Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Birthday

One of my greatest blogging downfalls is that I often forget to grab the camera when it really matters. One of my greatest blogging strengths: Excuses.

This year, our little Brecken turned six. On Easter. And since her next birthday to fall on Easter will be her 90th, it was kind of special. The Easter Bunny even brought her a present ;) But between the special Birthday breakfast, hair-doing (for three girls), and trying to make it on time for nine o'clock church, there was no time to capture on camera that only moment when three heads of hair are actually done (and looks like it), all six feet have shoes on them, and everyone is smiling. After our church meetings we headed off to grandma's for festivities and, you guessed it, forgot the camera. So there are my excuses.

Despite the lack of evidence we had a wonderful day. Spending time with family will do that. I am pretty sure that Brecken thought all of the celebrating was for her and her birthday, (of course family from all over the states would gather just for her :]) But that is part of the novelty of an Easter Birthday.

I did have to snap at least one shot of our beautiful six year old the actual day. Plum tuckered out after a long and glorious birthday...

The next picture (sigh) needs explaining. Most of you know. We... are a dog family again. Our dog, Butch, was such a big hit for her fourth birthday present (see post here) that we decided to give him to Russ's dad for a while, and then regive him as her sixth birthday present (more or less :]) I'm still not sure how I feel about it...

But Brecken is...

So. Can I just say, I love Brecken. She is such a good girl. And I mean that. Really. It's not something I feel I have to say because this is her birthday post. Not only is she beautiful. Not only is she smart. Not only is she creative, and fun-loving, and spunky, but this girl is good. I mean, amazing. She loves to give you the last bite of her candy bar because she knows you love it. She loves to surprise you with making your bed. She loves to sneak into your bathroom and put a picture that she's drawn for you on the counter. She loves to tell Taylor stories to cheer her up. And she is sweet, and sooo forgiving. And She is always so penitent when she does something wrong. And now, she is six. Wow. I love you Brecken, my six year old!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Can't Get Enough Hallie

Something is wrong with me. I am blogging more than my usual self. I think I am doing everything in my power to avoid the mounting mess that is surrounding me. More specifically the laundry. But while I am at it, you may as well enjoy a few adorable pics (taken today, another manifestation of procrastination-as is the homemade bow in her hair) of my favorite nine-month-old...


But just so we're clear that I love all my girls :) ...

awe, look at Hallie's cute little finger in her mouth! But no faves ;) I love 'em all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fully Animated Awesomeness

After talking with Russ (and pointing out the eyes, nose, mouth and hair, and then pointing them out again) it became apparent to me that I had been staring at our Bathroom Friend waaay too long. All I can see is a face. She's a person to me. But others... well, they see a knot in the wood. So. In fully-animated, awesomeness form Bathroom Friend... with a body...

Wow. I'm good.

Ok, so it isn't really fully animated. It doesn't move. But it is awesomeness.

And if you didn't read the post below, this won't make sense to you. And quite frankly, after reading this post, I wouldn't blame you if you'd rather not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bathroom Friend

A while back, while doing odds and ends around the house I heard Brecken chatting away in the bathroom. When she emerged from the bathroom (knowing no one else was in there) I asked "So who were you talking to?"

I was more or less making conversation, she's always talking to herself, or to her dolls, or making the comb and the brush talk to each other. So it caught me a little off guard when she so matter of factly stated "To my bathroom friend." My curiosity was piqued. I had to be introduced, and Brecken was more than willing to make the introduction.

So, now, may I introduce to you (drum roll please) Bathroom Friend...

You have to admit, it's hard to escape the face-like characteristics of this knot in the wood. It often seems more akin to a hand-carved work of art, than an accident of nature. But perhaps that's just because I've grown rather fond of Bathroom Friend. Dare I say she ? has given cause to many a chuckle when in the girl's bathroom. So here's to you... Bathroom Friend.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

They Called Her on a Mission...

Well. I have been knowing (for the past several months) that this time would come. And it is upon me. Destinee Is gone. Those far away Floridians of Orlando don't even know how lucky they are.

Dare I get sentimental? No. Best to not. I'll save the mushy sad, gushy missing goings on for my pillow. And maybe letter writing. But there are a few things I will miss.


And of course this...

This one (though posed) is her "I am mad. But I won't tell you I'm mad. I'll try to act indifferent" look, and it will be missed...

as will this...

And because it is against mission rules to read blogs, I can post this...

But mostly. I will miss this...

Awe, Dest. I don't think you know how I miss you!!!! I guess this could be called my "Ode to Destinee." There are perks, I suppose, for having a word name. Odes sound much cooler. Maybe someday someone will write an "Ode to Serenity"...Ok, I just googled it. And they have. It's.... an interesting painting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kamry Lynn

This was a post from two years ago, but thought that I would republish it. More and more, I look back at this time with such sweet tenderness, and remember how close our family came to each other and to the Savior.

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. Not liking that thought, I dismissed it immediately... later realizing Heavenly Father was preparing me.

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 helping as a 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. I felt this 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.

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 there was something drastically wrong. 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.