Pictures Courtesy

family pictures courtesy of Andrea Busath

Saturday, November 30, 2013

From here on out

I set a goal to post everyday this month and with today's post I have accomplished that goal.  

 A couple of weeks ago, I set a goal to post at least twice a month from December on.

Why do we set goals?  Usually we make goals in order to begin a new habit or make a lifestyle change.  Because I have fulfilled my part of posting everyday, I have a feeling I'll be posting more than twice a month; it won't be everyday, but it may be more than I set my goal at.

My hope is to document the current events of our household and to tell you about the experiences that strengthen me and my family.

As the new year is gaining some serious traction and coming upon us, it'll be that time again...we'll set goals and decide to keep them or forget them.

I choose to keep them.  Make realistic goals that you WANT to accomplish and that you WANT to include in your everyday life.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feature blogger...Arthur!

"The longer you sit on the fence, the more it starts to hurt"

My colleague said that to a potential client the other day and it was hilarious...

I love my wife. She's pretty much my everything. When we first started dating almost 8 1/2 years ago I have become a better person altogether. She has consistently encouraged me to reach for the highest standards in life. She is smart, gorgeous, everything pure but most of all a daughter of God. She is the love of my life.

I love my kids. Did I just say kids??! Each day I am in utter shock in the best way possible that I have 3 beautiful huggables. I pray for them daily. I want them to be healthy, happy and tempered for the life they have begun. My daughter is the miracle of our family and she reminds me of this daily. In a good way; sometimes. My second is one of the most gentle souls I have ever been around. That will be a trait I will always admire about him. My youngest is a quite the mixture of the first two. He is just getting into my favorite stage where he isn't mobile yet and will still cuddle.

I love my parents. They have supported me through every good and not so good choice in my life. Without their hard work and love I would not have had the chance to live the life I have had thus far.

I love my wife's parents. They are wise, worthy and very hard workers. They encourage, forgive and most importantly support and serve those around them.

I love ALL my siblings. They are pure and have a goodness about them that is evident. They are a shining example of love and strength. We love one another unconditionally and that's how it should be.

Heavenly Father has been SO good to me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Today is a day to give thanks for all the many blessings we each get to partake of.

My family gets to celebrate this holiday with loved ones we've rarely been able to see on Thanksgiving.  
We have so much to be grateful for...

 - family
 - a job
 - our health
- a nice home
- cars
- playgrounds
- playplaces (for those wintery days that I know are coming)
- the gospel
- our Savior

As we reflect on our blessings, hopefully we can remember all that our Heavenly Father has done for us and all that he promises to do as we remain faithful.

All our love to those who are far away, we miss you!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I offered to make the rolls for our family's Thanksgiving Feast!!  Yesterday was the day to tackle my fears and work with yeast.

I was extremely nervous because my history with the stuff hasn't been pretty.  I've never, EVER been able to proof it right and things ended up more unleavened than fluffy and delicious.

I meant to take a picture of the beautiful bowl of proofed yeast, but I was too excited and went ahead and mixed everything together; tears were in these eyes of mine.

I ended up mixing it by hand because I had to do a batch and a half and it wouldn't fit in my mixer bowl.

This is before it doubled in size...I ended up using the oven because our house stays pretty cold.  I set a timer to alert me when to check on it's size.

Here it is after about 20 minutes in ALL it's glory.  She's a beauty ain't she?!

There were two more pans like these and I was getting very excited that this little adventure and ambition of mine was paying off.

Rising a second time.

And....the finished product!! Aren't they glorious?!!!  I couldn't have asked for a better, successful first time.  Thanks to those who encouraged me and knew I could do it!!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ideas (Bonus post on the 26th)

I have a few more days to blog and I need ideas.  

Please leave comments and let me know what you'd like me to ramble about.  If I don't receive any comments/ideas then I'll be sad.

Being amazing

A friend of mine reminded me today that we should always be looking for the good in ourselves.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, whether good or bad, we should focus on ME.

I realize that it's in many women's nature to find their flaws and flaunt them to the world without shame or bashfulness.  What we should be doing, as this friend has suggested, is finding the good and talk about that.  Let's work on it.

