unpopular but relevant

January 22, 2017

-"Woman with a Parasol" - Madam Monet and Her Son
Painting by Claude Monet
(I received this painting as a gift before having Charlie, and I love it)

"The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity... 
May [women] understand their own great capacity for strength."
-Margaret D. Nadauld

Baby Charlie

January 19, 2017

How did we go from this...

to this so fast? 

Our sweet Charlie is eight weeks old today, and time is flying by. Although he has had more hospital visits and shots than most his age, he remains the most content and consolable baby (in my own biased opinion). He now weighs ten pounds and is 21.5 inches long, though he still only fits in his newborn clothes. He loves to eat, be held, take baths and look at twinkle lights and lamps. He smiles occasionally, but usually keeps a serious and thoughtful look on his face (just like his grandpa). He has his dad's chin and his mother's ability to sleep through anything, (he's already sleeping six-seven hours through the night(!!!)) and is the best part of every day.

As you can tell, Charlie is just as anxious and concerned about hospitals as his parents are 
(though let it be known Primary Children's is amaaazing)

 I didn't know my heart could hurt the way it did when he cried as they took his blood. I am so, so grateful Max was just five minutes away in class and could run right up to the hospital and be with us for that dreadful experience. 

Everything I've ever heard or read when it comes to having children, as cliche as it always sounded, is true. It's often shared on social media, but I've found the words Elizabeth Stone once wrote so perfectly describe the way Motherhood feels: "Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside of your body."


His face. That video. My heart.
I will never be the same.

thanksgiving day

January 11, 2017

We were at dinner with friends when I first started noticing what I thought were just cramps. I wasn't due for two more weeks so I didn't think much of them, at least not until we got home and got ready for bed. I remember telling Max to pull out his phone and start timing what for sure I knew were contractions at that point - I had learned in my birthing class that it would probably take hours, maybe even days, for the contractions to be close enough to have to go to the hospital - (ps. birthing class really deserves a post of its own one day, and so do the forceps the size of salad tongs that they feel the need to pass around... but we'll save that for later).

Sure enough, though, my contractions were coming in at only six minutes apart.

I remember Max giving me a blessing before calling my parents and telling them I was going to the hospital. I also remember feeling a wave a nausea come on and all of a sudden my water breaking. I started to cry at that point. I was terrified.

We walked into the hospital around 12:30 AM. The security guard who buzzed us into the labor and delivery unit smiled when he said "I think it's time." I nervously laughed - I still don't know why at that point I wasn't convinced that that would be the day I would go into labor, but that changed when the nurse who checked us into triage said that I was 90% effaced and 4 cm dilated. I didn't have much time to register what that entirely meant, because the contractions suddenly began coming on stronger and stronger. I remember holding the nurse's hand through one of the more painful ones (her name was Sarah and she was an angel) as Max ran to go park the car and grab my hospital bag.

Sarah held my hand again as Max watched the anesthesiologist put in the epidural and chat about medical school. I admire those who are willing to have a natural birth, because for me that epidural was a gift straight from heaven.

Within four hours I was ready to go. I silently prayed over and over again that my doctor would be the one on call that night. Even though he wasn't, he would still be the doctor to deliver our son, which was just one of the many, many blessings that early Thanksgiving morning.

At about 6 AM, I started to push. I pushed for two and a half long hours, which in retrospect, I'm still amazed I survived. Even with an epidural, the pushing and the crunching and holding my breath soon became exhausting. There were several times I can remember looking up at my Mom and saying over and over, I can't keep doing this; every time she'd reassure me that I could. Finally, just minutes before 8:30 that morning, at 8:27 AM to be exact, I distinctly remember my doctor looking as serious as I had ever seen him. This was it.

Anyone who has been through this will most likely tell you the same thing I always heard, that there are no words to describe the following moments or feelings. I heard his little cry for the first time. I remember looking up at the faces of my own Mom and Dad, and most especially my best friend and my husband Max. I remember realizing that he was now a dad. I remember my tears blurring everyone's faces and this feeling of love that overcame me. It felt so instant and unconditional. I remember the first time they rested this baby boy on my skin, and I remember whispering that I was his mom. Those moments are so sacred and so special. They all will forever be saved in a part of my heart I never knew existed until that Thanksgiving day.


The following hours and days are a blur of love, and exhaustion, of tears and prayers filled with gratitude. Even now, almost two months later, I look down at this baby boy and still can't believe he is ours. I've always believed that families could be together forever, but had no idea how much more that would mean to me when I began a family of my own. Max is the champion of all fathers and husbands, who even though he had his first semester of medical school finals looming when we got home from the hospital, loved and cared for us in a way that will forever cement our relationship. They say that there are no words to describe the love you have for your child, but the same goes for this new aspect of love you will feel for your husband.

I have never felt so thankful as I did that Thanksgiving morning for the plan of happiness, and for this new profound sense of true happiness I was just now experiencing as a new mother. I can honestly say, it was the best day of our lives.

(And just so you know - the first thing the doctor gave me after delivery was an ice cold Diet Coke. It should be noted that this was the best Diet Coke I have ever tasted, and by that act alone, my doctor will always remain one of my true kindred spirits).

the end of 2016

January 2, 2017

Aside from the arrival of our baby boy which will forever be the highlight of our year, I wanted to update my blog regarding the rest of 2016 since my journaling habits are still being graded at an F-.

We had our usual fall getaway to Park City, but this time we went with family instead of friends whose lives and busy schedules are hard to match up with. Still so much fun.

I had an endless to-do list on my phone this fall of things to finish before the baby arrived, and for some reason the night we built the crib as Max watched the World Series will remain one of my favorite memories. Nothing extraordinary about any of it, but for some reason that night remains a special memory for me.

Speaking of Mr. Max, he's still enjoying medical school. It's the one question I'm asked most, aside from anything about becoming a mom, is how is Max enjoying school? I can brag about him since he would never brag about himself, but not only is he excelling, he's top of his class. Maybe I just expected and went into this medical school chapter of our lives thinking this would be the death of our marriage, but it's been surprisingly manageable for both of us. In fact, I think I see him more now than I ever did during his undergrad at BYU (knock on wood). Might I add he makes a very handsome future doctor.

Woof. Third trimester was not good to me or my frame. I ballooned like Violet on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So excuse the picture, but this documents one of our baby showers, which we happened to share with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Heaston Dahl and his wife, who are expecting a baby girl next month. The best part of the night was Heaston assuming that babies have teeth by the time they are three weeks old.

Even though I write more about this special day in the following post, this was one of the first pictures we took of our little Charlie. Some of his nicknames include baby, bubby, sunny, honey, lovey and toad man. I don't know where the last name came from, or his perfect olive skin considering he has ghostly white parents this time of year.

Last but not least, Christmas of course was special this year because we had a family of three. I just wish Christmas could be on a Sunday every year. There is something special about going to church and the reminder of what Christmas is really all about (as I post a picture of a Christmas tree and presents ha ha... this picture will have to suffice).

2016, you were too good to us.

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