For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years

Here we are on the eve of another New Year. A New Year. I can't believe we are here already. I swear it was just yesterday that we were starting 2010. Now it's 2011's turn to be heard. A whole year. Wow. So on this eve of a new year I have to think about what that means. Webster's Dictionary defines new as: as having come into existence recently. I have been sitting here trying to think of a negative connotation to the word new. I can't come up with one. New baby...always a blessing. Newlyweds....very sweet. New car...who doesn't love a new car? New Year.

A very wise person once told me that you get to start all over again every single day. I loved that wise person. She was right, but I feel like the most significant day would be the first day of a new year. I don't like to make resolutions. In my personal opinion we should be making resolutions everyday to become better friends, siblings, parents, children and people. But the new year does bring with it a sense of freshness, rebirth and a new beginning. Hope, faith, and resilience I believe are all born with a renewed sense of self and strength.

So what does this new year hold for us? Most of my personal goals are just that...personal. I am not sure I am ready to share with the entire world what my plans are. But they do involve moving my family forward, maybe even just moving them altogether. I have felt for a few years now that this might be coming, and I think this might be the year. Now don't go running around telling everyone that the Loutensocks are moving because until it actually happens, it's not happening. I would like to end up somewhere near St George or Cedar City, but we all know how our plans go....

Even without major changes this year holds a lot of new things for our family. McKenna will graduate from high school and go on to college. That is huge for me! My oldest, leaving home and starting the rest of her life....wow...still blows my mind. Jessi starts school all day this year and Colby starts kindergarten. That leaves me and Skyler alone half a day. Not too long ago I was home with 5 children during the day. The year Megan started kindergarten was the year I had Joe and I had a lot of little people home all day. I can't believe I ever survived those days...they seem so overwhelming to me now. I know I couldn't do it now. Megan will start ninth grade, and speaking of Megan...new hope for her and her health. Mental health I mean. Thank you Lori and Dr Ali for that hope...Abby will start her last year in elementary school. Isaac becomes a teenager. I could go on and on I think, but I won't. You all get the idea.

New, everything from this night out is new. New year, new hope, new lives, new dreams and new plans. I pray my hopes and dreams carry me through till next New Year's Eve...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Survival of the fittest

We have 11 people in our home. Our home is only 2600 sq ft. That's not very much, especially considering that we have seven bedrooms. That translates into just pure craziness. In my home, it's survival of the fittest, and from day to day that varies as to who survives and who doesn't.

Kenna, she survives most days, but she's also 18 and can come and go pretty much as she pleases. If she is getting too overwhelmed she can just hop in the car and take off. I want her life. Megan, she survives because she is so strong and tends to attack first. Isaac has on days and off days. Some days he survives, some days he is just a blubbering mess. Abby and Lacie both seem to do ok, although some of the older kids wrath is directed exactly at one of these two. Joe doesn't survive well most days. He is up and down all day long. Jessi, Colby and Skyler do ok because they are small and cute still.

Me. Well, I am a different story. I have to survive because I am in charge...supposedly. But I do have my tactics in surviving. Writing...everyone knows I love to do this. I not only write on this blog, but I write in my journal, in my Susie notebook and in my small "ideas" notebook. I also read, but that's really hard to do with kids around. One of my favorite things to do also is to check out all my favorite websites, such as Facebook, my email and a mommy website I discovered a year or so ago. When all else fails I start browsing the Internet for new games. I love Zuma, Jewel Quest and Diner Dash. I have reached ultimates levels on all of them and as silly as it sounds I think it actually helps keep my mind more sharp. Most of the games I play require thinking and problem solving. Is that me rationalizing?

Non the less, we all have our survival tactics. Mine are fun, time consuming and even time wasting, but I find that I need those. I need something everyday that is mindless and helps me just get through the day. Today just happens to be one of those days where I do next to nothing...except the very basics. Like change the baby's diaper, give the kids insulin, make a few meals and break up a few fights. I am still in my jammy pants with the need for a shower and my list of "to do's" is a mile long. Now that I have written about it all, maybe I can get up and start to function. Maybe....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Me and my sister Lisa :)
My friend Polly is in Hawaii right now. I have to say that as this week approached I seriously thought I would be dying of jealousy. I have to admit, I would love to be in Hawaii right now, I really would. However, there is a however.

I am not nearly as jealous as I thought I would be. I also had something to look forward to this December, aside from Christmas and all, and it was my trip to Vegas. How many times can a girl go to Vegas before she gets sick of it? Apparently a million times for this girl. I was looking forward to the testing for Megan, hoping and praying for some real answers, and we got them. It's not really good news, but at least we know now what we are dealing with and how to move forward. That was so liberating and validating for me. Someone was finally listening to me, hearing me. This doctor cares, my sister cares and it shows in their efforts for Megan. They will never know how many years I have searched for answers and how good it feels to find someone who is willing to help us find them! That all by itself made the trip worthwhile.

Second to that, and at times first and foremost was spending time with my family. By the end of our trip me and my sister were calling each other sister wives. We shopped together, ate, lounged, watched tv, talked and who knows what else. I ran errands and took the kids to the bus stop, picked them up from the bus stop and helped shop for Tracy and Chris since they were stuck at home with a very sick little boy. I got to be a genuine part of everyday life with my family and it meant the world to me. My heart has ached for that and it felt so good that it was almost impossible for me to leave.

I have to admit that looking back at this December if I were given the choice to go to Hawaii to hang for a week, or go to Vegas to hang for a week, I would choose Vegas. Now, in the future I may need that Hawaii trip to save my sanity, even as I sit here I listen to my kids fight. But for now what I really need is family time.

I love you Lori, Lisa and Tracy. I love your hubbies, I love your children and I even love all your pets. I love the Strip, love the palm trees, even the fake ones, love 60 degrees in winter, love the Gin Mill, Black Mountain and everything else associated with you all down there! But most of all I love the fact that you have loved us back. That means more to me than any beach, any ocean swell and any amount of sand. And for those of you that know me, that is saying something!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas....time for fun, family and lots of chaos. Today was no different. I think my kids frustrated my mom last night at her house, then I got mad at Jon, then on to today. It's been nice overall...but just an hour or so ago Skyler woke up from a nap in full blown reaction mode. While we were skyping my sister and her kids non the less. They all just looked on while he seized and cried in my arms while McKenna tried to draw up some glucagon to bring his sugar back up. What a day...and just to think...it's not over yet! :)

Whats important and what's not

My kids are quietly playing. They got a lot this year for Christmas and yet it's definitely not what their friends got. I am hearing from McKenna as her friends text her what they got. My kids are reading posts from friends on facebook that got i touches, ipods and laptops. These were not gifts that we could afford. But don't be sad for them, for they got a lot.

Jon and I warned the kids that this year would be scarce. Grandparents came through and gave them each some gifts, and nice ones. Aunts and Uncles came through and gave them gifts. But from us they didn't get much. But I am finding this morning that I am feeling a bit emotional, not because we couldn't give our kids what others have gotten, but because we got what we did. People, friends, came through, slipped us a bit of cash or a gift card here and there, just because they love us. The singles ward gave each kid a few gifts and with the generosity of others Santa was able to visit our home this year. We were blessed, yes that's true.

I have learned a lot in my lifetime, and it seems one of the biggest learning times seems to be Christmas. I want to do what everyone else wants to do. Give to their kids as much as their little hearts desire. But this year I want more than that. I wanted to give to my children what money can't buy. I wanted to give them something that lasts well beyond the scratched wii games and broken toys...I wanted to give them family. Each other. Cousins. Grandparents. All of it.

I want them to be able to see beyond what they did get, and what they didn't get and see what they have. You should have seen my kids faces when a package came in the mail from their cousins. It didn't even matter what was in the package, what mattered was that they were thought of. That they felt cared about.

I love the people in my life this year. I am not sure what has been so different about this year, but I think it has something to do with four babies lost, a hospital stay for Megan, getting closer to the sisters in Vegas and all the time we spent as a family this summer, but something is different. Life is getting harder, the economy is scary and my children have quite a while to still live in it, but what I want them to always have is each other. As long as they have that...they can overcome just about anything. Life is teaching us that this year and I am trying to learn from it. I hope they are too...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Family and the holidays

I am forty years old. So if you do the math on that I have spent 40 years on this earth, 8 major holiday's a year (give or take depending on what you feel is a major holiday) which comes to roughly 320 holidays in my lifetime. That doesn't include my birthday, which I guess I should. Anyway....out of those 320 holidays I have spent zero with my biological sisters. That's none, 0, zilch, nada....you get the picture. After spending this last week with my sisters down in Vegas I have to say that this season as we approach Christmas I am feeling it.

Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter and even holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, Halloween, you name it. None of them. I got a bit of a taste this year when my niece Maddie came for Halloween...and for the first time in my life I have pics of someone from that side of my family in a holiday pic...and it was wonderful. I want to remedy that...but it takes money. Money to drive down to Vegas, money to afford a hotel, money for food and of course time to do it all.

I guess for all that blathering it all boils down to the fact that I miss my sisters. As we make plans with my folks, with Jon's family and even friends, I don't get to see my sisters for Christmas and it makes me sad.

