Friday, March 9, 2018

Pregnancy Update: 8 weeks to go!

I keep being blown away by how fast each week is going. I've realized that I have SO much to do to get ready for this baby's arrival. I am sweating buckets thinking of putting Lydia and Adeline in the same room to sleep-but that needs to happen sooner rather than later so that they have time to adjust before she arrives.

I keep being told that it is nice that we are having a third girl because we already have everything she needs and at first I believed that. But what I am realizing more and more is that, first off-this baby is entirely on the opposite seasons of Lydia and Adeline. Second-We also need to upgrade our car to fit 3 car seats as well as buy a car seat for Lydia, move Adeline to Lydia's old one, and our baby carseat expired so we need to get a new infant one. We bought a bunk bed for the girls because the crib will be the baby's as well as dressers since we need to have a better system for their clothes and closets. And then a million little things like bottles and binkies and diapers, etc. This baby is much more expensive than Adeline or Lydia believe it or not!

The girls have no idea what new "life" is about to come their way. I feel confident that they will love their new little sister, but I am worried about juggling the needs of a newborn and the demands of a 3 year old and 18 month old. I am sure they will be helpful but I do worry about the "too much" love and help part.

I also find myself still struggling with names. I would love to tell the girls that it is "baby so-and-so" in my belly and have them prepare that way. I just can't wrap my head around what to name her. I have a few names we like but nothing is standing out or anything. We'll just have to wait to see her I guess.

Brian starts a rough rotation this next week for a whole month. I am nervous but I pray it will fly by and at the same time give me time to do all that needs to be done in preparation.

I am still working out and it is my goal to work out until the end of this pregnancy. So far I actually have been feeling really good and I can't complain. I have had to hold off on a lot of cardio due to the pressure in my lower half.. But I have been doing the BBG PWR program and love doing the weights because I feel a good work out while not overdoing too much on my body. I have loved feeling strong and much healthier this pregnancy.

Here we are with our traditional Fondue for our anniversary, as well as a day-to-day shot of our mornings in this household with these busy girls. I am grateful.

Monday, March 5, 2018


I was reminiscing through wedding pictures and stopped at this one. Here we are, just little babies at 19 and 22 years old, lost in our own little world that we had just started. Unsure of what the future might hold or where life would take us, but knowing that if we had each other we'd be able to conquer anything and everything.

And here we are now, 7 years later and look at this life we have created. 

And below is that same look so many years later. How grateful I am for this life-for our spunky 3 year old, sweet 18 month-old, and this new little baby of 32 weeks. This look has so much more love and meaning in it.

Adding another page to our marriage journal and it is crazy how quickly this little journal is filling up!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Name Dilemma

Can we talk names? Not what to name this baby.. but the whole concept of naming your child.

It is the second question I get asked after "How are you feeling?"

I wait a moment and then there it is, "So what name have you picked?"

When you tell people that you don't know what you are naming your child yet they don't believe you "Oh so you are keeping it a secret?" And when I say no, they say "Well you must have some ideas! What are they?"

People assume that you must have ideas because they themselves do.. and if they don't have ideas, they have opinions. I still remember plenty of eye-rolls and negative-sounding "Oh's?" when telling possible lists of names for my other kids.

I remember flying alone with Lydia from Chicago to Utah to visit family when she was 7 months old. I had several different people ask me what her name was during my flight or time in the airport. When I would respond "Lydia" I started noticing how people's reactions were genuinely pleasantly surprised. Every one of them mentioned how much they loved the name-and it felt sincere. I've been there when people have said, "Oh that's a nice name" or "Hmmm. How do you spell that?" or "say that again?" or "I've never heard that before..." to someone else's child when the parents have spoken their name.. all said nicely, but missing the sincerity.

Now.. not that I want to base my entire decision off what other people think or their reactions-just that I liked the feeling of other people liking my child's name too.

When naming your baby it is hard not to think of every personal reference from our lives.. the character from that movie.. the elementary friend who threw a book at your head, the coworker with the weird pen-clicking problem..

And the truth is that all of those people eventually melt away once there is a baby you love attached to that name.

Giving your child a name also means you get to try and figure out how other kids may twist them into mean nicknames. And even then, if your child makes it through school nickname-free, maybe you just so happened to pick the "most popular name of the year" and so your child's name is no longer "Ashley" but a morphing of the first name and last initial.. "Ashley K" because there are 7 of them (Ashley was a popular name of my generation).

This picture is from Baby Larson #1 Pregnancy Journal
When naming Lydia, Brian and I took a few names to the hospital but both had internally decided Lydia was what we liked. When she was born, Brian said, "Look! It's our Lydia!" and at that moment I couldn't think of any other name we had talked about to "try" and so she became Lydia.

