Crush.

 photo March52014_KaraSimmons_zps68d58881.jpg photo March52014_KaraSimmons_1_zps9d6a6acc.jpg photo March52014_KaraSimmons_2_zps360c7df0.jpg photo March52014_KaraSimmons_3_zpsed1d1197.jpg photo March52014_KaraSimmons_4_zps259fe273.jpg photo March52014_KaraSimmons_5_zpsc3f4cf95.jpgLydia has made it known to us that she has her first crush on a boy.  We were driving home from running errands last week when all of a sudden she admitted to me she liked a boy.  A boy named Matthew(he’s in her preschool class and in our ward)! She even went as far to admit to me they were going to get married.  I asked where and she told me the wedding would take place in the temple.  While telling me this big news, she was giggling too.  Grinning from ear to ear.  I tried to play it cool.  Not to tease or make a big deal, because I want her to tell me this kind of news for the rest of her life!  Since then she has told me several times she likes Matthew, that he is a very nice boy.  I tell her I think he’s nice too.  We even went to a little preschool parent teacher conference today where her teacher remarked how she noticed Matthew and Lydia seemed to sit by each other a lot lately.  I am thinking this might be a little more of Lydia’s doing than Matthew’s. 🙂

And so it begins, crushes and giggling about boys.  I am just happy she lets me in on the secrets so I can giggle about them with her!

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Imperfections.

Lydia brought this adorable little worksheet home preschool last week. They were on the letter “S” and learning about the seasons.

 photo photo14_zps2eb380ed.jpgDo you see all of her little words?  I adore the way she ran out of room to write the words winter and summer and had to finish the rest of the word above or below it.  I love the painting of the trees she did “with those things we use to get boogies out, expect we didn’t use them to get boogies out.”(Meaning q tips!)  And her name?  I love that the letter D is incredibly big compared to the rest of the letters and the letter A is tiny.  When she first began writing, I was nervous when every letter wasn’t looking how it “properly” should.  Always correcting her and telling her what she needed to work on.  Don’t I sound like such a fun mom?  Geez I need to relax.  Because I love these imperfections of hers!  I know a few years I am going to look at her school work and those imperfections of her letters will be gone.  No more words on different lines.  Or artwork made with “the things that get the boogies out.”

I just need to freeze her at every age.  Can I do that?  If I can’t I will still keep taking a million pictures of her a day and keep way too many of these little worksheets to remember her at this stage. 

 

The New Year.

 photo photo7_zpsb9d88bcc.jpg2013 was a really great year for our little family. Hazel came in April and brought this beam of happiness with her to the family. I’ve sat back a lot this year counting my blessings. Not everything about this year has been perfect of course, because nothing is, but the good has by far outweighed the bad. And I have learned in 2013 that I can do more than I ever thought possible on very little sleep. Some days I wondered how I was functioning. That brings me to what I want to accomplish in 2014. To simplify. To say no to things in life that are going to overwhelm me or take away my time with the girls and Greg. There was a couple of weekends last fall that I just sat there holding Hazel at the end of the weekend incredibly overwhelmed between all that we had going on. I literally felt like I didn’t glance at my baby all weekend long and that made me feel insanely guilty. So! I have already started off 2014 pretty good in my opinion. I have already said “no!” to my idea of running a marathon in a few months that I thought was a good idea when I finished my half marathon last fall. Marathons are always going to be there, but my babies are not. We have too many other activities going on right now that I can tell this marathon would just throw me over the edge. It can wait! That’s what I keep telling myself anyways. And I have the other typical resolutions like becoming more organized, getting up early, prioritizing my time, and just saying no to checking Instagram(I’m addicted, I blame nursing) so many times a day and pick up my scriptures instead! I’m really excited for this year. Lydia will be going to kindergarten(what?!), Hazel will be turning one, we already have an awesome vacation planned with my side of the family, and so many other goals that we have set out to accomplish will be completed this year. Now, onto my year of learning to say no(without guilt too). 🙂

Hello 2013.