I think I just miss them. A lot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A walk in the park

My very favorite thing to do I think, walk. It's a simple activity that allows you time to think, reflect and hone in on feelings. I have spent so much time in my life walking. I would have everyone in my life know that you have walked with me, every step of the way.

Snow College was such an amazing place. The campus was within walking distance of just about anyplace in town and I would walk, and walk and walk. With my headphones in and just a jacket my feet would take me to every square inch of that town. Old cemeteries with tombstones that were worn down with age and seemed to be sinking into the ground. Old houses born in hard work and labor that then stood with plaques on them to tell the stories of the people a hundred years ago that built them and loved them. It was never hot there, just too high altitude, but it would get cold. In the wintertime it would dip below zero and I would still walk. I would bundle up, put on my walking shoes and leave long before the sun came up. Some would consider this dangerous, but to me it was peaceful and quiet. The snow would be fresh under my feet, just enough to crunch as I stepped and the air was cold and black. I loved to think and walk on mornings like that. Everyone of my college friends and roommates walked with me those mornings. Maybe not in body, but they were with me. I take all the people I know with me when I go on a journey, whether it be long or short, I take you all with me.

Now. I take walks when I can, and most days it's with someone else. Usually Polly. But every now and again I go alone. My mind seems to work it's best when I am walking and I only wish I could take the laptop with me to write while I walk. I might just get out words that could compare to some great writers. But maybe then again I give myself too much credit. When I walk now I take my kids with me, thinking of each and every child as I trod along. I take Jon, so so often Jon walks with me. My parents, Susie, my sisters and brothers and my friends. My mind and soul are lost in the sound of my feet on the pavement and I let the pavement absorb so much pain, hurt and loss while I allow the beautiful sights and smells around to fill me with hope, joy and contentment.

I walk to think. I walk to work it out. I walk to put away the bad and bring out the good. I don't run. It isn't a time when I feel like I have to be hurrying. It's good for my body but it's essential to my mind. Lately my walks have been with very specific people and events. I try so hard to bring certain people with me at times, and at other times I let my feet and mind determine who's with me. I love to walk. Just know that so often you are all with me on my journey, even without knowing it, you are. Walk with me my friends, walk with me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My christmas ditty

One day, two days maybe three.
"I wanna do it now!"
How many more days till we put up the tree?

It snows, it's cold,
the bottom of my pants are constantly wet,
get to the store before that toy is sold.

Run around town, look high and low,
gotta find that "thing",
jump up and down, look to and fro.

Christmas lights, soft sweet glows,
late at night
people love it and it shows.

Sit quietly while the kids are asleep,
sit in the couch alone
My mind wanders but I don't make a peep.

Savior's birthday, think of Him
I try to teach my kids,
The importance of the season is sometimes dim.

I fret and I stress,
I cry and I weep,
don't want to see the decorations as a "mess".

Look at me, look at my home,
Christmastime has come,
Why do I feel alone?

Running here, running there,
put up lights
Do we have to have them going up the stairs?

Listen to me, Scrooge it might be,
I will get over it,
Just wait and see.

This is my favorite time of year, and my least favorite. Just depends on the moment you ask me. My kids love it and I always put on a good front for them, they deserve all their hearts desire and then some. They deserve to feel the magic of Christmas the way I did when I was a child. I miss that magic...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A year already?

We are just days away from December. I can hardly believe that. I was reading a post from a friend of mine on her own blog about the peace and quiet of this time of year. Or at least it was the time of day she was outside, and she was enjoying it. This time of year can bring peace, love, service and contentment. For me this year it is a roller coaster. A day or so ago I was feeling very at peace with all that has happened, and don't be mistaken, I still do. But that doesn't mean that I don't hurt still.

In September of 09 I lost my first baby. It was early on in my pregnancy and I think my thought process was one of "I have had nine perfect pregnancies...I guess my luck had to run out sometime". So, I thought that was it. My experience with losing a baby, a pregnancy. Boy was I wrong. I was pregnant right away again and this time I thought I would have a baby out of it. Surely I had learned what I needed to learn, and this time I would have another perfect pregnancy. Just not so. We spent weeks hoping and wondering with one ultrasound after another telling us that things "didn't look good". On December 10th I began to lose my second baby. This one hurt so much I thought I could go to bed and not wake up for a month. Christmas was clouded with pain, and I tried to look forward to new things.

Fast forward to January. I had a conversation with a friend that sort of rocked me. I told her I would try "one more time" and that would be it. I couldn't stand the thought of losing another baby and I wouldn't allow myself to be put through that". Her response? "You can't give the Lord ultimatums". I was taken back by her response. She was honest, yet firm. It made me think. We went ahead and tried again, and there we were again pregnant, only to be told the exact same thing we were told in December and by the end of February we were losing another baby. This time I was somewhat numb. I didn't know what to think and how to feel. We ran away to St George the weekend we lost the baby, and I am sure it was my way of masking the pain of what was happening.

Fast forward again to July. Pregnant again. This time things were different. The baby looked good, the heartbeat was strong and he (as it turns out) was growing like a little Loutensock weed. It was beautiful and I thought we had walked over hot coals, but it had paid off with a beautiful baby on the way. At 13 weeks his heart just stopped, I had a d&c and I was left devastated. My heart ached so badly that I didn't think I would ever feel normal again. I sobbed like a baby when I went to see baby Maycie and Angie in the hospital just a few short weeks later, giving her the clothes I had bought for my own baby saying "I am not going to use them, you might as well". It still brings tears to my eyes.

One year ago is when this journey began. One year ago I was a different person than I am today. I have experienced more pain in one year than I ever imagined I would have to. 4 lost babies, months of anticipation, hope and faith laid out, and loss after loss. Heartache after heartache. I am at peace with what's happened, I can never get those babies back in this life, maybe the next, but not now and I may not understand why they were taken away, but I will say that doesn't change my love for them. The joy I did have when hearing their heartbeats and see their tiny bodies forming. The joy of knowing they were inside of me, even for a short time is a pure and precious joy. But for all those reasons I hurt. I ache to hold just one of those babies in my arms right now. I ache to smell their sweet necks and kiss their tiny noses, soft dimples on the bottom of tiny feet and the chubbiness of the cute little hands. I would love to have that right now, and I know I can't. Am I at peace right now? Yes, I am. Am I pain free though? No, pain I do know, I know all too well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What a week

This has been quite the week. This year for the first time since the schools went traditional we have had the kids home all week. Canyons district needed some budget cuts, so they cut out a few days of school. I am actually ok with this. Now normally I would be tortured by the fact that the kids were home all those extra days, but as of late my heart has changed. Read this summers posts and you will see. Things are different now. So here they all are, home all week, indoors due to the bitter cold, playing wii, making messes, playing in forts and eating everything they can get their hands on; and I am ok with it all.

This week always holds a torrent of emotion for me though, and it's not just this year, it's every year. I love Thanksgiving. It's a simple holiday, no more fuss than to just bake and bring yummy food to our parents homes and eat it. There can be no better holiday than that. I personally think this is what Christmas should be, but just with a few holiday jingles and a service project added. We went to my mom's house this year for Thanksgiving. It's truly beautiful there this time of year. The ponds they have in their backyard are nearly frozen, with just a few patches of clear ice to see the trout through. But the waterfalls are going strong and it reminds me of being in the mountains near a stream during the winter. The icicles are hanging all around your head near the waters edge while you peer down trying to get a glimpse of the fish. The pine trees are huge and majestic and seem to have always been there. Like watchtowers over the yard and home. During the summer my kids make homes in the branches, climbing higher and higher. Yet, those trees don't scare me the way the ones in our yard do. The branches of the pines are strong, they don't sway like they do in the maple and cottonwood trees. They seem to have been created to be there for kids. My kids. I have many pictures of my kids amongst these trees.

After dinner we played games. My kids are finally old enough to enjoy this with me and Jon. Jon and I are huge game players. We have had many couples over the years that would play with us on a friday night as opposed to going out. We have dozens of games and have spent many hours playing them. With the kids though it's different. We laugh till we cry and there are no hard feelings, no arguments, no criticisms. We just play, laugh and spend time together. To be honest I do not remember the last time I laughed that hard. But then it was time to go and we went. Home to digest the good feelings, the warm food and the day of fun.

Then friday comes. I do not like black friday. It is a constant reminder of what I don't have and I admit I am trying so hard to put it out of my mind. Black friday has been created by the industry to bring in revenue, money and business. Christmas people...come and buy your gifts for Christmas...spend money, more money and then money you don't have. I am trying to rise above it, move away from it. We have nine kids and I have never regretted having those nine kids. But, with one modest income it can be so hard sometimes. The kids often go for weeks with holes in their shoes, until we can buy new ones. That is just one of the many things that living in a large family comes with. I struggle between loving and being grateful for what I have, and wanting to be able to do more for my kids. I struggle between the world and the spirit. The world has so much that I want to give my kids, but he spirit has everything.

