my favorite veggies to eat.

-Wheat toast with butter. There is something very comforting about this. If I am sick, it's often what I want to eat when food starts to sound good again. I also eat this a lot after any sort of surgery or medical procedure. But the bread has to be wheat.

-Cereal. I could live on cereal. I could eat it for every meal for every day. Mark calls cereal my stand-by food because I am always eating it.

-Red grapes. I can eat these almost every day. Yum!

-Chocolate. I really didn't like much chocolate until I got pregnant with Camden. Then I started to crave it and now have a chocolate sweet tooth. But I can still only eat small amounts before I get sick of it.

-Chicken Cordon Bleu. My favorite dinner Mark makes. He does a delicious baked one and I look forward to it.

-Potatoes. I'm an Idaho girl at heart. Potatoes are a love of mine. Baked, mashed, fried, roasted, give me potatoes!

-Cheesecake. My absolute favorite dessert. Especially with a raspberry topping. I am drooling thinking of it.

-Carrots. I eat baby carrots every day for lunch. I never get sick of them.

Foods I hate

-Salad dressing. Out of all the foods I hate, this is at the top of my list. I cannot stand any sort of salad dressing in any form. Ranch, vinaigrette's, oil based, you name it and I hate it. Just the smell makes me gag. When pregnant, salad dressing must be eating in another room because the smell affects me that much. I won't eat any sort of pasta salad either because it usually has a dressing on it. I will not eat anything made with any sort of dressing. They all gag me. What do I eat on a salad then? Lemon juice. Yup, I squirt lemon juice across my salads. Yum!

-Mayonnaise/Miracle Whip. Again, I hate this in any form and will not eat it. Occasionally I add a minute amount to tuna to moisten it, but that's about it.

-Cheese. Ok, I like cheese, but not very much of it. So I like pizza with less cheese. I'll eat it on tacos, pizza, and other things, but not very much of it. I have a hard time making a recipe if it calls for more than a cup of cheese.

-Mushrooms. Ick! Who likes those things?

-Spinach. I try to like it, I really do. But it really is something I have to force myself to eat. I keep thinking that I'll find a good way to cook it, but so far, nothing.

-Ripe bananas. I only like green bananas. Once they turn fully yellow, yuck! Keep them away from me!

-Chicken with a tomato sauce on it. I don't know why I can't stomach that, but I can't. It just seems wrong to me.

-Any sort of spongy egg dish like quiche or souffle. I can't stand the texture!

So those are a few of my crazy likes and dislikes. If you have already completed this, please leave your link below. If you haven't, feel free to do so and then come back and link. I look forward to reading your lists! Next week's topic - The me not many people know. Share a side of yourself we may not know already. Also, if you have ideas for MLM topics, please leave them in the comments. I need some more ideas!

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's the thought that counts?

Yesterday I was hanging out with Cam and Mark when there was a knock on the door. We opened it to find my Father in Law bearing a gift for me. We couldn't figure out what this was for and so we asked. FIL said it was for my birthday. Now that's sweet and all, but my birthday isn't until September! And they've always given me the gift then. Mark and I were baffled and couldn't figure out how they got the date wrong this year. We wracked our brains trying to figure out who they might have confused my birth date with. And then it hit me because I can remember useless dates like none other. Mark's ex wife has a birthday in February right around this time. Yup, MIL, in a state of sickness, confused my real birthday with the ex's birthday. It's the thought that counts right?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Life Monday - Late again

I'm sorry I am late in getting this up. Life has been busy and with a three day weekend, I lose all track of time.

I've had several growing experiences, like most of us. I've talked about some before such as infertility to a degree. Today I want to focus on one as a teenager which shaped much of my religious and personal beliefs and I feel, to a degree, shaped my future.
When a junior in high school, I had two sets of friends. One was my really good LDS friends who shared my same beliefs. The other were good people, but ones who liked to drink and such. I got involved with the second group because my on-again off-again boyfriend of the time liked to party and I wanted to be with him. I felt I was walking the fine line of both groups pretty well.

