9 Years Ago Today – Part 3

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September 25, 2005 – 9 years ago today. 12:45 am – I woke up to a very weird sensation. I realized I was wetting the bed. And I rolled over and went back to sleep.


I know. Weird. Gross.

Hey, when you are that pregnant you are tired.

I came to a few minutes later and I was still wetting the bed. This time I sat up. Anthony was apparently not asleep enough to ignore me and asked, “What’s wrong?” To which I reply very confused. “I’m wetting the bed.”

“Are you sure?” He said skeptically, “Is your water breaking?”

“No. I’m wetting the bed…and I can’t stop?”

I know this sounds weird, and it was. It was a strange moment for me. With Bella doctors had broken my water and this time around I had a planned c-section. This was not supposed to be happening, it wasn’t on my radar so I was sure it wasn’t what was going on.

Finally Anthony convinced me that my water was broken, or breaking. Phone calls were made. We hadn’t even gone to the hospital yet for a tour, that was going to be after our next appointment. We actually had to get directions to the hospital from my parents when we dropped Bella off because we’d only lived there a few months and never had reason to go.

On the way to the hospital I remember saying, “This is going to be a tiny baby. I am 4 weeks early.” Based on the size of my belly I am not sure why I thought this, but it seemed right knowing that my first was 8lbs 9oz at 39 weeks that this one at 36 would be around 6lbs.

When we arrived the nurse was readying me and asking me questions that would determine how quickly we went to c-section. One question. Did you eat dinner? Ummm…yes I did. How heavy was it? Ummm…lasagna, salad, bread and dessert (maybe 2). What time was that? Around 7pm. “Well then we need to delay surgery for a good long while if we can.”

7 hours. I labored 7 hours and they wouldn’t allow me pain medicine because it needed to be fresh for surgery. At one point the nurse came in and said, you’re not going to make it to your surgery time we need to call the doctor. Then she returned and said “We’re just going to give you this medicine to stop your contractions so you can wait because of your dinner.” I was not happy, and the medicine made me feel horrible.

Finally it was time. Being the weekend the doctor who performed the surgery wasn’t my doctor so she shook my hand to introduce herself just minutes before she sliced me open. Then when she did and Natalie was born the first thing the doctor said was, “Are you sure of her due date? She’s a big baby!”

8lbs 1oz born at 36 weeks. Yes, I was certain of my due date and she had a few premie problems to prove it. Born on a night of record breaking early deliveries because of hurricane Rita’s storm system having made its all the way to Oklahoma dropping the barometric pressure dramatically. One nurse suggested we name her Rita. But no, she was my Natalie Celeste. Based on her arrival we joked she was impatient and spunky, a child who would do things on her own terms.

How right we were.

Happy birthday my Natalie Celeste, you are one in a million and I am so glad you are mine.

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9 Years Ago Today – Part 2

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September 24, 2005 – 9 years ago today was a lazy Saturday. Hurricane Rita had hit land in Texas. (This is an important factor of the day even though we lived in Oklahoma.) That evening I went with my mom to a church broadcast for women. I ate a dinner of lasagna, salad, rolls and dessert. Food is important for a 9 month pregnant woman and this meal would make an impact on the day to come. That evening during the broadcast my mom and I giggled as we watched my stomach move in all sorts of ways. A foot here, an arm there, high and low – it was entertaining to say the least.

I went home and gave Anthony a really bad hair cut. I may have even cut his ear.

We had no idea what would arrive before morning.

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9 Years Ago Today

9 years ago today it was September 23, 2005. Bella was 21 months old, Anthony was in his first month of law school, and I was very pregnant with Natalie. I had about 4 weeks to go. That evening we left Bella with Grandma and Grandpa and attended a church activity at the bowling alley. I bowled. Many people commented that I would put myself into labor but, I just laughed it off and had a good time. I did not go into labor that day.

9 years ago today I had never held my 2nd child.

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9 years ago today I didn’t know what spunk was coming in such a tiny package.

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9 years ago today I had never touched her soft skin or heard her sweet coo’s.

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9 years ago today I had no idea that in two days she would be here.

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Now 9 years later I know her laugh, I know her cry.

