Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for this year, but we could not be any happier with the Thanksgiving gift we received. We hope you all have a wonderful day, and we thank you all for your prayers and love during this past year. We could not have made it through without all of you! We love you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby Arista's 2nd Day and Coming Home!!!

Chewy meeting his baby sister for the first time. He loves staring at her!
Arista's first ride in the car!
Arista in her prom dress 16 years in the making!
Arista with her Birth Bear that Grandma Sue got for her!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arista Miracle has Arrived

Arista Miracle was born at 9:50am. She is 9 pounds 20 1/2 inches long!

She is a very mellow baby, and we have never been happier! Mom and baby are doing great! More pictures soon!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unfavorable= No baby yet!

The doctor checked my cervix Tuesday night, and unfortunately it was very unfavorable. So they started giving me suppositories every night to ripen things up. I have had 2 already and don't feel any different. Which just means that it's not time for Arista to make her grand appearance.

I talked with my doctor yesterday and we are scheduled to be induced Tuesday at 8am! The 24th was our original plan, so the countdown I made is right on the dot. 5 days! My parents arrive tomorrow night which I think will make the weekend fly by!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We can't wait for you all to meet her!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Accomplished Goal

Growing up my Mom did everything in her power to get us up at 6am to read scriptures. It took us all about 15-20 minutes to work our way out of bed and then down the stairs to the family room. Once everyone was downstairs my Dad would emerge from his room to join us. When I envision these early mornings I see myself with a huge blanket around me, laying on the floor, with one eye open. My older sister Kelsey sometimes doing the same thing, and my younger siblings irritable and grouchy. I could not tell you one thing we read about, and honestly I didn't really care.

I graduated from Seminary which I am really grateful, but honestly I had no interest in attending whatsoever. I either had Seminary for my first period class, which was a great time to get some extra sleep at home, or I had it right after lunch. We were given a 40 minute lunch.... Um that was not long enough. Needless to say I was gone from Seminary more than I was there. When it came down to graduation time, I had 45 days of make-up work to do. It seemed impossible, but my Mom was eager for me to graduate. So after finishing all the work I was eligible to graduate. I attended the graduation and received my "diploma" but deep inside I felt like I was totally not worthy of it.

After graduating high school and moving out to Virginia, I was able to attend Institute every Tuesday. Not only was it a great opportunity to mingle and meet people, I found myself really interested in what the teachers were teaching us. I came to have a better appreciation for what I was being taught, and a better understanding of the scriptures.

I never did personally read the scriptures while in Seminary, because I was too busy with all the other important things in my life. (Which was my mind set) I would start reading the Book of Mormon and end up around 2 Nephi, and I would give up. It wasn't until Preslie died, where I felt like I needed something more than just grieving books. I signed myself up for Institute and slowly started reading sporadically through the scriptures. I loved attending my class, but I still didn't have the time to add scripture reading into my routine 100%.

This past July something really hit me hard, and I knew that what I was doing was getting me no where. I made a goal to myself that I was going to read The Book of Mormon before Arista was born. I decided since Arista could hear sounds I would read to her everyday so that she could hear the scriptures too. I read out loud from 1 Nephi- Mosiah. Once I hit Alma I continued to read silently everyday to try to reach my goal.

It's amazing how time flies and how my daily reading helped me through the anxieties and stresses of this pregnancy. For the first time I understood what I was reading, and found myself wanting to ready them more and more.

Yesterday I finished reading The Book of Mormon. I reached my goal, and I know that the last things I read I was suppose to read at this point in my life. My testimony of The Book of Mormon has strengthened, and I know that everything I read really happened and is true.

A few of my favorite parts/stories are:

* When Christ appears and ministers unto the people

* When the babies were able to speak

* The story of the Brother of Jared, and the seeing Jesus Christ

* Ether Chapter 12, where it talks about Miracles happening after the trial of faith.

I am so grateful for taking the time to read The Book of Mormon, and for the guidance and help it has brought to my life. I am grateful that we are able to have the scriptures to help guide and prepare us for the different stumbling blocks that come along our way. I know that what I have read is true, and that through the atonement of Christ we can all return to our Heavenly Father's presence someday. I know that miracles do happen after our faith is tried, and It has been a constant reminder to me especially these past few days. I know that Preslie is near, and that someday soon we will be with her again. Families are Forever!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:

* I have not completely gone stir crazy yet. Yesterday was the first day in these past few weeks, where I felt like I had cabin fever. I have been keeping myself pretty occupied by reading, watching shows, and playing card games. Also taking much needed naps.

