Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby's First Christmas!

I have pictured my baby's first Christmas in my dreams, how fun it would be and how much Joy I would feel as a mom on Christmas with a beautiful, happy family. My dreams fell short of the wonder of the real experience. The best thing was watching my son interact with the special people in his life. He was spoiled by his grandparents and many of his family members and even though at this age he was more interested in the shiny bows atop the actual gifts, I know he felt the love and the spirit of giving that makes this holiday his mom's favorite.

Christmas Eve at Grammy and Grampa's...

A magical Christmas morning... In my excitement I awoke early and impatiently waited for over an HOUR for Harrison to wake up. I had showered, dressed and made Harrison a hot bowl of apple, cinnamon oatmeal before he woke and it took all my will power to refrain from knocking on his door exclaiming, "HO HO HO" and shrieking, "Harrison, SANTA CAME, SANTA CAME!!"

Christmas Day at Grandma Coco's...

We all celebrated our early GIFT this year, precious Sawyer. Also, Happy Birthday to our sweet Addelaide! Chels, Cam, Ben, Lauren and were dearly missed, it is never the same without your presence.

I am so grateful for this holiday in which I can reflect on my Savior's birth, life and the gift of his Atonement. I love the power of this holiday to brighten spirits, strengthen relationships, and create unforgettable memories. I will treasure the Christmas of 2007 forever as this was a miraculous year for our family and Harrison's first Christmas! We were so blessed to share this holiday with our loved ones, near and far.

Vegas Baby...Vegas!

We decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Vegas before Christmas to rendezvous with some of our favorite people!!

Lee generously treated us to a delicious dinner at the Bellagio, after which we watched the fountains light up and dance to joyous Christmas Carols. It was so fun and festive and I was instantly glad we came!

The next day brought a competitive Bowling competition where the sexes battled it out down the lanes... I'm afraid I wasn't much help for the women, my ball just loved that dang gutter. Here's our team with Grandma as our mascot!

While the family cheered on BYU in the bitter cold, we opted for a warm night at the Forum shops in Ceasars Palace. Harrison made lots of furry friends at FAO Shwarts...

Unfortunately, little Jackson wasn't feeling well but it was still so fun for Harrison to see his little buddy. Here's Jackson with his adoring Uncles.

Thank you Snarrs for such a fun trip, it was so fun to see you all. We also were grateful to see Grandma and Grandpa, Bob, Nathan and Kitch. We missed the rest of you...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas came early this year!!

Welcome to our family little angel...

Sawyer Michael Ross was born on December 18th. He weighed an even 8 pounds and was 19 inches long. He is healthy and absolutely beautiful. Kelli is a star and makes it look so easy : ) She is such a wonderful mom and I have always looked up to her and aspired to follow in her footsteps. Thank you Kelli, for your sacrifice in bringing Sawyer to us! Our family is so blessed to have another special little spirit with us... he is a new vibrant splash of color and life in our beautiful rainbow!

We are so grateful for the abundance of blessings being poured out upon our family!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And then there were FOUR!

We've been unconnected these last few weeks as we watched Dax and Sanam's kids while they enjoyed a Caribbean Cruise! It was quite an adventure with a 6 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old and Harrison. Although we are very tired, it was so special to get that bonding time with Soph, Beck Beck and sweet Kaya. We already miss them dearly since we've been home! Harrison misses them too and I'm afraid he's extremely bored with just Ryan and I to entertain him around here : )

Some of the Highlights:

Beckett started every morning by saying, "I help Shawlie Bweakfast?" Then he would help me make my Nutrimeal and hand each pill to me individually, commenting on every one. "Oval!" "This one gwoss?" "Help get you better!" I had to watch and make sure he didn't squish the Biomegas and the Vitamin E all over himself as I know he was very tempted to!

Listening to Sophie talk... she is a talker! I love how her mind works and I find pretty much everything she says so adorable. She is so smart and funny. One of my favorite memories is of both of us just laying on Dax and Sanam's bed together while I did my breathing treatments. We both just read and it felt like I was laying there with my own daughter. I feel so blessed to have been able to watch Sophie grow up and be so close to her. She was such a great helper!

Bathing and Smelling Kaya. Her forehead is the sweetest smelling thing and every time I picked her up I would lightly brush my nose across her forehead back and forth and breathe in the scent, it was so fresh and innocent. I also loved bathing her as she would just sit straight up in the bath and let me lather her cute! Not so cute when she leaned over in the bath and pooped amid squeals from Sophie and Beckett!! Thanks to Ryan's quick hands she didn't succeed in playing with it although she tried!

Watching Harrison interact with the kids was so fun. It was a constant Diaper Dearby. Anytime Kaya started crawling, Harrison would take off after her! He loves his cousins so much!

Thank you Dax and Sanam for having such adorable children and letting us bond with them and love them. We're game for another go whenever you need to get away : )

Kaya's Favorite Activity... playing with the Tupperware!

No mistaking who's dror this is!

Brave Sophie with her stylish sling after her fall from the Monkey Bars...

Our only break was when they were all sleeping or...