Although I never drank at parties, I went to drive my friends home safely. And although I was seen at parties, I was sure everybody knew I was still a good girl who lived her religious values.

As time went on, the line between my two lives became blurrier. As a result, I wasn't sure which way to go anymore with my life. I felt I had to make a decision - stay with my friends who were good people, but not living the best lives, or stay with my friends who shared my convictions.

In February of my junior year, something happened which compelled me to make a choice. While out skiing one weekend, a friend of mine was in a skiing accident and lost his life. I had my grandpa die before this, but had never been touched by the death of a peer until this moment. His death made me realize how fragile life can be. I realized I could die at any moment too and I questioned what sort of life, and person, I wanted to be. What kind of legacy did I want to leave behind? What kind of person did I want to be remebered as?

I decided I had to cut it off with my partying friends. While good people, that was not the lifestyle I wanted for myself. No matter how many times I told myself I was being a good friend by driving them home or that it didn't rub off on me, I wasn't being true to myself and what I held dear. I wanted to be known as a person of strong beliefs, who stands up for those beliefs. So I stopped spending time with those friends in order to become the person I wanted to be.

It was a very hard thing to do. My LDS friends welcomed me back with open arms, but there were a lot of shadows of doubt. My old friends couldn't understand my reasoning. And I had a hard time breaking away from the on-again, off-again boyfriend.

It took a year to recover from the choices I made, to recover my image, and the trust of many people. I still miss those old friends and wonder if I handled it in the right way. They were good people, but not the kind of life I wanted to live. I often think of those friends and would like to explain myself to them now when maybe we could see more clearly the reasons.

This experience was growing in that after this, I always chose friends who believed what I did and encouraged me to be a better person. I never again questioned my religious convictions (well, up to the infertility I should say, which questioned them in a different way). It really shaped my future and I believe my life has been forever changed by that decision all those years ago.

Share your link below if you participated, even if it's late. Next week's topic (and I will be on time with it) - Food likes and dislikes. I want to hear about all the strange things you either really love or really hate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The artist formerly known as Mom

I take great pride in the fact that the first word Camden said was "Ma." It should have been his first word, considering how I drilled it into his tiny baby head. While Dad was naively at work, I was at home saying the word "Momma" over and over again hoping Cam would pick up on it. After all, wasn't it my right to have that be his first word after carrying him in my body for 9 months and for then spending an hour and a half trying to push his huge noggin out? I was well rewarded for all my efforts as "Ma" was his first word, which gradually evolved into "Momma."

It caused no small amount of distress for Mark that Camden didn't say "Dada" for the longest time. Camden would call my parental name again and again, but Daddy was left out in the cold. Feeling sorry for poor Mark, I worked on getting Camden to say "Dada." After a few months, he decided to add that to his vocabulary as well and life was good. Although Camden didn't call us by name often, the fact that he could call both of us by a proper name was a time of rejoicing for us.

Over the past few months, Camden has had a HUGE language explosion in both sign and speaking. And I was thrilled when somewhere along the line he learned to sign Mom and Dad, as well as say those words. But I've noticed over the past few weeks that something got lost. Apparently, Camden decided it was too much effort to call both of his parents by a separate name. Why have two names when one was good enough? It was just too much extra effort to keep two names for such seemingly interchangeable people. And can you guess which name he decided to drop? Yup, the one near and dear to my heart - "Momma."

I'm not sure when it happened, but I've noticed over the past few weeks that he says and signs "Daddy" repeatedly. Yes, he's even upgraded to the word "Daddy" for this. He does it when Mark is at work, when Mark is at home, when we're all together as a family. And at first I thought he was just stuck on Dad, which is ok. But then I realized he was using it to refer to both of us. I come out to pick him up from day care? He signs and yells "Daddy." He comes to see me at work? "Daddy" again. Mark will be at work and Camden will wander around the house shouting "Dad", "Dad", "Dad" until he finds me and then he stops.

Mark's noticed it too. I think he's secretly gloating in it, like I did when Camden first said "Ma," but he pretends to feel badly for me and tries to encourage the use of Mommy. We both try to get Camden to say "Momma" again or to even sign it again, but he just looks at us like we're crazy.