This year is different than most years, I admit though. I don't feel angry at the season as it approaches like most years. I feel at peace. This year instead of coming up with money to go shopping, we took the kids to a movie. Time together was so much better spent than using that money for a few gifts. I don't think the kids will get much this year, but I am not upset or nervous about that for the first time in years. We will get enough, but I want my kids to give. We are talking about what we can do as a family for service. We have plans to go to Primary Childrens Hospital to give some of the kids there are few gifts. I want my kids to understand the beauty of that place, while knowing and understanding the heartache and pain of it too. I want my kids to understand what they have, not what they feel they don't have. I am so humbled every time I spend time there and it is my hope that my children feel the spirit there the way I always do.

This year is different. I have come to peace about so many things in my life this year. As a family we have gained more love and more understanding of each other. We have spent time together and we have loved every moment of it. We have lost babies this year and have cried together and had hope together. My children have grown this year. They are different people, more compassionate, more aware of those around them. I think I might be doing something right...maybe a bit. I pray I am.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank heaven for...

Lots and lots. I have a lot to be thankful for and I know that's the train of thought this time of year for most of us. The big things are oh so obvious and we all list those off when we are asked, especially in a public forum..."My home, my family, my income, food in our bellies and the cars to drive", but what about the little things? I think I am going to dedicate this post to the little things that we often overlook while looking at the big things.

My cell phone. I know most of the teenagers around me might say this one also, but my reasons might just be a bit different than theirs. I am so grateful the Jr High can call me when Megan's blood sugar is out of control and they can get me no matter where I am. For that matter, all of the kids schools and let me tell you, I have had my fair share of phone calls and I am grateful that I am able to be reached. My sister Tracy. We talk almost everyday via text and I am not sure how I would feel if we went more than a few days without "touching base" with each other. Silly, but true.

My eyes. For some reason this one has been on my mind today. I love the blue of Megan's eye's, I love the grin on Skyler's face when daddy comes home, the pure white of fresh snow and the bright orange and pink of a perfect sunset. But blue would have to be my favorite. When at the beach this summer I spent a huge amount of time just staring. Staring at the blue water, the white waves and the black fins of the dolphins as they swam by. I cannot imagine living never to be able to see any of these and so many other things again.

My ward. These people have become my second family and without them I would have been lost at times. Twice this last week I ended up at the hospital with kids in the ER. Both times the friends around us were there to bring in dinners, call with concern, come over with help and take the kids. I love to go to church every week because I know who I will see there and it's so comforting to know that they are people I can call friends. It's like that extra blanket you throw on your bed on a cold night, just the thing you needed to make the temperature in bed just right.

My fingers. Silly? I think not. They are what are enabling me to type this tonight. They tell me when something is too hot, or too cold. They caressed my baby's face as he was sleeping in my arms tonight. I can wrap them around a soft hot doughnut that is such a yummy comfort on a hard day. Tiny buttons on cute frilly dresses, shoe laces on my toddlers super hero shoes, the ribbons I put in my daughters hair (if she allows me to put them there), the buttons on the phone, the "open/close" tab on the 409 cleaner, the scroll on my ipod and so much more. Have you ever thought of how many things you use your fingers for and what you would do without them? Seriously!

All of you. My friends, my sisters and brothers and my family. Most everything else could go away and be lost, but the people in my life are what make my life. Every sibling, every parent (yes I have more than some!), every friend, my spouse, my 9 living children and even my 4 angels. Even those precious 4 lost babies. I am so thankful that I got to have them with me, even if it was for too short a time. I love you all and am thankful like you don't even know and understand.

I am sure I could go on and on and think of so many more things to be thankful for. Right now I am thankful that most of my kids are in bed and I can go to bed myself because my eyes are burning, my fingers are tired and the people in my life are asleep now. Good night my sweet friends. Let's hope I can dream sweet dreams and have one more thing to be grateful for tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What can I do?

I am very well aware of what I can't do. I am not capable of curing cancer. Without the resources and knowledge we would all die of cancer cause I couldn't do a darn thing about it. I will never be a gold medalist in track and I would have to worst looking house if I tried to design and build one myself.

But what can I do? I know I can listen. I may not always be as receptive as I should be, but from experience I can be an ok listener. I have been able to bring nine kids into this world without much trauma, although it seems that ability has left me. I guess I never really thought about the fact that some talents or gifts would only be temporary. I was a baby making machine for a long time, and now my body just can't do it anymore. But when I was in those baby years I got them here relatively easily without thinking too much about it. I can write, and this ability has not always been here. I also recognize that this gift is one that needs to expanded on. I have a long ways to go before I am where I want to be, but I think I am on my. When I was in college I was really good at writing poetry. I loved to do it, and it came easily. Not so much anymore.

What else can I do? Listen to lots of chaos without going to crazy, play the middle man quite easily and I think I can truly forgive like no one else can. Only a few times in my life have I held a true grudge on someone, and let me tell you, they deserved it. I love people too. I guess that can go along with the grudge thing. I genuinely care about others, unconditionally. Last Halloween my neighbor explained to me that they were not going to have candy for trick or treaters because her mother had died suddenly the day before. I cried with her on the sidewalk that night. I had never met her before that moment and I have not spoken to her since. But I did care how she felt that night and I was honestly sad for her. I can also sing. I still do, and I have found that this gift is one that comes and goes per my willingness to do it. I can go years without singing a note, and then pick it back up quickly.

My point? I think I have some things to offer this world...maybe not a lot, but some. I just felt like every now and then we need to see the good in ourselves. There are so many times that we choose to not love ourselves, or we are so hard on ourselves. Every now and again we need to see the good we have to offer not only those around us, but the good we for us, ourselves. What can you do? I would love to hear!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beauty and The Beast

I remember the first time I saw this movie, right as it came out. I was pregnant with McKenna and I went to the theatres at Trolly Square and watched, completely alone, and loved every moment of it.

Disney. I don't care what some people say about "damsels in distress" and weird phallic symbols. They have entertained us and our children for years with shows that contain music instead of bad language. Vibrant scenery instead horrible bloody violence. Good characters with good lives instead of drugs, sex and whatever else the movie industry is trying to put into our heads. I love Disney.

My favorite was The Little Mermaid until Beauty and the Beast came out. But there are others. The Lion King...love so many of those characters. Hercules..."someone call IXII!". Let's not forget Aladin, A Goofy Movie (Jon's favorite), The Santa Clause, all the Toy Story movies, The Incredibles and of course Colby's favorite Cars.

Feel good movies with a moral to the story and good things to say. I will also say that there are a lot of people that have gone to see movies like Scream, 300, Halloween and Natural Born Killers but I think Disney has a bigger more devoted following. I have yet to meet someone that doesn't like at least some of the Disney movies. They're just too good not to.

Like I said before my favorite is Beauty and the Beast. It was the first time I saw it and it continues to be. I love the setting, love the characters, love the story line. The music is catchy, Belle and Beast are fun to watch and no one can watch without loving Gastons little chubby sidekick.

Disney has done such a great job of giving us awesome movies for our kids to watch. Thank you Disney, and please keep it up. I hope for new movies to enjoy for years to come.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New beginnings

This has been a hard year, one of the hardest that I can remember. We have lost four babies this year and that alone has been horrible. But there have been other things too, stresses with finances, stresses with child rearing and all those little things on a day to day basis that make life so difficult. We can all relate to what I am saying. Our stresses may come from different places, but we all have them. My life is no different.

This last month I will admit was the worst. After losing little baby David at the beginning of the month my life felt like it was in a tailspin. I am pretty sure it was. No more though. Jon and I have started to make plans. We are looking forward to new things, hope in new ideas and we are working together for the first time in a long time. It feels good. I have missed my partner, we have spent too many days thinking about our future, but not thinking about it together. I have a renewed sense of where I am going and what I am doing. I don't necessarily think that means we are moving, giving up our friends or family. I sadly think it means we have hit rock bottom with just about everything in our lives and now we are moving upwards. I am happy to say though that we have decided to move upwards together.

I like that feeling. I know there will be hard days still, but for the first time in a long time I feel good about what were talking about and where we are going. It feels good.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last but certainly not least. I think I left her to last just because her blog will be so easy to write. Sunshine. That's what Abby reminds me of, that's what she has always reminded me of. From the very first time she smiled at me to this very day when she smiles it's like looking into the bright sun after a long dark night. It's warm, comforting and uplifting. I love this child.

Abby is the epitome of love, selflessness and kindness. She wants everyone to feel loved and happily gives it to anyone and everyone around her. I watch her with her friends, siblings and even my friends and there it is. Her smile, her love and her acceptance. Last summer Jon and I took the kids to Las Vegas for the first time as a family. My sisters had only met Kenna, Megan and Joe up to that point and I decided that those days were over. They needed to meet all of my children and I wanted my kids to meet their Aunts, Uncles and cousins. This meeting went really well, so well in fact that I don't even recall the details of the first time they met each other. I think we all just sort of blended together like we had spent every Sunday together for years. We meshed and beautifully so. But non more so than Abby. She just fit right in. It was and has remained easy for the words "Aunt Lisa, Lori and Tracy" to flow from her mouth, and she doesn't even have to try. I think my sisters kind of like it too...

