Sunday, January 5, 2014


Another year has come and gone. I can't believe the rollercoaster that was 2013 for our little family. As I sit and reflect back on the events the last 12 months, I am humbled. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I must say that this year is such a perfect example of one of those times. I can honestly say that this year, more than any other year, I am thankful for my trials. In retrospect I can see their importance and why things needed to happen the way they did.
Jon started working for Intermountain in January. I can not tell you how nice it is that he's not working nights anymore. His schedule with Wal Mart was brutal on him, and wasn't easy on us in general. His current job has been such a blessing and I'm thankful for it every single day.
We raised two litters of Dane puppies that we sent to their new homes in March. I can't believe they're a year old already! I don't know if we will have any litters in 2014. Probably not. It's SO much work.

In March we decided to sell our house. What. A. Joke. I am so not cut out for house selling. I hated everything about it. It's such an emotional roller coaster, getting under contract, things falling through, questioning if you're making the right decision, having to rearrange things for showings, not ever being able to count on just being home for the day. Screw that. We found our dream home, had it pulled out from under us, got under contract again were within a week of closing, and then that fell through, too. At the time it really seemed like the end of the world.
April 8th is when we discovered we were FINALLY pregnant. Yay! We couldn't have been more excited and happy.
I wanted to be one of those women who loves pregnancy. I mean, it really is amazing when you think of it... growing an entire human being in your belly. Incredible! Amazing! Plus I thought after trying and waiting so long that I would just soak it up. Wrong. I flippin' hate pregnancy. I hate it so much. Feeling movement is incredible, I mean that is the single most amazing thing ever. And it's of course all totally worth the end result. The hip pain. The nausea. The puking all day every day. The headaches. The hemorrhoids. (Yes. I just blogged about hemorrhoids. Actually, it might not even be the first time. I'm not really sure. They really suck.) The cold sweats. The hip pain. The pelvic pressure. No. Just, no. Pregnancy sucks. Unfortunately I want like... four more babies, so I'm pretty sure I have to do it again. *cringe* ANyone interested in being a surrogate. For real. Have my babies for me. Please?
I am so glad I got to make a trip to Texas with my mom to visit Shelly and her family. Oh how I wish they would just move to Utah already. We made some really good memories, and in true family fashion, ate really good food. Not even kidding, I had this burger that had to have been made with unicorn meat and fairy poop because it was just THAT delicious. Though I'm pretty sure "Texas" is just another word for Hell. Talk about hot and humid, holy cow! But my sister drives a rocket ship, so there's that.
At some point during my pregnancy, I started getting nervous we wouldn't even have a home when he came, and we decided to take the house off the market and do some of the renovations we had planned on doing when we moved in. After all, we never fell in love with the house for what it was- but for the potential it had. Fanflippintastic choice!
If there's anything tougher than selling a house- it's renovating one. Especially when you have no idea what you're doing and are also poor. I am SO PROUD of Jon and how much he accomplished.
October 6th I spent 13 hours in labor, thinking I was having braxton hicks. Chase was born 11 weeks early at 12:48am on October 7th, 2013. The following 59 days were spent in NICU and he came home December 4, 2013.

In retrospect, the things that seemed like the end of the world were actually huge blessings in disguise. I am so glad we didn't get a bigger mortgage now given all that's going on medically with Chase. I am so glad that my grandfather owns my house, and that I don't have a conventional loan with a bank- now no matter what happens with our medical bills, they can't take away my house! Plus, we like this charming old place again!
All our hard work is paying off. I am so thankful Heavenly Father gave us these trials and growing experiences this year. I feel like we are stronger as individuals because of it, and all these experiences brought Jon and I closer together than ever.

I am excited for 2014. I am excited to embark on this journey as a new mom. I am excited to grow and be challenged. I am so happy and content with where we are right now. I don't have any life-changing resolutions, because quite frankly I plan to spend the next year slowing down. It's time to just be. It's time to soak in life. I'm over the rat race... the quest for bigger, better, faster has ended for me. I intend to enjoy the things in life that can't be bought or traded. Family. Friends. I'd like to get more active with my church, I'd like to be a better friend, wife, mother, sister, daughter.

