Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jacob Ladd

We have now had Jacob in our family for 6 weeks.  Our home feels complete for the time being, and the beautiful spirit that accompanies a new baby is present every day. There is something magnificent about a new baby still so connected with heaven
Last year on New Years Eve, my husband and I pleaded once again with the Lord for more children. Through the power of the priesthood, I was promised that in the upcoming year we would be blessed in the way of growing our family. I remember laughing (which I have repented for numerous times) and saying, "Just watch! He is going to make us wait until next December," to which my faithful husband replied, "Well at least He didn't say soon, meaning in this lifetime some time."

We got all of our adoption paperwork done, and our profile went live on my birthday in May. When we put our paperwork in for our first adoption, we were chosen three weeks later, so when three weeks passed, and then 3 months passed, and time kept going, I started to panic. I wanted another baby, and I pleaded countless times for the promise to come to pass.

In the meantime, we presented to a group of birth mothers at an adoption conference and we met Gayla. She and her husband had adopted, but they had also gone to the Czech Republic to do in vitro, and had conceived and had a healthy baby boy. In Vitro in the Czech Republic meands two weeks in Europe, in a hotel, with medications, and the procedure for cheaper than starting costs in America. So, even if it didn't work, who can complain about two weeks in Europe? Mom Johnson bought a ticket to come spend those two weeks with our boys. We were headed to Europe!

At the same time our medications got held up in California by the FDA, who would later destroy or send them back, our social worker Hannah called us.
"Brandi, this is the call you've been waiting for."
In a little disbelief, I kept great control of my emotions. "Really?"
"We have a birth mother who wants to meet you."
At this moment I think,' by the time I get back from the Czech Republic, hopefully pregnant with twins, and she is ready to deliver, she won't choose us because I will be pregnant."
Hannah continued, "She is due in ten days on November 8th. She is having a girl,(hee hee!) and she wants to meet you this Saturday." (it was Wednesday)

I was filled with so much peace. I called David, and we marveled at the tender mercies of a loving Heavenly Father. We debated going or staying, and finally settled on what Mom Johnson called, "a baby in hand is better than two in the petri dish." So true!

Nicole and Toni came to visit, and the time together was meant to be. The baby started to kick and Nicole said, come here and feel the baby kick. This was a tender moment for me, and I cried at the beauty of life that would soon join our family. Nicole looked at her tummy and said, "This is your new mommy." No words can express the moment that another individual offers you something you can't give yourself.

Nicole later told us that when they left, Hannah offered to give her other profiles to look at, but she declined and said that she already knew what she wanted.

We were able to go to two ultrasound appointments with Nicole before Jacob was born.

In the plan of happiness, as it relates to our family, miracles have never ceased. We have been blessed more abundantly than we could have ever asked for.

We love you Nicole. This year as we watch our big boys open their Christmas presents, we will be holding ours in our arms. We love you Jacob Ladd.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In our family, each of our boys has taken on a song that we sing to them every night. With Lincoln we chose, "I am a Child of God," at the hospital, and for four years we have used that as a lullaby for him. He knows all the words, and I love that when we needs soothing or comfort, he doesn't first ask for a bandaid, he asks for "Child of God." He knows there is a peace found within a song that teaches of the plan of salvation; the plan we believe brings eternal happiness.
When we had Henry join our family, I could not stop thinking about the blessings of eternal families.
We at the Johnson house have a strong belief that marriage and family does not end at "till death do us part." We believe that a loving Father in heaven wants us to be bound together forever. My name is Brandi, and I am a Mormon. (For more information about eternal families and our beliefs, visit When it was time to have Henry sealed to us, I wept as I listened to the song, "I Love to See the Temple." When it talks about the eternal nature of families, I knew that this was his lullaby. He knows all the words, and it soothes him.

I was originally conflicted on songs when we brought Jacob home, because we will also have him sealed to our family next summer. But, the Lord has gently directed us through the last month. Jacob has added an incredible amount of peace to our family. He is a happy and gentle baby. During this Christmas season, I have held him so often. I am in love with this baby. I am awed at the ability of another brave young woman to make such an instrumental sacrifice, allowing our family to raise Jacob. The last few weeks as I have held him and kissed him, the words to "Silent Night," have run through my mind. I know it is his song. I hope as we sing it and as he learns it, that he too will be soothed by the gentle message of the Savior.

