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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

A lovely day had by all...

This is our new doll family. We can officially call this the year of the sock monkey. Notice all four of them here. Perfect really...two large (parent) monkeys and two small (baby) monkeys. The girls both love them. Q carries them all over and T chomps their poor little legs.
This is really T's present. She loves to bounce in it, but big sister can't resist it either. She will sit in it happily and bounce and play. She is also pretty happy to help T play with all the toys when she is in it and had her cracking up yesterday. I love the sound of my girls laughing together.
Our First Christmas angel! She had such a fun day. We truly are blessed with two fantastic girls.
Our poor Q was so sick these past few days. She was pretty miserable Christmas Eve and Day. It made the days longer but we were just happy to be together as a family. We hope that your Christmas was Merry! Best wishes to you and yours for a fabulous 2013!

Monday, December 3, 2012

To My Daughters

Dear Girls,
I feel as if there might be some wisdom somewhere in a few of the things I have learned in the past few years. I have felt strongly in recent days that I need to write these things down before I move on and forget a thing or two. So, here I am. Writing you this letter late at night. The house is quiet. You are both asleep. The dogs sleep at my feet. Yet, I feel restless. I am anxious. I am agitated. So, I will share the things that haunt my thoughts and pray that something resembling wisdom will manifest itself. Perhaps my heart and my mind will find a little peace tonight.
There are so many things that I want for you. I want you to be healthy. I want you to be strong. I want you to be intelligent and develop some common sense. I want you to always retain some childlike innocence. I want you to read and travel. I want you to be good at math and sports. I want you to have drive and desire. I want you to have vision. I want you to be spiritual. I want you to have a testimony. I want you to KNOW always and forever how much I LOVE YOU!
I hope you get to make mistakes, and I hope you learn from them. I hope you are best friends. I hope you find true love and get to have families of your own. I hope you roll around in the mud. I hope you challenge yourself. I hope you challenge your beliefs. I hope you question EVERYTHING! I hope you learn from each other. I hope you make lots of friends and find comfort in those friendships.
I know you will not be perfect. I certainly don't want you to be. I know you will not always choose the right. I know that you will make hard things look easy. I know that you both have amazing potential. I know this world will be better because you are in it. I know that sometimes you will hurt, and I know I won't always be able to protect you. I know that you were sent to me from a loving Father who knew exactly what He was doing when He gave you to me. I know you may not always feel that way. I know that you are the best decision--the best thing--I ever did.

I feel overwhelmed with life right now. This happens to everyone, but when I am drowning, I look into your eyes--both of you--and I know that somehow everything will be okay. You give me strength. You are my strength. You are my heart. You are my soul. I love you.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Year Ago...

Okay, I meant to write this one on November 27th. It was on that day a year ago that I stood in the bathroom doorway staring at disbelief at the test in my hand. It was on that day that I looked at Nick and said, "Hey, babe?" quiet as a mouse. I cannot believe that it has been just over a year since we discovered that we would be parents again. Admittedly, I was terrified. Today, that terror seems silly. We have been blessed with the most amazing addition to this family in our Tessa Marie, and while I questioned it a year ago, my Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing--because He always does.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful November

I love Thanksgiving. I love that everyone gets to focus so much on the things for which they are thankful. I love the smells, the feelings, the love, the happiness that permeats the air. I love the pie, the turkey, the tradition that comes with this holiday. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season for me in a big way. I mean, Hallmark Channel is already showing Chrsitmas movies on the weekends, and I am already watching them--diligently.

I also love to see people update their Facebook status to be thankful for something new daily. I always start this month thinking that we really should always express our thanks for the things with which we are blessed, and that maybe this next year I will be better about expressing thanks all year round. I don't know if this is something I do, but I do know that there are days during this month when I have trouble picking what to post as my thankful status for the day...not because I can't think of anything, but because there is just so much. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Best Advice: Last October Topic

Holy WOW! I picked some hard topics this month. I've been thinking for three days about this one, and I figured that I should really just start writing about it and hope that that triggers something. I think that I have been given lots of snippets of wonderful wisdom from lots and lots of people whom I love and respect. Perhaps I should just share some of those.

When I was eighteen, our Laurel class at church had a long conversation with our Bishop about the unfair treatment of people in the world--particularly homosexuals--by those claiming to be Christians. If I rememeber correctly, this was during a time when there seemed to be a huge outbreak of a certain congregation boycotting funeral services of those who were homosexual. It bothered me quite a bit that anyone who claimed to know God could treat another human being with so much disrespect, and I just remember my Bishop reminding us over and over that our God is a loving God, of all people. People don't have to agree with the way others live their life, but people do need to respect others for the good people that they are.

