Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Showered with Love

Last weekend my girlfriends from my days past all gathered together in Utah to throw me a beautiful baby shower.

My heart was so full as I got to reconnect with an absolute band of gorgeous, smart, fierce, determined, intelligent, funny and headstrong women.

We all met at some time in the early 2000's at the Stanford Young Single Adult Ward in Palo Alto, CA. For those non-Mormons out there, this a gathering of single adults ages 22-35 that all attend church together. Even though we were divided by age groups, we all still managed to cross each others paths over the years. Majority of us were roommates at some point, in some combination. But we all have been there for each other through the best of times, the worst of times and all the times in between.

Whether it was crying over a stupid boy into a bowl of Funfetti cake batter or celebrating a new job or successful date, we were there for each other. We took trips together. And slowly one by one, we all moved on in some way to some place for some reason.

Best years of my life.

I have always felt that those years made me who I am. But they also saved me from who I was almost going to be. And what has emerged - is a ME that I am proud of. A faithful daughter of my Heavenly Father, a strong women inside and out, and a hopeful person.

How lucky I felt to have so many travel near and far to celebrate this momentous occasion in my life. I was extremely humbled that they took the time to not only plan my shower, but that they took time away from their jobs, family, social lives to attend. 

It was such a joyous day.

Sadly I didn't take any pics myself.

Luckily, they did.

I don't think I will ever be able to fully express what it really meant to me to have these ladies shower me with love.

I never thought I would have a baby shower.
And as happy as I was that day, I did feel a shred of sadness.

Sad that my infertility made me put distance in some of these relationships.
Sad that I missed out on many of their momentous occasions because I was too sad or hurt to really celebrate them.

Sad that I let my own trials and struggles have so much control over my feelings and emotions. I wished I could have been better than that. I should have been stronger than that.

I feel that I have missed so much.
I don't want to miss any more.

So I hope that this one day is just the beginning.

The beginning of new chapters for all of us. Chapters I want to be present in and will be present in no matter what happens.

Because I know these women would do the same for me. They have done that already.

I have never felt more loved and supported as I did in that room on that day.

My heart is truly full.

Thank you my dear wonderful friends.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


24 weeks!
24 weeks!

HOLY COW we are 24 weeks!

This past week I have had a surge of confidence.
A washing over of faith.
A renewed belief that...


I am completely in awe of Ashley.
First, how good she looks.
Second, how she just embraces this experience, runs with it and maintains a positive attitude all at the same time.

Last,  I just appreciate this experience WE get to have together.
Our families.
The kids.
These babies.
The love....

I am so happy that she is completely supported by everyone around her.
A few ladies from church said it best, "We have just never seen such a gift of love."

It is truly a gift of...


I feel like my heart could burst at any second.
All the time.

Such love.

We got to visit our babies last week.

We crammed so much into a handful of days, but it was truly the BEST TRIP EVER.

Let me just tell you about ALL the fun we had.

First, we surprised my niece with killer seats to the Taylor Swift show.
It was so much fun watching her sing and dance.
 Absolutely worth every penny. 

We followed up the concert with some serious shopping!
Ashley let me spoil her a bit (which I love to do)!
And in return she bought the babies their going home outfits!

I am finally enjoying shopping for these babes!

Then we got to go to an ultrasound appointment!
Babies we not cooperating for any 3D viewing, but they were extremely active.

I was so nervous going to the appointment.
She is doing so well and I haven't been there, I felt that by going to the appointment I would jinx her.

My heart was pounding as the ultrasound started. 
I have become pretty savvy at reading ultrasounds (I have had a lot) and I know what to look for.

The flutter.

I was so afraid it wouldn't be there.

But once again, faith not fear.
Ashley's got this.

We spent the afternoon at the South Carolina State Fair.
An experience all on its own.
( I won't even tell you what we ate!)

We got to see my youngest nephew's soccer skills.

We hit up the local trampoline park (no pics because I was too busy jumping and peeing my pants)!

The pumpkin patch was next followed by a night of carving and caramel apple making!

The grand finale was seeing the kids perform in the Primary Program at church followed by a low country boil.

It was a busy few days....but so much fun.

T-shirts were a gift from the babies! To be worn on delivery day!

I love visiting with Jason's family.
I love spending time with my niece and nephews.

But every time we have visited, I always leave with a sadness deep in my heart.
An emptiness.
A longing.

For a family of my own.

For the crazy moments.
The hustle and bustle.
The rush and frustration (and sometimes fighting).

The hugs.
The kisses.
The memories.

The love. 

Rob and Ashley are amazing parents.
I watch them (probably more than they realize) in awe.
I have watched them over the years and they blow me away with their consistency to maintain boundaries and rules, their focus on obedience and manners, but yet the love and joy that is always in their home.

I crave this.
I have craved this ever since I became a part of this family.

And is finally happening.

From this amazing gift of love and sacrifice.......


A family of my own.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I am ONE in FOUR

 October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 

I debated writing this post, but my past has made me who I am.
It has shaped the mother I will be.
It has forever changed how I, how we, will be parents.

We lost Jack in April of 2009.

Losing Jack changed me. 
I lost a part of my heart, and although I have since healed and grown stronger, I will never be able to erase that day from my memory. 
I will forever remember how it felt, how he looked, and how I was so unaware that anything was happening at all.

Things like this didn't happen to me.
They couldn't happen to me.

I am ONE in FOUR.