Music has always had a major impact in my life. It has soothed me through my most trying times, and provided peace through the troubled waters. The Lord has softened my hearth through beautiful music.

I am so grateful for the calming power of music. I believe that "music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and make sit whole, flows from heaven to the soul." 

Sleeping in Heavenly Peace 6 hours at a time,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surrounded by a righteous generation

There is a beautiful feeling in a home when a new baby arrives. Regardless of how our babies have entered our home, the newborn baby spirit is miraculous. They are so fresh from heaven, and it is easy to feel the love of a wonderful Heavenly Father, as you hold one of His precious children. This last week in our home has been filled with countless reminders of the Lord's tender mercies to our family. Miracles have been handed to us, and we are forever grateful.


 When we married, and started talking about children, Jacob was at the top of our pick of names. Shortly before Lincoln arrived, we knew he wasn't Jacob. We knew he was Lincoln Daniel. Abraham Lincoln and Uncle Dan are two men that he can learn from, and follow in their footsteps. They are men who have a deeply rooted belief in a Supreme Being. By following the examples they have set, he will have the ability to make the right choices; even if he is doing it alone. By learning from them, he will become a righteous young man who loves the Lord. When we found out about Henry, we talked about the name Jacob again. It was still the top of our list (and the rest of America's list too!!!), but we knew he wasn't Jacob. We knew he was Henry Louis. By being named after incredible men who love the Lord, we know that if he becomes even half as wonderful as his Papa, and Henry B Eyring he will become a righteous young man who loves the Lord.

When we were sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for our little girl to be born, I had an inner conflict.  I kept asking David, what do you think about the name Jacob? He kept reminding me that we were having a little girl. This conversation went on for over an hour. I could not rid myself of talking about a baby we would welcome to our family someday, even though the little girl who was coming was not yet born. The hoping for a little boy who would not be here for, what I thought was a long time, should have felt selfish but it didn't. It felt right. When Grandma Toni came to get us and said, "There is a surprise! It's a boy," peace flooded my entire body, and I know the Lord had prepared me for our beautiful Jacob. He has a strong spirit; one that I can feel as I hold him close to me. When I looked at his 10 lb 15 oz body, I knew we had our long-awaited Jacob Ladd. Not that this should come as a surprise, but he too is named after two incredible men. Grandpa Jay Ladd (Ladd being one of my favorite names for the last 6 years) and  Jacob, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, have incredible faith. I know as Jacob learns from the teachings in the Book of Mormon, a book I know to be true, and as he follows the love of God found in Jacob and Grandpa's examples he will grow up to be a righteous young man who loves the Lord.

Above all, I hope my boys follow the example of my Sweetheart, David. He is a righteous man, who loves the Lord above all else. He loves me, and he loves our boys. I know as they follow in his footsteps, they will  be following the example set by Jesus Christ.  I know that as my sons follow the example of their daddy, they will become the men the Lord intends them to be.

Today, I find myself surrounded by an incredible army of righteous spirits. These young boys, that I get to raise, and  the wonderful man that I get to spend eternity with are more than I could have ever asked for.I feel the Lord teaching me daily about the things we need to teach our children to prepare them for eternity. I feel the beautiful burden that comes with raising future missionaries, and future husbands, and future daddies. I feel the rewards of being a wife and a mother, and ...

I feel humbled by my beautiful life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 9th, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

A day to Remember, and a Day never to forget.

A day to Remember...

 Do you remember in April 2008 when I wrote THIS post? I remember. It is a day that is forever etched in my heart. It was a day that filled us with hope, gratitude, and it was a day that reminded me how much love Heavenly Father has for his children. 

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Arizona. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the mid-70's. It was the kind of weather that people all over the country wish they were having in late October. 

AND... It was a beautiful day because we met Nicole. Nicole is 38 weeks pregnant, and has made the selfless decision to place her baby girl, due November 8th, with our family. 
It was a day never to forget.