These are in no particular order.

Organize - I'm a very organized person.  Things are in their place, most of the time and I have several lists on my phone that help me accomplish stuff.  With a few rugrats running around, it's sometimes hard to get anything done...we manage.

Willing to try - I'm a semi-adventurous person; which in my book means I'm not adventurous at all :-) BUT when it comes to trying new things, practical things, I'm game.  Skydiving, heliskiing, and/or drag racing are not practical to me, to someONE yes, but to me no.  I'm talking a new recipe, making a blanket using two pieces of fabric (ambitious, right?!), using a new cleaner for the shower (just kidding), or maybe even going to a stranger-friend's house to get to know them better.  Those are my kinds of things to try.

Motherhood - This DOES NOT come natural to me, but I work really hard at it.  Some days are better than others.  I love being a mom to MY kids.  This is something that I have a hard time with; not comparing myself to other moms around me; I kind of live in the mecca of amazing moms.  I know that I will never fulfill the roll of 'super mom' but I'm doing my best and I can be 'super mom' to my kids...sometimes they're totally fine with just making it out of the house to go to the park, and I WIN and so do they.

Directions - I can pretty much get myself anywhere without GPS.  Some of my friends gave me the nickname GPAmy because each time we go to San Francisco together, I drive us around and rarely get lost.  I'm pretty proud of this gift.  In CA it was different because it was mainly memorizing where streets were, but when we moved to Utah I realized how easy it was going to be to get places since most of Utah is on a grid system; moving north and south from Center St. and moving east and west from Main St., not to mention the humongous mountains to the east that can help ANYONE get somewhere.

and last but not least,

Dishes - I really like washing dishes.  It does not bother fact I feel like I have control over how clean they get if I wash them by hand instead of in the dishwasher.  While living in Rexburg, Idaho we lived in an apartment that didn't have a dishwasher so we were used to washing dishes by hand.  Is this a weird one?? Oh well, that's what I came up with!!

What are you good at?  Lots.  
Will you talk about those things instead of putting yourself down?  Probably not all of the time.  
Will it be hard to do that?  Of course.  

It's worth it to remember the things that YOU are good at and not the things others are good at.  We, as women, have a divine role and infinite potential to become great in the sight of God.

He has provided this world so that we can learn and grow in ways we want to; not ways we may feel forced to.  Remember who you are; you are a daughter of God.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A migraine

I think headaches are pretty much the worst thing that could happen to a mother.

I had my second migraine yesterday.  It was bad, like throwing up, feeling dizzy and extremely nauseous bad.

My first migraine was a couple of months ago.  It was a similar experience...I woke up feeling icky and just after breakfast my stomach got upset and my head started to hurt really bad.  It laid me out for a couple of hours but then I was back to business as usual.  

This time, I woke up, made breakfast and I started feeling very nauseous.  Then I got a weird rainbow like line across my right eye and in my peripheral vision.  My head had a constant pain...there was no thump with my heartbeat or relief.

I 'emptied' my stomach on a few occasions and then got some rest before Arthur had to leave to teach his Sunday School lesson.

I'm sure these episodes are nothing compared to others' migraines...I know folks who are out-for-the-count for an entire day.

I'm grateful for these experiences because they allow me to understand, a little, what others are going through...and they help me be grateful for a healthy body otherwise.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Beginnings

We've had this blog for up and running for about two years or so and I just realized that I've posted more times during the month of November than I have the whole time this blog has been around.

I've decided that this will be the beginning of a new goal for me...I'm going to post something twice a month and if I end up with more posts during a month then GREAT!!!

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I think about keeping up a blog, but I'm realizing that it's better to put something up rather than not do anything at all.

I've also heard that while writing of past experiences, it helps recall feelings and memories that were maybe forgotten about.  So perhaps my twice-a-month-posts will be some personal history gems.

We shall see.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I love seeing homes like these...tastefully decorated for Christmas.
Someday I'll have a home to decorate, for now the balcony will have to do :-)

It has been really fun getting the kids excited for Christmas this year.  Maya is finally at an age where she understands what is going on.  Kade sees what's happening, with the lights and gifts, but I'm sure he isn't quite sure what is going on.  Well, and Jett of course is still too young to know but he loves the decorations.

