Sunday, November 24, 2013

Richard and Elizabeth Curtis...together at last!

I cannot believe we did it! Yes, I meant WE, not THEY. I say we because it was Annelise, Cheri and I that decided not only do we want to be family, but that Richard and Elizabeth were going to make it happen for us. Annelise deserves the most credit here. She was the one to create a Memorial Day BBQ in her green court for everyone to come…but mostly to invite the Curtis family and Elizabeth so her and Richard could finally meet. It totally worked. Richard broke up with his girlfriend within the week, friended Elizabeth on Facebook, Elizabeth asked HIM on a date, and the rest was history! These two are meant for one another, no matter how it was set up. It makes me so happy to see them so happy and I love the fact that they live so close. Yep! They live right here in Daybreak!
First up, the Rehearsal Dinner at the Joseph Smith Building. My mom, sister and I got to plan the evening and I think it was perfectly elegant. The best part of the night, however, was definitely the video Annelise had made. The siblings of Elizabeth and Richard were interviewed, danced, sang, and lip synced for the production and it was beyond hilarious! I would post it here, but then you would make fun of my music video to the Titanic song.

Seriously, how cute are they?!
Love that my new best friends became my family!
The wedding was incredible to say the least. I had never seen a wedding that could compare! Held at La Caile, it was over-the-top gorgeous. Ribbons, flowers, pinks and silks…it was just beautiful! But let's start with the most beautiful and most important part of the day, the sealing at the Salt Lake Temple…
They really couldn't have asked for better weather that May morning. The kids loved being outside as we waited for the couple's exit:

Jon is the best, always willing to play with my kids!
And here's the happy couple!

Yes, my belly became a big part of the day...pun intended.

I couldn't believe that Elizabeth wanted me, the hugely pregnant sister-in-law, to be a bridesmaid. She insisted so I was happy to go along and end up having the cutest pregnant outfit ever…multiple alterations later. ;) It really was fun to have such a big wedding party and it made for some great pictures. My girls were flower girls, Roman was a mini groomsmen-it was a cuteness explosion!

 The Curtis Clan:

Check out these little studs:
 The Beautiful Bride and her darling flower girls:

The Wedding Party:

Even better than the amazing decor, delicious food, and all together fabulous venue, was the dancing. They had a live band and we all had a blast. I tried not to go too crazy in worrying I would go into labor on the dance floor! Gross. It was so much fun though and it was the perfect way to end the perfect day!
Here is Tucker dancing with his girls...nothing more precious than that!

Wow, that was a picture overload...but how could I not add so many fabulous pictures from such a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The best baby shower ever...

I had 3 kids already, I definitely didn't need another baby shower. My sister and friends, however, thought differently. Not only did they throw me a very sweet shower, we all decided we were due for a weekend getaway to St. George. It was just what the doctor ordered. We spent the weekend lounging by the pool, eating delicious food, playing some tennis, taking a yoga class from our very own instructor, chatting away, and simply relaxing. Yes, it was absolutely glorious. What makes the trip that much better is this group of gals. I feel I can totally be myself with them. I can tell them anything, make a fool of myself. There is no competitiveness among us and no judgements made. Such good friends that I hope to have forever!
Our trip started out with a change of venue from Annelise's grandparents place, which is ridiculously big and nice, to my parent's place, which isn't so big and but nice enough. That's ok though, everyone was totally on board, even WITH my parents being there. My parents are so chill, everyone loves them.
So our trip was off to a great start! All we had to do was soak up every minute of girl time sans the endless errands, housework, chaperoning of our children, cooking, shopping, etc. Life is good when, instead, all we have to worry about is where to eat our next meal!
Some of my favorite moments…
Sariah is an incredible yoga instructor at Lifetime Fitness. She is insanely good. She offered to give us a class out on the tennis court one morning so, of course, we took her up on it. Let's just think about this for a moment. There I am, 35 weeks pregnant, large but not in charge of my body, and my center of gravity is nowhere to be found. It was pretty funny and thank goodness Jenn was with me in not taking it too serious! 
Tennis is too hard, but pickle ball is just right for me. Nice and slow is the way I like it. We had a lot of fun out on the courts and even my dad came out to join me in the "lesser" form of tennis.
Annelise, however, was the only one worthy of a picture..
Swig…love me a dirty diet coke and frosted peanut butter cookie.
Our yoga moves out in the pool were outstanding...
Sariah, awesome yoga instructor:
And ready-to-pop pregnant me...not quite there.
Me being the hugely pregnant friend, I definitely stood out in our group pictures. I just love this one of me in my wide, horizontal stripe tankini, and everyone else in their black bikinis. Even my dad started to sing, "One of these things is not like the other…one of these things just isn't the same." We all got a good laugh out of that one!
This is a more flattering pic for me...

