Virginia City

posted on: Monday, June 25, 2012

John's brother and family came to visit for a few days and with five boys running around the house from dawn until dusk it was quite the adventure. On Sunday afternoon we took the family to a ghost town near Ennis that attracts visitors from near and far. In it's prime Virginia City served as the territorial capital and was renowned for being a gold mining boom town bigger than Denver.  Once the gold diminished from this thriving western metropolis the people soon dispersed leaving behind the skeletal remains of a once flourishing western gold capital. 

Today, tourists are attracted to Virginia City for it's life-like snapshots of the gold boom era, as well as it's rustic appeal and grandeur. With it's distressed wooden boardwalks, old fashion candy shop, and dusty floor saloons this town still bustles with life every summer. What a refreshing afternoon we had--full of roping, buying old fashioned candy, panning for gold, old west family photos, and rustic style cafe lunches.  

Thank you family, you got me out of my pajamas for the day and I was able to work on an awful saltwater sandal tan on my feet. :)

The Gravel Bar

posted on: Saturday, June 23, 2012

Since moving to Ennis I have only managed to explore downtown once. The experience was exhausting, Brecken's mood was less than pleasant and I was sleep deprived. Sadly, I was defeated that day. John sensed how overwhelming life had become for me so he suggested that we put Brecken in preschool one day a week.I cried the first day I dropped him off. I felt as though I might miss a monumental milestone in his life--that I would return back that afternoon and he would know how to ride a bike or would have learned to how to write his alphabet. I was a little dramatic.

After leaving him that morning something glorious happened when I returned home. I took a nap, showered for more than three minutes, straightened my hair, put on makeup, fed Addison, watched an episode of The Real Housewives of New York (guilty pleasure), and ate a warm breakfast. and cried tears of joy.

John and I have even decided to eat lunch out once a week while Brecken is at school.  A few days ago we visited the Gravel Bar, which was delightful. John and I both enjoyed the gyros. wickedly good. It may be the best bar food you'll ever taste. 

Later that afternoon Addison and I took full advantage of our freedom and ventured downtown where we strolled through the quaint western shops which were packed with Montana apparel, unique knickknacks, and a collection of cowboy boots that would make John Wayne jump out of his grave. So if you are still stumped on what to do for a fun family vacation, come visit us here. I'll make sure you'll have the best bar gyros ever.

One Month

posted on: Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello, Utah.

posted on: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, sweet Utah. You've always been so good to me. You welcomed me into this world with open arms so very long ago and since that time you've never seemed to disappoint me. Last week my little family went back to the desert of Utah for a fun-filled birthday weekend. My Momma turned 50 and in honor of here we celebrated with family dinners, makeovers and relaxing pedicures. 

Two of my favorites

posted on: Monday, June 18, 2012

Two of my favorites had a big day yesterday--Fathers Day for John and a big 26th birthday for my little sister, Kambrie.  The day was spent driving back from Utah so we weren't able to celebrate.

Kambrie, you are one of my all time favorite people. seriously. I am so happy that you are my best friend and my go-to girl. Who knew that the tiny girl with pig tails and freckles could grow into such a beautiful woman. You not only are an amazing sister and wife, but I know that someday you will be the coolest mom...ever. Happy Birthday Seester! 

Johnny B, look how far we've come. Five years ago we were newly weds basking in the Hawaiian sun, and today we spent a majority of our time feeding babies, changing diapers, and listening to Blue Clues in the car.  Thank you for being such an amazing father, and for being such a wonderful example to our children. My heart skips a beat every day when you come home and Brecken runs to the door with excitement to see you.  It's such a true example of your character and it makes me so happy to see how much our son adores you. I love you so much, Honey. 

Happy Father's day to you, my wonderful Dad, and my amazing father-in-law.  

First Outing...

posted on: Thursday, June 14, 2012

 In high school I was involved in FFA. Some of you may know it as Future Farmers of America or those silly kids that walk around in stylish corduroy jackets. Yes, I was one of those cool kids. During my freshman year of college I was a Montana FFA State Officer. I was lucky enough  to get on a team with six other fabulous people who have become like family.  We've been in each other's weddings, been there for baby showers and births, helped one another move and pack, and every year we get together for a weekend of reminiscing.

