Monday, January 31, 2011


In addition to my earlier post on being sick, I need to follow up with words of gratitude. The one good thing about being sick, is that you appreciate your health so much more once it returns. And I also appreciate my friends and family so much more. While we were down and out, we received an outpouring of love. Friends and family called to check in on us and see how we were doing. Prayers were said on our behalf. Treats were dropped off. Meals were made. Even a stranger did an act of service in giving us a goodie bag full of soup, 7-Up and candy. (We gave our entertainment center away and I mentioned we were sick when she said she was coming to pick it up). And one of the biggest acts of service was the many offers we had from people to watch Owen. I cannot tell you how that was all I really pass Owen off and get some much needed rest. But Miles and I were really concerned that Owen might be a "Typhoid" baby so we didn't want to expose or infect anyone else and passed on all offers. However, it was definitely the thought that counted. It was so nice to know that there are so many wonderful people in this world who care about our well-being. I plan on being much more proactive at helping others when they are sick or in need. I know how much I appreciated all of it...down to the simplest of acts...and want to make sure I provide similar acts of service when my friends and family need it. It's nice to know that you are thought about and cared for. Thank you to all of you who were there for us in our time of need. I love and appreciate you more than you'll know!

Sick, sick, sick

Miles and I have been super sick this past week. We got this nasty cold-flu hybrid that had us down for the whole week. Miles was a bit sicker than I was, but it's good I wasn't as bad so I had some energy to take care of Owen. Although that may be stretching it a bit. It was more like I had enough energy to sit him in front of his toys while I passed out on the cuddle bag. Poor Owen didn't get a whole lot of attention from either parent this past week. Gratefully, he was an excellent baby and didn't require a lot from us. I'm also really glad that he didn't get sick from either of us. That is a miracle in and of itself. So anyway...needless to say, we've been blobs around the house for the past week. So I'll blame my lack of blogging on the fact that I was sick. Sadly, I still have to catch up from Christmas, among other things. I'll get back on the horse soon....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things People Don't Talk About Part 2

In August, I did a post on Things People Don't Talk About. For the past few months, I've been feeling like I should do a follow-up on that and add a couple more things to the list. But before you read on, let me start with a disclaimer...
Just because this is true for me, does not mean it's true for everyone. And if you start reading this, you have to finish reading it. I would feel bad if you missed the end.

1) Parenting
Ok. You're probably thinking, "What? Parenting? People talk about parenting all the time. Especially parents...I mean, that's practically ALL they talk about." (Hence why my blog is so Owen-centric). However, I think there's a part that gets left out sometimes. Parenting is HARD. And maybe this is something people talk about. But I guess for me, I had all of these ideals of what it would be like, and didn't know I was in for the biggest adjustment of my life when I became a parent. I remember telling Miles, "When I'm home all day with our baby, I'll have plenty of time to get things done. I can make you lunches for work, I'll make dinner, I can have the house clean every day, I'll do homemade crafts..." and on and on. I thought that suddenly it would be so much easier to be a good housewife. Well I was sorely mistaken.

In church a couple of Sundays ago, someone was giving a talk and mentioned that this time in our lives (being young, married, students, and/or working) is the most selfish time in our life besides when we were a baby. That got me thinking about how I suddenly went from the most selfish time in my life to the most selfless time in the blink of an eye. When a baby enters your world, he/she becomes your world. Everything I do revolves around Owen. If I do something for myself, I can't just do it. I have to take his needs into consideration. From taking a shower in the morning, to eating my breakfast, to putting on make-up, to going grocery shopping, to sitting down to blog, to making dinner, to going out with matter what it is, I have to think about Owen. I wonder if he'll be ok, if it will affect his schedule, if he'll need me, if I need to get a babysitter, if that babysitter will know how to take care of goes on and on. I am no longer just myself. Owen is an extension of me, and I always have to he ok?

Then there's the fact that nothing is simple anymore. Running errands is no longer "running" but is more like "hefting" from one place to the next as you lug a baby, car seat and diaper bag everywhere you go. You can't just hop in your car for a quick road trip or fly somewhere without being prepared. Traveling is just plain harder, longer, and more complex. Nothing is simple. Just getting out the door takes thought and preparation.