Right before I graduated with my BA, when I was looking at where to student teach, I had a professor flat out reject my first choice of school district. She didn't actually have to approve it, but I was seeking her advice, and she told me that I really needed to expand my horizons and step outside my box. So, I did, and it turned into one of the most incredible experiences of my life and led to my first teaching job. I am a person who gets comfortable pretty easily and doesn't step outside my box very often. However, everytime I have sucked it up and stepped outside my box, I have been blessed with an incredible experience and my life has greatly changed--for the better. I am experiencing this now, and I am about to embark on another great adventure that takes me out of my comfort zone--MAJORLY! I am hoping more blessings will abound.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Serenity What?!

Heaven help me, I've been thinking about the serenity prayer all day long. I have never liked the serenity prayer. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't really understand it. Maybe because I don't know how or why so many people draw from it the strength that they do. Even as I have recently come into contact with an organization that seems to rely heavily on this mantra, I have resisted it.
I have been raised in a religion that subscribes to very few SET prayers--meaning that we do not say the same prayer over and over during our meetings. We do have a few prayers that we say over and over again, but these are used to perform baptisims or when blessing the sacrament. To me, the serenity prayer just has never carried any meaning.
And yet, I cannot get it out of my head today.
Maybe it is because of the lesson we had in Relief Society today. Our lesson revolved around the talk, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, titled, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy". Presdient Uchtdorf spoke much about judging and forgiving and loving one another. When I listened to him speak last April, I was struck by his words and reveled in the truth. We need to stop judging one another. Today, as I listened to the words and experiences of those around me, I was struck in a much different way.
It isn't a secret that I have been feeling judged lately. I think that comes with the territory of having to humble myself to accept help from people when I really don't want to and in turn being angry that I have to. As I was sitting there wondering how I was even going to make it through the lesson today, there it was. This dang serenity prayer popped into my head, and I thought, "What?!"
So, I did what any normal person would do--I ignored it. And then there it was again and again and again. There are lots of things I cannot change about my life and my circumstances right now. The problem is that sometimes I want to find Doc Brown, send some people back in time and make them do things over. If only. Too often my conversations with God have been, why? and why me? and why now? and how am I ever going to survive?
Then, I wake up, and another day has dawned, and I have two amazing girls, and a family who loves and supports me, and a home, and a job, and while not everything is perfect, and I have A LOT of changing and growing and accepting and healing to do, I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He watches over me and helps me make good choices for my daughters each day. Not everyone has to agree with the choices that I make. I am not a perfect person or perfect mother or perfect wife. I never will be, and I won't pretend that I am.
I think I have been given a good amount of courage lately. The serenity and the wisdom, however...I'll work on it because I know I have to be humble enough to accept those things, and I know I'm not. Not now anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Read It! (Week 4 Topic)

You know, I picked this topic thinking that it would be an easy one for me. As an English teacher, I was always excited about books and had a book in mind that people just NEEDED to read. I have been pondering this topic over the past several days, I have come to realize that I don't know if there is just ONE book that I think everyone should read.

I know that this novel changed my life. It is one of the first books I read in school that had a direct impact on my soul! Does that seem a little dramatic? Well, it was. Boo Radley, Scout, Aticus, racism, a fight for equal rights, and the absolute failure of people to do what it right? Yeah, my first reading of this book in eighth grade was life altering. I know that most people were forced to read this in high school or junior high, but read it again. Really READ it! Then call me and we can cry together.

Let's not act schocked that this is included here. If you know me even a little, you know that I LOVE this book. However, some may be shocked to know that I did not love this novel the first time I read it. It was a little too deep and dark for me. Yeah, I know. Gatsby? Dark? Okay, so it is not dark in a traditional sense, but really? Unrequited love? Used and abused? Money as the root of all evil? A painted and tainted world. Ummm...yeah. Gatsby is dark in a deliciously colorful way. READ it!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli: He was my childhood Forrest Gump. All I can say is, read this one to your children. It was kind of magical for me.

I have written about these books before. Mom used to read them to us. Every night. I love them. These are books that should be read out loud. Pictures are painted. An entire world comes to life through the pages of these stories. Adventures happen. Wars are won. People are rescued. And Aslan...oh, Aslan. Aslan is my childhood testimony of a loving Father in Heaven. Through these stories, I truly came to understand what it means to be loved by my Heavenly Father as I heard/read the sacrifices, the power, the concern and the wisdom Aslan showed to Peter, Edward, Susan, and Lucy. READ it!

There are so many more. I would be here all day, so I will stop with these few. Books are powerful. They allow me to learn and understand other's lives and experiences. Books help me escape and let me live in a fantasy world. I mean, who isn't waiting for an owl to bring their acceptance letter to Hogwarts? I hope that Q and T will wait for that one day too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sentimental Momma

So, my friend sent me a link to a post Letter to My 51 Year-Old Self, and I read it and cried. So much of this post is just exactly how I feel as a mom. I love this mom stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's hard! Being solely responsible for little people is crazy daunting and totally intimidating. So much of who I am and what I do will shape who they are and what they become. Frightening, right? However, these little girls that I have been entrusted with are super sweet, super sassy, and super-duper funny! I love them. More than I have ever loved anyone before.

