Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birthdays and Nevers...

The Birthdays...

Well, Brecken did it. She had a birthday. She has now joined the ranks of the four year olds! And do we ever love our four year old!!

Here she is the morning of her big day...

We had a little family lunch at Brecken's favorite place, good old McDonald's...

I love how she's eyeing the presents across the table :)...

Opening the goods...

Her birthday happened to be on a friday. And since we happen to trade babysitting on fridays with fellow want-to-date-but-not-pay-for-sitter-every-time-ers... And it was our turn... We figured we'd throw ourselves a little Babysitting Birthday Bash (you know, kill two birds with one stone).

Here's the crew (minus a couple wandering babies)...

Here's one of those wanderers. We couldn't resist giving her a party hat (gotta love the one sock)...

We love you little four year old!!

And now for The Nevers...

There are some things in life we say we will never do. And you know what they say, never say never. But I said it. And it jinxed me. The never I am referring to has to do with pets. Dogs specifically. Over the past five years Russ has conditioned me to be what you might call anti-pet. Not that I don't like pets... But what with allergies and shedding etc. etc. etc. ... I did say we would never have one. But because a certain little girl had a birthday, and her father had a certain, crazy idea, here we are one dog later...

This was on her birthday, and he's seen a lot more totin' around where that comes from...

This cute little guy's name is Butch. Yes. Butch...

I'll admit I'm rather fond of the little mutt. I wouldn't throw myself in in with the dog lovers quite yet... but I'm gettin' there :)

Oh the "mutt" is a mix between a miniature poodle and a corgi :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Slumber Party

It's official. Brecken had her first sleepover! Huge. I know (ok, not really). Her little cousin (second, I guess, if you're keeping tabs) Sammy got to spend the night with us.

After playin' hard all day we finally wound down and had scripture study...

Russ could tell their faces weren't as captivated as he would have liked, so he had me retake the picture. This time he told the girls to open their mouths wide as they looked at the picture (haha gotta love him :) )...

Snuggled in bed....

Playin' in the morning...

Their cute matching outfits are thanks to Aunt/Grandma Karen. Aren't they adorable?? (I love Sammy's face)....

And I tried to snap one right before she left, but as you can tell, Dora was a little more interesting than the camera...

And where was Taylor through all of this? Well, I'll admit... I did find her in some random places :)...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Picture Overload-Love My Girls!!

So what happens when one of your good friends happens to be the best photographer around... and quite possibly in the world? You get lots of cute pics of your girls. That's what. Emily Menzie took some adorable pictures! It helps that I happen to have the two cutest girls alive (it's not bias. it's fact.... hahaha just kidding). And to be honest, there were too many cute ones to share just a couple.

Here goes!...

Oh. I love my girls!!!!

Thanks Emily!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kamry Lynn Harrington

Two years ago, April 6, 2007 Kamry Lynn Harrington was born to our family. I just wanted to write down the events of that day and share my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father.

I woke up on April 6 and knew this was the day that my little baby girl was going to be born. I had been in labor most of the night and my contractions were starting to get mildly strong. I called my mom around 11:00 am to tell her the good news. She had taken Brecken for me two weeks before so we could do some odds and ends and have a little alone time before the baby came.

While we were talking she told me that my cousin Kimberly's baby had been born earlier that morning and seemed to be doing well. This was such a miracle because they had to deliver her 2 or so months early.

While we were talking I had the little thought Wouldn't it be ironic if Kimberly's baby lived after such a complicated, difficult pregnancy, and my baby died, where there have been no complications or signs of anything wrong whatsoever. I had no idea where that thought had come from and threw it out right away.

My contractions got a little bit stronger but didn't ever get the "five minutes apart" they were supposed to so I started getting things ready to "pass the time." I got myself all ready, vacuumed the house, folded the laundry, and rechecked my hospital bag.

I was tempted to call Russ home from work, but felt like it should wait. I wanted to wait most of it out at home... put off the uncomfortable labor beds of the hospital. I decided that I would call Russ with the big news when the contractions were closer.

When I ran out of things to do I sat on the couch and began timing contractions. Still about ten minutes apart. Staring at the clock wasn't exactly a good time passer so I decided to read. I felt prompted to pick up the April Ensign. The story I opened to was about a mother who lost her baby minutes after birth. Obviously this couldn't be what Heavenly Father wanted me to read so I flipped through and found an article about Mothers... This, I was sure, was what I was meant to read. The next article I read was entitled "Sealed on Earth, Sealed in Heaven."

It was around this time that I noticed Kamry hadn't moved in a while. Actually I didn't really remember the last time she had moved other than for sure 1:00 am when I had gone to bed the night before. But I really didn't know... a moving baby in the belly was second nature now, so she could have been moving all day unnoticed. I tried to think back to when Brecken was born. Did she move when I was in labor? I couldn't really remember. I kept a prayer in my heart asking Heavenly Father to let me know if I needed to get to the hospital quickly. A calm feeling came over me and I felt reassured that staying home was the best thing to do for now. This was around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon.

I kept timing my contractions and they stayed anywhere form 7 to 15 minutes apart but they were definitely strong now. By 5:00 I was pretty anxious for Russ to get home from work.

He got home shortly after 5:00 and I let him know we could go to the hospital whenever he was ready. His "getting ready" included mowing the lawn... which was fine. I mean really, my contractions weren't getting much closer together. We left the house a little after 6:00 and decided to grab a bite to eat on the way. Who knew how long it would be til either of us had the chance to eat.