 Brandi, Nicole, Toni, David, Lincoln
David, Nicole, Brandi,Lincoln
Having Nicole, and her amazing mom Toni,  in our home was a dream come true. Nicole is filled with happiness and joy. She has incredible dimples in both of her cheeks (which we hope baby girl has too!!!), and she has a desire to succeed. She has been through culinary arts school, and she wants to be a vet tech. She is a major daddy's girl (also hoping for this one) and she was 14 pounds when she was born (for her sake at 5'3, definitely not hoping for this!!!) She has lived a well traveled life. She told us she burns easily in the sun. But, this also shows off her cute freckles.

Meeting Nicole yesterday was another testimony of the miracle of adoption. In our home birth mothers are placed on a pedestal. Our Joanie Girl, and our new Angel Nicole will be a part of our family forever. 
We already love you Nicole, and we can't wait to see what the future holds. 

David, Brandi, Lincoln, and Henry

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Double Post

I wrote this post for the Mommy-blog I post on, and since it was a post that I couldn't stop thinking about for two weeks, I thought I would re-post it here.

                                                             Martha And Mary

Sorry for the brief hiatus. We, at the Johnson household have been struck with the flu, and with the wonderful world we call chaos. However, I have been thinking about this post for quite some time.

I have been an avid reader since I was four. When we were little kids, my mom would read stories to us on the couch at night time. She read many novels, and she would always stop at pivotal points and make us wait until the next night to hear what was happening.

Incidentally, my mom always made time to play with us, cook with us, read with us, and be with us. She was an exemplar of sacrifice.

Today, I wanted to write about a story out of the Bible. Regardless of your religious affiliation, the Bible is a wonderful piece of literature from which to gain invaluable life lessons. I believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly.

In the Bible, in the book of Luke, we learn a great lesson; a lesson that has offered me insurmountable wisdom as I have entered the world of motherhood; and I believe it teaches me what my Mom spent years and years trying to impart to her children.

Jesus had come to the village where Martha and her sister Mary were, and Martha invited Jesus into her house. While He was there, Mary sat with Him and listened. Meanwhile, Martha was busy working; probably doing all the things she felt should be done. (Any one else suffer from this???)

Then, she said (if I had said it, it would have been in a very martyr-like tone) "Dost thou care not that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me."
Jesus answered and said unto her, "Martha, Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part...."

Many days of my motherhood, I have spent my time cleaning my house. I have spent time, doing laundry, dishes, ironing, and putting things away. I have really started thinking about Jesus' comment to Martha when he says. "But one thing is needful."

One thing is needful.

Right now, I have one needful thing, in the way of two beautiful children and a husband. When I am busy washing the dishes, and my four year old asks, Mama, can you play guys with me? Or my two year old asks Mama, can you get me? WHAT IS NEEDFUL?

I had a girlfriend who reminded me recently that the reason we clean is so that we don't get sick. Being troubled about many things because we are too busy doing the things we think we should do, and not enough time doing the needful things can be exhausting; Believe me.

But, I believe as we come to pay attention to the needful things, and to sit with our children and read to them, or play with them, or cook with them, or talk with them, get my point, that we learn the lessons as mothers we are intended to learn.

My mom told me recently that there is plenty of time when the kids are older and leaving home to worry about the needful thing of having a clean house. But, right now...

What is needful?

Friday, October 01, 2010

While Lincoln goes to Preschool...

 I get to spend my day with this handsome fellow!
Who does a lot of this (RUNNING!!!)
 Who doesn't do a lot of this!
Who needs a lot of these!

And who adds so much joy to our little family.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Day of Preschool

                                                                     "It turns out Mama,
that I'm growing up
and going to Pre-School."
   That's what he said to me. 
And then he went. 
And, he loved it.
(outside Mrs. Malia's house)

Lincoln was born smart. I am not worried about him excelling in school, as he can already write his letters, and some of his numbers. He can read quite a few sight words, and he is really, really good at sounding out new words.
If I was to worry about anything, it would be the classroom stats: 11 boys and one sweet girl. Other than that, no worries. 
He is growing up. I don't get a choice.
I hate it
and I love it
But, for as long as I can I'm holding on to this sweet boy who still lets me sing him to sleep.
I love you Lincoln Daniel.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dear Job,

Forewarning: Please understand that if you are fertile or pregnant or capable of creating children, I am happy for you. What I envy is not your child. I don't really envy actually. I desperately want my incapable body to be capable. This does not make it hard for me to be happy for you. I am honestly thrilled to see so many family and friends have beautiful children and enjoy the role of parenthood; especially motherhood. So,don't be offended or think I am incapable of feeling happy for you as I face my personal sadness. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Dear Job,

