Monday, September 19, 2016

For me

There is so much happening in this stage of life.  Five kids is no joke.  Right now is a quiet moment.  The big 3 are at school.  Nellie is at preschool.  Wes is napping after his 6:30 am wake up call.  I've exercised and read a conference talk.  I've packed 3 lunches, listened to a home reading book, done hair for 1, picked out clothes for 3, and gotten 4 kids out the door. I've made breakfast for 5, and after I write then I'll make it for myself. I've loaded two dishwashers and started a load of laundry.  It's Monday, so we're digging out from the weekend.  There are still chores to be done, but I need a minute to sit.  Last week was tough on the parenting front.  I poured out my heart to Pat about a lot of things.  Specific challenges with specific children.  My overall feelings of trying to leave survival mode but feeling weighed down every time I make a step towards something more.  It feels like it's been a while since I've thrived.  I'm missing it. After listening for a while, Pat asked me when was the last time I blogged.  I kind of laughed.  Instagram has taken over blogging for me most of the time.  I can jot down my thoughts with a quick sub-par picture and after so many, they all get printed and shipped and it's the best journaling I've done in ages.  I'm still yet to devote the time to make a blog book (although it's on the very long list of projects to tackle someday).  The thing I think he was getting at, and the thing I already know, is that I need to write. I need to be able to process through writing.  I need to be able to re-read and see how I've grown or how things have changed or how they haven't or how much wisdom I had at one point when I seem fresh out of ideas currently.  The face of blogging has changed dramatically.  I still read blogs, though I don't think many do.  The amount of blogs I read has dwindled as the authors have stepped away.  I don't fault them.  I feel like blogging was easier in my twenties with less kids, less demands on my time, just less.  But the thing is, for me blogging helps me be more.  And when I'm in the middle of feeling like I can't be more, I think Pat was on to something in suggesting it become part of my life again.  So I'm back.  I don't promise any regularity.  I don't promise any superb writing.  I don't promise anything, really. I'm making an effort to take care of myself in a lot of ways right now, and hopefully this will just be another one that helps me feel taken care of. I'm coming back for me.  If you're here too, great! Say hi!  Visit as long as you'd like.  But if not, it's ok.  It's for me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


photo by Jessica Haderlie

There are certain things that need to be recorded.  The arrival of a baby is one of them.  Before my brain gets too fuzzy on the details (although that may have already happened at this point), I want to record the birth of our number 5.

Pregnancy this time was definitely more difficult than it had been previous go-rounds.  I'm not sure if it's the fact that my body had been through this so many times before, or the fact that I'm getting older, but the end of pregnancy brought discomfort.  I was hopeful that I may go into labor on my own.  I had contractions for several weeks, but no such luck.  I was facing another induction and felt torn about what to do.  There was an error made when my due date was recorded, and it was written as Saturday, the 13th, instead of Friday, the 12th.  I thought I would choose the 10th and split the difference between the June birthdays that already were taking place that week, but the midwives recommended I choose the soonest date possible because of my desire to avoid another shoulder dystocia.  Since I couldn't get induced on Saturday, the soonest date was the 8th, the day after Nellie's birthday.  It was not ideal in my mind, but we went for it.

The drive to the hospital was peaceful, and we arrived at 7 am.  My nurse was friendly and kind, and her oldest had just graduated from high school, so we talked about how quickly time passes and the different parenting stages we have to look forward to.  Katherine, the midwife, arrived around 8 and we started pitocin.  Contractions started coming so quickly once the pitocin started, and I felt a mixture of excitement and panic that labor may be considerably shorter than it had been in the past.  When I had Nellie, I was so glad that I'd had an epidural due to the shoulder dystocia, and I didn't want to miss out on an epidural this time since repeat dystocia's are common.  Around 9 I received my epidural, and although I was relieved to know that I would have it for the delivery, it made laboring miserable.  I asked Pat to hold my hand because I couldn't stop shaking.   I felt hot and then cold.  My teeth chattered and I itched all over.  Essentially I traded one discomfort for another, but I was still glad to have made that choice.

Around 11:30 the nurse came in and I felt the familiar I'm-going-through-transition nausea.  She held alcohol wipes under my nose to try to help me not throw up, and surprisingly I avoided the pink bin.  I told her to come back in half an hour and I'd be ready to have a baby.  I was right. My nurse had taken her lunch but stayed close by, so they paged her to come back along with Katherine, and I felt like they were taking forever.  After 2 pushes our sweet boy arrived at 12:21 pm, my shortest labor and one of my easiest deliveries (and no dystocia after all of my worries!).