We got to the hospital and checked in around 7:00. Finally. All day I had been waiting for this. I got all set up in the little pre-labor room so they could check me. The nurse came in to look for the heartbeat. She kept searching. Nothing. My heart immediately sank. She left and got another nurse to assist her. Still nothing. I kept waiting for the words "There's the heartbeat!" but they never came.

Because of Heavenly Father's tender mercies, my doctor, Dr. Klomp, was the doctor on the floor that night. He came in to do an ultrasound to help them find the heart beat. As I watched the screen I could clearly see her tiny feet, perfectly still, not moving as they pressed on them. And then I knew. My little Kamry was not one to hold still when she was being pushed.

Moments later Dr. Klomp said "I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you this..." And then I broke down. I don't remember what he said next.

It came as such a shock... but at the same time it didn't. Heavenly Father had been preparing me for this all day. In His infinite goodness He prepared my mind so that I would know that He was in control.

I remember calling my mom not too long after and just crying. It was so hard to have to put into words what was happening. I wanted her so badly to just be with me so I could cry on her shoulder. But she couldn't be there.

Russ called our Bishop to let him know what happened. The bishop and his wife dropped everything and came to the hospital to be with us. On this Friday night, when their kids were gone, and alone time being pretty scarce for them, but they sacrificed it to be with us.

Heavenly Father knew I needed them. He knew I needed my mom and since she couldn't be there He sent me the next best thing, Lori Belnap. Bishop and Lori were extremely sensitive to the spirit that night. Whenever Russ and I needed to be alone, without being asked they would excuse themselves. When I needed someone to hold my hand Lori would come and hold my hand. With everything they said and did they couldn't have been more in sync with our needs. I know it is because Jesus Christ knew exactly what are needs were, and through the bishop and his wife he fulfilled them.

Shortly before Kamry was born Bishop Belnap gave me a beautiful, powerful blessing and everything he said brought comfort to me. It was such a neat experience.

And then she was born.

I was holding my tiny, beautiful, little baby girl. She was so perfect. Her little hands. Her tiny fingers... Everything. Her tiny heart just wasn't beating.

The spirit in that room was so powerful. Despite the sadness, there was so much peace. I know that it was hard, but my memory of those moments are so precious and sweet to me. I got to hold my little girl and kiss her, and rock her. It was as though she was just asleep and we were saying our goodbyes.

The hospital did so much for us. They arranged for someone to come and take pictures of our little Kamry, for which I am so grateful.

My family got to the hospital about 1:00 am. There was so much emotion. I got to cry on my mom's shoulder. My dad cried with me. And my brothers and sisters. It was so good to see our little Brecken who had been gone for two weeks! She showered us with hugs and kisses which Heavenly Father knew we would need.

I think the hardest part of the night was watching Brecken's excitement over little Kamry. She hugged her and kissed her and patted her so sweetly. It broke my heart all over again to watch her. It was such a bitter-sweet experience.

My three older brothers who weren't living at home also dropped everything to come be with us. They got to the hospital around 5:00 am. I can't even say how it felt to know that they would make that sacrifice. They brought with them so much comfort I can't even put it into words. Just to be with family in times of trial is such a blessing. I needed them so much at that time, and they came... I am still just so grateful.

The next few days and weeks were so miraculous. I have never been closer to the Savior than I was through those times. He carried me through and spared me so much heart ache. I don't know how he did it. There were times when I would sit and feel such peace I would wonder how it was possible. I was sad, of course, but because Jesus Christ knew what I would suffer, he knew exactly how to comfort me and lift my burden from me.

I look back at the miracles that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ allowed during those times. I know that the reason I felt so good about not going to the hospital first thing was because Heavenly Father was looking after me. If I had gone to the hospital early in the morning and Kamry had not yet died, or there were small signs of life they would have whisked her away and she would have had wires and tubes... and I know it was Heavenly Father's plan to take her. But he allowed me to hold that precious baby, free from tubes and wires, free from nurses and doctors rushing about, just calm, and peaceful moments with my little baby.

I know the reason that Brecken was with my mom for those weeks before Kamry was born was because Heavenly Father knew we would need her affectionate love at that difficult time. If she had stayed with us and my family had come to be with me, Brecken would have wanted nothing to do with us. But Heavenly Father provided the circumstance where she would shower us with her healing hugs and kisses.

The week before Kamry was born I had a hymn go through my mind. So much so that I would wake up at night thinking of the hymn, so I learned the words. I thought, at the time, that it was to help me get through the last "tough weeks" of pregnancy... but after Kamry was born, I knew it was to help me get through the weeks that followed her birth.

The Hymn was #125 How Gentle God's Commands:

How gentle God's commands!
How kind His precepts are!
Come cast your burden on the Lord
And trust His constant care.

I know that our Savior lives. And I know we are in His constant care. He has lifted my burdens from me time and time again. I am so grateful to Him. I love my little Kamry so much. I know that we will be with her again and that our family will be together forever. I have a testimony that this is true and I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for this testimony. And for His goodness, and His Plan of Happiness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Bun in the Oven!!!

Can you believe it??? Another baby!!!! Needless to say, Russ and I are pretty excited. We were gonna wait to tell people... but figured What the Hay! Oh... and I'm sure most of you have guessed... april fools.