Lot's of stunts, jumps, dives, and other craziness ensued at the pool...
 ...but I was good here, on my tummy, floating on my tube!
Here we are at one of my favorite eateries, 25 Main. We went there twice. Enough said.

And another favorite place for some breakfast grub, The Egg and I-it's an absolute must, especially after our workout that morning...
Awkward. Family. Photo.
I love these ladies! Thank you all so much for another fantastic getaway!

 Sariah, Eliza, Me, Cheri, Jenn and Annelise

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bonding with baby Clara in the hospital...

I loved having two days to spend with my sweet Clara Jane. Holding her, feeding her, kissing was nonstop bonding time for me and my new babe...
Tiny feet with tiny toes...
 First time in real jammies and looking cuter than ever!
 Precious little bundle...

 This mommy was still on a brand new baby high...
Going Home...

Let's get home baby girl!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The birth of our precious Clara Jane...

To say that I was excited to have this baby girl would be an understatement. I was still a bit anxious, as I always get right before, but I couldn't wait to meet our baby girl. We were wondering who she would look like, if she would be our red head, or if she would have any hair at all. Would she be a screamer or calm? Would she have any medical issues (why I get so anxious) or as healthy as can be? I just needed to know!
May 14th, which happened to be a Tuesday, came and we were ready to go. We headed to Jordan Valley Hospital and that was a first for me, I had never been to this hospital. I was pleasantly surprised as we entered and got checked in.

We were put up in our spacious delivery room and I was instructed to get dressed so that they could hook me up with an IV and monitors. Once we were settled in and had a nice chat with my nurse, it was 9:00AM. I was dilated to a 3 and was already having contractions, but I wasn't feeling them too much, more like slight cramping. It was going to be a busy day, however, so my nurse told me I better ask for my epidural before I thought I would be desperate for it so they would have enough time getting the anesthesiologist. No problem with that!
Me and my sweet mom.
Tucker thought this would be pretty funny...we definitely had a good time waiting!

My doctor, Dr. Layne Smith, checked me around 10:30AM and I was at a 4 or 4 1/2. He broke my water and that was when my contractions started getting intense. My mom had come by then and was watching my contraction sheet. They were higher peaks and longer spans so I was hoping they were productive. Because they were so intense, I decided it was time for my epidural. I was thrilled that the doctor came so quickly...I was ready to be pain free!
It was my most painful epidural. The burning in my back and legs was not fun. Too, I soon realized that my left side was not numbing up. This was not going to work. I was struggling and I didn't want to feel this way when it was time to push and deliver. The anesthesiologist came back and gave me a dose of something wonderful. I became very sleepy and the pain subsided, thank goodness. I was in a happy place.
I rested for just a minute before the nurse came back to check on me. After looking at my contraction sheets, she thought she should check if I had progressed any further. She had already guessed that I was going to deliver by 2, but I thought it impossible considering I had started at the same time with Karoline and didn't deliver til almost 4. She checked me at noon and saw I was dilated to a 10 already! I couldn't believe it!
Dr. Smith came in and suited up. It was go time! I started to push and I felt like they were productive pushes...they were as my doctor asked me to stop pushing while he did an episiotomy. One more big push and her head was out. He then asked me to give a half push and she was here! 12:38 PM, May 14th, 2013. Baby girl was perfect! 10 fingers and 10 toes...although one is a mutant toe. ;) She was screaming as Dr. Smith laid her on my chest right away. I love this time. My brand new baby in my arms as they clean her up, wrap her up, and wait for her to calm down just a bit. There is nothing so wonderful, nothing that brings you so much joy.
Overwhelmed with happiness!