Since we've been married, we've spent Christmas all over.  I'm looking forward to spending Christmas morning as a family.  Each year there is a brunch, well two is in California and the other  is in Utah.  It'll be fun to experience our Utah families' Christmas brunch.

This time of the year makes me so happy and grateful.  The fall/winter holidays are some of my favorites because of the meaning behind them.

Arthur and I had a chance to be at Disneyland during the Christmas season.  It was really fun to see the 'Happiest Place on Earth' be even more happy with all the Christmas cheer!!

I'm excited that, in the years to come, we can teach our children the true meaning of Christmas.  We'll get to watch them grow in that knowledge and they'll come to understand the importance of remembering their Savior during this time of year.

Friday, November 22, 2013


The bedtime routine starts at about six around here.  With Arthur gone five nights out of the week, I've gotta start early so I can get each one in bed at a decent hour.

We start with baths.  Jett goes first and then we fill the tub up a little bit more for Kade and then it's Maya's turn.  She wants the water up as high as I'll let it go.  During bath time, I'll usually put on a show to keep those not bathing occupied.

Next we floss and brush teeth...there are a lot of teeth to take care of.  Sometimes a snack is requested before brushing, but most of the time stalling is not an option for these kids.

Then we'll read a book, sing a song, and then say prayers.  Lately, Kade has been stepping up his prayers...ha, actually wanting to say them.  It's so fun to hear him say what he thinks comes next instead of copying what we're whispering to him.

Jett is the first one to go down, followed by Kade, and then Maya quietly sneaks into her room (where Jett is hopefully sleeping) and falls asleep quickly.

Days around here, especially nights, are certainly getting more interesting without my better half around.  I'll be honest, I look forward to means that I get some ME time.  I get to watch a show or two that don't have little cartoons singing and I get to do stuff for myself.  

Some days are definitely better than others.  
Some days my patience is tested to the breaking point.  
Some days all I want to do is lock myself in my room.
Some days I feel like they're all conspiring against me.
Some days I can't wait until bedtime.

most days I just stare at them and feel gratitude that my Heavenly Father trusted them with me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The first day this week that I have plans to leave the house and this is what I see outside...

I will be safe and stay warm.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chocolate Chips

Arthur is an avid baker.  He likes it a lot and likes it even more when I request something or try, and like, an experiment.  

While we lived in California over the last year, we went through a lot, and I mean A LOT, of chocolate chips.  Arthur made something with them probably once a week.  As a going away gift, my parents hooked us up with this...

...a 25 pound box of chocolate chips.  We were pretty excited about it.  

Now how exactly is 25 pounds of chocolate chips packaged?  We thought for sure it was in individual bags, like the ones you buy at the store...WRONG!

We got a KICK out of how we found them; in an ENORMOUS blue bag just loose inside.  We've since moved them into our own make-shift individual 2 cup bags.

The box was given to us before we moved to Utah and we were pretty curious how the chocolate chips would do on a move to Utah; with an extended vacation in Tahoe in the middle of that move.  They were stored in our van at the bottom of the storage space in the back.  We were pleasantly surprised when we first opened it to find them still tiny pieces of chocolate.  As we moved them into smaller bags, it turns out, the whole bottom became melted together, which is great for me since I like to enjoy a 'little' bit of chocolate 'every once in a while.'

Arthur will continue baking with the chocolate chips from this box for a long time to come.  I look forward to the experiments and the tried-and-tested recipes he'll make!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bonus on the 19th!

My amazing cousin posted this on her blog today...I loved it so much that I wanted all of you to love it too!!!

If you aren't smiling after watching that, something is wrong with you.

Being outside

We love spending time outside around here.  Lately the weather has been ok so we are trying to take advantage of that as much as possible.

Since Jett is big enough to be on the baby swing, Kade is having to get the hang of the big kid swings.   He's doing a great job and loves it!!! 

Jett loves himself a good swing too.  

