Sunday, November 19, 2017

Round THREE


It was a lovely day in August.. well more like an eery day actually. Pretty sure the world will always remember it as the day of the Eclipse.. but I'll also remember it as the day I found out I was pregnant with my third child.

Now to back up to this moment, I had been bleeding every 1-2 weeks since ending nursing with Adeline back in the end of December of 2016. It had been kind of awful trying to figure out why and switching birth controls and all that fun "womanly stuff."

Brian and I finally decided after an unsuccessful (and painful) round of a new pill that we were going to go off birth control completely and let my body get back to normal for a month or so and then I could try again with a different pill. We felt good about the decision and planned for a new pill in September.

Well.. we waited.. and waited some more for my period to restart. I was going on 4 weeks of no bleeding which was really weird to me after months of having problems. I finally bucked up to take a pregnancy test.

Negative and truthfully I felt relieved because Adeline wasn't even 11 months yet.. but.. I still felt like I could be pregnant and so I wasn't completely convinced. 

2 weeks later. Still no period. Which leads me to August 21, 2017.. the day of the Solar Eclipse.




The girls and I had just gotten back from the park and viewing the Eclipse (which was amazing of course). I was feeding them lunch and went to the bathroom and just "happened" to decide I'd take another pregnancy test just because.

So I did.

And it was positive.

And I stared at it for about 5 minutes straight while faintly hearing Adeline crying for more food in the background. I then searched for another test.. I knew I had one somewhere.. and positive.

I couldn't believe it, and truthfully I didn't know how to react. I just wasn't prepared for this. Brian was on one of his hardest rotations of the year and it didn't end for another week. I was worried about telling him.. that it would stress him out.

Now please, don't get me wrong.. We WANT this baby. We always knew we would have more kids. I just had expected to wait at least another year so it was a really big shock at first. I just hadn't mentally prepared for it.

I could hear the girls asking for "more carrots" in the background and numbly got them food though I am not sure it was the food they were asking for. I then went and sat on my bed.. and cried.

I cried for my reaction. I was frustrated that I was crying at all. I cried for feeling scared. I cried because I knew I was already alone so much and thinking of doing 3 kids on my own overwhelmed me a bit. I cried because I knew so many people I love wait years and years to have children and here I was with a "surprise" and worried about offending those who would take my place in a heartbeat. The guilt crept in that I got to be pregnant when so many struggle. I cried mostly because I was just scared and nervous.

Thoughts like "Adeline isn't even a year yet, will she feel neglected? Have I given her enough time and attention?", "How will we afford a 3rd child right now?", "We'll need a bigger car, another car seat.. and a million other things.. how can we make that happen?", "We'll need to put the girls together in a bunk bed maybe.. but will Adeline be ready to move from her crib that early?" , "How will I grocery shop with 3 kids when it has been a nightmare with 2?" and a million more worries.

And then I read something that really helped me through all my emotions and fears.. It was a reminder of what I already knew but had needed a push to have a bit more faith and trust in my Father in Heaven. I ran across a talk by Dallin H Oaks that he gave in a devotional 15 years ago. His words were spoken as if directed at me now. The talk is called "Timing" and it fit so perfectly with what I needed to hear. 

He said the following, "Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome. Even our most righteous desires may elude us or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan.

How fundamentally different my life is than I had sought to plan! My professional life has changed. My personal life has changed. But the commitment I made to the Lord—to put Him first in my life and to be ready for whatever He would have me do—has carried me through these changes of eternal importance."

How profound are these words? And they definitely don't just apply to how I was feeling upon being pregnant. It applies to so many decisions we have made in our lives and will make. I had always believed I'd go on a mission and do many educational experiences overseas before marriage.. but then I met Brian and it was a true test of the commitment I had made to the Lord in following what He had in store for my life, and not what I had in store.



Truthfully I am much more grateful that He is in charge. How different my life would be had I stuck to my "own" plans. 

We had planned on a European trip in April which was how I told Brian.. He kept going on about the plans and I simply said, "What if have a baby in April instead?" He said that wouldn't happen and I said, "What if it did?" and he said hesitantly "Wait, are you serious?" and I just nodded.

His reaction was completely unexpected. He laughed. 

And laughed...

And laughed some more.

It went on like that for almost an hour.. and I quickly realized he was in shock. When he finally came back around it was night and day difference and he fell into the same worries and fears I had felt..

And thankfully it gave me the opportunity to share with him what I had read and felt, as well as my testimony of the Lord's timing. The peace the Lord had been sending but that I had blocked out with my fears came flooding in and Brian could feel it too.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said: “The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best?"



