Sunday, May 31, 2009

The "Surprise???" Proposal

Chad and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday. What a fun and wonderful time we have had together as husband and wife. I am so grateful that he asked me to marry him, and that I said yes! Of course anniversaries make you nostalgic, so I was remembering his wedding proposal yesterday and thought I would share the fun story with our faithful blog followers.

Chad and I met at a church dance in July of 1996, a few days after my 21st birthday. I was there on a date with another guy, but I danced every dance with Chad, except for the last dance. Don't feel too sorry for my date, he was not a nice guy. Chad didn't work up enough courage to ask for my phone number until Sunday at church. We went on our first date on that Monday after FHE. Then we dated each other exclusively. Now fast forward to February. We were pretty serious with each other. Serious enough that we had chosen a name for our firstborn child. We had looked at wedding rings together, but knew it would be quite a while before we could afford one. Chad had some medical expenses to take care of first. I had shared with him that I had always dreamed of becoming engaged at the gazebo by the lake at my college. (Okay, Always for the four whole years I had been at Meredith).

Chad had no doubt what my answer would be when he asked. The proposal was a mere romantic formality. Valentines' Day arrived. Chad's brother, Ben, let me and a friend into their apartment and I "heart-attacked" Chad's room. (meaning we decorated his room with 100s of hearts I had cut out of construction paper). We covered the futon, hid them in pockets of his clothes, under the dresser, behind pictures...and inside his desk. Upon opening his desk cabinet I spied these two items.

I immediately knew that the ring was a "4-carrot rock." Chad had made it with a rock from his driveway, a glow-in-the-dark alien head ring, and cloth craft carrots from Michaels store. My eyes welled up with tears. I was so excited. Chad was going to propose to me that night! I couldn't wait. I made my friend swear she would never tell Chad or anyone else that I had found the ring and opera glasses. I went home and got ready for what was sure to be the most memorable night of my life.

Chad picked me up for the evening and we enjoyed a homecooked meal at his apartment. It was delicious. Then he turned on music and we danced together in his living room. He told me he had a present for me and went upstairs to get it. The butterflies started in my stomach and I was so nervous. He came down and gave me the opera glasses and tickets to see West Side Story at the theater. But no ring. After the play, we came home and ate sorbet together. He told me I looked tired, and said it was time for him to drive me home. I was so stunned and disappointed. I just knew after such a well-planned and romantic evening, he was going to propose. I held out hope that he would stop by the lake before he dropped me at my dorm, but he didn't. I have to admit that his good-night kiss from me was rather cold and I think I may have even slammed a door or two. I was so hurt. I couldn't imagine what I had done to cause him to change his mind about proposing to me. And poor Chad. He didn't know I had found the ring and that I was crushed and heart broken. He had just been so generous and romantic, and he was not receiving the gratitude he deserved. (What a bratty drama queen. Poor guy. I can't believe he still married such an immature little girl . What was he thinking?). I called up my friend Monica, and she came over right away and we talked and cried together most of the night.

The next morning Chad called up and asked if he could take me to breakfast. I begrudgingly said yes, threw on some casual "I am not trying to look cute because I am mad at you" clothes. I hopped in the car and Chad drove to the lake. Of course. He asked me if I might like to go for a walk before we got breakfast. Well, although I may have acted like a fool on Valentines' Day, I knew where this was leading. I started to cry, and we walked hand and hand to the gazebo. It had rained the night before so the benches were wet. Chad took off his coat and placed it on the bench and asked me to sit down. He knelt down on one knee and asked me to be his bride for all time and eternity. At that point I wasn't the only one crying. I could not have imagined a more perfect moment. There were birds singing, white ducks swimming in the pond, and the sun was shining. Chad told me he didn't want to ask me on Valentines' Day because it was too conventional, and because most of our life together would be shared on ordinary days. And he wanted me to accept him and marry him, just him, not a romantic notion of roses and cupids. (I know, isn't that so sweet). He didn't have enough money for a ring yet, so he had made me this 4 carrot rock himself. It could not have been more perfect. (The real ring was given to me on an airplane in an easter basket on Easter Sunday. But that is a story for another day).

Chad, no day with you is ordinary. I love the life we have built together. I am grateful for you and your strength. For your patience and long suffering. For your generosity. You are the most selfless person I know. I can't believe that Heavenly Father blessed me to be your wife. You know, as a 21 year old kid, I didn't know much and really only knew you less than a year before I commited to be with you for eternity. Wow I lucked out! You are a much better man than I even knew then. (And I thought you were pretty much perfect). Oh how I love you.