In our complex we have all kinds of fun things to do.  There is a fairly large playground with several slides and monkey bars to boot.  Around the corner from our apartment building is the set of swings; one baby swing and three big swings.  There's also a half court for basketball, Kade's favorite thing to watch, and a sand volleyball court, which I hate because of all the sand that ends up getting brought into the house.  During the summer there's a pool and spa too.

The other day the kids just stood at the fence where the pool is and asked me a hundred times when they could go in the pool Spring guys, next Spring.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Temple Square

After we finished up at the Church History Museum, we walked over to Temple Square.  

We first walked past the Tabernacle and explained a little bit to Maya what it is used for.  Then we walked to the South Visitors' Center.  In this particular building they have a large model of the Salt Lake Temple.  It has been cut out so people can see inside and know where each room is and what it's purpose is.  I'm a huge fan of this because I have a closet love of architecture and many people don't know this, but when my parents were doing construction on their house, adding on, I drew the plans in order to get permits to start the remodel.

Jett always enjoys being strapped to Arthur...such a fun age!!

We walked around outside a little bit and watched as grounds workers were setting up the Christmas lights.  We headed to the North Visitors' Center where the Christus is.  Maya really liked that we were hanging out in space while we sat and looked at the huge statue.  

By the time we finished up there, our meter was up and we had to be on our way.

We really enjoyed showing our children all the wonderful things that the church has to offer to those who come asking questions.  There are also so many things for us who are already members of the church.  It was cool learning so much while at the Church History Museum.

This is what Temple Square will look like in a few weeks when they have the lighting ceremony.  Very beautiful.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Church History Museum

On Friday, we got to spend some time downtown Salt Lake at the Church History Museum and Temple Square.

It was a pretty chilly day and I forgot my coat on the ground in our place because I had to get a water bottle for the kids.  I'm very forgetful these days so if I don't write it down on my grocery list or if I put something down (like my coat) to do something else, then it will never happen or get purchased.

We parked along side Temple Square and walked across the street to the museum.  We immediately went to the information desk to ask what we should do first or if we should just wander around.  

They saw that we had littles with us so they said that we should head upstairs to the Book of Mormon play area.

We wandered through the section that had several early church artifacts first.  Arthur really enjoyed that.  He'd never been here before and he really liked seeing all the neat things that make up much of our history as Latter-day Saints.

The kids stayed busy pulling a handcart.

There were so many amazing things to look at.  They even had a little replica of the inside of a ship that many saints traveled on.  They had bunk beds that the kids could climb in and get a glimpse of what it was like.

There was a whole lot more that I thought was cool; Joseph and Hyrum Smith's death masks, artifacts from the day Carthage was attacked and they were killed, some history of Nauvoo, clothing that the early saints wore, a sealing alter from the Manti Temple, and a bunch more.

After that, we headed to where they had the Boy Scouts of America display and the kids' Book of Mormon area.

The BSA area had stations for learning how to tie knots.  I was very interested in that.  Since I only spent like two weeks in Girl Scouts (wish I had stuck it out) as a Brownies and I've only observed my dad tying stuff down, I thought it was time to finally become seasoned in the art of tying knots.  They had big 1/2" ropes and a plaque that had pictures of how to tie each type of knot.  It was very cool.  BUT, I didn't last very long.  I'm a very visual person so when my knot didn't match the picture, I walked away. :-)

Next we headed to the kids' area.  They had Nephi's boat and the kids could help put planks together to build the ship.  They also had a large room that had every kind of kitchen appliance, utensil, food, etc.  Maya was pretty much in heaven there.  There were huge, soft building blocks that I enjoyed lounging on and Kade liked building them up just to knock them down = destroy!

The last area we went to was a dress-up area that taught the kids how to do popular Latin dance.

Maya and I are wearing matching skirts.

The adult ones were extremely heavy and, as you can see, had plenty of fabric to recreate the beautiful dances.

We ended the museum tour by walking through the hall called 'The Presidents of the Church."  It was very cool to read about some of the, unknown to me, experiences they had while preparing to be a prophet and while they were serving as the Lord's anointed.

It was a very fun day and very spiritual, believe it or not.  

Tune-in tomorrow for a brief summary of what we did on Temple Square.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Half way!

I can do hard things!