Fast forward to now. Here I am, 17 weeks pregnant and feeling better than I did with my last pregnancies. We find out what we are having the first week of December.

Are we excited? Yes. Are we still nervous? Of course. But I truly believe that God knows what we can handle and knows this baby needs to be in our home soon. We truly are excited and I am grateful I can say that word with confidence. We are excited to be a family of 5.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dear Lydia at 3



You are 3 today.

Happy Birthday my baby girl.

I guess I should stop calling you baby.Especially since you like to remind me that you aren't a baby anymore.

Almost every day we talk about how much you are learning and changing, "Did she just say that?" "Where did she learn that?' "Look at how tall she is getting" and "Did her hair grow overnight?"


 1 hour old


1 year old


2 years old


3 years old

You hold the phone all by yourself to talk to "Grandpa" and know all the words to I Am a Child of God, Tale as Old as Time, and Follow the Prophet. You pretend to be mermaids and squirrels and love hide and seek. Having you talk in full sentences blows me away sometimes.. gone are the days of your "Hi Kitty" and how every animal was known by its sound and not the name.

When you throw tantrums and you say "Mommy Lydia mad and throw fit!" it is both horrible and hilarous.

And while each day doesn't start out glamorous.. sometimes you go limp as I try to get you dressed in anything other than your gold "princess" shoes. Or you want to bring your mermaid to the grocery store but it can't be found. And sometimes the day ends with you crying for milk when mom gave you water instead or wanting to read "Green Eggs and Ham" one more time.

It is between those moments that I glimpse our future life together. Sometimes these glimpses frighten me-how can I ever be a good enough mom to teach you what you need to know? But most of the time these glimpses excite me and help me to love every stage you go through. I look forward to all that is in store for us my pretty Lydi.

Here is to many more


We love the way you love and take care of your sister. She adores you and you are so good to her (most of the time).


We love your energy and enthusiasm for all that is around you. You are bold and fearless. Your imagination is beautiful and so special. 


Over the next year there will be many more changes, but we know you will face them head on and with a positive outlook. We appreciate that about you, especially as our family grows and you help take care of and love another sibling.



You are all girl and I love it. You ask for your nails to be painted at least 2 times a day, you obsess over shoes and dresses and when mom puts on make-up you ask to do the same.


You are adventurous and daring. You will set out on your own in search of Heffalumps and treehouses and you are so fun to play make-believe with.

Heres to many more adventures little Lydi.

 ]  Mommy & Daddy



To see her 2-year-old video, click here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Adeline's 1st Year Journal

    Looking back on all these have me realizing just how much we have all grown in so many ways. I am grateful for all the growth we have experienced and for the love I feel for this little girl. Adeline is the perfect addition our little family needed. Her joy and happiness fill all the cracks and just seal it all together. We adore this little one. 














P.S.. Don't you love how she seems to always be holding her toes? And check our her thighs.. They are sooooo yummy!

Also.. I love journals... you can find Lydia's 1st year journal HERE.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

O N E


Sweet Adeline,
Happy birthday darling girl. How I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy you that much longer. You are such a joy in this home. Going to get you in the mornings is my favorite part of the day. You are always happy and giggly (more like a grunting pig) to see me. You start each day full of excitement and always have a smile.



That first tender moment of holding you in my arms and feeling how perfectly you not only fit in them, but in our family has rung true to this day. You were meant to be with us darling.


I have so many hopes and dreams for you as you grow and I see so much goodness in you.

You are my great thinker. You think before you act. I watch you as you take each step and do so with great thought. And it goes for the way you play, the toys that hold your attention are the ones that you have to think where to put the ball and where it will come out. You like magnets and books and stacking toys together. I hope you will always be a great thinker and strive to figure out how things work. I hope you will always remember to be kind in your words because you think about them before you say them.




Everyone is your friend. You love other babies and think you are a riot when adults pay attention to you. You are loud and a chatterbox. I hope you will treat everyone with respect and strive to be a friend to all forms of life.

You are an observer. You observe situations and are thoughtful of them. You are especially into mimicking others moves and sounds. I hope you will choose strong, brave, and faith-filled people as your role models and strive to be more like your Savior.



You are my foodie. You will try all foods and will eat almost everything from green olives to steak but will avoid peaches. I hope you will always be willing to try new things as you are willing to try new foods.