This last year has been crazy hard in so many ways, but there has been a side effect to all this suffering and craziness. I will never have a year like this again. I will never have a time where I can be so devoted to being a mom and having JUST us girls together. I will always cherish that. We have developed an awesome bond. I am the mom, the dad (for now), the best friend, the comforter, the protector, and the comedian. I love it. I will always have that. Q may not remember. T won't, but I will. And for this, I will always be grateful.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Best Selling Memior: October Week 3

Caught in My Own Tangled Web by Jennifer Sadler is an emotional memior about this ordinary girl's oddly dramatic life. Join her as she recounts the ordinary moments, the extraordinary moments, the frightening moments, the dramatic moments and the unbelievable moments. Read on as she recounts the hilarity of her large, close-knit family. Laugh as she conveys the hilarity of growing up with eight people in a three bedroom, one bathroom home. Cry as Sadler shares her heartbreaks and triumph with her as she overcomes them to realize her dream of being a teacher and then a mother. Smile as she candidly recounts the good, bad, and just stupid choices she made, the things she would never take back and everything she wishes she had done differently. Caught in My Own Tangled Web is a must-read for every girl who feels like her life is inadequate. Through personal experience, Sadler will help you understand that life is quite simply what you make of it and the ordinary and mundane is actually extraordinary and wonderful. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October Week 2: Letter to 16-year-old Self

Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Jen,

This is actually a really hard letter to write. As I look back over the last 16 years of my life, I’m not really sure what wisdom I want to impart and what I want you to learn on your own. Although, the most important thing you need to know and understand is that you are worth SO MUCH more than you believe you are. While you should still strive to be a kind and loving to others, you need to not allow others to take advantage of you, push you around or make you feel worthless. You are not worthless.

Life is messy. It will always be messy, but it is all about how you handle the mess. And honestly, sometimes the mess is necessary and the outcome of most of those messes is absolutely worth the dirt, the grime, and the stains.

Be cautious in your relationships. You will fall in love—a few times. There will be heartache, and even when love is good, it is hard and hurts sometimes. Work through it. Pray on it. Know that even when it is hard, it is worth it.

I know you know this, but education is never worthless. Go for it. Love it. Work hard for it.

Just know that your life, while tumultuous, is an amazing ride. You will not end up where you think you are headed. You will make and lose some really incredible friends along the way. You are not perfect, and it is absolutely OKAY. Those people who are your biggest support and your biggest fans will stick around, and they are all you need.

Finally, remember that the gospel is true. The church is an amazing support. It’s okay to question. It’s okay to take your own path, but remember that your Heavenly Father loves you. He watches over you. There are angels attending you always. Let them.


Thirty-two year old Jen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Favorite Thing About My Siblings...and the 'Rents. October Week 1

Let's just jump into this. The list is a long one:

Dad: He is secretly HiLaRiOuS! This is not a trait that he allows much of the world to see, but I'm his daughter, so I am lucky enough to see the truly funny side of my father.

Mom: Her laugh. It is loud and infectious, and when she really gets going (like when she is watching "For the Birds") you cannot help but laugh along.
Adam: This might sound crazy, but I love my brother's facial expressions. He has been making the same faces at me since we were tiny...faces of disbelief, mischief, fun, and many others that I cannot accurately describe.
Kara: (yep, I'm including the in-laws) Kara is actually pretty amazing, although I don't think she believes it. She is really great with kids--especially little ones--and I have loved watching her be a super awesome aunt to Q (and now T). She is (and will continue) to use this gift as a super cool aunt and a really good mommy to her P.
Stefanie: I love how fiercely she FEELS things. She is crazy protective of her family and other people she loves. I kind of love to hear her defend those she loves. She is fearless when she does this.
Matthew: When I first met Matt, I found his sense of humor to be so ODD! What I have come to learn and appreciate is that Matt is actually rather witty and incredibly creative. Good qualities for a super cool musician.
Holly: Holly is wicked smart. This allows her to be super put together and just pretty WITH IT. I love this about her, and I am totally intimidated by this quality at the same time.
Eric: Things just seem to happen to Eric. Good things and not so good things, but he also MAKES things happen for himself. He goes after life and seems to have a good time--no matter what.
Lisa: In a word, Lisa is FIERCE. Fashion fierce, intelligent fierce, confident fierce, mom fierce...and all in the most wonderful ways.
Hondo: He is patient and easy-going, and to jump so flawlessly into this crazy family, he had to be. This is what makes him such a good husband and father to my sister and niece.
Kelli: I'm not sure there is a word for this one. What 21-year-old girl wants to live with her pregnant sister for an entire summer away from her boyfriend and friends to keep moody sister company and help with her niece(s)? Kelli does. That is the kind of girl Kelli is, and that is my favorite thing about her.
Tyler: Okay, he's the above mentioned BF, but I am including him here because he and Kelli are pretty serious and pretty MFEO. My favorite thing about Tyler? That he puts up with me giving him such a hard time about EVERYTHING. He's a good sport.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mahan Blog Challenge: October Topics

As you may or may not know, my fabulous mom challenged us to post on our blogs using weekly topics that we take turns choosing. October is my month to assign topics. I will pick enough for five weeks, since October spills heavily into a week 5 this year. Feel free to read along, or join in should the topic move you to do so.

