Wednesday, October 30, 2013

15 Years

Rinar reached a big milestone this year. 15 years with Fidelity. And since we are now here in Utah he was able to go to the fancy schmancy dinner they do for all the tenured employees who reach employment milestones, like 10, 15, 20, etc.  The dinner was at the Natural History Museum up at the U. It is a brand new building and it is truly spectacular.  

The lobby was full of food, drinks, desserts, and horrific live elevator music.  Besides the music, the night was quite a lot of fun. Rinar knew tons of people there and there was some good stuff that came out of the night. Namely, my conversation with one of Rinar's co-workers that will probably secure me a trip to Hawaii next year. It is all about networking, people!  Really, one of his peers goes to Hawaii for a client thing once a year and Rinar needs to go. And if Rinar needs to go, so do I!

We also talked to Kathy Murphy, the president of Fidelity personal investment. She made Forbes list of most powerful women. She is a really nice lady and it was fun to chat with her.

It is gratifying to see Rinar in his element. He is very talented and much beloved and I am a proud wife.

Way to go, honey!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Look Who Turned 40

This was a big week for Rinar. He is now 40!  Whoa, how did that happen? He actually had his birthday in the middle of the week and was out of town working. Therefore, we didn't get to celebrate until Saturday.  I made sure all of the kids made him a card and Harry, Eli, and Julia worked really hard to make something special. They were so excited to give it to him when he got home Friday. It was precious.

After soccer and football games on Saturday, Justin and Lindsay brought their family down from Heber so that he could take some awesome photos of Noelle.  I cannot wait to see them. She was really good for the majority of the time.

Then Bart and Monica came over and the six of us went on a dinner date to Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse. It is the American man's dream. Endless streams of tender, juicy meat brought right to your table. The men folk were pretty darn happy and feasted mightily.

The wait staff then came over at the end of dinner and sang a happy birthday tune to Rinar, Brazilian style.  None of us knew the words to join in except for Rinar. He lustily sang along. It was fun.

It is a joy to be able to celebrate the things in life with good friends. We are very blessed.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cornbelly's and DSi's

Autumn has just flown by and left me. Boo hoo. Kind of sad because it is my very favorite time of year. I love the colors and the cool weather and the fun activities. But when you have a baby, things really do pass you by quickly. I have been hiding out in my room for the last month.

Today I emerged! I took my kids to Cornbelly's, an autumn carnival at Thanksgiving Point. There is a corn maze and tons of activities, games and rides. 

I think these critters had a lot of fun. They got to play on bouncy things, swings, slides, and we even took a stab at the corn maze...but that did not last that long.  I got no complaints, though, because right before we entered the vast maze, I had given everyone a ring pop.  The three little ones marched along, completely enraptured in the sugar wrapped around their fingers.

And then we came home and the kids did a great job of cleaning up the house. Zach had worked hard to earn money for a new DSi over the past several months, because the one we bought him last year got broken.  He searched hard on Amazon and found a used one that was a great price.  It finally came in the mail in the middle of the week, but since it was the middle of the week and I didn't want him to get distracted from school, I didn't let him play it. Finally, after the house was cleaned up I let him play his new DS.  And then when Rinar got home from his week of traveling and everyone was getting ready to go to bed, the poor kid dropped his DS again. He killed two DSi's the same way, by accidentally dropping them both.  Zach was inconsolable. Poor thing. I feel so bad for him. He had earned that money and spent it all on this electronic contraption and on the first day he accidentally breaks it.

The good thing about this is that he really feels it because he earned the money and worked hard for it. It really meant something to him. This is a good thing. Now, what are we going to do as parents to help him out?  I guess we will be buying him another one.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Near the end of September, Rinar and Zach ran a road race sponsored by Corner Canyon High School.  It was on a Friday afternoon and Rinar took the afternoon off from work to do this with Zach. It was fantastic. Zach looked comfortable out there and ended up getting 18th place overall.  I think he might have a future in running if he desires to do the necessary work. He may very well. I hope so.

This is what I looked like the day before giving birth. I guess I really did not get that big, even though I felt like a house. 

And this is all of the cousins together for the first time: Danny, Paul, and Noelle. And clearly, the cutest kid is on the right! 

My life is starting to get back to normal.  I am sitting down with the kids again to work on their school assignments, driving them to lessons, taking the little ones to the park. Life does not slow down.