You are fast. In fine motor skills I have always been amazed at how early you could pick things up and how easily you can move those fingers. With gross motor you are just quick. Quick at crawling and your walk is more of a toddling run. I hope you will be quick with kind words and helping others. I also hope you will be willing to put your skills into action-like playing a musical instrument and continuing to be active and healthy. 

I hope you will channel your curiosity into learning all you can and mastering many skills. I hope you will strive to learn and develop your own testimony of the gospel and of our Savior. He loves you so much.

You adore your sister. And she loves you with all of her big little heart. I hope this love continues to grow in you both and that you will choose to be the best of friends. And someday you will be able to hug her back just as tightly.




I hope you continue to face trials and hardships in the face like you did when you sister white-washed you. You brush yourself off and push forward. And you also learned not to be around when Lydia was throwing snowballs.


You are beautiful. From your gray/brown eyes to your curly hair. You are absolutely beautiful. But what makes you most beautiful of all is that you are happy. And I hope you will always search in your heart for that happiness and let it show and radiate from you-like in those moments when you are so so SO happy that you just shake with glee.



You are loved. My darling Adeline, my sweet, sweet baby. You are so loved. Our family adores you and our hearts are overflowing. I know that the love we feel is just a smidgen of the love that Heavenly Father has for you and I want you to know that I KNOW that he will always be there for you. You are ALWAYS loved my little sunshine.

Happy 1st birthday Sweetie!

]  Mommy 
   & Daddy




Adeline's finished first year journal can be found here.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Residency: Chapter One


I get asked a lot about how residency is going. And often I just try to be witty and throw out a casual answer like "It's going" and change the topic. Mostly because a) it's easier than trying to explain and b) I don't really know how it is going because truthfully it is just different than I thought.

This year has been both harder.. and easier than we expected.

Intern year hit off with more than a bang.. it was kind of a catastrophe actually. Within 2 months we moved, bought a home, fixed it up, had a baby, and during all that Brian was thrown into his first rotation in the ICU where he was working 100+ hours a week at times. 

To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement. 

I remember flopping in bed at midnight after just ripping out the flooring in our new home and crying because I hadn't seen my husband in 3 days because he was working 12+ hour nights and our last communication had been to snap at each other from our exhaustion and stress and whip out a few awkward hugs that meant "I'll see you when I see you and maybe we can work this out then" and wondering how in the world I was going to survive THREE whole years of this.

I felt guilty for being upset with him when he was the most stressed, tired, exhausted physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally I had ever seen him. I wanted to support him but I too was exhausted, feeling overwhelmed, and about to have a baby.

And at that moment I thought to myself that this was way harder than I had ever imagined.

But then flash forward only a month later where we sat chilling at a park eating Little Caesar's pizza while watching Lydia chase some rolly-polly bugs and we were casually talking about how nice this new geriatrics rotation was and how we were able to see Brian so much more.

It felt like a dream and that the last hellish rotation of ICU was just a really really bad nightmare.

And at that moment I thought to myself that this was easier than I had imagined.

And the year continued like that.. 2 weeks of stress, 6 weeks of not, 4 weeks of exhaustion, 1 week of not, and so forth.


Honestly this post has been a really hard one for me to write. I have probably written 5 different versions of what I want to say and none of them felt right to me.

I sat on the phone, talking to my friend back in Chicago whose husband is just ending his 3rd year of medical school and tried to put into words what this year has been like, and I even struggled spitting the words out to her.

It's not that this year has been that awful or anything, it has just been so different than I ever imagined. Had you asked me how it was going every 3 of the last 12 months, I would have told you different answers at each stage.

I worried about writing this because I didn't want the whole "woe is me" or "pity my hard life" or anything like that. I know a lot of what I experienced this year is normal for many people and not just the wife of a new resident.

Often I find that to explain our experience I talk a lot about the negative aspects which make it sound like I'm complaining and I really really don't want to sound like that or that my life is really negative when it isn't.

I just want to be real for those who experience similar situations.

I wrote a post "To the First Years" and gave advice on what I wish I would have known or heard starting medical school. And this post is kind of similar but aimed at residents and what I would tell myself a year ago if I could.

You see, it is so much easier to look back on a trial or a life experience and see what you should have done or wished you had known at that time. And in a lot of cases, though it was a difficult time, in the end many of us wouldn't give it up because we learned so much about ourselves or our loved ones or we just grew stronger in ways that can only happen once beaten down.



So here is what I learned or how I would prepare myself for the year that was a head of us.

1- Take a Big Breath. Breathe in and breathe out.