To many people this may not seem hard; writing everyday....but for me, it's VERY difficult.  We'll see if I can keep it up after November.  Maybe a couple times a week is doable.

I'm giving myself a pep talk :-)

Friday, November 15, 2013


In the LDS/Mormon church, many of the members have callings.  Callings are an assignment that allows one to serve wherever the Bishop (the leader of a particular demographic) and the Lord want.

These are unpaid positions that provide opportunities for a person to learn, grow, and serve.

Right now, I am the Nursery A leader.  There are three 18 month to three year old children classes.  Each of the classes has anywhere from eight to 20 kids.  And in each of those classes there are four capable adults that switch off each week.  

So, I attend the class twice a month and teach the children once a month.  It's really a great setup; I still get to attend the adult classes and I am able to feel fellowship with the ward members.

Arthur is the 16-17 year old Sunday School teacher.  He LOVES it.  I knew he would be great because he has a special ability to reach these young people.  When we lived in CA, he worked with two or three young men and he was able to connect with them. He let them know they had a friend.

He has taught a few times since he received the calling and he's tried a few things in order to establish trust between him and the youth.  He is a very good teacher and is very spiritual and I know he will help these kids do great things.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


My baby is getting his bottom two teeth.  I'm still a nursing mother so this just got interesting; the other two were bottle fed by this age.  

I've lightly flicked his mouth a few time when he bites and he gets this incredibly cute frowny face that melts me.

I have a feeling my kids are going to have a continued struggle with their teeth.

Maya was born with a neonatal tooth.  She had a tooth bud on her gums when she was born and by the time she was six weeks, a tooth had grown in.  It was brown, very discolored, and loose.  I took her to a pediatric dentist in the area we were living in and he said that we had two choices, 1) have him pull it or 2) keep an eye on it and make sure she doesn't aspirate it.  We opted for him pulling it.  He explained that there was a less than 10% chance that there would be an adult/permanent tooth there later in her life.  We took the chance.

At her three year old check up and cleaning, they saw the adult tooth in her x-rays.  Wahoo!!!  We were thrilled.

Kade had a pacifier up until about a month ago.  We've noticed a welcomed change in his bite and teeth alignment, but still.  Hopefully it just gets better and he won't have to have braces for TOO long.

So far, Jett doesn't have anything crazy going on with his mouth/teeth.  Let's hope it stays that way!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013



When Arthur was offered the job at Strayer University, we set out and moved to Utah.

Arthur was working there for about two weeks when an opportunity to meet with people at a different company came to him.

He went through the interview process with Qualtrics and was offered a position.

With A LOT of prayer and A LOT of discussion, we decided a job move (already) was right for us.

When Arthur went to let the Strayer people know, they were VERY understanding and Arthur continues a relationship with the VP there; miracle!

Arthur has been at Qualtrics for about two months and he really enjoys it.  Things were finally settling down from the whirlwind of changing jobs so quickly, when Arthur's hiring manager approached him about moving to a sales team.  Not just any sales team, the team over the Asia-Pacific countries.

Once again we were back on our knees praying and spending a lot of time discussing if this would be a good fit for us.  With this promotion, the opportunities would be endless.  His schedule would be completely different, but we decided this would be a great thing for our family and may bring some fun adventures our way.

So here we are, one big move, two jobs later, finally, finally getting the hang of our 'new' life.  I was able to participate in the companies Halloween party and I loved how family oriented the company is.  I like companies that include family in whatever they can.  I was also able to meet many of Arthur's co-workers; they all seem very nice and they think very highly of Arthur.

I've learned over the last few months to, as my daughter's 'friend' Justin Bieber would say (when he was more normal than he is now), never say never.  The Lord knows all and when we put our trust and faith in him, he WILL provide.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Do you know what Zojirushi is?

Well, it's a company that makes all kinds of fun, practical kitchen items.  I first became familiar with the Zojirushi water boiler when I served a mission in Japan.  Several members, whose homes I visited, had them.  I always, thought they were so water all the time?!  Awesome!!

Arthur bought me one for Mother's Day and it wasn't until about two weeks ago that I opened it and found a spot in my kitchen for it.  It's one of my favorite things.