Week 1: What is your favorite thing about each one of your siblings (or parents if you have no sibs OR both should the mood strike you)?

Week 2: Write a letter to your sixteen-year-old self. What advice would you impart?

Week 3: What is the title of your best-selling memior and why?

Week 4: Is there a book that you believe that everyone should read? What is it, and how has it affected you?

Week 5: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Hmmmm...sorry if some (or all) of these sound a little "teacher-y". It is who and what I am deep down, afterall. I'm having a moment when I miss it and almost believe that I used to be good at it. Blech! This tired and emotional girl needs some sleep! Take the topics and run, people! Run with it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Instantly Proficient?!

The  post challenge for this week is, "If you could be instantly proficient at anything, what would you choose?" Ummm...Mom, I am proficient at many things, and I am obviously humble about it. However, if I could be instantly AWESOME at anything I would choose playing the piano. Little known fact: I actually can play the piano. Kind of. I took a few lessons when I was a teenager, but for the most part, I am self-taught. This means that I can play a few songs here and there and even fewer songs that I can play well. I love the piano though. I love to play, and I am GREEN with envy at those who do play well. I might add that there is something really sexy about a man who can play the piano. Yep, Yanni and Elton John included.
Someday, I will have a house that has a room that is a library/music room. There will be a baby grand in the center, and a beautiful window seat for people to sit and enjoy the music or the atmosphere. My children will play, and yes, I will be that mom who sometimes forces them to take lessons believing that they will thank me one day. Music is and always has been such an amazing and important part of my life. I honestly don't know if people know that about me. The gift that my mother gave me of singing, singing, singing all the time is something I naturally find myself doing with my daughters. I sang to Q while she was still so itty-bitty in the NICU. I sing to her and T as we make dinner or change clothes or take baths. So, when I get my piano, it will be a central part of our family life--another Sadler.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Almost Always Gives Me Goosebumps

There isn't really an ALMOST in this one. I tend to get goosebumps and cry--often sobbing uncontrollably during the "Hallelujah Chorus". As Q and I watched this one today, she danced and I sobbed. This Holiday Season is going to be a tear-filled one. No avoiding it!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My LEAST Favorite Thing To Do...

This is no secret. I hate housework. Despise vacuuming. Detest dishes. Loathe sweeping and mopping. Don't believe in making my bed. WASTE OF TIME. Luckily, I married someone who is totally crazy about how the house looks. I would much rather just not invite people over. Now, I do know how to clean. I am actually rather good at it when I get started. However, in order to get on a house cleaning roll, I need a quiet and empty house. A place where there are no distractions and nothing to detract me from my goal of a clean space. My mom used to love it if I had an hour or so with the house to myself. I would attack with the dust rag and vacuum. I do not have that luxury today, so every once in a while, I have to drag myself around the house and clean up. This also comes with the guilt that I am not cuddling my babies. I would absolutely rather be doing that. Housework stinks! Boo!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Super Hero Name and Power


Okay, I actually love this idea, but as I have been dwelling on it over and over and over again, I realize that it is a hard one to come up with. I am not all that into Super Heroes, so my power and name don't really JUMP readily into my head.

I tried watching this clip from The Big Bang Theory. Then this one:


Made me laugh, but really just served as a distraction. However, this is what I came up with.

If I were a super hero, my super power would be the ability to say exactly the right thing to people at exactly the right moment. Obviously, I would have the courage to say and the gumption to not care if it made them dislike me. Although, it wouldn't because I wouldn't be tactless. I suppose then my Super Hero name would be Oprah...isn't that who I just described?, my dream to be the next Orpah lives on!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Slow and Steady...weight loss

As much as I would love to see lbs just fall off my body, I know that isn't going to happen. So, we are down this week. Not by a huge number, but I lost 1.4 lbs this past week. Now that I get to work out a little more vigorously, I hope to see at least two more this week! The family is starting what has become a yearly Biggest Loser event on September 1st, and to all my sibs and my dad: BRING IT! I am one motivated momma!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Humble Pie