I can't tell you how many times we have to verbally say this out loud to each other. But in that breath your senses awaken a bit more. You feel your lungs fill with air, you hear the exhaling air through your nose and you will see and think a bit more clearly.

Most of the time Brian holds me as I cry or worry. He's always been my protector and comforter.

But the night before he started his first day of residency as an intern, I had the chance to reverse those roles. I held him.

He was feeling completely overwhelmed. Besides everything that we had going on in our lives, he felt he was drowning in expectations given by others... his family, his school, me, but most importantly his expectations for himself.

He had waited for this moment his whole life and yet here he was and he didn't feel as smart or strong or ready as he had always thought he would be.

In that moment I found myself telling him to breathe. Just breathe.

When the tough times of pure exhaustion came. We learned to take a breath.

And when the moments of pure joy came. We learned to take a breath. A different breath though, one where we savored it a little bit more and enjoyed the feeling of joy.


When our second daughter was born we took a deep breath in and held it there a little bit longer.

When Brian came home from work one night with tears in his eyes from being beaten down by a resident's harsh (and cruel) words. We took a breath.

When I felt lonely and friendless I learned to breathe.

When Brian surprised the girls and I by coming home hours earlier because it was a slower day, we took a breathe of happiness.

In and out. In and out. Just breathe and live.

2-We are in this together.This is our squad.

One time I was waiting for Brian to come home because I had to run to an eye appointment and he had told me he would be home in time. So I waited and waited and started fretting and worrying that I wouldn't make it on time.

I watched his car drive into the garage and I let the anger start to boil a bit as I waited for him to come inside. It was a good 5 minutes before he came inside and I was frustrated. I even thought to myself I deserved to be frustrated. He knew he was late. He knew I was waiting and yet he stayed in his car for 5 minutes extra instead of running inside and allowing me to run to the appointment.

When he walked inside I let him know I was mad as I left the house.

As I was driving to the the eye exam thinking about all the 'good' things I should have said, I had the thought come to my mind "You are in this together." But I pushed it away because I was just too frustrated.

I started thinking thoughts like, "I am home with the kids all day holding down the fort. I clean all day. Do your laundry. Make you lunches and dinners. Do your shopping so there is soap when you want it and toothpaste always in the drawer. I am lonely and don't have friends or a social life because I don't speak to anyone above a 2 year-old all day. I never do anything for myself and all I asked of you was to be home at this time so I could get my eyes checked."

And the thought came more powerfully that time, "You are in this together."

It wasn't until a few nights later that Brian came home from a long day and the kitchen was not clean when he walked in and I didn't have dinner and the kids were ornery from shorter naps and had gone to bed early. He walked in and did a big sigh and then started angrily doing the dishes. When I came in to welcome him home he said, "I don't have time for this. I go to work for 12 hour plus days and come home to a messy house that I have to clean and I still have to finish my notes and read about tomorrow's patients but I am just so tired. I just can't do it all. I want to be with you and the kids and now they are in bed for the second night in a row and I haven't even seen them in days."

And this time while he was speaking the thought came again that had come so strongly the week before, "You are in this together." And this time I listened and I understood.

It is so easy for Brian and I to point fingers or say that one situation is harder than the others. But that isn't the solution. What we have had to learn is that we are in this together. We shouldn't be against each other but supporting each other, listening and holding each other through it.

I once had a friend tell me that what she and her husband do sometimes before they go to bed is to ask each other what the other is currently struggling with. They talk about it and then the opposite spouse prays with them but for them and their struggle. They are truly willing to bear one another's burdens and get through it together. Since hearing this, Brian and I have tried this as well and it has helped us to stay more connected and on the same team.


When we got married and we said yes for "time and all eternity" we didn't place exceptions on that. We didn't' say "except when you leave the kitchen dirty and drink all the orange juice in the fridge" or "except when you are late coming home and don't put gas in the car." We are together through eternity and that includes everything each person goes through and experiences.

We are learning it is important to stay connected in other ways too. We need date nights, monthly temple trips, talks away from the kids and talks with the kids. Planned and unplanned family night outs and just the candid moments in between.

There is no one else I'd rather be in this with. This little family is my ultimate #squadgoal and I can't let myself miss that.



3- Support, Support, SUPPORT

This can go a few different ways. I'm talking about supporting him. He's tired and working hard and so are you, but this won't last forever. Cheer him on, tell him you are proud and grateful for all he is doing. Uplift him and love him.

But I'm also talking about supporting yourself and kids. You need someone cheering you on too. Having family nearby was our biggest reason we chose to come back to Utah. For us, nothing beats family.

