In a world with a 4 year old, a 3 year old, a 16 month old, a 3 month old and two soldiers you never know what misadventures await. Life is always springing the unexpected and I want to share them with you. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

       I can think of thousands of things I want to see under my Christmas tree this year. OK, so maybe a few hundred rather then thousands, sounds so much greedier, right? There are the things I want. Then there are the things I need. Then there are the things my Hubby wants and the things he needs. Then you have the things we want as a family and the things we need. And then last but not least, what my kids want and what my kids need. That's potentially a huge list. So, where should I scrape it down to? What should be included our wants or our needs?

Santa, you know that they cut my Hubby's hours down at work. They went from the awesome (if hard on the family) 5 12-hour shifts to 4 12-hour shifts. That still got us enough overtime regularly to keep us living pretty good, but then they decided that they didn't want to have so much planned overtime and although it was going to really cost them more in hiring new guys & forced overtime, they went to four on three off, three on four off. Now, we're scrapping by, barely. My Hubby's my hero, because he signs up for as much overtime as he can, but takes his name out of the books when his poor weak wife cries about not seeing him enough or the kids not seeing him enough. (I do that more often then I should, but it gets lonely without him.)

As if cutting down his hours and the overtime wasn't enough, my health and the subsequent medical bills are wringing us dry, Santa. I suppose you know that too, though, you have this uncanny way of knowing those kind of things. Just as soon as I think I'm on the road to recovery, I get slammed by something else. Just over a week ago I had my fourth surgery for the year, yes you read right my fourth. Just days before my surgery, I got a call from the hospital saying either you pay us what you owe from prior services rendered or you pay for your responsibility for this procedure or you'll have to reschedule. After crying my eyes out, I broke down and asked my Mom if I could have some of my inheritance money from my Grandma to cover my procedure. She and my Aunt deemed it a good thing to ask for my money for. So, I spent over half of my inheritance so I could have two hernias fixed. (Not how I wanted to spend that money) And when I have my surgery, I have complications (that probably cost an arm and a leg more) and have to have my remaining ovary removed. All of which was decided and done while I was sleeping.

We wrote down what we owe to every Dr, every hospital, every pathology report, etc yesterday. I wanted to cry. Most of it belongs to me. We owe over $8200 in medical bills that aren't on payment plans, which is probably another $2000 more. Our SUV has to be renewed this month, which will have to wait til January because we need a new set of tires that will cost at least $800 to do and we're working on paying off the brakes & roters we had to replace last week (grand total of $475 and we still owe $300 on). Not quite sure where it will come from, but it has to be done our car has to be registered in order to bring it on Base where we live.

Santa, as much as I'd love to see my medical bills disappear and be paid off. As much as I'd love to be able to pay cash for our tires and brakes. To know its not a stretch to renew our only vehicle. As much as I don't want to have to ask our Bishop every two weeks for assistance with putting food on our table. The thing I want to see most under my tree this year, is presents for my kids. They don't deserve to suffer, while we do. They deserve to stay blissfully ignorant of our money troubles. I want to be able to afford to buy ridicuously large amounts of toys & books for them. To buy the boring things they need like new shoes and clothes fit for Utah's unpredicitable winter weather.

I'd sacrifice everything to do that for my kids. As it is I know they will have a few gifts under the tree and that's ok. We won't let them suffer completely because we are financially strapped. It just won't be a Christmas of extravagence. That's ok. I want to teach my kids the true meaning of Christmas and about the birth of our Savior. But there's that small childlike aspect that makes me want to shower them with gifts.

Santa, if you could just make sure that we can provide each of my four kids with a gift or two. That we can delight in seeing their little faces in the morning when they see those small stacks and be excited. That's all this Mommy really wants.

Thank you, Santa for listening to this poor Mommy vent. Merry Christmas to you Santa.

Sincerely, Aidan, Aislynn, Rhiannon & Fallon's Mommy

Inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Check out her amazing blog, Mama's Losin' It and join the fun that occurs every week.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Writer's Workshop: The Changing Friendship of Married Friends

I was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompts, which this one was from a few months ago and I was intrigued enough to write this one. If you're in need of a good writing prompt go over and check out her blog, she always has the most unique things to write about!

Marriage. Its a life changing and beautiful step in a person's life. Everybody talks about learning to live with each others weird quirks like the toilet paper roll that feeds over vs under, rolling the toothpaste tube vs not, even to who sleeps on what side of the bed. Its often those kind of big changes that we focus on, but the one change that isn't truly talked about until well after you're fully ensconced in wedded bliss is:

What Happens To The Changing Friendship of Married Friends

Its a nice idea to think that your relationships with friends who aren't married won't change once you've tied the knot. But in reality it does change and really it has to. Gone are the days when either you or your spouse can just head off to party & play with your single friends. A lot of people probably try to slide back into how things used to be, but find that its not so easy to fit back in. (I am sure there are those that manage, but really what kind of marriage would you have? Not that I'm judging, to each there own)

I found that while we still enjoy doing things with the few friends we have who aren't married, how often we actually do has dropped drastically. When we make trips into town for Dr's appts and to run our errands, my Hubby & I often decide last minute to go to a sit down restaurant and usually ring up my Hubby's best friend, who has a girlfriend, but still claims bachelorhood. And while one might think that he'd be a lot more flexible then we are, usually has plans. I honestly thought married life would be more planned out date nights and outings with friends, but since we have four kids finding a babysitter is so difficult. If we can't family to watch the kids, then our kids come with us. Which isn't always bad, but its nice to have a nice grownup evening out once in a while. Plus living at least two hours away from a decent place to go to the movies and to dinner, travel time kills it for us with local babysitters, who are mostly teens still in high school. So we try to go out when we already have plans to be in town, but that really does make for more last minute dinner plans then planned ones.

While we do last minute things and drag our kids along, I'm not so sure that our single friends enjoy us always wanting them to come hang out with us and our family. Especially if they are alone since we outnumber them and can make them feel awkward or if they bring a date, they may or may not like kids. I also find that conversations kind of lag with other adults when we have the kids. I mean when we're constantly telling the kids to eat their food or quit playing with it or don't touch your sister/brother. Its easier to plan ahead to hang out with our single friends, since we can arrange for a babysitter and plan to be just couples. Then no one feels left out or awkward at being the odd man out.

We still invite them to our parties, but they have to endure a party where kids are welcome most of the time and we tend to do less 'partying' since we have to be responsible for more then just us. I know a lot of single people who really live for partying and being able to drink to excess, which makes us no fun since we don't do that even when our kids aren't around. I think sometimes they feel we're boring and I often wonder what its like to be able to be so care free. I love being a mommy and wouldn't change it, but we're not as flexible about dropping whatever we're doing or not doing to run out to see a movie at 9 o'clock at night or go have a movie marathon all night long. We have to worry about kids getting enough sleep and trying to find a sitter for that kind of short notice is nonexistent.