Deciding on a name was an agonizing process.  We took our list, but I just couldn't pull the trigger until the end.  We used a family name from my side after a great-great grandfather named Andrew Wesley, our boy would be Wesley Andrew.  Wes has been a dream.  Watching his siblings dote on him all summer has been the sweetest, and I can't imagine our family without him.  We love our Wes.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Right after we had Nellie, we maybe hadn't left the hospital yet, the husband looked at me and said, "We're not done yet."  Although to me it felt too soon to talk about it, neither one of us felt that our family was complete.  Luckily we had a newborn, and I knew we wouldn't have to think about that for a while, but that simple sentence that we weren't done rolled around in my head for a while.  


Two years passed quickly, and I started to wonder what the future would hold regarding our family size.  It became something I thought about daily and discussed often.  The idea of being done sounded so nice, but still never felt quite right.  I became anxious, feeling like if our family really wasn't complete, I wanted to get the show on the road.  The husband reminded me that I would be happier with the right timing then just hurrying to get that baby here.  I knew he was right, but the topic still weighed on my mind daily.  


Mid-September I had several days in a row that felt like the ultimate in contentment.  I am not sure that I'll ever forget the moment I was driving down the road, the warm sun beating in the windows, all the kids in the car, and feeling the most overwhelming sense of peace.  I felt the love of God deeply, and my heart was calm.  I knew that whatever was happening with our family planning, it was in His hands, and everything would be just as it was supposed to.  The feelings of peace and love lasted for a few days and I soaked them up.  Writing about it makes it feel trivial, but it was a sacred time for me that I don't want to forget.  


As October general conference weekend approached I thought about the October conference 3 years ago when I had just found out we were pregnant with Nellie and heard a message that spoke right to my heart.  I found myself wishing for that same experience this time around.  October conference came and went without that experience. 


I was sitting in a late night meeting two days after conference and couldn't keep my eyes open.  I was tired to the bone and realized I might need to take a test.  Wednesday I went to the grocery store after I took Charlie to school.  The immediate positive came, and I tried to call the husband.  He didn't answer, so I texted him a picture of the test.  I'm not sure the last time I got a faster call back when he was at work.  We had a sweet conversation about how surreal this seemed and how excited we are.


We took a trip to Boise for fall break and decided to tell the kids before we left.  I knew the odds were good I wouldn't feel good while we were gone, and I was ready to share the news with them.  Their reaction was the best.  They all ran around the house singing "we're having a baby" and haven't stopped talking about it since.  Nellie is insistent that it's a girl and doesn't want to think about the possibility of a boy baby.  Watching my kids excitement has been the best.  They need one more sibling in the mix.  

The last little while has been full of nausea and naps and wrapping my head around having 5 kids.  There is not the same reception to #5 that there is to #1 (not that I'm expecting it), and that same judgment that I was worried about with #4 seems multiplied with #5.  It's not about anyone else, truly, but I still worry that I'll really be able to manage 5 kids in a way that I will feel good about.  It feels like a more personal pregnancy, somehow more reverent as I'm trying to focus on what is right for our family instead of what others may think.  I have always said that I need to receive a very clear "done" when our family is complete, and I'm very hopeful for that feeling this time.  In the mean time, I'm trying to embrace all the parts of being pregnant for (hopefully- fingers crossed) the last time.  I don't feel good, but I know it will pass.  I'm exhausted, but I know it's just preparing me for the long nights ahead.  I'm looking forward to feeling the baby move and having the big ultrasound.  I'm hopeful that nesting will kick in and motivate me to get things done here that I've been meaning to do for months- it's time for some pictures on the walls.  I gave into maternity pants at 6 weeks.  I'm 10 weeks today, 1/4 of the way done.  I know that even though pregnancy feels long, it won't last forever, and I might even miss it someday. In the mean time I'm looking forward to June.  Welcome to our family, #5.    

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

a recipe for a Wednesday

I buy bananas almost every time I grocery shop, but I don't remember the last time I actually just ate a banana.  Their fate is always smoothies or muffins at my house.  I had a request for my banana muffin recipe today and thought I'd share it here while I was already typing it up.  My kids love these, and when I have a lot of bananas I double the batch and freeze half for quick breakfasts.