Well, I think I am being force fed some humble pie right now. Somehow I have to figure out how to let go of the anger, resentment, and frustration I am feeling towards...well, it doesn't matter who it is, does it? What does matter is that I need some help figuring out how to control/release what I am feeling right now. This isn't help that is going to come from this world. I know that. I just need the answer to be crystal clear. I need to know what it is that I need to do to change my attitude. It is the only one I have control over, afterall. Although, I often feel as if I have little control over that right now either.
I am happy that I can start working out harder this week. I think focusing on that will help. If anyone wants to come sit with my girlies for an hour so I can actually hit up the gym, let me know! I will let you. :-) I am going to pack the girls up and head over the mountains to visit my parents this coming weekend. I need to get away for a little bit. I hope to drive up the Mesa and sit for a while--and probably cry. I think I need a good cry. You know the kind, whole body, barely breathing, cry until you are dry kind of cry. Problem is, after that kind of cry, I always want a nap. I don't have time for a nap.
Today I need a reason to keep going...okay, that's a bit dramatic, but I am drama. At least I know it and can admit it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

These were the best of times; these were the worst of times

Best of times:
1. Tessa--a healthy baby; made it to term; she's so beautiful and so mellow.
2. Summer of Aunt Kelli--having my sister here all summer to keep me company and help with Q and T made a huge difference.
3. P/T work--which hasn't started yet, but I still do have a job that will allow me to work from home.
4. Mom/Grandma--having my mom here for what worked out to be about a month (total for the summer) was a huge blessing.
5. Nick's family--who love my girls and keep us afloat
6. June "Powderhorn"--a weekend with the whole family. Usually this takes place over Labor Day Weekend, but with the babies all coming around this time, we moved the outing to June. It was amazing to have everyone in Denver for the weekend.

Worst of times:
Let me just say this: we have spent this year so far on the biggest roller coaster. Nick is still not home. (December, maybe.) I am tired, and the ride isn't even close to being over. I am frustrated. I am grumpy. I know this, and I know that I am taking this out on the people who are trying to help. I don't accept help well. I don't know how to let people help me with this. I know that others would deal with the challenges that face me very differently, but I only know how to fight through. I know that I need to try and keep this family together. I know that it is really hard. I know that I am stuck in crappy circumstances that I don't know how to control--that I can't control. I am in a place where I am being forced to let people help me, and I feel as if I am being judged at the same time that people are helping...not because I am for real, I just feel that way. My one else's. I know that everyone believes that I am SO strong...spend a day in my head. Spend an hour there and you might think differently. We do what we have to do to survive. I am doing my best to survive. So, if I look worn out. I am. If I look frustrated. I am. If I am short with you. I'm sorry. I am doing my best.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Putting It Out There: Weight Loss

Let's paint the picture. I am a nursing mom, and since the baby snacked and fell asleep (again), I am currently sitting on the living room floor attached to the breast pump. When I had Quincy and could only pump, a nurse saved my life and told me to get a pump bra. The link isn't the one I own, but this wonderful product SAVED me! It is so nice to have your hands available to blog, or update Facebook, or read Q a book, or even hold the baby sometimes. :-) You know, all those important things we do.
Anyway, I have these genius ideas when I am attached to this thing, and I was thinking about Oprah (of all people) and a show I saw her do about putting your goals out there in the universe. Tell someone about what you are trying to accomplish, and then you are more motivated to accomplish it. Now, I am a big girl. That's no secret. Always have been. I have body issues like every girl does, and I have spent a good majority of my adult life working out and stopping and training with a trainer and stopping and losing and gaining weight. Don't get me wrong, I like me. I'm not a bad looking lady, and my hottie of a hubby sure does love me, but I am determined to get healthy and lose some of this flab along the way. So, even though this actually kills me to admit, I am going to post weekly about the struggles, the successes, and the drama of becoming a healthy momma--and this will include my weekly weigh-in's. SIGH! Don't judge.
I should finally be able to start really working out again this week after T's birth, and my whole body is in need of it. Don't get me wrong. This is going to be a challenge. Starting over again is always hard, but I do know how I feel when I work out on a regular basis. Plus I will be able to work out with some amazing ladies next week and every Tuesday for a while in a place where I feel comfortable and safe and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I can bring the babies!

So, while this was taken when I was barely pregnant with T, this is what I look like when I weigh this much...

And that weight is 235...yes, yes. It makes me cry too. My goal for next Tues is 232. Hold me to it people. I am tired of being this girl.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hobbes (January 14, 2000-August 4, 2012)

As I type in the dates for the title of this blog post, I cannot really believe that our old man is gone. My dad had to make the tough decision to let him go this morning. Look at that face! Hobbes was the sweetest dog, and he did a lot to heal hearts and keep people sane without really doing anything except being the loyal, faithful, loving companion that he just was!
Hobbes came into our family during the Spring Break of my sophomore year in college. I spent that time trying to heal a broken heart in Florida while visiting my uncle. It was a much needed trip. I came home and there was a new puppy there! He was such a sweet baby then, and he never lost that innocent puppiness! I snuggled him, and right then and there, my heart began to heal. I made some pretty serious decisions about my own future shortly after that, and I needed that unconditional Hobbes love to help me on my way. He will always be our special boy, and we will all miss him! Lisa shared this cartoon earlier today, and it is just so fitting. For those of you unfamiliar with Calvin and Hobbes, this is the very last one that Bill Waterson wrote. Fitting for the occasion. We love you, old man! I am so thankful you are in a place where you cannot feel pain, and I look forward to the love and the happy Chewbaca noises when I see you again.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo Card

