Monday, September 9, 2013

All Through the Night

Yesterday, Jon found this picture of my sisters and I with my Mom.
I think that it was taken on a Christmas morning before any of us sisters were married (our brother was on his mission).  I love this picture so much.  I'm pretty sure that we were all dying of laughter, as usual.  It's obvious, at least, that my Mom was laughing so hard that she didn't even have the strength to hold her head up! :)  I wouldn't doubt that we were laughing at the fact that we were all trying to squish (unsuccessfully) on a tiny sofa!
Since seeing this picture, I can't stop thinking about my Mom and how much I miss her!  I just can't believe that I can't see her (in this life) ever again.  I really miss the laughs that we would all have together.  We all suffer from the "uncontrollable laughter syndrome" (particularly when laughing is deemed extrememly in the Temple!!).
Today was a long day.  Jon's going back to school (he wants to be a school administrator...and he'll be great at it!).  I would usually call my Mom on long days and she would never fail to make me laugh and help me to realize that the day would eventually end. :) 
Anyway, I was feeling a little sad today.  I decided to read a poem that Jon wrote a day or so after my Mom had died.  This poem is incredibly amazing.  I remember reading it for the first time and I couldn't stop crying.  Even as I read it today, I couldn't prevent the tears from falling.  Jon is very giften and has such a beautiful way with words.  When I read this poem, I truly feel as if my Mom is talking.
all through the night
(in memorium -- susan dawn turley)
i felt you driving here
anxious and wishing
were feelings we shared
miles encroach between
my daughters fair
my will towards you
my love imbue
safety ensue
i prayed for you
--all through the night
i hold my children near
since from the first time
when they became mine
mnutes encroach between
my children dear
and lovingly
you prayed for me
--into the night
in the room with my love
my body broken
my heart molded
by my faithful
you hold my tender hand
akin to the day we wed
always to be
your Sweetie
though the day long
and your grief strong
i've always loved you
and will continue to love you
--all through the night
this life was the time
to prepare to meet
--those who blessed my life
--those whose lives i've blessed
a time that i so
night will give way to dawn
i have left this frail existence
i have left my mortal by
i shall await with eager presence
in the royal courts on high
neigher weep nor beseech
my suff'ring now gone
my love now prolong
i am within your reach
live for each day
happy alway
as mem'ries sway
think me this way
i will be there
--all through your night
jonathan over
1 may 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A New Start

Well, it has been nearly THREE years since I have updated our family blog!  I have decided that I want to start updating it more regularly, for the sake of posterity.  I can't promise that I'll be the most religious blogger, like some amazing Mom's that I know, but I'll do the best that I can.
Although I haven't updated this blog in a long while, I have been keeping track of our lives via recording (nearly daily!) in my personal journal.  I made a goal two years ago to start writing in my journal every single day and I have kept up with it long enough to consider it a habit now. :)  Daily journal writing has proven to be quite therapeutic for me and it has been very enjoyable to look back on various entries over the past two years and see how much our family has done.  Life doesn't seem to pass by as quickly and I feel as if I'm able to gain more from my experiences by writing them down.

As far as this blog is concerned, I can in no way attempt to re-cap our lives over the past three years.  Ultimately, I decided to provide a basic OVERview (ha!) of our most recent summer as a starting point.
What a summer it was!
On May 1st, my sweet and beautiful Mom passed away after couragously enduring years with a chronic illness.  It has been a pretty difficult four months since her passing.  If I don't think about it, then I'm totally fine.  But I have found that it's hard to prevent "Mom Thoughts" from entering my mind.  She has been on my mind so much since she has passed, for obvious reasons.  I yearn so much to pick up the phone and call her, as I had become so accustomed to doing.  Every time something happens to one of my kids (something minor or major), I yearn to call her and tell her about it.  I want to call her when I'm frustrated or upset.  I want to call her when I'm happy.  I simply want to call her and hear her encouraging words.  She always made me feel as if I was doing a fantastic job at being a mother and wife.  Since she's been gone, I have struggled with feelings of self doubt.  I have been having a hard time accomplishing anything of worth and feel almost frozen.  I find myself, at times, wondering if I even posess any talents or strengths at all.  I suppose that I had leaned on her words of encouragement too much.
It simply feels weird not having a Mom.  I am still getting used to the idea.  I feel like my Mom was the only person on the Earth who truly knew me.  I am having a difficult time trusting and believing that there are actually other people in this world that genuinely do care about me and my children.  My Mom wasn't the only one!  These feelings feel so overwhelmingly strong at times.  At other times, I'm able to step back and analyze my feelings and realize that I am being completely ridiculous.  I have a wonderful Dad, two sisters, one brother, one sister-in-law, and one brother-in-law.  I also have awesome in-laws and a sister and brother-in-law from Jon's side of the family.  And countless other family members and friends.  I do know that I am loved by other people, my mind just goes crazy sometimes!! :)

