Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Riddance 2010!!!

The year 2010 is over!!

How do I put this nicely...2010 was a year from Hell for us!!

I am so glad to see it go. I am so excited for what waits just around the corner in 2011.

Since we closed/sold for nothing both restaurants, we have been scrapping by. Just as we got to the bottom of the barrel with absolutely nothing left to scrape, Marcus received an incredible job offer. He doesn't start until mid-January so the next few weeks are going to be tricky. (Too bad neither one of us has an extra kidney to sell..) But I am so excited for Marcus to have this great opportunity and I am so excited for our family to get back to normal as we can be anyway.

We have many great opportunities waiting for us. We have learned a lot this past year about ourselves, about each other and about our family. I think Marcus and I have both grown a lot (and I'm not just talking about all the extra weight I have gained this year) and we are both better people for the trials we have experienced.

I am very glad to close the door on 2010 and can't wait for 2011. Great things are on the horizon for us.

Marcus and I plan on bringing the new year in in style!! Every year we have done something big: Disneyland, Denver, First Night in SLC or have had parties at our house with friends. This year we both just wanted to stay home. So it'll be just the two of us at midnight sitting in our pj's eating lots and lots of food. No traveling required. No mess to clean up. Just the two of us bringing in the New Year together.

Here's to hoping you all have a great and safe New Year!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

From Our Family To Yours...

We HoPe YoU HaVe A GrEaT HoLiDaY SeAsOn!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Our Adoption Story Part Two...

Read the first part of our story here.

I decided to go to Sacrament and wait to call the adoption agency back. I NEVER EVER take my phone to church with me. For some reason, I felt a very strong prompting to take it into Sacrament with me. (Yes, I have since repented.) :) During the opening song, I felt very strongly that I should check my phone. Why? Everyone who calls me knows that I am in church and Marcus has been on an airplane for a few hours. I wasn't expecting any phone calls. But I decide to check my phone anyway. I had just missed a call from Marcus!! How did that work? He was high in the sky flying to Georgia for three weeks. I grabbed my jacket and went outside to call him back.

I call him while he was on the phone with Jane, who works with the agency we were using.

Marcus had been upgraded to first class and had a big comfy chair. Marcus being Marcus, he immediately fell asleep. He woke up an hour and a half later, and they were still on the ground. He asks his buddy who is with him what's going on and he told him that there was something wrong with a water tank or something so they had to get that fixed, and then as soon as that had been fixed, one of the engines was having trouble. They went back to the gate so a mechanic could check out the engine. The flight attendant told them they could turn their phones back on and let anybody who may be waiting for any of them know that they were going to be late. Marcus didn't have anyone to call; he didn't have to be to work until Monday and I was at church. He felt like he really needed to turn on his phone though. When he turned on his phone, he had two voice mails; one from Jane and one from me..completely freaking out. He tried to call me, but my phone was on vibrate, so I didn't hear it. He then called Jane to get more details.

There was a beautiful 12 month old little boy who needed a home. He had been living with his birth family, but because of some circumstances, his birth mom knew he needed a better life. He was in Alabama, but he, along with his birth mom and sister would be flying into Utah the next day. Were we interested in adopting him?

Marcus told Jane that he couldn't make this decision without talking to me and there was no way of getting a hold of me and he was on his way out of the state. The situation wasn't really what we had planned on, (we originally wanted a newborn baby girl.) and he had to talk to me first. Just then, I called him. He hung up with Jane and gave me a rundown of what was said. He asked me, "Do we do this?" I thought about it for probably two seconds and then said without a doubt in my mind, "Yes". As soon as we had decided, the door to the plane opened. (I still get chills even now writing this.) It's as if the Lord was saying, "I made a way for this to happen, now get off the plane and go get your baby." Marcus told the flight attendant he had to get off the plane because we had to go get our baby. She said that he must have been the reason the plane was having all the problems.

I had to sneak back in to Sacrament and tell our friends to let someone know I wouldn't be in Primary that day. (I was over the singing in Primary at the time.) I left straight from the church to go to the airport to get Marcus; we had a lot to get ready for the arrival of our little boy.

After we stayed up pretty much all night, went to Walgreens at 2 in the morning to get copies of our family scrapbook and finished all the paper work, we were ready to meet our little boy. But..we had to wait until about 9:00 that night. We met Christian and his family at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Gateway. I can't even begin to try to explain our emotions that night. I was so nervous; I was sick to my stomach. What do you say to the person that is going to make all your dreams come true?? After we waited for what seemed like an eternity, in walked Tammie, (Christian's birth mom) carrying the cutest little boy with the biggest brown eyes and chubbiest cheeks in the world.

