Monday, March 21, 2016

Baby Grace is One

How is it that the nine months you carry your children seem to be the slowest of your life but her first year has flown by? I have loved all of it. Jordan and I often talk about how blessed we are to have this sweet little spirit in our home and lives, she has made being a mother everything I ever thought it would be and nothing I thought it would all at the same time! The last year has taught me more about myself than almost any other experience in my life. I have loved seeing her grow and seeing us as her parents grow. To celebrate her birthday I'm going to share her birth story because I failed to do that after she was born and then some big markers in her first year.

The Story
Before I start the actual story I need to back up and explain what led up to the day she was born. On March 1st in the evening I started to feel pretty intense cramps, not knowing any better I ended up going to bed figuring they would just go away. Around 3 AM I called my doctor, Mom and Labor and Delivery at the Hospital because the pain had not gone away. All three told me to go in a get it check out. At this point I was pretty upset and crying because I didn't feel like I was in labor and I didn't want to have it be nothing, but I went in. 

It ended up I had been having regular contractions all night and probably should have gone in sooner. They gave me three shots of something that started with a "T" that made me feel like I was wired on caffeine. The drug was meant to stop contractions and it seemed to do the trick so they sent me home with a prescription for Procardia, another drug to stop contractions, and orders of bed rest. At this point I was only 34 weeks along so baby wasn't quite ready to come yet. I wasn't home 6 hours before the pain came back, so back we went to the hospital. 

This time they increased my Procardia, when that didn't work they admitted me and put me on Magnesium, not fun...  I couldn't eat, drink, get up, go to the bathroom, etc. It also makes you feel like you have a nasty fever that won't break the whole time you are on it. Nurses had to come check on me every two hours, take my blood pressure, and give me more meds. During the hours between check ups if the baby's heart rate monitor moved they had to come in a adjust it back into place. On top of that I was still having contractions and was being given shots to make sure baby's lungs developed just in case she came early. Let's just say I didn't sleep much that night. It took most of the next day to stop the contractions, I ended up spending two nights at the hospital then the doctor sent me home with a higher dose of Procardia and strict bed rest. 

I ended up back at the hospital later that day because the contraction had come back. Even with all the contraction I had only dilated to a 1, so I ended up going home with the understanding that these contractions were to be noted but I was not in labor. Eventually the contractions slowed down and dulled out and my two weeks of bed rest gave me more time to get prepared and a lot of time to binge watch Netflix. 

On March 16th I went back to school, the following day I was taken off the medication because baby was far enough along to be okay if born early. That night the contractions started up again but stopped a few hours after, so I went to school feeling frustrated by the false alarm. The next day I got the stomach flu. By Friday though I was feeling back to normal and excited for my baby shower on Saturday. During all the hospital visits and bed rest I just wanted her to come, I wanted all the exhaustion and pain to be over, but now I had finally come to the point I wanted her to wait until after the shower to come. I knew though she had other plans and that she was ready now. This brings me to the actual birth story. 

On March 21st I woke up at 3:30 in the morning feeling like I was leaking, nothing crazy but enough to get up a check it out, there ended up being enough water that I thought my water had broke and right after I started having contractions, feeling excited we headed to the hospital. Once we were there the nurse said my water hadn't broke but I was at a 3/4. The contractions were starting to get more painful but they decided to watch me before they admitted me. I had gone to the hospital wanting to have a natural delivery but as the time passed and the contractions became stranger I was feeling the weight of the previous three weeks kick in, I was tired and I didn't want to have a negative experience. Jordan being a sweet husband encouraged me to stick with my resolve but I decided I wanted to enjoy this experience and with all that had happened I was not mentally ready for a natural birth. I got the epidural and was grateful I did. Part of me was sad I couldn't stick it out but overall I was glad of my decision. I went from uncomfortable, unhappy pain to calm, joy and the ability to rest. 

Around 5:30 I was at a 5 and being admitted. They then prepped me for the epidural which didn't come until 8:30 followed by the doctor breaking my water at 9:00. From that point it was a waiting game, they checked on me every so often each time I had dilated more and was progressing nicely. By 12:30 in the afternoon I was at a 10 and ready to push. The nurse had me push 3 times and then stopped me because we needed to wait for the Doctor to come for the delivery part. Once he showed up it was less than 5 pushes and she was here. Our sweet baby girl was born Saturday March 21, 2015 @ 1:38 PM weighing 7 Lbs and measuring 18 Inches. After a simple labor and delivery of nine hours they put her on my chest and I was hooked. Jordan even cried a little. We were her parents, the Lord had trusted us with his daughter. She was beautiful then and she becomes more so everyday, she is the sweetest little girl and she is always happy. I love my baby and I love being a mom. Though some days (more so at the beginning then now) it can be hard and scary I am grateful for the knowledge I'm not doing it alone I have my husband and more importantly the Lord. 


