Thursday, March 31, 2011

I have so many thoughts and experiences to write down. The last almost 3 weeks has been the most difficult and most incredible of my life. And nothing even happened to ME. But I am so grateful for the test because I am learning so much! Maybe this weekend with conference things will be calmer and I will have time to share some incredible miracles I've seen recently. I need them written before I forget. Until then, I'm so tired I can barely type. Good night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I don't want to post. I don't want Sammy's face to slip down beneath new posts. I love pulling up my blog each day and seeing her. Tuesday Sammy is what we call that picture. :) Tuesday was such a good day. There was so much to smile and laugh about. Sammy was so snugly and sweet and smiley! Tuesday was such a good day!

And there are still good days. There are still things to laugh and smile about. It's just shadowed by this melancholy feeling. This loss to us all. We can laugh and joke and play. We can enjoy our children. But beneath it all we are all worried and sad. We are all trying to grieve our own minuscule loss while doing everything we can (which is so very little) to help our dear friends.

I hope I don't ever sound like I'm bringing this loss back to me as I post. I will never deny that I am also grieving for Sammy. I miss her. I ache to hold her. I cry for her daily. But my missing and my ache and my tears are NOTHING compared to the missing and ache and tears of her mother and father and family.

The reason I say that is because I talk here about me. This is my place. My journal. I write my feelings and no one else's. And I don't want that to sound as if I'm making this loss about me. I can only write my side of this story. And that is what I will put here. And I don't want that to be read the wrong way. Because I have already watched others make this about them and it makes me so very angry!!!

We have a strange little group here. Strange in the most wonderful way. We see each other almost daily, and when we don't we are texting or talking or whatever. We laugh and have ridiculous inside jokes and share way too much with each other. We drive our husband's crazy. But we love and support each other in a way that I don't think most women understand. I don't think many women have what we have. And it has been such a blessing in the last week and a half!

Sammy's passing has been all consuming for us. We have spent countless hours together talking and crying and laughing and remembering and wondering how to help and planning meals and childcare and cleaning and finding anything and everything we can do to keep our minds from wandering to our own grief.

I found myself talking with one friend yesterday about how overwhelming it has been at times. I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I found myself wishing for a break. Just a day or two to relax and do nothing and to escape it all. To just not remember and to get away. And my next immediate thought is Laura. How I'm sure she wishes that she could have a break. For just a day or two. To relax and to do nothing and to not remember her hurt and pain. How she and Kasey must be so desperate to go back to Saturday. How they would trade in all the stress and worry of that day just to have their Sammy back in their arms.

And I am then reminded that I must turn to my Savior. I NEED His strength. I need Him to carry me through my physical and emotional exhaustion so that I can ease theirs. I need Him to make my hands His so that I can serve them as He would. I need Him to make my lips His so that I can find the words that He would have spoken to them. I need to make my arms His so that when I embrace my friends they can feel His love. I need to become like Him so that they feel Him near when they are near me. So that they can feel near their perfect Sammy when they are near me. I need to be more like Him so that I can feel that peace and strength that I need so desperately right now.

I keep wondering how we are here. How I am not just a child watching my mother and all of the grownups around plan a funeral and make meals and help with kids. How is this happening to MY friends? How are we here? How has this happened? How was she here one beautiful moment and gone the next? But none of that wondering matters. What matters is what I allow Sammy to teach me. She served and is still serving her mission for our Father in Heaven. She came to teach me to serve and to love and to live better. She came to show me what perfection is so that I can strive to emulate her life. She came so that I could learn to be like Sammy, in and turn, so that I could learn to be like my Savior.

What a gift to have known Sweet Sammy. To have loved her and to have held her. To have been taught by a perfect angel of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I can't tell you how much I am missing Sammy tonight. And I wasn't even lucky enough to be her mother. Laura posted about her passing on their blog. I'm hoping she won't mind me sharing this. But I also wanted to ask a favor. We have set up a memorial fund for the family to help with the cost of funeral and other expenses. I know not everyone will want to or can contribute, but if you do you can go to any Wells Fargo branch and donate to the memorial fund for Kasey and/or Laura Nielson in memory of little Sammy. Every little bit adds up. Thank you so much again for your love and support.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We need your prayers.

One of my very best, closest, sweetest friends in the whole world lost her precious 2 month old daughter yesterday morning. I was there. It was a scary morning. And the day was heartbreaking and hard and busy. It was full of tears. Tears because although we KNOW without any shadow of a doubt that we will all be reunited to this amazing little angel one day, and that she is sealed to her family for eternity, and that she is at peace with her Savior and Heavenly Father and loved ones who have gone before her, although we have that knowledge our hearts are all aching with missing her. And my heart is aching for her family. I just wish I could change things and somehow make it better. I just wish I could make it Saturday again. And I can't. All I can do is love them through this along with family and other friends.

I know that they are surrounded by an army of angels during this devastating time. I know the Lord is watching over them. But they need your prayers. We all need your prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Job!!!

Jason got a new job this week! An offer came from a competitor of his current employer and we couldn't resist. Same job, but with a promotion and a pay raise! Although slightly less hours which makes the pay raise equal our current income...BUT FOR LESS WORK!! Meaning he's HOME more often!! YAY!!!!