I have also been struggling with feelings of guilt and regret.  Regrets that are seemingly impossible to fix or apologize for (because my Mom is gone).  I wasn't the perfect daughter and I simply wish that I could turn back the clock and fix a few things.  Granted, I don't have many regrets in regards to our relationship, but there are definately a few things that I wish I would have done differently.  In retrospect, I could have been a much better daughter than I was to her.

For the first few months after her death (and occasionally now) I had continuous dreams in which my Mom would come back to life and defy all medical knowledge.  They were weird dreams that didn't make any sense.  I would also have dreams about her last day on Earth, which was quite difficult for me to see, although I'll be forever grateful that I was able to be present for her final day.  I have had a few dreams recently, however, that have been really nice.  In these dreams, my Mom was young, vibrant, healthy, and obviously happy.  She embraced me in these dreams and I was able feel her body and how warm and soft it was (in comparison to how it felt after death).  I consider these particular dreams wonderful gifts and blessings from above.
I'll be honest, losing my Mom has been extremely hard.  I know that it will take some time for me to feel "normal" again.  And even when that day comes, I will always miss my Mom and yearn for the day in which I will be able to see her again.  Which, if I live until I'm 90 years old, I still have to wait 60 more years!!!  The thought can seem incredibly daunting at times, so I try not to think about it. :)

 Anyway, moving on with our summer!!

We kept quite busy!  And, unfortunately, I wasn't the best at taking pictures in an effort to document our adventures.  I'll try to be better!

We went to the L.A. Zoo a few times (thise pictures are from the new California Condor museum):

We played at plenty of parks:

We built rockets and exploded them in our back yard (the perks of having a physics teacher as a Daddy).

Oh, Lizzie graduated Kindergaten!

She's standing next to her BFF, Bailey.

This was her teacher, Mrs. Critchfield.  She was awesome!!!  And Mrs. Mohun (we know her as "Sister Mohun") was the class assistant, whom Lizzie also loved.

We went to Disneyland!!

Um...I seem to have temporarily lost our other pictures from Disneyland, so this is all that you get for now.  What?  You can't tell that Bryce, Mason, and I are having a blast on the spinning teacup ride? :)

We went to the California Science Center.  We love that place!

We got to take another trip to Utah.  It was so great to see my Dad, Alyssa, Craig and Amanda, and even my Grandma and Grandpa Duncan (my Mom's parents) were there from Canada.  We were also able to see some friends of ours, the Call's, and I failed to take a single picture!!

Grandma Duncan reading to her Great-Grandkids.  This was so neat to see, as our kids rarely get the opportunity to see them.

My Dad entertained himself by drawing on Mason's face with a pen.  Mason seemed to enjoy it just as much! :)

Lizzie started 1st Grade the day after we returned from our trip to Utah!  I can hardly believe how mature she is starting to look!  She'll always be my sweet and adorable Lou-lou.  I just love having her as my oldest child.

After school, I took her out for a Jamba Juice and she insisted on getting her picture taken with a "First Grade" sign.  Come in the world could I have failed to provide her such a sign earlier that day in our haste to get out the door?!  What kind of mother am I?! :)

As if Lizzie starting school and Jon starting to teach again wasn't keeping us busy enough, we decided to re-do the "green room".  Mason has been sleeping in the green room and we decided to buy a bunkbed for the boys and have them share a room, in anticipation of a future baby (part of me is hoping that the more we prepare for another baby, the more likely it will be that he or she will come).  Anyway, we decided to paint the walls a different color, add wainscotting, and crown molding.  Jon was certain that the whole thing would be done in two days.  Ha!

Here is the "before picture".  It may be awhile before I'll be able to post the "after picture"! :)

Mason is such a character.  I can't believe that he is already 19 months!!!  He is learning at a very rapid rate.  He is talking up a storm and he wants to be as independent as possible.  He is such a joy!  He loves dressing up in old Halloween costumes, like this Thomas the Train costume that Bryce wore a few years ago.