I never realized how big Eli, Harry, and Julia have grown.  In my head, they are always little. But now that I am the mother of a tiny infant, the contrast is stark.  They are really big kids now. I am just grateful, when it is all said and done, that I did have a good break between Noelle and my older ones.  They have really grown up and are at a really wonderful stage in life. They are still little, innocent children, but old enough to really do and absorb.  Ages 4 and 5 are my favorite.  I can still cuddle with them, but they go to the bathroom by themselves, get their own drinks, play alone well, and are saying lots of funny stuff.  

I just hope with all the business in my life, I don't miss the little things Noelle will do as she grows up.  The little things are the best things. And speaking of that, she is now screaming at me and telling me in her adorable 3 week old voice that she is hungry.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Uncle John

Uncle John just left to go home to St. Louis.  Rinar's uncle decided he really wanted to visit us and help us out with the new baby and all the chaos that ensues.  This was an unexpected surprise and I wasn't sure how it would go, considering the fact that I had just given birth. But I am really glad that he came.

The day before he arrived I was complaining to Rinar about how yucky I felt. I just felt like I was drowning.  The house was in complete disarray, I felt lousy (of course), and I really felt like my life was spiraling out of control. You know when there is just so much to do and you don't even know where to begin?  This is the state I found myself in last week. It wasn't postpartum depression or anything. I was just feeling very overwhelmed.  

And then we were slated to host a visitor.  Oh boy. I was feeling a bit anxious. But when John got here and we sat down and talked for a while, I realized that he was just what I needed. He was the shot in the arm to get me going.  We had a wonderful conversation and I felt reinvigorated. There is just something about visiting with friends and positive people that really helps me.  

John stayed for about a week and played for hours with my little kids. They just loved him and were constantly asking me where he was. He would play dolls with Julia or draw princesses for her to color, or he would get down on the floor and play Legos with Harry and Eli. Everyone was happy that he was here and it freed me to just spend time with Noelle, time I was very grateful to have.

It was really nice to reconnect with him. I don't think we had seen him for at least a couple of years. Family is such a blessing.


These are some precious shots from the last two weeks.

Can you believe this little girl and all that hair? Amazing.

Harry and Julia turned 4 the day after I was discharged from the hospital. I really was not in any condition to celebrate properly.  But Rinar and Leah took over.  Rinar took the oldest three to the Lego store to pick out a Lego set for the birthday boy. They had a lot of fun finding the perfect one for this little guy.  I had already found Julia's present months ago, a set of four Disney princess Barbies.  Needless to say, the two were very happy.

Then Leah volunteered to make them a birthday cake and Raef and Zach made the two of them some sweet party hats.

Birthday number 4 was a success.

And they are just too precious with their new sister...

I love this little picture. Here is Noelle with her baby bling.  She has been doing really well.  For the past two nights she has slept all the way through the night, about 7 hours each time. I hope she keeps it up, but regardless, a few nights of uninterrupted sleep are absolute heaven.

Monday, October 14, 2013


My boys have all become obsessed with Legos.  Eli will play with them for hours on end, never getting tired of it.  He wakes up in the morning and as soon as he can, he heads down to the basement. The kid just loves Legos.  Harry is following his big brother's lead and is becoming as obsessed. And I just love it! What a great thing to get absorbed in. 

When we go to the library, they only check out Lego books and then Eli will take them home and try to recreate what he sees in the books.  And he is pretty darn good at it. I can't believe some of the stuff he has made.  And once he makes it, you have to take pictures of it and tell him how awesome he is and that he is a Lego master.  Darn right he is!

Just days before my eminent hospital stay, I saw a news report about a new Lego store that had just opened up in the valley. Considering the fact that my kids were going house crazy and that it was raining, I decided it was time for a field trip.  We left the oldest at home to work on school stuff and headed out to this surprise.  

Oh my word. If I had to guess what heaven looks like for a five year-old boy, this store would pretty much encapsulate it.  Eli was in heaven and as a matter-of-fact, Harry was pretty darn happy as well. They stared longingly at all the different sets, eager to put their little hands on them.  I just couldn't help myself and let them each pick out a small set. They were joyful.

I think it is money well spent.  Look at what this kid can build!  That is a snake and the long tail bends all the way through.  The head even moves. He did that all by himself.  And Raef built a super-cool tree.  Eli has good mentors to help him along.

We love Legos. Now with each creation, Harry and Eli take them upstairs and put them on the nightstand in their room.  I turn the light down low and they play with them as they are winding down for sleep.  The Legos are much beloved.

Things to Do

Here are some things my three little monkeys like to do when they are bored.

Rearrange the living room pillows for some good wrestling fun...

String Froot Loops onto yarn... and then eat it all immediately, of course!