We still try to include our friends, but we often go months in between get togethers because its just easier that way. We love our single friends and while we still love them, its a whole lot easier to hang out with our married friends, especially the ones with kids. So, don't let anyone fool you if they say nothing changes after you get married when it comes to friends, because in the end it really does happen and its usually the best to reevaluate & try something new.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Big Dreams

I have dreamed of being a writer for as long as I can remember. My 3rd Grade teacher, Mr Freeman, encouraged lots of writing and I found I had a knack for it. I loved it! Now my early stuff was pretty out there. I found a one that I wrote, a very sappy romance story, involving a bunch of my school friends. It was like reading a terrible soap opera. That bad. I have file folders full of stories finished and some not quite so much that range all the way to grade school. I save them for sentimental reasons, not that most are that great, but every writer starts somewhere, right?

I won a number of story contests as the years went by, something for which I was very proud of. In fact I received the first Ruby Freeman Award for Reading, Writing and Preservation of Literature (which was given by my beloved 3rd Grade Teacher in honor of his Mother), an award that there were two types of and only given for a few years. Unfortunately, they stopped because Mr Freeman felt that the award was not appreciated for what it was. Which was truly a tragedy. I will always feel honored that I received the first. There was a contest that touched on all the arts known as the Reflections contest and I won that a couple times. The one year, I believe I was in 7th grade and I made it as far as Regionals. It was quite the honor.

As wonderful as all these awards were, it was the writing I loved. I wanted to write a novel and hoped that I would be inspired to write one. Hasn't happened yet, but I still hope to. As I have now been out of school for 10 years, I don't write nearly as much as I used to. I still write here and there. I've actively participated in three years worth of Nanowrimo, but haven't yet met the goal number of  50,000 words. My plan is to make the goal next year. Its kind of a fun challenge. Last year I made it to about 25,000 words. I was so close it was exhilerating.

I started blogging about 3 years ago. Not only did I feel it was a great way to remember things like a journal, but I had this fantasy that my blog would be discovered and that readers would flock to read what I had to say. That I would be found to be funny, entertaining and inspiring. I still enjoy to blog, but I've found that I fill those shoes very little. Perhaps I should compare my writing style less to other blogs I read, but its human nature to do so. I find I'm not as funny and clever as I thought. I have very few consistent readers. Hardly anyone comments. I guess I really should be glad I have found a way around my writers block. Its hard since I went into this with such high expectations and dreams. I wanted someone to tell me that I should write a book. I wanted a stranger to tell me that. Silly, huh?

I know I shouldn't set such stock in being disappointed. I should write because I love to and I want to remember the memories of my kids growing up. I want my family who doesn't live close to hear the funny stories. I want a place I can vent and not be afraid of judgment. I shouldn't care if I have 2 readers or 200 readers. I should write to write. But that writer in me wants to be awknowledged. To be rooted on and in my writer's vanity, be told I'm amazing and entertaining. As a writer I am so freakin' vain.

I want my dream. Is it so silly that a 27 year old wants her dream? I know all of this really goes back to a few things that are not writing related. They are about me, about the me I keep hidden. In check. I have written for so long as a means to hide the fact that I don't have very many friends and don't seem to be able to make friends easily. I don't want people to know that I'm scared to talk to new people. I literally have a phobia of calling people, it doesn't matter if I know them or not. I will drag out calling someone, in order to avoid it. I've been told that I'm not well liked, for whatever reason I scare people away. Perhaps I try too hard. I've used writing as a means to hide the real me and keep the pain at bay that don't socialize.

I've used my healthy issues to hide away, all but becoming a recluse. I yearn to have friends to do things with, to have excuses to leave my house. But I don't. I hide in my house. I am the epitomy of a recluse. I write and hide. In fact just this morning I wrote a letter on Facebook to a bunch of the women who are my friends online, hoping to start a monthly craft day in the New Year. To force myself out of my house, my comfort zone and make friends. Get to know these people I claim to be friends with. I'm certain most will find reasons it won't work. I kind of feel sad and pathetic. I had to write a letter to ask people to let me get to know them. Writing this makes me want to cry. I hate my limitations.

So I write. I escape. I pretend. I evade. I write to the universe, because I don't even dare hope that someone will actually read this. I still dream big. I dream I'll be inspired and write a book that will truly wow the world. I want to be that writer. I want to touch people's lives. Share a piece of me. Be remembered rather then fade away. I will fade because I feel alone. Because I am alone.

I'll keep writing my blog. I'll tell about the crazy things my kids have done. I'll write whatever comes to mind. I'll keep dreaming that I will be a writer. A writer that people want to read. I hope you don't think too badly of me for saying I'm weak. I'm a writer and I dream big.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Complications, That's Me!

Surgery. I know that's a word I've used a lot on here this year and I'm sure you're just as tired hearing it, as I am. Unfortunately I'm not as healthy as I would like and at 27 years old, I feel far older then I should. I have hopes that my year of surgeries has done more then just make my family exponentially poorer, that perhaps, perhaps its actually making progress to making me healthier. There is nothing more upsetting and frustrating then being reasonably young and being sick enough that I cannot enjoy my amazing little family. We went through hell and back again to get each of our beautiful kids here, and I feel I'm missing out on everything.

I feel like a horrible Mom, and although everyone tells me its not my fault, I feel somehow it is. That some how I have failed my kids by not being healthy and feeling up to being involved with everything. I haven't had the energy to take them to the park (which is now conveniently down the street from us), no energy to play on the floor, and really if I have no energy for those, then where do I muster up the energy to even get out of bed? If someone has the answer to that one, I am all ears. Aside from being a Chronic Migraine sufferer, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 12 and was officially verified when I was 21. Both of which have brought their own set of challenges. While the migraines I can only hope to cut back just how frequent they are and how bad they are by taking daily preventative medicines & pain meds for onset. With Endo, the only sure fire way of being rid of the troubles that come with it are to have a hysterectomy, which for those of you who have been following me for a while know I had six weeks following Fallon's birth. Though it was only a partial (my Dr left both of my ovaries) so that I wouldn't have to go into Menopause at 27 and worry about all the issues that come from that.

It seems however that my body had other plans and in September (4 months following my hysterectomy) we discovered a 5CM cyst on my right ovary. My Dr surmised that all the cramping and pain in my abdomen since my surgery were the results of my body freaking out more or less & causing multiple cysts to form and burst. The best option was to go in and remove the 'Problem Child' ovary, and hopefully be able to move on with life. During that procedure, not only did they definitely decide to remove my ovary since it had all but twisted in on itself, but that I had 3 hernias. Two of which I'd probably had for a very long time and were smaller and the third was an incisional hernia caused by pregnancy & multiple abdominal surgeries. Eventually they would need to be taken care of, but I wasn't in too much of a hurry. Although my regular Dr felt otherwise when I began complaining of abdominal pain a few weeks later.

So off I went to see a general surgeon, who agreed that two of the three needed to be repaired and the sooner, the better. I'm thinking all this time that things are getting expensive, but at this point we should have met my out-of-pocket for the year. I scheduled what I hoped was my final surgery for the year (for a very long time, if ever) for the 30th of November. This was the best date for us since it fell on a weekend that my husband could arrange to be home all weekend and didn't have to worry about work til the Tuesday following. We made arrangements with our Reserve Unit, since it fell on Drill weekend, to make it up later in December and made arrangements with my parents to take the kids for the weekend.