Last week was our first outing with the baby. And Brecken's  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like attitude. You get the picture.But we did it and we survived. It was the feat of a lifetime. We survived sushi night, a racquetball tournament, a BBQ-ing contest, and a gargantuan house where he literally ran laps.
On our way home from the soiree we took a few detours because when civilization is within our grasp we drink it up like it's going out of style. One of our favorite stops included Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Holy mouth watering goodness, their fries are amazing. And let's just say their burgers are what dreams are made of. we also stopped and bought a couple bags of dirt. Yeah, we like to buy dirt. You know just in case there is a high demand for it and the world starts to run out of it we figured we needed to stock up.  John loves to mine for rubies so we always make it a habit of stopping to get mineral rich dirt whenever we have the chance. 


We're in Utah and tomorrow we are going to the zoo and Ikea...I will own you Ikea. prepare yourself.

Addison's birth: part three

posted on: Monday, June 11, 2012

No one can really prepare you for motherhood. Books and magazines can provide the how-to's, friends and family can give their "two cents," and society can tell you what's acceptable. But we all know that motherhood is one of those experiences that you just have to figure you out on your own--because when it comes down to it each child is different.

When Addison entered this world I thought I was equipped with all the knowledge I needed. I knew how to swaddle a baby in record breaking time, how to change a diaper one-handed, and how to cradle a baby back to sleep in a matter of seconds. And just in case the need were to arise, I knew how to use a nebulizer and administer medication for faltering lungs. 

However, no machines were needed to sustain her life, no medications were put in place to ease her pain, and no plane flights were set in motion to save her life. She was just perfect--with chubby little legs, squeaky little cries, and a mouth that could suck my chest off. But even with all of her perfections I was still not prepared for her. There were still late nights, early morning feedings, and postpartum blues. To be honest, I wasn't prepared for a newborn, because I had never raised a newborn. On that day God gave me something I wasn't expecting--he gave me a second chance.

He allowed me to experience the chance of holding a newborn baby, the opportunity to spend sleepless nights in the hospital feeding my little one, and the joy of walking out of the hospital with a tiny little bundle in tow,  a few things I never got to experience during my first birth, and for that I am thankful.

Even though pregnancy has been a challenging road for us, full of unexpected bumps and turns I have learned one valuable lesson. No matter how rough the journey may be there is always something worth finding at the end--and that may just be the two little bugs snuggled up next to me.

I wanted to personally thank you for your generous emails and thoughtful comments. I promise this is the last birth post (for at least nine months)...joking. Soon,  I will be returning back to my usual DIY posts and funny day-to-day posts of our lives!

Thanks for reading.

Addison's birth: part two

posted on: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There was this matter-of-fact aura in the air the morning of Addison's birth. I awoke and moved out of bed. Then I clumsily stepped in the shower and then put on a fresh coat of makeup and brushed my teeth. I checked my bags for all the necessities. Slowly, I ventured to the living room picking up the remnants from the night before--toys, socks, books, and remotes. As I opened the curtains and let the light flutter gradually into the living room I took in the smells and noises around me, Hunk snoring in the bedroom, Punk's humidifier murmuring, and a handful of birds singing their morning song.

This would be my last morning waking up in our home. I started to cry, a routine that I was not usually accustomed to, but I stopped quickly when I realized that time was ticking by and I didn't have the luxury of reminiscing. So I pulled myself out of my own nostalgic memories and began to check Brecken's bags as well, since he would be spending the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. Then I made my way to the spare bedroom where his tiny mattress laid nestled in the corner of room. As I slowly rubbed his back trying to gently arise my sleepy boy I realized this would be the last moment for just the two of us. Not wanting it to end I laid down next to him trying to take in his smell as he nestled he head near my chin.

When we finally arose I realized we would be late. The peaceful ambiance the preceded was now replaced with the jostling of bags, laptops, and toys as we loaded into the car. Time was not on our side. We drove to our neighbor's home were Brecken would spend the day and then we hurriedly made our way to town. Half way there we realized I had forgotten my identification---back home we went.