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9 years later I know what an amazing little person Anthony and I were blessed with.

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9 years later I know that there is so much more for us to experience with her.

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9 years later I love her, I always have, and I always will.

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My apologies for the number of photos that will be shared in the coming days. This is a photogenic and fun to photo child. I told her that we’d go out for just a few minutes for a few days so she could wear multiple outfits. Day 1 I got 13 photos that I marked for sharing, that is what you see today. I’m going to try to post a group from each photo day over the next few days. The stories will be about the days leading up to her birth, the pictures will be recent.

School Open House

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Last night was the school open house. Normally this is a Mom job in our family. Both Anthony and I are very involved with the education of our children but I tend to be the one to take on the communication between parent and teacher. This year however, that became tricky as open house was on a Wednesday evening which is a night when both Anthony and I need to be at church by 7 pm. So we had to divide and conquer.

Anthony choose to go to Ethan’s open house presentation and I went to the girls. When Anthony and I met up afterwards he proudly handed me this star that had been on Ethan’s desk. I love the last sentence, “I am special to my Dad.” I love that he was the one to be there to first see this. Ethan is special to his Dad, and I have a hunch that his Dad is special to him too.

In Natalie’s open house presentation there were quizzes on the desk for us to take about our children. The kids had taken one too and then we were to compare our answers to theirs. One question was what was Natalie’s favorite movie. I left it blank for a long while and then finally just put a “?” in the space. When I opened up her answers she had a “?” mark there too. I guess I do know my child!

And just so I don’t leave her out there was one thing I thought was significant at Bella’s. When I walked in her teacher said to me, “You know I only meet parents for a brief moment at meet the teacher and I don’t know the kids yet so its easy to forget who is who. Open house is where I finally connect parents and children. But, I knew who you were right when you walked in because you look just like Bella.” I think that is the first time anyone has ever told me that. She made my day!

Who’s Number 1?

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At some point during our summer trip Anthony and I decided it was time Ethan get to play a sport. We always planned on it, it was just a matter of when.

When we asked Ethan if he’d be interested in playing soccer he said,

“My dream is coming true!”

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Things only got better when a friend let us have some old cleats that happened to be green, which is Ethan’s favorite color. He was beyond thrilled.

The night of his first practice he was so hyped up to play, be on a team, and have a coach.

He came home from his first practice to tell me that HE had come up with the name for the team. TEAM TIGERS.

Again he said, “My dream is coming true!”

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At the second practice he received his team jersey.

When he got home he told me he got the number he had wanted most, number 1.

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Last Saturday was his first game. The first position he played was goalie, just like he wanted.

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(He saved the goal here. We were proud!)

They won their first game, if you took score which no one officially does.

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And after the game he said it again,

“My dream is coming true!”

I wish it would always be so easy to make his dreams come true. I also want him to make some dreams that are harder to achieve because there is so much to be learned from the struggle. For now, however, I hope he enjoys the little dreams along the way.

Isabella and the Backpack

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Before I get into the 10 facts about Isabella the 5th grader I need to do a little story telling. 

Last year, at some point, Bella discovered Vera Bradley. She innocently told me she wanted a Vera Bradley backpack. I, at the time, was somewhat ignorant to the actual cost of Vera Bradley bags. I told her we could look at them and discuss it. So one slow afternoon we got on the internet and went looking. 

$108! WHAT the WHAT?! 


Fortunately for me, she understood that was A LOT of cash to spend on a backpack. But the desire persisted. So I was thinking this could make a good Christmas present. (If she didn’t mind not getting much else. 😉 ) Then one day I was telling my sister about it and she said that an outlet had just opened near her and we’d take Bella there when we visited over the summer. I then did some quick internet searching and found we had one about 30 minutes from us too. 

Bella never begged and that is something I appreciate about her. She doesn’t beg. She understands we can’t get everything …which makes you want to give her everything. (Do you think that is her plan?)

At the outlet in Texas we found the type of backpack she wanted for $60. Now my brain was entertaining the idea. I still didn’t want to spend $60 on a backpack so I told her that I would give her $25 towards a backpack which is about what I would typically spend on it. She would have to come up with the rest on her own. She agreed.