With Adeline it was 100% different. Brian thought it would go the same as Lydia's had but it didn't. When Brian brought her to me after she was cleaned up he said, "It's little Isabelle" and I immediately knew that Isabelle was not her name. She didn't look like Isabelle. So she became Adeline.

Now the pressure is much different this time around and you think it would be easier since we have done it twice before.

One of William Shakespeare's famous quotes from Romeo and Juliet that has run through my mind a few times is, "“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Very often the first information we learn about a person is their name. And that first information can be so important to a good impression.

But now.. I have a 3-year-old that loves to ask people what their name is and then tell them hers back, "My name is Lydia Larson" she'll say. I signed her up for preschool in the Fall and I think that was when it really hit me just how important her name is. Not only do I need to love it.. so does she! This is the name that will learn to clearly write, the name she'll tell every new friend she ever makes. It will be cheered at dance recitals and soccer games, and scolded on late curfew nights. It is the name that will go on resumes and will be so much apart of her identity.

With all of these thoughts (and probably a million more that I could write down) I am left feeling a bit stumped.. and I'm second guessing every name that runs through my head. We are in the single digit week countdown now. That is almost 8 weeks left to compile a list..

I guess I'll continue to just look at these two beauties until I can figure a name for my next beauty. I'll just enjoy their blooming personalities with Adeline's curly hair and BIG brown eyes and new found love of balls (which we don't have because Lydia never played with balls) mixed with Lydia's straight straight straight blonde hair and blue eyes and love for dresses, purses and backpacks (she has all of the above in this picture).

Friday, January 19, 2018

Baby #3 Pregnancy Journal

I'm over halfway through and haven't posted Baby Girl #3's pregnancy journal yet. Journaling can feel so tedious at times but I am always grateful I write these thoughts and feelings down.

Both Lydia and Adeline's pregnancy journals can be found here.

These two pictures are pretty accurate of our lives lately. The top shows a tired husband who is just a bit stressed about his future career choices and current rotations. It shows an instant cheeser of a baby who isn't so baby anymore. At 16 months Adeline loves the camera and smiles at anything she thinks is a phone or camera. She is one happy child except for when food is around-she becomes very hangry and greedy.

Lydia is opposite in so many ways. Getting this child to eat is an adventure every day and she will RARELY look at the camera. In fact, when I was taking her New Year goal pictures, the way that I got her to smile was to have her "Little People Minnie and Mickey Mouse" kiss behind the camera. This girl has so much sass and is ALL GIRL and will constantly beg to wear dresses, make up, and have her fingernails painted.

And then there is me.. usually needing a shower and telling myself I'll take one while the girls nap and then laying down for a nap myself. I'm feeling the nesting vibe but tiredness overpowers the motivation and I keep hoping that as time gets closer I'll just do all I want done. In just 14 weeks there will be a new face in these photos and my heart is so full when I think of how different our lives will be. I often don't feel there is enough room in my heart to love another human as much as I love these people but I have said that before and then had my heart grow and overflow with love. I look forward to that happening again.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome 2018

As 2017 comes to a close, I can't help but have Albus Dumbledore's words ringing in my head, "Another year gone!...What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were.."

Our heads but more importantly our hearts are much much "fuller" than they were a year ago. We have seen and felt the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives pushing us along and we have witnesses miracles as well as enjoyed the growth and learning our family has made.

About this time last year, I found myself staring at our family motto for 2016 which was CHOOSE JOY and I felt it just wasn't time to let that motto go. So we kept it for 2017 and I think it was really important for our little family to have that reminder through all that 2017 had in store for us.

I wanted our goal words printed out where we would see them and be reminded of them each day. So I made them apart of our command center in our kitchen.

And now it is that wonderful time to not only reflect on this last year's growth and goals, but to continue the tradition and pick our new goal words for 2018.

At almost 4 months we chose the word BLOOM for our sweet Adeline.

Looking at this darling girl a year ago to now has me looking at a beautiful toddler. That little baby has bloomed into a busy toddler eager to get her hands (and mouth) on everything.

Adeline's appetite has bloomed into a love of almost every food except peaches and green beans.

She has bloomed in her love for other people, especially babies and kids. She will shake with excitement and lunge out of your arms to be around others.

Her personality has bloomed and I have loved watching her thought process and to see her find things she loves. She is our observant and thoughtful little girl.

Adeline's love for music and dancing has bloomed and will continue to soar. Any beat or rhythm she will immediately pump her hand (not fist, open palm) to.

Adeline's love for books has bloomed but an unexpected blossom is her love for sports and balls. She is so coordinated at kicking and throwing balls and loves to be an active participant.