* Arista is doing great. We have had no problems(knock on wood) thus far with her. She continues to try and stretch her little body out, and her little foot is always in my ribs.

* We have moved back into OB Special Care today. Back to a nice quiet room with big windows!

* I was able to attend our support group meeting last Thursday night. It felt great to get out and interact with women who had just recently given birth. It was nice to hear their stories and see that they have survived the long stay here.

The Bad

* I have been through everything on the menu multiple times, and the food doesn't seem to get any better the second time around. They do however, have the best no-bake cookies!

* Alarms go off during the night, and you can always hear some speaker in the hall.

The Ugly

* We have been awakened many times from women in the room next door to us screaming during labor. It's a good thing I have already experienced childbirth, or I would have run out the door in terror.

I spoke with our Dr. this past week and we have come to a compromise. She will check my cervix on Tuesday to see if it is favorable. If so we will go ahead and do an amino test to see if Arista is developed enough. If so, we will go ahead and begin the induction no later than Wednesday. The thought of Arista coming out this week makes me so excited, however I am trying not to get my hopes up. My cervix with Preslie was very unfavorable, and I was overdue. We are grateful for family and friends who have fasted and have kept us in their prayers for an early easy delivery.

I have begun to have painful contractions here and there, but nothing to spark up labor. :o(

Cheers to a good week, and hopefully the arrival of sweet little Arista. We will keep you all posted!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Bows and Books"

Back on October 15th some dear friends in the ward threw me and Arista an amazing baby shower. The theme of the shower was "Li'l Pumpkin". My good friend Aubrey wrote an adorable poem that she put onto the invitation...

Li'l Pumpkin

Li'l Pumpkin is coming and she'll be here so soon,
Her arrival date is in November, not June.
She'd like you to come and celebrate,
With her Mommy on this very special date.
October 15th at 7 PM,
Soon she'll no longer need her stem!
No need to eat dinner, there will be food
To put you all in a pumpkin-y mood!
If you feel so inclined to bring something, too,
Li'l Pumpkin has a cute idea for you.
As she grows up she'd love to look
At a beautiful bow or a colorful book!
So please come and expect to have lots of fun,
There's sure to be smiles and laughs by the ton!

(The gift theme for the night will be "Bows & Books." So, if you'd like, bring one of your favorite children/baby books or get creative and make a one-of-a-kind bow for Baby Arista to enjoy!)

Since I already had everything for Preslie that I could use with Arista. We decided on a "Bows & Books." theme as well.

The night started off with a fabulous spread of favorite fall foods. Donut holes, pumpkin bread, yummy soups, an awesome pumpkin shaped cheese ball with veggies, the best apples and dip ever, and an apple spice cake.

While eating and chatting we played a game called "Baby Memory" You had to match a pregnancy or baby type word with the name of a candy bar. Example: Chris----Sugar Daddy. It was loads of fun I would have to say that Alexis Phillips rocked at that game!

We also played "Baby names around the world" Which was a list of the word "baby" in about 10 different languages, and you had to guess which language each one went with. Let's just say I got 2 out of the 10 right. Also, all throughout the night there was a game with old wives tales. You had to guess which one meant that you were having a boy or a girl.

There was a special surprise for the 7th person who walked into the baby shower, and it was funny who it ended up being! Ashley Stevens! Although I think she is going to beat me to the punch!

We played another game where you have a huge bowl of rice filled with safety pins, and you are blind folded and have to try to get as many safety pins as you can. It was a very difficult game, very fun however.

After the fun games it was time to open gifts. I recieved so many wondeful books, bows, bow holders, outfits, socks, hats, and little baby jewlery. The talent among all of my friends is just incredible. I have to give a shout out to Kara for the adorable tutu. It was such a hit!

After opening gifts there was one more game to be played. The ladies split up into 3teams and decorated pumpkins, as if Arista were to be a lil pumpkin when she was born. At the end I had to chose which one did I think looked the most like her... It was a tough decision, they all looked so funny and cute.

Here are the 3 pumpkins I had to chose from.

I chose this one, because in our 3D ultrasounds Arista loved to stick out her little tongue.

For the last thing of the night I had been previously asked to measure the "roundness" of my stomach. Jade went out and was able to find a pumpkin that matched my measurements. Can you guess which pumpkin "round" wise matched my stomach?????

Yep the one in the middle!