Everything worked out well and the soon surgery day was upon us. There had only been one catch: we hadn't hit out of pocket and since we had some outstanding bills with the hospital (even though we were making payments), they required either the outstanding amounts paid in full or what my responsibility for this procedure to be paid in full. Luckily, I was able to have access to some of my inheritance money from my Grandma's passing to cover what I needed to do my procedure. It was really hard to ask for help and know that instead of going to something fun, it was going to surgery. I really did need the surgery.

The day of my surgery arrived. I went in just like I had for so many other surgeries and aside from some butterflies in my stomach, things were going great. I was taken back into the OR and I was asleep before I knew it. When I woke up however, was when I began to discover that things had not gone as planned. When my Dr had gone in with the camera to decide where was best to place the laproscopic insicions, he discovered that my one remaining ovary had such a large cyst on it that it had completely displaced it and the area around it was full of blood clots. Essentially it was a mess. He immediately got on the phone, called my OBGYN up and told him he needed him to come in right away. After the two Dr's discussed the options, they consulted with my Hubby over the phone and all agreed that it was best to remove my ovary. They could drain the cyst and remove the clots, but my OBGYN felt that the cyst would start growing back right away and that within three months I'd be in worse shape then I was already in.

I awoke to a great deal of pain, a huge incision that goes up the middle of my belly and no ovaries. I guess it could have been worse, I could have had massive bleeding or even died, but its been hard to process because nothing went as planned. I'm partially glad that I don't have to worry about cysts anymore or my Endo growing back, but I do get to deal with all the Menopause stuff and the hot flashes started yesterday (boy do they suck!). My recovery is going to be a lot longer, but its nothing I can't handle. Its kind of one day at a time. I want to feel better. I want to be a good mom and play with my kids. I just have to work up to that. I have to get better in order to do all that. I hope my kids will forgive me for being the broken Mommy and that soon I can show them I can be the fun Mommy.

I'm going to try, once again, to spend more time blogging. I have loads of down time for the next 8 weeks at least, I really don't have the excuse to not blog. I love blogging, but maybe this is being too picky, I miss hearing from people. I kind of feel like I'm writing to myself, which isn't a bad thing. I get jealous of other blogs, where each post has 30 responses. I wonder if I'm boring. Or is it just I don't blog consistently enough to keep people interested. I guess I'll never know, but if I keep trying maybe more people will come.

Never knew I could feel like this

Like I've never seen the sky before

When I met the heavyset red head with what appeared to be a bad attempt at an Afro, outside the Driver's Ed range at the end of sophomore year little did I realize the journey that lay before us. Although I felt that this was our first meeting, I have been told on numerous occasions he'd seen me around and that we even hung out with the same group of friends. In my memory it began with throwing sticks.

I was waiting for my Mom to come pick me up after range, sitting patiently reading my book underneath a very tall tree on the property of an LDS Church. I was minding my own business, reading my book, when the first twig sailed through the air and hit my back. Paying little attention to it, I kept reading until a second twig hit me. Apparently he was trying to get my attention and for whatever reason, I felt irritated at being interrupted. At the time I had very few friends and found my comfort & solace in my books. (Ironically enough so did he) When he had my attention, he asked what I was reading and so we talked back & forth about books we liked (I begrudgingly answered his questions). His name was Chris.

This was just the beginning of many conversations between us that week. One even included me throwing his leather pouch on the roof of the Church (accidentally) and his being gone so long, I thought he'd fallen off the roof. (Remind me to tell you that story later) My Mom asked me that first day who that young man was and I told her, "Just a guy." We even gave him a ride part of the way home, for whatever reason he wouldn't tell us where he lived just told us to drop him off by a local grocery store. I often wondered why he didn't want me to know where he lived. (He informed me that he just didn't want to inconvenience us.)

While we were friendly with each other, I felt he was very weird and wasn't keen on being too friendly. That summer I got a phone call from someone, who addressed themself as 'Stopher' and I had no idea who it was. I awkwardly carried on a conversation with him, not exactly sure who it was. I told him about being in a community play in a few weeks and that he should come see it. (Free publicity) He and a friend showed up to see my show and came backstage to talk to me, which eventually got them kicked out and they weren't even allowed to finish watching the play. Then the new school year began.

I found that the random phone call that summer had been inspired by a message I had inscribed in his yearbook giving him my number and to call me. I didn't actually think he'd call me and signed it more out of habit. (Sad I know, I find I was kind of shallow back then) With school back in session, I found that Chris was everywhere and I began to find him more annoying then ever. I mean he was nice, but since I felt that I could go nowhere without him being there, it got old fast. I tease him all the time about being my stalker and he always vehemently denies it. I figure it was more how I felt about him and his being 'everywhere' then his really stalking me, but its fun to tease him! Finally I told him I didn't like him and that I wanted him to leave me alone. I was blunt about it and didn't really care initially about his feelings at all. I was very much a stuck up teenage girl, which is strange since I had very few friends.

I saw him all the time in the halls after that and he'd see me & look away with the saddest look on his face. It did make me feel bad, but I couldn't get over the idea that he'd been stalking me. Eventually my nice side won out and I began talking to him again, but it was still really awkward which I was to blame since I'd told him to get lost. Chris was doing tech for the Spring musical that I was in, so it gave us casual opportunities to talk without too much pressure. Then I admit I did a really shallow thing and although it worked out to my benefit, it reflects badly on me. Prom was coming up and I had no prospects on getting a date for the big dance. So I conceived a plan to convince Chris to take me. Dragging my best friend along for the ride and getting her involved, we teased him about knowing a girl that wanted him to take her to the dance. I think he enjoyed the attention it got him from both of us girls and eventually, after he'd guessed a number of girls (think he was playing along and secretly knew the whole time) I told him it was me. He did appear to be very shocked and told me that he had no money. I told him it wasn't a big deal. I was surprised at how disappointed I was that he couldn't take me.

Then one night he told me he wanted to take me out to make up for not being able to take me to the dance. I asked him where & when, he said The Provo Towne Mall, which I thought was an odd place to take me for a date. Then he said on the 13th of April. It took a few moments before it clicked, he was asking me to Prom. For whatever reason they thought it was a cool idea to do Prom  at the mall since Utah's Capital building was under construction (its where Prom normally was). I was tickled pink, but as the day approached I began to get nervous. We had never been on a date and they had planned this elaborate all day thing. So what would happen if I found I really didn't like him and I was stuck all day with him?

April 13th dawned a nice sunny day and Chris & my best friend's date arrived at about 9am to take us to breakfast. While I wasn't impressed with the food, I actually found I was enjoying myself. Then we headed to meet a group of friends at a park just below the Mount Timpanogas Temple to play board games. I played Risk for the first time in my life and actually found it to be kind of fun. Not a game I want to play every day, but I had fun. Then we headed for lunch at Subway and found another park closer to where lunch was to play more games before we had to head back to get all dressed up.

