Saturday, December 26, 2009

He's Here!!

Well... he's been here! 7 weeks already actually! Our little Jericho Bryven (after his Grandpa's BRYant and SteVEN) Was Born November 2nd via C-Section (due to placenta previa). He was 8lbs. 1ounc. 22 inches long. He's more than a delight. It's just amazing to have him in our home, to feel his light, to snuggle up to, to kiss, to sing to, to dream about, to love and feel his love. We are so blessed and honored to have him come to our family. At 5 weeks he weighed in at 11lbs. 15 ounc. and was nearly 25 inches long-yahoo! He's growing strong and eating lots. He now smiles and can balance his head a bit.

He appears to have his Daddy's big blue eyes, his Grandpa's temperaments, He's just perfect.

Welcome precious Boy. We love you

This is indeed our merriest Christmas...

(Sorry for the neglect in blogging, we no longer have internet at home, but are holidaying on the Texas Coast!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

My head rests again on my own pillow

I only have a few minutes to try and write an update before we turn over the computer for a few weeks, so I won't be able to post pictures until then...

Two weeks ago my little gals and I boarded a plane headed to California to surprise my Grandma and Grandpa (who are serving as full time missionaries there) and visit uncles, aunts and cousins (most of whom I haven't seen in years). After a few savoring days of just being together- talking, swimming, playing, laughing, boating, etc...we drove with family to St. George where all my siblings (except Seth on his mission) and their families were waiting for a good time! We played night games, did silly improv skits, sang, laughed, went to the temple, raced mini cars, discussed the gospel, hiked the narrows at Zion National Park, took in "Annie" at Tuacahn, bumper boated, bat swung and thoroughly enjoyed just being together! Spence was able to use a voucher to fly into St. George for a few days before he had to return to take a final on his Birthday.

Then we headed up North since I would be flying out of Salt Lake on Friday, stopping along the way for a quick visit to old Provo and sleeping in Park City. I had planned the trip a few months ago and was so sad to learn on the day I was leaving that I would be missing my nephews baptism and a chance to see more family that would be driving down from Oregon a day later. I contacted the airline only to find out that it would be an additional $374/per person to fly out Saturday or Sunday. I was heartbroken and felt sick that I was clear in Utah with my girls and would have to leave before they could see their Great Grandma Lake, my parents-in-love, my brother and sister-in-love and have a chance to enjoy being with all their little cousins- whom I knew we probably wouldn't be seeing for another year and a half.

For some reason it was a particularly big deal emotionally to me, and against my wishes- I was crying before we drove to the airport and got on the plane. I felt so sad for my girls having to miss out on being with more family as I was taking them far away back to Texas.

We waited for about 45 minutes on the plane before the pilot came on and said "all flights in and out of Denver have been grounded due to thunderstorms". With no explanation of what that meant we waited in the plane another hour before I heard "Those of you who were connecting to San Antonio will most likely miss your connecting flight and you may wish to rebook your flight for another day".

That flight was the last one into San Antonio that night and the next flights for the next day were booked.

So, needless to say we were able to see all the Lake family that came in and be there for the baptism. In addition we were also able to see all the extended family on my Dad's side for the 4th of July.

Heaven is definitely aware of the details of our lives. And I apologize to those people who had to sleep over at the Denver airport or wait all day to try and get on a flight on my behalf, but those thunderstorms were a tender mercy for me and my gals.

And although we had another rough day of waiting, grounded flights, racing and barely making our connecting flight by seconds, making it home around midnight,-we spent last night in our own beds. I slept in a room without my children and before I fell asleep my heart was filled with gratitude that we had been able to spend time with people so dear. And I slept wonderfully comfortable in my own bed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Big Sisters

Adelaide and Kamorah love playing house. They feed, change, sing, rock, teach, read and play with babies. For a while now they have been asking when they get to have a "real baby".


the Doctor says late October

18 weeks

20 weeks

Gender shot...we didn't see anything? What might that mean....???

And we feel heaven blessed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bring Him Home

This song has long been a family favorite but I had a particularly moving experience today while watching our traditional National Memorial Day Concert. Colm Wilkinson, the classic Broadway Jean Valjean, performed this song in a different setting. He is older now, grayer, more wrinkled, yet maintains the beautiful control and emotional captivation in his voice. For me he does more than perform this song, for a moment he becomes it. He sang this song surrounded by the names of fallen soldiers and in the presence of veterans,wounded soldiers and families. It overwhelmed me. To think of one willing to give their life for another. The thought that so many have already done that for me. The selfless pleading to God to spare someone else. The undeserving grace bestowed upon us from earthly and heavenly beings.

I am grateful to have been able to visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. After viewing a stirring video of eye witness accounts you begin walking through fields of photos of soldiers, reading their stories and feeling of the tragedies. It is probably the closest I have felt to understanding what war must be like and feeling at least a bit of what sacrifice has been made. While walking from one section to the next you walk down a bridge like structure and immediately find yourself facing this picture in a larger than life size.

