Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cascade Lake

This year we decided to head up to Cascade Lake for the Limb family reunion. This is where I grew up going to family reunions so it is a very special place to me. Normally, this is an extended family reunion, but not this time. Everything about it was perfect. (except Toby not being there)
 We played on the canoes and Zeke and Porter both loved going for rides. By the end of the week, they both had to have a paddle in their hand for each ride.

 Porter only wanted to ride on the jet ski with Popi. Nobody else could convince him to ride with them. He got so brave that he left Popi spin cookies with him.
 Zeke wanted to drive whenever he was riding. And of course he didn't care who took him on a ride as long as he got lots of turns.

 Porter had lots of fun with his favorite red headed cousin, Roxie. They were so cute together.
 Zeke had fun building sandcastles, but spent most of his time in the water. He was a fish!

 My mom being in the water so much was the biggest surprise. She normally hates being in water that isn't as warm as a bathtub, but this time she was the first one in!
 Zeke gave up a couple hours of swimming to go fishing with Popi. That should tell you how excited he was to go fishing. He caught a fish and Popi caught 2.

 Zeke would start way back at the beginning of the dock in the sand, run all the way to the end, yell cannonball, and jump in. It was so funny to watch. Then he would swim back to shore and start all over again.

 Zeke went on a tube ride so I asked Porter if he wanted to go on one with me. He didn't want to go with me, he wanted to go with Zeke. They loved it!

Zeke thought he was so cool pulling Porter around in the tube. I was actually pretty impressed that he could swim well enough to pull him anywhere.
I know all I have is pictures of us playing at the lake. That was probably our favorite part, but we also had fun playing Kubb, ladder golf and all kinds of other games at night. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Introducing Tyson and Jessica

 Tyson and Jessica got married on August 11 in Portland, Oregon. They then had a reception here in Utah. The weather started out beautiful, and then a storm started rolling in. I think I helped reset the tables 10 times as the guests were arriving.

 About halfway through the reception, the rain finally hit. It came down hard for a few minutes so we all took refuge in the house. I think Tyson and Jessica enjoyed a nice break to get some dessert. Then the rain stopped and we went back outside, wiped off the chairs and continued the reception.
 I think Zeke ate 2 things of ice cream plus helped finish Porters.
 We are so excited to have Jessica as part of the family. She is going to be a perfect fit for this crazy group.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I want my body back!

Did I mention that I am home from church again this week.

Yeah, I have strep throat.

I am so ready to have my body back. Now I know, if I miscarry, I will get sick a week later. It's just going to happen. Zeke asked me today when I'm not going to be sick anymore? Good question kid, because this exhausted, crazy body thing is getting old!

Miscarriage take 2

I doubt anyone made it through my whole trek story, but I mentioned that I had another miscarriage. It happened two weeks ago now. From the first moment I found out I was pregnant this pregnancy felt different. I cramped a lot and didn't feel the same as in the past. So, I guess it wasn't a surprise when the bleeding started. I was 9 weeks. Of course, it all started on a Friday at 5pm so all the doctor's offices were closed. I have a friend that is an Ob doctor so I sent her a text to see if I needed to go to the hospital for any reason. I decided to wait it out and go in on Monday. Saturday I bled quite a bit but was doing ok. Sunday I was absolutely miserable. I felt like I was in labor. I got a blessing Sunday after about 4 hours of agony and took some more pain medicine. Immediately after the blessing I found relief and was able to sleep while Toby was at church with the boys. Miscarriages are really no fun so I won't go into the horrible details. Monday they did an ultrasound and found quite a bit of tissue still there and told me to decide if I wanted to do another D&C or wait it out. Since I had already survived the weekend I figured I could just wait it out. I just really didn't want to wait it out and then have to do surgery later. Luckily I think everything went fine. I had a follow up appointment this last week so that's that.

I'm not going to lie, it has been an emotional roller coaster. I feel the lost time. If I hadn't miscarried the first time I would be having a baby in 5 weeks. If I hadn't miscarried this time I would be finishing my first trimester. It's frustrating. It's hard to understand the Lord's timetable but I am trying to have faith. However, I have been so blessed! I want to write all the things down that people have done for me so I don't forget how to serve others. I don't know what I would have done without each and every person that has come to care for me and my family. My mom was ready to hop in the car and come get me, but I was being taken care of.

Someone brought me ice cream.
Someone brought me dinner Saturday night.
Someone brought me a piece of cheesecake.
Someone brought doughnuts to my family and flowers, chocolates and a little book for me.
Someone brought us dinner on Sunday.
Someone made us dinner on Monday.
Someone brought me a iron infused smoothie.
Someone did my dishes.
Someone brought my boys kid's meals for lunch.
Someone brought me dinner on Wednesday.
Someone brought us pizza and ice cream.
Someone brought me another smoothie.
Someone watched my kids for me so I could go to the doctor and take a nap.
Someone picked my kids up and took them away so I could rest.
Someone brought me jam and fragrance spray.