I guess people talk about the hard things of parenting (sleepless nights, tantrums, potty training, sickness, etc.), but the everyday parts of parenting are hard too. Changing your life to become a parent is hard.

2) Marriage After a Baby
A lot of people have similar experiences with doesn't always meet your expectations. When I married Miles, I would say that was not the case. I had been married before, so I didn't really have expectations of how my second marriage would be. Plus, Miles (generally speaking) is very easy to get along with. We just didn't fight or disagree very often at all. Then came a baby. And boy, did he rock our world (see above). Not only did it change our everyday behaviors, but it changed how we interacted with each other. The first transition was dealing with my postpartum depression. Miles was a trooper. But then, once that was over, there was still an adjustment to this new life. I was no longer working an 8-5 job outside of the home. I was working a 24 hour job inside the home. I would say the biggest adjustment came when we tried to figure out how to balance it out so we both could have some down time. Miles would come home from work and want to relax and get a break. As soon as he walked in the door, I was looking to relax and get a break from taking care of Owen. These desires we had did not always mesh well. Eventually we worked things out, but that was a very difficult transition.

Then there is the fact that we only have one car. This means that I am home, inside, all day long (especially during the winter right now). Don't get me wrong, being home is great! But I think both Owen and I get a little stir crazy staying inside the same place all day. So each day, I eagerly await Miles coming home so I can get out of the house...go to the grocery store, Costco, wherever...and Miles is looking forward to being home. Again...desires not meshing.

I think that there is just an overall increase of stress in the home. This added level of stress contributes to quick tempers, grumpy attitudes and irritable demeanors. Miles and I have had more arguements in the past 8 months than in our whole four years of marriage. I think it's crazy when people have bad marriages and think that adding a baby to their family will make things better. I'm so glad we were as strong a couple as we were before having Owen, because the stress of a baby is hard on a marriage.

This is something I did not anticipate. I was recently talking with my friend's husband and he was asking how it was to have Owen. He said that his sister told him, "Having a baby is the hardest part about marriage." It was so nice to hear that from him and be validated in feeling the added stress. I wish more people had mentioned this because, once again, I imagined unicorns and rainbows. I figured the only change would be how great it was to see my spouse as a loving father. But inevitably your relationship changes and all the time you once had for each other is divided and put aside as your love and attention is placed on a sweet, innocent human being who has so many needs. But your love and relationship also have needs. We're trying to find time to give due attention to those needs as well.

All that being said...I wouldn't give it up for the world. Never. My life is harder and SO MUCH BETTER than I ever expected. And lets not forget...
I asked for this. Not only did I ask, but I prayed, pleaded and begged for this. And boy am I glad I did. As hard as it is to become a parent, it changes your life for the better. So I need to follow up with why I am in awe and amazed that I have been blessed to become a parent.

I love watching Owen's curious nature. He wants to reach for, grab and touch anything and everything around him. His look of inquisition and wonder is incredible. I can practically see his synapses firing as his brain cells grow and develop with each action.

I love making him laugh. Especially those hearty, deep laughs. I love it when he finds something so amusing he laughs so hard that he stops breathing for a moment and has to take a big, deep breath. I love when we laugh together and I laugh so hard with him that I'm crying.

I love that he loves us. He gets so excited to see his Daddy when he comes home and will rock back and forth and flap his arms up and down. I love that when you pick him up, he gets so happy he squirms, bounces, and rubs his face in your shoulder. I love that his face lights up when I walk back into the room.

I love feeling needed. Never in my life have I been more needed by someone. Owen needs me to care for all of his needs (food, shelter, etc.) but he also needs me emotionally. He needs me to reciprocate feelings of happiness and shared moments of joy. He needs me for positive, human interactions. He needs me to love him.

I love that I miss being away from him after just a few hours. I can't wait to get home and sneak into his room so I can get a peak at him sleeping.

My level of empathy for Owen is greater than it has been for any other person. I hurt when he hurts. I want to take away his pain and sadness so that he doesn't have to experience these difficult feelings. I want to do all I can to make him happy.

I love so much deeper. It rips at my soul to think of losing my baby. Owen is a part of me forever and my love runs deeper than I can explain.

I love my husband more. While we still argue and disagree, I also love him more for what he does for our family. I love him for working hard each day (and sometimes nights too) to provide for us. Not only does he work to take care of our needs, but he also does additional work so that hopefully, one day, he can work for himself and have more time to give to us.