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Here we go 2013. I’m pretty excited for you.  Is anyone else?  I guess I always feel like this for the start of a new year.  Last year, I was definitely ready to move on from 2011.  The fall of 2011 really did a toll on me looking back.  I was taking fertility drugs and they were doing a number on me physically.  Normally they had very little affect on me, but for some reason, my body was not happy with those drugs.  It made the struggle to conceive even harder mentally and by the end of the year I felt as if I had no control over my body.  Basically, I was done and becoming quite the downer about it all.  And I saw it bringing down Greg and Lydia too.  I resolved to look at life and it’s challenges differently in 2012.  I decided to suck it up basically and make some goals for myself.

2012 came and made us as busy as ever.  I received a new busy calling in church (hello Young Women’s), photography became busier than expected, and I made goals to run half marathons in the summer.  In all these new things combined, I felt stronger.  More in control of my body and felt more accomplished than ever.  Fertility drugs still felt like a roller coaster, but we also took a break in the first couple of months of the summer from treatment which was so so so nice.  We all needed that break.  Come the end of July we felt right in taking the next step in medications to conceive, and to our shock and amazement, it worked.  We have been counting our blessings ever since.

We went on vacations in the fall with families and finally put in nice grass in our back yard.  Complete with a garden plot!  Lydia started preschool, dance, and tumbling.  I think I may have over scheduled us this past fall, and will be definitely taking a step back this year!  Greg became even busier with work, has started school again to further himself professionally in his field, and really enjoys what he does.  And besides all of us taking turns being quite sick in the month of December, we had a great time during Christmas and the spirit it brings.  One of the things I especially loved this Christmas was teaching Lydia about the birth of Christ, and her actually understanding!  Sure, opening presents from Santa is incredibly fun once they get it, which she clued into in 2011, but her processing the birth of Christ really brought on a wonderful Spirit in our home this past Christmas season.

And so 2012 has ended.  I feel really blessed and strengthened in this last year.  2013 will bring growth to our family (yahooooo!!!!!!!), but I wonder what else will happen?  Right now, I just want to get projects done around the house I didn’t find time to get to in 2012.  I have literally been wanting to paint a wall in our living room and our kitchen cabinets for over a year now.  2012 was probably the busiest year in my life so far and our home and it’s projects and cleanliness definitely took a toll because of it.   I think my nesting instinct must be in full effect right now because that’s all I can think about getting done lately.  And why am I including this?  Like I said before, it’s all I can think about right now.  Just thought you all should know.  I also would like to do a really awesome job giving birth to another baby.  Is all of this too much to ask?

Whew, enough rambling!  Bring on 2013!

 

Happiness and frustration.

Do happiness and frustration seem to go together? I don’t think so. But that’s what I feel I am constantly having a tug o war battle of in my life. I don’t recall a time in my life where I have ever been more frustrated with a major aspect of my life(secondary infertility, obviously). But I also don’t recall a time where I have ever been happier with my little family and the many close people around me. It’s so hard to not let that frustration affect the happy parts of our little life we have going on here in the Simmons home. There are days and days of happiness with no frustration and then something said or something done around me quickly reminds me that something is wrong with me. That we are missing something. And, wow, does that realization stink.
But guess what? I have an adorable little girl to take care of and spend time with every day. I have an incredibly supportive and patient husband to spend my life with. I have a healthy body(for the most part right) to enjoy. A home to take care of. A knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us and answers our prayers. Life really is beautiful.
I suppose we will always have some kind of frustration in our life. But we will always have beauty in our life too. And I am always going to fight like no other to focus on the beauty.

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P.S. Doesn’t Lydia have a wide range of expressions?! It’s really quite impressive.

Snooze.

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Sorry for the recent snooze on my blog.  Last week was quite a week.  Busy, busy, busy and a few mishaps in between.  Such as having to get Lydia’s blood drawn at something her pediatrician was concerned about (she’s just fine, and she was one tough chickie getting her blood drawn too), then Charlotte locked Lydia and herself in my car while it was running at a friend’s house with her little paw (the police came to my rescue!) while on my way to shoot a wedding, and Lydia decided to really really really not enjoy my company over the weekend.  That was not awesome.  I think we were both feeling the affects of a busy week and weekend of craziness.  I took her to Jungle Jim’s today (a mini indoor amusement park for kiddies, with germs galore too!) and she is my best friend again.  Thank goodness.
But I shall return to regular blogging now! Don’t you fret. A lot of pretty pictures to share.

Feeling uplifted.

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(Lyds and I at the park yesterday on instagram. We love the swings!)

