Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Sometimes I feel like I'm the most awkward person I know. Seriously. I think this contributes to my social anxiety/fear/distrust of people. But I realized something recently when talking to some of my cousins (who also think they are awkward), and if I keep it in mind it might help me (and possibly you) in the future. Or maybe you already knew? Shame on you for not sharing! jk
I think everyone feels a certain level of awkwardness. Even the people you think have it all together and make their life look like it's perfect and running smoothly and they know what they're doing. Yes, even them, they have an awkward side too. The sooner we all realize that we're all a little awkward, maybe we'll be less afraid to talk to each other and connect.
But this doesn't fix dealing with the 'mean' people or the people who just don't like being in social situations for the most part (I'm looking at my husband on that one). That will likely always be awkward or uncomfortable.
And what about the people who you thought were your friends but apparently you just took up time till something better came along for them? Well they were just a phase in your life. There might always be some awkwardness there. It's situations like this that make me extra wary of people. It takes a lot for me to warm up and trust someone. I had a BIG wall up when I met my husband, he was patient and broke it down :) But if I come off as cold or unfriendly, I don't mean to. I'm just wary and afraid of being hurt yet again.

And I'm awkward and afraid of embarrassing myself.

Now here's a picture of my 'awkward' cousins and me showing off our weird elbows in an awkward picture:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dear you,

This has been swirling in my head for quite some time. I haven't known quite how to put it into words, so bear with me.

Dear infertility battler,
Believe it or not, I know the feelings you're having when you see all the bellies at the store and when you're out and about. I know the pain it causes, I know the jealousy it incites, I know the feeling of despair and hurt and 'why can't that be me' it brings on. I know how your eyes sting with tears, your heart aches and your throat tightens. I've been in your shoes, even if not in your exact way. Even though it doesn't look like it at all from what my life is now. I know the feeling of guilt for being angry at total strangers for something they have no control over.

When I've been pregnant, I'm always self-conscious. Not because of what you'd think though. It's because I'm aware that everywhere I go, there will most likely be someone who is hurt by my presence. I hate knowing that I cause that hurt. I have been on that side of things. I know I can't control other's reactions, but I know when you're suffering with infertility, it's hard not to have certain reactions to pregnant people.

Which leads to this...

Dear pregnant lady,
It's great that you're pregnant. Congratulations! Really. I hope you realize what a gift you have growing inside of you. I hope you know how many people pray for and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get what you have. I hope you won't publicly complain too much about cankles and getting fat. I hope I didn't scare you with my frustrated gaze. It's just that I've wished for what you have for such a long time. I'm working on my reaction, but it's painful to see something I've been working and praying for on so many other women.

Since having infertility, I am hyper-aware of people around me. I don't know their stories or what they've been through. I try not to be jealous of pregnant women in situations when we've been trying for over a year to get what they have. After all, I don't know their story, maybe they're growing a little miracle themselves or maybe it's a surprise baby #7. It shouldn't matter though, all babies are special and miracles and something to be celebrated. I know when I am pregnant I'm even more aware of those around me. I'm aware that my appearance can be hurtful, so much so that I almost feel guilty for my miracle, even though I shouldn't. I try extra hard not to complain and extra hard not to sound boastful. But all that care makes it hard to be very celebratory when I have every right to do so.

I'm not quite sure how/where I fit in the infertility community now. I will struggle with infertility for as long as I'm in my child-bearing years, but because I have 2 children now I don't exactly fit that mold. I guess maybe I've graduated from it, but I'll still be a visiting alumnus when we try for another?

I'm not sure what good this post will do, but I felt like I needed to write it. So there it is.
*Also, we're not making an announcement, this is just my viewpoint from those different times in my life.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Faith and Fear