She is smart, sharp as a whip and quick on her feet. She loves to help, most days, and is quick to jump in with a little one when I need her help. Now, she does have her imperfections, just like the rest of us, but what makes her so amazing is that after a good tantrum, a good crying spell or a major fit her smile wipes everything else away and she is back. Right where her soul is comfy...with happiness, and contentment.

I love Abby and her role in this family is apparent. She will be the glue that will hold the kids together long after Jon and I are gone. I don't think this is a role that I have imposed on her, it's just natural for her to be this way. She is now, and will be forever. All of my kids have a place in this family, they all fit in in some way or another. I can see what that is for some of them, and with some of them I think their role has yet to be revealed. Abby's is clear.

Last week she received the award at school for becoming a better student and citizen. Her principal read what her teacher nominated her for and the words "She is a born leader in the classroom" did not surprise me. She is a born leader no matter where she is. Home, school and church. She is a shining star and fits so comfortably in that role. She is my sun. My sun on a cloudy day, when my own problems are too big for me, she can make me feel better with her warm hug and soft words. I love you Abby. You amaze me...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Colby. My boy through and through. He is more boy than all four of the other boys in my household put together, and yes I include Jon on that one. You would think that Colby was born with a truck in one hand, a transformer in the other and spiderman jammies on. Everything and anything to do with superheros, legos and cars and trucks is the first love of his life. He will wrestle with the best of them, he has a temper and is so quick to forgive. Sounds like a typical man to me.

When he was born I was so excited, not only to meet him and to not be pregnant anymore but he was my first baby to be born with an actual full head of hair. I know I spent at least two weeks admiring his beautiful jet black thick locks and to this day when I see the picture of him right after he was born I get that sweet pang of awe and love. His entrance into this world has marked 4 years of the most fun I have had with parenting to this point. I am also going completely broke trying to parent this child.

For some reason when he came into my life I became the biggest marshmallow. This sweet boy can get whatever he wants from me, without much effort. I have come to the point where I cannot take him to a store, any store because I know I will end up buying him something. He looks up at me with those huge hazel eyes and that sweet little voice and I am gone. I have resorted to sneaking out of the house without him, or telling him a flat out lie to get out of taking him with me anywhere. He gets to me like non other can.

He is also my mini me when it comes to socializing. He loves other kids and if given the chance he will spend hours with them. For instance, Polly's son Ian. Ian is Joey's age and they play together a lot. But Ian can play for hours and hours, day after day and never tire of it. Joe has days where he just wants to play alone, or stay home and doesn't want to play, but this does not deter Ian. He will just putter around my house looking for other takers on the play thing and he always finds it in Colby. This has become a bit of a problem because Ian doesn't understand that Colby isn't the same age as him and can't be running around the neighborhood on his bike alone, without someone else with him. Colby thinks it's great that he has a friend and he will follow said friend to the ends of the earth. He has played with Ian, Brad, everyone of the McCraes and even a few kids that remain nameless to me. He also has those friends here in my own home. He plays with anyone that will give him the time of day and when it comes to someone being mean to him he is quick to forgive so that they will play with him again. I wish that my kids understood how sweet this boy is and treated him accordingly. He will play till he drops and forgive easily so that the playing will never end.

I don't know what this boys future holds, but I know he will always be there for me. I know he will always be there for his siblings. His love is too strong, his demeanor is too amiable and he is too kind not to. He won't hold grudges and will love you to the end. Aside from that who knows? He is after all only four years old, but I know a good heart when I see it, and this child has a heart of gold.

Friday, November 5, 2010


December 3rd is the day that this child barged her way into this world. I say barged because despite the soft blond hair and sweet smile this child is full of life and energy. She can take the sanest man and turn him insane and the craziest man and make him laugh. She is wonderful, and most people who get the chance to know her love her, and her awesome sense of humor.

As an infant she was quiet, happy and didn't give off too much personality. As she got older though that personality really began to shine. As a family we have all gotten more than one laugh from this child. It was a year or so ago that she began to reenact her favorite Tom and Jerry episodes, in detail and we would all be laughing on the floor. Not because of the content of her act, but because of her. She is so funny. My friends Angie and Michelle often get a good dose of Jessi. When I have had a baby, or been in the hospital with a child, she likes to go to their houses. They have lots of little ones themselves and she fits right in. Her humor and her comments often have them in stitches and when I get home from where I have been I usually get a great story from them about her.

I think all of this comes from a trait she might have gotten from me, my theatrical side. I loved drama in high school, went to Snow College on a theatre scholarship and to this day love it all. She is my ham. I think she might actually want to go into theater someday, which pleases me highly. Her imagination is strong, her sense of humor is abundant and her wit is sharp. But don't forget I mentioned she can make a sane man go mad. Colby, getting beaten by her for some reason (one that surely made sense to her) came running into our room crying and sobbing his story to us. From the other room we heard Jessi. I guess she didn't feel that this situation warranted her showing her face to us, she simply yelled loudly from the other room "I told him sorry like a billion times!" She emphasized the billion so strongly that I thought she sincerely thought it was a billion times. Then there's Lacie. Lacie gets the privilege of sharing a room with Jessi. Most of the time this would be uneventful, but there are times. Just the other night I heard the familiar screaming from the basement. Lacie was having a cow over something. Jon came upstairs flustered and upset and said that Lacie was praying for horrible things. Now, to this moment I do not know what Jessi was saying or doing to push Lacie to this point, but Jon had gone downstairs to break up an argument to find Lacie deep in prayer asking Heavenly Father to let Jessi "die". Jon got upset with Lacie for praying like that and Lacie ended up in tears. I can only imagine Jessi quietly gloating on the top bunk. Not only did she get Lacie that upset, but then Lacie got in trouble to boot. Little stinker....

Jessi is full of life, with a strong spirit and an open mouth. I have found after blogging about my kids that they all have that open mouth syndrome. I can only assume it comes from me. I am more or less honest and I speak my mind. Most of my kids are the same way. We all could use a bit of filtering though. But from someone as young as Jessi most of the time what comes out of that mouth is cute or just dang funny.

She is my cutie, and I love to watch her play. She is bright and happy and currently is in love with her chipmunks. She takes them everywhere with her, including school and her and her best friend Ayden McCrae often talk on the phone about them. Too cute, Jessi and Ayden, two little five yr olds talking on the phone forever about their toys. I can't imagine my life without this kid, she makes everything seem a bit brighter.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My first born boy. I can say that when I was pregnant with him I felt like he was going to be a boy. I just knew. After two girls I admit I was so excited. I bought blue and red clothes, I bought trains and cars and poured through baby boy names. It was so fun. I still remember how I felt during that time and how happy I was.

His entrance into this world marked some changes. He was born just weeks after Megan was diagnosed with diabetes. I remember how worried I was that things weren't going to go well with whoever had Megan while we were gone and it was overshadowing the birth a bit. We also were living in a two bedroom house that really couldn't fit another person, although we made it work somehow. We put Isaac's crib in the living room and tried to make do. Luckily he wasn't the best sleeper and so he was always the first one up in the morning.

He was such a cute baby. He seriously looked like a little elf. I have a friend who was taking an art class when he was young and they wanted to use him as their model. I have the painting she did in my closet and I have to admit it's the cutest thing ever. He had a round (still has) basketball head and soft blond hair. Big blue eyes and a cute full pink lips put the punctuation on this cute little boy and everyone loved him.

He really didn't love everyone else though. He cried if anyone tried to hold him other than me, and I mean anyone! Even Jon was considered the enemy and it wasn't until Isaac was about 18 months old that he would let Jon hold him and love him. Stubborn kiddo is putting it mildly, but a huge heart he has.

One day when he was just two years old he displayed the sweetest behavior. The kids were in the backyard playing when Isaac bent down, plucked a few petunias and brought them to me. "I wuv you mommy" was all he had to say before I teared up. He was my baby boy and he loved me. He loved his mommy. To this day if I am crying or upset he struggles with it. He hugs me, loves me and takes care of me. He can't stand to see me upset. Boys are strong, they don't cry and they will fight to the death, but they are also blessed with such a sweet sensitivity to the women in their lives. I have seen it with dads and their daughters and husbands with their wives, but it's been so wonderful to experience it son to mother.

Isaac is smart, rowdy, a huge tease to his sisters and tends to get upset easily when he can't solve a problem, and I love him for every one of these traits. He tortures his sisters, rough houses with his brothers and takes care of me when Jon is out of town. I don't know what I would do without my football partner on Sunday afternoons. Jon said it once and it stands true, I hold a special little place in my heart for my firstborn son.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Little Lacie Whowho. This kiddo was aptly nicknamed after a Dr Suess character, Little Cindy Lou Who. She is cute, but smart. Honest but kind. We all still call her "whowho" and she happily answers to it.

Lacie is always on the move, I have never met a child that is in constant motion like she is. Even sound asleep in bed she is tapping her foot, or shaking her hands. Most would say it's ADD, but I just think it's her. Maybe it's a bit of both. When she was barely old enough to walk she would open the front door and escape. She wanted to be out, where she could run and play and explore. I was pregnant with Joe by the time she was only a sweet 7 months old, so I was constantly *trying* to chase this kid down, baby in utero and all. It wasn't long before we put latches on all the doors, that to this day we refer to as "Lacie Latches".