Yesterday I told my husband that I was starting to retreat into the dark spot that infertility so alluringly offers. I told him I didn't understand exactly what the Lord had promised us, even though I really did. My faith was tested, and I was a sucker for the easy way out; the way that puts all the blame on someone else, when really no one is to blame. I was disheartened and realized that I had chased away the good feelings that come when you plead with the Lord for peace. I didn't even ask for peace. Instead, I just walked down the path, deeper in the darkness, and camped out for the night. When I woke up you came to my mind so vividly. I haven't read your story for quite some time, but I knew a few things about you. First, I knew that you would never sacrifice your integrity in a moment of weakness. Second, I knew that you lost everything and still relied on the Lord.
About you it is written, In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. You grieved so much; for the loss of so much. Sometimes I ask the Lord if I have waited long enough to be blessed, and today I am humbled when I read about you. Through the loss of everything, you put your faith in the Lord.
How did you do it? How can I do it?



As we live on earth we must walk in faith, nothing doubting. When the journey becomes seemingly unbearable, we can take comfort in the words of the Lord: “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee.” Some of the healing may take place in another world. We may never know why some things happen in this life. The reason for some of our suffering is known only to the Lord-- James E. Faust

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thirty at 30

When I turned 30 I decided that instead of mourning the loss of my twenties, I would celebrate the birth of my thirties. In my plan for life, I would have all the kids I wanted by 32, and I told my husband that was my cutting off point. Hmmmm....two adorable kids later, I am far from done, so either I need to get pregnant with quadruplets, or someone needs to pick me to adopt a sibling group, or I am going to have to change my goal. I am still undecided on that one.

I also made the goal to do 30 new things during my thirtieth year.

So far I have:

1) re-upholstered a chair
2) learned to can (I canned apple pie filling, ground beef and chicken)
3) learned how to piece a quilt together
4) learned to make homemade lasagna with homemade noodles
5) started taking a French class.
6) made it to Lifetime Member at Weight Watchers

I still want to:

1)Take a CPR class
2)learn to drive a stick shift- anyone not scared from my teenage years who can teach me??
3)learn to play the organ

That is only 9 new things.

Any ideas???

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Giving Tree...

The other night I read "The Giving Tree," to Lincoln per his request. It hit me that the tree was always there waiting for the little boy to come back. The tree was constant.The little boy grew and changed, went through a selfish period, and finally ended up back at the tree. He always knew the tree was there and where to find him. Yes, the tree was constant. It reminded me of infertility. I'm pretty sure that any given topic could be related to infertility in my life. Haha!
For many months, I counted every day only to be disappointed at the end. I became angry, bitter, and spent quite some time in a dark spot. People tried to comfort me, but I refused the help; especially from those with numerous children. I went away from the constant, but I always knew He was there.
I occasionally went back, like the little boy, and told the tree I was too busy to listen but I needed blessings. The Constant always blessed me; even if it wasn't with the money I was asking for.

Recently, I have felt the anxiety that comes with realizing my youngest is a potty-trained two year old; not a baby anymore. And, the anxiety that comes with knowing my family isn't complete. I have felt the anxiety of "oh no! What if my Constant decides that these prayers that seems to be on the Heavenly layaway program finally get paid off when I'm 50, and ready to be a grandma?"

I had an HSG last week, where they gave me valium and lots of Advil. I asked if I could have a prescription for valium because it was awesome. (Consequently irrelevant, it reminded me of when my mom took valium for a surgery one time, and she said the funniest things. She also asked for more.) For some reason neither her nor my requests were granted. Consequently relevant, nothing was wrong with my body. Nothing is wrong with my husband's body. Nothing is wrong! Nothing.

So, I'm back at the tree, ready to stay planted near Him this time. I realize that all I have is because of Him, and He has always been here. There is nothing I can ask for without fully realizing that He has a plan, although, i have often informed my Constant that if His plan doesn't work out, I have an awesome plan He could look in to. No takers on that one either.

It's all in His hands. But, this presents the hard part. When the little boy grew up and realized that he was just going to stay planted by the tree,he sat there. BUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? I'm sitting at the tree, trying to be happy, and wondering what I do.