But we also grew used to amazing friend and ward support systems while living as students both at USU and in Chicago. We had expected to find that here but it didn't come as quickly. It has and still is taking more time and effort than it had before, and time is just something that doesn't come smoothly with Brian's schedules.

Regardless, keep searching until you find it and hold on if it is already there. Surround yourself with people who build you up and keep you floating when it would be so easy to sink.

4- Learn to be independent. I had to learn this in medical school and then relearn it here.

With family nearby this usually means that there are more family gatherings to go to-baby blessings, baptisms, monthly family dinners, the usual holidays, and the spontaneous game night, etc. Brian can't go to most of these events and so I often go alone. Thankfully they are family so it really isn't that hard to do.

For me the harder stuff to do is going to activities or neighborhood bonfires or BBQs with just me and the girls. These are things I would want Brian to come with me to and before this medical stuff I wouldn't have gone by myself.. but now I do.

I know too many people who wait. They are the ones who wait for their circumstances to change.


I was this person at one point. I waited for Brian's days off for us to go do things. And I waited some more. And finally time was just slipping through my fingers and I realized that while waiting I was not living.

We still have to live the life around us. I can't stay shut in to my house waiting for Brian's day off so we can do something. Nope. You learn to get out with you and the kids without him.

Being independent also means wearing the pants on the "adulting" things that Brian usually does. For me, it meant I do the bills or mow the lawn or get projects done around the house and don't wait for him to have the time. I make the phone calls to schedule plumbers or the internet (which I hate doing). I call the insurance company to go over benefits, etc. I'm not saying I do these things all the time. I'm saying that I don't depend on him to do it if it needs to be done.

5- God is good

Brian's Sundays in medical school were very free. He never had school on Sundays and rarely if ever had rotation or clinic needs that took over. We made a family decision that he would never study on Sundays and that they would be days for family, church, and God.

We have not been able to keep that decision alive in residency. Brian works most Sundays and so we have had to readjust. We make time for our priorities. When someone says that they "didn't have time" to do something, most of the time what they are saying is that they "didn't make it a priority". Of course there are exceptions, but most of the time that is exactly what it is.

Prioritizing family time is important, prioritizing God is even more. While he may not be able to physically go to church all the time, there are still many other ways he can make time for God. You need to do what personally works for you and your situation but you need to make sure it is something you make happen.

Some of the things that works for Brian are these:
-Daily Scripture study as a couple, a separate one with the kids, and family prayer
-Listening to scriptures and conference talks to and from work
-Reading the Ensign on downtime at work
-Family home evening on his days off
-Monthly temple trip (or in our case it was every 5 weeks)


It was October, General Conference weekend.. and Brian had worked the night shift and came crashing down the stairs on Saturday morning where the girls and I were watching conference. He sat down just as Elder J. Devn Cornish spoke on "Am I Good Enough? Will I make it?" and it was NOT a coincidence that Brian came in at that time.

Brian was feeling beat due to a tough rotation and a resident who was very negative. He needed someone to believe in him when he didn't quite believe in himself just as Elder Cornish had experienced. For Brian to come in at that moment and hear a man speaking of similar experiences of residency, spoke to Brian and told him that God was aware of him and his situation.

We need never do hard things alone because we have the best cheerleader and coach one could ever have. Make God a priority. God is good and he is on our team.

6- Don't forget to Live.

Brian has truly handled residency like a champ. But he is human and so I did see a side of him that at first had me wondering who the heck he was and where my husband had gone.

But he'll come back. And he has.

This isn't Groundhog Day where you are stuck in the same day forever. Meaning that you won't be this poor, this lonely, this busy, this crazy or a new intern family forever.

It also means that you won't have a 2 year old and 9 month old or living in a fixer upper or driving that blue Honda CRV forever either. When residency is over you will have an almost 5 and 3 year old, possibly a new car and less to fix on the house and who knows what else will change...

Don't think of life as "some day it will get easier and better and we can finally live" because it is not true. These are some of the best years of our lives. Don't forget to live.

Fnd the joy in the stage and focus on it so that you can look back with fond memories and be grateful you overcame the challenges and trials that will make you stronger if you allow them to. You have the choice. Choose to live and love it.


So there you have it. At least my view of this last Intern year. We're doing it just like you, and your grocer, and the Coldstone ice cream scooper, and everyone else.

And now time to reminisce about the awesome time we had last week in a beach house in California celebrating the end of Intern year... while Brian is currently finishing up his his first 30 hour shift in the ICU as a second year resident.
Bring on PGY-2. We are ready for you!