It holds three liters and is really nice to have out of it's box.

It's so great because I can have hot chocolate, cup 'o' noodles (no messes in the microwave), and all kinds of things that call for hot water quick.  It basically keeps it at the temperature of your choice and then if you need it hotter, you boil it with the touch of a button and it does it in five minutes or so.

It's very convenient I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to simplify (even more) the boiling process for things like I mentioned above.

Monday, November 11, 2013


We moved to Utah about three months ago and it has been a whirlwind that has finally died down.  I'll go back (quickly) about a year...

Arthur graduated from BYU-Idaho in July of 2012 and we made the decision to move to California and wait to hear back from the PA programs he applied to.

After not being accepted this first round of application, Arthur started putting most of his energy into looking and applying to jobs all over the place.  He had been applying to jobs since we left Idaho, but nothing seemed to pan out.  

While we lived in CA, Arthur worked for ScholarWear, a uniform store for the Challenger Schools.  It was a great job that allowed us to spend a lot of time together and was very flexible; which was nice since Jett was on his way.

In July of 2013, Arthur rec'd some interest from a place called Strayer University.  We compared them to the east coast version of University of Phoenix.  He flew out to interview and within four days he was offered a job as an Admissions Recruiter/Counselor.  
We left CA on August 9th after packing up all of our stuff and stopped over in Tahoe for a few nights; there was a Busath family reunion going on there.

Me, Kade, and Jett traveled in the van and Arthur and Maya drove the moving truck.  Kade was a trooper.

We drove into Utah late on August 11th and moved into our apartment the next morning.  We still had so much to do before Arthur started his job on the 19th.  

We stayed very busy that week and we are so grateful for the opportunities that have been made available to us since we arrived here. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


If you recall, this was the first picture on yesterday's post.  And if you'll notice, he has a big giant green monster, I mean, pacifier in his mouth.  Well, Kade is/was extremely attached to his paci.  

This boy was born to suck.  He got attached to his paci about four hours after birth, when I realized I couldn't feed him all...the...time.  

When I got pregnant with Jett, Kade was eight or nine months old (they're 17 months apart - do the math) and I (and kind of Arthur) made the decision to let Kade keep his paci after he turned one.  We took Maya's away the day after she turned one and she was totally fine.  But since Kade LOVES his pacifier, we thought he'd be better off during the transition of adding a new member to the family, and so would we;  we'd approach taking it away when we needed to cross that bridge.  With the new baby, we just let him keep it...and he kept it...and kept it. 

At about 18 months, we started only having it for naps and bedtime.  I was ready to just let him keep it until he went off to college, but at the same time knew that wouldn't be a good idea.  Finally, Arthur and I started discussing 'Marvin's' (we called it that so he wouldn't know what we were talking about) time frame about a week before his second birthday.

We did it...COLD TURKEY!  The first few naps and bedtimes were a nightmare and after about a week he didn't cry at bedtime and he didn't ask for it a million times.  It's been about a month and he only asks for it maybe twice a week.  We just tell him that the paci is no more and he asks for something his soccer!!!

I'll be the first to admit that I was one of those moms that couldn't believe someone would let their kid have a pacifier out and about after they turned one.  Well, here she is, in the flesh, taking back those feelings and apologizing to anyone I may have looked at funny or judged; my boy is, well was, the paci KING!! He still would be if we'd let him. 

I'm glad this part of Kade's life is over.  I was very anxious about taking it away, but relieved it went as smooth as it did.  Here's to breaking habits and creating new ones!!  You'll thank us one day Kade.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Little Mister

This sweet little boy turned two on October 10th.  We had a little celebration complete with blue cupcakes and a soccer ball.

We were lucky enough to have cousins come up and visit that day.  I didn't take any pictures of them here and I'm mad at myself for that.  Next time.

For about two weeks straight he asked me to help him put these on him at one point during the day.

This is usually what he does when I say 'SMILE.'  This is the soccer ball he got from us and he does not let it out of his sight.  He'll even sleep with it some nights.

Showing off his new swag.

We had such a fun night making it all about our sweet gentle giant.  He is such a joy to have in our family.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Pumpkin spice & everything spooky."

