Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I Have Learned

This year has been one hell of a ride! I have had some of the scariest moments of my life to the very best. I have learned a lot about people, the love of God, and about myself. And now as we prepare for 2010 which is sure to keep me on my toes even more than 2009 did, I thought I would share some of these things with you.

1. No matter what you may have in mind, God may have other ideas. Trust him…he ALWAYS knows better.

2. There is nothing in this world better than baby smiles.

3. Love truly can be unconditional.

4. No matter how many times you say no, the people will always approach you in the Smith’s parking lot and offer you tamales at a “very good price.”

5. No matter how nicely you speak to your car, it can still break down every other month.

6. There is a difference between saying you have faith and truly having it-the trick is knowing which category you fall into.

7. Never falter in what you know to be the right thing. You will be rewarded for sticking to your guns.

8. Mean people usually stay mean no matter what you do. Don’t waste precious time on them.

9. Kids aim to please-take what they say at face value and don’t be offended or angry when you hear they told someone else the complete opposite because they just want to make people happy.

10. There are hypocrites all around us and some of them we cannot avoid even though we wish we could. Just keep trying to be nice and know that they will “get theirs” in the end.

11. Deployments are hard whether he is across country or across the world. But he will love you no matter the distance.

12. Give yourself LOTS of time to assemble baby furniture.

13. You do not get a special reward for having a “natural birth” so take the epidural when offered. Labor is not fast and after 16 hours of it, you’ll regret not getting it sooner.

14. Trust doctors.

15. Trust yourself.

16. Your family can be your biggest assets even though sometimes they are just big assholes. (Love you all! HAHA!)

17. Tough times are only tough for a little while.

18. Some people NEVER change because they just don’t care.

19. It’s okay not to like someone, but it is not okay to treat them that way.

20. Never turn your back on friends even if mistakes were made. Some people are meant to be friends for life and God will always help you find each other again.

21. Certain clothes can be ruined by vomit and/or baby poop no matter how many times you wash them.

22. Get to know your neighbors-they can turn out to be the most amazing people.

23. You never really know people until you’ve seen them play Beatles Rock Band or 80’s Sing Star.

24. A dog chasing laser pointer is really funny.

25. Love your family because you’ll miss them when they leave. And never forget that they do the same for you.

Much love to you all! Good luck in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

And a happy new year...

This past weekend was a great weekend for me. Not only was it Gabe’s first Christmas but we also got to have Sera with us as well. It was so special to be able to have both of our kids with us this holiday. Sera was supposed to be with her Mom that weekend but Ryan traded with her because Sera and her Mom went on a vacation to Forks, Washington the week before which would have normally been Ryan’s weekend.

To start I just have to share because Sera is so funny. When Ryan and I asked her about her vacation to Forks, WA she didn’t really know what to say. You see, Forks is the town where the Twilight series is set and Sera is now starting to read the Twilight series and says that her crush is Edward. (Personally I think she is too young to be worrying about boys-even fictional vampire boys.) And that he is so cute and wears make-up but not like girls wear make-up.

When we asked her what she did on her vacation, she kind of shrugged her shoulders and said, “We threw rocks in the ocean and took a picture in front of the Welcome to Forks sign.” I smiled and said that I bet the ocean was really pretty. Then her face lit up and she almost yelled “And I saw Bella’s truck!” It was like suddenly it came to her and I just had to laugh. It was pretty funny to see the look on her face. But then she quickly added, “But I know it’s not the REAL truck because Twilight isn’t real. Vampires aren’t really real…did you know that?” I told her yes and then she nodded her head and that was it.

This weekend Ryan and I also got to talk to Sera about angels. While driving home one night Sera told Ryan and me that she is her family’s guardian angel. She said that she is here to help her family through their sadness and hard times. This was so sweet. I know Sera loves to help people but it breaks my heart that such a sweet little soul is so weighed down with adult issues. I feel bad that she feels the need to worry about grown-up problems. I wish that she could just be the sweet funny little girl that I love and not worry so much. But that is how Sera is. Once she has something in her mind, she stays very focused.

