Friday, November 28, 2008

Ez is walking

Well, sort of. He was showing off up at the cabin and taking some steps here and there. You can tell how proud he is of himself. Unfortunately, I shot the video clip vertically and I can't figure out how to rotate it. Anybody know how? So I guess just turn your neck sideways to watch it and you'll get the picture.

This is just a cute clip from today when Blaine was making Ez laugh. I don't think there is a better sound in the world than a child's uninhibited laughter!

Thanksgiving in the Mountains

We went up to Tiff's family's cabin near Estes Park for Thanksgiving. We ate a YUMMY meal and relaxed and had a great time. Blaine had fun with Maddie and Mark playing guitar hero.

I actually came down with Laryngitis and have had NO VOICE since Wednesday night. It is soooooooo frustrating not being able to talk. I can only whisper and that gets old really quickly.
Friday morning Blaine went outside with the kids and had a snowball fight. He is such a fun dad and uncle.

Then we came home and I went upstairs and took a much needed nap while running two humidifiers. I woke up hoping to have somewhat of a voice back, and still nothing. But, I did wake up to the smell of a nice aroma since Blaine had made me homemade chicken soup for dinner. Seriously, I need to keep this guy around.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks for Angel Amigas

I am inspired and humbled by the lives of two phenomenal women. Their lives are examples of faith in the face of adversity and happiness and optimism during difficult circumstances.

Sonia Barros Herrera de Diaz

(Pictures are from 2006 trip to Chile.)

Sonia and I met in 1998. I was a missionary serving in her hometown of Quillota, Chile. She was an awesome ward member who was preparing to serve her own mission and she helped the missionaries quite a bit. We developed a friendship that has flourished over the past ten years.

When Sonia was a teenager, she met the missionaries and wanted nothing more than to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her parents, however, were steeped in the traditions of the dominant culture’s religion and would not allow her baptism. Sonia continued to attend church and study and learn until, after nearly dying of kidney failure, her parents allowed her to join the church. Sonia survived her illness by receiving one of her father’s kidneys. That kidney extended her life for a decade but has also since failed. Sonia is now a wife, a mother, and a dialysis patient awaiting the rare gift of a kidney donation.

Sonia and I always marvel at how our lives have been on a parallel course, although we live worlds apart. We served missions around the same time, married within two months of each other, both experienced infertility before being blessed with our miracle children…her’s through birth and mine through adoption. After giving birth to her son 2 months premature, the doctor’s required her to receive a tubal ligation because her body would not be able to endure another pregnancy. After her son’s birth, her father’s kidney failed and now she receives dialysis for four hours every other day. Although her life is uncertain and difficult, she is one of the happiest, most faithful people I have ever met. She has brightened my life through her friendship. She is a positive, happy person who radiates the light of Christ in her life. I look forward to spending the month of January with her in Chile. She has said that to have a fulfilling life and leave a legacy, one must 1) raise a child 2) write a book and 3) plant a tree. We plan to plant a tree together on my parent’s property this January.

Tamara Meza

We met the Mezas at church in 2002 when Blaine and I moved to Colorado. The four of us became fast friends. Tamara had just undergone brain surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. After brain surgery, Tamara had to relearn to speak Spanish (she served a Spanish speaking mission in California and is married to a native Peruvian). She also had to relearn how to walk, cook, drive, and many other things that we take for granted. She was not given much time to live.

With faith and determination, Tamara charted her own course of recovery with alternative treatments. The doctor’s were fascinated by her choices and by her recovery. After receiving a clean bill of health, Tamara and David, who had experienced years of infertility, and Blaine and I all attended our first adoption meeting together at LDS Family Services. Blaine and I went on to adopt Bella, while Tamara and David experienced the miracle of a pregnancy. Little Isaac was born not long after Bella.

But without warning, Tamara’s brain hemorrhaged and she found herself in emergency surgery removing her second brain tumor. Somehow the doctors did not detect that it had been growing back at a steady pace. Once again, she spent a month in the hospital, and endured a long road to recovery, learning all of the basics of walking, talking, cooking, driving, and everything else all over again…only this time as a mother to a young baby. I was devastated that Tamara had to go through this and I kept imagining myself experiencing these same things with a brand new baby. It was heartbreaking to know that she couldn’t care for her young son the way I was caring for Bella. But every time I spoke with Tamara, she was positive, happy, and determined to beat the odds, even though once again, the doctor’s gave her a very short life expectancy.