When we returned home from our trip it was obvious to me that she would not be able to come up with the cash for such an expense. So Anthony and I devised a plan. We wrote out a list of 8 chores that we said were worth $5 each. The catch was these were not simple chores. They weren’t things that would be done quickly. These were things that required significant time to complete. (The backpack ended up being more at our Outlet here so she owed us $40.)

For example: One chore was to wash every family members bedding, bathroom towels and bathroom rugs. Then remake beds and hang all towels. *This would take her 6 loads of laundry to complete, not to mention the time spent putting beds back together.

 As soon as I gave her the list she set out a plan. What to do when, how much to do each day and got to work. Because of a few things out of her control she didn’t finish until 7 days before school started and she was awarded the backpack of her choice.  

Here is a good shot of it. She is the tallest. 😉

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I am glad she earned it but, she had better take care of it and use it for at least the next few years!!!

As an added funny part to the story one day as I was telling my mom about this plan she said to me, “Just give her the backpack, she deserves it!” I was shocked. NEVER would my mom and dad have just given me a backpack that cost that much when I was growing up. Ever. They would have done the exact same thing. Just shows what a softie she’s become since becoming a grandma. 🙂

I don’t disagree that Bella deserved it. If I did she would never have gotten it. But, she needed to earn it. 

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10 Facts About Isabella the 5th Grader

1. Bella is on the school news crew. This doesn’t always mean she’s on camera but she gets the chance to do all jobs in a rotation for half the school year. 

2. Bella made lots of friends at her new school last year but NONE of them are in her new class. But true to Bella she took it all in stride. She said she was sad but that it was a chance to make more new friends. 

3. Bella’s favorite subject is: Math

4. Bella is excited to join the school’s chorus this year. She can’t stop talking about it.

5. Bella’s teacher’s name is Mrs. Mendenhall.

6. Bella likes to set goals for herself in school, and typically she meets them all.

7. Last year Bella was named “Best Dressed” in her class. She continues to own that title. 

8. Bella plans on joining a Harry Potter Club at school. She completed reading them more than 2 year ago but she can’t stop her addiction to them. She even has re-read many of the books. 

9. Bella’s lunches rarely include a sandwich. Instead she prefers pasta salad, green salad, soup, raw veggies and dip.

10. Bella’s favorite TV shows: Liv and Maddie, 19 kids and Counting and What Not to Wear

Look Out 1st Grade

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Ethan is 6. Ethan is now a 1st grader. This kid is amazing, crazy, wild, stubborn and sweet all wrapped into one. 

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10 Facts about Ethan the 1st Grader:

1. Ethan’s favorite subject(s): Science, Art, and P.E. 

2. He also loves music…(he kind of really just loves it all but he says, “I don’t like Math that much because it takes forever to finish.”)

3. His teacher’s name is Mrs. Lozzi. 

4. His classroom is decorated in Frogs.

5. Ethan is starting soccer this year. (This will require its own post.)

6. Ethan is fully able to read now but, he isn’t as into it as his sisters were.

7. Ethan loves to get non-fiction books about animals, vehicles and space. 

8. Ethan wants to be a “worker in a lab” when he grows up.

9. He has terrible hand writing. This is the way I see it – Left handed + boy who can’t sit still = Bad hand writing.

10. Ethan’s favorite TV show: Lab Rats and Merlin

Ethan lives life to the absolute fullest. I wish I had his energy.

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Middle Comes First

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I decided to start in the middle because, why not? Middle children rarely get to go first.

Before I go any further let me comment on the picture above and tell you something about Natalie. Natalie is a perfectionist in almost everything she does. This produces some anxiety in her and at times make its difficult for me to relate to her. But look at the picture above, see the one strand of hair that hangs across her face? I love that my perfectionist child almost always has one strand of hair hanging completely out of place.

10 Facts about Natalie the 3rd grader:

1. She has now moved upstairs at school. This is a big deal to her.

2. Her teacher’s name is Scapicchio….think Pinocchio when you say it.

3. Her favorite subject: SCIENCE

4. She is still playing piano.

5. She is joining the Recorder Ensemble at school.

6. She loves STEM activities.

7. She is having a bit of a time adjusting to the expectations of 3rd grade. Homework should not take that long…but I know she will adjust.