She is loud, but fun. When she was born the doc said, almost yelling "I have heard them cry longer, but never louder!" I love this about this kid. Yes, I love it. She has a love of life that you can hear in her voice, and everyone around her can hear. When she really gets going everyone within a mile can hear her.

But I think there are two things that I love most about this child. Number one would have to be her keen sensitivity of the spirit. She reminds us constantly to say our prayers, family prayer and to read our scriptures. My nine year old is better about these things than I am. She makes mistakes, but for her it's out of pure innocence. She tries so hard, and you can tell when you sit down and have a heart to heart with her. She wants to do the right thing.

The other thing I love about her is her sharp wit. She has a mouth on her and she's not afraid to use it. She will give you a piece of her mind, but it's usually in the form of sarcasm, and I have to admit I love it. One day when I was very pregnant with Colby I was having a conversation with her. She turned to walk away from me and I took note to how skinny she was from the backside. As she walked away I said "Ok, well see you later little skinny minnie"....her response? "Ok then old fat lady".....and I laughed hard. She cracks me up, daily.

Lacie is fun, energetic and always has someone to be with, or somewhere to go. She is full of life and has yet to see the bad things life has to offer. I think somehow though that when life really does start to throw her curve balls, she will dodge them with a smile and brush her self off like a champ when she does get hit. She is just like that. My kids are like the Sun, the Moon and Stars to me....where does Lacie fit in? The beautiful water fall that turns into a clear, rushing perfect stream....

Monday, October 25, 2010


This child had to be one of the most wanted children in my extended family. Jon and I got married in the beginning of august and by the end of august we were pregnant. I remember how excited my mother in law was. She would jump up and down and was so happy to see her 2nd son becoming a father. Now don't get me wrong, he became a father the day we got married, through McKenna of course, but this was his first child and our first child together. Being pregnant with her was so much fun. I felt from day one that she was going to be a girl and by the time I was only 6 weeks into my pregnancy we both had agreed on her name. That time flew by and yet it seems like yesterday.

She came into the world somewhat big...the biggest even to today. She was 8 pounds and 6 ounces and I thought she was just beautiful. From day one this sweet child has had medical problems, kind of like Skyler. I can only assume that both of these children have had issues that somehow link to the diabetes. She had to be in the nicu the first few days of her life because she wasn't breathing right. It was kind of funny to look at her in the little bed, so big and so pink and yet no doing so well. The little baby in the bed next to her was so tiny, she looked like she should have been walking and talking. But after a few days she got better and we took her home, but it didn't end there. She had constant yeast infections that went from her bum to her mouth and back to her bum again. Then at 6 months she got the croup and ended up in the hospital for a couple more days. At 7 months she got it again, and this time we avoided the hospital but I ended up on the couch for 10 days with this sick little person in my lap with the humidifier running constantly right next to us. Then it was back to the yeast infections...and by 11 months it was the diabetes.

Megan is what they call a "brittle diabetic". You can look at her sideways and her blood sugars spike or drop. From the time she was diagnosed she has had at least 3 massive seizures a year, mostly at night, from low sugars. Her body doesn't bounce back like others do either. Skyler can be fine just an hour after a seizure, but Megan will end up on the couch sleeping most the day with intermittent spurts of vomiting. She has suffered through kidney infections, ear infections and infections on her toes that had to be drained. I am not sure she knows what "good" truly feels like and yet....she has to be one of the strongest people I know.

Strong can mean a couple of things. Pig headed and stubborn, or determined and motivated. She is both. She is an amazing artist and has a deep love of animals. When she gets to drawing an animal she will sit for hours and keep at it till it's done to her satisfaction. If her health holds up I know she will have a ranch, with horses, dogs, cats, chickens and all manner of animal life. She loves it that much. I respect her for her strength and I truly believe that the Lord gave her some of these qualities so that she could overcome her massive health issues.

She is beautiful, forgiving and has a bright future ahead of her, as long as we as parents can help direct her path. I feel an awesome responsibility with all my children, but more so with the children that have disabilities and hardships. They need me and I need to be there for them. She will probably always be one of my best friends and my worst enemies....but in a good way. We tend to challenge each other. All my kids are strong, they have to be to live in today's time, but she is stronger than most of them. She gets up everyday, takes care of her diabetes (with some help), and marches on through her day not letting her health stop her. She will be a source of inspriation for my other children as they get older and become adults, when they can recognize what she goes through on a daily basis just to stay alive. Have a sit down chat with her just once and you will fall in love with her, the way I did the day she was born.

Friday, October 22, 2010


My little man Joe. The birth of every one of my children is my special moment. My moment when I see the faces of the kids that know me and I know them beyond all time. Each and every baby is this way...but with Joe it was exceptional. I won't say my pregnancy was easy with him. Non of them were, but that pregnancy is when I really started to feel my age, feel the down sides of pregnancy. Each of the others was easy by comparison. His labor was long, he was turned the wrong way and my epidural had been done wrong. I went from throwing up with a blood pressure of 80/40 to pain....lots and lots of pain. At 5:38pm he came into this world. The doctor put him into my arms and the very second I looked into his face I knew. My heart and mind screamed to me...."I remember you now!". That's exactly what my soul told me....I even said the words to him. I remembered him. That moment was like my soul was remembering someone that I had forgotten. It was intense and it was the one of the sweetest moments as a parent for me to this point. He was meant to be my child and I was meant to be his mom.

He is a sensitive soul....very sensitive. But like any boy, you touch on that nerve and you get an earful. You mess with the bull you get the horns. He loves trucks, cars, superheros and villains. Maybe the villains too much. He also loves barbies, dress ups and to watch McKenna get ready for a dance. He seems conflicted at times and I have always wondered what his future holds, but no matter what it holds he is my sweet boy and he and I have a sweet connection.

More than any of my children he would cuddle as a little guy. He would sit on the couch with me and cuddle for hours. Sometimes when my kids get their hands all over me I get a little claustrophobic, but not with him. His touch is soothing to me and I always love it. I often ask him to play with my hair, and he loves to do it.

He doesn't play with friends a lot. He doesn't ask to go friends houses and he likes to be home. He is a home body and I am ok with that. As long as he still wants to move out when he grows up....that is a must for all my kids! :)

Joseph is feisty and strong...and he can be less than nice at times, but he is also one of the most observant and loyal of my children. Family is family...I have always felt strongly about this and I think I see it in his eyes and heart as well. He and I will always be close...that was clear the first moment I laid eyes on him.

He will be strong in whatever he chooses to do in this life. He will and does go forward strongly and he doesn't ever look back. He forgives more than any child I have and he doesn't hold a grudge. He loves life, and the people around him. I love this about him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Since tomorrow is McKenna's 18th birthday I guess it only fitting that I write about her next...

Kenna, full of life, full of fun and so much like me. Everyone tells us this, but I don't need to be told. I know. She is caustic, sarcastic and somewhat demanding. Yes, I know I am like this and so is she. She even looks like me.

When I got pregnant with her I was single. I was working at the University of Utah Hospital and living right in the middle of downtown. My life was so far from what it is today. I am so far from what I was back then.

The nursery mattered so much to me. I planned, spent hundreds of dollars and bought everything "gender neutral". After she was born I took her to museums, to art exhibits and to the zoo to educate her. All of this before she was even a year old. I cleaned all day long, organized her room constantly and she never left the house without perfect clothes and ribbons in her hair. I was a new mom.

She was a very high strung child. Very high strung. I used to think it was her, and maybe to a point it was. She is by nature a somewhat "stressed" person, but I believe now that me being so anal didn't help her at all. I thought I was relaxed, but just the fact that I was convinced that not only did she need two years of preschool, but it had to be Challenger private school shows that I was not very relaxed at all. I stressed out way too much when she was little.

Despite my mistakes and my behavior she turned out ok. She loves life, she loves people the way I do and she is such an amazing oldest child. Now this is not to say that she doesn't get fed up with all the younger siblings, but she rolls with them so well. She is so tender with the smallest kids and she is always saying how she wants a baby of her own....( not yet kiddo!!!).

When Skyler was first born he used to sleep on her chest better than he would for me or Jon. He loved Kenna and could feel how tender she felt about him. They still have a sweet relationship.

I am proud of this girl. Her choices have been great, her friends are wonderful and the path she is on towards a career is such a good one. I have come to love spending time with her, whether it be at the movies, or even at home late at night after everyone else has gone to bed just watching tv. We like similar tv shows we laugh, cry and analyze things together happily.

She is a joy to have around. She is my oldest, and she means the world to me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Over the next few weeks I am going to write each and every one of my kids a blog entry. A little summary of their life, their accomplishments and how they help me to grow, learn and become a better parent. I have written a lot about each of my kids, just not an entry devoted solely to each one.

Today is Skyler. He has to be the easiest just because he is mostly still so small and sweet. Life is so challenging with him around and yet, he has to be the sweetest baby ever.