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View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Big Sister, Big Girl

I was entirely unprepared for what would happen to Q when we brought T home. Q has been my baby--still is my baby--but when there is a brand new baby in the house, suddenly your 19-month-old becomes a big kid, a big girl, and (in this case) a really incredible big sister. She has taken T under her wing with ease and care! Q demonstrates a protectiveness for her baby sister that I find totally endearing. They are amazing together, and I cannot believe my good fortune.

Q wants to hold T all the time, and when we allow her to do that with the assistance of the Boppy and an adult, she climbs up on the couch and giggles and giggles! She loves to help me feed T a bottle (as we are both bottle and breastfeeding right now), and when T begins to stir from a nap, Q will run to the kitchen to get her milk for her. Seriously?! Love these girls!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Week, One Beautiful Family, One Sad Little Reflection

I suppose I should warn you, today is an emotional day. It did take me a whole week to get to the point where I feel as if I could cry, and cry, and cry all day if I let myself. For all of you who are suddenly worried that I have post-partum depression, let me just remind you that the over-emotional state is very normal for a mom right now. I know that I have extra on my plate, and I promise that I am keeping tabs on me too. I don't want to plunge into the depths of despair. I will say something if, in fact, this mood and these emotions carry on for too long. That being said...
Miss Tessa is a week old today! We have only been home since Friday, and it is soon to say, but so far, my baby has been a pretty mellow little thing. We are working vigorously to put weight back on her as she dropped 10% of her body weight while we were in the hospital. She does, however, eat like a champ and sleeps great! Even at night, we are only up twice for feedings. I will attribute some of this to the Miracle Blanket that we received as a gift when we had Q (it seriously saved our sanity and our lives), but really, she is just a great baby! And so pretty! I can hardly believe that my beauties are mine!

My friend, Ruth, was here visiting today from Texas. We can't believe T is here and a week old already!
I am so blessed to have my mom and Kelli here. They are doing and have done so much. I wish I could say that having people here makes me miss Nick less, but today I am missing him more than ever. I am having a day when other couples just make me angry. Their happiness and togetherness makes me want to scream. Life isn't fair, and today, my life really isn't fair. I have made my choices, and I live the consequences of those choices daily. It just is hard to also live with the consequences of other people's choices. That right there is what makes marriage so hard. Living with the consequences of another's choice. I do it, though, not because I am Wonder Woman; not because I should be anyone's example; not because I am wife of the year, but because I believe that some things are worth fighting for. Some things are worth sacrificing for...and my family, my husband, my children are worth every tear, every bad day, every hard thing I have to do that I just don't wanna! And, guys, today, I just don't wanna!
All right. I have complained enough. Believe it or not, I am trying to not complain. I want to stay optimistic, upbeat, and positive. I am very lucky and very blessed in so many ways. I can also say that I don't think it is okay to always be that way when sometimes I just don't feel so great. Maybe I don't have to share so openly and public, but for some reason I feel compelled...maybe someone else needs to be okay with feeling yucky. Because it is okay. Feel yucky. Let it out. Talk it through. Find a friend with broad shoulders to cry on. Say a prayer. Take a deep breath, and the smiles will come back. I still smile every day. I laugh. I sure as hell love, and I know that somehow, someway, we will all be okay.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


The Sadler Family is proud to introduce Miss Tessa Marie to the world. She joined us rather unexpectedly three weeks early on Tuesday, July 17th. Once again, I had to have a c-section birth to avoid the mild preeclampsia symptoms I experienced from becoming the severe symptoms I had with Quincy. This was a very different experience than last time, and I am so thankful that both my doctors and I were able to recognize that something was amiss early on. 
Tuesday was my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment. I was slightly worried because I had started to swell over the weekend. It is easy to blame the heat, but I was worried that the swelling was more than just heat induced. So, when I stepped on the scale and I had gained 10 lbs in a week (another telling sign) I just knew that my blood pressure was going to be high. Sure enough! The nurses took my pressure a few times and it registered consistently in the 140's/90's. This is not the worst it has ever been, but it is not the best either! 
I was instructed to go to the hospital and have my lab work done while being observed. My labs came back fairly normal, but there was a little too much protein being shed from my body for the doctor to be comfortable. At 8:00pm she came in and told me that they would be ready to perform my c-section in about an hour. 

