Wednesday, January 25, 2017

So Much Snow

At the beginning of this year, I may have said something like, "I hope this year we get ten feet of snow in one storm so we have to dig our way out of the front door!"

We may not have gotten quite that much snow, but last I heard we were up to 54 inches (total this year), and we're supposed to get some more in the next couple of days.

It's been awesome. For once, the reservoirs are full, and it looks like we'll have plenty of water for the next year. It's also been fun to play in. We've been sledding a few times, but this whole winter, Kevin has been wanting to make a snowman. However, even after all the snow, it wasn't until last week that we were able to do so.

On Saturday, we went out and shoveled and played in the snow for a while. The snow was finally the right consistency.

We built a snowman together. Grig made the base, I made the middle, and Kevin made the head. It turned out pretty cute.

We had rocks for eyes, a carrot nose, and sticks for the mouth and arms. Then, we stuck pieces of evergreen in the snowman for buttons. It's pretty cute and still out there, though it has about a foot more of snow on top of it now.

Then, Grig wanted to make something else, so he rolled a huge snowball. Kevin wanted to roll his own huge snowball too. I think Grig had something in mind, like building a fort, but Kevin insisted he wanted his snowball on top of Grig's. So, they ended up with this:

Meanwhile, I built a snow dog for our snow man. I think the dog turned out pretty cute too.
Not as cute as the real ones, though.
Loki has been staying with us for a little while. His owners have had some problems with their heating, so until their home has heat again, Loki is staying with us. They've been having a great time together. Siff likes having someone around with a longer coat. Loki likes going outside to play more than Arkhon does.

After we finished crafting our snow sculptures, Kevin made himself a snow angel. He really likes doing that. You have to wait for the right kind of snow for snowmen, but almost any kind of snow is good for snow angels.

So, we're staring to get tired of shoveling, but overall, we've still had some good times with the snow. When we can, Kevin, the dogs, and I still go walking. The sidewalks are missing, but the road is pretty decent most days, so we walk on the road.

For those of you who want an update on foster care, I e-mailed them the other day to see how things were progressing. I guess they mailed us a form so they can get our background checks done in Idaho too (since we've lived there within the last 5 years). Other than that, he said that everything is in.

Now, we're just waiting for that piece of mail to arrive while we keep fixing things up around the house in preparation for our home inspection. We're getting pretty close. I attached the bookshelves to the walls today, and we made a baby gate upstairs. I think it turned out pretty awesome.

I love it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trial Denial

For some reason, if you ask me what trials I've experienced in my life, I can think of very few. It's like my brain represses most bad things that have occurred. There are a few trials that stick out, but in my mind, I've had a pretty wonderful life.

Lately, things have been hard. 

We've had some death and sicknesses in the family. We've been pretty low on money, and it hurts that we still haven't been able to become pregnant. 

However, it wasn't until about a week ago that I was willing to admit that we're going through some trials right now. That's when I realized that I have trial denial. 

In my brain, I would look at the hard things that we're going through and think, "Compared to what's happening to other people, this isn't so bad." We've also been blessed in a lot of wonderful ways, and so I tend to push aside the bad things and try to focus on the good. 

I don't think that focusing on the good is wrong, but this state of mind also makes it so I don't realize when I am experiencing stress. Sometimes, I have no idea I'm stressed out until the stress is gone and I realize how much better I feel. 

Trial denial has its benefits. I'm usually a pretty happy person, and as long as I pretend that things aren't really hard, I can go on being happy. 

However, it's not really healthy either. It's okay to acknowledge that things are hard sometimes, and that we need help; whether its emotional, physical, or mental. When I'm stressed and don't realize it, I tend to have less patience and to be less productive. My brain wants to keep pretending that everything is okay, and so I start looking for ways to distract myself from my problems. Those ways usually involve reading too much or watching too much tv. 

I've spent a lot of my life burying sadness and anger. I would try not to show any emotion besides happiness in front of other people. Sometimes it's still hard for me to show those emotions even in front of my husband. However, when we are able to talk honestly and openly about our trials and our feelings, we are stronger as a couple and closer. 

Confirming that we are going through some hard things right now wasn't easy for me to do, but it was good for me. Even though our trials are not that big compared to other people's trials, they are still something that we are struggling with, and they are hard for us. 

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem. 

We have some trials in our lives right now, but I know that with the Lord's help, we can fix them, and things will be okay. We've had a lot of comfort and peace and I know that the Lord is there. We've also seen a lot of miracles, and we know that the Lord is helping us out. 

Prayer is so important. If we trust in the Lord, and pray for the things that He wants us to pray for, amazing things can, and will, happen.

I'm so grateful for Grig. One of the best parts of our relationship has always been our communication. While we had his brothers living with us, that was sometimes hard to have. Now that they have moved out, our communication has improved again, and we have drawn closer together as a couple. We are grateful for what his brothers taught us and for the time we were able to spend with them, but I am so grateful that I have a chance to reconnect with my husband before we start foster care. 

I know that that's going to be a wonderful mixture of trials and blessings too. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Siff's 1st Birthday

Today was Siff's first birthday. She is officially no longer a puppy. We love our little elkhound girl. Kevin was really excited all day that it was her birthday. He kept saying, "Happy birthday, Siff!" and roughing up the fur on her face. She loved it. 
We've had Loki (Arkhon's brother) here for the last week or so. They're having some problems with their front door, and since it's been as cold as 25 below zero, they decided it wasn't safe for any of them until they get their front door fixed. We agreed. So, he got to join us for our celebration today. 

