Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Maggie's Birth Story

As most of you may have gathered, I was done being pregnant before I could be. I was so miserable from the heat, I was running out of comfortable clothing to wear, and my feet and ankles were the same size as my thighs. Not pretty. I felt swollen and hot. My feet were so bad, that my OB felt pity on me, so he scheduled for me to be induced on July 17. I really didn't want to be induced, but I also really didn't want to be pregnant anymore. On the morning of July 15, I had an appointment scheduled with my OB to check my dilation progress. As of the 11th, I was not dilated, nor effaced. So, I did everything in my power to try to go into labor before the 17th. Robert even drove me out to Studio City to get the Labor Salad. Back to the morning of the 15th. I remember telling Robert that we were going to have a baby today. I don't know what possessed me to say it, but I did. As I was getting ready for my appointment, I was having stronger and stronger contractions. I brushed it off, thinking they were Braxton Hicks, again (I went to the hospital twice for false labor, already). I dropped M.E. off at a friends house, to play. While talking to my friend, I seriously had the most painful contraction ever. I felt it so low, and I thought I was going to cry. I leave my friend's house, get on the freeway, whilst having more painful contractions. Then I realize I'm on empty....so I somehow make it to the gas station, contracting, crying, and pumping gas. I know, now, that I am in true labor. I call my OB right away, he tells me to meet him at the hospital. I drive to my dad's house, so he can drive and I can avoid causing an accident. I call Robert at work and tell him to meet me at the hospital, it's the real thing. Dad dropped me off, Robert put me in a wheel chair, wheeled me to labor and delivery, where DR. S was waiting for us. They prepped me right away, but were concerned that I was only dilated at a 1. I got all my drugs. I wasn't frantic this time around, I was more ready to get this over and done with. I wore a headband as a blindfold again, I swear to you, delivery goes much faster this way. I pushed about 6 times, and out she came. Easy and fast. 7 hours of labor. Magnolia Ann was born on July 15, 2014 at 6:20 PM. Weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 1/4 inches long. Absolutely perfect in every way.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Living In My Own Closet

First of all, the title of this post is not what you may assume. I am not gay. But, I do believe we all have a closet we are either living in, coming out of, or going back in. I believe we all hide something about us that we don't want others to know, aren't comfortable with others knowing, or feel it's no one's business to know. We all struggle with a part of life that may be hard to come to terms with.

Like the title states, 'Living In My Own Closet', I struggle with my own demons, temptations, and feelings about life that may not coincide with my beliefs. And that's okay. It's okay, because I am human. I am supposed to struggle. I am supposed to be tempted. I am supposed to be faced with trials. And it is up to me to fight for my plan of salvation. You see, I made a choice against my temptations and demons, and married my amazing husband in The Temple of The Lord of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We started a family together, and made covenants (promises) with our Heavenly Father to be an eternal family. A family that can be together, forever. Never to be broken apart. My husband will always be my husband, and my daughters will always be my daughters. Even after this life is over.

But, just because I was married in The Temple and have a forever family does not mean I don't struggle. I do. Everyday. My struggles can be painful at times. Physically and mentally. Everyday, I fight this trial. I fight it because I am responsible for other lives that are much more important than an urge I want to act on. And I know, in the long run, being a family forever is much more rewarding and full of happiness than acting on any urge that will only bring a temporary enjoyment that I will later regret. My husband and my children are my eternal happiness.

Sometimes, people think that being LDS (Mormon) means we all have to fit a certain mold. That is simply not true. The Gospel of Christ is perfect, people (even LDS people) are not perfect. We are all just trying to take one day at a time, living the best we know how. And everyday we can choose to progress or digress in our choices. I made the choice to progress, not just for myself, but for my beautiful family. There is no mold. There is only keeping the covenants we made. Do many of us look the same? Yeah. I don't have an answer for that. Maybe the majority of us shop at the same stores. Does that mean I have to or you have to? No. But, that's not what's important. What's important is that you make a choice everyday to progress in your family, work, schooling, faith, etc.

I believe in my faith. I believe in Christ. I believe he died for my demons, struggles, temptations and trials. I believe I will struggle the rest of my life. I believe that I can overcome each day with faith. And if I fall? I believe that Heavenly Father is patient with me. I believe he is patient with all of us. I believe he loves us all, no matter what. That's what a Father should do with all his children; love them and be patient. I know he loves me and knows me personally, and that I can rely on him anytime.