Adeline's vocabulary is truly blooming and hearing her say "Thank you" and "Pwease" will set a permanent smile on your face.

Adeline's new word for 2018 is GRASP. To grasp is to really seize or hold onto something firmly. It is our hope that she can truly grasp the world around her and how much she is loved. We hope she will grasp her new role as big sister in a few months and also grasp all the new adventures and lessons that will come her way.

At 2 years old Lydia's word was CREATE for 2017. And boy did this girl take that goal and run with it.

Lydia's personality is to create her own flare to life all along her way through it. This year she created joy and imagination in ways I would never have thought of.

Lydia has created many new friendships and loves to play and be the boss.

She has created a love for singing and wearing dresses. This little lady is all girl and creates a bit more sparkle in the world with her love of pink and lipstick and painted nails.

Lydia has created a very deep love for anything pink and that was all she initially asked Santa for, for Christmas was "a pink present."(Easy enough for Santa)

She especially loves to create through art and projects. She loves play dough, painting, coloring with anything that makes a mark, and cutting paper and string. We always run out of the "pink" items first (paint, crayons, makers and play dough dry out from overuse, etc).

Lydia has channeled her energy in creating more learning and knowledge for herself. She loves to write her name with help and find the letters and numbers that surround our billboards, license plates and decorate some of our mountain tops (We live near the V and B on the mountains in Bountiful).

She has helped create many rules and boundaries in our home and family with her endless energy and desire to test the limits.

Lydia has created a love for her Savior and loves to point him out in pictures, statues, books, etc. Recently she has taken to reminding me when I have lost something and then found it again, "Jesus helped mama find that."

This next year Lydia helped chose her word to focus on. Lydia's word for 2018 is CONNECT.

It is our hope that Lydia will connect with others, her sisters, and us as her parents. We would love for Lydia to continue to make a stronger connection with her Father in Heaven and Savior. We hope she will connect in her learning new things and her communication skills.

For 2017 I chose the word BECOME. It felt so fitting and I am happy to think of all the things I have become in the last year but I also recognize that I have so much more to do to really embrace the word become more fully.

I have become a better wife and mother but I realize that I have such a long way to go. It has been a lot of growth on patience and humility in motherhood and I feel extremely inadequate. I feel that I have much room for improvement but I am grateful for the progress I made this last year.

I have become a more loving disciple of Christ. One of my biggest goals was to become less judgemental and more accepting and loving of other people's choices and lives. Honestly this one was a lot harder in the beginning of the year but I am so happy to say that it became less of a focus because it got easier to love and accept as the year went on and I found myself succeeding most of the time.

I became healthier and fit in my body, spirit, and mindset. My scripture study became more meaningful as I included a more meaningful prayer to invite the spirit in to teach me and so did my eating and exercise. My goal went from "trying to fit into my old clothes" to changing my mindset on how I ate and strived for a more effective and enjoyable exercise routine.

Our house has become more of a home as we have sought the spirit to be more present and continued to find joy in house projects.

One of the most important ways I have really stretched and grown with the definition of become which is "began to be" is in my role as a wife. Brian's second year of residency began in July and it seemed to hit with a cannon ball to the stomach as he quickly experienced true burn out. As his wife, I felt helpless, nervous, and so vulnerable. I didn't know how to help him and quickly felt drained and the onset of burn out myself. I truly had to learn what is meant to become a supporter and encourager while grounding my anchor of trust in the Lord as we had just found out we were expecting our third baby. Learning to trust in the Lord and his timing is really becoming.

My new word for 2018 is CHERISH.
I hope that I can cherish and protect all that I hold dear-my family, my testimony, the different roles I hold as mother, wife, daughter, friend, and disciple of Christ. I want to cherish change and cherish the trust that has really "begun to be" in my soul.

Brian's goal word for 2017 was REACH.
In his professional life, it was a pleasure to see the growth that he has attained in his knowledge and understanding of his patients. In October of 2016 he had a resident who was very belittling and hard on him. It brought out this "wife bear" in me that I had never experienced before. I was angry with this resident and how she treated Brian. What was such a pleasure to experience was that Brian worked with this same resident in March of 2017. We expected hell and prepared for it. When the time came though, this resident couldn't stop raving about Brian's progress and knowledge. She loved seeing his growth and working with him that she asked to work with him on another rotation after that. We truly felt Brian was reaching his goals.

And though residency took a turn of exhaustion, Brian's knowledge and skills have really stretched and grown.

Brian has reached out for a more personal growth in having a grateful journal and looking for ways to stretch his gratitude and find joy each day.

Brian has reached out in his fatherhood and love for his girls. The girls are sad to see him leave each day and look and wait and look anxiously out the window for him to return.