8. She loves school.

9. She is a “friend magnet”. People naturally love her.

10. Her current favorite TV show: Studio C from BYU Channel and Merlin

What I love about Natalie now is that she is still my little girl and is still very happy to be that. She is the child that snuggles up to me when she needs to feel loved but also snuggles up to me when she can tell I need to feel loved. She is very observant to the needs of those around her and that includes both her dad and me. Natalie is a smart girl, she thinks very thoroughly through everything and doesn’t make a decision until she is good and ready. She is constantly teaching me as I observe her. I love this girl!

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Back to Blogging – Back to School

Since I am officially back to blogging I thought I’d start with back to school. It was the last thing I posted before going on a full year hiatus so it seems very appropriate.


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I love back to school. 

(I love summer too.)

New back packs, new clothes, new opportunities, and new challenges. I thrive on this stuff. I’m not saying I do well with all of it. For instance, day 2 there were homework tears (Day.Two.). Can’t say I loved that. But the opportunity for growth and new challenges are exciting for me. 

This year is a bit sad for me though. Its the last year my three will all be in the same school. 

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Bella is now in 5th grade and that means next year she’s off to middle school. Then before Ethan ever makes it there she will be off in high school. Times are changing. 

But for now I’ll enjoy knowing that the three of them are together. It makes me smile to think that big sisters are around to watch out for little brother, or that little siblings are there to cheer on big sister when she’s on the school’s daily news program, and that little waves (or quite possibly some ignoring) happen in the hallways when siblings see siblings. But, best of all I just have one time for drop of and one time for pick up, and if I need to get them out of school it’s a one stop thing. 

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I am hoping for a s-l-o-w year.

(Stay tuned for a post about what each one is up to this year as the week goes on.)


Inspiration, Motivation and a Birthday

This past Thursday as I was walking through the house something caught my eye. It caught my eye enough for me to pull out my cell phone and take a picture of it.

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It was Bella’s room. My now 10, almost 11-year-old. At first glance it is a tween’s room. The signs of any remaining childhood are become less and less in here. But, what caught my eye today sat dead center on her bed. Buddy Bear. She received him for her first birthday from her Aunt Jeri. She loved him then and called him “Bu Bear” because at that age she couldn’t pronounce Buddy. The fact that she still loves him now is one of my favorite things about her because just like her room when you look at her the signs of any remaining childhood is diminishing quickly. So quickly it hurts.

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Snapping that picture of her room, then posting it to Facebook sent me on a search for a picture of her and Buddy Bear from 10 years ago. It sent me to a blog I used to update frequently. I never did locate the picture I wanted because it turns out it was taken before my blogging years. But the search resulted in my spending a good hour reading through posts and realizing how much of my children’s younger years I had already forgotten. I was suddenly so grateful for that blog that I had seemingly long since forgotten.

But really what it did was both inspire and motivate me. It inspired me to start again. It inspired me to live more thoughtfully and to record my thoughts. It motivated me to make a goal to keep it going. I am motivated because I don’t want to forget things. I want to remember that Ethan used to scream every time we prayed, I want to remember that Natalie slept with a banana, and I want to know what Isabella prayed for when she was two. And just because they’re not tiny and always with me now doesn’t mean there aren’t stories that I will forever treasure. I am all too aware that this phase of our life with children in our home is temporary and it is a phase of life I want recorded.

So are you thinking…but what does this have to do with a birthday? Well, today is my mother-in-law’s birthday. I had been thinking all week that for her birthday I should finally pull out my big camera and get the pictures I took this summer off and at least send her one of all her grand-kids…b/c it was now over 2 months ago and I’ve been that lame. That would be a great birthday gift, right?

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There you go. Happy Birthday.

I love you more than waiting 2 months to get a picture to you that you asked for. Unfortunately sometimes our amount of love doesn’t come through in our actions. But, you know that me starting to blog again means me taking more pictures again…which in truth was another inspiration/motivation for it all. Happy Birthday.