Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

October, 2021

“I’m full but I can make room for a donut.”
Her first day, week and month at her new school could not have gone any better. She quickly blended in and formed friendships, even already knowing a girl from her weekly gymnastics class. By the time her parent conference (which started with prayer!) rolled around, her teacher said that she often forgets she has not been with her all year. But not all things blend well. 

Sometimes, when you're making a recipe and folding in the ingredients, everything is going well; smooth. But then you fold in a bit too much of something and suddenly, the texture changes. You only added slightly too much water or oil but it was the straw that broke the camel's back and everything changed. It no longer looks appealing, and it won't blend right. That was what happened to me when I tried to add in a life group for me on top of her Awanas, mid week. She joined Awanas over a year ago and we have loved it, but our primary reason for joining was so that it provided the faith-formation that her public charter school was lacking. And, at a time when everything was closed due to the pandemic, she still had social interaction. Now that she is in a faith-based, private school, I asked her if she wanted to stop going to Awanas and she said yes, thankfully. Although I was enjoying my new commitment (except for that one lady who shared too much. There's always one), picking her up at 8:30 pm in the middle of the week was a huge set-back, as she is usually asleep before 8pm. And, let's face it: I don't like to do anything without Cha!

A game-changer this month was finding someone to come fold (and, put away!) laundry once a week, during the day while we are done. For only $12 an hour!? Even better! For years, I have had a continual pile of clean laundry always waiting to be folded and put away! It feels good to come home and not have that never-ending pile of clean laundry lurking. For less than $25 a week, I no longer feel like Sisyphus. 

Our girl continues with her Daisy's troop. She also did a 1 day cheerleading clinic and performed at Orange Coast College halftime show with Orange Lutheran, which I was so proud of her for doing! She really enjoyed it, and we are looking at a 10 week cheer session in the new year.

We worked in our annual visit to the pumpkin patch, as well as a special trip to Once Upon an Island that Grandma treated the girls to because she was in town for the birth of Aut & Cha's forth cousin. 

Since Grandma was in town, she also made it to a few of her volleyball games, and Aut loved knowing that she was there, cheering her on. I've begun sharing family history with her, and telling her about her Dad's two sets of grandparents, as well as my two sets of grandparents. This led to her asking me: 
"Mommy, do I have two grandmas, too?" 
"Yes, Aut - remember, you have your grandma in Oregon and you have my Mommy, in Heaven." Her quick response was "Well that's tragic...Pause...wait, what does tragic mean?" It would have pulled at my heartstrings more, had it not also been quite funny. Every day, in some small way, I wish that Mom was here. But the real blessing is that she was here, and that she was mine. All of the loving and nurturing that Aut receives is a direct result of all that she gave me. Quality, not quantity, I remind myself. But, she also had good quantity, depending on how you view it. Although I consider 63 far too young, she did not. Remember, when I asked her why she didn't feel sorry for herself and her terminal brain cancer she quickly responded with "Because there are children dying of cancer; I've lived a full life." I know someone 20 years her junior who may not make it...I think we all do or will at some point...and, wouldn't they love to know that have another 20 years like she did? It's all about perspective. With the right perspective, the rich can feel poor and the poor can feel rich. It's all in our viewpoint, which is really our only reality, isn't it? 

Sunset hike
Our girl had a jog-a-thon fundraiser and I left work to watch her. I told her that she could go slow but that I did not want to see her walking. "My teacher says we can walk, Mommy." was her response. "Well, I'm telling you that you can't. If you feel like walking, just slow down." It's times like this when a difference in my parenting style compared to my Mom's is apparent. I definitely push and guide the children more than she did, for better or worse. My viewpoint is that I want to help give my children the resilient, growth-mindset to can accomplish anything that they want, whereas my mom had confidence that we would get there, in our own time. I am somewhat strong-willed and I don't know that my parenting style would have worked on myself, if that makes sense. But one thing Mom and I have in common with our parenting styles is that we love our children unconditionally, and try to have a lot of fun doing it. At the start of her jog-a-thon (which raised $115,000!), they led everyone in prayer. I had a moment where I wondered "Is this allowed!?" before realizing where I was. I was so proud of her because out of her whole class, she was the one still making her laps around the track until the end.

We attended the last Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club's long-standing location, where our wedding reception was held. It is Orange County's longest running cultural appropriation event. The kids' outfits that we bought them in Germany summer of 2019 surprisingly still fit, and although the lines were long and they ran out of the fried pork shank, we had a great time. My husband makes me laugh on a daily basis, and we are so well-suited for each other. Daily, I am thankful that he is mine and that he is the leader of our family. As we are approaching a decade together - a decade! - I marvel at how well-matched we are in areas that I didn't even realize were important. He loves me for who I am, and always strives to go above and beyond in providing for the children and I. Case in point: No ordinary cemetery plot for this couple. Nope, extra leg room and views abound. Not only will he get to enjoy the end isle and the extra leg room that provides for all of eternity, but we also have a great view of the hills I run on my longer runs, and the trails the kids and I will mountain bike in the coming years.

"Big Jacob"
And just like that, Halloween was upon us! I Put this whole get up on for four straight days, starting with the Oogie Bash on Thursday night, which we didn't get home from until 12:30am! Following that, I dressed for work that Friday, our forth annual bash, with about 100 people, and finally...Halloween! For the first time, we hired a DJ and although not a lot pf people danced, it was nice having the music and lights, as it definitely added to the party atmosphere. A lot of kids from her new class came, and it was a great way to meet their parents. Cha's first friend "Big Jacob" even came, and they had a blast together. We had a face painter and a balloon artist which helped to not have one, long line. Mickey and Minnie provided the entertainment, and tied the theme altogether. I wish that I could take credit for all the amazing props and decorations, but I was solely responsible for the dessert table and balloons. the props were all set up by the fabulous Jeff at Party Perfections.

Things I don't want to forget:

  • Cha randomly calling me a spicy pickle. 
  • "You da best Mommy in da whole wide world."
  • Cozy, Cozy
  • The kids handing me leaves
  • How he runs to beat me at morning drop off but always stops at cross walk