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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You wanna hear a funny story?

Marshall fell out of bed. Our bed is like 4 feet high.

The end.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Yep, that's our ward

Actual message left on Marshall's voice mail today:

"Hey this is Brother _________ from the ward calling. Just checking to see if you did your home teaching last month. ((Pause)) Heheh, I didn't."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Adoption: Different trips to the same place

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait--and wait--and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane."

So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are about to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.
By Diane Armitage printed in the April 21, 1995 "Dear Abby" column.

Happiness is...

Coming home from work to a clean house, happy kid, and a hot meal. My husband is amazing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Take a survey on blogging!

My friend Autumn is doing a study in her graduate program at BYU. She needs mommy bloggers to take this survey. PLEASE TAKE IT! Re-Post it on your blog! Get your friends to take it!

Here's who qualifies to participate:
Mothers between the ages of 18-34. You don't even need to have your own blog. It is just about your thoughts on blogs.

It only takes a couple minutes, but the BEST part is you get entered for a chance to win 1 of 5 Target gift cards for $100!!

Here is the link: http://byu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9yi8C8VkcG7rgNu&SVID=Prod

Thanks ladies!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thoughts on pregnancy loss and conception

I was laying in bed tonight, and my mind started wandering. To its normal preoccupation. My reproductive system. I was wondering if the egg made it into the actual tube this time, and I found myself picturing the process of an egg erupting from an ovary and swimming the little gap to the safety of the tube. Or not; swimming the wrong way. As I had this mental image in my head, I realized that this ovary was quite large. We're talking tennis racket sized. And this fallopian tube, the diameter of the pitcher I use to water my plants. Why was that? Why was I seeing this super-sized projection as my normal reality? Why when I lay on an exam table in the stirrups, do my ovaries feel like they are beach balls in the corners of the room, and the uterus the size of my torso? Maybe because I am so used to looking to the image on the screen as my reality. Maybe it feels bigger than my body because I am so used to looking outside my body for the answers. But maybe, most likely, it is because this is the size it is in my life. In my day. The process of trying to conceive is a consuming one. The constant blood tests and numerous phone calls to the OB office until the nurse finally calls me back 3 days later with the findings; the calendars, and watches; the daily peeing on little sticks that indicate my happiness. It is all so big. Such a big part of my concern, my schedule, my preoccupations. This little reproductive system, probably no larger than my open palm, fills the room. Fills my evenings when the night is still and I am left to my thoughts alone.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Waking

As you know, I have been profoundly touched by one family's tragedy. I wrote previously about Christian and Stephanie Nielson who were in a plane crash in Arizona. Their story has truly sucked me in and been a matter of daily prayer and concern. Getting to know Stephanie through the blog she left has made me a better wife and mother. I hadn't heard of her before the accident, but since she has touched my life profoundly. I have learned more about myself and about my truest callings by reading the words of a stranger. I have never wept more for a stranger. She is no longer a stranger in my heart.

Please read this article. And these inspiring words. Both have made me pause and consider, and made my heart stronger.

They are waking Stephanie up right now. She is slowly coming back to the reality of the world. Her body is healing thanks to fervent prayers offered, and now her spirit needs even more of those healing entreaties of the Lord. I cannot imagine what lay ahead of her. I cannot imagine what she will go through. But I can bet she will face it with the grace and serenity that she has been quietly teaching me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Validated

Do you remember when Marshall and I were trying to decide how to spell "Carly," and how I was opposed to names ending in "I"? I said something along the lines of:

"Only, he only likes the spelling "Carli." I dunno about this. I have never met a girl (that I can remember) that has a name ending in an "I" that has been respectable. The spelling seems either too cutesy or too destined to belong to a stripper. Am I overreacting?"