Like I said before, everyone has a closet. Be patient with them. Do not judge them. Just love them as you would want to be loved. Give them hope and support in their trials. Yes, they may fall, but you should still love them and be patient with them. Some people's struggle is more severe and painful than others, but that does not exclude them from being loved by God or by anyone else. It does not mean that Christ didn't die for their trials and struggles. Accept them as a child of God - because that is who we all are.

Maybe, one day, I will open up my closet and let many in, but as for now it is my own and I am not willing to share. I share with those that I feel need to hear they are not alone - but the whole world is not welcome to my business.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Faith, Value Experience #2

A mother's role is of high importance. There is so much that goes into being a faithful mother and raising faithful children. As a wife and mother myself, I know I am not the beacon of perfection - but I am doing all that has been asked of me in the roles that I have gladly chosen. First, I have faith in my Heavenly Father, second, I have faith in the Plan of Salvation and Christ's atonement. Through this, I have learned the importance of teaching my own child faith. We start small, but it sinks in. We have prayer everyday as a family, she attends church and primary regularly with us, and we discuss who Heavenly Father and Jesus are and where we all came from. I have a true testimony of faith and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Young Women's Personal Progress

I am currently the Young Women's 2nd counselor and Personal Progress leader. I love serving in the young women's in our ward, and I love having both callings. The young women are amazing, the leaders I serve with are amazing, and the program is amazing.

While I am serving in these callings, I will be working on my Personal Progress along side the girls. I never completed mine as a teen, and now, adult women are given the opportunity to earn their medallion. I am really excited to be given this opportunity and to learn more about the Gospel, the Atonement, myself, and life skills.

Since I don't write in a journal, I will be using the family blog as my source to record my thoughts and completions. You can follow along with me if you wish. I will also be sharing what we did for Personal Progress night and what value experience we completed. Stay tuned as I update as often as possible.

LDS Young Women Activity Ideas and More!: Personal Progress Motivation

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Preschool - Year 1 - 3 years old

M.E. started preschool the last week of August. They learned about Dinosaurs and went on a dinosaur bone dig, colored and painted pictures, and make cute crafts and science experiments. Right up M.E.'s alley. Though she is creative, she gets bored of painting and coloring, at least with me, but when it comes to science experiments, she is just excited!

Day 1 - Monday 8/26/2013

Each week, the kids learn about a new letter and work on a different experiment. She has had fun making Gak, discovering her 5 senses, and doing a smell/taste test. 
Day 2 - Wednesday 8/28/2013

At the end of the week, the kids bring something to share for share time that has to do with what letter they are learning about. The first week, M.E. took her Pink dragon, the next week she took her Ariel doll for the letter 'A', then the week after that, she took her favorite blankie for the letter 'B'.
Day 3 - Friday 8/30/2013
Took Lisa the Dragon for Share Time

This girl loves preschool and loves making friends. She is enjoying it. We are so glad we found a way to be able to pay for her schooling. An investment into her education is very important to us and it always will be. I know that us showing an interest in her schooling and education will give her the confidence to succeed and strive to go to a great college and become whatever she wants to be. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Letter to my Daughter

Dearest Mary-Elizabeth,

I have thought about the words I want to give you, from my heart, for the past 3 years. As you have grown and as I have gotten to see who you are becoming, I think I finally know what I want to say. My sweet daughter, I love you unconditionally. My heart holds so much love for you that it is too powerful to contain within me. You are a blessing and a miracle to my life - that I now know why our Father in Heaven kept me alive. To bring you to Earth. To grow, to have a body, to share your talents and spiritual gifts, and to become a child of God.

Mary, I will always be honest with you. I will also always know what's best for you, because I am your mother. You grew within me, your spirit and my spirit became one. I will always know best. It's part of being an in-tune mother. If you choose to be a mother, you will also always know best, just be patient for that day. No need to rush it.

I pray for you everyday. I pray that you will take chances, but hesitate only when you feel that still small voice, telling you something isn't right. I pray you will be kind to everyone you meet - even if they are not kind to you. Do not judge them, for they are already judging themselves. I pray you will always be kind to all creatures and plants, God created them all for particular reasons and I hope you respect that. I pray you will learn to watch where you are walking, running, dancing, and twirling - for I am tired of telling you. I pray you will continue to be concerned for others, express how you feel, be faithful, be honest, be creative, stay determined, be giving, fearless, and intelligent.