We were frazzled and late.

When we finally reached the hospital my body began to panic. My palms began to sweat and my mind began to convince my body that there was no way I could go through this again. I knew the pain, it was like nothing I had ever felt before. I'd heard that for many woman a C-Section was simple, routine, and an easier adjustment back to normalcy than a vaginal birth. The pendulum, however, was weighted for me on the other end. It shot through my body like an injection of gasoline. So painful in fact that tears would not do justice, but would only add to the impending pain on my body.

But this was "one doodle that can't be undid..." (name that movie)

So we entered the hospital. checked in. made it to our room. and waited.

Finally, my body was prepped and a nurse came and walked me to the surgical room. It seemed so surreal that I stood up and just walked-walked right into the room where I would have my baby. No pain, no contractions, no moments of labor, just walking.

The surgical room seemed like such an awful place for welcoming a new child into the world. Stark white walls, bright fluorescent lighting, lifeless tables and surgical supplies, and bitter cold. No wonder babies cried when they entered the world.

When I was finally settled on the table the anesthesiologist administered the epidural and spinal block--a routine that I was well prepared for. After the pins and needles had shot through my body making me immobile and numb from the chest down I lay there staring at the blue hues of the surgical lights waiting for the procedure to begin. Then without warning I began to throw up. I couldn't move and as the paralyzed fear began to take over my body a nurse slowly caressed my hair as I kept throwing up over and over again. Once I stopped I wanted to cry, mainly out of fear, but also because I had no control over my own body or its reflexes.

When they were sure that I had finished the oxygen was placed in my nose and the procedure began. The bantering of the doctors and the surgical techs soothed my nerves. Hunk stood above me monitoring me from both sides of the curtain. The moments proceeding were more blurry. I tried to remain awake, tried to take in each moment as if it were my last, but between the culmination of painkillers and whatever other concoction they had brewing in my body it just seemed easier to fade in-and-out of consciousness.

Then it happened.

Still trying to grasp a hold of reality I heard it and I am sure the rest of the surgical room did as well. Her voice.  She started screaming the moment she was taken from me. No, it wasn't one of those light, airy newborn screams that melts the hearts of mothers everywhere. It was deep with a rumble that seemed to shake even the faint of heart awake. Addy Mae came into this world with a vengeance

As I laid on the surgical table trying to muster as much energy to stay awake I silently thanked God for a baby with big booming lungs. You see my greatest fear was silence. When Brecken was born there were wisps of crying, but nothing that could be conjured up as a full blown fit of rage for being torn from his safe haven. Instead, I laid helplessly on an operating table for twenty nine painfully stricken minutes while they tried to revive my little baby boy. So you can only imagine how light our hearts felt to hear the world's loudest scream echoing throughout the room when Addy entered the world.

As the nurses and doctors bustled throughout the room like a synchronized rowing team, Hunk knelt by my side asking if I would like to see her. My body, weak and medicated, would not allow me that luxury of taking control so as she was brought up to my face my heart skipped. Literally skipped. A baby with rolls and chubbiness, staring with bright eyes was before me.

Soon, I was being bustled out of the frigid surgical room down a maze of hospital halls to the recovery unit where  a swarm of nurses began changing my bedding, jostling my catheter, and even taking Addy and attaching her to my chest. Still numb and barely conscious she was placed in my feeble arms. No longer crying she nestled in as if she knew the routine and would help guide me as to what my mothering role was in the whole process.

more to come..


Addison's Birth: part one

posted on: Monday, June 4, 2012

Both my babies are asleep right now. It's a Monday miracle if I do say so myself. It couldn't come at a better time--Brecken decided to cover his bedding, bed frame, walls, and shoes in marker.

This little soiree occurred sometime in the night and this morning Hunk woke me up bubbling about how he went down to check on Brecken and found him wearing shoes while still fast asleep. Later, when I ventured downstairs to catch a glimpse of my sleeping babe I was not drawn to his cute little shoes, but rather to the football field-sized drawing on the marker that protruded onto his bed, and blankets, and himself. How did you miss that Hunk?