We had dinner and a nice time with everyone and made plans to meet up the next day. We went to Wingers for lunch and got to talk some more and ask questions. After lunch, we took them back to their hotel. We weren't suppose to get to bring Christian home until Tammie had signed the papers, but she insisted on us bringing Christian home. We got to bring our baby home that night!!

The next morning we signed all the papers and made everything "official." We took everyone to The Treehouse Museum to play. After that, we took Tammie back to the hotel for the last goodbye; she was flying back to Alabama the next morning. I still can't talk about this day without crying. Yes, I was becoming a mommy finally, but I was also taking away someone's baby. When we were getting ready to go, Summer (Christian's sister who was three at the time) came and grabbed my leg and said, "Leave Kitchen here. Don't take Kitchen." (She called Christian Kitchen because she couldn't say his name.) This broke my heart and it took every ounce of self control I had to not completely lose it right then and there. Tammie patted Christian on his back and said, "Bye, Buddy" and we left. That was it. The second the door closed, I was bawling. Adoption is such an emotional thing. I was finally a mommy. I had my own baby. But Tammie's heart was breaking. She gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. She is my hero.

We came home to a little party. Marcus' family all came over to welcome Christian home.

There never really seemed to be a big adjustment period for Christian or for us. Everything just seemed so natural right from the beginning. I have loved this little boy since the minute I laid my eyes on him. If my faith is every wavering, all I have to do is think about all the miracles that happened to bring this little boy home. This was definitely the Lord's work, and for that, I am forever thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Adoption Story Part One...

Since November is National Adoption Month, I figured this would be a great time to FINALLY share our adoption story. I'm going to break it up into at least two different posts because it is pretty lengthy. It may have happened almost five years ago, but I remember every detail and want to share our story of faith, love and how we became parents to the most wonderful little boy in the world.

Marcus and I were married in April of 2003. By June of that same year, we decided it was time for a baby of our own. We had Marcus' girls here every other week and we had dated for two years before we were married so we both felt it was baby time. It took awhile, but we finally got pregnant. We were so excited and couldn't wait to have our baby. We immediately told everyone and had even picked out a few names. Six weeks into the pregnancy, we lost the baby. At the time, this was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and I honestly didn't know if I would ever be able to pick up the pieces and move on. My heart was shattered and there was nothing anyone could do to fix it. Now, I am thankful for that experience. If we hadn't have had that miscarriage, I would not get to be the mommy to the most awesome little boy ever.

After the miscarriage, we tried and tried and tried to get pregnant again. Nothing happened. We went to doctor after doctor. We saw at least two infertility specialists. Spent thousands of dollars on unsuccessful treatments, drugs, tests and procedures. We had one doctor tell me I would never get pregnant and other doctors would tell us they had no idea why we were not getting pregnant. We had what they call "Unexplained Infertility." Having that as a label made it even worse for me. If I can't get pregnant, I would like to at least know why. Marcus all ready was the father to two children, so of course I knew it was me who was broken. Broken; that's exactly how you feel when you can't do the one thing you know you where put on this earth to do.

Clomid, HSG test, even artificial insemination and nothing. I didn't want to try In Vitro Fertilization. Too much money and no guarantee we would even get pregnant or able to carry the baby to term. Adoption had always been an option to us. It had such a big price tag attached to it, but it was something we both wanted. We could try In Vitro for the same amount of money and possibly have no baby, or we adopt and are finally going to be blessed with a little one to call our own. I knew all growing up and into my teenage years that I was going to adopt a beautiful brown little boy. This was before I knew who I was going to marry or that I wasn't going to be able to get pregnant. In the back of my mind, I just knew there was a wonderful little boy out there somewhere that someday was going to call me mommy.

I mentioned to Marcus that if we are going to look at adoption, that I wanted to adopt an African American baby. There was never a second of hesitation from either one of us. We knew what we were suppose to do, now we just needed to find the means to do it with. One night, I was in the bathtub and Marcus was on our bed looking at adoption agencies on his laptop. He says, "I found the agency where we are going to get our baby from." I'm thinking, "Uh huh..whatever." But unfortunately, he was right. (I hate it when that happens.) :)

We called Heart and Soul Adoptions and got the ball rolling. We got the paperwork we were suppose to fill out, got our home study done by the best Social Worker in the world, and were just getting ready to wait the long wait for a baby. Eleven days after we contacted the agency, two days after our home study and before our paperwork was even filled out completely and handed in, we got THE phone call. There were only two problems with the phone call: 1. I had missed the original call and was on my way to church and 2. Marcus was on an airplane with his phone off and was going to be gone for three weeks. What was I suppose to do?? If I couldn't get a hold of Marcus and call the agency back, would they skip over us? Should I just call them without talking to Marcus first? Could I make a decision like that on my own? Needless to say, I was freaking out!!