They've been having a lot of fun together, and Kevin enjoys playing with all of them. He loves his dogs. 
 Kevin helped me make Siff a dog cake (which is human friendly, but pretty bland), and she got ot sit at the table while we sang "Happy Birthday." She didn't really like being up on the chair, but she and the other two enjoyed eating the cake. Kevin then opened her presents for her, and they got a couple of treats.
 Here is the three of them waiting for a treat.

In some ways, it's hard to believe our baby girl is a a year old already, but in other ways, it seems like she's been a part of our family forever. She's so chill and usually so well behaved. The other morning though, she suddenly reverted to puppy-hood and chewed up a bunch of stuff. Hopefully, it was a one time thing. It was pretty random. She hasn't chewed up anything in months.

We have some pretty great dogs. They're really well behaved and definitely help me with my stress levels.

Happy Birthday, Siff! We love you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Foster Care Update

For those of you who were of yesterday, we officially had all of our foster care paperwork turned in.

We've been working on it since we completed the class back in November. There have been a few things that have taken a little longer than we were expecting. The first major thing was fingerprinting and background checks. We had to get an appointment for that, and the earliest they could schedule us was in the middle of December. The other thing that took a little planning was a CPR/First Aid Class. By the time we tried to sign up, all the classes were full.

However, they are now allowing Utah foster parents to take online CPR classes, and so we took that option. It was less expensive, and convenient. We rather enjoyed it, though it took a while. We got that passed of just before Christmas, and then we were just compiling everything together. I scanned it all in, and then submitted it a few days ago.

A couple days ago, the person who is coordinating with us, told me that they still didn't have proof that we were vaccinated for Hep A, but everything else was good to go. I made a few calls, and yesterday (thanks to Grig's mother) we were able to get the final piece of paperwork in.

So, you're probably wondering, what happens next?

Well, I guess they're waiting to hear from our references. Once they receive all of that information, we're going to have a home check scheduled. Allopex and Havelock, Grig's brothers, moved out on Friday night, so I've been reorganizing and cleaning the house in preparation for the home check.

There's been a lot going on, and some of it has been kind of stressful.

My only living grandfather ended up in the hospital over the weekend as well, and we were pretty worried for a few days. I am happy to report that he is making an excellent recovery and will hopefully be discharged soon.

We're excited for foster kids to join our home, but until then, we're enjoying having our home to ourselves for the first time. Grig's sister moved in a month after we bought the house, and then six months later, Grig's brothers moved in. His sister moved out the next month, and the brothers have been with us ever since.

We do miss them, but it is also really nice to have alone time with my husband.

Life is moving forward. It will be exciting to see what happens next.

Monday, January 2, 2017


I haven't blogged in a few weeks. Things have been kind of stressful around the house, but we've also had a lot of blessings and a lot of fun things have happened.

The first major thing that has happened is that my son turned four. It's been really hard to believe.
He was so little and cute!
For some reason, with the passing of my grandfather last month, I've had a lot of repressed sadness coming out. My son is really growing up, and the fact that he still doesn't have any siblings has been really hard this month. We are so grateful that Kevin is a part of our family. He makes us laugh and he has taught us a lot. I love being a mother, and it hurts so much that Kevin is still alone. Grig and I have to not only be his father and mother, but also his siblings. I grew up surrounded by siblings, and it is really hard for me to believe I still have an only child.

However, I also am aware that many people aren't even able to have one child, and I know how lucky we are to have our son. I just long for him to have siblings and I know that there are still children missing from my family.

On a less sad note, his birthday was awesome, and he was so excited! He told me exactly what he wanted for his cake, and I did my best.
The day after Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas decorations. I was too excited to wait any longer.
Kevin had a great time with that too. I was super excited about Christmas until my grandfather passed away, and then it was  hard for me to get the excitement back, but around Christmas Eve, I started feeling it again.

The week before Christmas, Santa came to the library again, and Kevin was really brave. Before we went in, he told us that he was going to be brave and not cry. He also informed us that he was going to sit on Santa's lap.

He was very brave, and he sat in Santa's lap.
He told Santa that he wanted Justice League toys for Christmas, and Santa said, "I'll see what I can do." Kevin told everyone that was what Santa said. He was pretty excited.

Christmas Eve we had a party at my maternal grandparents' home where we reenacted the Nativity. It was a lot of fun. We left a little early so we could get Kevin to bed at a good hour. As we were leaving, it began to snow pretty hard.
We took a picture, and then we put Kevin to bed.

Christmas was on Sunday (as you are all probably aware). We woke up to over a foot of snow and it was still snowing. We looked at the presents that Santa had brought. Kevin got his Justice League toys, and he was thrilled! Then we ate breakfast and went to church. They only had Sacrament Meeting, so an hour later we came home. Allopex and Havelock came with us, which was nice, because later their church was cancelled.

We opened presents after we returned home. We were all pretty happy with what we received. Kevin got a lot of new books. I got some fun movies, and Grig got some things for a Halloween costume that he's pretty excited about.
The dogs enjoyed Christmas too, and they're pretty patient with us.

Allopex and Havelock are going to be moving out of our home this week. Hopefully, we're going to have our foster care paperwork all finished soon, and we'll have some more children join us.

2017 is going to be an interesting year.