Last week was Halloween and it was our first one in Utah.  Since we live in an apartment complex, we were really looking for somewhere to go so the kids could have a legit experience.  After talking with Arthur, we decided we would hit up his work Halloween party and then head over to my brother and sis-in-law's house to trick-or-treat around their neighborhood.

The day began like any other and as soon as I mentioned we were going to go somewhere, besides sit around inside all day, the kids were so excited.  The morning seemed to drag along, kind of like any morning would when you know there's something super fun to do later in the day.  We got in the car and headed to Qualtrics (Arthur's work) to do some pre-trick-or-treating trick-or-treating.

Our pretty princess

"I am Ironman."  He's lucky we found something for him...I almost put him in one of Maya's hand-me-downs, a pink cupcake.

No this is not a picture of Maya when she was a baby...but they do look very similar. Jett with the chicken outfit on.

Qualtrics provided dinner; broccoli cheddar soup in bread bowls and salad.  Broccoli cheddar soup is a favorite around these parts, so the kids were looking forward to gobbling some of that up!!  

There was a Minon wandering around the party that Maya was dying to go see.  We snapped this shot of her and 'him.'  There wasn't a whole lot of walking around to get candy...Russell from Up was sitting at a station putting handfuls of candy into kids' buckets, and I mean HANDFULS.  See the above pics...Maya had only been to Russell's station once and ended up with a full bucket.

After that, we headed over to west Provo and hung out at my brother's house.  

We had a fun group.  The cousins were a cowgirl, a painter, a friendly witch, a mouse, and a baby bear.  Their parents were Superman and a mama bear.

Our kids had so much fun trick-or-treating together; hopefully we can continue doing it until we have an awesome neighborhood like they do.

After the kids set out with the dads, sis-in-law and I went back to the house to hand out candy.  My parents flew in for baby bear's blessing and they made it a few days early to be a part of the festivities.  It was so fun to see them.

Halloween was definitely a success this year.  Maya, Kade, and Jett had a great time...let's hope to an amazing and fun time next year.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Gratitude changes everything."

I honestly don't have the energy to think and write anything more than a few things that I am grateful for.

I'm grateful for a healthy body that allows me to do pretty much anything I want.

I'm grateful for a family that loves me unconditionally.

I'm grateful for technology.

I'm grateful for my husband's job.

There are plenty of other things that I'm grateful for, but I'll continue the list another day...and muster up some energy to write a bit more about the things I'm thankful for.

I hope we can have an attitude of gratitude as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.  Let's also hope that that attitude will continue on even after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"They say everything happens for a reason..sometimes I just wish I knew why."

Last Mother's Day, May 12th, Maya fell off the back of our couch and broke her arm.

It instantly swelled up so we knew something was wrong.

It was late and she had gotten out of bed and wanted to hang out with us.  I had told her five minutes and it had reached the point where she had been told to go to bed two or three times.  She was playing up on the back of the couch and I mentioned she should get down because we don't sit on the backs of couches.  Well, she got down alright...she fell of the back.  Her arm swelled up so fast.  I was prepared to get mad at her, but when I came around the back of the couch I could tell that something was not right.  

Arthur gave her a blessing, we called a friend to come watch the other kids, and we were on our way to the ER.  The wait was terrible, and by the time we got in to see a doctor, Maya was exhausted, and so were we.  They took an x-ray, and they saw a small break so they put a splint on her arm and had us call the pediatric orthopedic office in the morning.

They couldn't see her until two weeks from then and I was concerned that that was too long, but she reassured me that they like to wait that long so the bone has some time to heal a bit and the swelling has gone down.

Once we got into the doctor's office, they took an x-ray and the ped ortho surgeon says that she'll need to have surgery because the break was a bone chip.  It was hard to see on the initial x-ray at the ER because of the swelling and perhaps Maya not remaining still during the x-ray.  She was scheduled for the day after Memorial Day to have two pins put in to place the bone.