Our little lady is two-and-a-half weeks old and she already has a cold. Sad day for all. Lots of sniffles, soft tissues on her nose, and gentle cuddles seem to be all that I can offer her, Oh yes, and food. I can give her that. I am little a walking milk manufacturer. I quite possibly could go into commercial production.

"Moo"ving on.

Get it?

Addison has truly been an amazing blessing to our lives. I never imagined that I could love someone so unconditionally in such a short time, but it seems that with each day my love for my children continues to grows.

Sitting here, it seems so surreal that Addison has come into our lives and has already created such a profound impact on our hearts. Now looking back on the months of pregnancy--the surprise, the excitement, the nervousness, the heartache, the weight gain, the heartburn, the bathroom breaks, the doctors visits, the needles, each obstacle seems so distance and so minuscule.

I don't actually remember the day I found out I was pregnant Addison. I should, but I don't. I do remember  shortly after finding out, while sprawled out on the bathroom floor thinking, "Am I strong enough? Can I really go through with this? What if I lose this baby too?" I hyperventilated for awhile and then threw up again. and again. and again.

Sadly, in the beginning I regretted getting pregnant. I was still feeling the physical pain of my ectopic pregnancy and neither Hunk nor myself could bare the thought of having to deal with the emotional toll of another premature birth as well. It was really a lot to take in at one time, but I powered through it focusing as much attention as I could on Brecken.

Over time the pregnancy became more real and less frightening. My nose began to sense smells like that of a blood hound, my boobs began to grow, and my jeans began to get a bit more snug. Doctors visits were numerous because I was considered "high risk" and the receptionists and nurses were sweet enough to adopt Brecken during each visit so I go have my weekly ultrasound appoint and blood drawings.

By the time thirty weeks rolled around I was ready for the baby to come. Silly me--she had other plans in mind. But when you are used to having babies early, each additional day you go over just seems like torture and for me that was eleven long weeks.

Because of the drastic circumstances with Brecken and the need for an immediate C-Section--I was  adamant about having a natural birth with baby number two. Oh, I pushed for it. When week 37 came along the baby was still sitting comfortably in breech position and she had no ideas of going anywhere. anytime soon. The same could also be said for the following three weeks as well, but she did turn. hallelujah.  When my due date came and went the doctors began looking at other options. 

I remember sitting in the doctors office while my doctor talked about how I wouldn't qualify for induction because of this being a V-BAC. She stated that there was always the option of a repeat C-Section. I again declared that I would only have a natural birth, but by this time my cervix had already been stripped three times and I was still only dilated two centimeters. Not the best case scenario for a woman in my position.

Finally, reality hit me when another doctor suggested that the longer past my due date I went the more difficult it would be for me to have a V-BAC and that ultimately if the baby didn't come soon I would have to do a C-Section for the safety of both of us. With that said a C-Section was scheduled and as a last ditch effort my cervix was stripped for a fourth time the day before Addison's birth. 

Walking back to the car I cried. No, I more like sobbed. I yearned for the experience to have a baby on my own. I wanted to experience the proverbial "birthing from my loins." At that moment I felt like less of a mother, maybe even less of a human being. I always imagined childbirth would be easy. It was for my mother, so why shouldn't it be easy for me? I wanted to feel the pain that came along with birth and know that at the end of the pain would be the most amazing gift--life.

As I sobbed through the tears, I couldn't help but reflect on how disconnected and even lonely I felt through Brecken's birth. The thought of experiencing that again made me sick to my stomach. So much that when I sat in the car I started to black out from a combination of crying, lack of oxygen, and I am sure hyperventilation.

As I sat there crying, all the while still holding Brecken he looked up at me with his piercing blue eyes and said "I sorry" while trying to hold back tears of his own. I knew then that even though he wasn't brought into this world through the most perfect means, he was a perfect little boy. And I knew that no matter what way she came into this world it wouldn't diminish my desire or her need for me to be her mother.

To be continued...

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