Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

I really thought that if I let Lauren and Evan stay up late that they would get up late on Christmas day...yeah, no such luck. Evan came into our bedroom at 6 in the morning, his little head just poking up over the bed. In a tiny voice he said "Hey Mommy, is it Christmas time yet?" Lauren soon followed by waking up at 7, but I made them stay in bed (mean mom) until at least 8. Oh were they excited to dig in to the big pile of gifts at the foot of our tree. So excited! They didn't like my suggestion that we eat breakfast first. Once "A Christmas Story" was safely playing on TV and Chad had found his little nook in the couch, we were ready. Let the Mayhem begin!

This year was so much fun for me. Chad and I don't generally get each other anything for Christmas, so it was all about Lauren and Evan. And it was the first time since Lauren was a baby that Chad and I were about to buy Christmas ourselves. I know I keep saying that, but it is kind of a big deal for me. I got to get my kids there Christmas!! It was an exciting thing for me as a mom. Lauren and Evan both agree that their favorite gifts are their pillow pets. They loved them! Evan also love his view finder that I got them on a whim, who knew? He calls it his "looking thingy". Lauren has loves her barbie dolls, she got three! The Barbie from Toy Story 3, the fairy Rosetta, and a Tangled doll for my dad. She has been playing with them ever since.

Lauren's gifts

Evan's gifts

And their shared gifts.

In less then an hour, all the months of planing and deal searching had come to an end, and both Lauren and Evan were busy playing with their new play dough, which is a big hit. They love it, Mommy doesn't really like the clean up so much. Thank goodness for wood floors! Here is some shots of the aftermath, the pure destruction, and all that delightful mess was after I had worked hard to clean up all the wrapping paper as they went. I had already filled up two garbage bags full before I gave up.

I have a theory. The bigger the mess, the more fun the Christmas. So as you can plainly tell, we had a blast! But after all was said and done, we had about an hour to get ourselves cleaned up (the house would have to wait) so that we could have Christmas lunch at my Dad's house in Farr West. I am so grateful for my Dad. He knows, better then most, all my little hurts. He has been there for me my whole life, and it is nice to know that he always will be. Everyone needs someone who will love them no matter what. He is more then just a dad, he is a daddy. The first thing the kids wanted to do when they got to Grandpa and Grandma's house was open their presents.

Lauren got the dolls from the movie Tangled. She loves it!

And Evan got a big Woody doll. You can pull his string and he talks.."Theres a snake in my boots.." Evan loves it. He has been sleeping with it every night since Christmas.

I really have been blessed. Sometimes I get feeling down about things, but my dad is awesome and he married a real sweet girl with real sweet girls of her own. My step sisters Samantha and Serina are awesome. They love my kids and they are so much fun to be around. Sometimes, we need to learn to look at all we have and not worry so much about things that are out of our control. We need to stop wishing for things that might not happen and embrace all the little moments of wonderful around us.

(at the top: Rita, Lauren, and my dad. Middle: Sam, Evan, and Me. Bottom: Serina, and Chad). You think that with all of that, we would be done for the day. But we weren't. We had one more family party to get to, and it was a drive. Chad's sister Kari just had a new house built in Herriman, so we all drove out there to see it and our family too.

Kari is due two days before me. Isn't she a cute pregnant girl? It has been so fun for me to be pregnant at the same time as her.

Lauren and her newest cousin Ella. Ella is the first girl since Lauren was born. There are six baby boys born in between. Chad's family is an other area where I have been blessed. They are so good to me and are always there for me. Even when Chad and I were having our difficult growing pains, they still showed me love and support and would listen if I called crying. I guess that is what family does for each other though, isn't it.

(R-L: Billy, Kari, Ryan, Shari, Chad, and Traci..and Mom Nancy up in front.)

It was a Christmas full of different highs and lows. Lessons learned, tears shed, and family found. I hope that everyone has had someone to love them this season. Because the gift of true family is the best gift to be given or received. Merry Christmas to all my friends and family.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas time highs and lows

