Sunday, December 25, 2016

another one

so i had this great surprise for my parents and jeff's parents for christmas. i took some pictures and was going to print or send them to them on christmas. the fact that i was able to keep this secret from my mom was a feat for sure, but the thought of her getting so excited on christmas morning made it worth it. we were getting excited to welcome another baby in july. i had the exact same due date as i had with lyla, exactly 2 years later. i was thrilled, jeff was tolerant about it, lyla coincidentally learned to say the word "baby" the same week i learned i was pregnant, jane was so excited and started to play with her baby doll A LOT more. she would also pretend to give birth and walk around with the baby under her shirt, "pregnant like mommy!" she would say. she would wake up from a nap and say "mom while i was taking a nap my baby was born from my tummy!" needless to say she was excited and in full on preparation mode. meanwhile, i was feeling small bouts of nausea and sciatic pain; but other than that i was off scotch free and wondering what i did to earn such an easy pregnancy. in the back of my mind i was worried, of course. i reasoned that i was just overly cautious and traumatized from my last miscarriage. anyways, the weeks went on and christmas was getting closer. 2 days before i could finally spill the news, i got my own news. this baby, this gift i was given, was being taken away. one present i did not want to open early. the signs started to appear and i kept justifying. "spotting is normal!" i said. "I could just have cramps because i'm hungry...."

no. i had another one. a miscarriage. so 4 times pregnant and 2 to show for it. but oh how i love those TWO. i've never treasured them more than i did today. i've felt a keen sense of gratitude for the children i have here with me. and simultaneously so, so sad as i mourn the loss of that newborn baby i was already daydreaming about. another little babe to add to our family; i was nervous for a third but more excited than anything. the nurse scrunched her nose when she said "congratulations....or, i mean, is it a good thing?" as she saw how full my hands already were. "YES! I'm happy!" i said, and i know i could never feel anything but happiness at the sight of a positive pregnancy test. it goes against my very nature to resent something so miraculous and beautiful.

i feel bad that i told jane so early on because that meant i had to go in and explain to her that our baby wasn't going to come live with us anymore. she sweetly and sadly protested this until i had firmly convinced her that it was so and, try as i might, there was nothing i could do to stop it from happening. she's strong and resilient and made my day so much brighter when she ran up randomly, hugged me, and said "you have been SUCH a fantastic momma to me today. and that means you're beautiful." one of those days when my children nurtured me in the ways i needed just as much as i nurtured them (or more so!).

christmas eve, kind of a sad day to have miscarriage. but a good day too, because i could be distracted by happy christmas stuff all day long. having family in town softens the blow and buoys me up. my husband has been a nervous helicopter around me and makes sure i'm eating, drinking, taking vitamins, and resting enough. poor husbands have no idea how to console their wives when things like this happen; i know he's not alone in this. but hugging me through the tears and showing concern is good enough for me.

it's sad. really sad. i wanted that baby. but i can't complain for long because before i even finish forming the "poor me" thought in my mind, it jumps to all the things i'm profoundly grateful for.

these pictures are no longer applicable but since they are adorable, they must be shared.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


These first few snippets are of the first Santa visit of the year. Jane, and her sweet giving little heart, decided that since Santa always gave people presents, that we should bring HIM a present. So we made our very favorite chocolate chip cookies, and she bravely and silently handed him her sweet little offering as she wide-eyed and cautiously got close enough to sit on his lap. (I like to think she has been more service-minded lately as we have been trying to do the #Lighttheworld challenge- service every day in december) She was so excited but also fighting a case of stranger danger real hard; you could see it etched in her scared little eyes, the inner battle she was fighting. She sat on his lap, wordless, with her fingers tightly clasped so she wouldn't have to touch him! Lyla was next. She took one good hard look into his face and started whining and was instantly UNIMPRESSED. You can see the sheer terror in her eyes as well.

 Couldn't muster a smile. Jane walked away chatting her happy little mouth off about her encounter with the jolly old man. She added at the end "and uhm, I forgot to tell him what I wanted but THAT'S OK! I CAN WRITE HIM A LETTER!" So write him a letter she did, and it's great because I can hold her accountable to what she wrote to him in the letter that she wants "4 princess crowns" and not the 10 other things she has randomly decided on in the weeks since. ;)

 And now on to the Christmas Markets! We've been to 5 or 6 this year I think and they have all been so fun. There is always some sort of swing or carousel at every market and Jane relentlessly begs to ride each and every one she sees! But I think the coolest ride she got to do this year was a camel ride! Rachelle was nice enough to take her with her. Jane discovered what a camel hump feels like, and while waiting in line to ride, I discovered that camels pee for a REALLY long time. Never-ending streams I'm tellin' ya. All the markets that have animals are a hit for the girls. Ponies, camels, goats, owls, sheep, llamas, etc! Like a nativity-themed zoo! We just love walking around and looking at all the different booths but I have the worst buyers anxiety when trying to decide on ornaments or nativities. It's a problem. On the flip side, I have no problem whatsoever in buying a crepe from every stand I walk by. Kinda kidding because there actually is such a thing as being "all crepe'd out" but we did eat a sweet ones and a few savory ones. It's a perfect little meal for me and the girls to share as we walk around!
Rothenburg calls for a college roomie selfie! It was so fun to have Rachelle here for a little over a week. We drove to a lot of places, and the driving part was always one of my favorites because we just talked the whole time. Just like the good old days. She also totally won over both of my girls by playing "cats" and running around chasing them around the house. It was so fun to have my college universe and my mom universe collide for a few days :)
Sharing a Shneeballen. Kinda a gross dessert, but one of Rothenburg's famous foods. Rothenburg is still my favorite city in Germany. 3rd time coming and I love it every time! December is the absolute BEST month to come though! It is like stepping into an alternate universe where only Christmas, happiness, beautifully decorated christmas trees, and elves exist, where no house and no doorway goes undecorated; and who doesn't want to live in a world like that?
 Weiden Christmas Market with my squirmy, sassy little girl :)