I really was having more fun then I'd expected and as I headed off to get my hair & make-up done by a friend, I was nervous again. I wore a dark forest green dress and my hair was pinned up in curls. When Chris arrived I was surprised (and a little embarrassed even) when I walked into my living room to see my date wearing a top hat, tux, gloves and even a cane. I think I was embarrassed more because he'd done it for me and he looked really nice. (Shh don't tell him I said that) After he put on my wrist corsage and I'd pinned his boutonniere on him, we headed to dinner. My first experience at Macaroni Grill, which was very yummy and I totally loved that I could draw on the table. (See I have my child-like moments) I'll admit that the dish that he got kind of grossed me out, especially when he slurped out the oyster or whatever it was out of its shell. I probably turned a few shades of green.

We made our entrance into the dance, but found that we had so very little time. My parents were very strict on my curfew and although the dance was a big deal, I had not been given an extension. So we made the decision to dance a few dances, then waited in line for pictures. The pictures turned out really cute. (If I can find my copies I'll post them up) Then we packed up and headed back to my house. I was sad that our night was ending so soon. I really had had a blast. He had surprised me, quite pleasantly. We actually sat around at my house talking with my parents for half hour after we got back. With a hug goodbye, I think I realized that things were going to be different.

We began dating. I'll admit as much as I loved talking with him and being with him, there was a certain physical aspect that seemed to draw us together. My parents had this crazy rule that every two dates with the same boy, I had to go out with someone else. I see now what they were trying to do, but they themselves have admitted to me that they found ways to break that very rule when they were dating. And like them, Chris and I found ways to break that rule too. I don't remember the first time we kissed exactly, more that it was the best kiss I'd ever had, which was only the second one ever. I was starting to fall in love with him and I was scared.

Want to vanish inside your kiss
Everyday I love you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time

Come what may, come what may
 I will love you until my dying day

Our early romance seemed to burn very bright and very hot, for a time anyway. I was afraid. I was falling in love and wasn't ready to be. I asked him to MORP by cutting up my question and taping individual letters on pieces of candy in a big jar. We tied balloons to the jar and my sisters delivered it, while I spied from the back of the car. His response was given with a romantic poem and a heart full of kisses (chocolate ones, that is). My best friend and I made our dates & ourselves matching tied-dyed shirts. They said 'He's with me' and 'She's with me.' We went to the local amusement park and rode on all the rides & had a picnic in the middle of the park. Unfortunately, Chris got heat exhaustion and wasn't up to a whole lot after that. We watched a creepy movie at my friend's house, before we made a brief appearance at the dance. We got fun pictures done, danced a dance or two, then headed back to finish watching our movie.

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place
Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste
It all revolves around you

And there's no mountain too high no river too wide
Sing out this song and I'll be there by your side
Storm clouds may gather and stars may collide
But I love you until the end of time

That first summer was a real test for us. My parents were wanting us to slow down and he went away to work at a Boy Scout Summer camp. He only got to come home every couple of weekends. He missed my birthday and when he came back to celebrate with me, well things didn't go very well. Something had happened while he was gone, a situation that he struggled to understand and threatened to tear us apart. He didn't know how to help me and when he made a poor choice in words, I freaked out and pushed him away. We spent the whole time at my party arguing, he brought me roses and I refused to forgive him. His words had struck a nerve and I was bound & determined to never forgive him. He went back to camp and didn't come back home until just before school started. We quit talking to each other and I foolishly tried to move on. A boy at work knew the right words to say, where Chris hadn't, and I thought that I needed to be with this new boy.

We slowly managed to be friends and I began to go to him to talk. I talked about this other boy and Chris, being the sweetheart that he was, listened, although it was breaking his heart to hear me cry over another boy. The Other Boy, wasn't truly as good as he seemed and ended up lying to me & breaking my teenage heart. All the while Chris and I grew closer, but instead of it all being physical, we had become best friends. I could tell him anything and often did. We also had a bit of an interesting relationship. We were friends with benefits, at least benefits when we were hiding backstage during play practice that fall and we'd steal kisses in the curtains. We remained best friends throughout our Senior year, until something pivotal occurred. I had a dance accident in Social Dance at school the first day of November and ended up needing surgery in February. I was out of school for six weeks, before I could come back and more or less suffer through school.

Chris came to see me while I was home recovering. In fact I remember only vaguely him and a few of our other friends coming to see me the day after surgery. My girl friend had come to do my hair and make me presentable. Then when they all arrived, all I could focus on and remember of that visit was that he didn't talk to me the whole time he was there. Maybe I scared him, because apparently I looked like hell. He came a few other times to visit and talk with me. I had missed his birthday during the first few days after my surgery, so with the help of my next door neighbor I created a photo slide show for him. I had even gotten his mom to pick out pictures of him growing up and surprised him with this amazing slide show. I had spent a lot of time on it.

In the process of working on this project and being away from him for so long, I realized something. I was in love with him and I didn't want to be apart anymore. I had long forgiven him for the things he'd said that summer, it didn't matter anymore. When I came back to school I told him as much. Now it was trying to get around my parents dumb dating rule. During a camping trip with my family, my parents and I had a long talk about Chris & I. We all came to the understanding that I was in love with him and that we wanted to be able to date seriously. My parents gave us their permission and our relationship came out in the open. Which was very nice.

We started talking about getting married. I was now certain that getting married to him was what I wanted. I thought he felt that way too, but it seems a lot of that came from me pressuring him. And after a fight the night before our high school graduation, he proposed to me on the front porch of a friend's house. He asked my Dad for my hand in marriage and I delightedly told everyone our news. I hadn't been thinking of him or I had but I assumed we wanted the same thing. He ended up telling my Grandfather that he wasn't ready to get married and that he was going to tell me so later that night. So, my whole family knew the truth and I didn't. Following the graduation ceremony and celebrating with my family, Chris, my best friend, her boyfriend and I went with a group of single adults on a camp out. While we were there he broke the news to me and I was devastated.  We fought and argued.

The next day after taking a side trip to walk around the Manti Temple, we talked and even prayed together. We decided to stay engaged, but take our time before we got married. In a few weeks he was shipping off to Basic training for the Army and he wanted to be here while we planned things. I could handle that. It was really hard telling him goodbye, knowing we'd spend the next six months or so apart. We figured it would be good for us, if not easy. I wrote to him religiously the first few months, but we hit a snag in our relationship. I wanted to start planning our wedding and start figuring things out while he was gone. I had no idea at the time what he was going through at Basic and really until you've been through it you can't have any real idea.