FYI: We were married a few years before I ever admitted to Chad I had seen the ring beforehand.

Molly's 5th Week

Miss Molly continues to be a little night owl. She loves to sleep all day and cry all night. There are some blessings that come with that, though. I get to spend a lot of time with the boys during the day, and then with her at night while they sleep. In fact she seems to wake up right at their bedtime and stay awake until anywhere between 12:30am-4:00am. She gets lots of face time all to herself. :)

She has a lot of neck control now and is smiling a lot more often. Her baby acne is still here and she is losing some of her hair. But still cute as can be!

Molly got to go on a date with Mommy and Daddy for their 12th wedding anniversary. She went out to eat to River Birch Lodge and to see the movie UP. Luckily our showing wasn't too crowded, so no one minded us walking in the aisle with Molly. And she was as happy as could be as long as someone was standing up with her.

Strawberry Picking in Pinnacle

We went strawberry picking as a family yesterday morning. The strawberries were mushy from all the rain we received this week, but we had a fun time.

Andrew did a great job picking and didn't eat any while we picked. He filled a bucket on his own.

Ryan picked enough to fill a bucket, but they all ended up in his mouth. He was in heaven. He was so enthralled with the experience that he only asked for a wipe for his "doorty" hands one time.

Molly slept happily in the snugli with her Daddy.

When we had filled four buckets, we came home and washed some to eat now, made one batch of jam, and froze the rest for later. Then we took pics of Molly in her outfit that matched the theme of the morning.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I know you were all wondering why we didn't post pics of Miss Molly yesterday. (okay maybe one of you wondered). We were having way too much fun over the holiday weekend with our little mini Stay-cation. My parents and sisters came up and spent the whole weekend with us and we had a blast!

Friday Night-We grilled out and enjoyed s'mores for dessert. We played hide and go seek and on the trampoline all evening. Then the boys camped out in our backyard. Well at least three of them. Ryan talked so much and nonstop for two hours, so Papa finally retreated into the house to get some sleep. (Yes...Ryan). And he wasn't talking to anyone. "Ryan has blankie. Ryan puts blankie here. Ryan put blankie on my feet. Noooo silly Ryan, Ryan put blankie down." This went on until 11:30pm. Andrew went right to sleep, through it all.

We headed to the zoo, as did everyone else in the state, apparently. (Silly me, I thought everyone would be at the pool or beach). We arrived a little after ten and enjoyed the Africa side.
We had a fun time seeing the animals and getting sprayed by the mist. The boys favorite thing is still the helicopter. My dad joked about that poor helicopter being held in captivity and not allowed in its natural habitat.

We planned on eating lunch and then shuttling over to the North America side. When we walked out the gates to get our cooler, this is what we saw. It was very difficult to catch on camera, but the line went across the bridge and up the side walk to parking lot 4.

In the middle of the bridge a park attendant was telling visitors that it was a half hour wait to buy tickets from that point. The line extended 4 times that length, so our guess is it was a two hour wait from the end of the line at that point. She also said that by 1pm they already had 15,000 visitors. Then there was a line an hour long for the shuttle to North America. We ate our lunch and went home.

Saturday night my sisters, Chad and my dad headed to Star Trek. Molly has been so fussy at nights, Mom and I stayed home. I just wasn't willing to pay $8 to stand in the foyer with my screaming child.

Sunday we headed to my Nanie's house for dinner where Molly met her Great-Uncle Melvin for the first time. I forgot the camera though.

Monday was the annual Memorial Day 5k and pancake run at our church. Chad ran last year and has trained all year to beat his time. He blew last year's time out of the water! I was so proud of him. My sisters and Papa ran too.



Papa came in second for the High Priests. Go Army!

Afterwards we had a fun pancake breakfast.

My mom and I stayed at the church with the little ones while they rode bikes. After the breakfast we came home and got take out for lunch and played Rock Band all afternoon. It was sad to see our family go home.

Molly was at the zoo with us and at the 5k and at the campout, but in a sling the whole time, so she was not photographed. Poor girl. Got carried everywhere she went this weekend and barely put down. What a horrible life she leads.

Molly is One Month Old!

