Sunday, May 18, 2014

Best. Date. Ever!

A night out on the town in NYC.

Sometimes I see a north star and I just feel a little zing of connection with my sweet Norah.  I saw this in a window and it made me smile.  

What a great date! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What's mine is yours...

Today is a tender day for me.  It is the first Mother's Day I am celebrating with one of my children on the other side.  Mother's Day being hard for me is not a new sensation.  The years I spent battling infertility and praying for my babies to make it too us were long and hard
Hard does NOT equal bad!  Hard means I am very aware of all of the sacrifice and suffering that has occurred in order for me to even be able to celebrate today. 

Hard = Strong. 
Hard = Firm
Hard = Solid
Hard = Tough
Hard = Unbreakable
Hard = Worth it!

Hard = Motherhood

Anything good and worthwhile should be worked for, sacrificed for... Hard.  I am not saying that I appreciate motherhood more than anyone else because of my journey. Every good mother makes sacrifices and does the hard things.  We all have challenges in motherhood... But we do it for love...and because it is oh so worth it.  When something comes too easily we can run the risk of taking it for granted, maybe this is why we must labor to bring children to this earth or why adoption is not easy.  Let's face it... Those last few weeks of pregnancy try us all!  Going through the adoption process is rough... whew boy. The wonderful thing about parenthood is the things we fight for and sacrifice for become precious and priceless to us.

Having to bury my sweet Norah was the hardest thing I have had to face in my life. I am glad it has been hard... excruciatingly hard. I have a renewed sense wonder for the miracle of life. I recognize what an incredible privilege it is to be a mother. I am amazed at my wonderful and beautiful children. I am so humbled by the knowledge that this life is not the end.  Dave and I will be with our sweet Norah again. She will be with her siblings again. 

Families are Forever! 

I am beyond thankful that I have had the incredible privilege of being a mother.  I am so grateful that my journey has had so many detours, bumps, roadblocks and a crash or two.  Yet, if it weren't for this journey I've been on I wouldn't have met two of the bravest and most lovely women I know.  Through them I witnessed the ultimate sacrifice of motherhood.  Having them place their newborn babies into my arms, trusting me to love them as my own, was unfathomable.  Hard doesn't come close to describing their decision, they did it though.  They did it for LOVE. The faith that they demonstrated is awe inspiring and I will always be amazed at their bravery. 

Although it is a little heavy... and you will cry... this beautiful song has such an incredibly tender place in my heart.  It speaks to me on so many different levels as a mother.  Specifically some of my detours into motherhood.  It is a sacred song. If you'd like to hear it click the link below.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adventure time!

Ok has anyone seen the cartoon "Adventure Time"?  It is crazy!  It makes me laugh though with the absolute randomness is spews.
That is not what this post is about. 
A month or so ago, on a Saturday, I was tending my niece and nephew and decided to take the kids on an adventure.  I have always wanted to go to the wetland preserve by the Great Salt Lake.  So off we went. 
So beautiful and serene.  We were there alone which was really nice. 

So excited to be out of the car!



The big tower was the best part.


San got tired of walking. Thank goodness for Big sisters and cousins.

After our adventure we had to race to James's belt promotion! 
He is now an orange belt!!!

He wanted his Grandma to help his with his advancement ceremony.  :)

What an amazing kid!  I am so proud of his hard work and dedication.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shine your way...