Baby's first picture



Still my favorite picture!



                        Our first picture together                             
                   



Still does this




First Mother's Day




First Father's Day



May 31st, 2015 
Blessing Day

Grandma made the dress from my wedding dress

4 Months old
Rolled over for the first time

6 Months old
Started "talking", saying Mamma and Dada

8 Months old (busy month)
First tooth come in, stared to crawl instead of just roll, and stood while holding on to furniture

10 Months old
Standing on her own, no support

11 Months old 
Sleeping through the night 



   First Picture & First Birthday
  Where has the year gone?
  I love you Baby Girl
  Love Momma

Monday, May 20, 2013

Repentance/Forgiveness

Someday I want to have this picture in my home. I've seen it before and it's always struck something in me, I think I've figured out what it is now. Jonah is someone we can all relate to and look up to. He was told to do something, ran away, repented, and than obeyed. I want my family to know that in this life we make mistakes, not that that is ever an excuse, just that it's part of our natural state. But that it's not our mistakes that make us. Jonah suffered quit heavily for his action but that didn't stop him from turning to the Lord, he had also gotten pretty far from where Heavenly Father wanted him and that didn't stop him from turning to the Lord either. I want my children to know the in the end repentance is what Heavenly Father wants from us. Yes we have natural bodies but we are spiritual sons and daughters of God and that is more powerful that a mortal body will ever be. We will slip and fall because of our moral state but we can repent and rise because of our divine potential! This picture shows me that now Jonah is relying on his dependence in the Lord. "Sometimes the Lord brings us low so He can lift us higher." 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Growing Up

If there is anything I've learned from serving a mission it is that the Lord knows best and when He says go I go! In the words of  a former Seminary Teacher Nephi said "I will Go and Do" not sit and stew. As most people know I wasn't keen on the idea of a mission before I served and I now know it was the best thing I could have done and I would encourage anyone considering it to take the leap of faith. Heavenly Father knew that it would change and bless me, He knew what I needed and how to get it, my job was to listen.
Well here I am again, He said go and here I go. For anyone who may not know yet I will be moving to Las Vegas come August. I was offered a full-time teaching position and I've accepted it. I don't know what school or even what grade at this point but I'm ready and willing and I know that it's in the Lord's hand and if I listen and follow He will bless and teach me. Now you're probably wondering "How did she get to this point?" Don't worry I will tell you.
I was applying for teaching jobs here in Utah and also considering applying in Mesa, and the thought came to me "Apply in Vegas" now here is the first hint that the Lord was directing my path (Proverbs 3:6), I've never really thought I would teach in Vegas but the thought came so I applied, and for some reason I felt driven to finish that specific application. I was working on a Mesa application, mind you I really wanted to go there, and I was working on Utah application, I love Utah and had always thought I would stay here forever, but I was driven to finish my Clark County Application that is the second hint that I was being led. So my application was finished and my recommendations from my Mentor Teachers were submitted and all was accepted, I received an email saying I could now apply for specific positions but at this point there were no positions posted. A week later though I received a phone call offering me a "Full-time teaching position for the 2013-2014 school year".  After prayer and fasting and some words of encouragement from many I knew what Heavenly Father's will was for me. So even though it scares me to death, I know that something wonderful will come of it, I have that "perfect brightness of hope" that is talked about in 2 Nephi plus my best friend returns from her mission right before I start teaching and guess where she lives... Oh yeah Las Vegas baby!!!!


Believe in the blessings and act on the promptings! 

Life will never be easy. When those difficult times come, it is up to us whether we curse God, as Job’s wife would have had him do (see Job 2:9), or trust in the Lord and seek to learn what He would have us learn. Elder Richard G. Scott said: “Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain. … This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ.”


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time to post again...?

Well to make this short and sweet, in the last month I went to the Festival of Colors, worked for my sister over spring break, and went home for General Conference. And am just recently getting over an off and on sinus infection of 4 months, consistent for the last 6 weeks, but all is well now, I'm on the mend, thank goodness! I'm ready to be back to normal, but that is enough about that.