Lizzie turned 6 years old! She requested a "Rainbow Cake" this year and we had a big party in our backyard with family and a few friends.

Jon and Mason enjoy taking Sunday afternoon naps together on occasion.

I ran a 5K!!  This was a big step for me, as I haven't ran a race in years.  It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I wasn't able to really train for it, which was a bit of a frustration.  However, I feel okay about my time.  I ran it in 24:26, which is a lot slower than I used to run, but not too shabby due to my complete lack of training.  Running that race has sparked a passion in me again, however, and I can hardly wait to run another one!! :)  Lizzie ran the 1K race as well on the same day and I was extremely proud of her.  She didn't stop once!

We are now back into the routine of leaving the house at 7:00 in the morning and rushing Lizzie to school.  Of course, they all have to eat breakfast first.  Mornings are always so hectic.  I don't imagine them getting easier any time soon either!

Finally, Lizzie entered some of her artwork into the fair and she won a few ribbons again!  She won two 1st place ribbons, one 3rd place ribbon, and two honorable mentions.  We are so proud of her!

This oil acrylic was my absolute favorite!  We're going to hang it up in our house somewhere.

The kids also went on a few rides and played a few games at the fair.

I'm not sure how they expect a little kid to do this fishing game!!  I could barely do it myself! :)

Jon had one shot...and he missed.  Sorry, honey!! :)

Anyway, that was an OVERload of pictures.  But it was really just an OVERview.  In the future, these posts will be much, much shorter! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's been a while...'s been a while! I just uploaded 413 pictures onto our computer and realized that there is no way that I can possibly blog about each of those pictures! So I won't even make an attempt. The past few months have been crazy and I haven't really felt in the mood to blog about anything. But I suppose that I should start blogging again...although I don't consider myself that great of a blogger anyway! :) I have been more into writing in my own personal journal over the past few months and have been debating whether or not I should even continue this blog. I'm still thinking about it...

A few weeks before Christmas, both of the kids came down with a nasty cold. To be honest, I was expecting it. It seems as if someone is always sick for Christmas! :) The coolest part about them being sick (if there could possibly be something cool about it) was that I got to use our stethoscope and otoscope! I didn't want to take them to the doctor unless I was positive that something was seriously wrong with them. Using the otoscope, I was able to diagnose Bryce's ear infection! It was pretty awesome seeing how his inner ear was all red and swollen! Actually, I felt bad for the little looked painful! He was miserable for about 4 days straight and it seemed as if I could do nothing to console him. Luckily, he recovered pretty quickly once the antibiotics started to kick in.

Here's a sad picture of my sick little man:

For Christmas this year, we decided that we wanted to go to Disneyland. We only bought the kids ONE present to open up on Christmas (and the things in their stockings, of course). It actually worked out great and it made me realize that we should really only give them one thing EVERY year! We bought Bryce a Tonka car track thing and we bought Lizzie a big MagnaDoodle. Jon and I didn't get each other ANYTHING. Well, we bought a new camera in November, so I suppose we could count that as our Christmas present to each other. :)

On Christmas morning, the kids got to open up their stockings, their present from us, their presents from my parents, and their presents from my sister's family.

I was planning on making homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast but the mere thought of eating anything sweet made me sick, so we opted for hash browns and eggs instead. Even Bryce helped with the cooking! :)

After breakfast, we relaxed for a few hours while Bryce took a nice long nap. Then we went to Jon's parents house for lunch (pizza) and to exchange gifts.

I seriously think that Lizzie forgot how to smile normally for the camera. She is constantly smiling like this...I think that she looks constipated! :)

This is Justin (my brother-in-law) and his cute little bald son, James:

After Jon's parents house, we went to Justin's parents house to enjoy a little Christmas "buffet" that his Mom invites everyone to every year. We were there for a couple of hours snacking and visiting before the kids decided that they were done. Then we went home and discovered that, after all was said and done, the kids were sure given a lot of gifts! We were absolutely spoiled this year! We truly feel so blessed!

Here are most of the gifts that the kids were given. Not pictured are all of the clothes! And, believe me, there were a ton!

Bryce's pile:

Lizzie's pile:

It was an awesome Christmas!