What do I do?


Planting myself next to the tree
wondering what happens next


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Dear Heavenly Father,

Today would be a great day for a miracle. The last time we prayed for this same blessing, to have more babies, I was broken. I had cried almost every imaginable tear, and I was falling apart. I remember the day we held Lincoln the first time. It was a miraculous and beautiful day. His birth was the reason we were welcomed to the world of parenthood. He was perfect. Equal to that beautiful day was the day we met Henry. He was perfect. He was a tiny piece of heaven, and we felt again the miracle that comes with a baby. When I picked him up and held him close to my heart, I remember the peace that came. I remember hearing, "I have not forgotten you," and I promised that day not to let myself get broken again; not to end up in that dark spot where so many hurtful tears were shed. And, for the most part, I have kept that promise. I have expressed time and again my willingness, alongside my husband, to have faith in Thy will. I have tried to show gratitude. I have prayed earnestly for more children, and have waited month after month for another miracle. I'm not broken, but I am anxious. I'm just saying today would be a great day for a miracle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Before and Almost After

In October of 2009 I joined Weight Watchers.
My fertility doctor told me,
"You are obese... All I'm saying is if you don't want to have any more kids, and look the way you do, then stay the weight you are."
Now, as harsh as it seems, she was right.
I had extra weight.
I liked me.
My husband liked me.
I didn't want to start bringing dieting in my home
because I wanted my kids to grow up and like themselves.
But, I also wanted us to be healthy.
So, I joined weight watchers.

What's so funny, is the cliche-ness of the before and after pics. In the before pic, I am wearing old clothes and no make-up (I think I had been swimming. It was definitely not intended to be a before picture.) In the after pic, I was a bridesmaid at a beautiful wedding, so my hair was done, I had on a new dress, and makeup. But, nonetheless, here they are, in all their contrasting glory.

August 2009
165.6 lbs

June 2010
127 lbs.

Now, this post is called before and Almost after,
because I am almost done.
I want to lose about 10-15 more pounds.

Thanks for all the support and the love through this journey.
I have enjoyed buying smaller pants.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dear Joanie! We LOVE you!

THANK YOU NEWSWEEK: Birth Moms Deserve Our Respect

Why all the conversations about adoption leave out a key player.

When I gave birth to my son two years ago, I was stunned by the depth of my feelings—not the love, I expected that. It was the sense that the life of this baby was now more important than my own. I would fight a mountain lion or step in front of a truck to protect him. I would even, if I had to, send him to my parents to live, if my husband and I could no longer provide the best care for him. That doesn’t make me special—it just means I’m a mother, same as hundreds of millions of other women. No matter whether it’s staying home, going to work, raising their kids alone or choosing to leave their children in order to provide for them, there is nothing most of us would not do to ensure our childrens’ safety. And, for some Moms, giving their children the best chance at a good life means making the most excruciating sacrifice of all: placing them up for adoption.

We hear a lot about adoption, but usually only when things go wrong or a celebrity is involved. We talk plenty about the kids themselves and the selfless families taking them in—whether they’re fictional scenarios like the adoption storyline on Glee, or all-too-real news footage from Haiti, Ethiopia, or China. But our culture still seems to show so little respect and support for the women who choose adoption in the face of an unexpected pregnancy. Rarely do we focus, in a positive way, on the birth mothers, aside from picking the most relevant stereotyped assumptions: “Pregnant teen, crack addict, prostitute, trash, etc.”

For the better part of the 20th century, adoption was seen as exploitative and cruel to birth mothers. Since single motherhood and abortion were not readily accepted options, women and girls were often forced by their families into hasty marriages or hustled into homes where their babies were taken without their informed consent. But now adoption has come out of hiding—indeed, both domestic and international adoptions have become increasingly common. One would think that women or teenage girls would be able to explore this option free of the guilt and shame. But as Amy Benfer wrote last month at when discussing the reaction to notable on-screen pregnancies: “By the end of 2008, you could be forgiven for believing there was absolutely no way to portray a young unmarried woman who happened to be pregnant in a responsible manner: Juno was too smart, funny and likable; Katherine Heigl in ‘Knocked Up’ was too pretty and too happy; the Gloucester girls were too poor and too dumb; Jamie Lynn Spears was too rich and too dumb; Bristol Palin was too privileged and too Republican. When MTV came out with ‘16 and Pregnant’ in the summer of 2009, it was more of the same: the girls were too trashy or too popular; bad mothers for dropping out of school, or unrealistic role models for other, less privileged girls, should they continue with school.”