It took my breath away. It actually felt like we were one of them on the boats, getting ready to jump off and face the shore of D-Day at Normandy. I didn't want to walk any further.

I wonder if they knew what was facing them? I almost wanted to yell out, "don't get off"! And although real life would've been in color, I imagine it felt much like this picture, dark and desperate-lacking the joys and color of life- bleak, unforgiving, black and white war. Of course we know this moment to be many soldiers last, as they walked into horror on the death filled shoreline.

They say we thank our fallen heros by living each day in gratitude, recognizing the precious gift of life and freedom. To those heros: thank you... today and always, I pray to be worthy of that gift you have given me at such a high cost.

American War Heroes Tribute

Because we all need to take a few minutes to contemplate the high cost paid for the freedom we enjoy

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What A Spring Break!

Some call us crazy, but for Spring break we loaded our little family into our van and started East! We knew we wanted to head towards Florida and stop in a few places along our way, but we wanted to be spontaneous, so we only actually planned 2 nights of our week long stay. We got plenty prepared with maps, information, city to do lists, camping gear and loads of food...we figured if all else failed, we could always find somewhere to put up a tent, or sleep in our van. So we ventured out-not knowing beforehand the things which we should do!

And what a blast we had! Thanks to cheap camp sites and priceline's 11pm same day reservations, we were able to stay in awesome locations on a small budget! We stayed in Baton Rouge-LA, New Orleans-LA, Pensacola-FL and Destin Beach-FL, stopping at nearly every beach and historical marker along the way! There is far too much to post about this trip, so I thought I'd start with a few of the videos I took. I'll sort through the mounds of pictures later...(I'll do everything later right..wink wink).

Needless to say, it was one of those...relationship strengthening-(come back so much more in love), entire family entertaining, educational, peaceful, exhilarating, spiritual, reflective, exhausting, always going to remember, perfect time and money spent- kind of family vacations.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Silence from this 3 year old is never a good thing...

Mom wonders why the sudden silence from her 3 year old...

Mom calls from the other room:"Hey Addz, whatcha doin in there?"

Daughter suspiciously replies:"Nothing"

Now skeptical, Mom makes her way to a newly closed door, opens it-

Mom: Big Gasp!

3 Year old:"I wanted short hair like you Mom"...

Self cut hairdo

Mom's fixer cut hairdo

Like Mother like daughter :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's been a long time, but this past week....

You could have found me...

Early Morning Reading with Adelaide (crying over Dr. Seuss's "Oh' The Places You'll Go" )

Hearing simple testimony from my sweetheart

Taking in My first Texas Rodeo and Stock show with a handsome feller

Changing Kamorah's crib to a big girl bed after a few floor-thumping attempted escapes

Savoring chocolate covered strawberries from my lover

Swinging with my daughters

Playing pretend grandma to my daughters babies

Holding hands as a family, strolling in the park

Planning and preparing for New Beginnings

Teaching the YW how to do different hair braids and sharing with them the life of one of my heroes, Elizabeth

Cleaning the church Saturday mornings

Embracing the help of my assistant, Adelaide, and cracking up at her insistence in doing her "job" of putting away the silverware

Reflecting on memories as a friend departed, I love you Grandma Tink! Till we meet again!

Sitting together as A Young Women's Presidency in the temple- I consider it an honor to work with such women

Filing my taxes (yahoo, they're done!) and making plans for the refund (savings!)

Sharing a huge $4 stack of nachos from Chachos with my very own Chacho

Praising the magic eraser that cleaned pen drawings off my counter-top

Finding joy in my daughters learning- Adelaide being able to write by herself, her name and mine. Kamorah exploring any word I ask her to say, and pushing with excitement on the toilet.

Contemplating the YW's challenge to "lead the world to a return to virtue" and how to help them catch that vision

Listening to Kamorah's first prayer, recited from her prompter Adelaide

Sobbing over "The Secret Life of Bees" (don't watch the first few scenes, I couldn't-too disturbing) then kneeling by my daughters beds, praying they know how I cherish them

Reading a few (ever-motivating) conference talks, Always needing a reminder to SIMPLIFY

Playing Hide and Seek

Taking time (as brief as it may have been) to be holy.

DVR-ing and watching (late at night with my sweets)-American Idol and The Biggest Loser

Laughing with wonderful friends in church meetings.(just the meetings-not the actual service, you think you'd know the gal) (;

Giggling at Kamorah being her jokester, thinks she can do anything, little character

Cleaning out my voice inbox

Being up in the early hours of the morning with a sick child, happy to give her comfort and care, wishing it were me instead

(Subsequently) Cleaning up a few "accidents" and bathing gals multiple times in a day

Keeping track of my families Biggest Loser competition

Running away from ducks

Stressing a bit over how best to communicate and delegate responsibilities

Reading some of "Number the Stars"-Lois Lowry

Unsuccessfully highlighting my hair- what was supposed to be caramel-light "Beyonce" brown, turning into brass orange... covering it up to make the final product: red auburney mixed highlights instead. But you know what, I'm embracing it!