She also told me that her Dad, Gabe, and I are all her guardian angels because we are her family and we take such good care of her. She talked about how her name is a type of angel and that she is going to be our angel and always watch over us. Then she yawned and her eyes got a little watery. She asked Ry and I if our eyes did that too and when we said yes she said, “Well that must be a way to tell if people are angels or not. If you get tears when you yawn then you’re an angel.” I cannot help but smile when she says things like this. She really is something special and I am so blessed to have her in my life. I can only pray that Ryan and I continue to do the best that we can for her and that she will always know just how much we love her. She may not understand some of the things that we do, but some day, she will. She’ll understand why and she will love us even more for always trying to keep her best interest at heart.

Gabe also had a great weekend. He had a tough Christmas Eve because he got passed around so much. I have never seen him act like that before. He got so fussy. And then because he just wanted some comfort, he ate two full bottles! TWO! I honestly thought he was going to be sick and barf all over me but he didn’t. Once he ate he seemed to be better but was still a little cranky. With all the new faces, and people holding him, he just got a little overwhelmed.

Christmas morning was fun too. I know he is really too little to enjoy Christmas but we did it anyway. Santa brought him a rattle, a toy for his car seat, some clothes, and my personal favorite-a bib that says “Zombie Snack” (You have to know Ryan to understand why Santa brought Gabe this gift.) Gabe also got a cube that plays music, some more clothes, some more toys, a book, lots of blocks, and Gabe’s favorite thing-his ExerSaucer. I mean, just look at how much this kid loves he ExerSaucer. (Ryan and I about wet our pants when he did this!)

When all was said and done, we had a FABULOUS Christmas with our kids. But Sera and Gabe bring so much joy into our lives. I don’t know where I would be without my family.

Ryan, I love you with all my heart. And even though you get competitive when playing Sorry, you always make me smile. I would be lost without you Ryan. You are an INCREDIBLE father no matter what other people may think. I know that you ALWAYS do what is best for both of your kids. And I know that they both love you so much. Never waiver in your faith in yourself or in God because you truly are doing the right thing. Thank you for loving me, despite all my faults. Thank you allowing me to be a part of Sera’s life. And thank you for the gift of our son Gabe. This Christmas season I truly realized that my family is the biggest gift I could have ever hoped to receive. Love to you all and I hope your holiday was as good as ours!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Eulogy...for Mac

Today is a sad day. My Grandpa Jim’s dog Mac passed away this morning. So in honor of Mac, I am going to write him a eulogy. I know this will not ease my Grandpa’s pain but it may help the rest of us remember Mac in our own special way.

General Douglas Macarthur “Mac”-Herndon

Born: November 24, 1995

Died: Monday December 21, 2009

Age: 15 Years (Human) 105 Years (Dog)

General Douglas Macarthur joined our family Christmas Eve about 15 years ago. I remember the night well. We were having our yearly Christmas Eve party at my Aunt Kathy’s & her then husband Larry’s house in Salt Lake. Mac, as we called him for short, was hiding in the bar area of their home in a kennel. Just a tiny puppy then, the grandkids kept trying to sneak peeks at the little shitzu. He was a gift for my Grandpa Jim from my Grandma Diane.

Ever since that night Mac has been a part of our family. He has attended every event my Grandma would allow my Grandpa to bring him too and even some when she had told him no. I can remember Mac from the time I was a child to the last time I saw him a couple week s ago. And I know how much he meant to my Grandpa, as well as my Grandma.

Mac led a life of comfort. Right from the start he got what he wanted. Mac was given every type of human food you could imagine-even those the veterinarian warned my grandparents against. And despite what we all thought would happen Mac did not die of a doggy heart attack or diabetes. No, he proved us all wrong.

Mac even had comforts like a doggy car seat. (My grandparents’ children didn’t have car seats when they were younger, but Mac did.) Mac had special rugs, toys, water bottle, brushes, and even a little sweater when he was younger. As Mac got older, he became too grumpy and would no longer wear the sweater.

I have many personal memories of Mac. When he was a little puppy, my Grandma brought him to our house and he and my kitten Pinto (who has preceded him in death I assume because Pinto left one day and never came back.) played until they couldn't play anymore. They played and played and chewed each other’s ears raw. I will never forget how cute the two of them looked together.

As Mac got older, he became more and more spoiled. He would bark at the dinner table to get my grandparents to feed him. And my Grandpa would always tell him “Now you aren’t getting any of this.” But he would say that as he was feeding Mac from his fork. Needless to say, Mac never wanted for anything.