For Elizabeth Bartholet, professor of law and faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program at the Harvard Law School, society’s distrust of birth mothers reveals our enduring bias for biological families. “It is very deeply ingrained in our society that all kids belong where they came from, it’s unnatural to give them up. So we stigmatize surrendering the child ... but most young unmarried women who give birth are not in a good position to raise their child. What if we allowed people to think it’s also natural to give their children to somebody else to raise?” Don’t believe that we’re so biased against birth moms? Do a little thought experiment with me—imagine it’s the 2008 presidential race all over again. What do you think the response would have been if Bristol Palin had announced she was having her baby but placing it for adoption? Something tells me she wouldn’t have been hailed as a real-life Juno but as a selfish promiscuous tart who doesn’t care about her baby.

To me, it also indicates a strain of our culture that is not yet ready to accept that a mother’s love might dictate placing her child with somebody else to raise and instead dismisses her as unnatural. As Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute explained to me, “Our society has lifted much of the stigma of single motherhood, but still finds it difficult to support a woman who is, as they see it, abandoning her child. These women are told: ‘How can you possibly give up your child? What kind of person could do that?’ So while adoption is listed as viable option, it’s a choice that’s rarely made.” Indeed, the number of newborn babies available for adoption has remained flat for almost two decades while the number of unmarried women having children has soared.

What if we stopped pretending we lived in a world where the traditional nuclear family is the norm and accepted birth mothers into the fold of family life? We’ve certainly managed to do that in the world of reproductive medicine where we welcome offspring as biological even if the child was the product of donated sperm and egg. And we’ve somehow managed to accept a bewildering array of familial choices from multiple stepparents, two moms, or a single grandparent. But, thanks to society’s misgivings and misconceptions about adoption, birth mothers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. By indicating that placing a child for adoption is a selfish or painless choice when it’s not, or talking about birth mothers as if they were all crack-addled prostitutes or at the very least wayward youth, we not only limit a woman’s right to choose but also shut out the possibility that there are other people out there who would love to adopt. Why not try respecting these women as mothers able to make the best decision for themselves and their pregnancies—even if that decision is not to parent?

We just wanted to say again: We Love you Joanie Girl!!! You are our hero. We loved seeing you this week, and we are grateful for you every day at our house!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lincoln and Henry

I have laughed so much at the things Lincoln has said lately. I've especially enjoyed the sincerity he has in his prayers. As a Mama, it fills me with such great joy to be here each day as my boys learn and grow.

Here are a few of the precious moments I have enjoyed with Lincoln lately:

As of late he will start by asking for something, usually a snack, and then say, "If you say yes, I will be your friend." Well today he said, "Can I play the Wii? If you say yes I will stay little forever and snuggle you." How can you resist that?

Yesterday he asked for Diet Coke and asked me, "Is this Caffeine Free? or Caffeine full." This came as a shock because usually he tells me he likes caffeine three.

At rest time today, I went to lie down next to Lincoln. He was on my side of the bed, and I said jokingly, "Oh Lincoln! You took my side of the bed."

He said, " I'm a taker all right!" Then he told me Daddy taught him that!

When we put Henry down for a nap, Henry protested with 5 minutes of screaming. Lincoln said a prayer to help his brother. He said, "Dear Heavenly Father, Henry is really mad at Mama...In the name," I giggled and whispered, "please help him..." and he finished," Please help him to sleep."

Yesterday I was showing him cute pics of my darling Sister in law Rebecca. She is pregnant and has the cutest little belly you've ever seen. I said, "Lincoln, there is a baby right there," as I pointed to her tummy. He said, I wish we had a baby at our house. It is taking a loooonnnnggg time."

I told him we could pray and ask Heavenly Father for a baby. So he started,
"Dear Heavenly Father. Please send us a sister. Uuuuhhhh! It is taking a looooonnnggg time." Then he finished his prayer.