I was so excited for Christmas morning. I was like a kid in a candy store. The presents were stacked under the tree for weeks as if to mock both myself and the kids with the reality that all good things come to those who wait. I was excited for two reasons. I don't know if most of you remember, but Chad and I couldn't even afford food last year, let alone Christmas for our kids. It was a heartbreaking reality to confront. It was humbling and humiliating to realize that you can't get for your kids even just a basic Christmas. Some friends stepped in to give our kids what we couldn't. And I vowed that year that if we ever get out of this, I would do all I could to pay it forward because there was no way I could pay it back. It was the sweetest most selfless thing for all of you to do. Help came in many forms, from supportive e mails and phone calls, to presents for our kids, food at our door, and gift cards. Last year, I truly understood that phrase, "It takes a Village" because without our little village, Laruen and Evan would have had nothing that year.
So this year, it was fun for me to be able to buy my kids their Christmas this year. I tryed to do it smart, I paid cash for everything, and I started shopping right after Halloween. It was fun for me to watch the tree slowing fill up with wrapped gifts. Christmas morning couldn't come soon enough, and when it did, it was everything I hoped for. The kids loved everything. And I loved watching the magic of Christmas through there eyes. (especially since mine where still a little foggy from sleep deprivation.)
What made this Christmas hard was family drama. I haven't written about my ongoing hurt and struggle with the rejection I feel from my mom for a while now because as time goes by, I am learning to deal with it. In many ways, the letter my mom wrote me earlier this year with a message that left much to be desired (here) was a little bit of closure for me. I know that people don't just change. They have to want to change. It was a lesson for me that although I am her daughter, it was more important for her to be right. Although, all I wanted was her, not an apologize. Just a fresh start. But even a fresh start would require her to swallow some pride, a price that was just to high even for me. I haven't cryed or worried about my mom in a while. After all, my little sister was still around. Or so I thought.
I found out through post on facebook that she was in town. I found out through old friends and acquaintances, but I didn't find out through my sister herself. And if I am being honest, it isn't the first time that she has done this. Once, I called her to say hi and found out that she was at the airport in Salt Lake, on her way home, after a week long visit. It hurt. I didn't want to ask my dad if he knew she was in town because I didn't want him to feel the same hurt. But when he called on Christmas Eve to see if I was still coming over on Christmas day for lunch with him and his wife, he mentioned how Natalie wouldn't be joining us because she was to busy spending time with all of her husband's family and didn't have time for her side of the family this trip. Somehow I knew it was a lie and so did my dad. He only found out she was in town because he had called her to wish her a Merry Christmas. As hard as it is for me, I feel for my dad. It would crush me if Lauren did that to me or to Chad. It was devastating for me yesterday. All those feelings of rejection and hurt, all the wondering about what is wrong with me, all the abandonment issues I have had to work through for the past 5 years came rushing on my with full force. I cried to Chad in the car all to his sister's house in Herriman later that evening. It was a Christmas full of highs and lows.
When my step sister Sirena gave me a present at my dad's house on Christmas, the emotions were almost to much. Here is a girl that I have only known for three years of my life, and she was showing me more love then my sister. My sister in laws were full of hugs and love when I showed up to Chad's families Christmas party. And I know that if we were in California this year, that all of my adopted California family wouldn't treat me like an outsider, they would sincerely be to me what family ought to be.
Bloodline doesn't mean a thing. It should. Even if I made every bad decision in the book. My family should be like "Dude, I know that she is a crack whore, but she is our daughter, sister, niece, cousin..ect." Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. Besides, my only true "mistake" was to listen when I prayed, to follow what my heart told me to do against all odds and reason. Isn't that what walking in faith sometimes requires anyway? I am proud of the decision I made even if so many in my "family" still maintain their belief that I have fallen into a hole of dispare and abuse, no matter the evidence to the contrary. I am proud that I was strong enough to do what I believed to be right. I haven't regretted that decision at all. I have regretted my family's response, but that is part of having free agency. No matter how long or hard I pray for a different reality, they still have the freedom to think and act how they wish. And I will give it to them because it is something that I wish they would have allowed me to do. I love my sister, always have and always will. But I am done trying and hurting. She can call me and I will be so happy to hear from her. But I am done calling, and trying to get together. We have a relationship because it is me doing all the work. I want what so many take for granted, the friendship and companionship of a sister. So I pushed to keep it alive. But when you are the only one who is doing all the work, it starts to not work. Like now. I have so many people who are willing to step in and fill the gap. I think it is about time that I start to work on those relationships. I am worth it after all. And it is time that start believing that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's in a Name...?

Some people have been confused about the name we have picked out. Which is fine. I told Chad that this is the first child that we are having that we might have to explain where the name comes from and why we picked it out. The name we have choose is...RHYS.


It is pronounce Reece. It is a Welsh name meaning Enthusiasm. It is #5 on the most popular names is Wales, #30 in Scotland, #56 in England, and as of 2010, it is #679 in the United States.


Honestly, we came about the name because we were watching the Terminator. Don't cha love it. I could say that my great grandfather that sailed here from Wales with the saints was named Rhys, but then that would be a lie. I don't even think that I have pioneer relatives. No, the truth is, we got it from the old '80s classic "bad robot turned good" mega movie, The Terminator. If you have never seen the movie, there is a guy in the show named Kyle Rhys..and the main chick in the movie called him Rhys through out the whole show. We just liked how it sounded. And that is where we came up with the name.

We like to think that maybe our Rhys will be tough enough to fight an indestructible killer machine to save the world from a mechanical Apocalypse. But no pressure.