Church was REALLY good today and quit interesting, oh boys... anyway I will update again soon, but for now this is all!


"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come til heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust in God, and believe in good things to come."
~ Jeffrey R. Holland

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Mission Conversion

To me, my mission conversion is a miracle but the story behind how I even got it written down is a miracle and evidence that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He knew I'd want to have it but that I would never take the time to write it for myself. I was in the middle of writing a letter when I had the thought you should tell them about why you came on a mission, so I did. As I finished the letter I realized who it was for, not the person I was writing but for me. Following is the letter:
          "I feel very impressed to tell you about how I got to this point in my life, meaning being on a mission . When I was 14 I got my Patriarchal Blessing and it talked specifically about serving 'full-time or just in everything [I] do.' I was determined I was going to go to college, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. A mission didn't fit in anywhere and I felt the Lord had given me a loop hole with the 'just in...' and I was NOT going to serve a mission until I was old. The Lord knew better than me. I went to college, my 21st birthday came and went, I was not going to go on a mission. The next year I met April and we clicked, we were kindred spirits, friends in the life before we came here, BFF's, etc. Meeting her changed my life forever because it was her example and encouragement that I started to think maybe I could serve, and here I am.
          One weekend we went up to see one of her former companions who had just gotten home and on the way back we stopped at my home to eat with my parents. well dad is very good at bring up the 'marriage' conversation which after a while led to a 'you could serve a mission' Followed by this dialog:
 'I couldn't serve a mission, I'd get too homesick and even if not you couldn't afford to send me and I don't have any money...'
 'Karmin if you wanted to serve a mission money would not be an issue, That is an excuse!"
I wish I could better describe  how he said it, he was very normal and chill until he said the last four words than he looked me in the eye and basically called me out, on what really was an excuse. I've never had anything hit me so hard. He had taken my only real reason for not serving and threw it out the window. he may not even know it but those four words were straight from my Heavenly Father thought my earthy father.
          Well we finished dinner and April and I headed home, after about 20 mins of talking about her mission and what I could expect if I went I started thinking I could do it and the thought felt right. I turned to her, in the car, and said 'April, I'm going on a mission' and as soon as the words left my mouth I received a felling of peace I've never felt before and I KNEW that, that was what God wanted me to do. I had no room for doubt, I knew 100% and I knew he had been prompting me for years. So even though I never had a desire to serve, and struggle even now sometimes, I wanted to please my Father in Heaven and this is what He wanted me to do.
          It took me 2 days to fill my paperwork out, all but my blood-work, which took a week to get back, then 3 weeks to get my call, 2 hours to wait for my parents to drive down, and 2 mins to read it. All resulting in  me knowing I was suppose to serve 18 months in the Arizona Mesa Mission and in the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center. There was no jumping up and down, no crying, just knowing that I was going where God wanted me to.
          The next 3 months were a roller-coaster of emotions not just for me but for those around me too, mostly my mother. Right before our first mission shopping trip I just broke down, cried myself to sleep and woke up crying. I didn't want to leave home and I really didn't want to leave my family, they are my world, my best friends. My mom came into my room and hugged me for a minute, shared with me some times she felt alone when starting something but and told me about right before I was born. She had gone into labor but it ended up being a false alarm and then 12 hours later she did  again and soon after I was born. She then told me something I won't ever forget 'Being your mother and knowing you the way I do, I think you had a hard time leaving home then too' She assured me Heavenly Father knew I could do it then and He knew I could do it now and that my family would still be there when I got back. So I went.
          I've already learned so much and I know that I will always be grateful that I came. One day I was reading Moroni 7:2 and it hit me. The Lord didn't need me to move His work forward, but I needed a mission to move forward. I know that the Lord blessed my life by sending me on a mission, that I can be a better friend/daughter/mother/wife/teacher/co-worker/human being, because of all the Lord is teaching me now and I couldn't have learned it on my own.
          I know that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that Christ came from me and all of God's children. I know there is nothing the Atonement can't fix as long as we live the doctrine of Christ and exercise our faith in Him, repent daily of things that don't a line with God, take the Sacrament each week, and let the Holy Ghost guide us to do it all again the next week. I know this is Christ's church fully restored with the Priesthood power, through a modern prophet Joseph Smith and that we have a current prophet President Thomas S. Monson. I know the Book of Mormon had power in reading it and that it strengthens my testimony every time I read it. I know that temples are the house of the Lord, in which we can be sealed to those we love forever, and all of this is because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us perfectly. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I wrote that in May of 2012 and since then I've learned even more and seen many more reasons I was to serve, some didn't turn out the way I had planned or liked but I know it's the Lords will. And even though life after the mission is hard I still thank Heavenly Father for the privilege it was to serve. Often I just get this overwhelming feeling of gratitude and a lack of being able to express it, many times it's bring me to tears. My mission taught me many things one of which was even if I don't know why and even if the task is hard, if it's the Lord's will it will turn out alright and in the end I will be glad it happened. That right there is a blessing to believe in.

