Walk to Remember

October is Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month. I went to a gathering called “A Walk to Remember”. This was our first year participating and I really wish I had brought my camera. Many parents who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, still birth or infant loss gathered together at Layton park on Saturday. There was a musician from Arizona that came up to sing a song he had written when he lost his little girl. The song was so perfect. I have to figure out how to get a copy of it and when I do, maybe I can post it here.

After the program we each got a balloon. Pink for girls, blue for boys, and white if you didn’t know. We, of course, picked the blue balloon for Spencer. Then we walked around the park taking the steps they will never take. It was a nice walk except I was not feeling well and neither was Bryce. But it was kind of neat. My favorite part, and in a way my least favorite part, was when they read all the names of the babies that had gone too soon. When your baby’s name was read, you released your balloon.  There were so many balloons. As they read the names I couldn’t help myself but to shed just a few tears.

So many babies, and so many parents who had just a moment on this earth to hold their babes. It seems so unfair and unnatural to have to say goodbye to a child who is passing the portal to heaven before you do. I think about Spencer everyday. I am not completely healed but I know in time, it will continue to get better.

I love my children. But having my girls, especially Lizzie who was born after we lost Spencer, doesn’t take away the pain of knowing I have one that is not here. I have one that I’m missing everyday. I have one waiting for me.

To parents who have lost a child, my heart reaches out to you. You are not alone, and there is support. For those who know someone who has lost a child and don’t know how to support your friends/family, my heart goes out to you as well. It is hard to understand something you have never been through. And though we want to be understood, we don’t want you to ever have to face that kind of loss and pain.

You can not make it better. You can not make it easier. My advice is to love them. Love them with your hugs. Love them with memories. Love them with laughter. Love them with your tears. Do not love them with your advice. Do not love them with your reasons. Do not get angry back. And what ever you do, do not leave them lonely.

October 15th is national Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. At 7pm light a candle to create a wave of light around the world in memory of babies lost to miscarriage, still birth and infant loss. And remember to give an extra bit of love to those grieving parents who have lost their darling babies.

To Spencer: We love and miss you much!

Manti Pageant

Wow! I didn’t realize it had been so long since I wrote something here. Once again, I am making it my goal to be more active on my blog.

 

So my family and I go down to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Bryce and I had such wonderful hopes for this trip. Our plan was to start down on Thursday, stopping briefly to visit with an old friend. Then we were to make it to Mayfield, where we have access to a house for visiting the area, getting set up for the weekend and then relaxing, maybe watch a movie that night.  Day one went as planned.

 

Day two—Friday. The plan: to get up and have a nice relaxing breakfast. Then bike 8 miles to Gunnison to the park, play at the park, then bike back and eat lunch. After lunch prepare ourselves to go to the Pageant. Leave for Pageant around 6 or 7 pm, get a spot, eat our packed dinner, and watch pageant. Go home and go to bed. 

 

What really happened—Biked 8-9 miles to the park. Got attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. Had to bike to the nearest store to get bug spray. Biked back to the park. Played, and then Katie threw a tantrum when her friend she just made went home. So we biked 8-9 miserable up hill miles back to Mayfield. Totally exhausted from our hour and a half ride, we prepared ourselves to go to Manti. Unfortunately we had to get there by 5 pm to make it to a store before it closed to get some unmentionables that had been forgotten.  Leaving plenty of idle, disruptive time for the kiddos before the pageant started. And by time I mean 4 1/2 hours. Katie had some sort of bladder problem during this time so had to make several trips to the potties while there. Bryce gets to chase a restless baby around while I get into a screaming match with a Jehovah’s Witness about abortion on my way back from getting Bryce a hamburger. Bryce gets to eat his cold hamburger while I then chase the baby and take Katie to her 5th trip to the bathroom. This was right before the pageant when everyone is at the restroom so I get to stand in line for 10 minutes while Katie holds herself jumping up and down and crying that she is going to pee her pants. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but if I saw a kid in that state, I would let them cut in line. No luck for us though.  Finally the pageant starts, about half way in the kids are both asleep and we are wondering how we are going to  walk two blocks holding two kids and all our crap. We did it, but headed out before the pageant was over. We were done! Home and sleep went as planned.

 

Day three-Saturday. The plan: wake up, take a run, eat breakfast, go for a swim, eat lunch, come back to Mayfield and relax.