Come what may, come what may
I will love you until my dying day

He felt pressure from me and he was under a lot of stress. He got hurt while he was there and ended up being recycled into a new Basic training company, lengthening how long he was going to be there. I don't know exactly what happened to be honest, but we got in a fight through our letters (how we managed to do that I couldn't tell you).  We quit talking to each other and didn't really talk for the last couple of months he was there. I stayed in touch with his family, they had adopted me into the family and so I heard news about him from them. When it came time for him to come home, we actually talked on the phone for like 6 hours one night. I was staying at my Grandma's for a while and since I hadn't known exactly where he and I stood with each other, I hadn't made too much of an effort to be home. After we had talked all night, he had asked me to come to his Army Unit's Christmas party with his parents and be his date. I accepted and made arrangements to get home. My best friend came over that morning and helped me get all dressed up. I was so nervous, we hadn't seen each other in six months. His parents came to pick me up and we headed to the party.

Oh there were butterflies in my stomach and I gave him a big hug when I saw him. My heart leapt into my throat. I still loved him, I realized as I looked into his green eyes, madly and desperately in love. It hadn't changed in all those months. We secretly held hands under the table and played footsies. I was in heaven.

Oh come what may, come what may
I will love you

The next couple of years presented new problems for us. Things that took work to get through and as much as we loved each other, neither one of us was always very nice to each other. Our relationship took turns we hadn't planned on and really tried us. We break up and then got engaged again multiple times. He made plans to serve an LDS mission for our Church, but things didn't work out. We got a lot of our screaming and fighting out in those years before. We loved each other, but couldn't live with or without each other. I joined the Army in 2005 and while I was gone for training. He felt he needed to be free of me, that he needed to grow and experience things. I didn't understand that need, because I needed him. I needed his support in what I was doing. I wasn't exactly getting it from home and I thought my fiance of all people should be there for me. He hardly wrote me (I know how he felt) and when he finally wrote me my first letter it was to tell me we were done. I was heartbroken and devastated. What a place to be told by the man you love that he wants to move on without you.

We kind of got back together when I came home for Christmas, but it was awkward and I knew things still weren't right. He told me while I was home that he'd volunteered to deploy to Iraq and he was just waiting on his orders. His orders came a few days after I went back to finish my training. He was gone within a couple days of that, gone to start premob training. I came home and felt lost without him. I still felt that things were off with us and that they were eventually going to come to a head. And they did. I wanted to make plans to get married when he got home from Iraq and to make plans to meet somewhere fun for his R&R. He suddenly snapped at me and told me he didn't want to make plans with me. We fought over the phone and he hung up on me. I tried to call him back and it went straight to voicemail. So I did what came to mind next, I broke up with him over his voicemail. I wanted to be with someone who wanted to make plans with me.

I attempted to move on and had my cousin set me up with a guy. A guy, I tried very hard to make things work with, he was very nice, but it just wasn't Chris. Chris and I eventually began talking again, but we were just friends. Except he hated hearing about guys hitting on me, but it was so hard to talk to him any different then I had before. We decided on things we couldn't talk about and I kept dating the other guy. I guess things hit a point for Chris when he realized he missed me and that he didn't want to live without me. He called one night and kept calling & calling. I was on a date with that other guy and finally decided to answer Chris' call. He was crying and he told me he needed to talk to me. I told him I couldn't talk right that moment and would call him later. He wanted to know why I couldn't, I didn't feel I should tell him I was on a date, but after he kept begging to know why I couldn't talk, I told him.

I think he was in shock that I was dating and it hit him hard. It took us a few days to get to talk, since the next night there was a huge sand storm where he was and cell reception sucked. We talked and he told me that he'd been stupid. That he couldn't live without me. There was something different about him, about talking to him. I felt like this time maybe it could work. So we, decided to try it again, which I know is a little weird since I wouldn't get to see him for like six months or more. My parents noticed when I put my rings back on and I got lectured about him being a flake. Look at how he's treated you, of course I wanted to point out I hadn't always been very nice myself.

Chris and I were talking one day when he mentioned that they might possibly get a couple days of leave before they went overseas. I was elated at the idea and somehow we started talking about if he got leave that we should get married. The more we talked about it the more we seemed set on it. We talked about maybe eloping, but kind of decided that we'd piss off too many people if we did that. When he finally got word that they were going to get four days of leave in a week, we decided we really were going to get married. We'd have his family's Bishop marry us at their ward house and that we'd keep it simple.

I was there at his parent's house when he called them to tell them we were getting married. His Dad had already figured out we were going to and his Mom was shocked. My parents were even more in shock. But they supported us even though I think they had concerns, we were adults after all. We were married April 15, 2006 and we're going on seven years.

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place...

Come what may, come what may
I will love you until my dying day 

I hope I haven't bored you too much with all the crazy details of my relationship with my Hubby. I really had fun finally writing out my relationship with my Hubby. Over the last 11 years, we've been through a lot and its made our marriage & relationship what it is. This was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin' It. Go check her blog out and join in all the fun!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kids Say the Darnedest Things Week 1

As any parent knows kids often say the darnedest things. They have no concept of what's polite or even politically correct (of course we all know adults who seem to fall into this category, too). Having four kids under the age of five often lends itself to some very strange and hilarious conversations. I'm hoping to start a weekly segment on here where I post the weeks most hilarious conversations or one-liners from my incredible children.

We moved into our new house a few months ago and due to my health being so poor, we haven't really gotten as settled in as we'd like and are still unpacking boxes, trying to find a home for everything. So, on Friday this last week I had to go in for surgery (the 4th time this year) and so my folks took my three older kids for the weekend, to give me more rest and allow my husband to focus more on me & our baby. This gave him enough time that he was able to clean and organize a little bit more. Our house is starting to look and feel more like home, but it still has a long way to go. On Sunday I was doing something in the kitchen (one of two in our new place) when Aislynn came running in and the first thing she said was, "How come you cleaned My House?" Apparently we're not allowed to clean the house and put stuff away. I had to laugh when I told her "Cause we wanted too." Then she ran out to tell my parents we'd cleaned the house.

Oh what would I do without my crazy kids? I'm not sure, but I never want to find out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writer's Workshop: Sparkle

I haven't been super on top of this for a while, but felt the need to get back to it this week. I don't want anyone feeling like I've abandoned my blog, which isn't true at all I've just been trying to get better. Anyway, if you don't already head on over to Mama's Losin' It and join in her weekly writer's workshop! Its a super fun way to blog and helps when those moments of writer's block kicks in!

The water glistens 'neath the summer sun
A swish and swirl breaks the surface
Was it a dream?
Or was it nothing more then a fantasy?
Leaning forward my fingers trail
Leaving dimples upon the surface
A shimmer, a ripple
Nothing stays the same
Ever changing,
Ever moving
From my eye I catch a glimpse
Of Sparkle and color
What secrets lie beneath the summer pond?
I gaze across the water blue
Dreaming of the serene summer pond.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trying To Stand

I keep trying to stay caught up with my blog and I realize I'm failing miserably! Every time I seem back on top of this or that, I start feeling better and then I'm wiped out by the next wave of life. The biggest thing has been my health. Can I just say how ready I am to be healthy again? I miss being a good mom to my kids. Some days I can't hardly get out of bed, I feel weak and exhausted or my head is pounding so badly I can barely move. Its gotten to be where all I can do is hope I feel good and work with whatever comes my way. My kids have been enjoying lots of inside fun or rather lots of cartoons and lots of indoor make believe! My kids have some pretty awesome imaginations!