His entry into this world wasn't easy. After several ultrasounds while pregnant we knew he had serious kidney issues and would most likely require surgery after he was born. He came into this world after a long 14 hours of labor at 9:48pm on Halloween, with soft red hair and the signature chubby Loutensock cheeks. We didn't name him until we could get a good look at him and the name we eventually picked was not a name we had even talked about since earlier in my pregnancy...but there he was....Skyler.

His little body wasn't working like everyone else's bodies and he had to have several grueling tests at Primary Children's Hospital. At the tender age of 5 months he went into surgery to fix one kidney and the other seems to be ok. Both are still not quite normal, but they are doing the job they should and we are so grateful for the blessing of modern medicine.

After a little bit quieter three months we ended up at Primary Children's again, only this time it was for Skyler and the diabetes. I took this one hard, and I can only assume it was because after dealing with Megan's diabetes for 11 years I knew what he, Jon and I were all in for. Especially him. I sat with my baby in that hospital that had become like a second home for all the time we had spent there and I felt sad for what this poor baby had to endure the first 8 months of his life. I was feeling kind of sorry for him and for us when I decided to take him and I to the short church service there at the hospital. Skyler was feeling a lot better and I decided to take him with me. This had to be one of the most sombering experiences of my life. The room was filled to capacity...and it held a lot of people. Some parents were there alone, I can only assume it was because their little ones were too sick to be there. Some kids were there with their parents, IV poles and all. There wasn't much noise at all except the soft piano music and the chirping of the IV's for the kids. The spirit was so strong that day, like I have never felt before. As my eyes scanned the people around me there were parents crying softly, praying softly and I am sure hoping so strongly. I looked down at my feet where Skyler was playing and smiling up at me and it hit me so hard....so many of these parents wouldn't be taking their kids home. So many of these parents would have to leave that hospital without their children. I looked at Skyler and was filled with gratitude and love for my Savior who was allowing me to take my baby home. He would have a new routine, shots everyday and a long road ahead of him, but he was still with me and for that my heart wad filled with joy. I had to leave that service early because the emotion of it was a little more than I could bear. I walked away from that meeting holding tightly to my baby a little more grateful for my own set of problems.

He since then has been a joy to our family. He smiles a lot, he grins when dad comes home and he says so many cute little things. He tries to imitate everything the kids say and they are most proud of the day they taught him to say "beer"....good grief!

The presence of this sweet child in our home has taught us all patience (he cried A LOT the first year of his life), is a sweet reminder of all the good in the world and I am absolutely in love with the soft red hair (ginger to those of you who love him....). He is my baby. He is my love and I love the "wuv you's" he loves to give. Like I have said before .... he is a gift. I am sure there will be days to come when I don't necessarily feel this way, but today I do. And I am sure when the house is dark, everyone is tucked safely away in bed I will still feel this way. Gift....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What we lost

I miss you. We didn't have much, it was just a bit. But I miss it just the same. My life was turned upside down two weeks ago and I had a lot of people love me through it. Most everyone loved they way they could and I was having such a hard time that at times I didn't give credit where credit was due. My heart was aching and I didn't even know which way was up most days. I don't think it was just the one thing that happened that threw me so far off track. It was an accumulation of things. Loses, hard times and broken dreams.

I think of you often and my heart hurts. Before October 1st I had come to a quiet peace about losing you. I don't know what life would have been like with you in it, I just don't. It might have been hard at times. We are mother and daughter and yet we hadn't seen each other in 26 years. I was raised by a loving family that had different ideas about life than you did. How would our true meeting have gone? I imagine at first it would have been awkward. Strangers meeting for the first time but still we would have had such a deep bond that was just for us. A pain and sense of loss that only we could have fulfilled for each other. I think in time we would have both begun to heal. I think in time we would have gotten to know each other and would have found that we loved the people we were getting to know. I think it would have made the circle complete. I have so much. So many people who love me. My life is so full, so blessed with those around me. My friends have become like my family, my family is my strength and my sisters have made me so much more complete than I ever could have imagined. We have gotten to know each other so much more and each day we build on that. There is one hole though. One gap. You. I spent a long time longing for things to be different, even though I know it can't happen.

The peace I have come to is all comprehensive. I know that our relationship would not have been perfect. Maybe we wouldn't have always seen eye to eye, and maybe even totally not agreed with each other. But at least you would have been here. To touch you, to hold you and to talk to you. I loved the sound of your voice, it was like hearing a voice that I remembered but had forgotten. The few times we talked I never felt like I had never heard your voice. The first time we spoke it was brief and you had no idea who I was but my heart raced and my arms ached to be with you. I know my soul remembered who you were and it was like finding a long lost friend.

Two weeks ago my life became something I didn't recognize. It was and still is hard to comprehend. I am slowing wrapping my brain around what has happened and I am slowly coming to terms with it all. Not just the loss, but the realization of dreams lost. More than just one, but several. I normally have your picture beside my bed. Two weeks ago I had the picture of my baby David along side of it. After a few days I put them both away because the loss was too much. I couldn't handle it.

Please don't feel bad, the pictures will both go back up when I can look at both without crying again. I will get there, but don't fear for your pictures are together in the top of my closet where I keep the things closest to my heart.

I love you mom and would have loved whomever you were. I am learning that as I go. I love you for who you were not for who I would have wanted you to be. I am learning to do that for everyone I have in my life. I am learning....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hold me now

I am lucky. I have two mom's. Last week when my mom found out my baby had died she came right over to love me, hug me and give me flowers. Those flowers are sitting here on my table. I don't have it in me to throw them away. I didn't get clothes, pictures or anything else to remind me of the baby, aside from a single ultrasound pic of him. Its one of the only other things I have to remind me of him and my family may have to throw the flowers away when I am not home. I can't seem to let go. Silly really...

But, she isn't my only mom. I have a mom that isn't here anymore. She's gone and the hopes and dreams of who we might have been have gone with her. Now, from what I am told she had some issues so I am not sure how she would have taken me, what she would have said, but I would have given my left arm to know. Besides...as my sister Tracy and I are always saying to each other...each one of us is screwed up, so can we really judge Susie? Probably not.

These last two weeks have made me think. I am a mom. If I were to die anytime soon so many of my kids would forget me. They wouldn't have any memory of who I was or who we were together. Skyler wouldn't remember that I call him my "Sky Boo" or that everytime I put him in his bed I lift him up to my face and I kiss his chubby little thighs. Several of the younger kids would forget me and I would be replaced by someone else most likely.

I am sure it wasn't Susie's plan to leave this life so soon. I wonder what she thought about when she thought of her children. What did she think of me? Would she have ever sought me out herself? I know she would have thought I looked just like my father...because I do. She was so good with my niece Taylor, or so I am told. Would she have been overwhelmed with all my kids? I wish I could have known. Losing another baby has been an overwhelming thing for me. I find that so many things have come into question. I no longer question my beliefs, but I still question God. Where do I go from here? Why couldn't David stay with me? Does our baby watch over us? Watch over me? As a mom my mind is always full of questions, fears and hopes. My emotions run so deep right now that I can't see straight. I think for the first time I have a glimpse of what Susie felt when they took me away. The ache is intense and the longing never goes away. My heart hurts so much for her and what she must have gone through. I know she hurt over me. I know it is an aching that never died. I understand more than ever now what she might have felt.

I wish I didn't know how she felt, and to some degree I never will. Despite the fact that I have lost babies I never felt like I had to give one away. She lost me, through her own choices, and then had to deal with the feelings of loss and pain afterwords. She and I have a connection that surpases anyone. I did not know her in this life, but we share a sense of loss. We lost each other and because of the way things played out we never are going to know each other in this life.

My only solice on this is the fact that I believe in what I do. I believe I will see Sue again someday. I believe she up there watching over us and seeing everything we do. I hope she is happy that at least the four of us have found each other. I also hope that she is there with the children we have lost. I know that I am not the only one of us that has lost a baby. I know that my three sisters have all lost babies as well. I hope that as we are here with the beautiful children here on this earth that she is in heaven with all the grandkids that didn't make it here.

I can't hold my mom here. She is gone and I can't change that. I hope that she is up there holding dear to her heart what we have lost here. Family is family no matter what. No matter what happens, nothing can change that.

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." Agatha Christie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time flies

She will be 18 in one week. McKenna, my oldest I mean. I swear it was just yesterday I found out I was pregnant and my world was so far removed from where I am today. I wasn't married, I was living with friends, I was working full time at The University of Utah Hospital as an ecg tech and I had such foolish ideas on what it meant to be a parent.

I tired hard, I cleaned all the time and I worked full time. I was young, thin and determined. I swear it was just yesterday and yet when I look in the mirror now I see a much older woman with years of experience and time behind me. I hope I have years more to go. I will say that I know I have yet to learn all I can from life, from Jon, my kids and my siblings...but I have learned so much already. I decided recently that life is a journey, not the destination. I fall down, often by my own choices, then I pick myself up try to keep going. I try.

Kenna is becoming an adult and with that comes adult choices. She is thinking about college, she is thinking of moving out and she dates guys with a different attitude than she used to. Girls start to look forward sooner than boys...but that's just my opinion. How fast is it going to be when I look at my younger kids and see them graduating high school and looking forward to the future. Sometimes I feel like I will be here, right where I am at forever. Little kids, diapers, preschools and sippy cups. I know those days are almost gone for me and I am ok with that.