I love music.
I love how certain music can invoke incredibly strong emotions. It can also bring back memories as clear as can be. I find I tend to attach certain songs to important times in my life and to "my" people. Each of my children have a specific song/luluby that is "their" song. They know each other songs and they will request each other songs at night time when I am putting them to bed. Sam's very favorite one is Norah's song which happens to be "Can't help falling in love with you." (Elvis's version of course... I sang it to her over and over again during the few short hours I had with her precious body)  he asks for it every single night. On top of my children's special songs I also have songs that just makes me think of them when I hear them. I of course also have a number of special songs that make me think of my sweetheart as well.
Last March we found out we were expecting our fourth baby but we didn't know yet that it would be our sweet angel Norah. We were obviously over the moon excited. The first movie we went to as a family after finding out Norah was coming was "The Croods".  It is just a silly cartoon about a family of cavemen who through the course of the movie learn to not hide in the dark in fear but to live in and follow the light. I loved this movie and its message when we saw it and I was excited to buy it for the kids when it came out on DVD.
I especially loved the song that played at the end of the movie during the credits but I didn't really think about it much after leaving the theater. In December we bought the movie for our children as a gift for Christmas.  As we watched it again as a family I remembered that it was the first movie I saw with Norah in my belly. It made me feel very tender.  Then as the credits started to roll and this song started to play I remembered how much I loved it in the theater. I got goosebumps and wasn't sure why I loved it so much until I really listened to the words. The song is "Shine Your Way" by Owl City featuring Yuna.  This song just speaks to my heart and makes me think of my sweet angel baby every time I hear it.  I'm attaching a photo I took 4 or 5 years ago of the stars just before dawn with my favorite verses from this song imposed on it.
This song has a place in my heart as one of my "Norah" songs. There is a reason that we call Norah our little North Star.  She is a beacon of light for our family.  Not only does her name mean "light" but she truly is a light that shines our way. 
If you want to hear it click the link below to a YouTube video of it with the words. 
P.S. If you haven't already you should watch "The Croods".  It is as silly as can be but I adore it.
P.P.S. In case you are curious these are my kids special lullaby's:
Ella - "You are my Sunshine."
James -  "Baby Mine" from Dumbo
Sam - "To make you feel my Love"
Norah - "Can't help falling in love with you"

Monday, February 3, 2014

Oldie but a goodie!

Oh my goodness! I came across this picture today and laughed my head off.
Why are mustaches so funny?
Why are they extra funny when they are on babies?
Why if the baby is making a sneaky villain face is it extra extra funny!?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Natural History Museum

It was early out all week because of SEP (parent/teacher conferences) so on Friday we decided to all go to the Utah Museum of Natural History.  I have been there a few times and LOVE it.  We went with my Mom and siblings and kids.  The best part was the Dads all left work early and came along. 
I love living close enough to the city to be able to do quick trips and take advantage of the wonderful museums etc. that Salt Lake has to offer.

Bottom Left: Sam seems totally unimpressed with Uncle Andy!  LOL

While taking pictures Sam suddenly grabbed my face and planted the sweetest and biggest kiss on my lips.  It made my day... those are the best "mother moments".
Sam was scared of this glass floor... big brother to the rescue!!!  Oh I love those boys!

What a fun day!  (phototbomb!!!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where I'm at.

This fall and winter have been hard. 
We are in deep mourning and often times in survival mode.  We have done our best to choose joy though.  In the midst of missing Norah immensely we do our best to honor her by making the best of each day.  Sometimes we succeeded... sometimes not. 
I'm sure as time passes we will get even better at living each day to it's fullest.  I feel strongly that wallowing in my grief does not honor Norah at all. This does not mean that I don't still cry every day nor does it mean that I don't ache with every ounce of my soul for my sweet angel baby.  It doesn't mean that I don't want to curl up and hide in my bed many days... because I do.  It does mean that I choose smile and find happiness every day and I get out of bed even when I don't want to.  I choose to honor my little north star by trying to find my way back to the carefree and fun Mom that I was before.  I've experienced the trauma of saying goodbye to one of my children in this life... it changed me.  That is ok.  I hope that those changes will transform with time to me being a more gentle, patient, caring and empathetic woman.  Right now though my living children need their happy Mother back. 
I do think it is good for them to see me grieve for their sister but they also need to see my heart heal as well.  My children need to see me choosing a life of joy so that they will know that they can too.  For this reason I really want to get back to the original purpose and spirit of this blog by posting something each day (or at least more often than every few months!)  that helps me feel:
 Happy, Grateful, Reflective, Humbled, Warm, Joyful, Cheery, Pleased, Fortunate, Optimistic, Lucky, Content, Renewed, Positive.
I may also sometimes even go ahead and write down some of the rambling thoughts that pass through my head. 

I am going to do a quick photo recap of the past couple of months for documentation/journaling purposes. 
Fall 2013 - Winter 2014
Dave had another birthday! Sam likes to take his shirt off all the time lately... he's a stripper.
Our local theatre had a festival.  Sam rode a horse and LOVED it! Don't worry there was someone right next to him the whole time.  I just cropped them out.