I go into see a general surgeon this morning and discuss my three hernias. Yup, you read that right, 3 hernias. I'm thinking at least one definitely has to be fixed and if they are going in to fix one they might as well fix them all. Which means I'll probably be having surgery in the next few weeks. That makes four this year. My goal for next year is no surgeries! ;) I guess we'll see what the Dr says tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Aidan's getting so big, at 4 1/2 he tries to be a big help during the day, but nights are a weak point for all the kids. He thinks he's big enough to stay up as late as he wants, which gets frustrating when I have to go in multiple times to tell them to go to bed or re-tuck them in. We've been working on his ABC's and we're up to DEF. He's picking it up slowly, I had hoped to send him to preschool this year, but finances prevented us from doing so. He loves learning, I wish I could find a really good home preschool set up. I've kind of gathered my own bits & pieces to use to teach. I hope to have him ready for kindergarten next fall. We weighed him tonight and he weighs a whopping 40lbs. He is so compact that it hardly seems like he should way that much. He's been on a superhero kick as of late and we've watched Spiderman, Batman, Avengers and Captain America to the point that I'm sick of superheros. He even dressed up as Batman for Halloween. He's always shooting and taking out the bad guys around the house.

Aislynn is very much the Princess and has to change her clothes 4 and 5 times a day. I'm going to have to make her some more durable dress-up outfits, since between her & Rhiannon they've ripped most of the cute skirts. She's anxious to learn her alphabet too. She asks on a regular basis to draw letters on my Nook tablet. The three kids all have such fun trying to write their letters. We pretty much had her potty trained and then we had a baby & moved, so we've been dealing with lots of accidents, which is so frustrating. If anyone has any suggestions on how to help her out, I'm all ears! She's also trying to be such a big helper and often sneaks into Fallon's room to scale the crib just to talk to him.

Rhiannon is going to be two in March and I can hardly believe it. Of course it helps that she's still so tiny and petite that you can hardly believe she's almost two. She barely weighs 19lbs and baby brother is rapidly catching up. She wants to be like Aidan & Aislynn and is constantly following them around. She's starting to talk up a storm, although its still hard to understand her. She is very obsessed at the moment with going 'ouside' and will stand at the front door knocking on it. Daddy tries to take them out of the house once at week at least, this week it was a walk to the shoppette on post. She even came home holding clumps of snow in her very red little fists, she wanted to show Mommy. She's getting so big, where has the time gone?

Mr Fallon, our little Dragon baby, is getting so big. At his 6 month check up, he weighed in at 16lbs 3oz (7%) and 26" (25%) long. He's finally able to hold his super cute, but large little head up and is enjoying tummy time more. He loves to play in his jumperoo and loves being able to see what everyone is doing. He doesn't like to be left alone and cries if he realizes he is. Still working on the baby food bit, his poor tummy doesn't handle the cereals very well, but he loves most veggies we've given him and I hope soon to start fruits. No sign of crawling yet, which is sad when we're seeing other babies younger then him starting to crawl, but at the same time it means I get to enjoy him little for a while longer. I love my sweet baby boy!

Christopher has been working hard and picking up all the extra hours he can, which doesn't leave much time at home to spend time with us. But the medical bills are a little high this year and so its important we get as much paid off as possible. It will make life less stressful. He's nearly passing his PT test and this month he missed the run by 50 seconds. Next month he'll pass and can put in for SGT. He'll make an awesome NCO!

And me, I'm just trying to get better. I've been trying to figure out what's going on with my poor body. My new Dr has put me on new migraine meds, which seem to be working better, but the one kind is really expensive (oh but it works so wonderfully)! I'm hoping to get tested for diabetes in the next month or so, see if we can cross that off the list. I'm still trying to unpack and organize my new place. Its been a really difficult thing to do when I'm the only one home most of the time and then add in being sick. I'll get there, eventually. I'm down six more pounds and am one pound off my pre-pregnancy weight, hurray! Its good to see the numbers going down.

Anyway, its super late and I have an appt early so. Night all! I hope I'll get a chance to write some more later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Belated Veteran's Day Post: Supporting Our Troops

So this was supposed to be my Veteran's Day post and well, as is obvious I didn't get around to it til a few days later. Go me! Its that time of year when everybody gets sick and with four kids if one gets it they all do. I'm pretty much decided to restrict our outings so I can keep our kids healthy this winter, it adds up quickly. Anyway, so on to my belated Veteran's Day post.

When I decided to join the Army, it was a big step for me. I'd grown up with a relatively patriotic family, but my parents' experience with the Military wasn't great. My Mom's Dad was kind of a lifer and he'd never really been around while she was growing up. He had made the Army his priority and came around every couple years, a trend that continued most of my childhood as well. He'd been divorced several times and had been unfaithful (I'm not saying this is true for all soldiers, obviously), where I'm going with this is that his example wasn't really the best to go by. He was a great soldier, but it left his family life much to be desired. So, my mom wasn't a big fan of Military life or the idea of what it represented to her. Now we all know that the Army/Military life isn't for everyone. I was once told that it takes a special woman to be able to be married to a soldier and it most definitely is true. If we weren't made of something tough, we wouldn't make it through the deployments, the drill weekends, the two weeks or more a year and all that comes with this life.

Its not a life someone who isn't a soldier or married to a soldier or a Military Brat can fully understand. Its hard to explain the different way we have to do things and sometimes I feel that we get looked down on for that, since we break from societies 'Norm.' So, the day I told my Dad that I was seriously considering joining and that I wanted him to know, perhaps (I hoped) to get his blessing. I was 20 and didn't need permission and I wasn't looking for it, but I wanted to know that I was going to get support from my family. I already knew my Mom wasn't going to be super excited, but this was my decision and not anyone else's. My Dad asked me if it was what I really wanted and I told him that I was pretty sure it was. He then proceeded to tell me that my Mom would try to talk me out of it (which was pretty much a given) and that there are somethings that parents want for their children & some that they don't. I was kind of shocked, to be quite honest. I knew that my parents would at least be wary about the idea of their oldest daughter joining the Army and that it would take some adjusting to, but I felt immediately the disapproval of my decision and I was hurt.
I had made a big decision, a life altering decision and I suddenly felt very alone. Later that same day I cornered my Mom and told her the news. I was going to enlist on my birthday and I wanted her to know. She tried talking me out of it, but the more she tried the more I felt that this was something I needed to do. I wanted to show them that I could do this. That I could be a soldier and that just because I was a girl & because they hadn't wanted different things for me, didn't mean it was the decision. It was my decision. So its exactly what I did. It took a few weeks longer to get through all the necessary stuff to join, I had to have my ankle evaluated since I'd had surgery a couple years before. But I finally enlisted Aug 4th, 2005 and was scheduled to leave for Fort Jackson, South Carolina by the end of the month.
Seven years later, my parents have come around. ;) (Love you guys!) They are super awesome about alternating every other month with my in-laws to watch our kids, while my Hubby & I go to drill each month. My parents have swooped in a few times and come to the rescue when babysitting falls through with my in-laws. I am grateful for all their help and even if it seems like such a small thing as to take the grandkids for two or three days, its a big step in helping me to succeed as a soldier. Having support from your family is so huge! I know a lot of you understand that, without our families (blood or otherwise) we couldn't do what we need to.
My first six months in the Army were rough in all sorts of ways. I mean its Basic training, right and then AIT and you're expected to follow orders. And really how many people like to be yelled and told to do stuff that sucks? Not very many, but the longer I was gone the more accustomed to it I became and a much stronger person for it. It was also rough, because my Hubby, who was my then fiance/boyfriend, who had been my biggest advocate and support about joining was being so supportive. All the letters I imagined I get from him and my family while I was gone, that imperative support, wasn't there. I got a handful of letters from family, three post cards from my Hubby and a single letter, which actually was him breaking up with me during AIT. I saw how much a single letter, a post card could buoy one's spirit. I felt alone and lost without all the support I thought I'd have.
Finances were tight for my family at the time, so coming to my Basic graduation wasn't an option, but I thought my sweetheart would come and cheer me on. It took alot of mental adjusting to not be angry with everyone. I was hurt and confused, and well far away from home. I survived, but it wasn't easy. After I came home and my Hubby had already headed to premob training, we managed to work things out between us and were married just a couple months later. He got four days leave before they were supposed to head over to the Big Sandbox, and we got married, then I sent him back on a plane to not see him for six months. 