Being a stay at home mom has always been my dream. But when we figured out a way for me to become that, I was scared.
Given our history with jobs, I think it was only natural for it to be a scary idea. The fact is that I was with the same company for 10 years, longer than we've been married. Then I changed jobs (which was another scary thing) and it looked like I could be there for quite awhile too, I got a raise at my 3 month review and I enjoyed what I did and my co-workers. I was afraid I'd have to work forever, though, because of the stability and safety net I felt in doing so. There was a lot of praying to know what the right thing to do was. The answer has always been that I need to be home.
On the other hand, Jer's job history hasn't been as stable. Now, this isn't a reflection of what kind of employee he is, it's due to different circumstances where he's been employed. He was laid off when I was 6 months pregnant with Ella, but had what we thought was a bright future at his job of 2 1/2 years, which is what made me a little more comfortable with quitting my job. But he was laid off again right after I gave my 2 weeks notice and was 7 months pregnant with Lyla. Maybe me quitting wasn't a good idea, we needed that safety net. I grudgingly took back my 2 weeks notice, heartbroken that my dream had been taken away and I wouldn't be able to be home with my girls. But then Jer was offered a job a week after he'd been laid off, maybe me quitting would work out after all. More praying, same answer as before. I nervously submitted my notice again, afraid that there wouldn't be a safety net if Jer was laid off again. But really? How could he get laid off again, hadn't that happened enough already?
Not even a week after we had Lyla, he was laid off again (his new job set him up for failure and even admitted to their fault). My biggest fear of not having a job as a safety net had come true. Talk about stress. My first thought (after "You have to be kidding me, not again") was "I just had a c-section, I can't go looking for a job".
Currently I'm just trying to live on faith. We've been blessed quite a bit in the last few months, but things are still scary.
Jer has a possible amazing prospect, but that's a waiting game. Until things get figured out we're surviving. And I'm trying not to think too much. I'm trying to rely on my faith. We're doing what we're supposed to (even if it may not make a ton of sense right now). Things will work out, they always do, it's just getting there that's hard.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The newest member of our family

I haven't gotten around to loading the pictures from the 'fancy camera', so there won't be many hospital shots, but I thought I'd at least get my thoughts out while they were somewhat fresh about the birth.

When I found out at my 38 week check up that the baby had turned into breech position, I got REALLY nervous. I was worried about her cord choking her, I was afraid she wouldn't turn back and I'd have to have a c-section, I was afraid no matter what happened, things wouldn't end up well. I was a little bit of a basket-case (again).

Since having a breech birth is against the law at my hospital, and against the malpractice insurance my Dr. has, there was no way we'd go that route. Even if it wasn't against the law, I'm fairly CERTAIN I couldn't have delivered her vaginally from my history. Our first baby had a larger than normal head, if that was going to be the case with this baby, it would make for an even more dangerous delivery, something I wasn't willing to risk.

I went in to the hospital just before I was 39 weeks to try an External Cephalic Version (ECV), basically externally turning the baby. After lots of painful attempts to turn her or twist her or push her, she wouldn't budge. But she could still turn on her own.

So we prayed, I got a blessing from my husband, and I freaked out even more. I tried talking to her about moving, I tried taking warm baths and putting frozen peas on my stomach where her head was (to hopefully get her to move to a warmer spot), I tried inverting my super pregnant self. The only thing that seemed to get her to budge a little was the bath. I could tell she was trying to move but something was keeping her from getting to where she needed to be. I'd done what I could, whatever was going to happen was out of my hands.

I got a blessing from my dad and Jer and I felt some peace that things would end up going the way they were supposed to to get our sweet baby here, whatever way that may be.

39 1/2 weeks I had my final maternity appointment. It was the moment of truth, either she'd turned on her own and we were waiting for labor to start, or she hadn't turned yet and we'd make an appointment for a c-section.
Most of you know which it was. We scheduled the c-section for the next day, 2 days before my due date. I didn't want a c-section, but I was at peace with it, I knew it was what needed to happen.

Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. we went to the hospital to get checked in and prepped. At 12 I was in the O.R. just getting the prep finished up. I was nervous, but calm at the same time. Scared for myself, but excited to finally meet our baby. I'm guessing Jer was feeling pretty similar.
I was scared about having surgery while awake, I was scared that I'd be one of the minority who had complications during surgery. Or even worse,something would happen to the baby.