Anyway, I found this today:
GIRLS MOST LIKELY TO DO IT ON THE FIRST DATE
According to the North American Journal of Sexual Health, a survey involving over 5,000 guys found the top 5 names of women who are most likely to sleep with a guy on the first date. Here they are (in no particular order): 5. Lindsey; 4. Jenny or Jenni; 3. Christy or Christi; 2. Erin; and 1. Nikki or Nicole. The survey also found that any chick whose name ends in an "I" or draws a little heart over an "I" is more likely to do it. Women with two name first names, like Ann-Marie or Mary-Jo, are also in the top ten. What about girls who go by their full given name, like Jennifer or Patricia? They're less likely to go to bed on the first date.

I knew it!

P.S. Don't worry, Stefani, you are obviously an exception!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Big girl

Carly is such a big girl, she pooped in the potty for the first time today. Proud day. Don't worry I won't post pictures...lol. But in honor, we also tried out a "big girl" hairstyle. What do you think? We also went shopping for some winter clothes today. Her favorite things were her new hat and mittens. I think they're pretty cute, too.

Have some rice, Marshall

I made 3 cups of rice the other night. Marshall ate all of it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fall photo shoot

I think I really enjoy fall because I love taking pictures at the pumpkin patches. Last year's pumpkin patch trip yielded some of my favorite pictures ever, so this year's trip was highly anticipated.

Being in Salt Lake, we didn't want to drive all the way back to Utah Valley to go to the patch we are used to. So we found a little gem hidden away near Russ's school. It was very small, and had a little corn maze and some wagons. Perfect.

Get ready for my favorite pictures:


Butt Pie

On Marshall's birthday (Monday), we went out to breakfast with his parents at Village Inn. They bought Marshall a Lemon Supreme Pie because it's his favorite. Marshall put it in the back seat of the car right next to the car seat. He then, for some dumb reason, put a blanket on top of the pie. I sat on the seat to buckle Carly into her carseat. I sat on Marshall's birthday pie. I squashed Marshall's birthday pie with my butt.


But butt pie is better than no pie, right?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wanna win a free handbag?

I know I do!

http://www.handbagplanet.com/ is launching their site on October 15th, and in celebration they are going to give away a free handbag every hour that day. Go to their site to register. But don't try to win the one on hour 6 (5pm), cuz that's the one I'm going for. On second thought, register for the one on hour 6, and then remember when you win what an awesome friend I am and give it to me. Pretty please.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Health update

I have been going into the hospital every week for blood tests. My OB has been monitoring my quantitative HCG levels, because they indicate pregnancy. I am still considered pregnant until the levels reached below 5. My levels started that first day I received the methotrexate shot at 12000, so you can see I had a long way to go. Monitoring these HCG levels was also a good way to tell how effectively the drugs were still working to terminate the pregnancy.

My HCG levels dropped quickly at first, from 12 thousand, to 9 thousand, to 6 thousand. Once I got below 100, though, it really slowed down. Two weeks ago, I finally made it to 18, but then last week I only dropped to 14. I worried that it would be another month or two at that rate before the levels got below the target of 5. But FINALLY, on Thursday my levels jumped down to 3. It was a very large drop for being at the end, where it is supposed to slow each week, not triple. But I'll take it!

Now, the next step is to go in for a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). It is a procedure often done after an ectopic pregnancy to determine if there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes. It is basically an x-ray. This should be scheduled for some time in the next 2-3 weeks.

So that is where we are. Its good to finally be officially not-pregnant. I look forward to being officially pregnant again. Hopefully soon! Thanks for all the prayers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

State Fair

Last weekend we went to the Utah State Fair. We got there in the evening, and one of our first goals was to get to the little hands farm. On the way, we had an accident. Carly was sitting on daddy's lap and all of the sudden, Daddy was a little upset and a little wet. We are still in diapers, so it was pretty bizarre. I guess the diaper wasn't on quite right. You can see how wet daddy got, so you can probably imagine how wet her pants were. She spent the rest of the evening pantless. Poor cold baby.
The little hands farm was fun. Carly got to dress up and carry a basket around learning different farm tasks like feeding animals, planting and harvesting veggies, and milking a cow.