Last, but not least, our friends gave us a picture of Samuel the Lamanite, and Lincoln told me that Samuel was ugly. Later that night he said, "Mama, I'm sorry I said Samuel was ugly."

I've enjoyed watching Lincoln grow. He is such a good boy. We love him so much and I am so grateful he came to our family, allowing me all the joys that come with being his Mama.

Henry has become quite the talker. He went through three months of speech therapy at the end of last year because he had fluid in his ears, and his pediatrician at the time refused to put tubes in.
Now, the fluid is cleared out and he has wasted no time learning some very important words.

"Henry, would you like something to eat?"
"Do you want a drink?"
"Do you want a banana?"
"Nope! I don't want it!"

He loves going in the water and he said to his swim coach, "Soul Brother!" SHE thought it was really funny!

Henry has also started asking for his turn at scripture time and prayer time. He can sing most of the words to "I love to see the temple," and when you help him with the prayer, he is so tender with his words.

He loves Dr. Seuss' book "One Fish, two fish." He flips through the pages and says, "Oh looky, a hat. Oh looky a sad fish. Happy fish." And often when he hears the word happy, he breaks out into the "Wow Wow Wubbzy," song Happy, be happy, happy happy happy......"

Henry has been a delight. We look forward to seeing his birth mother next week. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her and love her. We are so grateful she allowed us the opportunity to raise such a handsome and wonderful little boy. He has been a joy. I have enjoyed every moment of being his Mama.

I love you boys. Tons Bit in the Whole World.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am a writer for a new blog.

One of my girlfriends from Nebraska
(our husbands went to Law School together)
started a blog by moms, for moms.
She invited be to be a contributor.

I am Tuesdays author.
My day is called
"Tuesdays in Tucson"

If you have questions, you can write a comment on the page, or of course email.

Hope to see you all there.


Saturday, June 05, 2010


I haven't been to Disneyland since I was 18.
Our Memorial Day Trip was a special one.
It was David's first time to Disneyland,
and we both got to watch the magic unfold in the eyes of our children.
To see their face light up at the colors, the treats, the characters, and the never-ending fun was magical.
Having my parents there was amazing.
I don't know how we would have made it without Mookie and Papa
walking Henry around while we waited in lines.
Thanks for coming Mom and Dad.

Me and my mom!

Pre-Disney fun at the hotel.

My mom made pirate costumes for her mateys.

Of course they had to "aarrrrgh!"

Henry LAUGHED hysterically on the teacups. I think they tickled his tummy!

We've had many of these in the last four years!

The last day at Disneyland!

Me and David got to go on the Tower of Terror, which
he loved. I'm more of a Space Mountain kind of girl!

Me and my parents on the last day.

Waiting for Daddy and Papa!
the blank stare is that of two very tired boys!
The next morning when we were talking about Peter Pan, Lincoln said,
"We didn't go on Peter Pan." (He fell asleep)

We waited for 45 minutes int he submarine ride, and met some nice little girls.
Lincoln tried to impress them with this very cute trick of pulling his eyelids down.
She was very impressed. I just hope he still does this when he is 16.

Mookie and Papa

Woody spent almost the entire parade focusing on
He felt really special, and was mesmerized by this life-size character. He kept asking,
"Is that the real one?"

Watching Henry as he met each character was magical.
He smiled so big each time, and it was endearing to see the overwhelming joy of a two year old.

We went on Buzz light year more than any other ride.
I don't know why.
It was really fun, and I think my Dad holds the all-time high record on the planet.

Papa, David, and Lincoln

We can't wait for many more trips to Disneyland!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I have never been one to understand
the people who say
how grateful they are for their trials.

Simply put,
I don't like trials.
I have found infertility to be
one of the hardest things I've ever faced,
and at one point,
it created the the darkest time of my life.
I felt like it sucked happiness out of me.
I cried.
I pleaded.
I tried fasting
(which was definitely a day, as diabetics don't do so hot fasting!!!)
when Henry came to our family so quickly,
I promised the Lord that
would not forget His hand in my life.
I promised that I wouldn't allow myself to get to that dark spot again;
I wouldn't cry for days and days without asking for peace;
And, for the most part, I have done really well.

I have been reminded of the many blessings I have been given.
In the first six months of the year
we celebrate both of our beautiful sons birthdays,
as well as the day Henry was sealed to our family.