Life is constantly changing, I would like to think I am capable of changing with it. I want to move forward, I want to be a better person to myself and those around me. I want those around me to feel I benefit their lives and make them better. I will have grand kids sooner than I think and I want to be a happy positive influence to them.

I want to keep moving forward....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My gift

Why does it take such loss and tragedy for us to realize what we have sometimes? Now don't get me wrong, I have always been so incredibly grateful for my children. From the time I was just tiny all I have ever wanted was to be a mom. That's it. I used to pride myself on my doll collection. At least 10 maybe even 12 dolls would line my bedroom and don't be mistaken about how much I cared for all these little babies. I even had first and middle names for them all. If I loved those dolls that much imagine how much I would throw myself into a real baby.

Each and every gift was just as precious as the last. McKenna, my first. Megan my first with Jon and then Isaac my first boy. Each child came soon after the last and I have loved each and every one as much as the child before them. I don't like to put them down their entire first year of life. They are spoiled and they not only know mom's touch, but I think they would not know what to do with themselves if they were to go more than an hour without love and hugs from me.

Every baby has been a gift and even as they have grown I see the beauty that is each one of them. Joey hates any food except for chicken nuggets and cereal. Jessi's character precedes her in the neighborhood. Lots of people have commented on how funny she is. The other day when going to hop in Michelle's car for school she tripped on a scooter and fell right on her face. As she popped up she got into the car and instead of wanting to melt into the seat she said "Did you see that? I didn't see that coming...it was awesome!" I love that kid...she has the best sense of humor! Colby and his love of transformers and the way that if he ends up going to the store with me he ends up with a new car. I have the hardest time saying no to him. Lacie and her love of all things beautiful. She will be a supermodel if she has her say in life. And Abby and her athletic ability. Her flag football team went undefeated this year and her coach strongly urged her to stay in sports. I love all my kids. They have been gifts, each one of them.

While pregnant with Colby I really felt that was it. I didn't have the impression that there were any more kids for us. Eight was good. Five girls, 3 boys....it was so perfect. But then came Sky. When I got pregnant with him I admit I was surprised by what I felt. It was never panic, it was never stress or anxiety. I just knew things were going to be ok. I knew it was meant to be. He didn't come stress free though, he came with a lot of problems. His health has been in question since before he was born. His kidney's were and still are a mess. They are functioning now and they feel that they have done all they can do to improve them. His constant crying, especially at night. I was always convinced that he was in pain. He cries at night now again, and he says over and over "owie, owie". I don't know what hurts on him, but something does and I have yet to figure out what it is. He has the diabetes, which of course makes life that much more complicated, but he does ok. As I sit here writing he is putting cheese on crackers right next to the keyboard. As I write I glance at him with his beautiful blue eyes and his soft red hair. He will be two on Halloween and I will never think of him as anything but a gift.

Four babies have come and gone since Skyler came into our home. After so much loss I look at all my children different. They are all gifts. I don't own them, they are not "mine". God has trusted me with them and I hope I am doing at least an ok job loving them, teaching them, holding them. Maybe Skyler being here was not the original plan, but he is a gift....a precious beautiful gift. Maybe the last to come to our home that way. Grand kids will be amazing gifts, sons and daughters in law will be gifts...but maybe he was the last gift of my own. Maybe not. Today I feel a little more hopeful about the future. Not necessarily meaning we will have another child, but either way we will be ok.

But in the meantime I will and do see my children as gifts. They have been entrusted to me and I love them with every ounce of life I have. Skyler was a surprise gift after I thought we were done. Today more than ever I see this. Thank you Lord for what you have given me, and please hold dear what has been taken away. I trust your arms are warmer than mine.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

To heal yourself

This last week has been one of the worst for me to this point in my life. That all by itself scares me to death. People are always saying that once we overcome one trial a harder one replaces it. Please tell me it's all a lie because I never want to feel this way again, and yet a huge part of life is loss and pain. Deal with it.

I think one major point to it all though is that we heal in between the blows. We overcome, we rise above it and we heal. To Heal. What does that really mean? I find that I feel so broken right now. Not just because of the events of this past week, but the last year. Maybe even two. I have had one blow after another and I find that I am asking myself if I have truly healed between each one? Moving to this house and this neighborhood was hard. I didn't want a new home, I didn't want to get to know all my new neighbors. I just wanted things to stay the same. But being here has made such a difference in my life. I can't imagine going through what I have gone through this last two years and not have been here.

I hope Julie doesn't mind, but I have to relay one experience that seemed to start a downfall of hard times for us. Ray. The day I hit Ray Green. So so hard, so hard. But after a few weeks Julie came to my home and told me about her experience after my kids ran to her home and told her I had hit Ray with my car. She said that as she ran out of her home and towards us she just kept telling herself that no matter what happened she had to make sure we knew she still loved us. That as friends nothing would change. How many people can be filled with that much Christ like love? Compassion? Here her child was hurt and she had no idea how he was, and she was worried about us. I don't know that it could have been anyone else's child and have the mom feel that way. I am so grateful for that family and what they teach me about Christ like love. They have been a blessing.

The support we received from the friends here in our ward after Skyler was born is unbelievable. Through all of Skylers tests, through his surgery and then the diabetes they were there for us as a family. They helped out, they brought in dinners and watched kids.

Then this last year. 4 babies lost. I have a few people around here that have known about every one of them. And each time they open their hearts and homes again while I spend time at doctors offices and emergency rooms. They listen to me cry, they hold me while I shake...and never give up on us as a family.

These things have helped me to heal. The unconditional love of those around me buoy me up and remind me that there is so much more going on here than just a few friends giving us food. They love us, and that makes the difference to my soul. I find that I have fallen down at the Saviors feet and placed my pain, my anguish, my confusion and fear there and He takes them from me. So many times He does this through the people around me. I don't see angels that descend from heaven on thrones. I don't hear voices while praying to myself. I see angels in the form of Angie and Michelle with their open arms and hearts bringing me yet another meal and taking my kids so I can sleep. While crying so softly I hear the voice of my friend Polly telling me it's going to be ok and that she loves me. The Savior isn't here with me holding me while I cry, but I feel His hand on my head as my husband and Chris give me a priesthood blessing of peace and comfort. He is here, He does love me and He feels my pain. He wants to take it away, if I will let Him. I am beginning to heal.

I have a long ways to go. I still feel a stab of pain when I see a woman pregnant. I still ache way down deep when thinking to next spring. Thinking how things have changed so drastically. But the last few days I have not had to drug myself up to get through the day. I imagine if I keep praying, keep opening up to people and listen to the promptings of the spirit I will heal as much as is humanly possible. I will get there. It takes time though, and in the meantime I will answer the phone when you call, because even though it's hard to talk about my loss, it's good to know so many people care so much.

For those of you who wonder....I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if we will ever try again for another baby. My hearts wants it so much, but at the same time the thought of going through this pain again is almost unbearable. I am still working through the feelings of losing this baby, I have yet to think ahead beyond just getting through everyday. I still have bruises up and down my arms from all the needles, IV's and rhogam shots. I don't know what we will do in the future, it's still too soon to decide. I need to heal first...

Friday, October 8, 2010

My day...

I got up on time today. My day started as any other day does and I had my elementary kids ready for school on time. I should give credit where credit is due though. My kids pretty much got themselves ready. I have to say that the younger kids are better than my jr high kids. They just got up, got ready and ran out the door when Polly honked. My jr high kids are a tad different. They both require a fair amount of attention and more help. Sad to say, but true. They were ready though and they and Kenna were out and to school on time.

After the main crowd was off to school I began my routine. I made my bed, I showered, did dishes, rotated laundry, broke up a few fights between Jessi and Colby and dragged Skyler off the counter tops at least a dozen times. I picked up dirty clothes, screened a few phone calls, checked the bank account and cleaned up the entry way. After all of this I got Jessi off to school. She is easy to get off and by the time she was in her car ready to go I had the two youngest boys in my car ready to go. We went out and surprised Jon with a visit and then a suggestion for lunch. We went out to eat, and boy was that an adventure. Skyler crawling all over the table and Colby all over under the table. There's a reason we don't take these kids out to dinner often.

After our goodbyes to dad, we headed home. Skyler needed a nap and the younger kids would be home soon. After school snacks, some wii, friends coming and going and a few more phone calls. Backpacks, shoes on the floor, new dirty dishes and a spilled soda on the coffee table and I knew my quiet time was over. Dinner, bed and no husband again. There's my day. It's boring and really there isn't much to tell. In fact I am surprised that I even dragged it out that far. There is one thing though. Despite the fact that life marched on today, and I had to march right along with it, I still hurt. I am amazed with myself with how much I can do despite the fact that my mind and body are screaming for me to crawl under the covers of my bed and sleep away the next month of heartache and pain.