Luckily, I have the BEST Dr. (even the nurses all say so) and everything went fine. Our baby was 'born' at 12:22 p.m, 6 lbs. 10 oz, 20.5 inches long. Jer didn't want to watch any of it, but he said it was like a car wreck, he just couldn't look away. He glanced toward the incision, then back at me all excited, "There's a foot!". She took a little extra to get out because she was pretty tangled up. Her legs were crossed and her arms were wrapped to her upper body/head with her umbilical cord. I didn't see any of this, it's just what they told me. Yet another reason having her breech was out of the question. Thankfully I'd had blessings which gave me the comfort and peace I needed to trust things would go well.
Obviously I'm still recovering, it's only been a few days, but I'm so happy to have our sweet baby here safe and sound. And even though she's pretty much perfect in every way, they did detect a slight irregularity in her heart beat, so I'll be taking her to a cardiologist to make sure it's nothing serious. The Drs and nurses at the hospital said she'll probably grow out of it in a couple of months, but it's better to be 100% sure. We'll also need to take her in for an ultrasound of her hips because of being in breech position so late in the pregnancy, that can sometimes cause problems with the joints.
I'm so in love with my little family, I couldn't feel more blessed. Thank you so much to everyone for the love, support and prayers; they were felt.

Oh yeah, and apparently our girls are just twins born a few years apart :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Card/Letter

This is to serve as our Christmas Card/Letter, which we've never done before (at least not that I remember).

MERRY CHRISTMAS! We hope you've all had a wonderful year and that 2014 brings wonderful things!

Here's a little about what 2013 had in store for us.

Ella started dance in January and loved it.
She also turned 3 in March. She got to go to Lake Powell for her first time this summer and didn't want to leave.

In the fall she started pre-school and she's loved that as well (even though she never wants to go). She recognizes her letters and will spell things out that she sees (like STOP signs). She also took a dance/tumbling class this past fall and really enjoyed that as well, though we won't be continuing dance for awhile, especially while we're adjusting to life with a new member of the family.
She loves being on stage and has performed 4 times so far. Also, she can't wait to be a big sister!

Jer has been busy with starting his own comedy website featuring clean comedians (Funnyandclean.net), managing some other blogs on a volunteer basis, going to school, working, taking care of Ella/me/the house, and being in the Elder's Quorum Presidency. He's lucky to have figured out what he wants to do for a career. He loves it so much that he does it in his spare time. He had a promising future at his work, but was suddenly laid off at the beginning of Dec. We were incredibly blessed to have a lot of people praying for us, suggesting places to apply to, and offering words of support. He was able to find a job within a week of being laid off!

I have had a fairly crazy year myself. After trying for over a year and a half, we found out I was pregnant at the end of May and found out it was another GIRL in Sept! We can't wait to meet her around Feb. 7, 2014. I sprained my back when I was a little over 3 months pregnant, so I have to be extra careful with how I move and what I lift, etc. I get to take Ella to dance and preschool; it's so fun to get to talk to her about what she's learned, or watch a new dance step she figured out. Things with my in-home job started getting more and more frustrating, so I began looking for a different job. I was lucky to find something close to home that had hours that worked for our family's schedule. I've really enjoyed the change, but it's also been very hard to leave home, and it's been really rough on Ella having me leave. Luckily that's coming to an end this week. After putting in my 2 weeks notice, Jer was laid off so I took back my notice. After Jer got his new job, we felt that I should re-submit my notice, so I did. I'm excited and nervous about my new life as a stay-at-home mom. I'm relieved that I won't have to leave my girl(s) to work anymore, and I'm really hoping I'll be able to get my house in order (although maybe not for awhile since I can't bend).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Big changes are happening around here.
As in body changes and work changes and school changes.

First of all, most people know I'm pregnant again, YAY! 13 weeks now, to be exact. Due Feb. 7.
Let me dive into this a little bit for a minute.
Many of you know that we've had infertility issues. We had surgeries and early miscarriages and testing and waiting and frustration before we got our miracle, Ella. This time around was a little simpler. We didn't have to do any testing, I didn't need any surgeries, and luckily we didn't experience any more early miscarriages (that we know of), but we did have to wait. It took a little over a year and a half. I know that's nothing compared to a lot of couples in our shoes. I know we're extremely blessed, I FEEL extremely blessed. But the waiting game is hard. It's made more frustrating when you're on progesterone which gives you pregnant-like symptoms too (which I was on for Ella and this baby). Every month I had to ignore what I was feeling because I knew it wasn't real, even though I hoped it was.
The week leading up to finding out I was pregnant, I felt at peace with Ella being an only child. I've never wanted just one child, I've never thought I'd have an only child, but I was feeling ok with that prospect for the first time in my life. Then I got the positive. I was shocked. And happy. And scared to death that I'd have another early miscarriage.
So far I've seen the baby twice and heard it once. Everything looks good! We find out the gender Sept. 19th, I can't wait.
Ella's excited about being a big sister, she talks about how she'll feed the baby and play with the baby and teach the baby...she's going to be such a wonderful big sister. There will be nearly 4 years between them. She's pretty sure the baby is a girl, but any time we suggest it could be a boy she can't seem to fathom that possibility. We'll see.

