Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christmas Surprise!!!

Last September we bought plane tickets to fly to Utah for Christmas but didn't tell the kids. It was hard not telling them cause we knew they would be so excited. We also knew that's all they would think about, talk about and ask about. We wanted to still do our Christmas traditions here and have them enjoy everything before hand too. Plus, I love a good surprise. Sunday the 22 Nd we told the kids when they woke up we had something to tell them. They woke to all they're bags packed, a couple of gifts from us and a sign that said " your bags are packed for Utah!" We unwrapped presents, finished packing and drove to Cincinnati. The kids were so surprised and excited.  Definitely a Christmas to remember.  


The first part of December can be described by 2 words, nativity festival. A couple of months before I was asked to head of up the design and set up for the Bi-stake nativity festival. To be honest I said yes, cause I love the person who asked  me but I wasn't excited about it and a little overwhelmed considering I've never been to the festival before. It was a lot of work but in the process I met some amazing people and everything turned out beautiful. 

In the years past they had the nativities set up against the wall and had overhead lighting on. My goal was to only use lamps and Christmas lights and we did it. I made all the garlands out of fresh pine. The rooms smelt yummy. I loved how all the rooms turned out, it was worth the hours and hours and hours.....

Ugly sweater party 

Kev and deb were in Tennessee for work so we drove half way to have dinner with them. we miss them!!!

Our Christmas card picture...

The runner up...

Presents for the grandparents

I had a great idea for presents for the grandparents- home made wind-chimes. The kids would paint the cans and I would put them together. Well, the kids had more fun painting themselves and I forgot to bring the wind chimes out to Utah with us:) oh well. 

Salvation Army

A friend of ours invited us to help them sponsor a Salvation Army bucket by ringing the bell for an hour and taking donations.  It was freezing but it was one of our favorite things we did this Christmas season. The kids loved ringing the bell and seeing how generous people were. It opened up a great family discussion on the poor and needy and how we as a family can give more of our time and money to the less fortunate. It was a great opportunity to serve and see the good in people too. This will become a Christmas tradition! 

"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry that need to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will to your surprise miss them profoundly."
- president Monson

Crazy love them. 


These girls (and joe and the kids) came for Thanksgiving!!!! Besides the raw turkey, the week was perfect. I didn't want it to end. These girls bring out the best in me- I love love love them!

Mac and gray were both fighting over McKinnely. At lunch Gray was sitting by McKinnly and Mac said " McKinnly you can never trust gray, he hurts people." It was hilarious!!

Southern lights. Mac and gray rode the camel. Mac awkwardly held on to the camel and yelled " is it over yet?!"

Mj playing the ukulele while the kids dance
The kids were a dream. They played perfectly! Annie loved her girls and so did the boys.


I've debated posting this here on the blog but I feel like I want this in our family book. 

Drew and I have been trying to have a baby since June of 2012. After 9 months of no luck we both had test done and everything looked fine- nothing wrong. I remember last August being a super hard month. I so desperately wanted a baby and had always thought I would have a spring baby and finding out yet again we weren't pregnant was hard. After more priesthood blessings, I was reminded that we would have a baby in the near future, and God was aware of our situation.  Well, in September we got good news. We were pregnant, we would have a baby around may 7! I needed this. A week later i started feeling sick and man was I happy! I usually don't enjoy this time but the year of wanting, made me excited for all the things pregnancy brings. 

As the weeks went on I noticed some spotting. Around 9 weeks, it got worse but I wasn't too worried, this isn't abnormal for me. When we went to our 10 week appointment things didn't look so good. The ultrasound found that the baby did have a heart beat but was only measuring at 6 weeks. The doctor said I must have my dates wrong or it wasnt developing right but to come back the next week and see if the baby had grown. I knew right then we would miscarry. It was just like my first miscarriage. I was devastated. Logically I knew this was part of life and the baby wasn't developing right and it's better to loose it now than later. But non of that was comforting. 

A couple of friends knew I was pregnant out here. They all checked in on me to see how the appointment went. I'm blessed with good friends that stepped in and comforted me and cried with me. When drew got home from work, I asked for another blessing. The blessing confirmed my feelings and we both knew we would miscarry. My parents came into town that night. We took the week slow and I ended up miscarrying  Friday night October 11. 

It was a blessing that my parents were there. The kids never knew anything was wrong. They took care of them and kept me positive and out of the "sorry for myself" funk. The next couple of weeks were hard. I would think I was fine and then totally loose it and cry myself to sleep. Once the hormones leveled off I was better. 

Things like this are hard to go through but the comfort and love I felt going through it brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and I'm grateful for that.