After we decided (and both agreed pretty much instantly) that our little bun in the oven would go by the moniker of Rhys, if said bun turned out to be a boy bun, we started noticing the name of Rhys in other places as well.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers:

Man, I don't know about you, but Midevil England never looked so good.

John Rhys Davies:

And just in case you were all sleeping during the '80's and have never seen the Indian Jones franchise or the series, Sliders, you might recognize him more as....

The older brother off of Malcom in the Middle was named Rhys in the series:

Rhys Ifans:
He is a British actor, most likely best known in the U.S for playing the room mate spike in Notting Hill.

And my last example is
Rhys Coiro:

Fans of 24 will know who he is.

But these are just examples of people with the name of Rhys, the only Rhys that counts is the one in my tummy, making his debut at the end of May. I can't wait to meet him. Lauren and Evan say "Hi Rhys" to my tummy every day. It has been such a fun pregnancy. Both Lauren and Evan are old enough to enjoy the idea of a new brother in our home. So of all the famous Rhys' out there, the only one that counts in our book is Rhys Triplett.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Week 16

I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is, we know what our little baby is going to be :) The bad news is, last night was the last doctor's appointment that I had with Dr. Naisbitt. He is retiring, at least from the maternity ward. He is moving on to a whole other career. I use to joke with Chad that we were done having kids when Dr. Naisbitt retires. I will have to tell you in a couple of years if that statement turns out to be true. He is a great doctor, and I will miss him. I will have to let you know if I settle on someone else in time for D-day.

Anyway..on to the baby. Here is a picture of me at 15 weeks:

Believe it or not, I am bigger this time then when I was pregnant with Lauren or Evan. I told Chad that I might have to invest in some Maternity clothes this time around.

And here is a couple of pictures Lauren took of me this morning and 16 weeks.

My doctor's apointment was last night. This was the big one, the one I had been waiting for. This was the one where I was going to find out if I should buy pink paint of blue. Chad wasn't feeling well last night, so he stayed with Evan while I took Lauren. It turned out kind of speacial, since Lauren has been way into this pregnacy. She asks everyday if she could see how big the baby is, and we sit down to google to look up what the baby should look like at 14 weeks, 15 weeks, ect. She sings to my belly and loves to feel my little bump in hopes of being able to feel the baby kick. So, I thought it would be fun to take her on the apointment where we found out if the baby had an x chromosome or a y. She has been wanting a sister, and every time I tell her that it might be a boy, she tells me no, it is most definatly a girl. But once the baby came up on the ultra sound monitor, there was no question. Even for me. It was definatly a boy.

Lauren said "Are you sure it's a johnson? It might be pooh." The doctor just laughed and said, "I think that was the first time I ever got asked that question." I think now, she is ok with having an other little brother. She is such a good sister to Evan, I am very sure that she will be an equally good sister to this little guy. We are going to name him Rhys. We can't wait to meet our little Rhys. I am happy either way, boy or girl. I am finding myself to be very excited at the idea of having an other little guy around. Little boys are so sweet and so much fun. I can't wait to meet him.

Christmas Card pictures 2010

It has taken some time for us to finally get our pictures for the christmas cards (cards soon to follow..) We took our awesome camera and headed down to Union Station on 25th street and started snapping away. We got some cute ones, we even got Radley in a couple of them. Here are just a few of my favorites.

This one is Chad's favorite. I like it too. Cute kids!!

This one is my favorite. I just like how Lauren and Evan have there arms around each other, and I love the colors, and yes, I love how I look in it. I am such a girl, what can I say. I always look to see how I look in a picture before I ok it to go on a Christmas card. Everyone else could have bad hair days and angles as long as I look presentable. (oh, you know you do it too)

It is so much fun for me to see the difference from last year.

This one was our card last year. We have had a great year. I love to see how much the kids have grown. I love my little family, and I am so excited that next year we will have a little 8 month old in our Christmas card pictures for 2011. When I look at my family, I can't think of a better Christmas present then to have them all happy and healthy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Snow Plow

The night of the great snow storm of 2010, that lasted about an remember the one? Well, while everyone was nice and warm in their homes, we went out. We first went to the mall. And no joke, we had to be the only patrons of the mall there that night. As we were walking around, stores were closing, and it wasn't even 7 yet. We then went to Chuck a Rama (I love a good buffet), but they had a signon their door that said "closed due to increment weather." So we decided to see if Applebee's was open, which it was. It was kind of fun to watch the snow fall and eat at Applebee's. I love Applebee's. Anyway, while we were there, a snow plow was clearing the parking lot. Evan was in heaven. It was better then fireworks for him.

It was the first time going out to eat that the kids didn't ask when the food was going to come, or complain about "starrr...ving!!" My thanks to the snow plow man for keeping my kids entertained.