Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beautiful Heartbreak

Because I'm a firm believer that beauty exists even in the midst of pain; because there's currently a lot going on in life that I don't understand (yet); and because this touched me too much to not share it, here's a little something I think you should watch:

I had it all mapped out in front of me
Knew just where I wanted to go
But life decided to change my plans
And I found a mountain in the middle of my road

I knew there was no way to move it
So I searched for a way around
Broken-hearted, I started climbing
And at the top I found

Every fear, every doubt, all the pain I went through
Was the price that I paid to see this view
And now that I'm here I would never trade
The grace that I feel and the faith that I find
Through the bittersweet tears and the sleepless nights

I used to pray He'd take it all away
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak

I never dreamed my heart would make it
I thought about turning around
But Heaven has shown me miracles
I never would have seen from the ground

Now I take the rain with the sunshine
Cuz there's one thing that I know
He picks up the pieces along each broken road
Every fear, every doubt, all the pain I went through
Was the price that I paid to see this view
And now that I'm here I would never trade
The grace that I feel and the faith that I find
Through the bittersweet tears and the sleepless nights

I used to pray He'd take it all away
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 2011 Newsletter: 2 years, 2 months

Dear Morgan,

One day you're going to learn how to drive a car and knowing you, you're probably going to drive that car very fast (and to all sorts of places you shouldn't). The thought of you behind the steering wheel terrifies me almost as much as peeling the wrapper off a cylindrical container of dinner rolls, waiting for them to POP! But that's not the point. The point is that after you've been driving for a while and you've driven to the same places (school, work, the grocery store) over and over again, every once in a while you're going to pull into a parking space or stop at a red light and suddenly realize that you have no recollection of actually driving there. You'll find yourself thinking, "How did I end up here? Didn't I just leave my driveway ten seconds ago?"

That's how these past couple months of parenting have been for me. More than once I've found myself looking at you and thinking, "How the heck did we get here? When did you start speaking in whole sentences? When did your hair get long enough to pull up into a single pony tail? When did you start saying Shylee instead of Yeylee?" I can't put my finger on exactly when these things happened, all I know is that you're not the baby of last year or even the toddler of a few months ago. You're a little girl, and I have no idea how it happened so quickly (but don't get me wrong, I still call you my baby).

You currently love: watching Yo Gabba Gabba, coloring (on paper, yes, but even more so on the walls or any other surface you shouldn't be coloring on), riding in your stroller when we go for a walk, playing dress-up with your sister, taking baths, riding your tricycles (yes, you have more than one), going to any of your Grandma's houses, and eating as much candy as you can get your hands on.

Your vocabulary has really taken off in the last month or two and I'm constantly amazed at the things that come out of your mouth. The other day you burped and then exclaimed, very proudly, "Mama! I tooted mouth!" You make demands on a whole new level now, often adding a "RIGHT NOW!" for effect, and you really like to say the word "really" (I really have no idea where you picked that one up).

You still struggle with correct pronunciations, so a lot of your words are kind of funny: you say "ya-poom" instead of you're welcome, "babaloo" instead of caterpillar, "fooda" instead of soda, and so on. Since you still get the words you and me confused, you frequently say things like "hold you me" or "come with you me". Part of the porcelain on our toilet cracked a while ago and when it happened we warned you not to touch it so that you didn't get cut on the jagged edge. Now, weeks later, every single time you walk into the bathroom, you point at the toilet tank and say very seriously, "That will REALLY cut you me."

I have to make a confession: I may have underestimated these Terrible Two's. I knew it would be rough, I knew I'd go a little crazy, but I honestly thought we'd be able to survive the experience intact. Now? Well, now I'm not so sure. Did you know that there have been more books written about how to parent a two-year-old than any other age group? (Trust me, I've been looking.) It seems that I'm not the only one who is having a hard time with this phase. One thing we've really been working on lately is learning to name your emotions. Rather than the drop-and-shriek reaction you usually have to any perceived injustice against you, we are trying to have you tell us what is wrong. Sometimes I have to scoop you up in my arms, limp and sobbing, and ask you several times before you'll give me any kind of answer. But once you're willing to tell me how you're feeling, we're able to talk through things and figure out a solution. We've been having a lot of conversations along these lines:

"What's the matter, Morgan?"
"Morgan, are you hurt? Or are you sad."
"You're sad? I'm sorry, it's no fun to be sad. What is making you sad?"
"Dixie make me sad."
"Oh no, what did Dixie do?"
"Dixie eat cracker!"

Nine times out of ten, you've completely stopped crying by the time you tell me what happened. And that makes me think that maybe...just maybe... we'll pull through this okay. Simply having you put a name to your emotions has been the most monumental step in learning how to navigate these Terrible Two's so far. Maybe I'll write a book about it.

I love you to the moon and back, little one.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kissing cousins

Morgan and her cousin Logan
Have I ever mentioned how much Morgan loves her cousins? Sure, they get on each other's nerves and sometimes we have to make them apologize for punching each other in the face, but when it comes right down to it these kids are best friends. I'm just so happy that Morgan will be able to have the kind of relationship with her cousins that I got to have with mine.

But we should probably put a stop to their open-mouthed kissing before too long.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How To


- Pronounce the word photography like "fertography".

- Act like you're the first person who has ever been clever enough to say "I love you, Jen-nay" to me (a la Forrest Gump).