A more recent memory of Mac was when I lived with my grandparents. He was an elderly dog at this point and my guess could not hold his bodily functions as well. And more than once Mac would come into my room and poop on my floor. I would let my Grandma know and WITHOUT complaint, she would come in and clean it up. She would always apologize but she loved Mac anyway. Had it been me, I probably would have despised him.

So love him (or not) Mac was a part of all our lives because our Grandparents loved him so much. We all may have wanted to throw him in the canal out back at points, but he made Grandma and especially Grandpa, very happy. And we all have happy memories that include him-even if some of them are all the funny jokes we made about how spoiled and awful he could be.

Mac is survived by his parents Jim and Diane Herndon, siblings Kathy C. (Paul), Tracii D. (Randy), John H. (Debbie) and Karen P. (Chad) as well as many nieces and nephews. Mac is preceded in death by his gay lover, Walter the Stuffed Dog.

Goodbye Mac and rest in peace. You will be missed…by most. (But really by all of us.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Three Months

Three months already!?! Oh my baby boy, you are three months old. You just keep growing and learning. Of course this is what you should be doing. It still never ceases to amaze me. I find myself watching you and trying to figure out what it is you are thinking about. I always wonder what must be running through your mind.

During this last month you have experienced many firsts. Your first experience at being sick. As I posted on my earlier blog, this was quite the experience for me. You cried and fussed and it was so hard for me because I just didn’t know what you needed. But we made it through and you are doing great. Your cough is gone and all the remains is the occasional stuffiness.

You also had your first Thanksgiving at Grandma Karen & Grandpa Chad’s house. This was even more special because your Grandma Linda was able to come down and spend some time with you over the holidays. And even better, Sera was able to be here as well. We ate delicious food that Grandma Karen made. I helped with the relish tray and I also bought the pies. I promise that before you grow up I will learn how to make a real Thanksgiving dinner.

Grandma Linda, Grandma Karen, Aunt Becca, and I all tried to feed you real food during dinner. Sure you don’t have teeth but a little orange salad and mashed potatoes with gravy wouldn’t hurt right? It is mushy enough for you. And we weren’t going to give you HUGE spoonfuls-just a tiny taste. But your Dad, being the responsible one, told us no. After a little begging on our parts he let us give you a taste of mashed potatoes with no gravy. He didn’t want you to get sick because you were having a lot of rich food. I understand of course, I just thought, for your first Thanksgiving, you deserved more than just milk.

Also during the holiday weekend you got to “watch” your first Utah vs. BYU football game. This was a very proud moment for me. I know that although you weren’t really watching it and you couldn’t really understand anything about the game that you were rooting for Utah to win. I am sad to report that Utah was unable to do this for your first game. But you wore you Ute’s outfit and weren’t ashamed to be a “classless Ute’s fan” as BYU quarterback Max Hall might assume about you. (For those of you not from around here, this is a link to explain the Max Hall comment. http://www.examiner.com/x-19632-Salt-Lake-City-Headlines-Examiner~y2009m11d30-BYUs-Max-Hall-post-game-comments-and-apology-to-the-University-of-Utah)

Developmentally I have seen great things from you. You like to talk a lot more now. You gurgle and babble when you are in a good mood. You’ll coo and give little squeaks and I will talk right back. I only wish I could understand what it was you are trying to tell. I am going to guess that you must be telling me how much you love your Dad, Sera, and me.

You have also been reaching out and grabbing at things a lot more. I think that now that you are really able to hold your head up, you can focus more on what is around you. You love the doggy rattle that Aunt Becca gave you at my baby shower especially. It attaches to your car seat and you grab onto that thing and hold onto it for dear life. You try to get it in your mouth and when you can’t you get mad. It is cute to watch you try and figure everything out. It makes me so proud when I see you accomplish these things.

I have also been working harder on giving you tummy time. You hate this. You scream at me after about two minutes of being on your tummy. I am going to tell you now, there are going to be a lot of things that I do for you that you are going to hate. But please know that I only do these things because they are good for you. You need to get your back muscles stronger so that you can start to sit up. So smile and know that I do it all for you in the long run.

Your Dad and I love you Bubba. You are our little Gabezilla, Zilly-Willy, Senor Wiggle Bottom, Captain Wiggles, Bubs, Gabes, Gabey-Baby, Gabester, or Mr. Smiley Pants. No matter what we call you though, you are our Baby boy and we look forward to seeing what next month will bring us. Happy 3 month birthday day my sweet baby boy.