It's getting a little confusing to figure out who Camden wants. Does he want Daddy-Daddy this time around or Mommy-Daddy? He can fall, stand up crying, say "Daddy Daddy" over and over again, but run to me for comfort and reject Mark. We can both be sitting on the couch and Cam will want to play, come up asking for "Daddy", and grab Mark by the hand and reject me. So I'm never quite sure when Mommy-Daddy should come to the rescue, unless of course, Mark is at work. Even then, it could still mean Camden just misses Daddy and really doesn't want me when he's calling Daddy's name.

I hope I get my own name back one day. But until then, you can call me the artist formerly known as "Mom."

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Life Monday - Somebody I love

Maybe I should do something creative for the somebody I love topic, but a cold has set in and my creativity has been sapped. Besides, I love talking about the two big loves of my life - My husband and my son. So what that I've done it before? Today I'll do it in pictures.

This is seriously one of my all time favorite pictures of my boys together. I love the look of tenderness in Mark's eyes and he looks at Cam. I love how much he loves our son. He is an awesome father and husband. I am grateful every day of my life that he is mine.

This just shows the playful nature of my two boys together. Mark will always be the kind willing to lift his child up - either physically for a better look or in so many other ways. He lifts me up to new heights and inspires me to be a better person.

Again, I just love watching Mark with Cam. There is nothing sexier than a good father. And indulging in one of my favorite pastimes of reading. Look at that tender smile!

My two handsome boys! Both so special to me in so many ways. My life would not be complete without them.

I love you both!

Leave your link below and I will check your site out. Next week's topic - A growing experience. Share with us something that helped you grow in your life, whether good or bad.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Life Monday - Pet Peeves

I'm really looking forward to reading your post today! Pet Peeves can be so funny sometimes. So share and then leave your link below!

#1 - Mispronouncing or misspelling my name. It's Rachelle, pronounced Ra-shell. Not Rachel or Raquel.

#2 - Flyer's and other things left on my car. If you leave it on my car, I can guarantee you are not getting my business.

#3 - Creative spellings for kids or business names. I'm not taking my child to a place called Kiddie Kuts or something else equally ridiculous. And please do not spell a nice name like Emily in this manner - EmmaLeigh.

#4 - Forwarded emails! A simple annoyance, but it drives me crazy, especially if that is all they send. I delete without reading and if that's all a person sends, I block them (like my in laws). If you want to write me a message, great, but please don't just send me one forward after another.

#5 - Lights on when I am trying to sleep. Seriously, I don't sleep well with lights on. Thankfully Mark makes it really dark if he is going to stay up later than me.

#6 - Feeling obligated to answer the phone. I'm not a big phone person. I pick up if I want to talk, otherwise I let the machine get it. Some people get irritated by that because they hear it ringing and I ignore it. I just remind them that just because it rings does not mean I have to answer it.

So those are a few of my pet peeves. Share yours too and leave your link. Next week's topic - Somebody you love. Since it's Valentines next week, highlight somebody you love and care about (doesn't have to be a spouse).

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I hope I always remember

The way Camden looked before his big boy haircut.

And after (no, that is not a razor in his mouth, but a tooth flosser - he loves to suck the mint off the edges)

I hope I always remember:

