Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Journal

When I graduated from high school, a friend gave me a simple journal made of a three ring binder covered with nice fabric and filled with line paper.  Because of that, when I was in college, I wrote in my journal just about everyday.  Since then, I have always kept a journal but haven't been as consistent about writing in it regularly.  Several years ago, I started writing my journal on the computer because it could be saved forever and took up less space.  The only drawback was that we kept our computers in the basement and I couldn't always get on the computer.  So a year ago,  I signed up for an account on which allows you journal from anywhere you can access the internet.  I didn't start really taking advantage of the website until last month when I really started feeling like I wanted to write more about my life and the things happening in our family.  Just in the past two months, I have written a lot more often than I had been writing in any two month period over the past year. is a great website for journaling!  It's not just a place for writing journal entries, there's also a section where you can fill in information about yourself like your birth date, life events, your education, your family, etc.  Every time you start a new entry, there's a prompt/question in case you need help thinking of something to write about.  I feel it's important to write in a journal for many reasons.  A few of the reasons are to remember important events and experiences, to process and deal with hardships, and to see patterns in your life.

One, a journal is a good way to remember your experiences.  While we may think we will always remember the significant events in our lives, we often don't.  For example, when our older son was a baby, I thought I'd never forget every cute little thing he did or milestones he reached but now that we're on our third child, I find myself wondering "when did Charlie start rolling over?"  I am realizing that the older I get, the worse my memory is!

Two, a journal helps you think about your experiences and what they mean to you.  When I have a problem or struggle, I write about it in my journal and just writing it down helps me feel better.  It's like talking to a friend.  I have gone back and read about those hard times and realized that I have grown and learned from those experiences.  Being able to look back through my entries and knowing that I go through the hard times helps me have the strength and confidence to face my current challenges.  Of course, I don't just write about the bad or hard things I have dealt with, I write about the good and happy things too.  One of the main reasons why I started writing more in my journal is to document all the cute things my kids do or say.

Three, a journal helps you to see patterns in your life.  This in a way is related to reason number two - when you write down your experiences, you are able to see a pattern in how you deal with situations.  You can see your strengths and weaknesses.  For me, I can also see how God's hand is evident in the things that have happened to me: How he has helped me during the hard times and how he has led me to where I am today.

This blog is also a journal of sorts but because anyone can see it, I obviously don't write about everything I would write about in my journal.  I would be interested in hearing about your journals and other reasons why people write in journals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Party Time!

We had quite the celebrations for Ellie's birthday!  On her actual birthday, we made cake and she opened her presents from us.

Fun decorations!

Putting on the candles.

So happy!

Adding sprinkles to the cake.

The cake was good!

She wrapped a present for herself!

Lite Brite

Then, we had the highly anticipated party with friends.  She loved it!  We had fun playing pin the heart on the giraffes and hitting the pinata.  The Kai Lan cake turned out great!  And, of course, she loved opening the presents.  Best of all, her friends were there to share it all with her!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

This little girl has been looking forward to her birthday for months!  Every time we go to a birthday party, she asks when her birthday will be.  She knows the date, she just didn't know exactly how far away it would be.  She's also been wanting to have her own party and celebrate!  I'm telling you the anticipation has been delicious!  We've talked about it over and over: who she wants to invite (Sadie, Whitney, Ava, etc.), what she wants to do (have a pinata, eat cake, open presents), the decorations (balloons of course!), etc.
Among Ellie's talents is creativity: She made this merry-go-round from tinker toys and a teapot lid.

Ellie is a wonderful little girl.  It's been so fun to watch her grow and see the things she does.  She is happy, creative, strong-willed, persistent, and loving.  I can't imagine life without her!

Somehow we are celebrating Ellie's birthday three days in a row.  Tonight we will have little family thing with a homemade cake and ice cream and do presents from us.  Tomorrow evening, we're going out to eat.  Saturday afternoon is the party with her friends.

Her excitement makes me super excited!  Here's a video of her talking about her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Ellie!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baby Gordon

I can't believe it's been four months since Baby Gordon was born...  We're just barely getting adjusted to having a baby around the house again.  Charlie and Ellie love their little brother and are always giving him kisses.  They seem to have taken this home invasion in stride and haven't shown any signs of resentment that this little bundle has completely taken over our lives.

I've been meaning to sit down and write about the day he was born, something I make an effort to do so I can remember that special day.  I should back up a bit and say that I started feeling pre-labor signs a couple weeks before the due date and was just uncomfortable physically.  It was just difficult to really get much done with all that extra weight and pressure in my belly.  I was tired a lot of the time but didn't sleep very well at night, getting up at least once or twice and then not falling back to sleep easily.  Needless to say, not much got done around the house and what got done took a long time.  I tried to stay with our daily routine as much as possible so we still got together with friends and do the things we like to do such as story time at the library or going to the park.  I was still swimming a few days a week - although the day before the birth, I just didn't feel like it was a good idea so I didn't go.

Friday night, September 21st, I went to bed early because Dan suggested that it would be good to get some rest since the baby could decide to come any minute.  He couldn't have been more right - at about 12:30 AM, I woke up feeling intense contractions.  I got up and used the bathroom.  I tried to relax and timed the contractions.  After a while, the contractions weren't going away and seemed to get stronger so I told Dan we better get ready to go.  I called the after hours line for the on-call ob and she called back a few minutes later.  After I told her about the intensity and frequency of the contractions she told me to meet her at the hospital.  Now I wish I wrote about this earlier because I'm trying to remember the details.  My water broke while at home; I was in our sunroom addition where I was gathering my stuff for the hospital bag.  I remember grabbing a towel that was on one of the chairs.  Dan called a couple of people.  The main person we had lined up to watch the kids didn't answer so we called another friend.  She couldn't come but said she could send over her 18-year old son.  We hurried into the garage and his car.  He was very calm but I was in a lot of pain so I kept telling him to hurry.  We parked the car in the parking garage and walked to the elevators to go to the first level registration area, but signs posted directed us to go to the ER entrance which required us to walk outside some distance.  When we finally got into the ER reception area, the attendant helped us to the registration area.  I opted to sit in the wheel chair on the way because walking was too uncomfortable.

I thought the registration process took too long because I had already pre-registered the week before.  After about 5 minutes, we were directed to go upstairs where a nurse greeted us and helped us into a labor and delivery room.

Everything progressed rather quickly.  They asked about whether I wanted an epidural which I said I did and told them the anesthesiologist I wanted.  They refused to call him because he was not on-call.  I was upset about that but there wasn't anything I could do about it.  In any case, it ended up not mattering because there was no time for an epidural.  We'd gotten to the hospital around 1:30 AM and the baby was born at 2:24.  The ob arrived just barely before the birth.

The first few minutes after birth.

As you can see, everyone's happy he's finally here!

Our sweet little family.
Oh, here's something funny...  Since we'd bought a minivan a few weeks before Gordon was born, we decided to sell my car.  It was actually kind of sad for me because it was the car I bought after graduating from college.  I'm just glad I sold it to a friend, a girl I used to babysit!  And, of all days, she came all the way from Utah to pick it up on this day.  It was fun to see her and her sister and to have them meet Baby Gordon!!