What really happened—pretty much what we planned, but now I am suffering head to toe from dozens of mosquito bites and really sore muscles from the bike ride. The run was not as fun with complaining children so we ended up at the park which turned out to be really fun. The swim was not as much fun as we thought with both children afraid of the water. At least Katie would let us peel her from us and smiled. She even played if we were at the wading end of the pool. Lizzie was just scared and plastered herself to my body while ducking her head to my chest.  We lasted about an hour. Which was long enough for Bryce to get a sunburn on his back and just his back because I forgot to put some on his back after he made sure I was completely covered. Good thing he got the rest of himself or he would be a lobster. Lunch at a diner with slow service while we were starving. Katie falls asleep at the table, but wakes right up once we get into the car. We took the rest of the day and relaxed. We needed it.

Day Four-Sunday. The plan: go to church and go home.

We did just that. It was a really good day and I am glad we went to church. It was nice to sit with Bryce again. The only thing that would have made this day better is if we were not burnt, bitten, sore and exhausted. And did I mention Lizzie was teething the whole weekend?  Yep! popped her first tooth. We were so glad to be home were we can relax from our vacation!

And that was our trip!

Our Basement is Done!

I can’t even believe it!  After 6 years of living with a dungeon for a basement, we finally got it finished and it is wonderful.  Here are the before and after pictures of the amazing transformation our basement has taken these last couple of months.  You will be amazed!!!

This is where we begin.  From our kitchen a door separates our warm cozy home from the creepy, cold dungeon. When you first open the door, you see a large storage closet (total waste of space. I wish I had taken a picture of the inside.) and broom closet. The descending stairs to the right.

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The Second picture is what you see as you begin the journey down the stairs.  This next picture is a view of it from below coming back up.  You can see the first set of stairs from here.

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Here is what it looks like now, same views in the same order…

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Here is the next set of stairs. View going down and then coming back up.

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The wall jetting out was taken back and the top two stairs widen. The landing there at the top was leveled and a new back door put on that didn’t scrape the floor and actually opens all the way now.

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Now we are down the stairs and in the basement. This next picture shows the landing in the basement. There is an unfinished closet on the right.  (this closet used to be a shower. A very nasty shower.  You really have to wonder with these old houses sometimes)  You can see in the bottom right corner of the first picture the cement half wall.  The second picture is a shot of the unfinished closet.

 

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The cement wall was taken back to the full wall and the wall next to the stairs was also taken back a bit.  The closet is now finished. 

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Continuing into the actual basement.  here is the view from the landing. Notice the wires, pipes and duct work everywhere.

We got new duct work done and you can see a door to the new closet where the washing machine used to be. If you look closely on the bottom of the ‘before’ picture, you can see where the half wall used to be.

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Now into the first room of our basement. There is a cement platform, of sorts, and there used to be a toilet in the corner.  We decided to make a second bathroom.  On the left of the big black pipe we put the bathroom and laundry closet. Our washer and dryer are now side by side instead of opposite sides of the room.  On the right of the big black pipe is the storage closet you see above.

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Here is the bathroom and laundry closet.  We call the bathroom Bryce’s “manly bathroom”.

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In this first room there was only one light for the whole room. The windows were busted out and had not been replaced since long before we owned the house.  The walls were cement with plaster on top.  The plaster was falling off.  No ceilings to hide duct work or wires and pipes.  There were two big sinks next to the freezer that we never used. There were no outlets so we powered the washer, dryer and freezer through extension cords that went up through the ceiling to the upstairs outlets. You can kind of see those.

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New windows, new duct work, 2 lights plus the light in the bathroom and the laundry closet. And we have

outlets!!!

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Now for room #2. I decided to put the before and after shots side by side for this room. It’s the same story with duct work, wires and no outlets. Plus this part of the house is a rock foundation so the walls were literally falling apart. The walls had to be patched to keep the rocks in. There was also this weird window deal where you could see the stairs and first closet through it.  On the other side of the room there was a wall that was half brick and half cement. It was also falling apart.  Our furnace is in this room as well, and we had a closet built around it.  This room also had only one light in the middle of the room. Now we have four. This will be our new entertainment room ( TV room).