More story to come and there will be cute pictures too!!! ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!!!

We have had a lot of fun this past week. We started out by going to Draper to go with my sister and her girls to a little Halloween Party at one of their parks. Neither one of the munchkins would wear their jackets, so of course they were both freezing and a tad on the whiny side. We played some games, got our pictures taken, faces painted and waited in line FOREVER for some popcorn and cotton candy. After the party, we went back to my sister's house for pizza. We didn't get home until after 11 pm...yes, it was a school night. I know, I know....

They were a little hesitant at first to take the candy from "Freakenstien" as Emma calls him.

Christian and Madeleine were very excited to do the race...

Emma..not so much. She just stood there. You could not get that girl to move.

On Friday night, we carved and painted our pumpkins. I have never been a huge fan of carving pumpkins, so I let Marcus help the little ones carve their pumpkins.

Emma painted her little pumpkin she chose at the pumpkin patch where she went on her field trip.

Leave it to Marcus to get out the power tools to carve the pumpkins. What ever happened to a good old sharp knife?

This was Christian's pumpkin.

This was Jessi's pumpkin..Taylor was at a party that night and I wasn't around the next day to get pictures of her doing her pumpkin.

I didn't even attempt to carve a pumpkin. I used good old trusty markers instead.

Halloween night, my sister and her girls came down to go to our trunk or treat with us. Here are four of the goblins in their costumes.

Here are the other two goblins with Emma and Christian at the church.

We had soups and breads outside before the trunk or treat started. Of course, it started to rain and everything had to be moved inside. It was complete and total CHAOS!!!

Christian wanted to be done trick or treating before we were even close to being finished. He went and helped Marcus hand out candy.

Me and my Hulk. Cutest Hulk Ever!!!

The two butterflies.

I honestly think Christian's favorite part of the night was staying home handing out candy to the trick or treaters we got at our house.

After the trunk of treat, we came and went to a few houses around the neighborhood. It was a good Halloween, but I am glad I it's over. I've all ready started to take down the decorations.

Hope you had a great Halloween too!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Worms, Witches and Butterflies...Oh My!!

We had a Daddy/Daughter Halloween Party for Young Women's tonight. It turned out really cute. We were all suppose to make fun little treats for the party, and oh boy! did I deliver!! I made worms...yup...worms. They turned out great and weren't too hard, besides the fact that my fingers still hurt.

This is all you need to make creepy, crawly, VERY realistic looking worms.

It does help to have an adorable helper though.

You need LOTS of straws.

After the mix stays in the fridge all night, this is what it looks like before you empty the straws.

And TA DA!!!! Ohhy, gooey worms!!

The hardest part of making the worms is getting the set up mixture out of the straws; you have to use a rolling pin and your fingers. My hands are stained red and pretty sore.
The worms were a hit though!! It was fun to see everyone's reaction. I found the idea here. There are bunch of fun Halloween ideas on the site.

I also made these cute little witch hats. Making the ribbons out of frosting was a little harder than I had anticipated, but Emma helped with the rest and it wasn't too bad.

For lunch I made Christian and Emma these cute Mummy Dogs. They both ended up peeling them and just eating the hot dogs, but they looked cute!

I was feeling pretty crafty and ambitious, so Emma and I made these cute little gift bags for Emma's dance class. Emma sure loves to help me to do anything and everything.

This morning was also Emma's Preschool Halloween Party. She is a Monarch Butterfly this year. I guess she had an emotional day at school; her teacher said the other costumes scared her. She didn't cry, but had a sad little moan coming out of her most of the morning. If she was that scared with kids she knew in costumes, it will be interesting to see how Halloween goes.

She is so stinkin' adorable!!

I didn't want to wear my actual Halloween costume to the Daddy/Daughter party, so I used my cat costume I have had since college. I didn't wear the pants that I used to wear when I used this costume; it was twenty pounds and one child ago. So I improvised and used the crazy tights. I think it worked.

We have more Halloween fun to report on...this is only the beginning!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Can Do Hard Things #1...

I want to start a new series of posts that are entitled I Can Do Hard Things. They will talk about things I struggle with, but I know I can do. This first one was a biggie for me...

I have a very hard time stepping outside of my comfort zone. Doing anything that is new or unfamiliar is a challenge. A few weeks ago, I was invited to a Bloggers' GNO. I didn't know any of the ladies who were going to be there. I only had read one of the ladies blogs and met her for a brief moment when she so kindly donated to our adoption yard sale.

