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!