- Lean over the counter until you're directly in my work area, let out a huge sigh and/or cough, then proceed to tell me how miserably sick you've been for the past week and a half.

- Whistle loudly in public places. Even better? String together a bunch of random notes that don't resemble any tune in particular.

- When I've prepaid for $30 in gas, stop the pump at $25.07 and force me to wait around for the next ten minutes as the numbers ever... so... slowly... creep the rest of the way to $30.


- Love me despite the fact that after beating the high score on Michael Jackson: The Experience, I turn to you and say with a fist pump,"Now that's how you Beat It!"

- Ask if we can have "cheesy bums" for dinner.

- Call me Jen. I don't go by Jen, and I really don't ever plan to, but I feel an instant camaraderie with anyone who is comfortable enough to shorten my name. Even more so if it's the first time we've met.

- On a night that I'm too lazy to cook a real dinner so I end up "making" chicken nuggets and french fries, enthusiastically tell me that you just love chicken nuggets and I'm the best step mom you've ever had.

- When we're watching a movie together, point out the weirdest/most dorky/quirkiest male character and say with a smile, "That's the one you think is sexy, huh?" You know me so well.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn in Utah

Why I love autumn in Utah:

Why I despise autumn in Utah:

All of these pictures were taken in the past two weeks, and they do a pretty good job of summing up the cruel mind game known as Utah Weather.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Mommy, I'm done!"

Translation: "Hey Mom, COME WIPE MY BUTT!" 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brent Scott Simmons

"Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay. Each moment is etched with nature's grand design - do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things." ~Morihei Ueshiba
Last week my uncle Brent died unexpectedly in a small plane crash. This news shook my world. My grandpa passed away just ten months ago, and it was a very difficult thing to deal with, but at the same time he was old and had lived a full life. It was a natural, normal thing. Brent was only 40, and this was in no way "normal". I've struggled to deal with the "why" in all of this.

His funeral was today and while it was a very emotional and difficult day, there was such beauty in the love that was present. Without going into detail, I want to say that after today I have no more questions of "why", only a greater knowledge that this life is indeed beautiful and there is purpose in everything.

We love you Brent, and you will be dearly missed.

Brent Scott Simmons, 40, of Manti, passed away on October 4, 2011. Brent was born April 22, 1971 to Shirl Albert Simmons and Joyce Beckstrom in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Brent loved his Father in Heaven and his Savior Jesus Christ, he loved learning about the Atonement and sharing his learning with those he loved and met.

Brent had a great love for the outdoors. He loved the quiet stillness of the early morning. He was 110% committed to everything he did. He had an amazing talent for woodworking, he was a true carpenter. Brent had a passion for flying, on Tuesday, October 4 his life long love and dream came true.

Brent is survived by his wife, Cindy and her children: Matthew, Nathan and Niki Bashaw. He is also survived by his parents, siblings; David R.(Malea) Simmons, Janice (Terri) Groo, Norman (Jennifer) Simmons, Jerry Lee (Amanda) Simmons, Ray Dean (Tiffany) Simmons, Rodney (Melissa) Simmons, Brian (Julie) Simmons and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

A few good things

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. Life has been pretty crazy the past couple weeks; some good things, some really difficult. But this post is all about the great things that have been going on around here.

I had a GREAT clinic appointment last week! Two months post-hospital, my PFTs were up 3% (woohoo!!!) and aside from when I was pregnant, I currently weigh more than ever before. There is definitely some toning and strengthening that I'd like to do (I don't think people should still be asking if I'm pregnant two years after I had my baby), but it feels good to be at a healthy weight and I feel better prepared to take on cold and flu season now that I'm packing a few more pounds than usual.

[Maybe I’d better clarify that last statement for some of you. People with CF often have a hard time gaining and maintaining weight. Nutrition and general lung health are closely linked, and normal body weight is associated with better preservation of lung function. So a few extra pounds are definitely welcome here!]

We recently had the opportunity to take Morgan to The Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. There were a ton of different animals, definitely more than I expected to see in Utah. Morgan had a blast looking at the "Nemo Fish" and Adam especially loved the penguins, but my favorite part was the sting ray pool where we were actually able to touch the animals.

"Look, Mama. It's Meemo!"
Morgan kept apologizing for poking the frog's eye
Can you find the fish/creature in this one?

Adam and I were able to get away, just the two of us, this past weekend. We went to Frightmares at Lagoon which was a lot of fun and really got me into the Halloween spirit. Then we finally stayed somewhere we've always wanted to - The Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake. Our room was INCREDIBLE and it was absolutely the most romantic night we've ever spent together.
    I fell in love with this building the minute I saw it.
    This bed was sooo comfortable!
    This mural on the bathroom wall was really neat. I wish I would have gotten
    a better picture of the stars painted across the ceiling.
    I loved this tub and waterfall shower so much, I had to take
    two baths in the short time we were there.
    Apple cider and cheesecake... Mmmmm!
                                        That sink? Yeah, I'm totally thinking I need an old fashioned water
                                        pump in my bathroom at home now.
                                        I'm trying to make an effort to spend more time alone with Adam. I recently mentioned that he sometimes has a hard time getting me out of the house, but weekends like this make it easy for me to say, "Alright babe, when are we getting a babysitter again?"