I got up today and I did what I usually do. I didn't laugh much (Polly did make me laugh a little), but I got the job done. I look forward to the time when I laugh again easily. When hope is stronger than pain and fear. When I go throughout the day without spending so much time thinking about one tiny person that had such an impact on my life. I will always think of him, but I want to get back to thinking of other things too. I look forward to that day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My baby

Yesterday I had a D&C and I won't try to disguise my pain today. We decided to name our sweet boy David Malachi. It has such a sweet meaning...Beloved Angel. He is my beloved and I miss knowing he is inside me anymore and I am having a hard time thinking to the future. There were so many things I had planned around a new baby and now I have to rearrange my thoughts and plans.

Needless to say I have a ways to go before I heal, but I will eventually get there. Just expect to hear me cry for a while when you call.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I am hurting. I ache. I feel empty and sad. I lost another baby this weekend and this one will be the hardest by far. I was so much further along than with the others and the baby looks just perfect. My heart is broken and I know I will heal but it's going to take some time. It turns out the baby was a boy and I have yet to come up with a name, but I will. He cannot just be "the baby" or "he" or even worse "it". I will think of something to call him and I will forever love him.

"These are my tiny footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints
were meant for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not of pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in a butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on mommy and daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
we'll never truly part."

Mary found this for me and I think it is just perfect.

I love you my baby boy. Our family will always miss you....

Monday, September 13, 2010

The best and the worst

Sundays are wonderful days. In the right forum, the right talk, the right music and this day is such a good one. No school, yummy dinners (courtesy of mom) and a little spirituality and I really like this day.

Sundays are horrible days. Trying to have a special spirit in my home while kids fight, we're late for church again and there is a spirit in my home and heart, but it's not the kind I would invite the Prophet in to share.

Yesterday was a mixture of both. Our Relief Society board meeting was wonderful. It was quiet, the spirit was there and the topics inspired me and lifted me up. I really loved it. Getting home to make sure everyone was ready for church after that was a joke. Most the little kids were still running around in dirty shorts with dirt on their faces to match. I only had 45 minutes to direct traffic and get our bags and get out the door. We were late enough that we had to divide and conquer. Jon sat towards the back with half the kids and I sat towards the front with the other half. It was ok and we did alright. By the time the youth choir got up to sing my emotions were close to the surface and when I saw all those beautiful young men and women get up and sing it was more than I could take. Beautiful children, all of them. The girls sang As Sisters In Zion and the boys sang The Armies of Helaman. I lost it half way through and I started to cry. What strong and beautiful spirits all these children were...three of mine were among them. Kenna, Megan and Isaac. I felt in awe of the children I was listening to and felt that I was coming up short as their mother. I was just bawling by the end of the song, but didn't feel too bad cause I realized that Angie was sitting behind me crying just as hard. Such a good moment.

Then the they split for classes. Polly and I were supposed to go to Sunday school, but instead we sat in the back of the chapel and watched the primary practice for their annual sacrament meeting program. This is where my day got funny. Watching those 50 wriggly tiny bodies trying to be contained and tamed by those lowly 10 or so adults was hilarious. They were up and down, they were all over that stage. Some of the kids when they got up to give their parts could barely be heard even with the microphone right there and some kids were so loud that the speakers of the microphone nearly ruptured. Michelle, Polly and I sat in the back and chuckled, giggled, laughed and blushed as the kids did their thing. I have 5 kids in primary this year and let me tell you...some are better than others. Jessi would disappear down between the rows of chairs and then with a definitive "pop" she would pop up like a superhero bursting through the earths crust. Colby was doing the up down thing with his folding chair and Joe left to pee three times. Very funny. I left that laughing....

By nightfall however the long day we had had was taking it's toll and I yelled at my kids and couldn't get them to bed fast enough while mumbling to myself that Sundays are the hardest day of the week and how glad I was that it was over. There are no other days in the week that invoke such emotion as this day. From the spirit, to humor to pure frustration.

Sundays....love them and hate them all in one breath. If you are not LDS, or have no kids I invite you to join us for one sabbath...it will either convert you, or chase you away permanently. Good luck...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Best Medicine...

Ok folks, I admit it...I have been depressed for several weeks now. There...I said it. It's out in the open. No denial. No covering it up. No bull****. I have my suspicions as to why, and we don't need to go there, but there it is.

I will say though that even though I am not prone to spontaneous laughter and bouts of smiling lately that does not mean that I cannot produce a good belly laugh when I want to. Usually those things come easily for me and I don't need much to make it happen. I am usually a very happy person. I smile at strangers, I am a polite and patient person while at the wheel of a car and even the smallest things the kids do make me laugh, just not so much lately.

It's times like these that I find myself looking for things to laugh at, and trying to find humor where before it would find me. I have laughed though. Polly and I both have a tremendous amount of stress in our lives right now. Instead of choosing to sit around and psychoanalyze the crap out of our lives, we are choosing to send the kids to school, make yummy food and sit and watch Big Bang Theory. We don't even speak to each other, we just watch and laugh, right out loud and revel in the silence except for each others voices as we enjoy the moment. After these afternoons I am always more relaxed and find that life isn't quite as heavy as it seemed earlier in the day.

Kenna and I were playing wii the other day and we got so into it that we found ourselves laughing and screaming at the tv while the rest of the kids watched with smiles on their faces. Too too fun.

Isaac spent some time teaching Skyler "Boom, boom....firepower"...and let me tell you...that little boys is so cute it's hard not to laugh at him, or with him.

Karlee....dear Karlee. We always laugh when we are around each other. It is just what we do. However this time it was an email. Jon and I sat here at the computer together and laughed right out loud to the point where we were both in tears. I haven't laughed that hard in months. I have to thank Karlee for that. I so needed that...

Laughter is the best medicine. I know it...with all my heart. It can do more for you than a double dose of Xanax or an entire bottle of wine (sorry Lisa). It's true. I have decided that I will find ways every day to laugh and laugh hard. I will make sure I am sharing that laughter with those I love because that makes it just that much better.

Laughter truly is the best medicine and I challenge anyone who says different....

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I used to argue (nicely, more like sparring)with my dad over what life was about. We both have always had the same religious beliefs, but as to the rest of life, the pursuit of family and happiness and the fulfilling of dreams we have never seen eye to eye. He is a remarkably successful man who has spent a lifetime working hard and spending wisely which has led him to a very comfortable retirement with all of his needs taken care of. I admire him for these qualities, he is so smart and so reasonable. He has always been wise beyond his years and it shows in what he has now. But that's not what we would disagree on. I always maintained that there was more to life than that. More than the bills, more than financial security. He would prove his point and I would try to prove mine. He usually chuckled at my viewpoint because there was never any logic in it and didn't provide any constants in life. Just passion, just dream reaching, just the simple things that make a person happy, but can give true happiness. We eventually agreed to disagree on this one and we no longer joust it out. He has helped me more than words can say as far as finances, helping Jon get through school and getting us into our home. He will never know how much these things have meant to me and Jon.

What I have to wonder is if I have given any part of myself back to him. Have I given any of myself to anyone? I think most people want to share a part of themselves with the world and people do so in so many different ways. Music, art, children, sermons, dance, science and the written word. How do I fit in with this? As a young woman it was through theater and music. I was part of music groups for years, I went to Snow College on a theater scholarship and I loved those moments...every single one of them. But what about now? It's hard to keep my perspective when things can go so wrong and I have to constantly ask for help from others. I no longer am part of the theatre and I am lucky if I get an entire verse of music out in church on Sundays. I yell at my kids, complain to my friends and watch tv when I get free time. What do I contribute? I fear it's not much and that makes me sad. Where did the dreams go? Where did the time go that was on my side as a young one and now so eludes me?

I try to dream, I try to reach for the stars but sometimes it's hard just to reach for the front door of my own home to leave to take kids to school. I cry when I think of lost dreams, I cry when I think of lost hope. My dreams have changed but I have decided that I need to start to find new dreams. Things that are appropriate for my age and position in life. Dream girl......dream.

Caterpillar in the tree
How you wonder who you'll be
Can't go far but you can always dream.

Wish you may, wish you might
Don't you worry, hold on tight
I promise you there will come a day
Butterfly fly away.

Miley Cyrus

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting, and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes, and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

Dianne Loomins

I think this summer was a landmark one for me. I think I realized more than ever the true value of my children, how much joy they can bring and that I had moved further into an adult world than I realized. We all have to pay our bills, and stand at dinner parties and act mature. We all have things that we want to teach our children, and try to do so sounding like we have wisdom and time on our sides. However, have we spent so much time in an adult world that we have forgotten what it's like to be a kid? To laugh so hard we pee our pants? Too cry so loud the neighbors can hear us? To play and use our imaginations until mommy's screaming at us to "come in for dinner!"? I don't necessarily think we need to do those things in order to connect with our kids, but there are things we can do. Playing in the swimming pool, while knowing your teaching your child how to swim while you are at it. Sitting outside at dusk, watching the stars come out and trying to pick out The Big and Little Dipper.

I tried to do more this summer with my kids. Things we would all love and want more of. I think I did an ok job. My problem now is that I miss them now that school has started. I want to pick out a cool hike and try it out. I want to sit and get skin cancer while the kids play in the pool. We all went back to school when the kids did. I am back to housework, errands and doc appointments. Next summer watch out! I have plans!