More fall fun top L-R: We went and had a fun day downtown SLC, cute cousins with a friendly rivalry, best buds on a walk (ride) and tailgating on game day!

At the pumpkin patch.

Decorating pumpkins and cookies with cousins!
Maybe one of my all time favorite shots.  Pure joy on a fall walk. 
Fun day at Lagoon

Halloween 2014

Sam had two costumes, this was by FAR my favorite... ever!  He's got "skills!"
Football games with the guy I love.

James earned his yellow belt.  SO proud of him!
Top left to right:  Went to a remembrance walk and let a balloon go for Norah.  James and Sam getting a private karate lesson... Sam was in Heaven! Sam giving me a foot rub.  Sam and I liked to go spend time with at Norah's grave on warm days.  Ella and her bestie started basketball. 
I snapped these with my phone at IKEA.  I love how they turned out.

We made these cute turkeys for thanksgiving... we ran out of "feathers" and brown frosting so some had to be chickens.

I made a tree for the Festival of trees in honor of Norah.  It was silver and gold and covered in stars.  I LOVED making this tree and it was very healing for me.  The best part is my Mom and Dad bought it for us so we got to bring it home! 

I took my Ella bug on a grown up date to see "Catching Fire".  She loved it.

A favorite moment this year.  All my lovies decorating the tree with my angel looking on. 

We went to our local light festival.

My cute little man had his first guitar recital... he was awesome!

I love spending my days with this character while big brother and sister are at school. 

Had a great date with James to see "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2".
I can hardly believe it but this little guy turned 2!  He had a GREAT day!

Dave's work ugly sweater party. We are pretty special. 

Christmas is almost here!  Top L-R: The kids with Santa. James playing the guitar at the family party.  All 6 stockings hung (I wasn't sure I was going to make Norah's but while we were decorating James asked me, "Mom, have you finished Norah's stocking yet?  I started it that day.) Sam and "C' shirtless at the family party.  Ella played Joseph in the nativity and James played a wise man.

I turned 35.  I kind of hated my birthday this year.  I hated turning a year older knowing that my baby would never get to celebrate a birthday.  I know that won't be how I feel every year but that's what I felt this year.  There was some good that day though.  Dave gave me this gorgeous pink sapphire necklace (Sapphire is Norah's birthstone) from Tiffany's (Ive never had anything from them before!)  It is tiny, perfect and pink... just like my baby girl.  I absolutely adore it!  He spoils me. 

We lit up Norah's grave on Christmas eve.  It was both sweet and hard as we realized we are part of the cemetery crowd.  There were a lot of families there that night and a lot of beautiful lights honoring loved ones.  It is something I hope we'll do each year.

We got home from the cemetery and the kids opened their traditional PJ's and ornament.  The favorite gifts of Christmas were Sam's "Ka-Chow" car and Ella and James's tablets. It was a good Christmas.  Funny story, Sam got a "Nemo" ornament on Christmas eve.  The next morning he didn't even notice the pile of gifts.  He ran into the room and immediately climbed over all the gifts to get his precious "Nemo!"

Fun day at boondocks.  I love this shot because you can see how much Sammy ADORES his big brother.  I look a mess though!

Pete and I went to "Good things Utah" because they were featuring our products.  It was so much fun.  Maybe next time I'll decide to go on air instead of accidentally dropping things and making too much noise backstage! 
If you are curious about our AWESOME products just click the link below.
*I fixed the link... it is working now. 
My sweet amazing Ella turned 10... how did that happen!?  A whole decade just flew by.  Ella is hilarious and wanted a "Mustache" themed party.  She also wanted to play "minute to win it" games.  It was so fun!
We had a fun photo booth at the party too.

This kid is one of a kind.  Top to bottom:  He loves his PIXAR movies and all of his "Friends".  This is the one and only time he has ever fallen asleep at a meal... the rest of us enjoyed a nice peaceful dinner haha!  Sam doesn't have a security blanket or anything.  He sucks his middle fingers and LOVES to be touching skin.  He's a beautiful little weirdo.

Also I cut my hair off and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I don't know why I ever grow it out because I love having short hair.