^^ walking into the concentration camp. it's not a very busy one, and there aren't any graphic things so don't worry! I hesitated to do this, but I did sit down with Jane to give her the kid-friendly version of the story.
^^ Asking an endless stream of questions. I love it as long as they are questions that have actual answers. 
 ^^ this day we went to Flossenberg. We went to a concentration camp and to some castle ruins. We hiked up to the ruins and Jane did it all by herself without any complaining. I was so proud because it was really steep. We may have crossed a small hurdle with her because we havent brought a stroller or a carrier for her on any of our recent outings! She's growing up and coming to peace with the fact that "walking is good exercise and makes my legs stronger!" Hallelujah!

Now on to some random pics. Can't go without sharing a picture of Lyla plopped on her daddy's lap reading. We both read her SO many books, and being read to is TOTALLY her love language!
Have to share this picture of my missionary brother. Being a straight faced goof with his old man pose. He is hilarious. But even more so, he is thriving, and serving, and doing so much good. This is a picture of a family that he and his companion taught and baptized. I am so proud of him and can't wait to talk to him on Christmas!
This was such a fun night. Those little trains don't look like much, but Rachelle can attest to how much time it took me to make them, and because she helped me a lot with them! (out of diaper boxes OF COURSE) We invited some good friends over, and the kids sat in their little trains and drank hot cocoa (with LOTS of marshmallows), watching The Polar Express, while the adults cooked and ate dinner together. They didn't last long watching the movie because they'd rather run around and play together- which I admit I totally LOVE! So glad Jane has so many good friends here, and that Jeff and I do too!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Was this November the longest month in history...or just me? Maybe it's because we pronounced it as "no-spend November" Or, rather, No-spend-until-black-friday November. Due to us purchasing tickets to go back to the states, we were trying to be extra frugal this month. That makes for a looooong month, as does cold, sunless weather! Anyways, without further ado....

 A miraculous moment where Lyla allowed Jane to kiss her without letting our a defiant scream!
 My favorite picture. Lyla just watching and observing her big sister.
 3.2 seconds after pulling out the Christmas stuff. It all happened in the blink of an eye, Lyla made an instant grab for my favorite, most breakable ornament and without so much as a second thought, threw it to the ground. Shattered. And starting out the Christmas season with a bang.
 The best capture of Lyla's reaction to the lighted Christmas Tree.
 We went to see the Harlem Globetrotters as a family. We thought Jane would be really into it. The only thing she was really into was the snacks that we brought. She was SO not entertained. Lyla though ^^ as you can see, was mesmerized!

 We had our troop Thanksgiving dinner- ad it was a success. I have a lot of great volunteers to help me this year so it was the least stressful event to that I've put on!
 Lyla is BEYOND obsessed with reading books. Jane didn't start to really love books until she was a little older. I cannot even explain how grateful I am that both my girls LOVE to be read to; especially in the winter time- it is my saving grace. All three of us are content on the couch with a stack of books for hours. But Lyla also neverrrr misses an opportunity to get her dad to read to her. :)
Cheating because this was the last day of October, but we had the Bakers for Halloween, and here is the infamous candy dump and sort. A time for children to squeal with glee and parents to scout out which pieces of candy they will sneak once the kids are in bed. ;)
 This was an awesome day- Jeff and I got to go to the temple together! It has been a few months that this temple has been open so it was overdue! It had been awhile since we've gone together. It was such a good boost!
 This sunrise one morning. Literally our back yard. Wow.
 This was maybe my most triumphant moment of the month right here. Both girls sitting down being reverent, ready for family prayer. An hour preceding this, there was wailing and screaming and looks of pure defiance sketched on to each of my daughters' faces. We sat down to read scriptures and figured it would be a struggle, but we ended up being able to teach something to Jane that she really and truly grasped. You could see her countenance changing as she decided to start making better, happier choices- like being obedient. Before we knew it, she was cleaning up her toys with a smile and willingly kneeling down to say prayers. Sometimes family scripture and prayer time is a totally fiasco, but it's times like these that make that daily habit totally worth it!
 back tracking to the beginning of november when I got to watch these kiddos for a few days while their parents were on a little trip. we had so much fun! on this day, all the girls wanted me to give them matching hair-dos.
 Here is the fort they made one night, they were all suuuuper stressed that Lyla kept trying to mess it up.
 I tried to come up with as many activities as possible to keep them busy. I wanted to frost sugar cookies and intended to make them myself but I ended up resorting to buying the pre-made kind. SO gross that even the kids didn't want to eat them ;) So it was a win-win. They had fun decorating and it didn't even end on with a sugar high because those cookies were GROSS.

Lyla girl has had A HARD WEEK. It started with a 24 hour bug which made her throw up everything that went into her body. Poor baby. She was weak and had no energy for a few days after as I tried desperately to replenish her with nutrients. But as she was trying to recover, she got knocked back down with the popping of FOUR molars and 2 teeth all at the same time. Girly has been MISERABLE. The only time she isn't crying is when I'm holding her. It gets difficult and frustrating but I do love that I can be the greatest source of comfort for her. 

OK so I know it's been foreverrrr since I've blogged so this was a sloppy and boring-to-most catch up post. Do forgive me. December is my favorite month of the year and I'm excited to document it!


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