She had no idea what was coming.  We got her all dressed for the surgery and they gave her a little cocktail of meds to settle her down.  When the nurse came in 30 min later, Maya was still super up-ity.  She was a little confused and thought she hadn't had her meds yet.  Well, she had and our little Maya just reacts to meds differently than other kids.  They have the opposite reaction on her...instead of sedating, they made her a little bit excited and hyper.

She finally settled down and they wheeled her out and I began to wait.

About an hour later, the surgeon came out and said everything went great and that they'd call me back to be with her while she came out of the anesthesia.  I'm pretty sure that is the worst thing for a mother to have to watch...their child coming out of general anesthesia.  She had no idea what was going on and she was in a lot of pain.  The nurse put some medication in her IV but it didn't help.  So, she pushed some more meds...nothing, Maya was still very agitated and sad.  The nurse looked at me and said, "usually kids are knocked out after I give them this medicine."  She put SOME MORE meds in her IV and still Maya was complaining about pain.  The nurse said, "I can only do one more dose. After than I'm not sure because I've never had a kid not fall asleep after one or two doses."  Oh geez, our little freak of nature.

She finally fell asleep and stayed asleep for about two hours.  I think they like to discharge an outpatient pretty quickly after they come out of the anesthesia, but since Maya had such a hard time and they had to knock her out, they had her recover in a different area of the department.  We finally were headed home after about six hours from the time we got there.

Car ride home - she was pretty out of it.

After about a week after the surgery, we went back to get another x-ray to see how the healing was going.  It was going great so they put another splint on and sent us off for another four weeks.

On July 5th, we went in to get her splint off and the pins removed.  She was so happy to have that thing off.  I was so happy that she could take a normal bath and finally go swimming.  It had been a hot summer and since swimming was out of the question, we had to get creative.

I wondered why she had to break her arm and Arthur kept saying to me, "If not now, then later.  Let's be glad it's now and not later."  I am glad it happened when it did, I just hope our gal can keep off the back of couches and her feet underneath her.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Though she be but little, she is fierce." - Shakespeare

Maya one day old

Maya was born five weeks early; she measured at 29 weeks.  She was 3 lbs. 10 oz. and 17 3/4 in. long.  She was just a tiny thing and boy was I scared.  We call her our miracle.

I started having high blood pressure at 34 weeks.  High BP is a sign of pre-eclampsia.  This is dangerous for both mama and baby.  I was put on bed rest and a week later I was being told that my daughter wasn't thriving so I'd have to deliver her that night (or get the labor process started).  I was terrified.

She was born the next morning and rushed to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  I was expecting that so I didn't feel confused or surprised.  Arthur went with her and the nurses got me ready to be transferred to the Mommy/Baby Unit.  It was strange having visitors and I didn't have anything to show baby was down the hall where only parents and one or two family members were allowed.  

She spend 14 days in the NICU; a very long 14 days.  My mom and dad started making their way to Idaho the minute Maya was born.  During those 14 days, my mom was here for about half and it was so nice to have her around.  She drove me to the hospital to be a part of Maya's feedings and baths.

On Christmas Eve, Arthur and I went to visit with Maya, like any other day, and some of our friends, whose baby was in the NICU too, were there with their car seat and diaper bag.  I was so jealous that they were getting to take their daughter home.  Once we got settled with Maya and after saying our hellos to the wonderful nurses, they came over to us and said, "Would you like to take her home today?"  Um, yes!!!  So, Maya went through all kinds of tests to be sure she was ready to make the five minute drive home.  She had to keep her oxygen levels up, which she'd been doing fine already; she had to be able to ride in her car seat for an hour without her stats dropping, which she failed; and she had to be eating all her meals on her own from a bottle, which she had been doing for about six days.  

Since she failed the car seat test, they had a fix for that...they gave us a car seat bed.  

It's a pretty simple contraption, but it was such a chore getting her in and out of that thing.  I couldn't wait until she was big enough for HER car seat.  We took her home and she weighed 4 lbs. 8 oz.  We couldn't believe how much she had grown in that short amount of time, but she was still teeny tiny.

People who know her now, have no idea she was born premature.  She is a strong-willed, healthy little girl that pushes the boundaries everyday.  She knows how to get her brothers all riled up and knows how to have a good time.

Love you Maya!!!