Go to the library for some reading time.  This last one had a circus theme.  Julia dressed up like a clown.

Baby Shower for Number 6

A couple of weeks before my due date, some awesome ladies in my ward (Jordan and Corrinne) decided to throw me a baby shower.  It was kind of silly, considering the fact that this is number six for me. But then on the other hand, it really is not that silly because I got rid of every single baby thing I owned.

The shower was amazing and I can't believe how many women came to support me. I felt very loved.  There were a ton of women from my new ward and then lots of old friends through the years who live here in Utah. It was so fabulous.

Michele, from my Atlanta days.

Ginger, a friend from when I was engaged and then when I went to college.

And of course my amazing friends from the Sunset ward in Henderson.

After the festivities, Echo, Alexa (her daughter) and Melanie came over to my house for a tour and a nightcap.  I had a Marie Callender's pie that was just begging to be shared.  We ate pie, reminisced, and caught up on the latest happenings. It was so fun to hang out with the ladies.

It was a perfect day.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's a Girl!

Finally, I am not pregnant anymore!  Wahoo! I am starting to feel my old self re-emerging and I am very grateful.  Since I didn't go to church today, I was able to do a lot of baking and cooking. I reclaimed my kitchen and it felt so good. 

But you can see that I have been out of commission for quite a while. So there is a lot to update in this blog. 

My mom came into town a few days before my scheduled C-section. She was one busy grandma with the addition of three new grandchildren, Danny, Paul, and my babe. She stayed with us one night and then headed down to Provo to spend some quality time with new mama Catye, her youngest daughter.  It was nice to see her and spend some time with her. Julia was especially excited for grandma to visit.  Julia sure liked to get lots of attention from her. They played dolls and had some good bonding time together.

I headed to the hospital super-early in the morning on Monday, September 30.  I had to be there at 5:30 am to get prepped. I was pretty nervous about my C-section. I had to get one since I had already had 3.  I asked Rinar and Jamie to give me a blessing the night before and I know that it really helped me to not be so anxious.

After all the prep work, I was finally ready to walk into the operating room at about 7:45am.  The anesthesiologist, Dr. Peterson, was fabulous.  The spinal block did not hurt at all and he really talked me through everything as all of the medications coarsed through my veins.  It was not easy. The first needle was no problem, the very part I was worried about.  But once I was all numb, my body did not like all of the medications he gave me. I felt nauseous and on to the point of self-destruction. It really did not feel good.  I didn't vomit, but I felt like I was on the brink. Finally, once they began to operate, my body settled down and then it was great. 

After a significant amount of tugging and pulling, the baby emerged.  Everyone in the operating room was excited to see what it would be, a boy or girl. 

Finally we had our answer at 8:10am.

A girl!!

Meet Noelle Stephanie.  She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches long at birth.  And can you believe all of that hair.  A perfectly full head of hair, a uniform coif, thick and dark.

It took a while to sew me back up, but before I knew it I was being wheeled away to the recovery room, floating on a drug-induced cloud.

Rinar went to check on Noelle and then came back to tell me that she was not doing so well. She was having trouble absorbing enough oxygen. They had to give her an IV and antibiotics and a pulse-ox monitor.

Oh great. Another one of my kids in the NICU. Drat.

I went to my room soon enough and then started to feel really crappy. I vomited several times, but finally started to feel better once all of the medication started to wear off.

After she was monitored for a while and stabilized, I was able to hold my little girl. And she is just so darling.


And daddy's little girl, for sure.

It was also fun to have some visitors, like Melanie. Aren't they a cute pair?

And my kids were excited to see their new sister.

I stayed in the hospital until Friday, drinking a ton of water, cuddling and feeding my baby and working on getting mobile again.

The plan was to go home on Friday morning, and everything was looking good. Then Noelle decided to scare us all and turn a little blue in the middle of the night.  They put her on an oxygen cannula and I got the bad news at about 3:00am when I went looking for a baby to feed.  It was not good and I did cry a bit.

I let Rinar sleep, though, and told him that Noelle would not be coming home with us when it was morning time.  I was discharged and Noelle stayed.  Fortunately, she stabilized and we were able to take her home the next evening on an oxygen tank.  So she has been home now on a leash, stuck in our bedroom and will be for another week or so. But Noelle is doing fantastic. She is growing and eating and looking like a good little baby.

Our family is very blessed.

I think I have always known for a few years now that I was supposed to have one more girl. The thought had crossed my mind many times. It was no fun being pregnant and I was pretty darn whiny about it, but I absolutely love the result...and not being pregnant anymore!


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