Brian's testimony has reached and extended through his trials but also his successes. He too has been learning to rely on the Lord's timing and plan.

For 2018 Brian has chosen the word APPRECIATE.

Brian hopes to be more appreciative and grateful. It's been a rough last few months for him with residency burn out and this word felt fitting for him in this coming new year. Brian wants to learn to appreciate more by look for things to be grateful for each and every day.

At home and elsewhere he also hopes to be more appreciative and understanding with all his girls and emotions that he doesn't always get. Spiritually and physically he hopes to appreciate his working and healthy body as well as show his appreciation for his knowledge of the gospel and our Savior by developing better study and service habits.

As the news of our dear prophet Thomas S Monson's passing last night I feel it so appropriate to quote him here as the new year of 2018 dawns.

"Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." -President Thomas S. Monson

President Monson had such a great focus on the things that matter most. His legacy and lifetime of service all done with a sweet smile will be greatly missed and I hope emulate them this year.

As I have been putting away Christmas decor, I at first felt like my house looked naked with the original everyday decor back in place. But I couldn't help but feel there was a little bit of symbolism in it all.

By the end of the year we adorn our Christmas decorations and it feels magical and exciting to feel the change of extra things filling the house. After a long year of ups and downs we feel ready for the magic and love that Christmastime brings.

But by the end of the holidays when it is time to clean up it almost feels refreshing and simple to do so. What a great way to start out the new year! Clean, fresh, and simple as we turn over a new page.

And once more in the words of Dumbledore, I'll start 2018 out with this, "Before we begin our banquet [new year], I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

And then there were THREE girls

It is no secret that this pregnancy has been a night and day difference compared to my others. I'd even go as far as saying night/day and summer/winter different. With the first ones I was sick all the time once 7 weeks hit. Morning sickness meant ALL DAY sickness with throwing up and just feeling icky mixed right in.

So when 7 weeks hit for me with this one I expected it to be the same as the others. And it wasn't.

Yes I felt nauseous but not to the point of making friends with the toilet (Only 2 times so far which is AMAZING to me).

Mostly I just didn't want to eat anything sweet except for Junior Mints and I wanted all the meat. Salami especially. Throw some green olives on top and I was one happy mama.

So if the old wives tales were true then salty cravings meant boy right? And with my girls I had literally wanted all the sweet things-orange sherbet ice cream, airheads, applesauce, and anything candy.

And so.. I have thought for sure we were having a boy. I'd look up boy clothes and how I would do his room and how I'd put the girls together in one room. I'd be researching name ideas and blessing outfits and all that fun stuff. I kept calling the baby a boy as I felt "him" move and Brian would kindly remind me that it could be a girl.

Lydia has been telling me all along that the baby in mommy's tummy was a girl. I kept thinking maybe she was just saying that because she didn't understand that it could be a boy because all she really knew of was girls. 

But she was insistant. Even the morning of the ultrasound I tried to talk her out of it being a girl by explaining that it was time we had a baby brother. She again insisted that it was a girl.

So by the time I walked into the ultrasound I was seriously second-guessing all my thoughts.

The ultrasound tech asked if I wanted to know the gender and I said yes, but I expected her to wait til the end like my other ultrasounds had gone. But instead she told me first thing. 

She asked what I had at home and I said I had two girls and thought this one was a boy. And she simply said, "Looks like you'll be adding another girl to your home!"

I wasn't quite sure if I had heard right or seen correctly on the ultrasound. So I asked if she was sure and she told me that it was FOR SURE a girl emphasizing the "for sure."

I was so surprised. Not sad. Not happy. Surprised.

The rest of the ultrasound was SO fast. I was done in another 15 minutes which has never happened for me before. The baby is measuring right on her due date which was also surprising considering that her siblings were always ahead of due date.

Sooner than I had expected, I was out and walking to the car with a CD of the ultrasound, some pics, and an envelope for Brian to open later with the gender inside.

I got to my car and he called. He wanted to know now and couldn't wait. We tried to Facetime but he couldn't find service in the hospital he was at and so I sent him a picture as we chatted.

I wish I waited to be with him in person because his reaction was the most amazing ever. Pure excitement and love. This sweet man of mine shed a few tears and kept saying he was so blessed to have all these girls in his life.

Oh my heart!

I have had people think that I am disappointed because I thought it was a boy and it is another girl but I am not even close. I was the third girl in a row and so I just feel a special connection to this little one.

Since that day I just feel perfectly at peace. I love being able to say "She is kicking me" or telling the girls that they have a baby sister. I keep trying to imagine our lives with 3 girls running around and while it is hard to picture at times, I am truly excited.

Now excuse me while I go drizzle some capers over my salami. Yum! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017


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.