I really wanted to go, but not knowing anyone and just showing up by myself left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have been on this kick lately of feeling that I don't have any friends and I NEVER go and do anything with anyone. (Yes, it was my own personal pity party...nobody likes me. everybody hates me. guess I'll go eat worms.) I thought as an adult, the feelings of worrying what others think and worrying about being accepted would go away..not for me anyway. (Maybe some day when I grow up.) Anyway, I really wanted to go and meet new people and possibly make friends. After a lot of humming and hawing, I finally decided I would go. Marcus didn't think I would actually go because I don't do stuff like that; to show up where I don't know anyone and have to actually talk to strangers was WAYYY out of my comfort zone. But, boy, did I prove him wrong.

Not only did I end up going, but I had the BEST time meeting this awesome girls. And I do hope that the friendships I made that night will last.

These girls are AwEsOmE!!

From left to right:

Tylaine She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.

Carrie Awesome girl!! I feel like I really clicked with Carrie.

Kellie She was nice enough to have all of us crazy girls in her house all night. Even though she told me she thought I was stuck up at first, I still think she is hilarious!! :)

Amy Who needs Google when Amy is around?! She is so smart and nice.

Me--ReMeMbEr the camera adds ten pounds and for some reason, I was the only one it seemed to have applied to.

Laura Laura is soo nice. I think she was my deciding factor in actually going. She sent me a nice little email telling me that I should come to the GNO. So glad she did!!

KyAnn Oh. My. Word. This woman is hilarious!! After just meeting her once, she is someone I all ready look up to. Wish she would share some of her courage and zest for life with me.

Then in this picture, we are all the same except Kellie took the picture and Crystal took her place.

Crystal I have been reading Crystal's blog from the beginning and she is awesome!! If I could have even a fourth of her hotness, I would be set. :)

Everyone of these gals have their own unique personalities and interests. I felt like I belonged. I didn't feel judged or inadequate at all. I don't think I have ever felt more comfortable right from the beginning with a group of people before. I hope we can continue to get together and have as much fun as I did that night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Christian wanted to play soccer this season. He has actually been wanting me to sign him up for a couple of years now, but between baseball and basketball, I didn't think we needed soccer in there too. But, being the push over that I am, Christian is now on the Blue Dragons. They have been playing all fall with the last game of the season being on Saturday.

Christian is one of those kids that is just naturally good at anything he tries to do. I'm waiting for him to find something he doesn't enjoy and isn't good at...not listening to me doesn't count.
Anywho...he has really enjoyed this season of Soccer. Here are some action shots of him playing. The other day he scored three goals in one game. That's my boy!!

What a STUD!!

Last day of soccer is this Saturday, and then basketball starts next Saturday. He has so much energy; we have to keep him busy!! Now Marcus is thinking drum lessons too...we'll see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Mommy, You Are Being Kind of Mean"...

"Mommy, you are being kind of mean." The three year old says this on a regular basis. Usually I am "being mean" when I make her eat her dinner or come in the house when she wants to play outside. But, when she said this to me this morning, she was 100% correct. Mommy was being mean. I was being horrible; it only took the three year old to point this out to me.

Mornings at our house aren't the best. Especially mornings when I didn't get much sleep the night before because two children, who shall remain nameless, wouldn't stay out of my bed. I love my children, but I love my sleep almost as much...sometimes, maybe more. :) So needless to stay, I wasn't on my A game this morning. Trying to get the three of us ready and out the door this morning wasn't going very smoothly. The way I was handling it obviously wasn't making things any better. I was snapping at the both of them and growling over the dumbest things. When Emma pointed out how horrible I was being, it really made me think.

I have noticed lately that I am so short tempered and snappy with Christian and Emma. I don't want to be the mom that is the "mean mom" or the one who is always yelling at the kids. My fuse has been very short lately. Time goes by so fast, and the little ones aren't staying little. These days won't last forever. I need to enjoy the fingerprints on the glass and the dirty socks left in the middle of the floor and the constant picking up of toys. Even the whining and bickering between the kids won't last forever...hopefully anyway.

So the next time Emma wants to play Little People or Barbies or even Potato Heads, I will be there. If Christian wants to go on a bike ride, even if we are in gloves and hats because it's getting so stinking cold, we will go on an awesome bike ride.

I prayed and begged and pleaded to have children. My prayers were answered and I need to appreciate that more. Every moment is precious. My kids deserve a better mommy. I want to hear, "Mommy, you are fun." Thank you Emma for giving me a different outlook on being a Mommy.