And all this happened before the relief society president even knew and brought me flowers on Thursday. I am surrounded by amazing people. I am learning from their examples. I am learning how to serve and be served. It is so hard to say yes to help sometimes, but we are robbing people of blessings. How do we learn to love one another without being able to serve one another? A friendship was made solid last week because she wanted to serve me. I love her and everyone else that was there for me during this hard time.

Trek part 2

Wednesday was the day we went to Martin's Cove. Toby and I decided to do things a little bit differently this day. Each group only had one handcart instead of 2 plus one extra for the group. We decided that our family, with our friend's the Snows were going to pull the extra handcart. They also had little kids so we decided to put our 2 and their youngest 2 kids in the cart together. They were so happy. They were sharing snacks and making up games. We put our bucket (were supposed to only bring one bucket this day. Our family condensed to one bucket and everyone else did too, but they also brought their coolers, their bag of extra shoes...) in the cart that our group was pulling so we were only pulling the kids. At this point, I will admit that I was emotionally ridiculous. I think being so tired affected how I handled things. The comments from the teenage boys in our group were rubbing me wrong. I was sick of hearing about how they hated hearing kids cry, making room for kids in the cart, and how they wished it was just a youth trek. Don't get me wrong, some of the teenagers were so amazing and we couldn't have done it without them, but some were just driving me crazy! This was one of the other reasons we decided to pull our own cart that day.

At Martin's cove, you have to leave your handcarts and walk a two mile loop up into the cove and back out again. We decided that this would be a good opportunity to let Zeke walk. I think I carried him about 200 feet and decided that was crazy and he could do this. At one point, one of my primary kids came and offered him a piggy back ride. It was humbling to watch him pick up my huge four year old and carry him on his back. He didn't make it very far, but I think it was one of those things that you won't forget. Zeke struggled on his hike. He is not my most energetic child. He hates walking and running unless he is tricked into it with a game. I am really proud of him for making it. We had some good talks about pioneer children as we walked together.

When we got back to our handcarts, a single adult in our ward decided that he couldn't walk anymore because he hurt his knee. This was no small guy either. He is taller than Toby and built bigger to...not too hard to do :) Well, we were told that we had to split our kids up and put them in other carts so that this guy could ride in the extra cart. Toby got stuck pulling him with the help of a couple other guys and I had to find places for my kids. I went up to my group and told them I need a spot and they told me there was no room. I told them to make room and brought Zeke up. haha, like I said, I wasn't being the most pleasant person at this point. I put Porter in another cart and started walking. It was hard having my family all split up and trying to make sure everyone was doing alright. I tried to grab our sandles out of our bucket before we crossed the Sweetwater, but my group practically ran me over. I crossed it with Zeke. I have no idea when Porter or Toby crossed but we made it to the other side. I did see one teenage boy go and pick his dad up and carry him across the water. It was pretty cool to see that.

Then it was time for the women's pull. All the men left to go up to the top of the ridge we would be pulling up. All the women got together for a little devotional. It was very spiritual and I was touched. When I say that, I mean that I was crying at this point. Right before the women's pull I decided I couldn't have my kids split up anymore so I put them in the same cart. Stupid Stupid Stupid! We were pushing up the first cart. It was very sandy with boulders sticking out throughout. I think there were 2 adults and 2 teenagers and 1 girl pushing our cart. I bawled the whole way up. To keep the spirit of the devotional, we were going to do our pull in silence. That's when my kids decided to start screaming and fighting. So pleasant. I lost it. I was so physically drained I could hardly move and emotionally exhausted. I don't know how we made it to the top. I think the cart behind us had to stop and help us up the last little part. I made it to the top and sat down and cried. I hear by about the 3rd cart there were indents in the sand where we put our feet so they didn't slide around like we did so it was a little easier. I wish I hadn't been in the first cart. Toby came and gave me a big hug and pulled the kids into camp. I had to walk slowly into camp because I really wasn't feeling well. I made it to camp and had to lay down because every time I stood up I felt nauseous. Toby helped the Snows set up their tent so they helped him because I couldn't do anything. Then Toby got the kids some dinner and brought me some. He was so amazing how he just took care of everything.

Thursday we packed up camp and loaded the buses. We stopped at Independence rock on the way home and had a lot of fun climbing all over it. I don't know how my boys didn't crash on the bus, but they didn't sleep at all on the ride home. I took a couple naps. We had a few angels on our bus that took the little kids to the back and played with them and kept the busy the whole time.

We made it back into town about the time that the evacuation order had been lifted from the fire. There had been a fire while we were gone. Nobody in our ward was evacuated, but the zone was about a mile east and north of us. I don't think it would ever make it all the way in to where we live, but it certainly hit close to home.

So was trek worth it? Yes, I think it was. I am not ready to go do another one any time soon, but I have a deeper respect and understanding for the pioneers and what they went through. I think if the handcart companies had been made up of youth, they would have made it in record time and been fine. Doing a ward trek brought the experience to life. There are kids and grandparents all wanting the same thing. They all wanted to get to Zion. I used to think of the pioneers as being physically challenged. Now I understand that it was so much more than that. The physical part of it is just that, a part. They dealt with guilt for asking for help, not being able to take care of their own family, for being a burden. They learned to carry one another's burdens. They learned to rely on Heavenly Father to make up for their weaknesses. They learned humility. I learned a couple lessons of my own. It was deeply humbling. I hope I remember and don't have to be taught again.