Being captivated by a true history lover and story teller, my sweetheart speaking to the cub scouts about America

Daily "flying pillows" making in our mother daughter bed making

Doing my Total Body Work out from the BYU channel

Getting a new crock-pot ("how could I live with out you...I want to know..") Good job finding that Babe!

Visiting the enchanting Treasure Island, pretending I lived there and taking in an estate sale

Making hair bows with my gals

Seeing two Young Women perform as the leads in their High School Musical

Talking with my Mom for hours about how I can be a better leader, and getting inspired advice

Trying again to please everyone all of the time and realizing again, that it's not possible- and that I need to not worry so much about it. Slowly but surely, I am learning the fine art of freedom from feeling judged.

Feeling so incredibly grateful, so happy, so glad to be where I am at in this moment of life

Friday, January 30, 2009

Say Yes!

This youth celebration was exciting, uplifting and motivating! I was so thrilled to see the church make such an effort to collaborate the talents and testimonies of our amazing youth to share with youth around the world! Since I watched a few weeks ago it has become a part of me and my family-we have downloaded all the songs and find ourselves bursting out in song and dance (and occassionally tears). ;) I had to post about it when this morning I overheard my precious Addy singing enthusiastically to herself: "If you feel like all you say is no, don't let go...o o oh, you will eat insactly what you sowt (you will reap exactly what you sow), don't let go... So we say Yes! Yes! Yes to Happiness! Yes, we're livin stronger!" ...then later... " there's a choice, a choice to be grateful a choice to gain knowledge, a choice to be clean!"

And my eyes swelled again.

I've heard some say it's cheesy... but if cheesy can bring an enlightenment of the spirit, motivation to be better, and pure sweet joy, bring on the cheese! The more I listen to it and reflect on the words, the closer I feel to Heaven. Enjoy

Go HERE to see and hear more!

Elder Holland to the Youth

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Brother Nate...I love you

Of course I have a few dozen back posts a waiting as I have been gone from my home for 3 weeks and gone from blogging for even longer... and I know you must all be desperate to see our hundreds of photos taken over the holidays-wink wink, but...

I have to start with NATE. We have been blessed to have my little brother, Nathan, live with us for the past few months. He is a delight. An optimistic, loyal, helpful, hard working, hilarious, talented, passionate, clever, handsomely fellow whom my daughters adore and I cherish. He'll be leaving our home in just over a week to pursue another path. I don't think he (or we) have any idea how greatly he will be missed.

I hope I don't embarrass him with my honesty, but I've learned a lot from Nate these past few months. I've learned and thought a lot about how differently we all make choices, how specifically we are influenced and challenged, and how personally we are encircled in the arms of Mercy. I've appreciated more the virtue of Hope and the ability to feel real Christ-like love. You See, Nate isn't your conventional LDS youth. Some of his choices have been different from gospel standards. His path has lead him down some rough roads with unique challenges and trials. I'm not certain all that he has learned or decided for himself, but I know he has come to know the reality of the grip of the adversary and the sweet refuge of the Master. Watching, listening to, and praying for Nate has made me think more about who I am and how seriously I am seeking to serve and love others as our precious Savior does.

I was extremely inspired by the spirit and words of Elder Holland (one of my most cherished Apostle) in this weeks BYU devotional. He encouraged us to "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). 'He referenced the biblical story from Genesis, where Lot and his family fled at daybreak from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife ignored God's command to "look not behind thee" and — upon looking back — turned into a pillar of salt'(Deseret News).

Elder Holland Said,
"It isn't just that she looked back — she looked back longingly,...In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin...."

"We remember that faith is always pointed toward the future — faith always has to do with blessing and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot's wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently she thought — fatally as it turned out — that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

" Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change — and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is it hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all it is charity, the pure love of Christ..."

"Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it, until the beauty of the atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future, and the bright future of your family and your friends and your neighbors..."

" God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as he does about where you are, and with his help, where you are willing to go."
(*For those of you who get BYU Television it will be rebroadcast on Sunday January 25th at 8:00am, 4:00pm, and 10:00pm*)

How grateful I am to be allowed to change my way, improve my vision, look to the future with faith- and move forward! Thanks be to heaven for the plan of Happiness, for the Plan of Growth and Change! For the gift of living in families. I am honored to be a sister to Nate. To have his friendship and confidence. To have been allowed to be part of his journey. To know him how he is and how he can become. To be able to encourage each other in our quest for joy- stepping back at times- allowing agency, that we might claim joy for ourselves through Christ.

I love you Nate, forever. Press on dear brother.