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Last room. This room was much like the second room. The rock walls had to be patched and there was another window looking into the laundry room (first room). The window to the outside had been broken out. This room housed our water heater and again a closet was built around it.  This room could be used as a small bedroom but we are still debating how to use it. It used to be our storage room, but we love it so much we want to use it for something else.

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Well, that’s it.  Lots of pictures, but then again, lots of work.  Thank you Innovative Construction Remodeling for our lovely new basement.

Ringing in the New Year

I have rededicated myself to blogging on a regular basis.  There is so much that has happened since last post and I don’t have the time or inclination to go into every detail of the last three and half months.  So here are the highlights of the last 3 months of my year 2009.

Katie turned five years old the 13th of October.  I can not believe I have a 5 year old.  She is so smart and wonderful to have around.  She is so photogenic.

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We went to McDonalds for her birthday lunch.  We don’t go there often so it was a big deal for Katie.

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Katie had a Halloween party for her birthday.  It was so much fun! Bryce helped out by doing a treasure hunt and his mom was great letting  us use her house as well as making the cake.  We also played games. Her friends came in their costumes.

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And then there was Halloween…

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My Supergirl!

Of course while Katie was celebrating her birthday, our other little girl was doing some growing up as well.  She didn’t like getting her pictures taken.  I finally got a few good pictures but WOW…what an ordeal!

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This is my favorite picture.  I think she looks like Curious George.

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   Little sweetie.

 

My girls!  Just had to add it.

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November brought us a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  We spent Thanksgiving with my sister, her family, Bryce’s parents and his Brother and Sister in law.  It was so much fun. Tried to get a Christmas Card picture, and this is what I got.

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I should have used this one–

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Love those girls!  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner.  It is really nice to be with family.

December has been a very busy month.  First- our most exciting news—we are doing our basement!! I will post pictures of that project when it is all finished.  We just got our sheet rock up today.  I am so thrilled I about cried when I saw it all put together.  Now we just have to tape and mud the sheet rock, paint, put in the bathroom toilet and sink, and flooring.  I can hardly wait to see it done!

Katie was in a few performances for Christmas and Bryce played one on the three wise men in a nativity at church. I made his costume in 2 days.  That was a busy week!

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Christmas was a blast.  We went to a family dinner at Bryce’s Aunt Ramona’s house for Christmas Eve.  Later that night my parents came into town.  It was a nice surprise for Katie to wake up to not only presents and a stuffed stocking but Grandma and Grandpa too!  After opening gifts and eating candy to our hearts content we headed down to Misty’s house for Christmas dinner and family frivolity. The day after Christmas we were able to support Jacob, my nephew, in receiving his Eagle at his Court of Honor.  It was beautiful.

The next day was Sunday and we rushed home just in time to get ready for church.  It was a stressful day because we were blessing our daughter, Elizabeth that day.  I was so worried that she would poop in the dress that she only wore it for 10 minutes.  I worked on it for about a month.  There you go.  Let that be a lesson to us all.  I didn’t get any pictures of the dress or the family that day, but I did get some later with help from Bryce.  The blessing was beautiful and now I realize that the most important thing about a blessing day is not the dress, but the blessing.  I will still make my kids blessing outfits, but maybe I won’t be so concerned with it the day of the blessing.

That being said—here is the dress!

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Wow! That’s it.  Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year to all!

I Have a New Closet

I will be posting pictures soon!  I got a new camera for Christmas and I am still learning how to use it.  But I have a new closet and I am so very excited!

My dad came out for a couple of weeks to help me with it.  He did most of it, but I still helped so I am taking some credit. Bryce helped too!  It was a family project, even Katie got to mud and paint a little.

Now on to our stairs and then to our fire place!  Hopefully then we can put the house up for sale.  Here’s hoping!

I will be sad when my parents leave.  I actually got to talk to adults during the day.  Katie is fun to talk to, but still just four.  I will miss them.

A new skill

I am learning not only to blog, but to use Facebook!  Wow, I am really coming up in the world!  It helps that Bryce is such a computer guru.  He’s got me hooked on this thing.  Now he is cooking dinner because I can not tear myself away from the computer!  He he. ….

Christmas

We had a great Christmas!  Katie had a Christmas concert for dance.  She was so cute as always.  After her concert she got to sit on Santa’s lap.  This is the first year she wasn’t scared silly of him.  She ran right up, jumped on his lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas.