Molly turned one month old this past Wednesday. (and 5 weeks old today). She is weighing in at 10 pounds 6 ounces on her one month birthday. She has officially outgrown anything labeled newborn and is comfortably wearing her 0-3 month and 3 month outfits. She has begun to smile this week and is much more alert. She has the happiest little face when she is smiling at us. She is awake a little more often. She loves the snugli carrier and is great as we run errands together during the week without daddy. On the flip side, she is a pretty fussy little girl in the evenings and we spend a lot of time pacing the floor with her. Mommy is very tired. We are trying to figure out if it is something I am eating, or if she is just a colicky baby girl. Little Molly has little baby acne that has popped up this week, too. But even with the pink spots, she is still the sweetest little doll baby.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


In Chad's family we seem to like to have babies in groups of two or three. Our Molly was born in April and Chad's sister Emily had a baby girl, Amelia on Monday. His sister Lara is expecting a baby girl in June. It is so fun to have cousins so close in age. It makes family get-togethers so much fun. We headed down Saturday to meet our newest niece. The big kids all played together so well. Andrew and Masen love to talk silly nonsense to each other. They laugh and laugh over things that none of the rest of us quite get, as we are not four. They were off with each other most of the day, so it was difficult to catch pics of them.

After dinner, Grandma toasted marshmallows in the oven and made s'mores for everyone. Ryan enjoyed eating his, but was concerned about his "door-ty" hands.

Ryan actually made us help him eat his at one point so that his hands wouldn't get messy again.

He was very upset about the napkins sticking to his hands.

After we all got cleaned up, we set down for a photo shoot with the newest members of our family.

"Who thinks Molly is too loud?"

Ryan holding Amelia.
One last shot of our gal. Having a baby with so many rolls is new to me.

Week 3-Meeting Great Grandmother Stone

My Dad was still in town this week and was able to bring my grandmother to meet Molly. Thanks Dad! We got to see Grandpa Bud a lot this week and enjoyed his visit. Today Andrew asked me when we are driving to Alaska. He told me that Monday would be a great day.

Molly is bursting out of her newborn clothes and has worn some of her 0-3 month clothes this week. She took her first shower with her daddy this week. Molly also went out to eat with Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa Bud and his girlfriend, Lynne. Molly's first night out on the town. She went to Pinehurst and met her new cousin Amelia

Molly went to church for the first time. At church, you were the center of attention. Not just because you were so cute Molly, but also because you were breathing/cooing so loudly in your sleep, that everyone in Relief Society could hear you and the teacher even stopped her lesson to say how cute your cooing was. I am afraid we may have to spend next Sunday out in the hallway.

(With Andrew and Ryan, I kept a journal and scrapbook for each week of their first year of life. I am doing this for Molly as well. So if it seems like I am writing a ton about Molly each week, it is because I am going to upload our blog into a baby book for Molly next April. I am still going to make this a blog about our family, but each week there will also be a little summary about Molly's week).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

I feel so blessed to be a Mommy of three wonderful children. We survived our first week without extra help and are settling in to life with our new little girl. The boys have been such a big help. I am amazed at how much Andrew can and does help out. Without the presence of another adult, Ryan finally noticed that Mommy was spending a lot of time with Molly. On Wednesday he actually climbed on top of Molly while I was nursing her and told me to put baby sista down and to hold Ryan! Ryan also decided to go potty four times this weekend! (Very exciting news).

Molly weighed 8 pounds 15 ounces at her 2 week check up this past Monday. It was our first outing together as mom and three little ones. The boys behaved beautifully. Molly is in the 95th percentile for weight. Which is funny, since her brothers are both in the 5th percentile. The doctor said she is doing well. She is sleeping well at night and wakes up only to nurse and goes straight back to sleep. I have tried to deny it, but I think she is also effected by chocolate like her brothers. It looks like I may be off chocolate for the next 6 months...AGAIN! So sad. I am going to cut it out this week and see what happens.

Today was a wonderful day. Chad fixed breakfast and had gifts waiting for me at the table when I woke up. We headed down to Pinehurst to spend the rest of the day with Chad's mom and had a great time.

Chad helped Andrew and Ryan make me Mother's Day cards. I thought they were pretty sweet. He asked each of them what makes Mommy special. Here are their answers.

Andrew said, "Mommy is special because...she plays with me, lets me do what I want, teamwork, not drinking coffee, taking us somewhere we like to go, looks happy, not going in the street without holding my hand. "

Ryan said "Mommy play with me, read books, sing songs, Mommy silly, Mommy funny."

I am too exhausted to write all the feelings in my heart this mother's day. So no long letter this Mother's Day baring my heart and soul like last year. Chad gave me a mother's day gift with a quote on it by Neal A. Maxwell that sums up my feelings however. It reads, "Faith in God includes faith in His timing." I am grateful for the Lord's timing. I am extremely happy and living the life of my dreams with the best Daddy in the world and three children who are my everything.