She looked absolutely adorable, even while she was screaming!
Clara Jane was born with lots of dark hair. She weighed in at 6lbs 2oz and measured at 18.5 inches long. A tiny little bundle nestled in my arms. Tucker then needed a turn and commented that this was his most enjoyable delivery. I don't know how much work he did on any of our deliveries, but I had to agree that it went smoothly and we were seasoned enough parents that we weren't so worried about everything.
Dr. Layne Smith, the best doctor to deliver all four of my children.
On cloud nine...
So was her Daddy...
I love how calm and content she is with him...

My mom came in and was thrilled to hold her new grandbaby. My mom gets so excited about it all and I just love it. Cheri and my dad came soon after and I was so happy to them as well.
My Mom...she was just dying over this little one.
Cheri telling baby Clara that she is her favorite aunt already!
My Dad already in love with baby Clara...makes my heart melt!

They all took turns holding Clara but it became evident that that baby was hungry. It hadn't even been an hour, but she was ready to eat! Thank goodness she latched right on. She was a good eater from the start which always puts a mom at ease. Once she was done, and I was stitched up ready to go, we moved into the spacious recovery room. The nurses needed to take Clara to get all checked out and for shots so I got a bit of rest that afternoon.

Later that evening, Susie and Drew came with my kids. I wanted to cry when I saw them, I was just so happy to my family of six together! I actually did get teary as Drew started to tear up when she saw Clara and kept saying how beautiful she was. Love her and love Susie for taking such good care of my kiddos while I was in the hospital.
It was so sweet to see how excited Capri and Roman were to meet their new baby sister. Capri couldn't get enough of her and wanted to hold her as much as possible. Karoline, on the other hand, was not into any of it. She was scared to see me with the IV in my arm, and she wasn't about to get near baby Clara. Sound familiar? It was just as Capri had acted when Karoline was born. Too funny! When I asked Karoline if she wanted to give the baby a kiss before she left, she backed away and said, "No, she is stinky!" Oh dear.

That night my parents came back to visit along with my dear friend Annelise. It was so fun to spend time with everyone to chat, laugh and eat Annelise's delicious treats. Unfortunately, I started to feel really crummy and in a lot of pain. I was expecting those nasty afterpains, especially while nursing, but this was more than that. Even the pain killers weren't helping much. I was still so numb and it donned on my that I hadn't been to the bathroom yet. I was drinking loads of water (I get ridiculously thirsty when I nurse!) and so my bladder must have been ready to burst. I finally kicked everyone out and called the nurse in. Between her and Tucker on either side of me, I was able to walk to the bathroom. Relief doesn't even begin to describe. Sorry it that's too much information, but it was so funny! I just kept going and going!!
Once I had that out of the way, I was feeling so much better. Good enough, in fact, to keep Clara in my room that night. She nursed every three hours and did great.
The next day I spent just oohhing and aahhhing over my sweet baby Clara Jane. The kids came again and Koko actually got on the bed with me which was a first. We were making progress! Capri and Roman both wanted turns to hold her again and I was so happy to see such love for their newest family member. It was bliss!
By day three, Tucker and I were ready to go home. We were done sleeping at the hospital and we were looking forward to bringing Clara home and being together as a family. I couldn't wait to introduce her to everyone!