Here are some pictures of our Disneyland adventures:

A few days after Christmas (or was it New Years?) it snowed! It was pretty awesome! And pretty cold too...I'm not used to the cold weather anymore! :)

Here is Lizzie's Gingerbread House that she made practically all by herself. I honestly think that she did a great job! If only she could have smiled normally... :)

Jon went with Lizzie to her friends birthday party a few weeks ago. She ate blue cake and she seriously got the frosting ALL over her. She came home with icing all over her entire face and sleeves. Luckily, it came out of her clothes just fine! :) If I was at the party with her, I would have fed her the cake myself. Yes, I'm one of "those Mom's" who still feeds her 3-year-old on occasion. Hey, I have cream-colored carpet underneath my dining room table! I have to take precautions. :)

A few days after Christmas, Jon pulled out all of his Lego's that he used to play with when he was a kid (his parents saved practically all of his old toys). He and Lizzie LOVED playing with them together! :)

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Jon enjoyed it a lot more than Lizzie! I totally saw his inner-child come out! :)

For some reason, we have about a zillion pictures of Bryce eating. Why? I'm not sure. He does eat a lot though! :)

We had some visitors from afar! My Grandma and Grandpa Duncan came to visit us from Canada! They are from Edmonton, Alberta (the place where I was born!) and they just spent a couple of months living in Mesa, AZ. They were headed to St. George, UT for a couple more months and so they decided to take a little detour to come and see my sister and I! It was so great to see them, as I had only seen them one other time since I have been married.

Well, that's basically all that has been going on with us over the past few months! Well, aside from one other thing. I wasn't going to mention it, but maybe I will anyway. Just in case someone else who reads this goes through the same thing some day. We found out at the beginning of December that we were pregnant. We were very excited! We didn't tell another soul for 2 whole weeks. Even after that, we tried to keep it a secret. After having a miscarriage, I was very scared that I was going to have another one. I was pretty confident that everything was going to be okay with this pregnancy because I was feeling SICK. More sick than I felt with Lizzie or Bryce. I was so happy to be feeling sick because, to me, it meant that everything was going to be okay!

When I was supposed to be nearly 11 weeks a long, I went in for my first ultrasound. In an effort to make this short (because I could totally go on and on with details), let me just say that I had an absolutely horrible experience with the OBGYN department. Horrible. So horrible, in fact, that I went home crying and ended up going to urgent care almost immediately after. I would never, under normal circumstances, choose urgent care over an actual gynecologist. But that day, however, I was lucky. The care that I received at urgent care was amazing. The doctors actually listened to me and treated me like a person with feelings! What a shocker, right?

Anyway, I was diagnosed with a "Blighted Ovum". Basically, my egg didn't have any genetic information inside of it. The sperm was able to penetrate it, however, and a placenta began to develop. The placenta is what houses the majority of pregnancy hormones. Due to the placenta that was attached to my uterine wall, my body thought that I was pregnant. The pregnancy tests turned out positive. I felt all of the pregnancy symptoms. My uterus even expanded as if I was pregnant. In fact, when the doctor palpated my uterus before I had that first ultrasound, she said that my uterus felt like a 10-week uterus. Weird, eh? So I was "pregnant" with a placenta and an empty amniotic sac. What a complete fluke of nature!

The doctor said that it would expel itself on its own, like a miscarriage. I didn't even start spotting until over a week later. And then (to make another long story short)I started bleeding so heavily that I lost consciousness, went into shock, my mother-in-law had to call 911, I got to the hospital and the doctor informed me that my placenta was stuck in the cervix. After he pulled out our huge "baby" the bleeding started to slow down somewhat. And let me tell you, there was A TON of blood. Seriously. I could go into details about how much...but I won't. It scared me!

It was a crazy day, to say the least. I'm glad that it's all history now! When all of this first happened, I told myself that I was never going to try to get pregnant again. I just couldn't handle all of the emotional excitement and let-down. A few days later, however, I decided that I wanted to get pregnant again. But I didn't want to start trying until Bryce turned two. With every passing day, however, I can't help but feel like I want to be pregnant NOW. I don't want to wait! The doctor recommended waiting for at least 3 more menstrual cycles until we start trying again. To me, that just seems like too long of a wait! :) Plus, who knows when I'll even get a regular cycle again. It's been over three weeks since I gave birth to our placenta, and I'm still spotting!

Anyway, when all is said and done, I really do feel incredibly blessed. Things worked out really well. I know that things could have turned out a lot differently and I'm just extremely thankful that things are okay! :)