Secondly, work changes. For me, Julianna. I've been at the same company for over 10 years. 10 YEARS! It's a little crazy to think I've been there that long. At first, the idea of getting a different job scared me to death. I'm so comfortable working from home, I've been doing it for 5 years. I don't want to leave Ella (and the baby in the future). Applying and going to a job interview was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, I didn't think much would come of it. But I was hired, on the spot. I was so nervous and scared and worried I cried when I got home just thinking about leaving Ella (and the baby). I blame the hormones. I'm more comfortable and excited about the change now that it's sunk in though. And thinking about the reasons I applied in the first place make me happy to leave my current job (reliable work hours, reliable pay, no mandatory overtime, etc). It will be hard to leave Ella, but she'll be in good hands (her grandma's and one of our neighbor's). She'll get more attention while I'm working away from home than she has while I've been working at home, which is really sad to say.
So, my last day is tomorrow. I'm a little giddy. My first day is Wed, Aug. 7. I'll be working in the afternoon-evenings part-time. We're hoping that this won't be for very long though, the ultimate goal is for me to truly be a stay-at-home mom, but until then we do what we've gotta do. Wish me luck!

Third, school. Jer is still going to UVU, but I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about Ella! She's going to be starting preschool this month! I'm so excited for her and she's pretty excited too! It's a preschool in our neighborhood and she'll go for 2 hrs. two days a week. I think she's going to love being with other kids her age and learning fun, new things. She's also going to be starting back up in a jazz/tumbling dance class, so she's got a busy schedule coming up. Luckily all her stuff is in the morning so I can take her and spend time with her afterward talking about what she learned and all that good stuff.

We hope you're all having a great summer!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reflections...What if

'What if' usually gets people into trouble. 'What if' can bring up painful memories. But, 'what if' can also remind you where you came from.

I was pondering a 'what if' recently. About 6 years ago I had my first uterine surgery. My world was completely upside down and whirling around me full of things I didn't expect. I was going on a journey I had NEVER expected to go on, one that will be continuous probably beyond my child-bearing years. One that has been ... difficult in many ways. My mom told me one time on the phone (when I called her upset and crying about how unfair everything was), that maybe I was going through this to help others. I was hurt and offended. Maybe I don't want to help others with this, how unfair for ME to have to go through this to help someone else? She also went on to tell me that God shapes us through our lives like a jagged rock that needs polishing to become perfectly round and shiny. Only He knows what we can truly become. Like a refiner's fire to make metal...it goes through much change, heat, pounding from tools. The rock and the metal go through difficult molding processes to make them what their maker's know they can become. I was upset about this too. Little old me? Being shaped in, what I felt was, a harsh way. I didn't want to be shaped and molded and tried. I didn't think it was fair for me to have to go through it. It was too painful. I didn't feel like I was strong enough to handle it.

But God knew I was.

Here I am years later. Everything I've gone through has changed me. I hardly recognize who I was. So young, so naive, so ... closed off to this world that affects so many (the infertility world if you didn't know what I was talking about). I look at our wedding pictures and just think, wow, you have NO idea what's headed your way. And good thing too, because not knowing about it until it hit and not knowing how long the hardest parts would last are probably a blessing in themselves.

So 'what if' my body didn't have the issues it had? 'What if' my first and 2nd pregnancies hadn't been miscarried? I'd have an almost 6 year old and an almost 4 year old. And who knows what else, maybe we'd be done having kids. But where does that leave Ella? I don't think I'd have her, or not the Ella that I have now, a different version. And those other babies just weren't meant to be, I really believe that. Our family is just how it's meant to be. We're happy. Happy-that's something that was hard to grasp 6 years ago in the midst of my confusion and pain and frustration and loneliness and..... everything.

Turns out my mom is pretty wise (of course), I have been able to help a couple of people, which ended up coming back to help myself (oddly enough). I've been lucky enough to meet some pretty amazing people through my struggles too.