We called everyone, and Adam and Kara walked in the door right around then. As they prepped me for surgery, Q needed to wear a silly hat too. This was a late night for her, but I really needed her there. Plus, I selfishly wanted to see my girls together before sending Q home for bed. 
Kelli was my coach in the OR. She was a trooper, and she wasn't even nervous about the body parts she saw that generally reside inside my body. She was very focused on baby girl, and she went with T to get weighed and cleaned up too. 
I prayed that my little one would be at least six pounds, so imagine my delight (and shock) when she weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz! Barely a term baby, and she is so big! 
Uncle Adam and Aunt Kara introduced the girls to one another, waited for me to make it back to the room, and then took my tired girl home and put her to bed. So thankful for them! Kelli stayed with me until about 1:30am when I was moved into the post-partum room. I snuggled and fed and snuggled my new little girl some more!
We are all shocked and thrilled by the dark hair that T sports! She is a pretty little thing! Because my symptoms were so mild this time, I didn't have to spend any time hooked up to magnesium (such an awful experience), and we watched my blood pressure fall back into normal range quickly and without incident. Thank goodness for that blessing! 
My mom and
Nick's mom were here to help me with Quincy and the house and everything else the first few days. My mom will stay for a few weeks--at least until I can drive again--and Cindy and Desi will be back in August for a short visit. 
So, here we are...home, happy, healthy and ready to get this two kid thing figured out! We miss Daddy every day, and we are so excited to have him back with us again. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

37 Down; 3 To Go

Well, well, well, what do you know?! I can carry a baby to term. Yay! Here we are at 37 weeks, and I am breathing a sigh of relief. She can come any time she wants to come now. Because of the steroid shots I received week 33, I am really not worried about her lung development. I think she is just fine. These days I feel as if she is really LONG! I can no longer bend over and pick things up off the floor. I cannot reach my feet to save my life. I have to sit straight as an arrow or leaning back. No slouching for this momma! All these  things make me very nervous and very happy. The time is upon us. Baby T will be here before I know it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turn, Baby, Turn!

Well, we have made it to 36 weeks and 1 day. Today was my doctor's appointment, and I went in with high hopes that Baby T had flipped. She has been so active these past few days, and I think she has shifted. So, I hoped and prayed all the way to the doctor's office. Needless to say, I was disappointed. The nurse felt her little feet. Great. She is in a different position, but not the position I need her to be in! Little pill! 
Then, as I watched Q dance around the office, it hit me...she was three weeks old when I should have been 36 weeks pregnant with her, and once again I marveled. 

She was already about a pound bigger here than she was when she was born. Crazy! 

I promise I will be happy with a healthy baby. I just would like her to come in a more natural way than being cut out of me. It might be too much to ask. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oh, the randomness of it all!

As Q and I drove to church this morning, I was watching the people playing tennis at the community park close by and then again at the swim and tennis club up the street and wondering what life is really like for those who don't attend church on Sundays. No judgement here, but even when I wasn't as actively involved in my religion as I am now, I could never really bring myself to go and DO things on Sunday. It must just be so ingrained in me that Sunday is a day of rest that I don't know how to do anything else. Granted, I am not perfect at keeping the Sabbath day holy. I was just merely observing life around me and thinking.
Then at church today, Miss Q attended nursery for the first time. This is something they can do when they turn 18 months. It was a strange feeling to not have her running all over the hallways ad to be free to attend class. Granted, this is happening just in time for T to make an arrival, so we will start all over again, but these next few weeks should be nice. By the way, she loved it! She loves playing with other kids, and there are TOYS and SNACKS! What more could a kid want?
Yesterday I went and tried acupuncture for the first time. It was an interesting experience. The acupuncturist only had to place needles in one spot on order to encourage T to flip over, but since I am so far along, she also placed more to help with labor. After a few minutes, she returned to see if baby was moving. Not only was baby moving, baby was running and wiggling and twisting. She went nuts! This is all a good sign that this will help her flip. I am feeling much better and more at peace today about this upcoming birth. I have faith that she will flip and I will get to experience a healthy VBAC like I want. I didn't have a choice with Q, but I still do with T.
Praying I get that official job offer this week after a very successful interview last week. Part-time. Work from home. Just perfect for this girl and my little family!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More in the pregnancy saga...

Sigh! Baby T is sitting breech right now. My OB actually had the c-section conversation with me at my appointment. Then I had a small panic attack and flipped out on the hubs on my drive home. Here is the thing. Because I had to have an emergency c-section with Q, I didn't have a lot of time to think about what was actually happening to me. This didn't stop me from picturing my escape from the hospital while I was waiting all alone in the OR to get me epidural. I was only alone for a second, but in that time, while I sat and shivered on the table, I had a vision of running away...and crazy me thought that would probably fix it all. Ha!  I had a lot to focus on after that c-section. A new preemie. My blood pressure. My stressed out husband. Recovery wasn't all that bad. However, I cannot imagine trying to do that now. A new baby, an 19/20 month old, and a long recovery time?! No! No! No! No! No! I know that there are lots and lots of people who are totally willing to help me through new baby time. There are friends and family who would love nothing more than to come and live with us through that time. I am so thankful for them all. I will need their help regardless of how this kiddo makes her debut into the world. However, you all know that the independent girl in me is FREAKING OUT right now. Is it any wonder Miss Q needs to do things by herself? She's my kid! 
Anyway, I made a trip to Darnell Chiropratic this morning where a good friend from church is a chiropractor.  Not only did hid wife tell me to go get adjusted because it worked for her twice, but while I was sitting in the waiting room chatting with a lady who was waiting with her 3-month-old nephew, she told me that he was also presented breech and the Webster technique that chiropractors use to give baby more room to maneuver and flip worked for her sister as well. So, adjusted today, adjusted again tomorrow...we'll see what happens from there, and I am praying, praying, praying that this kid flips over.

