Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happily Ever After...

Some people never find it, some only pretend, but I just want to live happily ever after every now and then.
-Jimmy Buffet

On this last gorgeous Sunday Afternoon, my "Happily Ever After" was swinging my son overlooking Swamis and an unreal sunset. Harrison adores swinging and we have just recently realized this and now I am determined to indulge him every week with at least one good swinging session where he can let that pure, unaware belly laugh penetrate his whole being and feel the wind tickle his cheeks. For me, watching his little limbs vibrate with pleasure, hearing the laughter from his deep gut and feeling his little hands connect with my outreached ones was simply cleansing...so refreshing, so grounding.

Happily Ever After is not just for fairy tales...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's a Party!

It was a perfect day for a Party... confirming my belief that the Sun shines on Harrison! Bubbles, beach balls, balloons, good friends, yummy food and a first Birthday cake made for a very fun birthday bash for our baby boy. He was fashionably late as his nap ran a little long but I don't think he even noticed the party had started without him : )

We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our loved ones as we raised almost $400.00 for Cystic Fibrosis research! When we decided to have a party for Harrison we were very sure that he didn't need any more toys so we gratefully accepted donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation instead of gifts. We felt that raising money for this cause that is so close to our hearts was a great way to celebrate Harrison's birthday. This year we are walking in the GREAT STRIDES walk and all these donations will go towards our walk. If you would like to donate, please go to:


We are so blessed and are so grateful for Harrison's good health and for my sustained good health. I have had a few setbacks this year but have continued to bounce back! We are very excited about the research that is happening right now in the C.F. community. There are three specific drugs that encourage us as they aim to treat the genetic defect and not just the symptoms of C.F. This is a first! One of the drugs is currently in trial and the two others will hopefully follow shortly. We have many reasons to hope...the future is bright and life is so wonderful! We are confident that our little family will be strong and healthy and together here for a long time...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day OMMMs...

Happy Valentine's Day! I feel that Ryan and I celebrate our love every day but I enjoy an excuse to pamper my hubby and I don't mind a little extra pampering from him either : ) I wasn't quite sure how Ryan would feel about accompanying me to a Valentine's Day Yoga class but to my surprise and delight he didn't object and actually seemed pretty intrigued. It was a peaceful, unifying practice as we grounded and centered and breathed light and energy into our bodies. We surrendered and let the earth support us and moved into trust and forgiveness as we accepted love and sent it back out to the world. It was blissful. Thank you Ryan.

We spent the rest of our day with our little Valentine. More Bliss : )


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Angel...

I couldn't fall asleep last night. My mind was filled with the memories of what was transpiring in my life exactly one year ago today. It is a day I have thought about often during this last year. A day that instantly conjures a deep well of a plethora of emotions. A day I can go back to in my mind when I need strength or renewed hope or a peaceful moment. I don't think most women would describe going through labor as a peaceful practice but I have never been so "at peace." There was of course the nervousness about experiencing something completely new to me and all that it encompassed but I knew, I KNEW I was not alone. I truly felt that a conduit to heaven had opened right up. I have only felt that connected to the spirit world a few other times in my life including the precious moments I lay beside Lexi as she took her last breaths. It makes sense that the veil would be especially thin as the heavens welcome home and send off choice spirits.

I spent the whole day in a very meditative state, I spoke only a handful of words during the entire process which began with my water breaking at about 6 am to Harrison's birth at about 6pm. All my energy was channeled into breathing calmly, visualizing fresh oxygen sustaining my lungs and my body for what was to come, communicating love to my soon-to-be born son and praying silently but fervently for continued faith to endure and to express my eternal gratitude for this miracle. The whole day is kind of a blissful blur now but there are a few specific things I will never forget:

There were hymns playing softly in the background of my consciousness. I don't know if that makes sense but it was a phenomenon I have never experienced. I wasn't consciously thinking of any specific hymn or humming them to myself, they were just there like a cooling salve. The sweet melodies and words of hymns like, "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "How Great Thou Art" were on a continuous repeating play cycle all day. I have always believed in the healing powers of music. I believe this was a special healing gift from above.

I remember Dax coming to the hospital. He didn't expect me to talk, he was just a powerful presence, a reminder of the strength I get from my family. My love for him and the fatherly/brotherly role he has played in my life gave me such a boost while I lay there meditating and visualizing. I hadn't asked him to come and I didn't know how much I wanted him there until he walked through my door and I was overwhelmed with gratitude that he was there.