It isn’t a secret to anyone that I love blogs.  I love being able to seek inspiration and see pretty pictures of people’s life.  It’s like being able to read someone’s journal!  Or a personal magazine you can read on your computer!  I hope that doesn’t sound creepy, but who cares if it does?!  I am a blog readeraholic and I don’t care who knows it.

Lately I have stumbled across some awesome posts from my favorite bloggers.  Like attitude changing/inspirational/change the way I look at situations in my life posts.  I re-read them quite often because they have had such an affect on me lately!  I just need to share them because these posts are that good.  And even though a couple of these posts are dealing with the struggles of infertility, you can apply the same thoughts for any struggle in your life.

Nat the fat rat posted her struggles with getting pregnant so thoughtfully with the Old Testament,

Kelly Mccaleb posted about being true to yourself,

Mara from a blog about love posted her talk she gave in church on Mother’s Day and

a awesome blog post about stop comparing yourself to others.  Because that will get you no where.

I also just love this article in the January Ensign from our loving Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.

I hope all of you can feel inspired and uplifted from these posts too.  Do you have favorite posts or articles that you have been loving lately?

Please share.

And happy hump day everybody!

The day I received the best compliment of my life.

This is about the day I received the best compliment of my life.

It was July 30, 2009.  My Lydia’s birthday!  I was induced at appromixately 8 in the morning.  Pictocin worked through my veins and took awhile to get going.  Greg and I passed the time by doing laps and then watching movies while I sat on a rocking chair trying to get that baby going.  Finally at about noon water was broken.  Shortly after during a walking lap around the hospital floor, I felt my first strong contraction.  I quickly walked back to our hospital room(because I don’t take pain well standing up).  After about an hour of contractions, I received the big needle.  I had the labor shakes and it was quite difficult to stay still.  Nurses came to hold me still because Gregory isn’t so fond of needles.  I made my man sit in the corner for that part, because I needed that guy healthy!  I almost lost him earlier with my three different IV sticks and I wasn’t going to risk that again.  Never leave a man behind I say.

The minute I got that epidural I felt warmth spread over my body.  The shakes diminished and man o’ man, I was relaxed.  About two hours later my nurse came in to check me.  Surprisingly, I had progressed from about a 5 to a 10 in two hours!  Look at me go! Woot!  The nurse said she was going to call my doctor and that I might start feeling the urge to push in a little bit.  As soon as she stepped out of the room, I felt it.  That urge.  That contraction telling me my baby wanted out.  I told Greg to call that nurse back in!  She came in took one look at me and knew I was ready to push.  She explained my doctor wasn’t available for about 20 minutes.  What?  What was I going to do?  Hold her in?

I read somewhere if you were needing to push and shouldn’t yet, to pant.  So I turned on my side and started to pant.  I looked like an idiot.  Greg kept telling me to slow down or I was going to hyperventilate.  But oh gosh, I was feeling those contractions.  I was wanting to push!  All the while my nurse kept saying,”I’m not delivering a first time Mom!  Hold on just a few more minutes!”  While running around the room prepping for delivery.

Finally my doctor made it in.  Her first words were,”You ready to push?”  I said a joyous yes and turned myself into position.  I remember seeing the doctor and nurses looks in confusion on how I was moving myself and my legs when I had an epidural.  Being a first time labor goer, I didn’t realize I shouldn’t be able to do that.  I had a nurse on either side of me in no time and them telling Greg to “hold her head!!”

I felt my contraction coming on and I pushed!  Within that first push we saw a sliver of Lydia’s brunette head.  Greg kept telling me,”She has hair Kara!  She has hair!”  But that’s when the burning happened too.  It took me a minute to realize what was being said because, wow, that burning hurt.  I looked up at my doctor and she looked at me and knew.  That epidural of mine wore off.  “Do you feel burning?,” she asked.  I think I nodded my head or maybe I just looked completely terrified(who knows?).  “That’s okay.  That’s normal.  Keep going!,” she assured me.

But along with that burning, I felt powerful, because I was delivering this child with my drugs not working dang it!  I felt that next contraction and pushed like no other.  And that’s when it happened.  The best compliment of my life was uttered by my doctor.  She exclaimed,

“Kara, you were born to give birth!”