-The way he loves any animal and gets so excited when he sees one. Today he ran all around a pet store from animal to animal saying and signing what each one was.
-The way he loves to cuddle a stuffed bear while he goes to sleep.
-How he wants to hold my hand going up and down the stairs like a big boy.
-That his favorite word to say and sign is octopus.
-That right now his favorite color to say is yellow.
-How excited he gets when he gets to watch fish videos on the computer - one of his favorite things! He'll stand at the computer and say fish over and over until we pull them up.
-The way he loves cheese, raisins, and fruit.
-How excited he gets when he comes to see me at school. He came to have lunch with me on Tuesday and as soon as he saw me standing in the hall, he gave a yell and ran full blast towards me.
-The way he devours books.
-His laugh and his impish smile.
-His cute lil toddler run, as well as his cute lil toddler belly.
-How he loves to splash in water and help "wash" his body in bath time at night.
-How opinionated he can be!
-His favorite meals of mac n cheese or peanut butter and jelly.
-The cute way he signs Mom and Dad and how, when the other is at work, he'll wander around the house signing and calling their name.
-His pretend conversations with Elmo on his toy phone. He loves to pretend talk.
-His first sentence of "paydo peas" (playdough please).
-How much he loves to cuddle with his parents and his dog. He loves to put his head against ours and hug.
-The way he waves his hand and says "uv you" (love you).
-The way he imitates Mom and Dad on almost anything. Yesterday he was hopping in the kitchen like a kangaroo and waddling like a penguin because I was showing him how.
-How much he loves to hear the ABC's sung or do "Patty Cake."
-His shyness and flirtiness with new people.
-The way he folds his arms and says "amen" at the end of a prayer.
-How much he loves pounding on the piano.
-The way he takes me by the hand and leads me around the house to play a game or see something new.

He's growing up so fast. I want to hang on and remember every little moment. I love this little guy so much!

Monday, January 29, 2007

My Life Monday - Define myself

I am a sister and daughter. I have a family who loves me and has seen me through some real ups and downs. And they have probably seen me at my strangest!

I am a student. Going back to college has been so much fun! I love learning and playing the role of a learner again.

I am a researcher. I love to research new subjects all the time. Knowledge is important to me. I can often be found researching a new term I heard or something that interests me.

I am a wife. I love my husband and I love being a wife. I didn't get married until I was almost 25, so I know what it was like to be single. I have the best husband in the world and I am so glad he is mine. Being a wife brings me much joy!

I am a teacher. This is probably how I define myself the most. I educate the lives of students every day. After this year, I will have taught over 1,000 students. It's amazing the lives I get to experience on a daily basis and have a small part in.

I am a mom. This is my proudest definition. I worked so hard to gain this privilege and am grateful every day of my life for my son. Nothing thrills me as much as being a mom.

I am forever infertile in my mind. I will never forget what this trial has taught me. I will probably always struggle with having/carrying children. I've often wondered how, after this part of my life is over, how I will redefine myself because this is such a HUGE part of my life right now as we try to increase our family.

I am me. I am a unique person with talents, fears, quirkiness, and so much more. Sometimes I am so busy defining myself in other ways that I forget that I am me at the end of the day, without all these titles or roles to play. Putting all my other definitions (or my many hats) aside, I am still the person I have always been, through 31 years of life. And sometimes it's good to realize that again.

I am a daughter of God. As cheesy as that sounds, it's an important definition. Although I may not always like everything about myself or even see the good in myself, I am a valuable person and am loved by a higher being. He always sees the good in me and we all need that kind of cheerleader in our lives.

Share with me who you are. Leave your link below if you participate in this MLM. I will be sure to check out your blog.

Next week's topic - Pet peeves!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The real me coming out of hiding

I've been thinking a lot lately about my blog and who I am as a blogger. Why am I blogging and what do I hope to get out of it? Am I seeking comments and validation from other readers or am I writing for myself? Do I want to try to be witty and lighthearted or serious and thoughtful? Will talking about certain topics near and dear to me cause this blog to become a depressing place to be or will it feel more real to me? I don't know the answers yet. I have to come realize, however, that I need to let the real me out a bit more.

Last year, I blogged regularly and always had something to say. I've had several long blog silences over the summer and the subsequent months. I can blame it on being busy, laziness, illness or a million other things, but the truth is, the silences come when I am in the middle of things I'm not sure how to talk about or not quite ready to talk about.

Over the summer, the silences came because we were in the midst of trying for our second child and I wasn't sure if I wanted to share the ups and downs with the Internet world. I did that the first time through on different message boards and it became a huge source of pain as one person after another got pregnant when I didn't. In the fall the silences came because I was pregnant, but not quite ready to share. I knew my news would bring others pain and I was afraid I would miscarry, looking like a fool who shared too soon. Over the holidays, the silences came because of the miscarriage and the feeling I had that I should "be over it already." I have so many friends who have been through worse, so what right did I have to still be sad for myself (and I still think that)?