We decided to make this Christmas a little more relaxing.  We only gave 3 gifts for each person to represent the wise mens’ gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  It made Christmas shopping so much easier in some ways, and little more difficult in other ways.  There was so much I wanted to give Bryce and Katie.  I ended up stuffing their stockings pretty full of gifts!

Katie’s favorite gifts were her new doll house and rocking horse.   Bryce loved his new holster for his gun and his concealed carry permit that came in the mail the day after Christmas!  My favorites were my snow boots and camera, but the ring Bryce got me has to be my absolute favorite!  He is always telling me that I am his ruby and so he got my a ruby ring.  He is so romantic!

Hope everyone else had a great holiday!


Catching Up

It seems like it has been just a whirlwind of activities the last few months.  It is time to post what we have been up to and show off some pictures!!  Of course I will start with my all time favorite “I’ve just been caught” picture.  Our family loves Karaoke.  Here I am singing away.  I turned and Bryce took a picture.  We don’t claim to be the best, but we sure love it.

Next, Bryce and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe it has been 5 years and we are still madly in love.  Every year Bryce hides little notes for me to find on our anniversary.  He’s such a romantic!  This year he told me that I would definatly find the note before I left to go Cross Guarding!  I tried to find it but couldn’t.  Sure enough, right before I left I found it and had to take pictures!

People on the road would honk at us.  I even had one of my sub’s for crossing ask me if I was Aurora of “Bryce and Aurora”.  I said “Yes, I am!”  She then congratulated me for our 5 years.  He is such a sweetie.

October started off fun.  We went on a family vacation to West Yellowstone with our friends the Hanfts.  Mike, Elisa, and Calli.  As you can see it was very cold.

We think we may try to go again when it isn’t snowing.  We didn’t see too many animals but we did have a lot of fun.

KATIE’S BIRTHDAY!!!

Katie turned 4 this year.  I can hardly believe it.  She is getting so big.  I took these pictures at the same reception hall Bryce and I had our wedding reception.  Pretty cool.

Katie once again had a dance concert.  This time it was here halloween performance.  She did a chicken dance.  She was so cute in her costume!

She did a great job!  I was a little worried because of last year’s fiasco, but she performed like a pro!

I thought these pictures were funny!  Here is Katie working side by side with Dad.  She had a bloody nose and so to be sure it would stop bleeding, on both sides, she insisted on plugs.

Just makes you hungry doesn’t it!

HALLOWEEN!!

Here is Katie’s costume.  I had to get it finished before I had my gallbladder surgery.  She was so cute, I took lots of pictures!  Here she is.

We called her a disco bug, but she looks more like a fairy.  I was supposed to dress up the same way, but I barely got her costume made 2 days before my surgery.  And I just didn’t feel like sewing afterwards!

Bryce dressed up as Robin Hood again.  I made him his costume a couple of years ago.  And I dressed up like a cat.  No sewing required this time.  But next year will be awesome!

We went to a party on Halloween at the Hanfts’ house.  We had a lot of fun.  I was still not feeling my best but I managed to eat a lot anyway!

November is now here!  Whew what a ride.  I am the Enrichment Leader in our ward and this year for our service project we donated a Christmas tree to the Safe Harbor Christmas tree auction.  Our Relief Society hand made many of the decorations for the tree.  I made the advent quilt and put together a program for the Relief Society Sisters for enrichment night.  Our tree turned out so cute!  Here is the tree and advent quilt. It auctioned out at $800.  That’s pretty good since we only spent $150 on it total.

Whew!  What a ride.

Next was Spencer’s birthday.  I have hit the one year mark for losing our little boy.  I can’t believe it has been a year already.  I will have his page up soon.  Please be patient.  I am still getting used to all this blog stuff.

Katie’s Dance Concert

Katie’s Dance Concert is this week!! I can’t believe she is getting so big. I am really hoping she will not be scared this time. Her very first performance was at the Rec Center for the big Halloween bash and she cried and ran off the floor. It was quite intimidating and the Rec Center was crazy. This will be more fun because she gets to wear her dance costume and she will know the dance. But I am still worried because I will not be able to come to her rescue this time. I have posted the invite here for all to see. I made this to hand out in hopes it will really get Katie excited.

Dance concert 2008