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, January 30, 2024

December, 2023

Coming hot on the heels of November and the awareness of being thankful that it brings, I am beyond thankful that we are raising honest children who are not sneaky and deceitful and do not lie. 

In the wise words of Cinderella (the hair band, not the princess), sometimes, you don't know what you got ('til it's gone). In a similar vein, sometimes you don't know what you got - honest kids- til you realize some don't have it!


Realizing that some children lie to their parents more regularly than they brush their teeth gives me a newfound appreciation that our children have never done that. Will they ever? Perhaps and probably. But thank God they don't; it is not a routine habit for them. Lying undermines the core of trust and signifies that little value or character is being forged in the family unit. Need a better source? Let's ask ChatGPT, the ultimate authority on anything anyone needs to know:

Q: Why is having children who are honest important, and how does it relate to values?

A: Having children who are honest is important for several reasons, and it is closely tied to the development and reinforcement of values. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Trust and Integrity:

    • Honesty is fundamental to building trust in relationships. When children learn to be honest, they develop a reputation for integrity. Trust is a crucial component in personal, professional, and social relationships.
  2. Ethical Behavior:

    • Teaching honesty instills ethical behavior. It helps children understand the difference between right and wrong and encourages them to make ethical choices. This is foundational for the development of a strong moral compass.
  3. Communication:

    • Honest communication is key for healthy relationships. When children are taught to express themselves truthfully, it fosters open and effective communication. This, in turn, helps in resolving conflicts and understanding others.
  4. Responsibility:

    • Honesty is linked to taking responsibility for one's actions. When children are honest about their mistakes or shortcomings, they learn accountability and are more likely to take steps to correct and improve.
  5. Building Character:

    • Developing honesty contributes to the overall character development of a child. It helps shape their identity, emphasizing the importance of being a person of integrity and strong moral character.
  6. Social Integration:

    • Honesty is a valued trait in society. Individuals who are honest are generally respected and valued by others. Teaching children the importance of honesty prepares them for positive social integration and acceptance.
  7. Self-Esteem:

    • Being honest builds self-esteem. Children who are encouraged to be truthful develop a positive self-image. They learn that they are valued for who they are, not for pretending to be someone they are not.
  8. Values Clarification:

    • The emphasis on honesty helps children clarify their own values. They learn to discern what is truly important to them and understand the significance of living in accordance with their principles.
  9. Long-term Success:

    • Honesty is often associated with long-term success. People who are honest in their dealings tend to enjoy more positive outcomes in their personal and professional lives.

In summary, having honest children is crucial for the development of strong values such as trust, integrity, responsibility, and ethical behavior. These values not only shape the character of individuals but also contribute to the creation of a more trustworthy and harmonious society. ChatGPT once again for the win. Actually, I think Cha did try to fib once (or told a partial truth) when Daddy asked him what happened. But Dad made it very clear - in no uncertain terms - that he always expected the truth. Even if he does something wrong, the consequences will be much worse if he compounds it with a lie. And the children know that he does not make empty threats. Which is what every family needs, and sadly, many are lacking.

Cha and Aut continue their winter sport of Basketball. Amazingly, Cha made 5 baskets in one of his first games! Since they're 5, traveling is allowed, apparently. Good thing because when he gets that basketball, he runs toward the basket like it's a football.

This month was amazing for Aut socially. She has really connected with a core group of sweet girls at her school. Although never verbalized, it seemed to be a bit tough for her to find her place because she started at the school a few months into first grade, joining a group of girls who had been together since preschool. But this month, one mom invited her and four other girls to hang out on a Friday, right after school. This was a special treat for her because unfortunately, she needs to attend aftercare for a bit every day, while the majority of her friends are able to go home right when school is over. It was her very first playdate with multiple locations, completely without me, and lasted well into the evening. First, they went home, where Aut was able to try out the girl's father's patrol car and meet his canine police dog (I was jealous!). Then, they went to ice cream, bowling, and in-n-out! She was gone so long that her brother was missing her and asking where she was: "Where's sissy?"

Later in the month, I returned the favor, taking the same girls to in-n-out, the movies (we saw Wish), and out for ice cream. It is great to see them so well matched in their silliness levels, cracking up while playing "jingle farts" in my car.

We stayed a night at the Great Wolf Lodge in the middle of the month. We had made the reservations a few months prior but were so busy when the time rolled around that I was left wondering what I was doing, overscheduling again. But it turns out that it was just what we needed to force us to slow down and play hooky from a few basketball games.

We celebrated Christmas a bit early with my father and brother before flying to Oregon on Christmas Eve. They went all out, the way they have my whole life, with Dad spending way more than he should have on a three-strand pearl bracelet for me to match the necklace and earrings from years prior. He also knocked the kids' socks off! It was a special treat for Santa to show up! He wanted to bring the kids their larger gift since he somehow knew (Santa knows everything) that they would be going to Oregon and not able to fly home with a giant, heavy go-kart!

We flew to Oregon on Christmas Eve and arrived late due to delays. I was terribly sick on Christmas, in bed and throwing up all day, drifting in and out of sleep. I made it downstairs to watch the kids open some gifts, but that was it. In a walking completion at work with a 10,000 steps per day minimum, I only had 192 steps that day. I had to make up for it in a big way the next day and managed to walk 15 miles or 30,000 steps, which was the maximum allowed. Because I was so sick on Christmas, I I did not notice that Santa left an additional present in the fireplace! While the kids had opened their requested gifts from him (a large transformer and dog toys), there was also a paper letter peaking out. The kids were delighted to realize that Santa not only gave them Legoland passes for the year but also a hotel stay next month with Royden and Mara!

Cousin Crew!
New Year's Even bonfire