Tonight, after not being able to send pictures or receive on my cell phone, I finally downloaded all pictures into our computer. These photos go back several years now. This photo in particular struck me and really just threw me back into time. This is the first time that I was able to hold Kaylen. She was born 08/22/08 and this photo was taken on 08/25/08 – three days after her birth. I still remember it as it was yesterday holding her for the first time. As you can see in the picture, my face is very red and very swollen, but some of the redness is from crying at holding my daughter for the very first time. Most of the redness and the swelling was caused by the preeclampsia that I had which caused her premature delivery-being this is three days after delivery-I wonder how I must have looked the day of delivery. The was the other thing that struck me – I didn’t realize just how bad the swelling was until I view this picture on my computer. Now, I realize, it’s no wonder why the doctor delivered me in under a hour of meeting me at the hospital – oddly enough, I always thought it the back in my head that maybe doctor should have waited a few more days before delivering me. I never uploaded these photos and these are the only photos I have meeting my daughter for the first time – I’m so thankful now that I have them to remember such a life changing moment in my life. I remember I was so nervous at meeting Kaylen for the first time. After three days of desperately wanting to meet her and finally be given the okay, I remember feeling like I had to get ready for her. I had to take a shower before I meet her and hold her. I remember being so anxious as Jeff lead me to where to the NICU was and thinking to myself that would it mean I was bad mother if I wasn’t able to pick her out of all the babies in the room – would I somehow just know which baby was mine? I remember clinging onto Jeff’s hand and asking him if he would tell me which baby was ours. For reasons that I don’t know and make me laugh today, he told me no. He believed that I would know which baby was ours. I remember having to scrub in for the first time and being so diligent at the first scrubbing (as other NICU parents can attest as time goes by, you don’t scrub for the full 3-5 minutes each time you have to reenter the NICU) and worrying that if I didn’t scrub enough that somehow I would make her sick. After the scrubbing, I went towards where the babies were and just looked around and, amazingly, I did pick her out from the other four babies in the room with her. And when I sat down and they put her in my arms for the first time, I was overcome with emotions like nothing I had felt before. I remember just looking at my husband for a split second and wondering how had God given us something so wonderful and so amazing and then the flood of tears came. It brings tears to my eyes at this very moment. My love and bond to her was instanteous. I KNEW in that second that I would love her like nothing else and that I would do anything for her. It’s so overwhelming being given such a precious and tiny gift from God – a gift that I knew also meant a lot of responsibility – it is that love and the responsibility that causes such emotions – it somehow just mixes all up into one. To this day, my love for my daughter just grows. I still pray that some how, some way, no matter what life brings her that she will know and never question without a shadow of doubt just how much I love her – that someday she might know just how much she changed my life and how she helped me to grow into a better version of who I was meant to become – her mother with an undying and unyielding love for her.
This is an abandoned Castle in Duchense County, Utah. This “castle” was built in the 70s. It obviously isn’t a traditional medieval castle. It is more like one that build with some likeness to castle – there is a round tower which you can sort of see in the upper left in the picture and the rock going all the way around the castle. This castle is on road between Salt Lake and Vernal. My corporate office is in Vernal so many of my co-workers had told me about this castle. So on my first trip out to Vernal, I wanted to stop by and see it for myself. The story goes that the family that lived in this home disappeared one day without taking any of their belongings – just disappeared off the face of the earth. No one has ever been able to find them. At first, they said you could go into the home and you could see all the family’s belonging – dishes in the cupboards, clothes hanging up, etc. Then the county went and cleaned everything out and now it’s just an abandoned home. My guess is the bodies are probably buried on the property – it’s out in the middle of nowhere! While the outside isn’t much to look at now, I do think it must have been pretty cute at one point. The insides at this point have been completed gutted and everything is in disrepair. Who knows if there is any truth to this story – but it makes it an interesting stop nonetheless.