I'm not hiding behind the silences anymore. Although it is painful to share at times, infertility is so much a part of who I am and defines my life on almost a daily basis. I have gained so much from reading other infertility blogs. Their stories encourage and inspire me. I found some dear blogging friends by searching "LDS" and "infertility", leading me to women of my faith going through the same thing. I don't want to hide that part of me anymore. I don't want to hide the pain and tears that sometimes come with this journey of trying to add another child to our family. At the same time, I don't want to become just another infertility blog. I don't want to be angst-y and whiny and only talk about that. I still don't know how much I will share and how often about this infertility beast, but my hope is that I can incorporate my traditional postings in with the daily struggle with infertility. I hope that I can be a resource or in some way help others struggling with the same thing, like I have been helped by so many others.

I'm also hoping that those of you who are pregnant, who read my blog, will continue to do so. As I have said before, I am fine with pregnant people. This is a trial in my life. Each of us have different trials. You should not feel guilty if you are pregnant of if you get pregnant easily. It does not make me like you any less or make me stop reading your blog. Please don't let it be a reason you stop visiting mine.

Up until about a month ago, I was doing really well with everything. I was at peace with the miscarriage and ready to try again, but not feeling a real sense of urgency to add another. But since then, the ache to have another child has become almost physical. It is on my mind daily, almost hourly. The longing for a second child never goes away. Sometimes I feel guilty because I have one beautiful child already and there are some who haven't even been blessed with that yet. And sometimes I feel guilty that I am not satisfied with just having Camden.

I can't describe it, but it's a constant, ever present desire to have another child. I want it with every fiber of my being. I want it for me, for our family, and for Camden. I so want him to have a sibling. I so want to go through that baby stage again. And so, I'm willing to step on the roller coaster that is infertility and ride it, will all its encompassing pain, heartache, hope, fear, joy, and tears. I don't know how long it will take. I don't know when it will happen. But I will share bits and pieces until I have another child. And I do have the faith and trust that it will happen. Now the wait and the journey begins - again.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Life Monday - The return!

Welcome back to My Life Monday! I'm so excited to be up and running again. This weeks topic is "Where I live and how I got there." I'm so excited to read your stories! If you participate, be sure to put your link below so we can all check our your bloggy. And don't forget to check the bottom for next weeks topic.

When I graduated from college, I had lived in the same town in south-east Idaho my entire life. I was single, unfettered, and ready for a change. I knew I wanted to move away with my new job, mainly to find a new market of single men. I had three criteria for my ideal job - teaching in a high school, within an hour of a big city, and no more than 3 hours away from my home town. I REALLY wanted to be on the Wasatch front in Utah, but was open to other possibilities, so I started peppering cover letters and resumes to various locations. My college had a website where you could search for job openings. Often times, it would just tell you the school district and that it had multiple secondary listings. Any job posting with either history or English listed on it, I sent off a resume. Being naive about geography, I thought nothing in Utah was more than an hour or so from Provo or Salt Lake, with the exception of St. George. That misconception was my downfall and led me to where I currently live - what I lovingly refer to as the armpit of Utah, also known as the edge of hell.

By July, I still didn't have a job. I had interviewed for several, but none were jobs I really wanted or felt good about. One was located in a really small town where I would need to get several small school endorsements to be able to teach more than just my major or minor. The town was so small they told me I would be living with a family since there were no apartments in the town. Another was an alternate school (not tough enough). Others were looking for people to also coach or were part time only. Finally, I interviewed for a job which met all my criteria. The interview went so well I was confident I would be offered a job. They were also hiring a new principal, so it would be awhile before I heard for sure, as the new principal would probably want to call me back for a second interview.