Harrison polishing the floor with spilled milk : )

Saturday, November 24, 2007

...that your JOY might be full

I can't remember a Thanksgiving Day when my JOY was more full. This has truly been a momentous year for our family, a year filled with the Miracle of Harrison! As our family went around and told what we were thankful for this year I dreaded my turn because I knew there was no way I could possibly articulate how grateful I was for the blessings in my life. I babbled and tried to form coherent sentences through the tears. I'm afraid it wasn't very pretty. I said to Ryan as we drove home, "I wish I could have a re-do on my turn...I'd do so much better!"

Here's my RE-DO...

I am so grateful to be alive, I love my life and I know it is a gift. I know my life is being prolonged and I intend to fill my precious moments with what is most important to me. I know no greater joy than spending time with my family. I love them all so dearly and my love for them really defines me, it's who I am.

Lexi~ I am so grateful for your lessons that remain with me. You are so much a part of who I am and I miss you, especially during these special holidays. However, I know that you are watching over us and I am grateful that I can feel your presence on such a regular basis. Thank you for staying close, I love you.

Mom~ You are my best friend and our relationship enriches my life in the most beautiful way. I know no one more generous and am humbled to be the recipient of that generosity on a daily basis. I would love to make it even but the scales will always be unbalanced, I can't keep up with you! Truly, thank you for everything. Most of all for supporting me when I told you I was pregnant. Harrison is yours too, I could never have done it without you.

Ric~ Thank you for loving my mom and making her so happy. I know it hasn't been easy for you with the four most overprotective kids looking out for their mom but we know you adore her and for that, we are so grateful to you. Thank you for your gift in Hawaii, it meant so much to me and Ryan. Thank you also for being such a great Grandpa to Harrison. He loves you too!

Dax~ I can't think of a time when I needed you and you weren't there. You have been a dad, a brother and a friend. Thank you for coming to the hospital, I know I wasn't talking much and couldn't express then how grateful I was but it meant so much to me. You'll never know how much strength that gave me and I needed it more than I ever had in my life.

Sanam~ You are such an awesome sister. I can't begin to thank you for all the service you have done for our family. When I think of the meals alone you have cooked for me when I've been sick and especially while I was pregnant, I just get a huge lump in my throat. I hope you know how much we appreciate all your service, your delicious meals but most of all, your love.

Zak~ You always bring a smile to my face! You have also been a dad, a brother and a friend. Ryan and I are so grateful for the mentor you have been to us in USANA and for the support you give us not only in business matters, but also spiritually. Thank you for using your priesthood to bless me. I am so grateful to know you will always be there for me. I love our friendship and how easy it is for me to talk to you.

Kelli~ Thank you for your faith. You always believed we could have a baby and your encouragement gave us hope and strength. Thank you for giving me a compliment I will never forget and forever treasure... you said, "Sharlie, I know you love our kids like we do." That was powerful coming from you and it is true. I love my nieces and nephews the same way I love Harrison, as if they were my own...

Chels~ I love you so much. You are one of the few that understands what I am going through, I feel your empathy every time we talk. Whenever I need to laugh, I can bring to my mind countless memories of Australia, Vegas, Palm Springs, birds swooping, treadmills, etc. and I can laugh out loud! Whenever I need strength, I can bring to mind how you have dealt with your trials and the kind of mom you are to your precious angels.

Cam~ Our family is so lucky to have you. I've loved you from the moment Chelsea brought you home. You oozed goodness, fun and strength of character. My first instincts about you have proven true. You are such a wonderful husband and I love watching you interact with all the kids in the family. You add so much to our family.

My ANGELS~ Jayden, Ben, Sophie, Zachary, Addie, Lauren, Beckett, Kaya and Ethan~ With every new spirit that comes to our family, my heart expands more than I thought possible. My love for you all lifts me, heals me and gives me a reason to keep fighting! Watching you interact with each other and with Harrison literally makes me feel like I know just what Heaven will be like... You fill my life with joy and fun and love!

Terry and Linda~ Thank you most of all for raising Ryan to be the man that he is. I hope to follow in your footsteps and raise my son to be a man full of passion and Christlike love for all people, a man with principles and the highest standards. I love you both so much and am grateful for the support and love you give to me and Ryan. Thank you also for being the Best Grandparents. Harrison adores you and my heart swells to watch you with him. You are such a special part of all of our lives.

Ryan~ There just aren't words. I am awed by the husband you are to me every day. Thank you for your patience with my weaknesses and for making me want to be my best self in all situations. Thank you for taking care of me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You truly raise me up. Thank you most of all for the daddy you are to our son. When I see you holding him, bathing him, feeding him, loving him...I fall more and more in love with you. I am so blessed to be yours.

My Miracle~Harrison, you are my whole life. Everything I've ever wanted, dreamed of and prayed for. Every time I threw a coin in a fountain, every time I wished on a star or blew out candles, I was hoping for you. Our Father in Heaven has poured out his blessing upon me and I will strive to be worthy of the blessing that you are every day of my life. I have never known such Joy. You are my reason to live, I am a MOM!

My faith in the Lord Jesus Christ sustains me and I am grateful that because of His Love and Sacrifice, I will be with my loved ones for Eternity. I am surrounded by angels on both sides of the veil, those who have passed and those that are on this earthly journey with me...because of this and my knowledge of the Gospel, my JOY is FULL.