This is a picture perfect moment. Kaylen with her Dad doing something so simple as picking a cherry off a tree, but something that brings me great satisfaction. I love the environment that God has provided for us here. One where Kaylen gets plenty of exercise and where my mind feels at peace. I do miss Las Vegas, but I love the slower pace of life here in Utah. These moments make me feel so lucky that God brought our family here despite any obstacles that we have and still have to overcome. It is in these moments where I feel a true sense of family and every so thankful for these moments that we have together as a family.
As Jeff and I approach our 11th year anniversary (and yes, we are getting old), I can’t believe that I have another year with him. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s down right hard at times, but I love being his wife and I’m so thankful for him. This was the song I walked down the aisle for our 10 year renewal ceremony. I do wish for this to continue to be our prayer… after 11 years of marriage, I do still need God to watch over us and guide us when we don’t know.. and to keep us safe.
This is Andrea and Celine’s performance of The Prayer at the 1999 Grammy Awards:
The Prayer Lyrics
Andrea Bocelli And Celine Dion
And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer when we lose our way
Lead us to the place guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
La luce che tu hai
[I pray we’ll find your light]
Nel cuore rester
[And hold it in our hearts.]
A ricordarci che
[When stars go out each night,]
Eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
[Let this be our prayer]
Quanta fede see’
[When shadows fill our day]
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
Sogniamo un mondo senza pi violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno lo dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace, di fraternit
La forza che ci d
[We ask that life be kind]
il desiderio che
[And watch us from above]
Ognuno trovi amor
[We hope each soul will find]
Intorno e dentro s
[Another soul to love]
Let this be our prayer [Let this be our prayer],
Just like every child
Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
la fede che
Hai acceso in noi,
Sento che ci salver
Over the weekend, I decided to let Kaylen help me with baking for the first time. She had been showing an interest in cooking over the last couple of months (like always wanting to stir pots and pretending to when I gave her a big spoons and pots to play with). Now, that I had Jeff here with me in Utah and things are sorta of calming down after being pregnant, a NICU Stay, and adjusting to life with the newborn, I’m really try to focus on letting Kaylen grow more.
Kaylen was super excited to help with the baking. I thought this would be a perfect recipe to let her try with me because it requires three different bowls to mix stuff in. I started her off with the bananas and mashed them up for her and then gave her a spoon to mix them with. While she was “working” on the bananas, I worked on my other wet ingredients. Everything was going along pretty good until I had to combine her bowl with my bowl. She absolutely did not want me stirring anything in a bowl with her. She wanted to stir it all for herself! She really is becoming independent and wanting to do things on her own. While I do enjoy it, in situation like this it makes it can pretty difficult to manage. So, eventually (she went into a total melt down!), I had to pass her on to her dad, so I could finish making the banana bread. She did enjoy the fruits of labor by having a warm piece of banana bread after dinner, but unfortunately she had a slight allergic reaction due to the eggs.
Next on my list, is making blueberry muffins! I have the muffin pan and blueberries, so hopefully we can get to this weekend! Perhaps, I can find something else to substitute the eggs with. 🙂
On a side note, this banana bread recipe is SOOOO good. You should give it a try. It got it from my good friend, Mariel. I don’t know where she got it from, but I am ever so glad she was kind enough to share it with me!
The BEST Banana Bread EVER!
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 large eggs
* 3 ripe bananas (I used 4 bananas)
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
I also added walnuts!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, (In my oven it took about 1 hour and 30 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.
Spread slices with honey or serve with ice cream.
Time sure is flying. As I sit and think about the past month, it seems as if our lives have changed so much, but then again, not that much at all.