Not long after this interview, I was at home praying over this job when the phone rang. Hoping it was news on this job, I was surprised to be talking to a principal from a school in redneck land. He had my cover letter and resume and wanted to ask me some questions. While trying to do a phone interview, the phone kept cutting out on his end. We'd be able to talk for a few minutes and the phone would cut out again. Finally, after much frustration on his end, he asked me to have my transcript sent to him and he would call for my placement file (the placement file is all student teacher evaluations and letters of recommendation kept at the college. It is kept confidential from the person, so I never knew what mine said). Two hours after doing this, he called me back, said he had a job for me, told me what the pay would be, and said he would call back Monday to see if I accept.

Needless to say, I was in shock after getting off the phone. No real interview and I had a job offer. I pulled out a map to see where this redneck town was located. I was shocked to see that it met none of my criteria - I would be teaching in a junior high, be 6 hours from my home town, and three hours from a big city. I wanted to turn down the job on that alone, but my wise mom told me this was my first firm offer and maybe we should just go check it out since I had a job interview two hours away from there in a few days. So we did.

I was dead set against this job. Before I left, I prayed that I would have my heart softened and know this was the place for me if there is where the Lord wanted me. We drove in to check out the town and immediately I knew. I went from saying "if" I move there to "when" I move there. My mom had the same impression. We started checking out apartments and picking up applications.

Although I had that impression, it was still a hard thing to do. I had never lived away from home before and now I would be 6 hours away. I knew nobody in the town. The thought of being completely alone was terrifying. After accepting the job, I found out I had a week to get moved there. My parents were wonderful and helped me get everything ready to go. I didn't have much - a bed, dresser, night stand. My mom bought me a wicker love seat, two chairs, and a table to take with me. They also gave me their old kitchen table and loaded me up with everything I would need to survive my first few months until a paycheck came. In a huge caravan of three cars (my car, minivan holding food, and a u-haul), we traveled out here. I'll never forget the moment when all the boxes were unloaded, my utilities turned on (with the help of my dad who ran me around to figure it all out), and my fridge stocked with food. With one final family prayer, my parents and siblings said goodbye and drove off, leaving me alone. I sat down and cried thinking, "What have I done to my life."

Shortly before moving to the edge of hell, Utah, I had an impression I would meet my husband there and that was why I needed to move there. After my first day at institute classes (they at least had that available), I sorely hoped that impression was wrong as I was surrounded by cowboys and rednecks. The first few months were lonely, hard ones. I cried almost every time I talked to my mom. Several times I almost packed it up and went home. I didn't make friends easily since I was older than many and they had been friends for years, so they were not so welcoming to a new person. In the darkest times when I was so sad and lonely, I turned to prayer.

Eight months after moving here, I met the man who would become my husband. Thank heavens he was not a cowboy or redneck! Recently divorced, we started a family home evening group for others like us - slightly older and with no local family. Eight months after meeting we got engaged and eight months after that, we were married.

I still don't love this town. Although I have come to appreciate many of its amenities, I am too much of a city girl to stay here forever. I miss real shopping, real culture like theater opportunities, and I miss real dining in nice restaurants. It's been a good town for me in many ways, but I look forward to moving after Mark completes his bachelors degree. We're both in agreement that we are ready to leave this place at that point.

Next week's topic - define yourself. Isn't that an open ended, hard topic? How do you define who you are? What makes you define yourself in those terms? Have those terms changed or do you want them to change?
How would you like to define yourself in the future? Share with us!

Please share your stories and leave your link below for this week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MY Life Monday returns - for good this time!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days - not that your world revolved around my blog and its updates or anything (you mean it doesn't? I'm so hurt!). But I've been swamped with the end of one semester and the start of another. Pesky student think their papers need to be graded and that they should know those grades (really I just roll my 9 sided dice and that determines it). And my college class? Holy intense reading. I'm a fast reader and it took my an hour to make it through 15 pages of notes last night. I've got more tonight. But I have a lot on my mind and a lot of future blogs planned. Look forward to new posts later this week.

And now for some totally random things from this weekend.

We cleaned our basement this weekend. We cleared out so much crap! What a great feeling. Now there is actually room down there. And maybe once it warms up, Camden and I can take some fun toys down there to play (it's unfinished right now, so rather cold with exposed cement walls).