Carly was pretty afraid of the giant plastic cow she was supposed to feed and milk. She wouldn't let daddy get too close to it.
At the end, they got to take a picture as a Future Farmer of America. Too cute.
After that, it started to get cold, and out little pants-less baby looked pathetic. So we decided to buy an alpaca poncho. She walked around in this 15 dollar poncho without pants for the rest of the night. We looked so white trash. lol.
Throughout the day, Carly got to meet lots of different animals. We started at the pony ride first thing. We waited in line for 20 minutes and then it was her turn to ride a pony while daddy walked next to her. She was terrified. She was having nothing to do with that horse.
So we decided to start small and work our way up. Here's Carly with the chickens. She was fine because she was bigger than them. Well, she was actually about the same size as this one. It was the huge monster chicken.
Then we made friends with the ducks.
The first animal Carly was willing to pet was the piggy. And it was only because we convinced her that the piggy had ears. She loves to point out ears: her own, ours, strangers', ears on tv. Now she knows that pigs have ears.
Then we hit the jackpot. Carly loves sheep. Who would have guessed. She didn't want to be held anymore at this point. So we let her walk around and we just followed behind as she went from pen to pen saying hi to the sheep.
video
Then we moved on to the cows. We started with a calf.
Then a momma cow.
Then this giant freak of a cow. It was so big Carly was signing elephant. We told her she was right.

Warning: Pic heavy

Playing catch-up:

Okay, for anyone who didn't already know, we now have a toddler. She is her own little person, and it is so fun to watch her personality come out each day.

She really, really loves to wear daddy's hats. She'll take them off his head to wear.



We now have to childproof EVERYTHING. Her favorite hiding place for her shoes, cups, tv remotes, cell phones, you name it, was the trash can. So we had to fix that. She's not too happy about that.

We have entered the era of disney movies. Carly LOVES little mermaid, and she even got comfy to watch 101 dalmatians last week. Yes, her favorite movie watching spot is the edge of the coffee table. She jumps right up there on her own.




Along the line of princesses, Carly now is very interested in everything fashion. If she can put an article of clothing on, she will. She also loves jewelry. We didn't hear from her for a while last week, and when we found her she was in our room playing dress up all on her own. Here she is in a nice island themed ensemble: mommy's bathing suit and puka shell bracelet. She picked this out and put it all on by herself, no joke. Yes, her head it through the leg hole. lol.


Another thing that goes along with being a princess is always getting her way. Carly wishes she always got her way. Unfortunately there is a bigger princess in the house: her mommy. Carly doesn't get away with much. And when she hears "no," tantrums ensue. It is a wonderful new part of toddlerhood. Complete with flailing, kicking, and head banging. This tantrum moved from the couch to the floor.

Needless to say, we are starting to implements time-outs this week. So far it is a lot of Carly laughing, and mommy making her sit in the time-out spot again, and again, and again.

Carly also likes to hide her food for later. She will stash it here or there. One time we found a drawer full of dried up lima beans that she had hidden when still fresh. This time it was grapes. So now we are only doing food while seated at the kitchen table.


Her hair is also getting longer and curlier. Sort of an oxymoron, since you can't tell the length unless it is wet.


When I was at Walmart yesterday, I found a great deal on some winter boots (who can say no to 13 dollars?). So Carly has been practicing walking in her first hard souled shoes. She isn't much of a fan of walking in the boots. She would NOT smile for any of these pictures. But she likes to hold them and pet them because they're furry. Cheap pet, works for me.


Carly went to the season opener BYU game a couple weekends ago. She did really well and actually watched most of the game. She did such a good job, Marshall got her a present. What's that saying? Train a child in the way they should go, and when they are grown they will not depart from it. We are banking on it. We consider this an investment in her college education.

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