Trek part 1

(this is really long because it's for my journal)

The post a day in May was supposed to get me back on track. No such luck. We've had kind of a crazy last couple months. First of all, our ward set up a trek. It was the week of the 4th of July. Toby and I were back and forth on whether or not we were going to go, but ultimately decided that it would be a really good experience for our family. When I say a ward trek, I mean everyone in the ward that wanted to go. This wasn't just for the youth, it was for the whole family. So, we packed up our buckets and hauled our kids off on the ward trek.
Before I get into the whole trek experience, I'd like to preface it a little with what has been going on with me. I have been completely exhausted lately. I finally decided to go to the doctor and have them check my thyroid and stuff. This was about 2 weeks before trek. I also had been holding off on getting pregnant again to make sure my body was ok. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative so off I went to the doctor. The blood work came back and the doctor told me that my adrenal glands are not keeping up with my body. Basically, I was supposed to take it easy, sleep as much as possible, not really exercise and let my body catch back up with my life. Then, two days before trek, when I still hadn't started my period, I took a pregnancy test again and it was positive.

Then we left on trek.

Oh, I forgot to add that Saturday night before trek, Zeke had night terrors all night long and then Sunday night before we left, the kids were up every 20 minutes except for 2 hours between 2 and 4am. Monday we left early and rode a bus for about 6 hours to the campground. We set up our tents, explored the area a bit, had a fireside by the missionaries, and did some line dancing. It was a fun first day but I was already pretty tired from the lack of sleep from the previous 2 nights. We finally got to bed that night around 11pm and were woken up bright and early at 5:30am.

Tuesday was our 14 mile hike up rocky ridge. We were blessed and cursed to be in a really strong company. There were two other families with us that had a lot of really strong teenagers. I say we were blessed because they were really strong and we were cursed because they were too strong. They took off practically running the trail. We were put at the front of the group and eventually they gave us the medical cart to pull along with our other two to help slow us down. Both my kids rode in the handcarts the whole time. Well, almost. Zeke was happy as can be sitting, sleeping and spraying water during the 14 mile ride. Porter was not quite as happy. If you know me, you know that I can't just stand by and watch other people do work for my family without helping, so against the will of my doctor and probably what I should have been doing, I pushed and pulled the first 7 miles. I was starting to get pretty exhausted. Physical things have never really been hard for me. I've always had enough will power to just push through it and keep going. At least that's what I thought it took. Just will power. Sometimes, however, our bodies are not in the position to do what our mind and spirit and telling it to do. My body was shutting down. Porter had finally fallen asleep in the wagon so I took a break from pushing and decided to just take it easy for a bit. Unfortunately, just then we hit this dip where we had to push the carts through this huge mud puddle and up a hill and Porter decided to wake up screaming. I pulled him out of the cart to call him down and he immediately fell asleep on my shoulder. Like I said, my group was a blessing and a curse. By the time I grabbed Porter and he fell asleep, my group was gone. Therefore I had no choice but to carry Porter the last mile into the lunch spot.

At that point I was done. I broke down crying (because that's what I do when I'm completely exhausted) and Porter was awake now and screaming and inconsolable. The medical guys came to check on me at that point. I decided it was best to tell them that I was pregnant and let them know what was going on. I must have looked pretty pathetic because they told me to go get in one of the cars. Do you have any idea how much that went against every fiber of my being?!! I don't give up! I don't cave in on hard things! I realized, however, that I was learning a hard lesson in humility and that it was stupid to do this to my body right now. I cried and cried and took Porter and went and sat in the car. I only made it 8 miles.

One of the priesthood leaders in our ward was checking in on us and asked if I would like a blessing. I said yes and in the blessing he said that I would have no side effects from that day. That turned out to be an amazing comfort to me later on when I miscarried. But more on that another time.

A couple of spiritual highlights for me during Rocky Ridge: One of the families in our group had their grandma with them. She was the oldest one on trek and decided to take off ahead of us to try to make some headway before we caught up. We caught her at the top of a hill and she had a little fall. We put her in our handcart with Porter. It was my privilege to pull her up Rocky Ridge. At the top of Rocky Ridge, the missionaries there stopped us and told us some of the stories of the handcart company. They told one story about a small woman who was determined to take her failing husband (large husband) with her to Zion. She put him in a handcart and pulled him up that ridge with the help of angels. Then the missionaries had us turn and see a lady in our ward pulling her big husband up the ridge. She didn't make it more than 2 minutes before her children and other primary children couldn't stand to watch it anymore and ran down to be her angels to pull her up. It was amazing.

After everyone dragged into camp that day, and the cars finally got un-lost and found our campsite, we had dinner and set up camp. A few devotionals later we finally fell into our beds around 11pm exhausted.