I saw Tamara this past weekend and she told me that she just learned that she will have her third brain surgery on December 10th. This will be three brain surgeries in only five years. While I carelessly prepare for Christmas and vacations, Tamara is preparing to leave her family, to lose basic skills, and to fight again for her life.

I feel bad thinking about the trivial things that I worry about and the monumental things that I take for granted, while two of my very good friends face an uphill battle everyday of their lives, only asking God to give them more time with their husbands and young sons, not knowing if they will make it into their forties. And yet, every time I talk to or am with Sonia and Tamara, they lift me up, they remind me how beautiful life is, and they give me hope that I can be a better person. I am so blessed to have angels as friends and every new day that God gives me, I will give thanks for my life, my health, my children, my husband, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mommy's little helper...

or trouble maker???

Twilight, the Movie

My review:

It was good enough, not great, but good enough. The first 30-45 minutes were seriously cheesy. I laughed in places that I’m sure were not intended to be funny. But, as the movie progressed, it got better and I look forward to a sequel. The movie was pretty low budget so I am hoping that New Moon has more money to work with. I went twice this weekend…Friday night with a bunch of girls, which was way fun. Saturday night with Blaine, who really wasn’t a fan at all but a good sport to go with me. He said that if it was done by the same people who do Harry Potter, it could have been good.

Here is my rundown of the characters:

Edward: Hot, hot, hot, except when he looked slightly, well, um, retarded, to be less than PC.

Bella: In the book she is dull, pessimistic, and boring. She did not disappoint in the movie. Kristen Stuart appears to be dull and boring herself so she did a great job being herself.

Carlisle: Hot, hot, hot…no exceptions.

Esme: Small part, good job.

Rosalie: Did not cut it for me as an amazingly beautiful person.

Emmett: Great job.

Alice: Cute girl and I liked her small performance.

Jasper: What was up with Jasper? He seriously looked like a constipated Edward Scissorhands. I laughed every time I saw him.

Three bad vampires: Great performances, especially James!

Charlie: Played the role very well.

Jacob: Worked for me as Jacob but how are they going to beef him up for the next movie?

So, what did you think?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm a Loser

So tonight I was working out on the elliptical machine while watching my favorite show, the Biggest Loser. Bella was watching part of it with me when she turned to me and said, "Mom, you're a loser." I was thinking, "Oh, how sweet...she thinks that being a loser is a good thing because of this show" until she followed it up with, "And I'm a winner."

Well, A+ on teaching her self-confidence but we probably need to work on the name calling bit.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Family is Life's Greatest Gift

Today is a day to celebrate adoption, as it is National Adoption Day. Truly my life would be less than fulfilling if I never had the chance to parent my two little angels. They have brought me indescribable joy and happiness and I love them more than words can express. My family is my world and I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father gave me the privilege of being Bella's and Ezra's mother and of experiencing the joy of parenting with my best friend, Blaine. And, of course, this privilege came to us through the love and sacrifice of incredible birthfamilies, who we will always love and cherish for their unparalleled gifts.

So today I have all of my friends who have adopted, who hope to adopt, who have been adopted, and who have placed a child for adoption in my thoughts and in my heart. Adoption equals love.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am a big fan of Bella's artwork...

I just prefer that she keep it off of her bedroom door.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soccer Star

As soon as Bella was born, I started looking forward to the day I could put her in soccer. Growing up I was never one of those girly girls who took ballet or any other type of dance class. It was all about soccer, softball, and basketball for me (but mostly soccer). But, after seeing that Bella had an interest in ballet last year (I'm pretty sure that it was the pink leotard that caught her attention), we put her in ballet class. She loved it until her teacher moved (we miss you Kirsten!) and alas, we were with out a ballet class for the little one. But, she has been so busy with pre-school and play dates that I really didn't even pursue other classes until we found out about this little soccer league that her cousin, Ellie, was in. So, Bella had her first season of soccer this Fall and I had my first experience with being a soccer mom, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm not quite sure that she absolutely loved it, however I do know that she loved the pink soccer ball. And she was quite good at dribbling. I hope she will want to continue to play soccer in the future, but if she doesn't, I will try to behave and allow her to explore her own interests, rather than force mine on her.