Still, I could not bring myself to say how grateful
I was

Until a few short months ago.

One of my sweet brothers and his wife
had a friend that
lost her baby to SIDS.
I have read of this beautiful young mother's
adventures since that tragic day.
And she is working hard;
really hard.
She is maintaining a happy home for her husband and her children.

I was not able to capture the hurt
and emptiness that happens
as result of losing a child.
Perhaps, her blog is not her place to mourn.

But, as I read
it only took a brief moment
for me to become grateful
for my trials;
my infertility.
Burying a child seems so far beyond my ability.

I pray for this young wife and mother,
that the Lord will heal her heart,
and that she will be buoyed up
during the rough spots.
And, I am grateful for the incredible teaching moment it provided me.
I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us.
He knows us.
For this, I am so grateful.

Monday, May 17, 2010

On Turning 30

I turn 30 next Saturday.
I am excited for this new decade of my life.
I remember when my mom was 30.
I was 8.
While my getting married and starting a family came later
I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned
before 30.
And, I look forward to the many lessons that I will learn starting
at 30;
among those I hope patience isn't still one of them. hahaha!

For my birthday, David took me to see
Carrie Underwood.
During the concert, I was overwhelmed with peace numerous times
and I wanted to share my Saturday night with you.

Number one:
When I was a missionary for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
I remember a daily protection from the Lord, as I
served on His errand.
On Saturday night, my middle school principle sat in front of us.
She didn't really remember me, but she knew I was Mormon
She told me how sorry she was that
"you don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
I felt the same protection enter my heart, that I felt daily, 9 years ago as a missionary.
As I testified of our deep belief in the Savior of the World,
I felt an overwhelming peace that kept me safe.
She didn't believe me, but I knew the things I testified of were true.

Number two:

I love when singer/songwriters give credit to the Lord for where they are in life.
Carrie Underwood sang,"Jesus Take the Wheel/How Great Thou Art,"
(Click on it to listen to it.)
Once again, the things I knew to be true, namely:
I Believe in God, the Eternal Father,
and in His Son Jesus Christ,
and in the Holy Ghost,
entered my heart with such direct conviction.
I was filled with gratitude for where I am.
When I was growing up, I wanted the life that Carrie Underwood now enjoys.
I wanted to sing on a stage for thousands of people,
and I wanted to be famous for it.
I wanted to be adored by all my fans, and listened to on the radio.
When I listened to the concert last night,
I was reminded of my Sweetheart, and the two beautiful boys we have been blessed with.
I was reminded that I get to sing lullabies to my babies,
that my voice is heard in our home,
and that my husband and children know I love them, and they love me.

Number three:
Finally, I waited the entire time for one song;
"So Small"
(click on it to hear it)
I have put this song on my blog before.
I have listened to it over and over.
During the dark time of my infertility,
this song seemed to show up.
In January 2008, when I sobbed and told the Lord
that I felt as if I was being swallowed by the monster that is infertility,
this song showed up.
The moment, literally, Joanie made her decision to place Henry instead of taking him home,
this song started playing in the restaurant.
When my babysitter's mom called on Saturday night,
this song was playing.
I feel deeply connected to this song because it teaches
and re-teaches me about what it means
to endure well.

So far, 30 looks pretty good!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

unbiased birthday

Sometimes I hear parents comment ,
'I might be biased but,
I think my son/daughter is the cutest in the whole world.'
Beautiful Henry, 3 days old.

Beautiful sleeper.

One of my favorite pictures. Henry looking at his Birth Mom. Almost one.

Valentines day 2009. Sealing at the Winter Quarters Temple

Definitely not biased.
Model baby in New Mexico.

Rocky Point Aug 2009

The Magic of seeing Santa Claus. December 2009

Ever seen a happier child?

Henry running at the San Diego Temple. Almost two.

Turns out,
I'm not biased.

Happy Birthday, Henry Louis
We love you tons bit in the whole world.

And, of course, my heart is filled with overwhelming gratitude for our Joanie Girl.
Our life with Henry would not have been possible without her sacrifice.
Joanie is almost ready to graduate from college.
She is engaged to a wonderful man.
She is beautiful.
She is brave.
We love you tons bit Joanie Girl
which, of course,
is the most at our house.