This was the first full month that we had Ryan home. Today, he’s nine weeks and one day, but had he of been born on his due date, he would only be two weeks old. Crazy. Ryan for the most part has been a pretty easy baby – insomuch as you can called a newborn baby easy. He has his moments and he sure does prefer to be held, but for the past couple of weeks (most days), he slept for six to seven hours. That is much better than a four to five hour uninterrupted sleep at night. I can deal with six hours of sleep, but only four is very hard to recuperate from. We just had Ryan’s two month check up and shots yesterday. He’s doing really well. He weighed in 10 lbs 7 ounces. I remember tearing up when Kaylen got her first set of shots, but for Ryan, no tears. After the week in the NICU when he couldn’t eat and couldn’t be consoled, watching him get his shot didn’t pull on my heart strings as much because I knew I would be able to him feel better after. I still have moments when I think about Ryan’s NICU stay and it still sometimes causes a heavy feeling on my heart remembering such a difficult time. I was very interested in watching The Duggars baby NICU release (19 kids and counting). I watched the special as they recapped Josie’s birth into the world at 25 weeks and her journey after. While Ryan’s NICU journey surely could not have been as heart wrenching at their journey is, I didn’t feel that episode captured what it was really like having a baby in the NICU. I was kind of hoping it would so maybe some could have a better understanding of the journey, but as I saw the babies in the NICU and listened to Michelle Duggar tell of her feelings about the whole journey – that even with her expressing the her feelings and seeing Josie in the NICU just can’t do justice to how it feels in your heart. It just truly is one of those life experiences you can’t relate to until it has been a personal journey of yours as well.
I so had wanted to be better about blogging. With two little ones, time just really gets away from me. I wouldn’t change it though. I love my kids. That’s not to say there aren’t times when I just want to put Kaylen to bed earlier so that we can have a little bit more quiet time, but at the end of the day, when I close my eyes, I’m thankful that I have both Ryan and Kaylen and I do really look forward to watching them form a sibling relationship. Kaylen loves Ryan and she is always looking for him. She tries to give him his binkie. She always goes up to him and pat his head. I tell Kaylen that her little brother loves her and I make Ryan give her a peck on the cheek. Kaylen really seems to love it. I wonder what kind of mischief these two will get as they get older.
Kaylen makes us laugh every day. Her vocabulary is increasing every day and it seems like she is attempting new words every day. We started introducing the potty to her this month. We have had some successes with the potty, but I’m not sure she really gets it, but she seems to like just sitting on the potty when asked, so we are still encouraging her. I’m not expecting that she will be fully potty trained anytime soon. She has a play cell phone that she talked on now. It’s so cute. She says hello? Yeah.. Yeah.. Yeah.. Bye. She holds the phone backwards too so that makes it even cuter. She also seems to understand now when I take a picture of her. She will sometimes smile at the camera. The past week or so, I was telling her say CHEESE and she kept on putting her finger in her mouth and I thought she was saying cheese as well, but yesterday, I finally realized that she was pointing in her mouth and saying TEETH! LOL. She also tried to tickle our feet for the first time this month. And she started kissing herself in the mirror. Jeff doesn’t want me to encourage her to do that, but it so funny to me, that sometimes I just can’t help myself and ask her if she is going to give Kaylen a kiss. Along with all of her cuteness, she is also getting a little toddler attitude of her own, which sometimes can push Jeff and I to our limit. She’s not afraid to tell you NO! But we know she is just testing her boundaries.. that or she just needs a nap!
Ryan is doing pretty much the same. He seems to be able to focus his eyes now. I just look at him every day and stay at him in amazement. He gets cuter every day. I just can’t believe how short of time he will be a baby for. Before we know it, he will be crawling, then walking, and then running around with Kaylen.
I don’t want give anyone the impression that it is easy have two little ones, because it’s not always. When they both need you at once and you can only make one of them happy, it’s really hard. It’s hard when both of them start crying together. I tell Jeff that maybe we should of have kids earlier and maybe the crying wouldn’t bother me so much. LOL. You definitely can’t do things when you want anymore. It’s all about the two little ones now and putting them first. It’s always hard. I have to constantly remind myself that I am a mother to a newborn now and I don’t have the energy that I used.. but hopefully, will soon! For all the headaches and tiredness and pure exhaustion, I do cherish every moment (well, except the crying one!) with my kids – especially being a working mom. I look forward to when I get to see them after work and give them big hugs and kisses. That is my favorite part of the day. It’s all worth it when I see Kaylen come up to me or her dad and give us a hug out of the blue. I love the snuggle time with my kids and know that it’s going to be all too soon when they won’t want to snuggle. So for now, I’ll take all the hugs and kisses I can get!