Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home Again. Home Again.

So much to blog!  So many pictures.  So much to document.  We have had a great, yet very busy summer--and that doesn't even account for this baby coming in less than two months!  We still need to get ready for her and for school.  Life is crazy, yet beautiful.

We just got home from a 15-day vacation.  We saw all three of our families.  (And I have pictures that I have downloaded and gone through and others that I am currently downloading)  Now, being 7 months pregnant, the only way to take a 3600 mile road trip with my doctor's permission was to commit to walking 15 minutes for every hour and a half in the car.  We did it and it was much easier than I expected.  The kids loved the frequent breaks and we worked to time most breaks with a gas stop or a food stop.  We used to not eat in the car, but we did and it worked.  Within a day, we saw most of XDH's family (only missing 1 nephew, 3 nieces, and a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law (nephew on a mission, rest in Boston), on multiple days we saw all of CK's family, and in less than a week, we saw every member of my family--they were more spread out, some in Utah, Colorado, and Texas.  That, alone, is success!

Here is the brief before-picture recap:

Day 1:  Drove to Colorado, 14.5 hours, 800 miles
Day 2:  Spent visiting in Colorado, went to the Denver museum, saw my dear friend, J.
Day 3:  Drove to Utah, 9 hours, 520 miles:  CK and A went up to Idaho with his parents, while the other three kids and I spent time with our other family (XDH's family).
Day 4:  Went to church with my sister-in-law and her family, had family dinner, and celebrated some family July birthdays with everyone.
Day 5:  Hung out with cousins and loved being together!
Day 6:  Went to downtown SLC on the train.  We saw the temple, the church office building, and the new mall.  It took hours for L and I to figure out how to make it all work and it didn't go as planned, but all were safe and happy by the end--and that is all that mattered.
Day 7:  Spent the morning with the Utah family, then drove to Idaho, 2.5 hours, 150 miles
Day 8:  Drove to the cabin where we were holding the family reunion (Island Park, ID), didn't record miles, but approximately 4 hours.
Day 9:  K Family Reunion:  Went out on the boat, including tubing.  We also floated down the river.  Mostly we enjoyed being together.
Day 10:  More reunion:  Rode the boat together, I paddleboarded (that is a site to see with my prego belly). The kids broke pinatas and did a scavenger hunt.  After lunch, we all cleaned up the cabin and headed out.
Day 11:  We went to church with CK's parents, who happen to live in the same small town as many of my cousins and my aunt and uncle.  It was great to see everyone.  We ate a quick lunch and headed to Utah. I didn't write down any notes on miles or timing, but it took a while.  We went to my brother's home where we ate dinner with him and his wife and another brother and his wife. K and A went home to sleep at my 2nd brother's, while the rest of us stayed overnight there.
Day 12:   All of us met for breakfast and then we headed to Colorado, 10 hours and approximately 850 miles.
Day 13:  Visited my friend, J, who now had a baby girl, born while we were in Utah!  We also went to a local amusement park with all the Colorado family and my best friend of over 20 years.
Day 14:  Attended a session at the Denver temple with CK and K then joined us (thanks to Grandma!) and performed baptisms for the dead.  We also met A (my best friend for over 20 years) and her hubby for a double date and then played croquet together in my parents' backyard.
Day 15:  Drove home.  16. 5 hours and many miles.  We were halfway home when a light indicating transmission problems came on.  We stopped at a couple of mechanic places-they gave different ideas and could not help us directly, so we called our mechanic here in town.  He said that the light going back off could mean we were okay to drive home, but if it went back on, his suggestion was to take it in immediately. With that advice, we drove on-45 minutes- and the light came back on.  We were in the middle of nowhere with hundreds of miles of no big cities ahead of us.  We turned around, found a Honda dealer, set up an appointment, and took the van in, 45 minutes back-the wrong way!  Due to all the unexpected chaos, we had not even eaten lunch.  The kids were actually very good.  I am impressed with all four taking the situation in stride.  We left the van doing a diagnostic and walked over to a fairly close WalMart that had a McDonald's inside.  We ate and hoped that we wouldn't need to stay overnight somewhere.  When the call came, the diagnostic revealed that our transmission was okay, but the sensor was bad.  PHEW!  We will need to take it in soon to replace the sensor, but still--what a blessing!

Finally, we were home!!!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July 2012

 This 4th of July was great!  It is my favorite holiday by far.  I do miss having a ward pancake breakfast, but it turned out well.

We ate blue star pancakes for breakfast.  Yum!
 Then we headed out early afternoon to a nearby lake to spend the day-basically waiting for the fireworks.  It was hot and most the people there were swimming and boating.  We found a little place in the shade and hung out there for a few hours.  It was fun.  CK and C played catch, the boys and I played croquet.  We read, we snacked, K and I played Dutch Blitz on a blanket.  It was very enjoyable.

 As it got closer to dark, we moved down closer to the lake.  Before it had been directly in the sun, but now we had some shade and a nice cool breeze coming off of the lake.  We decided not to go change into our swimsuits, but the kids did go wade in the water a few times.

 We brought our traditional light sticks and had fun playing with them until time for the fireworks.
This was a new location for us this year.  The fireworks were equally as good and I loved the reflection on the lake.  The downside was that we were across the lake and so the fireworks were smaller and farther away.  This display didn't include any live music like the other one did and we missed that as well.  It was fun, though, and we already have some begging to return next year!

P.S. ---All my older pictures off my computer are gone----time to do some research to find them before I can finish catching up!!!!  Wish me luck

Catching Up---Again

Well-It has been almost a month since my last published post.  We have had such a crazy life and so much that has happened.  We are so blessed.  Now, here I am catching up--again.

We enjoyed having A here with us.  Having all four kids together really makes our family complete.  I feel so blessed with how much they love each other.  All four have been willing to open their hearts and give of themselves to blend our family and to become siblings.  What a blessing!

More and more, I am in awe and blessed that my trials (now that I can look back) have been "but a small moment."  Heavenly Father truly stood by me and took care of me every step of the way.  I have been blessed with a husband that loves me more than I could have imagined possible and a marriage that is absolutely amazing.  How thankful I am.  I know Heavenly Father and Jesus live.  They know me.  They love me.  They know each of us and love each of us and we are all so blessed.

I am working on being optimistic, faith-filled, and happy.  Before all that happened with the divorce, I was naturally quite optimistic, but now, I can see a pessimistic and whining side coming out.  I don't like it.  I have way too much to be thankful for to focus on the difficulties and hardships of life.  So, I am working on it.

Also within the last month, K turned 13.  Me???  The mother of a teen???  Oh, yes!  It is true and she is absolutely wonderful.  She is learning as she grows and developing into a young woman that I am so proud of.

Speaking of being a mother, Baby Girl is now only 2 1/2 months away from due date.  I am uncomfortable.  But, I know this is another small moment that will pass probably before I am prepared for her.  We have not decided on a name yet.  We aren't arguing over different names, we just haven't found one that jumps out at either of us.  I assume it will happen.  :)  I had a second ultrasound to check on the placenta Friday.  All is looking better.  Wahoo!  The cute thing is that she kept sticking her tongue out throughout the ultrasound.  :) Because all looks well, my doctor has cleared me to go on our summer trip at the end of the month:  Colorado, Utah, and Idaho-  Here We Come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just have to get out and walk 15 minutes for every hour and a half driving.  We will figure it out.  I am excited to see all my family-3 families in two weeks:  awesome (but not long enough!).

So-this is our life right now.  I will now try to catch up on the posts, but at least here is a picture-less sneak peak!