Speaking of cold, our hot water pipe froze twice in the past four days. But only the hot water on the upstairs floor, which also happens to be the only full bath. So yesterday found me carrying buckets of hot water from the kitchen upstairs to the tub so I could destink. I got a work out and a bath all in one! Finally the pipe unfroze last yesterday afternoon.

Camden is sick - poor kiddo. I got a call at 11 yesterday saying he was running a fever. I had to leave work and go home with him. Luckily it was an inservice day, so I didn't miss much. We spent the day curled up watching movies together. For Cam to sit still to watch anything over half an hour long is unusual, so that tells you how sick he is.

And My Life Monday is returning! After reading all your comments and a few emails, I am bringing it back. This coming Monday will be the first new one. The topic is: Where I live and how I got there. You don't have to actually share the name of your city because this is the internet and all (I'm not sharing mine because I don't want you stalking me - yes you, the crazy thinking about it right now). Is there an interesting story as to why you live where you do? What do you like or dislike about it? Would you move? Share with us and then come post your link here. I will be up and running that morning. If you don't know what MLM is or if you need the picture, check this out. Please join us!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

National Delurking Week - Part 2

It's national delurking week again! I knew it was coming, but barely found out it was today (kind of late huh). I'm kind of feeling like I've lost a lot of readers over the past several months and I'm not sure why (I'm sure my big blogging absence over the summer and early fall months have nothing to do with it. LOL) So if you're still out there, make my day - leave a comment. Any suggestions for improving my blog? Should I bring My Life Monday back? Tell me something about yourself at I don’t know. And leave your url so I can return the visit.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's back to school for me!

And not just to my classroom to teach. I am actually going back to school as a student again. Although I have been teaching English for nine years and have a minor in it, I am not considered highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind act. So I am taking a few more college courses in English to get a major equivalent in English (which will get me highly qualified). After that, I plan on taking a few more classes to have a double major on paper.

Even though I teach English, I've been a bit nervous about taking a class. I haven't played the role of a student in quite a while. I'm not used to writing papers, taking tests, studying, reading assigned material. I'm used to having students do that for me! It will be an adventure.

As I went to sign up for my first class, I had a list of three choices. I need classes that work with Mark's school schedule, my work, and Camden, so my list consisted of three online classes. I told Mark I would really like the first two choices, but that I was really hoping the third class wouldn't happen since it is British literature and I'm not super fond of that. As luck would have it, guess which class is the only one I could take? Yup, British lit. And it got better from there. I then told Mark that I could handle it as long as it wasn't lit from the Middle Ages. Later that night, I looked up my book for the class. Guess what? Yup, it was British lit from the Middle Ages. My worst English nightmare.

Luckily, after looking around and playing with it, I found a class that was a little better. It's still British lit, but the more modern kind. I'm jumping in with both feet this week. Anybody out there a lover of British lit? I may be coming to you for help.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Holiday Wrap up

So I'm a little late on the whole holiday wrap up thing. But hey, I have pics I want to show, so why not do it almost two weeks after Christmas?

Stepson came out for Christmas and we had a great time! He and Camden had so much fun together. Although there is a 13 year age difference, Camden worships his older brother and Kolby is so good with Camden. Although Camden didn't quite get into the whole present thing this year, he had a much better response than last year (where he looked confused in all his pictures).

Cam's stack o presents before opening.

Cam headed straight for his new kitchen. (So he got a kitchen for Christmas and he's a boy. It's up to me to train him for his future wife - better start young.)

Opening his present from stepbrother.

With his stack o presents after opening.

And one last picture. Even though it's blurry and you don't see any faces, I love that two brothers are playing together in spite the big range in ages. They were building together and Cam was imitating everything Kolby did (and yes Kolby kept him from putting pieces in his mouth).

For the New Year, I spent the day with the flu. Fun! But resolutions have been made and the D. family is on track for a (hopefully) good new year!
I'm back on track and hope to be checking out your blogs soon!