To be exact, instead of working for 2 straight weeks and then only having one week off (or less), he'll now work for those two weeks and then have TWO whole weeks home! And there are so many other benefits! Most importantly, he'll be more respected at this new company. Plus he's getting his foot in the door early which provides more opportunity for working his way up in the company down the road.

Initially we didn't think we wanted to change companies. He's spent 2 1/2 years working at his current job and didn't want to start over. We were comfortable. We weren't looking for a change. But we researched and prayed and it has just fallen into place and felt right. Surprise to us! And now we're so excited about the new opportunities headed our way!

And what am I most excited about?? Well, twice as much time with my hot hubby, of course!!! :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's a...........................


We've made it half way! Can you believe it? I don't know that I do quite yet. I'm getting more and more confident with this pregnancy after so many losses, but at the same time a part of me is constantly holding back. And I'm told from other women who have experienced the same that it's pretty normal to always be a little reserved.

But reservations or not, I'm fairly certain that THIS pregnancy WILL indeed lead to a baby when all is said and done. :) Which is really exciting after the last year and a half.

So now that we're twenty weeks we've had our big ultrasound. And as you've probably figured out, we chose not to find out the gender. Well, I decided. We both wanted to know with Payson, but I was up for the surprise with Jack. Jason couldn't handle the suspense, so we negotiated. I made Jason promise that if we found out with Jack, that regardless of gender, we would be surprised for our third.

That promise was made FOUR years ago, but Jason was still hoping up until the absolute last second that I would change my mind. Of course, he was surprised when I didn't. And now the ultrasound tech has probably forgotten whatever she did or didn't see and it isn't written anywhere, so no one will know until July!!

I'm pretty excited for that moment of suspense when Jason can finally take a peek and tell me what this loved little one is. I think that will be a pretty spectacular moment. And since we've never done the surprise thing before it's really fun to change things up this time around.

Anyway, our appointment went really well. Everything went great. Baby looked beautiful and was measuring on the large side, which didn't surprise me in the slightest. We make big babies. :) (Jack was 8 lb 9 oz at 6 days early. Payson was the biggest preemie to have ever existed. At 4 1/2 weeks early she was 6 lb 14 oz!! She was such a giant compared to the 3 and 4 pound babies in the NICU beds next to her.)

We got some funny little shots of baby's arms. One clenched in a masculine fist:

With the other draped dramatically and daintily across his/her forehead:

Giving us no indication of whether or not this is a him or a her. :)

We also got a peek at the cute little piggies we'll be counting in just a few short months:

But mostly I was just thrilled to see this sweet little profile and know that everything was okay. Heart beating away, everything growing as it should, and baby squirming plenty to reassure mama. :)

I seriously can't wait to kiss those sweet little lips!!!! I'm teary eyed just thinking about those
first few moments. This little one has had us hoping and praying and waiting for such a long time. He/she is so loved already! Oh baby, I hope you know how much we adore you! Your big brother and big sister are just elated to meet you! They have so much they want to show and teach you! Some good...some naughty. :) But they love you just as much as your daddy and I do! Keep on growing in there. I'm enjoying every little flutter and kick. Not the heartburn and aches and stretching so much, but I'd go through so much worse for you! We love you and can't wait to meet you!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Some things really should be planned out better.

I started a project last Saturday. File Folder Games. From this site. They're awesome. And there are TONS to choose from.

Anyway, I had this genius idea. I was going to download a TON. Because they're only a buck! I have five. And my kids have used and abused them. I wasn't smart enough the first time around. I laminated the game and the pieces, but not the entire folder and now they are falling apart. Anyway, we needed new ones. So I downloaded a ton. For cheap! And I was going to put them all together and punch holes in them and throw them in a 3-ring binder and haul it to church to entertain the kiddos every week. I joked that the binder would be like my husband, my extra set of hands when he wasn't there to help me. :)

Another reason my plan was genius? Because the first time around I had black and white pages that I had to color. Blah. It took me 4 straight sessions of conference a few years ago. So if I got them online I could download and print the color copies!! Sweet! Time saver!

Part three of my genius plan? I was going to keep a copy filed away on paper and make a copy on cardstock to use. The paper copy would come in handy when a piece was lost or a game was ruined. I could easily duplicate the missing piece of recreate the game without having to re-download or pay for anything.

Well, after spending an entire afternoon on Saturday browsing, downloading, and printing (and also running to the store for more ink cartridges because these suckers take up a LOT of ink!), I realized I had gotten myself into a much bigger project than anticipated.

Cost of ink alone had more than tripled my planned cost. Geez!!! Then I still needed to make copies! And cut, and laminate, and cut, and buy folders and velcro and binders, etc.

Turns out my quick $20 or so project has turned into 4 straight days of my life and over $150. YIKES!!!! I was joking with Jason and a friend that if I expect this project to last for at least 10 years, I've spent about $0.25 a Sunday for those following 10 years. Just wish I could have spread out the cost...and time...a little.

So far I have browsed, downloaded, printed, cut, glued, laminated, and cut some more. I still have plenty of cutting left to do, as well as adhering velcro and punching holes to put the folders in the binders. But there is finally an end in sight! I'll definitely post pictures of the crazy awesome, crazy difficult process later this week...that is, IF I finish it all this week! :)