You will never hear me say that there is no money for college, Christmas, birthday, wedding, mission, etc. These are important traditions in your life, that your Father and I will fulfill when the time comes. I don't ever want you to worry about our finances. That is not your job. We have already sacrificed for you to attend preschool, because your education is that important to us. And when the time comes to choosing an extracurricular activity, fret not, you will be able to participate, for that is how we discover and develop our talents. You must never think that because Mom and Dad may not have money that you can't go to college. False. I will make sure that you WILL go to college. Any college you get accepted to. Where there is a will, there is a way. I WILL find that WAY. Do not ever give up on your hopes and dreams and talents just because we are not wealthy. I promise you, my love, we will always provide for you with what you need. You will be fed, clothed, sheltered, and educated. You will not have to sacrifice. That is our job.

You are the reason I started sewing and designing again. You were and are my inspiration for the fashions I create for you, myself, and others. If I have to design and sew and alter for others the rest of my life so that you are able to do the things that will better your future, I will. Because I am your mother. Because I chose to be your mother. And being a mother to you is more important than anything else in this temporal world.

Choose your friends based on how kind their hearts are. Never take without giving. Your friendships should be based on giving, whether it's support, help, sharing, caring, or just being that shoulder. I promise you, if you have kind friends they will do the same for you as you do for them. That is very important.

 Before you choose who you marry, I encourage you to date. Date often and give everyone a second chance. If I hadn't taken a second chance on your Father, where would you then exist? I am so in love with your Father, and I want you to feel the same love or more for your husband as I feel for your Dad. But, do date those that uphold high standards for themselves. Rule of thumb: respect is gained through your words and actions - and based on the words and actions you choose, can attract respectable young men of caliber or smug young men who care only for their swagger. Caliber always defeats swagger.

Your Father and I have struggled through life often; alone and together. When struggles and challenges come into your life, remember that there is always a solution. For the struggle your are suffering through is only a mountain climb, and when you are done climbing that mountain there will be another mountain to climb. Life will always be faced with a challenge. Without these challenges you cannot progress in life and learn from mistakes that have been made. You must know failure in order to truly feel success. You must have faith that you can climb each mountain of struggle given to you. This is a lesson taught in the Scriptures and every Disney movie. Study both.

Serve others, and often. Whatever you choose to do with your life, use those talents and skills not only for vocation, but for service as well. Charity and service is how our Savior showed his love for his fellow brothers and sisters. I encourage you to do the same. Service is the only way to show love. The Lord wants us to serve his children. If we all gave service to one another, we would all feel more love. Everyone in this world is a child of God, and each child of God deserves to feel loved.

I hope you can look back on this letter and know how much I really love you. This letter was written with lots of heartfelt tears. There is passion in each word I write to you, because I am passionate about you and your life. I will always protect you from what I can control. I am doing my best to not traumatize you or make you afraid of the world. I will not give up on you, no matter your choices, I will always be there to love you, support you, help you, share and care, give you strength, and be that shoulder you need, and I will always know best.

Love always, Mommy

Monday, September 16, 2013

M.E.' s First Haircut

I'm assuming most children's first haircuts take place around a year old. I honestly don't know. Well, M.E. being 3, I wasn't about to give her the "toddler bowl", like I had - based purely off of convenience. I'm not much a bangs fan, especially when it starts to look similar to the kid mullet. This happens because little girls baby hair all grow at different lengths, and when you give them bangs it just starts to look like a mullet, so you decide to cut the rest of the hair one length - which then leaves you with the bowl. I had this. I hated it. I refuse to do it to my daughter. It's not cute. I side sweep her bangs instead. And yes, we get days where she looks like Cousin It, but that's what hair clips are for. Anyways - back to M.E.'s first haircut. Like I said, she is 3 now. We went awhile without cutting her hair - hoping to grow it long and braid it and what not. Well, one super hot night after a bath, I was trying to comb the constant knots out of her long fine hair. And M.E. turned to me and told me to just cut her hair, she was tired of the knots and her hair made her hot. I was surprised at her demand and asked if she was sure. Yep, cut it. I asked her if she wanted to wait for Katie to cut it. Nope, Mommy cut it. I was so sad, but I know I should respect her decision. After all it's just a simple hair cut, it's not like she wants to dye it pink, yet..... So I got out my hair cutting scissors and comb and started cutting. I tried not to make a big deal out of it or show that I was sad. But, when we finished and put her to bed, I cried. As I cried, I picked up her little hairs and put them in a baggie. Robert asked why I was crying. I replied that these little hair ends that I just cut off our daughter's head was the last "baby" part on her. She is growing up so fast and quickly becoming a little girl. Those hair ends were all I had to still keep a little bit of "baby" about her. I have put them in her baby book now. And M.E. likes to say she went from having Sleeping Beauty hair to Cinderella hair.