So, goodbye 2013. You were fun. Actually, you weren't... You were kind of a nightmare, but I forgive you.

Hello, 2014. 

The First Month Home

Our NICU journey ended one month ago. On December 4th, 2013.... 59 days after little man was born, he finally came home. 
Because he was sent home on an Apnea & Bradycardia monitor, as well as oxygen, we did have to "room in" at the hospital the night before bringing him home. For that night, we were given a room with a [super uncomfortable] bed. and left alone. It was SO NICE to be alone with him... no hovering nurses. Unfortunately we were forced to follow some silly hospital rules still... like not allowing Chase to be on the bed at all, making him sleep in his crib, and sticking to the feeding schedule... things that we knew would all go out the window the second we got home anyway. Chase did NOT like to be laid down and left alone. Trying to follow these rules made for a very unhappy baby most of the night. Sometime around 3am, I gave up. I brought him to bed, snuggled the heck out of him, and we got a few hours of peaceful sleep.
Words can't explain the joy we felt as we walked through those hospital doors, baby in tow, and drove home. All those nights of separation, of waking in the middle of the night anxiously wondering if he was ok- all the days spent driving back and forth from the hospital... they were over. Life was about to change! 
The last month has been challenging but so very rewarding! I absolutely love being a Mom- more than I ever imagined possible. I love everything about it. (except maybe the sore boobs) It challenges me in ways I didn't expect but it's the most rewarding journey I've ever been on. I had no idea babies could be this awesome. In fact, I'm the first to admit... I don't really LIKE other people's babies. (No, really... me saying they're cute does NOT mean I want to hold or interact with your child. Like, ever.) But THIS baby is just better than all the rest. Ok, ok, I may be bias... but it's still my reality. In fact, not a single other person on the face of this planet could get away with pooping, peeing, and puking on me... and still being on my good list. 
We are still figuring out what our new normal is and navigating our new world as parents. We've learned that unsolicited advice is probably always going to come pouring in. ( I PROMISE you I don't really give two hoots what you think about cosleeping, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines, medication, or baby training. Like, really, I don't care at all.... but go ahead and keep telling me and I will keep thinking you're stupid.....) 
Being wintertime and RSV season in full swing, we don't get out much. We have kind of enjoyed the excuse to hole up at home and spend most of the day snuggling though. I am anxious for the weather to warm up a little so we can start exploring this world that will all be so new and mysterious to him. I especially can't wait to take him boating and hope he also shares a love of the water that I have had my whole life. 
We are hoping that he comes off of oxygen soon. We already made the decision to take him off of his A&B monitor when the negatives started to outweigh the possible positives. The leads were giving him sores on his skin (among many other inconveniences) and he hasn't had ANY episodes in over a month. 
I am constantly amazed by him. Sometimes I find myself passing hours at a time just staring at him, soaking in every little detail. I get a little stir crazy sometimes, but I find that more than about 15 minutes away from him just feels wrong. I start to get uneasy and anxious and can't get back to him quick enough. I've never experienced anything like that before.
There have been plenty of surprises. I never expected breastfeeding to be so difficult, but his poor extraction has been a huge hurdle for us. I'm having to pump and bottle feed to keep him on breastmilk exclusively, and we work on his latch and extraction several times every day. I hope we figure it out soon, I really detest pumping so much! I also didn't expect cloth diapering to be so easy... or so much fun! I'm surprised just how content I feel most of the time- given my history of having a pretty impulsive and restless disposition. I'm just so so happy with life right now. I'm content to just BE.  I'm surprised how easy it is to trust my intuition/ gut on most issues. I'm thankful for that, actually. 
We've got one month down. One month of growth, laughter, tears, memories, and a whole lot of poop. I can't wait to see what the next month holds. And infinite months after that.