I learned something new while my Husband was deployed, I learned about support and about giving and receiving it. It was hard to be apart the entire first year of our marriage. We had to find ways to keep up our relationship, I had to support him with letters, care packages and with just being there for him. A kind of rock at home. Now I didn't always feel that way, but I tried my best to be that for him. I knew what it was like to be away from home and feel as if life was moving without you & no one caring. I didn't want him to feel that way, I wanted him to know that I supported him, in all that he was doing. It was easier in someways because we were both soldiers and we understood in a manner of speaking what we were going through. I also learned I had to teach my family about being a soldier's family.
And no I wasn't having classes with the big white board or chalk board giving lessons. I talked all the time about writing him letters, about the more mundane things he was doing over there, I tried to keep them involved. I didn't run from my family, but instead tried to show them that being a soldier didn't make us bad guys doomed to cheat and leave their families behind. Like I said as time has gone on, my family has changed and sees more then what my Mom grew up with. Not all soldiers are like that.
Being a soldier and being married to one, I understand how important it is to show our Troops support. I know there are all kinds of programs out there that send care packages, books and all sorts of things to the soldiers who are deployed, which is so wonderful. I wish more people took part in them (myself included). I know its hard if you don't have a soldier in your family or a friend is one, its hard to put yourself out there to send a card or buy things to go in a care package. I don't think I could ever stress enough about how important it really is to support our Troops, whether you personally know a soldier or not. We should all be willing to put ourselves out there for them, because without their sacrifice we wouldn't have the freedom that we do. They put themselves out there for everyone, every citizen, every child, every family, they sacrifice their time and their lives (in some cases) for us. Shouldn't we be willing to give something back?
It breaks my heart when I see pages of Facebook that talk about 'F*** the Troops' and the like. We fight so people can say things like that, the freedom of speech that these people enjoy has been all because of the sacrifices our Troops make every day. The freedom we all enjoy didn't come free, it came at a cost and for some its a huge price that they've paid.
There are so many ways to support Our Troops, even if all you do is like a photo on Facebook that shows a soldier or a comment or thought that talks about Our Troops in a positive light its something. Somewhere a soldier is going to see that and its going to give them strength. We can't let them go through another Vietnam War, where horrible, horrible things were said about them. We go and we do what we're told. We leave our families behind, we go so far away from those we love and put ourselves in harms way. Not everyone can say the same. Not everyone is willing to give that much of themselves for others.
I'm glad I can say I'm part of that small percentage who is willing to sacrifice my time and if needs be my life so that Americans can be free. Take a moment and thank a soldier. It doesn't have to be Veteran's Day to do it. Show them that you appreciate all they do, because they do it for you!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Needing A Moving Song Today

I love this song. I understand the child like sentiment of not wanting the little girl to come fishing. When I met my Hubby, I couldn't stand him. I was the little boy (in theory) that didn't want the little girl to come fishing, but as I grew to know the kind of person he was I couldn't help but fall in love with him. Remind me to tell you the our love story sometime its kind of funny. I love my Husband very much and I don't know what I would do without him. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and helped me bring our four miracle babies into the world. I love you Christopher Without End Without Measure! Come What May!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The First 5 Months in Photos

Life has been absolute chaos here and its going to stay that way for at least another month, then maybe it will slow down for a little while before the holidays. (Ok, so that might be wishful thinking) Anyway, I've slacked on keeping updated pictures of sweet Fallon, our Baby Dragon, on here. So, here are some pictures to chronicle his first 5 months, since the 6th he turned 5 months old. Where has all the time gone?

Moments after birth. (Can you see his very red hair?)
This is a few hours later, my sweet baby with my beloved Grandma. She passed away 6 days later!

April 10th, going home day-4 Days Old
April 18~12 days My cute little bunny
April 18~12 days old with his Proud Big Sister Aislynn
April 21~15 days with Great Aunt Ginger the day of Grandma's funeral

April 22~16 days with Great Grandma for the 1st time
April 22~16 days with his Great Grandpa for the 1st time
May 4~ 2 days shy of a month old

May 5~ 1 month

One Month

May 19~ 1 Month 13 days His first trip to the Zoo (and an exclusive photo of me, lucky you)

June 29~2 Months 23 days Nearly 3 months and his first trip to the Children's Museum
June 29~ Didn't like sitting on the giant plastic horse very much
Aug 24~ 4 Months 18 days His first trip to the pool

Boy, is Fallon a little fish!

He wasn't bothered by how cool the water was!
Aug 23~Such an expressive little guy!

So Happy all the time!
Him & Pixie, so cute together!
As always more pictures to come!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Easter 2012

 I have to say that Easter this year was very unique. I was still in the hospital after having had Fallon. So 'The Easter Bunny' came and did baskets in my room. That way I wasn't missing anything. Although I think my Mom thought it was strange that we were ok with having the baby that weekend, but it worked out beautifully in so many ways that we hadn't planned on.

It gave my sweet Grandma the opportunity to see my three older ones once (the day Fallon was born) and Fallon twice. I had no idea that Easter Eve was the last time I would ever see my Grandma alive.

Anyway, my kids made out like the cute little bandits they are. The Easter Bunny didn't skimp on all the fun-ness! My Mother-in-law even came and hung out for awhile and watched my kids go through their baskets. It was kind of nice quiet afternoon, but it was sad when my family left and I was alone at the hospital again. No fancy dinner for me!

Grandma hanging out with us!

Me in all my hospital gown glory!

Fallon was there, but sleeping so peacefully and he did get some cute clothes.