Yes, I was put in my place by a three year old.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So What???

So what if I had Diet Coke for breakfast and cereal for lunch today?

So what if I don't think your little dog sitting in your shopping cart wearing a Halloween sweater is a service dog? Can't you read the sign that says "No pets allowed"? Dogs lick their own butts. Your dog licks you while you pet him for being a good dog in the grocery store. You touch the produce I am going to buy. Essentially, I am feeding my children dog butt. Leave your dog at home. It's just nasty. He is not your child.

So what if I am a hypocrite? I tell my children to grab a jacket and not wear flip flops when it's cold outside, then I am the one shivering like a frightened Chihuahua because I am wearing flip flops and no jacket. I make my children wear helmets when they ride their bikes, but don't wear one when I do. First, I hate riding bikes. I only do it for them. Second, I hate wearing helmets. I don't know if I even could suffer more brain damage. I mean, come on, have you met me?!

So what if I steal candy from my kids or make them give me the first bite of anything good they are eating? Someone has to taste it and make sure there isn't poison in it. I'll sacrifice myself for the love of my children.

So what if I think about becoming inactive just so I don't have to sit through Sacrament with Emma? She is pure evil, you know...especially during Sacrament.

So what if I don't let my kids eat cookie dough or cake batter? There are raw eggs in it, you know. My mommy magic makes me immune, so I can eat all the cookie dough and cake batter I want. (That's one of the perks of being the mommy.)

So what if I am deathly afraid of haunted houses? Why would you willfully want to be scared enough to possibly pee yourself? No thank you. You go, I will stay home and make you some nice hot chocolate and have a change of pants ready for you when you get home.

So what if my 13 year old step-daughter tells her friend I bug her? I must be doing my job then, right?

So what if I have three loads of laundry, dishes and vacuuming to do, but instead am sitting here on the computer? I think I know where my kids are. I saw them a few hours ago...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Confessional #1...

I found this fun link up the other day when I was wasting time looking at blogs instead of doing things I should have been doing.

*Even after being in a "blended family" for seven years now, the kinks aren't all ironed out.
*I don't think they ever will be.
*Maybe I am the evil step-mother and not the friend I thought I was.
*The three and five year old have been watching t.v for almost two hours because I don't want to get up to put them in bed.
*Maybe if they stay up late tonight, they will sleep in in the morning.
*You know you are an adult and a parent when sleeping in is 9:00 am.
*I'm thinking of stepping WAY out of my comfort zone tomorrow night and going to a meet up with a whole group of ladies I don't know.
*I hope they aren't crazy serial killers.
*I want to make new friends.
*I feel like I don't have many friends.
*I need more self confidence.

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Latest Discoveries...

I love finding new things that I like/enjoy/make my life easier. Here are a few things I have discovered the past few weeks that are oh so good.

I am not a fan of McDonald's or a fan of hot chocolate. But McDonald's hot chocolate is super delish!! We were doing a photo shoot up in Logan a couple of weeks ago and at 8 am it was close to 32 degrees. Brrr!!! So now I am obsessed with this stuff. Just in time for cold weather!!

I am trying to not drink as much soda pop as I have been. For about a two month period, I went cold turkey and had NO soda. I let myself have an occasional Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew, but nothing like I was. There was a point in time I was downing like 4-6 cans of Diet Coke a day. That's nasty!! I don't want to drink sugary juices and I can only drink so much plain water before I feel like I am drowning. The Hawaiian Punch Sugar Free drop ins have saved my life. They are so yummy. I add more water than it calls for so the flavor is even less than with a normal bottle of water.

I am not a huge fan of cheese flavored crackers. But these...Oh. My. Gosh!!! I could eat a whole box all by myself. Finding the reduced fat ones are a little harder, but so worth the hunt.

Are you noticing a theme here? Yes, I ReAlLy enjoy food!! I have never tried Nutella until a few weeks ago. I have seen it and heard about it, but never tried it for myself. I now know what was missing in my life. So Good!!

I don't sleep well at nights. My brain doesn't know when to shut off. Or if I do fall asleep, I can't stay asleep. Plus, I usually have two additional bodies in my bed besides Marcus and myself. (I know. I know. Don't let the kids sleep in your bed. That's a whole other post for another time.) Anyway, I read about Melatonin supplements and thought I would try them. They are my lifesaver!! They help me fall asleep, sleep better and when I wake up, I don't have that "I took a sleeping pill last night and now I am going to be loopy all day" feel that I have when I take other sleeping pills. They are awesome!!
Can't wait to go exploring and find me some other goodies.