 "What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a a thousand sleepless night are what it takes to know You're near? What if trials of this life are You mercies in disguise?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The temple

Since moving to Orem I've started taking every chance I can to go to the temple. At very least once a week. It's such a blessing to have the temple so close and to have so many people I can go to the temple with.
A little self discovery this last week was my blessing. As most who know me know I have a fear of being alone the rest of my life. I've never dated much and therefore fear that I will never get married. This last week in the temple I noticed every time I'm in the temple I just have a comforting feeling that it will all be okay, that Heavenly Father has it figured out. Now I know that doesn't mean I will get married anytime soon, just that there is a plan and with Christ by my side I can do anything God would have me do, even if that meant waiting to be married. Not that I want that but it's a blessing to have the comfort that God is in control if I let Him be. 
My goal in posting this blessing is to help me believe in it. While in the temple I have that peace and comfort and by writing it down and rereading it often I hope to remember that feeling all the time. God loves us and knows what's best, He can see down the road and we need to trust He will lead us to the greatest happiness! Sometimes we just need to be reminded to "believe in the blessings" 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Job

Tomorrow I start my new job as a teachers aide in a special needs pre-k morning class and in the afternoon kindergarten class. This tender mercy was very unexpected and to put things in perspective I'll have to give some back story.

When I got home from my mission life was... crazy to say the least. I will admit it was all my fault, but that is another story. Anywho, I decided I didn't know how much I wanted to use my degree in Elementary Education, I have my teaching license but I wasn't sure if that's what I should be doing for the rest of my life. So here I was in lots of school debt (extra because I wasn't going to be teaching so that meant I'd have to pay back my T H Bell, which is a loan incentive program, basically they pay for my school and I don't have to pay it back if I teach in Utah for the equal amount of years I used the TILP but if not it turns into a basic loan), now super confused as to what I was doing with my life, and stressed out of my mind about everything I could stress about. But the task in front of me was to get a job, so I started applying mostly for receptionist/ secretarial positions. All the while thinking what was I going to do with my life. So the last 3 weeks I've been interviewing, a lot, but nothing seemed to come though or even feel right. I had several interviewers tell me I should reconsider teaching, that I'd make a great teacher. After about 4 of those I thought "Okay Heavenly Father I get it!" It was then I started to consider maybe I should teach and of course as it would go the Spirit worked on me. My confusion started to clear, my fear of never getting out of debt disappeared (because I had been considering going back to school which meant more debt), and the anxiousness of not have a purpose or knowing where my life was going eased. 
I was able then to make a plan.  Going from a mission to home life is hard but now I have a plan and I know it's what the Lord would have me do. c: 
I can say that if at 20 I was to look forward in my life I would have never imaged that I would be where I am. True I'm not married (which has been the only really goal I've had in my life) but I have my degree and I'm  returned missionary (I love that I can say that!!!!) I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had to be married. I know that those experiences will bless me in my life now and even more so in my future family. It just goes to show Heavenly Father knows best. I fight much of the time, but my heart is always praying to be open to His will and because of my honest desire to do and be what He wants he pushes past my stubbornness  to help me find His will. His ways are not my ways, but His ways are always best! 
So to tie this all into my new job. My new job will help me get back into teaching and give me references that I can use as I apply for jobs. When I got the job it was only for 12 hours a week in the pre-k class but I took it because they were morning hours but when I went in to fill out my paperwork they offered me 14 more hours in the afternoon kindergarten class (another tender mercy). 
I feel like this might have been a little scattered but the point of all of it was we have a loving Heavenly Father who is patient and will wait for us to figure things out but is always there to help us do so. I know this to be true for I've seen it many times over and I'm sure I'll continue to see it. 
Life is definitely not flowers and lollipops now, I'm still worried about plenty, but I've been given that spark of hope to keep me going and exercising my faith and that is a blessing to believe in!