My mom, my wonderful mom. She did not like the idea of me getting pregnant. When I expressed a desire to have a baby, she urged us to explore all the alternatives and explained simply that she was still my mom and I was "her baby" and she was afraid of the health risks involved. However, from the moment I told her I was pregnant she was behind me 100%. She counseled me to ignore any negativity from my doctors and reminded me of my faith. She supplied my maternity wardrobe and all manner of baby gifts! Her love and support was a huge strength to Ryan and I not only for the duration of my pregnancy but especially throughout that special day. She eased me through my contractions by guiding me in a kayak down the rivers in Kauai. I could smell the tropical rain forest smells and see the mountains blanketed with lush green carpet and feel the cool, clean water with my fingertips. I could feel the sun radiating through my skin and taste the salty sweat drip down my temples. As my contractions started we would start paddling and as they peaked, we would glide around a bend in the river until I could see the waterfalls flowing down the mountains ahead and then it would be over and I could sit and enjoy the stillness. It was a glorious distraction and a system that mercifully worked. She was my rock.

I will never forget Ryan dressed in his O.R. gear, his face flushed with a nervous excitement that melted my heart. Our lives are so intertwined with shared hopes, fears, dreams, and goals. He is an extension of myself and that is how he was throughout the whole day. It felt like I couldn't separate where my emotions ended and his started. I know we were each having our own individual experiences but we were one in our mutual love for each other and for our son. We were one in knowing our lives would never be the same as our existance as a couple was going through an evolution. Evolving into a deeper and infinitely more meaningful plane unifying us even more and humbling us to the core.

Finally, I will never forget, oh, I will never forget watching that bundle of heaven with his full head of matted, curly, blonde hair emerge from my body into my world. As I struggled to catch my breath, I was keenly aware that I was being attended to from both sides of the veil and I wept freely amid the chaos of the operating room. I was briefly handed my son before he was promptly taken to the NICCU and I had never felt so right in all of my life. My belief that I was supposed to be a mother was confirmed as I looked at Harrison's face and wordlessly communicated to him that God's grace was sufficient for us and we were both going to heal and be mother and son together for eternity.

This precious boy has opened my eyes and my heart and filled this year with memories that will be never be forgotten. I thought I loved life before but, oh my goodness, life has never been so WONDERFUL!! Happy Birthday Harrison, I am so looking forward to another year full of fun and joy!

Here is a progression of our little boy's year month by month...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rub a dub dub...

I LOVE this boy in the TUB!

Harrison has always enjoyed Bath time. I don't think it's possible for him to enjoy his bath time more than I enjoy his bath time. It is definitely a highlight of the day : ) I remember giving Harrison his first bath in the NICCU. The nurse was so sweet, she got us all ready and put us in a little private room usually used for nursing and then left us so Ryan and I could have our own experience bathing our son for the first time. I was so grateful for her compassion and understanding. We didn't ask her to leave but she knew how special it would be for us to give Harrison his first bath. She warned us however that a lot of babies don't tolerate bath time too well. I thought to myself, if this little boy is anything like his mommy, he's going to love this! I wasn't worried and had no need to be. Harrison cooed with pleasure at the first touch of that warm sudsy washcloth. He has graduated from softly cooing to squealing with delight and splashing water all the way out of the bathroom (it's a small bathroom...but still!) He also loves discovering his toes beneath the bubbles, putting his rubber ducky's head in his mouth and chewing on his washcloth while I am trying to wash him with it causing a hilarious tug-o-war in which he usually wins!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from bathtime this week...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

God be with you till we meet again...

It was a week ago that we received news of our beloved Prophets passing. The moment of grief was followed by the sweetest peace. Peace that comes from the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peace that comes from picturing in my mind the Heavenly hosts welcoming this faithful servant home and the reunion of President Hinckley and his cherished wife Marjorie.

The Legacies left by this man have changed lives, strengthened the Church of Jesus Christ and certainly made this world a better place to live in. I will miss dearly listening to his uplifting words and giggling at his spunky sense of humor. My testimony of Jesus Christ was strengthened every time I heard President Hinckley speak, my heart would swell with the spirit which would confirm to me the truthfulness of the words I was hearing and the emotions I was feeling. I am so grateful for this man and hope that as I remember him I can honor him with choices I make and the way I live my life. I look forward to telling Harrison stories about this Prophet of God and the treasured memories I have of him. He would often close his Conference remarks with the phrase, "God be with you till we meet again." I've always loved this hymn and ever since I lost Lexi, it has been poignant for me. Now it has an added sweetness.