And I know if I wasn’t so distracted at the time(darn burning sensation taking away my sense of concentration) I would have been beaming at this compliment!  I would have turned to Greg and said with excitement,”Did you hear what she just said about me?!”  Because, really, who gets that kind of compliment every day?  (If you have please don’t tell me, yet.  Let me have my moment.)

With that compliment and my many encouragers in the delivery room I was a woman on a mission.  I called out when it was time to push and when it was time for a break.  After about ten minutes of pushing, I was ready to hold that baby of mine! I felt that last contraction coming and was determined to get her out.

I got all the strength I could muster and pushed!  Before they could count to ten, Lydia’s head was out.  I thought I had screamed when it happened(that was just in my head I guess)but Greg told me I did this weird spitting exhalation thing and fell back to the bed.  All I know is the next thing I was being handed our beautiful baby girl Lydia.  She was perfect, pink, and beautiful.  Happy tears were being shed by both Greg and I.  I remember looking up at him a few moments after I was handed Lydia and seeing his beaming face.  It was a perfect moment.

Now I have been thinking a lot about that compliment I was given during labor lately.  And I really just have one question about it to that doctor,

“If I was born to give birth doc, why does it take me so d#%$ long to get pregnant?!”

But doctor thanks again for that compliment.  It was awfully nice of you to say.

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Magic moments.

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Greg and I have had several magical moments in the journey of our relationship. You know, like the first time we said I love you, the night he returned home from his mission and we kissed under the stars, the moment he proposed, our wedding day(and night! Nudge,nudge,wink,wink! Oh gosh, I shouldn’t have typed that but it’s too funny to erase now), the day we found out we were pregnant, and the evening we had Lydia.
These moments felt so magical and I get butterflies still thinking about them. I used to think these moments are what defined us. Those moments are what builds our marriage. Which they certainly do but to an extent. But these are the moments that everyone else can see too. Getting married, having a baby, etc. You know, all the happy stuff.
Then we have run into moments in our life that aren’t so magical. Some moments that downright stink(I would use the word suck, but I hate the way that word looks, anyways you get my point). The moments where we just looked at each other and think,”really, why is this happening to us?”
So we hold each other, we talk it out, we eventually start making one another laugh at our misfortune, and find a fun distraction(whatever that may be! Nudge,nudge,wink,wink! Seriously, I have got to stop). I find that in these times of down right heartache we come together and end up feeling uplifted. We are strengthen. We are stronger!
Even though everyone can’t “see” these moments because we have nothing to show for it, we know our marriage is better. Our marriage is stronger and something we hold even more sacred than before because of these moments. And even though I would like to say a lot of swear words thinking of our heartaches, they are moments I will always remember because we got through them together to make us better than we were before.  Those are the moments that have truly defined us.

P.S. That picture of us was taken by our wonderful friend Natalie Bennion.  Thanks again Natalie!

The x-ray on the fridge.

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Yes that is an x-ray on our fridge. And yes indeed, that is an x-ray of my uterus(and you weren’t going to check this blog today!)! My doctor had me get an x-ray done last week to make sure everything was A-okay. And looks like it is! Looks like my uterus is there(yay!), there were no freaky things found there(double yay!), and my woman tubes are there are flowing fine too(triple yay!).

I figure since most of the world I know gets to hang these pictures of cute fetuses kicking about their mother’s stomachs, I get to hang my x-ray of my healthy uterus. The best part is that Greg hasn’t even questioned why that x-ray is hanging on our fridge. He just goes with the flow of my craziness I suppose. Good fellow that Gregory.

I figure this gives plenty of opportunities to give this x-ray little pep talks.
First, I try the very complimentary tactic. I will say things like,”Wow woman parts. You look awesome in that x-ray. Remember that time you had a baby grow inside there? She’s quite the beautiful toddler now and you grew that! She couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow for 10 months!”
Or I can go the reverse psychology route: “You grew a baby once and you think you are too good to grow another now? Well I honestly don’t think you could grow another baby as beautiful as the last one. You will just have to prove me wrong!”
Or the peer pressure route: “Hey woman parts, almost everyone I know is getting pregnant. It’s the really cool thing to do. Let’s join our fellow pregnant friends to show them how growing a baby is really done!”

Let’s see if these pep talks do any good.

(P.S. I promise I don’t actually talk to the x-ray.  I do this to make light of the situation.  Because talking to the x-ray would be completely crazy. And I am not that crazy…yet.)