Losing Baby #2 made me an official pro.
I didn't need pain medication.
I didn't go to the hospital.
We were in Chicago visiting friends.
We are so excited to share our newly pregnant news with them. 
It was the day after we shared it that things went downhill.
And I walked my little 10 week old baby to Northwest Medical because I didn't want to flush it.
I walked him/her in a paper cup because that was all that was in the hotel room.

I am ONE in FOUR.

It took a while to get pregnant after that, but we did.
It was the first appointment, the first ultrasound that now officially sealed my fate.
Empty sac.
Just floating there on the screen.
And it took a full month for me to pass it.
During that time we attended a wedding, visited friends with new babies and cried. 
A lot.

I am ONE in FOUR.

Another year of trying.

Then we got into the IUI business.
5 of them.
No success.

So in 2012 we took a leap of faith into IVF.

We retrieved 15 eggs.
11 fertilized.
7 grew to Day 5.
5 were genetically perfect.
We transferred 2.

2 girls.

We were elated to find out 1 took.

We named her Grace because it was this pregnancy that truly taught me what the Grace of God feels like.
To be in so much pain, and yet feel so much peace.
And even though I pleaded with the Lord to just let me have this baby, I knew she wasn't mine to keep.
I had her in my bathroom.
All alone.
She came out perfect.
And I tore open the sac so I could hold her in my hand.
I stroked her back, arms and legs.
 And I told her I was so sorry I couldn't keep her.

Our sweet Grace.
She touched so many lives.
I still feel her, see her, hear her.
Every time my wind chimes blow, she surrounds me.

 I am ONE in FOUR.

And last, our sweet boy.
It was the appointment to start me on blood thinners. 
Just a quick ultrasound to check on him.

Even though my numbers from my blood draw were good, I felt very uneasy going into the appointment.

It wasn't long into the ultrasound that I knew....he was gone.

I am ONE in FOUR.

Now, here we are.
Our two little miracles being carried my strong and faithful sister-in-law.
Heavenly Father truly has a plan for us.
All of us.

I will always be ONE in FOUR.
But because of that, I will be more loving, kind, patient, compassionate, giving, strong, determined, hard-working, faithful, diligent, charitable....

Because I am ONE in FOUR...
I will be a better mother.


I am ONE in FOUR.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today.....was a good day

Today was a good day indeed! 

Ok, I'll be honest. 

I was a blubbering mess today.


Today I got to see my babies.

Ashley had an appointment today and they did a 3D ultrasound.

 Our little girl

Our sweet boy

Today I got to see, really see our babies. 

These pics really made it REAL for me today. 
And it just made me so grateful.
I felt so much love.
So much warmth.
I felt surrounded by the Spirit.
And I felt the love that my Heavenly Father has for me, for us, for our family.

They are real.

This experience is truly a miracle and the greatest blessing I will ever know in my lifetime.


Ashley also confirmed that our little boy has MOVED!

The placenta has moved and the bleeding has stopped.

The power of prayer my friends - is real.

Thank you for each and every positive thought, prayer...wish. 
We are truly in the presence of angels.

21.5 weeks

 Ashley is feeling great. 
She is truly rocking it.
I am in constant awe of her attitude and her faith.
 Our babies are so lucky to be able to spend this time with her.
Time is flying.
Easy for me to say.

I finally am feeling comfortable in buying things for the babies. 
I really feel like this is our chance.
These are our babies.

I just can't wait.
I can't wait to hold them.

I can't wait to be a mom.

To top it all off - I got my first shower invitation in the mail.

A bunch of girlfriends are getting together in Utah next month to celebrate.
My lovely friends are coming in from Oregon, California, Idaho and Utah to help me celebrate this wonderful occasion.

This invitation brought more happy tears to my eyes because...


I just thought I was never going to get one.
I never thought my name would be on an invitation.
I never thought so many wonderful people would gather together to, us...them.

I am humbled.

I can't wait to celebrate. 
I can't wait to be in the presence of such wonderful women who have played such a significant role in the many phases of my life.

Today.....was a good day.

PS! Another gift at the door! More onesies.
Thank you to whoever is making time fly and making it fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Sweet Em

In case you can't read this....

Dear Mom,

I love you very much! I hope that you will be able to travel to Colorado safely and that your surgery will be successful. You are the greatest mom ever! I also hope that you will have a good time and promise me to try to have no frowny faces! If you ever get aggravated or upset, just remember you are doing an amazing thing for someone you love and it is really going to make her (and him) happy. You are an amazing girl and super selfless. You are always willing to help others. You are the example I try to follow everyday. Once again I just want you to know I love you very much and I hope the best for you!

Love (heart), Emery

 I don't know about you, but every time I read this I tear up. My niece is 10 years old (9 when she wrote this). She gave it to Ashley when she was traveling out her for a polypectomy (pre-transfer) in March.  My heart just wants to burst with pride - AND I AM ONLY HER AUNT! I can't take ANY credit for this girl/woman/person she is turning out to be.

I am so excited to be bringing up a girl that will have not only a role model in their aunt, but also their cousin. I so look forward to watching Emery mother these babies. I know they will admire her, respect her, love her and look to her example as they grow.

How lucky are we?

I only hope I can do half of the job Ashley and Rob have done with their kids. They continue to amaze and inspire me everyday. I am overwhelming grateful for this opportunity. I hope my sweet niece will remember this experience and draw from it as she goes throughout life.

I love you my sweet Em.