I just want to thank Aubrey, Emily, Jade, Mandy, Jamie, Daniell, Natalie, and Ashley for throwing me the best baby shower ever! It made me so excited for Arista to come out, and it made me feel all of the love that you have for our family. We would not have made it through this past year without you guys! Thanks to everyone who came! Thank you cards coming soon!!

Faith and Hope

I felt pretty worn out on Friday, and was able to sleep for about an hour until Chris arrived. Then I heard news that I hoped and prayed I would never have to hear. While I was sleeping my Mom tried to get ahold of me many times. Upon waking up I wondered what could be so urgent that she needed to call me a lot. While Chris was in the bathroom I called her back. I was waiting to hear that one of my Grandparents had passed away, but to my horror it was beyond my wildest dreams. "Rylie, I have breast cancer". I couldn't help but sob. So many questions came into my mind..."Why would this happen after all we've been through already?" "Breast cancer doesn't even exist on my mom's side, how'd this happen?" My mom proceeded to tell me that it was at stage one, and how blessed and lucky they are that they were able to detect it early. I could not believe how positive my Mom was, and how calm she was. If you know my Mom you know that she is one of the most righteous women. She has unwavering faith, and hope even through the toughest and hardest things. The time I was able to spend with her after Preslie's death was truly a blessing for us both, and now I have never felt so close to my Mom.

I know that this is another trial of our faith, and together as a family we will be able to encourage, lift, pray, and hope that after her surgery this cancer will rid her body. I don't know what I would do without my Mom, I can't even imagine. All I know is, I am grateful for a guardian angel to watch over her, and for a Heavenly Father who will be by all of our sides during these next months.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hospital Time

I was admitted a few days ago to the hospital for nightly monitoring. It has had continual ups and downs. There have been moments when I beg and plead to go home, and moments when I feel totally at peace about everything. We were given a luxury suite in the OB Special Care unit, until around 9:00pm last night when we received news that they were shutting down due to budget cuts. We had to immediately pack our things and move to a Labor and Delivery room. We walked in and my heart sank. Black windows, No storage space, no dvd player, and no room. I felt at that moment that I would be 100% fine going home that night. I felt like I could just live on my faith the next few weeks, and things would be just fine. Well, as you can imagine that didn't settle well with Chris and others. After much persuasion and madness I decided I needed to try to relax. So I decided to take a shower. A shower that I don't think had ever been used, and that I could barely fit into. After a long shower, I was getting out and hit my belly on the door. I felt this awful pain, but didn't think to much of it. It wasn't until I was getting dressed and looked in the mirror, that I realized my stomach looked awful. Blood vessels had broken around my belly button, and was beat red. There was no way I could go home after that happening. They hooked me up to the monitors, and baby Arista was fine. After all the commotion I was finally able to relax a bit and try to sleep. However, my nurse didn't quite know what she was doing last night. She kept trying to find Arista's heartbeat on the wrong side, and finally gave up and wrote in my chart that the baby and I were not cooperating. Around 4am she just stopped coming in. Um, the whole point of me even being here is to have my baby on the monitor in case something were to happen. We talked to the head nurse this morning about everything, and she said that most likely we would be able to go back to OB Special Care on Monday, and that we would be given 4 bracelets to hand out to 4 people who could come and visit me. That made us really happy to hear that.

Chris trying to sleep the first night

Our view of the outside world...or not

Our "L&D room"

The shower from...

Chris not too happy about the room change

Mormon Monster Mash

For Halloween this year we partied it up at our good friend's the Boardmans. They threw a way fun party, with Donuts on a string, Fear Factor (which I put together) and a costume contest. We had so much fun with everyone, and all the costumes were great. I decided since I was 9 months pregnant we needed to dress up and use the belly to our advantage. We decided on being the Pillsbury dough boy and dough girl. Chris made the comment that he knows how I feel being front heavy. We had such a great Halloween. Thanks so much Boardman's!!

Nursery is Ready

I waited until the last possible minute to get Arista's nursery all put together. I thought that it would be too difficult to bring out Preslie's things, and prepare for a new one. I was wrong. Chris and I had a great time getting things together for our little girl. We decided to do a totally different nursery, since Arista is a different gal. I didn't want to associate any type of character into the nursery, just in case something were to happen. We are so happy with the way that it turned out, we hope we will be able to spend much time in there with Arista.

Arista's "going home" dress


Cute bow holder from Daniell

Quote hung above the crib

Cute bow holder made by our sister-in-law Julie