Stake Service Day

Chad took Andrew and Ryan to help out with the Stake's Service Project all morning on Saturday. The organizers had arranged to have all families with young children to help clean up trash at a nearby park. Andrew brought along his claw to help out. There wasn't a lot of trash to clean up, but the boys had a fun time with their friends and then enjoyed the ice in the water coolers when they finished the "hard" work. Mommy enjoyed a quiet morning at home alone with Molly. Thanks, Daddy!

Molly's First Bath

Molly's umbilical cord finally fell off on Thursday. We were excited to finally give her her first bath. She seemed to like it and didn't scream nearly as much as her brothers did during their first baths. In fact she cried the loudest when we took her OUT of the tub.

A friend had given us this cute bunny towel. Ryan insists on using it now after his baths, too. He reminds me of the boy in the Christmas story when he wears it.

Molly Meets More Family

Molly got to meet lots more of her family this week. On Tuesday, Grandma Mary, Uncle Damion, Aunt Emily, Masen, and Madylen came to meet her. Aunt Emily and Uncle Damion took all 4 big kids to Krispy Kreme. They had a really fun time. That evening, Ben, Jen, Alex, and Evin came over and ate Chinese with all of us.

On Friday Molly met her Great Aunt Linda and her Great Aunt Louise, as well as her Great Uncle Terry. (Somehow we missed a picture with Great Uncle Terry). We went to Greensboro to celebrate an early Mother's Day with Nana and Too-Too.

On Saturday, Grandpa Bud came to see Molly. Andrew and Ryan had a really fun time playing with him, too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week 2 at Home with Molly

We had a fun week at home together as we settled into a routine with our new baby girl. Here are a few of the highlights.

Daddy took the week off work and was a big help around the house. He did yardwork, took care of Mommy, and played with the children. He also spent a lot of time taking pictures of Molly and posting video games he is going to sell online. (We realized that out of the hundreds of pics we took this week, none are of Chad or me).

Mommy recuperated somewhat from her c-section and felt human enough to wear real clothes on Thursday and stopped taking the heavy pain killers. Hooray! Then came down with mastitis that same night and went back on the heavy pain killers and also an antibiotic. (Ouch!) One of her dearest friends moved away that same day, so she cried off and on the whole night, tears of sadness and tears of pain. She feels human again tonight and prepared to be the Mommy of three tomorrow all on her own. Say a prayer for her! She's a little more nervous then she would like to admit.

Our Andrew was in heaven again this week. His Aunt Emily (aka BYU, a nickname he has given her recently) was here all week long. I am afraid I will never be as fun as Nana, Emily, and Rachel. I worry about his withdrawal symptoms this week after three weeks of playmates. (Luckily his Grandma's flight from Switzerland just landed and he will get to see her sometime this week, too. The rest of us at our house may be under the delusion that she is coming to meet Molly, but Andrew KNOWS it is really just to play with him).

Speaking of playmates, Andrew's betrothed best friend and baseball bat (signing time fans will get the joke) moved away to Alabama this week. Here is a pic of their last playdate. They had a fun time playing outside in the water table. He is very sad that she moved away. This is the first "loss" Andrew has ever experienced.

Ryan has been the happiest little guy this week. (But really when is he not)? No jealousy towards his sister, just complete admiration and love. He hasn't tired of holding or kissing her.

He has also learned to sing the Batman and Superman theme songs and loves to wear his cape and yell "I Supa-man." or "I Bat-man!"

He adores his Aunt Emily and kept asking when she was going to wake up this morning at breakfast time. I guess he didn't realize she was really gone.

And then of course, our Molly. Molly has spent her time this week nursing, sleeping, being photographed, meeting realtives, and pooping. She was cooperative as Mommy dressed her up in lots of fun outfits and BOWS. She met Ben, Jen, Alex, and Evin this week when they came over to play and brought us dinner.

Evin had been talking about meeting Molly all day and hardly left her side all night.

Alex was a little less enthusiastic. He said a quick hello and headed off to play with Andrew.

Of course she met Aunt Emily Krueger, since she was here all week long.

When there are three adults in the house, there's a lot of camera flashes going off all of the time. I am sure we have taken over 500 pictures of Molly this week. Some of the pictures taken are bound to be great, and others just too horrible and funny not to share.

Here she is just really cute.

"What's up Dawg?" or a gang sign, not sure which.

Just wishing it had been her middle finger. I think she was trying to tell us how she felt about the brain squeezer that had fallen in her eyes.
(We have a great one of Andrew at this age flipping us the bird when we dressed him up in Build A Bear clothes).