This is what we are going for!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Quirk

Okay, I thought about this one all day. A quirk? Unless you have something that is really out there, I think this is a hard topic to write about oneself. So, I had to ask a sister. Kelli didn't have any idea either, so I pondered and pondered some more. Then I walked past my favorite thing on the wall in my living/dining room...and it hit me!

Yep! My quirk is my obsession with mirrors, or even more so, my general reflection. This is not because I am particularly vain. I like to look nice. I love to feel like I look, well, uber hot, but I am not really looking in the mirror for those reasons. I just look. I can't help it. I have monumental conversations with myself in the mirror. Life-changing things happen when I am talking something over with myself in any mirror I can find. This isn't a new thing. There are stories that float around about me talking to myself in the TV at my Grandad's house when I was very before I could really form coherent sentences. It was the last thing he remembered about me when Dad, Adam and I drove over the mountain to say our final good-bye to him--me talking to myself in the TV. Makes my quirk seem a little less odd and a lot more special. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Favorite Comfort Food

Easy! ALL THINGS BREAKFAST...and I am not just saying that because this baby has me craving eggs, sausage, french toast, hashbrowns, breakfast burritos, pancakes, waffles, potatoes, chicken fried steak and eggs...OH MY GOSH! My mouth is watering thinking of it all. If my morning wasn't already scheduled out tomorrow, you might find me at Village Inn--again.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Top Things on My Bucket List

I wish I could say that I would love to travel the world, but quite honestly, I am pretty content to explore my homeland. There are a few places I think I need to see, and the one pictured above is my #1. Santorini, Greece. Please? I need to go there and see. Just see. 

It is no secret that I want to be published one day. It is a dream, but it is also one of the bigger things on my Bucket List. And, really, those two things take the cake. Nick and I have started to come up with a Bucket List of things we would love to try and do as a couple. Places to visit and goals to achieve, but neither list (individual and together) is very long. I don't want to look back on life and think about all the things I didn't get to check off. I would much rather look back at the end of my life and think, "Wow! Look at all I accomplished that I didn't even know I could do." 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: The Last Time I Cried

Hey, guys...I'm pregnant. I cry all the time. So, let's not surprised that the last time I cried was a few hours ago. Oh, and the was because of this show, A Baby Story, on TLC that I started to cry. Well, I guess technically, I cried twice today. Anyway, I first cried when I was watching the show. I was fine through the story and the birth and even when the mom snuggled her newborn for the first time. But then, that crazy lady turned and handed her new son to Daddy...aaaaannnndddd, I was done. Sobbing. A mess.

Later this evening, as I was telling this to the hubs, I sobbed again uncontrollably. I'm not going to be able to experience the joy of handing a new baby over to Daddy this time, and it makes me so sad. For me. For her. For him. Not to mention that I am totally terrified. I am determined to have a VBAC this time, and that frightens me. It doesn't frighten me as much as another C-section does though. Please don't cut me open again! I won't be alone in the delivery room. I'll be able to share this moment with my mom, and I am so thankful that she will be there. It just isn't the same though, and I ache a little (okay, a lot) bit because of it. Sometimes I just don't think I'm strong enough, but I guess I don't have a choice. We'll muddle through somehow.

31 Day Blog Challenge: What Make Me Feel Better, ALWAYS

Sheesh! When you throw the word ALWAYS in there this becomes a bit more challenging. Mom wrote about hugs, Lisa wrote about faces, and I love both of those things. So, here are a few things that make me feel better (almost) ALWAYS and one that tops the cake.
Rain. The smell, the sound, and even the feel of it falling on my head. I love the rain, and it almost always seems to help me feel better about life. It is, after all, a shower for the earth. A rebirth for Mother Earth. A cleansing experience, and I feel refreshed after a good rainfall. 

My Family. If you have been paying any attention at all, you probably got the hint that I love my family very much. All of them. The picture is a rather small representation of them, but you get the idea!

My Daughter(s). These little people are the things that make me the happiest all the time. My worst days with Q are better than my best days ever were without her. And now that the birth of T is looming ever nearer, I am basically beside myself with joy and anticipation. What will this new little girl bring into my life? How can I possibly handle more love than I already have for my Q-a-Lou?