Where One Door Closes, Another One Opens

Well I've put this post off long enough. For lots of reasons, but the biggest one is boy have I been busy! We just moved to a bigger place and although its only a matter of blocks from our previous place, it took way too much time and effort to do. I DO NOT plan on moving again for awhile and when we do I hope that its into our own place. Anyway and the other reason I have put this one off, is because its kind of painful (emotionally.) I wasn't quite as prepared for everything as I thought.

Back in May I had a hysterectomy. Yup, I'm 27 and can no longer have kids. (At the time I was still 26) Now this was something Christopher and I have been discussing & debating about for years. We'd actually originally planned to have it done after Aislynn was born. But let me back track a bit. I'm not sure how many of you know, but I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Endometriosis back when I was like 13 years old. It wasn't completely official until I was 18, but my Dr was as positive as one can be without being able to visually see the endo, which can only be done through surgery. I have suffered from the most horrific periods since I first started having them. I some how managed through the first few, which were irregular and came randomly. But within the first year it became apparent that for at least the first three days or so that I couldn't even function I was in so much pain. I missed quite a bit of school thanks to it.

We tried the birth control bit, but it only slightly alleviated the pain. And it couldn't all be chalked up to cysts either, although I had quite a few of those over the years. I was told at 18 that my chances of having kids were slim to none. After three miscarriages, I finally broke down and had a laproscopic surgery to officially diagnose the endo and to cut and cauterize the endo, which would temporarily put me back at step 1. But with time the unwanted tissue would grow back. I had this done two or three months before my Hubby came home from his deployment. And miracle of miracles I got pregnant a few months after that. Pregnancy for all that we were excited for it, turned out to be far from the cake walk pregnancy that all women dream of. (Cause no one wants to be pregnant and miserable, especially when you can't be treated in the same way as when you're not pregnant)

Its was awful, but we wanted another baby and we thought 'First pregnancy was bad, so the next ones are going to be much easier.' But not really. Although Aislynn's pregnancy was easier in some ways, it ended in a preterm, emergency c-section and a cute baby with lung problems. During my pregnancy with Aislynn we seriously discussed having a hysterectomy following her delivery. I wasn't sure I could handle anymore pregnancies and we were both ok with adopting, but we felt strongly following a visit to an LDS temple that we needed to wait because we had two more that needed to get here.

Ok, I thought these will get easier and once again I was wrong. Rhiannon's and Fallon's pregnancy while having different problems were so rough. I endured bedrest, extreme morning sickness, a feeding tube, IV therapy and so much more. I was miserable and thought that each pregnancy was going to kill me. I survived obviously, but we decided after finding out we were pregnant with Fallon that this was it. We talked about adopting down the road when our kids were bigger and more helpful (and its still a plan for us), but we decided my body couldn't handle another pregnancy. So 6 weeks following Fallon's c-section I went in for my big surgery.

The plan was to keep my ovaries as long as they looked healthy and only do a partial hysterectomy. My Dr said I was too young to have to go through menopause this early, but if my ovaries continued to cause problems since its the female hormones that cause endo to grow and can continue to make it grow even without a uterus (especially since my endo has been located on my bladder, outside my uterus and my abdominal cavity walls to name a few places. He'd also remove any cysts, etc. He'd pretty much do a clean up in there. I was nervous but resolute on doing the procedure and it would require at least three days recovery in the hospital. I ended up being in the hospital for five days and needing a two liters of blood.

Yup, I got to have a blood transfusion, but it sure made me feel better. I lost 600 ML of blood during my surgery and so it actually affected my body's recovery. I had opted for a spinal block before they put me under, it was supposed to give me longer pain relief following the surgery, but when I started to wake up in the first recovery room I was practically screaming in agony. I could move my toes already and there was no relief to the pain. Prior to the surgery we had discussed that I would be set up with a morphine pump to help ease the pain since he found that this was a much more painful procedure. But because I had received the spinal I couldn't be set up with one until after midnight, so like 12 hours since the spinal. The IV pain meds did little to help and it wasn't until I was hooked up that I found any relief. (I won't lie it was awful, kind of makes you wish you'd skipped the procedure)

I had to be on oxygen for four of the five days since every time I tried to sleep my oxygen levels dropped drastically. And I was pretty tachycardic for the first couple of days, I normally run 100/60, but I was hitting 160/90. It was kind of scary and I called my father in law to make arrangements for a Priesthood blessing. He wasn't in town at the time, but he and my mother in law made arrangements with some Priesthood holders in their LDS Ward to come and give me the blessing I needed. I'd had one shortly after getting to my room the night after my surgery. They'd called and asked for any available Priesthood holders and two men, whom I had never met gave me a blessing. Now before the blessing I was sobbing and unable to be quiet, I was able to be quiet long enough for the blessing and then was in complete misery after it, but I think the blessing helped eventually. No instant healing or anything. I got a second blessing the next day and I was terrified to sleep, afraid if I did I'd not wake up. (I haven't actually admitted that out loud) All I could think of was my Grandma having died and that I was terrified to die too. I was ready to die, I wanted to see my kids grow up and seeing my BP be so high and my pulse racing at over a hundred and twenty beats a minute, I was absolutely terrified.

Between receiving the blessing and getting the blood transfusion I began to do better. It was kind of nice being in the hospital for a few days. I didn't have to take care of anybody but me. Not that I really got lots of sleeping rest, but I was in bed for five days and only got up when I had to go potty two days into my stay. (Although eventually had to make circuits of the Women's Health and Ped's floor) It was nice to finally get to go home and see my kids & my baby. (They did come visit a few times, which was nice).

It hasn't been until the last few weeks that the reality of having had the procedure has really sunk in (you would of thought the whole incision and recovery would have done that) We've joked on and off about no more birth control, no more worrying about getting pregnant and no more periods. But now that Fallon is getting bigger and is loosing that tiny baby look, its really starting to sink in. There won't be another tiny baby (I mean there might be if we can afford to adopt down the road). But no more tiny new baby sounds and no more attempts at breastfeeding. I know its silly I've been blessed with four miracle babies, but its hard knowing its the end. People around me are starting to be pregnant and it will never be me again. (Selfish I know) I remind myself what my Dr said about my uterus when they removed it. He said it was in such bad shape it was good we had decided to do this when we did. Meaning: I'd have died had I tried to have another baby. So its a sacrifice that was worth making, but its hard and I know when my sisters finally get around to having babies of their own I'll feel the lose again, but I'll still be excited for them. Just sad that I've moved on past that stage in life.

So, that's my story. Its taken awhile to put out there, but there it is. I hope you will all forgive me for my selfish thinking because I know that there are so many who can't have kids of their own at all and I have four. It may seem like it was easy getting pregnant, but it wasn't and I lost a Rhiannon's twin at 15 weeks and had two more miscarriages just before Fallon. I've been pregnant ten times with only 4 live births. Its been the hardest few years of my life getting each one of my miracles here. Now I have to work on moving forward and enjoying the next stage of life. (And I will, just give me some more time to finish adjusting.)