I love seeing my husband as a father. If we had never had Owen, I would not have been blessed to see this tender, playful side of Miles that is at its greatest when he is playing with his son.

Someone I know mentioned that they were telling some friends about the hard parts of having a baby. She said that she felt bad and wished she could take it back because she feels that most people know it's hard and that the good outweighs any of the bad. I guess I'm saying I wish I had known how hard it would be, just so I would have had realistic expectations. But she is so right...the good FAR outweighs the "bad." So parents should continue to extol the virtues of their children. Because at the end of the day, no matter how difficult it is, the gift of being a parent is the most exquisite blessing I have ever been given.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just a Little Clarification

I've had a couple of conversations with some of my loyal "followers." Ok, just kidding...just some friends who feel an obligatory sense to read my posts so I don't get upset with them. ;) friend mentioned that I will talk about a post I did and she's never seen it. Another friend said that she goes to comment on my posts and can't find them on my blog. There is an explanation for this. If you don't follow my blog on a reader, you will for sure miss out on posts...for the same reason that if you go to my blog from your reader looking to comment on a "recent" post, you won't find it. That is because I often (almost always) post date my blogs. The reason I have this blog (beyond helping friends and family stay in touch with my life) is so I can make it into a book and have a family history of pictures and experiences from each year. To make it easier on me, I post date the blog to when the event actually occurred (or close to it). And let's be honest, I am terrible at staying current on my blog. For instance...I still have to do my Christmas post. So it will seem like a new post, but you'll have to look back in December to find it. Not to mention I'm still behind on blogging about my summer family vacation. SO...if you were confused before, hopefully you aren't even moreso now and instead, that helped to provide a little light on the subject. Sorry I'm a fail blogger and I'm always behind. But thanks for reading!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Owen's First Art Project

That's right. My baby is a artist in the making. He's starting small with some digital art on the iPhone.

(And yes, I realize I'm a total dork.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jessica's Wedding

My dear friend, Jessica Salmon, decided to join her life with her long-time beau, David Garbett on January 15, 2011. I cannot tell you how excited I was when she announced their engagement in December. I was even more excited that she decided to go through with an actual wedding rather than run off and elope as she always said she would. It was a simple, small affair with only family and close friends and was held in the Garbett home in SLC. But it was beautiful. I loved every minute of it. The ceremony consisted of remarks from both fathers and David's father married them. After the ceremony they had family and friends perform musical numbers of their choice for the couple. There were about eight different performances including vocal solos, piano solos, guitar numbers and groups. At the end, Jess sang "Giving Up" by Ingrid Michaelson. It was the perfect song for her to sing.

Following the musical numbers, everyone went downstairs to take pictures and congratulate the happy couple. Then we got to enjoy a delicious Indian food for dinner with tasty Mango Lassi. Yum! During dinner, David's brother-in-law started toasts and many people stood and talked about memories they had of David and Jess and the positive attributes in each of them. It was really wonderful to hear so many beautiful words spoken about them. I especially enjoyed getting to know more about David, as I have not had the chance to spend a lot of time with him. I am sure that David will treat Jess like a queen and I am really excited for them as they embark on their life together.

David waiting for Jess to come down the isle:
The happy couples about to be married. (I love this picture):
Jess's brother-in-law, Nathaniel, doing an awesome rendition of Neil Young's, Heart of Gold:

Jess serenading David:
Jess and her family sang a hymn they grew up singing together before bedtime. I loved it, because when I lived with Jess, she would sing it to me too. :)
Haley, Jess, and Me. Friends from grad school through thick and thin:
It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Thank you for letting me be a part of it, Jess!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Unconditional Love

Owen loves me unconditionally. He doesn't care if I don't do my hair. He doesn't care if my breath stinks in the morning. He doesn't notice if I don't put make-up on. He doesn't mind the extra fat I have on my body. He loves me 100% for who I am...the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know this will change one day and that he will care if I force him to eat his fruits and vegetables, or make him finish his homework, or embarrass him in front of his friends. But for now, I'm his Mama. And he sees me and loves me and wants to be with me.
But something that will never change is that I will always love him unconditionally. No matter what he does or who he becomes, I will love him forever.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Junk Mail, What?!

One man's junk is a baby's treasure...