1 c. sugar (I usually cut this by up to half)
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (I've omitted this when I'm out without a problem)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c. oil (I often use canola, but they are delicious with coconut oil or butter, and I've also subbed applesauce for the oil although it decreases the banana flavor)
3 eggs
2 c. mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients.  Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.  This can also be made in loaves, bake in 2 greased loaf pans for 1 hour.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

One Step Enough

I am a planner.  I love doing research, fine combing the details, and planning things to perfection.  In some instances it's great.  Trips can be well-orchestrated.  Parties can be pulled off without a hitch.  Day-to-day living is a tad bit messier.

A few weeks ago I was feeling really frustrated about events I knew would be happening sometime, but they're out of my control and I have no idea if or when they will come to pass.  I was driving home and suddenly the words to "Lead, Kindly Light" were filling my ears and my heart.  "Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene, one step enough for me."  These words brought tears to my eyes and spoke peace to my heart.  I usually feel like a person full of faith, but I realized my faith had been lacking in regards to the timing of things to come.

Waiting can be hard.  It is difficult to operate on someone else's time table.  When I realize that the timing of the One I'm waiting on is perfect, it makes things a little more bearable.  Over the past few weeks I've still found myself with a little bit of stress about the unknown, but I've been reminded that one step is enough.  I need to focus on the here and now instead of worrying about the coming tomorrows.  Heaven knows there's still plenty in the here and now for me to worry about.  :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Lately I've felt like if I had a boss in my job as a mom, there is a good chance my job would be on the line.  I'm stretching and growing in ways I haven't before, and it's not always comfortable.  I am in the middle of some hard work, and not just the physical demands of motherhood.  It's the soul work that is the most demanding.  

In the middle of it all, I see the beauty.  I think about conversations with Charlie about answered prayers.  I open sweet cards from Sam telling me how amazing I am.  I watch Addie orchestrate grand performances and work so hard to be helpful.  I give in to Nellie's demands of "lap, book" knowing that some day she won't be by my side.  

I am blessed beyond measure to have this job.  It is what I would choose a million times over.  But I'm also at a point right now recognizing what I should have learned a while ago: if I want to take care of these beautiful kids and my amazing husband, I have to take care of myself.  It is hard for me to admit that, but at the same time it's kind of empowering.  It's ok for me to make myself a meal and sit and eat it without interruption.  It's ok for me to read a book that doesn't begin with once upon a time.  It's ok for me to take a walk without a stroller.  It's ok for me to leave the house without kids and go somewhere besides the grocery store.  I've come to understand this over the past few days, so now I get to begin to put it into practice.  I'm hopeful I can find a balance. 

I am so grateful for the times I've been dedicated to writing.  I've read through my posts tagged motherhood over the past few days and learned so much.  There were forgotten events that I was glad I'd recorded, lessons I used to know that I'd somehow lost site of, and quotes that hit me again as I re-read them. I need to write more regularly- it's a blessing to me.  

Happy Mother's Day.  I'm sure this is not the most inspirational post around today- for a few of those, read my archives.  ;)  In the mean time, I'm in the trenches, but I'm so glad to be there.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I haven't tried to be absent from this space, it's just happened.  I hate looking back at chunks of missing time with no record of our lives.  We just lived them.  I suppose those months of missing entries can tell me some things about what must have been happening- obviously it was too much busy, and writing about it took a back seat.  But I'm ready to write again.  It's good for my head and my heart.

Lately I've been in the middle of some growing as a mom.  It's the kind of growth that makes me feel like I'm not only failing as a mom, but I'm failing my children.  Deep down I know that neither of those things are true, but I also know that if I don't give this job my best efforts they could both become true.  Days seem so long, sometimes.  Over the weekend, I read a thought on Easter that really struck me.  "The world's best and worst days were only 3 days apart." Such a great sentiment for one of my most loved holidays, but also such great perspective for the trenches of motherhood.  Recently I've felt like I've had some of the worst days of motherhood.  Reading this helped me realize that just because one day was the worst doesn't mean the next day couldn't be the best.

Writing feels rusty.  But I want to come back.  There is life to catch up on documenting and things to keep track of moving forward.  Onwards and upwards, right?  It's spring, that's a good start.